Ice Climbing on Welsh Slate

© Ray Wood
Adam Wainwright and Graham Desroy made an unusual ascent on Llanberis slate yesterday. It was cold enough that ice had formed on The Rippled Slab at the back of Bus Stop Quarry.

Ray Wood reports at the DMM website,

"Climbing a sustained 25 metre ice pitch only a few yards from the road, with bolts for protection and a lower-off, isn't your everyday Welsh winter outing.

Sometimes we don't even notice what is right under our noses. But not Adam Wainwright. During this continuing cold spell (minus 10C around Capel Curig last night) Adam had been watching a glistening line of ice steadily thicken on The Rippled Slab at the back of Bus Stop Quarry, barely two minutes walk from the road. "

Full report with photos at

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7 Jan, 2009
out of interest, would this practice scratch the rock beneath, if the ice is thin?
7 Jan, 2009
It would but the line climbed, Virgin on the Ridiculous is now redundant as a rock climb due to the drainage streak which enabled this ice climb to happen. There were a few other ice routes done in the quarries, back in the eighties, and as climbable conditions are so unusual I don't think damage to the rock will ever be a big issue. Interestingly someone has recently bolted up a dry tooling line on a redundant overhanging wall (see the slate wiki)and the impact of that is almost less then then some 'free' routes put up!!
7 Jan, 2009
Cool. I recall Hodge Close saw some winter ascents of seepage lines. Not for the faint hearted as they were pretty run out.
7 Jan, 2009
That was, iirc the stream being rediverted down the first pitch of Sideshow. They diverted it away to allow them to climb the crack that was the first pitch then someone had the bright idea of diverting it back in the winter to form quite a chunky icefall - not sure if it still gets done.
7 Jan, 2009
I wonder how many sends the ice lines in Dukes/Robin hoods quarries have had?
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