Discovering The Wall Within in The Lost World

The Lost World is probably the furthest quarry hole to approach and most tricky to access in the Dinorwic slate quarries. 7 years ago in 2009 while following the Snakes and Ladders traverse through the quarries I entered the Lost World for the first time, I vividly remember being amazed by the enacted forest within; the floor of the hole was awash with thick green vegetation, a little stone shed and a small pond*. I recall beating my way through the damp jungle to see a futuristic-looking red wall.

Walking int the Lost World in 2009 (pre rock fall)

The Lost Wold (pre rock fall), thanks to Allan Robb for photo, 2009

Double page photo of George Smith on The Wall Within 7c+ slate guidebook inspiration

When the new (excellent) Ground Up slate guide book was released 4 years ago in 2012 one of the photos that stood out was George Smith contorting his was up The Wall Within 7c+up this futuristic red-wall. On my next visit to the Lost World I scoped out the route, only to be disappointed by the state of bolts. Badly rusted bolts are not so much fun; so this winter I put in the effort to re-bolt the route.

Old bolts, they have now been replaced with shiny new 12mm expansions

Being at the bottom of a deep hole and covered in red algae the wall requires a dry spell to dry up the seepage, although once dry since the wall is overhanging it's not affected by a short rain storm!

The line of Wall Within, up the middle of the wall

After a short session working out the moves on top rope today Will Oats and I climbed the route. The climbing did not disappoint. Funky slate climbing at it's best: long, positional, dynamic, weird and powerful. It would be interesting to get some traffic on the route and hear how other folk go on. Will is slightly taller than me and therefore found some moves much harder, although in balance he found the dynamic crux a steady static reach!

Here's a video of Will and I climbing the route...side by side! The race is on :-)

Fire!...Keeping the midges at bay

Will figuring out the moves and cleaning the route

*All changed three of years ago in 2014, after a monster rock fall, the green shrubs of the past are now buried under tons of slate rubble. However, the red-wall with the Wall Within is still standing and seems pretty solid (for have been warned, maybe slate is not meant to be overhanging! Please take care)

The Hidden Baboon

A few years ago I heard tales of a Baboon hidden deep the Beddgelert forest. Yesterday we went in search of the Baboon. The approach involves utilizing mechanical assistance to cover the required distance. After a long and sweaty ascent up through the forest, we arrived at the described location.

To the Baboon...!

We hunted and searched, but all we could find was forest. After a while, we gave up and moved on to checkout some other, areas in the forest.

Where is the Baboon?

Later that evening while pondering our Baboon failure I seeked technological assistance; the eye in the sky, Google Earth. With the aerial vantage point came the realization that we had been close, very close but given current conditions gorilla jungle tactics would now need to be employed to reach the Baboon.

Possible Baboon Sighting?

24hrs later, armed with the magic numbers (53.009843,-4.146127) we once again made the long approach up through the forest. Only to find the forest was denser than we though, stripping down to the bare essentials (losing the pad) we dropped down to our hands and knees and forged into the spiky jungle. Wriggling on my belly through a particularly dense section I nearly bumped into a large lump of rock, raising my head I gazed up at...The Baboon!

The passing of time has not been kind to the poor Baboon. 13 years later it's now a shadow of its previous well-defined towering mass, but nonetheless still standing strong.

2003: Bryn Jones on the first ascent of The Baboon, 2009: Simon Panton repeat ascent, 2016: Amy and Glyn getting lost

2016 Baboon Approach
Glyn on the 2016 Baboon Ascent

On top of a Baboon

On top of a Baboon

Baboon video montage: