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Itching to Climb: An autobiography by Barbara James... : (29/10/2014)

After her severe childhood eczema lessened, Barbara's life changed for ever when she was introduced to the Snowdonia hills, although Barbara's allergy to raindrops & her own sweat remained.


Barbara James was:

  • A rarity, a female Mountain instructor / M'tn rescuer / first aider, at Ogwen Cottage 1960s.
  • Probably first / only civilian female to train infantry junior soldiers, 1977-87.
  • A Solo explorer in Falklands, where told "Anyone can learn to fly" 1988.
  • In receipt of 50th birthday present from herself, Private Pilot's Licence, Caernarfon 1989.
  • A Solo pilot of a Cessna, 40 hours round Florida 1990.
  • A late student of both Spanish language and Guitar playing, going solo in both in Tenerife, living among Canarians.


Barbara's autobiography makes an inspiring read for all who

  • walk, but don't climb 500-metre vertical rock faces,
  • have travelled in a plane, but not actually flown one,
  • have not trained infantry junior leaders,
  • enjoy islands as diverse as St Kilda, Falklands, Tenerife.


Further information at

Copies available from Beacon for £9.99.



NEW DMM sponsored Bouldering Aggregate problems... : (28/10/2014)

Look out for our new DMM sponsored problem, coming soon to the Winter Bouldering Aggregate.


Set on a monthly basis, each DMM problem is designed to test your overall climbing prowess rather than rewarding brute strength, with a successful ascent requiring a creative mixture of balance, flexibility, tenacity and ninja skills.



If you manage to successfully climb the problem within 5 days of its inception, please report to reception and your name will be entered into a raffle to be drawn at the end of the Bouldering Aggregate. You’ll get a new chance to enter the raffle with each new DMM problem, but you can only enter once per problem.


The raffle will be drawn at the end of the Winter Bouldering Aggregate, with the winner receiving an awesome prize donated by DMM. Sign up to our facebook or twitter feed to get an instant update when the latest DMM problem is available to climb, or check out the feed at the bottom of each page on our website.

The 2014 Welsh Climbing Championships 08.11.2014... : (19/09/2014)

The 2014 Welsh Climbing Championships is taking place at Boulders Climbing Centre in Cardiff on Saturday 8th November.


The competition is an OPEN event meaning you do not have to be Welsh to enter, and is run in a fun and friendly environment aimed at giving both climbers new to competitions and the seasoned pros a great day out. Taking part is a great opportunity to test your climbing skills and push yourself to climb at your best, whether you’re competing for the fame and glory of a podium position or just entering to try and beat your friends.




Download the full sized competition poster here (prints up to A3 in high resolution)



Entry details...


Entry fee: £15 (Free comp tee included).

When: Saturday 8th November 2014, Registration starts at 9:00am and closes at 10:00am.

Venue: Boulders Climbing Centre, Pengam Road, Cardiff CF24 2RZ

t: (029) 2048 4880







Male, Female and Youth ABCDE categories following the IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) system based on year of birth and separated by gender.


Youth A - those born in 1997 & 1998
Youth B - those born in 1999 & 2000
Youth C - those born in 2001 & 2002
Youth D - those born in 2003 & 2004
Youth E - those born in 2005 & 2006
Adult - age 18+



Competition format...


Each category will climb three qualifying routes of ascending difficulty, with the top 10 climbers in each category then going through to attempt a semi-final route in the afternoon. The top 5 climbers in each category will then battle it out for podium positions on the final route.


Those in youth E and D category will top rope all their routes, whilst the older groups will be expected to lead climb. All competitors will get just one attempt at each route, which will increase in difficulty. A judge will score each ascent, with points being awarded for each hold used during the ascent. In the event of a tie during the semi-final or final, qualifying routes will be used for count back.

The lights are going out! Headtorch evening 14.11.2014… : (22/10/2014)

On Friday 14th November, we’re turning the lights off from 6pm. Whilst this may initially be construed as a cunning means to reduce our electricity bill, it will also hopefully provide an evening of spirited entertainment as routes that normally provide a gentle warm up become rather more difficult with the holds no longer visible.


To counteract thrutching up blindly in the dark, we’d highly recommend bringing a headtorch (note our suggestive use of the term ‘headtorch evening’ to describe the event…) although we will also have Petzl on hand to lend out a load of their latest lighting systems – no doubt including a few that would put the brightest thermonuclear explosion to shame.


See you there!


Want to climb more for less? 10 entry & membership deals... : (20/10/2014)

Want to climb more for less? Of course you do.


We offer unlimited use membership or multiple entry passes that allow you to use the centre at reduced rates whenever you want to climb.



10 Entry Passes.


If you want to climb regularly, our 10 entry pass deal allows reduced rate entry on any day and at any time for a total of 10 visits with an advance payment. These passes have no time expiration so can be used at any time in the future. We also offer a 5 entry pass for students only.


Single Entry 10 Entry Pass 5 Entry Pass






Under 18



Under 6 £2.50 - -
Supervising Adult



Group under instruction





*Over 65's, unemployed or full time students. All must have current proof of status.

** Students only. A valid student ID card is required.



Beacon Unlimited Membership.


Want unlimited climbing? Beacon membership allows unlimited use of the climbing centre for a 3, 6 or 12 month period and could literally save you hundreds of pounds!


3 months 6 months 12 months
Adult £110 £200 £360
Student/Concession* £95 £165 £290
Family Membership** £250 £450
Additional family member £60 £110


*Over 65's, unemployed or full time students. All must have current proof of status.

**1 adult + 2 children or 2 adults + 1 child



Buy your membership or 10 entry pass from reception next time you visit!

NEW! Winter Lead Climbing Aggregate starting 18.10.2014... : (22/09/2014)


New for Winter 2014... Beacon Climbing Centre's Leading Aggregate starts on 18th October 2014 and will run until the end of March 2015.


Open to all lead climbers. Only £2.00 to enter.

Routes from F4+ to F8+. New routes every month.


Taking part is a great way to boost your motivation over the winter months and push yourself to climb at your best. You'll come away with more climbing experience and most of all, have a great time sessioning the aggregate routes with your friends.



Download the competition information sheet here.

Download the full sized competition poster here (prints up to A2 in high resolution)



How does the aggregate work?


Get started by purchasing your aggregate scorecard from reception (suggested donation £2.00 with all proceeds donated to the North Wales Bolt Fund), then try to climb as many of the aggregate routes as you can throughout the October to March duration.


For every route climbed you will be awarded 2 points for a first try ascent (onsight/flash) and 1 point if multiple attempts are required (a redpoint ascent), so even if you climb the hardest routes, you still need to climb the lower grade problems to accumulate maximum points and stand a chance of winning. At the end of every session, please return your score card to reception when you leave, otherwise your points will not get recorded.


At the end of March, the climbers with the highest scores in each of the gender/age categories win an awesome prize courtesy of our sponsors Petzl and DMM.



The routes


Each route included in the aggregate will be assigned a number, clearly displayed at the base of the route. The coloured holds are used for both hands and feet - smearing on the blank wall is fine too.


A route can be attempted as many times as you like but must be climbed "clean" (no resting or using aid) from the starting holds to successfully clipping the belay at the top of the route to qualify as a successful ascent. If possible please ask another climber to tick the box on the score card when you complete a problem. We rely on your honesty!


In addition to route setting from our in-house regulars, we'll also be working with some top UK guest setters throughout the season to create a regular flow of great routes with grades ranging from F4+ F8+.



Aggregate categories


Age Male Female
11-14 Youth Boys Youth Girls
15-17 Senior Boys Senior Girls
18-44 Men Women
45-59 Male Vet Female Vet
60+ Male Super Vet Female Super Vet





Petzl and DMM Climbing are providing generous support for the 2014 Winter Bouldering Aggregate with prizes awarded to the top 3 male and female climbers in each category.



1st Prize 2nd Prize 3rd Prize
Youth Boys DMM Harness DMM Belay Device Beacon Chalk Bag
Youth Girls DMM Harness DMM Belay Device Beacon Chalk Bag
Senior Boys Petzl Harness Petzl Belay Device Beacon Chalk Bag
Senior Girls Petzl Harness Petzl Belay Device Beacon Chalk Bag
Men Petzl Rope DMM Quickdraws Beacon 10 entry pass
Women Petzl Rope DMM Quickdraws Beacon 10 entry pass
Male Vet Petzl Harness Petzl Belay Device Beacon 10 entry pass
Female Vet Petzl Harness Petzl Belay Device Beacon 10 entry pass
Male Super Vet DMM Harness DMM Belay Device Petzl Belay Gloves
Female Super Vet DMM Harness DMM Belay Device Petzl Belay Gloves

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