These are the Forgotten Quarries, whose routes were poorly described or mislaid completley, resulting in these holes getting maybe only two or three visitors a year. This is a shame, because they house Adventure with a capital A! The revitalisation has begun though, with route cleaning and bolt replacement underway, I’ve even started reopening the long blocked tunnel between Filmset and Gideon. This page is, therefore, for the disemination of truth! A number of the route and access descriptions in the most current (HB) guide are questionable. Many routes are rather odd, given the line that they take (e.g. for Layed Back Boys (look for the rusty bolts holding on the flake!), while other descriptions are confusing (e.g. for Pandora Plays Sax- The finish is up the left of the detaching arete /cornice, up a solid slab). Much of the old guide was lifted word for word from Paul William’s 1987 Llanberis guide; this makes me wonder what level of scrutiny was given to the routes in the intervening years! (This is hopefully where this page can help) What follows is what we’ve learnt so far…..
It is possible to scramble in and out of gideon via a cable found sprouting below Cracking up. This is mainly safe.
overlap of ultra cricket zone has had a spring clean. Oh yes i pretty much left the traverse of gideon alone, cause thats the point really isn’t it. 22/5/07
The digging in the tunnel is going well……The Main (worthwhile?)routes of gideon quarries are as follows
Gideon and pandora plays sax both bold HVS’s, pandora being sightly better quality, guidebook descriptions are adequate, the finish being up the cleanest most solid looking bit of rock left of the arete riding down the slab on scree ball bearings.
Ultra cricket zone is an E4 5c whose 2nd pitch takes the main overlap on the right of the gideon slab, before rejoining pandora. Its 1st pitch follows the hairline crack 2-3m left of the gideon/pandora start, and is described in the old guide as pandora direct.
Best value route on the slab is:
Giddy variations on a theme, a lost route (read badly described) E2ish not HVS, here is an accurate description:
Giddy Variations on a Theme 78m E2 5b ** The best route on the slab, exhilarating and heart stoppingly serious. This starts 6m left of the start of Gideon at a little ledge, and thrusts boldly up the centre of the slab. It was originally done solo, and given HVS.
1. 18m 5b. Launch up the seam on leading right off the ledge until a shothole gives thank God protection in the form of a folded over rock 7 (or a very small tricam). The slab above gives way to precarious padding to the lower ledge system where a sapling spouting crack gives enough gear to belay off.
2. 60m 5b. Climb up the crack you’re belayed to, then traverse left 5m along the upper ledge system until below a slim groove, which is right of a larger chossier overlap. Build a nest of rps, sky hooks and other articles of faith(agnostics can rummage in the break leftwards for a good cam 2.5) then commit to the seam until it is possible to pad left to the slab’s main overlap via a large erosion pocket. Follow this overlap to a couple of large wires. From here aim for the Pandora finish exit, a long way above. The route originally went left around the corner from the Pandora finish and scaled the hideous tottering overhang, you can do this if you must. (21.2.87)
*Giddy one, an open groove, E3 6a, on the Gideon terrace. peg replaced with bolt 7/9/07, probably high in the grade.
Right of this is a new route, 3bolts up a blunt arete to a bolt belay:
***The Hand of Morlock 14m E4 6a if done properly (F6c+ if you use a cheating stick) A scary rock up into an undercut gains the first bolt, from which a series of pulls and lay aways gains the sloping top and a bolt belay. T. Hughes and O. Cain (22/8/07)
Uhuru for Mandela is a slab with an overlap below cracking up, and goes at E2. there is a snazzy lower off / abb in in place. 2 bolts (the second one formerly being a peg slightl;y higher up) will allow the iron bar in the wetness to be cinched and the bolder and occaisionly looser upper slab to be tackled. rebolted 15/8/07. (A direct version of this with extra bolts would be good? MR)
Synthetic Life 42m F7a+ ***
An exceptionally good sport route on perfect granite-esque dolerite with four distinct cruxes – a bit like a 7a+ ‘The Plum‘. The route has been equipped with an intermediate abseil anchor so that it’s possible to climb on a single 50m rope, but take some long extenders for the lower section if climbing on a single rope. The lower slab suffers from seepage and it would be a good idea to take a brush on the ab in. Start at the base of a narrow ramp/groove behind the huge boulder to the left of Bone People.14 bolts
Technical climbing up the ramp/groove leads to a hard move to gain undercuts leading leftwards across the top of the slab. Pull through the left side of the roof and traverse back right into a niche. Technical moves up the niche lead to a blind reach to a hidden crimp above the roof. From the crimp make a sideways dyno to a jug on the arete. Move up the rib, and the slab above, up to a pair of undercuts in the overlap. Make difficult moves through this using a layaway on the right wall. Delicate moves lead diagonally left across the upper slab to a rest below the final groove. A final long reach and a stiff pull/or more technical climbing for shorties leads to a bolted abseil anchor.
Pete Harrison 21/05/10
Access – Abseil down the line of Bone People and swing in to the base of the route. 60m ab rope required. Or there are the various other means of access to the bottom of the quarry. I’ll put in a static handline to scramble up the dirt gully to the base of Synthetic Life if that proves a better option as more routes get done in this area.
N.B. The Choughs were found to be nesting underneath the boulder at the base of this route. They’ve fledged now and the Peregrines are trying to eat them (29/6/10) but please use discretion if you they are still in the area when you are belaying.
The Bone People,E4, and The Bridge Across Forever E5 (needs brushing on ab)go around the big roof left of centre.
Both are now rebolted!
The joint 1st pitch requires a no. 1.5 friend and a few micro wires to ease the bold traverses!
Other wise its bolts. Take Prussiks cause the lobs may leave you in space!
Leave your abb rope in place as the top slab has terminal moss.
Three star routes and an excercise in space walking!
Senior Citizen Smith 35m Grade: somewhere between E5 6b – E6 6c ***
An outrageously good route which climbs the well-protected overhanging horizontal crack, connecting two run-out slabs. The end of the crux has big fall potential but it’s into clean air, and with a soft catch the swing into the side wall should be ok.
Climb the left side of the slab past a 5c rockover (a low runner on the right won’t keep you off the ground but will stop you from going down the slope). Continue up to some microwires at 8m. At the top of the slab arrange bomber gear as far leftwards as you can before launching out across the overhanging wall via a brilliant sequence of powerful moves. The upper slab leads to a bolted abseil station.
Pete Harrison 29/06/10 – The sequence I climbed felt like F7c R, Pete R flashed the 2nd ascent and found a different way which he thought was easier.
Other than that the routes are variations on a theme or personal adventures that probably aren’t worth sharing. There is a couple of undeveloped slabs, but the vertical walls are all either tottering or established roosts of peregrines and crow types.
To get into this hole you can either abb down the gender bender slab, abb down near dark(after dark) or “scramble in”. The least proposterous scramble is found on the lefthand side (looking from the road) at a prominent flat topped buttress with a couple of old hold the cliff together type bolts behind it in the grass. The okay scramble is down its right hand side (looking in).
Second Coming could be 6c
The mini towers may yield some new route projects, and the largest heathery tower has been scaled on its righthand side (looking from the road). near dark climbs in the back
right corner and is a good looking E2! abb point/ lower off above. 3 bolts (one peg replacement) lead to boldness above the overlap. Rebolted 15/8/07.
gender bender slab!
Second coming and monseir avantski have been recently ascended and reports say they’re great! a top quality, if midgy venue. all routes (bar cliff’s) are currently clean.
Otherwise known as the beach. The mancer is pretty much as described in the guide and a very large adventure. Best to belay to one side on the metal bar. The numbers on the direct are: #10 hex 1 #3.5 cam, 4 #4cam, and a six to walk up, other wise large nuts are usefull. The swimming also appears good, if chilly. Kestrels nest in the through cave in the promentary. access through the disused industrial estate. Good crack is found in a bay to the right of the mancer, gained by walking round the lake.
Blah de blah E4 5c and I Dont wanna pickle E4 6a are both rebolted and are reached by walking along the top until you reach an oak and a silver birch growing side by side next to a large rounded boulder. These can be used to get to the belay below, itself above the bergscrund. I’ve roughly cleaned them, the rock has hollow areas but all the bolts are in good rock. The rock itself is slate with lots of quartz in and around it, giving some very thin but solid climbing (test everything tho. These climbs give a lot of E for their apparent grade, with a thin run out to the first bolt. Is it worth someone good checking them out?
New Routes to the right of the above routes..
8 bolts to a crookian lower off.
Wall in the Hole Quarry
The small flakey hole over the back and right from cracking up.
the next route lies in the shallower non-wall side (downhill)
Twisted Nerve E4 6a/b 12m
Brushed line on the slab on the left. 2 bolts. Go steady with the flakey top out & bendy fence post belay.
(FA, Steve neal 6/7/08)
The Rain Temple
The hole up and left behind Cracking up
Abseil in from large boulder adjacent to fence.
Cabin Fever F6a 35m
Climb out via obvious cleaned slab with crux at approx half-height and one tricky move near top (10 clips).
F.A. M.Crook, N.Walton 15.08.08
Otherwise known as Ffridd Glyn. Got a bolted vs with evil dog rose on it and a lot of looseness elsewhere. Not very good, and very midgey.
HVS/E1? Unnamed (probably climbed before)
The obvious slab/wall on the right side of the quarry as you enter above the narrow gangway/ledge. Start on the left at a pointy spike which provides a belay of sorts. A crux mantel leads to good holds and gear and easier climbing leads to the top.
18/04/09 Chris Watkins, Rob Greenwood.
The Main Event
We also top-roped one of the obvious big lines on the main wall (selection of belay bolts at top). The route starts up a rightwards slanting flake line with some smart moves leading to a ledge, cruxy moves above via a crucial loose hold leads to the top with difficulty. Great line shame theres no real gear!
18/04/09 Chris Watkins, Rob Greenwood.
Cefn Du Quarry
There are two massive holes at the top of Cefn Du. The upper one is just above where you park your car having driven up from waunfawr, and is called Chwarel Fawr. The lower on is below the upper, towards gideon. This is Cefn Du Quarry. It is easiest to scramble in via the corner furthest down the hill, and the routes will become apparent on your left.
The reclining bloon E4 6a/6b rebolted 20/8/07 cool groove with bolts and an iron bar. one bolt added low down as become flakey.
The New Salesman E4 6b rebolted 20/8/07. top end and probably deserves a star. the bolted arete.
The old Walton bolted groove on the left may not have been done yet…
Nice lines and a really atmospheric quarry.
New Route! the First line up Mount Doom; a striking buttress in Cefn Du Quarry, opposite the new salesman. Start up the scree on the right by the start of a gouged out ledge System.
The Wriggler E1
P1 20m -, shuffle along the ledge with shot holes for pro, to a bolt belay.
P2 30m 5b, exit the dolerite on the left and step back into the slate to ascend to the 1st bolt, after hard bit, follow jugs left to 2nd bolt, go for the summit! Bolt belay over and below the Crest.
Mark Dicken, Ioan Doyle (30/10/08)
A serene and sedate quarry, mainly containing death. However at the bottom is a diminutive dolerite promentary which has yeilded the following NEW ROUTE!
Way Down in the hole E1
slings and bolts for pro
P1 7m 5a, Up the front face of the 1st dolerite arete, via the pedastal.
P2 12m 5a, Up the left arete of the 2nd arete. Airy.
abseil off or
P3 15m 4a, bad step exit off left via poor spikes.
Mark Dicken, Joe Sterling (24/12/08)
to get in, abseil stake in the corner nearest cefn du quarry, or scramble in following the pine trees.
pack a head torch and wellies and you can take the 500m tunnel to Cefn du quarry and follow it with the Wriggler!