Legendary British Climber Leo Houlding called Clogwyn Du’rArddu (Cloggy for short) “the best crag in the world” – and for good reason.
Although I know April was itching to take us all out on another exhausting cycle ride, it was my turn to pick the next destination and Cloggy has been a destination on my mind for some time.
We all knew that we’d want to spend as much time exploring as many of the 200 or so climbs the region had to offer, so we all elected to make a long weekend of it. A gruelling 5 hours drive from our home in Consett, Adam hadn’t quite finished complaining about the effort he went through with the crash mat last week – so I elected to share the driving with April and keep him quiet in the back seat.
It was a good thing I volunteered myself, because Adam was a little worse for wear on Friday morning.
We’d all booked the Friday off work, to maximise the time we could spend on the crags and Adam had decided to further capitalise on this boon by having a few pints at The Company Row, the night before. April and I had to physically shake him awake when we stopped by his house to pick him up. Refusing to let him in my car smelling like the worst kind of brewery, we threw him in the shower and gave him an hour to sort himself out.
In the mean time, the sober pair in the group put on a pot of coffee and started planning out the day’s travel and where we’d climb when we (eventually) arrived at Cloggy.
By the time we’d eaten a second breakfast and drowned Adam in coffee, it was past 11 and our dream of getting a full long weekend of climbing had fast disappeared – the journey would take too long, and we’d almost certainly hit rush hour traffic around the dreaded M6. So, instead of completely giving up on doing something we hit the internet and found a decent North Wales tourism site to give us some ideas on what to get up to in the evening.
Although our climbing plans had been scuppered, we were lucky enough to find a table at a highly recommended restaurant as well as a decent hotel to stay at.
So, as a freshly cleaned and fed Adam slumbered peacefully, April and I drove the 200 odd miles to Menai Bridge to dine at Sosban & The Old Butcher, a restaurant that has recently been awarded it’s first Michelin Star. Although our sleeping pal was a little confused when we woke him up, in the dark, in the quiet town of Menai Bridge – he was more than happy to hear about where we were about to eat.
The food was divine, as was the wine. In fact, the wine was so good that April and I might have drunk a little too much.
Saturday morning was another late start for all of us. This time it was Adam who was wielding the coffee and throwing us into the showers – still, at least we made it Cloggy before midday.
There’s something wonderful about being surrounded my so many other climbers at one time. The feeling is akin to dancing in a mosh pit or entering a music festival. There are over 200 different routes to tackle so, even with the area being well populated with climbers, there was always something new to tackle throughout the day. On top of the great variety of routes, there was also the benefit of seeking advice from other enthusiasts and passers by.
Although we were a little groggy at first, the proximity with so many of our fellow scramblers soon woke us up and we’d made a heap of valuable connections by the end of the day.