Fernlea Slabs - Risca

From South Wales Climbing Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Fernlea Slabs - Risca
Fernlea slabs header.jpg
Rock Type Quarried Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time
Area Inland Limestone
WGS-84 Location 51.61751, -3.10248
OS Grid Ref. ST 237 915
WGS-84 Parking Location
GR Parking Location
Base Elevation 96 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction
Wind Sheltered
Climbing Type
Crags Within 10.0 km

Bargoed, Blaen Bran Quarry, Cox's Quarry, Crosskeys Quarry, Crymlyn Quarries, Cwm Leyshon Quarry, Cwmcarn, Fernlea Slabs - Risca, Glyn Quarry, Henllys Quarry, Llanbradach Lower Tier, Llanbradach Upper Tier, New Tredegar, Oakdale, Penallta, Ridgeway, Sirhowy - Quarry Mawr, Swffryd Wood Quarry, Tirpentwys, Tyle y Coch

Postcode district: NP11 6


Some slabs in a disused quarry of poor quality shattered limestone, set at a very low angle. Protection is spaced. It is currently about 60m high, but it is being slowly filled in. Occasionally used for storage by council contract workers.


Leave the M4 at junction 27 and take the A467 towards Risca. Turn right towards Risca (at Aldi) mini, then left at the next mini roundabout. Go through the town heading towards Cross Keys. Take a right turn immediately before the Esso Petrol Station, go up a short steep hill and over a level crossing. Follow the road up round a short bend to the main gate of the quarry on your left. Park in a layby 20 m further on.


By abseil.


1. Predator 18m HS,4b

On the far left of the slabs, scramble up to two trees at the left side of a blocky ledge. Climb direct.

A.McCarthy solo 00.03.1993

2. Terminator 18m HS,4b

Climb the slab from a start on the right of the ledge, about 3m right of Predator by two large blocks.

P.Shea solo 00.03.1993

3. Running Man 23m VS

As for Terminator, but diagonally rightwards for 6m past a horizontal crack. Climb directly up to the large ledge.

A.McCarthy solo 00.03.1993

4. New Neighbours 50m VD

Start under the left end of the shattered rock/scree ledge at two fine cracks. Up these then up the scree to belay on large blocks. Follow the brown crack to the large ledge, possible belay. Climb the good crack to the top.

P.Shea solo 00.03.1993

5. Temptress 34m VS,4c

Start 8m right of New Neighbours at the top of a mound at the clean, uninterrupted sweep of slab. Climb straight up, 2BRs, PR.

A.McCarthy, R.Day 00.03.1993

6. Tormented Ejaculation 34m HVS,4c

Start 3m right of Temptress below two broken scoops. Climb up between the scoops and climb diagonally rightwards to a good tree belay on the large ledge.

A.McCarthy, P.Shea 00.03.1993

7. The Rats And The Flies 25m VS,4c

Start at the bottom of the earth mound under a broken scoop with a sapling growing in it. Climb to the scoop, then straight up passing 2BRs.

P.Shea 00.03.1993

8. Enjoy The Bounce And Swing 25m HVS,4c

Start 3m right of two oil barrels. Climb to the scoop, with a good crack above and then to the obvious tree.

Unknown 00.00.1993

9. Quick Slippers 19m HVS,4c

Start 6m right of The Rats And The Flies at a righ-slanting crack. Up this to a ledge, then up to the larger ledge.

A.McCarthy solo 00.03.1993

10. Golden Gear 25m HVS,4c

Start by patches of pink quartz. Climb up past these on the continuous strip of slab between the broken scoops and follow a thin crack leftwards to the large ledge.

A.McCarthy, P.Shea, A.Williams 00.03.1993

11. Smells Fishy 19m HVS,4c

A line to the right of Golden Gear.

G.Lewis, C.Stort 17.04.1993

12. Fishy Smell 19m HVS,4c

Start right of Smells Fishy next to small bushess by the clean slab. Climb up to tree belays.

A.McCarthy solo 00.03.1993

13. With Johnny Custard On Night Manoeuvres 60m HVS,4c,4c,4b

Starts in the centre of the slabs below the left side of a broken area 30m up.

1. 30m Climb up past a flake and small bush to tree belays.

2. 30m Move up and left to a diagonal crack. Move up left to a bush, then up and left again. Belay at a good tree.

3. The final 20m pitch takes the highest part of the slab. Take care with the rock in the upper sections.

G.Lewis, J.Custance 24.03.1993

14. Feather Found 35m VS,4c,4a

1. Start 3m right of With Johnny Custard etc. Climb up the blank slab to a thin crack and scramble up loose blocks to a tree belay.

2. Climb easily up the slab above to twin grey trees.

P.Shea, G.Lewis 00.03.1993

15. Thea 35m HVS,4c

Climb a line right of Feather Found, joining that route just below the twin trees.

G.Lewis, C.Stort 14.04.1993

16. Pussy Willow 30m HVS,4c,4a

1. Right of Thea is a large scoop at ground level by some small trees. Start 3m left of this and climb straight up the slab passing a sapling, then rightwards to a tree belay.

2. Climb directly above the belay to more trees.

G.Lewis, P.Shea 00.03.1993

17. Walk Like An Egyptian 120m HVS,4b,4c,4c

A leftward-rising traverse line. Start right of a large scoop on top of a pile of large blocks.

1. 34m Follow an obvious leftward-slanting crack past a break, to traverse left to belay on top of Fishy Smell.

2. 26m Climb up leftwards to good tree belays on the end of the large ledge, bold.

3. 60m Climb up and leftwards, then traverse for about 30m at this level until it is possible to climb good clean rock to the top.

A. McCarthy, P.Shea 00.03.1993

Some climbs have been made out of the large scoop next to Walk Like An Egyptian at about S but the rock is very poor. A low level girdle takes the full length of the main sweep of the slabs starting from Temptress and finishing down the crack of Walk Like An Egyptian P1, staying just below the broken scoops. It is sustained at about 4c.

Fernlea Slabs in the winter sunshine