Trial Wall

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Trial Wall
Gareth Tucker on Crime and Punishment. Photo by Steve Lucocq
Gareth Tucker on Crime and Punishment. Photo by Steve Lucocq
Rock Type Quarried Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Sport/Trad
Approach Time 20 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Rhossili
Local Area Rhossili Upper Crags
WGS-84 Location 51.566857, -4.300424
OS Grid Ref. SS 406 878
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.566948,-4.3004663
GR Parking Location SS 415 880
Parking Postcode SA3 1PP
Base Elevation 11 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction West
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Normal
Seepage Quick drying
Crags Within 400m

Black Buttress, Calcite Bay, Carbon Slab, Castaway Cove, Evening Wall, Fat Lady Wall, Keel Buttress, Lifebuoy Buttress, Mermaid Wall, Platform Area, Poser Buttress, Retribution Wall, Seamen Wall, Sheepbone Wall, Shipwreck Cove, Silent Fright Buttress, Silent Walls, Sinister Sister Zawn, Sinners Walls, Trial Wall, Wedge Wall, Windy Buttress

RAD Notice/Restriction Trial Wall@BMC RAD


From the car park take the track heading out to Worm's Head for 800 metres to a point where the cliff edge comes close to the track and the track curves around to the left. At this point scramble down a well-worn path to the foot of Trial Wall.

a bird
Restrictions apply from 1 March - 31 July at Trial Wall. Reason - Nesting Kestrels.

Please check local signage.

A well established pair of Kestrels nest in a hole between Black Wall and Inch Pinch. Please avoid these routes during these dates and please also check the BMC RAD (link below) for any changes in restriction if and when feeding begins.

Bolting Policy

Retro-bolting permissible with first ascensionist's permission. Replacement of worn fixed gear on a point for point basis with bolts is permissible. No new sports routes allowed.


Steep and good-quality west-facing rock means that this old quarry is a good winter or evening venue.

The rusted through belay wire thread above Crime and Punishment et al has been replaced but take/your own back up large tape thread or lash out and leave your own large thread (with maillon of course).

The Routes

  1. The Adulteress 24m E2,5c **
    Climb the crack just right of the left arête of the main face, through an overhang, then either go directly up the almost gearless but now cleaned arête or traverse right along an obvious break and climb the bolted wide crack shared with Blackmans Pinch to the top.

  2. Blackman's Pinch - Fr. 7a **
    A popular test piece, start just right of the arête. Climb a rightward-slanting crack to the overlap. Surmount this, and gain the break above (crux). Using the 'new' obvious jug out left is not only off route but will stop you in your tracks. Finish as for The Adulteress.

  3. Back to Black - Fr. 7c

  4. Skull Attack 24m E6,6b Fr. 7b+ ***
    A stunningly technical wall climb, currently fully bolted. Start right of Blackman's Pinch and left of the Crime and Punishment groove below an overlap. Climb to and surmount the overlap to a ledge. Move left to a thin crack. Moving slightly right at a good thin break, make a baffling sequence on non-existent flakes to gain a prominent groove. Mantle awkwardly into this, topping out to bolt belay. [1]

  5. Retrobution 24m Fr. 7b
    Plough on up the Crime and Punishment groove until holds run out, continue into Skull Attack to finish.

  6. Crime and Punishment 23m - 7b[2]
    Good climbing and now fully-bolted.

  7. Black Wall Direct - Fr. 8a+
    Right-hand finish to the original.

  8. Black Wall- Fr. 7b+ *
    The original and direct finish now regeared. A vicious, fingery problem, especially when the direct finish is taken. Start 3m right of Crime and Punishment at a line of "twizzles". Make a series of difficult moves to below the bulge. Desperate moves past the remains of an edge lead over the overlap to the top. The route had lost a hold at the top but it has been successfully redpointed in 2011. 21m.

  9. Inch Pinch -Fr. 7a
    A pitch, up a short crack on the right side of the crag. Boulder up directly to a BR. Gain a crack with difficulty and climb it. Continue more easily to the top.Regeared 2011.15m.

  10. The Hant - Fr. 7a
    Follow Inch Pinch to a good lay-away hold, then move right and over the overlap with difficulty. Follow a shallow groove and crack to the top. 15 m.

  11. Tribulations - Fr. 7a
    The right arête of the buttress, moving left at the top. 12 m.

  12. Shakeout 27m E3,6a **
    A girdle of Trial Wall from right to left. Start at the right edge of the wall, at the obvious breakline below the bulges. Follow the break past 2BRs to join Crime and Punishment. Move up for 2m and continue leftwards, BR, to finish up The Adulteress. A hanging stance can be taken on on Crime And Punishment.

First Ascents

  1. The Adulteress - S.Padfield, D.Thomas - Worm Variation 00.00.1965, FFA A.Sharp, J.Harwood 08.11.1981
  2. Blackman's Pinch - S.Padfield, D.Thomas - Worm 00.00.1965, FFA A.Sharp, J.Harwood 05.12.1981
  3. Back to Black -
  4. Skull Attack - A.Sharp, J.Harwood 1pt Top Section 29.05.1983, A.Sharp, J.Harwood Top Section 15.04.1984, A.Sharp, P.Lewis 00.00.1986
  5. Retrobution - M.Richards - 2013
  6. Crime and Punishment - G.Hicks, S.Padfield, D.Thomas V Trial 00.00.1966, L.Francombe 1pt 00.00.1980, FFA A.Sharp, J.Harwood 18.10.1981
  7. Black Wall - J.Talbot, B.Talbot 00.00.1961, A.Sharp, J.Harwood 3pt 22.11.1981, A.Forster, A.Sharp Direct 00.00.1988
  8. Black Wall Direct -
  9. Inch Pinch - A.Sharp, P.Lewis, J.Harwood 29.05.1983
  10. The Hant - A.Sharp, P.Lewis 00.04.1987
  11. Tribulations - R.Thomas 20.09.1998
  12. Shakeout - A.Sharp, J.Harwood 23.10.1982

Additional Photos


  1. From Gower & S.E. Wales (2003), p. 43.:
    Skull Attack is a route with a complicated history. It was originally climbed by Andy Sharp in 1983, coming out of Crime And Punishment's ramp and climbing the top wall with 1pt. The protection was 4PRs and a wire ortwo. Andy returned the year after with John Harwood again and removed the aid point. The lower section was added by Andy with Pete Lewis two year later in 1986 with an extra PR in the bottom wall. The route received ascents from various climbers like Martin Crocker and Andy Swann before the pegs were stolen. Pegs were sporadically placed by climbers such as Andy Long and Stefan Doerr, but kept going missing. Andy said he thought the route should be bolted up instead, which Goi Ashmore did in 1998. Various people got rather annoyed about 5PRs being replaced with 6BRs. Andy on the other hand still reckons there should be another bolt in it. For the enlightenment of non-locals, Skull Attack is the famous Brains SA Bitter.
  2. Fully bolted in 2017. Original description here:
    Crime and Punishment E5,6b 23m ***
    Fine sustained climbing. Start below a scoop and 3 BRs in the middle of the wall. Gain the scoop, then follow the shallow groove to its top. Traverse right along the obvious break to thin cracks, PR, and climb these (hard) to good jambs beneath the overhang, old PR. The crack then becomes less helpul when pushing for the top.
    Gower & S.E. Wales (2003), p. 43.