Altitude 390m a.s.l
Gates of the Golden Dawn © Doug Kerr
The huge rampart of Craig Arthur looms impressively over the upper end of the Eglwyseg Valley. At around 40m it is by far the tallest of all the cliffs along the escarpment. The quality and length of the routes - both trad and sport - makes it a crag of national importance, with a number being multi-pitch offerings, adding a welcome dimension to the area that is otherwise dominated by shorter single-pitch climbs. The crag is mostly vertical but frequently crossed by horizontal bands of overhangs, especially in its upper reaches, making for some very exciting finishes. The rock is mainly composed of good-quality weathered white and grey sheets, seamed with some strong crack and flake lines. Some of the less frequented lines still have loose sections and can be a little vegetated. The crag's location is both spectacular and beautiful with expansive views above a base clear of vegetation. Its scree slope shelves away steeply making the exposure felt from the first moves on most routes. Many of the routes, both trad and sport, rely on fixed protection from pegs, threads and bolts although a full rack and double ropes are also required for the trad lines. A clip-stick may be useful as a number of the initial bolts on the sport climbs are fairly high.
Park carefully, and approach as for World's End and walk a further 50m down the road from the ford to a closed gate and a stile on the left side of the road; this marks the Offa's Dyke Pathway. Follow the paththrough the large pineforest and exit from it. Continue by following the trail alongside a rickety old fence, until after about 10 minutes, the corner of a large pine forestis reached, and the edge of Craig Arthur comes into view on the left on the hillside above. Follow the path up the scree slope to the left end of the crag. Please note that the cliffs are off bounds for long periods over the spring-summer for rare nesting birds.
There is no car by the footpath as mentioned in the Clwyd Rock guide book. The only close carpark is the one mentioned above used for Worlds end.
The whole Eglwyseg escarpment is both a Site Of Special Scientific Interest and an European designated Special Area Of Conservation. This means that any deliberate or reckless damage or disturbance to the features of the site (inc. to nesting birds, vegetation clearance or drilling) could be regarded as a criminal act.
|All climbs now updated and arranged in order. A brilliant crag and a highlight of the Eglwyseg Valley.|
Luke Owens - 09/Jun/12