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Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, Cloggy, The Black Cliff, the Shrine of British climbing. Many titles for what is widely regarded as being the best mountain crag in Britain.
Photo by Alastair Lee
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Rock climbing on Cloggy - Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, Wales


Rock climbing on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, or Cloggy, one of the best mountain crags in Britain.

Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, more commonly known as Cloggy, is shrouded in a complicated and polemic history and is widely regarded as the "the shrine of British climbing." Located high in the Snowdonia National Park, this mountain crag is reached after an arduous walk along a path from bustling Llanberis. Shortly after the disused Halfway House the track breaks rapidly away from the rack and pinion railway, with its crowds of happy tourists on their way to conquer the highest mountain in England and Wales for the day... a full 1085m!

Alone at last, thoughts turn to the crag lying nestled secretly beneath Snowdon's North Face and, almost unnoticed, it suddenly comes into view. Even from a distance its appearance is awesome: its giant dark buttresses, a jumbled mass of protruding rhyolite walls and pinnacles, tower impressively above a small, lifeless, ice cold lake. But within this apparent chaos a strange harmony exists, for the magnificent triangular central face, The Great Wall, dominates all. And it is here that John Redhead and Jerry Moffat fought some of their most famous battles, leaving behind some audacious statements of their ability, overshadowed finally by Johnny Dawes' inspirational creation, The Indian Face E9 6c.

Cloggy's most famous routes weave their way ever upwards here, including the truly unforgettable The Great Wall E4 6a. Further to the right, on the West Buttress, is the incredible White Slab E1 5b, which involves lassoing a spike and then swinging on it! And high up on the Pinnacle there is the stunning Shrike E1 5c, and the impressively airy The Axe E4 5c, immortalised by Jimmy Jewell's daring early morning solo. This is just a handful of the numerous three star routes to be found here - glancing at the guidebook it soon becomes obvious why "the Black Cliff" is regarded by many as the best mountain crag in Britain!






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