Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Coming Up: George Abraham and a mysterious lost Welsh climb

" The real climbing now began with a sharp struggle up a 20-foot nose, and there we found that the ledge above it might have been gained by a simple walk up the grass gully on the left. However, this characteristic feature of so much of the Welsh climbing was accepted philosophic­ally for we were determined to make the most of the ridge's opportunities and adhere to its true crest as much as possible.
A really stiff confronting bulge had now to be surmounted. It was about twenty-five feet in height, and proved in the end to be the most diffi­cult part of the day's work. After a steep start a step to the right, followed by a delicate balancing movement back to the left, landed me in an airy situation with little for the fingers to grasp. My companion below was out of sight under the overhanging bulge. The difficulty of retaining the position of the left foot on a small hold until a loftier distant knob of rock could be partly grasped was somewhat of a strain, and even when this hold could be secured the final upward haul was trying on such sloping support.This agreeable section would disagree with many thoughtful scramblers, Above it some easy steps led to the foot of the noticeable overhanging " nose." Its black recesses pro­vided safe sanctuary for a luxuriant wealth of beautiful ferns, whose delicate emerald fronds spread verdant in the dripping depths whilst all the outside world was tinged with the brown of autumn's progress.'

This week, a first hand account from George Abraham of a mysterious 1913 route which only recently came to light when the author of the forthcoming Climbers Club guide to Ogwen, discovered this 'lost' route whilst searching through club archives and local hut logbooks.The probable second ascent was made in 2008. 95 years after the first....a world record ?