To find out more about what we got up to during the 2009 festival, please visit the festival report page.
The Gower Climbing Festival is an opportunity for you to come and experience what the Gower peninsula has to offer on its plentiful limestone cliffs and beautiful beaches. There's plenty of climbing for everyone, with trad routes ranging from Diffs to the high Extremes, sport routes from Fr6a+ to Fr8a, and a handful of bouldering areas too.
We've created a map highlighting where the accommodation, climbing areas and pubs are in the surrounding area — see below or click to view a larger version.
The base camp for the festival is Pitton Cross campsite, where you'll find topos, sarnies and Evolv shoes to try out all weekend. The following special events will be taking place during the festival:
- Friday 4th September
- Arrive on the peninsula, unpack and come for a beer at the Worm's Head Hotel. The BMC's Martin Kocsis will be hosting a quiz from 9:00pm.
- SWMC's Chris Wyatt has offered to take visitors on a bouldering session to one of the premier Gower bouldering spots. If interested, please contact Chris direct to arrange a meeting location and time.
- Saturday 5th September
- From 9:00am, register at the BMC tent and receive free topos
and bacon butties (donations to the bolt fund welcomed), and
recommendations for where to go climbing over the weekend. Evolv
will also be present to show off and let you try out their latest
Evening entertainment at the Worm's Head Inn, with a live band, good food and good beer. Climbing equipment auction with proceeds going to the South Wales Bolt Fund.
- Sunday 6th September
- Go climbing again, or take part in an organised walk onto the
Worm itself (£3, pre-booking necessary — see below).
- Walk to the Worm (4th Sept. 10:30am to 3:30pm or 6th Sept. 11:30am to 4:30pm)
- Walk with the National Trust Wardens out to the far end of Worm's Head (the tidal island at the end of Rhossili), for spectacular views and an insight into the island's human history and wildlife. The walk is rugged in places so sturdy footwear is a must. Bring food, drink, and suitable clothing. £3 per person; booking essential: 01792 390 636.
Free topos for selected crags will be available on the Saturday morning from the festival's base at the Worm's Head Inn. For those wishing to explore more of Gower and other regions of South Wales there's the definitive guidebook from the South Wales Mountaineering Club, available from all good guidebook stockists. Alternatively, the SWMC wiki has details for most crags in the surrounding area.
Selected climbing areas
- Fall Bay
- This area contains some of the most popular routes on Gower, and you could easily spend the entire weekend here. King Wall is a popular crag with numerous routes in the Diff to VS range. Above this tidal crag is Lewes Castle, a slightly tougher affair with most grades around VS and HVS and a few low Extremes.
- Yellow Wall
- Gower's showcase crag, with several serious trad undertakings. With the tides right all weekend, abseil in and get on the likes of Muppet Show, Transformer, or the crag's namesake: Yellow Wall.
- Juniper Wall
- One of the tallest crags on Gower, with a collection of great VSs, and a contender for one of the best HVSs on Gower: Assassin.
- Boiler Slab
- This easy-angled limestone slab is great for novices and beginners, with lots of routes in the VS to E2 range, and a handful of Severes. At low tide the sea reveals rock pools below the crag, great to cool off in and explore.
- If tough sport is why you've ventured onto Gower then head for Oxwich, set near some of the best panoramic views on Gower. Home to a classic Fr6c, Kissin' the Pink, and many more routes from Fr7a upwards.
- Three Cliffs
- Probably the most well known area of Gower, and the location of one of its most well known routes: Scavenger. With trad mainly in the lower grades, the routes are generally slabby affairs, though for the more adventurous there's Under Milkwood.
- Foxhole Cove
- Home of sport routes from Fr6a+ to Fr8a, with the majority of grades around 7a (14 routes total). Recently re-geared by local climbers funded by the bolt fund, arguably the premier sport crag on Gower.
We've arranged a few options for your stay on Gower, from camping through to hotel rooms. We recommend pre-booking with the accommodation directly.
- Pitton Cross Camping, pitches from £11 per night, dogs welcome
- Worm's Head Hotel, rooms from £58 per night
- Pilton Moor stables, self catering cottages for small groups and camping available: 2 man tent at £15 per night
Alternatively take a look at the-gower.com for a range of accommodation options.
Please do not wild camp on Gower — this is the first year of this event and we'd like it to continue year on year, so please use the many campsites and other accommodation options available to avoid upsetting anyone.