North Wales, August 2011

This year’s trip to Snowdonia was again based on the campsite alongside the A5 between Betws-y Coed and Capel Curig. On arrival on Thursday evening we found several members pitching their tents, and others having arrived on Wednesday, were settled in and had already done a days climbing.

Friday morning saw a relatively early start with breakfast soon on the go, but a problem, which seems to be making its way south, developed. A plague of midges. The only cure seems to be if the wind blows. It stayed calm.

Parties headed off in various directions, my group deciding on Tremadog.

Arriving at the car park the café proved too great an attraction, so a cup of tea before starting seemed the thing to do. Last time I was here, the café was up for sale, but there was Eric Jones, its famous owner looking as spry as ever, and his name still on the sign board.

Suitably refreshed, we headed into the trees looking for the starts of our chosen climbs, which can sometimes be a bit of a problem at Tremadog. Gill and I had decided on One Step In The Clouds, this having a thin, exposed third pitch of great character, so much so that a picture of it is on the front cover of the guide book. Following the climb, a descent of the steep twisty path brought us out in front of the café, so the prospect of second cup of tea and a bun lured us in.

A short drive and walk then took us to the Upper Tier, where some single pitch climbs were tackled. The return to the cars was followed by another short drive and a third visit to Eric’s café. A good day.

On Saturday, the whole party which now included Nick, assembled at Carreg Wastad in the Llanberis Pass. Memories of this day will, I think, be coloured by how wet any individual got. This varied from a bit damp, to soaked to the skin while still on the route. This could be described as character building (or not). A meal in the Tyn -y-Coed rounded off the day.

Sunday and we again set off in various directions, my party aiming for Clogwy Cryau above Betws-y Coed. The expedition could not be described as a total success . One individual went to the wrong car park and had to go to the gear shop to buy the guide book to get directions to the crag. The rest of the party left the correct car park but proceeded to get lost on the walk in, finding itself deep in a forest unable to see the wood for the trees. Your correspondent must take responsibility for the error in navigation. Eventually we all met up at the crag and proceeded to get geared up. It then started to rain!! That was it, ropes were recoiled and the retreat sounded.

At least the drive home was uneventful, and I think that in spite of a few issues (primarily the weather), everyone had enjoyed the trip.

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