Craig y Castell

With the sun streaming through the van windows we were up and about by 7.30am and heading up to the crag before 9 whilst still enjoying the morning coolth. Not often I’ve been on the crag at 9pm and then 9am the next day! Our objective was Craig y Castell, the sometimes overlooked third crag at Tremadog

I’d only been once before, on an ascent of Creagh Ddu Wall with Helen more than 30 years ago, and Paul had never been*. Plenty of scope for new territory.

We started off with One Step in the Crowds E1, 5b (a play on words with the more famous One Step in the Clouds, and ironic as we didn’t see another soul all day) – great rock and enjoyable climbing with just a couple of tricky moves zigzagging through the overhangs on pitch 1.

The main event was The Wasp, E2 with a couple of contrasting 5c pitches. P1 is a grapple with an overhanging jamming crack/groove (particularly brutal with water dripping down the back of it) and P2 takes a very technical and thin groove via crimps, smears and funky laybacks. Both felt pretty taxing in the conditions and the combo must surely be not far off E3.

By now it was getting pretty warm and we were somewhat jaded – feet swollen and objecting to being squeezed into tight rock shoes. Shame not to make the most of the gorgeous weather so we settled for a warm down on Creagh Ddu Wall Direct, VS. Here’s Paul following the first pitch (along with a picture of my grumpy feet!)

… and leading the top pitch.

*Footnote – it turns out that on inspection of his guidebook Paul actually HAS been to Creagh y Castell before, in 1996, and did The Wasp. Reassuring that we can all look forward to a blissful future of never ending onsight ascents as memories fade…

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