Climbs 14
Rocktype Granodiorite
Altitude 294m a.s.l
Faces NW

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Tyddyn Hywel Approach: how to find the steps © harold walmsley

Crag features

This imposing quarry is the left hand of two high on the hillside above the A499. It is clearly visible from the road. The second tier is the main attraction. It forms an impressive wall with many overhangs and grooves. There are slabs on the left underneath a large roof then a long section with an undercut base where entry points are at a premium. Optimism takes one such entry. Right of Persistence the undercut diminishes and starts are easier to find but as the angle becomes increasingly slabby the rock gets blanker. The face is shady in the morning but gets sun from about 14:00 in summer and about 15.30 in October. The approach up the hidden quarryman's steps is unique and interesting and the climbs are impressive for their grades. 

There is a lesser face on the first tier and some more rock on the third tier. On the right, a pillar runs the full height of the bottom two tiers.

Although the rock type is often called granite this is the commercial name for the stone products when it was active. A BGS geological map shows "un-named igneous intrusion", I have been told that another map shows microgranodiorite.

Approach notes

Approaching from Caernarfon on the A499, pass Clynnog Fawr and go through the 40 mph speed restriction at Gyrn Goch. After the restriction, the road crests a small rise and curves gently right. On the left of the curve there is a bus stop then a short section of Armco. Turn left into a small concealed entry immediately at the far end of the Armco and park to the left on the old road. Go through a gate and follow a lane. Where it turns right, carry straight on through a field (overgrown with bracken and himalayan balsam in summer) to a short incline leading to a winding house embedded in the wall that bounds the open hillside. Carefully cross the wall/fence through the middle of the winding house, go right for 20 m then zig-zag up left then right (bracken) to a relatively large rowan about 100 m diagonally up and R from the winding house. Here you pick up an amazing zig zag line of old quarryman's steps leading up the big scree slope. It is invisible until you are on it. Follow the steps until they disappear (small cairn) then cross scree and vegetation leftward to reach a second line of steps that leads up a smaller scree slope and past a small rowan to the first level of the quarry. Small cairns mark where the traverse line enters and leaves the vegetation. From the point of arrival on the first level thrash up a steep heathery incline to the second. In descent, another small rowan marks the top of the "thrash" and the traverse that links the two sets of steps begins one zig-zag below the small rowan on the upper scree slope. The cairn that marks the entry of the track through the vegetation can be seen with care. (The upper steps continue down to yet another small rowan at the bottom of the upper scree slope but below that is trackless vegetation and loose scree so it is best to follow the link to the lower line of steps.)

No Access Issues

No known access issues - the approach is up a remarkable old stone staircase up the steep scree slope - howver the approach to this from the highway does cross private land. An alternative is to use the public right of way further south.

The approach is steep but is worth doing at least once to experience the hidden steps! The rock is great but the lichen absorbs any moisture so maybe not a good venue on a damp day.
Pete_Frost - 12/Jun/23
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