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Wow, what a crag!
Tirpentwys is an absolutely fantastic crag for those wanting to take the first steps into sport climbing outside or to push their grade from 6a/6a+ upwards with confidence.
10/10 crag comfort.
Almost completely solid rock with little to no chance of falling rocks.
45 minutes from Bristol.
Almost all of the routes have quick link lower offs adding more confidence to the climber. The routes are lined up in parallel, so it’s easy to romp up a load of routes in no time at all, and with a less than 10-minute walk-in it’s perfect summer afternoon’s climbing.
The climbing at Tirpentwys
The climbing is great. Great moves on good holds – what else could you ask for!? With small edges to large in-cut pockets, this crag incites my favourite style of climbing.
Climbing at Tirpentwys is either vertical or just off (both ways). There is nothing too steep to climb at the crag. It lends itself to a mix of delicate climbing with the classic edges found on sandstone and the harder grades feature some big throw moves.
As I have said, the routes are well equipped and have chain and quick-link lower-offs.
Get climbing in less than 10 minutes.
From the car park, head up the shallow valley sticking to the fire-road. Simply follow this slightly uphill for around 10 mins before the crag appears. Easy!
Climb over the fence at the small style and ignore the signs saying no climbing (this is apparently there for liability issues) and you are there.
The crag layout at Tirpentwys
The easier climbs wrap the outer edges of the crag whilst the classic 6c and 7b routes can be found slightly to the left of the middle routes.
In my opinion, the best line of the crag is the 6c on the left-hand side of the main face. The route is absolute quality from start to finish. The crux is classic, with what seems like only one way to do it, no matter what your height!
There are plenty of great 6’s and a quality pumpy 6b+ on the LHS, along with lots of different and interesting climbing across the whole crag.
Its an absolute gem of a crag with fun and safe routes in abundance.
How to get to Tirpentwys
From Bristol it takes around 45 minutes – almost quicker than Cheddar. It’s easy to get to and not far from the motorway.
The directions below are taken from UKC.com:
There are 2 ways to approach this crag:
1. If coming from Pontypool/Blaenavon. Turn off the A4043 into Pontnewynydd Industrial Estate follow this road to a T junction just past the Post office sorting depot. Turn left up the hill along the road passing the Plas y Coed pub on your left, continue straight on the road will become lined with ancient beech trees. About 150 mts further along on the right hand side are the 2 old entrances to what was Tirpentwys Tip. Park in either.
2.If coming from Crumlin. In Hafodyrynys turn left off the A472, then take the road that runs down the side of the chinese takeaway. After about 70mts fork right up the steep hill go round the hairpin bend and pass the Star inn on your left. Cross over a cattle grid, the road levels out, continue straight on crossing a second cattle grid, pass the houses of Pantygasseg on your left following the road down the hill. The 2 entrances to the old tip are on your left in about 250mts.
To the Crag. Go through the green metal barrier(top entrance) onto the tarmac road and follow this for about 200mts until it bends to the right, at this point go straight on following the gravel road you will pass a footbridge on your left after 150 mts, 50 mts after this cross the small drainage ditch on the right, the crag will now be visible approx’ 100mts on the right. There is a style fixed to the fence to allow easy access.
To coincide with the start of the new season(2009), it looks like the council are building a nice new car park at the lower of the 2 entrances, this will provide an excellent facility and make using the top entrance unecessary, thanks Torfaen.
The nice new car park has been closed because of vandalism, fly tipping and drug abuse, there is a new metal barrier in place which is locked. I spoke to the council, the car park will now operate on a key holder scheme, so if you are local and want a key contact torfaen they will send the forms to fill in so you can have your own key, please use this responsibly.
The deepwater soloing seasons has kicked off for me and kicked off strong, well I had a few wobbles along the way.
On-sighting the 2 classics, Animal Magnetism and Horny Little Devil, on the first session climbing above the sea this year has to be the perfect start to any DWS season.
Kicking off with the a low tide is never an encouraging start, we knew it was going to be that way but as we had the whole day we figured even if we ended up going for a swim until the tide we were golden. As the tide grew so did our confidence.
The first climb of the day was the Maypole, the classic warm up 6b a nice easy line with a slight sting in the tail, but as you are low and above nice (normally deep) water it’s a perfect intro.
A little traverse of the inner column at the end of the Maypole was another good little route, from there we went and checked out Horny little devil, after a few non starts due to fear we were away, 2 of the team were quickly in the water while I reversed and climb back 3 times and climbed out and around, the idea of possibly hitting the slab below during the first 4 moves did not inspire me.
Another go at the Mapole this time to get into have a look at Animal Magnetism. Another go at the climb, an incredible effort and solid climbing saw Roaly midway before the fear set in, his arms turned to stone and was shortly off the wall.
The tide was now high enough, yet I was still not as keen as I should be, the fact that I would most likely pull through the moves and find myself at the top was more worrying to me than falling off early on.
After a few ‘looks’ I again backed off and reversed the Maypole.
A strong lunch and the promise to stop being a pansy saw me back round to quickly send Horny’, another send of a small 7a and I blasted around to Animal Mag’ to finish of the day on a strong footing that I should have started early in the day, but hey, thats deepwater soloing for you.
A little Cherry for the way home, we are athletes after all!