From 6th to the 9th July 2021 the club held a meet to the Ogwen Valley in North Wales, based in the Gwern Gof Uchaf campsite under Tryfan.
An old testament bad weather forecast the week before meant the numbers were severely depleted(read on though, we did do some climbing)
Even so Matt L, Max, Sam, Owen, Emma, Lisa, James, Linda, Kathy and me made it up for the Friday night. Big welcome to Linda Barber, who only joined recently and came straight along on a trip.
The wind howled and a refreshing amount of rain started to fall. We hunkered in the big group tent and weren’t entirely miserable thanks to Kathy’s stockpile of beer and Owens storytelling.
And of course peanutbutter//eggs //sugar (you had to be there :))
Saturday was looking like a wash out so we settled on an ultra bad weather, “type 2 fun” walking route in the Carneddau mountains.
First destination was Ffynon Llugwy reservoir, remote and atmospheric in the mist and rain. We climbed the track to the col (Bwlch?) above Craig Yr wsfa crag and over a few scrambly steps.
From the Bwlch we turned left over some more easy scrambling and ticked off a windy Carnedd Llewelyn before heading north to the summit shelter on Foel Grach. Getting out of the rain for lunch was a god send, and a chance to wring out wet gloves and tighten boots.
It was about this time I remember Kathy mentioning using a ‘watt bike’ to train which would explain how she seemed to teleport to the horizon with her hands on hips every time we set off😊
From Foel Grach we took a straight line through very rough terrain to the outflow of Dulyn reservoir. The crags around the reservoir disappear in to the lake giving a Norwegian feel.
The water level was low, somehow, so remains of air crash were exposed on the shore.
Dulyn reservoir means Dulyn bothy of course. Luckily it was unlocked. Even luckier it was occupied by some very friendly members of a Polish outdoor group who plyed us with food and drink.
We reluctantly left the bothy into the horizontal rain. Within five minutes suggestions were being raised to just go back to the bothy and live there instead.
Our route took us past the Melynllyn reservoir and over the ridge south to Craig Yr wsfa.
The map showed a track rising back up to the Bwlch we had reached earlier from the other side. In reality this took some careful route finding from Kathy and James out front, and a few tricky rock steps. With a captive audience Max treated us to some power ballads, certainly made the walk go quicker. Kathy wasn’t quite tired enough so carried a concrete slab back so we could all brew up in the group tent.
The evening was spent holding the group tent up from the inside, beer, wine and more dead pan tall tales from Owen. Sunday morning we dried out over a leisurely breakfast at the Siabod cafe. Sam and Linda sadly had to head off afterwards. It was going to take some serious morale to get us all going again. Only one option, lockwoods chimney. The guidebook even said “tradition dictates this be done at night, in bad weather with a big group.” Daytime was the soft option right?
We bush whacked to the start of the route, divided into groups and staggered our starts.
The route itself really delivers! Half climbing half caving. Rock boots were welcome, Matt needed more of a challenge so climbed in his motorcycle boots.
We made it back to Plas y Brenin for dinner in the dry and said farewell to Kathy who had to go home early.
Monday. A dry forecast!
A long climbing day beckoned. Idwal slabs into cneifon arete, up gribin to Glyder fawr and back down via devil’s kitchen.
We spread across the base of the slabs. Emma and Lisa swung leads on hope, James led Owen and I up ordinary route and Matt and Max climbed tennis shoe direct.
Emma and Lisa continued up Lazarus. Matt led Rampart Corner and Owen led our mini team up original route.
Max and I led Continuation crack one after the other while Lisa apparently led up a hitherto unknown line…
We nipped across to cneifon arete, a long moderate rock climb that is perfect for practicing alpine style movement.
We all topped out on to the football pitch on Y Gribin. Still in need of a summit we turned right up the grade 1 section of Y Gribin and on to Glyder Fawr.
We all made it down to llyn idwal.
Then out to the chip shop, chips in giant Yorkshire (?) and some yoga to help stop the ministry of funny walks at the service station later…
Thanks to everyone who made it, a great trip despite the weather.
If anyone is inspired to come on a club mountain trip then Helen is running a Lake District trip at the end of September, check out the official trips section on the forum for details. Don’t be afraid to get in touch if you’ve just joined, or can only come on your own, we’re always welcoming.
Hopefully see you all down the crag or on the hill soon.