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Calum Muskett's Top 5 Climbing Spots

Calum Muskett's Top 5 Climbing Spots
24 June 2019 No comments

Images: Calum Muskett

Every climber has their favourite spots. Whether it's the place you first took your climbing outdoors, your nearest crags that you know like the back of your hand, or the grippiest rock you ever did hold; every climber has their own criteria for making a haunt their favourite. As Mother Nature drip-feeds us tantalising glimpses of warmer spring weather, we thought we'd ask professional climber and Ellis Brigham sponsored athlete Calum Muskett for his top five climbing locations, what makes them special to him, and of course where the best local pubs are...



climbing llanberis slate mines

Type of climbing: Trad & Sport
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Rock type: Slate – a low friction rock which is covered in small square edged holds
Why do you love the place?
The post-industrial landscape of the slate quarries can appear to be harsh on the eye at first glance, but the old quarry workings have a charm and beauty of their own when you wander through the different levels and abandoned quarrymen's huts. The climbing requires precision and deft technique to teeter up the thin slabs of rock, as well as a cool head to keep calm when you feel out of balance.
Favourite Routes:

  • The Quarryman E7 6c, 6b, 6c, 6c
  • The Rainbow of Recalcitrance E6 6b, 6a
  • Comes the Dervish E3 6a

Essential Gear: Tight fitting rock shoes with good, stiff edges
Best Local Pub: Gallt-y-Glyn for after climbing Pizza and a Pint



Bouldering on the Llyn Peninsula

Type of climbing: Bouldering
Ability level: Fun for all
Rock type: Gabbro – An exceptionally rough and grippy volcanic rock
Why do you love the place?
The Llŷn Peninsula seems to get the best weather of any climbing area in Wales. These three neighbouring bouldering areas have a collection of fantastic circuits, perfect for the cold winter months when the clouds are clinging to the Welsh hills. The fantastic climbing is best enjoyed with a big team of friends and a generous number of bouldering pads to fill the gaps between the rocky landings.
Favourite Problems:

  • The Big Orange 8A at Talfarach
  • Made in Heaven 6C at Porth Nefoedd
  • Fact Cars 6C+ at Porth Ysgo

Essential Gear: Bouldering Pads and lots of them!
Best Local Pub: Take your pick from the collection along the drive back through Abersoch and Pwllheli



Climbing Pembroke

Type of climbing: Trad
Ability level: Fun for all
Rock type: Limestone – a well featured limestone with many cracks and breaks which generously accept trad gear. Some of the routes are polished due to their popularity but the friction is excellent in many places.
Why do you love the place?
Safe and physically difficult trad climbing by the sea. The perfect climbing holiday in the UK and with generally very good weather. Make sure to check the times that the military ranges are open before going but the main climbing areas are generally open in the summer time.
Favourite Routes:

  • Frome a Distance E7 6b at Stennis Ford
  • Pleasure Dome E3 5c at Stennis Head
  • Army Dreamers HVS 5a at St Govan's Head

Essential Gear: Wires, cams and slings
Best Local Pub: St Govan's Inn, and a special mention goes to Ma Weston's 'Olde Worlde Café' for its cream teas!



Climbing Old Man of Hoy

Type of climbing: Trad
Ability level: Intermediate and advanced
Rock type: Sandstone – In some places very soft and poor quality but in others as fine as the best quality gritstone
Why do you love the place?
Away from it all. Hoy is a very quiet and peaceful island at the mercy of the elements with the Atlantic beating in to the picturesque Rackwick Bay. The climbing is adventurous and there are miles of unclimbed sea cliffs.
Favourite Routes:

  • Old Man of Hoy Original Route E1 5b
  • Dan Dare E7 6b
  • The Long Hope Route E9 6c

Essential Gear: Helmet and chalk!
Best Local Pub: Racwick Bothy – bring your own beer and tidy up afterwards!



Climbing in Gogarth near Holyhead Wales

Type of climbing: Trad
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Rock type
Quartzite – Can feel slick and awkward on first acquaintance but forms in wonderful 3D shapes to make some extremely satisfying routes.
Why do you love the place?
The best crag in the world? A beautiful climbing area with many brilliant, varied and challenging routes. There are areas where the rock and protection is very good as well as more psychologically taxing climbing requiring a steady approach.
Favourite Routes:

  • Lighthouse Arête VS 4c
  • A Dream of White Horses HVS 4c
  • Conan the Librarian E6 6b

Essential Gear: Wires, cams and slings
Best Local Cafe: RSPB café at South Stack

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