/ please recommend some Vdiffs in the llanberris pass or near

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puppythedog on 03 Jul 2013
Hello all,
I'm taking a friend to North Wales this weekend, we plan to have a day walking doing the Snowden horseshoe and then maybe fit some climbing in. She is a novice but I think can handle a VDiff having done a couple of single pitch ones locally. Can anyone recomend some things to go at. The ideal would be well protected and filled with feelings of being in the mountains.
I have the CC Llanberis guide and would ideally avoid buying another yet but happy to have the excuse if there is a really good must do route.
Mark Collins - on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Wrinkle
Trevers - on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Flying Buttress on Dinas Cromlech
Milestone Buttress Direct on Tryfan

..are two classics that I've done, FB being the easier but steeper option with better views

They're both multi pitch. I would imagine your options are pretty limited if you want single pitch routes
puppythedog on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to Mark Collins: Hi Mark, how are you and thank you very much. is it this?
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=1721
puppythedog on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to Trevers: Thank you :-) I think we'll be fine with Multi pitch and being cautious.
puppythedog on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Would be happy to climb easier i guess if there is an uber classic.
Mark Collins - on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Yep, that's the one and should be in your book. I think its in Classic Rock also.
puppythedog on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to Mark Collins: thanks. are you going to Kendal this year? I got a hotel room for my birthday :-)
Mark Collins - on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Yeah probably going to Kendal, nice work on the hotel room.
climber34neil - on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: another vote for wrinkle
Ann S on 03 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=40546

Check this one out-Rib and Slab on Craig Ddu, first crag on the left as you leave Nant Peris. Crag looks horribly black and wet at first glancehence it's name, but this route should be OK in dry weather. 2pitch route with slightly exposed first rib pitch ( not a lot of gear but not hard climbing) then lovely easy slab above. However if you decide to do it TAKE GRIPPY TRAINERS to change into at top of pitch two as the way off is initially on rather steep grass which is NOT nice in rock shoes.
Rob Naylor - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

If she's a novice, Flying Buttress would be better than Wrinkle. Last time I did Wrinkle I had a novice belayer who, due to the nature of the protection there (weighted slings over spikes for one succession of placements IIRC) kept me on too tight a belay and all my runners lifted on that section. Fortunately I was happy with the climbing, but I effectively soloed that pitch.

FB, OTOH, is a classic route. It gets into a nice airy situation with very obvious route-finding, loads of bomber protection and initial pitches that aren't at all intimidating. The belay stance after the rising traverse is great for giving a novice good views and a taste of exposure in a well-protected setting. It might be crowded, but last time I was in Wales I was astounded that, even though the weather was fantastic for the whole weekend, we saw no-one on the Cromlech and only one other pair on the Milestone when we moved over there.

Milestone Buttress Direct's a nice route too, but the final chimney can be a bit of a thrutch and a novice might really hate it...you can bail there though....we saw a fair bit of abseil tat over at the side of the last stance before the top so obviously several parties have given up at that point recently.

Another thing is that the descent of FB is very straightforward and a novice won't have a problem with it. The usual descent from the top of MBD can be a bit intimidating for someone not used to a bit of exposure....the last bit before the scree gully is an easy down scramble, but the first bit of the descent is on quite steep ground above a fair drop, though with very positive and large holds for both hands and feet.

Personally, with a novice, I'd do FB first.
Skyfall - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Rob Naylor:

I agree Rob.
Trevers - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Skyfall:

Beware of 3 star classics around here in the wet- there are some very polished vital footholds. Getting into the final chimney on MBD in particular required the technique of flopping like a seal. FB is south facing so quicker drying
Gordon Stainforth - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Amazing that Spiral Stairs hasn't been mentioned yet - the best in the Pass, closely followed by Flying Buttress and the Wrinkle. Mind you, there's nothing much else at V Diff worth talking about.
Trangia - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to puppythedog)
>
> Amazing that Spiral Stairs hasn't been mentioned yet - the best in the Pass, closely followed by Flying Buttress and the Wrinkle. Mind you, there's nothing much else at V Diff worth talking about.

+1

Although I'd add that the approach to the start of Spiral Stairs requires a bit of care, particularly for a novice. The first pitch is fantastic with loads of exposure on bomber jugs.
SCrossley on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog:
A lot of the Pass Vdiffs are well polished and busy which can detract from the mountain atmosphere, you may consider a drive to Cwym Silyn for Outsisde Edge or if the weather is pants, a highly recommended Diff is Symphony Crag at Rhoscolyn http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=6832
puppythedog on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Thank you all for your responses and the details :-) I've gone for Vdiff as a grade because I'm sure she can get up with support but also I would be happy soloing (probably) so no pressure on her to anything but have a nice day and learn a little more ropework by experience.
I'll post on here to say what we did :-)
SGD - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: In addittiona to Rib and Slab on Craig Ddu you can also add 2 extra pitches to the start by climbing the lower rib as well (Rib Route) It makes for a very good 4 pitch route or 2 very good 2 pitchers :)
SGD - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to SGD: .....and Symphony crack as mentioned above is excellent.
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Offwidth - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Try Left Edge http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=41038 A delight, no polish, no thrutchy chimneys, no crowds great views and no problems with the descent. Its a little run-out in places and a bit scrappy at the top but you can always protect the second Ok. There is some nice stuff on Red Slab over to the right as well.
GridNorth - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Then there's the Parsons Nose on Clogwyn y Person and The Gambit Climb right next door on Clogwyn Y Ddysgl. This makes for a good all round mountaineering day out if you continue to the summit of Snowdon. A descent via Crib Goch would nicely round the day off and meet all your requirements in one day even though it does only include half of the Horseshoe.
puppythedog on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GridNorth: Thanks Gridnorth. Hopefully see you soon and before the meet if not have fun whilst you are away.
victim of mathematics - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to puppythedog)
>
> Amazing that Spiral Stairs hasn't been mentioned yet - the best in the Pass, closely followed by Flying Buttress and the Wrinkle. Mind you, there's nothing much else at V Diff worth talking about.

Spiral Stairs is (as the guidebook notes I seem to recall) an awful suggestion to take a novice up. It's a great route, but as has been pointed out the approach is a bit non-trivial, and it's a traverse without an overabundance of gear.

I didn't think that the entry to the final chimney on Flying Buttress was markedly less awkward than the one on Milestone Buttress Direct. I seem to recall you can avoid the latter by scrambling round to the right, so I don't know why you'd abseil from below it.

Oh, and as pleasant as Symphony Crack is, it's quite a long way to drive for 10m of climbing, and the approach scramble/traverse is fairly exposed.

What about that big Diff in Cwm Silyn. Outside Edge Route? Never been there, but it's meant to be a good day out.
alooker - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: wrinkle isn't well protected and has a fair bit of suspect rock for such a popular route. I know it's not in the pass but amphitheatre buttress is fantastic and a popular route for novices.
highclimber - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Wrinkle is a sandbag at VD. Flying butress all the way!
Postmanpat on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to alooker:
> (In reply to puppythedog) wrinkle isn't well protected and has a fair bit of suspect rock for such a popular route. I know it's not in the pass but amphitheatre buttress is fantastic and a popular route for novices.
>
With respect, if the OP is prepared to drive and wants something straightforward there are a million things more accessible and lots of fun in Ogwen.

GridNorth - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Not sure why the quality of the protection is such an issue as long as there are no long traverses. With a novice in tow you are in any case, to all intents and purposes, soloing.
Rog Wilko on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: If you want a real long mountain day the best choice would be something on east face of Tryfan. Enjoyable walk-in, great climbing, finish on a fabulous summit and a superb descent via south ridge . The forecast is great this w/e so will be busy, especially Grooved Arete which seems to attract the incompetent who generate long queues. North Buttress Route (hard start) seems quiet, or Gashed Crag and Pinnacle Rib are (I think) less likely to be busy than GA.
If you decide to do this I would definitely recommend you buy the superb 2010 CC Owen guide. This is the first edition which makes it possible for the newcomer to readily locate the routes on East Face. One last tip - DON'T trust the initials carved on the rock which purport to show the start of routes.
Hope it's a day to remember for both!
Rog
puppythedog on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to GridNorth: That's my attitude towards our day's climbing. I will be treating my end of the stick as if I am solo'ing.

For everone else, I am prepared to drive and prepared to buy more guidebooks (such a shame) but it's easier for me if I do not have to.
Rog Wilko on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko: That's Ogwen guide, of course. Bl***y auto correct.
puppythedog on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko: Thank you.
Darron - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Just so you are aware:
Wrinkle is not very well protected and feels hard for V Diff.
Symphony crack is great but getting to the meat of the route involves a slightly downward traverse which is quite likely to scare the living daylights out of a beginner/someone new to sea cliffs.

Actually, I think Ogwen is the best suggestion.
alooker - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: I assumed accessibility wasn't an issue, it's hardly a long approach (1h20 maybe) and it all adds to the adventure that I for one loved when I was starting out, and still do! If it's this weekend AB may have fewer people on it than some of the routes in Ogwen, which will be rammed if the forecasts are even remotely accurate!
Jim Walton on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog: i would recommend taking her to Milestone Buttress and Doing Pulpit Route and Rowan Route. Good big stances, bomber gear. Great for a beginner. The descent is either an easy lower down the steep bit at the start of Little gully or a protected ab followed by a walk off. Easy day for a lady..
Gordon Stainforth - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

I was taken up Spiral Stairs as my second route as a novice - having done Flying Buttress in the morning. I remember it being thrilling, and yes, not brilliantly protected for the second (though OK where you needed it); but then, the majority of routes were like that in those days anyway. I still think it's a good suggestion. If Flying Buttress goes well, and only if, you then take the novice up SS. Makes for a great first day on a mountain crag.
johnmctighe - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to puppythedog:
Did Flying Buttress on Sunday - definitely one of the best VDiffs I've ever been up. The climbing is steep but with loads of jugs and an almost infinite variety of gear placements, there's even a lovely thread at the start of the upper traverse. The final chimney is a little polished but if you jam your left knee and don't mind dropping your right hand in the wet puddly hold its fine. Also 2nd the point about the walk off being straightforward.

One word of warning though - its very easy to run out pitches 3 & 4 together but I wouldn't recommend it with a novice as she'd be out of sight on the traverse - better to wait and then you can talk her through it.

If you have another day then I would also recommend Amphitheatre Buttress over in Ogwn - another cracking route - possibly a little trickier than FB.
Enjoy!
Rob Naylor - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> +1
>
> Although I'd add that the approach to the start of Spiral Stairs requires a bit of care, particularly for a novice.

That's why I didn't mention it. Took a novice up there a while back and he was gripped.
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
>
>
> I was taken up Spiral Stairs as my second route as a novice - having done Flying Buttress in the morning. I remember it being thrilling, and yes, not brilliantly protected for the second (though OK where you needed it); but then, the majority of routes were like that in those days anyway. I still think it's a good suggestion. If Flying Buttress goes well, and only if, you then take the novice up SS. Makes for a great first day on a mountain crag.

The Cromlech a mountain crag? How times change eh Gordon?


Chris

;-)
Rob Naylor - on 04 Jul 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> I didn't think that the entry to the final chimney on Flying Buttress was markedly less awkward than the one on Milestone Buttress Direct. I seem to recall you can avoid the latter by scrambling round to the right, so I don't know why you'd abseil from below it.

I've done both several times and I find the FB final pitch *much* more friendly than MBD.

> What about that big Diff in Cwm Silyn. Outside Edge Route? Never been there, but it's meant to be a good day out.

Outside Edge Route is lovely in the grade, but a bit far from Llanberis pPass, awkward parking (last time I was there) and a somewhat longer walk in.

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