Tiger Bay

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Tiger Bay
Rock Type Natural Jurassic Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time
Area South Coast
Sub Area Ogmore
WGS-84 Location 51.452824, -3.620625
OS Grid Ref. SS 874 738
WGS-84 Parking Location
GR Parking Location
Base Elevation 0 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction South
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered
Climbing Type Serious
Crags Within 2.0 km

Black Zawn, Cave Inlet, Davy Jones' Locker and the Sea Caves, Dirty Harry Walls, Dunraven Cliff, Elephant Wall, Every Persons Wall, First Inlet, Folded Walls, Fools Fantasy Area, Mitzy Wall, Ogmore Popular End, Phaser Wall, Playtime Wall, Right Hand Wall, Second Inlet, Stone Wings Cliff, The Biscuit, The Castle Area, The Long Wall, The Western Crag, Tiger Bay, Tusker Chimney Area, Twinkle Buttress, Witches Cave, Witches Tip


See the Ogmore Crag Familiarisation Page.

A very careful pre-climb search will reveal various discrete belays but no decent stakes. Right of Scutch Buttress is the start of the huge Tiger Bay area. The prominent chimney bounding the left side wall is Siren Direct. To the right of the large cave of Siren is a wall of steep compact rock, Sorcery Wall. The crag makes a long sweep into a recessed bay, before moving out seaward as Fire Wall. Running between Scutch Buttress and Siren Direct is the left retaining wall of the bay, which is split by an obvious diagonal chimney ramp, Siren Direct.

Tiger Bay

The Routes

Left Wall

The prominent chimney bounding the left side wall is Siren Direct

  1. Quick Draw 27m E4,6a **
    Start at the toe of the arête right of Cold Front on its right-hand side. Climb to a deep crack and follow the curving line rightwards, TR, to join the sloping ramp/chimney of Siren. Hard moves up and left, PR, gain a small ledge. From here climb a groove to a PR, move out left onto the main open face, TR, pull over a small overhang and continue to the top.

  2. Hired Gun 27m E4,6a *
    A sustained pitch. Start at the ramp of Siren and climb a green crack to broken blocks below the overhang (directly up from where Quick Draw swings left). Swing left over an overhang and continue to the top.

  3. Siren 33m HVS,5a *
    This follows a rampline in a chimney running up towards the top of the Siren Direct chimney. Gain the ramp from the left and follow it until it narrows (or from below at dead low tide). Make blind moves right and climb the chimney/corner to finish. Intimidating for the grade.

  4. Fair Exchange 30m E3,6a
    An obvious horizontal crack runs from Siren to the flake crack in the left side wall of the chimney of Siren Direct. Gain this crack from Siren and follow it to the jagged flake crack. Climb it, TRs, to join the chimney of Siren Direct.

  5. Siren Direct 21m VS,4c
    Start on the right of the cave and climb the overhanging, narrowing chimney to join Siren.

    Traverses Of Tiger Bay

  6. Total Eclipse Of The Sun 200m E8 6b ***
    A momentous traverse of Tiger Bay, graded from the deep water solo. The grade for a conventional ascent is unknown. Soloing applicants will need to study the drop-out zones at low tide and reserve any serious attempts to times when sea, weather, and tidal conditions come together in an optimal state. This is a spring tide, but one low enough to allow the crossing to Sorcery to be made. The climbing is very sustained, and involves three contrasting crux sections, 8-12m above the sea, with as little as 3m of water below. Elsewhere, sea depth rarely exceeds 5m. Despite the lack of water, chalk bag protection is required, which has allegedly been supplied by a pair of £4.99 water wings. The route is described in sections for convenience although it was soloed right through on the only ascent to date. These would be possible belays for a conventional ascent.
    1. Reverse Siren to ledges near the bottom of the scoop. Cut loose rightwards across the hand-traverse of Fair Exchange to get into the chimney. Step right onto Mantra and make a 6a traverse right and down slightly to the projecting ledge on Sorcery.
    2. Move up and swing right onto the ramp of Spellbinder. Follow this to the wide slot after 7m. Move right along the lip of the large roof passing a 6b crux to easier ground on Zardoz. Move up and continue right beneath a roof (as for Daughter of Regals P2), until good holds lead over the bulge and rightwards to a rest on a slight rib (escape onto A Bigger Splash possible).
    3. Drop down 2m to the start of a spectacular undercut hand traverse moving across a corner above Warlock. Make increasingly difficult moves to swing around onto a sit-down ledge on the arête past a second 6b crux and gain the stance of Warlock.
    4. Reverse a slab diagonally rightwards for 10m to a corner that bounds the left side of the back wall of the cave. Traverse the back-wall at half-height, then use a projecting plate to gain good ledges on the right arête of the back wall (5c). Traverse right to the top of a cleft at the back of the cave.
    5. Traverse right beneath the roof to a blank-out. Summon up finger-power and make a hard, greasy 6b move to jugs and a shake-out on the edge of a descending ramp. Reverse the ramp, shedding height reassuringly quickly and gain a rest on a projecting ledge just above the high water mark. Work rightwards, pleasantly low, across Fury, to the line of holds on Fire.
    6. Climb Fire to a good hand-ledge above its crux (5c). Make a short hand-traverse right into the broken crack of Brimstone, and follow it carefully to the top.
    7. Reverse steeply up the grass banking, turn right and go to the pub.

  7. A Bigger Splash 73m E3,5c,5b ***
    An excellent, sustained girdle from left to right. Start from the chimney of Siren and finish above the huge sea cave above Tiger Sanction. Muscles are needed on the P1 and a cool head on P2. Start 9m down the chimney of Siren Direct.
    1. 45m Traversing along a low line of weakness 2m lower than the final pitch of Exposure Explosion. Move right around the arête and climb strenuously until the angle eases (possible belay and escape). Climb up and right and continue the traverse to a projecting square ledge on the arête.
    2. 27m Traverse rightwards into a corner formed by the back of the zawn. Climb up and traverse right along the lip of the huge roof until it is possible to climb up for 3m to a line of flat holds. Step right to a crack and climb this and the break above on more suspect rock to finish. Stake belay well back.

First Ascents

  1. R.Thomas, J.Bullock 04.05.1987
  2. M.Learoyd, G.Royle 00.00.1984
  3. C.Horsfield, P.Thomas Pre-1975
  4. FFA A.Sharp, O.Jones 00.00.1986
  5. R.Thomas, John Bullock 1pt 00.00.1984[1]
  6. M.Learoyd, H.Griffiths Pre-1983
  7. M.Crocker solo 10.8.1999
  8. P.Littlejohn solo - P1 04.07.1977
    P.Littlejohn, A.Sharp, S.Lewis 01.10.1977

Sorcery Wall

This is the wall running across the back of Tiger Bay, bounded on its right by Fire Wall. The first obvious feature is the groove above a prominent shelf, Sorcery itself. The first route is just right of the chimney of Siren Direct.

  1. Mantra 36m E5,6a **
    Takes a strenuous and intimidating line up the left of the wall immediately right of Siren Direct. Climb the right hand side of a rib on the right edge of the cave to a small slot. Pull right round the bulge to some small ledges, then climb boldly diagonally rightwards to good holds in a horizontal break. Continue direct to the Bigger Splash break, then follow a thin continuation crack to the top.

  2. The Enchanted 36m E5,6a *
    Currently done as a deep water solo since it has no gear. Traverse 2m right from the small foot-ledges on Mantra and power up a small green corner. Finish direct to gain the break of A Bigger Splash.

  3. The Uncanny Direct 36m E6,6c ***
    Start below an initial leaning wall 4m right of Mantra, down and left of the projecting shelf of Sorcery. Climb easily to a recess at 3m, possible belay, then cross bulges, PR, TR, to a ledge then an overlap on the arête, PR. Pull over the overlap and static up right to a good hold. Another hard move gains The Bigger Splash break, from where a direct line up the thin crack, left of a shallow scoop in the headwall, leads to the top.

  4. The Uncanny 36m E6,6c **
    The orignal line, gaining the overlap from the shelf of Sorcery. Bolder than the direct version.

  5. Buzzarena 40m E6,6c (Fr7b)**
    From the projecting ledge of Sorcery, make one move up, then span left for a finger hold. Up the arête on improving holds to the the break of A Bigger Splash. Graded for a deep water solo, gaining the Sorcery shelf by traversing in along the footledges from Mantra. The grade for a conventional ascent is unknown.

  6. Sorcery 36m E6,6b **
    A committing climb taking a shallow overhanging groove 9m right of Siren, possibly the first E6 of this type in Britain. Gain the projecting ledge at 7m via an akward flake groove. Climb up right to the bold groove. Move up this until it is possible to move right and up to gain a horizontal break (A Bigger Splash). Traverse left for 3m then go directly through the overhangs via a groove to the top.

  7. Spellbinder 45m E4,6a ***
    A superbly sustained climb through spectacular territory, giving one of the best E4s in Brtiain. The boldness of the start can be reduced with small wires and patience. Start right of Sorcery at a vague corner beneath the rightward-rising ramp line. Climb to a big slot and good thread, then traverse up and right, crux, to gain a smaller slot. From the right end of the slot, climb straight up to reach the horizontal break of Bigger Splash. Continue directly over the overhang and steep wall above to a groove by a detached block. From ledges finish up the arête of the large corner on the right, or walk off left.

  8. Flying Wizard 42m E5,6a **
    As for Spellbinder to below the widest part of the roofs. Break out left over the roofs and climb steeply to the top.

  9. Worn Out Superman 30m E6,6b ***
    Staggering. Start 4m right of Spellbinder, under an overhanging scoop. Go up the scoop, swing rightwards along a break and over a small roof, 2TRs, to gain the Spellbinder ramp. Step right and from a short crack go through the bulge above, PR, to reach Bigger Splash. Break through the ceiling above via a notch, PR. Trend leftwards then rightwards up the committing headwall to the top. At the time of writing (2003) the threads are missing.The route was repeated as a stunning DWS by Martin Crocker.

    The first deep water solo ascent of Worn-out Superman, an E6 6b at Ogmore. The route was climbed originally in 1990, roped up and during low tide conditions, by Martin Crocker and Roy Thomas. It is just one of many three star extremes at Ogmore that deserve (far) more attention.

  10. Zardoz 45m E5,6b,5c **
    Bold. Start beneath the broad white wall to the right of Spellbinder, just to the right of a roof.
    1. 24m Climb to ledges beneath the roof. Move right to gain a small sloping ledge then make devious moves leftwards over a bulge to gain a shallow groove, leading to good holds beneath the next set of overhangs. Break left, then go straight up to a small hanging stance where the angle eases (on A Bigger Splash).
    2. 21m Climb rightwards to a line of overhangs and traverse right to stand on the obvious projecting strata. Climb straight up the compact upper wall for 4m before bearing slightly right to the top.

  11. Daughter of Regals 45m E5,6b,6a ***
    1. 27m As for Zardoz until after the groove below the second roof, then traverse right for 3m to a narrowing and pull over to a ledge and a hanging stance.
    2. 18m Climb the 2m roof above the stance slightly right of the belay, to a good break. Trend right to an arête and finish via a thin crack on its left side.

  12. Totality 25m E6 6b ***
    Totally inspiring climbing up the line of cracks and the roofed corner right of Daughter Of Regals and left of Warlock. Strenuous with protection hard to get and place. Start on the right-hand side of an inlet in the wave-cut platform immediately left of Warlock. Swing left above the inlet and gain and stand up on a finger-jug up to the left, bold. Pull up to a rest in a corner at the foot of the crack system. Pass the roof and off-width above with difficulty to power up bulging rock to jugs in a niche below another roof. Extend past a TR to a final roof, PR. A final strenuous move gains a jug-line above. Swing left and follow easier rock for 5m to a good belay ledge. Escape up Warlock P2 to the right.

  13. Warlock 51m E6,6b,5b ***
    Magnificent, although the gear is totally rotten and badly in need of replacement. Start 6m right of Zardoz from a narrow platform, just left of the huge cave and on the right side of a narrow rift.
    1. 24m Climb the bulging wall TR, and groove, PRs, to below the roof. Traverse right along a narrow wall until a series of hard moves up right gains a jug on the hanging arête, PRs. Climb a short corner to a good stance.
    2. 27m Traverse spectacularly left to a thin crack and follow this and an easy groove to a projecting ledge on the right. Finish up a wide crack.

      The final manifestation of the back wall of Tiger Bay is a huge cave with a steeply undercut base. Tereus and The Tiger Sanction gain this wall by coming in from the right. R.Thomas,C.Parkin 06/01/1985 2pt

  14. Tereus 51m E6,6a,6b,5b **
    Start just outside the mouth of the cave at its right-hand side.
    1. 21m Climb easily leftwards to a bay. Continue left to a break below bulging rock and swing left into a bottomless groove on small holds. Climb the groove for 2m and traverse left to a crack leading to the Total Eclipse break. Traverse left to belay on a small stance on the arête.
    2. 18m Move up to the base of the hanging back wall. Trend left to pass a roof and gain a wide break. Mantle awkwardly onto a projecting block in another break, PR and gain a hanging groove on the right. Follow the groove to the right-hand end of the balanced block on Tiger Sanction. Tiptoe left along this and pull left to a belay on the foot ledge at the base of the headwall.
    3. 12m Finish as for A Bigger Splash P2.

  15. The Tiger Sanction 57m E5,6a,5c *
    The original daunting expedition into the cave at the back of Tiger Bay. Start on its right side 6m left of the corner of Fury
    1. 33m Climb up to a leftwards pointing block ledge, step right then climb the wall to a TR below the roofs. Move left, pull over the roof and swing left round a rib. Traverse left, low at first, PR, then at a slightly higher level to a projecting shattered rib just right of the huge crack line, PB. Place a high runner to protect the second.
    2. 30m Pull up left then traverse left on biscuits to a short bottomless groove. Up the groove, then step left onto a balanced block and pull over the roof onto the headwall. Climb the headwall stepping left to exit at a short crack.

First Ascents

  1. M.Crocker, M.Ward 01.06.1985
  2. M.Crocker solo 10.08.99
  3. P.Oxley 14.05.1988
  4. M.Crocker, M.Ward 16.06.1985
  5. M.Crocker solo 10.08.1999
  6. P.Littlejohn, S.Robinson 25.07.1979
  7. P.Littlejohn, A.Sharp 29.09.1977
  8. P.Littlejohn, T.Penning 15.07.1983
  9. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 20.10.1990
  10. P.Littlejohn, A.Richardson 14.04.1982
  11. M.Crocker, M.Ward 30.06.1985
  12. M.Crocker, E.Travers-Jones 14 .08.1999
  13. R.Thomas, C.Parkin 06.01.1985
    FFA M.Crocker, M.Ward 31.08.1985
  14. D.Pickford, M.Crocker AL 20.05.2001
  15. M.Crocker, G.Gibson 25.08.1985

Fire Wall

Spring Tide

The obvious right-hand wall of Tiger Bay. Containing Fire E3 and Burn 'Em Up E5. Good new belays in place above this wall if you search them out.

  1. Fury - E3, 5c *
    In the centre of Fire Wall is an obvious arched recess. Climb the left corner of the recess then move up and pull leftwards round an overlap to a ledge. Climb the compact wall and continue carefully up the cheese band to a small ledge. Step right then climb straight up on good holds. 30m

  2. Burn 'Em Up - E5, 6b ***
    A brilliant pitch up the centre of Fire Wall, good rock and protection. FollowFury to ledges below the first roof, swing right onto the wall and climb a thin crack, then move right to and through the second roof. Climb directly up the centre of a convex overlap (crux), to gain a PR and the cheese band. Finish direct. 33m

  3. Fire - E4, 5c **
    A real pumper with a couple of draining sections. Above the barnacles, on the righthand side of the arch just to the left of the promontory pavement, is a thin crack leading to a narrow corner with a capping roof. From the bulge, crank up to stratified rock and take a partial rest. Overcoming the steep patch of conglomerate on the left requires a decisive approach trusting a series of big, well spaced crystalline holds. Finish over low angle rock and exit direct. 30m

  4. Deep Fry - E5, 6b
    A direct start to Brimstone. Unrepeated since the loss of the crucial PR. Start 2m right of Fire. Climb a groove to where it starts to overhang. More difficult climbing past the remains of a PR, leads to good holds enabling the crack of Brimstone to be gained. Finish up Brimstone. 36m

  5. Brimstone - E1, 5a *
    This climb gains the shattered crack on the right edge of Fire Wall via a traverse from the corner round to the right. Climb the left wall of the corner to a crack 2m right of the arête, move up to good holds and traverse strenuously left around the arête to the base of the crack. Climb it. 30m

    The route The Kickenside (E1, 5b S.Lewis, J.Harwood 1978) has been superceded by others. It linked up the start of The Knave with the finish of Well Blessed.

  6. The Knave - E3, 5c
    Climb the arête between Brimstone and The Bishop to meet the hand traverse of Brimstone. Hard moves up right lead to a groove. Up this, then left to large holds right of Brimstone. Finish direct. 27m

  7. Well Blessed - E2, 5b
    Climb the easier lower section of The Bishop, until it is possible to move left to horizontal holds below a small pod. Move past the pod and climb the right-hand groove up to the overhangs. Move through these carefully to the top. 27m

  8. The Bishop - HVS, 4c, 4b *
    On the right side of the bay is a large, protruding buttress. The climb takes the chimney and cave on its left.
    1. 13m Climb easily to the cave, bridge up this, pull over the roof to gain a small, square chimney and belay.
    2. 14m Traverse right to the arête and continue up a groove taking care near the top.

  9. Cone Country - HVS, 5a ** *
    Climb easily up the middle of the wall right of The Bishop to a tricky move which allows access to the break beneath the overhang. Traverse 1m right on rounded holds and pull thankfully over the roof just left of the arête. Relax for a moment, then continue up the powdery groove as for The Bishop. 27m

  10. Bute Street - E3, 5b *
    The seaward face of the buttress climb the left arête until meeting the overlap where you step right to the centre of the face, over the overhang on friable holds and up for 3m. Finish direct on slightly loose overhanging rock, or traverse left to join the groove of The Bishop.

    The buttress now returns in a high wall to the obvious corner crack of Poseidon. 30m

  11. Spring Tide - E2, 5b **
    Climb just right of the left edge of the wall until a band of high horizontal cracks is reached. Pull over these until a final smoother wall leads to the top. 27m

    Spring Tide and Low Ebb can be joined up by a hand traverse - Beyond Poseidon (E2, 5b R.Thomas, G.Royle 1984).

  12. Low Ebb - E3, 5c **
    Excellent, sustained climbing. Romp up the long finger crack, a metre or two left of Poseidon, to gain the steep horizontal strata. Follow these directly up the centre of the face to the bottom of a smooth, steep, yellow headwall, which provides a fingery crux. Precleaning of the exit is advised, alternatively traverse left to the exit of Spring Tide. 30m

  13. Poseidon - HVS, 5a *
    Follows the obvious corner crack. Climb the initial groove and step left into the corner. Follow this gingerly over a small overhang to a larger one. Traverse right to a ledge and continue to the top. 27m

  14. Poseidon Direct Finish - E1, 5a
    From the overhang on Poseidon continue straight up the corner and exit with great care. 12m

First Ascents

  1. P.Littlejohn, C.Heard 00.00.1983
  2. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 21.07.1985
  3. P.Littlejohn, J.Mothersele 18.05.1977
  4. M.Crocker, M.Ward 26.04.1986
  5. P.Littlejohn, J.Mothersele 00.03.1977
  6. M.Learoyd, R.Thomas 00.00.1985
  7. R.Thomas, G.Royle 00.00.1984
  8. C.Horsfield, P.Thomas A0 00.00.1972
    FFA P.Thomas, A.Sharp 00.00.1975
  9. P.Lewis, J.Harwood 03.07.1980
  10. P.Watkin, P.Thomas 00.00.1971
    FFA P.Littlejohn, J.Harwood 11.12.1977
  11. R.Thomas, G.Davies 00.00.1984
  12. R.Thomas, J.Bullock 00.00.1984
  13. P.Thomas, J.Mothersele 10/11/1975
  14. R.Thomas, R.Haslum 00.00.1983


  1. John Harwood claims (in an email to Tim Hoddy 3 Oct 2021) that this was climbed first by C.Horsfield, P.Thomas