Local Services

Search Our Site

Article Index


A Weekend in North Wales

We have just found room for another climbing article by G. E. Oaten.

After the tedious journey from Bristol to North Wales, we were greeted in Llanberis pass by a beautiful moonlit night which made our hopes rise for a fine weekend; but alas! our hopes were dashed to the ground on the Saturday morning by fine driving rain and low cloud.

Pete Sutton and a friend had been looking forward to climbing Cemetery Gates (200 feet X.S.) but this was now out.  So, more in hope than anger, they went to the climbing area known as Tremadoc.  It is rumoured that when it rains in the pass it is fine in Termadoc.  Once there, they set out to climb Vector (250 feet, X.S.) but this repelled their attacks, so they looked for easier game and found it on Striptease (160 feet V.S.) and Shadrach (180 feet V.S.)

Meanwhile, this left Maggie Sutton, Ross and Roy Marshall, Nigel Riche and myself at the Pen-y-pass cafe where we decided to brave the weather and set out on our intended walks. Maggie and Ross were to walk to the top of Snowdon via the miners track and the zig zags, while Roy, Nigel and myself were to do the Snowdon Horseshoe.  This involve ascending the pyg track to Grib Goch (2,816’) traversing the Grib to the summit of Snowdon (3,5601’) then over to Lliwedd (2,947’) down on to the miners track and back to the Pen-y-Pass.

We arranged to meet the girls at the top of the zig zag, so we set off on our different ways.  As we ascended the pyg track, the weather began to clear, allowing us to shed our waterproofs and to gaze at the majestic beauty of Lliwedd and Snowdon far to the left.  As we gained height and crossed the Grib, the wind became stronger and the visibility came down to about twenty yards, allowing us to see fleeting glimpses of the scree slopes below.

Grib Goch is a very exposed knife ridge where many an experienced walker has lost his life in bad conditions, so we treated it with much respect.

At last we reached the zig zags, but there was no sign of the girls.  We decided that the weather must have decided them and that they had gone back down.  After much discussion as to whether we should go on or not, it was decided that Roy should go down the zig zags, while Nigel and I continued the Horseshoe.  As we followed the cairns that mark the path, unknown to us, Roy had met the girls and continued with them to the top of Snowdon, and then gone back down.

The walk progressed with greater ease than we had thought.  Then it slowly dawned on us.  We had taken the wrong path in the poor visibility.  It was discovered that we were on Bwlch Nain that leads to the Watkins path.  After about a five mile detour, we finally reached the Pen-y-Pass cafe, somewhat disgruntled at not finishing the horseshoe.

That evening, we accomplished the ritual of supping ale to excess, but Sunday found us on a path that leads up to the Devil’s kitchen - which lies in Cwm ldwal in the Ogwen Valley.  The Kitchen is a large amphitheatre of rock and scree, with a huge rift that runs a long way into the cliff.  The path goes past Llyn Idwal up to the Idwal Slabs where budding Joe Browns are taught the art of rock climbing by their Outward Bound instructors.

We left the girls at the bottom of the Kitchen, and continued our walk to the top.  Once there, we walked the length of the cliff, to descend to Llyn LawaI by a steep gully to rejoin the girls.  A short walk brought us back to the cars and then the journey home, feeling tired but content at having had at good weekend.


Owing to the length of the remainder of Alan Coase’s paper on Photographic Apparatus, which was started in last month’s B.B. and bearing in mind the need to print the complete list of club members in next month's B.B., we are printing the rest of the paper in the Christmas B. B. rather then break it up into small instalments.  We hope that Alan, and those members who are interested in photography will bear with us!  Editor.


Articles, letters, snippets of information etc.  are always welcome for inclusion in the B.B.  The post box in the Belfry has not been used much of late, but should be a convenient way of getting YOUR contribution to the Editor.  Next time you are at the Belfry, why not write smoothing and put it in the box ?


Did you like the dinner? Any complaints?  The committee have to fix up annual dinners ages in advance and they will be glad to hear from you on this subject.  Don’t save up any moans until it is too late!  Let us know NOW, so that we stand a chance of DOING something about it.