Llanbradach Upper Tier

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Llanbradach Upper Tier
Eugene and Roy on Roaring Forties.
Eugene and Roy on Roaring Forties.
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Sport/Trad
Approach Time
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Eastern Valleys
Local Area Llanbradach
WGS-84 Location 51.597808, -3.2352617
OS Grid Ref. ST 145 894
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.598429, -3.2324731
GR Parking Location ST 147 895
Parking Postcode CF83 3GR
Base Elevation 157 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction
Wind Sheltered
Climbing Type
Midge Problem Serious
Crags Within 5.0 km

Llanbradach Lower Tier, Llanbradach Upper Tier, Ridgeway, Senghenydd

RAD Notice/Restriction Llanbradach Upper Tier@BMC RAD

A local cock jockey on Aptitude Test - Fr.7a


Described as approached by the old quarry incline sloping back up right 5mins walk past the left-hand banking of the quarry. About 100m into the tier is an awesome tower, which contains Desert Storm. There are some shorter buttresses leading up to this tower and a large slabby wall. The first routes, however, start in the small gloomy green bay right at the start of the tier.

Currently the routes right of Aptitude Test are all in very good condition after a dedicated clean up in Spring 2015.

Approach Bay

All Approach Bay routes are overgrown by vegetation and need regearing and cleaning. If anyone would like to volunteer the bolt fund might provide the necessary once the routes are in a fit state to climb.

  1. Hedge Of Time - S
    The short arête at the start of the upper tier, PR. BB. 8m

  2. Conan’s Boil - Fr. 4+
    The short wall immediately upon entering the tier, PR, to the visually stunning lower off. 8m

  3. The Lapse - Fr. 6a+
    The wall and flake right of the corner. 8m

  4. Roraima - Fr. 6b+ *
    A good, short route up the centre of the little tower up and right of The Lapse. 9m

Terrace Wall

Futher right is a clean wall above a lower cleaned bulge.

  1. Three Men In A Goat - Fr. 6c *
    The left-hand route on the wall, keeping out of the crack to the left. Share belay by tree.12m

  2. Once Bitten - Fr. 6a+
    The centre of the wall to a tree. 12m

  3. Twice Shy - Fr. 6a
    The right-hand line on the wall trending R to a seperate belay. 12m

    Up in the trees, 6m to the right is a vegetated bay gained by iron rungs and situ rope.

  4. Hollow Feeling - Fr 6b**
    A bit off a faff to gain the scramble leading to the exciting high arete but well worth it. Obvious and sensible use of the flake should avoid ripping off large chunks of flake. 12m

  5. Sermon on The Mount Fr 6c**
    Start as for previous route then say a prayer and launch from the hollow flakes onto small solid edges.

  6. Practice What You Preach - E3, 5b
    Fight through the bramble thicket 2.69m right along the obvious ledge.Gain the thin crack via a peg on the R of this red wall to a dubious belay,enjoy. 12m

Torch the Earth to Blinded by Love. Photo: Dan Carroll

Upper Tier - Left

Just to the right is a large slabby wall, forming the first area of rock to run the full height of the tier.

  1. Pampered - Fr. 6b *
    The left-hand arête of the slabby wall. 20m.

  2. You Change Me - Fr. 6c *
    The centre of the slabby wall. No longer bold, but a little harder than the original version, having shed holds. If dry try an optional problem start by avoiding use of the banking on the left. Belay a few feet R of previos. 27m.

  3. Nappy Rush - Fr. 6b ***
    The line to the right of You Change Me is absolutely brilliant with good (but sometimes hollow) holds all the way up. 27m

    There is a never-dry project up the corner right of Nappy Rush. A large sandstone tower now rears up from the quarry floor.

  4. Torch The Earth - Fr. 7b+
    Old skool original crap pic n mix gear,needs regearing by first ascentionist. A route with a real stopper move. The tall can dyno, the short have to make a horrendous static move, sounds unusual, but you will soon see why. Start at the left arête of the tower and climb to a borehole and TR. Climb the slab to a couple of tricky moves up a crack and a good rest. Rock up the wall to the undercuts. Fall off repeatedly, go away and grow 6” then come back to complete the monster stretch to the easier upper wall. There is no lower off at present so abseil off the tree or top out - both are exciting! TR, PR, BRs. Lower Ivy needs stripping. 24m.

  5. Dirty As A Dog - Fr. 6b+ **
    Start below the left arête of the tower and follow it with interest to brilliant moves left of the capped niche to a BB, in a splendid position.Old skool character building route not a climbing wall clip up. 24m

  6. Desert Storm - Fr. 7a+ ***
    A stunning route, sustained though never too hard, but the crux is at the top. The leaning, orange, right-hand wall of the tower. Start at a vague triangular niche and follow the wall directly (often seeping) to a good shakeout just before the crackline. Make hard moves up the slanting crack and swing right to a good shakeout jug. From here, step left and make a massive rock up back left to the BB. 24m

Upper Tier - Centre

To the right of the tower containing Desert Storm is a more moderately angled wall:

  1. Twenty Second Chance - Fr. 7a+
    To the right of a loose corner is a steep face. Climb the blunt arête directly, with a VERY tricky move at 5m, then finish easily but boldly up the arête to a sapling and a BB . Leave your own krabs or buy some rings and install them. 18m

  2. Sixty Second Go See - Fr. 7a *
    The wall to the right of the arête offers short but brilliant tips pulling. Finish up Roaring Forties if you can gain it or make a massive run out to the belay of " sixty". 21m

  3. Roaring Forties - Fr. 6b+ *
    Start up the shattered flaky groove to the right and follow a curving flake onto the easy upper slab and the BB. 21m

  4. Between The Lines - Fr. 6c
    Climb directly up the wall right of Roaring Forties to an undercut and straight up the wall above, making a slight detour onto a flake out left at 14m. Move back right to chains belay. 21m. Roy Thomas.

  5. Dirty Day Out - E3, 5c
    The groove on the right. The situ gear is currently missing so needs but is not worth a rebolt. 21m

    The rock now becomes more complex. To aid location, the next slightly slabby arête is Harrowed Harrovians, the obvious tall blunt arête to the right is Blinded By Love and much further on, the last big slab contains You Are What You Is.

    The next two routes have been cleaned and have a new shared lower off at 16 m. This allows you to avoid the boulder problem off a ledge with 20m of rope out (avoiding potentially broken ankles) and makes for two nice Fr. 6b+ routes.

  6. Harrowed Harrovians/Missing Quarter - Fr. 6b+ (7a Extension) *
    One hard sequence laybacking up the hollow sounding flake at the top of the big, slabby arête. 16 m. The extension is "nails". 25m

  7. Saboo - Fr. 6b+ (6c Extension)
    The big slab to the right has an obvious capped groove at 13m. Climb boldly up the slab to gain the niche, then either move left (the original finish and a shared lower off at 16 m), or right (harder), round the roof to the ledge. Make a hard move up off the ledge to gain the BB. 25m

  8. Dandelion - Fr. 6b
    To the right is a slim corner groove before the corner proper. Climb this to a BB below the roof. 25m

  9. Burdoch - Fr. 6b+
    Regeared, cleaned. 25m

  10. Blinded By Puppies - Fr. 6c
    The wall left of the arete to shared belay.

  11. Blinded By Love - Fr. 6c **
    To the right is a damp corner followed by an arête. Climb the arête from its bottom left-hand side to an awkward top out. Sustained and well worthwhile. 21m

  12. The Laughing Policeman - Fr. 6b
    Needs re-bolting. The square-cut groove buried under the ivy, immediately right of Blinded By Love only dries out to an acceptable state in midsummer, which is a shame, as the upper groove is good. 27m

Upper Tier - Right

Click to Enlarge.
  1. Fair Cop - Fr. 6a+
    Ivy has engulfed the groove to the right of The Laughing Policeman.If ever uncovered take a lot of quickdraws. 25m

  2. Aptitude Test - Fr. 7a **
    The blunt arête to the right of the encroaching ivy is a fine, solid route and well worth seeking out. Low in the grade, once the sequence has been unlocked.Ivy needs stripping 12m

  3. The Merthyr Infill - Fr.6c *
    A typical sandstone crimper occupies the wall right of Aptitude Test. 12m

  4. My Blue Bell - Fr. 5+ *
    The well trafficked groove in the centre of the bay finishes through a weakness in the capping roof. 12m

  5. All Sand Together - Fr. 6c+ **
    This is the steep blunt arête to the right of My Blue Bell. Step right at the roof to join Red ‘Erring. Pumpy, but with good rests when you need 'em. 18m

  6. Red ‘Erring - Fr. 6b+
    A filler. Head straight up the wall left of the collapsing corner on brittle and sandy rock. 18m

  7. Plaque Attack - Fr. 6b+ *
    To the right of the collapsing corner is a black slab, this route takes its centre by a series of entertaining rock ups. 12m

  8. Incidentally - Fr. 6b *
    The black arête of the slab is a joy. 12m

    The next feature is an impressive sweep of long slabs.

    Click to Enlarge.
  9. Cop The Lot - Fr. 7a
    The shallow orange groove and blunt rib just right of the vegetated corner. Steady until the groove peters out and the wall steepens. Shares a lower off with the next route. 11m

  10. The Caerphilly Cop Out - Fr. 6c+
    The wall between the two shallow grooves has some thin moves left of the bolts at half height. 11m

  11. I Am What I Am - Fr. 6b *
    The long line in the centre of the wall, starting up the flaky right hand groove. There are good holds all the way up and no particularly hard moves. 18m

  12. You Are What You Is - Fr. 6b+ *
    Follow the long, slab on the right side of the wall. Relatively easy, except for one disproportionately difficult sequence to pass the second staple. 21m

  13. Is It What You Are That Is - Fr. 6c+ *
    The impressive sharks fin arête bounding the right-hand side of the slab, on its overhanging side to half-height, then the left hand side thereafter. Reachy to start but sustained and pleasantly exposed thereafter. 21m

    A steep vegetated gully separates the arête from the next couple of routes.

  14. The Brush Down Fr. 7a
    A long route. Shares a start and lower off with The Brush Off. 60m rope needed.

  15. The Brush Off - Fr. 7a
    Again, a 60m rope needed.

    100m further right in the last bay.

  16. My Little Routey Wooty - Fr. 6b
    Slabby wall on right of crack steepening towards the LO.

Additional Photos

First Ascents


  1. Hedge Of Time - R.Thomas 07.05.1997
  2. Conan’s Boil - R.Thomas 07.05.1997
  3. The Lapse - R.Thomas 07.05.1997
  4. Roraima - R.Thomas, G.Gibson 23.03.1997


  1. Three Men In A Goat - R.Thomas 02.04.1997
  2. Once Bitten - R.Thomas, M.Crocker 00.00.1991
  3. Twice Shy - R.Thomas, G.Gibson 23.03.1997
  4. Hollow Feeling - M.Learoyd, R.Thomas 00.00.1991
  5. Sermon on the Mount -
  6. Practice What You Preach - M.Crocker, R.Thomas 00.00.1991


  1. Pampered - R.Thomas 14.04.1997
  2. You Change Me - M.Crocker 00.00.1991
  3. Nappy Rush - R.Thomas 00.00.1997
  4. Torch The Earth - M.Crocker, R.Thomas 27.01.1991
  5. Dirty As A Dog - R.Thomas, G.Royle, M.Learoyd 00.00.1991
  6. Desert Storm - M.Crocker, R.Thomas 27.01.1991


  1. Twenty Second Chance - M.Crocker, R.Thomas 26.01.1991
  2. Sixty Second Go See - M.Crocker, R.Thomas 26.01.1991
  3. Roaring Forties - R.Thomas, J.Bullock 00.00.1989
  4. Between The Lines - R.Thomas, G.Royle 00.00.1991
  5. Dirty Day Out - J.Bullock, R.Thomas 00.00.1989
  6. Harrowed Harrovians/Missing Quarter - R.Thomas, Old Harrovians 00.00.1998
  7. Saboo - M.Learoyd 00.00.1989 - G.Ashmore, J.Tracey - Direct 17.06.1997
  8. Dandelion - M.Hirst 08.04.1997
  9. Burdoch - M.Hirst 06.06.1997
  10. Blinded by Puppies - gandalf Liam Joseph oct 2022
  11. Blinded By Love - R.Thomas, G.Royle, M.Learoyd 00.00.1991
  12. The Laughing Policeman - R.Thomas 13.07.1997


  1. Fair Cop - R.Thomas, G.Gibson 24.05.1997
  2. Aptitude Test - M.Crocker 00.00.1991
  3. The Merthyr Infill - G.Gibson 23.03.1997
  4. My Blue Bell - G.Gibson, R.Thomas 18.05.1997
  5. All Sand Together - G.Gibson 18.05.1997
  6. Red ‘Erring - G.Gibson, R.Thomas 18.05.1997
  7. Plaque Attack - G.Gibson, R.Thomas 00.00.1997
  8. Incidentally - G.Gibson, R.Thomas 23.03.1997
  9. Cop The Lot - G.Gibson 24.07.1997
  10. The Caerphilly Cop Out - G.Gibson 24.05.1997
  11. I Am What I Am - G.Gibson, R.Thomas 24.05.1997
  12. You Are What You Is - G.Barker, R.Trevitt 00.00.1989
  13. Is It What You Are That Is - G.Gibson, R.Thomas 18.05.1997
  14. The Brush Down - G.Gibson, R.Thomas - 10 Oct 2008
  15. The Brush Off - G.Gibson, R.Thomas - 10 Oct 2008
  16. My Little Routey Wooty - R.Thomas. G..Gibson - 10 Oct 2008