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
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Craig Peilon a Rhingyll
2 And Pylon King Doth Roam
E2 5b *  
3 Sargeant's Ankle
VS 4c  
4 Solstice Bivy
HS 4b  
5 Filthy Ho
S 4a  
  Forest Wall
7 Oriental Shuffle
E4 5c  
  Craig Blaen y Cwm
9 The New King
10 Meg and Belle
11 Scraps
12 The Divide
E3 5c  
13 The Caging Society
VS 4c *  
14 Short Story
15 Isabella
HVS 5a  
16 Stand Well Back
E3 5c *  
17 Safe Word
VS 4c *  
18 Izzy
E3 5c  
  North Walls
20 Napoleonic Legacy VS 4b  
21 A Good Spoon Full
E1 5c  
22 The Gadgie E2 5b ** 4
23 King of Sunset Town HVS 5a *  
24 Andy's Initiation
VD * 7
25 The Three Mosquitoes
HS 4b  
26 Midge Attack
E1 5b 1
27 Rhythm of the Drones
E1 5b  
  Lower Tier
29 Brief Encounter
E2 5c  
30 Helical Spire
E1 5b  
31 This Jug Aint Big Enough for the Both of Us
E1 5b 1
  Three Pillar Crag
33 Call me Wemage VS 4c 1
34 Pas de Chat S 4
35 Colonel Chinstrap
E1 5c * 7
36 Alien
HVS 5a * 13
37 Magic Mushroom
E1 5b ** 20
38 Pack Rat E1 6a  
39 The Haw Lantern E3 5c ** 10
40 Sunset Arete VD * 30
41 General Schwarzkopf
HVS 5a 9
42 Bleating about the Bush VS 4c * 13
43 Right Away
  Rhino's Buttress
45 Rhino's Bum HVS 5a 6
46 Naked Dissent
E2 5c 13
47 Alchemist's Stone
E2 5c 2
48 Sunshine Supernan
E1 5c 4
49 The Flourish of Strumpets
E1 5c 31
50 Zig Zag
HS 39
51 Fig Arete VS 4c  
52 Dixon of Dock Green HS 4b 3
53 Pachyderm Slab HS 4b 1
54 Horn of Plenty
VS 4b 28
55 Rhino Hunting HVS 5a  
56 Endangered Species
VS 4c * 32
57 Velvet Revolutions VS 4c ** 17
58 Rhino's Corner VS 5a *** 28
59 The Tusk
HVS 5b * 7
60 Hanging Ten on the Nose E2 5b  
61 The Midgy Revolution HVS 5a 2
62 Sling the Toe Nail on the Rhino
E1 4c 2
63 Yr Anweledig MS 3c *  
64 Plenty of Horn VS 4c 1
  Lone Buttress
66 Stoney Stanton Road Nick HS 4a  
67 Pogonophobia HVS 5a  
  Pinnacle Buttress
69 A Woman for all Seasons VS 4c  
70 The Stunt Club VS 4b  
71 Gritstone Grandad E1 5b  
  South Buttress
73 Monday Morning Mizzle
HVS 4c  
74 Weather or Not
E2 5c *  
75 The Weatherman's Yarn
VS 4c  
  Explorers Wall
77 Dr Taylor I Presume? HVS 5a  
  Bear Rock
79 Keanned Out VS 4c  
80 Bear Rock Crack Climber HVS 5a  
81 Aidirondack Experience VS 4b  
  Upper Craig y Merched: Craig Llyn Bach y Forwyn
83 Raven's Tryst VS 4b **  
84 Infinite Monkey Cage E2 5b  
85 The Son E3 5c  
86 Unclean HS 4b  
87 The Talk E1 5b  
88 Inside the Brain E2 5b  
  Upper Craig y Merched: Carreg y Gors
90 Behind Blue Eyes VS 4c 3
91 Erection by Prescription HVS 5a  
92 The Irony of Ecstasy/ Y Cymro Olaf HVS 5a * 3
93 Bits in the Brain
HVS 5a  
94 A Question of Exclusion
HVS 5a  
95 Sundew HVS 5a 1
96 Seconds Away
HS 4a  
  Upper Craig y Merched: Central Wall
98 Chandrapur
HVS 5b * 4
99 Stockholm Express
HVS 5a 4
100 Faltenberg Connection
E1 5b * 2
101 Vermillion Wash
E1 5b * 3
102 Burnt Umber
HVS 5b  
103 Quad Booster
E2 5b  
105 Must be the Beans
VS 4c * 1
  Upper Craig y Merched: Craig y Gwalch
107 Aderyn Piwis HVS 5a * 1
108 Singalongathong VS 4b  
109 Mighty Midge VS 4c  
110 Bandit VS 4c  
111 Goats Do Groan HVS 5b 1
112 Dimwit
VS 4b  
114 Voodoo Chili
S 4a 1
115 Apres Slaw
S 4a * 1
116 The Flat Earth Society!
HVS 5b * 2
117 Meddwi Lleuad
HVS 5b * 1
118 We Are Made of Star Stuff
E2 5c * 1

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