Dyffryn Peris is the gift that just keeps on giving, as Big G discovers to his delight:
THE ‘CONCRETE JUMBLE’ of NANT PERIS
Dear NWB readers,
Oh; joy to find this jewel in the Nant crown!
Way back in some era or other-maybe ‘Post Industrial’-something uncharacteristically dramatic happened in Nant Peris.
Layer upon layer of thick gravel deposits and slate chunks came into contact with an intrusion of cement, and under some particular conditions metamorphosed into a unique conglomerate formation. Erosion of the surrounding slate waste has enabled this incredible feature to now be visited and...er...marvelled at.
From the start of the track up through the quarries, shin over the fence and cut down towards the dark waters of Llyn Peris, contouring west until the distinctive escarp...bluff...facet...thing is reached.
It is not as small as it initially looks, rearing up quite wildly on closer inspection, its fantastical slate holds fused into the type of thrilling structures that make nature look a poor second best.
Here must a whole gamut of climbing techniques and approaches be summoned before the steepness, looseness and highball-ness can be taken on; every aspect of Welsh climbing rolled into one.
Rejoice and pull.
Love, Big G
The Amazing Bearded Lady
Its impossible to write about this historical llyn without mentioning the exploits of the Amazing Bearded Lady; a colourful character from the adjacent copper mine who was famous for her limitless energy and propensity for prize-fighting; successfully beating all male opponents.
It is all too easy to imagine her rocking up to a bouldering scene at this feature and asking what the crack was; nervous boulderers explaining their sport whilst admitting a reticence with regard to its actual ascent.
What would she have done but elbowed her way to the fore, and in one in-elegant footless thrash have smashed it first time, with a summiting “Woop”.
The Crested Grebe
Take a moment to consider the plight of this demure bird, gliding through the silk waters of evening, oblivious to the industrial use of its habitat. Oblivious, but surely a little perturbed, when its waterside nest is seemingly abandoned by the water as the lake is pumped up hill! Does it perceive this lowering of the water, or... a heightening of its house?
Bearded Women of Gwynedd; gender transition in the mining industry (Bangor uni press)
Grebe Behaviour (Penguin)