For some incredible reason I have been granted a gift by the climbing god’s. Apparently the weather is never this good in Wales when my friends come here. Dave was seriously disappointed that we could not climb at the Dumbbell Flyer Sector at Pen Trwyn because it was too hot. Dave said that he had always climbed here when he came to Llandudno, later finishing with “I guess it was always overcast when I climb in Wales.”
During the summer months there is always a freeze on climbing at upper Pen Trwyn and you are at the mercy of the tides to climb at the lower and more famous sector. The tides were coming in early and fast, so we headed back to the happiness of Llanberis. Straight to V12 (the local climbing shop) where I purchased my new set of DMM Alpha draws. I love DMM!!!
Stopping at The Lodge Cafe for a quick coffee and loo break was a great idea. We scanned the new slate guide Dave had bought and we were off again back to Bus Stop Quarry for my first experience climbing on slate. We arrived and the car park was a little busy than we expected but looking up at where we were going there was no one. Bonus I thought.
Walking over the stiles in the fence and wandering up through the heather with its purple flowers lighting the way was very surreal. The quarry environment is a very stark and alien place. It graphically displays the impact of man on our incredible planet. Despite this issue it is still an incredibly beautiful thing to see. The quarries are where the grooves of every hour in the UK came from for many years.
I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to climb on this very unique rock type. I haven’t experienced it before. Slick, sharp and silky would be my best description of this remarkable rock. The first route was a 6a called “Septuagenarian” 15 metres of wonderful climbing. We then headed up the scree slope to the next sector on our schedule. the slate really does test your footwork and technique in general.
Dave tied in and took off, nimbly waltzing up the thin stemming dihedral and up to the first shelf like hold. Flat and smooth, the chalk was definitely holding his hands and his feet were solid. The route was called “Bish Bosch Bash” 6a+. Fabulous climbing and well worth it. “Bosch Stop Quarry” 6a+ was next and we both enjoyed this line as well. Slate is really wonderful rock and tests your technique over and over again.
Heading back down to the lower sector we decided to try “Wizz Bang” 6c. Dave started up the route andI felt a large drop of water hit me on the head. I looked up and the sky was grey and ominous. The mountains were absorbed into the clouds and I said to Dave “Its raining mate!” He thought briefly about completing the route and then down it came. Retreat, retreat, retreat and we were out of there.
We headed back to Llandudno and climbed three routes on the limestone there and finished our day on “Green Flash” 5+, “Hom Rescue” 6b and “The Graduate” 6b. All classics at the Dumbbell Flyer Sector of the famous welsh sports climbing area….Pen Trwyn.
A great first day on Welsh rock with a fabulous and steadfast mate. 🙂