Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Trip Report: Craig y Forwen

Above: John Maskell celebrating access to Craig y Forwen by cutting loose of the classic 'Mojo' E1 5b

By Rob Greenwood

Climbing on Craig y Forwen has been banned for the past 20 years - it would suffice to say that it was a place I thought I would never climb...

But due to the efforts of the BMC climbers are once again allowed to visit this magnificent crag; however, it cannot be over-emphasised that parking on the verges of Isallt Road is NOT ALLOWED and that in doing so could endanger future access. Mr Webb, the owner of the caravan park below the crag, is still not content with the access arrangements and if approached by him simply be polite - Craig y Forwen is not his property and climbers have the right to be there. Nonetheless, while at the crag please be courteous and discreet - there is no point in angering him or giving him reason to cause trouble for climbers at Craig y Forwen.

The soaring corner of 'Softly, Softly' (Severe) and overhanging crack of Little Neb (HVS 5b)
Sam Underhill seconding Softly, Softy - note the foliage, earth, and dust!!

Anyhow, the crag (as mentioned before) is looking spectacular and there is a real feeling of excitement amongst the people climbing there - 20 years is a long time!!!

While there we climbed:
  • Softly, Softly (Severe) - Great line and well cleared of ivy but still a lot of dust around
  • Flue (VS 4b) - Superb condition and a great crack climb
  • Fidos Redemption (HVS 5a) - Clean and superb, particularly the upper arete
  • Mojo (E1 5b) - Clean (and totally outrageous) first roof pitch, second pitch could do with a clean. We finished up the Freedom (E2) which arguably provided alternative.
  • Great Wall - Threads have been replaced but have been removed (by persons unknown), still the absolute classic it was years ago!
Stunning views from a stunning crag

The BMC Approach/ Parking Guidelines are:

To get to the agreed parking spot, drive along the Isallt Rd. below the escarpment, passing Plas Newydd Caravan Park.
At 2 km beyond the caravan park, follow the road as it bends to the right to pass a Chapel on the right. At the following T-junction, turn right and proceed along Dolwen Rd. for approximately 200m until a sharp right turn along Trawscoed Rd. Pass along Trawscoed Rd. for approximately 900m (the last 100m are quite rough) until a sharp right hand hairpin with two gates on the left. Go through the metal gate and park on the grass either side of the farmers track/North Wales Footpath. The field quickly drops away towards the crag, so take care not to park too far down the slope.

Jon Maskell starting out on the crux moves of Mojo (E1 5b)

Accessing the crag from the agreed parking is easy and convenient - walk from down the inclined field and head for a stile in the right hand corner. This will take you directly into the left hand sections of the crag.

Also, for a temporary guidebook please visit:

Alternatively send us an email ( and we'll give you all the updates we can!!!

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