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Will be in North Wales for two weeks in May and am unbelievably excited about it. Looking to do a bit of everything (cragging, longer mountain routes, the odd hike/scramble) and have a few questions...

For A Dream of White Horses (HVS 4c), is it worth waiting for low tide to do it from the bottom, or is the high-tide start good enough? And how scary would it be for a second (my lovely fiancée) who is generally very good technically but less good at pumpy/powerful stuff? (She does know how to prussik, though of course we'd like to avoid that.)

For mountain routes — Dinas Mot, Idwal, Cyrn Las, Glyder Fach, and perhaps most of all, Cloggy — how much of a dry spell do they need to come into condition? Any particular recommendations at Cloggy? I'm very comfortable leading VS, getting used to thuggy HVS cracks, breaking into E1, coming from a longer background sport climbing (usually onsight 6b+, maybe a little lower now after the long lockdown).

Also wondering about longer, slightly easier linkups. Like from Tennis Shoe (HS 4b) — what's a fun way to continue on to the summit of Glyder Fawr? Was thinking maybe walk right to Holly Tree Wall, and then...? Grey Slab and Grey Arete sound a bit heady. 

At Lliwedd, is Avalanche/Red Wall/Londland's Continuation (https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/y_lliwedd-1214/avalanchered_walllonglands-29152) worthwhile? How about Grooved Arête (HVD 4a) at Tryfan? And are there any good scrambles that can be done (safely) without gear? 

Naturally we'll hit Tremadog too, when it's rainy in the mountains... and I've also got my eye on Cemetery Gates and Cenotaph Corner at Dinas Cromlech... Two weeks is already seeming woefully insufficient!

Post edited at 11:11
In reply to alex505c:

Dream...   is famous because it is so outrageously exposed and intimidating. I'd not recommend getting anyone to second it unless they could lead it. (Unless they are madly adventurous).  Either start is fine.

 ianstevens 29 Apr 2021
In reply to alex505c:

> Will be in North Wales for two weeks in May and am unbelievably excited about it. Looking to do a bit of everything (cragging, longer mountain routes, the odd hike/scramble) and have a few questions...

> For A Dream of White Horses (HVS 4c), is it worth waiting for low tide to do it from the bottom, or is the high-tide start good enough? And how scary would it be for a second (my lovely fiancée) who is generally very good technically but less good at pumpy/powerful stuff? (She does know how to prussik, though of course we'd like to avoid that.)

It's not that powerful nor pumpy - loads of no hands rests. It looks steep rather than is steep - that's the glory of that line. Worth doing the low start IMO, adds to the fun.

> For mountain routes — Dinas Mot, Idwal, Cyrn Las, Glyder Fach, and perhaps most of all, Cloggy — how much of a dry spell do they need to come into condition? Any particular recommendations at Cloggy? I'm very comfortable leading VS, getting used to thuggy HVS cracks, breaking into E1, coming from a longer background sport climbing (usually onsight 6b+, maybe a little lower now after the long lockdown).

Cloggy gets good at HVS and up, plus will feel intimidating on your first trip. Great - Bow Combination (HVS 5a) is my favourite at that grade there - not too thuggy IIRC. The nose on Dinas Mot dries fast, like <=1 day fast, as does Idwal, unless you're thinking of going to the more esoteric bits. Personally I'd give Cyrn Las/Glyder Fach/Cloggy a few days to dry out - but that said they are very dry atm thanks to the prolonged dry spell, so this could be a little quicker (but also it did snow at the top of Yr Wyddfa a few days back...). Personally (and I know this will be unpopular) I divide what are essentially roadside crags like Dinas Mot and the Cromlech from the higher crags like Cloggy - conditions are often a bit different.

> Also wondering about longer, slightly easier linkups. Like from Tennis Shoe (HS 4b) — what's a fun way to continue on to the summit of Glyder Fawr? Was thinking maybe walk right to Holly Tree Wall, and then...? Grey Slab and Grey Arete sound a bit heady. 

All the way up the slabs (Holly Tree wall and the continuations above), then into Cwm Cneifon for the Arete. The grey area involves a sideways trip across the hill anyway so isn't essential for the link up. Can also swap the Arete for Manx Wall (HS 4b) if you want, but the Arete is excellent. Go down Y Gribin too to add a little scrambling on your day. 

> At Lliwedd, is Avalanche/Red Wall/Londland's Continuation (https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/y_lliwedd-1214/avalanchered_walllonglands-29152) worthwhile? How about Grooved Arête (HVD 4a) at Tryfan? And are there any good scrambles that can be done (safely) without gear? 

IMO Grooved Arete is overrated. Nice for a day out which is mainly a hard scramble. Belle Vue Bastion (VS 4c) is the best rock climb on Tryfan IMO, and you have do a big chunk of one of the easier ones to get to it. Never done Avalanche etc, but have done Terminator which was terrifying and covered in grot. Took all day too. Great stuff. If A/RW/L is as grubby/insecure prepare for a long day! 

> Naturally we'll hit Tremadog too, when it's rainy in the mountains... and I've also got my eye on Cemetery Gates and Cenotaph Corner at Dinas Cromlech... Two weeks is already seeming woefully insufficient!

I lived in Wales for 10 years and that wasn't enough... 

Post edited at 11:46
 profitofdoom 29 Apr 2021
In reply to alex505c:

> ....For A Dream of White Horses (HVS 4c), is it worth waiting for low tide to do it from the bottom, or is the high-tide start good enough? And how scary would it be for a second (my lovely fiancée) who is generally very good technically but less good at pumpy/powerful stuff? (She does know how to prussik, though of course we'd like to avoid that.)....

In my opinion there's no need to wait for low tide for A Dream of White Horses (HVS 4c) - either start is fine. But I've done it twice and it's a serious route in a serious setting. IN MY OPINION both leader and second should be experienced and confident HVS leaders before trying it

 Martin Bennett 29 Apr 2021
In reply to alex505c:

Regarding A Dream of White Horses I'd do the whole thing because - well, you have to eh, irrespective of its worth - 'because it's there"! We did first time I did it but it was so long ago I can't recall the nature of the first pitch, sorry. Done it from the ledges each time since and it's a great route that way too. The top pitch is not difficult but appears outrageous and needs a steady second,

If you like thuggy HVS cracks you could follow tradition and start with Piggott's on Cloggy. I don't but it was our first route on Cloggy and I didn't like it for that reason. Longland's now, our next - much nicer, as is Sheaf. Other VSs not to be missed include Curving Crack and Great-Bow Combo. In my memory Cloggy is not well endowed with HVS of quality, the exception perhaps being The Corner (which might be HVS but it feels there's a lot of it!) but has very many great E1s and E2s. And yes - a dry spell is desirable.

Your Ogwen link-up is to be highly recommended whichever individual routes you feel up to. We started early and extended it to include Clogwyn Du - a high point in more ways than one.

Both your big mountain routes are fabulous though in my view the last 20 feet on Lliwedd - the Red Wall bit - is not Severe due to absence of gear. I let 50 years of my climbing career go by before getting around to Grooved Arete having not realised how very very good it is, despite a couple of rambly bits.

Have a great holiday - envious that you have all this before you.

In reply to ianstevens:

>Belle Vue Bastion (VS 4c) is the best rock climb on Tryfan IMO, and you have do a big chunk of one of the easier ones to get to it.

You don't have to do a chunk of the easier routes below to get to BVB. I remember that when I did it (mid-70s) we did Munich Climb first, then traversed quickly over the summit, descended north gully a little way and then traversed easily onto the terrace below BVB. It made a satisfying day.

 gravy 29 Apr 2021
In reply to alex505c:

North Wales beta: have a back up plan in case of weather - loads of great stuff to do.

DoWH - it's all easy apart from mild technical moments on pitch 3 (assuming 4 pitches) and a mildly challenging belay before the last pitch.

The last pitch _looks_ impossible from pitches 1-3 and remains looking impossible _until_ you are actually climbing it when it unfolds and reveals itself as you climb.  Just starting is a leap of faith - that's part of it's beauty.  You need to trust that it is never hard.

It's much easier if you climb confidently and boldly.  Being scared and trying to hug the contours or avoid the exposure makes it much harder! big moves and big jugs above the void are the name of the game.

The leader can help by lacing it with easy to remove gear - it's easy to forget to do this when you're having fun aping from jug to jug above the seals though. Don't place fiddly stuff there's plenty of "easy to remove" bits. Also take long extenders / slings.

Bear in mind that the leader cannot see or speak to the 2nd for most of the last pitch.  That adds to the experience. If that's a worry you need a 3rd person stood on the opposite side of the zawn who will have a good view of you both.

So it's all attitude, done scared it gets harder, pumpier and scarier.  Done boldly it's fab and easy...

Don't stress over the tides and pitch 1 go when it suits you. Add in time to your plan for finding and arranging the abseil and sitting on the top.  Not one to do in a rush (at least the first time).

There are some great VSs to the left of Dina Cromlech - I can't recall their names but they'll lead a favourable impression and have some very varied styles.

 kevin stephens 29 Apr 2021
In reply to alex505c:

Two tips on DOWH

Don't queue in the morning, wait until well into the afternoon when the sun gets on to it and most of the crowds have gone

Britomartis nearby is an excellent route to prepare for DOWH in a slightly less exposed position

If you've not climbed on Gogarth before the feel of the rock can take a little getting used to, particularly if its a little damp (soapy feel) before the sun burns off over night condensation

 Martin Bennett 29 Apr 2021
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Two tips on DOWH

> Don't queue in the morning, wait until well into the afternoon when the sun gets on to it and most of the crowds have gone

> Britomartis nearby is an excellent route to prepare for DOWH in a slightly less exposed position

Excellent recommendations Kev. Last time I did A Dream of White Horses was with Terry when we started at about 6.00pm on a sunny Sunday evening with not a soul around. Fabulous. And if, as we did in 1973, they go to the top of the Britomartis to look at Wen Slab before climbing it they'll get the best impression of the cliff.

 ianstevens 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> >Belle Vue Bastion (VS 4c) is the best rock climb on Tryfan IMO, and you have do a big chunk of one of the easier ones to get to it.

> You don't have to do a chunk of the easier routes below to get to BVB. I remember that when I did it (mid-70s) we did Munich Climb first, then traversed quickly over the summit, descended north gully a little way and then traversed easily onto the terrace below BVB. It made a satisfying day.

Ah nice combo - I was clearly not thinking laterally enough! 

 ianstevens 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Martin Bennett:

And to add - just because Britomatis is <60m in the guide and you have 60m ropes and the midway belay looks a bit uncomfortable... don’t do it as a single pitch.

 Al Randall 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Martin Bennett:

EWD and DP gave us the description of DOWH the week they did it. They were on a bit of a high with their ascent.  We went down the following weekend with the description literally written on the back of a fag packet.  We bottled out at the sight of the last pitch and finished up Wen, not willing to believe it was as easy as they said.  I did manage to get back on it a few weeks later after it had had a couple of ascents and reassurances that it was in fact OK.

Al

In reply to Martin Bennett:

> go to the top of Britomartis to look at Wen Slab before climbing it they'll get the best impression of the cliff.

If it's a nice sunny day, then Wen Slab looks great. If it's a grey clag day, Wen Slab looks well scary, run away type scary 😁

 Pedro50 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Al Randall:

It would be a shame to miss the first pitch of DoWH it's basically a sublime VS romp on good holds and mandatory if you want the tick. 

I'm a complete hypocrite BTW we missed out the first summit on the Cuillin Ridge but I still tell people that I've "done it". 

Post edited at 20:58
 Martin Bennett 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> If it's a nice sunny day, then Wen Slab looks great. If it's a grey clag day, Wen Slab looks well scary, run away type scary 😁

It WAS a nice sunny day, in 1973, and we would have run away since it looked smooth and steep and impossible. Then we watched a bloke ab down and start walking about and realised the scale, the angle and that he must be on a big ledge. Phew! Of course our dose of intimidation was not yet over - next came the traverse across the top and descent to the abseil point.

Many thanks everyone! All very helpful. I think my partner will be up to the apparently largely mental challenges of DOWH as the climbing sounds very much her style, though we’ll probably do Britomartis first to get a feel for the rock — good tip. She managed to second (and lead easier pitches of) Diocese (VS 5a) — can’t be much harder than that, right? 

(P.S. What’s with the downvotes? Mystifying.)

Post edited at 08:12
 kevin stephens 30 Apr 2021
In reply to alex505c:

The traverse on Diocese has more runners to protect the second, (provided they are tall enough to reach up to cams under the roof). The traverse pitches on the slab of DOWH are less protected so will feel more serious for the second.  The final pitch of DOWH has a committing step down at the start so will be more serious for the second than the leader, this can be overcome by leaving a runner and back rope, the runner will be gleefully scooped up by the next party on the route.

In reply to alex505c:

Unless holds have changed significantly since I did DOWH many moons ago, there's no move that's technically as hard as Diocese (cue for disagreements), but it's a lot more 3d complex climbing and as others have said, more intimidating.

Please do post up what you actually do on your trip and how you (and fiancee) found the various routes you did.

Edit: and Belle View Bastion is well worth doing.

Post edited at 09:00
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Please do post up what you actually do on your trip and how you (and fiancee) found the various routes you did.

Will do!

 C Witter 30 Apr 2021
In reply to alex505c:

Day 1 - Idwal: Tennis Shoe (HS); Original Route (VS); Continuation Crack (HVS) or Groove Above (S 4b). Scramble up Cneifion Arete and head down for a swim in Llyn Idwal.

Day 2 - The Pass: Direct Route VS 5b (?!) on Dinas Mot, Slow Ledge Route (VS 4b), Main Wall (HS), Cyrn Las (OR: after Direct Route, ab for The Cracks or Diagonal). Time for a well-deserved pint and hot food at the Bryn Tyrch Inn.

Day 3 - Gogarth: Lighthouse Arete (VS), South Stack; then Rap or cragging on Holyhead.

Milestone Buttress Superdirect (HVS) is also excellent and highly recommended; easy to squeeze in as it's 25 mins walk from the campsite.

Three good days sorted

Post edited at 11:32
In reply to C Witter:

Wonderful — thanks! 


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