24th January 2019

A New Era for the Plas y Brenin Climbing Wall

Written by Jack Nicholl

The Plas y Brenin Climbing Wall has been redesigned from the ground up. Get a first look at the new designs here.


More than 25 years after it first opened, the climbing wall at Plas y Brenin is undergoing a complete refurbishment. The new wall has been designed from the ground up to create a state-of-the-art teaching and training facility to support the delivery of high-quality climbing instruction and coaching.

The wall is being manufactured by Walltopia, an international market-leader in climbing wall construction and technology, following a competitive tender process. The versatile wall design was created by Michelle Wardle of Tectonica Design Lab. The project is being funded as part of Sport England’s ongoing programme of investment in the Plas y Brenin site.

Carlo Forte, Chief Instructor at Plas y Brenin, said: “The new design has developed from long discussions between Plas y Brenin instructional staff and Michelle, with all aspects of the design, from climbing wall angles and training facilities to layout and lighting being considered in fine detail.

The aim is to provide a facility which is very effective for all training and coaching needs, from developing personal climbing skills and techniques to the delivery of national governing body awards. It’s a hugely exciting development for us as a national centre, and will be a key asset in our plans to continue supporting the development of the climbing sector.”

Climbing Wall Designer Michelle Wardle added: “The newly refurbished space will feel much lighter and more spacious, with climbing walls made of large plywood surfaces and a variety of angles great for bouldering. The aim is to provide a facility which is very effective for all training needs, from beginner to big wall climbing.

This style of design, coupled with the addition of an entirely new selection of modern holds and volumes, will provide the best possible route setting potential for the site – there really will be something for everyone.”

The development makes full use of the latest advances in climbing wall technology. The new wall features Digital Training Boards, which use LED light-up wooden holds and a touch screen for users to log their climbs and measure progression. The investment also includes new video coaching technology, allowing instructors to record, play-back and analyse a climber’s movements to fine-tune their technique.

While the wall has been designed primarily as a teaching and coaching space, it will be available to the public as a modern facility to practice their personal climbing.

The construction project is expected to conclude in late spring – a precise re-opening date will be announced nearer to the time. For the latest news and updates, please subscribe to the Plas y Brenin social media channels and email newsletter.