Sunday, 18 March 2018

The ANNUAL DINNER MEET, Tyn-y-Coed Hotel, Capel Curig.

You might think this was the "event of the year" but tastes have changed and only twelve members and guests sat down to the evening meal.
The weekend started early for Stuart and Liz who take advantage of the warm, dry conditions existing on the Friday. With the sun out and very little wind they decided to visit the Dinorwig slate quarries to do some climbing. Stuart led their first route “Seamstress VS 4c” a three star classic which is an entertaining thin crack up the face of the Slab in the Serengeti area. In this area “Neat arete VS 5b” was also climbed which has a series of tough moves at the start but is a worthwhile route. They also visited ‘Never never land’ Stuart led again, “Hawkeye F5c” a delightful route on great rock before the last two routes of the day “Tomb raider F6a+” and “362 F5c” fine multipitch sport routes which proved to be brilliant adventures.

Friday night, most of the guests arrived at the Ty-y-Coed Hotel.  A fine time to socialise and work out the best climbing plan for the Saturday. 
The "Beast from the East" was blowing and the hills were coated with a thin coating of ice and snow.  Tryfan would be dangerous so we opted for the Gribin ridge which for the most part would be sheltered from the biting wind.

Dave leading the team up the Gribin Ridge.

The ascent went well and ropes were not needed.  At the top we turned towards Glyder fawr keeping the wind to our backs.  The descent down Glyder Fawr was rather tricky - the scree was frozen and potentially slippery but there was a long slope of snow in perfect condition for the ice-axe to grip.  We expected the normal descent by the Devil's Kitchen track to be covered in ice (verglas) so we thought that a safer descent might be made down the north-east ridge of Y Garn.  Stuart and Dave braved the icy blast at the start of the route but others refused the invitation to follow as the wind blowing back was monstrous.  So it was back to the Devil's Kitchen track for the many.  Yes, some verglas where extreme care was needed but not as bad as expected.

View from the summit of Y Garn

The Dinner went well.  Chairman Jeff Dodwell presented the Annual Awards, which was followed by two slide shows: previously unseen photos of climbing Mera peak; and a traverse and rock and ice climb of Mount Kenya.

The start of the rout to Llyn Crafnant

It put down 6 inches of snow overnight.  Before the snow plough had come through you couldn't tell where the road started and the pavement began -  a magical sight. 
The team decided to blaze a trail to Llyn Crafnant because the route starts immediately behind the hotel.  The wind had eased but out on the open moor compasses and maps came out to try to find the path in this snow covered wilderness.  A team effort was required as the heavy snow fall had obliterated all trace of any paths.  Eventually we found the main path to Crafnant where most of the snow had been blown off the path.  Lovely views of the lake and even more magical views in the forest path over towards Llyn Geirionedd.  A lovely easy walk and we were back at the hotel for 2:30pm.