Articles - Bouldering at Abercynon, South Wales
Jamie Maddison - Posted on 23 Jul 2009
(Ffred Jones on Ffred V2 - All Photos: Jamie Maddison)
And yet they should have; the rock, beautifully rounded sandstone, provides a climbing experience much akin to grit and which will see its enthusiasts getting up at dawn-break just to attain the best friction. Goitre Coed Rocks exemplifies the vast untapped possibilities Welsh sandstone has to offer; spread out across half a mile of south-facing Abercynon hillside, the numerous scattered boulders provide a relaxed, light-hearted and social environment in which to pursue a pleasant summer-evenings bouldering.
The evening starts with a warm up on the outstanding Stanage Wall, where the immaculate Middle Wall (V0) and Elegant Arête (V0) provide two quite exceptional highball propositions. The rock is brilliant; gently sloping to produce a considerably rippled slab that one can just tiptoe right up, feeling completely at one with large, sculpted holds. Proceeding onwards, the strikingly clean-cut Raped Arête (V2) pushes the limits of the term ‘highball’. With a none-too-brilliant landing and holds that, although positive, are not above suspicion this massive problem is sure to provoke quite a rush of adrenaline.
Heading left, the Pissoir Area holds the outstanding Sweet Dreams of Porn (V3); a low-level pump-fest, traversing through a series of oddly shaped finger pockets. The presence of an easier break-line just above the pockets is a bit of an annoyance but doesn’t really spoil the problem. A harder reverse and link up with the nearby Bashing the Bishop (V2) yields the equally good Sweeter Dreams of Sex with no change to the grade. Rock-over aficionados will enjoy the nearby problems FFred and Tweedie’s Classy Stop Out, both at an amiable V3.
Also on the same buttress, there remains the superb line of Solaris; a large roof problem leading into several footless moves on poor crimps. It has yet to see a successful ascent. Sadly, this is the situation with most of the other hard lines in the area, which all await a talented climber to cease their constant migration to the coast for a day and come try this beautifully sculpted esoterica.
(Jamie Maddison on Sweet Dreams of Porn)