Craig y Merched

Climbs 86 – Rocktype Gritstone – Altitude 311m a.s.l – Faces SW

Crag features
Craig y Merched is the name of a number of gritstone buttresses at the head of the Cwm Mynach valley in the southern Rhinogydd. All the crags have a sunny aspect and are quick to dry.

The valley's honeypot is Rhino's Buttress. Even though it is quite scruffy and a long way from being the best or most accessible crag in the Rhinogydd, this little buttress is (inexplicably) popular. Nearby is the far less visited Three Pillar Crag, which is very worthwhile and deserves far greater popularity. Similarly, the whole of Upper Craig y Merched is unfairly neglected.

There has been a lot of development here since the 2002 guide, with loads of new routes on brand new crags as well as on existing ones. The area is currently being checked for a new guidebook.

Further information:

http://www.climbers-club.co.uk/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/rhinog02to09august.pdf

Access notes
All Craig y Merched crags are on open access land. However, the approach notes in Meirionnydd 2002 (p. 363) are useless on virtually all counts as they simply will not get you to the crag.

Approach from the A496 as described in the Meirionnydd guide. Then follow the track that leads towards Blaen Cwm Mynach from the car park. Just before the old farmhouse, turn right to head into the forest via a stile. Go virtually straight ahead at forest road junction and take a minor forest track to the left. Follow this track for about 100 metres and from the outside of a bend, take a faint path leftwards to climb steeply up the hillside towards Craig y Merched’s Rhino’s Buttress. Cross a stone wall to more open ground. The increasingly indistinct path now skirts the left side of the open ground ahead to reach the scree at the base of Rhino's Buttress. Allow 40-45 minutes from the car park.

(Note: This approach will NOT get you to South Buttress, Explorers' Wall and Bear Rock as these are located some distance to the south.)

For the Upper Craig y Merched crags, continue ascending past Rhino's Buttress to cross the stone wall. There is a faint path to Upper Craig y Merched's Central Buttress (which is described in Meirionnydd), but not to any of the other crags.

Guidebooks
Meirionnydd (2002)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
 Climb nameGrade
 NORTH WALLS  
2Napoleonic LegacyVS 4b  
3A Good Spoon FullE1 5c  
4The GadgieE2 5b **4
5King of Sunset TownHVS 5a * 
6Andy's InitiationVD *7
7The Three MosquitoesHS 4b  
8Midge AttackE1 5b  
9Rhythm of the DronesE1 5b  
 LOWER TIER  
11Brief EncounterE2 5c  
12Helical SpireE1 5b  
13This Jug Aint Big Enough for the Both of UsE1 5b 1
 THREE PILLAR CRAG  
15Call me WemageVS 4c 1
16Pas de ChatS 4
17Colonel ChinstrapE1 5c *7
18AlienHVS 5a *11
19Magic MushroomE1 5b **17
20Pack RatE1 6a  
21The Haw LanternE3 5c **8
22Sunset AreteVD *24
23General SchwarzkopfHVS 5a 8
24Bleating about the BushVS 4c *12
25Right AwayHVD 4
 RHINO'S BUTTRESS  
27Rhino's BumHVS 5a 1
28Naked DissentE2 5c 9
29Alchemist's StoneE2 5c 2
30Sunshine SupernanE1 5c 1
31The Flourish of StrumpetsE1 5c 25
32Zig ZagHS 30
33Fig AreteVS 4c  
34Dixon of Dock GreenHS 4b 2
35Pachyderm SlabHS 4b  
36Horn of PlentyVS 4b 27
37Rhino HuntingHVS 5a  
38Endangered SpeciesVS 4c *26
39Velvet RevolutionsVS 4c **16
40Rhino's CornerVS 5a ***21
41The TuskHVS 5b *7
42Hanging Ten on the NoseE2 5b  
43The Midgy RevolutionHVS 5a 2
44Sling the Toe Nail on the RhinoE1 4c 2
45Yr AnweledigMS 3c * 
46Plenty of HornVS 4c  
 LONE BUTTRESS  
48Stoney Stanton Road NickHS 4a  
49PogonophobiaHVS 5a  
 PINNACLE BUTTRESS  
51A Woman for all SeasonsVS 4c  
52The Stunt ClubVS 4b  
53Gritstone GrandadE1 5b  
 SOUTH BUTTRESS  
55Monday Morning MizzleHVS 4c  
56Weather or NotE2 5c * 
57The Weatherman's YarnVS 4c  
 EXPLORERS’ WALL  
59Dr Taylor I Presume?HVS 5a  
 BEAR ROCK  
61Keanned OutVS 4c  
62Bear Rock Crack ClimberHVS 5a  
63Aidirondack ExperienceVS 4b  
 UPPER CRAIG Y MERCHED: CRAIG LLYN BACH Y FORWYN  
65Raven's TrystVS 4b ** 
66Infinite Monkey CageE2 5b  
67The SonE3 5c  
68UncleanHS 4b  
69The TalkE1 5b  
70Inside the BrainE2 5b  
 UPPER CRAIG Y MERCHED: CARREG Y GORS  
72Behind Blue EyesVS 4c 2
73Erection by PrescriptionHVS 5a  
74The Irony of Ecstasy/ Y Cymro OlafHVS 5a *2
75Bits in the BrainHVS 5a  
76A Question of ExclusionHVS 5a  
77SundewHVS 5a  
78Seconds AwayHS 4a  
 UPPER CRAIG Y MERCHED: CENTRAL WALL  
80ChandrapurHVS 5b *2
81Stockholm ExpressHVS 5a 1
82Faltenberg ConnectionE1 5b *1
83Vermillion WashE1 5b *2
84Burnt UmberHVS 5b  
85Quad BoosterE2 5b  
 UPPER CRAIG Y MERCHED: GULLY WALL  
87Must be the BeansVS 4c *1
 UPPER CRAIG Y MERCHED: CRAIG Y GWALCH  
89Aderyn PiwisHVS 5a * 
90SingalongathongVS 4b  
91Mighty MidgeVS 4c  
92BanditVS 4c  
93Goats Do GroanHVS 5b  
94DimwitVS 4b  
 UPPER CRAIG Y MERCHED: CRAIG Y LLEUAD  
96Voodoo ChiliS 4a 1
97Apres SlawS 4a *1
98The Flat Earth Society!HVS 5b *2
99Meddwi LleuadHVS 5b *1
100We Are Made of Star StuffE2 5c *1
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USER FEEDBACKLogin as Existing User to add your comments
The "Follow the right forestry path" is somewhat misleading now, as a new path has been cut that looks like it goes straight up to the crags. Do not take this unless you are partial to a two hour boggy scramble to get to the crag. Keep on going on the base of the valley until you are almost below the crag.
neuromancer - 05/Oct/12
Great little crag! We did a few routes on one of the buttresses, but there is plenty of scope for those climbing up to E2, and quite a lot of good-looking rock which isn't in the guide.
Andrew Barker - 09/Feb/06
Do you have more up to date information?

These details were last updated on 13/Oct/2014

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