Herberts Quarry (Black Mountain)

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Herberts Quarry (Black Mountain)
Tuckers boulder herberts.jpg
Rock Type Quarried Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time
Area Inland Limestone
Geodata
WGS-84 Location 51.854417, -3.835990
OS Grid Ref. SN 736 189
WGS-84 Parking Location
GR Parking Location
Base Elevation 500 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction North
Aspect Rarely Sunny
Wind Sheltered
Climbing Type
Seepage
Crags Within 10.0 km

Clogau Mawr, Herberts Quarry (Black Mountain)



PREAMBLE

A great roadside venue with sport, trad and bouldering to go at in these old quarries. Its high up, so an ideal spot to escape the summer heat, but don't expect a warm welcome in winter.

ACCESS

Park at "Mountain Road" car park, at the highest point of the A4069 between Brynamman and Llangadog. The quarries can be seen to the east, a selection of tracks will take to different sections.

West Wall is straight up the slope from the car park. Foel Fawr Wall is off to the left a few hundred meters. East Wall is a few minutes around to the left in the main quarry, but you won't want to climb there once you see it!

THE ROUTES

West Wall

Straight up from the car park is a large wall at the back of a quarry. There is some lovely mossy saxifrage here, so careful where your stomp about. The first routes are on the far left on a set back wall of good rock.

rockclimbing topo for Herbert's Quarry, West Wall, South Wales
West Wall
  1. Doochie Coochie - E4,6b
    Start 4m left of the corner. Head up the peg, then make difficult moves up and left to finish. 15 metres.
  2. Blue Steel - Fr. 6b+*
    . The steep wall is tough to finish, ledges on the left are in. 15 metres.
  3. Cold Hard Stair - Fr. 5+*
    Follow the blocky ledges up the wall. 15 metres.

    right side of the cliff are the following routes:

  4. Wool Bully - HVS,5a
    Towards the right-hand side of the cliff is a pinkish groove with a couple of pegs in, climb this. 15 metres.
  5. Sharp Right Turn - Fr. 6a
    Follow the groove before shifting right onto the mini slab to finish. 15 metres.
  6. A Bird In The Hand - S,4a
    An adventurous undertaking up the discontinuous corner on the right side of the crag. The grassy top out adds to the fun. 15 metres.

Foel Fawr Wall

Leftwards from the car park, just before a large flat area is encountered, is a large bay with a number of small walls containing micro routes and some good boulder problems. The first wall encountered has a huge block of rock on its right that looks like its ready to collapse. Belay off stakes.

  1. Through The Tears – HVS,5b
    Short, but punchy. Technical moves up the wall left of the arete with sufficient protection. 7m

  2. Through The Bulge – VS,5a
    A steep pull round the bulge to finish easily up the slab. 8m

  3. Through The Gap - VS
    Start on the right side of the crag. Climb the slab at the bottom and then through slightly overhanging gap in face before completing on upper slab. 8m.

The next wall left has many cracks ready for a trad hero to claim the first ascent.

Left again, just beofre the large flat area, is the best bit of rock in this area.

  1. Summer Madness - E2,6a
    Start below the leaning tower on the left. Use a big undercut and then a pinch up slightly left to grab a finger-jug rail above the bulge. Swing right and take jugs spectacularly up the short headwall. 8m.

  2. Sophism – E1,5c **
    Follow the obvious finger crack to the top, steeper than it looks. Well protected, or V1 solo. 7m

  3. Supermoon – E1,5c
    The sustained groove on the right. A bold start; OKish microwire protection thereafter. High in the grade. Take unaccommodating holds over the bulge to a thin vertical crack (first gear at 6 metres). Using an undercut on the left enter the groove, and finish strenuously direct using a finger-pocket. 7m

  4. Trundle – S
    Gain the crack on the far right side of the wall from the right wall, taking care with the rock to finish. 8m

There are also plenty of boulder problems on this wall(British 5c to 6b), with plenty of scope for eliminates and a nice traverse along the bottom.

To the left of this wall ia a clean block with a beautiful arete.

  1. Left Wall - V0
    Left wall of the block.

  2. The Arête - V1
    Climb the photogenic arete.

  3. The Crack - V0
    The finger crack in the right wall.

  4. Right Arête - V0
    Rounden right arete of the block.

Beginners Wall

Found 300m to the north of the car park and at a lower level, this wall can be easily identified by the clusted of stakes at its top. Its easy angle and generous holds makes it an ideal spot for beginers, so is regually used by groups. There are 6 or so independent lines to enjoy.

East Wall

This is the large quarry, furthest from the road an on the north side of the mountain. A 24m wall is topped with blocks and surrounded by shattered rock. Climbing here is not advised.

  1. Nine Below Zero - E4,6a
    Climb up to a peg, then move left and up to a horizontal break (thread, two pegs and bolt). Trend leftwards over blocks to a bolt belay. 25 metres.
  2. Can't Do My Homework - E1,5b
    2 bolts? 25 metres.
  3. Mojo - VS,4c
    Climb a crack in the right-hand side of the vertical wall (thread) into a bay at half height; peg belay. 25 metres.


Gunpowder Wall

At the far end of the large quarry and just around a corner is a short wall with a door in the bottom left corner. This was a gunpowder store when the quarry was active. The routes are of an adventurous style with loose rock and a long grassy slope to reach the belay stakes.

Rock climbing topo for Gunpowder Wall, Herbert's Quarry, South Wales
Gunpowder Wall
  1. Big Bang - S 4a
    Climb a short groove to gain the small pedistal and climb the crack above. Step right to finish. 10m.

  2. Gunpowder Arete - VD
    Gain the ledge on the arete from the left then finish up the ridge with care. Not well protected. 10m.

THE WINTER ROUTES

  1. Left Route - III/IV
    The left most route. 15 metres.
  2. Central Route - III/IV
    The central route. 15 metres.
  3. Right Route - III/IV
    The right most route. 15 metres.

First Ascents

West Wall

  1. Doochie Coochie - P.Donnithorne, E.Alsford 1988
  2. Blue Steel - Matt Woodfield 2024
  3. Cold Hard Stair - Matt Woodfield, Steffan Jacob 2023
  4. Wool Bully - P.Donnithorne, E.Alsford 1988
  5. Sharp Right Turn - Steffan Jacob, Matt Woodfield 2023
  6. A Bird In The Hand - Matt Woodfield, Steffan Jacob 2023

Foel Fawr Wall

  1. Matt Woodfield, Steffan Jacob 2023
  2. Matt Woodfield, Steffan Jacob 2023
  3. Unknown
  1. Gareth Tucker July 2007
  2. Gareth Tucker, T.Panthaman September 2006
  3. Martin Crocker 2015
  4. Steffan Jacob, Matt Woodfield 2023

Beginners Wall


East Wall

  1. Nine Below Zero - P.Donnithorne, E.Alsford 1988
  2. Can't Do My Homework - P.Donnithorne, E.Alsford 1988
  3. Mojo - P.Donnithorne, E.Alsford 1988


Gunpowder Wall

  1. Big Bang - Matt Woodfield, Ben Tiffin 2024
  2. Gunpowder Arete - Ben Tiffin, Matt Woodfield 2024


Winter Climbs

  1. Left Route -
  2. Central Route Gd -
  3. Right Route -