The slate

I have always loved the Welsh slate (in terms of climbing and geology) so no trip to North Wales would have been complete without a substantial amount of time spent here. This is not intended as a in depth review of either the geology or the climbing, more like a few photos, words and thoughts. A really great article on the climbing can be found on UKC.

The Dinorwic Quarries looking towards the Lanberris Pass
The Dinorwic Quarries looking towards the Lanberris Pass. The shear size of these quarries is very impressive, and I’m told that the quarries which are still active at Bethesda are even bigger?

So what is slate? Slate is a metamorphic rock (meaning that it was previously another rock which was heated up and pressurised without melting causing physical and chemical changes). The rock which made up the slate previously was probably a fine grained sedimentary rock (such as a shale).

Pull my Daisy (E2 5b), Rainbow Slab, Dinorwic Quarries
Alex Peace on Pull my Daisy (E2 5b), Rainbow Slab, Dinorwic Quarries

Good things about climbing on Welsh slate:

  • Quick drying: this is wales we are talking about so it will rain and with some routes climbable only 15mins after a shower it can save a damp days climbing!
  • Unique routes

Good things about the geology of the Welsh slate:

Pull my Daisy (E2 5b), Rainbow Slab, Dinorwic Quarries
Alex Peace on Pull my Daisy (E2 5b), Rainbow Slab, Dinorwic Quarries
Pull my Daisy (E2 5b), Rainbow Slab, Dinorwic Quarries
Alex Peace on Pull my Daisy (E2 5b), Rainbow Slab, Dinorwic Quarries
Bus Stop, Dinorwic Quarries
Jessie Harris, Bus Stop, Dinorwic Quarries
Quite a strange route (even for slate) at Bus Stop Quarry
Quite a strange route (even for slate) at Bus Stop Quarry
Pulling shapes!
Pulling shapes!
Not really sure what these are, any ideas? Something leaching into the slate?
Not really sure what these are, any ideas? Something leaching into the slate?

Overall if you have never visited the abandoned quarries near Llanberis it is well worth the effort to explore the unique landscape found here.

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5 thoughts on “The slate

  1. Glad you enjoyed the slate, Alex. I live quite local to it and have done a fair amount on it, I love the technical/delicate style! Quite an atmospheric place, the quarries! Ches

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