/ Gogarth Advice
With the winter set to continue in North Wales for some time we were thinking of heading to Gogarth for the first time to try and get some climbing in over Easter instead of just spending the whole time in Tremadog. Having not been there before I was looking for some advice...
I'm presuming that Holyhead Mountain will probably be OK but what about the main cliffs (e.g. Wen Zawn?).
Looking at the tide timetables it looks like the low tides are morning and evening and the swell is set to be fairly large with the moon fairly full at the moment and highish winds. It looks like the climbing should be out of the wind as it's forecast to be coming from the east but would people advise against it?
Any advice from regulars/burly seasoned sea cliff buffs would be greatly appreciated!
I think you'd be far better off in Pembroke this time of year.
I spent much of my early(better days) climbing at Gogarth and Holyhead Mountain:
Holyhead mountain dries quickly due to the wind coming off the sea; the downside to that is it can be absolutely perishing belaying at the top/climbing. Catches the wind due to it's location.
Gogarth- as you know, Gogarth can be a pretty serious place if the weather comes in; Wen Zawn is pretty cold in the winter as said above it doesn't get too much sun. Castell Helen could be a good option with a few VSs to go at: Lighthouse arete, low in the grade and quite friendly- nice introduction to Gogarth, pel and Rap are also good. Shouldn't be as cold on these.
My advice would be to aim for something light Lighthouse arete; if you lead E1 drop a grade or two for your first Gogarth outing so you have enough in reserve if the weather turns etc.
Enjoy it, on a nice winters day Gogarth can be excellent.
I did Cordon Bleu on the main cliff a few weeks ago and it was a great day out especially because we had the crag to ourselves. The wind was strong and cold (my hands went numb on the walk in), but once climbing we were well sheltered. I wouldn't have fancied climbing at Holyhead Mountain though, because it's quite exposed to the wind.
We just took plenty of warm clothes (i climbed most of the route in a belay jacket) and picked a route we knew we'd find fairly easy. Enjoy it if you do decide to go!
Thanks very much for the advice, looks like south stack area and some warm clothing might be the best bet then!
To op: NW Passage is excellent; if you feel good on the VSs/the sun is out it would be something to get on.
It's quite steep but on decent holds so it's not agony for cold hands; comfortable in it's E1 5b grade as well- It's been a while so don't hold me to that. Great positions too..
Looks like Castell Helen and Upper Tier are OK for bird bans:
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