Long Weekend in North Wales
|Date: 29th August to 2nd September
Submitted by: George Carleton
Flying from Belfast to Liverpool then driving by hire car to Llanberis seen Gerard O’Sullivan and I getting to Jesse James Bunkhouse in good time to get settled in and make our plans for the following day.
The forecast was predicting showers for the afternoon so we decided on an early start and a short days scrambling.
The morning was a fine one as we reached the car park at the Idwal cottage. We made our way up to the Sub-Cneifion Rib a 125m VD which we climbed as a prequel to the Cneifion Arete a140m M which offered excellent scrambling.
We continued this by following the Gribin ridge to the summit of Glyder Fawr then dropping down to the Idwal Slabs and climbing a VS variant of a route called Tennis Shoes on the L of the slabs.
Having felt that we done enough for the first day we did a quick round of the gear shops and popped into Pete’s Eats for a chippy tea.
Day 2, it was another early start to get a parking place in the Llanberis Pass in the lay-by below Dinas Cromlack. We were the first on the crag and expecting it to get busy later in the morning I opted to jump on the first pitch of Cemetery Gates a classic E1 first climbed by Joe Brown and Don Whillans, a route I had wanted to climb for some time.
In hindsight I should probably have warmed up on something a bit easier as I got really pumped on the crux and had to rest on the rope; oh, the shame (I will get it clean next time). Glad to reach the belay for a rest, Gerard breezed up the pitch and quickly dispatched the second.
We went on to climb 3 fantastic VS routes; Cobweb Crack, Sabre Cut and Noah’s Warning, all of which offered excellent and often strenuous climbing in a spectacular location.
After another full days climbing it was back to Pete’s Eats to fuel up in preparation for what ever might come next.
Day 3 saw us on Craig Bwlch y Moch at Tremadog, just across the road from Eric’s Cafe.
I was starting to feel the strain by this stage and was happy to step it down a gear; we started on a classic HS Christmas Curry-Macah finish with me leading the first then Gerard the second and more technical pitch.
I then led the first pitch of Kestrel Cracks which according to our 38 year old guide book was VS, which turned out to be a hard HVS which was almost too much for my poor tired body to deal with. But by wedging myself into the grove below the overhang at the crux I was just about able to pull into the crack above and finish the pitch. Gerard followed making it look easy and led on through to the top of the climb.
The 3rd and final climb of the day Shradrach VS was much more enjoyable and was able to be led in one pitch.
The 4th and final day we headed for the slate quarry above Llanberis. We started off in the morning at the Bus Stop Crag where we got a couple of routes climbed before a heavy mizzle made the slate too damp to climb.
We retreated to the gear shops and Pete’s Eats for a couple of hours then returned this time going to The Sidings in the Australia area of the quarry. By this time the mizzle had lifted and we where each able to get 10 short bolted routes climbed before it was time to pack up and head for the airport.
A most enjoyable and very full long weekend’s climbing.
06 Sep 2013
Nice report George, sounds like you had a super few days, well done to both.
07 Sep 2013
Thanks Sandra, It was all good, i especially enjoyed Dinas Cromlack, some fantastic climbing up there. We were very lucky with the weather which also helped.
07 Sep 2013
Dinas Cromlech has always been my favourite in the pass. I have a pencil sketch of it in my house. Sub cneifon arete is a gem that I have never seen anyone on, even when the slabs are heaving.