Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tremadog and Ogwen.

With little time for post roast relax, I headed north as our guests went south, on Sunday evening. I was off to North Wales, to hook up with James Linford, an old climbing/oudoors acquaintance who is training for his MIA (Mountain Leader, not Missing In Action) award and needed some less experienced climbers to instruct. I was/am less experienced and James brought along another climbing instructor friend, Simon, who was slightly less experienced than James.


After a very windy camp setup in darkness, followed by a pretty sleepless, flappy night, the dawn came cold and cloudy. Bum. But not to worry as massive amounts of porridge with Jam and Tea were consumed, as plans were made to head to the cliffs at Tremadog for some multi pitch fun. I had expressly requested some multi pitch stuff as I've not done any before and needed to put the rope theory into practice.


Finding the start of your route is quite a challenge for the un-seasoned Tremadog climber, as the lower section of the cliff is in dense woodland and a lot of wandering, consultation with two guide books and some pacing eventually saw us at the bottom of Oberon, a Severe route with a nice slabby start.


Climbing in threes is something that I've only done a few times, and whilst sociable, takes longer, which was fine for me as I got to really take in the new rope procedures as I climbed in the middle. After a pleasant climb, we were up on top and taking in the amazing views, before finding the precipitous climb down path. Then off to Eric's Cafe for some of his advice on which route may offer another good route where James could ascend a fixed rope next to our lead climb. We decided not to do this in the end and headed for 'Poor Man's Peuterey', another Severe.

James on the traverse stance just before the 'Nose'.

Gulp! Standing on the 'Nose' of PMP with some good exposure to the right!



Everyone who has climbed at Tremadog will know Eric's Cafe, run by Eric Jones a famous climber who now looks to be in his late 60s. He was the first person to solo the North Face of the Eiger (!) and his Cafe is adorned with some amazing shots of his exploits in climbing and base jumping. Quite a dude.

PMP was wicked, with some real exposure on the last pitch and hot, hot hot! It was amazing to have a family of buzzards or Kites (not sure) cruising the crag at eye level, quite amazing. I will be back to do this climb again, only leading, I think! The video below is of Simon, coming up the last pitch.

We retired from the crag and after a meal of left over Arny rations at the tent, headed to Plas Y Brenin for a pint and discussion on what to do tomorrow. Plans were made, and rehashed after a meeting with Pls Y Brenin's top assessor next morning and we ended up doing the Idwal Staircase with a different top route to the one we did earlier in the year, then on to the Cneifon Arete and then roped down climb of the same arete.

Interesting to see the scramble we did earlier in the year from an instructor's perspective and how he protected the moves that we were soloing. We then rope climbed the first pitch of Cneifon and then soloed the rest, re roping for an 'instructor with two clients' roped descent. Again, new rope work for me and a good experience in procedures.





Counterbalanced abseil off the last climbing pitch of Cneifon Arete.

Then it was down and back, before the long drive home and the realisation that I was sunburnt! Don't get that every North Wales trip! :P

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