Dinas Main Crag

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Dinas Main Crag
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Sport
Approach Time
Area Inland Limestone
Sub Area Dinas Rock
WGS-84 Location 51.760546, -3.572933
OS Grid Ref. SN 915 080
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.759561, -3.578172
GR Parking Location SN 911 079
Parking Postcode SA11 5NU
Base Elevation metres
General Info
Faces Direction South
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Mostly
Climbing Type Serious
Crags Within 10.0 km

Cheesy Rider Area, Craig Tyle-Cam, Craig y Nos, Cwmaman Main, Cwmaman West, Dinas - Main Slab, Dinas Main Crag, Inflated Roundhead Area, Kennelgarth Wall, Love Of Ivy Area, Lower Cave Area, Maerdy - Rhondda Fach, Pen Pych, Sheriff Quarry - Maerdy, Space Mountain

RAD Notice/Restriction Dinas Main Crag@BMC RAD


The cream of South East Wales. Without doubt the best cliff in the area, comparable with Britain's best sport venues. This extensive crag is full of high class routes to suit all styles.

The Main Roof Sector routes obviously draw the powerful where the routes on the slabbier Main Wall to the right succumb to a subtler approach and suit the technician.

Simon Robinson 'throwing some shapes' on Hyabusa - Fr.7c+


The Left End covers the prominent tower on the very left end of the crag, routes around the large ground level cave and the wall to its right which low down has a prominent sloping ledge running across it "the platform".

Left of the tower is a huge jammed block. If you want to try the route starting past it you take your life in your own hands.

Descent Route 45m

Not the best of descents. Start at a large jammed block reached by scrambling up left from the main overhang. Climb the right side of the block and a short crack, then move right into a gully leading to the top.

The Tower

  1. Pis En Lit - Fr.6b
    The line just left of the arête of the tower, starting directly over the left side of the overlap, then moving right until a move left at the roof gains the upper arête. 18m

  2. Illegal Congress - Fr.6b
    Start at the toe of the buttress and scramble up right past a tree stump to access and climb the wall right of the arête of the buttress. 18m

  3. Family Values - Fr.6a+
    The wall right of Illegal Congress. 18m

  4. Ivy Nest - ??VD??
    Climb the deep cleft right of The Tower. Presently again covered in ivy - it doesn't look VD!! and I'm not willing to check the grade - any feedback would be welcomed ! 24m

  5. Stray Cats - Fr.7a
    Good, steep climbing. Start at the left end of the cave. Pull over a small overhang with difficulty to good holds. Haul right along a good handrail to a tough pull into a groove which is followed to the belay. 24m

  6. Puss Off - Fr.7a
    The roof at the right end of the cave. Climb to the cave roof then up and rightwards to a huge jug. Pull back left across the roof lip then pull onto the wall, finish leftwards to the belay of Stray Cats. 20m

    The following routes start below, or on, a platform running across to the arête of the main roof.

  7. Each Way Nudger - Fr.6c
    Start where the platform starts on the left (2m to the right of the edge of the cave). Climb up onto the platform then up and over an overlap into a groove to the right of the ramp at the right end of the cave. Climb up to the groove then to the capping bulge which is passed on its left. Climb up to the final bulge, then pull over this leftwards on good flake holds. 15m

    The following two routes climb direct lines through the now defunct Gentle Push E4,6a (P.Littlejohn, C.Court 1985).

  8. When Push Comes To Shove - Fr.7a+
    To the right of Each Way Nudger at half-height is a prominent roof. Gain this directly, pull through it desperately to below some overlaps. Climb right of the BR out on the left, then swing left to the BB. 20m

  9. Call a Spade a Spade - Fr.6c
    Reported that the lower-off on this route is in a bad state. A single rusty bolt and rusty chains. Best avoid until repaired. The right-hand line through the half-height overlap, then finishing leftwards to a groove high on the crag, BB. 20m

  10. Unnamed Route 2 - HVS,5a
    Start as for Call A Spade A Spade. Climb up right to a small overhang. Pull over this and move right to a big flake. Climb this and the groove above, on the left, to the top. 18m

  11. Totally Radish - Fr.6c *
    Start just below the prominent arête bounding the left side of the main crag. Move up left to a small cave and large thread runner, then pull right up onto the roof. Panic at the lack of holds until a hidden borehole is found. Once established, climb the left side of the arête above. The route to the right is Durbin 2, Watson Nil, described below. 24m

  12. Finger Pinch - E3,5c
    Largely superseded since the arrival of Durbin Two, Watson Nil, but still an easy way through some impressive terrain. The bolts on D2,W0 replace the PR and TR, but the last bolt is a bit naughty, although for the purist, there is a good rock slot round to the left. Walk along the ledge leading from the recess area to the arête, pull onto the arête (excellent TR here - not in situ), and climb this via grooves and a small overlap to the top. BB. 24m

  13. Wild Magic - E3,6a *
    As for Finger Pinch, but cross below the bottom of a groove, then move up and right to a horizontal break. Follow this to gain a layback crack leading up the wide groove, PR. Abseil from trees at the top. 31m


1. Lip Trick - E3,6a,5c *

P-1. A wild trip on the very lip of the overhang. Follow Wild Magic to the PR. Continue traversing (crux) PR, to a PB. 21m

P-2. Climb up then right to a groove. Climb this for 3m until it is possible to move right to a crack (Gastro). Follow this passing old PRs to the top. 21m

2. Cautious Lip - E6,6a,6b,6a ***

A brilliant left to right girdle of the lip of the main overhang, with outrageous positions.

P-1. As for Wild Magic. 18m

P-2. Move right into the crack of Gastro, NR and climb down this for 4m. Traverse right with difficulty into Bangkok and belay. 12m

P-3. Traverse right and Finish up Caution To The Wind. 18m

The next batch of routes start to the right of the left arête of the crag. They take lines directly through the roof and await big brothers and sisters.

3. Durbin Two, Watson Nil - Fr.7c **

Start below and left of the jam crack at the left-hand side of the roof, below what looks like a good pocket in the roof. Climb easily to the roof and explode powerfully through to the lip. It is essential to avoid autocorrelation when turning the lip and the sequence required is rather bizarre, but a sneaky hint is tape up your ankles. An unsubtle hint is use a series of overhead footlocks. Finish up the right side of the arête. 24m

4. Giant Killer - E6,6a,6a **

Formerly the most fearsome route at Dinas and one that retains considerable status. Most of the gear is in situ, but a thorough cleaning is required to return it to classic status. The second pitch is rarely done and most abseil off after the lip to avoid the vegetation. Gain the hanging corner right of Durbin Two, Watson Nil from the right and follow it to the roof, PR. Traverse right to gain a crack leading out to the lip. Gain this, PR, and in situ nuts to make a long move to gain the lip (good Friend). Turn the lip, BR and pull up easily to a slight niche and belay or ab off. The second pitch takes the groove above past several PRs. 35m

5. Gastro - A2

To the right of Giant Killer, a row of rather large bolts leads through the roof to the lip. 25m

The following routes are located above the roof, towards the right-hand end of the roof. They may need gardening before an ascent and it would be wise to pre-inspect the condition of the ancient fixed gear

6. Bangkok - E5,6b

Abseil in to a TB on the lip of the roofs, 5m left of Caution To The Wind. Follow a line of pockets up the arête above, moving right to finish, 2TRs, PR.21m

7. Caution To The Wind - E4,6a *

Abseil in to a groove about 5m left of Springboard. Climb the groove TR, to a PB. 21m

8. Sai Finish - E5,6b *

From 3m above the belay on Caution To The Wind, move left to finish up a slim groove. 21m

9. Springboard - A2,E3,6a,5a

Start below a crack splitting the roof on the right-hand end of the Main Overhang. It is also possible to reach pitch 2 via an abseil to the lip of the overhang.

P-1. Use aid to gain the lip of the overhang. Free climb to gain the groove above and follow this to a tree stump and belay. 24m

P-2. Step left and climb up to exit left on to vegetation. 18m

10. The Road to Eldorado - Fr.4

Start under the massive roof by a small boulder and low ledge (30 ft left of Bloody Sport Climbers). Move up the groove to join the obvious traverse line on the hanging beam, follow this left to the belay. 12m

11. Gorilliant - Fr.7a

Start as for Road to Eldorado and follow rightwards hand traverse. 10m

12. Mortal Kombat - Fr. 8a+

12m. Tackles the large roof above the start to 'Road To Eldorado'. From the start of 'RTE' make powerful moves to get established in the unusual 'water borne feature' from here an amazing journey across the 10m ceiling will test all your climbing skills!

Simon Rawlinson on Mortal Kombat


Hayabusa Fr.7c+. Climber: Simon Rawlinson

This is the huge sheet of limestone right of where the monster roof peters out. It contains some of the best sports routes around. The first real feature is the bottomless and holdless groove of Subversive Body Pumping, but just left of this are twin bolts in the roof and a line of jugs leading left above it - this is Spore/Sport Wars.

1. Sport Wars - 1pt Fr.7b+ *

Start left of the prominent Subversive groove and pull to the roof. Cross this using a BA. Pull round the lip, and make a complex sequence leftwards (crux) to eventually bridge out across a groove. Follow the left wall/arête of the groove on wobbly blocks to a BB some 11m above. 25m

1a. Spore Wars - 1pt Fr.7b+ **

As for Sport Wars to the bridging rest. Pull right into the groove (where a belay used to be). Move right and finish up Subversive Body Pumping. Not properly equipped at present. 29m

2. Bloody Sport Climbers! - Fr.8a **

Spore/Sport Wars free. Powerful, but easier (Fr7c+) for the tall. 27m

3. H1N1 - Fr.8a ***

Follow Bloody Sport Climbers over the roof to a big jug. Take a direct line straight up the steep wall onto the right edge of the slab. From a jug on the edge of the slab step into Subversive Body Pumping to finish. 26m

4. Subversive Body Pumping - Fr.7b+ *

The aforementioned bottomless, holdless, groove is entered with extreme difficulty and a bit of contortion. Bridge up until a good hold allows access to the arête. Climb this - a bit run out - to a ledge, then swing right above the bottomless groove, with a final awkward move up to the chain. 26m

5. Dinasty - Fr.8a ***

Now has an independent start over roof right of Subversive -the way it was meant to be climbed. (It previously started up Powers That Be at 7c+). Start right of Subversive, climb to roof, make hard moves over to join Powers that be, pull up and then finish direct as for Hayabusa. 25m

6. Powers That Be - Fr.7c **

A total mauler which takes a rising traverse line up the crag. Pull into the groove as for Subversive Body Pumping and climb it for 4m. Step out onto a conglomerate hold and make more hard moves to a prominent wedged block above. Move desperately up and improvise rightwards to eventually gain a good no-hands rest on Berlin. Follow Berlin for a couple of moves, but step right to a vague flake and gain the top roof of Still Life. Cut through the roof as for Still Life to finish (This is the Berlin Extension). 45m

Berlin Fr.7a+. Climber: Simon Rawlinson

7. Hyabusa - Fr.7c+ ***

Start as for Berlin, pull over the roof, step left and climb the shallow groove, then pull left to a shallow pocket and left again to a junction with Powers That Be. Make a series a of very fingery and tenuous moves through bulges above to the lower off on Subversive Body Pumping. 18m

9. Berlin - Fr.7a+ ***

A definitive classic of its grade. About 11m right of the Subversive groove is a prominent rectangular hold at about 3m Gain this with difficulty (most ascents use a small pile of rocks to reach the first crimp) and pull up to the break. Pull over the first roof (crux), then amble up the slab to a groove. Pull round this on good holds then stretch left into the upper groove. Move up to make a tricky move out right, then continue to a good hold and a shake out. Move up then swing blindly left into a short groove and finish easily. BB. 23m

8. Berlin Extension - Fr.7b ***

Climb Berlin to its last bolt but instead of moving left continue rightwards up the groove to step right and finish wildly over the roof as for Still Life. 27m

10. Still Life - Fr.7b+ ***

More stunning climbing. As for Berlin to the ring bolt, but then traverse right on thin edges and undercuts to a hole. Move slightly right then step left into the hole and follow the complex and tiring wall and groove above it (take care not to traverse too far right into the Big Time groove). Make a draining pull left to a good rest then balance up and step right to a flake under the final roof. Use undercuts to reach a monster bucket on the lip, cut loose and soak up the exposure as you dangle above the river. Finish easily, BB. 27m

11. Chives Of Freedom - Fr.7c **

Start below the obvious square groove dominating the centre of the crag (The Big Time). Climb easily up to a shakeout below the roof, then thug through this to slopers and a tough move right to a big jug and no-hands rest at the base of The Big Time groove. Pull up then left into the Big Time groove then left into the smaller groove on Still Life and keep on blasting up Still Life to the top. 27m

12. Outta Time - Fr.7c ***

An eliminate based on Chives of Freedom which follows Chives then climbs the arête high on the crag between Chives and Big Time. Pull over the roof as for Chives and Big Time. Move up the groove as for Big Time until a long move and difficult rock over gains a standing position at the base of the arête. A precarious sequence and dyno gains a big jug, pull up to join and finish as for Chives over the roof. Quite eliminate, but very good. 27m

13. Just in Time - Fr.7c ***

A hybrid route, linking up two great lines. Climb Still Life until the shattered pocket, then move over to the arête and follow it to finish as for Outta Time. Not really any new climbing, but worthwhile as a slightly easier way to get to the great moves at the top of Outta Time. 29m

14. The Big Time - E6,6c **

As for Chives Of Freedom to the BR just below the groove. Climb up the groove past poor PRs and a substantial run out, RPs to a BR at the break. The original route traversed off right here. Pull through the roof with difficulty, BRs and continue up the headwall to a BB. 27m

There is a half height lower off shared by the following three routes, at the no-hands rest.

15. Crock Of Gold - Fr.7c+ *

A difficult route taking the centre of the big wall right of The Big Time, with two contrasting sections. Start just to the right of a tufa pillar and sapling growing from the roof. Monkey leftward and climb the tufa pillar to a baffling sequence through the roof. From the no-hands rest above the roof, continue fairly directly to a real stopper rockup (crux). Continue thinly to a hairline crack and gain the break via a final tenuous move. 26m

16. Salem’s Lot 26m - Fr.7c *

The original way up this bit of wall. Climb Crock Of Gold until stood over the roof, then finish up The Sharp Cereal Professor. Impressive for its time!

17. The Sharp Cereal Professor - Fr.7b **

An excellent line. Start right of Crock Of Gold and climb the groove to the right of the tufa on good holds to the roof. A blind, hard reach or a lurch gains a good hold on the left above the lip. Pull through, move up and then trend out rightwards on the slabby wall. A hard move through a small arched overlap gains access to the finishing slab. 26m

18. Muchas Maracas - 7c **

Climb Sharp Cereal Professor to roof then follow an awesome line rightwards along the slab past Harlem (rest) to finish pulling through the bulge left of Hawaiian Chance. Make sure you put on your best boots for the traverse. 30m

19. Harlem - Fr.7b+ ***

A superb route at the bottom of the grade. Just right of The Sharp Cereal Professor is the first of two prominent and large holes in the roof. Climb up a slightly cheesy flowstone arête to gain the hole and pull rightwards on big undercuts then pull through the roof. Make an improbable, but quite easy, rock-out right using a sharp mono, to a rest before the next roof. Pull leftwards through this, then quickly move out left to a groove. Climb the groove then pull left again and finish up the slab above. 27m

20. Hawaiian Chance - Fr.7c *

Start just just right of Harlem. Climb to the roof and a tree stump, then make oddball moves through the roof, TR and BR, to a slippery arête, BR. Gain Spain at the TRs, good rest. Pull into the groove of Spain, then swing left round the arête (crux) level with a ring bolt. If successful gain good holds and a BR. It may be advisable to lower off the last BR rather than climb the unstable (but easy) upper section to the TB. 24m

21. Spain - E4,6a ***

Good climbing in exciting positions. Start beneath a rock tube at 9m. Climb to a small tree. Pull over the bulge into a scoop, step up and move left to the arête and climb steeply past 2TRs to gain a rest in the hanging groove above. Reluctantly step right onto the lip of the overhang and traverse right to a groove on the arête, TRs. Step up and swing left PR, then pull over the roof to gain the crack above, TR. Finish up the crack to tree belays. 24m

22. Groovy Tube Day - E1,5b *

A unique route, which explores the obvious tube. Follow Spain into the scoop, step up and move right into the tube (possible belay). Exit from the top of the tube and climb the corner above to the trees. Abseil. 24m

23. On The Broadwalk - E1,5a,5b,5c **

Nice climbing and good positions, though will probably be very dirty currently. Start as for Spain.

P-1. Follow Spain to belay in the tube. 13m

P-2. Traverse right from the top of the tube and move up onto the slab at a crack. Follow the crack, then move right to a small foothold at the lip of the overhang. A long low step to a mantleshelf leads to good holds. Move right to a small tree and PB. 18m

P-3. Traverse right, then up and right again to a small tree and TR out right. Swing right onto a large block and continue to a large tree. 18m

25. Dr. Van Steiner - Fr.7b

A bag. Start right of the Spain scoop and climb desperately over an overlap to the roof. Head up towards the tube, but pull up the arête to join Spain at the upper TRs. 24m

26. Venice - E4,6b

The short roof crack to the right, yet to be re-equipped. 12m

27. Day Screamer - E3,5c

A dirty start leads to good climbing above. Start 5m right of Venice. Climb the overhang and crack above to a ledge. Step left, then up the slab and overlap above to a tree belay. 22m

Dinas - Main Crag Topo

1: Sport Wars

(1a: Spore wars)

2: H1N1

3: Bloody Sport Climbers

4: Subversive Body Pumping

5: Powers That Be

6: Dinasty

7: Hayabuysa

8: Berlin Extension

9: Berlin

10: Still Life

11: Just In Time

12: Outta Time

13: Chives Of Freedom

14: The Big Time

15: Sharp Cereal Professor

16: Crock Of Gold

17: Salem's Lot

18: Muchas Maracas

19: Harlem

20: Hawaiian Chance


Simon Rawlinson on Mortal Kombat - F8a+, Dinas Rock


Pis En Lit R.Thomas, G.Gibson 15.02.1998

Illegal Congress R.Thomas, G.Gibson 15.02.1998

Family Values R.Thomas 00.00.1998

Descent Route Unknown Pre-1973

Ivy Nest Unknown Pre-1973

Stray Cats P.Tilson M.Danford Sisyphus 00.00.1972 FFA A.Sharp, J.Harwood 09.08.1983

Puss Off G.Gibson 22.03.1998

Each Way Nudger G.Gibson, M.Ward, T.Penning, C.Court, P.Creswell 19.05.1985

Gentle Push (Now defunct) (P.Littlejohn, C.Court 1985).

When Push Comes To Shove G.Gibson 15.02.1998

Call a Spade a Spade G.Gibson, R.Thomas 15.02.1998

Unnamed Route 2 L.Francombe, A.Reed 00.00.1981

Totally Radish G.Gibson, R.Thomas 22.03.1998

Finger Pinch P.Donnithorne, T.Meen 00.00.1986

Wild Magic T.Penning, A. Sharp, P.Cresswell 11.07.1982

Lip Trick T.Penning, P.Littlejohn 05.07.1983

Cautious Lip A.Sharp, P.Lewis 00.00.1985

Durbin Two, Watson Nil G.Ashmore 23.03.1997

Giant Killer P.Littlejohn, T.Penning 1pt 26.06.1983, FFA M.Crocker, R.Thomas 14.04.1988

Gastro C.Mortlock Pre-1973

Bangkok A.Sharp, J.Harwood, P.Lewis 27.07.1985

Caution to the Wind A.Sharp, P.Lewis 00.00.1985

Sai Finish A.Sharp, J.Harwood 05.10.1985

Springboard P.Watkin, C.Jones - Pre-1973, FFA P. Littlejohn, M Harber 16.06.1979

The Road to Eldorado Liz Collyer 12.06.2009

Gorilliant Andy Sharp 24.6.2009

Mortal Kombat Simon Rawlinson 18/Jun/2011

Sport Wars G.Gibson 1pt 27.08.1995

Spore Wars M.Crocker, R.Thomas 1pt 17.04.1988

Bloody Sport Climbers G.Ashmore 20.05.1997

H1N1 M.Richards 26.07.2009

Subversive Body Pumping M.Crocker, R.Thomas 06.03.1988

Dinasty M.Richards 14/Jun/2009

Powers That Be M.Crocker, R.Thomas 30.04.1988

Hyabusa M.Richards 18.05.2008

Berlin G.Gibson, M.Ward, M.Crocker 18.05.1985

Berlin Extension M.Richards and Andy Sharp 01.06.2008

Still Life G.Gibson, R.Thomas 30.04.1994

Chives Of Freedom 27m A.Sharp, P.Lewis 1pt - Angel Heart 24.04.1988 FFA G.Ashmore 05.06.1994

Outta Time M.Richards and A Sharp 21.03.2009

Just in Time 29m S.Robinson 29.05.2009

The Big Time P.Littlejohn, T.Penning, J.Harwood 1pt 07.05.1985 FFA G.Gibson, R.Thomas 08.04.1995

Crock Of Gold 26m M.Crocker, R.Thomas 17.04.1988

The Sharp Cereal Professor G.Gibson 01.05.1994

Salem’s Lot A.Sharp, P. Lewis 1985 Now largely superceeded

Muchas Maracas M.Richards 30.05.2009

Harlem A.Sharp, P.Lewis 2pt 00.00.1985 FFA M.Crocker, R.Thomas 15.04.1988

Hawaiian Chance G.Gibson, R.Thomas 12.05.1991

Spain G.Gibson 23.03.1985

Groovy Tube Day C.Connick, D.Hughes 00.00.1978

On The Broadwalk C.Connick, D.Hughes 16.06.1979 FFA A.Sharp, R.Powles 00.00.1981

Dr. Van Steiner G.Gibson 26.05.1991, G.Ashmore - ALCH 08.08.1999

Venice A.Sharp, J.Harwood, P.Lewis, M.Waters, G.Barker 18.08.1985

Day Screamer A.Sharp, J.Harwood, P.Lewis 18.08.1985

Dinas - Cave Area