The Triumphant Three Go For It!

© Heather Swift. Colourisation by S Horne
In this short and fun article Heather 'EB' Swift recounts a day out on the classic Welsh cliff of Lliwedd with two members of her climbing club. They climbed the popular combination of Avalanche and Red Wall / Longland's.

The Triumphant Three Go For It!

by Heather 'EB' Swift

'Today' said Joan, 'we must do something extra special'.

'Oh yes', agreed Heather, 'it's such a marvellous day we can't just do any old route. What do you think Sandy?'

Sandy harrumphed in agreement, knowing the girls had already decided. They were sat in the climbing club hut in North Wales drinking steaming mugs of tea and gazing at the bright green fields. 'Lliwedd!' he announced suddenly.

'What! What?' shouted Heather and Joan.

'We shall climb on Lliwedd' said Sandy.

'Oh how jolly' said Joan, 'I've wanted to climb there for ever and ever'.

Lliwedd  © David Dear
© David Dear, Apr 2009

Soon the three of them were out in the blazing sun, tramping along the Miners' track towards the Snowdon horseshoe. It was lovely. They headed towards a rippling blue lake and then scampered round its banks.

'Ugh it's hot!' said Joan, thinking how heavy their rucksacks were, full of ropes and equipment and things.

'It's very big', whispered Heather, secretly wondering how she would ever climb up such a large mountain.

'Humph' said Sandy.

'Avalanche! Redwall! Longland's!' he suddenly barked out, 'We start there'.

The girls looked in astonishment at the spot he'd pointed to. It looked just like every other patch of the mountain, craggy rocks and grassy ledges jumbled upon the slopes. Then in no time at all they were in harnesses and rock shoes, full of excitement and ready to start.

'Off you go Joan' said Heather, and off she went. Slithering and sliding Joan moved up the first slab. It was rather wet on Lliwedd and water was trickling down the rocks.

'Oh dear', said Heather when it was her turn 'I hope this stream goes away soon'.

Sandy said nothing.

Before long they were sat together on a bronzed rib ready to set off again. 'It's your go now darling' said Joan to Heather.

'But which way do I go?' she wailed.

'Tradition!' boomed Sandy, 'Polish! Follow!'

Heather high on Lliwedd - yippee!  © Heather Swift. Colourisation by S Horne
Heather high on Lliwedd - yippee!
© Heather Swift. Colourisation by S Horne
Heather nervously set off, feeling with her fingers for shiny patches on the rock. Up and around the rib she went, and then 'Yippee!' she was on the next ledge.

'Ripping' called Joan.

'Good' bellowed Sandy.

All morning they scrambled and climbed up the mountainside. It was very quiet and peaceful. A little breeze made the grass dance in its cracks.

Before long they were perched high above the lake on a long ledge.

'My tummy is empty' grumbled Heather.

'Oh yes, lets eat' agreed Joan. How delicious everything tasted in the fresh air.

'That really was jolly scrumptious' said Heather.

Looking up, Sandy said 'Red wall! Heather! Go!' A huge iron-red band of rock loomed above them, stretching in all directions.

'Crikey' said Joan.

With round eyes Heather moved off. Her legs were shaking. The rock was very smooth as she traversed across the wall but miraculously holds kept appearing. Suddenly there was a big gap. All the holds had disappeared!

'Oh! Help!' Heather called out weakly.

'Courage!' thundered Sandy.

'Go for it!' shouted Joan.

Heather clung on. She went red and thought 'I can do this, I can'. Heart pounding she stretched out, searching with her fingertips for something to hold. Just as she was about to slip off she latched onto a tiny crimp. With a desperate heave she was over the crux and nimbly climbing up again.

'I did it! I did it!' she shouted down.

'Topping' replied Joan.

'Very good' boomed Sandy.

Now they were passed the worst they moved very swiftly. They passed jagged rust slabs and bare brown chimneys. It was glorious to be on the hill with Snowdon sitting like a pyramid across the horseshoe. They even saw some sweet little mountain goats skipping across the cliffs.

Higher and higher they climbed. The girls felt very pleased with themselves.

'Hurry,' growled Sandy, 'Sun! Going!' The girls shot a scared glance upwards. Sandy was right. The sky was darkening.

The final dark slab of Longland's route was above them, its polished finger crack leading to the summit.

'Go on Heather, go on!' said Joan. The slab felt very exposed so high up. 'The rain is coming Heather' called Joan, 'hurry'.

With a squawk of panic Heather shot up the final section and onto the top. She was stood on the summit!

Soon Sandy and Joan were stood on the top as well.

'Spiffing! Super!' said the girls.

'Hmm' said Sandy. He gave a quiet smile.

Slowly they tramped back down the path to the lake. It was rocky and they were exhausted.

'At last, the Miners' track' said Joan. In no time at all they were back at the motor car and whizzing down to the club hut.

Hot tea was waiting.

'What an awfully decent day' said Heather.

'Yes, rather!' said Joan.

'Humph' went Sandy firmly, 'Hurrah for the Triumphant Three!'

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8 Sep, 2011
Me too!
8 Sep, 2011
8 Sep, 2011
Did you all vote your sleeping bags as warm as toast, and drink lashings of ginger beer?
8 Sep, 2011
I just read it again and enjoyed it even more than I did the first time! I'm going to write my own, but maybe leave out the scary bits.
9 Sep, 2011
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