Dragon’s Lair

(15 routes)

Simon Cox writes in 1996......... ‘many years ago, Al Mark and I were looking for new rock to climb on at Long Beach. Bashing our way through the stinging nettles, we came across an awesome tall block, that was eventually to yield the classic routes When the Fog Lifts, Married Alive and Instrument of Torture (among others). As we began to clean and bolt, we debated whether or not to clean down the scrub from the base of the cliff. I wanted to cut down a small lemonwood tree, to let the air into the crag to help it dry quicker, to free the area and to make it look more impressive. However Al, in his usual insistent manner, argued that the tree was a native and we should leave it be. So the tree stayed. Well, much time passed while sportclimbing came of age. The old bolts we had placed became rusty and very dangerous, and needed replacing. So a bit like little red hens we set about obtaining money for stainless steel bolts and hangers, and arranged for a work party with drills and generators. On the day of the work party, which incidentally only a few turned up for, I decided to rebolt the block.

By now the routes were very popular despite the awful bolts. Somehow or other I stuffed my abseil, and sailed into midair from the top of the block and plummeted downwards. Poetically, I ploughed into the lemonwood. The tree slowed my fall and saved my life.
Recently, I was out at the beach again, and went to attempt Married Alive to shake out some cobwebs and see whether or not I was totally past it. At the bottom of the route, I was disappointed to see that someone had broken down one half of the lemonwood tree, clearly making room at the bottom of the climb. The magic lemonwood tree, which had been saved from the destruction of rockclimbers and had mysteriously repayed the favour, now stands rather broken and sad. Although I’m not a superstitious person, I can’t help worrying just how mystical this tree may be. Is an accident imminent for the person responsible for its destruction ?’

Simon and Al might have ‘discovered’ the Lair , but Phil de Joux put up the first routes, commencing with the classic When the Fog Lifts. Watch out for stinging nettles.

Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
Noodle 12 10m
up the track left around the corner is a short pleasant slab
Sam Henehan Feb 2019
Al Dente 18 15m
start up Noodle and step out right trusting your toes to stick the last moves
Sam Henehan Feb 2019
1 Married Alive 24 11m
4bolts wire representing trad
From arete at L of face, strenuously hand traverse R and up on to the ledge. Finish up the Arms Race V groove.
Luke Newnham, 1986.
2 Instrument of Torture 26 12m
4bolts wire representing trad
S for Andy Milne, who bolted the upper face and slaved away on it for a couple of months before giving it to Dave Fearnley. Start as for Married Alive. Continue straight up face above 2nd bolt of Married Alive and out to arete.
Dave Fearnley, 1988.
3 Satan's Sidepull 29 11m
2bolts wire representing trad
Up the centre of the wall below the Arms Race V groove. Being really tall and able to crimp on small sloping edges would be helpful. Go to it.
Ivan Vostinar
4 Now That the Love Has Gone 24 11m
1bolts wire representing trad
Bouldery start 2m L of When the Fog Lifts and directly up the face, clipping any convenient bolts. Carry on past the horizontal break (CD) to mantle finish just R of V groove.
Dave Fearnley, 1986.
5 When the Fog Lifts 18 10m
3bolts wire representing trad
This great little arete keeps on coming at you. Dyno or use the secret hold to get past the first bolt. The vertically challenged can add a grade. Take pro for the top crack to protect the final mantle.
Phil DeJoux , 1984.
6 Arms Race 19 11m
2bolts wire representing trad
Clean the V groove first, then climb the route - it’s worth it. Clip the last bolt of When the Fog Lifts, retreat to the ledge, move up and L past a final bolt to the crack where it opens into a V (interesting moves here!). Good pro.
Luke Newnham, 1985
7 Smug with Semen 22 9m
1bolts wire representing trad
A bit squalid. Clip the bolt on the wall R of When the Fog Lifts arete, drop down, then up to the R. Merits rebolting and cleaning.
Phil De Joux, 1984
Picnic Time 19 18m
from the alcove right of Dragons Lair up and left on a series of horizontal breaks. Up the slanting seam then step around left onto the upper slab and belay
Murray Judge Feb 2019
La Grande Bouffe 18 20m
5bolts wire representing trad 1
On wall opposite Smug with Semen. Starts as for Bulimics Picnic and trends up and L, finishes up steep crack by the macrocarpa tree. The top can be protected by placing gear in the crack.
Calum Hudson, 1988.
Bulimic’s Picnic. 17 20m
4bolts wire representing trad 2
On wall opposite Smug with Semen. A grade underrepresented at Long Beach (‘Three stars – one of the best climbs at Long Beach,’ says Calum Hudson). From the top of the gully step R into the groove, then up past 2 bolts and out R of roof, then up more easily to Double Bolt Belay.
Al Mark, 1984.
Teddy Bears Picnic 16 20m
4bolts wire representing trad 1
Ascends arete and groove immediately R of Bulimics Picnic, similar finish.
Calum Hudson, 1988.
Thudwah in a Big Wednesday Background 16 8m
2bolts wire representing trad
10 m to the R of the Dragon’s Lair gully is a short easy-angled corner with a steep base. This is - Crux before the bolt, then bridge up the corner. Simon is happy for anyone to re-equip this by lowering the first bolt and putting in a second to create a more pleasant and user-friendly route – it needs a good clean too!
Simon Cox, 1985.
Sliding and Flying 23 18m
2bolts 1
Traverse the L wall above Thudwah, then over the bulge to 2 old belay bolts, or continue up the arete to join Teddy Bears Picnic. Two glued terrier bolts with hangers. Use with caution.
Simon Cox, 1989.
Dave Brash


La Grande Bouffe, Bulimic's Picnic, and Teddy Bears Picnic have all been updated to reflect their current, rebolted status as sport climbs, with information supplied by Calum Hudson.