Arddu Crag Discovery

Went out for a run in the drizzle today around the Arddu area (between Nantmor and Croesor). This area is probably my favourite area in Snowdonia. Even though it can be reached in less than 30min from the road the area feels remote due to the lack of paths and people.

If esoteric bouldering or micro cragging is your thing, then this is a premiere destination. The place is full of little out crops and compact walls. At each blue dot on the map below then is a crag/boulder of some description. None of which are in any guidebook. Get exploring!

I took a few photos to get me psyched to go back on a drier day.

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Dinorwig Unconquerable

I had heard much about this immaculate Yosemite style slate crack line, it was featured in a climbing magazine in June or July I think. It sounded like a fun route, pure crack lines are rare in Wales. I am strangely drawn to desperate looking cracklines (probably due to the abundance of protection!).

Dinorwig Unconquerable (E3 5c) is located on Heaven Walls the top of The Lost World. The approach is almost a route in itself! It can be approached by walking up behind Serengeti then abseiling in. But Barni and I decided to approach from the bottom of The Lost World since we both hadn't explored that area. We walking up the incline beyond Twll Mawr then descended old ladders of varying quality down into Modor and The Khyber Pass. A Tunnel then leads through the Khyber Pass into the bottom of The Lost World. More ladders and a dodgy scramble lead up to the bottom of the route. This approach is not recommended. The Lost World is an amazing place, complete with its own pond.

Run away train stye we didn't walk along it!

Descending down into Modor

Entering The Lost World

I opted to be the first to 'get physical' with the crack. I went for the 'layback to glory' approach, it didnt work...I ran out of steam just below the roof (crux). I dogged to the top shuffling cams as I went...I'll be back! The route really needs 4 x size 2 cams and 4 x size 2.5. Size 2 BD Camalots are also good for the roof and top section.

I stripped the route and handed over to Barni. He went for the jamming approach which proved to be more successfully. Awesome route.
Me about the peel off

Barni cursing the roof section

View back towards Khyber Pass

Castell Cidwm wild!

I made my first first to this crazy crag today. Its big, steep and devoid of any obvious lines. I was climbing with trad strong man Tony Stone. He climbed Potency E6 6b onsight linking the two pitches into one long wild pitch. An awesome lead. I was on belay (and struggle to second) duty for over 3hrs, but the warm sun and tunes on my phone made it an enjoyable belay.

Craig Yr Tonnau

I visited Craig Yr Tonnau over the weekend on my SPA assessment (which I passed..phew!). I was impressed with the crag. Its not somewhere I probably would have chosen to climb since most of the best the routes are in the VD-HS category. But if these are the grades you'r after then the crag is fantastic. It is also suitable for groups and novices.

The rock is a type of gritstone but more featured than Peak grit. 'Tonnau' means waves in Welsh, after visiting the crag you will understand!

Craig Y Tonnau is located in the forest at the bottom of the Crimea Pass. It is one of the better esoteric crags in the Meiroinydd guide book.

I spent the weekend dosing at Play y Brenin on my SPA assessment. Here are a few photos I took in the glorious morning sunshine.

Telegraph Valley Bike Ride

Summer has arrived! ....finally!

To celebrate I went on a mountain ride with Trystan from Rhyd Ddu toLlanberis. The descent down telegraph valley to Llanberis is THE best mountain descent iv every done! Smooth flowing single track, not too steep and with great water drains to bunny hop over or get air off. Fantastic!

The ride was 25Km took a relaxed 3hrs.

Trystan enjoying getting 'air' off a water drain on the descent

Llyn Padarn looking toward Llanberis

Cwm Glo skate park - Reliving childhood skate spots!

Moel Y Gest Quarry

Up until recently the quarry has only been home to some loose and dangerous trad routes. In June this year the bouldering potential in the quarry was realised by some enthusiastic locals. See North Wales Bouldering website from a topo download:

On Wednesday I went to check out the new problems. They're great! Pads and spotters are essential items as the landings can be bad. Highlight for me was Cruiser Weight V9, which probably isn't V9 but its still a great problem. Unfortunately Chummer's Wall was wet, it looks amazing.

I have updated the UKC crag page from Moel Y Gest quarry:

There is possibilities for bolted sport climbs on the more compact sections of rock in the quarry. This is controversial but I think it an only improve the quarry, since no one climbs the routes there (for good reason!) at present.

Cool looking unclimbed arĂȘte

View of Cnicht and the Moelwyns from the quarry

Sheep Rescue

Dan I went climbing in the Lanberis slate quarries today, as we approached the top of Rainbow Walls we saw two sheep stranded on a ledge (above the routes The Mau Mau and German School Girl). They must have jumped down and were unable to climb back up. We did a few warm up routes and the sheep were still there so we initiated a rescue mission!

We climbed up to the level above the sheep, to approach from above. Here we met Luke one of the trainee instructors at Plas Y Brenin. The sheep (actually a ewe and a lamb) had obviously been on the ledge for some time. I can only guess as to what made their woolly brains decide to jump down there, there was obviously no grass in sight!

I managed to get some dis jointed video of the rescue, I kept having to put down the camera to haul sheep ass. A full size ewe is actually pretty heavy!

Luke did a great job at sheep grabbing. Mission complete! If this ever becomes a regular occurrence I have been told that a large net works well.

Rhyd Forest Bike Ride

What to do on a wet morning before work?....go mountain biking! Trystan and I managed to seize a weather window (it stopped raining for just over an hour!) yesterday morning to go for a bike ride in Rhyd forest. Trystan took me on a circuit he had worked out in the forest. I can confirm, it is excellent. Rhyd is located between Llanfrothen and Maentwrog in Southern Snowdonia.
In my youth I used to do lots of mountain biking but lately climbing has taken priority, I had forgotten how much of an adrenaline rush it is! It was comparable to the rides at Alton Towers yesterday!

A took along a GPS to record the route. Its a simple Garmin Etrex unit with the important addition of a USB cable which allows tracks to be downloaded to Memory Map program. Here's a map of our route, click on the map to view it full size:

It was about 12km long and took us 1.5 hours.

Sorry for the quality of the photos, they were taken on my phone