Last month, Snow+Rock Trainer Paul Farley travelled from the busy streets of London to the cliffs and caves of North Wales for two days of bouldering and trad climbing. Here’s his full report on the action, plus a few shoe, clothing and equipment recommendations for your next epic climbing trip.
The first thing you notice once you get off the train at Bangor is the sheer contrast between the busy morning commute at Euston and the serene mountain landscape of North Wales. We soaked up this tranquility before driving to DMM HQ in Llanberis to meet up with Gilly from DMM, Charlie from La Sportiva, Tim from Arc’teryx and our mountain guide for the next couple of days, Libby Peter.
First on the day’s agenda was an extensive, highly informative DMM factory tour. It really is staggering just how much time and how many processes go into making something which looks as simple as a carabiner! After the tour, we headed back to get all kitted out for an afternoon of climbing.
The destination of choice was Castle Inn Quarry. We climbed various sport routes between the group, from 5a to 6c+. For those of you who don’t know Libby, she is one of the most highly respected climbing improvement gurus in the UK, so needless to say she was on-hand to dish out training, tips and advice, and ultimately to make sure that everyone was climbing safely.
By 7pm we were all thoroughly exhausted and ready for a good curry! We winded back to Llanberis via the Pass, which has some of the most outstanding landscapes you can possibly hope for only a few hours out of London. We checked in at the Dol Peris guesthouse and moved to the local curry house to meet up with the others for brilliantly tasty food, some epic stories and invaluable climbing advice.
A short drive further up Great Orme, we then followed Libby down to the cliff edge where we made camp and set up an abseiling point to rappel down and onto a ledge towards the bottom. Tim swiftly descended first, followed by the rest of us.
The more experienced climbers among us put in a few trad routes while some of us took lessons in placing gear to climb our first trad route! Once we reached the top, it was time to pack up and head back to London…boo!
It was an absolutely amazing couple of days with some really knowledgeable and talented people and everyone who attended came away with an abundance of new skills!
Climbing Kit List: