30th April 2014

Route of the Week No.1

Super Direct E1 5b on Dinas Mot – the shady crag in the Llanberis Pass.

It’s been a while since I’ve climbed on Dinas Mot, the last time being a stressful outing on my MIA assessment! The first time I climbed here I did the classic HS, The Cracks and I remember glancing over to the climbers on Dinas Cromlech enjoying the sun in their T-Shirts whilst me and Mike were wrapped in our down jackets in the shade….

Lorraine VS 4c is another good route and its HVS variation, whilst Diagnol, HVS 5a is a mega classic I enjoyed with Tim a couple of years ago. But today it was time for Super Direct…

Its a route that’s been on the list for ages, but the “shady crag” reputation and my unwillingness for prompt start times in the morning meant I just haven’t got around to doing it. But whilst climbing on Carreg Wastad earlier in the week I noticed some sun on Dinas Mot!

Me and Stu got to the crag with only really time for one route and Stu having done it before was happy for me to lead the stella second pitch.

Pitch one is a straight forward 4b traverse but without a lot of gear. Plenty of good holds meant this was no problem and it was a good chance to get warmed up on the bone dry rock. I was thankful of the dryness as I knew that pitch two was going to be an exercise in small, smeary foot holds.

A slightly nervous swapping of gear followed at the belay and I took a last look at the guide book to confirm the route – I took a shot of the topo on my camera too in case I needed confirmation along the way. A final look to make sure I had all the kit – plenty of small wires and more micro cams than Joe Browns stock and it was time to go…

It starts off nice and easy, get a good cam in and keep heading up to a shiny large wire that had been left there, clip that and on a bit higher, footholds getting more smeary another bit of gear, relax for a moment, so far so good.

The thin crack then appears on the left, I had a quick check on the camera topo and it confirms that this is where I have to traverse out to it. With a little nervousness I start to move away from my little brass micro wire, reach across to a lovely pocket I trust my size 12 feet shod in well worn Five Ten Greens and I’m in to the crack. There’s a cluster of gear here which calms the nerves again! Then it’s up, up and away. The rest of the pitch flowed nicely, enough gear to keep your head happy (not all micros!) and enough small footholds to keep your head slightly worried.

Flake on the right, some good gear and pull into the easier crack, follow this onwards getting easier and easier – job done!

One of the nicest pitches of climbing I’ve ever done. Quickly get a belay in, aware that it’s pretty chilly in the wind and Stu must be getting cold because I certainly was.

Stu offers me the next pitch, it looks steep and a slightly weird brown colour, “No you’re alright, you can do this one!”.

The top is a sting in the tail, completely different to the previous bold, slabby pitch. Stu gets plenty of gear in and progresses well making light work of it. My turn. It’s one of those bits of climbing that does exactly what it says on the tin, steep and off balance, laying back under the roof getting out the gear I’m quite happy that Stu got this one. Sort the feet out, pull hard and you’re on the finishing jugs before you know it.

All that’s left is a quick abseil down the chossy gully and a short walk back to the bags.

Driving back down the road I’m psyched to have done a route that’s been on the list for a while and happy it all went very smoothly with minimal faffing so I stop at the Spar in Llanberis for a celebratory pack of Space Raiders and a bottle of fake Lucozade. Super Direct is definitely a must do route, great climbing in an amazing setting, just time it right for the sun to be on the crag!

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Photo shows Stu moving up to the roof on the final pitch.

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