Saturday, July 13, 2013


Grabbed a few days rock climbing with Jim in North Wales, making the most of this absolutely delightful weather : )
Flew over early Wednesday morning, dropped into Pete’s Eats in Llanberis on the way for some lentil soup… then over to the Pass, which was packed!
We’d planned to warm up on the 140m classic ‘Main Wall’ on Cyrn Las, and hammered the steep trek in to find teams of climbers already congregating at the start of the climb, with others ahead of them, so our route took a swampy meander, dropping down to the busy Dinas Mot, and completed ‘The Direct Route’ instead.

Aiming to find some longer quieter routes, we were packing up as James McHaffie and Emma Twyford strolled past with a friendly hi on their way to ‘Trauma’. With a mouthful of honey roasted nut, my reply was embarrassingly mumbled. James McHaffie had repeated ‘Indian Face’ the day before;

Called in at V12 for some lightweight shorts and vest, plus a few balls of chalk (in anticipation of some sweaty hands)
then across to Blackthorn farm just below South Stack, grabbed a key for the room, and continued to Castell Helen, and enjoyed ‘North West Passage’ in the hot sun cooled by a sea breeze… a immensely enjoyable line and exactly my style of climbing.
Rounding the day (now the evening) off with the house burger at the Paddlers Return. Satisfaction!

With a full Welsh breakfast devoured, Thursday got off to great start, walking into Gogarth main cliff, scrambling beneath the numerous extensive lines,
till we got to ‘Nightrider’ just ahead of the rising tide…
The first two pitches were just stunning,
Terrific rock, mild blowing views, and Jim climbing like a beast, leading the pitches, me seconding...
...the third pitch was ok and the fourth a horrifying box of choss!
The tide was now in, scuppering any plans for full routes on Wen Slab, so we headed back out for a cafĂ© lunch and used the baking afternoon heat to best effect on a triple pitch E2 on Castell Helen, ‘Atlantis – True Moments – Freebird’. The second solid pitch had potential for some severe pumping, and raised the heart rate too : 0
Another brilliant day’s climbing, and another freshly cooked culinary delight at the Paddlers Return!
We had decided to return to Llanberis for our final day on North Wales rock, to Dinas Cromlech.
'Warming up' on ‘Cenotaph Corner’ (reputedly the most famous E1 in the country) watching the world go by as I belayed Jim, a kestrel hunting below us, the noisy and apparently chaotic moving of a flock of sheep down the pass... and then I was climbing.  A straight forward line, however the final sequence provided the anticipated strenuous sweating crux (accompanied by the disco leg) for me, then moved onto ‘Cemetery Gates’ in the blistering afternoon sun!
Mission accomplished, we headed back down to the river for a bath, then back on the journey home.
A fabulous run of adrenaline, learning, challenge and thoroughly enjoyable trip!
Bring on the next one Jim : )

ps. a little warmer than our last adventure to Bonnie Scotland in April this year,
Jim could actually feel his fingers as he conducted business on the phone...

1 comment:

Steve Parry said...

Good work! Amazing set of routes. I've got a picture of Stu getting proper pumped on Nightride, quite funny! Very jealous of your North Wales jaunt!