Cilfrew Ravens Cliff

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Cilfrew Ravens Cliff
Cragshot Cilfrew RavensCliff.jpg
Rock Type Natural Sandstone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time 15 minutes
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Far Western Valleys
Local Area Cilfrew Edge
WGS-84 Location 51.683341, -3.7863256
OS Grid Ref. SS 766998
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.682635, -3.781926
GR Parking Location SS 769997
Parking Postcode SA10 8LF
Base Elevation 144 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction South East
Aspect Partially Sunny
Wind Sheltered Mostly
Climbing Type Normal
Midge Problem Moderate
Seepage Quick drying
Crags Within 5.0 km

Cilfrew Main Crag, Cilfrew Outlying Areas, Cilfrew Ravens Cliff, Craig Alltacham, Drumau Road, Dyffryn Woods Crag, Inn Crag, Llandarcy, Neath Abbey Quarry

RAD Notice/Restriction Cilfrew Ravens Cliff@BMC RAD

Cilfrew Ravens Cliff
Trad Grades
<= HVS 10
E1 - E3 4
E4 - E5 0
>= E6 0


A nice buttress with some good crack climbs.

Restrictions apply from 1 March - 30 June at Ravens Cliff. Reason - Nesting Birds No further nests have been encountered in other areas this breeding season but if encountered in future seasons take pains to avoid.

Note: There are bird nesting restrictions at Ravens Cliff, which should be completely avoided until the nest is vacated.


An easier walk in follows the path rightwards from the top car park for a good 400 m, then cuts uphill past a stream to reach the top path. Follow this left to a picnic bench at the top of the cliff.

Or, follow a faint track rightwards past the main crag for about 30m.


Most routes, or adjacent routes, have trees to abseil from (protect your ropes from the abrasive rock if you descend using this method). Alternatively, you can scramble easily down the descent gully to the right of the crag.


Ravens Cliff

Ravens Cliff.
Photo: Mikaela Toczek

Ravens Cliff lies about 50 m right of the main buttress. The path to access the crag is fairly narrow in places.


This is an established nesting spot for ravens. Avoid 01 March to 30 July. Because of the bird ban there are a few cleaned projects, so please respect these.

  1. Upstart Crow - Sev, 4a
    Left of 'former' oak tree. Steep start into cracks in the centre of a barrel shaped buttress, step right to pull out. Finish up a prow-like outcrop to belay at a bench. 12 m.

  2. The Magpie's Corner - HS, 4b
    Short hanging corner, right of former oak tree rock scar, stepping left onto the arête of a barrel shaped buttress. Finish as for Upstart Crow. The oak tree was in at this grade. 12 m.

  3. Project
    Main corner crack capped by overhangs.

  4. Black Chicks - E1, 5a *
    The blank looking face via a big side pull. At the ledge, pull out over the recessed outcrop to finish. Belay bench. 12 m.

  5. Project
    Shallow left facing corner

  6. Raven Haven - HVS, 5a
    Front of the narrow rib in the centre of Ravens Cliff. Low peg. Nice tree to ab from at the top. 12 m.

  7. Glove Puppet - Sev, 4a *
    To the right of the central rib is a right facing corner. Follow this to the same finish as Raven Haven. 12 m.

  8. Fist Full of Feathers - E1, 5a
    Right hand variation of Glove Puppet. From the corner, step right onto the square face, mantle, then the steep finish. 12 m.

  9. Beak Keepers Crack - E2, 5b **
    Right of the corner is a vertical crack, just left of the raven nest. Follow the crack to a tricky but well protected top out. 12 m.

  10. Throbbing Gristle - E3, 5c *
    Right of the raven nest. Climb rightwards to the thread and then easily to a ledge below the roof. The overhanging off-width crack doesn't give out without a fight. However, if you're intent on a happy ending, then grit your teeth, and engage in a rough, exhausting and potentially impotent, dry-humping session. With a bit of luck you'll end up on top, chafed and drained, but with an overwhelming sense of euphoric relief. No specialist equipment is required as an in-situ bong protects the crack. Don't try it in shorts. 12 m.

  11. Cockwomble Arête - V Dif
    The narrow arête, starting on its right and finishing by side stepping rightwards at the insurmountable bulge. 12 m.

  12. Project - C Diff
    Easy ledges left of the holly tree. 10 m.

  13. Keep Calm and Carrion - HS, 4b
    A narrow wall with a short bottomless chimney to the right of its apex. Good fun. 9 m.

  14. Unknown - Mod
    The inset wall just left of the descent gully. Step right to exit. 6 m.

Right Hand Walls

Right of the other descent / ascent gully is a shorter broken set of walls, starting at an obvious hand crack and petering out rightwards.

  1. Kneetoucher's Crack - VS, 4c
    Off width crack. Blue totem cam handy. 5 m.

  2. Project Midget Spanker-
    Wall right of the off width. 5 m.

  3. Tiny Man Rides Cat - Sev, 4a
    The right side of the first square arête. Only the cavalier will refrain from sussing out where the jug is in advance. 5 m.

    After a gap of about 10 m is a sharp arête.

  4. Fringe Benefits - S, 4a
    Behind a tree. Take the sharp arête to the ledge then carefully ascend the top step. 5 m.

First Ascents

Ravens Cliff

  1. Upstart Crow - A.Rosier, C.Wyatt - 07/01/2018
  2. The Magpie's Corner - C.Wyatt, A.Rosier - 07/01/2018
  3. Project
  4. Black Chicks - A.Rosier, N.Goile, C.Wyatt, R.McAllister - 20/08/2017
  5. Project - - //2017
  6. Raven Haven - A.Rosier, N.Goile, C.Wyatt - 20/08/2017
  7. Glove Puppet - R.McAllister - 12/02/2017
  8. Fist Full of Feathers - R.McAllister, M.Peddle - 05/11/2017
  9. Beak Keepers Crack - R.McAllister, A.Rosier - 22/10/2017
  10. Throbbing Gristle - A.Rosier, O.Burrows - 29/10/2017
  11. Cockwomble Arête - A.Rosier, R.McAllister - 12/02/2017
  12. Project - C. Diff
  13. Keep Calm and Carrion - R.McAllister, A.Rosier, N.Goile, C.Wyatt - 20/08/2017
  14. Unknown - W.Calvert (solo, cleaned on-sight, in wellies) - 30/12/2017

Right Hand End

  1. Kneetoucher's Crack - R.McAllister - 07/01/2018
  2. Midget Spanker - -
  3. Tiny Man Rides Cat - R.McAllister, A.Rosier, C.Wyatt - 07/01/2018
  4. Fringe Benefits - R.Thomas - 27/08/2017