Birdcage, so called after the deep, dark, cleft below the belay ledge of the The Diagonal, is a three pitch journey up the right hand side of The Bastion. It's given the grade of Hard Severe 4b and while the first and third pitches aren't up to particularity much, the middle section is wonderfully steep, exposed, and not too taxing. All in all, a very enjoyable outing.
FA: R. A. Wilson and P. Surfleet, April 1967.
Most visitors to Craig yr Aderyn will approach the rock from the east, if you have to approach from the west, then you clearly know the area well enough already, and therefore don’t need a section such as this to help you get there. So, if you are coming from the east, you need to turn off the A470 at the Cross Foxes Inn junction (SH 766 167), and drive south along the A487 for some 6km to the junction for the B4405 near the Minffordd Hotel (SH 732 114). For those familiar with the area, this is the same turning as you would take for the car park on the southern side of Cadair Idris where the Minffordd Path starts. Drive along the B4405 as far as Abergynolwyn (SH 677 069). In the centre of the village there is a crossroads, turn right here and drive north up a narrow unclassified road to another set of crossroads marked by a public phone box (SH 662 079). Turn left here and drive west along another unclassified road. After a around a kilometre and a half the road reaches Craig yr Aderyn and passes along the base of its north face, There are various lay-bys along the road where parking is available.
Park under The Bastion face and saunter up to the start of the route (see photo below).
The route starts around halfway between the prominent diagonal crack of The Diagonal (Severe) and the fence, which runs from the road to the bottom of The Bastion.
Pitch 1. 12m
This pitch is a bit of a nothingness really, just think of it as a prelude to the real climbing. Ascend a rightwards slanting slab and traverse up, with little difficulty and little gear, into the base of the cleft. Spike belay.
Pitch 2. 12m. 4b
A great pitch. Climb up into the cleft moving out left onto the slightly overhanging wall. Ascend this on beautiful, widely spaced, jugs (maybe harder than 4b for the very short) to a tree belay. The tree has several old slings and cords wrapped around it.
Pitch 3. 9m
Climb up around the tree, over some boulders and up the vegetated wall above. Take care when topping out as there is a long unprotected grassy slope of around 45º before any anchors are reached. There's a nut belay well back on a short wall, with a large verticalish crack running through its centre.
The route is three pitches long and takes a variety of gear from small to large wires as well as a variety of cams. Double ropes are essential for avoiding rope drag. A few slings will be very handy when building belays.
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