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Welsh Climbing Guidebooks - North & Mid-Wales

Wales map

Wales is well covered by climbing guides, thanks mainly to the work of the Climbers' Club and new routes can be reported at http://www.climbers-club.co.uk/newroutes.html.

Pete's Eats' New Routes Book (without the rude bits) contains a lot of new routes details from North Wales.

Selected Guides: These guides offer a selection of the best routes in the area covered.

Ground Up - North Wales Rock


Superb full colour selected climbs guide to North Wales. The main climbing areas of Llanberis, Slate, Ogwen, Tremadog, Gogarth, Lleyn and Llandudno are all covered in good detail with absolutely loads of excellent photo topos and action photos. Over 670 of the finest climbs from all the best areas are described.


Rockfax - North Wales Climbs


You wait ages for an up to date full colour photo diagrammatic guide to rock climbing in Snowdonia and then two appear at once (well almost at once)! It spans the major mountain crags from Llanberis Pass, to Cloggy; and from Ogwen to the Carneddau. It also includes the Llanberis Slate quarries, Tremadog, the Moelwyns, the Gwynant Valley, Mid-Wales, Gogarth and the Ormes of Llandudno.


Rockfax - Poketz North Wales Classics


Diminutive pocket sized selected climbs guide to Snowdonia with a good selection of routes (75 Mod to S, 120 HS to HVS, 94 E1 to E3 and a few harder ones) and clear photo topos. It covers most of the areas a visitor would want to visit with the exception of Gogarth and also includes a smattering of winter routes.


Frances Lincoln - Rock Climbing in Snowdonia


Excellent, if slightly dated, selected rock climbing guide to North Wales. Includes all the major areas such as Llanberis, Cloggy, Ogwen and Tremadog. Also Gogarth and North Wales Limestone.


Cicerone - The Ridges of England, Wales and Ireland


Attractive quite large format book which describes 48 classic ridge climbs in England, Wales and Ireland from Moderate scrambles through to MXS climbing on the Isle of Wight's Skeleton Ridge. Some are described as winter outings, but most are summer climbs.


Ape Index - Boulder Britain


Boulder Britain is a selected guide to the best 3000 boulder problems in Britain. There has never been a guidebook like this before!


Jingo Wobbly - The Climber's Handbook to England & Wales


Superbly produced new guide to the major crags, bouldering spots, climbing walls, gear shops, clubs, cafes, pubs and campsites of England and Wales. NB This is not a climbing guide as such in that routes are not described.


Definitive Guides: The CC guides include every climb in the area described. Some of the other guides listed may not be completely definitive.

Northern Soul - North Wales Bouldering



Simon Panton's block-buster - 300 pages of fantastic looking problems. Clear, easy to follow topos and descriptions for all of north Wales's best bouldering areas - Llanberis Pass, Ogwen Valey, Porth Ysgo and Llandudno. Obscure outlying areas are also covered in detail. Sorry, out of print - new edition due November 2015.


OnSight - North Wales Limestone


This excellent definitive guide covers all of the climbing along the North Wales A55 coastal corridor - from Benllech in the west to The Devil's Gorge (near Mold) in the east, including the popular Great and Little Ormes of Llandudno. The book details nearly 1000 sport routes and over 500 trad routes in this varied climbing area, including the nationally significant trad venue of Craig y Forwyn.


Ground Up - Parisella's Cave


Mini photo-topo guide to top notch North Wales bouldering area of Parisella's Cave, Split Infinity Cave and Breck Road. Contains over 100 problems.


Pesda Press - A55 Sport Climbs


A slim volume covering a handful of sport climbing venues all reached within milliseconds of your car from the A55 North Wales coast road.


Ground Up - Gogarth North


All colour definitive guide to the northern part of Gogarth. Covers Holyhead Mountain, Upper Tier, Main Cliff, Easter Island Gully, Wen Zawn, Flytrap area, North Stack, and Tsunami Zawn as well as Breakwater Quarry, Craig Badrig, Portllechog, Benllech, Fedw Fawr and various other minor crags of the north coast of Anglesey.


CC - Gogarth


The most atmospheric sea-cliff climbing in the UK. In addition to Gogarth itself, it also covers Holyhead Mountain, Breakwater Quarry, Rhoscolyn, The Range, a load of minor crags and a section on sea level traverses.


CC - Ogwen


An excellent guide jam packed with routes, photos, topos and useful information. Covers the major cragging areas of Cwm Idwal, Glyder Fach and Tryfan plus just about everything else in the area west of the A5 between Capel Curig and Bethesda.


The guide to the Carneddau is available as a CC PDF in various formats.

The guide to Crafnant is available as a CC PDF.

CC - Llanberis


Much improved Llanberis guide - a complete reassessment of the valley, with new routes right up to autumn 2008 and separate sections covering the major bouldering areas.


Ground Up - Llanberis Slate


Long awaited replacement to the long out of print Llanberis Slate guide. A superb production with loads of clear colour maps, excellent photodiagrams and superb action shots scattered liberally amongst route descriptions and interesting historical vignettes.


CC - Lliwedd


A traditional rock climbing guide to one of the most traditional cliffs in North Wales - a great place to climb for those who like to get away from it all.


CC - Clogwyn du'r Arddu


Fantastic guide to Wales' biggest and most famous crag, affectionately known to climbers everywhere as "Cloggy". Awesome routes, anecdotes, photos and an extended and fascinating historical section that takes up almost half the book. Covers summer and winter climbs.


CC - Cwm Silyn & Cwellyn - Eifionydd


A slim volume, but beautifully produced, with colour photo-diagrams in place of crag drawings. It covers the area south of Llanberis and north of Tremadog and includes such crags as Llechog, Castell Cidwm, Craig y Bera, Cwm Silyn, Cwm Pennant, and Moel Hebog.


CC - Tremadog


Fantastic rock climbing guide to Tremadog, Moel y Gest, Moel Ddu, Aberglaslyn, Clogwyn Coch, Souther Snowdon, Carreg Hylldrem and all those crags you see near the road when driving from Capel Curig to Beddgelert via Nant Gwynant including Clogwyn y Wenallt, Craig y Llyn and Clogwyn y Bustach.


CC - Lleyn


Excellent small guide to this little known but magnificent adventure climbing area. Nicely produced with some inspiring photos.


CC - Meirionnydd


A climbing guide to the northern half of Mid Wales, covering Yr Aran (Craig Cywarch), Arennig Fawr, Y Berwynion, Y Moelwynion, (Cwm Lledr a Betws-y-coed) Y Rhinogau and Cadair Idris.


Rockfax - Clwyd Limestone


Limestone climbing in the Eglwyseg Valley on the border of Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire. Covers World's End, Craig Arthur, Twilight Zone, Pinfold Area, Monk's Buttress, Dinbren, Trevor Area, Pot Hole Quarry, Maeshafn Quarry, Devil's Gorge, Ruthin Escarpment and Llanymynech Quarry.

White Goods

White Goods is a limestone dry tooling crag near Ruthin in North Wales, probably the best in the UK for those pushing their grades. There is a topo available on Ramon's Blog and route descriptions on the South Wales Mountaineering Club website. There is also a White Goods Blogspot.

Cicerone - Welsh Winter Climbs


A comprehensive guide to winter climbing in North and Mid Wales (the title is a bit of a misnomer), or at least as it was in 1998.


Ground Up - North Wales Winter Climbing


A long needed winter climbing guide update to North Wales. Numerous colour photos and colour photodiagrams make for a superb visual feast. Describes all the new winter routes in North Wales, plus full definitive coverage and colour photo topos for the major winter venues. Needs to be used in conjunction with the Cicerone guide to give a complete picture.


BMC - North Wales White Guide


A bilingual pamphlet/guide on best ecological practice when climbing in Snowdonia in winter.


Rockfax - Deep Water


Make a splash with this inspiring guide to the world of deep water soloing. The guide covers the UK, Europe and a few selected venues around the world. The first 200 pages cover the UK (Swanage, Lulworth, Portland, Devon, Cornwall, Pembroke, Scotland and other parts of the UK), and then Portugal, Costa Blanca and Mallorca get 80 pages of detailed coverage.