The Biscuit

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The Biscuit
Roy Thomas on Cream Crackers.  Photo by Carl Ryan
Roy Thomas on Cream Crackers. Photo by Carl Ryan
Rock Type Natural Jurassic Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time
Area South Coast
Sub Area Ogmore
WGS-84 Location 51.4523136, -3.6186752
OS Grid Ref. SS 876 738
WGS-84 Parking Location
GR Parking Location
Base Elevation 0 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction
Wind Sheltered
Climbing Type Serious
Crags Within 2.0 km

Black Zawn, Cave Inlet, Davy Jones' Locker and the Sea Caves, Dirty Harry Walls, Dunraven Cliff, Elephant Wall, Every Persons Wall, First Inlet, Folded Walls, Fools Fantasy Area, Mitzy Wall, Ogmore Popular End, Phaser Wall, Playtime Wall, Right Hand Wall, Second Inlet, Stone Wings Cliff, The Biscuit, The Castle Area, The Long Wall, The Western Crag, Tiger Bay, Tusker Chimney Area, Twinkle Buttress, Witches Cave, Witches Tip


See the Ogmore Crag Familiarisation Page.

The Routes

The next bay is composed of horizontal strata of brittle yellow rock, the Ogmore biscuit variety. The climbing is exposed, frightening and topping out generally leaves people shaking. Well worthwhile and more deserving of the accolade of adventure climbing than anything at Linney Head. The area is bounded on the left by the spectacularly obvious arête of Cream Crackers. Routes can be reached by abseil at higher states of the tide but you must be confident of success or face an embarrassingly damp debacle. Stakes above the arête of Cream Crackers, sketchy elsewhere except above Mother Earth.

  1. Wafer Thin E2 5b
    Takes the left side of the arête stepping off the rocking block is stimulating,located opposite the offshore Castle.39m. R.Thomas ,Eugene Jones.

  2. Cream Crackers E5 5c **
    Climb the left side of the arête(alarmingly) to large ledges.The same point can be reached by taking the crack(thread) on the R of the arête(harder but more secure).Launch up the dusty wall to gain the arête proper("peg runners") Top out at a rock bay, large stake well back. 42m.

    Topo Ogmore-biscuit left.jpg
  3. Short Dread 42m E5,5a,5c **
    1. 21m Climb the crack on the right side of the arête to a belay ledge.
    2. 21m Continue up P2 of Cream Crackers.

  4. Information Recieved E4 5c **
    A true biscuit route.
    1. 21m As for Wafer Thin or Short Dread P1.
    2. 21m Climb easily to a ledge. Swing up horizontal bands, TR, to pull around to the right side of an arête. Climb a short wall to beneath a small overhang, PR, up the crack on the right, PR, then back left, PR, to a scab of rock, PR. Climb just right of the arête, PR, then up the actual arête to the top.

  5. Takes The Biscuit 45m E4,5c *
    A strenuous and demanding route right of Information Received. Start 3m right of the arête by a large boulder with a chimney above. Climb the chimney until it is possible to move left onto the wall, TR. Continue up the wall, PR, to gain the horizontal break, PRs, possible belay. Move left to gain a steep crack, follow this, PR, TR, to more horizontal bands. Move right, PR, to reach a continuation crack which is followed past 3TRs, to the top.

  6. Here Today 45m E3,5b,5b
    The chimney, yellow slab and steep headwall right of Takes The Biscuit. Start at a green cave.
    1. 15m Climb out of the cave and go up the steep chimney, PR, to exit left to a ledge. PB.
    2. 30m Climb the slabby yellow wall, PR, to finish up a steep crack.

  7. Earthling - E2, 5a
    Approximately 25 metres up Mother Earth is a thread in the chimney and an old bendy peg down to the right. Look left for a peg with a sling hanging off it. Traverse awkwardly left to clip the peg and sit on the jutting ledge. Stand up and arrange gear then go up into a recess under a roof and 2 pegs with a sling on. Layback round to the left and up onto a ledge under a groove with a huge block somehow wedged at the top of it. Now up round and on top of the block past a thread and thankfully a good crack. Move up onto the sandcastle above and then unfortunately up right again onto another and an easing. Finish rightwards up the rubble prow with the Mother Earth chimney on your right.

  8. Mother Earth 45m E2,5a *
    At the back of the bay is an earthy chimney providing the longest, most entertaining chimney pitch in South East Wales. Start left of the chimney and climb conglomerate rock until it is possible to step right into the chimney. Follow it past numerous threaded chockstones until an escape can be made rightwards just below the top to avoid the final mud slopes.

    The next routes are on the large concave wall right of the earthy chimney. Several stakes are in position above the yellow wall and Quimble (A10).

  9. Mystery Man - A1/2
    Start on Sleepless Nights up the conglomerate pile. Out left on the wall (pegs)up then back right to ledges. Straight up the leaning wall, (pegs) swing left then up left into a powder groove with a big dirty crack (fixed wires and a big hex is useful). Flop right to finish. I’m guessing E3/E4 5c for someone better. 50m.

  10. Sleepless Nights 39m E4,5c *
    A route of character approached easily by abseil at all but the highest tides. Friends are useful in the upper section. Start 10m right of Mother Earth. Climb the conglomerate pile then traverse left onto the wall above, PR. Climb this to easier angled rock, 3PRs, TR. Follow the upper wall just left of a shallow niche, PR, then continue up a disjointed crack, poor TR, over several bulges. Belay below the top on the abseil rope.

  11. Best Of Friends 39m E2,5a
    Technically easy but serious. Large Friends are useful. Start 3m right of Sleepless Nights at a pile of conglomerate rock. Climb the rubble to a large jammed boulder, then over a small roof and follow a faint crack to the easy angled section, PR. Move rightwards then climb the steep upper wall over several bulges to gain a crack just below the top, exit rightwards.

  12. Floozie 42m XS,4b,4b
    Looser than it looks! This takes the upper arête of the concave wall.
    1. 21m Climb the rubble as for Best Of Friends and follow a rightward-rising traverse and a sharp broken corner, then move carefully rightwards to belay on the arête.
    2. 21m Move right around the arête, following steep corners to the top.

      Further right is a high yellow wall with a block-strewn ledge at half-height. The finish to some routes is a steep earth bank and it is advisable to leave a rope in place. Brushing of the holds will be needed. The routes start from the large ledge which is best approached by abseil (A10).

      Line of The Cure in red and Free Pant Quarry in blue.'
  13. Free Pant Quarry - XS 5a/b
    Abseil down The Cure to a hanging belay above the blocks at the slot. Traverse left then up leftwards to a little ledge under dust overlaps, pegs. Up right then back left and traverse left to a groove and ledge on the arête. Up a thin crack with pegs to a rubble ledge then left and finally up right up a loose groove and loose finish. Not been on “rock” since December so quite pleased as only inspected it from dangling metres away in space. Broke rock at the start to fall straight on the belay, went free to start but used aid at the dust overlaps before the traverse and to get up the thin crack. Big cam very useful for the loose finish which I had a hand on too. 30m. (Roped-solo with aid).

  14. The Cure - A1 E3,5c/6a
    1. Takes a steep bulging pillar on surprisingly good rock past pegs until you get to a block ledge. Probably best to get down from here, unless of course you don’t want to.
    2. Pure crumble. Traverse right along the ledge and up round the blocks (A2 👻) to the foot of a groove system. Take the groove systems up right wards and then left onto a lookout ledge. Traverse up right to finish past a grass beard. 50m. (Aid & Roped solo, Gavin Cytlau 07/12/20)

  15. Suspended Sentence 22m E4,5c
    The left-hand crack in the wall. Start at the left side of the ledge. Climb a shattered crack to a smaller ledge, step right to the main crack 2TRs and up it to a small overhang, PR. Pull out right to finish.

  16. No Reprieve 22m E3,5c
    Start at the ledge, left of the right-hand crack. Climb a short wall to a ledge, move up left and follow a line of ledges to a leftward-rising flake traverse leading to a crack. Climb the final wall and crack, PR, TR. Belay on the rope.

  17. Have Mercy 21m E4,6a
    Climb the thin crack in the right side of the wall exiting to the right.

  18. Eurovision Song Contest 50m XS 4c
    The stability of the pillar has to be considered, to look at it from the bottom it seems ok. To look at it from the top it seems to defy gravity. Start over to the left of Quimble. Climb diagonally left to ledges and a peg. Continue left into Have Mercy at its peg. Go up this onto ledges and traverse right into the blocky groove formed by the pillar, peg. Up this until it ends, peg. Now up right onto the very top of the pillar to grab a flat handrail. Make a fantastic traverse right in a very exposed position past a perfect cam slot to the finish of Quimble.

  19. Quimble 30m VS,4b
    Harrowment! The obvious line at the right side of this dubious section of cliff. Start below the prominent left-facing corner on the right side of the yellow wall. Climb to a niche, step left, move up to a ledge and climb the corner with little protection.

  20. Early Riser - MXS, 4c
    Go up Quimble to the big block ledge. Step right and climb the slim wall past a peg. Then the slab with another peg to a careful finish out on the arête. 20m.

  21. The Million Ton Man - XS 5a/b
    Start right of Quimble, go up a crack in a corner to a roof move left and up. Traverse right under Early Riser round the arête to get into the widening flake crack. Up this past a peg onto a grass ledge then right to cosy peg belay. Now up the groove until a move left gets a big hollow sounding hold, 2 pegs on left. Now up and right for a steep, perched feeling finish past 2 more pegs. Climbed free up until the hollow hold where I got in a tangle, jammed up my Silent Partner and sat on the pegs. I ended up aiding out on the last 2 pegs as well as this whole final section felt much steeper and harder than I gave it credit for when I looked at it yesterday. 50m.

    On the right side of the bay are the remains of several large sea caves. Huge rockfalls have destroyed the routes described in previous publications. The following remained at the time of writing (2003).

  22. Towaway Zone 13m HVS,5a
    Only P1 remains! It is possible to combine this with P2 of Motor Torpedo. Start on the left side of the first, smaller, cave. Climb a shallow groove and crack to a small roof then traverse right to a ledge.

  23. Motor Torpedo 48m E4,6a,5b
    A wild route breaking through the left side of the roofs of the largest cave. Start at the left side of the cave.
    1. 27m Climb a short, sea washed wall, then a steeper compact wall rightwards to a small ledge in its centre. Move back left to some small ledges, PR. Traverse left along the lip of the roof to good jams, PR, up to a horizontal break, then move left to a good stance on a ledge.
    2. 21m Traverse back right, avoiding the blocks, to a crack in the headwall. Climb it on good holds over a small roof. Trend left up the wall exiting directly.

  24. Goodnight Cowboy 30m E2,5b
    A line that has had three first ascents but only the last has stayed in place. Start at the sea-washed rocks between the caves or abseil into the cave. Climb smooth rock to gain a crack leading to the cave. Traverse left onto a very small ledge below a faint groove. Follow the groove to ledges then up a steep wall on incuts, PR, to gain a larger ledge. Take the groove above, 2PRs, until it is possible to escape with care up earthy ledges.

    Right of the rock fall is the cave from which the now defunct route, AIDS (E3,5c, some rests, R.Thomas, G.Lewis 1984) existed. On the buttress that remains are the next routes.

    The Biscuit Far Right
  25. Sub Sonar 27m E4,6a
    Supersedes AIDS. Start at the shallow cave 5m left of Ultra Virus. Step onto a prow, and go through the roof on jugs, finishing as for Ultra Virus.

  26. Ultra Virus 30m E4,6a **
    Great climbing through the roofs. Climb easily to a ledge below the widest part of the roof. Overcome the roof on the right 2PRs, then climb direct up the overhanging wall, PR, to a ledge at its top. Step right and climb the final wall leftwards.

  27. Last Buck 24m E1,5b
    This takes a faint groove in the left side of the steep smooth white face to the right of Ultra Virus. Gain the groove easily and follow it strenuously to ledges. Finish direct.

  28. Harmony 27m E1,5a *
    Follow Last Buck to the base of the white face, then continue up the face a couple of metres right of Last Buck to a wide break. Continue up the steepening headwall to exit up a slight flake/groove.

  29. Fast Buck 24m HVS,5a
    Start on the left of the face almost below Last Buck. Climb easily rightwards until the wall steepens, continue right again to reach a detached block. Climb carefully to the top.

  30. The Rock Block 25m E4,6a
    The blunt arête left of Trusty Blade. From Trusty Blade, gain a groove in the arête move left and exit via the chimney of Trusty Blade.

  31. A Foot In The Face 18m E3,5c
    As for The Rock Block to the short overhanging groove. Using holds to the right pull up then left above the overhang to good holds. Finish up and right to gain the safer right-hand exit of Trusty Blade.

  32. Trusty Blade 27m E2,5b
    Start from the left edge of the cave on the right end of the wall. Climb up and onto the black prow, move steeply up to the base of a groove, PR. Follow the groove until it is possible to exit onto a ledge. Climb the loose chimney on the left.

  33. Trust To Luck 25m E2,5b
    A direct line up the right side of Fast Buck Wall. Start from the large rounded ledge, move up to a large overhang. Move round leftwards round this then take the brown streak to join the finish of Trusty Blade.

  34. Rainbow For Rory 20m E6,6b ***
    Climb easily up the right edge of the cave for 3m. Traverse left to a bottomless corner right of the roof stack at the back of the cave. Swing left across the lowest roof, overcome the next one then the third to grasp the highest handrail. Traverse left until a trick move at the end gains the finish of Trusty Blade. The route was done as a deep water solo and the grade for a conventional ascent is not known.

    The routes from Trust The Grade to Happyrash have been done as deep water solos, so the grade at low water is unknown. They are described separately to the main text for this reason. Approach is by a bouncing abseil from two spikes (one very long) to arrive 2m left of the left-facing corner of Fast Luck. At high spring tide there should be about 6m of water below the base of the routes. Be careful with some of the blocky top outs and remember that there are strong undercurrents and sea caves at this crag.

    Martin Crocker on Rainbow for Rory - Video by Carl Ryan

    The deep water solo first ascent of A Rainbow for Rory (7b+), Ogmore.
    A beautiful route named in memory of photographer Carl Ryan's son, Rory.

  35. Trust The Grade 15m E3,5b
    Jump south in the event of a fall. Climb the right edge of the cave, swing right and over a bulge and zig-zag up the wall above.

  36. Mindfuck 15m E5,5c ***
    Traverse right from the ledge for 5m. Pull through a small overhang to a rest and follow left-facing flakes above. Swing right up bulging ground above.

  37. Happyrash 15m E5,6a **
    As for Mindfuck, but continue right for 2m to move up to the base of a small groove. Swing left, move up 2m, then span back right to gain positive flat holds through bulging ground to the top.

First Ascents

  1. R.Thomas, J.Bullock 1988
  2. R.Thomas, G.Royle, M.Learoyd, J.Bullock 1986
  3. R.Thomas ,John Bullock, Graham Royle. 1988
  4. R.Thomas, J.Bullock - lower section 06.09.1988
    R.Thomas, M.Crocker 30.10.1988
  5. R.Thomas, E.Travers-Jones 15.08.2000
  6. R.Thomas, G.Royle, J.Bullock 1988
  7. Gavin Cytlau 17th September 2019 (roped solo)
  8. R.Thomas, J.Bullock 1989
  9. Gavin Cytlau 5th September 2020
  10. R.Thomas, G.Royle 28.10.1987
  11. R.Thomas, G.Royle, G.Davies 27.09.1987
  12. G.Lewis, S.Robinson, F.Lunnon 06.07.1980
  13. Gavin Cytlau Roped solo with aid, 02/04/21
  14. Gavin Cytlau. 07/12/20 (roped solo)
  15. R.Thomas, G.Royle 05.1986
  16. R.Thomas, J.Bullock, M.Learoyd 05.1986
  17. M.Crocker, G.Gibson, M.Ward 25.08.1985
  18. Gavin Cytlau 5th July 2020 (roped solo)
  19. R.Crockett, M.Harber 30.03.1980
  20. Gavin Cytlau Roped Solo, 11/07/20.
  21. Gavin Cytlau - Roped Solo 28/07/20
  22. L.Foulkes, P.Lewis 1980
  23. M.Crocker, R.Thomas AL 08.06.1986
  24. J.Mothersele, J.Kerry 1974
    A.Dance, A.Richardson 1984
    R.Thomas, J.Bullock 1989#
  25. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 14.11.1994
  26. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 11.05.1986
  27. C.Heard, R.Thomas 05.07.1980
  28. M.Crocker, J. Harwood 23.09.2001
  29. P.Littlejohn 03.07.1977
  30. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 14.11.1993
  31. M.Crocker 23.09.2001
  32. R.Thomas, J.Bullock 1984
  33. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 14.11.1993
  34. M.Crocker solo 12.08.2003
  35. M.Crocker solo 06.05.2001
  36. M.Crocker solo 06.05.2001
  37. M.Crocker solo 06.05.2001

Additional Photos