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Let's do Llech Ddu

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:55 pm
by Pensioner
Parked car in upper section of Gerlan after negotiating narrow lanes in Bethesda and eventually found the track alongside the Afon Llafar leading into the western Carneddau. Weather superb, not a cloud in the sky. Caught up with 3 young bucks who were also heading for the Llech Ddu ridge. After an interesting chat I pushed on ahead and once abreast of the steep spur I left the main track over broken boulder strewn ground to take a rising line around its right side up into Cwmglas Bach. On looking back I was surprised to see the other party continuing on up the track past the end of the Black Slab heading for Cwmglas Mawr which was not the usual approach. I passed several climbing parties, one pair on The Groove (E1 5b).
The Groove.jpg
The Groove (E1 5b)
The waterfall was non existent. I gained height awkwardly on a faint path through the scree until I was able to cut back left along a rising ramp above the rhyolite rock spur which led to the obvious start of the scrambling.

The first pitch was a steep open corner with a few wider ledges top left. This gave excellent sport and then the ridge eased for a while over narrow but straightforward ground until a more definite steepening led to a raised prow of rock with incuts on either side. From videos I knew this prow was the taper end of a large sloping block which widened out with a long step down at the end.
Llech Dhu 1.jpg
The ridge continued with easier ground regularly interspersed with more challenging exposed semi-technical pitches over slanting grooves, pinnacles and spikes. From above the sloping block I could see the three-party making progress below. There was also a group of three about 100m above me.
Llech Dhu 2.jpg

After some final steep pitches the ridge merges into the northern broken slopes of Carnedd Dafydd. Suddenly from the solitude of the ridge I was in crowds of people on the mountain crest. But it was the remarkable view of Tryfan and the Glyders to the south that caught my attention.
A beautiful clear day and I was regularly passed by sponsored runners as I continued on over Carnedd Llewelyn and Yr Elen. Very steep loose rocky terrain requiring a lot of concentration eventually led to gentler grass meadows and baked bog to cross the river to regain the outward track. An excellent day highly recommended.

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