Marsh Dance - Tor Gro
|Rock Type||Quarried Carboniferous Limestone|
|Approach Time||20 minutes|
|Sub Area||North Gower|
|WGS-84 Location||51.621189, -4.227353|
|OS Grid Ref.||SS 459 937|
|WGS-84 Parking Location||51.619601, -4.219431|
|GR Parking Location||SS 464 935|
|Parking Postcode||SA3 1HD|
|Base Elevation||4 metres (SRTM Estimation)|
|Seepage||Needs a long dry spell|
|Before/After Low Tide||6.0 hours (See Note)|
|Crags Within a Half Mile.|
The track along the bottom of the escarpment is briefly underwater at the top of spring tides.
Tor Gro is unique for Gower. The routes are located on a number of long (45 metre) slabs. Most of these slabs are vegetated and are likely to become even more vegetated given the few visits to the crag.. The climbing suffers from a distinct lack of lines, although Marsh Dance stands out as being a reasonable line.
The crag would surely qualify as Gower's only inland limestone crag were it not for the access track flooding on the occasional spring tide. Nevertheless, the crag has a completely different feel to crags on the rest of Gower and is worth seeking out on hot summer days when you feel like like something a little less demanding.
There are six large slabs in all. Routes are recorded only on four of them. A further two slabs lie at the western end; the last of which is quite sizable. Those prepared to do some new routes on these slabs should prepare for some serious crawling through undergrowth.
The climbing here is probably something of an acquired taste; the place has a unique atmosphere with stunning views over the Loughor Estuary. Do Marsh Dance late on a summer evening and from the top ledge watch the sun disappear below the horizon.
The approach to all of the routes listed at this series of slabs involve some bush-whacking through sometimes dense undergrowth. You can get a good overview of the layout of the crag by wandering out 50 metres or so (if the tide permits) onto the salt marsh.
Park at the small car park at Llandimore (464935) and follow the track along the base of the escarpment for about 500 metres.
You can reach Main Slab by taking the grassy bank after 500 metres and then scramble up and rightwards through undergrowth and along sheep tracks to the bottom of Main Slab.The other slabs (apart from Overhang Slab) can be found from here by scrambling/bush-whacking rightwards.
To find your desired crag, type the name in to the Filter Markers box (top right corner of the map).
With most routes it is better to fix an abseil rather than suffer the steep descent through hawthorn and down muddy slopes.
This is the first undercut slab up and left of Main Slab. Something of a prickly nightmare to reach, the slab is very "lumpy" and provides easy climbing. The only thing of interest is the large overlap which would provide a move of about 4c and would be a new route.
- Overhang Direct - VS,4b
The central line up the slab. The exit is unpleasant. 15m.
- Overhang Traverse - VS,4b
Start at the right-hand end of the slab and climb directly to the overhang. Move left and finish up Overhang Direct. 22m.
This is the first slab reached when approaching from westwards along the bottom track.
- Central Slab - HS 4a
Climb the shallow groove right of the left edge of the slab. Where it peters out, bear slightly right to pass some small overlaps. Continue directly up, keeping right of the arête of the slab. 45m.
- Sycamore - HS,4a
Start just right of Central Slab below a small sycamore at 18m. Climb a vague scoop to the tree and move left to finish up a shallow depression, 1m right of the overlap on Central Slab. 45m.
- Sycamore Direct - HS,4b
As for Sycamore to the tree. Continue delicately up the slab above. 45m.
- Marsh Dance - MVS, 4b
The best route of the crag, it has been substantially 'cleaned-up' since its first ascent, (then given E1,5a). It now has gear and holds! Worth a star on account of its position and stunning views from the top. Takes a direct line finishing at a ledge just below the top of the slab. Climb up to the scoop at around 20 feet and continue upwards and over a small overlap (crux) then straight up until it is possible to move slightly left onto the final slightly steeper slab and the top. Enjoy the view! 50m.
- Altered Images - HS,4b
Climb the slab 8m right of Marsh Dance. 55m.
Reach this by scrambling 50 meters rightwards from the bottom of Main Slab
- Seeshicho - VS,4b
Another route which has been substantially 'de-carpeted' Whilst this has led to a much safer climb, it has also revealed holds and reduced the difficulty of the climbing. Supercedes the old route Left Slab. On the left side of the slab climb the thin crack until you can move right to a rusty peg. Then climb straight up to a stainless steel peg. From here climb directly to the top. 45m.
- Tree Edge - VS,4b
Climb the arête just left of the trees in the centre of the slab. 28m.
- Central Tower - M
The right arête of the slab. 14m.
A further scramble westwards and over a 'col' will get you to this rather clean looking slab. The old route The Right Slab (VS,4b D.Jones, R.Owen, C.Edwards, C.Andrews 1958) has been superseded by more recent offerings.
- The Sorcerer - VS,4b
Fine climbing up the centre of the slab. Start 5m left of the right arête. Ascend trending slightly right via a series of depressions that peter out at half-height. Continue up the slab above, finishing 2m right of the arête. 35m.
- Rowan Slab - VD
The right arête of the slab. 35m.
Further west from Bone Buttress is yet another slab with one recorded route.
- Unnamed VS,4b
Climb the slab with a slightly awkward step left at about half height.
- Overhang Direct - D.Jones, R.Owen 1959
- Overhang Traverse - D.Jones, R.Owen 1959
- Central Slab - D.Jones, R.Owen, C.Edwards, C.Andrews 1958
- Sycamore - D.Jones, R.Owen, C.Edwards, C.Andrews 1958
- Sycamore Direct - J.Aylward solo 14.08.1995
- Marsh Dance - J. Aylward solo (1995)
- Altered Images - A.Foster, D.Gregan 1985
- Seeshicho - Tim Hoddy, Chris Wyatt and A. N. Other (Aug 2001)
- Tree Edge - D.Jones, R.Owen, C.Edwards, C.Andrews 1958
- Central Tower - J.Aylward solo 15.08.1995
- The Sorcerer - J.Aylward solo 15.08.1995
- Rowan Slab - J.Aylward solo 15.08.1995
- Unnamed - C. Wyatt, Tim Hoddy 00.07.05