Get away from it all he said, get so far away that no-one else will bother to come and check your outlandish claims – it’s a strategy I’ve seen used by one or two sponsored peacocks of dubious repute. Big G’s motivation is far purer; he just wants to scratch an itch that has never been scratched before.
The Wide-Mouthed Frog of Castell y Geifr
Dear NWB readers,
The talented shall always find new things on old rocks, pushing back the boundaries on the same roadside stuff that the last generation thought they had nailed.
We lesser mortals can only push back boundaries by pushing further up hill...
And so we will eventually come to the myriad Ogwen gems nestling beneath the big mountain cliffs. Waiting for their time,
and not least of these, the ‘one and only’ Wide-Mouthed Frog. Its position of retreat is unseen from the tourist path below. This is the land of the unclimbed Font 5C. Here a boulderer can be crap in complete confidence, unhindered. The passing raven does not judge. All those above and below are lost in their own selfi-taking worlds. Y Garn - the great mountain...is neutral.
A variety of minor problems will be found in a sunny setting, many with reasonable landings. The rock is pleasant, the views uplifting.
The main feature is a long and interesting flake with a convincing top-out.
Grasp that flake with your all. If you falter on it - nobody minds. In the grand scheme of things; if you flash it you will still be crap!
Worrying about strength... is a sign of weakness.
Love, Big G
The Folklore of Cwm Idwal
The folklore of this cwm is unfortunate, to say the least.
Its foremost offering is the grim demise of the young Prince Idwall who was murdered during a sight-seeing trip to this beautiful spot. Yes - kids can be annoying on long walks, but this seems a terrible way to spoil a day out.
Then there are the one-eyed fish that are said to dwell in the waters hereabout. This is another hard-to-believe local story with a fairly weak plot. (To some readers the term also has an unfortunate bawdy connotation.)
Then there is the famous Devil’s Kitchen with oft present steam rising from its dank depths. This feature captured the imagination of the last generation of local boulderers, who frequently tried to emulate these conditions by filling kitchens with smoke during mass get-togethers after the pub. Often this did bring out some pretty dark behaviour and probably resulted in half the current generation of boulderers!
Towards a Critique of One Eyed Fish (P Robins, Bangor Uni Marine Dept. 2015)
Raves in a Chicken Shed (R Owen, Llanber’ Press 1998)
Anthology of Lies in the Landscape (Penguin 1977)