Antonio taking over from Hamish to lead the second pitch, his first ever trad lead
Last month I had the pain honour to organise the WMC weekend meet at the WMC hut, Tal-Y-Braich in North Wales. Organising such an event usually entails getting a count of who is going, how they are arriving, and if they can give a lift etc. After getting the details at the pub the Tuesday before the meet (the standard way of organising this type of event), I had a final count of 11 people attending. This was a pretty good turn out as the weather forecast was looking pretty poor for the weekend.
Arriving at 0100, a pretty late but reasonable time for most members driving up on a Friday night, we (myself, Kay and Connor) were greeted with by a roaring fire and everyone still up relaxing with a drink in hand. After sorting all our kit out we joined in with a beverage or two. Talk quickly progressed to tomorrow’s antics and what everyone fancied doing. With the weather looking poor and 2 new prospective members the plan was to spend a day at Little Tryfan (Tryfan Bach) teaching/learning and having fun doing some easy trad climbs.
Connor at one of the belay’s on Little Tryfan, looking across to Antonio and Hamish
We had a late start, arriving just after midday. The weather seemed to be decent, although very windy. We appeared to be in luck with the rock sheltering us from the worst the wind had to offer. The climbing gods appeared to be on our side….or at least not against us!
I paved the way for Kay, jumping at the chance to take first lead. A quick glance at the guidebook saw all routes had teams already climbing. But my impatience got the better of me and off I went, creating my own route between the already distinguished climbing lines. This seemed to be the setup up for our day of climbing, jumping on and climbing whatever line looked like the most fun. At 1900 with the temperature finally dropping and some rain threatening to halt all activities, we made an escape back to the hut to fill our empty bellys after a day of exciting climbing.
It didn’t take long to get the open fire going and to get some decent food on the go, me and Kay having stuffed peppers with goats cheese (yum!). We got the drinks flowing once more and discussions of tomorrows adventures quickly flared up. Double checking the weather reports (you can never be too careful in Wales!) the outlook was pretty good. We came up with a couple of ideas with the winner being Crib Goch.
Dan and Connor at the start of the Crib Goch ridge, with Snowdon in the background
Crib Goch had been on my ticklist ever since joining the club, stories of how terrifying the ridge can be only fueled my desire to conquer it. Myself, Kay, Connor and Tom parked in Nant Peris car park with the weather in a pretty favourable condition. This was a good sign we had made the right choice. Catching the bus to Pen y Pass, we started the short walk along the Pyg track until it branched off to the foot of Crib Goch. From here we made the steep and rocky walk/scramble to the start of the ridge.
What a view! The knife-edge ridge did not disappoint with superb view of the whole of the Snowdon Horseshoe. The sky was clear on Crib Goch with little wind, but looking over to Snowdon it was covered in cloud rolling quickly over.
Relishing the challenge to do as much of the walking on the very top of ridge, I gingerly made my way across, this was the highlight of the weekend. Kay, on the other hand, was feeling the daunting effect of the drops on either side of the ridge. However, she marched on regardless and proclaiming afterwards that it was the best thing she’d ever done in the mountains.
After making it across Crib Goch the wind picked up, the temperature dropped and out came the windproof jacket. A clear reminder how the mountains can change in an instant. A quick stop for a hot chocolate at the cafe, on the highest point in Wales, allowed for a short relax before heading back down the Llanberis Path and forking off to the Nant Peris car park.
All in all a fantastic weekend. Even with the weather forecast looking poor it pays to just get out to Snowdonia as there is always something to do and somewhere to go.