Cwmaman Main

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Cwmaman Main
( Tir Llaethay Quarry )
Right Side Walls. Photo: Daniel Bryan
Right Side Walls. Photo: Daniel Bryan
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Sport
Approach Time 15 minutes
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Central Valleys
WGS-84 Location 51.684590, -3.4376907
OS Grid Ref. ST 007 994
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.683419, -3.4395658
GR Parking Location 300574, 199277
Parking Postcode CF44 6PG
Base Elevation 226 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction West
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Normal
Midge Problem Serious
Seepage Needs a short dry spell
Crags Within 5.0 km

Blaenllechau, Cefnpennar, Cwmaman Main, Cwmaman West, Ferndale Lower Quarry, Ferndale Main, Ferndale Right, Gelli, Maerdy - Rhondda Fach, Mountain Ash West, Penrhiwceiber Quarry, Sheriff Quarry - Maerdy, Ton Pentre, Tylorstown Quarry, Upper Mountain Ash

Cwmaman Main. Photo: Robin McAlister


Also see Cwmaman West.

Seepage aside, Cwmaman will always be well worth a visit come what may. "It was certainly regarded as one of the better sandstone crags in SE.Wales in the late eighties" (Martin Crocker).

This is primarily a sport climbing crag that gets the afternoon and evening sun. The right wall has a good selection of low to mid grade sports routes. The left wall is steep and very fingery even for sandstone with some classic test pieces. However, a dry Spring or Autumn visit is recommended for the left wall as it seeps quite badly, it is too hot to climb in full summer sun and the midges are nearly unbearable.

Almost all of the routes have been recently regeared.


It's not easy to find, lets be honest about this, but here goes....

From the A4059 Mountain Ash to Aberdare road turn off left at a roundabout signposted Aberaman Ind Est (B4275). Turn left at the next roundabout (signposted similar), and follow this road to another roundabout, turn right signposted Cwmaman (B4275). Soon the road bears right and immediately after passing over the viaduct take the left hand turning (Cwmaman Rd.), signposted Cwmaman 1 mile. After a few hundred metres, turn left at the T-junction onto Brynmair Rd (beware the name plate on the blue painted house opposite reads Jubilee Rd, this is placed here merely to confuse you). Follow the road for a mile until an obvious sharp right turn, the third left after this turn is a fork onto the un-signed Aman St. (not the signed Aman Ct., which again is a cunning ploy by RCTCBC to divert you to the arse-end of nowhere).

With me so far?

After 50m turn left, downhill, onto the un-signed Llanwonno Rd (are you catching on here?). After a further 400m is a small triangular grassed traffic island at the crest of a rise, take the left hand turn onto a single lane track opposite this island. This track shortly leads to an isolated semi-detached house. Park opposite the houses, taking care not to block the forestry track or roads.

ST (3)00577 (1)99278

51.684429, -3.4375133

After walking down this level forestry track for exactly 100m, you will struggle to find a path on your right; this is because the track has been widened and the path now starts at the top of a metre high, vertical soil cutting (sigh!). Clamber up this cut and after a short uphill slog, you will arrive breathlessly at the quarry. You may now sit down, catch your breath, congratulate yourselves on not getting lost (or not), and graze on the fantasic bilberries covering the quarry floor.

If on foot, regular buses run to Cwmaman itself; from Aberdare and Mountain Ash.

Map Of Gower and SE Wales


Cwmaman - Left Wall. Photo: Steve Delaney

Left Wall

  1. Rab/The Numbers Game - Fr. 7a **
    A long and exhausting traverse. Start up Good Tradition, and move across to the break on Mother Of Pearl. Move up and across to Two For Tuesday and across the loose corner onto the arête. Climb this for a few feet, then traverse the obvious break as far as Innuendo, which is followed to finish.30m.

  2. 30' is the new 20' - Fr. 6c
    The first route on the left wall, follow the four BR's to the lower off. Contains a low and high crux using holds to the left of the bolted line. 9m

    Right Side Walls. Photo: Daniel Bryan
  3. Good Tradition - Fr. 6a+
    The next route right.9m.

  4. A Clear Head And A Blow Lamp - Fr. 6c
    The crackline to the right has a superb starting move and is hard higher up. 10m.

  5. A Clear Conscience And A Blow Job - E3, 6a
    As for A Clear Head And A Blowlamp until just below the top, then step out right onto the wall to finish. 14m

  6. Maybe Tomorrow - Fr. 7b+
    A direct approach to the finish of A Clear Conscience And A Blowjob. 14m

  7. Mother Of Pearl - Fr. 7b **
    The centre of the wall to the right with a bold start and very thin crank at half-height. 14m

  8. Two For Tuesday - Fr. 6c+
    A reasonable line just left of the arête of the higher section of the main wall. 14m

    Mike peddle leading up Two For Tuesday. Photo: Robin McAlister
  9. The World Is My Lobster - Fr. 6c+ *
    The right-hand side of the aforementioned arête. 17m

  10. Propaganda - Fr. 7a+ ***
    Start right of the arête, and make a hard move up past a two finger pocket. Continue up the wall between breaks to join The World Is My Lobster at its final bolt, BB. 17m

  11. Science Friction - Fr. 7a+ *
    A harder proposition to the right of Propaganda. At the high bong, move left to the BB of Propaganda. 16m

  12. La Rage - Fr. 7b **
    An utterly desperate move from the lower break gives way to sustained climbing and a hard move near the top. Start by a step in the banking, below a PR. Pass this BR, to a very hard move up to a sloping jug and the break. Continue direct to a BB. 15m

  13. Innuendo - Fr. 7b+ *
    The final line of in-situ gear on the wall. It rarely dries out. 14m

The Left of the Back Wall

Zoo Time Wall

The following short routes are good and the last three share an immense pigtail lower off (plus the wreck of the original belay for the paranoid):

  1. Looking for Leather - Fr. 5
    The first route to the right of the obvious corner. Follow the bolts on the left of Instead Of This to an independent belay.11m.

  2. Instead Of This - Fr. 5+
    Next route to right.12m

  3. Circus Clowns - Fr. 6a
    The line immediately to the right to the same belay follows more twizzles.12m.

  4. Zoo Time - Fr. 5+
    Climb straight up the wall, following the twizzles, to the shared pigtail lower off.12m.

  5. Crack Line Man - VS, 4c
    The crack line in the loose blocky buttress to the right. 12m

The Right of the Back Wall

This is the loose looking section of rock to the right of the previous routes.

  1. Cilly Arête - Fr. 6a
    Climb the left arête with a tricky move at the top.

  2. Sam Sparrow - Fr. 5+
    Starting just to the left the words 'Tich 93' climb the line of bolts.

  3. Alys Rook - Fr. 5
    Climbs the line of bolts to the arête just by the words 'Tich 93'.

  4. Alys Rook Direct - Fr. 6b/c
    As the last route but with a bouldery start via the lower right wall to the empty bolt hole.

The Right Side Walls and Arête

Cwmaman - The Right Side Walls and Arête

On the right is a slightly slabby square-cut buttress. The left wall faces back towards the main left-hand wall of the quarry.

  1. Hot Beef Injection - E3, 6a
    The left-hand route on this slab is tricky. A wire is needed to thread the first rotten PR. Follow BRs (rusty 8mm's) to no belay. 12m

  2. Spam Javelin - Fr. 5
    A route that will improve with traffic. Recently re-cleaned and re-bolted. Follow the central crack line with a low crux. 14m

  3. Neo Maxie Zoom Weenie - E3, 6a
    Just to the right is a short thin crack (wires). Follow this up onto the slab and climb the slab past two rotten pegs to a long rusted L.O 14m.

  4. Pork Sword - Fr. 6b *
    Start on the right-hand side of the arête. You're aiming for the new belay at the top of the arête. 15m

  5. Turkey Twizzler - Fr. 6a+ *
    The wall right of the arête to the shared belay of Anniversary Walk. Start as for Anniversary walk then move left to the shallow cave. Pull steeply out of this and continue up the wall. 15m

  6. Anniversary Walk - Fr. 5+ *
    The wall just right of Pork Sword to a separate belay. 15m

  7. The forgotten route - Fr. 5+
    A bit of an eliminate. Climb the tricky start of the next route to the chain lower off situated just below the crumbly recess. 10m

  8. Hey Mister - Fr. 6a
    The wall right again, BB. 15m

  9. Buff The Happy Lamp - Fr. 6a
    The wall right again, then follow a rising traverse left to the belay of Anniversary Walk. 25m.

  10. Yank the Plank - Fr. 6a
    The wall right again to a BB. 15m

  11. Evil Ways - Fr. 6a
    Last route on the wall, tricky moving up to the belay. 15m

First Ascents

Left Wall

  1. P.Lewis, A.Sharp 05.11.1988
  2. A.Sharp, P.Lewis 05.11.1988
  3. Steven Delaney (after 30th B'day) & Gareth Jones 26.04.2010
  4. N.Davies, A.Meek 00.00.1994
  5. A.Sharp, P.Lewis 05.11.1988
  6. A.Sharp, P.Lewis, J.Harwood 08.05.1989
  7. A.Sharp, P.Lewis, J.Harwood 08.05.1989
  8. Two for Tuesday - A.Sharp, P.Lewis 8/5/1991
  9. The World is my Lobster - A.Sharp, P.Lewis 8/5/1991
  10. A.Sharp, P.Lewis 16.05.1989
  11. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 14.05.1989

Left of the Back Wall

  1. Myles and Nicola Jordan 12.06.2010
  2. G.Gibson, R.Thomas 16.06.1990
  3. R.Thomas, R. Leyshon. 00.06.2010
  4. R Thomas G.Gibson16.06.1990
  5. SWMC 00.00.1989

The Right of the Back Wall

  1. G.Lewis & S.Delaney 20.04.2010
  2. G.Lewis & Ollie Burrows 00.03.2010
  3. G.Lewis & Ollie Burrows 00.03.2010
  4. S.Delaney 15.06.10

The Right Side Walls and Arête

  1. M.Crocker R.Thomas 13.11.1988
  2. R.Thomas, E.Travers-Jones 00.00.1990
  3. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 13.11.1988
  4. R.Thomas G.Ashmore 15.03.1998
  5. R Thomas ,Nic and M Jordan ,Giulia
  6. R.Thomas, M.Crocker 13.11.1988
  7. G.Lewis and S.Delaney 01.09.2009
  8. R.Thomas, P.Hadley 00.08.1999
  9. R.Thomas, M.Crocker 13.11.1988
  10. R.Thomas, P.Hadley 00.08.1999
  11. P.Hadley, R.Thomas 00.08.1999