This weekend just passed was my first trip to North Wales for the year. Patrick and I had planned to do an ‘alpine training’ type trip involving walking and climbing carrying heavy packs, including tent and sleeping materials. Unfortunately, a number of factors conspired to change our plans entirely. Firstly, I had a stinking cold. Think gallons and gallons of green goo. Lovely. And secondly, Patrick got delayed on his journey over on Friday night, meaning it was too late to get to our first camp with any degree of comfort or daylight. So we stayed on a campsite.
Saturday had meant to be a day of long easy routing (Amphitheatre Buttress in the Carneddau was our specific objective), but I felt absolutely terrible in the morning, so we had a lay in and a lazy breakfast before finally deciding to go cragging.
Cragging in Llanberis – my first time. Well actually, the first place we went was into the slate quarries where I really wanted to have a crack at Seamstress (a lovely classic slate VS). Eventually we found it and I had a slightly scary time on some of the super committing polished moves over gear in cracks behind loose flakes (mmm nice). Anyway, despite being terrified for much of it and feeling horribly off balance because of my cold, I finished it successfully, right before another heavy rain shower hit.
After this, we ventured back into town to have a cup of tea in Pete’s (we were having a very laid back day), after which we headed up the pass and Patrick managed to convince me to go and do Crackstone Rib on Carreg Wasted – a super classic 3 star Severe. Hmm. ‘Super classic’. ‘3 star’. More like ‘polished to hell’, ‘awkward’, and ‘almost entirely unpleasant’. I didn’t like it that much.
On Sunday I was still feeling terrible, so much so that I wimped out of climbing altogether (we had been planning to go and do some VS’s on Dinas Mot). Eventually Patrick convinced me to go and do Cneifon Arete – a gorgeous scramble with a Mod start. Needless to say we solo’d it in our trainers, in fact we were up and back to the car in 2hrs20, even with lots of stopping to take the mickey out of a pair roping up for it behind us (I joke – we didn’t take the mick at all, but it was quite curious to see just how much gear they racked up with!), and to take photos:
After the scramble we went bouldering for a little bit, back to the RAC boulders (where I’d also been on Friday afternoon and finally did a cool little problem called Marsh Arete, V3). This was Patrick’s first time bouldering and I think (hope) he enjoyed it at least a little bit…