Page 17 - 2016 AMA Autumn
P. 17

                                The Beta
Tidal status – 3hrs either side of Low for Shipwreck itself, 2hrs either side of low for Mermaid wall. Crag height – 15 to 30 metres.
30 30 7 6
Ben West climbing Helvitia 8c
Once at the crag you will probably be shocked by its steepness but don’t worry there are plenty of not so steep routes to be found. The first bay you come across is the original site of development and is home to many of Gowers best hard routes. 3 of the earliest routes stand out head and shoulders above the rest. One ton depot 7b+ is pure class and named after the pile of rock that was left under the route after Lamey cleaned away all of the loose blocs. In doing so he unearthed a gem! Vennerne
is next and at 7c+ it is simply one of the best routes you will find in the UK. AirShow 8a+ is Adrian’s offering to the cove and has already become possibly the most popular grade 8 route on the Gower due to its quality. On the opposite wall Par 3 is a great 6c that is often used as a warm up by the strong boys and girls before they attack the harder lines.
Turning the corner into the second bay brings you to Castaway Cove which is a recent development and home to some great routes in the 6’s, but if you continue out to sea you find Mermaid Wall which is a sector of real significance for Gower. The wall itself has over 40 routes with grades from F2 upto 6c at present and is without doubt one of the best venues for lower grade climbs to be found on Gower. Lemon Soul 6a and The Naughty Step 6a are both amazing climbs in a fantastic location. It is worth noting that Mermaid wall has a smaller tidal window than the cove, and as such you do need to keep an eye on the rising tide to prevent you becoming cut off!
On top of these 3 main sectors there are numerous smaller area’s in between that house some great shorter routes such as Black Wall with its obvious challenge of Black Adder 6b+. And the great news is that development has not finished yet, with Roy and Dai still adding to the number of routes under 7a it will be a while before you have outclimbed this venue, and even then there is always surfing as an option!
Guide books
Currently there are two great options for guide books and neither of them are in print! Fortunately this is because they are both available online, first you will find all the info on the South Wales Mountaineer- ing Club wiki
If you are into smart phones and all the modern advantages they seem to bring, then Rockfax has a downloadable guide for your phone. This guide is for the Gower and cover almost all of the sport climbing
Emily Slade climbing King George vs the Suffragettes 7a+
on offer and as with the wiki has the advantage that it is constantly updated with any new developments meaning your guide will stay current! and at no extra cost from the initial purchase. Hopefully soon there will be a new South Wales Guide book that will include this and the many other new venues that have been established since the last guide was put to print.
Après’ Climb
Leaving the crag and returning up the steps to the car park leave you with some great options for Apres Shipwreck. The first is simply carry on climbing as there are many non tidal options with in 5min walk of the carpark, Trial Wall being the most obvious. If you are climbed out then the pub offers all the normal pub stuff but with one of the best views in South Wales. If its food you are after then drive back a few miles and search out The King Authur for a great evening!
All pictures courtesy of
  Below 6a
  F6a – F6c+
  F7a – F7c
  F8a and above

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