From South Wales Climbing Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Blaenllechau Pillar
Blaenllechau Pillar
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Sport
Approach Time 5 minutes
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Western Valleys
WGS-84 Location 51.661308, -3.4409201
OS Grid Ref. ST 004 968
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.664445, -3.4429273
GR Parking Location ST 003 971
Parking Postcode CF43 4PG
Base Elevation 303 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction West
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Mostly
Climbing Type Normal
Midge Problem Mild
Seepage Quick drying
Crags Within 5.0 km

Blaenllechau, Cefnpennar, Clydach Vale Bogmonster Quarry, Clydach Vale Cambrian Quarry, Cwmaman Main, Cwmaman West, Dan Dicks, Ferndale Lower Quarry, Ferndale Main, Ferndale Right, Gelli, Llwynypia, Maerdy - Rhondda Fach, Mountain Ash West, Penrhiwceiber Quarry, Pontygwaith Quarry, Sheriff Quarry - Maerdy, The Farm, Ton Pentre, Turberville Road Quarry, Tylorstown Quarry, Upper Mountain Ash, Ynyshir Quarry, Ynyshir West


Clearly visible from Ferndale town, it is best to fix it's location roughly as it cannot be located visually from the road above. Despite it's previous bad reviews further inspection has revealed that once re-geared the earlier routes are very good and the crop of new ones are on excellent rock and sunny for most of the day and evening. This crag probably has the biggest crop of 4+/5's of any sandstone crag, enough to occupy a sunny summer evening. Please follow accepted protocol and multiple top rope off your own quickdraws, teach inexperienced members of the party how to thread their own ropes (it's not rocket science but common sense), this saves wear on belays. Feel free to bolster belays you find troubling.


If approaching from the west Jct 34 M4 leads to the A4119, turn off this to Trebanog and drop down to Porth. From the east the A470 leads to Pontypridd then the A4058 to Porth. If approaching from the North gain the A470 from the Heads Of Valleys Merthyr connection.

From Porth in the Rhondda take the A4233 to Ferndale and follow the signs to Blaenllechau on the other side of the valley. Follow the hairpin road into the village and use the turning circle to negotiate the right very sharp bend into the minor mountain road to Penrhiwceiber/Llanwonno. Follow this road to the end of the highest terrace and park in the limited space by the NSL / 30mph sign painted in very large red letters on a very prominent portion of red tarmac at the end of the village. Walk a few mins up the road and through the gate on the right, follow the rough path down and left to the left side of the quarry. It is also possible to park a small car here or one of the lower terraces if the previous spot is full.


Blaunllechau Pillar

Routes described from left to right.

In the left bay of the quarry is a pillar.

Blaenllechau Pillar

  1. Dirtbag arête - Fr. 6b **
    The sidewall and left arête, gained and followed direct. 18m

  2. Electrolux - HVS, 4c
    The central groove and wall above. 18m

  3. Dicky Dyson - Fr. 5+ *
    The right arête of the groove. 18m

  4. Dust Devil - Fr. 5
    The chimney/groove and right edge of wall above. 18m

  5. Suction Power - Fr. 4
    The grassy uncleaned staircase leading to the tree. 18m

    Further right is another less distinct pillar the easy slab and a short steep wall'

Fairy Wall

  1. Possessed By The Mind Of A Hoover - HS, 4a
    The centre of the indistinct pillar, battling through the heather to top out. 9m

    Down and right is the obvious slab and an easy way to the top.

  2. Raspberry Ripple - Fr. 4+
    The left edge of slab. 12m

  3. Ripple slab - Fr. 3
    Obvious by name. 12m

    Next is the excellent short steep wall.

  4. Fairy Godmother - Fr. 4+
    You will go to the ball Cinderella!. 12m

  5. Fairy's Liquid - Fr. 4+
    The wall to a shared belay on ledge. 12m

    The next three route top out to a substantial common belay.

  6. Fairy Ring - Fr. 6b+
    Take a direct line stepping onto the ledge of the previous route drops the grade. 12m

  7. Away With The Mixer - Fr. 6b+
    The flake line in the centre. 12m

    Blaenllechau - Fairy Wall
  8. Away With The Fairies - Fr. 6c
    The thin crack with a harrowing final move. 12m

  9. Fair Enough - Fr. 4+
    The layback crack. 12m

  10. Half Pint - Full Pint - HS 4a
    Climb layback at the start of Fair Enough then go straight up onto the ledge and climb obvious large crack to the top of the cliff. Belay on the fence.

    15m to the right is the blocky arête of...

  11. Hands That do Dishes - Fr. 4+
    Blocky arête. 13m

Right of this is a short brown wall with some Martin Crocker trad routes from 2012 reported in 2018

  1. Cardiff Honours the Crockettes - HVS 4c
    L side of wall.

  2. Montmerence - E3 5c
    Shallow groove, centre wall.

  3. Funked Out Bass-dude Phil Moxham - E1 5a
    Gain micro corner,mantel out onto grass.

Plumbers Wall

Blaunllechau - Plumber's Wall

10m right again is another good steep wall.

  1. Leaky Ball Cock - Fr. 5
    The left arête, continue with a traverse to the next route's belay gives The Plumbers Union - Fr. 5 12m

  2. Cock and Ball Story - Fr. 6b+
    Centre of wall. 12m

  3. Plumbing the depths - Fr. 7a
    Tricky stuff. 12m

First Ascents

Blaenllechau Pillar

  1. Dirtbag arête - R.Thomas Eugene Jones 00.06.2011
  2. Electrolux - S.Coles solo 08.02.1992
  3. Dicky Dyson - R.Thomas R.Phillips 00.06.2011
  4. Dust Devil - R.Thomas Ed Rees Nick O'Neill 00.06.2011
  5. Suction Power - G.Ashmore 00.06.2011

Fairy Wall

  1. Possessed By The Mind Of A Hoover - S.Coles solo 08.02.1992
  2. Raspberry Ripple - R.Thomas Ed Rees Nick O'Neill 00.06.2011
  3. Ripple slab - Ed Rees R Thomas N O'neill 00.06.2011
  4. Fairy Godmother - R.Thomas G.Ashmore 00.05.2011
  5. Fairy's Liquid - R.Thomas G.Ashmore 00.05.2011
  6. Fairy Ring - R.Thomas Nick O'Neill 00.06.2011
  7. Away With The Mixer - P.Lewis A.Sharpe
  8. Away With The Fairies - A.Sharpe P.Lewis
  9. Fair Enough - R.Thomas Ed Rees Nick O'Neill 00.06.2011
  10. Half Pint - J. Gallacher, M. Moore, M. Dicks 05.01.2013
  11. Hands That do Dishes - R.Thomas 00.06.2011

  1. Cardiff Honours the Crockettes - M.Crocker. (solo, after top roping) 20.6.2012
  2. Montmerence - M.Crocker. (solo, after top roping) 20.6.2012
  3. Funked Out Bass - M.Crocker. (solo, after top roping) 20.6.2012

Plumber's Wall

  1. Leaky Ball Cock - R.Thomas Ed Rees 00.06.2011
  2. Cock and Ball Story - G.Ashmore R.Thomas 00.06.2011
  3. Plumbing the depths - G.Ashmore R.Thomas 00.06.2011