Gilwern East

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Gilwern East
Locals, Steph Davies and Dave Clissett, enjoying the concretion climbing on Asteroids - Fr.5c *.
Locals, Steph Davies and Dave Clissett, enjoying the concretion climbing on Asteroids - Fr.5c *.
Rock Type Quarried Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Sport
Approach Time
Area Inland Limestone
WGS-84 Location 51.803465, -3.0922611
OS Grid Ref. SO 247 122
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.809028, -3.111034
GR Parking Location SO 234 128
Base Elevation 374 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction
Wind Sheltered
Climbing Type
Crags Within 10.0 km

Craig Y Castell, Craig Y Castell Western Extension, Cwm, Eastern Edge, Gilwern East, Gilwern Hill - Crag X, Gimp Cliff, Llangattock, Llangynidr Quarry, Siocled Seren Pysgod Quarry, The Lonely Shepherd


A secluded south-east facing sports crag with fantastic views of the Usk Valley.

Upon first acquaintance the crag appears small and a little disappointing. However, there are quite a few routes that pack a punch belying their stature. The rock quality is generally excellent with the looser concretion zones providing a welcome distraction from finger wrecking micro-goutes.

After the sun passes the crag, late afternoon to early evening, the midges come out to play. Be warned, they don't play well with others!


From Blaenavon take the B4246 northwards for approx 1 mile, turn left at keepers pond towards the Lamb and Fox PH. Approx. 500 m past the Lamb and Fox is a parking spot on the right. From the parking spot, take the right hand path for about 400m (the other path, heading towards the transmission tower leads to Gilwern West). Either take the wooden signposted path right downhill and turn left at the farm gate, following the level path (not down right) to a shoddy stile and the quarry. Alternatively, continue along the main path but head right, down a grassy gully, just before you reach 3 large boulders blocking the path, this takes you to the ditch atop the quarry (obvious tree growing from cliff top). From here, follow the rough path right through bracken until you can drop down into a subsidiary quarry and the poor stile mentioned above.


The first routes start on the left

Gilwern East
Sport Grades
<= 6a+ 8
6b - 6c+ 20
7a - 7b 4
Magic Carpet, Mike Barclay
  1. New Route - 6b
    Left of fence, joins Bring out the Crimp lower off.

  1. Bring Out The Crimp - 6a+
    6 m

  2. All The Pies Arête - 6b+
    6 m

  3. Cheapskate - 6b+
    8 m

  4. Black Night's Rein - 6a
    Black Night's Rein Direct Start - 6b

  5. The Slytherin - 7a
    The Slytherin (Easy Version) - 6c

  6. Microwaves - 6c

  7. Fergie's Folly - 6b *
    Tricky finish.Was Litiginous E3 5c. 8 m.

  8. Thorn In My Side - E2 5b
    Squeezed. 8 m.

  9. Quakering - 6c
    Left hand start to Mr Softy. 8 m.

  10. Mr Softy - 6a+ *
    Pleasant. 8 m.

  11. Pearlescence - 6b+

    Gilwern East, Centre
  12. Tallulah Dream - 6b+

  13. In The Groove - 6c

  14. One Step Beyond - 6b
    10 m

  15. Reach For A Peach - 6b+

    Hand in Pocket, Al Rosier
  16. What's the Craic - E2 5b
    Off width crack passing ancient peg and bolt with missing hangar. A strong candidate for rebolting, properly. 13 m.

  17. Petering Out - 6b
    Smaller crack, no bridging into What's the Craic. A little contrived. 12 m.

  18. The Golden Tower - 6c *
    Delicate face climbing. 12 m.

  19. Half Pipe Dream - 6c ***
    Enjoy the wonderful technicalities of the waterworn scoop. At the roof (recent rockfall) move out left to the lower off. Climbed previously as Rich and filthy E4 5c, bolts removed.13 m.

  20. Magic Carpet - Fr. 6b+ ***
    A great route with difficulties where you would least expect them. Gain the corner awkwardly and climb into the roof on huge holds. Break out rightwards to flat handholds (avoid flowstone on the right) and the top. L.O. 13m

  21. Life on Planet Earth - Fr. 6b+
    Spaced bolts, a slightly awkward lower half and friable upper, this route is a bit squeezed by The Plumb. 13m. Original Start (Life on Planet Earth) - Fr. 6c starts to the left of the crack.

  22. The Plumb - Fr. 6a **
    Good concretion climbing. 14 m

    Gilwern East, Right Side
  23. Asteroids - Fr. 5c *
    More good concretion climbing. 14 m

  24. Scorpion - Fr. 6a+
    Concretions to hawthorn jungle and a crux finish, unlikely to prove popular. 6 m

  25. Thug Life - 6b
    Pull over the lip of the roof then womble up the slab above. Troglodytes can start in the depths of the cave to gain a Fr.6c tick.

  26. Garden of Eden - 6a+
    6 m

  27. Superposition - 7a

  28. Sidewinder - 6b+ **
    Lovely climbing with a technical section to gain slabbier rock. Previously called Wall of Balls, E5 6a. Now debolted.

  29. Firepower - 7a+ *
    Powerful moves on small holds, the obvious pocket is key.

  30. Crackatoa - E2 5c
    Too squeezed. 7 m.

  31. Talking Hands - 6b+
    The blunt arête would be a doddle, if not for that one move!

  32. Hand in Pocket - 6b
    Steady to a slightly blind pull over the bulge. 7 m.

  33. Inch Pinch - 6b+
    Nice Moves past a small pocket. Another retrobolted route Pig Bit E4 6b by Martin Crocker 2007.7 m.

  34. The Imp - 7a
    Blank wall left of corner. Finish up Dolphin Snoggin. 7 m.

  35. Dolphin Snoggin - 6a
    The obvious corner crack, last bolt line. 7 m.

  36. Periscope - HVS 5a
    Overlooked and unloved. 6 m.


Upper Tyla on UKC

At the 3 blocks on the track head off left. There are many short well (over) bolted routes with double ring stainless lower offs mostly in the Fr. 5s, similar in feel to Wyndcliffe Quarry.

There are two tiers. The routes with large 12mm stainless bolts and rings have no names and are marked "nn" in text.

  1. Lost Credentials - Fr. 4
    First route on left of lower wall.

  2. No Credentials - Fr. 5
  3. nn - Fr. 5+
  4. nn - Fr. 5
  5. nn - Fr. 5
  6. Out of Bulk - Fr. 4

On the tier above is a square cut cave with a cluster of 9 routes and 3 based around an arête. Best accessed by cutting off from the main track, although scrambles up are possible. Just left of the obvious square mine are:

Upper Tier (Upper Tyla)
  1. Pile On - Fr. 5
    Scamper up the horizontal strata to shared double rings. 15m

  2. Whinge - Fr. 4+
    More of the same to shared lower-off. 15m

  3. Diss Chord - Fr. 5
    A few meters right to next shared lower-off. 15m

  4. Slaphead - Fr. 5+
    Even more strata pulling.
    Mark Davies et al 2019

    To the right of the mine are....

  5. Its all Mine - Fr. 6c+
    Just right of the mine. Tricky moves to reach first break under roofs.
    Undisclosed 2018

  6. I Could Tell You - Fr. 6b+
    Right again to the same lower-off, with a trying rockover move at start.

  7. But I'd Have To Kill You - Fr. 6c
    Steep, sustained and tricky to on-sight.

  8. Its a Secret - Fr. 4
    The left fork.
  9. Data Protection - Fr. 4
    The right fork.

  1. Pile On - Mark Davies et al 2019
  2. Whinge - Mark Davies et al 2019
  3. Diss Chord - Mark Davies et al 2019
  4. Slaphead - Mark Davies et al 2019
  5. It's All Mine - Undisclosed
  6. I Could Tell You - Undisclosed
  7. But I'd Have to Kill You - Undisclosed
  8. It's a Secret - Undisclosed
  9. Data Protection - Undisclosed

Back on the bottom tier further right are:

  1. nn - Fr. 5
  2. nn - Fr. 5
    Shares belay with next.

  3. nn - Fr. 5
  4. Saving Obscurity - Fr. 5
  5. Lost Obscurity - Fr. 5
    Shares belay with previous.


First Ascents

  1. martin crocker john harwood 200?
  2. P.Blackburn, P.Tucker 15.06 2012
  3. P.Tucker, P.Blackburn 15.06 2012 (P.Tucker 15.06 2012)
  4. P.Blackburn, P.Tucker 15.06 2012
  5. P.Tucker, P.Blackburn 15.06 2012
  6. Jason Jones 30/Aug/2016
  7. martin crocker john harwood
  8. Jason Jones 30/Aug/2016