Matt Climbs Sea Cliffs In Pembrokeshire

Above: Matt in front of Barre des Écrins (the most southern 4000m Alp)

We have a real mix of hardy outdoors types here at Snow+Rock. Whether it be weekend walking on the South Downs or long-distance cycle touring in foreign climes, it seems there’s always a new adventure being planned or just getting under way.

Matt Jones, one of our Southern Outdoor Trainers, recently found himself on yet another of his countless trips, all of which began many years ago.

“I have been climbing since I was 15 and one of my favourite spots to visit is Carreg-y-Barcud in Pembrokeshire,” says Matt. “This is a steep sea cliff slab with routes ranging from V Diff to the heady heights of E8, with the majority of routes being in the E1-E3 range. Many are starred classics, my personal favourite being Kitten Claws”.

With spectacular views of the North Pembrokeshire coast, the routes themselves are clearly what make this a special place.

“Most are peppered with fantastically positive small hidden crimps. Ascending this slab involves slow climbing, a keen eye and the confidence that there are more hidden holds which you just can’t see yet!”

When it comes to climbing, kit is naturally a big consideration. Safety is paramount, after all. As with most outdoor activities, it’s all-too-easy to get caught up on which gear you should be using; this only serves to distract you from why you’re out there in the first place.

That said, there are key items which you simply cannot do without, especially when taking on a challenge like Carreg-y-Barcud. We asked Matt to break down his comprehensive list of equipment and share his 4 most invaluable items:

  1. A good mix of nuts (I find mixing DMM wall nuts and Wild Country Rock Nuts with some DMM offsets gives a good range to cover the majority of protection).
  2. Small Cams (most cracks are small on the slab).
  3. Slings for connecting to stakes at the top
  4. Extra rope to abseil in (especially if the tide is not out).

Climbing is a great sport, and there are designated climbing walls dotted all around the country. If you’ve been thinking you’d like to give it a try, what are you waiting for? Get out there and have a go!

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