Archive for May, 2015

Wales is cool (but not in the trendy sense of the word)

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Ignoring the indifferent forecast, an initially small group of us headed for the Shrewsbury MC hut in Deiniolen last Friday evening.

As is traditional for Bank Holiday weekends, the weather was truly awful on the Saturday.  The more masochistic members of the club (Simon, Carmen and Mike) went scrambling near Idwal Slabs and encountered more snow and ice than they were expecting for the time of year.  Peter, Annie and myself, all physically impaired by various ailments, managed a fairly random walk down to Llanberis and back.  Ignoring wire fences erected to block the way, we stared death in the face and laughed at it by traversing under a high slate retaining wall that was in a dangerous state of collapse.

Saturday evening, we were joined by Rob and Karl who had found climbs to do in better weather near Llandudno.  After debating the pros and cons of eating out and attending a slide show in Capel Curig, we decided to stay put and Rob and Karl cooked the food intended for Sunday night instead.  Meanwhile, to address the concerns that we might all later starve to death1, Mike and myself were sent off to buy pizzas for the following night.  David timed his arrival perfectly in time for the obligatory three course supper.

Sunday dawned with more rain, but thankfully less wind and a good 10 degrees warmer.  Simon and Carmen headed for Milestone Buttress for Pulpit Route.  Rob, Karl and Mike amused themselves with Snakes and Ladders in the slate quarries and surprised themselves by returning to the hut in the evening still alive.   Peter, Annie and myself went for a longer, but low level walk near Beddgelert whilst David headed up high into the Glyders.  Sunday evening, we were joined by Justine and Gavin who had been attempting obscure new routes in the Pass.  (And needless to say, we were all saved from starvation by the pizzas with potato wedges for starters).

Having been slightly more restrained with the food and alcohol consumption the evening before, we were all in a fit state to take advantage of the dry weather on Monday.

Peter, Annie, Mike and myself, finally deciding that it was warm enough for climbing (but only just), headed over to Ogwen to do the three star Sub Cneifion Rib.  This was found to consist of two excellent rock pitches separated by a couple of pitches of scrambling and walking.  It was still pretty cold in the wind and the occasional glimpse of sunshine was just enough to stop our hands going numb.  Annie (who had been unusually quiet on the ascent) decided that one pitch was enough for her and returned to the ground with Peter via abseil.  Meanwhile, others from the weekend party all found rock to entertain themselves before we all joined to slow exodus back to England.

Mike on Sub Cneifion Rib (VD)

Mike on Sub Cneifion Rib (VD)

Despite the less than perfect weather, a good time was had by all and as always with YAC trips, it was the people as much as the adventures that made it.  A few things I learnt on this meet:

  • David can eat more pudding than I can.
  • Peter makes a dangerous gin and tonic.
  • Rob doesn’t look good in pants.
  • Mike is not to be trusted when he tells you that his rope is 50m.

1 A common paranoia on YAC meets not supported by the evidence.