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Page Type: Route

Location: Snowdonia, Wales, Europe

Lat/Lon: 52.64272°N / 4.00651°W

Object Title: Birdcage

Route Type: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Less than two hours

Difficulty: HS 4b (5.6 - 5.7)

Number of Pitches: 3

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: Nanuls

Created/Edited: Jul 4, 2010 / Apr 15, 2011

Object ID: 634621

Hits: 1539 

Page Score: 79.04%  - 10 Votes 

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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.

As with so many of the routes on this part of Craig yr Aderyn, the exit is quite steep, long, grassy and unprotected, so take care when looking for anchors.

FA: R. A. Wilson and P. Surfleet, April 1967.

Getting There

Craig yr Aderyn
Craig yr Aderyn
(Photo by Nanuls)
Craig yr Aderyn
The Bastion
(Photo by Nanuls)
Craig yr Aderyn
Pitch 1
(Photo by Nanuls)

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).

Route Description

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.

Birdcage (HS 4b) (Photo by Nanuls)

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.

Essential Gear

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.

One of the best views in Snowdonia. The mountain in the centre of the photo is Cadair Idris (Photo by Nanuls)


Open Space Web-Map builder Code
Navigation Maps

OS 1:25k Explorer Series OL 23 Cadair Idris & Bala Lake/Llyn Tegid

OS 1:50k Landranger Series 124 Porthmadog & Dolgellau

Road Maps

OS Travel Map Great Britain 2009

OS Road Map 6 Wales/Cymru & West Midlands


Snowdonia (Official National Park Guide) Snowdonia (Official National Park Guide) by Merfyn Williams with contributions from Ian Mercer and Jeremy Moore

A handy book full of useful information and interesting facts about the National Park.
Climbers Club Guide Wales: Meirionnydd Climbers Club Guide Wales: Meirionnydd by Martin Crocker, John Sumner, Terry Taylor, Elfyn Jones, with contributions from Mike Rosser, Mike Lewis and Dave Wrennall

The definitive climbing guide to the area. Contains detailed descriptions and excellent diagrams of all known routes on Craig yr Aderyn. An essential purchase if you plan to do a lot of climbing in Mid Wales.
Rock Climbing in Snowdonia Rock Climbing in Snowdonia by Paul Williams

A good general rock climbing guide for North Wales. It describes a few routes on The Bastion and has a handy photo-topo of the face. Ideal for the occasional visitor to the area.

External Links

Craig yr Aderyn
Craig yr Aderyn from the opposite hills © Copyright Chris Denny and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Craig yr Aderyn
A great place to spend a day (Photo by Nanuls)


Snowdonia National Park Authority
Council for National Parks
Association of National Park Authorities
Conwy County Council
Gwynedd County Council
Powys County Council
Welsh Tourist Board
Mid Wales Tourism Partnership
Snowdonia Society
Local Information from Gwynedd.com
Local Information from Snowdonia Wales Net
North Wales Index
Countryside Council for Wales
Craig yr Aderyn Special Protection Area Core Management Plan and Unit Map
Joint Nature Conservation Committee
The National Trust
Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust
British Mountaineering Council
The Climbers Club
Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre
Hightreck Snowdonia


Mountain Weather Wales
Weather from the Met Office
Weather Channel UK


Welsh Public Transport Information
Uk Train Timetable


Youth Hostel Association in Wales
Llanllwyda Campsite
Cae Du Campsite
Accomodation around the Dysynni Valley
Tourist information for Abergynolwyn
Accommodation in and around Tywyn

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey
Harvey Map Services
Cicerone Guidebooks
Climbers Club Guidebooks

Welsh Language

Welsh Language Board
Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg Welsh language pressure group
Cymuned Welsh language pressure group
Yr Urdd (Welsh Youth Association)
Welsh-English / English-Welsh online translator
Welsh-English / English-Welsh Online Dictionary
Welsh-English / English-Welsh Online Lexicon


Craig yr Aderyn