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

The Darren

Another one of those hidden gems tucked away in South Wales and kept almost as a preserve for the locals. In fact, this fine little cliff with its dramatically overhanging wall, christened the Terminally Overhanging Wall, has in recent times been the sole preserve of Andy Sharp and friends who reside locally in the Pontypridd valley. He has developed a number of very good sports routes which should not go unmissed by anyone visiting the area. In fact they provide some of the best outdoor training facilities in crag format but more of that later.

Reaching the cliff is complicated but I’ll give you the directions anyway: When travelling north along the A470 from Cardiff, take the exit marked Ynysybwl into Pontypridd. Follow the road over a bridge and through a set of traffic lights and turn right immediately before the church (Merill Philips Solicitors on the corner), signposted Graigwen. Follow the road round until its turns right and take the first left, signposted for Whiterock Estate. Turn left into Graigwen Place at the top, then take the first right and follow the road steeply up the hill for 1km. Turn right into Whiterock Avenue, then the first left into Whiterock Place and then the first left, told you it was complicated, into Lanwood Road. Park 50m down this road at a path between two bungalows on the left. Follow the track rightwards behind the bungalows to the cliff.

What’s the climbing like?

The main, Terminally Overhanging Wall, leans at a surprising angle and provides steep, sustained and fingery climbing which feels long for its 12m height. The surrounding side walls offer a variety of easier climbs of a very worthwhile nature. There are also some good traditional pitches.

When should I go there?

Once dry the main overhanging wall remains that way although it gets relatively little sun until late on. The surrounding walls take little seepage and the cliff is usually dry in April.

Grades:

6c (1), 6c+ (1), 7a (1), 7a+ (3), 7b (1), 7b+ (1), a total of 13 routes.

Which are the choice routes?

As warm ups try Smack (6c), and arete left of the main wall, or Sorry Lorry Morry (6c *), the first line on the right-hand wall. All of the routes on the overhanging wall are good: Arizona Stan (7a+ **), Capstan (7b ***), the Basildon Snapper (7b **), Down and Out (7a+ **), Rise (7a+ **) and Sharpy Unplugged (7b+ ***) typify the style of ‘uphill’ climbing.