Mark’s suggestion of a days climbing on Tryfan sounded just the ticket and soon the team had grown to 6 lads all keen to get a good mountain day under their belts.  On the way down it was raining quite heavy and with a good weather forecast we were beginning to feel cheated.  As we drove down the A5 into Ogwen the rain stopped just as we were parking up right on queue, perhaps the weather men had got it right for once. Walking in under Millstone Buttress on the approach to Heather Terrace the ever keen Dom suggested that we take in the diff Rowan Route on Millstone. 

I thought that we might be bighting a bit too much off and wouldn’t have time to finish our main objective of a route on the East Face but everyone else seemed to think it was a good idea.  Dom was soon up the first pitch with Keith making light work of it as usual with Steve and I following with Mark and Rick bringing up the rear.  Steve and I had started climbing together on just such a route 30 years ago but Steve had got into running so it was like getting back to our old routes.  I needn’t have worried about running out of time as the route was soon polished off in two quality pitches just as the wind started to pick up. 

 

Picking up the path along Heather Terrace the Sun started to make an appearance and the wind dropped due to being on the lee of the mountain.  I was surprised to see only one other climbing team on the face a far cry from the hoards that we’d had on Kalymnos.  With the last of the sun on our backs it seemed a good time to have our lunch before heading up to find the Rib Routes at the far end. 

Dom and Keith started up Overlapping Rib Route followed by Mark and Rick, with Steve and I opting to climb the adjacent Pinnacle Rib Route both graded Diff ish (I don’t believe every thing I read) with both routes meeting up at the Pinnacle 2/3 of the way up.  We left them to it and went in search of our climb which according to the guide had letters scratched at the start.  Over to the left of us two climbers where doing a variation start which left me to do the original start. I was half way up the first pitch when both my slings popped off making me slightly agitated, fortunately I was soon on easy ground and heading for the belay.  It wasn't long before Steve was at the belay complete with a beaming smile it had been a long time since he’d done a mountain route with rucksack and boots and I could see he was enjoying it.  The other climbers mustn't have fancied carrying on up the ridge and headed left and off up the gully. Damp, greasy, muddy gully or nice clean ridge!  It certainly didn't look the easy option to me; still it left us to enjoy the ridge on our own. From our vantage point we had a great view across to the lad’s route which followed a similar line.  I could hear voices from the pinnacle above, and then Keith’s popped up grinning with his camera and spouting usual banter.  From the Pinnacle you have the option to do the famous Yellow slab, graded at HS and pouring with water it didn't look inviting so with time pressing on the faster easier line was taken.  The last pitch was the crux for me and gave the name to the route with tricky moves left and over the overlap defiantly a sting in the tail.

 

From the top of the route it is only a short scramble to the summit and some lovely views down to Ogwen in the evening light.  We were all happy to take the quick decent over the back and down to the cars just as the light was fading, perfect timing. 

Both Mark and Dom had put together a great day, and one I can defiantly recommend.

 

Thanks Lads 

 

 

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Comment by Ste Pilkington on December 3, 2011 at 21:49

Thanks Mark for letting me know you were going down to Ogwen & Derek for a great day out.  It was a bit of an eye opener climbing back in big boots and a rucksack in November, but I enjoyed every minute

Count me in next time :)

Ste

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