Ferndale Lower Quarry

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Ferndale Lower Quarry
( Rhonddafach Farm Quarry )
Omerta - Fr. 6a *
Omerta - Fr. 6a *
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Sport
Approach Time 5 minutes
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Western Valleys
Local Area Ferndale
WGS-84 Location 51.666043, -3.4557306
OS Grid Ref. SS 994 973
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.664906, -3.4527031
GR Parking Location SS 996 972
Parking Postcode CF43 4RF
Base Elevation 311 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction North East
Aspect Rarely Sunny
Wind Sheltered Mostly
Climbing Type Normal
Midge Problem Mild
Seepage Quick drying
Crags Within 5.0 km

Blaenllechau, Cefnpennar, Clydach Vale Bogmonster Quarry, Clydach Vale Cambrian Quarry, Cwmaman Main, Cwmaman West, Dan Dicks, Ferndale Lower Quarry, Ferndale Main, Ferndale Right, Gelli, Llwynypia, Maerdy - Rhondda Fach, Mountain Ash West, Pontygwaith Quarry, Sheriff Quarry - Maerdy, The Farm, Ton Pentre, Turberville Road Quarry, Tylorstown Quarry, Ynyshir West

Ferndale Lower Quarry
Sport Grades
<= 6a+ 6
6b - 6c+ 5
7a - 7b 0
>= 7b+ 1


Worth a visit for an evening or as part of a day trip to Ferndale (main) Quarry. Ferndale Lower Quarry contains a large square tower at its centre and some minor walls either side.

The routes are unusual for sandstone, as the large natural features present require you to use a wide variety of climbing techniques.

The left side of the tower catches sun in the morning, the right side in the evening.

Will Calvert on Laid to Rest


From the parking spot walk down the road approximately 50 m until 30 m before the first garage. Cross over the ditch at a boulder, to meet a faint path, head right and almost immediately, cut upwards onto a slightly steeper path heading rightwards above the garages. The quarry is reached in about 100 m after passing through billberry bushes and rowan trees.


Routes are described from left to right (as approached). The first route starts on the shorter wall, left of the tower.

  1. Robin's Trad Crack - VS, 5a
    Steep crack directly below sapling. Bolted L.O. 7 m.

    Now on the left side of the central tower.

  2. Trad Crap - VS, 4c
    Soil fest, one bolt to start, bring a brush and nuts or clip bolts on right, don't get trampled in the rush. 12 m.

  3. Taken To The Cleaners - Fr. 5+ *
    Jambs to start. 12 m.

  4. Omerta - Fr. 6a *
    Tricky pocket pulling to a ledge and big flakes above. Touch the top of the crag to finish. 5 bolts. L.O. 12 m.

  5. Laid to Rest - 7b+ *
    A sport route for boulderers. The steep right side of the arête tests power and technique. Unusally for hard sandstone, the holds are big. 5 bolts. L.O. 12 m.

  6. Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve - Fr. 6b+ *
    The obvious off-width corner crack and roof. Get stuck in! 4 bolts. L.O. 12 m.

  7. Angle Grindr - Fr. 6c
    The wall right of the corner. 4 bolts. L.O. 10 m.

  8. Calamity of Conscience - Fr. 6b+
    Direct over egg on pockets. 3 bolts. 10 m.

  9. Backdoor Girl - Fr. 4+
    Centre of narrow pillar moving right to shared L.O. 3 bolts. 10 m.

  10. Slip In The Tradesmen's Entrance - Fr. 5+
    The wall L of the arête. L.O.

  11. Pucker Up - Fr. 6a
    The arête to shared L.O. to left. 10 m.

  12. Back Passage - Fr. 6a *
    The crack and red wall right of arête. L.O. to right. 10 m.

  13. Squeeze One Out - Fr. 6b
    A variant start to the following. Avoids the crack. L.O. 10 m

  14. Going Through The Motions - Fr. 6b
    The slabby bulge and crack to shared belay. 10 m.

First Ascents

  1. Trad Crack - R.McAllister, A.Rosier - 11.8.12018
  2. Trad Crap - R.Thomas - 2018
  3. Taken To The Cleaners - R.Thomas, N.O'Neill - 09.10.2018
    Slip in the Tradesman's entrance
  4. Omerta - A.Rosier, R.McAllister - 13.05.2018
  5. Laid to Rest - A.Rosier, D.Howard - 26.07 2018
  6. Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve - R.McAllister, A.Rosier - 27.05.2018
  7. Angle Grindr - R.McAllister, A.Rosier - 14.07.2018
  8. Calamity of Conscience - A.Rosier, O.Burrows - 21.03.2020
  9. Backdoor Girl - R.Thomas, G.Ashmore - 00.09 2018
  10. Slip In The Tradesmen's Entrance - R.Thomas, G.Ashmore - 2018
  11. Pucker Up - R.Thomas, G.Ashmore - 00.09.2018
  12. Back Passage - R.Thomas, N.O'Neill - 09.10.2018
  13. Squeeze - R.Thomas, N.O'Neill - 2018
  14. Going Motions - R.Thomas, N.O'Neil - 2018