Mountain Guide Tim Neill on a North Wales hidden gem.
The Rhoscolyn cliffs out on Anglesey offer some of the most varied sea cliff trad climbing in North Wales. There’s 3 star outings from Diff to E6. None of the main 3 sections require abseil approaches although a couple of the zawns are best at low tide. It was described by its pioneers as “The Little Big Cliff” and generally it’s gives long satisfying single pitch climbs for the modern trad climber with a generous rack of gear (even though some of the longer routes are described in a couple of pitches). I always think of it as generally well protected (for sea cliffs) but with an airy atmosphere. It’s like the perfect combination of the best of Pembroke with a hint of Gogarth...
The rock on the whole is good quality red and orange Pre Cambrian Quartzite. It’s a visually really stunning place and is popular not just with climbers but birdwatchers, sea kayakers and walkers enjoying the Anglesey Coastal Path. There’s a beautiful dry stone wall around the headland made with uniform sizes blocks and it’s even got its own protected SSSI status.
You can follow the sun all day as the different crags face all aspects from SE through to NW. Like all sea cliffs a bit of sun makes all the difference to the friction as does a bit of a breeze from the west. However all time vintage conditions can be found in the spring and autumn with high pressure weather bringing a dry N or E wind and clear skies. Still summer humid days can lead to sweaty rock and the need for plenty of chalk and extra beans to hold on harder.