Master's Wall | E7 Trad climb at Clogwyn Du'r Arddu (Cloggy)

Contributors: remus

Pics + Vids

Jerry Moffatt
Added at 08:02 on 26 February 2021
Jerry Moffatt
Added at 15:10 on 11 October 2021
Leo Houlding
Added at 11:12 on 07 December 2023


5 recorded ascents, including 1 unsuccessful ascent.

Climber Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Jerry Moffatt Lead | worked 14th Jul 1983
First ascent.

In that photo [see [2]] I am absolutely climbing to save my life. I'm out of control, it's way harder than I thought, I didn't want to be there and I'm absolutely terrified.


You get to some footholds where you can stand and get some RPs behind these little flakes...all I was thinking was "I need to get rescued, I need to get rescued". The I got there, got the wires in, settled down...I just told myself "I never want to climb that bottom bit again, I'm here now and I've got these wires in". The crux was above here but I'd sussed those moves on I stood there for a while and thought "let's just go for it".




[3] Interview with Niall Grimes on Jam Crack Podcast, March 2022

John Redhead Lead | worked 1984

Margins is more strenuous and technical but Master's is a much harder lead. The crux and substance of the route done in 1980 by myself.

Leo Houlding Lead | onsight Between 1st Jun 1996 and 1st Sep 1996

An incredibly audacious ascent from a young Leo who was aged just 16 at the time. Being young and poor his shoes had a big hole worn in them and the only other shoes he could get hold of were 2 sizes too large.

I had hit my limit, that ephemeral, invisible line. Panic rising I desperately tried to stay on top of my fear. Feeling close to critica, I closed my eyes and felt around the area of rock where I needed my hands to be, like a blind man reading Braille, until my fingers connected with a character that felt good enough at this desperate point on which to pull. Too scared to look at what I held, I went for it and made a massive rock over to a distan the edge. My fingers stuck to the Braille and I grabbed the hold. To my dismay it was wet, as were the next couple of far better crimps. Now I knew I had thoroughly crossed the line and was beyond my limit. WIthout stopping I scrabbled my feet and pulled on the wet holds, praying my fingers wouldn't grease off. The next moves were like an out of body experience, again powered by a force beyond myself, until I came back to reality with my feet established on better holds and my hands on positive bu filthy features. [1]

Leo speaking to Niall Grimes:

Masters Wall was one of the high points, or low points [of the summer] depending on how you look at it.


I did A Midsummer Night's Dream and walked up it, which is supposed to be E6 6b and so technically Master's Wall is only one notch harder but it's not, it's fucking miles harder...I found it way harder and had a god-awful epic on it. [2]


[1] Houlding, L. (2022). Closer to the Edge: Climbing to the Ends of the Earth. United Kingdom: Headline.


James McHaffie Lead | did not finish 2000

James had an epic whilst trying to onsight the route:

After a few tough sequences leading up right to get stood up in semi balance on crimps I thought I was ‘in’, a small amount of euphoria started to arrive. Unfortunately the handholds went dry, just having those ‘only for balance’ type hand holds. The move was obvious, put your left foot high onto a small edge and spring for what was hopefully an edge above. I was pretty baked from the effort so far and could see the feet went shit beyond. Half an hour of failing to progress via any possible option and the invincibility had worn off with the pain of reality soon to become the biggest epic I’d ever had in climbing dangerous routes. I think the sun had hit me before I’d realised I’d have to drop the ropes and it was 2 hours or so later before the ropes, 2* 9mm’s tied together got thrown blindly from Adam Wilde out over Cloggy to rescue my absolutely fucked body and mind from the clutches of the black cliff.

The situation had been horrendous for both of us, he was looking at having a teenage kid die on him and I had assumed for some length of time I was going to die as my tendons had been ebbing away in a really terrifying manner. I also knew my family would be devastated and I knew it was stupid. I remember thinking so fast about everything. Everything I wouldn’t ever be able to do. I was so sure I was a dead man. I’d pleaded with every god I could think of for a miracle and tbh when I sailed down to near the base of Vember on that line it did feel like I’d received one. [1]


James McHaffie Lead | worked 28th Jun 2018 E9

I was drawn up there almost unconsciously. I’d justified it to myself, partly through listening to Jerrys take on the route. I’ve always loved treading in the footsteps of heros [sic] and this was another opportunity. It wasn’t about the quality of the route, it was about the experience it offered. It was also a mental block and I hate the thought of those, they just shouldn’t be allowed.


I’d done more than 200 routes of E7-9 and this bastard felt amongst the most serious few leads I’d ever done. It was more than just my history with it for sure, the way Jerry went was really dangerous and if Leo went that way as a 17 year old in shit shoes it’s just extraordinary and shows the mental audacity he had in the late 90s. From reading into Jerrys account of his ascent I’m pretty sure this is where he went and I’ll just throw it out there and say I think he did an E9 in 1983 and I don’t feel too bad for having a total fucking epic on it as a teenager. [1]