Cwm Dimbath

From South Wales Climbing Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Cwm Dimbath
( Daren y Dimbath )
Cwm dimbath 2.jpg
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Trad/Sport
Approach Time 25 minutes
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Western Valleys
WGS-84 Location 51.595178, -3.5149399
OS Grid Ref. SS 951 895
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.581727, -3.5176206
GR Parking Location 294943, 188077
Parking Postcode CF35 6EG
Base Elevation 246 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction North West
Aspect Rarely Sunny
Wind Sheltered Mostly
Climbing Type Normal
Midge Problem Serious
Seepage Needs a long dry spell
Crags Within 5.0 km

Clydach Vale Bogmonster Quarry, Clydach Vale Cambrian Quarry, Cwm Dimbath, Lewistown, Llwynypia, The Farm

RAD Notice/Restriction Cwm Dimbath@BMC RAD



What with bats, rare ferns, rabid ecologists and summer midges, it would seem that Cwm Dimbath would appear a lost cause. It is however a unique spot lost in the secluded Ogmore Forest and rarely visited (not even by ecologist) by all but the weekend dirt bike trail riders.

The first climbing at Cwm Dimbath was in the late seventies by Charlie Heard who did some peg routes on the steep cracks. Rediscovered in the late 80's/1990, Andy Sharp and Pete Lewis eliminated the aid giving three strong lines at E4, E5, E6, and the fine sport route of Haven't A Clue, Fr.7a+. After some early interest, the crag slumbered until the 2020 Covid epidemic when its seclusion and proximity to Bridgend fitted in with the travel restrictions once climbing was deemed safe to return to. Doubtless, once travel is permitted further afield, it can return to its slumbers with only the occasional visitor wishing to tackle the three regionally important crack climbs.

The crag consists of a natural rift that has been quarried. There are two distinct areas; the lower rift is more extensive in size and height and has some routes on natural sandstone.

This is a truly excellent crag—an oasis of calm and shade—with unique flora and fauna which should be treated with great respect. The motorbike scrambler track through the upper and lower rift should be kept clear of to avoid danger of injury or damaged rucsacs. It is clearly indicated with plastic markers so you should steer clear.

At the time of writing the routes will require a little more traffic to keep them in a reasonable state. Some routes remain dry in the rain even after a prolonged spell but seepage can be a problem, particularly during the winter months. The best approach to avoid the tangle of boulders and brambles, is to follow the trail bikers/hikers/doggers path up the left side of the rift before descending. This also minimises any heavy footfall on the rift's vegetation. There are colonies of rare atlantic ferns giving the site's SSSI designation in the top rift next to the dumped car and scramble bike track. It is hoped an ecologist(e) (or her/his mate) can confirm their location aand it can then be marked on the topos as areas to strictly avoid. The last survey was some 9 years ago and a new one is forthcoming so the aforementioned sensitive areas should soon be revealed.

The area is a nationally importent winter bat roost and is best avoided as the bats return in winter—(guideline dates/routes to avoid will be posted after consultation with bat ecologists). After consultation it has been established that AVOIDING AREAS USED AS WINTER BAT HIBERNATION ROOST BETWEEN NOVEMBER AND FEBRUARY WOULD BE WISE. Routes that are particularly problematic are marked with a a bat symbol in the wiki text and on the topo.

Midges are a real pain in summer after 7 pm. Take midge cream.


Follow the A4061 from the M4 at Sarn through Bryncethin to Blackmill. Turn right along the A4093 towards Gilfach Goch and follow this road for 1/2 mile until Glynllan, estate is reached. Turn left into Dimbath Avenue and follow it through an estate. Continue down Dimbath Lane until a ford is reached. Park here. This point can also be reached by travelling westwards along the A4093 from Tonyrefail and turning right opposite the church in Glynogwr. Having parked at the ford, pop over the stile and walk up the river following. the path for ¾ mile, until a gravel forest track doubles back rightwards and up the hill. Follow this until the track straightens after a left-hand bend and where there are rock outcrops on both sides of the path. Follow a path up into the forest (and past a few more outcrops), to arrive at the lower rift.


From right to left as you approach them:

Lower Rift

  1. Across The River - VS,4c
    Immediately upon turning right to enter the main rift is a prominent short arête on the right side. 8m.

  2. Into The Trees - VS,4b
    6m to the left is another obvious arête of natural sandstone. 8m.

  3. Groucher - VS,4c
    The rounded arête to the left. 8m.

  4. Midget Gem (Whinger) - HVS,5a *
    6m to the left is a scoop running from a ledge to a prominent tree. 8m.

  5. Moaner - VS,4c
    Left again is a steep wall with a peg runner at 5m and an arête to its right. Start on the ledge to the right of the arête and layback the sharp arête facing left, passing a useful Friend slot en route. 8m.

  6. Teaching Granny - E1,5c *
    Climb the steep wall past the peg runner. Trend right to finish. 9m.

  7. Huff And Puff - HVS,4c
    The next arête to the left. 9m.

    The next section is a sandstone tower with 4 routes.

  8. Cunny Slide Up - Fr. 4
    The slab and arête starting as low down the slope as possible.

  9. Making Omlettes - Fr. 6a ****
    Right side of wall, tricky to start.

  10. Sucking Eggs - E3,6a ***
    Tackle the strikingly obvious leaning sharp arête to the left, peg runner. Perhaps the breast trad arête on sandstone in the area. 12m.

    Topo Dimbath at your convenience.jpg
    Cwm dimbath 1.jpg

  11. At Your Convenience - Fr. 6b+ *
    Climb the recently regeared overhanging wall to the left to a new belay . 12m.

    Moving left into the main bay are.....

  12. Phil’s Ammonia - E1,5b
    Over to the left is a blunt arête forming the left-hand side of a gully. Start at the base of the slab and wander rightwards up this to gain the arête. Climb the arête, 2peg runners, to a large ledge and either top out or lower off a pre-placed rope. 18m.

  13. Sal’s Ammoniac - E2,5c a bat
    To the left are two vague towers. This route climbs the front face of the left hand tower, with a tricky start, peg runner and the spectacular overhang above, peg runner, to a belay. 15m.

  14. Teddy Bear’s Picnic - Fr. 5+
    Climb the wall a few metres left of the corner. 15m.

  15. Be Sure of a Treat Today - Fr. 6a *
    Next line to the left. Shares a lower off with Teddy Bears.

  16. You'll Never Believe Your Eyes Catherine - Fr. 6b+ **
    The arête via the flake.

  17. Coming On Strong - E5,6b ***
    Brilliant albeit somewhat overshadowed by its neighbour. Climb the overhanging crack past a wide niche, peg runner and an in situ wire to the overhang. Thug through the roof and up the overhanging crack (Friends ½ and 1½), New belay June 2020. 21m.

  18. Where The Power Lies - E6,6b *** a bat
    Awesome, spacious and decidedly uphill. Climb the blatantly obvious crack starting from a ledge at 2m, to a baffling move through the roof. Shakeout, crank up for a good jug and finish by jug hauling and a couple of jams to the refurbished chain. Several peg runners. 21m.

    Cwm dimbath 2.jpg

  19. Five Mile Limit - Fr. 6a+ **
    Layback flake and wall left of leaning corner to shared belay of Haven't a Clue.

  20. Haven’t A Clue - Fr. 7a+ **
    The obvious and deceptively powerful blunt arête down and to the left, finishing up the right hand slab. 15m.

  21. If You Go Down To The Woods Today - E4,6a **
    The thin cracks in the wall to the left contain a couple of long, powerful locks, with shaky gear in the central section. Friends are useful to protect the exit onto the upper slab, and a Friend ½ is very useful at 10m. New belay june 2020.15m.

  22. Billy Big Boys Hammond
    An abandoned( 30 yrs ago) OPEN project up the wall to the left sharing a belay with Go Down,purportedly - Fr 8?

  23. Big Surprise - E1,5b
    The ‘offwidth’ to the left. 15m.

  24. Closet Projecter - Fr 6a+ *
    The wall left of the crack.

  25. Day Of The Mastodon - HVS,5a *
    Climb the obvious flying arête at the extreme left hand end of this section of wall before the larger bank and the upper rift. 15m.

Sunny Side

The left side of the rift has a sunnier disposition. The first section encountered has short highball/micro routes.

Nashy Wall

From Left to Right as approached.

Nashy Wall
  1. Hymenophyllum - VS,4c
    The left arête just R of the small track used by local trail bikers. Keep your gear off the track or they will run over it.

  2. Tunbrigense - VS,4c
    The wall L of first chimney.

  3. Filthy Crack - HS,4a
    Short earthy chimney,belay on tree.

  4. Short - VS,4b
    wall R of first chimney.

  5. Fickle Fern - VS,4c
    Centre of wall.

  6. Nashy - VS,4c
    Very short wall above graffiti lower off tree.

  7. Burdizzo - E2,5c **
    A little further along the path is a small scoop with some painted graffiti. Since the demise of the peg and, if taken direct, provides a tough little number.

  8. Hello Hello - V diff
    Short wall to tree.

Upper Rift

Up and left from the Lower Rift is the Upper Rift.

  1. Trickie - VS,4b
    An obvious small buttress, overhanging on its left-hand side just left of a grass col provides this route, which climbs onto the obvious small ledge, moves up and then traverses right under the overhang to finish. 8m.

  2. Trieksodeephobia - HVS,5a
    Climb onto the small ledge as for Trickie, but continue direct to finish (The finish can be reached directly, via a boulder problem through the overlaps). 9m.

  3. No. 7 Climb - VS,4c
    Climb the filthy groove 9m to the left until a step left can be made onto a slabby wall. Probably best left to the lichen. 12m.

    Cwm dimbath 3.jpg

  4. Consuming Passion - HVS,5b
    Around to the left is a fine wall with a prominent right to left ramp up its centre. Climb the prominent crack to the right of the ramp, finishing direct. 18m.

  5. Enfranchise - E6,6b
    The chipped wall to the left (not using chiped holds to the right), to gain the finish of Never Mind The Bollocks, Share The Knowledge. 16m.

  6. Never Mind The Bollocks, Share The Knowledge - E3,5c **
    Climb the prominent diagonal ramp (good wires) until level with the underside of the capping roof. Step right, and follow a series of slots over the overhangs to finish direct up the centre of the buttress (crux). 18m.

  7. Wild Pussy - E2,5b
    Start by some graffiti 5m left of the last routes. Climb the conspicuous left-trending blocky faultline into a niche and finish direct to the left of an obvious tree. A difficult start. 15m.

  8. Grit Expectations - E4,5c
    Climb the recessed wall 8m left of Wild Pussy direct via a break, a blind flake (poor Rock 2) to a rounded break, poor Friend. Make crux moves upto the overlap and finish more easily. 14m.

  9. The Creaming Codpiece - E2,5c
    The prominent slab to the left, with an undercut base, peg runners. 12m.

  10. Bitter End - E1,5b *
    Climb the wall to the left starting up an overhanging groove and finishing direct past a peg runner. 14m.

Additional Photos


Lower Rift

  1. Across The River -R.Thomas 1990
  2. Into The Trees -
  3. Groucher -
  4. Midget Gem (Whinger) -
  5. Moaner -
  6. Teaching Granny -
  7. Huff And Puff -
  8. Unamed -Nick O'Neill
  9. Making Omlettes -
  10. Sucking Eggs -R.Thomas 1990
  11. At Your Convenience -R.Thomas 1990
  12. Phil's Ammonia -R.Thomas
  13. Sal's Ammoniac -R.Thomas1990
  14. Teddy Bear's Picnic -R.Thomas
  15. Be Sure of a Treat Today -R.Thomas
  16. You'll Never Believe Your Eyes -
  17. Coming On Strong -
  18. Where The Power Lies -Andy Sharp 1990
  19. Five Mile Limit -
  20. Haven't A Clue -Pete Lewis 1990
  21. If You Go Down To The Woods Today -Pete Lewis 1990
  22. Big Surprise -R.Thomas 1990
  23. Closet Projecter -
  24. Day Of The Mastodon -R.Thomas 1990

  1. R.Thomas, G.Royle 1990
  2. R.Thomas, G.Royle 1990
  3. R.Thomas 1990
  4. E.Travers-Jones 1990
  5. R.Thomas 1990
  6. R.Thomas, G.Royle 1990
  7. R.Thomas, G.Gibson 09.06.1990
  8. R.Thomas, G.Royle 1990
  9. R.Thomas, G.Royle 1990
  10. R.Thomas, G.Davies 1990
  11. R.Thomas 1991
  12. R.Thomas, G.Davies 1990
  13. A.Sharp, P.Lewis 06.05.1990
  14. A.Sharp, P.Lewis 21.04.1990
  15. A.Sharp, P.Lewis 29.04.1990
  16. P.Lewis, A.Sharp 21.04.1990
  17. R.Thomas, G.Davies 1990
  18. R.Thomas, G.Gibson 09.06.1990
  19. R.Thomas Pre-1991

Sunny Side Nashy Wall

  1. Hymenophyllum
  2. Tunbrigense
  3. Short
  4. Fickle Fern
  5. Nashy
  6. Burdizzo
  7. Hello hello P.Issof U.W Anker dec 1969

Upper Rift

  1. Trickie - G.Lewis 1990
  2. Trieksodeephobia - G.Lewis, A.Burke 1990
  3. No. 7 Climb - G.Lewis, A.Keward 1990
  4. Consuming Passion - H.Griffiths, L.Travers-Jones 1990
  5. Enfranchise - J.Sykes Pre-1999
  6. Never Mind The Bollocks, Share The Knowledge - A.Burke, E.Travers-Jones, H.Griffiths 1990
  7. Wild Pussy - H.Griffiths,E.Travers-Jones 1990
  8. Grit Expectations - E.Travers-Jones, H.Griffiths 1990
  9. The Creaming Codpiece - R.Thomas, G.Ashmore 04.10.1997
  10. Bitter End - R.Thomas G Royle Pre-1991

Dildo Plonker Wall

  1. Frappachino- P.Issoff,Ben Dover 2022