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Good VDiff in Wales to take a novice up?

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Want to take a newbie out on a mountain adventure next week in Snowdonia. Had originally planned to do Outside Edge Route (VD) but it seems to have been devastated by rockfall and hence is not a good choice anymore!

Preferably not on Tryfan as I plan to take same party up the North Ridge on another day, so would be good to do a different mountain. Classic Rock ticks an added bonus, but must be suitable for somebody with limited experience to second (so not Spiral Stairs). 
 

cheers 

 Greenbanks 03 Jun 2021
 Trangia 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> Want to take a newbie out on a mountain adventure next week in Snowdonia. Had originally planned to do Outside Edge Route (VD) but it seems to have been devastated by rockfall and hence is not a good choice anymore!

> Preferably not on Tryfan as I plan to take same party up the North Ridge on another day, so would be good to do a different mountain. Classic Rock ticks an added bonus, but must be suitable for somebody with limited experience to second (so not Spiral Stairs). 

>  

> cheers 

Amphitheatre Buttress

Flying Buttress

Spiral Stairs

are all good for a fit newbie, and are good adventurous routes, and of similar technical difficulty and exposure to Outside Edge. I often used to take newbies on them, and they provide a great introduction to the joys of multi pitch Classics. Particularly the first, Amphitheatre Buttress, which is a real mountain adventure route.

In reply to Paul Sagar:

Spiral Stairs and Flying Buttress are obvious choices - the climbing is simultaneously really fun and spectacularly-situated, and low-stress.

 Tony Buckley 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

If not Spiral Stairs, and I can understand why not, then you'll probably rule out Amphitheatre Buttress too.  Similarly, anything with an awkward descent, so possibly not on the Idwal Slabs or Milestone Buttress.

So how about Slick (VD)?  You can see your second all the while, it's not an awkward descent, it's going to be less busy than central Snowdonia but still gives a feeling of having accomplished something.  You could follow up with Chic (VD) at a similar standard too.

T.

Post edited at 13:29
 Myfyr Tomos 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Tony Buckley:

Agree with Slick and other routes on Clogwyn yr Oen. For a full mountain day, try Table Direct and the Cyfrwy Arete on Cadair Idris.

 PaulJepson 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

For a less mountainous feel, Hail Bebe (VD) is really friendly. 

 Offwidth 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Have you considered linking something on the west face of Milestone Buttress into the North Ridge ascent. All the belays have a scramble bail out if anything goes wrong and there is fun discontinuous scrambling up to the North Ridge. I ask as I don't know what the situation with your partner's experience is. I've had to deal with someone 'freaking out' on their first multi-pitch, despite keeness for a big route and single pitch experience, and it's no fun to deal with. I've watched many similar situations, which can be a real problem for many subsequent parties on say a long East Face classic, where too few know the many escapes (which I used but where others got benighted and there were night rescues and hypothermia). I'd always recommend shorter multi-pitch, which the leader is competent enough to solo up and down, with scramble escapes from belays, easier descents and preferably no crowds (on Milestone you can aways pick and mix low grade pitches between the popular climbs to avoid any queues and walk the long way off the back). 

In reply to Tony Buckley:

Thanks those are excellent suggestions!

In reply to Offwidth:

thanks - my worry with Milestone is polish + bit sandbaggy in my experience  

If not the Moelwyns then maybe Cneifion Arete (D)

I’m comfortable soloing up to severe no problem but just want to make sure we aren’t in a “oh dear they are really freaking out” situation whilst still having a big mountain adventure. They did VDiff single pitches at Reiff, and Shepherd’s Crag in the lakes, last year no problem but mountain exposure all day is another story

Post edited at 14:27
 C Witter 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Why not try Sub-Cneifion Rib (VD) and then, if that goes well, something on the slabs? If they're nervous, then Rowan Route (D) and/or Pulpit without the Ivy Chimney finish (which are very straight forward - unlike Direct Route) on Milestone then walk up and over to Tryfan Bach? Advantage of these crags is the plethora of things to do at a similar grade. Awkward descents just need a bit of thought.

In reply to Paul Sagar:

> If not the Moelwyns then maybe Cneifion Arete (D)

On a rainy day a couple of weeks ago my partner and I did a grade-2 scramble up Idwal to the Cneifion Arete, followed by Dolmen Ridge (Grade-3). A great day out, and for a "scramble" the Dolmen Ridge in particular had some pretty amazing exposure and even what seemed to me like proper (albeit easy, even in big boots) climbing. More exciting than any VDiff I've done.

Post edited at 15:39
 wercat 03 Jun 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

I would recommend Flying Butress but low-stress?  It was my first proper climb (2nd actual as the first was Seamstress in crappy trainers as I had no boots, the day before).  I was given the "gen" by my leader and told how to belay, calls etc and then off we went.

During the Final pitch the leader anounced she was probably going to fall off the final pitch.  I was sat on what seemed like  a small ledge very high up and wondering what it would be like for her to fall and then for me to belay as she fell right off the cliff (in my mind, far falling far below, as I hadn't in my mind quite got how protection actually worked, having had to take an awful lot in.  I hadn't realised that on my first climb up high I'd be responsible for the life of the leader!  Still, stiff upper lip and all that ...)

Well she fell and I held her and it was a lot less dramatic than I'd feared, sitting quietly while waiting for the fall.

Great experience, but stress free for me?  No, definitely not,but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

I went walking and exploring on my own the next day and discovered Crib Goch by accident which was wonderful.

Post edited at 16:27
In reply to wercat:

Yep I’ve done Flying Buttress before and it’s great, just slightly nervous about the one down climb, as I had a mini almost disaster assuming my girlfriend could downclimb [actually quite a hard move!], in the Bregaglia, which ended with us both not on the belay at the same time. (She still hates downclimbs because of that. To be fair she took a factor 2...)

In reply to C Witter:

Yep I was thinking Sub-C also. Idwal Slabs proper a bit too committing and awkward descent as I’d need to lower him off (and there is the sketchy scramble up). 

Good to know Pulpit Route is milder than Direct Route on Milestone, as that one I found savage at the grade!

 PaulJepson 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Did you take the belay in the gap? I think there are quite a few pinnacles/rock spikes you could back-rope them down into the gap on and then solo back up to get your sling once they were safe at the anchor. I did it in the rain and I'm a wuss and don't remember it being bad. It's only a very short downclimb like tower-gap. 

 C Witter 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> Yep I was thinking Sub-C also. Idwal Slabs proper a bit too committing and awkward descent as I’d need to lower him off (and there is the sketchy scramble up). 

> Good to know Pulpit Route is milder than Direct Route on Milestone, as that one I found savage at the grade!


Best thing to do on the Slabs is keep going, rather than lower off/scramble down. A couple of hours up 6 pitches and then you can walk back down a pleasant way or continue to Cneifion Arete. If they've managed ok on Little Cham and Reiff's sandstone then they might enjoy it! Lazarus can be done in a oner with care. But, Sub-Cneifion Rib is a nice route.

Post edited at 17:24
 Greenbanks 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Another one, close by, is Pinnacle Ridge Route (https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/craig_braich_ty_du_pen_yr_ole_wen-525/pinnacle_ridge_route-38373).

Advantages of being close to the road, not over-crowded and safe climbing with an airy feel.

 Tigger 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

We did Ordinary route up Idwall yesterday, then into Cneifion Arete before finishing up Shark Buttress and a traverse onto Dolomen Ridge on Glyder Fach. It made for a good day out tbh, though the step round on Shark buttress feels a little out there for a 3s scramble tbh.

 kaiser 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Bilberry Terrace on Lliwedd?

'mountain adventure' pretty much guaranteed I would say.

Post edited at 20:35
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Cheers all, many useful suggestions. 

 CurlyStevo 03 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

How about something like Left Edge route VD on little tryfan then go up to a Diff or Mod on Tryfan East face with easier climbing but more exposure? You could probably do all the climbing in 5 pitches or so. Afterall Tryfan is a big mountain!"

Post edited at 23:32
 Mark Haward 04 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

A lovely day can be had by combining a route on Clogwyn Y Tarw ( lots of choices ), walk across to Sub Cneifion Rib, then possibly on to Cneifion Arete or drop down to Idwal Slabs. The scramble up from the Slabs is straightforward and easily protected ( as long as you know / find the way ) but instead of taking the usual descent you can just continue scrambling up with the option of Cneifion Arete again. After Cneifion Arete there is a lovely scramble up to the Glyder summits if you are still keen.

   The Moelwyns are an excellent suggestion, usually quieter and you can always finish with a walk up to one of the peaks afterwards. 

In reply to Paul Sagar:

My apologies; I missed the last sentence of your original post.

In reply to wercat:

The climbing is low-stress (in my humble opinion, of course): it's festooned with massive jugs almost everywhere you put your hands, minus the final chimney. Assuming that Paul doesn't plan on falling off of it (and it appears he has a fair few grades in hand), then the actual climbing should be absolutely fine for a novice. Again, minus the chimney and from memory, there are no weird or perplexing moves on it - it's all very straightforward.

As contrasted against, say, Milestone's Direct Route at the same grade.

 Cornish boy 04 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

I took a novice up Left Edge (VD) on Carnedd y Filiast and he loved it. Reckon it’s a really good shout for what you are looking for. It’s adventurous and certainly has a mountain feel about it. 

It’s unlikely to be busy too, which is a bonus in the Ogwen area in June. 

Post edited at 11:10
 brianjcooper 04 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Also in the Ogwen valley. Pinnacle Ridge Route on Braich Ty Du. VD 2 stars.

How's the ankle now?

 Offwidth 04 Jun 2021
In reply to brianjcooper:

Sadly that's a bad route for a novice these days. Scrappy, much looser than it was and traversy. Left Edge is very good but there is some loose stuff at the easier top slabs so needs a bit of care with rope work.

 brianjcooper 04 Jun 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> Sadly that's a bad route for a novice these days. Scrappy, much looser than it was and traversy. Left Edge is very good but there is some loose stuff at the easier top slabs so needs a bit of care with rope work.

Damn!  Wales is falling to pieces. Thanks for the update though.

 wercat 04 Jun 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

all very fair points - I just thought I'd say what can happen to a first timer (as I had no idea how hard it would be for me to cope with the climbing or the exposures involved I definitely felt some stress in the idea of the climbing, novel and unfamiliar workload apart .. it turned out all right in the end anyway and wasn't too hard, despite the "emergency" on the last pitch.

I took my future wife up it years later and she wasn't impressed when it started to rain - she hadn't expected that.

Post edited at 12:57
In reply to PaulJepson:

> For a less mountainous feel, Hail Bebe (VD) is really friendly. 

Horrible first pitch would put off any novice.

In reply to Rog Wilko:

Hail Bebe is a poor route, except for the very top.

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

We got tired of it and abbed off upon reaching the hopelessly overgrown second half of pitch 2 traverse. You mean we should have persisted?

In reply to Rog Wilko:

Probably not. I have a very vague memory of a finally positioned finish, but nothing else because it's so poor compared with all the other great routes near it.

The No.1 V.Diff to take beginners up (as I was in 1967) is Flying Buttress. If that goes well, and the beginner handles the exposure OK, then you take them up Spiral Stairs - easier, but more daunting for the second. But a superb 'double bill'.

Both are comparable/easier than? the almost-as-exposed Outside Edge.

Post edited at 14:43
In reply to Tony Buckley:

I think the Moelwyn suggestions are spot on for the purpose. Nice easy walk-in, great rock, plenty of routes to go at, easy to avoid scary traverses, generally good stances, interesting but safe descent, lovely views. There are very good reasons why PYB use these routes for their learning to lead courses.

 Tom Loughlin 05 Jun 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Just wanted to concur with the Moelwyns in general as a great venue and also chip in that the original Kirkus’ route (round the corner to the left from the more frequently climbed Kirkus’ Direct) on yr Oen is a really charming route at VDiff - starts up a corner/ chimney and avoids the 4a climbing through clever route finding. If your second finds it straightforward then the direct (at severe) is then an even finer way of exploring a slightly different aspect to the same crag. Enjoy! 

 jezb1 05 Jun 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

It's best climbed by skirting around the beginning and nipping up the Striptease gully, then you get a couple of lovely pitches

Post edited at 18:37
 PaulJepson 05 Jun 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

The first pitch is weird and the second pitch is a sideways walk. Everything after that is really good and the top pitch on the flake is great.

 Greenbanks 06 Jun 2021
In reply to jezb1:

> It's best climbed by skirting around the beginning and nipping up the Striptease gully, then you get a couple of lovely pitches

Yes, I did finally work this out but had wasted so much time and effort by then that we packed up for the day!

 Darron 07 Jun 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

I’d go with the Moelwyn suggestions. Consider Bramble Buttress (VD) as an option if the mountain weather is poor.


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