Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Coming Up: George Abraham's Climbing in North Wales

Dave Williams on the rarely climbed John Sumner route 'Red Crystals on the Cyfrwy Face

"Craig y Cae and its gullies may be easily reached in an hour and a half from Talyllyn by following the ordinary track up Cader Idris, until at the base of the great hollow on the left some easy grass slopes slant up into the magnificent Cwm. The Great Gully stands at its head, but in a recess on the left, and it is scarcely visible until close at hand. When reaching it by keeping on the left-hand side of Llyn y Cae, the outlets of several smaller gullies are passed, and two of these would entertain any parties who scarcely feel equal to an attack on their more impregnable neighbour.

The wonderful rock, which forms the left wall of the Great Gully throughout, is called the Pencoed Pillar, and just to the left of it the East Gully cuts the crags from bottom to top. The course, as described hereafter, gives quite 400 feet of continuous climbing, and begins with some slabs somewhat like those at the foot of the Central Gully on Lliwedd. Above these the gully is straight and steep, with a noticeable scarcity of screes. A jammed rock is soon in evidence, and this can be surmounted direct or circumvented by a crack on the left.

Higher up some backing-up practice can be enjoyed between the narrow walls, and enjoyable scrambling continues until the gully divides. Neither branch contains anything of further interest, but the curtain of rock between them affords a pleasing little climb to the summit. '

This Friday, wind back exactly one hundred years and Lakeland legend, George Abraham finds himself in the heart of north Wales.Describing the climbs in the area for the growing number of climbing activists who will use his book as a contemporary guidebook. This extract concentrates on the area of South Snowdonia with Cader Idris at it's heart.