Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category



October 5, 2009

Ouch what a busy few weeks! All non-climbing, unfortunately. Briefly, I have run a couple of races (12.5K and a half-marathon; post to follow) and moved into the new house.

The sun is currently beating down in Bangor, so hopefully I can get out soon. Hopefully.


Cwm Glas Bach

September 11, 2009

Cwm Glas 005

Another evening exploring in the Pass.  The Cromlech boulders were busy and I wasn’t feeling strong enough to show off, having done a 17km run during the day.  By show off I mean fall off a V1.  I parked at the Grochan layby and crossed over the river to head up to the CC’s Cwm Glas hut.  From there a faint path leads up to the crags of Cwm Glas Bach – The Gravestones and Clogwyn Llo etc.

There are some nice routes up there – nice and short and on very clean rock.  It’s still quite damp on that side, although there were people climbing on the North side of the Pass.  It would be worth a trip to Cwm Glas to get a few climbs under the belt, and to have a look at a few harder routes too.


Ring ouzels

September 9, 2009

On Monday I went into the Pass on a still evening between days of rain. I drove to Pen y Pass and walked up the P-y-G track for a couple of kilometers. Where the path steepens it is possible to drop down to the right and walk over a boggy area back towards the floor of the valley. If you get the line right you come to a small crag called Clogwyn Gafr.

Clogwyn-y-Gafr 003a

The crag is small and has only a handful of lines on it. The best known are an E1 called Diapason and an E5 called The Nectarine Run, both of which go over the main roof. I went to look at a few easy (Diff-Severe) routes on the left of the crag, which would be quite nice to solo. The routes were all wet – the crag takes a lot of drainage from the marshy areas above, so need a few days to dry. However the easier routes look fairly amenable for soloing. They are all to the left of the overhang, with one taking the rampline just below, and the others further to the left. The crag has a fantastic position high up in the Pass with a view of the cliffs on the North side.

Clogwyn-y-Gafr 032a

The crag is the home of a family of ring ouzels, who were flying around the base and perching on the top and around the high rocks.  The ouzel looks like a blackbird, but has a silvery bib around its neck.  Its voice is harsher – a sharp chack rather than the blackbird’s range of songs and calls.  I saw up to six at a time, but they seemed to move around in pairs (like the pair in the picture).

I stayed with them until the light started to fade, then headed back to the car at Pen y Pass.


More Cromlech bouldering

September 4, 2009

Squeezed in a quick boulder last night, in between working in work and working in the house.  It was the first time for WEEKS that it wasn’t raining.  There was a strong cold wind blowing down the Pass which made all but the deepest cracks and pockets quite dry.  There was a huge amount of water pouring down from the crags, and Dinas Cromlech itself seemed very wet on most of the faces.

I did five named problems on the Central boulders, up to V0+.  The ground was a bit too wet to go further than the main little face, but it would be good to explore the boulders behind that one too.

Next time I should try the front face of the Roadside boulder, or go up to Pont y Gromlech and do stuff on the white slabs.


Oh hello

August 19, 2009

Okay so.

I have always wanted to lead E5.  This is my accountability system for getting this done.  I will try to keep track of climbing and bouldering, of climbing-related stuff, and of general fitnessy things.

I have until 18th August 2010 to lead a route graded E5.  This can be any route, but I have some rules:

  • No sports routes – if the guide gives it a French grade it doesn’t count
  • Slate routes count even if bolted, unless the previous rule applies
  • That’s it

The main obstacles in my path are:

  • I am weak and pathetic (hopefully this is solvable)
  • I am training for a marathon (this is a drain on time, but the fitness should come in handy)
  • I am due to become a father in a couple of months (omg)

However there should be some factors in my favour:

  • I actually quite like climbing
  • I live in Llanberis
  • I used to be reasonably good, before I became fat and weak.

I hope I can keep track of things here over the next twelve months (minus one day), and show some significant progress as the weather worsens!