As an experiment we contacted a few university climbing clubs and invited them to send along 2-3 young women to join members for a weekend at Cwm Dyli. The aims were two-fold: to encourage young women in their climbing and (hopefully) to sow a seed for future interest in the club. The response from the young women we contacted was very enthusiastic and the women’s bouldering group at Lancaster actually saw a surge in popularity as a result.
It felt a bit of a risk holding the meet at the end of March, which was the start of the Easter holidays for the students. As it turned out we had superb weather and climbed on both days in perfect conditions. The students were markedly different in their abilities: the Bangor Duo, from climbing families, already confident Extreme leaders; the Lancaster Lasses very much at the beginning of their climbing careers, with only a little outdoor experience.
We teamed students with members and headed off to various parts of Tremadoc on Saturday. Team Bangor clocked up an impressive list at Craig y Castell with Pryderi, Pwyll, Lonely Edge, Gestiana, One Step in the Crowds, and Creagh Dhu Wall Direct. Team Lancaster went to the delightful Upper Tier of Craig Pant Ifan where they climbed Madog, Falling Block Crack, Mistook, MTN (a confident first outdoor lead by one of the students), Central Staircase, Bulging Wall and Quatre Fois Direct.
Swapping partners round for Sunday, the re-formed Team Lancaster headed for the excitement of multi-pitch climbs on Carreg Wastad in the Pass: Ribstone Crack, Skylon, Crackstone Rib and Overhanging Chimney. Team Bangor stayed closer to the hut and did battle with Bovine, Ferdinand and Toreador on Clogwyn y Wennallt.
We came home buzzing and wondering when we could do it again. It was great both to be taken out of our early-season comfort zones by the more experienced pair and to be able to share our experience with the beginners and watch their progress, even over a couple of days.