On the west coast of Anglesey lies the tiny Holy Island, home to the imposing and atmospheric sea cliff Gogarth. Even though the development of this cliff started only in the 1960's, its role as a bastion of British trad climbing is undeniable. Bolts are not tolerated and the hundreds of routes, many affected by the tide, should not be underestimated. Good ropework and route-finding ability are essential, for epics are best avoided here!
Thankfully the majority of the routes are in the mid-grades and the rock quality is very good indeed, making these outings highly rewarding. An ascent of Ed Drummond's timeless classics A Dream of White Horses HVS 5a and The Strand E2 5c will be remembered for many years to come, as will Pat Littlejohn's beautiful Hunger E5 6a, to name just one of the many magnificent hard routes on the daunting Main Cliff.
The controversial but undeniably brilliant John Redhead left his mark on the infamous North Stack Wall during the 1980's, creating a series of life threatening routes; his worrying The Bells The Bells E7 6b was Britain's first E7 and it waited a staggering 6 years for its first, and to this date rare, repeat at the hands of an audacious Andy Pollitt! Fawcett's The Cad E6 6a dates back to 1978 and is described as one of the best pitches in Wales; it receives somewhat more ascents but without the psychological assistance of the controversial rusty old bolts this remains a bold lead. The faint-hearted should best stay well away from this wall!
Gogarth is located on the western edge of Holy Island which in turn is located just off the island of Anglesey in North Wales. From Bangor take the A55 NW through Anglesey to Holyhead, then follow signs for South stack. Park the car at the cafe.
Steep and demanding face climbing.
FOOD AND ACCOMODATION
Campsites and B&B's on both Holy Island and Anglesey.
Many pegs are rusty and therefore not trustworthy. Many routes are tidal, check out the tide tables with great care.
"Gogarth North" by Ground Up Climbing Media (2009)
North Wales Rock (2006), Gogarth (1990)
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