Friday, March 2, 2012

Slate, Tremadog and Craig y Forwyn

February has been pretty wet in North Wales. Thankfully towards the end of the month the sun started to come out.

Livingstone and I had a great afternoon on the Slate. I fannyed around Fools Gold before backing off. (This seems to be my boogie routes... I've fallen off it once and backed off it twice!) Livingstone then dispatched it in style and followed without issue, proving that I am indeed a fanny.

Livingstone walking up Fools Gold in the sunshine.
Tom then had a go on his project Beltane. He gave it a really good go getting to the penultimate clip on his first go this session. He tried it again, but his skin was too sore from crimping on bugger all.

Livingstone dispatching the dyno move on Beltane.

Red pointing blues...
Fooked skin...
We then headed down to Vivian for the East Face link up. I lead Mental Lentals and then followed Tom up the other routes to the bottom of Dervish Slab. Tom quickly dispatched Last Tango but by this point it was nearly dark. Neither of us had head torches so Tom abseiled off and stripped the gear.

On Sunday Ollie and I headed to Tremadog in search of esoteric gems. I really enjoy the climbing at Tremadog mainly because I know how to climb there. After finding most Pant Ifan wet and not being man enough to get on Falcon we headed to Craig Y Castell, intent on staying 'til dark and in search of esoteric gems.

Ollie on the enjoyable approach pitch to Pryderi/Pwyll
We had a great day out doing six routes. All of which get at least ** in the new guide book, are clean, unpolished (apart from Craig Du Wall) and well worth seeking out. We started with Pryderi which was good fun and only just E1. Ollie then led Pwyll an excellent pitch. A committing, bold sequence up a crystally slab followed by a steep well protected wall. Tricky for E2 and I imagine good practice for Silly Arete.

Myself low down on the main pitch of Pryderi
Ollie above the scary crux on Pwyll.
I then lead Gestiana which was really good, with sustained climbing and quite spaced gear. Ollie then did Blas Y Cynfyd which offered quite bold climbing on immaculate rough rock.

See between the trees: me leading Gestiana.
We then did the super classic Craig Du Wall followed by running up Mensor in the half light. According to my guidebook I'd done Mensor in 2004 with my Dad, but I have absolutely no recollection of this. Anyway it is an excellent pitch. One of the best VS pitches at Tremagdog I've done, with quite improbable climbing at the grade.

We then drove to Llanberis and had a rowdy evening in the heights to celebrate Ballford's twenty third birthday. 

Amazingly on Monday morning I didn't have a hangover so Mason and I headed to Craig Y Forwyn. We abseiled into the banned end of the crag. Al led off up the Snake (E2) dispatching it seemingly without issue. Seconding I realised three things: trad limestone E2 is hard, Mason is very, very good at rock climbing and the guy who owns Craig Y Forwyn is unbelievably selfish. It is a fantastic crag and it is a real shame that it is banned. However every cloud has a silver lining and at least it isn't as polished as Stoney Middleton!

Al Mason leading pitch one of the Snake. Sangfroid Direct takes the groove to the left.
After a couple of rests to remove runners I was the belay pretty pumped. Thankfully Al way happy to lead the top pitch, which offered brilliant technical climbing, which I managed to second clean.

Al leading the technical second pitch of the Snake.
We abseiled back down and I set of Sangfroid. Unfortunately when I committed to the flack crack the cans of larger in my belly from the night before started to swirl around. This caused me to nearly throw up. Tail between my legs I lowered off and Al finished up Sangfroid Direct, which steeps right into a second crack leading into the top of the Snake. An excellent pitch.

Nikki and I are off to El Chorro for a week tomorrow. Hopefully we'll get loads of mileage in a come back fit and psyched for the trad season!

No comments:

Post a Comment