Zero | E7 Trad climb at Idwal Slabs

Livesey's original line was slightly indirect, moving right and then back left at the top of the route at about E6. This was then (unintentionally!) straightened out by Andy Pollitt on his second ascent [1], [2].


[1] Ogwen (Climber's Club Guides) (2010) by Mike Bailey, page 250

[2] Ogwen (Climber's Club Guides) (2010) by Mike Bailey, page 412

Contributors: remus


6 recorded ascents.

Climber Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Pete Livesey Lead | worked Jul 1979
First ascent.
Andy Pollitt Lead | worked 1983
Second ascent.

Again with Paul [Williams], the second ascent of Pete Livesey’s Zero – a genuine frightener on Idwal’s Suicide Wall. On my first attempt, facing a ground fall from about seventy feet, my left index finger ended up in the pocket that my hex 3 needed to be in. Committing to the ‘dead-point’ principle, I pulled my finger out with a ‘pop’ and hurriedly stacked the little nut upright to cam it in the pocket, then grabbed it and clipped my rope in. On reaching the ground after a rapid but gentle lower-off, the nut must’ve come out of tension so slid all the way back down to the bottom … along with my rope a second or two later! [1]



Jerry Moffatt Lead | flash 1983
Third ascent.

Shortly after Andy Pollitt's second ascent making use of the fact that the route was cleaned and chalked. Nonetheless a very impressive flash.

Chris Gore Lead | onsight 1983
Fourth ascent.

One of the most serious routes I've lead.



Pete Robins Lead | onsight 2001

It was 2001, after the foot and mouth pandemic. My heart was set on Zero, an incredible line with a level of mystique surrounding it's difficulty and history. I set off confidently and climbed to a ring peg at ten meters. The rock was dirty and hard to read but I continued by increasingly tenuous climbing, with no more protection, until below the substance of the route: a slim open groove twenty meters above the ground. I had been here two summers before and, overwhelmed by the danger, managed to downclimb . This time Neil Dyer, my belayer, suggested abseiling down the line before I set off. I didn't watch, and his only comment was there was a runner right where you needed it. That was enough and there I was again. I couldn't see the runner but entered the groove hoping to find it after a move or two. I hadn't meant to commit myself, but almost immediately, I was stuck; my toes on lichenous smears and my fingers on sidepulls. I couldn't see the gear placement and started to panic - I was certain a slip would land me on the ground. 'Where the fuck is that runner Neil?' I was tiring rapidly - I realised I had to get a grip and press on without the protection. I blanked all outside thoughts and climbed, out of control, until I reached a better hold. With this new found security, I regained control of my mind and all it's fear. I was exhausted and shaking uncontrollably, facing a deck out from 25 meters: couldn't recover on the hold, couldn't swap fingers, but knew I had to get out of there, so climbed with conviction to the top. It bought to mind the tale of [John] Redhead and [Dave] Towse on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu (Cloggy). Towse talked and coaxed JR's tired arms to a crucial RP, and sanctuary, in the fading light, narrowly avoiding a horrific end. Through JR's eyes, Towse had been reckless and nearly killed his friend. 'You've let me down Dave, you bastard, you've let me down'. How little we care for our mate's lives when we say 'go for it!'. They walked away laughing from Margins of the Mind. I shouted down to a relieved belayer 'You've let me down Neil, you've let me down'. We both smiled nervously as I brought him up. [1]


[1] Ogwen (Climber's Club Guides) (2010) by Mike Bailey, page 412

James McHaffie Lead | onsight Before 1st Jan 2002

Described as Zero Direct [1], perhaps took a slightly different line?


[1] On The Edge, Issue 113 page 53