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Join scrambler, Mark Reeves, as he takes a break from guiding tourists to reconnect with the mountains and savour the circular route of the Snowdon Horseshoe. Images by Eilir Davies-Highes.
The Snowdon Horseshoe is one of the most sought after Grade 1 scrambles in the UK, both long and sustained, the route offers some of the most exposed scrambling in the British Isles along the mind-blowing knife-edge ridge of Crib Goch. It is one of my favourite mountain routes, which I get to share with many people in the course of my work.
The path rises gently at first allowing you to ease into the day, however it soon rears up into a long flight of steps. It is here we meet the typical log jam on the PYG track, as a team of 30 plus guided walkers are brought to a near stop by the effort of this first steep section; the reality of climbing the highest mountain in England and Wales starts to dawn on them, and they are barely 500m from the car park.
Making our way through the congestion and up to Bwlch Y Moch we pass another large group of walkers who are also catching their breath. Here our route diverts away from the hustle and bustle of the PYG track and heads up and right towards the base of the East Ridge of Crib Goch.
As we head up from the col the alpine grandeur of the mountains start to hit you, with views out across Llyn Llydaw to Lliwedd and Snowdon. Above us rises the triangular buttress of the East Ridge of Crib Goch; for most people the trepidation of heading up here will build with each approaching step. Having done the route many times before I am just filled with excitement, because for me, this is where the fun begins as we start…
So I have been really busy back in the UK and had a booking for the 2nd to 9th for Costa Blanca. So I hurriedly boded a nice villa, hire car and flights. I flew over on the 2nd to sort the villa out and went to pick my clients up on the 3rd, only to realise that I am a whole month early. Massive face palm moment.
The plus side is I get another week in the sun in an amazing villa and then I get to do it all again in March as well. I have a few friends out here for some climbing starting tomorrow but today I just went for a walk round Toix, as the villa is a stones throw away from the climbing here.
So a friend flew out for a weeks climbing in December we hit all the classic venues before driving our way back north to get the ferry back for christmas. In particular we climb the amazing Parle again and hit up a few of the old faithful crags.
On my way down to Costa Blanca I spent a few days climbing some of the easier classic in Riglos. Despite what I feared the climbing is not all 6c/7a. In fact there are some fantastic easy routes here has well.
We climbing the awesome Pena Reuba opposite the Mallos De Riglos via the amazing link up of Espolon De Gallego and Espolon Fuerte. Giving a three star bolted HVS that was 12 pitches or so long.
We also climbed a 6a+ just to the left of the impressive Fiesta Del Los Biceps, which really sucks in the atmosphere of the main face of the Visera. This route was fantastic fun and the walk off almost as imperssive as the climb as you descend past the amazing Fire Tower.
To finish our short trip off we jumped onto Moskitos, a classic ‘easy’ route on the Visera. With a stiff crux at the top over one of the areas famed bulges or Panzas. It gives you what seems like ringside seats on the Visera face and Fiesta Del Los Biceps.
So this Autumn I have been touring the North of Spain from the Picos to the Basque country looking for great places to run some more adventurous climbing holidays next September – November.
I have been lucky enough to visit some amazing crags and mountains. So whether you want to have a weeks Via Ferrata Holiday, long multi-pitched trad or some nice easy sports climbing I am pretty confident that we can find it all in Northern Spain.
I have also been working on a small guidebook for the area and I think it will be a popular new destination for hot rock adventure seekers. As it is certainly not the Costa Blanca as it has some great mountain trad routes.
So I head off to Northern Spain to do some writing work and climbing for the next month. I am meeting a friend at the end of November for some climbing as we then work our way south through some new climbing areas to eventually end up in Costa Blanca on the 8th December.
Can’t wait to extend my summer by commuting south again. If you’d like to book on one of our Hot rock Holidays in the new year then check out our sister site Sunnier Climbs.
So I have been busy getting my van ready for the journey south to Spain. I managed to get one last climb in, well I got a few in, but the very last was Wendigo a classic E2 leg shaker on Gogarth’s Red Walls. It was sunny though.
The hottest October Day in North Wales ever in fact. Anyway I am already in Bournemouth, awaiting a final weeks work doing a small South West Road trip, before heading onto Spain.
So Sunnier Climbs head coach Mark Reeves spent the best years of his life travelling around the world climbing. Here is one of his most amazing trips to the Cirque of the Unclimbables. We can arrange a guided adventure here, but it is so expensive as to put most people off. It is the best route in the world though!!!
We are really excited to be putting together some dates for people to come and climb with us in the sun. If you keep an eye on the website we will have them up and ready for you to book by the end of August.
In the mean time try checking out our different destinations to see what we have on offer and some great images from previous trips and courses. Hopefully you will see that we really love hot rock climbing and can’t wait to get out there for another season.