Wow, what a good weekend. I went to my first Bowline Climbing Club meet, and had a great time.

New friends and new places

Written by Haydn Williams

Wow, what a good weekend. I went to my first Bowline Climbing Club meet, and had a great time.

Despite giving the impression on Friday night that they’re a drinking club with a climbing problem, everyone was up bright and early the following morning to provide some TLC for the club hut in the form of digging drainage ditches. Rather cheekily I disappeared around midday to go and run Ras y Moelwyn. Last year was a massive race with over 350 entrants, but this year was a bit quieter at 76. It was pretty warm despite a cold forecast and snow on the big hills, and felt a bit less manic than last year.

Approaching the summit of Moelwyn Mawr, me at the front (of this group, anyway!). © Nick Moseley https://www.flickr.com/photos/in3dimensions/
Approaching the summit of Moelwyn Mawr, me at the front (of this little group, anyway!). © Nick Moseley https://www.flickr.com/photos/in3dimensions/

I got around in 1h 50m, which was only about 40 seconds slower than last year’s effort, placing 32nd and with an average heart rate of 175bpm! After that it was back to the hut and off to Llanberis for dinner. This involved a walk along the shore of Llyn Peris, which I’ll confess I’ve never done before, followed later that evening by a lovely moonlit return trip along the dark side of the lake and through Fachwen.

Checking out the newly (re)discovered crag. © Haydn Williams 2016
Checking out the newly (re)discovered crag. © Haydn Williams 2016

The following day involved less hard labour and more general fun. First up was checking out the mini-crag behind the club hut, which Andy had thoughtfully cleared so that everyone could go and have a play. As much effort went into thinking of route names as actual climbing, but it’s now on UKC and has a mighty fine topo too.

The scale of the quarries is incredible. © Haydn Williams 2016
The scale of the quarries is incredible. © Haydn Williams 2016

After that everyone went their separate ways, and I decided to join a group in heading up for a wander through the slate quarries above Llanberis.

Banksy? © Haydn Williams 2016
Banksy? © Haydn Williams 2016

Obviously there are access issues, so these images are just mock-ups in photoshop of what I imagine it looks like. Honest guv.

One of many tunnels. © Haydn Williams 2016
One of many tunnels. © Haydn Williams 2016

I think the highlight of the day was the set of three rusty ladders, but to be honest the whole place is incredibly impressive. Anyone who’s driven past and thought it looks big should really go for a look around because the scale is just out of this world once you get up there.

Group shot, up high. © Haydn Williams 2016
Group shot, up high. © Haydn Williams 2016
Ladders. Millions of 'em. © Haydn Williams 2016
Ladders. Millions of ’em. © Haydn Williams 2016
Cutting shed roof. © Haydn Williams 2016
Cutting shed roof. © Haydn Williams 2016
View from up top. © Haydn Williams 2016
View from up top. © Haydn Williams 2016

After finishing our tour it was back to the hut for a final clean-up, and then the boring drive home. Another top weekend though, and I have no doubt that I’ll be seeing more of Bowline again soon.

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