Saturday, 13 August 2011

Crag of the Week

Tryfan Fach (Little Tryfan), Gwynedd, North Wales

'Base Camp' - can think of worse views to wake up to. 

Instructors take note! This crag is an absolute gem for introducing groups and individuals to outdoor and lead trad climbing. Just as I was myself.

My very first time here started in the campsite situated at the base of Tryfan, just a short walk from the crag. We arrived in the middle of the night with the temperatures dipping to -10 C. (You can also park at this campsite for a small charge, even if not camping).

Being a wintery January morning we climbed in gloves and B2/B3's. This was a first for me, so I was glad the crag was full to bursting with low grade routes for me to attempt my first lead in such 'cumbersome' climbing gear.

On arriving at the crag, you are greeted with a wonderful sweep of Rhyolite (a common volcanic rock), and usually other climbers. It's amenable angled face is littered with lovely cracks, great holds and an abundance of gear placement. Along with its easy 10min walk in from the car park, it's no wonder this location is so popular. The crag boasts over 20 climbs, graded from Moderate to VS 4c, but the majority here are graded at Diff.

My first lead - Crack 2 (Diff). Freezing Fun
Featured in the Rockfax Top 50 North Wales climb is Little Tryfan Arete - a grade 3 scramble/Moderate climb which can be completed in 1 or 2 pitches.

Please be aware, if you are climbing at VD/Severe or above this really won't float your boat. Don't waste your time and make your way to the abundance of other crags North Wales has to offer - more of which I will feature soon - including Milestone Buttress, just around the corner from this crag.

But if you are new to this climbing malarky, have never climbed outside before, or never had a taste of lead trad climbing - grab yourself someone who knows what they are doing and make it happen.

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