Mountain Journeys

Lead climb coaching: Snowdonia – 4th & 5th October 2014

Leading on Tryfan Bach

With a wet forecast in store for the weekend we prepared to get very wet. How wrong were we 🙂

Saturday began damp but drying and the sun soon shone for us. We started the day with a play in the Llanberis slate quarries, following a route known as the 'snakes and ladders'. This is an adventurous trip through the old quarries and involves some scrambling, climbing wobbly ladders, and walking through tunnels (we didn't do the tunnel bits).

It soon became evident the rock was going to be mostly dry today, so we abandoned the quarries and headed into the Ogwen valley to the big slab of Tryfan Bach. Here we revised gear placements and belay set ups including equalising anchors.

It was then time for Sue to set off up 'Crack 4' a diff route and her first lead for a while.

All went well, and to make the belay set up more straightforward, Sue found a convenient flake of rock to use. Simple and safe, nice one.
The top pitch was a breeze too, with Sue leading confidently and again choosing an efficient belay spike at the top. The wind was really strong at the top of the crag so we made a hasty retreat back to base!

On Sunday we had an extra pair of hands to belay which left me free to coach Sue whilst leading.

Ordinary Route on Idwal slabs was to be our route today. Around 4 long pitches of climbing, split with comfortable belay ledges.
As well as placing gear, we took plenty time to consider a variety of methods for making and connecting anchors as a belay stance.

Once at the top of the route, we were then faced with the very long scramble / walk back down. It's a very involved descent route from Idwal Slabs and care needed, especially so if new to the venue.
We stayed roped up until safely on the actual descent path. I think by this time we were all a little tired!

The gentle walk back to Ogwen cottage provided time for us to recap all that had been covered over the weekend.

Thanks to Sue & Colin for a fab weekend and good company.


Leading the final pitch of Ordinary Route, Idwal Slabs



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