New Members Meet – 2017

Tim at Craig y Forwen

A dozen members and an aspirant joined the autumn New Members Meet at Ynys Ettws despite an unfavourable forecast. Fortunately for the superstitious, we were also joined by (shh…) a non-member – Tim’s climbing partner Callum – as the two were on their way back to Aberdeen following an amazing-sounding week in Pembroke. As we trickled into the hut in ones and twos over the course of Friday evening, there was much more than trickling going on outside – the heavens had opened and it was throwing it down.

Plans were hatched over a leisurely breakfast while the weather remained decidedly damp, and rather windy. Spenser, Kevin and Fruit (aka Andy) settled on Angelsey to see what The Range had to offer; Mike needed something gentle to nurse a broken shoulder back into climbing, and set off with Clarke for a traditional mountain day, while the rest of us followed George’s suggestion of Hornby Crags on The Great Orme. At the Orme, we discovered the crag had rather more atmosphere than the usual sports crag, and we set about climbing all the decent routes on the crag (at one point pretty much every route must have been equipped) and climbs from 6a to 7a were done. One or two people even got into the spirit of sports climbing and fell off, while Vun and Tim had a look at a 7b. Callum and I switched to trad part way through the day and enjoyed a couple of excellent E3s, including Gritstone Gorilla, which I’d fancied for a while (mainly for the name). I think it’s safe to say that the highlight was watching a pod of dolphins swim past, and the most impressive feat was by a French couple, who had set up a 120m slackline between the crags!

Gathering back in the hut for a communal dinner in the evening, we found that the Angelsey trio had had a damp start but a good afternoon. There was talk of a dead seal and a stick, but I didn’t ask for details. The mountain team had also enjoyed a remarkably bright and dry day on Amphitheatre Buttress, and everyone was in good spirits. A most convivial evening followed, with far too much food consumed. Custard featured quite late and in vast quantities.

Sunday dawned damp, and we turned to George again to suggest a dry crag. He was initially reluctant to spoil his record, but committed to Craig y Forwen, recently reopened after having been banned for many years. Spenser and Kevin opted for Clwyd limestone as it lay on their route home, but the rest took George’s advice and headed off along the A55. Driving past Llandudno in heavy rain I for one was not optimistic, but happily for all, George maintained his status and we had an excellent day. Highlights were Eoin cruising up the intimidating Sangfroid for his second HVS lead and interloper Callum showing himself to be a strong and capable climber on the classic Great Wall.

All in all, an excellent meet – good social, two full days of climbing (proving that a damp weekend in North Wales needn’t be a write-off), and new friendships and partnerships formed. I hope to see you all again soon.

Andy Brown

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Posted in Meets, News
3 comments on “New Members Meet – 2017
  1. avatar Neil Stabbs says:

    Is Craig y Forwyn now totally open for business? Last I’d heard (and current position on BMC RAD) is that the central section, including Great Wall, should be avoided while negotiations are ongoing. It’s somewhere I’ve been keen to visit for years, so would love to hear it’s now OK to climb on this section!

  2. avatar Tony Scott says:

    We would recommend that you contact: access@thebmc.co.uk

    The Android App and the browser version give different answers for many crags! they appear not to be using the same database.

  3. avatar Elfyn Jones says:

    The access situation at Craig y Forwyn continues to be complex but there is some hope for a longer term access agreement on the horizon. The current situation as described on the BMC RAD is accurate. There shouldn’t be a difference between the information on the Main BMC Website and the App but for some reason the app is not automatically updating as it should. The whole RAD app is being redesigned to work and update automatically across all platforms – hopefully this should all be working in sync by early 2018.
    For clarity the current situation at CyF is as follows :-

    Left hand cliff routes “Cling” to “Moonwalk” are all ok, with both land owner permission to climb and permission from Natural Resources Wales to remove invasive cotoneaster and ivy from the cliff.

    The Central or Main Cliff section, routes “Human Menagerie” to “Purple Haze” does have a new owner and the BMC are in negotiation here. While the new land owner does not appear to be enforcing any restrictions and some folks are climbing here, the new land owner has made it clear that there is no permission to either climb on this section or to remove vegetation and the BMC advice is to avoid this area while negotiations are on-going (there is very real and hopeful opportunity for the BMC to take on the direct responsibility and management of the crag but it is a complex agreement!). Any altercations or even a climbing accident here while these negotiations are on-going could jeopardise any possible future agreement here.

    The Main Cliff right hand section -“Purple Haze” to “Top Cat” also has a new owner and she’s happy to allow access for climbers, subject to access route as described in the guidebook, no dogs, no litter and keeping noise to a minimum.

    Regards
    Elfyn – BMC Access & Conservation Officer (Wales)