Dinas Cromlech, rock climbing in Wales
There can be few crags in Wales, and the entire UK, as important as Dinas Cromlech. Situated high above the Llanberis valley this historic cliff, famously shaped like an open-book, boasts some of the best extreme rock climbs anywhere.
Three star routes of all grades abound here, including what is probably the most sought-after E1 in the entire United Kingdom, Cenotaph Corner. Dating all the way back to 1952, this climb was first ascended in wet conditions by none other than Joe Brown wearing nothing but socks on his feet. "The Corner", more so than perhaps any other route, stands as a lasting testament to Brown's outstanding brilliance.
Just as the Cenotaph Corner is probably the most desired E1, its lefthand neighbour Left Wall is probably the most dreamt of, and agonised, E2. This climb accepts as much gear as is physically possible to carry but the crux, right at the top where the crack peters out, bites hard and stings fast! Be warned.
Its brilliant opposite number Right Wall is, as the guidebook says, a route-finding masterpiece. First climbed in 1974 by Pete Livesey, this E5-must heralded a step into the unknown at the time and even today should never be underestimated. Although the protection is good, it is fairly run-out and requires a very cool head as you inch your way ever upwards in search of those elusive thank God holds...
Spiral Stairs, Lord of the Flies, Cemetary Gates, Ivy Sepulchre, Sabre Cut, Resurrection... all of these climbs are legends in their own right and, added to the rest, the reason why the Cromlech held, holds and will always continue to hold such an important place in the history of British rock climbing.
|ROCK CLIMBING AT DINAS CROMLECH, WALES|
Nico Favresse, trad climbing in Wales taken from Onsight by Alastair Lee