First Sister

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First Sister
First Sister
First Sister
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Sport/Trad
Approach Time 25 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Thurba to Overton
Local Area Three Sisters
WGS-84 Location 51.555300, -4.265838
OS Grid Ref. SS 430 864
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.565848, -4.270856
GR Parking Location SS 427 876
Parking Postcode SA3 1PE
Base Elevation 25 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction East
Aspect Partially Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Normal
Seepage Quick drying
Crags Within 400m

Deborah's Overhang, Deborah's Zawn, First Sister, Rams Grove Crag, Rams Grove Seaward Crag, Red Chamber, Saddam's Wall, Second Sister, Sister 2 and Half, TV Zawn, The Crag That Time Forgot, The Knave, Third Sister, Tooth Fairy

First Sister
Sport Grades
<= 6a+ 4
6b - 6c+ 2
7a - 7b 2
First Sister
Trad Grades
<= HVS 2
E1 - E3 1
E4 - E5 1


Replacement of worn fixed gear on a point for point basis with bolts is permissible.


The First Sister is a compact cliff just east of the Rams Grove valley. It has an overhanging face with a snaking crack line in the centre (Sister of Mercy), whilst to the right is a Y-shaped depression. Beautiful views and some excellent sport routes. Beware: the harder trad lines relied on pegs that have long-since rotted away.


Access is described from Great Pitton Farm via Rams Grove and is the most straightforward access route for the first-time visitor.

From the main Rhossili road, turn left in Pitton (south) to Great Pitton Farm (SS 427 876 or 51.556076, -4.267799) where there is a car park. The honesty box no longer exists and a system of seasonal tariffs is now in operation. Payment is made via a machine or paybyphone Ⓡ. See Pitton Parking for information on charges. Currently a maximum of £5.00 is charged for parking from 06.00 to 22.00.

Turn left when coming out of the car park and follow the road, past some houses and farm buildings, until it then becomes an unsurfaced track. At this point, the main track appears to veer off to the right. You should take the left fork (public footpath but marked, "Private Road"). Follow the track uphill for 75m passing through two gates. Then follow the track further (for 350m) until you come to another gate. Go through the gate and either follow the sign-posted footpath directions directing you via the edges of the field or strike out diagonally rightwards across the field for 260m to reach yet another gate.

Pass through this gate to head down a shallow grassy valley towards the sea to reach another gate on the Wales Coast Path after about 50 metres. This is the top end of Rams Grove (SS 430868). 1 km. (15 mins. from parking).

From the gate at the top of the Rams Grove valley, head down the valley towards the sea for 300m and towards the stony beach. At this point, a series of vague and narrow paths head eastwards. Follow them and after 200m the leaning east-facing wall of First Sister is above you and on your left. (25 minutes from Pitton Farm).

From Pilton Green, follow directions to Third Sister but instead of descending the final slope to Third Sister, head along the coast path and through a gate and then walk 130 metres along the clifftop until you see a "valley" descending towards the sea. Head down the valley. Second Sister will be on your right and First Sister will be a little further west.


  1. Ugly Stepsister - Fr. 5
    Rattle up the rib above the ramp wall.

  2. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - E5,6a
    Start 4m left of the snaking crack at a tiny niche at 2m. Move up to place good wires in an incipient crackline, then make fingery moves right to a little black scoop. Swing left to a break, surmount the bulge above, PR and continue to a crack. Take the crack to the top, taking care with the exit move. 21m

  3. Eowyn - Fr. 7a+ **
    A crimpy wall leads to a hard sequence through the bulges. Continue up the groove to a tricky finale.

  4. Sister of Mercy - Fr. 7a ***
    The clean, snaking crackline in the centre of the buttress. 21m.

  5. Paparazzi Blues - E6,6b
    A pump out taking the bulging rib overhanging the start of Sister Of Mercy. Follow Sister Of Mercy to a jug 1m above the first PR. Break out right with difficulty to vertical cracks in the rib. Climb the rib on its right side, exiting slightly right over a bulge. 21m.

  6. Arwen - Fr. 7b **
    Start in the corner and move diagonally left towards the shallow groove, stepping left onto the wall to finish. Steep and technical.

  7. The Angst Of Anti-Fashion - Fr. 7a
    Climb the Y-shaped depression at the right side of the cliff to reach a bulge forming the inverted crotch of the Y. Traverse left between overhangs to a hanging groove and finish steeply to the left. 21m

  8. South East Wall - Fr. 6c **
    Climb the twin cracks before blasting through the right side of the overhang. (Left-hand variant is 7a Luthien). 21m.

  9. Solitary Brother - E3,6b
    The rib to the right of South East Wall. Pull straight over the bulge and step immediately left to reach a thin flake crack. Climb the rib to the traverse of South East Wall and finish with difficulty. 21m.

  10. Brothers in Arms - HVS,5b
    Obvious right sloping crack on right side of crag.

  11. Rosie - Fr. 6b
    Pull over the overhang right of the sloping crack and head left and up the wall. Steeper than it looks.

  12. Ugly cousin - Fr. 5c
    The wall at the right side of the crag is still a bit loose.

First Ascents

  1. Ugly Stepsister - Huw Janus, J.Bullock, & Geraint Morris 12th June 2021
  2. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - M.Crocker 17th October 1998
  3. Eowyn - Danny McCarroll & John Bullock 2021
  4. Sister of Mercy - J.Bullock & G.Evans 1pt 21st June.1987
    FFA A.Price September 1988 (E4,6a)[1]
    Bolted 2021, FA Bethan McCarroll
  5. Paparazzi Blues - M.Crocker & J.Harwood 22nd February 1998
  6. Arwen - Danny McCarroll & John Bullock 2021
  7. The Angst Of Anti-Fashion - M.Crocker & J.Harwood 22nd February 15 (E5,6b)[2]
  8. South East Wall - J.Talbot & B.Talbot 1966
    FFA J.Bullock, G.Evans 1984 (E1,5b)[2]
    Bolted 2021 with direct finish John Bullock and Danny McCarroll
  9. Solitary Brother - M.Crocker 17.10.1998
  10. Brothers in Arms - Gwyn Evans & John Bullock 27th April 1986
  11. Rosie - John Bullock & Danny McCarroll
  12. Ugly cousin - John Bullock & Danny McCarroll

Additional Photos


  1. Richardson, Alan. Gower and SE Wales (1991) p. 61
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ashmore, G. & Thomas, R. Gower & S.E. Wales (2003) pp. 103-104