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Name Cwmcarn Quarry
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Parent Crag Eastern Valleys
Climbing Type Sport/Trad
Located S.E. Wales Sandstone
Approach Time (mins) 5
Faces South West
Seepage No
Suitable Weather All Weather
Midges No
Tidal No
Climbing Possible
Access Notes
Access Restricted
Start Bird Ban
Bird Ban End
Bird Ban Notes
Restriction Notes
Crag List

South East Wales Sandstone

GR ST (3)21984 (1)93881
Lat 51.638300 Lon -3.1287405
NP11 7EQ


A secluded south facing crag in a pleasant woodland setting.

A rejuvinated mixed 'Trad' and 'Sport' sandstone crag.

Routes up to 20m in length.

Many aretes and corners.

A genuine Winter venue, because it faces south, gets any sunshine and does not seep.


From J28 of the M4, follow (Forest Drive signposts) the A467 to a roundabout where the A4048 carries on to Wattsville (Bumpsville) and the A467 swings right to Brynmawr. Follow the A467 to the next roundabout (large sculpture of mountain biker) and take the exit right.
Goi Ashmore enjoying 'Jiffy's Twitter Spat'.

Take the first left, Newport Road, to Cwmcarn. Take the 4th right, just past the post office, into Park Street and take a left (any of the first three) into a back street and park considerately. Follow the footpath up between some tin garages into the woods via a very steep and narrow path, which leads to the crag.


The first routes start in a square cut bay on the left hand wing of the crag.

  1. Endosperm - Fr. 5a
    The far slab is a snip at this grade. Will improve with traffic. 12m

  2. Jiffy's Twitter Spat - Fr. 6a+
    Short wall left of the crack. 10m

  3. The Luddite - HVS, 5b
    The crack is blessed with a peg and bolted lower off. 11m

    The crag now gains its full height in a series of sharp corners and aretes.

    Cwmcarn Quarry Left
  4. Archaeopteryx - Fr. 6a *
    The corner and overhung flaky bulge sharing the belay of the adjacent route.

  5. Terrordactyl - Fr. 6a+ **
    The first big arete, started up cracks on its left. Move up the corner off a ledge and around onto the left side of the bulging arete. L.O. 22 m

  6. The Phill - Fr. 6b+
    A tall face, keeping left of the corner and close to the arete. Still a little brittle in places and needs a safer lower off (best leave alone for time being until the first ascentionist or another benefactor installs a slightly lower belay). 20m

  7. Pig in a Cage - Fr. 5a
    The second corner from the left. Use a long sling on the L.O. of Tweaking Lats and continue up ledges to rope on tree and S.S. L.O. rings. 22m

  8. Tweaking Lats - Fr. 6a *
    The middle arête. Deviation to the left drops the grade to Fr 5c. Strict adherence to the arête warrants Fr.6a and requires a big span. 18m

  9. Feeling Totally Hacked Off! - Fr. 6a
    The bolted corner. Out of a storm of dust and midges was born this future classic of the genre. BB. 16m

  10. Where There’s A Killer - E3, 5c
    A serious route. Take the third arête, left of the words ‘Killer Will’. Go up a short rib to a ledge and continue up the right-hand side of the main arete to pull on a sapling and gain a small ledge. Continue until it is possible to move left into a corner to finish or use BB of next route. 18m

  11. Clint Yeastwood - Sev, 4a
    The corner. Passing threaded chock and stumps. BB. 16m

    The next routes take the promontory in the center of the crag.

  12. Face The Rap - E2, 5c
    Climb the left-hand arête of the promontory, PR, studiously avoiding the pillar on the right. Single BB. 18m

  13. Take the Rap for Beating the Crap - Fr. 6b **
    An independent line up L side of promontory pillar then the wall above left of the faint crack to ring belay. 18m

  14. Rap Crap - E3, 5c
    Start in the centre of the face at the initials ‘MC’. Clamber up ledges to gain some cracks which are followed to a ledge and a long span up the final headwall. 18m

  15. Nick's Line - Fr. 6a+ / 6b+ *
    The groove on the right side of the central promontory, left of Yeast from the Undergrowth. Move right to the arête at half (6b+) or three quarters height (6a+). 16 m

    The following climbs start from an elevated ledge system which is easily accessed from the left.

  16. The Yeast from the Undergrowth - XS
    The stump filled gully, left of the Eyeful Tower. Once, protection and holds were predominantly of the 'woody' variety, now you have to make do with loose rock and mud. 20m

    Cwmcarn quarry topo
  17. Eyeful Tower - Fr. 6b+ *
    The tall central tower, starting off ledges. 15m

  18. Polyphemus - Fr. 6b+ *
    The tower to the right of the tottering cyclopean blocks. Fortunately, small holds lead you rightwards, away from the looseness. 14m

  19. Squeaking Bats - E1, 5b
    Follow the slim corner, past a sapling, to a BB. 11m

  20. Red With Rage - E3, 5c
    Climb the wall right of Squeaking Bats past two horizontal slots to reach a long layback edge. Follow this until jugs lead to a (sort of) BB. Using the large ledge on the right is strictly for cheats and will result in exile to Penrhiwceiber. 11m

    The routes are now started from ground level, in the pit.

  21. Crimson - Fr. 6c *
    Left of Yellow Tower is a line of bolts with a distinct large ledge at half height tagged by 'Martin Price'. 15m

  22. Auf Wiedersehen Mate - Fr. 6b
    The twin cracks left of the corner. L.O. shared with previous route. 15m

  23. Pus in my Boots - Fr. 6a *
    Start up the Yellow Tower and drift onto the left side of the arete. 12m

  24. Yellow Tower - Fr. 6b+
    The fairly obvious tower, graffitied 'MC' and with a distinct spill of yellow paint. Wait for a new bolt to be placed to make moves off the ledge safe. 12m

  25. Like It Then Lump It - Fr. 6b+ *
    The high square cut groove. 16m

  26. Sour Grapes - Fr. 5+
    The green arete. Much better and harder starting to the right of the bolts (Fr. 6a). 16m

  27. Cwmcarnage - Fr. 6b *
    The green cracks are ace. Lower off Sour Grapes. 16m

  28. Project
    The steep green corner.

    On the dark side of the pit is a highball boulder problem.

  29. Afterlife - V5+
    Highball! Solo the small, blank wall facing the Main Wall. A one move wonder, a big dyno at a fair height. Great fun though and very nerve wracking if you have no mats! 6m

    Above the right side of the pit is a shorter wall above half height.

  30. The Willy Whacker Project
    The green corner, lifting the skirt of hanging brambles revealed the moist delights of this crevice. Open to all, hurry now to bag the first ascent of this oozing crack before it's defiled by the drill. Traditionalists could top out or adopt the quaint 1980's fashion for lowering off the ab rope. 16m

  31. The Terrace Gardener - Fr. 6a+
    From the left side of the terrace a tricky start up the cracks leads to a tree and bolt belay

  32. Bramble Pitt Gets Hammered - Fr. 6a+
    Use a low slot to make a long reach for the good rail.Continue steeply over the small roof.

    Cwmcarn-top-tier right.jpg
  33. Corneal Abrasion - Fr. 6b
    To the left of the blocky roof. Could bring tears to your eyes if you don't stick clip the tricky start. Alternatively buy a bolt and put it in the lower hole. 8m

  34. Stumbling Block - Fr. 6a+
    Has defied the efforts of a crowbar but make your own decisions if you go ahead with it. You won't be capable of "running to me complaining" if it all goes pear shaped.It seems obvious but belay over to the left

  35. Lisa Likes 67 - Fr. 6b
    To the R of the jammed block roof on the top tier. 8m

  36. Drop Knee at 67? - Fr. 6b *
    The excellent square roof/chimney succumbs to flexible leg techniques.The lower off karabiner and sling have been stolen so use your own or wait for replacement. 8m

First Ascents

Left hand wing

Roy Thomas on the F.A. of "Hacked Off!", Fr. 5+
  1. Nick O'Neill R.Thomas 29.07.2016
  2. A.Rosier, M.Wright 20.05.2016
  3. A.Rosier, R.Thomas 04.05.2016
  4. R.Thomas G.Ashmore 05.01.2017
  5. A.Rosier, R.McAllister 26.07.2016
  6. M.Wright, A.Rosier 20.05.2016
  7. A.Rosier, R.McAllister 12.05.2016
  8. R.Thomas, M.Wright 06.05.2016
  9. R.Thomas, A.Rosier 25.05.2016
  10. M.Crocker 27.12.1990
  11. A.Rosier, A.J.Rosier, C.Wyatt 04.06.2016

    Central promontory.

  12. M.Crocker 27.12.1990
  13. R.Thomas, N.O'Neill 08.05.2016
  14. M.Crocker 27.12.1990
  15. N.O'Neill, R.Thomas 08.05.2016

    Right hand wing.

  16. A.Rosier 00.00.1996
  17. A.Rosier, R.Thomas 04.05.2016
  18. A.Rosier, R.McAllister 12.05.2016
  19. M.Crocker 27.12.1990
  20. M.Crocker 27.12.1990
  21. M.Wright, R.Thomas 05.05.2016
  22. A.Rosier, R.McAllister 26.07.2016
  23. R.Thomas, M.Wright, R.McAllister 17.05.2016
  24. M.Wright 05.05.2016
  25. R.Thomas, M.Wright 23.05.2016
  26. A.Rosier, R.Thomas 25.05.2016
  27. A.Rosier, R.Thomas 25.05.2016 (Right hand variant 05.06.2016)
  28. Project
  29. M.Wright 05.04.2016

    Upper terrace.

  30. Project open
  31. R.Thomas, M.Wright 16.05.2016
  32. R.Thomas, M.Wright 16.05.2016
  33. R.Thomas, M.Wright 04.05.2016
  34. R.Thomas, E.T. Jones 17.07.2016
  35. R.Thomas, M.Wright, A.Rosier 03.05.2016
  36. R.Thomas, M.Wright 06.05.2016
    Cwmcarn quarry
Facts about "Cwmcarn"
AccessStatusRestricted +
ApproachTime5 +
ClimbingTypeSport/Trad +
ClimbingWeatherAll Weather +
CragNameCwmcarn Quarry +
FacingSouth West +
LocatedInAreaS.E. Wales Sandstone +
Midgesfalse +
ParentCragEastern Valleys +
RockTypeQuarried Sandstone +
Seepagefalse +
Tidalfalse +