Bullock & Peter climb hardest Welsh winter route

by Tom Briggs On 27 February Nick Bullock and Libby Peter made the first winter ascent of Travesty on Clogwyn Du, grading it VIII 8 – probably the hardest winter line to date climbed in Wales. Clogwyn Du is the black crag at the top of the Glyders, which sits high above Cwm Idwal. Fully rimed, iced and frozen, it gives a spectacular situation for winter climbing. The upper pitches of Travesty (a summer E1 5b) are an obvious winter line following turf, off-width cracks and chock-stone blocked chimneys. Entry into the massive left to right chimney/flake is barred by an overhanging wall. Bullock attempted to enter the line direct but failed and traversed left on overhanging turf ledges to belay on the spike of The Crack (this could be easy climbed direct). From the spike belay of The Crack, the climb follows the summer line as described in the Ogwen Guidebook.Bullock led the second pitch, an overhanging downward traverse in a spectacular position, with good wires until around the overhanging nose. Pulling rightwards into a niche was the crux of the climb. Small flakes and nubbins were used for balance and the footholds were small. There is no protection until reaching the base of the chimney. A belay can be constructed, but a higher cave was taken in an attempt to protect the second. Peter followed the pitch using aid and a back rope, as the consequences of a fall could have been serious. The third pitch, led by Bullock, was a heavily-iced, overhanging offwidth, and the fourth pitch led by Peter was of a similar style. Both are in a spectacular situation with good gear. Freezing temperatures continue in Wales this week, so expect some more action to come!