Third Sister, Gower

The Three Sisters are just some of the landmark bits of rock architecture that decorate the Gower coast between Rhossili and Port Eynon – it’s no accident that this was the UK’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Like some Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, the Third Sister was largely neglected when the first two were being courted by the Trad Princes, only to bloom with the arrival of the Dashing Bolters. Now its three tiers have over 50 routes scattered across them, with a smattering of other bits of quality rock also developed up and down the coast.

There’s a good spread of grades, from 4s to high 7s, and a no-hassle walk-in approach (all be it a longish one of about a mile and a half from parking at Pilton Green or Mewslade).

Some of the routes are excellent, and some more in keeping with an abandoned Peak quarry, but the outlook is universally outstanding!

We covered the tiers, doing Southeast Wall, 6a+ (one of the excellent ones) and Fanny’s Your Aunt, 6a (also worthwhile) on the Upper Tier.

Dropping down a tier, but upping the grades, I did Uprising, 7a and Water, 6c+ on the more recently developed Middle Tier, both featuring stiff, fingery pulls through the 2/3 height bulge.

The Lower Tier has a short compact wall with some easier routes, of which Two Nans and a Grandpa, 6a+, is probably the pick.

Another 100m further left / west (easily reached from either the lower tier or over the top) is the newly developed Two and a Half Sister, a decent clean wall with a very sunny aspect and another couple of dozen routes from 5 to 6c+.

We only had time to sample one of the lines on the lefthand subsidiary buttress, Final Draft, 5, but it’s probably worth a return visit (perhaps on a cooler day!)

Topos and details on Gary’s excellent website http://sportsclimbs.co.uk/mainpages/gower/Third Sister.htm Thanks again for all the hard work!

Back to Arthur’s Stone for what we’d hoped to be another peaceful night amongst the wild horses…

… only to be rudely woken around midnight by a banging noise on the side of the van. Half a dozen cows had decided that the van would make a good scratching post / salt lick. We weren’t aMOOsed! (That’s the downside of free grazing on an open common)

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