Women’s Trad 100 – June 2021

The Pinnacle Club – the UK’s national club for women rock climbers – is 100 years old this year! The Club is all about providing a friendly and supportive space for women to climb together and have a good time. To celebrate our centenary, we wanted to do this in a big way, not just for our members but for women climbers across the UK, focusing on the kind of climbing we love best: trad.

Photo by Jessie Leong @JessieLPhoto

So we’re organising a week-long women’s trad climbing meet in Snowdonia, open to up to 100 women climbers who are experienced and competent at multi-pitch trad, at whatever grade: the Women’s Trad100.

And where better than Snowdonia to hold it? North Wales offers such a wide range of climbing and you can usually find dry rock somewhere, whatever the elements throw at you: quartzite sea cliffs at Gogarth, limestone test pieces on the Orme, scary slate in the quarries, dolerite classics at Tremadog – all before you even start on the wonderful mountain crags in the Llanberis Pass, Ogwen Valley and beyond.

We did something similar back in 2016 – a hugely successful international meet that brought women climbers together from 24 different countries (you can read about it on UKC here). WT100 is going to be just as good!

When & where will it take place?

The meet will run from Saturday June 19 to Sunday June 27th 2021. You can join us for the whole week or any part of it. It will be based at the Snowdonia Parc campsite in Waunfawr. We will have exclusive use of the entire campsite, which also has an on-site pub serving food and its very own brewery.

What about Covid restrictions?

We’re planning optimistically, hoping that by late June, restrictions will have lifted enough for us to have a proper get-together. But we also know that things may not work out that way. The only financial commitment you’ll make in advance will be to the campsite – and that will be fully refundable if cancelled by mid-May. We’ll make a final decision in early May as to whether the meet will happen or not.

Who can come along?

Because the best climbing in North Wales is multi-pitch, whether in the mountains or on sea cliffs, the meet is open to any woman climber who is experienced and competent at multi-pitch traditional rock climbing, at whatever grade you’re comfortable with. If you don’t feel you meet these criteria, but would still like to come along, a limited number of places will be available for ‘improvers’ – women keen to develop their climbing skills. See below for more information.

What will happen during the meet?

We’ll have a ‘welcome’ get together on the first Saturday night so we can meet old friends and make new ones. Whether you come with climbing buddies or on your own, we’re a friendly bunch and you’ll be able to find people to climb with. Waunfawr is situated on the western edge of Snowdonia, well placed for accessing all the main climbing areas and we’ll be encouraging car sharing as much as possible. We’re hoping that we’ll be climbing every day – weather permitting!

There’ll be at least one evening event during the week, and of course – the campsite pub will be open for us to get a meal or a drink and talk over our exploits and plans for the next day. We’ll also have a small marquee on the campsite and exclusive use of one of the pub’s function rooms as a space to get together indoors. And we’ll finish the week off with a final night party on the last Saturday night. More details on that to follow.

What will I need to bring?

Photo by Hazel Jones

This is a self-catered camping meet so, unless you choose to find alternative accommodation, you will need a tent and all associated camping equipment. There’s a small shop in the village and supermarkets a short drive away. For climbing you will need to provide your own gear, both personal (harness, boots, helmet etc) and shared (at least one half-rope plus a full trad kit).

Otherwise just bring yourself, be ready to climb, share the laughs and have a good time!

What will it cost?

The campsite costs £12 per person per night. You’ll need to book this directly with the campsite and pay them for the nights you wish to stay. Booking the campsite will be your responsibility – but please don’t book until your place on the meet is confirmed!

There will be a nominal registration fee (£10-£20) to cover the overheads of running the meet. This will only be payable a few weeks in advance, when we are sure that it can go ahead as planned. Payment for anything else (e.g. optional events such as the final night party), we’ll ask for on the first day you arrive.

How can I book a place?

If you’re a Pinnacle Club member or prospective member, we’ll be sending details through the usual Club communication channels. For non-members who are competent multi-pitch climbers, applications will open late March/early April. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep in touch. And bookmark this page: you’ll be able to access the application form from here.

Once we receive your application, we’ll be in touch to confirm your place – or, if the meet is full, to let you know you’re on the waiting list. Make sure you get your application in fast: places on the meet will be limited, and all applications will be taken on a strictly first-come first-served basis. We’re expecting the meet to be popular!

How can I book as an ‘improver’?

If you’re a competent single pitch trad leader, but don’t yet have experience or confidence on multi pitch, then you can come on the meet, but we’ll be asking you to book a course with the experienced women instructors we’ve partnered with:

Ali Taylor, Monster Climbs

Mandy Glanvill, Womenrock 

Sam Leary, Cath Wilson, Vicky Owen, Leading Edge Mountaineering

They can provide instruction to match your needs for however many days you want, whether that’s on multi-pitch climbing, sea-cliff climbing, big mountain days, etc.

You’ll need to fill in an improver’s application form to be allocated a place on the meet, which will be held for you until you have organised your instruction. Once you come back to us with confirmation of your instruction, you can then book your place on the meet.

Applications will open at the same time for improvers as for standard places: late March/early April.

If you have any questions, please get in touch at pc100@pinnacleclub.co.uk