History: Owen Glynne Jones, the first person to climb Cader Idris by the east ridge of the Cyfrwy.
Owen Glynne Jones

During the month of May in the year 1888, Owen Glynne Jones accomplished the first ever recorded ascent of Cader Idris by travelling over the east ridge of the Cyfrwy.
After the passing of his mother in 1882, Jones relocated to Barmouth, where he became a mountaineer and a teacher. Jones was born in London in 1867 to parents who were from Wales. Afterwards, he proceeded to get a class honours degree in experimental physics and eventually became the physics master at the City of London School.
Climbing became a hobby for him in the year 1888, and despite the fact that he knew nothing more about organized climbing than what he had learned from reading about the Alps, he managed to scale the east ridge of Cadair Idris by himself. W.P. Haskett Smith and others had been climbing in the English Lake District for around three years at this point in time, despite the fact that rock climbing had just begun to gather momentum at this point in time. Due to his extraordinary strength, his ‘almost magical’ climbing abilities, and his scientific approach, Jones made his way to the Lake District in the year 1890. However, it was not long before he became known to the pioneers. Although some people have speculated that this was due to his short-sightedness, it was said that he was fearless when climbing over a drop when he was a rock climber. On the other hand, he was the pioneer of several first climbs and was also in the forefront of developing new climbing methods in the sport of rock climbing. At the Wasdale Head pub in the Lake District, he became well-known for his gymnastic acrobatics that he performed throughout the establishment. He jokingly referred to himself as “the Only Genuine Jones.”
After the year 1891, Jones began making annual trips to the Alps, where he accomplished a number of significant first ascents. The classic Rock Climbing in the English Lake District was published by him and George Abraham in the year 1897. Jones’s flamboyant manner, in conjunction with the publication, contributed significantly to the sport’s ascent to prominence. In 1899, he was died in a climbing mishap on the Ferpècle arete of the Dent Blanche in Switzerland, falling 1,650 feet to his death. He had planned to be the first person to climb Everest, but he was killed a year earlier. He was 32 years old.

Rock Climbing in the English Lake District

Ascending the East Arete of Cyfrwy on Cader Idris was Owen Glynne Jones’s first solo ascent of the mountain. The year 1897 saw the publication of Jones’s book, titled “Rock Climbing in the English Lake District,” which detailed many of the events and adventures that Jones had had while he was in the Lake District. Jones made the acquaintance of two young boys from Keswick and exposed them to the marvels of climbing. These brothers were known as the Abraham brothers. Jones brought the Abraham brothers to Wales at the beginning of the year 1897 and led them to the Pen-y-Gwryd scene. During this time, George and Ashley Abraham had almost reached the same level of expertise as Jones, and they had participated in a number of exploratory climbs together. On one occasion, the three of them attempted to climb Slanting Gully when they were on Lliwedd, but they were unsuccessful. After that, Jones had to go back to Wasdale in order to fulfil a previous obligation. Before departing, he cautioned his brothers to avoid using the path that he had designated as “his,” which was Slanting Gully. After that, on the 27th of April, George and Ashley allegedly headed out to “potter around on Lliwedd,” and then they attempted to claim the first ascent of OG Jones’ route. This occurred shortly after the previous action. The established upper middle class did not like to see the Abraham brothers finish a number of new routes on a range of cliffs, particularly if they had been attempted by other members of the group. As a result, the Abraham brothers were not made to feel welcome at the Pen-y-Gwryd whenever they returned. The fact that the brothers were not only skilled photographers but also “shopkeepers” contributed to the overwhelming feeling of disassociation, while jealousy played a role in the situation as well. By publishing their book on “Rock Climbing in North Wales,” the Abrahams did not contribute to the improvement of the situation or to the brotherhood of the Pen-y-Gwryd. On the other hand, by the time the first year of the Climbers’ Club had come to a close, both George and Ashley, sisters, had become members of the organization.

The book titled “Rock Climbing in North Wales” was being worked on by Jones and a big group of climbers who travelled to Wales over the Easter holiday of 1899. Jones successfully completed the initial ascents of both the Devil’s Staircase and the Hanging Garden Gully by himself. They attempted to climb Belle Vue Bastion, but they were unsuccessful. However, they were able to successfully accomplish what is now known as the Cheek Climb and Terrace Wall Variant. Milestone Buttress was the next location that the party wanted to visit. Jones and George Abraham had a conversation about going to the Himalayas while they were at the top of the Devil’s Staircase. Unfortunately, this idea was never able to be realized since Jones was tragically slain on the Dent Blanche before the trip could be completed.


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