I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Good times, good routes, by Stevie be good Haston.

 Just finished The Last Rhino, it was as good as expected. It's a fabulous addition to climbing on Malta and Gozo, it will surely become a classic. The photo above shows the belay at the top of the first pitch, 6a, mainly easy chimney, but the initial traverse has a tricky bit on it.

 From this belay at 6a+ you traverse with bolts for protection until you give up the free climbing, and start using the bolts for progress while standing in slings. It all becomes very overhanging, and undercut, it's very exciting and exposed.

 This is the hanging belay.

From the end of this traverse which might go free at mid 8 standard, you hang out and wonder where you can go? A few exposed free moves lead to a four bolt traverse thru a mini slab, which goes thru the last overhang. A final sting in the tail in the shape of a few compulsory free moves (no bolt), lands you on the flat top of the cliff like a stranded fish.

Paul doing the last free moves wondering if I am really belayed or not.

The Last Rhino is very scenic and highly recommended, it doesn't need huge skills but if you mess up it would be hard to extricate yourself. You need a friend 3 /2, and a set of wires. Bolts and threads do the rest, take a 20 clips. I'll do my best to free climb it,  but it still needs a lot of careful cleaning due to brittle and soft sandstone. Expect a few more good routes from these lovely cliffs.