A Welsh Classic

Read two trip reports from the weekend at Nant Peris in Snowdonia from Nick and Dick…

Not many of us made the autumn trip to Nant Peris in Snowdonia this year – only Dick, Ruth, Gill, Con & myself. So we were not at all crowded in the capacious Tyn Lon Cottage, even after we were joined by 5 members of the Ceunant Climbing Club on the second night.

I don’t know why, especially as I had not done anything more adventurous that scram- bling on previous Welsh autumn trips, but this time I felt that we should be climbing and, in particular, felt the call of Cwm Silyn & the classic “Outside Edge” route. Nobody else had arrived expecting to climb, so I had to work on Con, who had at least packed his climbing belt, helmet & rock shoes. After a very windy traverse of the Glyders on day one, he had been persuaded and we planned to “go and have a look the next day”.

I had not previously been to Cwm Silyn, but knew from Dick that it involved a good walk in with the last bit a slog up the steep scree slope in the picture above to land ourselves at the foot of the obvious, large clean area of rock. The weather as we drove west got better & better & we walked in sunshine with alight breeze.

The route is 350 foot of VDiff climbing in extremely exposed positions for the grade. The guidebook gave 6 pitches, although I ran the first two pitches into one. The belays are roomy although protection throughout the climb was hard to find & often on uncomfort- ably small wires. However, this is compensated by excellent hand & footholds every time it mattered, including a rocking handhold on pitch 2 & the thought provoking move out from the overhang on the 4a crux on pitch 5.

The route moves to the right of a jutting block on pitch 1, then trends leftwards in fantas- tic positions to end up on “sunset ledge” at the end of pitch 3 after which 3 pitches take you up the upper outside edge to the top of the crag and wonderful views westwards to the Irish Sea & Anglesey (where we could see it was raining heavily!). The route is worth eve- ry one of it’s 3 stars.

Con (having climbed here before with Dick & Simon) was confident he knew the way off and led us round to a steep stone shoot gulley, which scared the life out of me. Somehow we got down this only to be advised by another pair of climbers that we had come down the wrong way. If you go there, DO NOT descend until after you have crossed a stile.

We collected our gear from the bottom of the crag and half an hour later looked back to see the crag enveloped in a thick mist. Celebratory pints in Bedgelert followed. An excel- lent day out – must go back & try Kirkus Climb VS on the same wall.

Nick

After missing a trip to Snowdonia last year and the summer trip this year it was time to rectify the situation. The Ceunant club accommodation in Nant Perris was booked, gear packed, and off we went. A “crack of very early in the morning” start meant that we arrived in time for a walk. Moel Siabod by the south east ridge gave an interesting route and we were down before dark.

The cottage proved as homely as ever, a meal soon being on the on the table. Nick and Conn arrived before midnight and we all got settled in.

Next day, a walk from the cottage took us up Y Garn. A pleasant ascent, but above 2000ft.we were up in the clouds so the views consisted mostly of keeping sight of the person in front of you. We then traversed round the head of a large valley, stopping for lunch in the most sheltered spot we cold find. Peering over the ridge behind us I could see the upper reservoir of the pumped storage Hydro Electric installation. However when the others went for a look, the cloud had come in again and it was implied that I had made the whole thing up. From here the descent on an iffy footpath and a seemingly never ending hillside, eventually got us back home. A pleasant meal in the Pub next door rounded of the day.

Saturday saw Nick and Conn heading for Cwm Cilyn, while Jill, Ruth and I made an attempt on Yr Aran. This involved starting up the Watkin Path then branching off this towards a Col. The wind got noticeably stronger as we ascended, until by the time that this was reached, it was proving hard to stand up. A consensus that this was not pleasant resulted in a decision to retreat. Heading down we passed the Gladstone Rock with its plaque commemo- rating the speech made at that location by the famous Victorian Prime Minister. At the foot of the path, a converted chapel provided tea and cake. Definitely worth a visit, as the tea is good and the ecclesiastic fittings, including the pulpit, are still in situ.

In the evening Conn produced an excellent meal, his party having experienced none of the gales we had endured.

Next day a leisurely breakfast, followed by packing the kit, preceded the long drive home. A very enjoyable trip, with the bonus that we did not get wet once, somewhat unusual for a Welsh expedition

Dick

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