Ferndale Main

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Ferndale Main
( Mynydd Tyntyle Quarry )
Steve Pack on the second ascent of Phogeys Wall - Fr.7a **
Steve Pack on the second ascent of Phogeys Wall - Fr.7a **
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Sport/Trad
Approach Time 10 minutes
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Western Valleys
Local Area Ferndale
WGS-84 Location 51.662003, -3.455565
OS Grid Ref. SS 994 969 on Landranger sheet 170
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.664906, -3.4527031
GR Parking Location SS 996 972 on Landranger sheet 170
Parking Postcode CF43 4RF
Base Elevation 359 metres (GPS Survey)
General Info
Faces Direction East
Aspect Partially Sunny
Wind Sheltered Mostly
Climbing Type Normal
Midge Problem Moderate
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 Quarry, Ynyshir West

Sport Grades
<= 6a+ 17
6b - 6c+ 14
7a - 7b 5


Quarried sandstone.


Ferndale is a tall quarry composed of good, hard, sandstone.
Hypnothighs - Fr.6a+ *

Most of the routes are bolted and follow blank (looking) walls. However, there are still a few routes which are "mix and match" (hopefully donations to the bolt-fund will enable a retro-bolt and bolted lower offs to be added to these) and a couple of clean cracks which remain traditionally protected.

The quarry catches morning and early afternoon sun. It is a high altitude crag (370 metres) but is sheltered from the prevailing south-westerlies.

It can be considered a good retreat in scorching weather, is sheltered if windy and is quick to come into condition on a sunny morning. Conversely, it can get a little greasy if the weather is damp and gloomy.

The crag is only partially prone to seepage, the walls between the descent gully and Nine Green Bottles suffer most after a wet spell. Consequently, many climbs can be done in the winter.

According to Wikipedia[1], Jimmy Jewell spent some of his childhood in Ferndale before moving to the Midlands. Apparently he climbed, together with his young friends, in the quarries close to the town.

Local kids camp at the quarry occasionally, so when you visit, please bring a carrier bag and take any litter away.


Enter Ferndale on the A4233 Porth road and follow it to a very obvious junction in the middle of town. Turn left here and drive up past the Working Men’s Club to the end of the houses on the left. Park somewhete around here (widened footway on the right) and follow a zig-zag track up the hill for 100 m to a steel kissing gate in the fence on the left. Go through this into woodland, take the uphill track for about 40 m, then follow a smaller path striking steeply up the hill to the top, where the main quarry is 50 m to your left.

If on foot buses run up from Porth and the railway terminus at Ystrad Rhondda. From Ferndale follow the description above.


Routes are described from left to right, starting at the pillar at the far left of the crag. However, around the corner are a couple of buttresses on the natural edge. Abseil in easily.


Ferndale Natural Edge
  1. Arms Against Atrophy - E3, 5c **
    Through the overhang left of Canine Crack and up the slab. Friend 1 backs up the peg at the roof. 18 m

  2. Canine Crack - HS, 4b *
    The long hand crack, on the right corner of the first buttress. 16 m

  3. Deathblock Chimney - V Diff
    Chimney right of the crack. 14 m.

  4. Struggle Session - E2, 5b *
    Left side of central buttress, passing three in-situ threads. 14 m.

  5. Thinking of You - HVS, 5b
    Direct up the crackline in the centre of the buttress, straight through the triangular roof. Well protected by cams. Pull out left on tree. 14 m

  6. Sadness Like Water - VS 4c *
    The right side of the central buttress. Gain the triangular ledge easily from the right, in-situ thread and side runner in the Thinking of You crack out to the left. The centre of the bulge above has good jugs and cam slot. 14 m

  7. My Left Foot - HVS 4c
    Right hand buttress, starting high from the left. Gain the centre of the buttress and climb to the right of the flake crack, micro cams in flakes and two pegs. 14 m.


Ferndale - The Tower
  1. Euphonic Wall - Fr. 5+ *
    Start as for the next route. Climb around the arête and up the steep left wall of the pillar, passing tuneful flakes. 6 staples. Top out. 10 m

  2. Morning Glory - Fr. 6a **
    The left arête on the front face of the pillar with a balancy finish. Perfect rock. 6 staples. Top out and reach around to the right for the L.O. 10 m

  3. The Rhondda Roraima - E2, 5c / Fr. 6b *
    Climb easily up cracks (stretch left to bolts on arête if you forgot your trad rack making it Fr.6b) in the front of the pillar to an old PR and staple. Climb the thin seam with difficulty. L.O. 11 m

    Wayne Gladwin on the first ascent of Rhondda Roraima
    Wierdly, the next couple of climbs get afternoon sun.

  4. Afternoon Delight - Fr. 5+ *
    The right arête of the pillar, starting from the bottom of the quarry. 7 Staples. L.O. 14 m

  5. Creep N Crawl - Fr. 6a *
    The wall right of the arête. Follow the thin crack to a strip roof. 7 Staples. L.O. 14 m

  6. No Bridge Too Far - Fr. 6a
    Left arête of chimney avoiding the temptation to bridge.

  7. No Benefits - Fr. 5+
    Right arête of chimney to L.O. on right.

  8. Just Good Friends - Fr. 6b+
    A short route up the thin crack starting halfway up the descent gully. L.O. 8 m



Right of the descent gully (which is a set of well worn steps) is a flat wall sporting 5 bolted routes.

  1. Fashion Victim - Fr. 5
    The arête and crack above to a shared L.O. 12 m

  2. Culture Vulture - Fr. 6b+ *
    Start direct up the slab then step left, layback to spaced holds. Take the rounded arête start for an easy variant. L.O. 12 m

  3. Bucket of KFC and Two One Armers - Fr. 6b
    Break right (much easier if the rubbly wall slightly R taken) at second bolt of previous route. Small holds lead to a L.O. 12 m.

  4. Vat of Tikka Masala and an Orange Seagull - Fr. 6a +
    Gain and follow the crack, with an awkward move just above half height. Move left to a shared L.O. 13 m

  5. Frank's Shake's A Limp One - Fr. 5+
    The right edge of the wall.

    To the Right is a grassy terrace at 6 m. The next routes start from this and are easily accessed by a grassy scramble.

  6. Rhondda Ranger - Fr. 7a *
    A thin series of cranks and smears up the left side of the slab. Climb up the slab slightly left of the first BR to a very hard move up for the next one. 8 m

  7. Race You Up The Wallbars - Fr. 7a+ *
    The slab left of the crack. L.O. 8 m

  8. Silent Movies - HVS, 5a *
    The thin finger crack in the centre of the slab. Abseil from tree. 7 m

    Left Walls
  9. Talking Box! - Fr. 6b
    Pleasant black slab, just right of the crack. Great rock but a little squeezed with its neighbour. 3 bolts. L.O. 7 m

  10. Fernilicious - Fr. 6b *
    Very similar stuff to its neighbour. 3 bolts. L.O. 7 m

  11. Fern's Cottons - Fr 6a
    A scruffy start leads to a sharp flake. 3 bolts. L.O. 6 m

    $perm Bank - Fr. 6b
  12. The Loony Left - E3, 6a
    Needs cleaning and retro-bolting. Climb the slab to a BR, then make a hilarious couple of moves left to good holds and a small tree. No L.O. 7 m

    From the floor, the next two climbs ascend the obvious tower.

  13. $perm Bank - Fr. 6b
    The broad scoop in the front face of the pillar has a tough finish, either left or right of the last two staples. 6 staples. L.O. 11 m

  14. Eurotrash - Fr. 5+ *
    The front of the pillar, starting at a detached looking micro-pillar. Nice and juggy. L.O. 10 m

  15. Totally Auburn - Fr. 6b
    Arête taken on the left.

  16. Balancing Blondine - Fr. 5+
    Centre of slab. Supercedes Blondes.

  17. Blondes Have More Fun - VS, 4b
    Scramble onto a grass ledge on the right of the pillar. Take the easiest line to the tree and stand on it to finish. Belay on fenceposts. 11 m

  18. Turf Accountancy - Fr. 4+
    Scruffy right side of slab.

  19. Sod Off Fr 5+
    The wall just R of corner

  20. Sod's Law Fr4+
    The arête and previously mossy groove,don't steal the sling as the 3rd bolt may be a stretch at this grade.

    Past the corner is a large oak on a terrace.

  21. Rhondda Born, Rhondda Bred - Fr. 6b
    Start to the right of the large oak on a ledge. Follow a line of holds of decreasing size to finish up the final crack. L.O. 12. m

  22. Anteater's Arête - Fr. 5+ *
    The long arête. Shared L.O. to the left. 16 m.


The next four sports routes tackle the vertical rectangular wall

Ferndale - Main Walls
  1. Phogeys Wall - Fr. 7a **
    Steep wall left of Physical Presents. Start, respectfully, up the big flake. The wall above has three thin overlaps, move up the right side of these to a rest and further technical moves left beneath the final large roof. 8 Staples. B.B. 18 m.

    The next three routes start from the right and share a lower off.

  2. Physical Presents - Fr. 7b *
    Start as for By Appointment Only, but at the huge staple, move out left to another line of bolts. From here make a big span to gain better holds and the finish of By Appointment Only BB. 15 m

  3. By Appointment Only - Fr. 6c+ **
    Start below a small roof at 8m. Climb the groove to the roof, follow it leftwards with good holds but poor feet and then big spaced jugs up the wall to finish. B.B. 15 m

  4. Nine Green Bottles - Fr. 6b+ **
    From the ledge, follow a line of good small holds just right of the spaced bolts, to a long finishing move. Shared B.B. to the left. 15 m

    The next two lines are on a slightly shorter wall with a cave above.

  5. Oral Challenge - Fr. 6b+ *
    The vertical wall on layaways. At the penultimate staple start a tricky rising traverse to meet a left-facing flake and jugs. 6 Staples. Shared L.O. 10 m

  6. Prick Test - Fr. 6b *
    The black wall with a short acute corner above half height. 5 Staples. Shared L.O. with Oral Challenge. 10 m

  7. Gojira - Fr. 5+ **
    The long open corner, on layaways, transfering to the sharp arête above the ledge. 7 Staples. L.O. 14 m

  8. One Size Fits All - Fr. 7a
    Start just right of the corner (graffiti DEAN). The route gains a ledge, above half-height, via a series of chipped holds. Finish as for the next route. 13 m

  9. Hypnothighs - Fr. 6a+
    Make tricky initial sequence to gain the mid-height, narrow, right facing corner and the grassy ledge. Final narrow left facing corner leads to a unique L.O. 6 Bolts. 13 m

  10. Project
    The rounded flake to a ledge and blank wall right of the previous route. L.O. 13 m

  11. La Digue - Fr. 6c *
    The wall left of the obvious crack is climbed by a steep rockover and a flake to the third BR. Rock up right then step back left into the centre of the wall, and continue to the break. L.O. 10 m

  12. Sea Shells On The Seychelles - E1, 5b **
    The excellent crack, finishing up the wall above, PR. L.O. 13 m

  13. Gregoires Island Lodge - Fr. 6a+ *
    The wall right of the crack. L.O. 13m.

First Ascents


  1. Arms Against Atrophy - Rob McAllister & Al Rosier 31st November 2018
  2. Canine Crack - Al Rosier & Rob McAllister 17th November 2018
  3. Deathblock Chimney - R.McAllister, R.Thomas 23rd August 2019
  4. Struggle Session - R.McAllister, R.Thomas 23rd August 2019
  5. Thinking of You - Al Rosier, Matt Woodfield 31st July 2019
  6. Sadness Like Water - Al Rosier & Rob McAllister 24th July 2019
  7. My Left Foot - A.Rosier, R.McAllister 23rd August 2019


  1. Euphonic Wall - A.Rosier, R.McAllister - 14th January 2018
  2. Morning Glory - A.Rosier, R.McAllister - 14th January 2018
  3. The Rhondda Roraima - W.Gladwin, S.Thompson - 1996
  4. Afternoon Delight - A.Rosier, R.McAllister, T.Hoddy -
  5. Creep N Crawl - A.Rosier, R.McAllister, T.Hoddy - 25th March 2018
  6. No Benefits - R.Thomas, G.Gibson - 6th August 2018
  7. G.Gibson - 2018
  8. Just Good Friends - A.Sharp, P.Lewis - 18th April 1989


  1. Fashion Victim - R.Thomas, R.Phillips - 4th August 2018
  2. Culture Vulture - A.Sharp, P.Lewis - 15th April 1989
  3. Bucket of KFC and Two One Armers - A Sharp - 2010
  4. Vat of Takka Massala and an Orange Seagull - R.Thomas, R.Phillips - 4th August 2018
  5. G.Gibson - 2018
  6. Race You Up The Wallbars - A.Sharp, P.Lewis - 8th April 1989
  7. Rhondda Ranger - M Richards - 26th May 2010
  8. Silent Movies - A.Sharp, P.Lewis - 1st April 1989
  9. G.Gibson - 2018
  10. G.Gibson - 2018
  11. G.Gibson - 2018
  12. The Loony Left - A.Sharp, P.Lewis, P.Harding - 15th April 1989
  13. $perm Bank - A.Rosier, R.McAllister, T.Hoddy - 25th March 2018
  14. G.Gibson - 2018
  15. G.Gibson - 2018
  16. G.Gibson - 2018
  17. Blondes Have More Fun - G.Lewis, F.Barrett, G.Barker - 1989
  18. G.Gibson - 2018
  19. Sod Off-R.Thomas E.T Jones 07.10 2018
  20. Sod'Law-R.Thomas 07.10 2018
  21. Rhondda Born, Rhondda Bred - P.Lewis, A.Sharp, P.Harding - 15th April 1989
  22. Anteater's arête - R.McAllister, A.Rosier - 21st June 2018


  1. Phogeys Wall - A.Rosier, S.Pack - 26th June 2018
  2. Physical Presents - A.Sharp, P.Lewis - 8th April 1989
  3. By Appointment Only - A.Sharp, P.Lewis - 1st April 1989
  4. Nine Green Bottles - P.Lewis, A.Sharp - 8th April 1989
  5. Oral Challenge - A.Rosier, R.McAllister, T.Hoddy - 25th March 2018
  6. Prick Test - A.Rosier, R.McAllister - 26th April 2018
  7. Gojira - A.Rosier, R.McAllister, T.Hoddy - 25th March 2018
  8. One Size Fits All - T.Foster - 18.04 1989
  9. Hypnothighs - A.Rosier, R.McAllister, T.Hoddy - 25th March 2018
  10. Project
  11. La Digue - M.Crocker R.Thomas - 15th January 1989
  12. Sea Shells On The Seychelles - M.Crocker R.Thomas - 15th January 1989
  13. Gregoires Island Lodge - M.Crocker, R.Thomas - 15th January 1989

Additional Photos


  1. Wikipedia contributors. (2018, May 4). Jimmy Jewell (climber). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:18, July 27, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jimmy_Jewell_(climber)&oldid=839566923