Journeys in the hills and mountains
This year’s Easter Snowdonia trip returned to the beautiful Pinnacle Club hut, situated in Cwm Dyli at the eastern end of the Snowdon horseshoe. Following on from our previous winter climbing trip, Tom and I planned to do y Lliwedd by Bilberry Terrace, a grade 3 scramble, rated as the hardest scramble in Steve Ashton’s book ‘Scrambles in Snowdonia’. We bought enough kit between us for the route (a 60m rope, slings, nuts, hexes etc) and prayed for good weather. Our prayers were answered. We awoke on the Saturday morning to excellent weather and, although the mist came in for most of the morning, it cleared up wonderfully in the afternoon.
Perhaps the biggest difficulty was finding the start of the route in the mist. After one false start we eventually found what we thought was the beginning. We decided to remain roped up for the whole route, up the highest cliffs in England and Wales, moving together on easier sections, and pitching the more difficult and exposed sections. Tom led first, taking us up onto Bilberry Terrace, and then we traversed easily along the face. Tom also led the next difficult section, making use of an old piton on the way up. This route, along with many others in the area, was used as the training ground for the early Everest expeditions. We eventually reached the pinnacle which marks the half-way point, and the traverse from here was exposed but offering a stunning position on the mountain, looking across the cliff face to Snowdon as the mist began to clear.
I led the next pitch, losing the route as I went and creating some interesting climbing which was a little harder than I intended! After another pitch from Tom I led the final pitch, which led up to an exit gully from which we could gain the summit. We reached the summit elated, emerging from the cold north face onto a sunny ridge, having completed our first independent multi-pitch route. Enjoying the weather, we proceeded down Lliwedd’s ridge and back to the hut.
On Sunday I went with David, Joe, Doug and Tom to go and do Clogwyn y Person, another grade 3 scramble, this time on the north side of Garnedd Ugain on the other side of the Snowdon horseshoe. After a very rapid, Pettit-paced ascent we reached the start of the scramble, and decided to tackle the nose direct. This proved more of a challenge than expect, and David and I retreated to gain the ridge by the usual ascent up the gully. I found the scrambling rather challenging, having lost my nerve a little on the retreat off the nose, but thanks to some help from Joe (including a rope for one section) I made it up the ridge. The rest of the day was very pleasant, ascending Garnedd Ugain before continuing along the ridge to Crib Goch and descending down its north ridge. Another excellent Snowdonia weekend.