Rock Climbing

 

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Pete's Eats, Llanberis, centre of the climbing universe and in particular, North Wales!

Whether your thing is to crank on E2's all day, poddle around picnicking and scrambling around the Park or test your adrenaline levels on a major, serious 'head-piece', Pete's Eats is where the safari and the information starts.

A few ideas within easy reach of Pete's.

Llanberis is situated in a mountain environment and The Llanberis Pass is just up the road and offers classics at all grades. Cenotaph Corner E1, Cemetery Gates HVS and Brant Direct HVS. Left Wall at E2 is a good introduction to the steep wall climbing found on the Cromlech - and testing pieces like Right Wall E5, Lord of the Flies E6 are fine examples.

Cockblock E5 on the Grochan is a more technical problem and The Wrinkle on Carreg Wasted an easier alternative at Severe. Over the road on the Mot lies the Diagonal HVS and plenty of fine lines on Plexus Buttress.

Bouldering is now a major feature of the Pass - Cromlech Boulders by the road is the traditional start and wandering up the hill on the other side of the road leads to the Barrel collection and across to Utopia Boulder and on and on until improvisation takes hold.

Cyrn Las, at the head of the cwm above the bouldering area offers classic mountain routes and Main Wall VS is the best trip.

Cloggy is, of course the best crag in the world for E2's - Scorpio, Silhouette, The Hand Traverse - every one is of 'sound character'! Easier, mountain-crag routes like Curving Crackand Vember will keep you on your toes.

Cloggy is also known for a few really, really, really hard routes. Great Wall at E4 introduces this 'thin' terrain. There are also slabs above The Western Terrace!

Across Lake Padarn can be seen a few slate gems with the chalked line of Comes The Dervish E3 the most obvious, and to its right Last Tango In Paris E2. Flashdance E5 takes a direct approach up the slab. Over on the Rainbow Slab, round the corner towards Dinorwig, run the great slate innovations of the eighties. Pull My Daisy E3 is superb, others are scary and thin, like Poetry Pink E5 6b and others downright silly! Around the corner is Colossus Wall, and Colossus E3 is a gem. On a rainy day, adventuring in the huge playground of tunnels and inclines and ladders of Dinorwig Quarry is a must - a real Dungeons and Dragons!

The sea cliffs of Anglesey are only 25 miles away and offer sun-drenched romantic routes above a sparkling Irish Sea - really! Gogarth, Rhoscolyn and North Stack to name a few. The route, Gogarth E1 itself is the classic on the main cliff. The Strand E2 on the Upper Tier is good value and Barbarossa E5 a test piece. Talking Heads E2 at North Stack and Blue Peter E4 are both worth the hairy abseil into the cove.

When the mountains are a little wet or inconsiderate, an often dry alternative is Tremadoc. Half an hour from Petes and a great mountain drive down Nant Gwynant, you will pass Clogwyn Y Wenallt by the campsite on the lake. Ferdinand and Bovine E2 are fine exposed routes. You will park at at Eric's cafe, at the bottom of the main routes. Vector E2 and Weaver E2 are superb. Void E3 and Cream E4 venture onto the headwall and provide technical, but safe moves in a great position. Tremadoc is the home of the VS grade and the quality continues with the easier grades.

There is also bouldering down on the beach at Black Rock Sands. sandcastles and swimming!

Further afield lie the more esoteric cliffs of the Lleyn Peninsular, and shoreline bouldering areas like Porth Ysgo are well worth a visit.

A parallel valley to Llanberis is the Ogwen Valley and it is down here that The Idwal Slabs and Suicide walls are situated. The worn smooth lines of Faith, Hope and Charity wend their way up the slab, and the descent takes in a fine view of the harder, more serious routes on Suicide Wall. Suicide Wall E2 is itself a classic. This area is a popular winter venue with many of the surrounding crags sporting ice routes of all grades.

This guide is a mere hint, with hundreds of crags in between and boulders scattered from the roads to the wilderness - and some, for sure, are waiting to be named!

John Redhead
August 2001

 

 

 

 


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