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Introduction to Rock Climbing and Abseiling

Rock Climbing and Abseiling is essentially the practice of travelling up and down rock and cliff faces and is fantastic fun, as well as a great workout! Clinging to a rock at height can be a nerve-wracking experience for some but the thrills and spectacular views make it all worthwhile.

Although communities living in mountainous areas have been practicing climbing for thousands of years, the sport of climbing as we know it only began in the Victorian era, with a small group of intrepid explorers competing to be the first to conquer new heights. With the development of abseiling in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, climbers suddenly had a way of getting down from rocks as easily as up and the modern sport as we know it was born!

Today, modern equipment has made climbing safer and more accessible than ever, ensuring that everyone can come and have a go and experience just how much fun it is.


All of our climbing is done outside, on limestone or sandstone. The limestone climbing takes place in a nearby old quarry, while our sandstone venue is a buttress, on the outskirts of a town.

In a full day's activities the participant may experience bouldering, climbing and abseiling. We can provide everything from taster sessions that serve as an introduction to climbing, to progressive climbing courses.

One of the first activities we are likely to undertake with you (after our initial health and safety brief) is to go bouldering.

Bouldering involves traversing along the quarried wall climbing no higher than your spotter’s waist. It works particularly well as the first activity of the session of the day as it can be used as a warm-up and it helps to introduce people to which parts of their feet and hands to use when climbing, and improving techniques

Our climbing sessions consist of a small group of people belaying and one person climbing. Once you are ready to tackle climbing we head out to the rock face to get you started.

Before anyone leaves the ground there will be a demonstration on how to belay and everyone will be checked before being allowed to climb. Depending on your experience and comfort off the ground you will climb to a variety of different heights and get to try a range of different challenges.

Abseiling is a technique which is usually used in modern climbing to get the climber to the bottom of the crag to then climb up. At the venue we use we do not need to do this but it is still a good skill and technique to learn, allowing you to move on to advanced climbing.

Abseiling is enjoyed by all ages and abilities and is fantastic fun for both groups and individuals.

Book Your Climbing Adventure online today

Our Instructors

All of our Instructors are qualified through the Mountain Leader Training board, and hold a minimum of Single Pitch Award. This allows our instructors to use a variety of venues that have only one pitch.

Both Mike and Lisa hold the Single Pitch award. Lisa has been climbing for twelve years and passed her climbing qualification back in 2011. She has climbed in most of the popular climbing areas in the England and wales. In Majorca and Spain, her favourite climbing area is El Rosario in Southern Spain.

Our Equipment

We provide all of our climbers with the following equipment:

  • Climbing helmet
  • Harness

At the start of each session we make sure that any equipment you are assigned is correctly fitted and that you are shown how to use it. We also have a small collection of climbing boots in adult’s sizes if you do not have your own.



Q: What do I need to wear?

A: Warm stretchy clothing, trousers which allow you to move freely and don’t restrict your movement. Jogging bottoms / leggings are ideal, along with a thermal t-shirt or man-made fibre t-shirt and fleece. Cotton is not an ideal fabric to wear, as when it get damp or wet it gets cold, but if this is all you own, it’s fine - please just avoid jeans!

Q: What do I need to bring?

A: A packed lunch, drink, sunscreen for summer months, as well as any medication needed throughout the day.

Q: I am scared of heights, can I still participate?

A: Absolutely! Climbing is all about setting goals and having a go. To start off with, the climber who is nervous or scared of heights should discuss their goal for each climb, with the intention of going slightly higher with each attempt. There are also other ground skills to learn, for example how to belay and keep your climber safe. 

Still have questions?

Contact us today on: 01685 848 309

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Business Hours

Opening Days:

  • Monday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Tuesday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Friday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday   09:00 - 17:00

About Us

Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer is an activity centre based in the south of the Brecon Beacons, just a 15 minute drive from Merthyr Tydfil. We offer a fantastic range of activities suitable for all ages and abilities


Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer Pontsticill Merthyr Tydfil CF48 2UR