There are a surprising number of climbing routes on the hills and mountains surrounding Dolgellau, offering a wide range levels of difficultiy to climbers from beginner to advanced experience.
For beginners, many "top-roped" routes can be accessed at Barmouth Slabs (OS grid 618 165) overlooking the Mawddach estuary. This venue is used predominately by adventure activity groups and is suitable for first time ventures onto rock, with proper supervision by an experienced instructor. It is also possible to set up easy abseils, again with proper supervision.
With Cader Idris on our doorstep, numerous multi-pitch mountain routes are available, mostly on the cliffs of Cyfrwy (OS grid 703 135) on the north side of the mountain and Craig Cau (OS grid 712 122) to the south. The Cyfrwy Arete is a "must do" mountaineering route and is one of the easiest on the north side of Cader.
A short drive from Dolgellau towards the village of Dinas Mawddwy is Craig Cywarch (OS grid 843 186), a remote crag in the Aran hills offering some interesting routes.
There are a great many other climbing venues within easy access of Dolgellau (Tremadog, the Moelwyns around Blaenau Ffestiniog). Information, guide books and other equipment is available from Cader Idris Outdoor Gear, Eldon Square, Dolgellau (01341 422195).