Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Ice ice Baby, not really

I went for a drive up the Pass today. Nothing is really in. ( Sargents has been done ) All to thin, even Face Route which is reliable is not there. However, there are lines froze which I have not seen froze for some years. There were folk around in winter climbing kit though ?

Went for walk into Idwal. Nothing really going there ( Idwal Stream is in and being done ) all routes quite thin.( See pictures )

Apparently Berwyn a friend of mine ( said there was a team on Central Route when he walked passed in the cwm, this looks thin in pictures

Rob went for a walk to Aber Falls ( see )

Seems to me its all very cold with no cycle happening and not much water around when it got cold. Time will tell.

Idwal Lake was frozen enough to walk over and give some intro climbing lessons ( Mia Richards in pink and Josie Ball in blue one of the UK,s up and coming rock stars )

Happy New Year and fingers crossed for more winter conditions.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Ice may well be on its way

My friend Rob was out today, visit his blog for a winter update - go to
Also heard that Sargents Gully was climbed but again thin.
Another friend of mine Pete, took a group up Siabod, a super day, see pictures, all ground rock solid as you would expect.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Great Weather.

The weather is tops, cold at night and in the day, with clear skies. However, no snow left from the last dump so there is nothing to climb really, a real shame. Mind you enjoying the hills this time of year with weather such as this, is a real bonus.

Its forecast an inversion, so this could well start a thaw of the turf /ground high up. Hope this does not happen as there is a chance of wintery showers near end of week.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

END OF WINTER FOR 2008 - Maybe ?

15th December

Ah, this was the last day of winter in view of this recent spell. But what a spell, with all these new routes, repeats and enthusiasm I wonder what 2009 will bring North Wales ?

However, Matt Stygle and Ian Hey managed to grab an ascent of El Mancho again raving of its quality and great positions. Nice one lads,

Unless things develop then I shall not update the blog.

See you next time it comes good, if it does.

New routes in Namless Cwm

Back in the cwm today ( Sunday 14th December ) with Dave Brown and Keith Ball

Very quite and seems warm today. Fresh snow overnight has plastered crag. We solo up Tower Gully ( Grade 2 ) to its crux. from here I climb up stepped corners on the right wall of the Tower. This new route goes at IV-6 and gives a really good pitch to the top of the Tower.

Quick solo down Tower Gully, nip over to Clogwyn Ddu and solo up to the start of Pillar Chimney. Lots more ice in here than 3 days ago. However , we have no screws so traverse front of Pillar and instead of going up right hand side of pillar by the chimney, I climbed direct up onto the slab. This gives a short but good piece of IV-5 climbing. Go up slab to top to have a look at Dia Lampards route which traverses out left above the roof above Manx Wall. Turf a little soft and ice quite thin compared to Thursday. Decide to go up right and join Left Hand route to top.

Solo down back back of Cwm then head out right of the Cwm. Keith leads a new route up a gully on thin, loose ice and snow, felt quite insecure. Has two good sections to it. this 1 pitch climb goes at IV-6.

Dark by now, so head off down

Dixon reports in

Spoke to Nick Dixon today in regards Blenderhead. He was chuffed that climbers had tried to repaet his route and even more pleased that we all said it was hard.

He said it was the hardest route he had climbed at the time, but felt giving it VIII-8 was not something he could say at the time. However, he did say that his route the Angels Pipe in Cwm Idwal is a grade harder then Blenderhead so theres a challenge.

No doubt Nick climbed this in his wellies maybe thats why he thought it was hard !

Blenderhead recieves an ascent

Matt Stygle and Big Tim blasted up to Blenderhead this morning ( 12th December 2008 ) Tim having watched Rocio take her lob was keen to bag the route. Matt took the crux and his axed popped also. He had managed to get gear higher than Rocio so no big lob.

Matt had to use a point of aid, so its still 1.nil to Dixon. They both said it was hard and not sure on grade, could be VIII-8 but maybe VII-8 . Bring it on lads.

One of the best mixed routes in the UK

Having climbed this route back in 2004 with Steve Long ( the third ascent ) its now apparent that this is an uber classic. After another two ascents over the last two weeks , these climbers also raving in regards its quality


is the one to do.

It has two really cracking pitches with the top being superb. First done by Si Panton of Ground Up fame alongside L Mkinley some years back the word is now out.

The route follows a line left of Manx Wall on Clogwyn Ddu and joins Manx Wall on the belly flop move ready for the top wall. This route is a 4 star route and is often in condition.

New Route On Black Ladders

This was climbed on 3rd December 2008

On the Black Ladders/Ysgolion Duon Tim Neil and Ian Hey climbed a challenging new line betweenPasschendale and Broken Cease Fire finishing up the latter. Achi Baba rates about V/VI 5 on the Parkin/Lampard scale. That means it could be anything from grade 3-7

Blenderhead - Was this Wales first VIII-8 ?

This was climbed on 11th December 2008

Back into Nameless Cwm, with ideas of grabbing the second free ascent of Blenderhead. This route of Paul Pritchards from 1996 used 1 point of aid. Nick Dixon removed the aid in 1998 and no one else has been on it since. To be fair only a handful of climbers had heard of it.  Nick gave it VII-7 but Nicks a hard chap so who knows. 

I lead the first pitch V-5 and then Rocio blasted up the second and main meat of the route. It all looked strenuous from the belay and all was well until 1 of her axes popped.  That resulted in a 40ft leader fall and even after that Rocio then went back up. Hard as nails that lass. Due to a bashed shoulder and elbow she bowed out after trying the crux. Fine effort again after her effort on Glyder Fach last week.

Friday, 19 December 2008

New route on Gastell Y Gwynt

LAST WEEK ( Not the 19th December )

Went up to Castell Y Gwynt with Owen Samuel. Spied a few lines the other day so went to check them out. Climbed a nice new route, ( Lila's chocolate feast ) well only 1 pitch but nice climbing on turf and ice at III-3. Be a nice route to add in to a day out. It climbs the corner between Crab Climb and Frosts Route. Dropped into Nameless Cwm, but ended up helping a guy out who had hurt is leg.

New route V11-7 on Glyder Fach

3rd December 2008

Back out on hill. Visited Glyder Fach again this time with Owen Samuel and Rocio Seimens. We did the first winter ascent of Arch Gully, D in summer,  giving a great IV-5 with a cracking top pitch. Next was first winter ascent of Arch Chimney a HS 4b which gave a good crux at IV-6 being well protected.

Next came a new route. Sharing some ground with Arch Chimney,  we added a new independent first pitch V-6 followed by a new final pitch which we think is VII-7 ? This gave ace thin climbing. Rocio lead the crux pitch, with poor gear to start with.

Glyder Fach action

Sunday 29th November 2008

First day of the season and its a good one. I was on a course on the Saturday so called my friend Matt to see what he had been upto. He had done Reades Route on Crib Goch V-6 alongside Crazy Pinnalce Face IV-6 with Owen Samuel. 

We headed up to Glyder Fach Main Cliff on the Sunday. Possibly the first ascent of East Gully Arete, Diff in summer IV-5 with a tricky start. We then did the first winter ascent of Needles Eye Climb. This VD in summer gave 3 really cracking pitches of climbing. Each pitch being a IV.

Monday 1st December 08.  

I teamed up with Rob Jonhson and Ian Hey to grab the second ascent of Crazy Pinnacle Face on Grib Goch ( first ascent done on 28th November 08 by Owen Samuel and Matt Style ). This Diff in summer proves to be an excellent 3 pitch route, giving a technical first pitch, an easy second pitch and a brilliant third pitch. The grade IV -6. Get it done.