Page 42 - 2016 AMA Autumn
P. 42

                                  climbing meets
N Wales Meet 20-22 May 16
By Ryan Lang
NWales has been the focus for many recent AMA meets for very good reason. It has everything to offer the mountaineer no matter the level of experience. A total of fifteen people
made the journey to Llanberis for the weekend, arriving from all over the UK. We opted to put the meets budget to good use and hired Bens Bunkhouse which is just on the outskirts of Llanberis. It has 18 beds in three rooms, an excellent kitchen and a homely (but smokey) log burner. Most of the recent meets have used private bunkhouses rather than military accommodation as most members are happy to pay a small fee for better facilities and locations. A bunkhouse that provides a view of the iconic Llanberis pass is worth every penny!
Prior to the weekend starting I decided to make use of my Standard Learning Credit (SLC) and hired a British Mountain Guide for a day of personal scrambling tuition. Martin kindly agreed to attend the meet a day early to act as the third person on the rope. We ascended Dolmen Ridge then headed across to descend Y Gribin followed by a descent of Cneifon Arete. I have to say it was one of the best scrambling days I have ever had. We got back to the bunkhouse knackered, but in time for the arrival of the first attendees.
I have figured out over the last year or so that meets have a general theme. People arrive, have a few sociable beers and get to know the other attendees before trying to get a good night’s sleep prior to the next day’s adventures. It is always during the social that I try to figure out who the snorers are so that I can try in some vain attempt to divert them to a different room to mine. Every year I fail!
Sure enough, I gave up trying to get to sleep at 02:30 and opted to sleep in the campervan instead!
The weather on the Saturday morning was quite wet, so many opted to walk or scramble. Only a few die hard members opted to climb. I went to Idwal Slabs in the Ogwen Valley with Martin and Daz, we decided to climb Ordinary Route in big boots, it definitely wasn’t a day for long multi-pitch climbing in climbing shoes. Off we went, accepting our fate but fully prepared dressed head to foot in Gore-Tex. Much to our surprise the weather began to improve and actually produced some dry rock after the half-way point. Who said it always rains in N Wales?
The next day I was teamed up with Holly and Hayley who had just joined the AMA the week prior to the meet. We went to Tremadog as the weather there was the best on offer. Holly and Hayley hadn’t multi-pitched before so we decided to climb Boo Boo then Hail Bebe. Both routes allowed learning lots of new skills such as building belays, lead belaying and removing gear.

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