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Rock Climbing In Snowdonia

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The first area in Wales to be designated a National Park in 1951, the name of course derives from its highest peak, Snowdon. Covering over 800 square miles and including 37 miles of coastline, the area covers a wide range of landscape. There are nine mountain ranges which together cover just over 50% of the National Park, and include many peaks over 3,000ft. Adhering to the philosophy of ‘what goes up must come down’, as you’d imagine in such a mountainous area there are also some stunning steep river gorges, waterfalls and lush valleys, with woodland scattered across the area. To the west of the Park are several stunning estuaries, notably the Mawddach, Dyfi and Dwyryd.
Rock Climbing in Snowdonia, Snowdon National Park

Climbing in Snowdonia

Not for nothing did Edmund Hillary train for his famous Everest expedition here, and with high mountains it’s natural to expect some fantastic rock climbing. In addition to the cliff faces at Tremadog and Llanberis Pass there is also some great sea cliff climbing on the Llyn Peninsula, with routes suitable for all levels. If the weather doesn’t play ball there are also a few top quality indoor centres, and the area is also home to Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Sports Centre, offering an unrivalled range of courses for climbers. Here are some of the most notable areas:
  • Llanberis Pass: undoubtedly the centre of climbing in Snowdonia, and a mecca for climbers across the UK. The Pass is a glaciated valley lined on both sides by world class trad climbing, and with so many routes it will keep even the most experienced climbers coming back again and again. Perhaps the most well known crag is Dinas Cromlech, with Flying Buttress being a particularly notable route, all 6 pitches of it, whilst Cenotaph Corner is deemed one of the defining trad lines in the UK and almost a right of passage for experienced climbers!
  • Llyn Peninsula: sea cliffs always provide a spectacular setting for climbing, and some of those on the Lleyn Peninsula are no exception, also providing some of the most adventurous climbing too, with some great descents involved. Notable routes include ‘Vulture’ and ‘Path to Rome’ at Cilan Head.
  • Tremadog: a great year-round spot and one to consider in most conditions due to a great micro-climate, nestling up to the coast as it does in the shadow of the mountains. The area consists of 4 main areas of an escarpment overlooking Tremadog, one of which is owned and run by the BMC and as a result is kept in fine condition. Look out for Vector Buttress here, and on neighbouring crags are some fantastic aretes (Scratch Arte), whilst the Upper Tier is a great single-pitch area for beginners.
  • Tryfan: known as the only mountain in Wales that can’t be climbed without the use of hands, it’s no surprise that it’s also home to some great rock climbing routes in a spectacular setting, including some brilliant multi-pitch routes up to 190m long.
  • Craig yr Ysfa: a splendid mountain crag offering a multitude of classic routes, with arguably the best VDiff in the UK in the 960ft Amphitheatre Buttress! The crag also includes multi-pitch routes up to 300m long.

Rock Climbing in Snowdonia

Why go Rock Climbing?

Rock Climbing is a great way to see some of the most stunning places, get fit and healthy in the process and have a great time. There’s a wealth of spots to climb, with over 1000 destinations, 150 climbing walls and hundreds of climbing clubs in the UK. See below for some of the best climbing courses in the UK. For some, climbing is the challenge of getting to the top, for others it's the puzzle of working out the route and how to approach the different hands and footholds. There's also the fitness side of course, being a fantastic total body workout, and particularly effective for those doing indoor bouldering on midweek evenings! Then there's the locations. Outdoor climbing locations are often in some of the most stunning locations in the country, and with the climbing itself you are able to get up close and personal with the landscape, and often able to access locations and views unavailable to anyone else! It’s also an incredibly social sport. When at an indoor climbing wall, it’s natural to talk to others about how to climb routes.
Rock Climbing Near Me

Who is Rock Climbing Suitable for?

There's a climb for everyone, and part of the beauty of climbing is that the challenge is relative for each individual. There are plenty of climbing clubs if you'd like to join others and do it more socially and learn from peers, and it can be a great family activity too for those with a bit more experience. For those less confident there are plenty of guides and instructors always happy to share their passion with new people to the sport. There are also plenty of great UK climbing forums for further advice and information.

Climbing Overview for Beginners

Climbing is a great activity for everyone, from individuals, groups, families, friends and corporates. Conquering a climbing route or your fear for heights in a group is a great bonding experience. Climbing doesn’t have to be a huge challenge. There are many ways to get involved with the sport that are more accessible than the crazy films like El Capitan where Alex Honnold climbs over 2km without ropes. Try a guided climbing session to take it easy and pick up the basics, or try bouldering at an indoor climbing wall.
There's different techniques and methods to climbing that make the sport that little bit more interesting and challenging.There’s also a wealth of kit and equipment needed for the different types of climbing. And there’s different ways to get involved with the sport. Don’t worry - it’s easy to pick up. We’ve put together a bunch of resources so that after reading them you’ll be clued up on your next rock climbing experience. Below are some useful rock climbing resources to learn more.
Rock Climbing In UK

Useful Rock Climbing Resources

  • A Beginners Guide to Rock Climbing We’ve created a resource for beginners to rock climbing to outline the different types of rock climbing from bouldering, sport climbing and trad climbing and more. What equipment you need and the various ways to get involved with the sport, whether that be joining a local club, going to an indoor climbing wall or booking an instructor.

  • A Beginners Guide to Rock Climbing. We’ve created a resource for beginners to rock climbing to outline the different types of rock climbing from bouldering, sport climbing and trad climbing and more. What equipment you need and the various ways to get involved with the sport, whether that be joining a local club, going to an indoor climbing wall or booking an instructor.

  • A Guide to Outdoor Rock Climbing in UK. We’ve pulled together a resource to outline what to expect when climbing outdoors in the UK, including the differences from indoor rock climbing and what kit to take. .


Bouldering in the UK

Bouldering is the act of climbing, typically up to 20ft without ropes but with big soft matts beneath. As the height of the climb is not high enough to cause injuries (assuming you fall correctly of course), it’s a great way to get into the sport without having to get used to the technicalities of using ropes, belay devices and the other equipment associated with other types of climbing. To get involved with bouldering, look up your local climbing wall and ensure they mention they have bouldering on offer. Most climbing walls do offer bouldering nowadays. Also, you can find outdoor places to go bouldering. If you’re doing this as a beginner, make sure to organise an instructor who can ensure you’ve got the right equipment (including a bouldering mat to fall on), and show you the best routes and techniques. Snowdonia

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