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topo showing lines of Crispin’s Unfortunate Girdle V7/7A+ and ZZ Top Out V2/Font 5+ Photo: Si Panton

Johnny Dawes has climbed a superb new traverse close to Rhyd Ddu. Crispin’s Unfortunate Girdle V7/7A+ follows an attractive right-to-left break around the lip of a roof. The rock is the same top quality dolerite that is found in the nearby Beddgelert Forest.

On the first visit with Martin Crook, Noel Craine and Crispin Waddy, Johnny got close, but fell on the awkward exit moves. He returned on his own a few days later and finished the job off.

The problem received a quick repeat a day or so later from Si Panton, who at the time thought he was doing a first ascent (thus the news report that some of you may have read on here a few weeks back).

“It looks quite easy when you first see it, but it soon becomes obvious that the start is very tricky. After sussing the awkward finish, I turned my attention to the initial section which Martin had described as ‘despy gritstone wierdness’. I spent a lot of time flailing on dead end sequences, and at one point it really had me on the ropes. Then suddenly I unlocked the right sequence.”

Explained Si, before adding:

“It’s a great problem, and very reminiscent of the thuggy gritstone traverses you get in Yorkshire and the Peak, except better because the rock is finer quality than the usual scrittley grit that you get over there.”

To reach the problem follow the way marked footpath opposite the Cwellyn Arms in Rhyd Ddu. This leads up then left across a slightly boggy area with lots of mini foot bridges to a crossing of the railway line. Continue on the path for 250m until just past a hillock on the left you reach a small foot bridge. If you turn to your right now you will see the roof 100m up to the right. 10-15 minutes from the road.

A further problem ZZ Top Out V2/Font 5+ climbs straight up from the same start as the traverse. Also, further up the hill there is another conspicuous block with a couple of good problems.

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