Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Shaking hands with old friends...

Final year looms over my head at the moment. I seem to be spending a lot of my time in the library, slowly working my way through endless tedious assignments. To add insult to injury the weather has been perfect, it feels like it hasn't rained for months. In reality it's more like three weeks but still that's a long time at anytime of year in North Wales, let alone Febuary. I've still managed to get out and do a bit of cragging and have enjoyed a few fun days and evenings working my way back through the grades, re-ticking old favourites. Whilst I'm not on the form of my life, by any stretch of the imagination, I've been pleasantly surprised with how quickly I've worked my way back to being comfortable at E1. Clearly all the dogging I've been doing at the Beacon over the winter has paid off!

My Dad was up this weekend and after spending all of Saturday banging my head against the wall in the library I was gagging to get out. We did Bramble Buttress with his girlfriend to start with. I've done this route a couple of times before and has to be one of the very best east routes in Snowdonia. Straightforward climbing on good rock, with good gear, big stances and an easy walk off. If you are looking at doing your first multipitch climb you'd struggle to go wrong with this one.

Nicky enjoying Bramble Buttress, whilst I belay. Photo: William Ripley.
After a spot of lunch Dad and I nipped up to Pant Ifan for a couple of routes. Dad lead Alcatraz, a fun but quite tricky VS, which I'd seconded Gwen up a few years a go. I had a quick look for Hey, an alleged esoteric classic, but I couldn't work out where it went. Instead I lead the excellent Holloway/Crocodillo link up, which the guidebook gives E2 but is more like hard E1. I'd been dragged up it by Burdy a few years ago with a bleeding and painful finger and found it desperate. I was pleasantly surprised to find the top crack quite cruisey, with a fun mix of jams, laybacks, plenty of good gear and the crux at the top.

The Old Boy hauling himself up the final crack of Crocodillo.

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