A new member finds hazards not usually mentioned in the guidebook
Well my friend, allow me to contradict you, for I have been in the presence of
dragons and I know them to be alive and as fearsome as ever. What is more I know
where they live; on Carreg Wastad, the eastern wall of the Llanberis Pass, in a
grey, mysterious and distant land they call Eryri Cymru. (Just off the A5.)
Three of Ipswich Mountaineering Club’s elite three man teams had been assembled.
The lead team Clare, Ala and Jeremy and support teams of Phil with Adrian and
Cathy with Eddie.
The great wall of the Carreg towered above us, its top lost in a swirling mist.
The rock was dark and wet. I stretched out my arm and with my open palm touched
it and trembled. Yes, dank and cold, but something else besides; I touched
eternity. I heard the rock on my hand moan, “I have always been here and will
always remain here. The mist, the dragons, have always been here and will always
remain here. You too have always been here, waiting. Now it is your time. Go.” I
also heard another voice that day. “Come on, don’t just stand there, flake the
rope,” it was Clare.
And so with vorpal swords, nuts, cams, two 50m half ropes and a winkle picker we
set forth in search of dragons.
Clare was magnificence itself, making light where there was darkness in the
opening chimney. A right to left traverse followed, and the first pitch was
“Ah, ha. I was right, there are no dragons,” I hear you cry.
But hold my friend, for there are some things I did not tell you. You cannot just
go in search of dragons, for dragons won’t simply let themselves be found. The
dragon will choose the day and it will choose the ground on which to reveal
On this day, Sunday 5th July, the ground was a small narrow ledge on Carreg
Wastad. As we clung to the rock, huddled together there was a terrifying roar
and out of the mist emerged the beast; the mighty rib itself, hanging in the air
as if suspended by the very squall above.
Drawing breath to match fire with fire, Clare once more led on. Ala too set about
the dragon. Momentarily silhouetted , she then was over and ascending, leaving
me alone with the ancient reptile.
As behind a cloud the sun still shines, so too are brave men to faint hearts.
“Dragon, rib? Rib, dragon? You are but one! ” I cried.
So to the echo of my battle cry I went forth upon the rib of Crackstone Rib on
Carreg Wastad in the land of Eryri Cymru.