Ignoring the bank holiday forecast

By Kenny Stocker

Ignoring the Bank Holiday Forecast: Making the most of unpredictable weather.

If the forecast was to be believed we would have been better staying at home doing DIY, however it had been a busy week and we just needed some outdoors time, we decided to risk the bank holiday in North Wales.

Leaving Nottingham Saturday morning we arrived in Llangollen for lunch. It had been a while since we had climbed in this area and with Nicks original Stuart Cathcart guidebook looking very dated we ‘upgraded’ to the latest Clwyd Limestone Rockfax.

It was a really nice surprise to find some well equipped low and mid grade sport climbs. The previous weekend we had been to Rubicon in the Peak District, 15 years after our last visit, and were dissapointed that things were exactly how we remembered them. In the end we had a great day ticking routes on the Compact Wall in the Trevor area.

Saturday should have been a different story, we should have woken up to rain but instead there was not even a cloud over Snowdon. If we had been on our game we would have made an alpine start, but we were slow.. breakfast in Pete’s Eats, browsing gear shops for boots.. and then it was 11 already and it did start to rain.

That was no surprise and anyway our plan had been to climb at Tremadog. What was a surprise was to find Eric’s Cafe up for sale. The drizzle eased off after a couple of cups of tea and we headed out to try the Plum. To our shame we didn’t even manage to locate the start of the route. We knew it was somewhere between Christmas Curry and The Fang but all we found was ivy.

As things turned out our incompetence was a blessing in disguise.. 5 minutes later the rain returned, light at first then heavy stranding the more efficient parties already on the face. We led the retreat back to the cafe for some tea and carrot cake!

The evening cleared up real nice leaving the mighty Mnt Snowdon silhouetted against a lucid evening sky. Our luck was in.. the forecast had kept away the bank holiday crowds and we knew tomorrow would be a great day.

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