The Machen Challenge

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The viaduct is located in a peaceful setting and is constructed from large cut-sandstone blocks.

Machen Viaduct


From Caerphilly, follow A468 towards Newport. After entering Machen, take a sharp turn to the right and then another turn right onto Ffwrwm Road. Follow Ffwrwm Road to the end and park near Cae Bach. At the end of Ffwrwm Road a path rises onto a track, follow this left, past a gate and past a bridge embankment where another bridge crosses a river. Cross this to the viaduct.

Machen Viaduct

The Challenge

The north side of the bridge is numbered with a subscript ‘a’ and the south facing side with a subscript ‘b’. The arches of the viaduct have been climbed using only the key stones on the edge of each curve and the underside of the curve. All climbs are commenced in seated position.

The high-point of the each problem is defined as the highest hold upon which climber can lock-out and hold for at least a few seconds (i.e. slapping doesn’t count). The highpoint is recorded by counting the blocks from ground-level.

D. Emanuel, Problem No. 3a
D. Hannam, Problem No. 4a
Jack, problem No. 6a

The Score

The current score is as follows;


0a - N/C (Fence)

0b -

1a - 8

1b - 10

2a - 9

2b - 10

3a - 13

3b - N/C

4a - 11

4b - N/C

5a - 14

5b -

6a - 14

6b - 11