After a whirlwind of bolting effort by Nicola Gatti, MRCC Committee Member, over the last couple of months, a brand new crag has been developed in Wied il-Għasel which rivals Wied Babu East Side in number of routes, range of grades and accessibility! With 20 pitches completed and fully equipped using equipment from the MTA-MRCC Bolting Project, grades ranging from 4c to 7a+, and the potential for at least 3-4 more pitches still to be developed, this crag has jumped to top place as a climbing venue for the local climbing community. Shady on summer mornings and easily accessible, it is simply a great place to spend a half day testing yourself on the rock. Walking routes into the crag have been marked by red dots by Nicola from two starting points: Quarry side parking and Bus stop in Triq il-Fortizza tal-Mosta.
Nicola Gatti is a climber with extensive experience of cragging all around Europe. He leads up to 7a+ sport easily, with a calm, flowing style of climbing. Competent at both sport and trad climbing, he is amazingly efficient in installing new climbs, having completed the huge job of equipping these 20 pitches in just a few months, working only on Saturday mornings due to family commitments. He is a great asset to the MRCC and we can expect great things from him in the coming years.
As with every new crag, Cat’s Arches has not seen enough traffic to have all the loose rocks safely dislodged so far. Nicola removed whatever was an obvious hazard but that leaves some unsuspected loose boulders still posing a danger. Everyone is advised to climb with caution – always wearing a helmet – and having belayers stay away from the direct line of fire beneath the leader, especially on the right side of the crag, where a couple of boulders have fallen over the last week or two. Remember, climbing is a potentially dangerous sport and exercising excessive caution is preferable to regretting the consequences later.
We invite everyone to visit this amazing new crag, respect the environment around it, and enjoy the climbs with the usual level of caution for a new crag. Please bear in mind that the area is privately owned so crowding at the crag is not a good idea. If there are more than a handful of climbers when you arrive, move away and enjoy the other good crags in Mosta Valley to avoid a situation of overcrowding attracting too much attention to the area. It is in everyone’s interest to do this.