Tag Archives: trad climbing

North Wales: Getting lost on Tryfan

‘A climbing trip to Wales is inevitably an unexpected adventure.’ Those were my thoughts as I stood completely lost on the top of a mountain, contemplating the scramble down and wondering if we should use the rope as protection for this bit…

We came to Wales for a long weekend at the end of April, when the weather is really hit and miss, hoping for the best. The plan between me and my climbing partner Valentina was to do some easy trad routes on Little Tryfan (which was conveniently located just outside our hut!), and then jump on a longer multi-pitch route later that day or the next. The weather forecast was looking worse for days two and three, so we were hoping to get a lot of climbing done on the first day.

Naturally, Wales had different plans for us…

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Why trad climbing makes you a geek

“This is just a Diff, it should be really easy!” – I was furiously thinking to myself, as I scrambled around for somewhere, anywhere, to put in a piece of protection for my climb up. But apart from the wide cracks, into which I couldn’t even jam my (admittedly tiny) hands, there was nowhere that I could see with the naked eye to place my metal pieces of gear…was I supposed to solo this thing??

It amazed me how different I felt trad leading in Stanage, Derbyshire, compared to my first ever trad lead in the Wye Valley. There, I led a VDiff and moved quickly onto a Severe without any problems.

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The mind game of rock climbing British style

I never thought I would get so excited about something as mundane as a crack in a rock or a well-rooted tree.

Before leading my first trad climb, this sport was mostly about pushing myself physically for me. But this time, it was all about pushing myself mentally.

Traditional climbing, or ‘trad’ for short, is a type of rock climbing that dominates the scene in the UK, where a climber must put in his or her own points of protection into a rock face while going up, and then clip the rope into these. Its European counterpart is sport climbing, where the metal bolts are already built into the wall for a climber to clip into.

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