/ Sport Climbing beginners

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ddu32 - on 02 Jun 2013
Hi guys,

A friend and I have all the gear, and a bit of training, so feel ready to hit the great outdoors. We were wondering whether anyone had any advice on an ideal bit of rock for our first outdoor climb. Somewhere with some nice easy climbs, with good bolts, and not too high! We live in Cardiff, South Wales, so anywhere within 20-30 miles would be great, closer the better!


Cheers for any info,

Dom and Jon
stoneback - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32:
Well I'm no expert as I climb mainly trad but I've had a few good days sport climbing, have a look at thirty foot wall in tintern quarry, loads of easy short stuff but don't step back too far! Also wyndcliffe quarry has short easy stuff and is very east to get to.
There's probably stuff nearer you but the wye isn't far.
Have fun wherever you go and be safe, bla bla bla....
CLyus - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32: hmm well your best bet would be asking the staff at the indoor climbing wall you normally go to they should be aware of the local crags. Though you won't be spoiled for choice when it comes to sport climbing in south wales I'm in swansea so i'm not too sure about stuff nearer to cardiff but there are some decent routes on the Gower such as at 'Fox Hole' and 'Watchhouse crag'

my first sport lead was at Watchhouse Crag which was good fun, the bolts were in good condition and most of the older ones at foxhole have been replaced.
The Ivanator - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32: Gilwern Hill, crag X might be a good place to start
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=3658
Of the Wye Sport crags Ban-y-Gor is the best although the easier climbs there are fairly spread out, enough at 6a and below to keep you entertained for a day though.
robthered - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32:

Haven't done any there myself, and no idea on grades, but it doesnt get any closer to Cardiff than Taffs Well. Just up the A470, by Castel Coch.
robthered - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32:

Should have added 'The Gap' to that too. Again, only done trad there but its local (near Merthyr). Check out South Wales guidebook.

I'd give you more info but my copy's at work in case good weather and bunk off opportunity planets align...
Jamesg87 - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32: Tirpentwys isn't too far from that area and had a fair spread of easier grades http://www.southwalesmountaineering.org.uk/g_book/index.php/Tirpentwys also Gelli in the Rhondda has some easier grades to get started on. Best bet is to check out the other pages on the swmc wiki and see what takes your fancy
spearing05 - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32: The gap has some friendlier grades, Taffs Wells has a reputation for being hard and little in the lower grades though a few more at Taffs Wells west.
hms - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32: I love Wyndcliff Quarry, it has some great routes, but given your potential starting grade I think you might struggle to find something you were happy on there.

I've only been to Tirpentwys once - at the time I'd done quite a bit of stuff outside and had lead several f6b routes - I struggled to get up a 5 there, something about the angular sandstone made it seem very hard to climb. Probably just because all my leading had been on limestone up to then, but I know I can away disheartened.

Ban y Gor I struggle with the layout. Cos of the location there aren't any photo-topos as such and actually finding the route you want to climb can be a right pain.

So I hate to say it, but my money would probably be on the 30' wall at Tintern. Yes the place is a great ugly hole in the ground, yes there is a lot of choss about (but the 30' wall is totally sound), but really I reckon this is one of the best places around to just get on lots of lower grade routes without faffing about.

Wear a helmet though!!
hms - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32: me again. My top tip for starting sport climbing outdoors would be to buy a clip-stick. Always preclip the first bolt to reduce your chance of a ground fall. If you have a clipstick with you you will always be able to dog the rope to the top if you just get plain stuck on a route. It also allows you to get a rope up a route you fancy having a top-rope play on - but always top-rope on your draws, not the rings. Not trying to teach you to suck eggs or anything, but these are some bits of advice I really really wish someone had given me when I was starting out!
GridNorth - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to hms: Blimey if you love Wyndcliff you really need to get out more. Sorry but it's a short, chossy quarry next to a main road. At best the routes are mediocre. Possibly worth the odd visit if you are desperate and live near but certainly not driving any distance for. Tintern is better value for money and trhat is really sayig something :-)
hms - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to GridNorth: sorry I thought I was trying to give some useful advice to keen beginners. Don't quite see the merit of shooting my opinions down in flames thanks very much, especially as you don't seem to be adding much.
muppetfilter - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32: A word of caution is to remember that outdoor crags can have loose rock especially on lower grade routes.
Also make sure you know how to safely thread top anchors and finally if you are going to toprope a route several times it is better to do so with quickdraws at the top rather than through the lower offs .
Al Randall on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to hms: Didn't mean to offend you I was just offering an alternative opinion and and attempting to be amusing ath the same time. I did add something, Tintern would be better.
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ddu32 - on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to ddu32: Guy - Thanks for all the advice, thinking the Gap or Tintern look like good places to start off! Cheers people!

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