Saturday 17 December 2011

At last a winter route!!!

Ruth not looking impressed!
Ok, I know I've been a bit slow getting my season started but finally it's begun.I headed over to Wales on Thursday eve with a hopeful weather forecast. Conditions are only vaguely climbable high up but Wales in soooo much closer than Scotland!
Yesterday I had a pretty rubbish day out with Ruth. We headed up to Craig Dafydd on beta from Matt Stygall who'd been in there in thursday and managed to climb a route. He'd said that the turf was frozen in places and not so frozen in others and after another cold night we had hoped that it would be better. Unfortunately this wasn't the case and as the routes depend on turf after a couple of false starts we retreated. Quite a long old walk up there, felt especially so, as you couldn't see very far and in felt like forever until we finally bumped into the crag. You arrive at the crag at the bottom of a route called Goliath an excellent looking ice pitch or two - not quite fat enough to climb but all there. If it stays cold could be a goer in a few days.

Today I headed out with young Calum Muskett. He had tried Traversty on Clogwyn Du last year and not managed to do the crux so was keen to get back on it. This time was a different matter, looking cool, calm and collected he made a stylish ascent, in less than perfect conditions - check out the ropes in the picture - the wind was howling!!

Setting off on Pitch 2
We had thought about the direct finish but with the weather conditions as they were we decided to stick to the original. Top route. Pete Harrison and Rob Pitt were also at the crag trying a new route, but no send, so that's all I'm saying, no pictures and no info!!! Think Pete is heading back there tomorrow to see if he can get i done, so more news from him soon.

 In other news Matt headed back up to Craig Dafydd today with Adam Hughes and they pulled a new route out of the bag.
Pitch 1. 4.Starting at the base of Helmand Province you climb up some turfy grooves onto a ledge, step right to a leftwards slanting turfy crack - climb that and continue to the base of the obvious crack. (40m)
Pitch 2. 7. Climbs the obvious crack to a ledge (possible belay) and then continue up a shallow chimney over the overhang to a ledge and block belays. (25m)
Pitch 3. 5. Climb the left on the 2 obvious grooves until a tricky step can be made across into the right groove (a bit bold), follow this groove until a step can be made around the arete  onto a ledge and then climb the short steep groove to an awkward finish - belay well back. (30m)

Top section of pitch 2
They called the route Siberian Kitten - with a nod to Greg Boswell. Pete Macpherson and Guy Roberston's route Siberian Tiger.

Matt on the crack of Pitch 2

Adam heading into the second groove of Pitch 3.

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