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Way back in time before the onset of adulthood I enjoyed countless days heading into the hills of Yorkshire with nothing more than a squashed sandwich & youthful sense for adventure! Despite long past youthful and work commitments keeping me in the city, the sense of adventure and love for the outdoors never left me. After digging my boots out and returning to the hills I attended a number of courses to improve my hill knowledge and skill base, during one of these courses it was suggested I join the Mountain Leader Training scheme and was delighted go on to gain the MOUNTAIN LEADER Award in April 2012. As well as spending time on the hills and mountains of the UK I have also enjoyed trips to the Nepalese Himalaya, Swiss & French Alps, Mallorca’s Tramuntana, Andorran & French Pyrenees, Morocco’s High Atlas, Tanzania’s Mt Meru & Kilimanjaro, Argentinian & Chilean Patagonia and winter expeditions to Norway’s Hardangervidda. Since gaining the ML I have also gained the SINGLE PITCH AWARD, INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD and the WINTER MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD. I am now enjoying working in a freelance role whilst trying to get out climbing as much as possible.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Snowdonia Scrambles & Showers - April 2013.

 Not being one to let the chance of a trip to the hills pass me by, I jumped at the opportunity to meet up with my mountain expedition roomie Simon 'wild camp Master Chef' Small & my adopted mountain son Brett 'Ey Bert' Savage for a couple of days on the hills of Snowdonia.
Looking back to Tryfan from Bristly Ridge.
 In the days before meeting up in Capel Curig, Snowdonia, we had discussed various routes we would like to cover during the 2 days. Over a curry and a Cobra (or 2!) the long routes over the Glyders & Carneddau we had planned soon went out of the window in favour of a scrambling route up Tryfan 'North Ridge' followed by a second scramble up Glyder Fach's 'Bristly Ridge' and descent via 'Y Gribbin', with day 2 to be decided later.

 Day 1 -After an overnight camp near the Ogwen Cottage we readied ourselves and donned the waterproofs against the constant drizzle. Making our way up Tryfan over the boulder strewn path we reached the foot of the scramble and started in a more vertical direction!
Brett leads the way fresh from success in his SPA assessment.

Simon picks his way up the wet rock.

Brett 'Ey Bert' Savage reaches the end of the scramble!
As we gained height we began to lose the protection of the mountain and became exposed to strong gusts of the South Westerly wind, which, when added to the slippery wet rock surface made the climb more 'interesting'. We soon reached the top of the Grade I*** scramble and made our way to the summit to be greeted by Adam & Eve.
Myself, Simon, Brett with the famous Adam & Eve.
  Adam & Eve are approximately 2metres tall, twin, vertical rocks which stand on Tryfan summit and can be seen from some distance below in the Ogwen valley (on a clear day!). It is traditional to climb the stones and attempt to 'step' the 1.2metre gap from one to the other. Deciding to break from tradition (mainly due to the very high chance of slipping on ones arse and landing painfully on the boulders 2metres below!) we pushed on and descended Tryfan to head to Glyder Fach via Bristly Ridge.
Simon goes through the Bruce Forsyth stretch routine at the foot of Bristly Ridge.
 Both Tryfan 'North Ridge' & Glyder Fach 'Bristly Ridge' are Grade I*** scrambling routes. In my (very humble) opinion 'Bristly Ridge' is a much more interesting scramble with a number of optional steep climbing and exposed sections available.
 Myself and Brett had climbed the route before, including whilst under full winter conditions just 3 weeks earlier, it would be a new 'tick' for Simon.
Simon climbs above the cloud.
Brett avoiding 'exposing' himself on Bristly Ridge!
  Making good time (mainly due to Simon not allowing us a break!) we chose a route which took us over the more 'spicy' exposed upper sections of the scramble rather than the optional lower path. On completing the scramble we headed to the 'Cantilever Stone' for a photo opportunity and a well overdue food & water stop.

Brett crossing some of the exposed pinnacles of the scramble.
Simon & Brett on the easily found Cantilever Stone on Glyder Fach.
  Having given us just enough time to take a photo, the weather began to close in with the mist of low cloud wrapping itself around us, perfect opportunity for Brett to practise his navigation and guide us off the summit.
Descending through the mist.
  On descending back safely to the Ogwen Valley we headed for our overnight 'wild camp' site (to be covered in a future blog!).

Day 2 - After a night spent 'wild camping' we headed straight to the Pinnacle Cafe for a breakfast and to discus the plan for the day.
 Brett would not be accompanying us on our second route as he would be travelling home, and in fact only realised he may miss his ferry whilst taking a break from his calorie overload fry up. Missing his ferry by just minutes Brett still escaped the soaking myself and Simon received!

 After considering the heavy rain showers and 50mph winds forecast for the day (Mountain Weather Information Service/ Met Office Mountain Weather) myself and Simon decided against crossing Crib Goch and instead opted for a walk to the summit of 'Carnedd Moel Siabod'. Standing at a height of 872m 'Moel Siabod ' would normally be overlooked in favour of its higher and more popular neighbours, but with the Snowdonia spring weather being a little short of dismal it was good choice for a new 'tick'.
Leaving the shelter of the woodland at the start of the route.
Yep, that'll be the low cloud and rain the forecast mentioned!
   The views during the muddy slog upwards were only of the front of our boots or the inside of the cloud as we walked head down into the winds and rain and it was a very brief pause at the summit before retracing our steps back down to the shelter of the car we had left at the 'Plas y Brenin' outdoor training centre.
Moist and not in a good way.
Move on, there's nothing to see here!
   Although a short route it was enough in the conditions and well worth the effort!

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