Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Coming up: The mystery of the lost mountain route in the Rhinogs..solved!

The south ridge of Rhinog Fach pulls out of the shadows.

" Once, though no longer, 'the most interesting mountaineering route between Snowdon and Cader Idris'. This intriguing extract from Edward Pyatt's 1960 regional climbing directory Where to Climb in the British Isles, describes a mountain­eering route which time and the fickle hand of climbing fashion had conspired to erase from the pages of contemporary climbing literature. It de­scribed an unnamed ridge climb on the South Face of Rhinog Fach -by Welsh standards a fairly remote mountain- which offers its 2,500ft peak as the northerly high point of a long mountain ridge which takes in two other distinct peaks of around the same height, Y Llethr and Diffwys. It is an area held in special affection by walkers and wild country campers who savour the wilder­ness experiences amongst the peregrine-echo­ing cliffs and the rugged heather moors which tumble down upon the myriad pools and deep black lakes which sparkle beneath the crags like diamonds in a necklace.
Despite the area's unique character which had always drawn the more discerning walker and backpacker away from the seared and cluttered mountains and valleys of northern Snowdonia, the area has never been renowned as a climbing arena despite the abundance of outcrops and unclimbed faces.'

How times change! This Friday John Appleby recalls climbing a mysterious mountain route in the wild Rhinogs before the area underwent a new routing explosion.