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Crickmail Point
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Crickmail Point

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Crickmail Point

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Wales, Europe

Lat/Lon: 51.60534°N / 4.96585°W

Object Title: Crickmail Point

County: Pembrokeshire

Activities: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 148 ft / 45 m

 

Page By: Nanuls

Created/Edited: Oct 13, 2009 / Dec 19, 2014

Object ID: 563302

Hits: 2480 

Page Score: 93.1%  - 41 Votes 

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Overview

The area between Mewsford Point and The Castle is admittedly home to fewer lithological icons than the remainder of the Castlemartin Coast, a fact that is perhaps responsible for placing it on the periphery of most visiting climbers consciences. This absence of attention is however completely unwarranted as there are many, many, fine crags and cragletts to be found here. One such crag, or rather collection of crags, is the small, inset headland of Crickmail Point.


Crickmail Point
The East Face
(Photo by Nanuls)
Crickmail Point
The West Face
(Photo by Nanuls)

The Point, sometimes known as B-Team Buttress, is home to a collection of surprisingly good routes, all of which take place on good solid rock and although there are no three star classics here, there's certainly enough to keep most discerning climbers happy for a few days. The most popular section of the headland, and justifiably so, is the Upper Tier of the South Face. Here, just a short abseil away, you will find such delights as B-Team Buttress (E1 5b) and Aeron (VS 5a), which lead the climber up a short, compact and beautifully exposed wall, and should be on any visiting climber's hit list. The rest of the climbing is split between The West Face, The Lower Tier of the South Face and the East Face, which although are marginally more difficult to reach, are also home to some interesting and worthwhile adventures.

Intriguingly, the now superseded 1995 Rockfax Guide to Pembroke implies that the Point is a popular spot for suicidal sheep. I can confirm that on my visit, the sheep were quite content to keep their distance.

Rock Climbing

The climbing at Crickmail Point can be split between four distinct areas – The West Face, The South Face Lower Tier, The South Face Upper Tier and the East Face. In addition to these two Girdle Traverses have also been recorded on the headland. Most of the climbing at Crickmail Point takes place on its upper tiers and is not affected by the tide, however, the lower tier is and the degree to which it is affected is very much dependant on the time of year and the weather.


Crickmail Point
The East Face
(Photo by Nanuls)
Crickmail Point
The Pillar
(Photo by Nanuls)
Crickmail Point
The West Face
(Photo by Nanuls)
Triple Overhang Buttress
Triple
Overhang Buttress
(Photo by Nanuls)

Crags and routes are listed from left to right, and are graded and rated with the aid of the old Climbers' Club Guide to Pembroke, the old Pembroke Supplement and the 2009 Rockfax Pembroke guide. Since then, the Climbers' Club have published a new comprehensive guide for this area, Pembroke Volume 3: Range East – Stack Rocks to Hollow Caves Bay, which adds a significant number of new crags and routes to the area, though the changes to this pages' crags are few. Nevertheless it is recommended that you refer to this or the Rockfax book for up-to-date information and route descriptions. In addition to these sources Rockfax’s website also has descriptions for the routes included in its book, which can be viewed on its online route Database.

Routes are rated using the British Adjectival Grading System. A conversion table of international climbing grades by SP member Corax is available: download it here. With the exception of Tenby South Beach Quarry, bolting is strictly prohibited everywhere in Pembroke, so don’t even think about it here.

Route Symbols:

NO STARS A so-so route, neither good nor bad. Not unpleasant unless otherwise stated.
1 STAR A good route which is definitely worth a climb.
2 STARS A very good route, one of the best on the crag and well worthy of attention.
3 STARS An excellent route, one of the best in the area, and probably in Britain too.
NO RESTRICTIONS No Restrictions

Used to indicate that there are currently no restrictions, either seasonal, temporary or permanent, affecting a route.

RESTRICTIONS Restrictions

Used to indicate that there are restrictions, either seasonal, temporary or permanent, affecting a route. See the Red Tape and Access Section for more details.


Crickmail Point
The West Face
(Photo by Nanuls)

West Face

As the name suggests this area is located on the western side of Crickmail Point. The section is somewhat underdeveloped and is marred by a lack of sea-level ledges except at its right-hand end where a platform is exposed at all but the highest of tides.

The first two routes located on the wall of some 30 metres height to the left of Good Companions. The routes can be reached either by traversing in from Battleship Buttress at low tide, or more practically, by abseiling from anchors in twin cracks down the grass slope just west of the main part of the face.

Crickmail Point
The West Face
(Photo by Nanuls)

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
1. Raspberry Ripple 30m 2 E2 5a, 5b 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
2. Marina 30m 1 E3 5c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
3. Good Companions 52m 2 E4 5c, 5a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
4. Opening Night 52m 2 E2 5b, 5c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE

South Face Lower Tier

This Lower Tier can be reached by abseiling down the groove that gives Slipway at the eastern end of the South Face to a half height terrace. Continuing the abseil down the groove of Galaxy to a tidal platform will give access to the routes.

Soft Centre, Yorkie and C.D.M start very close together at the arête bounding the western end of the lower tier proper, while routes right of Milky Way (inclusive) are to be found in a broad alcove at the right end of the sea level platform.


No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
5. Trapeze 46m 2 E2 5b/5c, 5a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
6. Cloud Nine, Hang Ten 46m 2 E2 5b, 5b/c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
7. Cloud Nine, Hang Ten Variation 46m 2 E1 5b, 5b/c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
8. Bounty 21m 1 HVS 5a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
9. Soft Centre 21m 1 HS 4b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
10. Yorkie 18m 1 VS 4b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
11. C.D.M 15m 1 HS 4b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
12. Milky Way 18m 1 S 4b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
13. Galaxy 18m 1 VS 4c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
14. D-Day Landings 46m 2 HVS 5b, 4c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
15. N.A.T.O. Forces 46m 2 E1 4b, 5b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE

South Face Upper Tier

This Upper Tier can be reached by abseiling down the groove that gives Slipway at the eastern end of the South Face to a half height terrace. At the left-hand end of the terrace is a large pillar one third of the height of the crag. The first routes start left of this.

Catch is the first route on the right-hand side of the pillar. To the right of Tinker, Taylor is an undercut wall with a small rightward leaning ramp at its left-hand end – routes between the The Bouncer and Slipway (inclusive) begin on this wall. Warsaw Pact to Cheese Please (inclusive) start from the extreme right-hand end of the terrace to the right of Slipway.


The South Face Upper Tier (Photo by Nanuls)

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
16. Snap, Popple and Crack 25m 1 VS 4c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
17. Crunchy 25m 1 VS 4b 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
18. Krispie Crack 23m 1 VS 4c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
19. Three Shredded Wheat 23m 1 E3 5c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
20. Catch 25m 1 VS 4b 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
21. Read Between the Lines 25m 1 E1 5b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
22. B-Team Buttress 25m 1 E1 5b 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
23. Aero 25m 1 VS 5a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
24. Beggar Man 30m 1 E2 5c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
25. Tinker, Tailor 25m 1 HVS 5a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
26. The Bouncer 27m 1 HVS 5a NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
27. Marathon 26m 1 HVS 5a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
28. The Jogger 25m 1 HVS 5a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
29. The Swinger 25m 1 E2 5c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
30. Slipway 25m 1 S 4a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
31. Warsaw Pact 24m 1 S 4b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
32. Fingerpicking 22m 1 VS 4c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
33. Cheese Please 24m 1 E1 5c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE

East Face

The East Face can be clearly view from the top of Triple Overhang Buttress and is bounded on the left by a sea-level cave and on the right by a large sloping shelf above the high tide line.

The first two routes start from a ledge on the left of the cave and can be reached via a low tide approach from D-Day Landings. The remaining routes are best reached by abseil.


Routes on Crickmail Point (For a clean version click here)

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
34. Turtle's Progress 43m 2 E1 5a/5b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
35. A Present From the Valley* 43m 2 VS 4b, 4c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
36. Special Communiques 24m 1 E3 5c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
37. Malice Aforethought 30m 1 HVS 5a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
38. Malice Afterthought 33m 1 HVS 5a NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
39. A Town Like Malice 33m 1 E3 5c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
40. Satisfaction 37m 1 E7 6b 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
41. Eastern Gully 37m 1 VS 5a NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
42. Friction Addiction 37m 1 E5 6b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
43. Emotional Rescue 40m 1 E3 5c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
44. Sidewinder 40m 1 VS 4c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE

*According to the Pembroke Supplement this route is considered to be undergraded by at least two grades.

Girdle Traverses

A couple of girdle traverses have been recorded on the crag. The first traverses the West Face from left to right and ends on the ledge that splits the South Face's tiers, while the second is a longer high level left to right traverse across both the West and South Faces.


No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
45. Secret Stratosphere 37m 1 HVS 5a NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE
46. Footloose and Fancy Free 67m 3 HVS 5a, 4b, 4c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – ARMY FIRING RANGE

Weather Conditions and Tides

Weather Forecast

This section displays the weather forecast for Bosherston, which is located just to the east of Crickmail Point. This gives a pretty good indication of what the weather will be like on the crag, as both Bosherston and Crickmail Point sit at around sea level.

This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

Tide Times

Tide times can have a significant impact on where and when one climbs. It is therefore extremely important to check the timetables before embarking on trip to the area. UK tides information for all standard and secondary ports is provided by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO), and displayed on the BBC's website. The link below provides a link to the nearest monitoring station to Crlickmail Point:

Stackpole Quay Stackpole Quay (SR 992 957)

When to Climb and Essential Gear

The most reliable conditions are in the summer, but the low altitude of the crag may make it a viable option in winter. The gear needed depends entirely on the routes you plan to do. Easier routes will only require a moderate rack, while harder routes will require a something more comprehensive; a good compliment of friends or other camming devices will certainly help. A single 50 metre rope should serve well on most easy routes, however, double ropes would be a wise choice for the harder stuff. In addition to your usual gear, you might want to bring along an abseil rope to speed up access to the base of the crag.


Triple Overhang Buttress
Triple Overhang Buttress
(Photo by Nanuls)
Battleship Buttress
Battleship Buttress
(Photo by Nanuls)
The Castle
The Castle
(Photo by Nanuls)

Getting There

Crickmail Point lies around midway between Mewsford Point and The Castle in the Range East portion of the Castlemartin Range. When approaching from Carmarthen (SN 405 196) take the A40 Truck Road signposted for Saint Clears (SN 274 160). At the Saint Clears roundabout, take the A477 Trunk Road towards Pembroke Dock (SM 969 036). Before reaching Pembroke Dock, turn left onto the A4075 (SN 019 027) to Pembroke (SM 989 012). In Pembroke, drive straight over the first small roundabout you reach and drive along the A4139 a few hundred metres and turn left and take the B4319 south towards Castlemartin (SR 915 983). Around 2.5km after Saint Petrox (SR 971 975), take a left hand turn (SR 965 964) signposting Bosherston (SR 965 947). Drive through Bosherston (or stop for a cup of tea at Mrs Weston's Olde Worlde Café) to the Saint Govan's Car Park (SR 966 930).

From the car park, walk south to a small guard house and turn right (west), cross the stile at the guard house, and walk along a gravel road passing Stennis Ford and Huntsman's Leap and the Devil’s Barn. Follow the track and cross a fence at a cattle grid. Soon the buildings and masts near The Castle will come into view (SR 955 933), keep these to your left and carry on towards a second fence. Cross the cattle grid at the second fence and continue along the track to a junction, where another track from the right joins the track you’re on. Crickmail Point (SR 947 938) is now directly to your left (which is more or less due south. To reach the abseil point, leave the track and walk onto the now obvious but small headland.

Camping and Accommodation

There’s an almost unlimited supply of accommodation within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park so it would be inappropriate to list it all here. The city of St. David’s and its hinterland is particularly well provided for. For budget accommodation it’s worth checking out some of the following sites:

Youth Hostel Association in Wales
Independent Hostel Guide
Campsites in Pembrokeshire

For everything else and more see Visit Pembrokeshire’s website.

Red Tape and Access

Crickmail Point is located in the Range East portion of the Castlemartin Range. This area is an Army firing range, although they do not use exploding ammunition. Access is permitted whenever firing is not taking place, which is normally on weekends, Bank Holidays, and in the evenings (after 4.30). The night firing normally occurs on alternate Mon/Wed and Tues/Thurs nights. The Range is sometimes open during the week, but it is best to check before travelling. Phone the 24 hour help line on (01646) 662367.

For further information, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) runs a Regional Access Database, which holds mountain/crag specific information on matters of conservation and access, including issues such as nesting restrictions, nature designations and preferred parking:

Regional Access Database

If you are in any doubt about any particular access arrangement, or need to report an incident, you should contact your local BMC Access Representative or the BMC Access Officers for Wales: Elfyn Jones

 
Castlemartin Range Warning Sign
A warning sign (Photo by Nanuls)

Maps

Open Space Web-Map builder Code
Navigation Maps

OS 1:25k Explorer Series OL 36 South Pembrokeshire/De Sir Benfro

OS 1:50k Landranger Series 158 Tenby & Pembroke / Dinbych-y-pysgod & Penfro

Road Maps

OS Road Map 6 Wales/Cymru & West Midlands

Guidebooks

Pembrokeshire Coast: The Official National Park Guide Pembrokeshire Coast: The Official National Park Guide by Alf Alderson, John Cleare and Ian Mercer.

A handy book full of useful information and interesting facts about the National Park.
Climbers’ Guides to Wales: Pembroke Volume 3 Range East - Stack Rocks to Hollow Caves Bay Climbers' Club Guides to Wales: Pembroke Volume 3: Range East - Stack Rocks to Hollow Caves Bay by Gary Gibson

A superb and extremely comprehensive guidebook to the climbing along this stretch of coastline; includes descriptions of most of the routes at Crickmail Point.
Rock Fax Guide: Pembroke Rock Fax Guide: Pembroke by Alan James and Mike Robertson

Not quite as comprehensive as the Climbers’ Club guide, but lavishly illustrated with tons of large photo diagrams and topos.

External Links

 
Crickmail Point
The South Face Upper Tier (Photo by Nanuls)

Government Bodies and Other Organisations

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

Council for National Parks

Association of National Park Authorities

Natural Resources Wales

CADW

Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales

Dyfed Archaeological Trust

The National Trust

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Outdoor Organisations and Companies

British Mountaineering Council

Pembrokeshire Climbing Club

Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter Group

UKClimbing

Weather and Tides

The Met Office

BBC Weather

BBC Tide Tables

UK Hydrographic Office

Tourist Information

Visit Wales

Visit Pembrokeshire

Travel Information

Welsh Public Transport Information

UK Train Timetable

Accommodation

Youth Hostel Association in Wales

Independent Hostel Guide

Campsites in Pembrokeshire

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey

The Climbers’ Club

Cicerone Guidebooks

Rockfax

Mid Wales Climbing

Cordee Travel and Adventure Sports Bookshop

Wildlife and Conservation

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre

South West Wales Wildlife Trust

Images