The urge to explore remains strong in the heart of a true boulderer, regardless of the mood of the season. Big G is certainly not a man to be put off by a bit of autumnal doom and gloom; and certainly not one afraid to leave the cosy confines of the warm, fireside couch, to strike out for pastures new, to grasp the seemingly ungraspable:
Dear NWB readers,
Autumn and, when the rains come, the darkening hills are riven with bright streamlines cutting the gloom like tares in a photograph. Between gales, the trees stand solemn and still; dressed in their autumnal best, mourning the passing of warmer seasons.
But we know the sun will break through all this, even in these difficult times, as an old friend; not reaching its previous heady heights, but instead illuminating matter so that it may be seen as never before. Great undulating blankets of kaki and gold jigsaw hug the high ground as the vegetation falls back to reveal our rocks.
Those glorious alchemic beams hit the boulders strangely, to show the finest ripples and textures in shadowy relief. Their beauty grows in the light.
Their new-found features trigger the imagination. It is as though they were multifarious beasts cruelly trapped in thin films of rhyolite. And not only do we sometimes see what is not there-we see ourselves there too; feasting on the wonders; for none of these features are really holds until we are on them. Until the crimp has been crimped it is but a surface anomaly, ruffled by the dawn of time.
Let us take to the hills from Pen y Gwryd and walk as far as we boulderers can (about 700m) up toward Llyn Cwmffynnon, following its outflow; first a boggy tea-coloured stream, graduating to a rather grand slab , (a distinctive frothy expanse on wet days) and then returning to a covert gully whose bed cannot be seen. Here are rocks. (GR 656 566)
It is rare for these sorts of things to hang together, but here are some nice features, the pride being a small prow split by a finger crack. Landings are fine despite the aquatic surroundings.
You won’t be meeting anyone in these parts. Shut out from the world you may recreate in your own way, no matter how odd that may be.
During breaks between failed jamming you may ponder the immensity of the hog-backed Moel Siabod or the alpine inaccessibility of Wyddfa or the ‘faraway fairyland’ of Nant Gwynant. Some great forces created all this, and now you need to apply the same sort of thing to this crack!
Blessed are the disorientated-for they will get to savour a place.
Love, Big G
These primitive slow-growing crustose growths of symbiotic collaboration between fungi and algae are a marvel of evolution. They are often described as an 'Indicator Species' pinpointing two things:-
Areas of high air quality
Areas where there has been a woeful lack of brushing