Snakes & Ladders Dinorwic Quarry advice

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Hi all,

Off to Llamberis for a few days this week and one of the days as something abit different we were looking at giving Snakes and Ladders - California (HVS 5a) a go, 

my question is are we better to almost Via Farrata it by using a sling girth hitched with 2 ends and a Screw / snap gate on each end (if that makes sense), and just fetch a rope for the Abseil also how long is the abseil as we have 50m halves but would be lighter and easier to fetch 1 of them and double it. Or to “lead” in the traditional way and belay the seconds up (which seems abit of a faf).

We have got the online guide on Dave Talbots website but any other advice about it welcome.

as always thanks in advance.


Edited to ask about abseil length

Post edited at 15:18
 jkarran 09 May 2022
In reply to Kryank:

Isn't the ab down to get to Mordor 20+m or did I not follow the official route? Just use the rope and a few slings for protection if you have it with you anyway, used carefully (not using the same feature for progress and protection) it could easily save your life if an old ladder fails.


In reply to Kryank:

> my question is are we better to almost Via Farrata it by using a sling girth hitched with 2 ends and a Screw / snap gate on each end (if that makes sense)

Do it this way only if you don't value your spine 

 Andrew Wilson 09 May 2022
In reply to Kryank:

It’s probably worth judging each “feature” on its merits for yourself. I soloed all of the climbs and used a single 50 for the abs. 

The chain could be clipped directly with big Boa krabs otherwise you’d need to thread it with slingdraws as pro if you lead it. 

I personally would not do it via ferrata style as apart from falling rock, the collapse of the thing you were attached to would be the next most likely hazard. 

When I did it there was a group of tiny goats skittering around the top of Mordor which was quite cute and also a bit eerie and weird. 


Post edited at 16:16
In reply to Andrew Wilson:

Thanks for the advice, so the abseil is shorter than 25m? And the 50 m will be fine?

In reply to Kryank:

Andrew Wilson has some good advice. I'm not sure this compares to a "real" via Ferrata as you aren't clipped to cables.

DMM big Boa screwgate (fitting name) will clip, petzl William (screwgate) will clip the "Snake", but a standard edelrid HMS screwgate won't clip most of the chain links (in my experience). Threading slings can be done but is slower. The snake is the only consideration for which krabs, otherwise it's just whatever. The snake is pretty much spot on 20m ground to tunnel floor, the little ab after that is 10 or 15m or something

You then have a slight squeeze between boulders and a short tunnel into Tasmania (bottom of Australia) and a route choice, either way the ladders in this section the leader clipping them can be debated if that improves safety. If you are confident with ladders it should be good, nervous seconds can be roped if needed but I think for the majority of people that is not required (maybe the great ladder of mordor though?)  Don't think that this is something you will traditionally lead in pitches, consider it more as a very hazardous "walk" so don't show up with 2x50m ropes 100 locking krabs 2 sets of friends and 50 slings. If you are nervous about the 50m rope length (Edit i.e. 25m abseil to lost World), consider bringing a 10 or 20m bit of string as well, but don't think you'll need it.

Dave talbot's guide is great but the end section may be out of date, where the bridge of death used to be, I advise you *don't* traverse the loose and dangerous gully but instead head upwards using the pipe/chains past the tower thing and up to the next level, then you traverse right (South East) and you can down the incline from there as per previous route description

Be careful! and you'll be OK

Post edited at 16:51
 danprince 09 May 2022
In reply to Kryank:

If you haven't done it before, I would recommend leading the chain as though it was a climb. I lead it the first time, soloed it easily the second, then gave myself the willies by soloing it again after losing a lot of strength during lockdown. Some types of draws will go into the links, but take a few slings in case. There are also spikes you can sling halfway up.

I've done the abseils on a 50m before. I think you end up being a little bit short, but within easy scrambling terrain. I've also just downclimbed the second abseil before too.

Going down to the bottom of Mordor is optional, haven't ever done that section. If you wanted to abseil (I would, looking at the quality of the ladders) you might need a longer rope.

As for the rest of the route, I haven't ever used any gear. Trying to do it via-ferrata style would be pretty awkward, but if you're out with nervous types, they might appreciate being able to clip into something on the wobbly ladder transfer.

In reply to Kryank:

As always thanks for the advice, it’s just what I was after. 

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