This month Big G hails the blissful end of summer (Yes!), and also lets the cat out of the bag, i.e. that some of the best bouldering in North Wales can be found at Upper Pant Ifan. (For full details see the soon to be published North Wales Bouldering 2nd edition guidebook.)
The Dolerite Dome of Upper Pant Ifan
Dear NWB.com readers,
Summer is over.
The hold-less heat, the midges, the bracken.
Now; the stilled autumn before the storm; the deep blue skies, the low light, the back-lit sheep. Silence, save for the bees buzzing at the sweet smelling flowers of ivy.
The light on the rock, the oak leaves, the grass, the bracken -everything autumn touches turns to gold.
So must we wend our way up through all the lichened and brambled beauty of the Pant Ifan descent path (100m left of Poor Mans Peuterey) And far from the jamming crowd, in a back-of-beyond bit of field lies this piece of wonderment -almost too good to touch.
The crystal-slabby wall becomes a dome just in time, with incut finishing holds that are too far away to stretch for without a Tour de France foot-peddle.
Some problems start from the ledge off to the left...as you commit, mats will assume the proportions of a postage stamp.
Heavens - one wonders if there is any more where this came from!
Love, Big G
Bouldering survival is a relatively new discipline which has emerged with the development of remote bouldering. Numerous boulderers have set off on long hikes with poor preparation-taking only mats and boots without considering the duration of their trip and the changing conditions.
In adverse weather good sized mats can be converted to rather basic ‘Eeyore’-style shelters. But it is also important to bring essentials like beer and fags.
Micro-navigation may prove useful-this is when you get a small mate who can walk below bracken-level to work out where the hell you are.
In the area mentioned, some unfortunate individuals have strayed from the narrow paths and become disorientated in the undergrowth, their corpses being found years later.
Survival for Charlatans (Barely Grills, Special Forces Press)
Survival for Bears (Glen Robbins, Milne Press)
Getting Home when Wasted (MLTB advisory leaflet no 94)