/ Why are the Moelwyns not more popular

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SCrossley on 10 May 2013
Hi,
why are the Moelwyns not more popular, particularly with lower grade and newbie climbers. Quality routes, short walk ins, great views, no polish, amenable grades and safe descents, yet people keep trucking off to Idwal which is polished as buggery, the slabs are not really climbing just a steep walk, the descent is horrendous and it`s always busy.
I just don`t get it.
sjc
The Pylon King on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc:

Most people are stupid.
IainRUK - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc: Bit of a drive from the main center. people know the A5 and the pass.. plus people get put off from going near Ffestiniog.. which is strange as its some of the most stunning terrain in North Wales..

Plus commuting wise its just that bit further.. though not if you cut round the back.
Bloodfire - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc: they are very special to me... My first ever climbing trip was there. It's like paying homage every time I go...
SGD - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc: I love the Moelwyns and I agree there is a lot to offer the lower grade climber (and those climbing the lower E's). It can and does get busy but on many an occassion we have had an entire buttress to ourselves. Maybe it's due to the guide being fairly old now? (Although there are some routes published in the North Wales selected guide).
SCrossley on 10 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
> . though not if you cut round the back.

Please tell me more.
GrahamD - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc:

People are like sheep in many respects. I agree some of the HS/VS lines there are really good with the benefit of being quick drying.

IainRUK - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc: People tend to approach North Wales via the A55 gate way.. but if you go Wrexham > Corwen way its a good 20-30 minutes quicker.

But I think lots of people still think of basing themselves in Northern Snowdonia. There's a hell of a lot in the south worth visiting.
SGD - on 10 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK: I have done day trips to the Moelwyns from Birmingham and it's not too bad (2-2.5hrs depending on how law abiding you are). It can take us that long to get to the peak if we leave at 9am!
SCrossley on 10 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
Thanks, I`ll try that next time.
Mike Stretford - on 10 May 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
> People are like sheep in many respects.

You probably mean in one respect, though of course I don't know your socially circle.
Mike Stretford - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc: Which did you go to first, North or South Snowdonia?
SCrossley on 10 May 2013
In reply to Papillon:
South I think, why?
victim of mathematics - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc:

The car parks near Blaenau have a reputation for being full of crime, unlike Ogwen?
Mike Stretford - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc: You think, um, i'd be surprised.

Most new climbers get taken to the north, even self reliant new climbers would stop off at the north first due to geography and the number of climbs in the guidebook, without even mentioning the high profile the northern crags get in the general climbing press.

It takes a bit of experience to realise a better time can be had elsewhere and many never get that experience.
SCrossley on 10 May 2013
In reply to Papillon:
Ahh, but I am in the Lancashire Caving and Climbing Club
The Pylon King on 10 May 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to sjc) Which did you go to first, North or South Snowdonia?

South
GrahamD - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Papillon:

> You probably mean in one respect, though of course I don't know your socially circle.

You are probably correct. Like sheep in the only respect for which sheep are noted. I sit here suitably out pedanted. baaaah

EeeByGum - on 10 May 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
> Most people are stupid.

Eh? Why? As a regular visitor to North Wales, I have never heard of the Moelwyns. Why? Because they aren't in my guidebook - or at least not obviously. And besides - Idwal is amazing. Easy multipitch routes in an amazing mountain setting. Why would you be an idiot to want a piece of that?
GrahamD - on 10 May 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

> Why would you be an idiot to want a piece of that?

More strings to your bow is always good. It should be more widely known that, as well as loads of excellent routes on more grippy rock, the Moelwyns are often warm and dry when the honeypots are clagged in.
Ann S on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc:

For heavens sake don't tell everyone. I hope to enjoy some more quiet days there this year on perfect gas blown pockets of rock with lovely long run outs, nice steep fingery walls with perfect gear. It's bad enough sharing the car park with the cavers; we don't need any more ruddy climbers.
victim of mathematics - on 10 May 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to The Pylon King)
> [...]
>
> Eh? Why? As a regular visitor to North Wales, I have never heard of the Moelwyns. Why? Because they aren't in my guidebook - or at least not obviously. And besides - Idwal is amazing. Easy multipitch routes in an amazing mountain setting. Why would you be an idiot to want a piece of that?

Have you never looked at a map? Or browsed through other guidebooks (or even read your own properly)? Or talked to other people about places they've climbed? Don't you like going to new places (which might not be so covered in people)?

Imagining that the world of climbing begins and ends with the guidebooks you currently own (or even worse, the bits of your own guidebooks that you've actually read) would be what makes you an idiot.

Don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy for you never to leave Idwal slabs if you like, it means the rest of the crags are less busy. I just cannot understand your attitude.
wilkesley - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Ann S:

My sentiments exactly. One of the areas charms is that it's not overcrowded. So please can we delete this thread now:)
IainRUK - on 10 May 2013
In reply to wilkesley:
> (In reply to Ann S)
>
> My sentiments exactly. One of the areas charms is that it's not overcrowded. So please can we delete this thread now:)

It won't be.. its hardly a secret..
IainRUK - on 10 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK: Also the area could do with a few more tourists whether you like it or not..
Dave Williams - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc:

The definitive guide, although still in print, is quite old now (CC Meirionnydd 2002) but at least it's in the process of being updated.

A new definitive CC guide, covering just the Moelwynion, Cwm Lledr and Betws y Coed, authored by local activists Terry Taylor and Paul Jenkinson, is on its way - although it's not exactly imminent! http://www.climbers-club.co.uk/eshop/guidebook-prep.php This may make the Moelwynion far more popular once it's published (which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your viewpoint!)

The rest of the area currently included in the Meirionnydd guide - Rhiniogydd, Yr Aran, Arenig and Cadair Idris will be covered by a new Mid Wales guide, which will also include a Meirionnydd new climbs supplement. (Eg. There are over 400 new routes in the Rhiniogydd alone!) This guide will also provide definitive coverage of Llanymynech (sport and trad) and Pandy and, for the first time ever in any guidebook, it'll also include Elenydd (Mid Wales proper - South Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.) In addition to a huge diversity of trad climbing, from mountain crags to sea cliffs, the new Mid Wales guide will include bouldering, with definitive treatment of venues such as Cae Du and Pumlimon Boulders as well as all the newly developed sport climbing in Barmouth Quarry, Ceredigion etc.

Dave
EeeByGum - on 10 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> Have you never looked at a map? Or browsed through other guidebooks (or even read your own properly)? Or talked to other people about places they've climbed? Don't you like going to new places (which might not be so covered in people)?

Kind of. But these days, I get fewer opportunities to make a long trip and as a result, I am less inclined to take a punt on crags I don't know. It is the same in the Peak. Why does everyone flock to Stanage when the Kinder is empty? Answer - you know you will get a good day out at Stanage.
Calder - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Ann S:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
> For heavens sake don't tell everyone. I hope to enjoy some more quiet days there this year on perfect gas blown pockets of rock with lovely long run outs, nice steep fingery walls with perfect gear. It's bad enough sharing the car park with the cavers; we don't need any more ruddy climbers.

It's not that people don't know about them, it's because they can't be arsed.
victim of mathematics - on 10 May 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

I know I'll get a better chance of a fun day out exploring some random esoterica than standing in a queue at the bottom of Flying Buttress, but each to their own.

It's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy - everybody goes to Stanage because it's good, therefore it must be good, because everybody goes there...
GrahamD - on 10 May 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

> Why does everyone flock to Stanage when the Kinder is empty? Answer - you know you will get a good day out at Stanage.

Except when its warm when you get midged at Stanage and a cool breeze on Kinder with brilliant views and routes. Sometimes its good to consider the alternatives.
EeeByGum - on 10 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> I know I'll get a better chance of a fun day out exploring some random esoterica than standing in a queue at the bottom of Flying Buttress, but each to their own.

Agreed - but to give me some credit, I don't queue for routes. I go to climb, not queue! :-)

> It's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy - everybody goes to Stanage because it's good, therefore it must be good, because everybody goes there...

Yes and no. Stanage isn't good because people say it is. It is good because it offers a huge amount climbs of all grades in one spot.

I went to Pinfold Quarry the other weekend (I am sure you know it well). Was it a good place to climb compared to say Stanage? No. Did I have a good time climbing there. Yes. Would I recommend it to someone driving up from London? Absolutely not. Same goes for all the honey spots.
The Pylon King on 10 May 2013
In reply to Calder:
> (In reply to Ann S)
> [...]
>
> It's not that people don't know about them, it's because they can't be arsed.

Yes, Stupid!
Simon Caldwell - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc:
Didn't realise they were unpopular - on my only visit we were queueing for routes. Sounds like I'll have to try again :)
Calder - on 10 May 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:
> (In reply to Calder)
> [...]
>
> Yes, Stupid!

I saw your response earlier when it was the only one, thought about commenting and figured there's no point - you summed it up perfectly, end of thread.

Others obviously thought different.
ksjs - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Dave Williams: I don't know the areas you mention but the approach does strike me as a peculiarly CC one.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the fact that 'nobody' climbs there suggests that there isn't sufficient climbing to warrant 2 new guides. The 2nd one you mention is going to have a Meirionydd supplement when the CC will have recently published a definitive guide to the same area. What's going on there?

Also, Llanymynech and Pandy, are these really mid-Wales areas? I suppose they are but they seem quite far east.

Can someone please list any good stuff in the E3 - E5 range to convince me I have a total misconception of the area? I live in North Wales and have only made it as far as Craig yr Wrysgan and y Clipiau. I'd really like to know / believe there was loads more beyond these.
johncoxmysteriously - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ksjs:

I can't list routes, but based on one visit to the Rhinogs I would guess with some confidence that there's enough good stuff in the E3-E5 range to keep most climbers busy for a lifetime.

jcm
GrahamD - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ksjs:


> Can someone please list any good stuff in the E3 - E5 range to convince me I have a total misconception of the area?

You might not have a misconception - but its not any misconception by midgrade climbers the OP was asking about:

"why are the Moelwyns not more popular, particularly with lower grade and newbie climbers"
Mike Stretford - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Calder:
> (In reply to The Pylon King)
> [...]
>
> I saw your response earlier when it was the only one, thought about commenting and figured there's no point - you summed it up perfectly, end of thread.
>

You can pat him on the head all you want, he's still wrong and so are you.

Dave Williams - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ksjs:
> (In reply to Dave Williams) I don't know the areas you mention but the approach does strike me as a peculiarly CC one.
>
> Correct me if I'm wrong but the fact that 'nobody' climbs there suggests that there isn't sufficient climbing to warrant 2 new guides.
If you think 'nobody' climbs there, then you are (very sadly) mistaken. Your response confirms my long-held belief that many climbers think that there's nothing worth climbing between Tremadog and Pembroke. Those who are prepared to broaden their horizons will quickly realise how wrong they all are ...
> The 2nd one you mention is going to have a Meirionydd supplement when the CC will have recently published a definitive guide to the same area. What's going on there?
A Meirionydd NEW CLIMBS supplement will be included in the forthcoming Mid Wales guide. There's no plan to produce another definitive guide in the meantime. Please re-read my original post.
>
> Also, Llanymynech and Pandy, are these really mid-Wales areas? I suppose they are but they seem quite far east.
As you realise, Mid Wales not only fills the middle bit between North and South Wales but also goes from the west coast to the English border so geographically they both are. Anyway, there's been no definitive coverage of either Pandy or Llanymynech for years. Would you prefer it stays this way?
>
> Can someone please list any good stuff in the E3 - E5 range to convince me I have a total misconception of the area? I live in North Wales and have only made it as far as Craig yr Wrysgan and y Clipiau. I'd really like to know / believe there was loads more beyond these.
I can only suggest that you browse through a copy of the current guide to see what's available in the E3-E5 range. As jcm rightly says, there are enough climbs at that grade in the existing guide, in the Rhiniogydd, on Arenig Fawr, on Yr Aran and Cadair Idris to last a lifetime. Since the last guide came out, Martin Crocker, Terry Taylor and others have literally added hundreds more, from micro-route to multipitch in length.

HTH

Dave


jim jones on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc:
I was on Clogwyn Y Bustach on Monday and loads off people were climbing on Clogwyn Yr Oen, also all the convenient parking was just about gone by 10:00. It's certainly way more popular and mainstream than it was 30 years ago, even the old Ron James guide had quite a few routes from the area included. As your o.p. suggests new climbers simply haven't got around to discovering it; mid grade there's loads of superb quality routes awaiting. Just off the top of my head, Space Below My Feet, Green Wall, Condor, Mean Feat, Vestix, Titus, Groan, Flake Wall, Acoustic Flake, I could go on. Plenty of scope for new routes also but a bit of a hike involved! The current CC guide covers it perfectly well and I think at least does an excellent job of the area.
GridNorth - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc: I've climbed in the area but not as much as I perhaps should have. The main reason was that we went to North Wales for multi-pitch climbing and most of the stuff that I've seen in the Moelwyns is single pitch. That's my excuse but a poor one I know.
Fiend - on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc:

The problem isn't that there isn't sufficient climbing in the Mid-Wales area, the problem is that there is too much!! ...and that it is woefully underused.

The intention by Dave Williams et al to more accurately describe and promote this area is very good - the area deserves it and it still won't bring the hordes to the area (as NWR hasn't done with the Moelwyns, evidently).
ksjs - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Dave Williams: This is going to sound really naive but the fact that stuff isn't more known or on my radar suggests that yes, there may be the odd thing but there aren't so many spots with a host of quality across the grades. I accept if you don't go / look then you can't know but usually things get known (or remain unknown) for a reason.

You say "A new definitive CC guide, covering just the Moelwynion, Cwm Lledr and Betws y Coed, authored by local activists Terry Taylor and Paul Jenkinson, is on its way." and "The rest of the area currently included in the Meirionnydd guide - Rhiniogydd, Yr Aran, Arenig and Cadair Idris will be covered by a new Mid Wales guide, which will also include a Meirionnydd new climbs supplement." which sounds like there are 2 guides and that the 2nd will include what should already be part of the first. Perhaps I'm missing something, misunderstanding something?

Llanymynech and Pandy seem to sit better in a Clwyd guide but yes, it makes sense for them to be in a mid-Wales guide and it's better that they're somewhere.

In terms of route suggestions I can't help but feel that as I haven't picked them up by osmosis then they don't exist; I know way more about what I should get on / be aiming for at many S-W crags (Sharpnose, Bosigran, Swanage etc) for example than I do for the Moelwyns.

So, go on, please indulge me, Wrysgan and Clipiau aside, what are the 10 best single pitch routes that will whet my appetite for more discovery and stand out in my memory as much as their Pass and Gogarth counterparts do?
jim jones on 10 May 2013
Tom Hutton - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Ann S:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
> For heavens sake don't tell everyone. I hope to enjoy some more quiet days there this year on perfect gas blown pockets of rock with lovely long run outs, nice steep fingery walls with perfect gear. It's bad enough sharing the car park with the cavers; we don't need any more ruddy climbers.

Oh for a LIKE button...
Al Evans on 10 May 2013
In reply to sjc: It might just be that apart from a few routes the Moelwyns just aren't as good as the rest of Snowdonia. It's nice because its quieter but there are just not as many climbs as good.
Joonsy - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Dave Williams: Hi Dave Williams, do you know when this new ''Mid Wales'' guide you mentioned is likely to be available to buy (will it be titled Mid Wales, so i know what to keep looking out for, and who would the author be), will look forward to obtaining a copy. Kind Regards, Robert.
Fiend - on 11 May 2013
In reply to ksjs:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=533821&v=1#x7168149

There's some for you. Sorry that there are so many below E3 and so few above, but then again looking in the guide Arenning and the Rhinnogs in particular have vast amounts in your rather specific grade range. As does Cadair and the Moelwyn outliers.
The Pylon King on 11 May 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to The Pylon King)
> [...]
>
> Eh? Why? As a regular visitor to North Wales, I have never heard of the Moelwyns. Why? Because they aren't in my guidebook - or at least not obviously. And besides - Idwal is amazing. Easy multipitch routes in an amazing mountain setting. Why would you be an idiot to want a piece of that?

Yes i agree that places like Idwal are absolutely brilliant places, but there are so many other hidden gems as well.
Trangia - on 11 May 2013
In reply to sjc:

They are magic, but shhhh....don't tell everyone......
Aztec Bar - on 11 May 2013
In reply to sjc:
I have heard car crime is a problem. Is this still the case at the Moelwyns? This has put me off in the past especially when about to drive back to London with a car full of stuff.

Anyone had problems lately?
jim jones on 11 May 2013
In reply to Aztec Bar:
> (In reply to sjc)
> I have heard car crime is a problem. Is this still the case at the Moelwyns? This has put me off in the past especially when about to drive back to London with a car full of stuff.
>
> Anyone had problems lately?

Not heard of any problems since the early 90's (although it was a problem then).

SCrossley on 11 May 2013
In reply to Aztec Bar
The LCCC hut is in Tan Y Grisau, under the crags pretty much and I have not heard of any car crime problems, in fact cars are probably in sight of crags come to think of it.
Dave Ferguson - on 11 May 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
> The car parks near Blaenau have a reputation for being full of crime, unlike Ogwen?

About 20 years ago maybe, certainly not now.
ksjs - on 12 May 2013
In reply to Fiend: 'Rather specific'? I enjoy pretty much everything I climb but I relish difficulty, challenge and the opportunity to progress very highly. If I'm going to be motivated I need to know there's stuff for me to go at. I prefer single pitch as it feels like I get more done, I don't like the imbalance that can be present on multi-pitch routes and I can strip the route if climbing with someone who doesn't want to second the route. There are however many multi-pitch routes I aspire to do.

Anyway, we're getting away from the point. People are suggesting there's stacks of quality to go at but so far there's scant information to support this, certainly in the grades I've mentioned. Your post you link to is superb but you mention 12 E3s (one of which I've done) and 2 E4s. Some of these E3s are / were E2 and not all sound bona fide classics or like they could use some more feedback and consensus. They also seem to be thinly spread. In short not really a string of quality E3, 4 & 5 that stands comparison with more travelled spots.

You didn't mention Nosferatu E3 or Crimson Cruiser E4/5. I've done Nosferatu very good and understand Crimson Cruiser is superb.

As things stand my only Moelwyns plans involve Crimson Cruiser and based on what's been mentioned I can't see that changing for now. My loss and all that no doubt...
ksjs - on 12 May 2013
In reply to jim jones: Thanks - have looked but can't find anything online about Groan or Hat Trick. Acoustic Flake and Titus are both E2 I think and I was really after E3 - E5.
jim jones on 12 May 2013
In reply to ksjs:

On Clogwyn Yr Oen are Remembrance E3 5c and The Widowmaker E4 6a (harrowing apparently but I've not done it!). Easy to abseil after doing one to do the other. You've mentioned Nosefratu on Craig yr Wrysgan but there is also Green Wall E3 5c (poor gear), Swallowed by Amazons E4 5c and Bing the Budgie E4 6a I've only done Nosferatu and that was plenty hard enough for me so can't comment much about the grades they all look great lines. Likewise on Craig Y Clipiau as well as Crimson Cruiser, alongside it are Purple Paradise E5 6a and Non Dairy Creamer E4 5c and of course The Emerald E5 6b which looks a stunning route good photo on p208 in the guide. That should be enough for one visit at least.
Fiend - on 12 May 2013
In reply to ksjs:

> I enjoy pretty much everything I climb but I relish difficulty, challenge and the opportunity to progress very highly. If I'm going to be motivated I need to know there's stuff for me to go at. I prefer single pitch as it feels like I get more done, I don't like the imbalance that can be present on multi-pitch routes and I can strip the route if climbing with someone who doesn't want to second the route. There are however many multi-pitch routes I aspire to do.

I have very similar climbing preferences and have found the Merionydd area (not just the Moelwyns) to be constantly inspiring and intriguing, if not as obvious as the honeypots.
ksjs - on 14 May 2013
In reply to jim jones: I've done Green Wall and thought the gear was good, bombproof at the top where the crux is. I thought NDC with NDC start on Clipiau was pokey and I backed off - committing and balancey move (probably easy if you do it) to leave the slab near the start, you're protected by a single, poor nut. Keen for the original route (still E4 I think) which avoids that start.

I got a bit confused by routes at Clipiau after that trip - I think I looked at North Wales Rock, The Meirionydd CC guide and on here to make sense of where everything goes but I don't remember it being especially logical / obvious. Maybe need to go back with the CC guide this time.

Never heard of Swallowed by Amazons but did look at Bing the Budgie, bold IIRC from Paul Williams' description. There's also Peachstone E4 6a which looks beautiful, at the 'back' of Wrysgan.

Again haven't heard of The Widowmaker (and no sign on the UKC logbooks) and Remembrance gets E2 5b in the logbook here.

Thinking about there's definitely more than I thought. Roll on some warmth and dry weather, though to be honest I get the impression it's all pretty quick drying. Not to mention plenty of bouldering - think Simon Panton has done a publicly available download of stuff in the area.

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