Coastal Crags

Angel Bay

Most of the bouldering venues in North Wales are set in awesome aesthetic locations, and Angel Bay is no exception, being situated on the Little Orme near the bustling sea side resort of Llandudno. This venue is a tidal bay, with steep smooth side walls of quality limestone, the floor of which is covered by a massive complex of boulders. The style of climbing here invariably involves powerful decisive moves on sloping holds and pockets with the obligatory poor footholds. The rock is pleasantly featured with water worn scoops and hollows and the landings are mostly excellent.

It is best visited at low tide with a fresh onshore wind, and like all sea cliff venues, it can be greasy or even plain wet on a bad day. However, clever use of chalk, brushes and beer towels can help turn things in your favour, but usually these tactics are not necessary.

Other points to note is that the pebble levels can vary up to four feet, making some sitting starts redundant or other problems more gripping than usual. Due to the sheltered aspect of the bay it can become crowded in the summer months with locals and tourists enjoying the sun, so watch your language, and let them digest the seemingly bizarre spectacle of you totally engrossed in this quality limestone venue.
Problems to seek out include The Ren-Arete V5, The Limpet V6, the sumptuous Sonic Boom V9, The Ramp V0, and Chaos Emerald Crack V5.


Parasella's Cave

In contrast, however to the aesthetic beauty of Angel Bay, Parasella's Cave is the other heartland of limestone bouldering.

Although being found just off Marine Drive on the Great Orme this cave magnetises those who climb within its confines to the extent that the views from Marine Drive are ignored and focused intensively on this dusty and polished venue.

Despite all of the photographs and fuss, Parasella's does not have the most shining of reputations.

However in its defence the climbing here is very modern, characterised by non eliminate steep power orientated lines, and could be deemed the historic forcing ground for this type of powerful climbing in North Wales.

Although it is possible to climb in the cave in all weathers, it does suffer from a time lag seepage problem after heavy rain but it is a rare day when some climbing is not possible.

Those people up for a tussle should view the historic Rock Atrocity V9, Left Wall Traverse V8, Lou Ferrino V10 and Clever Beaver V8.


Porth Ysgo

It is difficult to explain the quality and magical nature of this very- gritstone-esque- bouldering venue. Porth Ysgo is a vast gabbro boulder field by the sea and only a couple of miles from Hells Mouth, surfing mecca of the Llyn Peninsula. It also seems to posses its own perpetually sunny climate, so a good tip is, that if your sat in Pete's Eats watching the rain streak down the windows, order another brew and phone the surf shop in Abersoch for a forecast before you take the forty five minute drive from Llanberis.

Low tides are preferable, but definitely not essential, as most of the climbing is not effected by the sea. Lone visits are not recommended though, as the landings in general are not perfect. However, with a few crash pads and a couple of spotters the landings can be tamed to some extent.

Along with short powerful problems, Porth Ysgo also provides an added 'feel' to some problems such as those which are high ball or with particularly bad landings, providing an intensity often lacking on the safer physical bouldering typical to other coastal venues.However, it is quite simply a 'stella' location.
After the initial shock of the venue has worn off try, The Higginson Scar Right Hand V7/8, Perrin's Blind Crack V3, The Ysgo Crack V2, Fast Cars V6, Popcorn Party V6, and the well wagged about Made in Heaven V5…to name but a few.