Having made the third ascent of Megalopa (8c+), at Lower Pen Trwyn (LPT), James McHaffie
can cross off one of his goals for 2015. In between the showers, on a blustery cold day at the Great Orme, James made no mistakes on his second redpoint of the day.
From the shake-out above the crux of The Walking Mussel (8b+), Megalopa breaks out right on to the striking white headwall. The new North Wales Limestone guidebook describes it as turning: "…an already brilliant tussle into another stratosphere of quality and difficulty."
James said: "I'd planned to get it done some time in April so I'm really pleased to get it redpointed sooner rather than later. On my first go I'd got to the flat finger edge in the middle of the headwall only to discover it was wet from some seepage just above it. Luckily, slapping on plenty of chalk kept it dry."
"It felt V7ish, perhaps trickier, to the flat finger edge and V6 from there, but very drop-able after the climbing you've already done. I'd first gone on Megalopa last year to get fit for Salathé and didn't have time to finish it off before heading to America. In the last few weeks with spring supposedly in the air I've got back on it."
This is James' second 8c+ route this year after climbing Mind Control at Oliana (Spain) in February.
Comparing the two routes, James added: "Megalopa is half the height of Mind Control but has harder moves and took me more sessions."
James McHaffie is no stranger to LPT's hard sport routes, with his second ascent of The Big Bang (9a) in 2011. He describes taking with him what he learnt from that experience to climb The Meltdown (8c+/9a) the following year.
Credit for the first ascent of Megalopa goes to Neil Dyer after a head-to-head battle in summer 2011 with fellow Orme aficionado Pete Robins. However, Pete didn't give up and won through for the second ascent three weeks later.