Blaen-y-Nant 11th-12th May 2002

An account of the Vibram family meet at Blaen-Y-Nant

thm_1455.jpg (7557 bytes) Unpacking on arrival and the best pair of boot stretchers I've ever seen.

Saturday, 11th May 2002

thm_1456.jpg (9699 bytes) Anne and I have been suffering from the effects of what we believe to be giardia picked up in Nepal so we choose to do a short walk on our own.  Here we are setting off from the hut and heading SW to the col between Crimplau and Graig Wen.
thm_1457.jpg (8117 bytes) At the col and Anne demonstrates that women can do two things at once.
thm_1458.jpg (6451 bytes) From the col we turned right and headed up Craig Wen. Here's me with Tryfan and the Ogwen valley in the background.
thm_1459.jpg (12779 bytes) We carried on along the ridge towards Creigiau Gleision via some nice scrambles.  Nothing too difficult but, at one point, Anne ran out of reach and had to go the long way round.
thm_1460.jpg (9186 bytes) Another view of the sleeping dinosaur we call Tryfan from somewhere on the Creigiau Gleision.  From here we carried on along the ridge, through the tiresome heather as far as the road and turned right. We tried to skirt Trefriw by following the footpaths but we got lost and eventually ended up at the old mine buildings at Penrallt.  We headed due south to the monument at the end of Llyn Geirionydd for a good half hour of sunbathing. Then back along the side of the lake and over the ridge through the forest back to the hut for about 5 o'clock.

The Evening

thm_1461.jpg (9876 bytes) This hut is a great place for the family meet.  It has an enormous lounge with a fire. No, don't set fire to mummy please.
thm_1462.jpg (8865 bytes) Eating crisps in real luxury.
thm_1463.jpg (9879 bytes) Claire (yellow fleece) wants one of those talkin', cryin', pukin', pooin', livin' dolls for Christmas.  Mummy has other ideas.
thm_1464.jpg (9794 bytes) Chris 'I've got a dad' Markham gets into the motorway game with the kids.

Sunday, 12th May 2002

thm_1465.jpg (9335 bytes) The plan is for a party of 11 to head off to Craig yr Ysfa for some classic climbing. Steve, Ian and Peter aim for Mur-y-Niwl (VS) whilst the V.Diff of Amphitheatre Buttress is enough for the rest of us . We are shaken awake on the wobbliest beds in the world and by 8:30 we are nearly all ready and set off the same way that Anne and I had the day before.  Here's Kate & Karin just leaving the hut.
thm_1466.jpg (8099 bytes) From the col we headed right again but kept low and soon picked up a water catchment that feeds into Llyn Cowlyd. After that it was a steep drag onto the ridge up to Pen yr Helgi Du.  It's the same one that you can see behind Anne's shoulders, six pictures up. Here's Karin stretching her back after the climb - oh, and that dinosaur again.
thm_1467.jpg (16743 bytes) After a horrendous decent arrived at the foot of the climb at about 11:30. We had to wait around for 5 others in the queue ahead of us. Fortunately the weather was really good.
thm_1468.jpg (13783 bytes) A view of the climb ahead and some of the traffic already on it.
thm_1469.jpg (15019 bytes) Eventually, JT takes the lead while Parky protects him. Anne is the last one to leave the ground nearly 2 hours after we arrived.
thm_1470.jpg (14994 bytes) JT is nearly at the end of the first pitch.
thm_1472.jpg (7492 bytes) They are followed by Kate and Karin with Andy leading the third pair.
thm_1473.jpg (9990 bytes) Karin tries to work out which knitting pattern Kate has been following.
thm_1474.jpg (12614 bytes) Hargreaves: posterior aspect...
thm_1475.jpg (9660 bytes) ... ah, that's a better view
thm_1477.jpg (13117 bytes) Stuart doing his best Bill & Ben impersonations. Note the belay to stop him falling over.
thm_1478.jpg (7663 bytes) Karin has unravelled the knitting and Andy is about to follow a different pattern.
thm_1480.jpg (14168 bytes) At the first belay there was plenty of room for me to take my pack off and get the camera out...
thm_1481.jpg (10722 bytes) ... while we waited for more room on the next one. There's Karin, Andy and Kate while Parky (in white helmet) is setting off after JT.
thm_1482.jpg (9241 bytes) Oh my god - I can't do that!

A bit of a girly moment on pitch 6 (I think) when Anne reaches The Pinnacles. For me, this was the best bit of the whole climb and well worth the wait. In the middle of the rope you can just make out the sling which had flipped off one of the pinnacles.

thm_1484.jpg (8041 bytes) Fortunately, we managed to flip the rope back onto another one in time to protect Anne.
thm_1485.jpg (9484 bytes) Phew - made it - and I can put the camera down and use both hands on the belay!

Stuart tried to take some photos of Anne on the last bit if the climb. Looks like I shall have to bring the manual with me next time as there was nothing in the camera.

Just as Anne was on the last pitch she was overtaken by a bloke who had soloed the route. We asked him how long it had taken. He looked at his watch and replied 40 minutes. Anne finally topped out at about 7:15 - nearly eight hours after we arrived at the start. At least we wern't as late as this lot on April 6th 1996. We then had the long walk back to the hut. When the tail-enders finally arrived at about 9:50 they were seriously considering digging out their headtorches. On the way home we found a chippy that is open every day 'til midnight in Llansanffraid Glan Conwy - and excellent fish and chips they were too - recommended. I crawled into bed at about 12:15 thinking what a grand day out it had been - and of JT with another 2 hours to go to Beverly.