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Crymlyn QuarriesGwent, WALES
Climbs 54 – Rocktype Sandstone (hard) – Altitude 200m a.s.l – Faces W
The Crymlyn Quarries lie within deciduous woodland on the eastern flank of the Ebbw Valley, north of Crumlin and below the village of Swffryd. The majority of the walls face West & North so that they are generally shaded with some areas catching the late afternoon or evening sunshine. Climbing is generally only possible from May to October as during the winter, and after heavy rain, almost all of the walls suffer from prolonged seepage.
Monk’s Quarry is large, open and predominantly west facing with a few narrow north facing walls. Tunnel Quarry is similar but more broken and gloomier than its larger neighbour. The two main quarries are linked by a unique tunnel which has a more than suspect roof.
In the right hand side of Monk’s Quarry is The Main Wall; this is approximately 25m square and contains an obvious overhang running across the face at half height. Below the overhang the wall is vertical, above it is slabby. To the right of the Main Wall is a blocky north facing retaining wall containing a short, square cut, tower at its right hand end. Around the corner from this tower, and up some banking, is the arching orange Jaffa Wall. To the left of the Main Wall is an impressive ‘ships keel’ arete and a steep north facing wall containing the not to be missed Pumpty Dumpty and awe inspiring roof crack of The Clart Mountain Project. The left hand side of the quarry contains a long sweep of steep slabs.
The left-hand Tunnel Quarry is best accessed by by walking through bracken on the spoil heaps, away from the quarry faces (as the tunnel has been recently filled with rock).
On the northern side of the ‘tunnel’ is a blocky north facing retaining wall, Tunnel Wall, which is similar in position and architecture to the retaining wall in Monk’s Quarry. To the left and perpendicular to Tunnel Wall is a permanently wet face, this is unfortunate as it is one of the best looking walls in the quarry. A series of broken arêtes and corners lead to a long, flat, west facing wall which has a terrace at 1/3rd height that runs to the far left-hand end of the crag, this is Terrace Wall.
Beneath these large quarries is the smaller Viaduct Quarry. The quarry is easily accessible and contains a flat oval face with a narrow ledge running across it at half height. It is situated immediately adjacent to Crumlin Road, which is now closed and used as a wide tarmac footpath.
There are many more potental lines here to be done, so watch this space for further updates http://www.southwalesmountaineering.org.uk/g_book/index.php/Crymlyn_Quarries
Climbs at this crag
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.
From Junction 28 of the M4 follow the A467 to Brynmawr (as for Sirhowy). Approximately 2km after passing through Abercarn is a Shell petrol station set in a large quarry on the right hand side of the A467. Just past the petrol station is a double set of traffic lights on a staggered junction (right is the A472 to Pontypool leading to Tirpentwys, left is the B4521 to Blackwood). Approximately 100m beyond these lights take a dedicated right turn to Crumlin Road, just past the 'SOFA SOFA' warehouse on right. Follow the road around to the left and park opposite the bus stop.
Opposite the bus stop is an asphalt path leading up, passing the rear gardens of houses on Upper Viaduct Terrace. At the end of the path are some corrugated steel garages. Turn left and follow a rough level track past the garages. This track carries on for approximately 200m until it starts to narrow and passes below a tall masonry retaining wall on the right. The track leads up to the end of the wall and some broken concrete fence posts, stop! At this point the track branches, take a poorly defined and steep path straight uphill through bracken for 20m until you land in the base of Monk’s Quarry, near the main wall.
If in doubt look for the overhead electricity cables spanning the valley, these pass 50 m to the right of Monk’s Quarry.
Parking for the Viaduct Quarry is a little further down the lane than that for Monk’s Quarry. Park adjacent to a locked barrier and walk along the viaduct for 100m, the quarry is obvious on the right. If you wish to move from here to the main quarries a path up the right side of the quarry leads quickly to the access track.
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