Craig y Nos

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Craig y Nos
About Thyme
About Thyme
Rock Type Quarried Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time
Area Inland Limestone
WGS-84 Location 51.820991, -3.682372
OS Grid Ref. SN 841 149
WGS-84 Parking Location
GR Parking Location
Base Elevation 251 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction
Wind Sheltered
Climbing Type
Crags Within 10.0 km

Cheesy Rider Area, Craig y Nos, Dinas - Main Slab, Dinas Main Crag, Inflated Roundhead Area, Kennelgarth Wall, Love Of Ivy Area, Lower Cave Area


Not established


Craig y nos is a peculiar limestone rift on the NW slope of Cribarth in the beautiful Glyn Tawe valley, close to Craig y nos country park. The rift forms a small natural gorge that’s climbing potential is only apparent upon entering it. The crag has been used by groups in the past, evidenced by some large belay stakes, but was dismissed as too loose and no routes were led until now. While there is certainly some worryingly loose rock, the best routes are on excellent sound rock.

The floor of the gorge is a chaos of unstable boulders. It is advisable to gear up at the top of the crag and ground falls are not to be contemplated! The crag tends to weep after rain, especially on the west face. A good dry spell is needed for these routes to come into condition.


Cars can be parked in a lay-by next to Craig y nos castle at GR 841153. A footpath opposite leads past quarries to the open fell. The crag is on access land.

The rift lies north/south and the walls are referred to as "East" (facing west) and "West" (facing east). The routes are described from south to north.


East Face

The cracked face right of Craggy Nose is structurally unsound and has been left unclimbed. You’re welcome to it!

  1. Craggy Nose - Diff
    Start at the narrowest part of the gorge. Go up trending right over jutting blocks (of tenuous structural integrity) then straight up steeply, taking care with the rock.

  2. Clean Sweep - V.Diff.
    Start as for Craggy Nose but pull gently left around the arête, then go straight up.

West Face

  1. Polite Refusal - MVS 4b *
    Opposite the East face routes, just south of the narrows, is a prominent corner. Climb the blunt arête left of the corner then steeply up the arête and wall above.

  2. Verdi - HVS,5A
    The corner is usually wet. When dry it gives a good, if lichenous, climb. Finish on the left wall taking care topping out.

    Above the narrows, the floor of the gorge rises. There is a prominent tree on the West wall. A route has been climbed just left of the tree but is on dangerously loose rock. Right of the tree is a steep wall of excellent rock.

  3. About Thyme - E1,5b **
    A stiff problem which yields to a positive approach. Start 2m left of the central crack line of Repetitive Strains. Pull up to a pedestal below a flake crack (runners). Step up and left onto a slab below a low overhang (PR). Surmount this (PR) and finish strenuously to the right of a tree on improving holds. 9m.

    Craig y nos

  4. Project 9m
    Start as for About Thyme to the pedestal. Step right and climb directly to a prominent wide crack in the head wall, just left of Repetitive Strains.

  5. Repetitive Strains - E2 5b ***
    A fine route which takes the crack line and shallow right facing corner in the centre of the steep wall. A small roof caps the crag at this point. Gain a small ledge on the right then step awkwardly left and climb the crack and corner to exit steeply to the left of the roof. 9m.

  6. Queen of the Night - VS 4b *
    The corner on the right is climbed to a ledge. The left wall is then climbed to the top. Bold. 9m.

  7. Magic Man - Mod
    3m right of the last route is a smooth wall. Step up left to a ledge at 2 metres. Traverse left to the arête and go up the blocky staircase to the top passing a small tree.

First Ascents

East Face

  1. Craggy Nose - Steve Rose (solo) 00-00-04
  2. Clean Sweep - Steve Rose (solo) 00-00-04

West Face

  1. Polite Refusal - Steve Rose. 00-00-04
  2. Verdi - Nick Smith, Steve Rose, Anna Stickland. 12-07-05
  3. About Thyme - Steve Rose, Nick Smith, Anna Stickland 12-07-05
  4. Project -
  5. Repetitive Strains - Nick Smith, Steve Rose 11-07-05
  6. Queen of the Night - Nick Smith (solo) 27-06-05
  7. Magic Man - Steve Rose (solo) 10-07-05