Saddam's Wall

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Saddam's Wall
Roy Thomas on the first ascent of Sunni Days.  Photo:Carl Ryan
Roy Thomas on the first ascent of Sunni Days. Photo:Carl Ryan
Rock Type Quarried Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Sport/Trad
Approach Time 20 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Thurba to Overton
Local Area Rams Grove
Geodata
WGS-84 Location 51.557763, -4.264955
OS Grid Ref. SS 430 867
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.565848, -4.270856
GR Parking Location SS 427 876
Parking Postcode SA3 1PH
Base Elevation 45 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction West
Aspect Partially Sunny
Wind Sheltered Mostly
Climbing Type Normal
Seepage Quick drying
Crags Within 400m

First Sister, Rams Grove Crag, Rams Grove Seaward Crag, Saddam's Wall, Second Sister, Sister 2 and Half, The Crag That Time Forgot


PREAMBLE

The wall in an old quarry at the top of Rams Grove on its east side. The rock is of the beautifully waterworn variety that is more often found underground.

Gets afternoon sun.

ACCESS

A visit to this crag can be combined with a visit to Third Sister and can, therefore, be approached from Pilton Green although the walk-in will be much further than from Pitton Farm. (See Third Sister Access notes). Described below is access from Pitton Farm.

From the main Rhossili road, turn left in Pitton (south) to Great Pitton Farm (SS 427 876 or 51.556076, -4.267799) where there is a car park. The honesty box no longer exists and a system of seasonal tariffs is now in operation. Payment is made via a machine or paybyphone Ⓡ. See Pitton Parking for information on charges. Currently a maximum of £5.00 is charged for parking from 06.00 to 22.00.

Turn left when coming out of the car park and follow the road, past some houses and farm buildings, until it then becomes an unsurfaced track. At this point, the main track appears to veer off to the right. You should take the left fork (public footpath but marked, "Private Road"). Follow the track uphill for 75m passing through two gates. Then follow the track further (for 350m) until you come to another gate. Go through the gate and either follow the sign-posted footpath directions directing you via the edges of the field or strike out diagonally rightwards across the field for 260m to reach yet another gate.

Pass through this gate to head down a shallow grassy valley towards the sea to reach another gate on the Wales Coast Path after about 50 metres. This is the top end of Rams Grove (SS 430868). 1 km. (15 mins. from parking).

Then, from the gate at the top of the dry valley, head down about 35 metres until you see a vague path crossing the "scree" on your left. Take the path and skirt around an ivy-covered buttress and follow it through the blackthorn. Take a small rock step and continue around a few metres to the left until you see Saddam's Wall. (5 minutes from the gate and 20 mins. from parking).

THE ROUTES

rock climbing topo of Saddam's Wall, Rams Grove, Gower
Saddam's Wall
  1. Chemical Ali - Fr 4+
    The left edge of the wall moving right to shared belay of Barzan....15m.

  2. Barzan Lost His Head - Fr. 6a *
    The stripped crack and wall left of the overgrown groove.

  3. Wam Bang Thank You Saddam - E4,6a *
    Start in the centre of the crag,climb an ivy invaded groove on big jugs to a hole at 12m (avoid if birds are nesting in the hole). Move up and right to a bulge and pocket. Step up and extend for finger jugs slightly out left. Step right, reach a crack above the top bulge and cut loose for the top. 15m.

  4. Al Tikrit - Fr. 6b+ ***
    Start R of the overgrown groove continue to staple L.O.

  5. A Fragile Peace - E3,5c **
    Brilliant on almost perfect rock. Start below a short crack on the right-hand side of the crag. Go up the crag to a shallow bulge. Stride left over a smooth slab then pull over a small overhang after a projecting foothold. Climb the waterworn face above to the top bulge and yard up on jugs out right to the exit. 20m.

  6. Sunni Daze - Fr. 6b *
    The R side of the pillar direct above the short crack pulling over a series of short roofs to finish right as for Comical Ali.

  7. Comical Ali - E1,5a ***
    The crack line on the far right of the crag, very small wires on the low crux.

First Ascents

  1. Chemical Ali - Roy Thomas Goi Ashmore Feb 2019
  2. Barzan Lost His Head - Roy Thomas Tim Hoddy Ed Rees Nick O'Neill Rich Phillips. 02.01.2019
  3. Wam Bang Thank You Saddam - M. Crocker, J. Harwood 22.02.1998
  4. Al Tikrit - G.Gibson R.Thomas 2018
  5. A Fragile Peace - M. Crocker, J. Harwood 22.02.1998
  6. Sunni Daze - R.Thomas, Tim Hoddy 25.11.2020
  7. Comical Ali - R.Thomas G.Ashmore 18.10.2020

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

Notes