Surviving the winter in Wales is often joked about by the local’s as a true test of resilience in the face of row after row of Atlantic fronts, and week after week of rain and wet rock. Whilst last year we were treated to a lovely winter of snow and ice, this year normal service as resumed. Don’t et me wrong there has been the odd day of blue sky and sunshine, however tying that in with climbing partners can be tricky.
Llion, Katie and I have seemed to be driven indoor more and more often this winter, often as it was going to give a better days climbing, rather than freezing in a damp conditions managing a route before it either rains or we get too cold to climb.
I was in Scotland on Thursday and Friday, and contemplated staying up there for a winter route after. However the weather up there was awful, and Llion suggested that Porth Ysgo on Sunday would be dry, so on Friday Night started heading down, and finished my journey on Saturday, before resting up readying myself for some Ysgo action.
For once it seemed like a lie in, as we headed off at 9.30, with a light dusting of snow everywhere. On the drive down that magical warmth giving orb in the sky, also know as the sun, but rarely viewed in Llanberis over the winter. As the skies clear through Pwllheli, the feeling that today for the first time in months the day was going to be great.
We had tried Porth Ysgo just before Christmas, and ended up shopping in Abersoch for presents, whilst a river flowed down the high street. Today, though the sun warm the face and the heart as we descend down to the boulder beach.
A few warm up problems and I had a pop at Truth sitdown, failed, but at least I was reach just not hanging the hold today. Skin nil rock 1, on this. Then on th=o the Higg Scar sit down start, flashed and slowly remembering how to use our feet on rock and not plastic. The Incredible Shaking Man stand went quickly, I think I did it third throw, then Llion, and then Katie. We also did that lovely arête to its right.
The arête and wall on Brave Sir Noel block, and then onto Brian Spray, did the traverse, managed to do Brian Spray after losing more skin, then the slopey one round the corner first go. The problems were being dispatched with the ruthless efficiency, as we started to flow, and the feeling of shaking hands with old friends as we stuck hold after hold.
The Ysgo Crack disappeared, and then onto Fast Cars, a campus move too far for us today, but Popcorn Party sit down start was flashed by Llion and I, before another rapid ascent of Jawbreaker. Then the realization that we had run out of rock, so we head to the made in Heaven block, flash and backtrack along the beach, with tired arms and trashed skin. The rat gorged itself on gabbro and was content to sit in the sun and let the sun warm the face, as Llion attempted one last problem.
On the way back we stopped at the new café Grug, which is between Porth Ysgo and the main abersoch to pwllheli road. A great day out and one that seems to have been a long time coming, however all that training in the wall, has paid off, problems seemed easier than the last time I was there!