Another under-appreciated N.I. crag hated on as a past time by most NZ climbers.
Sure its packed to the gunnels with huge ring bolts every three feet and a thousand razor sharp and crumbly pockets, but there is more to the area than just these. It has a lot of history, but if you want to find out what that is, go read the guide. Here you’ll find up-to-date news on what’s being sent and by who.
The climbing is a little like what you might expect Frankenjura to be, just on Ignimbrite rather than bomber limestone, so if you like hauling pockets, then Froggat is a remarkably enjoyable, and painful, experience. A lot of the harder stuff is rarely traveled, and most is of a high standard.
Automatic Dour is a classic entry level climb for its grade. And if you’re feeling adventurous, its extension, Burn, is a staunch step up in difficulty. Hold onto ya face is another moderate classic, and Built to Last, the hardest established line, is a stunning route despite the home-maintenance on the lower section.
I first tried BTL in 07 with NZ’s hardest smack-talking climber Liam Dickson, and while we both had the crux and sequence sorted by the third session, neither of us could complete the whole thing. That’s what happens when you put two boulderers onto a long over-hanging route. If the pump doesn’t spit them off, sheer lack of attention span will get them every time. I’ve fallen between the last bolt and the chains a dozen times, and the climb has been my nemesis ever since. What is it going to take to climb the thing? Endurance for a freakin’ start! Unfortunately the bottom section suffers from flakiness, and had to be glued up the wazoo to stop it crumbling away altogether. A shame, because the ugly scars of concrete and sika mar an otherwise flawless line. The upper half makes up for it though, and is some of the best continuous climbing I’ve come across.
Other must-do lines are the two main ones everybody knows about: Monsterpiece Theatre and Terror Incognita, and there is some pretty hard bouldering to be had about the place too. Currently the area is climbed out except for one unsent line in the animal biscuit valley. Apparently speckled with hard one and two-finger pocs, this this is overhanging and short. Just my style! Now all i need is the motivation to actually go and see what all the fuss is about.