Beginners’ Multipitch Weekend

Friday 03/07/2009 to Sunday 05/07/2009

Andy Hansler – August 2009

The weekend got to a very early (04:00hrs) and somewhat damp start as Adrian and
I charged up to Llanberis, as it was still raining, unusual for N. Wales I’ll
concede. We wandered into Pete’s Eats for a cuppa & some nourishment. This was
followed by a bit of gratuitous gear fondling action and the pitching of our
tents at the campsite.

Not all was lost as we took a decision to give Idwal slabs a go; it stopped
raining only to start again (several times). But thankfully Adrian’s optimism
scared the foul weather away as he declared something along the lines of “it’s
last bad bit before it turns good”, and it did.

We had a very nice afternoon whizzing up Ordinary Route (Diff), anything but
ordinary, a very nice route. Next we assaulted Lazarus (Severe, 4a) which saw
Adrian dispatch the 2nd pitch in fine style. This was topped with The Arête
(VDiff) some scrambling and nice walk back passing under Cneifion Arête and
dropping down the far side of the Sub-Cneifion Rib. The walk off was completed
in daylight hours and no head torches were in anyway harmed during the days
activities. We then retired in good style to the pub for some grub.

Saturday started with, you’ll never guess it, rain! Steve prepared the battle
plans and the teams were mustered. Dan & Joe got me (what crimes had they
committed in a past life) and as we didn’t ‘ave a car we yomped off down the
Llanberis pass savouring every last drop of rain.

We then spent some “quality” time sheltering under the Cromlech boulders, after
several false alarms it stopped raining long enough for us to kid ourselves it
would been fine and off we stomped and slithered up to Dinas Cromlech. After
deciding Cenotaph Corner in the wet was just so yesterday we opted for a more
challenging route… Flying Buttress in big boots, Dan didn’t seem convinced
about the big boots bit and mentioned his rock shoes at least once before
starting.

I got to the top of pitch 1, thought “arr, the rocks almost dry”, splatter,
splatter, right on cue it started to rain. Joe led the second, third and fourth
pitches. However Joe encountered a wee bit of rope drag as the fourth pitch had
”grown” to include the fifth pitch. As a special treat Dan was given the final
chimney pitch which was good to watch, as despite an earlier declaration that he
didn’t use knees, Joe and I were convinced we saw some being thrown at the route
in wild abandon, and yes it rained during this pitch as well. Once again the IMC
membership made it off the crag in daylight hours. Wow; two days running.

Sunday started with much better weather and pretty much the same teams, we headed
out to Carreg Wastad where I wasted no time in selecting a local sandbag (a
habit I’m keen to break), The Crevice (VS, 4c – guidebook grade), the first
pitch looked OK, and the guide book claims no technical grade, so we thought
this would be a pitch for Dan to lead, sometime later and several pauses for
thought Dan made it to the top; after seconding this pitch I would give it VS 4c
any day, good lead Dan. Then we got to the “strenuous chimney” apparently “folk
often get stuck here for hours”. An overhanging, squeeze- chimney with good
holds all in the wrong places, VS 4c, like ‘ell, I would guess HVS – E1, 5b/5c.
After I had retreated with the family name in tatters Joe launched himself at it
with bags of enthusiasm, but soon ground to halt. Comments like “oooohh”,
“arrrghh” and what must be a potential future IMC classic “my torso is too big”
along with a number of miscellaneous grunts and frowns.

Dan opted not to try this pitch, apparently he made this decision when my
language turned blue and, as he described it, I started to use “power grunts”.
Joe hadn’t done anything to change his mind.

Right on cue everyone else turned up to watch us being repulsed by this fiendish
Welsh route. At least Dan enjoyed the abseil so it wasn’t a total loss. And I
had the injured arm excuse to use, which I did unashamedly.

We rounded the day off with a bit of dirty bouldering which saw Joe send the
classic’s, The Ramp *** (V1 / font 5) and Ramp Central * (V2 / font 5+).

In brief a good weekend with good company and umm, good(?) weather.

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About andyh

Hardest Climbs Winter: Soloed clean onsight Central Trinity II 2 on Dec/08 Winter: Followed clean onsight Castle Ridge III on Mar/06 Winter: Alternate Leads onsight Tower Ridge IV 3 on Mar/10 Trad: Soloed clean onsight Klever VS 5b on Aug/09 Trad: Lead onsight Broken Arrow E1 5b on May/09 Trad: Toproped clean onsight Apple Arête Direct E4 5c on Sep/10 Sport: Lead onsight Booker Prize 6a+ on Oct/08 Sport: Lead clean after practice Imagination (Short) 6b+ on Nov/09 Bouldering: Bouldered clean onsight West Face Route f5+ on May/09 Alpine: Lead onsight Normal route PD- on Jul/16 Alpine: Followed clean onsight Les portes de la chapelle TD+ on Jul/06 Scrambling: Soloed clean onsight Mont Buet (North Ridge) 3 on Jul/06 Scrambling: Followed clean onsight Sentries Ridge 3S on Dec/09

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