Three Cliffs

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Three Cliffs
Three cliffs perseverance.jpg
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time 25 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Three Cliffs and Pobbles
WGS-84 Location 51.569941, -4.11139
OS Grid Ref. SS 53767 87787
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.566835, -4.087865
GR Parking Location SS 553873
Parking Postcode SA3 2DH
Base Elevation 0 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction South
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Family
Seepage Quick drying
Before/After Low Tide 2.5 hours (See Note)
Crags Within 400m

Pobbles Bays, Three Cliffs

Three Cliffs
Trad Grades
<= HVS 33
E1 - E3 1
E4 - E5 1
>= E6 0


3 hours.


Popular, and thus, often crowded. Lots of easy climbs for beginners. Little over VS in grade.


Quickest and most reliable access is from Southgate National Trust Car Park


No Bolting


Three Cliffs descents are by easy scrambling left (west) down the ridge.


rock climbing topo panorama of Three Cliffs, Gower
Three Cliffs Panorama
  1. Left Crack - 15m M
    At the left (west) end of the cliff, climb broken rock to a short slab, over this to a ledge, then up a crack to finish.

  2. Right Crack I - 16m M
    Follow Left Crack to the ledge, then take the crack bearing up and right.

  3. Wall Climb I - 9m D
    Climb the slab right of the lower section of Right Crack.

  4. Cleft I - 10m D
    This is the first of the two obvious clefts right of Wall Climb I.

  5. Wall Climb II - 10m D
    The slab to the right.

  6. Cleft II - 11m VD
    Climb the right-hand of two clefts and the slab above, keeping left of a small block overhang.

  7. Wall Climb - 11m D
    The narrow slab right of Cleft II and just left of a shallow corner, finishing by the right side of the block overhang.

  8. Left Corner I - 11m M
    Climb the shallow corner bounding the left edge of a raised slab.

  9. Initiation Flake - 12m S *
    Climb the raised slab in its centre.

  10. Right Corner I - 12m D
    Takes the corner bounding the right edge of the raised slab.

  11. Meander - 12m D
    Climb the slab right of the corner to finish on a ridge.

    In a recess between the first and second pinnacles lies a smooth slab topped by an overhang.

  12. Bulge - 15m VD
    Climb the slabby wall left of a corner.

  13. Left Corner II - 16m D
    This follows the corner bounding the slab on the left.

  14. Inverted V 16m - HVS,4c *
    Boldly climb the centre of the slab to the apex of the overhang. Pull through this to finish. Rather low in the grade, but poor protection if the overhang is gained directly.
    Recent (September 2023) rock fall here. See Note at Rock Fall Three Cliffs

  15. Spouse Crack - 16m S
    Climb the thin crack on the right side of the slab to an overhang at the top of the corner. Pull over this to gain an easy groove. Follow this or move left to the crack above the overhang.

  16. Right Crack II - 15m S
    Follow Spouse Crack above the bulge, then move left by the overhang and follow the definite crack system running up above it.

  17. Quartz Corner - 16m HS,4b
    This follows the narrow slabby corner right of the recessed slab. Climb this to a calcite slab, then move right over an overhang and go up a crack to the top.

  18. Joggled Wall - 18m VD *
    Climb the rough brown slab right of Quartz Corner, beginning just right of centre. Step left to avoid the overhang and enter a shallow corner. The left edge of the slab can be climbed at the same grade.

  19. Joggled Wall Direct - 18m HS,4a *
    Takes the overhang Joggled Wall avoids.

  20. Left Edge 17m - HS,4b
    This takes the left raised edge of the shiny slab right of Joggled Wall. Finish as for Joggled Wall Direct.

  21. Perseverance 18m HS,4b *
    Climb the centre of the shiny slab by some thin, well protected moves.

    A series of grooves and ridges to the right provide a variety of descents, centred around Right Corner.

  22. Right Corner - II 18m M
    The smooth right-angled groove.

    rock climbing topo for the "Scavenger" area at Three Cliffs, Gower
    Scavenger Area

  23. Arch Slab 24m - VS,4c **
    Start on the left wall outside the large cave, below a groove. Climb the groove until just above the lip of the cave. From a diagonal quartz break traverse right to the apex of the cave. Finish directly up the slab above.

  24. Under Milk Wood - 21m VS,4a *
    An entertaining struggle up the slab within the left side of the cave. Follow the slab diagonally to a subsidiary cave and thread. Enter the cave and wriggle towards the light. Alternatively move the route to Pembroke, up the grade two or three notches, give it ten stars for quality and write tedious adventure stories about it. The largerframed will have to abseil off a tat before the top.

  25. The Steal - 24m E4,6a *
    Often greasy. On the right side of the cave is a subsidiary slab running down from the apex of the cave. Start below the slab and gain it with difficulty, PR. Move up the slab to the apex, PR, then finish directly.

  26. Scavenger 26m - VS,4c ***
    A classic line following the corner right of the cave. Make a tricky move up from a platform, to gain the corner, which is followed by a mixture of slab and crack manoeuvres. Finish at a ledge and PB.

  27. Scavenger Variations
    1. Climb in from the right wall of the cave to a spike on the left edge of the Scavenger slab and join the parent route. From a point where the route is level with the cave apex, struggle rightwards up a steep wall to easier ground. - 26m VS,4c *
    2. VI+, 6m. Start in the cave 15ft' left of the normal route. Climb directly by a fault, then slightly L. Now go diagonally right to a block on the wall edge and swing onto the slab above to join Scavenger.[1]

  28. Hangel - 27m VS,4c
    Climb Scavenger until level with the start of a small recessed slab to the left. Swing right along an overhanging ramp to reach a slab above. Follow its left edge to belay near the PB of Scavenger.

  29. October - 30m S
    A poor route that starts at the foot of Scavenger. Move up right to a ledge at 3m. Now follow a blocky gangway left, to swing onto the face above and to the right. Follow a series of vegetated grooves on the right to the top.

  30. Plumb Line - 45m D
    Start at a slabby buttress at the foot of the third pinnacle. Climb the buttress and then the narrow raised slab to more broken slabs near the crest, which are followed to the top.

  31. Disappointment - 45m D
    An obvious groove lies just right of the crest of Plumb Line. Climb this stepping right at two-thirds height into the narrower continuation groove.

  32. Consolation - 31m VD
    This artificial but worthwhile line takes the slabs right of Disappointment.

  33. Traverse Of The Three Pinnacles - 76m M *
    A good scramble from left (west) to right (east) keeping to the crest and taking in all the summits.

  34. The Battle Of Midway - 150m VS,5b
    Traverse the crag from the left end, above the high water level, to gain Arch Slab. As for Arch Slab then step down into Scavenger, which is reversed to gain Scavenger Variations. Finish up Disapointment.

  35. Back Beat - 25m E3,5c *
    A route taking the crack on the left side of the arch on the north (landward) side of the Three Cliffs Arch. Lower off rope advised.

First Ascents

  1. Left Crack - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  2. Right Crack I - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  3. Wall Climb I - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  4. Cleft I - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  5. Wall Climb II - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  6. Cleft II - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  7. Wall Climb - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  8. Left Corner I - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  9. Initiation Flake - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  10. Right Corner I - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  11. Meander - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  12. Bulge - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  13. Left Corner II - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  14. Inverted V 16m - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1pt 1954/55
    R.Owens, C.Edwards 1959
  15. Spouse Crack - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  16. Right Crack II - J.Talbot, R.Corbett 1959
  17. Quartz Corner - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  18. Joggled Wall - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  19. Joggled Wall Direct - C.Edwards, R.Owens, C.Andrews 1959
  20. Left Edge 17m - C.Edwards, R.Owen, C. Andrews 1959
  21. Perseverance - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  22. Right Corner - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  23. Arch Slab 24m - R.Owen, C.Edwards, C.Andrews 1959
  24. Under Milk Wood - R.McElliot, R.Hoare 1984
  25. The Steal - S.Lewis, A.Richardson, C.Curle 1987
  26. Scavenger - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  27. Scavenger Variations - J.Kerry 1970
    P.Greenwood, C.Ryan 1970
  28. Hangel - R.Owen, C.Edwards, C.Andrews 1954/55
  29. October - G.Blake, J.Blundell 1972
  30. Plumb Line - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  31. Disappointment - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  32. Consolation - J.Brailsford, St.AMRT 1954/55
  33. Traverse Of The Three Pinnacles - Unknown Pre-1970
  34. The Battle Of Midway - A.Berry solo 26.12.2000
  35. Back Beat - M.Crocker, J.Harwood 01.05.1994

Additional Photos


  1. The description of this variation similar to that of The Steal which first appeared in Gower and SE Wales (1991), p. 97. This variation is ommited from Gower & S.E. Wales (2003) but described in Gower Peninsula Supplement (1973), p. 9. and climbed in 1970 by J.F. Kerry.