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Mark Reeves enjoying a day out at the Cromlech

Welcome to Snowdonia Mountain Guides we have lived and breathed rock climbing and mountaineering in Snowdonia for the last twenty-five years. It is the last thing we think about at night and the first thing that crosses our minds when we wake up. We have lived what can only be described as a dream lifestyle where the mountains and adventure are right on our doorstep. In doing so have come to know mountains and cliffs of North Wales intimately. What we offer isn’t just a course in how to climb, navigate or ascend a mountain, instead we offer something more. An adventure into the unknown.

An experience that we hope will help define you and your future enjoyment of the mountains of Wales and beyond. We handpick routes to take you to your mental and physical limits under the watchful eye of our coaches and guides. In the process, we will give you one of the most exhilarating experiences of your life. We don’t sell holidays, we sell mountain adventures.

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Life in the Shallow End

Simon Lake on the awesome Mumbo Jumbo, 6a+ Great Ormes

Whilst exploring the limits of the structural integrity of shale is one way I like to test myself, At the same time it can get a little tiresome emotionally and there is the whole argument of choosing your battles. With a little of this and a little of the weather not play ball for the Llyn Peninsular I her been getting out on more conventional rock.

So since my last mini instalment, I have been exploring quarries for routes old and new, been down a slate mine and of course been to the Beacon Climbing Wall. All of which has been great and really helping fill the days out around bring the new Slate guide into life.

With the Slate Guide in mind i had to start visiting a few of the new crags that have been developed. So I started with the highest hanging fruit. A crag above the highest know routes in Australia. A short 4b pitch leads to the level and around 6 routes. Whilst those routes on the left and right were OK, the central section has a perched flake that looks extremely unstable. So whilst the 6b/c (height dependent) right arete is great, care needs to be taken.

Lower down at a place called Ayer Rock there is a trilogy of routes, with on 6a, a 6c and a 7a. All of which are worth climbing if you make the effort to get there. Although the 6c right arete again and the 6a for that matter are the cream of the crop. I think this area is a great addition to the slate.

The following day the weather was gash so Jez and I headed to Tremadog on a hope and a pray. We hung about the lay-by discussing what to do and Jez thought he have a go at the 2nd groove pitch of Cream. So I headed up the first pitch and he went up the second, and like a lot of people had to hang on the rope below the roof, due to the problematic nature of the move. I managed to follow pretty well and arrived at the cave wondering do I go left and up Vector an E2 to the top or right towards the top pitch of Cream.

I went right and belay below the head wall, agreeing that I would give it a nudge. everything went well until it didn’t. Big air was had and eventually I battle my way to the top via a couple more rests. The desire to climb hard sated, we abseiled back down to the van and home for tea and medals.

Waking up after hanging in a harness for so long was like straightening out a coat hanger, a long an more awkward affair than I would normal hope for. So Simon’s plan for the Great Ormes was a little optimistic. However my plan was to warm up slowly, with Mumbo Jumbo and Tony’s Route before moving round the corner to Contusion, 6c which is a good final warm up for me. I then headed up The Bloods a 7a+, and much to my amazement I made it to the top by using the motto, you are not off until you are off. Somehow I maintain contact with the rock.

So whilst none of this is the deep play of the Llyn, It is all really good fun and a great way to keep fit and psyched by visiting a variety of crags and rock types. 

Simon Lake cruising up a rather strange 6a on Ayers Rock
Simon Lake cruising up a rather strange 6a on Ayers Rock
Simon Lake on Ayer's Rock, in Australia a great new 6c.
Simon Lake on Ayer’s Rock, in Australia a great new 6c.
Jez Brown following me up the top pitch of Cream, E4 6a
Jez Brown following me up the top pitch of Cream, E4 6a

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