Wednesday, 31 August 2011

This week: Tryfan's wild wild West.

Luke Appleby chills out on Cannon Ridge's eponymous feature.A route claimed by its first ascentionists
as one of the longest climbs in the UK.

"It's one of those questions which regularly pops up on climbing forums and stimu­lates intensive debate ... what's the longest climb in North Wales ? At this point everyone weighs in with their sugges­tions, which normally range far and wide from obscure traverses to contrived winter ascents.
If we are talking pure vertical rock climbs then the choice of venues containing these leviathans is limited to a rela­tively select band of less popular cliffs, Lliwedd, Carnedd Filiast Slabs ,Cader ldris's Pencoed Pillar. Maybe Craig Ysfa can throw a line into the mix ? An email from Mike Bailey, author of the Climbers Club guide to Ogwen offered a potential trump card by which I could see their Rocker Route or Hawkwind and raise them my 13 pitch, 1175 route on Tryfan's West Face!

Despite already covering areas in the guide which in terms of  popularity rivalled toxic waste dumps, in a fit of unchar­acteristic enthusiasm, I had offered to take on the equally un­popular West Face of Tryfan late in the day when the largely completed text was in the can, as it where. Still....not a lot to take up my time I thought. Only a dozen or so easy climbs and scrambles which I should knock off fairly quickly.
After an intensive first visit in which I managed over 2000' of ascent and descent including, it later transpired, a 400' new route in one short blast, it looked as if I could wrap it up before autumn.
At this point Eric Byne comes into the equation. '

This week,Climbers Club guidebook team member,John Appleby describes a labour of love on the rarely frequented West face of Tryfan. A complex yet fascinating mountainside which holds some classic scrambles and easy mountaineering routes within it's towering ramparts,gullies and ridges.