On March 30, 2013 by Tim Neill

Snowdonia was transformed on friday  into a paradise. The wind had dropped, the sky was blue and the options were infinite. Coinciding with my last day in Wales for a while was a remarkable stroke of luck. Stu and John came round early and we set off for Lliwedd from the top of the Pass.

It’s fair to say you can’t go climbing here every winter. We headed up the Cribin ridge to arrive near the top right of the face with an intention of following Dai Lampard’s Girdle traverse….. We’d had a briefing as to where it went from the great man himself over a beer in the Vaynol a few evenings before. The description in the guidebook was written many years retrospectively, and the possibilties are endless. Anyway our attempt stopped dead fairly early on, and the retreat was called.

After gaining the foot of the crag, we traversed to some footsteps made by some friends a couple of days before. We roughly followed Shallow Gully with its Direct start. A couple of slow, carefull pitches on steep runout, delicate transformed snow (usually in Wales it transforms straight to water, bypassing neve status) lead to better protected climbing. 7 pitches of sustained, excellent and interesting climbing popped us out a couple of steps from the East summit and eye dazzling views all around. Brick hard unbroken snow slopes lead back to the real world and afternoon coffee at V12 courtesy of Jimmy Big guns ( the finest Barista in Llanberis!).

Off to Chamonix tomorrow for a bit of ski touring and climbing…..

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