Pwll Du Bay

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Pwll Du Bay
Pwll Ddu.jpg
Rock Type Quarried Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Sport
Approach Time 25 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Heatherslade to Pwll Du
WGS-84 Location 51.562591, -4.059829
OS Grid Ref. SS 573 868
WGS-84 Parking Location
GR Parking Location
Base Elevation 33 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction East
Aspect Partially Sunny
Wind Sheltered Mostly
Climbing Type Normal
Seepage Needs a long dry spell
Crags Within 400m

Pwll Du Bay


Non Tidal


This is a sport climbing crag. New sports routes allowed. Trad routes forbidden.


Pwll Du Cove is a frustrating place to climb. A beautiful setting overlooking the bay. An east facing aspect offering shelter from the wind and morning sun, good steep climbing and a wide range of route difficulties are all marred... by mud. Every winter it seeps over the top lip and spreads its evil fingers down the crag. When it dries, it leaves a coat of superfine talcum powder which will no doubt, one day be harvested for a very expensive beauty treatment. In the meantime it is advisable to pack a stiff brush and a toothbrush along with the quickdraws.

That said, you will find excellent climbing here. Between 2006 and 2009 Simon Rawlinson, Adam Shore and Roy Thomas have worked hard to make the crag more accessible and to add a number of routes in the more amenable grades. Pwll Du is now a lovely place to spend the day.

Please be aware the crag is in an SSSI. Avoid the crag top, litter and noise. Avoid trampling the limestone plants on the rubble slopes leading up to the crag. Hopefully there will be no access problems.


a) Drive to Bishopston, pass the Joiners Arms and pass over speed bumps. Park at Bishopston post office on the left hand bend and walk down Pwll Ddu Lane. Alternatively on weekdays park at south gower rugby club a little further down the lane. Follow the road for 15 mins to a gate which leads to Pwll Ddu Bay. The quarry is obvious on the opposite/west side of the bay.

b) It is quicker to walk eastwards from hunt's farm on the Pennard cliff - but please note the National trust disapproves of this practice!

For Pwll Du buttress and Goonland, the buttresses over to the right of the quarry, scramble up through irritatingly dense brambles and assorted vegetation. There are no real paths.


Sports routes in the Quarry have lower offs. The older traditional routes generally require hanging ropes, which need to be placed by scrambling up from well to the left of the crag. Take great care traversing along the cliff top if doing so. The descent for Pwll Du buttress is down a gully to the left.


Pwll Du Quarry

Pwll Du Quarry
Sport Grades
<= 6a+ 10
6b - 6c+ 5
7a - 7b 8
>= 7b+ 6
  1. Project
    More a row of drill holes.

  2. Swept Away - Fr. 6b
    The blunt rib.The most worthwhile on this section.

  3. Clean Up - Fr. 6a
    The grubby slanting corner.

    Walk right passing the curry sauce wall with a rusty peg (abandoned project) to arrive at the wide open groove and some of the best/hardest routes on the crag.

  4. Ashes to Ashes - Fr. 6c+/7a *
    The open groove with a sting in the tail. It's a 7a tick if you touch the rings

  5. Decades Apart - Fr. 6c **
    Line of cracks up leaning wall.

  6. Till Tears Do Us Part - Fr 7a+ *
    Climb Forty For Three to the third staple,then move left to finish up Decades Apart. Either have a long draw ( 6 short draws together) on fifth bolt of Decades Apart,or long draw on third staple of Forty For Three.

  7. Forty for Three - Fr. 7b
    The original route in these parts, now has a large number of extensions.

  8. Bellerophon - Fr. 7c+
    More one-upmanship? Start up Forty for Three, then climb Chimera, then continue up steep rib to the top of the crag. (Currently a single bolt lower off but another bolt will be added soon).

  9. Eighty For Six - Fr. 7c+
    Start up Forty for Three, it is then possible to finish up the top part of Senser.

  10. Senser (Part 1) - Fr. 7b+
    Start at a faint arête left of the central twisting groove of the crag and under the central prow. Move up and left and keep rocking up to a big jump for a hold by twin BRs.

  11. Senser - Fr. 7c+ ***
    Continue from Senser (Part 1), undercut painfully up passing a BR which is impossible to clip en-route. Make a hard jump right for a square block just after the clip! Finish up and slightly right.

    John Bullock on Jezabel

  12. Jezebel - Fr. 7a+ **
    The central twisting groove line of the crag.

  13. Crock Block *- Fr. 6c
    Start under the obvious rectangular block and bridge up onto this. Make hard moves up onto the slab to a BB.

  14. Old Slapper - Fr. 7a
    The short groove and rib right of Crock Block succumbs to either a large number of slap attempts, or a poncy egyptian. Pull onto the slab to finish.

  15. Skedaddle - Fr. 7a
    A poor route up the groove and wall round the right of Old Slapper.

  16. Dust to Dust - E4, 5c
    Just to the right of Skeddadle is a line of shallow grooves. Climb the first groove,(PR,missing) to a jug. Move up the slabby wall to the next groove and roof, swing left into a crack and the top.Dirty and overgrown with ivy.

  17. Diamonds in the Dirt - Fr. 7b+ *
    Climb the overhanging prow and slab above. Start in groove left of The Flight Of Icarus, climb to third staple and move right to blocky side pull on arête, pull right into flake below small roof and climb prow and slab above.

  18. Flight of Icarus - Fr. 6c
    The obvious crack and roof, battle up this!

    The path starts to rise

  19. St. Elmo's Fire - Fr.6a+
    The low red wall to the ledge then launch out left to previous lower off.

  20. Cat Nap - Fr. 6a+
    The old school corner above the high ledge. Start as for previous route but grunt upwards manfully.

  21. Power Nap - Fr. 7a
    Grubby start steepens above the ledge,single bolt belay.

  22. REM Sleep - Fr. 5+
    Aim for the blue thread.

  23. White Slider - Fr. 6a
    The white streak,tricky to gain staple belay on right.

  24. Project
    staples to the right.

  25. Snooze Control - Fr. 5+
    The crack and corner above. Cut short when it arrives at the 'mud zone'.

  26. Sleep Easy - Fr. 7a+
    May be harder due to missing hold.

    There is an obvious boulder step up in the path.

  27. Miami Vice - Fr. 6b+
    Step left from the boulder and up on spaced holds. A direct start is 6c for the few, 7a for the many

  28. Coronal Discharge - Fr. 6a
    The square cut niche above the boulder.

  29. Wakey Wakey - Fr. 6a
    The deceptive ledge system above the step up.

  30. Sleep Over - Fr. 5
    The grassy wall 1m right.A bit rubbly in places.

  31. Milk Glass Moon - Fr. 6a
    Small white slab with some technical moves. 8mm staples.

    The path has now been cleaned to the large clean blocks above, some of the best rock is here for the future. 6m

  32. Cross the Rubicon - Fr. 7b+
    Stapled but no L.O. so jump back down or belay on twigs.

Pwll Du Buttress

Pwll Du Buttress
Sport Grades
6b - 6c+ 2
>= 7b+ 1

Situated to the right of Pwll Du Quarry and originally called Lower Goonland Rocks, is a clean buttress with a slanting crack on its right and a wide chimney on its left.

  1. Fin 12m E6,6c Fr. 7c+ **
    The prominent arête on the left end of the buttress provides a series of aesthetic powerful moves and escapes the seepage problems of other Gower sport routes. Might just be Fr8a.

  2. DT's 15m E1,5b
    Climb a thin crack to reach the wide chimney, which is followed to the top.

  3. Star Trek 15m E1,5a
    Start right of DT's and 4m down the slope. Climb the wall to a bulging crack, move right to a ledge below two cracks, climb the left crack and boldly layback over a bulge to the top.

  4. Llareggub 21m E1,5b
    From the lowest point of the buttress gain a rib and then a groove. From its top move right to the crack and layback to the top. Climbed on the 30th anniversary of Dylan Thomas' death.

  5. Where Eagles Dare 18m HVS,5a
    This takes the obvious hanging flake on the right side of the buttress. Start right of Llareggub and climb the steep crack to a ledge at half-height. Layback the flake before moving left at the top.

  6. 4th Dimensional Melodies - Fr. 6c+ * 20m
    Start left of Young Fire, Old Flame. From the left side of some boulders on the floor. Climb the pink hued,crystal covered wall moving right after second bolt then moving left from top of the flake, to finish up the arête. Clip stick second bolt.

  7. Young Fire, Old Flame - Fr. 6c * 20m
    About 100m right of Fin. Start below the cracked orange wall, climb the overhanging, sloping, diagonal ramp onto a ledge and the pocketed, cracked wall above.Clip stick first staple.

Additional Photos


Pwll Du Quarry

  1. Project - Unknown
  2. Swept Away - R.Thomas Phill Davies 2009
  3. Clean Up - M.Jordan R.Thomas 2009
  4. Ashes to Ashes - R Thomas, J Bullock, L Moran 20.10.1986
  5. Decades Apart - G.Gibson R.Thomas
  6. Till Tears Do Us Part - W.Calvert D.Cook 10.06.2018
  7. Forty for Three - M.Crocker R.Thomas 1994
  8. Bellerophon - Simon Rawlinson
  9. Eighty For Six - Martyn Richards
  10. Senser (Part 1) -M Crocker R.Thomas 24.07.1994
  11. Senser -M Crocker R.Thomas 9.07.1994
  12. Jezebel - M.Crocker R.Thomas 00.07.1994
  13. Crock Block - R Thomas 00.00.1994
  14. Old Slapper - R.Thomas 24.07.1994
  15. Skedaddle - M Crocker,R Thomas 1994
  16. Dust to Dust - M.Crocker R.Thomas 1986
  17. Diamonds in the Dirt - W.Calvert D.Cook 08.07.2017
  18. Flight of Icarus - A.Berry J.Bullock 1990
  19. St. Elmo's Fire - R.Thomas P.Davies 2009
  20. Cat Nap - R.Thomas N'ONeill July 2009
  21. Power Nap - Simon Rawlinson Adam Shore
  22. REM Sleep - R.Thomas
  23. White Slider - R.Thomas
  24. Project - Unknown
  25. 'Snooze Control - R.Thomas
  26. Sleep Easy - Simon Rawlinson
  27. Miami Vice - Adam Shore
  28. Coronal Discharge - R.Thomas
  29. Wakey Wakey - R.Thomas
  30. Sleep Over - Adam Shore 2006
  31. Milk Glass Moon -Will Calvert 2017
  32. Cross the Rubicon -M.Crocker

Pwll Du Buttress

  1. Fin - A.Berry 00.00.1994
  2. DT's - G.Evans, G.Richardson 00.00.1983
  3. Star Trek - J.Bullock, G.Evans 26.04.1984
  4. Llareggub - G.Evans, J.Bullock 00.00.1983
  5. Where Eagles Dare - J.Kerry, A.Marsh 00.00.1970
  6. 4th Dimensional Melodies - W.Calvert, D.Cook 28.06.2018
  7. Young Fire, Old Flame - W.Calvert, B.Gregory 04.2017