After driving for four hours up from Cardiff we arrived at ‘Pentre bach’ cabin greeted by Diesel the dog, we had a hot chocolate and went to bed. We woke up at eight o clock, had breakfast and drove straight to Beacon climbing centre. We walked in, scouted out the centre and sized up the opposition, we later found out that they were the size of Dave’s… toe... it would be a long day.
After the competition, in which Dave came second and Celyn came third, Rob suggested that we head out trad climbing at Gogarth. We said yes, only if we didn't have to write a blog about it! Rob drove us there at break-neck speed while talking us through the ins and outs of trad climbing and arrived at the cliff in no time.
The approach to Gogarth was almost as hard as Celyn. We descended down the cliff face on a narrow dirt path. Once we past the dirt path we scrambled down a thin gulley that led onto a smaller path. After about ten minutes of scrambling we had to solo down five meters to the base of the sea cliff.
We then set up the belay at the base of the route Gogarth and Rob led a simple 4c whilst Celyn belayed him. We both followed him while taking out the gear and in the view.
The belay ledge was a small 30cm ledge that we could only just stand on, while Dave was flaking out the rope like a boss. Dave climbed the second pitch first after Rob set up the belay. Celyn went last and struggled to take out a small size 3 piece of gear, in doing so he inflicted a wound on his fist.
Due to the lack of daylight hours left, Rob combined the third and fourth pitch in one enormous forty-metre marathon pitch. While Rob climbed this pitch, we were slipping off the sloping belay ledge with three cams as protection. Celyn was first to climb this pitch while Dave struggled with all his might to take out the same size 3 piece of gear that Celyn previously struggled with. This pitch was a magnificent 4b, in which you had to layback off of a fist-sized crack.
The final 40 metre pitch was the hardest pitch of the route, where you had to traverse right for four meters and the climb upwards to the top. Celyn belayed while Rob climbed until he found a safe bit of gear to place four meters across and three meters up in a small crack the size of Celyn’s … biceps. Rob finished the pitch like a pro. Dave and I followed him up to the top. Whilst climbing, we looked down at a hundred metres of sheer cliff face and the sun falling over the horizon.
We got to the top super psyched for our next day out (hint Rob!). The descent was an intense run back to our bags where we took our kit off and ran back to the car with the wind at our backs. All in all, it was an epic day.
Cheers Rob for taking us out to Gogarth, we can't wait for next time (hint)