Sunday, 10 January 2010

WI4 in South Wales

Adrian Berry has been pottering around South Wales this weekend sending a few WI4s with Audrey Seguy. They've been up Ogmore Valley Falls which he reports as being in acceptable condition, hopefully set to improve. He's also been active over on Craig-Y-Llyn, sending Weeping Wall, another WI4. Looking like good lines, think I'll head to Craig-Y-Llyn tomorrow and report back. Photos and words below, much thanks to Adrian.



We'd driven over from London on Friday night and parked at what we thought was the lay-by for 'RAC Falls'. On Saturday morning, only after getting fully kitted-up did realised that we were in the wrong place - so got back in the van and drove down the road to the proper parking area. It was obvious where the route was, and just one other party was on it. Another party turned up as we were gearing up at the base, they took the left side of the falls, and we took the right side which was a bit of a wake-up call - quite steep. We walked-off after about 50m as the remainder didn't look so good.

Having got down by ten, we drove over to Craig-y-Llyn. We got a bit lost trying to find the right descent, after stepping over the fence (and not following the directions) we walked for about twenty minutes to the end of the crag, where a party were descending, we followed them down, then walked for at least twenty minutes back the other way - past routes that looked great, but had lots of people on them or waiting for them. Eventually we got tired of trudging though the snow and resolved that we'd climb whatever ice fall we cam across next. This turned out to be Weeping Wall (WI4) and a party, led by Gary Lewis, was in place as we arrived. The route was good - though a bit sporty as the ice ran out some way before the cliff did - and I'd already watched on of Gary's seconds take a fall - so it obviously wasn't going to be a picnic. In the end all went smoothly - though I was glad to find an old peg in place to protect the top as I'd never done any mixed climbing before - though the mix in this case involved grass rather than rock.


After a later start we headed off towards Virgin Falls - though missed a turning and ended up driving up Ogmore Valley - the road we were on was officially closed, but we had chains - and how bad could it be? Well, it was fine as a steady stream of traffic proved. On the way we spotted a good-looking ice-fall just a the side of the road - I didn't know what it was, which made it all the more interesting. A good, though short pitch of grade 4 was followed by a shorter, easier pitch. Afterwards we worked out that this was Ogmore Valley Falls (WI4).

Audrey Seguy climbing the the top of the second pitch of Ogmore
Valley Falls WI4.

Ogmore Valley Falls WI4

Audrey Seguy climbing snow-covered grass at the top of Weeping
Wall WI4, Craig-y-Llyn, Brecon Beacons.

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