Martin Crocker on Edge Hog (7b+), Croeso-y-Gymru Cliff. Photo Gary Gibson
Rediscovered by Martin Crocker in 1986 with a few routes and subsequently developed by Roy Thomas and Gary Gibson, with the odd gem from Crocker and Eugene Jones, in the early Nineties as a sports crag, this magnificent little cliff is South Wales’ answer to Lower pen Trwyn. Situated at the eastern end of Ogmore-by-Sea by Southerndown car park, the cliff is easily accessible, see map, and well worth visiting. It also has the advantage of being situated on a ‘blue flag’ beach.
What’s the climbing Like? Generally speaking, steep or overhanging walls with edges, tufas and pockets. All the climbing is sustained and wonderful. There is also the occasional large roof or crackline (traditional) thrown in for good measure.
When Should I go there?
The crag dries out in May and is an ideal afternoon and evening venue when it receives the suns rays. It takes a lot of seepage in winter and can be damp in humid weather.
The grades start with some shorter routes at 6a+ (2), 6b (4), 6b+ (2), 6c (3), 6c+ (3), 7a (5), 7a+ (2), 7b (5), 7b+ (4), 7c (1) and go through to the areas hardest sport route at 8a (1). There is also a superb traditional E5 crackline to make up the 34 routes total.
What are the choice routes?
Five O’Clock Shadow (6c) at Stone Wings Cliff.
There are four sections of cliff with and excellent variety of routes:
Stone Wings Cliff: The thin crackline of This God is Mine (7b+ ***), the very overhanging jam crack of Stone Wings (E5 6a **). Just right South East Wales’ hardest route is Masada (8a ***). The overhanging ramp of Staple Diet (7b **) and to the right a number of fine, easier grade wall pitches including Five O’clock Shadow (6c **).
Tufa Terrace: The tufas of Tufa at the Top (7a *) and It’s Tufa at the Bottom (7a+ *).
Croeso-y-Gymru Cliff: The scoop and groove of the World-Vs-Gibson (7a **), the excellent wall and arete of Leave it to the Dogs (7a+ ***). The superb hanging wall of Hanging by a Thread (6c ***), the best route of its grade in the area. The fingery bulge of Edge-Hog (7b+ **) and the magnificent, though mixed route of Grow-Up (7b+ **).
The Gantry on the right-hand side of the cliff provides a quartet of grade 6b/c climbs in a fine position with the showstopper The Overlook (7b+ *).