Altitude 50m a.s.l
Colin Struthers on Appian Way Bank Holiday Monday, crag to ourselves © kevin stephens
Castell y Gwynt is hidden from view on the very tip of the Great Orme and ranks as one as the finest limestone cliffs in the UK, although it has never been popular. The crag consists of a smooth sweeping wall capped by a huge overhang, the rock is excellent apart from some looseness on the untravelled right hand perimeter. The routes are generally sustained, intimidating and atmospheric with some stunning climbing.
The crag receives sun after 7:30pm in summer, but it can be quite sheltered from south easterly to a south westerly winds making it a good option on marginal days.
The sport routes are well equipped with stainless bolts and lower offs.
The trad routes have a great deal of situ gear including threads, bolts(old and new) and pegs in varying states of decay.
A high degree of care and concentration is required for the approach, moving around and climbing on the whole crag.
The Gwynt is situated below and east of the lighthouse. Park by the cafe and walk back down the road and into the lighthouse drive. Hop over the wall and turn left across the hillside to a plateau above the crag. On the left (looking out) of the plateau is a gully. Scramble down this and the wall is on your right. There is also a 40m abseil from bolts on a ledge above the cliff top just below the grassy plateau. This allows for packs to be left and the routes can be pre-clipped on the way down.
A pair of Peregrines nest here and climbing is restricted 1st March - 31st July.
To access routes on the left side of the crag (facing in) Kiss the Sky, Tradewinds, Spacewalk and Opal Moon, walk rightwards (facing out) past bolts at the top of the cliff and make a short scramble down to a lower grassy ledge. Move back left (exposed) to a resin bolted abseil point in the cave. Abseil 25m to a ledge and resin bolt belay on the left side of a cave.
There is an additional restriction in place each year on the left hand (facing in) routes 1st March
The permanent nesting restriction covers the whole crag and is in place for 2016. Several protected species nest both on the crag and odirectly n the crag above the descent gully, and if present the whole crag is restricted between the above dates. Keep an eye/ear open for the birds and for signs on the approach. If the birds fledge early or fail to nest then the signs will be removed.
The routes on the left hand side that are approached by abseil (Opal Moon) are also restricted due to nesting sea-birds and the restrction applies here even if restrctions are lifted for the remainder of the crag.
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