Pen Pych

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Pen Pych
Pen Pych-1920x.jpg
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Sport
Approach Time 30 minutes
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Western Valleys
WGS-84 Location 51.684593, -3.565994
OS Grid Ref. SS 918 995
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.680362, -3.557406
GR Parking Location SS 924991
Parking Postcode CF42 5DG
Base Elevation 349 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction South East
Aspect Partially Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Serious
Midge Problem Moderate
Seepage Needs a long dry spell
Crags Within 5.0 km

Blaengwynfi, Bwlch Mountain Road, Craig Tyle-Cam, Pen Pych, Space Mountain, Treherbert Quarry

Pen Pych
Sport Grades
<= 6a+ 1
6b - 6c+ 7
7a - 7b 2
>= 7b+ 2


A high crag in scenic and isolated situation. It is a local beauty spot, so expect public attention.

Pych is a possible contraction of Pump Ychen (Five Oxen). "Apparently someone in the distant past had the rights to graze five oxen on the land. Pen means top or head. So all together it means 'top of the land on which five oxen graze". [1]

The left side of the wall looks as though it is going to fall down soon, but hasn't yet. The centre of the wall contains a BRILLIANT Fr. 6c+ ***, which would not be out of place a top Spanish crag. The right hand side contains steeper and shorter routes on nicely rounded sandstone.

Seepage can be a problem on the black streaks off season.

The right hand side stays in shade until 12.30 Summertime.


Look on a map and using the route most appropriate go to Treherbet in Rhondda Fawr, then head towards Blaen Cwm until horseshoe signs lead to Pen Pych Forestry Car Park. From the main car park, follow the obvious wide gravel track, zig zagging gently uphill, and then a stone stepped path for 25 minutes uphill towards the waterfall.


  1. Pychy Blinders - Fr. 7b+ **
    The most lefthand route geared with large glue ins. 20m.

  2. Project 20m.
    Fully regeared with shiny glue ins,enquire to Andy Sharp if it is closed or not.

  3. The Big Pychture - Fr. 6c
    Squeezed in left of crack. 20m.

  4. Pen Pychtures - Fr. 6a+
    Centred on the crack line and tottering corner above. Can only improve with traffic 20m.

  5. Pychture Postcards - Fr. 7b *
    Gain the ramp then proceed with difficulty. 20m.

  6. No More Heroes - Fr. 6c+ ***
    Gain and follow the black streak. Probably the best route of its grade on sandstone. 20m.

  7. New Hormones - Fr. 7b+*
    Steep and strenuous route tackling the right side of the central wall. The jug at the end of the crux sequence has crumbled. 20m.

  8. Cwm Fly With Me * F6b+
    Steep start gains a slab below the roof then move right to jam up the final chimney.

    At Pen Pych. Photo: Carl Ryan, Black Planet Photography
  9. Cwm By 'Ere - Fr. 6c*
    The steep but mercifully short arête. Long clipstick for high first bolt or go buy a bolt and place in pre-drilled hole. 10m.

  10. Cwm Sluts - Fr. 6c+ *
    Campus up the steep sidewall, reach around the arête for a secret hold, gain the protruding block then roof to final wall above ledge. Avoid flake on the right. 20m.

  11. Cwm Fest project
    Closed direct start project to previous.

  12. Cwm Bach Again - Fr. 6b+ **
    Steep arête and roof to ledge then short wall to shared L.O.. Avoid the massive perched flake on the left. 20m.

  13. Cwm Bach To Me - Fr. 6b+ *
    Struggle up the hanging groove to a big jug, squirm round the protruding flake then pull over the bulge to the ledge. 20m.

  14. Bach In The Day - Fr. 6a
    Start just R of the crack, steep start then pull over the bulge to the ledge. Head up then L to the shared belay. 20m.

First Ascents

  1. Pych Blinders - Martyn Richards Andy Sharp May 2019
  2. Project - Martyn Richards?
  3. The Big Pychture - Gary Gibson 2018
  4. Pen Pychtures - Gary Gibson August 2018
  5. Pychture Postcards - Gary Gibson August 2018
  6. No More Heroes - Gary Gibson August 2018
  7. New Hormones - Gary Gibson August 2018
  8. Cwm Fly With Me - July 2019
  9. Cwm By Ear - July 2019
  10. Cwm Sluts - August 2018
  11. Cwm Fest Project -
  12. Cwm Bach Again - July 2018
  13. Cwm Bach To Me - y 2018
  14. Bach In The Day -July 2018



  1. Gwyn Evans in an email to Tim Hoddy