Craig y Pal-Glais

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Craig y Pal-Glais
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Sport
Approach Time
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Far Western Valleys
WGS-84 Location 51.688471, -3.872254
OS Grid Ref. SN 706 005
WGS-84 Parking Location
GR Parking Location
Base Elevation 100 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction West
Aspect Partially Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Normal
Crags Within 5.0 km

Craig Alltacham, Craig Cwm, Craig y Pal-Glais, Drumau Road, Dyffryn Woods Crag, Gelliwastad, Graigola, Llandarcy, Neath Abbey Quarry


Quarried sandstone outcrop overlooking the town of Clydach and Glais village. Pleasant afternoon sunny outlook should provide a welcome escape from the local climbing wall. This is the first of the new west frontier expansion to come on-line and was the Swansea Valley's best crag before the discovery of Craig Cwm in 2020.


Leave the M4 at Junction 45 and head north along the A4067 towards Pontardawe.

At the second roundabout take the third exit and cross the river. Take the second left (by the shop) and then the second right—Craig y Pal Road.

Follow this road steeply for about 1/4 mile to parking areas on the left and right of the road shortly after the last of the houses.

Walk up left through the trees for a few minutes on a track which is becoming more obvious. The first buttress is on your right distinguished by its "bum" bulges near the top and an ivy-covered trad crack-line left of centre.

A few minutes walk further left brings you to a second buttress with a wide crack at its left and some very old pegs going up a vertical crack and across a horizontal break (these pegs were old when I first went there in the mid-70s!). A large gnarly old oak tree dominates the scene.

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

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The Routes

Oak Tree Section

Topo Craig y Pal Glais Oak Tree Section.jpg

Walk past first section keeping below crag until a faint path leads up again to base of crag behind large oaks.

  1. Life Time Average - Fr. 6a
    Inset slab and keep to the arête above to staple belay.

  2. Crackin Saw - HVS, 5a
    Excellent crack with final capstone. Large thread belays installed 2021. 12m.

  3. Punching Holes In The Pension Fund - Fr. 6a+
    Wall between thin and wide cracks, twizzles.

  4. Actuarial Reduction - Fr. 6b
    Up faint crack bearing stumps of old aid pegs. 12m.

  5. Six Year Enhancement - Fr. 6b+
    Up right side of wall. .

  6. Maximum Traffic Flow Management Fr 6a**
    Left of the wide crack to join last bolt on previous. No slipping your sly nuts in the crack between bolts at this grade.

  7. G.E.M.R. - VS, 4c
    Wide crack right of previous.Use the lower off provided or clean the rest and top out like a trad hero.

  8. A.V.C's Fr 5+
    Start just right of the crack then continue up the corner.

  9. S.I.P.P Fr 6a *
    Slabby start then left side of the "egg".

  10. Draw Down Fr 6b*
    Thin techy start leads to jug thug finale on R side of "egg".

Scooped Slab

The dense woodland now descends passing several small outcrops

Topo craig-pal-glais-chocolate-bear.jpg
  1. Calling Stone - E1, 5a
    Climb the scooped slab ?(somewhere right of right-most route on the last section) onto a ledge. Descend, via a groove housing a tree, to the right.Your guess is as good as mine.

  2. Chocolate Flake Fr. 5
    L line of the scooped slab has big flakes to finish on.

  3. That's No Teddy Bear Fr. 4+
    R hand bolted route on the scooped slab.

  4. Bee Good Fr6a+
    Down from the bolted easy slab just where the woods start to rise is a narrow wall left of a chimney.Climb right of the tree steeply.

12m left of the undercut block on the higher level is a chimney here are two highball problems/routes.

  1. Lôn Ddias - El, 5c
    Crimp up wall 1m R of the arête.

  2. For The Fans - HVS, 4c
    R arête of the chimney.

First section

On the left hand side of this section at a slightly higher level is the under cut block with the crags three hardest routes.

Topo Craig-y-Pal-Glais FirstSection4.jpg
  1. Three Year Fear/ Tucker's Route - Fr. 6b
    Left side of the block to a common lower-off after topping out (Big sling handy) . 7m.

  2. Out to Pasture - Fr. 6a+
    On the right passing an industrial size staple. 8m.

    Topo Craig-y-Pal-Glais FirstSection3.jpg

  3. Golden Handshake - Fr. 6b+
    Tricky little number—be sensible use a stick and stay mobile for longer. 10m.

  4. The Mond Melts Hiroshima Fr 5+
    Crack with mini roof—

  5. Nice in Glais - Fr. 6a
    Short but sharp. 9m.

  6. Ice In Glais - Fr. 6b
    Tricky to gain footledge then as for previous route. 9m

    Topo Craig-y-Pal-Glais FirstSection2.jpg
  7. Spare The Birch - Fr. 5
    The left side of narrow chimney then arête pulling over the small roof past the silver birch. 12m.

  8. Confidently Clipping The Corroded Contents of Goi's Grandad's Cabin - Fr. 5+
    No longer the easiest route on the crag, up the rounded arête. Chorro railway metal at its best for first runner (c**t hook to the uninitiated). 12m.

    Topo Craig-y-Pal-Glais FirstSection.jpg

  9. Creaking Flake - Fr. 5+
    Climb the remains of the flake then move left to belay of Cofidentally Clipping... 12m.

  10. Friends in High Places - E1 5b
    No longer totally overgrown and choked with ivy and brambles.Chimney to start then crack through roof. Jambs obligatory, take care with the exit block/crack. Stake belay or spurn modernity and use burnt trees. 13.69m

  11. Ass Bandit - Fr. 6a+ *
    Head for and jamb through the crack in the buttocks above. 12m.

  12. Pension Fund - Fr. 6a *
    Follow more heavy metal with a glorious jug through the roof. 12m.

First Ascents

Oak Tree Section

  1. Life Time..Roy Thomas Nick O'Neill June 2021
  2. Crackin Saw Gwyn Evans & Rob Eagle 5 June 2007
  3. Punching Holes.... Roy Thomas Nick O'Neill june 2021
  4. Actuarial Reduction Roy Thomas 2007
  5. Six Year Enhancement Roy Thomas
  6. Gwn memorial rndboutGoi Ashmore
  7. AVCNick O'Neill Roy Thomas june 2021
  8. SIPPRoy Thomas Nick O'Neill june 2021
  9. Draw Down Roy Thomas Nick O'Neill june 2021

Scooped Slab

  1. Calling Stone Martin Crocker
  2. Chocolate Flake - Matt Woodfield, Gavin Clifford September 2021
  3. That's No Teddy Bear - Matt Woodfield, Gavin Clifford September 2021
  4. Bee Good Roy Thomas Ed Chapman june 2021

  1. Lon Ddias Martin Crocker
  2. For the Fans Martin Crocker

First Section

  1. 3 yr fear/Tuckers Route Gareth Tucker 2007
  2. Out to Pasture Roy Thomas 2007
  3. Golden Handshake Roy Thomas2007
  4. Hiroshima Roy Thomas 2021
  5. Nice in Glais Roy Thomas
  6. Ice In Glais Roy Thomas
  7. Spare The Birch Roy Thomas
  8. Confidently Clipping The Corroded Contents of Goi's Grandads Cabin Roy Thomas & Goi Ashmore
  9. Creaking Flake Roy Thomas
  10. Friends in High Places Gwyn Evans, Roy Thomas & Gareth Tucker 2 May 2007
  11. Ass Bandit Roy Thomas G.Tucker 2007
  12. Pension Fund Roy Thomas G.Tucker 2007

Additional Photos