Secret Taffs Well

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Secret Taffs Well
Taffs Well Rift.jpg
Rock Type Quarried Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Sport
Approach Time 5 minutes
Area Inland Limestone
WGS-84 Location 51.538584, -3.2598406
OS Grid Ref. 312721, 182940
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.536586, -3.2582862
GR Parking Location 312825, 182715
Base Elevation 71 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction South West
Aspect Never Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Normal
Midge Problem Never
Seepage Quick drying
Crags Within 10.0 km

Brittania Quarry, Castle Quarry, Coedcaerau-bach, Cox's Quarry, Cwm Leyshon Quarry, Glynfach, Golf Club Crag, Llanbradach Lower Tier, Llanbradach Upper Tier, Llantrisant Drugs Cliff, Porth, Secret Taffs Well, Senghenydd, Sirhowy - Quarry Mawr, Sugardaddy Gasworks, Taffs Well, Taffs Well Pinnacle, Taffs Well West, Taffs West Railway Cutting, The Darren, Trehafod, Tyn-y-coed, Wenvoe Quarry


Here, we provide to you the chance to sample the unique and hidden delights of Secret Taffs Well. A deep and narrow ravine, cut by miners to extract a vertical iron ore vein over 150 years ago. It looks like a smaller, inland version of Huntsman's Leap (the comparisons end there unfortunately).

The crag defines the term esoteric and will certainly indulge the aficionado. The two bridging routes are quite unique, and are good, safe, practice climbs for chimney enthusiasts or budding cavers.

It is best sampled on cloudless summer days, to escape the heat, or on windy days when squalls soak all other crags.

High humidity without any breeze will see the the walls of the chasm drip with condensation, luckily Taffs Main is a fine retreat if this is the case.


Use the small path to the left of the gate at Taffs Well parking spot. Follow this until it ends at the base of a slabby buttress (51.537149, -3.258869).

From just before the slab, drop downhill, following the cleared vegetation. After passing an abandoned campsite, the path continues immediately adjacent to the A470 slip road fence line. After 90m from the slab (51.537764,-3.259715), cut briefly uphill and then to the left as vegetation dictates, soon passing a low cave.

Look out for a yellow poly rope, which will guide you towards a scramble up a steep bank and a series of rock steps (not suitable for unassisted dogs). You will know when you have arrived.


The right wall of the chasm contains the routes, as the rock is much better quality. Routes are described left to right facing this wall. As you are always directly beneath the clifftop, a helmet is advisable.

Huw Bravo enjoying (?!) Bridge Club.

  1. Unknown Pleasures - Fr. 6c
    Starts a metre up the slope. Finishing left of the chockstone. 12 m

  2. Rock and a Hard Place - Fr. 4+
    Bridge upwards clipping bolts on Unknown Pleasures. 12 m

  3. Dark Desires - Fr. 6b
    Wynde your way upwards, to a pocketed headwall and chain L.O. Bridging is just not cricket old boy. 10 m.

  4. Bridge Club - Fr. 5
    Bridge up the chasm, clipping the same bolts as Dark Desires, whilst battling with an ever growing ass-pump. 10 m.

  5. Crack Dancing - Fr. 6b
    Hard to spot bolt hangers. From the niche make an odd sequence of moves to reach the lower off. 9 m

  6. Light Chaser - Fr. 6b
    Awkward start leads to big side pulls through the bulge and a long reach to finish. 8 m.

First Ascents

Looking out of the Rift

  1. Unknown Pleasures - A.Rosier, R.McAllister- 28.06.2020
  2. Rock and a Hard Place - A.Rosier, R.McAllister - 28.06.2020
  3. Dark Desires - A.Rosier, R.McAllister - 05.06.2020
  4. Bridge Club - A.Rosier, R.McAllister - 05.06.2020
  5. Crack Dancing - A.Rosier, R.McAllister - 28.06.2020
  6. Light Chaser - R.McAllister, A.Rosier - 28.06.2020



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