Sunday, 8 March 2009

Carreg Hylldrem

My schedule this year dictated having time off during the worst times, namely January and March. Despite the forecast, we decided to head to North Wales, which was of course very soggy. The mornings were OK, but they quickly changed around noon.

We had an obligatory look the RAC’s and Cromlech boulders, but decided they were either too damp or most likely to be so by the time we got the mats out. We also scoped out Ogwen for future sessions, but the experience was more akin to winter climbing with all of the ice and snow around.

Desperation took us down the Aberglaslyn Gorge arriving at a relatively less damp Nantmor, but once again by the time we walked into the bouldering area, the heavens opened up. Determined to climb something not involving plastic, I remembered reading about a bouldering wall at Carreg Hylldrem that claimed to stay dry in all conditions. Preparing for the worst, we were pleasantly surprised.

What a cool little place. It’s steep, featured and most importantly sheltered from the rain. I can’t believe I’ve never tried it out before. There are 4 main independent ‘up’ lines which the guidebook claims all go at around V4 and a low-level traverse at about V3. Endless eliminates abound as well.

We spent about three hours working the problems and making up our own ones. It was really nice to be climbing on real rock again and I thoroughly recommend giving it a go. I would say that you don’t even have to wait for a monsoon for it to be worth it… but this being North Wales, one is often around the corner anyway.

It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but it was good fun.

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