Since joining the MOB (Bury Mountaineering Club) I have relished getting out. The added pleasure of climbing with a group, the experiences, the banter and the booze all make for a special weekend away.
The target for last weekend’s get away was the majestic crags of Tremadog. Nestled in the trees a special roadside experience waits. Accessible, generally dry (or quick drying if need be) and fantastic rock brings trad climbers out in droves. For me the sheer quality of the routes and the number of them in such a small area really sets this area aside.
Beware though, Tremadog can be intimidating! The sheer size and exposure of some of the routes can take your head off. Some of the classic routes can feel very bold and the uninitiated can be taken by surprise. Many a climber has been repelled by its steep grey walls! For me the crag has everything. A mixture of delicate technical climbing and steep powerful routes requiring both power and the head game to push on through.
The highlight for me was an ascent of Scratch Arete by Jordan and me. After pootling around on Oberon a Severe 4a we headed over to climb on Poor Man’s Peuterey, Severe 4a. Upon finding a queue for the route we headed for Scratch arête, HVS 5a. I had already been up this before but I hadn’t led the tougher top pitch and was glad to find Jordan up for the challenge. He led the first pitch of 4c with no problems. Following up I remembered the tough moves out of the corner onto the arête. Bold and unforgiving, a bit of brute force got us both round and up to the belay for the 2nd pitch.
The 2nd pitch is a little more delicate, moving up on protruding crystals following the meandering crack line up to the overhang. At this point protection is found out to the right on the corner of the arête in the form of a peg. Without the peg the route would be very bold and I was certainly thankful that I spotted it. The crux of this route is finding the crucial holds to get through the overhang. As I worked up the confidence to commit to the crux Derek had abseiled down from above to take a few pictures. Hopefully he got a good one of my face as I committed to the moves. Moving through the crux, you surprisingly find another 20 or 30 foot of climbing. This section weaves through various cracks up to a jamming crack to finish off the route. A fantastic belay waits with great views out to the coast. A great route, and a must for anyone operating around HVS. Hopefully another trip to Tremadog won’t be too far down the line and I think this time I’ll take the easy approach and stay in the bunkhouse!