Climbs 100
Rocktype Gritstone
Altitude 311m a.s.l
Faces SW

The Haw Lantern © jim jones

Crag features

Craig y Merched is the collective name for 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 but midges can be a serious problem in still summer weather.

The valley's honeypot is Rhino's Buttress. Even though it is quite scruffy and a very long way from being the best or even the 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, all the Upper Craig y Merched crags give good climbing and are very unfairly neglected.

The area is far from being 'climbed out' and there has been a lot of (still continuing) development here since the 2002 guide, with loads of new routes on new crags as well as a few on existing ones. The area will feature in the new Welsh Grit (Rhinogydd area) definitive guidebook which is currently in development.

Further information:


Approach notes

See below.


Access Advice

All Craig y Merched crags are on open access land with no access issues. 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 and 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 RH bend, take a faint path leftwards through trees and climb steeply up the scrubby, overgrown hillside on a faint path 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 to Rhino's Buttress (+15-25 mins for Upper Craig y Merched crags.)

(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 (on its LHS) to cross the stone wall. There is a faint path to Upper Craig y Merched's Central Buttress (which is described in Meirionnydd 2002), but not to any of the other crags.


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
Login as Existing User to add your comments

Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 Craig Peilon a Rhingyll 
2And Pylon King Doth Roam
E2 5b * 
3Sargeant's Ankle
VS 4c  
4Solstice Bivy
HS 4b  
5Filthy Ho
S 4a  
 Forest Wall 
7Oriental Shuffle
E4 5c  
 Craig Blaen y Cwm 
9The New King
10Meg and Belle
12The Divide
E3 5c  
13The Caging Society
VS 4c * 
14Short Story
HVS 5a  
16Stand Well Back
E3 5c * 
17Safe Word
VS 4c * 
E3 5c  
 North Walls 
20Napoleonic LegacyVS 4b  
21A Good Spoon Full
E1 5c  
22The GadgieE2 5b **4
23King of Sunset TownHVS 5a * 
24Andy's Initiation
VD *7
25The Three Mosquitoes
HS 4b  
26Midge Attack
E1 5b 1
27Rhythm of the Drones
E1 5b  
 Lower Tier 
29Brief Encounter
E2 5c  
30Helical Spire
E1 5b  
31This Jug Aint Big Enough for the Both of Us
E1 5b 1
 Three Pillar Crag 
33Call me WemageVS 4c 1
34Pas de ChatS 4
35Colonel Chinstrap
E1 5c *7
HVS 5a *11
37Magic Mushroom
E1 5b **18
38Pack RatE1 6a  
39The Haw LanternE3 5c **8
40Sunset AreteVD *28
41General Schwarzkopf
HVS 5a 8
42Bleating about the BushVS 4c *13
43Right Away
 Rhino's Buttress 
45Rhino's BumHVS 5a 5
46Naked Dissent
E2 5c 10
47Alchemist's Stone
E2 5c 2
48Sunshine Supernan
E1 5c 3
49The Flourish of Strumpets
E1 5c 30
50Zig Zag
HS 39
51Fig AreteVS 4c  
52Dixon of Dock GreenHS 4b 3
53Pachyderm SlabHS 4b 1
54Horn of Plenty
VS 4b 29
55Rhino HuntingHVS 5a  
56Endangered Species
VS 4c *31
57Velvet RevolutionsVS 4c **17
58Rhino's CornerVS 5a ***30
59The Tusk
HVS 5b *7
60Hanging Ten on the NoseE2 5b  
61The Midgy RevolutionHVS 5a 2
62Sling the Toe Nail on the Rhino
E1 4c 2
63Yr AnweledigMS 3c * 
64Plenty of HornVS 4c  
 Lone Buttress 
66Stoney Stanton Road NickHS 4a  
67PogonophobiaHVS 5a  
 Pinnacle Buttress 
69A Woman for all SeasonsVS 4c  
70The Stunt ClubVS 4b  
71Gritstone GrandadE1 5b  
 South Buttress 
73Monday Morning Mizzle
HVS 4c  
74Weather or Not
E2 5c * 
75The Weatherman's Yarn
VS 4c  
 Explorers Wall 
77Dr Taylor I Presume?HVS 5a  
 Bear Rock 
79Keanned OutVS 4c  
80Bear Rock Crack ClimberHVS 5a  
81Aidirondack ExperienceVS 4b  
 Upper Craig y Merched: Craig Llyn Bach y Forwyn 
83Raven's TrystVS 4b ** 
84Infinite Monkey CageE2 5b  
85The SonE3 5c  
86UncleanHS 4b  
87The TalkE1 5b  
88Inside the BrainE2 5b  
 Upper Craig y Merched: Carreg y Gors 
90Behind Blue EyesVS 4c 3
91Erection by PrescriptionHVS 5a  
92The Irony of Ecstasy/ Y Cymro OlafHVS 5a *3
93Bits in the Brain
HVS 5a  
94A Question of Exclusion
HVS 5a  
95SundewHVS 5a 1
96Seconds Away
HS 4a  
 Upper Craig y Merched: Central Wall 
HVS 5b *4
99Stockholm Express
HVS 5a 3
100Faltenberg Connection
E1 5b *2
101Vermillion Wash
E1 5b *3
102Burnt Umber
HVS 5b  
103Quad Booster
E2 5b  
105Must be the Beans
VS 4c *1
 Upper Craig y Merched: Craig y Gwalch 
107Aderyn PiwisHVS 5a *1
108SingalongathongVS 4b  
109Mighty MidgeVS 4c  
110BanditVS 4c  
111Goats Do GroanHVS 5b 1
VS 4b  
114Voodoo Chili
S 4a 1
115Apres Slaw
S 4a *1
116The Flat Earth Society!
HVS 5b *2
117Meddwi Lleuad
HVS 5b *1
118We Are Made of Star Stuff
E2 5c *1

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Dave Williams