North Wales Classics

North Wales Classics was a pocket-sized guide published in 2010. It covered the Mountain Crags of North Wales including Tremadog. In 2013 it was superseded by North Wales Climbs.

The format was useful for those wanting to carry a book on a route but never proved popular. Since the introduction of Rockfax Digital, the need for small portable guidebooks has receded hence there will be no future editions of this book.


Cwm Silyn

Clogwyn Du'r Arddu,

Craig Ddu, Clogwyn y Grochan, Carreg Wasted, Dinas Cromlech, Dinas Mot, Clogwyn y Ddysgl,Cyrn Las

Lliwedd, Clogwyn y Wenaullt

Tryfan, Glyder Fach, Idwal Slabs, Braich Ty Du, Carnedd y Filiast

Craig Lloer, Carreg Mianog, Craig yr Ysfa, Craig yr Ogof

Clogwyn Cyrau, Carreg Alltrem, Clogwyn yr Oen

Craig y Rhaeadr, Trinity Face, Cwm Idwal, Black Ladders

April 2010






Rockfax Number


4 reviews for North Wales Classics

  1. Dominic Aughton – Rucksack Club

    Here’s a pocket-sized review for this super new guide, which does just what it says on the tin: it is a guide to over three hundred of the best mountain routes in North Wales and it fits in your pocket. The grade range is deliberately focussed on routes of Mod to E3 with almost half being in the HS to HVS ‘sweet spot’, and the coverage extends from The Pass to Cloggy and from Tremadog to Ogwen and the Carneddau. Importantly (given the recent winter weather patterns) the guide also covers over forty winter routes including Cwm Idwal, Black Ladders and Craig y Rhaeadr.
    I can imagine it appealing to two target audiences: either new climbers just starting to explore the rich pickings to be had in this climbing wonderland; or those who already own a number of the definitive guides but are too lazy to carry them up to the crag (or up the route) or who are just getting into the ice-scene. I’d certainly vouch for the handiness of the 100mm by 150mm format, which can easily be carried on a multi-pitch climb without the need for a guidebook pouch (or the sweaty alternative of tucking it down a T-shirt).
    Inevitably the format brings with it compromises in terms of detail and completeness of coverage. This was brought home to me when I found myself about thirty feet up: ‘The steep arête to the right of the final pitch of The Grooves’ on Cyrn Las. According to my Pokketz guide this ‘…is Overhanging Arête, a superb 3-star pitch of E2 5b.’ I’d just covered some irreversible (for me) 5c ground without any gear when I spotted the line of
    the real route entering on a well-chalked line of jugs from the right… This was entirely a case of ‘pilot error’ and no fault of the authors; a useful aidemémoire to use selected climbs guides for their intended purpose.

  2. Karin Magog

    This new guide by Rockfax is pretty impressive, containing a vast choice of routes across North Wales all packed down into a pocket-sized book. It’s concentrated on the mountain areas primarily (Gogarth, Llandudno, the Lleyn Peninsular and the slate aren’t included) but also includes an excellent choice of routes at the popular roadside venue of Tremadog. No guide to North Wales would be complete without the Llanberis Pass and Cloggy and both are included in some detail here, giving an excellent selection of classics in the VS-E3 range. Where this guide excels however, is the selection of routes in lesser known areas such as Cwn Silyn, Lliwedd and Carneddau. Along with Ogwen and Betws y Coed these 5 areas are packed with quality routes below HVS, including numerous multi-pitch VDiffs. As one expects from a rockfax, each crag is accompanied with a clear photo-topo and the usual sketch map. The routes all have clear written descriptions and details of the crag descent are highlighted on the photos. Also included is a short but detailed winter section, just in case we get another winter like the last one. All in all a quality production which the author, Jack Geldard, deserves to be proud of. There’s plenty of routes to keep the low extreme climber busy but if you climb at HVS or below and enjoy a good day out in the mountains then this guide is a must.
    Reviewed by Karin Magog on

  3. Ken Applegate

    I’m sure that by the time Rockfax’s new pocket sized North Wales Classics guidebook hit the shops (a few days earlier than initially anticipated) I suspect I was one of the most eager climbers around wanting to purchase a copy. Why? Because on the day it hit the shops, I had just commenced a three week trad climbing trip in North Wales, and with the long term forecast looking so promising, there was nothing else but to set about ticking the classics of Llanberis, Ogwen and Tremadog. It was still bitterly cold up on Cloggy and the Carneddau mind!

    As with all guidebooks, the proof really is in the pudding. Crystal-clear photos, carefully worded route descriptions, a good key and sound information are really only worthwhile if the guidebook is accurate and usable. The guidebook certainly isn’t without competition, as the team at Ground Up Productions have got a very well established select guide to North Wales, already in it’s second edition, so it was clear that the team at Rockfax would have to produce something exciting. An initial flick through the Rockfax guidebook in the shop, quickly determined that it was going to be a very worthwhile purchase.

    As with all Rockfax productions, finding your way around the guidebook is a breeze, with coloured thumb-tabs down the page edge for each of the 9 areas: Tremadog, Cwm Silyn, Clogwyn Du’r Arddu, Llanberis, Lliwedd, Ogwen, Carneddau, Betws y Coed and a particularly inspirational section on Welsh Winter climbing. Photos are clear as ever, with routes marked in an array of dashed lines, hopefully minimising the chance of wandering off-route! Also, having put the guidebook through its paces in April, it was helpful to know which crags received the sun, and when!

    The term reassuringly expensive springs to mind, as it’s not a cheap guidebook, considering it’s compact A6 size, but it’s clear that Jack Geldard has crammed as much into the 208 pages as possible, and has squeezed in 335 of the best routes North Wales has to offer, with very little empty space. The best thing about it? This has to be its size. Just as the name suggests, pop it in a pocket, and climb.

  4. andyc

    Just got back from a week of climbing in North Wales, my first time climbing there, and I used this book. This book is great. Over the course of the trip I read North Wales Classics from cover to cover, and carried it up every route (fits easily in your pocket, or rucksack lid). The photos are really good, very detailed and the route descriptions are spot on. I hope Rockfax plan on publishing a Lake District Classics and a Scottish Classics in the same format.

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