Abbey Buttress

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Abbey Buttress
Chris Wyatt on Industrial Relations.
Chris Wyatt on Industrial Relations.
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Sport/Trad
Approach Time 15 minutes
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Far Western Valleys
WGS-84 Location 51.584990, -3.763139
OS Grid Ref. SS 779 888
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.585695, -3.7657713
GR Parking Location SS 777 889
Parking Postcode SA13 2UE
Base Elevation 69 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction South West
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Never
Climbing Type Normal
Midge Problem Moderate
Seepage Quick drying
Crags Within 5.0 km

Abbey Buttress, Apple Tree Buttress, Brombil Woods Crag, Cwmafan, Graig Fawr

Abbey Buttress
Sport Grades
<= 6a+ 7
6b - 6c+ 9
7a - 7b 6


Retro-bolting permissible with first ascensionist's permission. Replacement of worn fixed gear on a point for point basis with bolts is permissible. New sports routes allowed.


This the obvious crag above the steelworks, easily visible from the M4. It has awesome views of one of the last remaining pieces of heavy industrialisation in South Wales, somewhat akin to a 1960s black and white film about the working man. It is exposed but has a sunny aspect from 11a.m. onwards (though you would not know this if you turned up after sunset, when it looks like a set from 'Blade Runner' or was it road runner?)

Seepage is only a problem on the extreme left and right-hand wings of the crag. The rock quality is exceptional.

The main wall in its rejuvenated condition is a must see.


Approach by leaving the M4 at junction 40 to find a round-a-bout and travel towards the sea. Turn left at the first traffic lights you find and continue to the Old Surgery pub. Take the left turning opposite the pub and follow a road back under the motorway to some bungalows on Inkerman Row. Park on the side of the road below these. Left of the first bungalow is a gate. Pass through this and proceed up the hill to a track. Turn right and continue until below the crag, finding a recently cleared path (2016) through the wall of thorns. Respect any ongoing projects, feel free to replace or add lower off carabiners but try not to steal them as they must have been abandoned for another reason apart from convenience of lowering.

To find your desired crag, type the name in to the Filter Markers box (top right corner of the map).

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Almost all routes are equipped with abseil bolts.


Left Hand Section

A small number of easier routes starting from the path through the brambles on the left wing.

  1. Duog's Road to Nowhere - MVS,4a
    Continuation open project, could lead to 'duog' if you buy a couple of bolts install them in the holes and dig out the break. Go on treat yourself! (Duog is graffiti above the break, perhaps his spelling was challenged). Loose rubble at the moment so not recommended.

  2. Community Spirit - Fr. 5+
    Gain the pedestal then the wall leading to the ledge. Follow the blunt arête common to the following routes. L.O.

  3. Tired of Waiting- Fr.6a+*
    Direct start R of the pedestal then follow the R edge of the slab. A bit of a squeeze but good well protected climbing.

  4. Ta-Ta Tata - Fr. 6a
    Sad times for the town of Port Talbot and devastating for the Abbey workers. The open stapled groove and V chimney above the break.

  5. CND - Fr. 6a Step right off the block above the bramble pit then reach left to layback vigorously on ever bigger jugs. Step round R onto the arête and up this easily to the ledge and the final section leading to the shared L.O. 17m

Main Section

  1. Bone Hard Start - Fr.6a
    On the left side of the crag, start from a flat block amidst the brambles. A stiff start leads to a series of step ups then a move left to the final wall and L.O. 17m

  2. Anne's Stiff Entry - Fr.6a
    Start as previous route then continue up the arête, share with L.O. on left. 17m

  3. Mouse and Jim - XS,4a
    Has been climbed but not recommended owing to huge unstable blocks in the obvious corner.

  4. Bargaining Counter - E1,5b
    A left to right girdle along the horizontal break. Start up Closed Shop and finish up Writings On The Wall. 25m

  5. Closed Shop - Fr 6b
    Start near a left trending ramp 3m right of the left hand corner of the main face. Proceed up to the horizontal break . Pull onto the upper wall to gain and finish up a thin crack L.O. 16m

  6. Restrictive Practices - E3, 5c *
    The thinner crack line left of Crack Basher. Follow the ramp then pull out right to the thin crack (very small wires) and gain the break. Once on the headwall follow the crack with difficulty (small to medium wires) to gain the L.O. 16m

  7. Gaz 316 - Fr.6b+ **
    Pull over L side of roof continue direct without straying into neighbouring routes to the belay of Crack Basher.

  8. Crack Basher - E3, 5c ***
    A CLASSIC! with a couple of hard moves. From the foot of the left-trending ramp, pull up to the niche. Climb up cracks above the right side of the niche to the halfway break. Pull onto the headwall and continue past a hard move up the final crack. BB. 18m

  9. Sign Of The Times - Fr.7a *
    The first fully bolted line right of Crack basher. Pass the fang to a thin layback crack (a long draw on the 4th bolt is helpful). The head wall maintains interest. 18m

  10. PR Job - Fr.7a **
    A route which once sported several PRs of some form, not all of which were runners! Start under the initials 'PR'. Climb the crack past a rusty peg to a large jug, avoiding the flake of Damocles, move right to gain the finish of Urban Development. 18m

  11. Urban Development - Fr.7a **
    Start under graffiti 'CARL', shares start with Fe 500. Climb to the twin cracks and make a hard move out left to the flake of Urban Development. Finish on the headwall left of the crack (crack has unstable blocks). 18m

  12. Fe 500 - Fr.7a+ **
    A more direct finish avoiding the L traverse to the flake.

  13. Writings On The Wall - E3,5c
    Start as for Urban Development. At the first PR move right to gain the base of a hanging groove. Climb this to the break, passing a leaf of rock on the way to the top. Can also be started by the blocky staircase to the right. 18m

  14. Stump Stroker - Fr.6c+ *
    Over the small roof passing the stump of the deceased tree. Spurn the habit of a lifetime,hands off this stump.

  15. Split The Equity - Fr.6b+ *
    Reach the small cave below and right of the tree stump. Now pull out and follow the flake PR. 16m

  16. Hot Mill - Fr.7b *
    Between the last route and the tower of Industrial Relations is an innocuous looking groove starting at 6m. Gain, then battle up this! 16m

  17. Pig Iron - Fr.6c+
    Deceptively tricky but well protected climbing with some reachy crux moves. Hard grit climbing without the death potential. Shares a lower off with Hot Mill. 16m

  18. High Jinx - Fr.6b
    Make the same entry (thus avoiding the veg) as for Pig Iron then move right to the crack which leads to a sting in the tail high up on the arête. 17m

  19. Mudlark Crack - Fr.6a+
    Presently moist crack, unless you like that sort of thing wait for summer and take it dry. 17m

  20. Schmisse - Fr.6c+
    The corner and sinuous crack/chimney L of Industrial Relations passing through the former allotment plot. A tough start leads to a gnarly groove.

  21. Industrial Relations - E1/2, 5b
    Start below the tower toward the right-hand end of the crag. Climb the corner (cheezy but avoidable) and follow a hand crack splitting the tower to a small ledge and the final wall. Stake anchor well back and left (or adjacent L.O.). 18m

  22. Chain Reaction - Fr.6b
    The slab, gnarly groove and final trying move to clip the chain on the arête. Will improve as the fingerlocks dry. 17m

  23. Cold Rolled - Fr.6c+ *
    A tricky little boulder problem up the slab/wall at the right-hand side of the crag. 10m

  24. Nether Edge - Fr.7b
    The arête to the BB of Cold Rolled with a desperate move at half height. 9m

Abbey Buttress RHS



Left Hand Section

  1. Duog's Road to Nowhere - R. Thomas 21.03.2016
  2. Community Spirit - R. Thomas D.Emanuel 23.03.2016
  3. Tired of WaitingR.Thomas july 2016
  4. Ta-Ta Tata - dai emanuel Roy Thomas 2016
  5. CND - R. Thomas Dai Emanuel 22.03.2016

Main Section

  1. Bone Hard Start - N. O'Neil, R. Thomas (10.03.2016)
  2. Anne's Stiff Entry - R. Thomas, N. O'Neill 10.03.2016)
  3. Mouse and Jim - Gary Lewis(1986)
  4. Bargaining Counter - G. Evans, L. Moran (26.10.1986)
  5. Closed Shop - R. Thomas, G. Royle (30.09.1986)
  6. Restrictive Practices - R. Thomas, G. Royle (28.09.1986)
  7. Gaz 316 - R. Thomas, D. Emanuel (13.03.2016)
  8. Crack Basher - R. Thomas, G. Royle (00.09.1986)
  9. Sign Of The Times - R. Thomas, G. Royle GU (1986)
  10. PR Job - M. Crocker, R. Thomas (18.10.1986)
  11. Urban Development - R. Thomas, G. Royle G.U (1986)
  12. Writing Wall - G. Royle, R. Thomas (00.09.1988)
  13. Fe 500 - E. T. Jones,R.Thomas (15.03.2016)
  14. Stump Stroker - Closed Project
  15. Split The Equity - R. Thomas, G. Royle, J. Bullock (00.04.1988)
  16. Hot Mill - R. Thomas, J. Bullock (00.00.1995)
  17. Pig Iron - R. Thomas, N. O'Neil (2009)
  18. High Jinx - R. Thomas, E.T. Jones (15.03.2016)
  19. Mudlark Crack - R. Thomas D.Emanuel 2016
  20. Schmisse - D. Emanuel R.Thomas 2016
  21. Industrial Relations - G.Royle R. Thomas, (00.09.1986)
  22. Chain Reaction - R. Thomas, G.Ashmore (17,03.2016)
  23. Cold Rolled - R. Thomas,G Ashmore (00.00.1995)
  24. Nether Edge - E. Travers-Jones (00.00.1997)