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Wild Wales offer their own particular approach to climbing and scrambling in the mountains of Snowdonia, in North Wales – with small group sizes and a delight in keeping away from the well worn routes, their local knowledge pays rich rewards for climbers who don't want to just follow the crowd.

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The Long Routes: Mountaineering Rock Climbs in Snowdonia & the Lake District

A guide to climbing 45 mountaineering rock climbing routes in Snowdonia and the Lake District. The climbs are described in full with details of the routes, equipment required, time taken and descent routes. All are graded according to their level of difficulty. The routes are all long and committing, but fall within the capabilities of the average weekend climber, and provide the natural next step for the adventurous scrambler.

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Wild climbing in Snowdonia, with Wild Wales

Brett on a wild wales climbing courseThe mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales offer some of the best climbing in the UK, why else would so many of the climbing fraternity base themselves in the area? And with so much good climbing and so many climbers in the Snowdonia area there is no shortage of places to learn to climb and and people to learn to climb with. You can pick on the obvious, like the large centres, or select something a little different like a rock climbing course or scrambling course with Wild Wales.

Wild Wales offer their own particular approach to tackling the mountains of Wales, with small group sizes and a delight in keeping well away from the well worn routes, their local knowledge pays rich rewards for climbers who don't want to just follow the crowds. Brett Dennis is one of these, he has climbed with Wild Wales on several occasions and what follows is an account of his experiences climbing with them.

"In July 1999, I had my first experience of Wild Wales and have been returning on an annual basis ever since. The original Wild Wales advert struck a very personal chord – wild and remote climbing on high mountain crags, away from the crowds and finishing with a summit.

About 12 years previously, I had climbed part 'though not all, of a well-respected rock climb on Tryfan and it seemed that the best way to actually finish the route was to find a local guide whose philosophy was similar to mine.

Having first climbed whilst at College, then taking a 10 year break to pursue other sports, I found myself living in Kent with ready access to it's Sandstone crags. Immediately following my first Wild Wales trip I joined the local climbing club and have been climbing on a regular basis ever since both outdoors and in.

What has made the Wild Wales experience special for me has been the focus on remote but high mountain areas with a clear objective of completing a climb of quality. Books like Ken Wilson's Classic Rock and Steve Ashton's 100 Best Climbs have been an inspiration to many and the thought of actually climbing those routes with a competent leader is a major attraction. Like many other sports, playing with someone better than yourself will inevitably improve your own game. At Wild Wales, part of the preliminary planning involves the client's objectives and personal 'wish list' of potential routes.

Whilst not deliberately aiming to 'tick off' the recognised routes it is a wonderful feeling of achievement to successfully climb a route 2 or more grades above your own leading level. A route with a 'Star' in the guidebook usually means that it has more than it's fair share of excitement – either position, difficulty or sheer exposure. It has frequently been an advantage to have the local knowledge and experience of the Wild Wales guides to escape the queues at the popular 'classics' and seek out a lesser known climb of equal quality in blissful isolation.

Brett climbing in SnowdoniaLong mountain routes invariably mean long walk-ins but with Wild Wales you are usually guaranteed an approach along little-used paths and sometimes no path at all. Local knowledge both contemporary and historical adds that extra little detail to the overall experience.

Over the last 4 trips and 13 Wild Wales climbs, I have climbed in both sun and rain but can honestly say I have never had a bad experience. Each trip, 'though different, has resulted in a major sense of achievement. The company has always been first class and the philosophy consistent throughout – no crowds, big mountains, carefully chosen routes, long days and fantastic locations.

I am already looking forward to the next trip."

Brett Dennis

© Text and photos Brett Dennis and Wild-Wales 2003

Related travel-quest sections:

climbing / scrambling
, abseiling, mountaineering.

Other contacts:
Visit the Wild-Wales website for details of their climbing courses and scrambling courses.

Recommended books:
The Long Routes: Mountaineering Rock Climbs in Snowdonia and the Lake District Climbing routes in Snowdonia – see review
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Scrambles in Snowdonia
For well described scrambling routes in Snowdonia.
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Classic Rock by Ken Wilson, as mentioned in the article Classic Rock is an inspiring collection of over fifty essays about rock climbing right acrosss the UK.
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Handbook of Climbing Regarded by many as the 'bible' for climbers, this is the ideal read before you take up your climbing course.
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The Complete Guide to Rope Techniques Another excellent basic, this well laid out book covers rope techniques from beginner levels right up to the skills needed for the 'Single Pitch' and the 'Mountain Instructors' Awards.
   Check price in: UK£>>