North Wales Trip Report
by Charlotte Graves
The weekend before the heavens opened and Llanberis got flooded, SUMC voyaged up to North Wales in search of adventure. And adventure they did find! Like the three shepherds following a star, we (Chris’s car) were guided by a fog light through the night to Aberystwyth where we stopped for a traditional KFC. Once on the road again, however, the guiding star took a wrong turning upon which we decided that we’d rather get to the bunkhouse than see the new born king. We therefore went our own way, with a little detour to England.
The weather looked rainy and rubbish for the next day and so we decided to take the majority of the group for a scramble on Tryfan’s North Ridge, whilst a few brave souls (Joe, Zara, Matt, Ryan, Henry and Emily) planned to climb multi-pitch on the East Face.
The next morning dawned grey and a bit rainy. We headed out to Tryfan and said a fond farewell to the climbers as they walked to Heather Terrace and we walked to the beginning of the scramble. We romped up the mountain, enjoying the windy but dry weather, the valleys below occasionally being illuminated by rays of sunshine! We stopped to clamber on the cannon, where some unsavoury activity took place between Ed and Gareth (If that’s what they do in public, I don’t want to know what they get up to at home).
After wending our way over, round and under rocks, faces and boulders, we reached the top. Although it was a bit crowded, a few of us fought our way over to Adam and Eve, two rocks which stand proud on the peak and can often be seen from the road on a clear day. Leaping between the two takes a bit of courage, as Gareth found out (although Betty did it without hesitation) but earns the jumper the “Freedom of Tryfan” according to Wikipedia.
Having refuelled and rested, we began the descent where we met Henry and Emily, who had bailed off their multi-pitch route and decided to walk to the summit instead. Some scree and stepping stones later, we returned to the cars and as we had been super efficient and it was still early, we drove off to Betwys to while away our afternoon.
Meanwhile the climbers had been following their routes to the top. Zara had fallen off on lead, but did not let it faze her and valiantly continued with Joe. As we were sitting in the bunkhouse, however, and it was getting darker and darker, the rest of the group were beginning to worry. And by worry, I mean drinking beer and reading (guide) books. All survived however, and we welcomed back to a loud applause. The rest of the evening consisted in taking photos with penguins, studying, cooking and attempting to rig an assisted-one-arm-pull-up system.
The forecast for Sunday was SUN, SUN, SUN. Therefore, with a lot of persuasion from me, we decided to do multi-pitch at Dinas Cromlech (I really wanted to lead Flying Butress). Lydia, Matt Ev, Joe and Ryan decided that they’d rather have a relaxed day bouldering and so decided to take a car to RAC boulders.
Everyone pulled their weight on Sunday morning and we managed to get cleaned up, packed and out of the bunkhouse on time! The climbers walked up a steep scree slope to the crag and got going. Ed and Zeanne did Dives/Better Things, Zara, Gemma, Henry and Emily did Spiral Stairs and Gareth, Chris, Jamie and Alex did Flying Buttress. As there was a bit of a queue me, Betty and John started late and, due to some en route difficulties, ended up doing an assisted hoist and descending in the dark. Thankfully Joe, Lydia and Ryan came to find us with torches, which was very nice of them indeed.
We then all set off home for Swansea, stopping to remove our harnesses at Aberystwyth.