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Clogwyn Du'r Arddu - Cloggy

By: Nicholas Hobley, photos Alastair Lee & Alex Messenger
Country: Wales, Region: Snowdonia, Town: Llanberis (Gwynedd)

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!

GETTING THERE

Reach Llanberis in Wales. From here either take Britain's only Rack and Pinion Railway to the Halfway House, or make the walk from Llanberis. Walk up the road opposite the Royal Victoria Hotel, then take the path left which runs parallel with the Snowdon Mountain Railway. After the Halfway House a miner's path breaks off right to coast beneath the crag and above picturesque Llyn Du'r Arddu. Beware of rock fall. Calculate 2 hours for the walk-in.

THE CLIMBING

Trad climbing on rhyolite.

FOOD AND ACCOMODATION

Accommodation in Llanberis, ranging from hotels and B&B's to campsites. Pete's Eats is the tradional climber's hangout for meals, while The Heights is the climber's pub.

NOTES

Do not be fooled by the altitude, Cloggy is a mountain crag. Conditions can change rapidly, ring waterproofs, warm clothing, map and compass.

www.posingproductions.com
www.alexmessenger.co.uk

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Map: Ordnance Survey Landranger Map sheet 115 Snowdon / Yr Wyddfa
Guidebook: Clogwyn Du'r Arddu by Nick Dixon (April 2004)

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Details / crag
SECTORS AND ROUTES
BEAUTY

stella stella stella stella stella

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Summer. The crag is often wet and seeps for extended periods

HEIGHT

300m

ROPE

Twin ropes.

GRADES

VD - E9

ROCK

Rhyolite

ORIENTATION

North

LINK

snowdonrailway.co.uk

NUMBER OF ROUTES

200

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