Before I finally give up the life of a full time lay-about (aka rock climber) and go back to work, Jon and I had planned to go to North Wales to sample some of (probably) the world’s best traditional rock climbing…
Amazingly Jon has hardly ever been to Snowdonia in good weather and had the impression that it always rains there! Well, needless to say the weather of the past few days, wall-to-wall sunshine, has put that myth to bed. So, as a bit of a fan of Welsh rock, a champion of CC Welsh guidebooks, a two-time Welsh BMC International Meet host, and an all round know-it-all, it fell to me to show Jon the rocky highlights. I think I succeeded (although Jon did have one specific objective – more on that later). On only our second day (Tuesday) Jon said to me, “you are right, I’m really quite inspired by the climbing here!”, and on the way back to the Lakes on Thursday evening he mused, “why don’t I live in Wales?”. Hmm, not sure about that last comment Jon; Welsh rock climbing is the best (probably in the world) no doubt, but as a place to live, (for me) the beauty of the Lakes wins every time. Anyway, back to the adventures…
We kicked off with a visit to Tremadog. A crag I’m pretty familiar with having been working on the new CC guidebook for the past couple of years; it should be published this summer! 🙂 So, I pointed Jon at Harvey Proctor’s Spanking Slap (E2), a fantastic route that will get it’s justified celebrity when the new guidebook comes out…
Then we did the uber-famous Vector (E2).
On Tuesday we went and sampled some of Ogwen‘s superb climbing. Of course there’s a new CC guidebook to Ogwen too! 😉
Unfortunately I forgot to take a camera, and Jon always forgets his camera. So no pictures! 🙁 However, we had a massive day – The Direct Route (E1) on the Idwal Slabs, and then Suicide Wall Route 1 (E2), Suicide Groove (E1), and Capital Punishment (E3). Jon did an ace job on the E3; it should really be E4 with it’s desperate and serious start!
We also had a chat with Jonny Dawes who was battling with an E5 next door, Wall of the Dead (Mur y Meirwon).
Next we hooked up with Steve Long for a trip to Anglesey and Gogarth‘s main cliff. Another awesome day – first we did The Big Groove (E3) with each of us having a pitch; me on the first 5a pitch, Jon on the second 5c pitch and Steve finishing off on the 5b pitch.
Next up Steve felt strong and sent the E5 testpiece Energy Crisis on the Upper Tier.
And to finish I set about getting my head sorted after my fall on Pavery Ark with an ascent of Fail Safe (E2).
Thursday was the main event – Dinas Cromlech in the Llanberis Pass. Yep, there’s a new CC guidebook for Llanberis too! 😛
Unfortunately it wasn’t a good day for photography as I’d flattened my battery at Gogarth the day before and then forgotten to charge it overnight! 😳 So, take it from me Jon’s ascent of one of Britain’s most sought after, celebrated, and truly awesome rock climbs, Right Wall (E5), was seamless (except for one “almost” moment low down)! 😀 Following the route, with arms pumped beyond belief and like two logs of oak, I can report that the route is everything you’d expect; hard, super sustained, perfect, run-out (although safe), and jaw-droppingly brilliant. Bloody fantastic job, way to go Jon! :star: What next though? That’s a tick of a lifetime for most, but I think Jon has more great things to come…