Craig y Clipiau – Moelwynion Area

The settled weather was about to change and so it seemed like a snatched opportunity. It may have been the opportunist climber coming out of me, or perhaps the consistent, planned climber. I think subconsciously I had always wanted to climb there.

The crag itself lies in an unusual location, being amongst the spoils of bygone industry and overlooking Tan-y-Grisiau Reservoir. It is a compact crag that is made up of rhyolite, with its nomenclature amounting to a climatic ‘Craig y Clipiau’. Mick was ready for an adventure, as always, and so we had to fight for the lead.

We decided to climb a route called Double Criss, which was first climbed by Chris Bonington in 1953. I think the route is named Double Criss as Chris Bonington’s partner for the route was another Chris, which would thus amount to a Double Criss!

The climbing on the first pitch of Double Criss was delightful. I am not sure what I mean by delightful and so you will have to go and climb it to find out for yourself. The second pitch consisted of a corner crack, which was brutal, and by brutal I mean brutal. I thoroughly enjoyed the climb overall, and I am sure Mick did too, as he got to the lead the brutal, corner crack!

As we reached the top of the route, the warmth of the sun had diminished and the cloud had built up extensively, which was now a light grey. There was suddenly a chill in the air, which reminded us that we were in the month of November. By the time we had packed away our gear and walked back to the car, there was a fine mist in the air and the cloud cover was now a dark, miserable grey. The settled weather had diminished, as if it never was.

There was a certain satisfaction in climbing on Craig y Clipiau before the weather changed; already I can’t wait to go back there.

Early morning sunlight on Craig y Clipiau
7th November, 2011