April 2017 - Mont Blanc Training Weekend in Snowdonia
The sun shone and the team beamed with appreciation at the magical views all round the Snowdonia National Park and out to the coast. A great setting for this spring Mont Blanc training weekend with a sociable base camp in Llanberis providing good conditions on the accommodation / cafe / pub / curry house front also!
2 great days in the hills started with movement skills training on the way in to Llyn Glaslyn followed by an enjoyable scrambling ascent of Y Gribin up on to the Lliwedd - Snowdon ridge where the loose continutation of the horeshoe ridge itself was momentarily swapped for the relative security of the Watkin Path. This is still steep, touch and fairly loose high mountain walking though and thus good training for some of the specific physical demands on the ascent of Mont Blanc.
The summit of Snowdon was comically busy as the train has broken down a little down the tracks and the cafe was shut - but the sun was shining and everyone was enjoying the fine spring high mountain ambiance. We continued around to the business end of the scrambling day with the traverse of Crib Goch and descent of it's steep East Ridge, the normal ascent route. Fine scrambling and down climbing training highly relevant to the descent of the Gouter Rib on the descent of Mont Blanc.
After an evening talk and Saturday night Curry, Sunday morning also dawned fine and the team set sail from the excellent new base at Ogwen Cottage and up to Llyn Idwal. Teams took different lines through the scrambling routes on the slabs and climbers descent route under Suicide Wall but then all converged in Cwm Cneifion. One team climbed the classic Cneifion Arete and another avoided the slight Queue at the start and climbed further up the Cwm to enjoy a remote ascent of the Grade II scramble, Tower Rib.
After crossing the Glyder Plateau both teams then continued the quality down climbing theme with a very enjoytable finale descent of the Bristly Ridge. Tea and huge rock cakes in the Moel Siabod cafe in Capel Curig rounded off a great weekend of training in Snowdonia with lots of questions answered and Mont Blanc preparation info tricked in to the training over the 2 days.
The next course Mont Blanc Training Weekend course is our autumn weekend in Snowdonia (October 14-15th) before the late winter weekend in the Scottish Highlands (March 11-12th)