On a weekend in spectacularly clear but icy conditions, A B and I geared ourselves up with racks, hats and mountaineering boots and had two great days.
Day 1 saw us picking our way up the polished and cold initial granite and quartz slabs of Charity on Idwal slabs only to complete a tricky reversal and traverse across to the Ordinary Route half way up pitch 2 because of ice on the quartz and cold fingers++. Romping up this kept us warm and we raced over the the Cneifon arete in good Alpine style before descending like fallen angels in the gloom to Ogwen and Mutter Paneer and log fire in the hut, a hut strangely deserted but for the two of us.
Day 2, despite port and cheese hangovers we were up at 6.30 am and leaving Pen Y Pass car park at 08.45 for a nostalgic walk down the Llanberis Pass with A waxing lyrical about his anxious moments on the final pitches of Cemetery Gates twenty years earlier. Enjoyable exercise in the shade took us up to the Parson's Nose and once again in true mountaineering style we climbed the Nose from its very tail end, the first time up there that I've had crystal clear views of walkers on Crib Goch, and my first time up the Nose. We remained roped up choosing some problematic but fun pitches up Clogwyn Y Person arete up to Crib Y Dysgyl. Hats off once again to the first ascenders of the Nose, the middle pitch is quite airy. Icy views from the summit plateau showed us a ferry in the harbour at Holyhead, Caernarvon castle and even the Tugwell Islands off the Lleyn peninsula. We tip-toed icily down in hastening gloom to Pen y Pass, at 5.30pm. Exhausted but steeped in tradition we motored home.