The wait for a repeat of Pat Littlejohn and Steve Sustad’s high traverse of Craig Dorys, War and Peace, is over. Twenty-four years later Nick Bullock and Mick Lovatt successfully spent two days (29-30th June) on this 1240 ft route, described in the Lleyn Peninsula guidebook as, “A monstrous undertaking… with more than 20 hours of climbing time.” Considering its length and the loose terrain, it easily justifies being called epic.
If any climbers were going to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Pat and Steve then it was likely to be Bullock and Lovatt. They’ve invested plenty of time at the crag in recent years adding numerous new routes. Earlier this month they made the first ascent of Now we’re Suckin’ Diesel (E7 6b, 6a). Perhaps what is more surprising is that Lovatt is 62 and Bullock is 55 years-old.
The pair climbed ten pitches on the first day, with pitch 8 proving particularly “naughty” as Lovatt described it. “Down climbing the sandy groove to the belay was on really poor quality rock, even by Dorys standards. I had eight pieces in at what was still a shit stance and I was concerned about Nick falling down the groove and directly on to the belay.”
A further six pitches were climbed the following day with the second one being an ‘out-there’ 6a traverse across the lip of a roof on Stigmata Buttress, with good flat holds for your hands but with your feet hidden underneath you on crumbly rock. It isn’t the kind of route you can rush along. Time and patience are required.