Ogwen Bank


This area consists of two micro venues situated above and below the A5 close to Ogwen Bank on the outskirts of Bethesda. Below the road is a small buttress composed of perfect rock with a neat collection of problems. Above the road there is an old quarry with a good selection of problems, mostly in the lower grades.

Conditions: The Ogwen Bank Buttress has a sunny aspect and is quick drying. It is quite sheltered and can get midgey on summer evenings. The quarry also has a sunny aspect but it is less quick to dry after rain.

Approach: Park at the lay-by on the A5 road next to the Ogwen Bank caravan park entrance. Walk along the side of the A5 (away from Bethesda) for 50m and cross a metal gate on the right into the field running adjacent to Afon Ogwen. Follow a vague path through the field until the Ogwen Bank Buttress comes into view on the left, just below the road wall.

Ogwen topo 1.CDR

1. Ogwen Bank Robber 6C
A tricky left-to-right traverse line sweeping across from an obvious standing start position on the left to finish up Spider Crack. A harder (6C+) sit down start can be added: right hand on a side pull, left hand on the fat triangular pinch. Slap left then right to the obvious lay away. [Phil Targett 09.10/09.09.11]

2. Rob da Bank 5C
A strong line with good climbing. Climb the leftward-leading diagonal crack line from a sit down start. [Phil Targett 04.08.10]

3. The Missing Line 6A
A tight eliminate line has been climbed up the area of rock just left of Spider Crack. It starts sitting and moves up past some crimps, a side pull, a sloper and a pocket. [Jason Jones 31.03.11]

4. Spider Crack 4C
Tackle the central crack from a standing start; a harder (5A) sit down start is possible. The large block in the crack appears to be sound but should be treated with care just in case it decides to part company with the crag! [Phil Targett 05.08.10]

5. Tavistock Square 7A/+
A brilliant, semi-eliminate line snatching up the bulging wall right of Spider Crack. Start sitting, right hand finger flake, left hand on the arête. A series of precise, slappy moves lead up and rightwards to better holds high on the face and an easier top out. The rock left of the crack is (obviously) out of bounds, as is the upper section of the arete. [Phil Targett 14.08.10]

6. Grave Digger 6A+
A slappy standing start tackling the lovely sloping flake line, and using some of the holds on Tavistock Square. [Phil Targett 04.08.10]

The right arête of the buttress has been climbed from sitting at 6B, but the protruding block somewhat spoils the climbing.

Ogwen Bank Quarry
The slabs and walls in this old quarry are well worth a visit, especially for the lower grade climber. It is situated almost directly above the Ogwen Bank Buttress on the hillside just above the A5. To reach it from the parking lay-by next to the entrance to the Ogwen Bank caravan park walk along the A5 for 150m until you see a series of walls just above the road in an opening. 30m farther along the road a gated entrance leads back up left past a second gate into the old quarry.

Up at the top left of the old quarry is a high wall.

Ogwen topo 2, 3.CDR

7. Rheilffordd 4C!
Follow the diagonal rail up left and mantel out onto the vegetated slab carefully to finish.

At a lower level, the partially moss-laden slab gives a few decent problems.

Ogwen topo 2, 3.CDR

8. 5A
The left hand line on the slab, searching out clean holds between the mossy patches.

9. Brighton Rock 5B
The layaway flake gives a good problem.

10. Jude the Obscure 5B
The central line with a reachy finish.

The right arête is spoilt by the ledge; even eliminating this feature feels very contrived. The best use of the feature is as a finish to the traverse:

11. Slaughterhouse Five 6A
The traverse of the slab is an obvious challenge. It was originally done right-to-left, however it actually climbs better left-to-right staying below the top to rock on to the ledge on the arête.

The wall just up and right is slightly spoilt by the sometimes boggy landing.

Ogwen topo 4, 5.CDR

12. The Gash 5C/6A
From the horizontal slot pull up to a positive hold before gaining the top.

13. For Whom the Bell Tolls 5C
Start sitting with both hands in the porthole. Move up and gain a flake for the left hand. Step directly into the porthole and rock up for the top.

14. Of Mice and Men 5A
Start sitting with left hand in the port hole and tic-tac up to the top. A harder direct eliminate uses a smallish edge for the right.

The lower right hand section of the quarry has one worthwhile problem.

Ogwen topo 4, 5.CDR

15. Dracula Extended 6A+
Start sitting at the base of the crack, either with a right hand jam or laying away and using the ramp/pedestal on the left. Move up the thin left hand crack and gain the top. Follow the undulating lip leftwards with a little pop at the end to grab some jugs before mantelling out. Much harder if you limit the use of the pedestal. [original version dropping off at lip: Phil Targett 29.09.10]