Meirionnydd Monsoon

July 19th, 2011 by rob s

The beauty of having a hut booked is that you can shelter from the insistent rain, like what is always falling from the sky in Wales. I guess a prerequisite for that to be true is that you can locate the bloody thing in the first place!

Arriving about 10.30 with print out and map, we headed to the grid ref, where there is nothing, save a track and a gate. We drove around the village (twice) and back up the track. Jamie and Paul arrived. We all drove around some more. Jamie returned with a Bradshaw in tow. Some more pondering much internet activity and failed phone calls we resorted to trying the key in random doors! Eventually Paul struck Gold – Number 18 penultimate house in the terrace.

A good hut if a little short on drying space given this is Wales and we got all soaked! A fire lit, tea on and all is well with the world.

John was joining Pete E in the morning and all 6 of us had plans to climb despite the forecast. Jamie and Paul decided to check out the nearby MTB trails and cafe, returning with half a hillside of mud plastered to their clothes. Pete and John did a ride further south near Cader and Pete B and I drank tea. The forecast was very specific – dry from 3 till 6. After a lunch we drove down past Dolgellau to the picturesque and largely deserted Cwm Cywarch, our Classic Rock objective Will o' the Wisp (HVD). We reckoned it'd be fine even if raining, but we let the final showers pass while listening to Shelia Hancock reminisce on radio 4.

A shortish walk, tons of bilberries and a bit of messing about saw me starting the first pitch. A short section of rock towards a tree and a block (I think these have gone) then a filthy soggy slab and a few more moves to the large ledge. Pete leads through a small wall, then takes the next two pitches, a huge easy, enjoyable traverse across the face. An unlikely move around an exposed arete on huge jugs, brings a smile to my face and a tree belay on the final ledge. A quick jaunt to the top before the rain arrives on cue as we are coiling ropes.

Late back we all chip in to cook and drink a late meal before heading upstairs to the comfy warm beds.

Sunday's weather is shite, rain rain rain. Pete and John head off to the MTB tail, the rest of us decide to wander up to Cnicht via the old slate workings. It was pretty grim but a nice stretch of the legs and some interesting industrial landscapes. We got back about half three, Pete had got back early and had a snooze, cleaned the fire, so we had some more tea, showered, cleaned up and left.

A good comfy hut (sleeps a dozen just) in a good place for mid grade climbing – not that we troubled it this w/e – and closer than LLanberis, a good place for those heaving weekends, also a pay by bed so should be good for small meets.

pix to follow

2 Responses to “Meirionnydd Monsoon”

  1. Simon C says:

    Sounds good, I almost regret wimping out at the last minute! We did the Bowland Challenge instead – walked round the Forest of Bowland for 10 hours, covered 32 miles/4000 feet ascent, and topped up my list of injuries.

  2. guido says:

    North Wales has some of the best wet weather alternatives in the UK we have had several weekends there this year and despite indifferent conditions have always managed to climb on every day.
    Gogarth is often a good bet and the North coast limestone is a classic rain shadow even a few under cover venues, saved many a wet weekend.

    Must admit we dipped out of Wales and went to Arran, twas brilliant did a Hard rock route, a classic rock route & best was West Flank route a 4**** 6 pitch E1- three superb days we was griining from ear to ear as we drove home in torrential rain.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.