/ doom - craig cowach
Hoping to head down to do this and wilo the whisp next week if the weather is good. Has anyone done either of the routes recently? I understand wilo has been cleaned up recently?
Any top tips for either route? What time of day do they get sunshine?
Which guide book is best? Am I right in thinking both routes are in the Paul Williams book?
Just in from evening climbing/pub and spotted this Tom. I had a look and yes they're both in Paul Williams guide. The "definitive" is the CC Meirionnydd guide. It's quite old now but I just picked up a cheap copy which means my even older Mid Wales guide is redundant - you can have it for the price of postage if you can use it?
I've only done Keelhaul in that vicinity and that was years ago but "they" told us then it would be overgrown and unpleasant - it wasn't!
By the way the West Country Climbs book is in the post. Cheers. Martin
Hi - I did it last weekend and it was fine. I have a topo if you would like to check it for the new Wales RFax (it also has Will-o'-the-Wisp, Acheron and Aardvark on it)
Yes please! That would be brilliant. You've got mail.
You're right. Will o' the Wisp has been cleaned recently and it's currently in better condition than it has been for some time and so should be a pleasure to climb. It faces south, so gets the sun all day. Because it's in Classic Rock, many people have unrealistic expectations, expecting a 3* route. It's never pretended to be a 3* route, but it's still very worthwhile, with the crux where it should be - at the top.
The route was cleaned about 7 months ago by members of the guidebook team for the forthcoming Climbers' Club new Mid Wales guide. They also cleared the descent path. It'd be nice to think that the Rockfax team are similarly investing time and effort with the Mid Wales routes they're including in the new Rockfax, but age and experience indicates that I may, sadly, be extremely disappointed in this respect.
In contrast, Doom faces NE and doesn't get the sun and it can get quite cold if it's a bit windy. It's also slow to dry, although if the first pitch is dry, then the rest of it should be dry too. Pitch 2, the crux pitch, isn't affected by seepage, unlike pitches 1 and 3, but even if they're wet, it's still usually possible to climb them by avoiding the wet bits. I climbed it (for the fourth time) 2 years ago on a warm, sunny Saturday and we were the only two climbing in the whole valley. It was slightly dirty/ lichenous due to lack of traffic, but perfectly climbable nevertheless and no harder than the grade. I don't think it'll be any different now. It has awesome climbing and positions on a brooding and forbidding cliff; it really deserves its 3 star accolade.
The descent to the right from the top of Doom is via the steep grassy ramp of Llwybr Llywelyn. Once a very well worn path, it's become totally overgrown and is no longer obvious, so care and common sense is required. If in doubt on the lower part of the ramp, keep traversing left (facing out) to find an easy gully to descend the final steeper section - as there's more than one to choose from. Carrying approach shoes up the route for the descent is definitely a very good idea. Abseiling back down the route isn't an option.
Two excellent routes, as good as anything in Snowdonia at the same grade, but sadly neglected. You won't have to queue on either of them. Enjoy.
I'll take a stiff brush and give Doom a good scrub. I'll also take my camera and write a blog post on the routes, which will hopefully will send a few more folk down that way.
I'm right in thinking that the two routes are on different buttress. How long does it take to walk between them and is it fairly obvious?
We went to do Doom last year but the first pitch was running with water (it had rained very heavily a couple of days before). We then traversed around at quite a high level along a vague path to do Will o' the Wisp instead. I think it took us 20-30 mins between the 2 routes. Will O'The Wisp was excellent and I think had four parties on it. The first pitch was filthy though (pre-clean).
Yes, they're on different buttresses. The walk between them could take up to 30 mins, dependent on direction and whether you find the best path. There isn't an obvious path connecting the two and what paths there are are faint and overgrown.
If it's a nice sunny day, I'd do Doom first. From the bottom of Doom, you'll be able to pick up what was once a well-constructed path heading south at the top of the scree just beneath the cliffs. When you get to the top of the grassy, bracken covered shoulder, start contouring around and descending to eventually join the path heading west above the fence line/ forestry plantations. Follow this until beneath Tap y Graig and the short walk up to the start of Will o' the Wisp. (You should be able to suss most of this out on your way up to the start of Doom.)
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