Much was accomplished in a single winter’s day at the crags in Ghar Lapsi, as both old and new routes kept experienced and beginner climbers alike busy all day long! In the morning, Andrew Warrington and Duncan Steele finished the bolting work on two routes in the Twin Caves area of Għar Lapsi. One of these routes is an old Gary Gibson climb called Scoop & Arete, first done in 1989 and which had only two heavily corroded bolts to protect the crux. This has now been converted into a modern sport climb with four bolts and a LO at the top, now graded 6c. The other is Chicanery, an old trad route which will now serve as easy access to the top of Twin Caves Pillar.
After installing the bolts on Scoop & Arete Andrew turned his attention to his new line, previously bolted but not yet led. 12012 is aptly named since it is the first route bolted by the MRCC this year, shortly after New Year’s. Andrew made the first lead, giving it a grade of 6a+, then Duncan, Marina and Miriam swiftly followed with red-point ascents. The group was joined by Chris and Daniel, who top-roped Snowman and Rat Route, also in the Twin Caves area.
In the afternoon, an open event and taster session attracted over 20 new climbers to the crags, some of whom were total beginners. Andrew, Duncan and Kurt set up more routes on both sides of the caves, and after a brief introduction, everyone had the chance to climb one or more routes. Luckily, the rain held back, and despite the strong winds, it was truly satisfying to witness total beginners reach the top of their first climb, some with natural ease! The event ended late in the afternoon, and the MRCC is confident that it has served to attract more people to practice rock climbing on our island.