Sunset over Llandudno © Alejandro
Lower Pen Trwyn (or LPT as it is affectionately known) is an awesome chunk of sea cliff, which has been at the forefront of cutting-edge sport climbing since the early 1980s. For hard sport climbing, this is one of the best venues in the country. Lower Pen Trwyn also has a wide range of superb routes across the lower-to-mid grade span. The limestone is generally solid, clean and of the highest quality, particularly on the steep left-hand sectors. Condensed into this impressive bulge of orange and grey-streaked limestone, there are more than 20 routes of 8a and above. The central section is vertical and contains several immaculate and technical seventh-grade face climbs. Some pleasant and popular easier sport climbs can be found on the slightly less fierce right-hand section. Because the crag is tidal, many of the wave-pounded starts are sharp and the first bolts (above high tide) can feel far above the ground, although the climbing is usually straight-forward. Nevertheless, a clipstick is probably a good idea and also a few wires are often useful to protect moves to the first bolt.
The cliff is generally in the best condition during the warmer months (April-September), when higher temperatures are available to dry condensation off the rock. Being east-facing, the cliff is in the sun in the morning with the left-hand section coming into the shade about 1pm and the right an hour or so later. The cliff does not suffer too much from seepage and the right side dries quickly after rain. The steeper left section can remain damp when there is no wind or on-shore breeze. Take extra caution on the polished starts which stay greasy for longer. Perfect conditions occur on a sunny day with a slight breeze and low water after lunch so the morning sun can dry the crag.
On entering Llandudno head west for the sea front from where the curving line of cliffs of Pen Trwyn on the headland to the west are easily viewed. Lower Pen Trwyn is below the Marine Drive, a one-way road that runs around the headland. To get onto the Marine Drive, turn left along the sea front and continue around to a toll gate (fee). Park next to the bouldering caves 150m beyond the toll gate.
The quickest approach is down a steep gully over the wall opposite and along the boulder beach, though the gully is steep and slippery. A more gentle approach can be made by hopping over the wall by the cattle grid just after the toll gate and descending easily to the boulder beach.
|Blog post/crag review of LPT: http://thefinalpunt.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/the-great-orme-lower-pen-trwyn/
a13x - 14/Aug/13
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