Boys cranking on The Diamond © doylo
The Diamond is the magnificent sweep of high quality limestone which arcs up dramatically from the rocky shores of the Little Orme. This is an impressive cliff - quite simply, the best hard sport cliff in Wales, one of the best in Britain and, according to some globe-trotting superstars, world class. The best routes here stand up with the best of their grade anywhere.
Nothing is more likely to put off visitors to a potentially brilliant cliff than consistently poor conditions, and The Diamond can be such a place. The cliff faces northwest and receives sun from about 4pm in August - when it's a truly magical place to be with the evening sun reflecting off the bay and lighting up the cliff with a golden glow. The best conditions available to climbers are during late July, August and September. Conditions are best from midday and early evening when the air temperature is highest and dew-point is lowest.
Park at the Craigside Inn or on one of the side roads nearby. Hop over the gate opposite and follow a path leftwards through the trees, paralleling the road, to a meadow. Continue across the meadow, cross a low fence and go towards the cliff edge. Drop down a shallow grassy gully below Craig y Don Upper and follow a path around to the right (facing out) to a resin bolt abseil point with in-situ rope (5 mins to here). Abseil from here to the handline, which leads around the cliff into The Diamond.
The cliff is tidal and access is possible from approx 2.5 hours after high tide until 2.5 hours before the next high. You might get up to 30 minutes extra on neap tides and 30 minutes less on springs, thereby giving a window of about 8 hours.
Dates: 1 March to 29 July
Reason: Nesting Birds
The restriction is in place in 2022 but has been lifted early on July 29th, as the birds appear to have fledged early this year. Cormorants and oystercatchers are still nesting on rocks close to the cliff and its important that disturbance is kept to a minimun, especially towards the left hand side of the cliff.
There are approx 150 pairs of nesting kittewakes on the crag. The whole crag is restricted during the nesting period. Arrangements are in place for the crag to be monitored and if the birds fledge the restrictions will be reviewed. This restriction is usually longer than most due to the presence of nesting Kittewakes (which have a later nesting season) as well as colonies of Guillemots and other sea birds.
This is one of the most important refuges for this species in North Wales, with over 150 Kittewakes on the crag, and as species that is in serious decline, it's an internatioanlly important conservation site. Although tit may appear that last in the nesting season that the the young are flying about, it's an important stage in their development with the parents "training" the young how to feed. Disturbance to the colony at this stage can lead to greater losses during the winter.
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