Crosskeys Quarry

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Crosskeys Quarry
( Pontywaun Quarry )
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Sport/Trad
Approach Time
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Eastern Valleys
WGS-84 Location 51.632510, -3.124430
OS Grid Ref. ST 222 932
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.6320855, -3.1260392
GR Parking Location ST 22161 93187
Parking Postcode NP11 7GA
Base Elevation 126 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction West
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered
Climbing Type Normal
Crags Within 5.0 km

Blaen Bran Quarry, Cox's Quarry, Crosskeys Quarry, Cwmcarn, Fernlea Slabs - Risca, Henllys Quarry, Sirhowy - Quarry Mawr, Tyle y Coch


A small quarry in Pontywaun/Cross Keys[1][2], which was first developed in the 90's but has recently been rediscovered by locals Jonathan King and Nick Rocke after long being neglected. Development of more sport /Trad routes is taking place as well as cleaning and re-bolting existing routes. Be aware that at the moment there are paths cleared but some of the newer routes still need a good clean. Seepage can be a problem with some routes so best visited in drier conditions or summer. Please respect the bolted projects and leave any cleaning ropes and draws alone.


From J28 of the M4, follow (Forest Drive signposts) the A467 to a roundabout where the A4048 carries on to Wattsville (Bumpsville) and the A467 swings right to Brynmawr. Follow the A467 to the next roundabout and take the exit right.

Take the third left (next after the Forest Drive entrance) into a housing estate (Silver Street) and follow this road up to the third left (At Silver Street Store) into North Road. Park where the houses change from terraced to semi detached and walk up the hilljust R of the metal cage fence(between the houses) for 50 m to land directly in the quarry. Map Of Gower and SE Wales


Short Left Wall

Has a number of short routes developed with younger climbers and novice climbers in mind. Wall doesn't seep either, the routes will improve with traffic and a good brushing

rock climbing topo for Short Left Wall, Crosskeys Quarry, South Wales
Crosskeys Quarry - Short Left Wall
  1. Key is in the Name - Fr. 3a
    First line right of the arête.

  2. Beagle Banter - Fr. 3b
    Variant to the shared anchor to left

  3. Powered by Pepsi - Fr. 3
    Direct straight up to independent LO or top out.

  4. Cuddles Small but Mighty - Fr. 4a
    Dodge the mud and choss, will get better with traffic and more brushing.

  5. Hugo Hugs are the Best - Fr. 4a
    Needs traffic

    Climbing topo for Short Left Wall, Crosskeys Quarry, South Wales.
    Left Side

  6. Rock out with your Lock out - Fr. 6a
    Will improve with traffic. Shares belay with adjacent route.

  7. Lock Stock & Two Broken Holds - Fr. 6a
    Still a little fresh. Shares belay on left.

  8. Safe Cracker - Fr. 5+
    Climb past tree root and mantle onto ledge avoiding any holds in the crack.

Climbing topo for Short Left Wall (Right), Crosskeys Quarry, South Wales.
Left Side (Right)

First Big Buttress

Topo crosskeys-quarry first buttress.jpg

Numbers 1+2 not on topo but are futher left and pretty obvious

  1. Lookout Post - Fr. 6a
    Ramp and roof to double ring belay,needs a proper cleaning. Can be done as a link up to belay of route on the right.LOOKOUT LINK Fr6a

  2. Escape through the Roof - Fr. 6a+
    Share first bolt of adjacent route then move out left at the first roof. Continue to shared rings. Requires a good cleaning. Can be linked into belay on the right as Escape Link Fr Fr 6a+* Not on present topo as too left of arête,shares belay

  3. Cock Lock - Fr. 6a+ *
    Small roof and steep wall just right of the arête.

  4. Cheesy Crack - VS,4c
    For those who like this sort of thing but be careful not to clip any bolts.

  5. Pick Locks - Fr. 6b
    A short pillar and wall just right of the crack. Join the top part of the crack and share double ring lower off.

  6. Skeleton Key - Fr. 6b
    Share first bolt of previous then up the centre of the wall to chain lower.

  7. Lockup - Fr. 6a+ *
    Start higher up the brambly slope and climb the arête.

Second Buttress

Over to the right is another buttress with an arête above an annoying forked silver birch "stump". The side wall left of the stumps has bolted project(s) which will be incorporated in the text once climbed.Takes a while to dry after rain.

Rock climbing topo for Crosskeys Quarry, South Wales
Second Buttress
  1. Klariedaphobia - Fr. 6c+ **
    The arête and short roof on the left with a grand finale slab finish.

  2. Five Lever - Fr. 6b+ **
    The wall to the right of the blunt arête, starting up a thin crack with a tricky section to gain the " thank god" jug on the arête.

  3. Locksmith - HVS,4c/Fr. 5+ *
    Gruesome crack to start leads to classic jams and shared belay on left. Retroed with first ascentionists permission.Great entertainment which ever style you choose to do it. It's your choice .

  4. Petersman - Fr. 6c+ *
    The ivied wall to the right of Locksmith gives sustained climbing on small holds. Recently stripped of ivy and rebolted.

  5. Project
    Works in progress so not drawn on topo until climbed..

Right Hand Walls

Rock climbing topo for Crosskeys Quarry, Far Right Walls, South Wales.
Crosskeys Quarry - Far Right Walls
  1. Right Combination - Fr. 5c
    Short bulge passing an earthy section to shared rings.

  2. She's a Key- per - Fr. 5c
    Rounded rib bolted green slab.

  3. Lock n Roll - Fr. 4b
    The slab

  4. Wreckernoitre - VD
    Start in the hollow left of the obvious crack at the back of the quarry. Gain and follow the ramp to finish up the slab at the end of it. Possibly retro bolted so omitted from topo.14m.

  5. Wreckernoitre Direct - S
    The direct start to Wreckernoitre with a tricky mantle to reach the gangway and slab. May be retrobolted so not drawn on topo. 9m.

  6. Lock to Top - Fr. 5c
    Slab and short roof.

  7. Lock Sucker - Fr. 6c
    The left arête to central rings.

  8. Radovan Karadijc - Fr. 7a*
    The centre of the obvious smooth face on the right-hand wall of the quarry. 8m.

  9. Lockdown - Fr. 6b/+ *
    The right arête which now has belay rings shared with the narrow slab. Sneaky holds round to the right but feet out L at this grade.

  10. Lock Out - Fr. 4
    The narrow slab above the big ledge to shared rings.

  11. Are You Feeling Locky - Fr. 6a+
    Bolted wall above ledge with tree stump.

  12. Unlocked Steph's Crack - HS,4b
    Ragged trad crack close to bolts on either side.

  13. Lock Don't Drop - Fr. 6b+
    Wall left of obvious cleaned curving crack to shared belay.

  14. Cam Lock and Hex Key - HVS,5b *
    Curving cleaned crack. A rare trad gem by Jon King.

  15. Knob Lock - Fr. 6a+
    Wall R of crack to chain belay. Use of crack for left hand condoned and care with higher blocks recommended

  16. Deadbolt - Fr. 6b
    The wall above the avoidable jammed boulder on friable holds after the second bolt. Shared belay.

First Ascents

Short Left Wall

  1. Key is in the Name - Faith Rocke 09/05/2024
  2. Beagle Banter - Faith Rocke 09/05/2024
  3. Powered by Pepsi - Faith Rocke 09/05/2024
  4. Cuddles Small but Mighty - Nick Rocke 09/05/2024
  5. Hugo Hugs are the Best - Nick Rocke 09/05/2024
  6. Rock Out With Your Lockout - Nick Rocke & Lee James 2024
  7. Lock Stock & Two Broken Holds - Nick Rocke 2024
  8. Safe Cracker - Nick Rocke & Lee James 2024

First Buttress

  1. Lookout Post - Jonathan King 08/05/2024
  2. Escape through the Roof - Jonathan King 08/05/2024
  3. Cock Lock -
  4. Cheesy Crack - Roy Thomas G.Davies 1998
  5. Pick Locks - Roy Thomas 1999
  6. Skeleton Key - Roy Thomas 1999
  7. Lock Up -

Second Buttress

  1. Klariedaphobia - Nick Rocke, Gareth Jones 10/05/2024
  2. Five Lever - Roy Thomas G Ashmore 1999
  3. Locksmith - Nick O'Neill 1999
  4. Petersman - Roy Thomas Nick O'Neill G.Davies 1999
  5. Project -

Right-Hand Walls

  1. Right Combination - Nick Rocke 08/05/2024
  2. She's a Key- per - Danielle Foster, Nick Rocke 08/05/24
  3. Lock n Roll - Danielle Foster, Nick Rocke 08/05/24
  4. Wreckernoitre - C.Shorrock solo 9th May.1995
  5. Wreckernoitre Direct - M.Hirst solo 09.05.1995
  6. Lock to Top - Nick Rocke, Gareth Jones 08/05/2024
  7. Lock Sucker - Gandalf 10/05/2024
  8. Radovan Karadijc - G.Ashmore 17th October 1999
  9. Lockdown - Gandalf, Roy Thomas 2024
  10. Lock Out - Roy Thomas, Gandalf 2024
  11. Are You Feeling Locky - Nick Rocke 10/05/2024
  12. Unlocked Steph's Crack - Nick Rocke 15/05/2024
  13. Lock Don't Drop - Jonathan King, Nick Rocke 2024
  14. Cam Lock and Hex Key - Jonathan King 15/05/2024
  15. Knob Lock - Roy Thomas, Gandalf 2024
  16. Deadbolt - Roy Thomas, Gandalf 2024

Additional Photos


  1. According to ex-local resident David Marsh, in an email to craginfo@ dated 18/03/2018, the name of this quarry is Brook's Quarry; "definitely not Crosskey's Quarry".
  2. This quarry is referred to as Pontywaun Quarry in