Discovering and Rediscovering Wied Ħallelin

Multi-pitch climbs being a rarity on our islands, it is quite thrilling to discover the existence of a fully-bolted 5-pitch route on the sea cliffs east of Zurrieq, in the area known as Wied Ħallelin. Encouraged by Miriam Gauci and led by Andrew Warrington who had been on the route before, four MRCC climbers set off to re-discover this demanding yet pleasant adventure last Sunday, after weeks of anticipation.

The group of four abseiled to a little dry spot at the foot of the cliff, where they only just escaped being swept away by the choppy sea. They split into two teams, Andrew Warrington and Miriam Gauci starting out first and Kurt Caligari and James Herrera following. Time being of the essence, Andrew Warrington started to lead the first pitch while the others were still abseiling down. This pitch is a pleasant 5b wall. Next came an intimidating traverse on a relatively flat slab, with a short vertical climb up to the second stance. The 3rd pitch, graded 6b, also involves a slab climb after surpassing a small overhang, and was led by Andrew and James. The crux of the route however is found in the last few moves of the 4th pitch. The sequence involves finger-tip crimps, friction and exceptional balance. Andrew and Kurt succeeded in leading this wall without any major falls, triumphantly making it to the 4th stance, a wide, airy ledge with magnificent views. Miriam then led the last pitch out of Ħallelin, and one by one all 4 reached the top, all in agreement that the route was one of the best multi-pitches they had ever tackled.

Though hard to find and time-consuming, Wied Ħallelin is certainly a route to aspire to. It is a serious undertaking and should not to be approached with over-confidence and recklessness. Yet, with competence, stamina and determination, it is easily one of the best multi-pitch experiences on our islands.

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