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The Great Orme, a beginners tale of Sport Climbing at the Great Orme in Llandudno North Click to enlarge picture of Great Orme cliff faceWales.

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 breathtaking sunsets.

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 Marine Drive leading to the rock climbing site on the Ormeuntil 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.

Great views of Llandudno Bay and Llandudno pier from the cliff topHaving 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.

Directions :
You can't miss it, simply head toward Llandudno Pier and the Marine Drive is a few hundred yards past the pier entrance.


Please click below for more pictures of the Great Orme.
© All pictures and text copyright Bernard Wellings

The Little Orme viewed from the Great Orme The marine drive as it continues round the North face of the Great Orme
The Little Orme as seen from the Great Orme
View of the marine drive as it continues round the North face of the Great Orme

Ty Hwnt I'r Bont a National Trust tea house on the banks of the Conwy River Llanrwst, click to enlarge

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