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'Beast from the East' Delivers Great Ice

Whilst the country ground to a halt last week the Cathcart brothers; Alastair & Simon made full use of the rapidly developing fantastic ice conditions on their doorstep with a rare ascent of the serious grade 5; Tanat Falls. Only 25 miles from Shrewsbury the 400ft Tanat Falls were in perfect condition. The nearest access was from Llangynog requiring a 4 hour struggle through knee deep snow 5 miles along the snow bound Pennant Melangell valley to reach the base of the falls, giving the whole adventure a truly remote ‘Beastly’ winter atmosphere. The round trip, taking over 11 hours, resulted in a desperate walk out in the dark through chest deep snow and tumbling down gorse slopes. The rewards outweighed the considerable effort; three immaculate ice pitches brought them to the perfectly formed but serious final vertical headwall pitch which Simon made short work of as darkness loomed. Their ascent marks a piece of Cathcart & High Sports climbing history as dad Stuart made the first ascent, with Bryan Philips, when the falls froze 38 years ago. Well done lads & bring on more of the Beast !
Shropshire & the Welsh Borders, once again proving to be one of the finest mountain sports play grounds.
TANAT FALLS WALK IN MARCH 2018 (600 x 337)

The long approach

TANAT FALLS MARCH 2018 (423 x 600)

Tanat Falls Grade 5 are the right hand falls starting up the steep narrow gully. The main 3 pitches (very foreshortened) follow a central line to a tenuous ice screw belay in the middle of the falls then the fourth pitch climbs the steep right side to the left of the rock wall.  The less continuous left hand falls, also climbed by Stuart Cathcart in 1980, has a tasty narrow vertical finish just visible up and left in the mist .


Above - The long third pitch to the tenuous ice screw belay up and left from the climber in the centre of the top headwall.


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