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The Cardinal Block of ‘Upper Mabinogion’ photo: Big G

As you get older time speeds up and days, weeks, even months slip through your fingers before you’ve had a chance to notice their passing. As Big G was just saying to me the other day: “Where did it go?...July. Where did ‘Boulder of the Month’ for July go? If there’s no ‘Boulder of the Month’...why have a July?”

Fair play, he’s got a point.

So, here it is: The Cardinal Block of ‘Upper Mabinogion’, Llanberis Pass.

Dear NWB readers,
This humble monthly feature would be brought into disrepute if it were not for the occasional inclusion of a decent bit of rock. (Or is it the other way round?)

Anyway, here is a very good boulder indeed...

Access is by a world of hurt;
On what used to be called the ‘sunny side’ of the Pass, walk up to the right of the classic mini route ‘Mabinogion’ by Craig Du and continue winding through very steep hillside until you reach a relative happy place with numerous sticky-out rocks. Continue in the same line to a set of cliffs. Here it is. Your time has not been wasted.

By some physical process the block has been torn from its surroundings, but has then been held mid-fall a few degrees beyond vertical - the work of God.
The rock surface is also of a quality only made possible by a miracle.

And at the centre of the facet we see a crack-line for little fingers. Sit at the base and spread yourself across the well proportioned foot holds and side-eez...and PULL!
One day someone will get to that crack.

The left arête has been claimed from a standing start by various parties but would be remarkable done properly, and the top of the face sports a line of slopers.
Good luck with the journey back to the road!

We may just be passing through.
But we all want to grab a little piece of Forever.

Love, Big G

Further reading

The Mabinogion
This is some piece of writing constructed by an ancient, who sent people on various odysseys through sheep and rock strewn territory to no particular effect. Like this feature.

Bouldering at Altitude - BMC Leaflet
This document offers some useful tips for those new to the application of their beloved discipline on bigger hills. It suggests those setting out for the first time might consider going just half way to their destination five or six times before getting committed. This is particularly sensible for those coming straight from climbing walls or living in low lying areas (such as lily-livered folk from the Peak).

Relevant links: