/ Llangattock, national importance or grotty quarry??
Cold as well, even in summer, so very cold there, so it is.
Ah to be sure,cold winter and summer,windy,chossy top outs,only a few sport routes and even those have had the hangers "stolen",belay stakes ripped out by a loose canon farmer-certainly of national importance to avoid this place.
Roy - The farmer has now gone. Just FYI. Which is why it's a bit more back on people's radars.
Dross of National Significance. I say de-gear and derecognise all the routes there that rely on any in situ gear. Or in situ rock.
It's right up there with Cwm Dimbath
Dimbath beats it hands down in the horror stakes-more midges,moss and dripping trees.It is in the epi-centre of the known world however(BRIDGEND)
Matt-let me know when you've replaced the belay stakes then(pop round to collect them)I'm too frail to be doing stuff like that now.Once that's done I'll risk calling in there.
Isn't it Wales version of Langcliffe? I don't know I've never been there.
I grew up nearby and had an excellent view of the crag out of my kitchen window. I ventured up a few times when I started climbing, but I've not done a lot there! It's very dusty and on the routes I've done there have been loose holds, decaying old gear and not much to back it up with.
There are few very good routes though (Cry Havoc, Passage of Time), and if I ever lived nearby again I would go about cleaning a few of the harder lines up and climbing them with a preplaced rope to top out on/lower off.
A few lower offs to avoid the horrible topouts to some routes wouldn't go amiss, and by modern standards it would make a reasonable sport crag which would also keep it a bit cleaner.
agreed, replacing like for like fixed gear and L/Os could make the place worth a visit or two; it looms large in my climbing apprenticeship.
I'd say it's well worth a visit as it is. Those who can't hack it without lower offs don't have to climb there!
There are plenty of quarries that are crags of "National Importance" (Stoney, Millstone, plenty of Llanberis slate quarries) but this definitely doesn't even compare and isn't of national importance - a more apt description would be more towards the "grotty quarry" classification.
The evidence is there to see on the routes listing - just compare how many ascents the routes have had when compared with routes on crags of national importance or even regional (South Wales)importance.
There's been a lot of discussions at previous BMC South Wales Area meetings about the future of climbing at this venue. There have also been significant changes in the access situation, in that the violent grazier has now moved away from the area and the Brecon Beacons National Park have taken over a management agreement for the whole site, which is also a designated SSSI. There are some historical and adventurous trad routes, that while probably being terrifying to climb, are esoteric classics (if that isn't an oxymoron...!) of their genre. However there have also been suggestions that parts of the cliff could be suitable for bolted routes......Whatever happens it's important that the views of all climbers are considered, especially those involved with the original developments at this venue. The National Park would also need to be consulted before any fixed equipment is placed or re-gearing is carried out here.
This is a discussion item at the next BMC South Wales Area Meeting - next Wednesday March 26th at Vardre Rugby club, Swansea, all the details on the BMC Community site. So if you have an interest in this venue why not come along and have your say?
BMC Access & Conservation Officer (Wales)
Its about time south wales had some dry tooling routes...
I lived in Gilwern, the village under the crag, for about 5 years and only climbed there once. Does that answer your question?
I have a certain affection for the place as I did my first lead there (some grotty v diff). The aspect is pleasant and certain parts are impressive e.g. the Winning wall.
It's a limestone quarry - seems like a good place for a sport venue.
Guess "that" along with a quick scan of UKC log(non) entries plus the fact that the SWMC wikki can't be bothered to enter the routes there tells me all of "how nationally important it is".
Having looked at the guide - has more info than SWMC Wiki or UKC as its not as important as people think there seems to be a reasonable number of average routes reliant on very old/missing fixed gear/bolts and some routes that are semi- aid routes awaiting the new generation of strong people.
As its an old quarry with very poor top outs and not even regionally significant surely it would be better off a cleaned up and re-bolted sports venue.
There are plenty of much better more signifcant trad venues in the area anyway - Ogmore, Yellow Wall, Thurba Head etc..
looks like not many people can hack it then judging by it's popularity. Why don't you local devotees put some belay stakes in,not exactly a technical task and you know where they should go unlike us "outsiders". Maybe it would then become crowded and no longer a "special" crag for "local folk"
a) I'm not a local.
b) I can't see any logic in your suggestion that a lack of lower offs a or belay stakes makes it a special crag for local people. You are just as capable of placing a few belay stakes as anyone else is!
What happened to him?
I've climbed there a couple of times when starting out. There does seem to be a vast amount of potential area for climbs (compared to most valleys crags) and a nice view but was put off by the lack of belays.
After using a bracken belay I decided it wasn't worth it.
I've not climbed there before but done 6 or 7 days work there over the last few years.
Always struck me as somewhere that should be bolted. Reckon it would be a really good sport venue.
At the least I think it should have fixed gear belays along the top, ie stakes.
Crickhowell Adventure used to have a bunch of stakes you could borrow for belays. The walk in is shot so the weight isn't a bit issue.
National importance - no, at least as far as rock climbing goes. Industrial heritage, political context (think Chartists) and caving, maybe.
There are other quarries that are higher on the "grotty scale", although a lack of traffic has seen this venue decline. It is not often you see teams of climbers out to play here.
The escarpment is extensive and boasts "easy" routes suffering from outdoor ed polish through to harder than I hope to climb. I respect the ethic of the crags and the history associated with many of the routes and their first ascentionists, although I do wonder if there'd be any bolt debate if these quarries were "discovered" tomorrow.
Being honest, I'd climb there more with re-gearing and the addition of lower-off's - and yes, I would happily volunteer to be involved should the consensus view be to get the drill out. I love trad and am not an advocate of bolting every crag everywhere, in this instance though - I think it is the best way forward.
>Done a few Aggie trips myself and carting Air bottles in the big dive days.Is this where the Chartist hid out at the Newport Massacre time?
Not a bad idea for part of it .
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