Ysgolion Duon (Black Ladders)

Climbs 38 – Rocktype Rhyolite – Altitude 700m a.s.l – Faces N

Crag features
Remote cliff with tedious approaches from any direction. Long mountaineering type routes. Climbers may wish to consider carrying pegs and hammers - some stances are hard to protect, and in-situ pegs may have rusted away. Difficult route-finding, and descent almost always hard and eventful. North-facing, almost always wet. Not the place for those seeking safe 'sport' climbing.

Routes to 250 metres.

Access notes
'Easiest', as in least strenuous, approach from Gerlan (SH634665), above Bethesda. A narrow surfaced road leads to the uppermost bridge over Afon Llafar to Ty-slatters and the water treatment works, here is the start of the path. However, getting to this point involves some tricky navigation.

On entering Bethesda from the Ogwen Valley take the first turning on the right (SH626660); this is Braichmelyn. Continue along the road and over a bridge, then go steeply leftwards to a junction. Turn sharply right and continue along a narrow road to aPost Office and chapel; park here.

Walk along the farmland to where the road drops down to a small bridge over Afon Caseg. It then rises back up to reach a fork. Take the right hand path to reach the bridge over Afon Llafar. Cross this and then bear left to reach the water treatment works. A stile immediately right of the cates takes one around the water treatment works to a ruined farm and an ancient trackway leading over an ancient bridge to a stile. Marshy anclosures give access to open moorland and the mouth of the Cwm Llafar valley where a better track is attained. This follows the SW bank of the Afon Llafar to a point Beyond Llech Dhu, where it peters out alltogether. An ill-defined path then leads into the upper cwm. Boulder screes and water-logged ground provide options leading to the final steep incline.

Guidebooks
North Wales Climbs (2013), North Wales Classics (2010), Ogwen and Carneddau (1993), Welsh Winter Climbs (1988)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
 Climb nameGrade
 SUMMER ROUTES  
2Eastern RidgeM 4
3Western GullyS 2
 WINTER ROUTES  
5Eastern AreteII/III 4
6Eastern GullyIII 3 *61
7PlayschoolIII 3 7
8Pyramid GullyIV 5 **57
9Jacob's LadderV 5 *1
10Pyramid Face DirectV 6 ** 
11Pyramid ButtressIV *4
12Central GullyIII 4 **29
13The July CrisisV 5 *3
14Scimitar HillV 5 ** 
15Yr ArianrhodVI 6 ** 
16GallipoliV *17
17Hedd WynVII 6 ***3
18Tora BoraVIII 8 ***3
19AnzacVI 6 * 
20PasschendaleV *2
21Passchendale DirectV 5 **6
22FlandersVII 7 **7
23Flanders Summer LIneVII 8 **2
24Western GullyV 6 ***46
25PoppiesVI 6 *1
26Bird songVI 6 ** 
27Arctic FoxV 5 **4
28The Battle Of The BulgeVII 6 **1
29Cannon Rib, VII, 6/7VII 7 ***2
30The Polar BearVI 6 ** 
31The SommeV 5 ***6
32Post WarVI 5 * 
33Scott ReportVII 7/8 ***1
34Icefall GullyIV 4 *28
35NightfallIII 2
36Swerving The Follow ThroughIV 5 *1
37Pagan Daughter *VI 6 *1
38Sarajevo *VI 6 *1
39ATC *IV 4 *1
40Icefall Gully Left Hand *IV 4 **1
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.
Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer TonyM

USER FEEDBACKLogin as Existing User to add your comments
The walk in to this place is something else- or at least it was the way we did it! Crossing the boulder fields towards the East was a test of endurance in itself, possibly harder because of the powder snow alowing you to fall though so easliy. And we crossed similar terrain coming down on the Western end. Phew! Not for the faint hearted!
Ander - 02/Mar/04