Ffridd Farm Crag, Cwm Bychan: Guide to Traditional Routes

OS REF: 614304


Approach: Leave Llanfair village at sign “ Cwm Bychan 6 miles.” At 1.7 miles there is a right turn signed Cwm Bychan. At 0.8 miles there is a gap in the wall on the right and a track leading down to the Fridd farm. Park by the house then walk though the centre of a ruined house, over a stile on the right then a track downhill through a gap in a wall. Continue to a hill with a single stunted tree and contour down its south side heading west. Pass a tiny crag and go through a gap in a low wall, turn sharp left down a path and the crag is just on the right. 5 minutes walk.

This excellent small crag sits hidden from view just below the farm in a beautiful peaceful cwm, home to feral goats. Reaching up to 12 meters and facing south east it has a good collection of walls and arêtes with a range of routes on good, clean solid rock.


From left to right:

1. Room to Gnome, E2 5b, 10 metres, 15.6.2005

The first arête and groove on the left is deceptive and requires a power commitment.Pull up onto the awkward step on the right then layback the left edge of the wall above to the top.TT unseconded.

2. More Black than Blue, HVS 5a, 10 metres, 10.6.2005

The corner next right has a big step to start then from the ledge calf- busting bridging leads up the corner until it is possible to escape up and right to the top out of the next route. TT, DT

3.Decisions and Revisions, E3 5c, 10 metres, 15.6.2005

The edge next right is composed of clean dark rock. The edge has a thin crack just 1 meter right which provide the opposing holds and the gear.The choice at halfway is a twisted Rock 4 or two good fingers in a pocket.TT unseconded

To the right is a clean,open, appealing, unclimbed groove that looks hard.

4.Deadline, E3 6a 10 metres, 13.5.2012

Wide, thin bridging up the open groove to a good finishing hold. TT

5. May contain traces of stone, E2 5b, 12 metres, 9.6.2005

To the right of the groove is a reddish wall with a thin crack in its upper right hand side . Start below the crack and go directly up on curious scoops to join the crack and the protection. Finish up easy stepped ledges. TT solo ( after inspection )

6. Russian Patience, E1 5b, 12 metres, 9.6.2005

Next right is a low short roof. Pull through this to layback the good flakes just up and right . Continue strenuously direct on very good holds to finish up the steps above. TT solo
Right again is a deep unclimbed crack , then further right is a prominent nose above a roof.

7. Fast Rock, E2 5c, 10 metres, 10.7.2005

From below the nose step up left into the corner. At 3 meters up good holds lead rightwards . A quick rockover via a good layaway overcomes the roof after which steady easier climbing leads directly up to the ledge. Above the ledge follow the easy steps to the top. TT unseconded.

8. Missionary Impossible, E1 5b, 12 metres, 10.6.2005

There is a ledge in a niche just right of the nose.. Start just below and right of the niche and crab up perplexedly into the niche . Above the niche a thin crack rises up to a final flare . Exit up and right to the stepped ledges. TT unseconded.

9. Sex among the Molluscs, E3/4 6a,10 metres, 25.6.2005

Just right is a thin crack above a ledge , a challenge in aesthetic kinetics.Pull easily up onto the ledge just left of the deep corner and arrange a line of very good ( if very small ) microwires above . At full stretch a good pinch high in the crack can be hauled on with help from small positive sidepulls in a seam out left.Continue straight up to the finishing ledges. TT unseconded.

The deep corner next right is unclimbed

10. On the Rack E2 5c, 10 metres, 10.6.2005

Right again is a perfect clean wall with a crack running up its left edge . The perfect parallel crack is a finger joy if you’re the right size. At the top of the crack pull up and rightwards then stroll up the steps above . TT unseconded.

11. Stretchalongathong, E4 6a, 10 metres,15.5.2005

A good line following the holds from bottom left up rightwards. Start just right of the left edge and take the good flake holds which lead up and right. The undercuts in the flake above the pegs on the right can be gained with a super stretch. After some composing go direct up past this flake to good finishing holds.
TT unseconded.

Right of this good wall is a slim pillar then an open V-corner.

12. Separation Anxiety, E3 5c, 7 metres, 5.8.2005

Bridge up the corner for 2 meters before committing rightwards to the lovely edge . A series of opposing holds leads directly upwards to a good finish. A direct start awaits. TT unseconded

13. Children and Dog in tow, E1 5c, 8 meters, 5.8.2005

The final seam 2 meters right of above is gained using a small pinch on the right , then followed to a flake and the protection. Directly above the angle eases.TT unseconded.

Far right walls:

A stream divides the main crag from its far right neighbour. The stream runs down past a small walled enclosure with a slabby wall at its back.

Embraced by the Stone, Hard Severe 4c,7 meters, 10.7.2005

From bottom right a thin seam rises up leftwards opening into a finishing crack. TT DT

20 meters left of the main cliff is a ledge with a holly tree . Between the tree and a lower wall the Doomstone stands alone . Two good short 5a cracks just ot its right give a good warmup.

Doomstone, E3 6a, 7 meters, 19.3.2006

Get on to the ledge below the face using layaways on the right then with good gear in the seam balance to the top.TT

The forest crag ( north west of Fridd main)

Hidden behind old oak this collection of steep and slabby faces is visible from the main crag.The approach is even shorter. From the farmhouse follow the track through the ruin over the stile then through the gate . Turn right ( west ) and follow the valley westward to a gap in the wall . Crag is dead ahead above a scree slope and is nicely shaded by oaks .
A square buttress is the first wall reached .

About doubt, E4 5c, 10m, 1.7.2006.

Pleasently run out on perfect rock . Take the easy slab up to the ledge below the square face . Reaching the finger jugs just out of reach is a problem but above this bigger , more accessible holds lead directly to the top.TT.

The main crag next\left has a prominent undercut rib.

We Knows This,E3 6a, 9m, 1.7.2006

Start just down and left of the first overlap then quickly undercut up and rightwards below the second overlap.A good flake hold ( peg ) allows the first quartz finger jug on the nose to be reached. Achieving contact with the next quartz hold above is trying . Directly above, the quartz holds continue to enlarge. TT
A vertical unclimbed crack defines the left edge of the nose. Left again is an easier angled crack to the top.

Renaissance girl, Very Difficult, 9m, 1.7.2006

Go up the crack with increasing difficulty. Exit via heather to good block belays. TT, DT

About 10 meters next left of the nose a good slab rises to join a flake with a vertical crack joining its right side.

Solar Din Very Severe, 4c, 12 meters, 16.7.2006.

Start directly below the big flake and delicately and boldly climb the compact slab to the flake . follow the crack direct to the top and the hot sun above the treeline .
TT solo.

20 meters further left is a grass ramp leading up leftwards. A prominent blocky arête with a ledge at three quarters height has a face on its right side.

Imperial Wall, HVS 5b, 8 meters, 16.7.2006

Step up onto the block just right of the undercut face then immediately span out leftwards to the center of the face and a thin seam. Then go direct to the top.TT

Spare Rib,E1 5b, 8m, 16.7.2006

Pull up to a good righthand undercut then use opposing holds to gain the ledge. Take the center of the immaculate headwall. TT.

Hidden to the west of the hill forming the western boundary of the valley this very good clean steep wall only has two routes . Follow the valley westwards along the faint track by the stream then contour around the hill south westwards to the west slope of the hill . A broken escarpment runs north to south in the forest . About halfway along is the wall .

The Silence of the Hands, E4 6a, 10 meters, 19.3.2006

This steep clean wall has a thin seam halfway up . Go direct up to the seam to arrange some gear then layaway to get some faraway fingerjugs up right . Rock up onto them and finish direct past some stacked blocks. TT

Forest Drop of Doom, E2 5b, 10 meters, 19.3.2006

Start 1 meter right of above and make a difficult move up right into the groove.Continue direct and more steeply until a good finger rail can be reached up and right .Above this more good finger holds ease the way up the finishing slab leading to the right of the stacked blocks.TT.

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