Last month the club returned to Capel Curig for the July Meet. SMC member Paul Hennelly recounts some of our adventures.

‘It was a short walk from the camp site to the pub with the old London to Holyhead stagecoach outside.  Stepping inside you immediately joined the largest group who were excitedly chattering about past adventures and upcoming plans.  Solihull MC were out in force. The group was smaller on Saturday night compared to Friday night even though the pub meals were welcome: an intrepid trio had gone climbing on Anglesey sea cliffs.  Although they finished the climb before sunset (they claim) after a 10 hours climbing adventure that involved a rising sea, vague directions to the routes, tenuous traverses and a perilous finish up a mossy offwidth crack with fragile lips the intrepid trio of Mark, Ed and Simon (who was climbing with crutches dangling from his harness) did not return to the camp site till after midnight.

On Saturday morning a prompt start had been set back by campsite pests and poor weather.  Arriving in Ogwen to constant drizzle, Richard turned south and drove to the sunny welsh riviera at Tremadog.  It’s great to be in a club where you can get a partner to climb at a grade that suits you. Lou chose to climb with me and led me up climbs I’d never done before: an enjoyable multi pitch v diff and a slabby diff with a long run out and a view over the yurt village at the glamping site.

A murky start on Amphitheatre Buttress for Donna and Jonathan

Donna and Jonathan, undeterred by the damp weather scaled Amphitheatre Buttress through the mist on Saturday. They faced poor visibility and claggy rock to start, but as they progressed the mist lifted and by the time, they had completed the multi pitch route they were rewarded by some fabulous views and a great sense of achievement!

Much better views as the mist lifted

On Sunday we finally arrived at the Idwal slabs in Ogwen.  Richard was climbing with Sue on ‘Faith’. I partnered Donna on the long slippery classic of ‘Hope’.  Our two teams converged on the upper band for the long scramble off. There is now an abseil point above ‘Suicide Wall’.  One of the four of us absent mindedly put their rope down for a moment and then forgot to pick it up when abseiling. Half an hour later the amnesiac had to traipse back up the hill to get their rope back from the next party abseiling.  I can’t remember who that was. Some suggest it was me. That can’t be right.

Richard practicing some moves on Idwal Slabs

Meanwhile on Sunday, Jo and Mike ventured over to Tremadog with the intention of doing Valerie’s Rib. On arrival they had of change of plan ending up doing Hangman’s Hangover to valiantly rescue a rope for a couple of lads who got it stuck Saturday. Their rescue efforts did result in being given a bottle of wine as a thank-you so not a bad result all round really.

After the initial encounter with midges on the campsite and some iffy weather it turned into a great mountaineering weekend.  It wasn’t just about rock climbing. Pete and Clare had a fine day out on Saturday too, walking to the summit of Moel Siabod. They were accompanied by four members of MAM and the Worcester Mountaineering Climbing Club, Ian, Dawn, Pam and Andy, all of whom were staying at the Glen Dena hut. The group completed the scramble up the South East Ridge climbing into the mist.

The Siabod crew at the summit

Though visibility was poor at the summit and during the subsequent ridge walk, they all enjoyed the journey. The descent did have a few moments of excitement particularly when the group decided to take an ‘alternative route’. This all seemed like a good idea until the ‘path’ petered out.  A return to the main path was finally made by scrambling down a very scrubby section but all the group got back safely, with not too many midge bites to tend to at the end of the day!

An alternative route down!
Capel Curig Meet 12th-14th July 2019