Upper Mountain Ash

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Upper Mountain Ash
Upper mountain ash-1920x.jpg
Rock Type Quarried Sandstone
Climbing Style Trad/Sport
Approach Time 25 minutes
Area Sandstone
Sub Area Sandstone Central Valleys
WGS-84 Location 51.692585,-3.3699891
OS Grid Ref. SO 05403 00204
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.687148, -3.3759805
GR Parking Location ST 04977 99607
Parking Postcode CF45 4AY
Base Elevation 347 metres (SRTM Estimation)
General Info
Faces Direction South East
Aspect Partially Sunny
Wind Sheltered Mostly
Climbing Type Normal
Midge Problem Moderate
Seepage Needs a short dry spell
Crags Within 5.0 km

Abercynon High Buttress, Blaenllechau, Cefnpennar, Cwmaman Main, Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant (X2), Mountain Ash, Mountain Ash Natural Buttress, Mountain Ash West, Penrhiwceiber Quarry, The Gap, Troedyrhiw, Tylorstown Quarry, Upper Mountain Ash, Ynysboeth


Not the best crag in the world but worth a quick visit. It should have a pleasant sunny aspect on a good day and has a superb Chew-valley-esque outlook. However, it can be a wind tunnel. The crag dries quickly and takes minimal seepage. There is only one trad route here, but the sports routes have no lower offs, hence the need for a back up rope. Alternatively it is common place to jump back down the bolts.


From the traffic lights in Mountain Ash on the A4059 road, turn right as for Cefnpennar. Turn left at the T-junction, but then take the first right again. Follow this road uphill, to a right-hand turning, then take one of the left-hand turnings up a cul-de-sac ending in a very obvious cemetery. Park here, unless you have walked up (following signs for Cefnpennar when walking northwards from Mountain Ash station). Take the path running up the outside right of the cemetery wall, and overlooking a stream valley. Continue up the path for around 15 minutes to come across a 1m wide gravel track. Follow this rightwards for 400m or so up the hill until a large boulder is spotted down to the right of the path, exactly level with the start of a prominent stone wall on the other side of the valley. Leave a situ rope over this for belays. The crag still cannot be seen from here! Walk down and left from this point for 30m, until it is possible to double back right to enter the quarry.


  1. Co-Conspirator- E2,5b
    Not bad. The jamming crack to the right of the right-hand arête of the quarry. There is a lower off tat round a sapling at the top, but a back up rope would be wise. 9m.

  2. Stretch People - E5,6b Fr. 7b *
    Good climbing up the prominent blunt arête on its left-hand side. The best thing here. 11m.

  3. Irn Bru - VS,4b
    The painfully obvious chimney offwidth in the centre of the wall left of Stretch People. 9m.

  4. Masai - E1,5c Fr. 6a
    A worthwhile little number with an awkward crux low down, following the clean wall 9m left of the arête, just before the corner. 9m.

  5. Chumbawumba - E3,6b Fr. 6c+
    A bit of a bag. A one move wonder up the short wall facing Masai. 9m.

  6. African Head Charge - E5,6a Fr. 7a *
    Not bold after the first clip, which is reached after a couple of pulls on rattly flakes. The wall round to the left of the last route, is conquered by a repetitive series of 6a finger cranks, which are blind, making it hard to on-sight, 3BRs. The top BR is a Bristol one. After the top BR, step left to a flake crack to finish. 9m.

First Ascents

  1. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 07.05.1994
  2. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 07.05.1994
  3. D.Irving etc. 28.09.1997
  4. R.Thomas 24.09.1994
  5. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 07.05.1994
  6. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 07.05.1994