I really enjoy exploring new climbing venues. They’re not new in the sense that they are untouched (I don’t climb that far off the beaten track). They’re just new to me and that makes them intriguing. That is part of why I enjoyed bouldering at the RAC Boulders in Snowdonia for the first time last weekend. It really felt like a discovery because I’d driven past the RAC Boulders fifty or more times before and never realised they were there.
What I found was that the RAC Boulders are brilliant fun. There’s interesting and varied climbing on a couple of boulders with a good selection of lower to middle grade routes (which suits me). It’s also, conveniently, only a few minutes from the road while being surprisingly quiet and tranquil.
The next day I wasn’t so lucky with the rain and so went for a walk. The Dinorwig slate quarry is a great place for a rainy walk. It’s got a somber beauty that is enhanced when the slate is wet (although the quarry does remind me a bit of the mines of Moria). Walking through the quarry was another chance to enjoy finding new places such as the amazing galleries, inclines and old buildings.
I did envy Andrew and Octavian though for having umbrellas. There was virtually no wind and, in the muggy air, when I had to wear my waterproof I felt like a boil-in-the-bag walker. Thankfully, the rain held off for the long, steep and tiring slog up to the summit Eldir Fawr. From there it was a quick and fun descent along a rocky ridge to get to Eldir Fach and then back through the quarries.
It was great discovering new places in an area I’d been to so many times before.