The Great Orme,
a beginners tale of Sport Climbing at the Great Orme in Llandudno
Although a complete novice to climbing outdoors I found the crags on
the Great Orme a great place to start. Not only does it have a great location
being only two minutes away from Llandudno town centre, it's country park
status makes it a quiet spot for all types of recreation. It also benefits
from the relatively dry coastal weather and has some beautiful views and
My friend Leon and I spent a couple of months training, on indoor walls,
completing a short beginners' course at Beacons Indoor Climbing Wall,
and bouldering around a few sites in North Wales until we felt confident
enough to try our first sport climbs on the Great Orme in Llandudno.
Dave purchased a rope and I supplied the quickdraws and the guide for
North Wales Lime Stone (a rockfax publication) and we set off to have
a scout for some easy and not too scary routes.
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The Great Orme has a private toll road running all the way around it
and is manned from early morning until
quite late in the evening and to pass onto Marine Drive it costs £2.50.
(as of 2007)
We parked just before the toll booth and walked up to the first obvious
cave which is the famous Parisellas Cave (famous for its awe inspiring,
joint aching boulder problems). I had read that to the left of this cave
following the face of the cliff 250m was a route named ‘Green Flash’.
This is the furthest bolted route to the left from the caves and one of
the lower grade climbs in the guide.
After walking up and getting all our kit on we struggled through the
quite new routine of tying on to the rope using a figure of eight knot,
deciding which of us was going to wear the one helmet we had between us,
(looking like a couple of idiots out of a government advert warning about
coastal dangers) and set about leading our first sports routes.
previously practiced a few high bouldering problems the height of this
climb wasn’t too bad but getting used to using the quickdraws and
tying off at the top of the route were all new experiences to me and added
an extra dimension to the climb ( I was glad I had just checked out the
BMC guide to climbing outdoors just before leaving the house!).
On reaching the top we were rewarded with some great views of Llandudno
bay and the nearby pier.
You can't miss it, simply head toward Llandudno Pier and the Marine Drive
is a few hundred yards past the pier entrance.