Thurba West

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Thurba West
( West Cliff )
Thurba West
Thurba West
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time 20 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Thurba to Overton
WGS-84 Location 51.560998, -4.278393
OS Grid Ref. SS 421 871
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.565848, -4.270856
GR Parking Location SS 427 876
Parking Postcode SA3 1PH
Base Elevation 35 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction West
Aspect Partially Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Normal
Crags Within 400m

Block Buttress, Catacomb Gully, Four Gullies, Grey Wall, Mewslade Quarry Slab, Mewslade Short Wall, Molar Wall and White Edge, Richards Rock, Rolly Bottom Buttress, The Aisle, Thurba East, Thurba Head, Thurba West, Trident Gully and Ridge, Zero Gully

Tidal Status

Non tidal.

Bolting Policy


Thurba West[1] contains a couple of reasonable routes, especially Museum Piece


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.

On walking out of the car park, turn left and, after about 25 metres take the public footpath off to the right. Pass through a gate after about 15m and then follow the rough path for a further 200m where there is another gate. This is the top end of Mewslade.

Follow the path down the valley.

After about 5 minutes, where the sea starts to become visible, turn left (east) up the hill through an NT marked stile. A path wends gently up onto higher ground. For Thurba West, contour round towards the sea about 50m below the top of the hill to reach this small outcrop overlooking Mewslade Bay.

For the main crag, continue to the top and walk out towards the headland until a path cuts down and left (east). Follow this for 100m, then strike out to sea, to reach a non-tidal platform below the shoulder of the head and at the east side of the area. The routes on the front face are normally approached by abseiling down from the non-tidal platform to a highly tidal platform on the front face. This is only really practical on big tides. The routes on the east side are accessed by either abseil, or more commonly by traversing in from the platform above the high tide level.

For Thurba East continue along the coastal path.


The Routes

Thurba West

On the east side of Mewslade Bay, about 50m above the beach are some short buttresses. The central one of these, with a prominent upper half is Thurba West

  1. Chimney Climb - D
    Climb the chimney situated at the left-hand end of the crag. 9m.

  2. Right Edge - VD
    Climb Chimney Climb to half-height, then move out right and climb the blunt arête. 9m.

  3. Cracked Wall - VD
    The blunt arête is gained directly. 9m.

  4. South Corner - S
    From 3m up Cracked Wall, traverse up and right to gain and finish up a corner. 12m.

  5. Museum Piece - E4,6b *
    A tough little number with lots of old, but relatively good gear, free climbing the obvious line of BRs and PRs in the centre of the crag. Very blind and quite powerful. 10m.

  6. Nogolo - E3,6a
    Through the roof about 7m right of Museum Piece. 13m.

  7. Plastic Wings - E1,5b
    Climb a short V-groove and steep corner above, 3m right of Nogolo. 12m.

  8. Amuseland - E1,5b *
    The prominent right-facing layback crack 5m to the right of Nogolo. 10m.

  9. Moneyeater - E3,6a
    The wall and slots immediately right of Amuseland. 10m.

  10. Solo - E1,5b *
    About 12m right of where the overhang finally peters out, a groove and corner form the left end of a 10m wide wall. Climb this groove and corner. 10m.

  11. Moneyspinner - HVS,5b
    The wall to the right of Solo. 10m.

  12. Progression - VS,4b
    The ivy-covered crack to the right of Solo. 9m.

Mewslade Bay


First Ascents

  1. Chimney Climb - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 00.00.1959
  2. Right Edge - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 00.00.1959
  3. Cracked Wall - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 00.00.1959
  4. South Corner - J.Talbot, D.Thomas 00.00.1959
  5. Museum Piece - J.Talbot 00.00.1966 - South Wall [2]
    FFA A.Berry 00.00.1994
    G.Ashmore ALCH 05.10.1997
  6. Nogolo - M.Crocker 07.11.1998
  7. Plastic Wings - N. Taylor 09.06.2006
  8. Amuseland - M.Crocker 07.11.1998
  9. Moneyeater - M.Crocker 07.11.1998
  10. Solo - J.Talbot 00.00.1972
  11. Moneyspinner - M.Crocker 07.11.1998
  12. Progression - J.Talbot 00.00.1972

Additional Photos


  1. Known as West Cliff both in Talbot (1970) p.87 and Danford & Penning (1983) p.40. It appears that Richardson (1991), p.57, is the first guide to identify this crag as, Thurba West
  2. Graded A2e, Talbot (1970) p.87