Peak District Chee Dale Clwyd Limestone S.Wales Sandstone S.Wales Limestone The Gower Ban-Y-Gor

Cwmaman

Yet another of those cliffs tucked away on the side of a hill up one of the many small valleys in the Rhondda area: how they find these places I don’t know but thanks anyway.

Of course blame, if that’s the right word, has to once more be placed heavily on the shoulders of Any Sharp and Pete Lewis who in the search for new rock stumbled across this fine disused quarry, developed it and then let the word out. Inevitably Martin Crocker and Roy Thomas joined in on the fun to add a variety of other routes and the quarry is now well worth a visit, there’s even a new recent batch of milder Es.

Take the A4059 to Mountain Ash and turn left into the town centre at the town hall. Turn right at the traffic lights and travel through Abercwmboi until after 2km an obvious left turn is taken, signposted for Cwmaman. Follow this road to a crossroads and turn left into Jubilee Road. Follow this for just over 1km and just after the Shepherd’s Arms take the third left. This road goes down a short steep hill and around a left-hand bend onto Llanwonno Road. Continue up this for 100m, then take a left by a water treatment works to arrive at a parking space alongside twin cottages. From here follow the obvious track for 50m before striking steeply up the hill into the quarry.

Character:

Generally steep, sustained and fingery on the main, south-facing wall. On the wall facing the entrance to the quarry the climbing is slabbier in nature and hence much more friendly.

When should I go there?

The quarry carries the normal problems of sandstone. Seepage is usually until about mid April and is best avoided in humid weather because of midges. The main wall is south-facing and the amphitheatre nature of the cliff will provide hideous temperatures in the summer months. A great spring ‘get fit’ crag.

Grades:

6a (1), 6a+ (1), 6b (1), 6c (1), 7a (1), 7a+ (2), 7b (3). There are also a few low extreme grade traditional routes making up a total of 19 routes.

Which are the choice routes?

There are two walls the largest with the hardest routes and the first wall with some good easier grade sport routes. On the latter go for Hot Beef Injection (6c *) an untypical slabby sandstone route, Neo-Maxi Zoom Weenie (E3 6a *) just left of the arete and a host of 6a/b’s to the right.

On the main, south-facing wall there are a lot to choose from. The classics are Mother of Pearl (7a+ **) a very fingery test-piece, Propoganda (7a ***) the magnificent central line, Science Friction (7b **) and La Rage (7b **).