The Gower the Three Cliffs Area – The classic climb Scavenger! John Brailsford Mountain Guide and the Cycling connection !

The photo above is of the classic Climb Scavanger at the Three cliffs in the Gower South Wales. It is a short 3 star climb first climbed by John Brailsford in the mid 50,s solo!

Crag features

Very popular with beginners and clubs. Easy-angled slabs up to 25m high including two great ***VS routes, Scavenger (4b) and Arch Slab (4c). There is an E4 6a too, but it stands alone among easier routes. (There’s nothing in the grades between the lone HVS – which is very short and easy at HVS 4c – and that E4.) Some routes polished at start.

Approach notes

Tidal. The sea comes in very fast: don’t get caught at the bottom. Approach from the campsite down across the bay. Miscalculating the tide will mean wet trousers, at best.

It’s a magical place to climb !

John was the Team Leader of St Athan Mountain Rescue at the time and the team explored the Three Cliffs regularly. I was lucky enough to get out with them in my tour down South in 2002 – 2004 and got climbing in many areas every weekend. The Gower is a great area and so worth a trip!

John Brailsford is a veteran mountain guide who I am sure was the Team Leader of Saint Athans Mountain Rescue Team in South Wales. He qualified as a Mountain Guide and now lives abroad with a detailed knowledge of the Dauphine which is probably unsurpassed. With the help of excellent photo- graphs and topos, John demonstrated the glacial changes that have taken

place in his new homeland and the wealth of classic alpine and rock routes in this area.

The Sky cycling team Connection

Sir David Brailsford

“His wonderful adventure of hardship and failure mixed with blind faith and enterprise started with the 18-year-old Brailsford telling his parents at their home in the Snowdonian mountain village of Deiniolen that he was giving up his job as apprentice draughtsman with the local highways department. “Listen, I’m off to France to race my bike,” he pronounced breezily.

“What the hell are you doing?” implored mum Barbara. She had a point: Brailsford was only cycling because he had injured his knee playing his beloved football – in later life, incidentally, he was hailed as “Vialli” by his Westminster Casuals team-mates, thanks to his pate rather than any scoring prowess – and convinced no one but himself that he would one day ride the Tour de France.

Dad John, though, encouraged him. “He was orphaned at seven and if you think I’m driven, you should see him,” says Brailsford. “He’s an Alpine guide who always thought you had to make your own way in life. Just like he had. ‘Yes, have a go’, he told me.”

Scavanger / photo below Pete Greening with his son in action!

It is in the genes!

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in History, Mountain rescue, Recomended books and Guides, Rock Climbing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Gower the Three Cliffs Area – The classic climb Scavenger! John Brailsford Mountain Guide and the Cycling connection !

  1. Anna Turpin says:

    John was a very good friend of ours in North Wales and we lost touch when we moved to Cornwall. Any one know how to get in touch with him?

    Liked by 1 person

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