Rhobell Fawr pt 2

OS 796254

Elevation 1620 ft

At the south western end of the Arennig complex this domed mountain is littered with many small walls and boulders and gives a good day out just exploring with a mat. The main sections are the cliff on the south eastern edge and the small walls and slabs on its southern slopes. The rock is excellent high friction volcanic rock and on the main cliff is characterised by slabs, edges and cracks. Although only reaching 18 meters at its highest the main crag is so accessible and catches so much sun that it is worth at least one visit. Very sound rock that is quick drying but prone to a dusting of lichen that may require a gentle brushing.


Leave the Dolgellau to Bala road at the Aran Hall exit. Follow the tarmac road past the entrance to the hall and take the next turn right. Follow the road to where it bends sharp left. Continue on the tarmac road to a gate. Once through this take the farm track on the right which then passes though another metal gate, then a wooden gate to enter the forest. Follow the forestry track directly to a small parking place by a stream below the main crag which is then 3 minutes walk uphill.

Left to right.

To the extreme left of the complex is a small prow with a ramp running up from right to left.

1. Tumbling Tiernan  8 m,  E1 5b, 23.4.2003

The good, clean prow above the toe of the ramp though short is followed direct on good , spaced holds.

T. Taylor, solo

Moving right there is a broad gully with a reddish slab on its right side.

2.When the Cat’s Away   12 m, Very Difficult, 14.9.2002

   The centre of the slab with a hard start and some long reaches.

  Paul  Jenkinson solo

3.Sentina  15 m, Very Severe, 1996

The prow with the sapling.

John Appleby 

4.Cherry Picker  14 m, E2 5c, 1997

The bay next right has a shield of rock on its upper left back wall, a good vertical crack next right, then a slim corner before the deep cleft capped by a large wedged block. The shield is approached via the easy slab below. Arrange gear before committing boldly up the centre of the wall to a good finish.

Terry Taylor, Jude Thomas 

Next right is the vertical crack.

5.Don’t Forget your Jim-Jams   18 m,  HVS 5a, 14.9.2002

Up the easy slab to a narrow niche below the crack. Go directly up on the most perfect hand jams.

Paul Jenkinson, Terry Taylor

2 metres right is a compelling slim corner

6.Kindergarden corner   18 m,  HVS 5b, 14.9.2002

Starts in the wide cleft at the base of the corner on the right then up the stepped slab to the corner . Wonderful positive bridging leads strenuously to the top.

 Terry Taylor, Paul Jenkinson.

Next right is the good wall bounded on its right by an arete.

7.Sparkle the cat 16 m, E1 5b, 2004

The left side of the wall with the steepest section at the top 

Terry Taylor

8.Weapons of Ass Destruction   18 m, E2 5c, 14.9.2002

The centre of the wall. Go up easily to the niche below the face then hard moves (good cams) gain the layaway edge in the wall’s centre. Pass an in-situ thread and then gain good holds above. Finish easily rightwards.

 Terry Taylor, Paul Jenkinson.

9.Lair of the Balrog  16 m, VS 4b, 22.3.2003

The deep cleft right of the wall before the white face is a delight in bridging and although there is not much gear there are plenty of holds. Finish rightwards.

Terry Taylor solo

10.Superflux  16 m, E4 5c, 22.3.2003

The superb white wall next right has a thin seam in its centre. Step off the triangular block at the base of the wall and follow the seam up rightwards until the halfway ledge. The wall above is thin, compact and steep so shuffle leftwards along the ledge to the arête at its end.Finish more easily up this.

Terry Taylor 

11.Walk without Fear. 16 m, Severe 23.4.2003

Begin in the obvious corner next right. Follow the corner direct passing over  a perched chockstone at the top to continue up the hidden chimney on the left.

John Appleby, Liam Appleby.

12.A Hole Full of Cherries  14 m,  Very Severe 4c, 1997

The uncleaned slab next right. Start just right of centre then go direct past some pockets to finish rightwards. Would clean up nicely with room for another route just to its left.

Terry  Taylor, Jude Thomas

13.Dynamo Del   12 m, E1 5b, 23.4.2003

The well defined narrow slab next right with the horizontal break at 2 thirds height. Start by taking the lower slab to the break and good gear. An easy move to the good step up left is followed by the more perplexing moves up the wall out right to good holds just below a rounded finish.

Terry Taylor, John Appleby, Liam Appleby

14.Hidden Depths  15 m, Severe, 23.4.2003

An enjoyable and unique expedition within the confines of the chimney behind the  slab of the Fever Trail. Begin just right of Dynamo Del by scrambling into the constriction behind the slab. Traditional techniques are used to gain  the giant capping stone. Exit through the airy window on the right and scramble up to the ledge directly above. An awkward short wall leads to the finish.

John Appleby, Liam Appleby

15.The Fever Trail   15 m, E5 6a 2.9.2002

A mirror image of King of Rumpy up in Llanberis Pass, this is a bold, unprotectable slab with the crux saved  for the top. Step up  from left toe of the slab and make committing moves up and right to a slight easing in angle. Pad directly up to a small overlap where a good pocket aids a reach to a higher, smaller pocket. Rock up right to finish and don’t look down at the rock fangs below.

 Terry Taylor solo ( after toprope practice )

16.Sentenced to The Edge   15 m, E6 6a, 5.10.2002

The perfect sharp edge bounding the right of the slab is hard to start, easy in the middle and tricky to finish. The slabby wall right of the deep cleft can be used to layback the edge to finish. No gear and unfun landing.

 Terry Taylor  solo ( after toprope; squeezed in between morning and afternoon surgeries)

17. The edge right side   15 m, E7 6b, 2006

This avoids climbing the deep chimney  by taking  the edge just right of the chimney and  laybacking up its  right edge  all the way to the top. No gear at all but may be possible to bridge across the chimney if difficulties arise.

Martin Crocker  

18.Bring me my big fat pants 15m, E5 6a, 2004

Another fingery and tough challenge. Start up the wall  two meters right of the chimney heading for the overlap. Arrange the only  gear in the crack on the right then pull back left through the overlap onto the slab above. Continue directly up on tiny shallow pockets  wishing you had your inflatable pants.

Terry Taylor


A peculiar crag above the forest in this hamlet on the Dolgellau-Bala road. The left side is very overhanging whilst the right side is vertical and has two routes.A right facing corner marks the extreme right side. Just left of this is a good, steep, narrow buttress.

Ravenland   15 m,E1 5b, May 2002

Start at the toe of the butress just left of the right facing corner. Up to inset slab below small roof then step left into a short crack. Pull up onto the ledge and finish more easily rightwards.

FA: T.Taylor unseconded.

Ravenshand   15,   E4 6a, May 2002

The right facing steep corner groove at the right of the crag leads steeply and boldly up to a leaning wall. From a precarious point below the wall make a long stretch to the ledge above  and ahard rockover. The ledge then inclines steeply up rightwards to a short crack in a corner above which good jugs lead to the top.

FA: T.Taylor (a pre-placed Rock 4 in the ledge is only gear in first 10 metres)

Craig Llestri

This neat crag also sits on the hillside north of the Dolgellau-Bala road and is reached from Llanuwchllyn. There is a small buttress over on the left then the main section above a boulder field, and a  terraced buttress on the right. These 3 routes are on the central section.

Main buttress. Just left of the centre is a detached 6 metre pinnacle in front of a leaning , compact wall topped by a terrace at 12 metres.

Let’s Kiss this Thing Goodbye   12 m,  E3 5c, 2.6.2002

Start below the white groove 2 metres left of the base  of the pinnacle. Pass a flat spike in the groove (microwire up right). Pull directly up to a critical cam placement and continue straight to the top to belay at the back of the terrace. Fun and strenuous.

FA: T.Taylor  unseconded.

Sooner or Later   12 m, E5 6a, 2.6.2002

The right edge of the leaning wall gives perfect climbing with excellent but spaced holds. Start in the recess just right of the edge and step left onto the edge. Pass directly up to the horizontal break, wonderful pocket above. The deep, vertical pocket 2 metres above this is a sinker once gained , and after pulling up rightwards the heathery top is touched. Pre-placed lower off a good idea.

FA: T.Taylor  unseconded

Tears for the Second   18 m,   E15b, 20.6.2002

The white quartz slab left of the tall narrow tower right of centre. Start 4 metres left of corner up vague white prominence which rises rightwards to  the good crack. From top of crack, pull up and rightwards onto the face, continue direct just left of the bird defiled niche  past a thin section to better holds and the top. Belay well back.

FA: T. Taylor, D. Owen

Dinas Mawddy quarry ( Minllyn )

Entering the Neutral Zone    27m, 7a+, 27.9.2002

At last a companion route to Zone of Totality! The perfect,clean, almost featureless slab

Left of the original now has 8 stainless steel bolts to a three bolt lower off (shared.) A phenomenally hard start leads to steady friction and edging up the diagonal crack to its end . A brief touch of The Zone… and its wild moves past a letterbox slot and direct to the top.

FA: T.Taylor.

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