Well it felt like spring in the run up to this weekend’s Intro to Scrambling Course, but come the weekend it felt very much like winter!
I was joined by Tavish & Colin for this course and it turned out that flexibility was key, as is often the case.
With snow on the ground we packed crampons and ice axes to give us some more options and headed into the Ogwen Valley, after the standard start – coffee in the Siabod Cafe! We went up the side of Clogwyn y Tarw which gave us the opportunity to start thinking about movement and how our boots worked on the slightly damp rock, before continuing on to the False Griben Ridge where we picked out good lines, making the most of the scrambling on it.
Near the top just before it joins the main Griben Ridge we found the perfect snow slope to get the ice axes out and have a play. We looked at how to use them including having fun practising ice axe arrests.
As we topped out on the ridge the weather got really grim so it was decided a hasty retreat was the best plan so we headed back to the cafe at full speed, where we took the rope in and looked at a couple of knots in readiness for day two’s plan.
The second day was supposed to be a grade two scramble on the East Face of Tryfan, using the rope and pushing Tavish and Colin a bit further, but with the face plastered in snow, plan b was enacted! Good delaying tactics in the cafe gave us the opportunity to talk through some map and compass techniques in the warm and dry! We then went over to Tryfan Bach for some roped scrambling which was really good, if a bit damp, and enabled the guys to get used to clipping in to belays with clove hitches and trying some harder moves. At about lunch time we decided to change venue and head over to the Crimpiau area to look at the navigation tactics we’d talked about earlier.
It will probably take me a couple of days now to dry out all my wet kit!
Colin had this to say about the course:
“Thanks a lot for this weekend. I had a really good time, whilst still learning new stuff under top notch instruction!
If you have availability for advanced scrambling in about a months time I will book on the course.
Thanks again for a great weekend!”