North Wales offers a greater depth and variety of bouldering that can’t be found anywhere else in the UK. The map opposite shows the location of the bouldering areas that include mountain and coastal crags. These are described in greater detail below.
(1) Llanberis Valley. This rugged mountain valley contains a wealth of good quality bouldering throughout the grade range. It includes classic venues such as the Cromlech Boulders and the Wavelength area.
(2) Ogwen Valley. This grand and imposing valley contains many fine boulder problems and areas. These include crags around Bethesda that provide a great circuit, the classic Sheep Pen Boulders, to lots of roadside bouldering near Idwel Cottage such as Milestone Buttress and Caseg Fraith Boulders.
(3) Outlying areas. Outside of the two main mountain valleys of Llanberis and Ogwen, there are many smaller and quieter areas that have been developed. These range from crags around Capel Curig such as the RAC boulders, to areas around Beddgelert and the Nant Gwynant to Tremadog in the south. To the east there is the Cwellyn Valley, and to the west there are a number of crags around Blaenau Ffestiniog.
(4) Rhiw Area. There is a cluster of fine bouldering venues on gabbro/dolerite rock around the village of Rhiw, on the Lyn Peninsula. These range from the semi-tidal crags such as Porth Ysgo to a good selection of problems around Mynydd y Craig slightly further inland.
(5) Anglesey Area. The bouldering here is focused on the limestone crags of Fedw Fawr and Benllech that are located on the northeast coast of the island.
(6) Llandudno Area. The Llandudno limestone crags offer a huge amount of quality bouldering mainly in the higher grade range of Font 7s and 8s. This includes the classic Parisella’s Cave plus numerous other high quality crags dotted around the Ormes such as Pill Box Wall, Pigeon Cave, and Angel Bay.
(7) Northeast Wales Area. The bouldering in this area is steep and powerful on limestone rock. The Gop crag is definitely esoteric, whilst Pantymwyn, Graig Ty Mawr, and Ruthin provide pleasant bouldering.
The definitive guidebook is simply called North Wales Bouldering published in 2017 by Ground Up. It details many thousands of problems across a wide range of grades, in all the areas described above. Buy the North Wales bouldering guidebook from our shop.It is also possible to boulder in North Wales all year round, regardless of the season or prevailing weather, as there is always somewhere to go. The mountain crags are always popular but when it’s raining or during the winter months the conditions on the coastal crags are often good.
The North Wales Bouldering Guidebook is the definitive guidebook covering Llanberis valley, Ogwen valley, Rhiw area, Anglesey, Llandudno, and all the outlying areas including the northwest of Wales.