North Wales some rock routes worth doing just a few I can Remember so many more
I loved Wales and though never a great climber I was lucky to be in North Wales for 3 years as the Deputy Team Leader of RAF Valley MRT. I learned so much thanks to Wee Jock, Nige Hughes, Pete Kay, Dave Tomkins and many others we had some amazing days. I was also back on many RAF Summer Course two weeks climbing in North Wales teaching rock climbing and getting paid for it dream days? I have two pals heading of to Wales and want to have some fun on the rock. They asked me to recommend some areas and my memory is poor I have not even touched the surface can you help and add or improve this please comment.
Everything is in Wales and usually an easy walk in, what a great change from Scotland and if the weather is poor you can usually find dry rock somewhere. The scrambling is also exceptional and a few on their day off after 6 days climbing on our Summer Course did the 14 Peaks as it was called then. The cliffs in the popular areas can be busy but we climbed a lot in the evening or when the cliffs were quiet or away early well worth it and missed the crowds. I loved it and must get back soon.
Here is a wee guide just my thoughts can you help by adding improving?
Ogwen Valley – has always been in my mind a place to learn and some grand mountaineering routes.
Idwal Slabs classic climbing a great day to start a trip in Wales there is combination of routes is possible to climb to the top of the crag. This can be very busy but there are so many routes and great to get multi pitch routes in with a short walk in.
The routes on the slabs are classic Hope, Tennis shoe, Lazarus, The Arete , Grey slab a tricky VS up high all classics and you can have a great day here, easy walk in and such fun place to be. There are so many others
Tryfan – Milestone Buttress and The East Face Routes – Milestone Direct a short walk from the road, it has so many situations and a climb we did so often, many before the pub or in the evening before it got busy. Soap Gut/ Canopy another old classics rarely done is very classic and here are other routes here with plenty of history and some great fun. Many are in Classic Rock by Ken Wilson. On the East Face of Tryfan there are more mountain routes that finish near the summit of Tryfan – Gashed Crag, First Pinnacle Rib and the lovely Grooved Arete all fairly long routes average 500 feet with Grooved Arete at 700 feet. Also Munich Climb was another we did a bit harder .There are so many climbs all classic can be polished but again superb climbing.
Those who like the walk in Craig yr Ysfa in the Carneddau with Amphitheatre Buttress and Great Gully big 750 feet climbs, very Scottish in feel.
The Llanberris Pass a place of pilgrimage for those who love rock. Here there are great classics again a bit steeper and more serious in my view and some great climbs.
Classic Rock recommends – Nea, Crackstone Rib Wrinkle, Flying Buttress and Spiral Stairs, The Cracks on Dinas Mot and of course the Classic Cenotaph Corner, others like Cemetery Gates and the modern wild lines are impressive. There are also many steady VS routes that get you into the feel of the place. Spectre was one or am I wrong ?. For a mountain route Main Wall on Cairn Las is excellent and a great mountaineering expedition. We had snow on one of our ascents..
The Slate Quarries – You will love this place, in Llanberris – Bus stop Quarry was our haunt in the past – Comes the Dervish and so many others so many fun days.
The Moelwyns – A place well used by RAF MRT for leading on good rock, Slick, Slack Kirkus all about 400 feet so many climbs usually quiet and a great place to get the leading and route finding in. My mate Alaister lives below the cliff you may meet him top man.
Tremadog – Love this crag usually great when the weather is poor a crag with a café heaven. To me One step in the Clouds, Creagh Dhu Wall, Scratch, Christmas Curry,and Striptease so many others a majestic place. I spent so many happy days here and Eric Jones used to run the café.
Gogarth – Sea Cliff Abseil descent and well worth just a look is awesome, we did some lowers and training on these cliffs in my RAF Valley days. it the Classic Dream of white Horses and so much more Lighthouse Arete a great introduction to sea cliff climbing. There is also Holyhead mountain a grand cliff nearby with many routes worth doing. Here I have Memory fade again can anyone recommend me a few climbs?
Pete Kay – Dream, Grim Wall, Cenotaph Corner
David Tomkins – Striptease tremadog , cemetery gates , direct on dinas mo
Woody Woodyart – V.diff grooved arete -H.severe main wall Cyrn las
V.s. great slab Cloggy
Phil Williams – Bochlwyd Eliminate, King Bee Crack, Mean Feat!
Rhoscolywn Sea cliffs – I climbed here a few times memory fade but great sea cliffs maybe someone will remind me of the routes to advise.
So many other places to climb apologies for missing them can you add please cannot find my Valley photos but the memories live on and on.
Ken Wilson’s Classic Rock is one of the most popular and iconic works of climbing literature ever written. Along with Hard Rock and Extreme Rock, it has acquired something of a legendary status. First published in 1978, Classic Rock represented the absolute best of British climbing at that time, quickly establishing itself as a must-have publication. It is a celebration of 80 of the best lower-grade routes in the UK, bringing them to life through a superb selection of photographs, anecdotes and essays from some of the most accomplished climbers of the day. ‘Ticking’ the book became an instant and obvious challenge, and remains so to this day (Wilson wasn’t a fan, describing it as ‘puerile ticking’). Any climber working his or her way through the book will be taken on a tour of the finest routes on the best cliffs and crags to be found throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Many of the routes in the book were established over a century ago. At that time the Victorian and Edwardian alpinists, flushed with successes abroad, sought harder challenges at home. With their well-honed confidence, they went straight for the biggest cliffs of Scotland. Anyone seeking to retrace their steps will immediately be transported to bold lines of weakness up otherwise daunting precipices! Before long these pioneers trailed their hemp ropes and balanced their hobnail boots up the sea cliffs of Cornwall and the gritstone edges of the Pennines, and the crags of the Lake District and North Wales. These climbers provided us with a great national treasure – a repository of adventure and spectacle that can provide a lifetime’s enjoyment and challenge. An ascent of a great historic route will rarely disappoint. Such routes retain much of their original challenge, unsullied by the pitons and bolts often found on their continental equivalents. They take bold, logical lines up otherwise difficult cliffs – usually cleaned and stabilised by years of use. Classic Rock provides a mere sampling of these treasures. This latest edition has been transformed with over 300 new colour photos. These sit alongside archive images to create an inspirational dialogue between today’s climbers and those of history. 55 chapters, contributed by acclaimed climbers and writers such as Jim Perrin, Paul Nunn and Angela Soper, describe the finest classic rock climbs in Britain.
Steve Ashston North Wales This pocket guide selects classic rock and ice climbs in ever-popular North Wales and describes them in a new way, covering grades from Diff to E2 on rock, and I to IV on ice. Each route is illustrated by a topo diagram, while the accompanying text advises on crag approaches, conditions and descent routes, as well as exploring the special quality and atmosphere of the routes. Light and durable, this guidebook will prove an essential companion for all climbers.