Clogau, Bontddu: Guide to Traditional Routes

OS: SH 676214

A long escarpment facing south west on the slopes of Clogau above the village of Bontddu on the Mawddach.

Good quality high friction rock in an ideal (quiet!) setting.


Approach: From Dolgellau take the Barmouth road to Bontddu. At the old hotel turn right and take the steep road up the hillside. After a phone box cross a bridge then take the first exit right. Pass through a gate ( still on tarmac road ) and continue on past the house of Hendreporian. Just beyond is a big corner by a gate and a stile. From here walk along the track from the stile which contours along the hillside towards Diffwys. At a fork take the right track which leads down to a wall , a stile and a bridge. The two crags are visible more or less the whole time from the foot track and can’t be missed.


The Upper Crag from left to right:

Left slab: Bounded on the left by an easy angled corner

A clogau large oneA.jpeg

1. Time of Flight, V.diff, 8 meters

Take the direct line two meters right of the corner to finish up the crack. TT

2. Flight of time VS 4b, 8 meters

The slab is bounded on the right by a good edge. Start two meters left of the edge and go direct up past some good breaks before stepping right to finish up a short crack.TT

3. The edge of the World, E1 5b 12 meters, 26.3.2011

This takes the edge bounding the right side of the slab. Start directly under the edge and follow it directly passing a short hard committing sequence to gain the horizontal break and some gear placements. Continue more happily up the edge to the top. TT

4. Friend of the Ancients, VS 4c 12 meters, 26.3.2011

The vertical crack next right is followed direct to the top. Fun and secure
TT, C.R.Taylor (a very rusty cam device was found at the top )

5. Ragnorak VS 4c, 14 meters, 26.3.2011

The right edge of this excellent wall has prolific protection and great moves. Sustained and interesting. TT, C.R.Taylor

6. Reggerock HVS, 5a 14 meters, 26.3.2011

This takes the vague groove in the wall in the gulley next right. By stepping off the boulder onto the face right of the edge four meters is removed ! Take the centre of the wall to the top. TT solo

Three crack wall is the next right:

B clogau large two.jpeg

7. Golden Girl, HVS 5a, 10 meters, 31.8.2011

Start directly below the lefthand crack and gain the ledge. Follow the crack above past small securely wedged (hopefully) blocks to the top. TT, A .Taylor

8. Aurora HVS 5a, 10 meters, 31.8.2011

Start one meter right of above and pull onto the ledge. Follow the vertical crack directly above to the horizontal break. Step right and reach for the good layaway above to finish direct. TT solo

9. The Midas Touch Hard Severe, 4b,10 meters, 31.8.2011

The next flared crack to the right is hard to start but eases as it goes leftwards near the top to finish as for Aurora. TT , A. Taylor

10. The Dog’s Pollack, VS 4c 10, 26.3.2011

This is the right hand crack on this section . Pull up onto the ledge then enter the flared crack with some difficulty.Nice moves lead up to an easier finish
TT, C.R.Taylor

To the right is a slabby wall with a vertical crack at its right edge:

The Carat and the Stick, V.Diff, 8 meters, 31.8.2011 (TT, A. Taylor)

Around the corner next right is a short steep face:

C clogau large three.jpeg11. King Raven, E1 5b, 8 meters, 18.3.2011

Start below the right toe of the face and make committing moves to gain some good holds up and left. Pull up then finish direct. TT

To the right is a deep canyon with a huge old nest. The bay to the right of this has a corner at its back .

12. Frog Storm, VS 4c,10 meters, 18.3.2011

Start just right of the corner and climb to a tiny sapling to finish up the excellent thin crack. TT

The central buttress is split by a groove / crack full of ivy. Three meters left of the crack is a well defined edge.D clogau large fourA

13. The end of Extremism, E2 5c,15 meters, 24.7.2011

This takes the edge left of the deep crack . Start by gaining the cam1 size crack and make a difficult sequence of moves to the good horizontal break below a slim overlap . Continue up the rib directly above. TT

14. The boot is on the other foot, VS 4c, 15 meters, 24.7.2011

Start immediately left of the ivy groove and pull up using a good deep crack . At the top of the crack step left and finish up the open clean groove to the top . TT, C.R.Taylor

15. Wicca, E2 5b, 16 m, 18.3.2011

This starts in the small bay right of the ivy crack and bridges up moving slightly right . A tenuous finger traverse leads back left to the edge . Finish direct up the edge passing the huge ravens nest on its right. TT

There is a huge shield of rock to the right with a clear edge on its right side:

E clogau large five

16.The Cian and I, 16 meters, 22.6.2012

Start below the fang on the left side of the shield and make a short difficult layback to the cleaned recess. step left and go direct up the easier slab to the big ledge before finishing up the short stepped headwall. TT

17. Raven Lunatic, E1 5b, 16 meters, 18.3.2011

Lay back the good edge at the right base of the shield until possible to pull out left onto the face . Finish direct .Just adequate protection. TT

At the right extreme of the escarpment is a short buttress where an inverted “V“separates two walls:

18. A Cut Above, HVS 5a, 8 meters, 9.5.2011

Take the left wall by starting below its right edge and using poor undercuts then reach high for a good break . Finish up the edge. TT solo

Clogau Lower Cragclogau lower.jpeg

This small outcrop is only 10 meters high but is top quality rock. There is a deep vertical crack in its right side with a very sharp arête to its left. Routes are described form right to left.

19. Golden Nuggats, VS 4c, 10 meters, 24.4.2011

The crack is classic . Enter it and swarm up pulling up right to finish. TT solo

20. Slick Feelings, E3 6a, 10 meters, 24.4.2011

Start one metre right of the base of the arête below a good vertical crack . Use the arête and crack to go directly up then make a hard and committing move to gain a good hold at the top of the arête . Pull up onto the easy slab above. TT

21. Gilt Edge, E2 5c, 10 meters, 24.4.2011

Start below the arête and pull up onto the ledge up left .Balanced layaway moves past real microwire protection bring good holds within reach . Pad up the slab above. TT, C.R.Taylor

22. La Saison des Pluies, E2 5c, 7meters, 9.5.2011

Left of gilt edge is a blank face which is bounded on its left side by a deep (unclimbed ) chimney. Layback up the right side of the chimney with a very high precarious step at half way. TT solo ( between showers )

23. No Time for Tears, E3/4 6a, 7 meters, 9.5.2011

Bold and balanced. Start up the short slab two meters left of the chimney to a small overlap. A good edge above needs matching before rocking up and right to an easier finish. Bring a lid , a crash mat and a spotter as there’s no gear.TT solo (after practice on rope)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: