With another lap soon to be notched up on the "Its a Knockout" of life, a weather window was spotted and duly sanctioned by the boss (missus HoseyB). A climbing partner was a bit more problematic but at the close of play the night before, the pub provided. Ali volunteered his services and a table of encourager's and dispeptics suggested Cloggy as a target.
Ali is fairly new to the adventure game, so a gentle classic was selected for kick off, Great Bow a HVS combination of the best of two routes, weaving up the big slabby bit of the cliff. Our table of peers concluded the evening by drawing attention to my lack of walk in expertise and dislike of sensible climbing. Ali could not be put off, however, and by 10am the next morning espresso's were downed and the game was afoot. I'd like to think I didn't disgrace myself on the walk in; I carried half the gear, a handful of pauses to my amble occurred, with only one significant collapse at the first rail crossing for water and sustenance with a lean against the halfway cafe to regain composure.
We shared Cloggy with 3 other parties, Stanage popular this isn't, despite the greater value found at this lofty height. I've only managed a handful of visits to the black ruby of Yr Wyddfa, only one of those being normal. (Black Cleft and belay duties on Authentic Desire don't count) and I felt my own shame as it rose majestically around us. There isn't really a better mountain crag in North Wales (just more convenient ones).
The route was Ace. An obvious line, yet one intricately linked. The rock was full of character and gravitas, solid and accommodatingly featured, apart from the unexpectedly truculent or wobbly bits.
The belays all seemed to be perched on the edge of an abyss, and with Ali not yet at the trad leading stage of his apprenticeship, all quite thoughtful. Its been an age since I've led multipitch, let alone taking all the leads, so a system of gear sorting and re-stacking the ropes was hurriedly botched together. I managed at least one textbook belay to show what it should look like, and 4 makeshift ones that were enough to prevent utter disaster. Apart from a slight lag on the last pitch, where unable to banter due to distance and wind, there was an awkward pause (I set up belay, belayed in as he belayed out, and kept the rope tight until he got the idea), we went well and fun was had.
Having never bothered to summit at the Cafe, the view across to Nantlle was refreshingly stunning. It was unfortunately 7 o'clock, so another route was not really going to happen, but all in all, one of the best days out I've had as a Dad.
Thankyou Ali and Happy Birthday Me.
Cliffs below, cliffs above. By Stevie Haston.
6 hours ago