Sunday, 10 July 2011

First climb in 12 months...

Well, as the title suggests, today I donned the rock shoes and got back in the groove..... 12 months on after breaking my foot in Chamonix!
I met up with Dan early this morning, and we headed over to Ogwen. Obviously we chose a reasonable objective with which to try out my mending foot and also to get my head back in gear.
We decided on ambling up to Tryfan's East Face, and seeing what was what. On arriving a team was gearing up at the base of Grooved Arete, im not one for queue's so we walked further up. Pinnacle rib was next up, done that, so we opted for Gashed Crag. I knew it was a bit of a classic, but have never really payed much attention to this one, but the guide book description sounded pretty good so it was game on!

I got us underway on the 1st pitch, 10ft up and the rain starts, typical! Fortunately this passed and it was only the 1st pitch that was climbed in the rain. The rock in places was damp, but overall the whole route was in good condition.
The route get's going after the 1st pitch really, and it gives some really nice climbing. The chimney pitch after the 'Gash' is interesting, and going against what the guidebook says, Dan dispatched this in fine style, complete with rucksack too! This I thought was the crux of the route, and also unprotectable until after the difficulties.
A pitch or two later leads up onto the ridge, which gives 2 pitches of really pleasant, flowing climbing, with bags of scope for protection.
The ridge leads to the final chimney and groove, which is really the only other difficulty of the route. This again is really good climbing involving some nice thrutchy moves!
To summarise the route, it gives nice climbing and longish pitches in some exposed situations. The moves flow, protection on the whole is plentiful, apart from the 1st chimney and the route does have a fair bit of polish. The 2 chimneys are not that straightforward, and I would agree as other's seem to suggest, that the route is under graded at VD.

                                                    Heading up the final pitch of Gashed Crag

Dan bridging on Gashed Crag

Relaxing at the belay

Dan high up on Tryfan's East Face

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