This quarry, in the form of a bowl, provides a welcome retreat from any harsh weather conditions should they prevail. Originally discovered by the Sharp/Lewis partnership and finished off by Martin Crocker and more latterly by Roy Thomas, it now provides a lot of good climbing much of which is in the lower grades and with a couple of classics thrown in for good measure. Access is very easy.
When approaching from the A470 Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil Road, take a left turn (when coming from the south) at the main roundabout at Abercynon. Follow the A4059, signposted Aberdare, until 2Km after the Cynon Business Park you come into the town of Mountain Ash. Take the first right by a prominent red telephone box and then immediately left. Take the first right, Newton Villas, and either park here or continue up the dirt track directly ahead to park alongside an old bonfire site. A short track zigzags up and slightly to the left into the secluded quarry entrance.
There is a good mixture of climbing styles in this quarry from the very short and desperate fingery test-pieces through to some long and slabbier walls which are no less technical. There are so many routes packed in here that it is possible to pack quite a lot into a short session. The faces get enough sunshine to make the cliff pleasant and it dries relatively quickly.
When should I go there?
A great spring crag when you want to get a load done to get fit. It is also a very good joint venue in conjunction with Cwmaman. It can be full of midges, or kids, in the summer.
Outspan rebolted at 7a+ **: Ripe ‘n’ Ready rebolted at 7b+ *, desperate for the small: Pastis on Ice rebolted and new direct start at 7a+ **: Ferndale Revisited rebolted at a desperate 7b *: The Future Holds rebolted at 7b **: A Certain Peace rebolted at 6b *: Whiter than White wall rebolted at 7a+ **: Valleys Initiative rebolted at 7a ***.
A lot to choose in the 43 routes beginning at 5 (2), 6a (1), 6a+ (4), 6b (4), 6c (7), 6c+ (2), 7a (2), 7a+ (4), 7b (3) through to 7b+ (2).
Which are the choice routes?
Hmm, where to start? In the easier grades go for Rising Sap (6b**) a long slabby line, Sporting Supplement (6b*) a fine short pitch in a shallow scoop and A Certain Peace (6b*) a
testament to the death of Bob Powell via a low level wall and arete.
In the higher grades there are lots to do: Outspan (7a+ **), Pastis on Ice (7a+ **) and Cointreau (7a+ ***) are a trio of routes on the left-hand side of the quarry well worth seeking out: On the lower walls to the right, desperate test-pieces in the form of the Future Holds (7b **) and No Chips Round Here (7b **) are worth seeking: On the final slabbier walls lie the classic Whiter than White Wall (7a+ **) and the brilliant Valleys Initiative (7a***).