Friday, 25 November 2011

Looking back to first kick off.

These early dark nights really do remind us how lucky we are to get out on those summer evenings. Many of us are waiting to see if we get a winter which will deliver the white goods here in North Wales.

I was thinking of when it all started the previous 3 winters as it these winters have been the ones to deliver the goods of late.

20 October 2008 and we had a good dumping of snow for so early in the season.

Seeing so much snow on the way to work, must get out the weekend. Call to Rob and the plan was made. Meet at Pen Y Pass for 7pm, next morning, get up Snowdon. To be fair, it had only been cold for a few days before the snow came, so we did not think turf would be frozen under the snow. Anyway, great to just get out and back into it. As it turned out turf was not frozen after the first intro section of R/H Trinity, but no worries we scrambled up a snowy/rocky Central Trinity then over Crib Goch and back down in the car-park for 1.00.

Rob Jonson enjoying early snow

So to kick off, the first winter day that produced any real climbing ( well second day really as Matt and Owen got out the day before ) of 2008.

I remember sitting in the office on the Friday morning off 27th November and getting a call off Matt Stygle, asking me for some beta on rocky, snowy mixed lines. It had been cold for a week snow had fallen on the thursday and he was already mad for it. After sharing my thoughts and having to decline his offer to join Owen Samuels and Matt on the Saturday, I popped off to PYB where I was involved in some AMI meeting over the weekend. I was envious that the boys were going out.

Friday was quite a late boozy evening or should I say morning so not much sleep. Saturday morning delivered more snow fall, things were looking good for November. As Saturday evening started to develop into another session, I thought I would give Matt a ring to see how he had got on. You know the score next, a mate telling you how good a day they had experienced and in this instance a second ascent. I was chomping. I decided there and then, to get out with Matt the next day and scrap the meeting on the Sunday. Only issue was I was over the limit to drive and had no kit with me. Plan, stop drinking apart from water, get up at 5.00am , get home scrabble some kit together and meet Matt for 7.00am.

Up early next morning, feeling tied and rough, throwing some kit into a bag at home not really knowing what to take. That first proper day of the season feeling, to much kit, bag to heavy and feeling anxious, as I had to get something done that day.

Meeting up with Matt in Ogwen, Glyder Fach was the plan. Upon arrival we spotted a few new lines, Matt was keen for a first ascent of a establish summer line !! but my enthusiasm took over, up here Matt, look at all that turf, cool line and on and on I went. Hour later, lots of faffing, climbing like a plank, feeling like a wimp I admitted defeat in end. Ok Matt was correct. Rapping off a collection of pegs and wires, I thought welcome back to winter, you just got kicked. Matts turn to pick a line then.

Matt on first pitch of Needles Eye Climb [Given V-6 *** In new guide ]

Sunday 29th November 2008
First off, possibly the first ascent of East Gully Arete, mind you, probably done before and not recorded, Diff in summer - now given IV-5 with a tricky start. Then first winter ascent of Needles Eye Climb. This VD in summer and gives 3 really cracking pitches of climbing. Each pitch being a IV - possible V.

A gem of a climb.

Me on 3rd Pitch on Needles eye climb

Matt out on the Saturday,

Owen out on the Saturday

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