The history of the climbing
at Ban-y-Gor is a very interesting and unusual one since it was probably the last
of all the major crags in the Wye Valley to receive any wholesale attack until
the late Eighties.
Before this period only sketchy details remain of
the goings on but records and anecdotes give tale of some interesting happenings.
In the late Sixties and early Seventies both Clive Horsfield and Frank Cannings,
operating separately, paid visits to the crag and traced lines up the entire main
crag eventually emerging into the gardens of the houses lining the rim of the
cliff. Such a scene with the gardener tending his own lawn as a climber bushwhacks
through his privet hedge on the edge of the garden cant help but fire the
imagination and a sense of irony.
Things then lay quiet until in the
late Eighties the ubiquitous Matt Ward from nearby Chepstow stumbled, like a handful
had previously, upon the hidden section of cliff tucked away in the trees to the
right of the Main Cliff. The word was out amongst only a select brigade of locals
and the poor summer of 1988 was turned into great use as the Escarpment became
littered with a plethora of routes mainly in the modern idiom thanks to the likes
of Ward, Gordon Jenkin, Martin Crocker and Rob Kingston. Their eye
attracted to the main crag but its dense vegetation kept them clear. It needed
a very dedicated person.
That man came in the form of Gary Gibson who
had been allowed into the secret late in 1988. After a brief visit
to the crag and a major accident whilst cleaning on the fringes of the Main Cliff
in the November, all hell was let loose as many an hour was spent cleaning and
drilling to bring it up to modern day standards. The routes created, with the
help and encouragement of Doug Kerr and Roy Thomas, have given rise to a number
of impressive routes which merit the attentions of the climbing public.
covered elsewhere in an existing guidebook, there is every reason for including
this superb cliff on these web pages due to the ever changing nature of the cliff
and its climbs.
Situated in the Wye Valley, only a stones throw from
Wintours Leap, this cliff has achieved enough popularity to merit its independence
as a a premier sports crag. Admittedly not every routes is of that style but for
the most part the routes have some if not all fixed protection(This is current
under review with the whole crag about to be rebolted).
Day Forecast for this Crag
Y Gor Access|