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Thu, 28 Apr


Idwal Slabs

Working the Idwal Slabs

The Idwal slabs is brilliant place to take people climbing but...

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Working the Idwal Slabs
Working the Idwal Slabs

Time & Location

28 Apr 2022, 08:00 – 16:00

Idwal Slabs, Llyn Idwal, Bangor LL57 3LZ, UK


About the Event

The Idwal slabs have long been known as the downfall of many a promising mountaineering instructor, but why should this be? Surely the iconic Idwal Slabs are the perfect place to take beginners climbing, surely, these easily accessible routes, so handy from the road, are an instructor’s dream. You must have heard of the days when the Ogwen Cottage team would wander up them with fours school kid in tow. How hard can be? Yet time after time we get it wrong.

To be fair, as long as you keep moving, it’s rarely the climbing that’s the problem, it’s the descent. Yet, what many don’t realise is, is that there is more than one way to descend from the Slabs. In one, long turbo-charged, day we’ll explore as many of them as we can.

We’ll meet at 8.00 am and carry on as long as we can, aiming to get three or four different descents completed. We’ll cover how fast you need to climb, alternatives descents, what to do if the classic routes are full, some history and a bit of enviro. This is not a workshop about stance management or other technical issues, it's presumed you're already on top of these areas (though do expect a little coaching if it's thought necessary!)

This workshop is led by Mike Raine author of Nature of Snowdonia. Mike remembers doing the four key routes on the Slabs, for the first time, on the morning of the FA Cup Final in 1984, he made the kick-off but remembers a lot more about the climbs that the football match! Mike has spent the last 16 years at Plas y Brenin and has worked on, as staff or Director, well over 100 (about 140 I think!) MIA (MCI) courses. He’ll point you in the right direction.

At the end of the day you should be familiar with the alternative descents and how to manage them. You will have done three or four routes (weather permitting!). You’ll know what it is that your clients need to know. You’ll be much more confident about tackling the slabs with the right team, in the right way and getting the most out of a climbing day on the Rhiwiau Caws.

This workshop is ideal for anyone close to assessment, or a little rusty after assessment or not from the area so are unfamiliar with the intricacies of one of Britain’s great beginner climbing venues. You'll one AMI CPD point.


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