“Slip, sliding away” on a wet Idwal Slabs in Wales with two special mates.

The walk in to Idwal Slabs with Pete Kay and Richard Bale. A bit dreich.

I am in Wales and stayed with Rusty and Nerys and the boys in Bethesda last night we had a great night. We had hoped to go climbing with Pete Kay another pal yesterday. The weather was poor and rained as we left but we still headed up for the Idwal Slabs and met Pete at the car park and set off in the rain after a sort out of gear. Pete has some old gear and Rusty works as a climbing guide he is “Snowdonia Walking and climbing” so we used his kit.

The Idwal Slabs Crag features  – some info :

Spectacular climbing, set in some of the grandest mountain scenery in Wales; slab-routes galore at every grade. Mainly multi-pitch routes to 160 metres. Must dos for visitors include “Tennis Shoe” (HS), “Suicide Wall Route 1” (E2) and “Hope” (VDiff), Faith and all multi-starred classics. Beware of falling sheep.

It is an easy walk in about 15 minutes from the Idwal Cottage car park furthest and we met some of the RAF Valley Mountain Rescue Team there training and a few others despite the rain  there are many routes. We chose the furthest away climb on the main slabs Faith a 126 metres which gave some well positioned situations on rough rock ( not so well polished)?

It was tricky in the wet and the big boots were interesting to climb on the wet rock  but Rusty is climbing well and once we got used to the wet rock we had great fun. It is about 126 metres ( 500 feet) two start route and 4 pitches with good belays but care is needed and had a great laugh, Pete was a great help to me in North Wales when I was the Deputy Team Leader in the late 70’s at RAF Valley Mountain Rescue.

1990 On Idwal slabs maybe the same route?

We did lots of great climbing in the past and on call -outs so we had a real “memory jerker” at times. Gone are the days of big bags and boots and climbing in the rain so we thought but Rusty was looking after us and it a great place to be even in the wet. The Annual RAF MRT Summer Course was a specail annual event 2 weeks rock climbing in these great cliffs,

The wet slippy traverse . Pete loving it?

There is plenty of gear for protection and we were moving well. A local mate of Rusty was following us so we had plenty of company and met the RAF Valley MRT again during the day near the end of the climb.

Our man Rusty.

It was specail to be out on a climb again after a poor summer and my rock boots felt better than big boots on the rock today. There was some greasy, slimy bits and cracks running with water but it all in a days adventure. We were wet but it was warm so no problem but easy to see how you could easily make a mistake here.

Pete loving the day?

The rock was fun though and we picked our way through the route and the wind and rain picked up near the top of the climb.


We were soon at thee top and then the slippy descent path and a short abseil to get down running with water. I did not fancy climbing down today at all. We had done a few call -outs here in the past especially in winter in the early 80’s Pete brought down 3 crag fast climbers one winter he was some man a true mountaineer.

It was then a walk back and a cup of tea and a sausage roll in the cafe at Idwal. The sun came out  as we got down and the gear is now out drying it was so wet.

On the way off

Now it is get ready for the re union at Capel tonight and meet a few old pals. I had a superb day and enjoyed it all, what great company thanks Rusty, Pete  Nerys and Sal for a great fun day.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Equipment, Friends, Gear, Local area and events to see, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, People, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “Slip, sliding away” on a wet Idwal Slabs in Wales with two special mates.

  1. Peter Kay says:

    Cracking day Hev’s, in spite of the rain and greasy rock. Have to do it again mate.

    Liked by 1 person

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