Our Wales trip was to be an intensive training opportunity for any Craggers members interested. Four of us went over 10 days (half of us staying for three days at a time). For most of us it was a training opportunity in how to lead climb. We camped at a lovely camp site at the base of Tryfan. This was a lovely spot and we had four climbing spots within walking distance.
Our training started before we left with some work on how to set up anchors in Tony’s back yard and then further reading by ourselves. The first thing that we did on rock was to try placing different types of protection in the rock whilst bouldering. This was a good starting point as we learnt the basics of how and where to use the different types of protection.
Our next step was to concentrate on how to set up anchors which meant that we could put some of the theory that we had learned into practice. We soon found out that each anchor point poses a very different set of problems and learning about anchors requires a lot of experience. Next we led a climb each, which was well within our technical ability, while Tony jumared up beside us so that he could advise us, check our placements of protection and give a safety rope to clip onto if we got too scared or were about to fall. We all did this within different time frames which we were able to define for ourselves.
The trip gave a steep learning curve which was very inspiring and has made me enthusiastic about going out to try and do more leading. Two of us from the group now wish to start gathering the experience necessary for our Single Pitch Awards.
The only problems with this trip were the weather, which is often wet, and the midges but these are common problems in Wales. Overall the trip was very affordable due to the subsidies paid by Craggers for training, cheap camping fees and communal kit supplied by Craggers. Also Snowdonia is a stunning environment to walk and climb in which we all appreciated.