27 May 2009


I was surprised to see a rope on the Nomad wall in Llanymynech quarry as it was early in the morning and i had not seen or heard anyone, as i walked further more of the wall came in to view and the rope lead to someone practicing Nomad on a shunt. When i reached the ledge we chatted about the routes on the wall and eventually i got to asking what he thought about the bolts? 'The people who retro-bolted the wall had put in a lot of effort and the lines were never climbed as trad routes and therefore dirty' i heard.

Initially when i heard about the bolts I was surprised that a trad line had been retro-bolted especially when the lines looked to be good and unusually long. Prior to the retro-bolting I had planned (probably over optimistically) to try some of the sport routes in the quarry then have a go at the similar trad lines (as a test for routes such as Right Wall).

Continuing the conversation I found out that the routes were originally lead using 6" nails for some of the protection, something that was not stated in the guide and might have lead to a bit of stress during a trad lead!!

Having decided to attempt This Wont Hurt I set off on what turned out to be a pumpy climb, as a sport route This Wont Hurt was good; interesting moves between good rests but the easiest line (eventually taken by me of course) uses Un-broken at half height and the right hand route at the top. I didn't stop to check too much during my ascent but those horizontal breaks seemed ok for cams and there was definitely another couple of slots for good gear.

During my pumpy sport lead I found myself thanking the kind bolter and thinking "I'm glad i never attempted that as trad" but thats the point: the route is easier with bolts. I'm sure it would have been a lot more memorable for me as a trad route.

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