Monday, July 15, 2013

Classic Rock in a Day

It was last October when Libby Peter first suggested to me the idea of doing all the N. Wales routes from the famous coffee table book "Classic Rock" in a day without motorised transport. It seemed like a good idea, as it would be a great way for me to get to know N. Wales a bit better and at the same time bring the Alps to Wales.

We did a small recce day a few days beforehand to sus out some of the link's between crags and also do the big route on Lliwed (12 pitches!). Then a couple of days later we got stuck in, with a 2a.m start we left my van in Ogwen and started to run in the direction of Craig Yr Ysfa. Light started to filter through the early morning haze just as we topped out on Great Gully.
Libby enjoying the night time ambiance of Great Gulley.

Myself on the Crux.
After a knee crunching descent, we ran a very tedious few km's up the Ogwen road to Milestone Buttress, which then led to Grooved Arete, Pinnacle Rib and Gashed Crag on Tryfan.

Running towards Tryfan at about 5 a.m.

Libby cruising on Grooved Arete.

After topping out on Tryfan a high traverse saw us beneath Glyder Fach where we climbed Direct Route. Another knee cruncher saw us to the bottom of the Idwal Slabs where we climbed Hope, Lazarus and The Arete. After going over the summit of Glyder Fawr we descended in to the pass to tick two routes on the Cromlech, two on Carreg Wastad, and one on the Grochan.

Libby high above Cwm Idwal.

Myself on Spiral Stairs on the Cromlech.

We stopped for 30 minutes or so to eat a sandwich we'd stashed at the Cromlech boulders, then continued the mission. The Cracks on Dinas Mot went fast, but when we got to Main Wall on Cyrn Las we both started to climb much more carefully as our concentration was fading, not helped by a Chinook helicopter which buzzed round us in circles for most of the route.

By now the sun was frying us and the ascent up to the col beneath Crib Goch was very unpleasant.

Libby eyeing up the last big one from the col.  Avalanche/Red Wall/Longlands on Lliwedd. 
After descending then reascending all the way to the base of Lliwedd, Avalanche/Longlands/Red Wall went pretty smoothly and we were a mere 800 meter descent away from the bikes we'd stashed at Nant Gwyant which would take us to Tremadog.

Myself on the last few metres of Lliwedd.

About an hour's cycle later we were at Tremadog. A scorching ascent of Creagh Dhu Wall was a greasy, sweaty, midgey affair and it was with relief that we lay on the tarmac next to Libby's van barefoot and content.
It was a big day! made worse by the heat, but we both agreed that it felt much easier than either of us were expecting, due to a mixture of eating well, drinking well and being psyched! 

So....the routes were:

 1. Great Gully VD 267m – Craig yr Ysfa

2. Gashed Crag VD 170m – East Face of Tryfan
3. Pinnacle Rib Route VD/S 175m – East Face of Tryfan
4. Grooved ArĂȘte HVD 233m – East Face of Tryfan
5. Direct Route VD 85m – Milestone Buttress
6. Direct Route HS 4c 91m – Glyder Fach
7. Hope VD 136m – Idwal Slabs
8. Lazarus S 4a 43m – Idwal Slabs
9. The Arete VD 24m – Idwal Slabs
10. Grey Slab VS 4b 85m – Glyder Fawr
11. Nea VS 4b 75m – Clogwyn y Grochan
12. Crackstone Rib S 4a 54m – Carreg Wastad
13. Wrinkle VD 71m – Carreg Wastad
14. Flying Buttress VD 87m – Dinas Cromlech
15. Spiral Stairs VD 84m – Dinas Cromlech
16. The Cracks HS 5a 90m – Dinas Mot
17. Main Wall HS 4b 140m – Cyrn Las
18. Avalanche/Red Wall/Longlands S 4b 286m – Lliwedd
19. Creagh Dhu Wall HS 4b 63m – Craig y Castell

And the stats are - 2259 metres of climbing on the routes. About 2000+ metres of ascent to get to the routes. Approximately 3000 metres of descent, (but likely much more), and 30km of distance for the running part (excluding the cycle to Tremadog). We started at 2.30a.m. and finished about 18 hours later. 
      We soloed every route apart from Creagh Dhu Wall which we moved together on as we needed a rope to abseil off anyhow. We wore rock shoes for about half of the routes, and our fell-running shoes for the other half.

It was great to see that even being the most unfit i've been in years, the "long day memory" is still lurking in my muscles, and i was surprised to wake up feeling really fresh the day after and able to have a sizable day cragging. Long live the Summer!