Winning Wall

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Winning Wall
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style
Approach Time
Area Inland Limestone
Sub Area Llangattock
WGS-84 Location
OS Grid Ref.
WGS-84 Parking Location
GR Parking Location
Base Elevation metres
General Info
Faces Direction
Wind Sheltered
Climbing Type


This long steep wall contains some of the hardest routes at Llangattock. The smooth part of the wall has a very shallow groove line in its centre (Winning) and is bounded on its right by the crack-line of Cold Snatch. Further right still is an area of overhangs, with a big roof near the base.


This wall is approached by walking uphill on the track from the car park barrier.


Some of these routes have not been climbed for 30+ yrs so will require cleaning. Others may now have lower offs to replace the "obligatory" Llangatwg preplaced ab ropes. Who knows this might one day become the most popular area on the escarpment.

1 Wonderlands 27m E6,6b *

Extremely thin and sustained. The in-situ gear is old and fragile. Climb a shallow groove at the left-hand end of the wall. Move left across an unstable ledge and climb directly up the grey flowstone wall, PR, 2 bolts (at llangattock? Surely not!). A long reach from a projecting hold gains a dirty, grassy ledge. Continue easily to a good tree. Needs cleaning.

M.Crocker 08.08.1987

2 Mad Hatter 20m E5,6a

A much easier proposition than Wonderlands, but still serious. Start below an obvious grey streak in the wall down and left of Stay Sharp.From the grass cone down and left of the large tree in the first break climb to a nose (missing TR), to a further TR, and continue with difficulty, PR. Stretch for a small hold and then finish rightwards.

G.Gibson, H.Gibson 31.08.1984

3 Stay Sharp 26.69m E4 6b/6c+

Start down and R of the large tree in the first break heading for and climbing the leftward slanting water worn groove. Situ belay at top break.

Andy Sharp Tony Penning 1982

4 Not in the Honours’ List 25m E5 6a

Bags of character, on intricate flowstone. The gear is relatively reasonable. Start down and right of a large tree. Cracks lead to the ledge and niche of Stay Sharp. Swing right into a thin crack (peg). Move up (peg), and gain a flake up to the right (cams). Move back left and climb flowstone (peg) past various good fingerholds and wire placements. Abseil off a good hawthorn slightly right.

Martin Crocker, John Harwood

5 Winning 27m E3,5c **

One of the best routes at Llangattock, taking an improbable line up the wall about 10m right of the curving groove of Stay Sharp. Climb cracks in the centre of the wall to a loose band, step up and go left into a very shallow groove line, 2PRs. Climb the groove to a small pocket, move up, PR, and trend rightwards to finish.Belay stake and peg runners missing.

T.Penning, J.Harwood, C.Court 12.06.1984

6 Hitman 27m E5 6b / 7a+ *

Start 6m right of Winning at crack lines leading to the top of an easy ledge system. Climb to the top of the ledges and move straight up, TR. Step left, BR, then climb direct by a series of extending moves to the top, PR.Situ belay in place.

G.Gibson 03.07.1987

7 Culmination Crack 27m E3,6a

A tough finish. Start as for Hitman, with easy climbing below and left of a crack high up on the cliff. Climb straight up over ledges, then traverse right to the crack, PR. Finish directly.

G.Gibson, T.Penning, P.Cresswell, C.Court 02.09.1984

8 Descent into Madness 25m E4 6a

One of the more sustained routes on the wall, featuring multiple hard sections with rests between. It takes a direct line to climb the full crack of Culmination Crack, finishing as for that route. Take a slight groove up the overhanging wall 2m left of Cold Snatch on a series of large but suspect undercuts. A peg at 6m is the first gear (but the ground is soft). Pull up to a wide break. Swing right along the break and take the smooth face using a thin crack on the right for the odd hold and gear (vital 0.5 Friend in crack initially). Above, continue up broken ground left of a massive perched flake to the highest of a series of ledges (long tape), junction with Culmination’ (which climbs up and then diagonally right). Traverse right and when standing on the perched flake (peg) work up the hairline crack using a good hold on the right and then with even more difficulty (peg), now in common with Culmination’, to the top.

Martin Crocker, John Harwood 26.6.2011

9 Cold Snatch 33m E1,5b *

Climbs the crackline that bounds the right side of the smooth part of Winning Wall. Start 6m left of a large overhang at the base of the cliff, below and left of a grassy ledge. Climb thin cracks, move right and up to the grass ledge and a band of shattered rock. Step back left to a thin crack and follow this to the top.

P.Littlejohn, D.Renshaw 29.06.1979

10 The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine 40m E2,5c *

Climb Cold Snatch to the band of shattered rock, traverse right to a ledge, PR, below a short corner capped by a small overhang. Pull into the corner, 2PRs, then move rightwards and up to a ledge. Traverse left and finish up cracks. There is an alternative finish from the short corner on the right, which goes back left to gain a diagonal left trending crack which finishes at the top of Cold Snatch.

T.Penning, J.Harwood 23.08.1982

11 Mean Green 40m E4,6a

A short, direct start to the previous two routes. Climb a short groove right of Cold Snatch, PR (missing). Finish as for The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine.

A.Sharp, P.Lewis 1983

12 Liberator 40m E4,6a **

Start 2m right of Mean Green. Climb a thin crack, PR, until forced right into a shallow corner, PR. This leads to an overhang. Swing left to a good ledge, move up right into the short corner of The Big Bright etc, 2PRs and climb the crack above taking its left-hand branch to finish.

C.Court, L.Davies 12.06.1986

13 Fifty-five Club 30m E5+ 6a

A staggering and sustained line through the bowel-activating (and shaky-looking) overhangs right of the Winning Wall (and just left of The Roaring Eighties). Care is required with anything coloured orange! Start 3m right of Liberator under an open pink groove. Follow the delicate groove to its close at 9m (peg). Traverse right 2m stepping up onto a good ledge below the overhangs. Rock-up to the first roof; and launch diagonally rightwards (peg) to grab a shelf. Place cams (including a Friend 3.5 equivalent), tretch over a bulge to jugs; and using superb fingerholds on the left (peg) reach a jug and a ledge at the base of a shallow groove in the grey headwall (a smashing place for a stance, but the gear isn’t too good here). Take the groove to a peg; then climb diagonally left into a hanging crack. Follow the crack and step left to – unbelievably – a clean, solid, and well-protected exit ramble up flat ledges.

Martin Crocker, John Harwood 3.7.2011

14 The Roaring Eighties 43m E5,6a Dagger.png

A magnificent challenge through the roofs between Pleasure Machine and West Wind, which has recently suffered a major rock-fall. The original description is included for optimists! Start 7m right of Liberator. Up a shallow groove past a roof to a break at 8m, traverse right to steep rock. Up to a good hold and pull over a roof and the next roof using a tree, which is no longer in situ! Traverse right until difficult moves gain a good flat hold up and right. Climb a shallow groove above and finish up a thin curving crack on the right. Many PRs.

M.Crocker, R.Thomas 26.07.1985

15 West Wind 36m E1,5a *

Start 3m right of the large overhang. Climb the wall bearing slightly left to a break. Move left and up to a narrow ledge. Climb the wall via a flake, before moving right to a groove, which is climbed to the top. Belay well back.

P.Littlejohn, D.Renshaw 29.06.1979

16 Tramp 8m HVS,4c

The small groove, flowstone and scoop right of West Wind.

L.Davies 03.1986

Right Hand Area

Right of Winning Wall, the cliff is broken until a large area of flowstone/cave at ground level. Left of the cave is a corner and left again another corner with flowstone above.

1 Domino Theory 38m HVS,4c

Climb the shallow corner, step right then continue up the deep cracks to the top.

T.Penning, J.Harwood 27.04.1982

2 Sister Sledge 33m E1,5b

Climb the shallow corner with the crack in the back, some 3m left of the cave at ground level, to reach a curving corner crack. Follow the corner crack to the top. Loose.

C.Court, T.Penning, J.Harwood 12.06.1984

3 It’s Curtains! 25m E5 6a

A powerful route with an exciting crux on flowstone curtains. Protection is adequate but flowstone-reliant in the upper reaches. Start at the cave left of Angel in my Pocket. Climb across the cave roof from the right (insitu thread), and pick up huge stal holds (thread). Take the stal to a small cave. Pull up on delicate holds (peg) and swing left to the line of curtains’ (peg). Pinch, jam, and layaway the curtains to finish exhaustingly past two small in-situ threads.

Martin Crocker, John Harwood 6.5.07

4 Angel In My Pocket 33m E3,5c *

Serious but satisfying. Start 5m right of the cave. Climb a left-trending ramp leading to an overhang. Pull over it and continue, TRs (some missing), to the top.

T.Penning, A.Sharp, J.Harwood 29.05.1984

5 Darker Angel 25m E4 6a An impressive pitch with continuously difficult climbing. Follow Angel in My Pocket until 6m above its overhang. Clip the (orange) peg above, and make an obvious traverse leftwards. A hard move after two pegs gains a vertical line of ascent which is followed steeply (in-situ thread) to the top.

Tony Penning, John Harwood 31.8.03

6The Dark Ages 30m E2,5b *

Start on a block below a scoop at 7m and directly below the slanting chimney of Sir Hammer. Climb leftwards to a break, move up right into the scoop and step back left onto a ledge. Climb the sheet above via a crack, TR. Move left and up to finish.

M.Crocker, M.Ward 29.06.1985

A rock-fall has rendered the following two climbs very dangerous, with much unstable rock to negotiate.

7 Sir Hammer 33m E1,5b Dagger.png

Start beneath a chimney-crack line on the right-hand side of the wall. Climb a thin crack and a small overhang on its right, then up the chimney to exit rightwards.

T.Penning, J.Harwood 20.07.1982

8 Second Generation 33m E2,5b Dagger.png

Start just right of Sir Hammer. Climb a corner onto the wall above, then a shallow corner to the top.

T.Penning, P.Cresswell, C.Court 08.05.1984

At the far right-hand end of the Eastern Edge is a square slab (Nerve Test Slab) above a small ruin on the main diagonal track from the car park.

9 Dodgeball 20m E3 5c

The left arête of the slab; bold. Gain a big sidehold on the right-hand side of the arête, and make a long scary move up a thin groove in the arête to a ledge. Continue up the arête, exiting delicately right immediately beneath a huge sitting block (use at your peryl!). Scramble out.

Martin Crocker 20.5.08

10 Nerve Test 22m E2,5c

Start by scrambling up to the left side of a slab. Traverse right, with feet on poor rock to a ledge, then climb sloping ledges and a thin crack to the top of the slab. Scramble off rightwards.

T.Penning, J.Harwood 27.04.1982

11 Coward’s Way 25m E4 5c

Run-out, though the hardest section has gear. Follow Nerve Test rightwards but continue another metre, before climbing up onto sloping ledges. Overhead is the faintest of cracks (the right-hand of a pair, Nerve Test takes the left-hand crack). A balancy section a long way above gear leads to a hidden hold over a slight bulge and a good pocket above (wires). Make technical moves straight up; then swing left to the exit of Nerve Test. Scramble out.

Martin Crocker 20.5.08

12 Shock Dose 30m E2,5b

The slab right of Nerve Test. Climb the right-hand of twin cracks in the initial wall and step left to a ledge. Move up, then leftwards to gain twin cracks and the top.

M.Crocker, M.Ward 15.06.1985

13 Aegina 20m E1,5a

As for Shock Dose to the ledge, step right and continue up the wall, TR, moving right to finish up a corner.

L.Davies, D.Leitch 19.07.1986

First Ascents