Climbs 177
Rocktype Slate
Altitude 300m a.s.l
Faces E

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Teetering along the Rainbow © mark reeves

Crag features

The Rainbow Slab Area is one of the best known locations in the slate quarries. It is home to the iconic feature of an immaculate slab of rock with the eponymous ripple arcing across it. This is one of the finest single slabs of rock in the country and it has been developed with a set of routes to match.

The rest of the area doesn't quite match up to this stunning slab although there are still plenty of good routes dotted about. Getting to them can be quite complex as some of the levels are only reachable by abseil.

The Rainbow Slab itself is mostly old-school trad classics with minimal or no bolting giving run-out and technical routes requiring deft footwork, strong fingers and a very steady head. Elsewhere in the area there is more sport climbing on offer which tends to be on vertical and featured terrain.

Approach notes

The Rainbow Slab Area is in the lower quarries but can be approached from three points.

From Llanberis (Rainbow and Cig-Arete Areas) - Park in the Slate Museum (fee), or Dolbadarn Castle, and walk down the First Hydro private road for 20m, to where a public footpath is signed on the left. Follow this as it weaves up through the woods and turns into a walled zig-zagging path up through scree. The path flattens off at a bridge by a winding house. Turn right (towards Llanberis Pass) after the metal bridge and follow the flat enclosed path as it curves left. As the wall ends, cross the fence and follow the level path until it goes left round a corner, shortly after which you reach some buildings on the left. Drop down one level to the top of the Rainbow Slab or go up one level to the Manatese Level.

From Above (Manatese and German Schoolgirl Levels) - Park as for Bus Stop Quarry and follow the main track into the quarries. Just after the gate that leads up to Australia is a second gate on the right. Climb over this and follow the path down a few bends to a point on the Manatese Level, above the German Schoolgirl Level.

From Nant Peris (Plateau Slab and Peppermint Tower) - Park in the lay-by before the village with 'NANT PERIS' written in slate. Cross the road and walk 50m toward the village and turn left onto a footpath that leads along a tarmac road and across the end of the lake. Turn left along the lake through a gate and head up the main track through the quarry. At the second level a plain leads out left from the track by a long gate. Cross the plateau (under Plateau Slab) to the right of the main tower and head down the track to a black fence. Head through the gate and on to join the other approach below the quarryman's path up to the Cig-Arete Level.

Restricted Access

May 2017 Update - a substantial rockfall has occured on the tower (known as Trango Tower or Y Ceiliog) containing the Plateau Slabs routes. As a result the landowners have cordoned off the whole Plateau/Peppermint Tower area and substantial ground works are being carried oput by contractors.

 Access to climb at these venues (Trango Towers/Peppermint Pig areas only) is no longer possible. Access to Rainbow slabs and surrounding areas from the Llanberis side remains unchanged but access from Nant Peris (Pass side) could be restricted when contractors are carrying out work.

This area includes all of the lower part of Dinorwig Slate quarry, including Rainbow slab area, and the levels opposite. The Lower Dinorwic quarries  are all on land owned by  First Hydro Company (FHC). FHC have to comply with the Mines and Quarries Act. This means providing a properly maintained barrier to prevent members of the public from falling into the quarries. The company are repairing fencing in the area and employing additional signage to emphasise the dangerous nature of the quarries. There is no formal permission to climb or walk in the quarries away from the public footpaths.  Please respect the environment of the quarries, do not damage any fences, keep dogs under control and take all litter home with you. In order to protect the current sensitive access, climbers have agreed not to climb on any of the levels below the Rainbow level or on the large tower overlooking the power station buildings.

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Guidebooks

North Wales Climbs

North Wales Climbs covers the best climbing from the whole of this huge and varied area. The book is modelled on the very popular West Country Climbs which set a new standard for selected climb guidebooks back in 2010. It contains all the routes from the 2010 publication North Wales Classics and many more routes and areas, with expanded descriptions and much bigger photo-topos. The book covers all 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 North Coast Limestone.
More info
More Guidebooks:
North Wales Slate (2018)
North Wales Rock (2006)
Slate (1992)
The Slate Wiki
Well I have.used a 50 without probs! ;-)
chrisdavies - 19/Sep/14
so should get away with a 50m rope on most routes?
matt davies - 19/Sep/14
thanks so should be able to get away with a 50m rope on some routes?
matt davies - 19/Sep/14
Hi matt, between 10m and 20m, ish, getting higher from left to right, but the floor also rises along with the wall..
chrisdavies - 19/Sep/14
does anyone know what length the routes are on plateaue slab?
matt davies - 18/Sep/14
A link to the Plateau Slab topo... http://dmmclimbing.com/documents/Plateau-Slab.pdf
Sl@te Head - 04/Jun/12
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Bela Lugosi Slab
2 Nearly but not Quite E1 5c 1
3 Horse Latitudes 6a+ ** 444
4 The Horsin' Around Finish 6a+ ** 320
5 Bela Lugosi is Dead E1 5b ** 1063
6 Alive and Kicking E1 5b ** 353
7 Catrin E2 5c * 219
8 Frogs HS 4a 8
  Colossus Wall
10 Nifty Wild Ribo E1 5a  
11 Shazalzabon E5 6b *** 7
12 Jack of Shadows E4 6a *** 65
13 Light and Darkness E5 6b *  
14 Big Wall Party E5 6b ** 7
15 Major Headstress E5 6a *** 21
16 Ride the Wild Surf E4 6a *** 140
17 Wall of Flame E5 6a * 4
18 Great Balls of Fire E4 6a *** 81
19 Colossus E3 5c *** 305
20 Colostomy E4 6a  
21 OM 69 Runner Bean VS 3
  Rainbow Slab
23 Freak Yer Beanbag E5 6b  
24 Cabbage Man meets the Flying Death Leg E2 5c  
25 Red and Yellow and Pink and Green, Orange and Purple and Blue E1 5a ** 187
26 The Richard of York Finish E3 5b * 73
27 Eros E2 5b * 12
28 Pull My Daisy E2 5c *** 833
29 Chewing the Cwd E5 6b ** 3
30 Released From Treatment E6 6b *** 4
31 Naked before the Beast E6 6b ** 4
32 The Rainbow of Recalcitrance E6 6b *** 28
33 The Cure for a Sick Mind E6 6b ** 2
34 Memorable Stains E4 6a 4
35 Bungles Arete 8b *** 1
36 Poetry Pink E5 6b *** 196
37 The Very Big and the Very Small 8b+ *** 3
38 Raped by Affection E7 6c ***  
39 Ringing' in Urea's E6 6b *** 3
40 Cystitis by Proxy E5 6b *** 29
41 Splitstream E5 6b *** 38
42 Stiff Syd's Cap E6 6c ** 3
43 Prick my Urea's E6 6c ** 1
44 DOA E6 6c ** 4
45 Drury Lane E6 6b ** 1
46 Jai'a'n E6 6b * 3
47 Very Big Cop Out E5 6b  
  Over the Rainbow
49 Over the Rainbow E5 6a ** 5
50 Cwms the Dogfish 8a *** 2
51 The Race against Time E3 5b 1
  Gerbil Abuse
53 How Hot Is Your Chilli? E2 6a  
54 F Hot E2 5c  
55 Hooded Cobra E1 5b 1
56 Little Urn E3 5b  
57 Gerbil Abuse 6c+ ** 77
58 Vermin on the Ridiculous 7b+ * 8
59 The Homicidal Hampster from Hell E5 6c ** 1
60 The Spleenal Flick 6c+ * 19
61 Dangling by the Diddies E2 5b 2
62 3.15 to Yuma E4 6a *  
63 Chitra 7c *** 11
  Cig-Arete Area
65 The Mu Mu 7c+ ** 1
Climb name Grade
66 Over Taken By Department 'C' 6a ** 153
67 Taken over by Department 'C' 7a ** 138
68 Jaded Passion E5 6a 1
69 Sleight of Hand 6c ** 57
70 The Colour Purple E1 5c * 1
71 Nik-Arete 6c * 35
72 Waiting on an Angel E1 5b 2
73 Cig-Arete 7b ** 29
74 The Listening and Dancing E5 6b ** 4
75 Where are my Sensible Shoes? 7b ** 33
76 Gwion's Groove 6a+ ** 66
77 Drowning Man 6b * 76
78 Coming up for Air E5 6b 5
79 Tongue in Situ E1 5c 3
80 Saved by the Whole HVS 5a 6
  Frank Bruno Wall
82 Pocketeering 7a+ * 7
83 Satisfying Frank Bruno 7b+ ** 5
84 The Untouchables 8a ** 2
  Concorde Dawn Area
86 Unchain My Heart E3 5c * 9
87 Emerald Eyes VS 4b * 24
88 Pork Torque E2 5c 3
89 Home is Where the Heart is E5 6b **  
90 Concorde Dawn 8a ** 2
91 Snuffler VS 4c 8
92 Pigs in Space HVS 4c * 14
93 Is Marilyn Monroe Dead? HVS 5b 3
94 Buxton The Blue Cat VS 5b  
95 Nothing... VS 4c  
  The Kennels
97 Doggy-Style 7c * 2
98 The New Slatesman 8b ** 1
99 Rowan 7c ** 2
100 Unchain My Bidoobies VS 4b  
101 Envy VS 4c  
  Terry's Wall
103 Skinning the Ladder HVS 5a 5
104 Big Bendy Buddha VS 4c 13
105 Lesser Mortals HVS 5a  
106 Vertigo VS 4c * 32
107 Run for Fun VS 4c 6
108 Contextual Stiffy E3 6a * 1
109 Stacked Deck E3 6a  
110 Torrents of Spring HVS 4
111 Bring Out the Gimp E5  
112 Senile Delinquent HVS 5a 4
113 Sunk Without Trace E4  
  German Schoolgirl Area
115 The Dark Destroyer 7c+ * 1
116 The Mau Mau E4 6a *** 333
117 Ari Hol Hi E4 6a * 1
118 The Rock Dancer's Daughter 7a+ ** 4
119 Silver Shadow E4 6a ** 11
120 True Clip 7b+ *** 42
121 German Schoolgirl E2 5c *** 724
122 Spong (is good for you) 7c+ ** 22
  L'Allumette Area
124 Werp HVS 5a 2
125 Monster Hamburger Eats the Alien Baby 6c * 14
126 The Coming of Age E4 6a 2
127 L'Allumette 7a ** 31
128 Brain Death E2 5a 3
129 Octopussy's Garden E4 5c * 4
130 Surfin' U.S.A E1 5b * 26
Climb name Grade
131 Brian Damage E1 5a 4
132 Walrus Wipeout E2 5b 1
133 Tidenhub * 6c+ *** 1
  Fruity Pear Slab
135 Scratching the Beagle E1 5b 13
136 A Mere Trifle E6 6b 1
137 Fruity Pear in a Beg Shop Romp E6 6b 1
138 Fruity Pear Gets Just Deserts 7a+ 6
  Manatese Area
140 Tumbling Left E1 5b 2
141 Walls come Tumbling Down E1 5b 9
142 Manatese E4 6a *** 80
143 The Master Craftsman (Il Miglior Fabbro) 7c+ 1
144 Womaninstress E2 6b * 2
145 Gods Betweens Money E4 6a 1
146 Occam's Razor E1 5b 2
147 Pit and the Pendulum HVS 5a  
148 Snowdon Lady HS 3
149 Lone Pine HS 3
150 Heaven Steps VS 5a 1
151 Doobie the Dugong * 7a 1
  The Dark Half Area
153 Green Ernie E5 6a 1
154 Paradise Lost Indirect E2 5c ** 2
155 Paradise Lost Direct 6c+ * 2
156 Paradise Lost 6c * 24
157 Direct Start 6c+ * 10
158 The Dark Half 8a *** 34
159 Angel on Fire E2 5c ** 55
160 Celestial Inferno E4 6a ** 2
161 Chariots of Fire E2 5c ** 7
162 The Grey Slab E1 5b * 3
163 Captain Black and the Mysterons E2 5b * 2
164 Heatseeker 7c *** 6
165 Y Rybelwr E4 6a * 2
166 667 Nieghbour of th Beast E3 5c  
  Plateau Slab
168 1981 VS 5a 13
169 Colin's Arete 4c 124
170 Circus Skills 6a * 151
171 Monster Munch 6c+ * 78
172 White Tiger 6a ** 137
173 Slate Ninja 6a ** 123
174 Celtic Warrior 6a+ ** 114
175 Magic Carpet 5a * 149
176 Carpe Diam 5c ** 135
177 Teenage Dreams 6b ** 117
178 Plateau Corner 5c * 80
  Peppermint Tower
180 Circles are Sound E5 6b 1
181 Greedy Girls HVS 4c 4
182 Jugs Bach 5b ** 10
183 El Juego Grande 6a ** 4
184 Jugs Mawr E3 5c *** 3
185 Honorary Limestone 7a ** 8
186 Midnight Drives E2 5b 1
187 Chinook Arete 7a ** 10
188 Song of the Minerals 7b **  
189 Come Inside 5.9 ** 3
190 Strawberry Jam E2 5c * 3
191 "HELP!" (its raining jugs) E4 5c 2
192 The Descent VD *  
193 Midnight Arete 7a+  
194 Pick and Mix 6a  
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer chrisdavies