Altitude 40m a.s.l
Colin Struthers on Appian Way Bank Holiday Monday, crag to ourselves © kevin stephens
Hidden from view, this 'Castle of the Wind' retains an air of mystery and intrigue quite at odds with the more candid crags lining Marine Drive. 'The Gwynt" ranks amongst the finest limestone cliffs in the UK, yet it has never really been popular, partly due to the proximity of Pen Trwyn - its polar opposite in terms of climbing style and atmosphere - and partly because of the previously poor state of fixed gear on many routes. The fixed gear has been rectified and the cliff now boasts a stunning collection of well-equipped and dramatic long sport climbs, plus several pulse-quickening multi-pitch trad routes.
The cliff faces north getting virtually no sun. It can be very windy, and also suffers from seepage. It is best considered a summer crag and then after the bird ban and on hot calm days only.
Park by the Rest and Be Thankful cafe. Walk back down the road and turn down the Lighthouse drive. Hop over the little wall and walk leftwards (the wide gully in front of you is the alternative - and very serious - approach to Unnamed Wall) to reach a grassy plateau on top of the crag. The descent gully is on the left (facing out), below the retaining wall of the Lighthouse driveway. Wander carefully down the gully, especially if the grass is wet. An option for those familiar with the cliff is to make a 40m abseil from bolts on a ledge at the top of the cliff just below the grassy plateau; this allows for packs to be left at the top and clips to be conveniently pre-placed on the sport routes.
Dates: 1 March to 31 July
Reason: Nesting Birds
The permanent nesting restriction covers the whole crag and is in place for 2021 until July 31st. Several protected species nest both on the crag and directly on the crag above the descent gully, and 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 restriction applies here even if restrictions are lifted for the remainder of the crag.
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