North Wales Spring Adventures

As I sit here in Morocco contemplating writing a blog post I realise that maybe my blog has not been living up to its title recently! The reality is that I've still been getting out a fair bit back home in North Wales but I'm always super busy with work and everything else that I never have time to write a blog. Given that I've got a fair bit of time on my hands at the moment (no Internet or phone signal and long routes which necessitate rest days) I thought I could write up what I've been up to in the past month or so. 

Always when I get home from a trip away I'm reminded how good it is back in North Wales, especially in the spring now the clocks have gone back. Being able to go for a morning swim in Llyn Padarn, boulder in the pass after work, kip for a night in the van on Anglesey enjoying a sunset after a Gogarth sea-cliff adventure or have my house descended upon on a bank holiday weekend by lots of lovely people. 

In the last month since coming back from climbing in Chuilla in Spain I've manged a few after work climbing hits and a couple of weekends out climbing. I've tickets off some classic routes I had not done before enjoying sharing the experience swinging leads with Amy as well as a big day out on Gogarth with Luke:

Colossus - Slate, Rainbow Slab  E3 6a - had been looking forward to this route for years, sadly it did not really live up to expectations; nice long pitch but the quality of the rock was actually rather poor. I hear the other routes on the wall are better.

Phantom Rib VS - Carreg Wasted - Nice route but not quite as good as the classics further right on the Wastad. Bit bold for the grade in places and the line felt a bit contrived in the upper 'rib' section.

Run Fast Run Free E5 6a - Gogarth Upper Tier - Great route, got pretty pumped hanging around trying to remember how to place gear! Little bit of vegetation and loose rock but not too bad. Good gear where it's needed. 






Dinosaur E5 6a - Gogarth - Epic! First pitch is amazing, Luke lead this, solid hand jams into steep roof them wild moves busting out left onto slopes. I lead pitch two which is easier but sustained interest at about E3, nice steep climbing on good holds and not so obvious gear. 

 

Icarus HVS - Rhoscolyn - Nice after work hit with Amy, nice sunset topout. 
 
Scavenger HVS - Gogarth - Great fun! Really nice route combined with long sea level traverse makes a satisfying adventurous outing. 


 

Kantana E4 6a - Holyhead Mountain - Lovely route, sold rock and good gear. Had been wanting to climb this for years but got a bit put off by the lack of gear at the start. It's not actually too bad, before the hard moves into the crack it's possible to place a bomber wire. Climbing was steady and never desperate.

Lighthouse Arête Direct HVS - Castell Helen  - Amazing! Fantastic exposure and steepness for the grade. Solid rock all the way. 

 

In the past month or so I've also been doing a bit of fell running, cumulating in entering the Ras y Moelwyn fell ran. Ras y Moelwyn is about 17Km with 800m of height gain over some of the most beautiful mountains in the area; Moelwyn Mawr, Moelwyn Bach then back to Bleuna Ffestiniog via Stwlan Dam and Moel y Hydd. I really enjoy going out for the odd fell run (occasionally!) it feels great to be able to cover so much ground and get high on the mountains in a short period of time. The last time I entered Ras y Moelwyn was in 2011, 3 years ago, this year I managed to improve in my time by 7min finishing in 1hr 36min. On race day we were blessed with stunning weather, it was fantastic to see a good turn out in Bleuna with a festival like atmosphere on the field. 




 
Finally I've also been trying to work hard in the garden to make some raised beds to hopefully enable some successful vegetable growing this year! Thanks to Amy for finishing the job off while I disappeared off to Morocco.


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