Crack and Cave

2 Stars
 HVD 4a

Adjacent Routes
<< Via Roof Route < Don't Bark, Bite  |  Bill and Ted's Lobotomy > Twin Chimneys Buttress >>

Climb the awkward wide crack to the right edge of the cave then move right to finish up the face. Well protected but hard work.
FA. Eric Byne 1950


toughest v.diff ever? not one for your first lead methinks.
karl - 08/May/03

The mate I climbed this with has only led a few routes, hence is still new to leading. I sent him up this for some gear placement practice, in the naive knowledge that it was "Only a VDiff", having not climbed it before myself. He made it, but found it quite intimidating and slightly tricky in a few places. As this guy has seconded a few HVS's with me, I reckon this speaks volumes. There are much kinder VDiffs out there on grit! A very good route though nontheless.
James McN - 08/Jun/03

Hard to start direct, judging by the polish most people (including me!) traverse in from the left. After than it's straightford VDiff, but harder if you traverse low down with your hands in the big break rather than moving up into the cave and using the break for your feet.
Simon C - 21/Jul/03

Start quite tricky for the grade but really not too difficult if you can jam. I liked the climb and loved the cheekyness of the traverse.
Woker - 18/Aug/03

I once saw someone leading this on a single rope. He neglected to extend any of his runners and eventually found himself within a couple of metres of the top, but unable to make any further progress!
Gareth Rees - 14/Oct/03

extremely hard at the grade, there are many easier severes about the place. Easier if you have a rest stood in the cave though.
victim of mathematics - 09/Apr/04

Well I'd had an excellent sunny day getting back into trad routes and decided to do one more before home. What a horrible choice this was. After coasting the first section up to the cave I was a little unsure of the next part of the route and so popped into the cave to have a look, mistake 1! Was a pain to get out of again and then i did the traverse too low with my hands in the big break which was horibbly unnerving, mistake 2. After that though coasted up the face to the top. Apart from the traverse a lovely climb though def hard for the grade though. I did manage to get rope drag too, it is a must to extend most draws on this one.
Andrew M - 29/Apr/04

I too made the mistake of going into the cave, hoping that it would offer some protection, bad idea! While the start was a bit tricky, I found a couple of moves on the face above the cave to be the most awkward. I also thought it was poorly protected for the grade.
Byron Buck - 27/Sep/06

Did this a few years back. A really nice route and didn't seem too hard for VD, compares in difficulty with Leaning Buttress Crack. There is great gear in the cave a sling aroung a huge boulder!
CurlyStevo - 28/Sep/06

sent my mate up this for his 3rd lead ever and he did the traverse to low but managed to get through. I think the low traverse is pretty fun but definatly not for the faint hearted that think its a VD! Good fun.
John McGinley - 18/Oct/06

I think the route description for this climb needs clarifying. It says "climb the crack to the right-hand edge of the prominent circular cave, then move out right to finish up the face in a fine position."

I followed the crack up to the edge of the cave, below a small overhang. From here, the obvious way right is along the conspicuous wide horizontal
break, using this for the hands and positive footholds on the slab. However, I think this was wrong, because it seemed harder than V Diff
(more like Severe) and took me too far right, onto the arete.

I was told afterwards that I should have gone left into the cave and then up and right from there, using the wide break for my feet. This seemed far from obvious, even when we checked it out from the cave on the descent, and the route description does not mention going into the cave, or even up its right hand edge.

It is clear from the wear on the rock, and from comments on both UKC and Rockfax, that lots of others have made the same mistake, and some found it hard, especially if they were expecting V Diff climbing. If the route does indeed go via the cave then I suggest the route description should spell this out, and perhaps suggest the lower route as a (presumably) harder alternative.
Howard Jones - 02/Oct/09

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  • Route Grade Votings

    Total votes cast 34
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