Climbing at Rhossili Bay
The Gower coastline raises wonder at its beauty, the spectre of skeletal old wrecks, and the eyes of climbers assessing their prowess against the routes that trace the sea cliffs. For those who like climbing with as much of a salty sea breeze through their hair as chalk through their fingers, many routes at Rhossili Bay are launched from one foot on the sand whilst the other aims for purchase on the first hold.
Ramon Marin on One Ton Depot, 7b at Shipwreck Cove, Rhossili Bay.
There are both bolted sport routes and trad lines on these sea cliffs in the Bay, and in between, the Vennerne shipwreck makes for a wonderful subject as the tide drifts out and leaves its bones exposed.
The Vennerne Shipwreck, Rhossili Bay
On trips over the last couple of years, I have been increasingly caught up in photographing the beauty of the places we visit to climb, rather than the climbing itself. With my feet planted on the expansive flat mirrored sands at Rhossili, I watched the sea recede to meet the horizon line and gently highlight it with silver. My breathing slowed and I stood lens-captivated, chasing bolts on the sea cliffs far from my mind.
The receding sea at Rhossili Bay
If this wasn’t gift enough, a day spent further inland at Dinas Rock saw climbing routes surrounded by a seemingly magical gloaming, fit as a setting for any fairy tale. Within it’s verdant wooded enclaves, a river and it’s waterfalls ran through the rocks, the babble enhancing the mindful focus of the climbers breathing their way through each vertiginous move. Again, my attention was caught by the unusual mossy-green midday twilight whilst my companions followed the chalk-lit path to top out their routes. I think I know where my route lies.
Simon Rawlinson and his gorgeous dog Tufa. Simon, Head Performance Coach at Make the Next Move, points out the climbing routes at Dinas Rock in South Wales.
More of my South Wales photos can be found at: http://www.kempspace.smugmug.com/Places/UK/Wales/i-dgGF7pG
More information about climbing in South Wales can be found at the South Wales Mountaineering Club website: http://www.swmc.org.uk/
A link to Simon Rawlinson’s blog article on the opening of Shipwreck Cove to climbers can be found here: http://www.simonrawlinsonphotography.com/shipwreck-is-open-for-business/