Climbing in Pembroke and Snowdonia
What I really like about working as a guide and instructor, as well as managing my own business is the variety of work. There is of course the slightly less interesting side of the job - invoicing, tax returns and the endless sorting of kit but it’s a price I’m happy to pay for such a life in the great outdoors.
Mid May I took the Guardian’s Adventure Travel writer, Kevin Rushby out for a couple of day’s taste of sea cliff climbing and exploration. He’s a top fellow and had some existing climbing experience, so adventure was on the cards. Here’s an article he wrote in the Saturday travel supplement. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/jun/11/pembrokeshire-secret-coastline-abseil-canoe-swim
The day after Kevin left it was straight into a large block of private guiding and courses run for the Army. There were a few after work “snatch and grab” climbs with local mates, as well as a great afternoon climbing at an obscure area near Saddle Head with Alun Richardson, climbing two established routes and a first ascent of a quality E2 worth a couple of stars.
There was also time to make a flying visit to Snowdonia to hook up with Pat Littlejohn to climb on and amazing inland crag on the North Lleyn Peninsular, first developed by the Legend Joe Brown in the 70’s. Pat explained to me on the drive that the multi pitch routes we were going to try were graded HVS in the guide - “But Joe graded all his routes HVS in the 70’s…” Pat also explained that these routes most likely haven’t had second ascents… The crag looked unremarkable from a distance but soon became large, impressive and foreboding up close. We climbed two routes; A two pitch “HVS” that turned out to be E2 5b, 5c and another three pitch “HVS” that also turned out to be E2. The rock was the kind that you had to take care with but the climbing was amazing and I was out with one of my heroes - what more could I ask for?