However, today was a bit more special as Michael aged 12 was able to tick Idwal Stream (II) as his first ice route. Well actually it was his first winter climb. Not sure how many 12-year lads can say they have done that?
Accompanying him on this adventure was his dad Graham. I had taken Graham on a week’s winter climbing in Scotland a few years ago, so it was ideal to know I could focus most of my attention on his lad.
Michael climbed the route in real style, along the way taking an active part in belaying, tying on and sorting ropes out on the belay. We took a nice and steady approach to the day even having food and hot chocolate on one stance.
The full winter experience was had, a cold wind, ice, neve, soft snow, rock, hot aches, apprehension, excitement, fear and that sense of achievement once topping out.
Idwal has a variety of routes in good nick, others are quite lean and some are not in. Cannot really give you the low down of each route, as I have not climbed them and it’s hard to say from a distance.