Trad Weekends By Liz Morrison

First weekend meet with the Bowline Climbing Club in Snowdonia at Shropshire MC's Bryn Hafod hut near Craig Cywarch. First outdoor trad lead belay climbs with the awesome Blanka Russell and her shiny, shiny toys.

On Saturday 3 pairs of us had much fun climbing Will O' The Wisp (HVD*** on Tap y Craig) 6 pitches done in 4. Blanka and I followed Paul (PP) and Jack at a leisurely pace with Rachel and Tony Hextall bringing up the rear, making sure I kept Blanka safe and didn't do anything daft like unclip myself from the wall too soon while waiting for Blanka to set up the belay before I cleaned the route. We took the opportunity to take photos of stunning views and the series of helmets projecting across the crag.

I was more than chuffed to do this route with no mishaps, finding the technical level of the "juiciest bits" easy. Blanka remarked I 'flew' up the first two pitches which gave me a nice confidence boost! My two favourite parts of the climb were the DELICIOUS traverse! A lovely, stretchy, reachy traverse with helpful little pegs and ledges, it suited my long gangling form and felt really good.

The wildlife was the icing on the cake. Approaching and climbing in stunning heathland with breathtaking views over the valley gives a next level sense of exhilaration. The approach and descents are just as rewarding, for the range of wildflowers I took in, as the climb. Bog asphodel, stone crops, mosses, heathers, scabious, sedges, rushes and insects buzzing amongst the blossoms are as much of an attraction to me as the climbs.

The social aspect cannot be overstated, there is something very cheering about setting off on an adventure and meeting 10 perfect strangers in a remote valley, who are just flipping lovely. Having fun climbs, sharing a meal, finishing off bottles of wine with new friends and slurping down tea by the mugful in front of an open fire just polished off a perfect 24hrs.

On Sunday 
Blanka and I rose from our slumbers to sunshine, got ready at a leisurely pace and set out on a lazy-Sunday,-chill-out-climb. We aimed to do a little 2 pitch route of the same grade called "Twink" but unwittingly ended up on the route next door by mistake, Restoration S4a on Esgair Felen Isaf, so I levelled up! Blanka started to think “oops this is a bit spicy” part way through but talking on the approach earlier, she had worked out we were on a technical par on indoor climbs (sport lead 6a+ish). So when she realised it was a tougher climb, Blanka thought hopefully I’d manage it and luckily I did!

There was a tricky overhanging boulder which made me stop to think for a minute, I was so pleased when I had sorted out my foot and hand placement and was able to get over it only to realised I was still attached to a cam on the left rope from the move below- oops! So I had to back climb what was already a challenging move, thinking “NO, I will NOT ask for her to take in and sit on rope, I WILL do this” I managed to sort my feet out and shake out my hand while I took out the cam and then got over the outcrop again smoothly, what a gleeful feeling that was!

Blanka and I are now "climbing di*ks" a proud accolade awarded to her regular climbing partners and I look forward to climbing with my newly found climbing di*k again in the future. The family meets are another bonus to joining Bowliners, so that's my kiddy weekends sorted this summer! Thanks to Bowline CC secretary Andy Potter and Claudia for arranging such awesome events. Thanks to Helen and Robert of SMC for saving me from being lost in a tiny Snowdonian car park as the light disappeared and taking me to their hut on the Friday I arrived and thanks to Cath and PP for being the first friendly Leicester Bowliner faces I had the pleasure of meeting.

In summary, now I have done it once, I will be out at every opportunity: belay b*tch available fortnightly!!!

Last modified: 4th July 2017 at 22:02

To find out more about the Leicester area based
Bowline Climbing Club
Contact: Zoe Pickering (07709 337976)

January 2018
Thursday 25th
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Tuesday 30th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
February 2018
Thursday 1st
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Sunday 4th
10am Charnwood Hills Race 2018
Tuesday 6th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Wednesday 7th
8pm BMC Midlands Area meeting and Suzie Imber talk
Thursday 8th
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Tuesday 13th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Thursday 15th
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Friday 16th
6pm Climbing on the Jurassic coast
Saturday 17th
... Climbing on the Jurassic coast
Sunday 18th
... Climbing on the Jurassic coast
Monday 19th
... Climbing on the Jurassic coast
Tuesday 20th
... Climbing on the Jurassic coast
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Thursday 22nd
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Tuesday 27th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
March 2018
Thursday 1st
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Saturday 3rd
2:30pm BANFF Film Festival
Tuesday 6th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Thursday 8th
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Tuesday 13th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Wednesday 14th
7:30pm Club AGM and Quiz
Thursday 15th
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Tuesday 20th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Thursday 22nd
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Tuesday 27th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Thursday 29th
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Saturday 31st
9am Fontainebleau bouldering
April 2018
Sunday 1st
... Fontainebleau bouldering
Monday 2nd
... Fontainebleau bouldering
Tuesday 3rd
... Fontainebleau bouldering
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Wednesday 4th
... Fontainebleau bouldering
Thursday 5th
... Fontainebleau bouldering
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Friday 6th
... Fontainebleau bouldering
Saturday 7th
... Fontainebleau bouldering
Tuesday 10th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Thursday 12th
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Tuesday 17th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Thursday 19th
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
Tuesday 24th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Thursday 26th
6:30pm Roped Climbing @ The Tower
May 2018
Tuesday 1st
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Tuesday 8th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Tuesday 15th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Tuesday 22nd
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Tuesday 29th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
June 2018
Tuesday 5th
6pm Bouldering @ The Climbing Station
Saturday 30th
9am Saunders Mountain Marathon
July 2018
Sunday 1st
... Saunders Mountain Marathon

The Bowline Climbing Club Limited is a Registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.

Registered under No. 31545R at the Financial Conduct Authority.

Registered Office: Dinorwic Mill Cottage, Tai Felin, Brynrefail, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 3NR.


Bowline Climbing Club

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