Llanberis Slate, Vivian Quarry

It turned into a good day. Ben and I headed for the Dervish Level of Vivian Quarry. The quarry is an attraction in and of itself, but we were on a mission to find ‘Last Tango in Paris’ and ‘Comes the Dervish’. Venga!

I started the afternoon by leading ‘Last Tango in Paris’, which was a great route, especially in its upper half where there is an obstacle overlap to overcome. Once you overcome the overlap it becomes an absorbing slab climb in a fantastically exposed position with little gear to the top! Venga! After climbing ‘Last Tango in Paris’ I abseiled back down the route and left the gear in for Ben, who then cruised up it!

Andrew McQue crabbing upwards on the slate classic
'Last Tango in Paris'

Ben then decided to lead the main splitter crack of ‘Comes the Dervish’. Apparently the crack was originally cleaned with a knife from Pete’s Eats and was justifiably graded E5. However, over the years it has cleaned up to become a reasonably sustained E3. Can it be said with certainty that ‘Comes the Devish’ is one of the greatest lines in North Wales? I will let you decide. 

After this there wasn’t much time left, but we decided to scramble across the bad step to take a look at ‘The Conscience Slab’. The light was fading but we both managed to lead ‘The Full Monty’ before it was dark. ‘The Full Monty’ was a great route, especially for its assigned grade, which was a little run out in places. At the bottom of the ‘Conscience Slab’ is a scree slope, which is a cool place to eat snacks, especially after a good day. There is also the added atmosphere of looking down to the deep, eerie pool at the base of quarry, which definitely adds to the experience. Already I can’t wait to get back to Vivian Quarry to enjoy some more good climbing in fantastic positions. Venga!

Ben enjoying the splitter crack of
'Comes the Dervish' E3 5c