South Wales Mountaineering Club - Guidebook Wiki
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Rock Climbing in South Wales
Historically overshadowed by its further neighbour, Pembroke, some of the best routes in the UK are located within S.E. Wales and Gower. It's worth a visit or ten! The climbing ranges from 'exciting' to well bolted sport climbs on limestone or sandstone. There is something for everyone. The climbing can be split into 4 sections: Gower Peninsula, S.E Wales Sandstone, Inland Limestone & Bridgend Area:
Gower is set in one of the most beautiful coastal areas of Wales and contains many fine trad routes from V.Diffs to the upper Extremes. If trad isn't your thing, then there are some steep caves and quarries dedicated to sport climbing! The crags are mostly in relaxed (and scenic) positions with some regionally important routes.
S.E. Wales Sandstone climbing is on the hard indurated sandstone of the South Wales Coalfield. Generally this means either bolted routes in quarries, or pleasant natural (non-bolted) outcrops. The quarries range from small bites in the hillside to huge monolithic wastelands. Crags are often remnants of the industrial heritage belonging to the South Wales valleys ... but there is something actually pleasant about all this!
Inland Limestone can contrast in character quite radically. For example, inland sport climbing on steep and solid natural limestone may be found at Dinas Rock, whilst vertical to slabby quarried rock is in plentiful supply around Taffs Well, just off the M4, north of Cardiff.
Bridgend Area is for those with salt water in their veins. Coastal bolt clipping can be found at Witches Point, or at the other end of the adventure spectrum there is nationally important Ogmore, which like Marmite ... you will either love or hate.
Bouldering in South Wales
South Wales bouldering is yet to be developed to the level of North Wales, or the peak, yet it offers a fine spectrum of climbing for experienced and novice boulderers alike. Kennelgarth Wall at Dinas offers some great safe problems rewarding strength and subtle technique. The Trench at Ogmore is unique - grit shapes without friction. Bouldering in Gower gives the climber a 'mine' of easier problems - and some hard ones - with the additional attractions of swimming and jumping at high tide.
The guide is far from complete but is complemented by www.swbg.co.uk. One of the problems is that we keep discovering nice new areas to boulder at!
How You Can Get Involved
Anyone interested in rock-climbing and bouldering is welcome to get involved in the development of this wiki.
We are interested in recruiting editors to update pages and to supply news and photographs. The only requirements are that you have something of interest that you are willing to share and that you can work together with other editors to produce an up-to-date and useful resource for climbers both in S. Wales and further afield.
If you are interested, create yourself an account.
N.B. New users should note that:
- both your username and password are case-sensitive.
- your username should take the form of your real Full Name. e.g. Fred Bloggs, etc..
For furthur info, contact SMWC Craginfo