The purpose of this blog is to report on winter climbing conditions in Snowdonia, to keep you lot who like nothing better than climbing ice, snow, frozen turf etc in ridiculously low temps informed!! As well as it being a record of some of my own winter climbing adventures. Feel free to email me any of your own conditions reports & photos you have & I will post them here. The more info on winter conditions the better! email:
Today Colin & I went to do a climb I have wanted to do, but never got around to for a long time. The classic mountaineering route which is Amphitheatre Buttress. A long 293m (960ft) mountain adventure with stunning views and varied climbing including pleasant slabs, interesting corners, easy scrambling & an alpine-esque ridge. Whichever way you approach the crag from, you will have a sizeable walk in. We opted for the 3.5 mile hike from Llyn Eigiau. In this lake you will find the extremely rare Arctic Char which is a fish only found in cold glaciel lakes, usually in Scotland. It is also one of the few lakes in Wales to have its own natural Brown Trout. In 1925 the dam at Llyn Eigiau burst causing millions of gallons of water to pour down the valley into Coedty reservoir, which in turn burst its banks. The huge volume of water consumed the village of Dolgarrog, killing 17 people and destroying the community.
Top pic: Amphitheatre Buttress route Bottom pic: The break in the dam
Today Colin & I headed down to climb on the excellent dolerite cliffs at Tremadog. South facing and at low altitude Tremadog provided excellent all year round climbing & plenty of classic three star routes. We started with Hail Bebe (V Diff**), which provides great top pitches with good exposure. Next was Oberon (S 4b*). Colin led the first 4b pitch on the initial slab which proved to be the toughest part of the route. For our last climb we did Christmas Curry (HS 4a***), which is a deserved three star route. We seemed to do a combination of the Micah Finish & Original Finish, so our own hybrid. I led the final pitch which provided big exposure. We had an all round great day out in fantastic weather.
Top pic: View of Christmas Curry area from Eric's Cafe, with compulsary VW Transporter van! Bottom Pic: Colin about to belay me on the final pitch of Christmas Curry.
Today I met up with Woodsy from the UKC forum at Twilight Tower Buttress nr Llangollen on the Upper Tier . It had just stopped drizzling, and the rock was good & dry. There are some outstanding routes on this crag, and unlike other Clwyd Limestone climbing venues is not at all polished. We managed 6 climbs which were: Sloth (V-Diff*), Pride (V-Diff), Helme's Highway (S 4a), Funeral Corner (HS 4a**), Loran (S 4a*) & Skullion (VS 4b). The pick of the bunch was definetly Funeral Corner (HS 4a**) which to quote the Rockfax guidebook is 'A little gem situated high above the valley, at the top of Twilight Tower Buttress. A perfect corner which is a delight to climb. Just a shame it is so short'
Top pic: From the car looking up at the whole Twilight area. Bottom Pic: Twilight Tower Buttress.
Today I mey Colin at Ogwen, and we decided on having a crack at the classic Grooved Arete (HVD***) on Tryfan's east face. It was very hot today, so not really the day to forget your drink (but Colin did!). Grooved Arete climbs up the right hand side of North Buttress, and is easily spotted by the letters GA scratched into the rock. It is an 810ft/244m HVDiff (Hard Very Difficult) 8 pitch big mountain route. One of the finest mountain routes anywhere in Wales. We alternated leads and enjoyed every pitch. Topped out after four and a three quarter hours climbing. A thoroughly enjoyable climb.
Top pic: Colin topping out after 810ft & four and three quarter hours climbing. Bottom pic: Taken on descent, looking up at the middle couple of pitches of Grooved Arete.
Today was my first experience of climbing on grit at The Roaches in the Peak District. Greg who I met via the MLTA forum, knows the area well, and arranged to show me a few classic routes. We headed to Roaches-Upper in blazing sunshine. Firstly I lead Right Route (V-Diff) which is listed as 2 pitches in the guidebook, but we opted to do in one pitch. Next on our list was the classic Black & Tans (S 4a), where Greg lead the first pitch & I lead the second. We next moved over to the Wombat Area where Greg led the slabby Rooster (V-Diff) & then I lead Chicken Run (HVD) It was a good afternoons climbing, and I will definetly be back there soon!
Pic 1: Black & Tans area on Roaches-Upper. Unknown climbers on Saul's Crack Pic 2: Looking down on Greg from the top of Right Route Pic 3: Greg pulling up at the top of Rooster Pic 3: Unknown climber on Central Route