Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tryfan, Snowdonia

Finally got off my arse and hied my to a mountain. all 916 meters of it. Nasty rubbly, eroded tracks along and up to damp vertical walls. which I felt quite nervy on after a lapse of 21 years from doing any real mountaineering, and wearing those unwieldy great boots, which are fine on snow and ice no doubt, but a bit hard to get used to on just rock. Well, started off from the road and straight into tough going, up an eroded scree that is a track. Hit the first vertical stuff and struggled, moved off to the left to avoid some of the more vertical rock. Got to the cairn on the flat bit. Rested and off again, moved further to the left and found myself on the East face above the Heather Terrace. didn't want to go back so moved onto the face and into a gully. North Gully ? Anyhoo, moved up it, easy at first then and overhanging boulder is jammed across the gully. Hmm, go back or try and get round, the left was a vertical slab, about VS or HVS, right was possible. Went underneath but no way out of the cave under the rock. Hauled myself up and found a good handhold on the left, scrabbled up onto the boulder using my knees, elbows, teeth, chin the lot and got over it. That left a real worry that I would shit myself, very much a bowel loosening climb ! After that the rest of the North ridge was a piece of piss, even getting used to the boots. Got to the to, my Polar HRM said max HR of 166 and max hieght of 916M, not bad.

Didn't go for the freedom of Tryfan by jumping between these two block on the summit, I would probably have tripped over my boots and hurtled to my doo, as opposed to falling off the boulder and down that gully to my doom. Ho hum. Horrible clamber down the North side to the pass, then dull and never-ending walk back to the road. Left home at 5.40, arrived about 8.20. Alrightish drive back did a few bits along the A5 at avg of 70 mph, then long queues for roadworks after Llangollen. Back here at 17.00.
A good way to celebrate the start of my 52nd year. Had money for birthday, and a Dalek cake.
Blimey, 51 now, old as a very old bloke.

I'm going to start a new grading for climbs, bowel loosening, or almost shitting your kecks, if you like. One place on the North Ridge above the 'cannon' gave me a slight fear of parted bum-cheeks, and the fearful scrabble over the jammed block in the Gully (Nor' Nor' , Bastow ? )
almost let it out. Blimey.
I've been looking at my 1938 Climber's Club guide to Tryfan, and I think my gully is Bastow Gully, as Nor' Nor' Gully has a V.Diff finish round a very large jamed rock, about 25', Whereas my gully had a clamber over a boulder totalling 15', maybe V.Diff. Which is easy by modern standards, but not easy for a lardy old bloke with boots that felt more like planks of wood.
After the cutting of Vs in the blocks I did a while back they grip better, but I really will have to find some Vibram 'commando' soled boots. Thus;

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