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Mowing Word
Mountain/Rock

Mowing Word

 
Mowing Word

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Wales, Europe

Lat/Lon: 51.61067°N / 4.90174°W

Object Title: Mowing Word

County: Pembrokeshire

Activities: Trad Climbing

Season: Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 131 ft / 40 m

 

Page By: Nanuls

Created/Edited: Oct 27, 2009 / Apr 15, 2011

Object ID: 567928

Hits: 1698 

Page Score: 86.37%  - 22 Votes 

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Overview


Beyond the well trodden confines of the Castlemartin Range, and just across the sweeping sand dunes of Broad Haven beach, is another system of famed headlands and zawns, known collectively as the Stackpole Area. Mowing Word is the most westward of these headlands and is the first reached when approaching from the Broad Haven car park, taking the form of a prominent, narrow promontory that cuts sharply into the horizon. Its steep golden walls are home to some of the finest examples of mid grade climbs in Britain, but despite this the crag is rarely busy, the gravitational pull of Castlemartin sucking in the majority of visiting climbers. Those who do come here however, will be treated to a veritable feast of high quality lines, which they can surely not cease to tire of. For the mid grade climber there is the stupendous Diedre Sud (HS 4a) and the lengthy multi-pitch voyage of the Heart of Darkness (HVS 4c), both of which are probably the finest examples of their grade in Britain. For those who climb harder, routes such as Snozwanger (E1 5b), Flax of Dream (E2 5a) and the demanding In One Door (E5 6a) offer more than enough meat to get one’s teeth into.

Because the crag isn’t in on one of Pembroke’s Ministry of Defence owned firing ranges, it isn’t subject to any midweek access restrictions; this makes it an ideal destination for times when the neighbouring ranges are closed. This does not however mean that climbing is permitted at all times, as between the 1st March and 1st August, nesting birds mean that climbing is banned on most of the faces. Restricted routes include Autumn Gold and Fools Rush In to Cormorant Flake inclusive. See the Red Tape and Access Section for more details.

Rock Climbing

The climbing at Mowing Word can be split between five distinct areas – The West Face, The South Face, East Face, Hidden Wall and the Forgotten Wall. In addition to these the West Face can also be split up into three area’s for the purposes of clarity. All of the routes are in some way affected by the tide the degree to which it is very much dependant on the time of year and the weather. Most starts will require a hanging belay just above the high tide line, o in high seas or stormy weather, the crags is probably better off avoided all together

Mowing Word
The Hidden Wall
(Photo by Nanuls)
Mowing Word
The West Face
(Photo by Nanuls)
Mowing Word
The East Face
(Photo by Nanuls)

Climbs are listed from left to right, and are graded and rated with the aid of the Climbers’ Club Guide to Pembroke, the Pembroke Supplement and the new Rockfax Pembroke guide, so for full descriptions, please refer to these books. In addition to these sources, Rockfax’s website has descriptions for the routes included in their book, which can be viewed on their online route Database.

Routes are graded using the British Adjectival Grading System. Technical grades are generally only given to climbs graded adjectivally as Severe (S) or above. A conversion table of international climbing grades by SP member Corax is available HERE! With the exception of Tenby South Beach Quarry, bolting is strictly prohibited everywhere in Pembrokeshire, 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.


West Face


The West Face is Mowing Word's largest and finest section of cliff face, being host to a veritable treasure trove of star-gilded routes. Incredibly steep, uncomfortably committing, yet utterly magnetic, this crag epitomises the very best Pembroke has to offer.

For clarity it has been split into three sections – the Chimes of Freedom Area, the Diedre Sud Area and the Curver Area.

The Sections of Mowing Word's West Face (Photo by Nanuls)

Chimes of Freedom Area

The Chimes of Freedom Area constitutes the huge buttress that protrudes from the West Face.

Routes in the Chimes of Freedom Area (Photo by Nanuls)

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
1. Fools Rush In 43m 2 E2 5a, 4a NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
2. The Onion Eaters 40m 1 E3 6a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
3. The Challot 40m 2 E3 5b, 5c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
4. Crystal Grazer 40m 1 E2 5c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
5. Sea Goon 49m 2 HVS 4c, 4a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
6. Seaside Salamander 46m 1 E4 6a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
7. All at Sea 46m 1 E5 6a 3 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
8. Crises 46m 1 E4 6a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
9. Tie me to the Tyburn Tree 43m 1 E5 6a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
10. Widowmaker 46m 2 E3 5c, 5b 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
11. Chimes of Freedom 43m 1 E2 5b 3 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
12. Stand By to Boogie 43m 2 E3 5a, 5c 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
13. Blowin' in the Wind 43m 2 E1 5a, 5b 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
14. Snozwanger 43m 2 HVS 4c, 5a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS


Diedre Sud Area

Most climbers will know of Mowing Word for its two classic routes - Diedre Sud (HS 4a) and Heart of Darkness (HVS 4c), both of which can be found on this section. If that weren't enough, the other routes of this section also have plenty to offer.

Routes in the Diedre Sud Area (Photo by Nanuls)

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
15. Diedre Sud 43m 2 HS 4a 3 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
16. Sour Milk Dill 21m 1 E2 5c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
17. The Right Wall 43m 2 HVS 4b, 5a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
18. New Morning 55m 2 E1 5a, 5b 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
19. Dawn Chorus 21m 1 E6 6b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
20. Ice Breaker 52m 2 E4 5c, 6a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
21. Ski Sunday 52m 2 E6 5c, 6b 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
22. Razorbill 55m 3 VS 4b, 4b, 4c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
23. The Flax of Dream 61m 3 E2 4b, 4c, 5a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
24. Heart of Darkness 80m 4 HVS 4c, 4b, 4c, 4a 3 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
25. In One Door 46m 2 E5 6a, 6a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
26. Heart of Darkness/New
Morning Connection
48m 2 E1 5b 3 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
27. In the Heat of the Night 40m 1 E5 6a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
28. Betrayal 38m 1 E6 6b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
29. Sealhunt 37m 1 E1 5b 3 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
30. The Liquidator 37m 1 E5 6b 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
31. Seal of Approval 37m 1 E3 5c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
32. Culinary Delights 40m 1 E2 5b 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
33. Small Man's Burden 37m 1 E4 6a NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
34. Black Cat 37m 1 E3 6a 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
35. Maninwhite 37m 1 E1 5b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS


The Curver Area

This southern most section of the West Face also has some interesting routes.

Routes in the Curver Area (Photo by Nanuls)

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
36. Seal 30m 1 VS 4c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
37. Ships that Crash in the Night 49m 2 E3 5b, 5b 3 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
38. Rose in Bloom 33m 1 E3 5c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
39. Cormorant Flake 34m 1 VS 4c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
40. The Curver 40m 3 VS 4a, 4b, 4c 2 STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
41. Nijinski 27m 1 E1 5b 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
42. Horse Feathers 27m 1 E1 5b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
43. Inside the Final Hurdle 27m 1 E4 6b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
44. The Horse's Mouth 30m 1 E2 5c NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
45. The Beak 34m 2 VS 4c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
46. The Pecker 24m 1 E2 5b NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
47. Over the Top 24m 1 E1 5a 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
48. Contradiction 24m 1 E4 6a 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
49. What the Butler Saw 27m 1 E4 6a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
50. Poor Relations 27m 1 E1 5b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
51. The Arête of Mowing Word 37m 1 VS NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
52. Odour Cologne 37m 3 E4 6a, 5b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
53. Stubble Trouble 37m 3 E6 5b, 6c, 6b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
54. Slip of the Wrist 37m 3 E5 5b, 6a, 6a 3 STARS NO RESTRICTIONS


South Face


The following routes are located on the most southerly tip of the headland.

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
55. Close Shave 37m 3 E4 5b, 6a, 5a 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
56. The Razor's Edge 37m 2 HVS 5a, 5a 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
57. Severed Head 35m 2 E4 5c 1 STAR RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
58. On the Brink 21m 1 E5 6a NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
69. Plain Failing 30m 1 E3 5c NO STARS RESTRICTIONS – NESTING BIRDS
70. Relaxation Class 24m 1 E5 6c NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
71. So This is War 27m 1 E6 6b 2 STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
72. The Olive Branch 27m 1 E4 6a 2 STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
73. Special Branch 24m 1 E5 6a 2 STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
74. If You Can't Crank It, Spank It 24m 1 E4 6a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
75. Charenton Crack 24m 1 E2 5b 3 STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
76. Finger Fiend 24m 1 E5 6b 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
77. One More Nail 24m 1 E5 6a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
78. Steep Pace 27m 1 E4 5c 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS


East Face


Smaller and generally less fertile than the West Face, the East Face of Mowing Word has a few worthy offerings for the visiting climber.

Routes on the East Face and Hidden Wall (Photo by Nanuls)

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
79. Night Boat to Penfro 27m 1 E5 6c 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
80. Go Slo 21m 1 HVS 5b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
81. Titanium Head 27m 1 E4 6a 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
82. Mental Block 27m 1 E1 5b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
83. Mental Block Direct Start 27m 1 E1 5b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
84. Logos 27m 1 HVS 5a 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
85. Fanatic 24m 1 HVS 5a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
86. Pilgrim's Chorus 21m 1 VS 4c NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
87. Corner Crack 27m 1 VS 4c NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
88. Square Chimney 21m 1 VD NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
89. Ledgeway 21m 1 D NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
90. Illusion Corner 24m 1 VS 4c NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
91. Arête and Groove 24m 1 S 4a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS


Hidden Wall


This fine, overhanging wall lies in a zawn to the right of Square Chimney.

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
92. La Militaire 30m 1 E1 5b 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
93. Street Legal 30m 1 E2 5b 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
94. Crack Division 33m 1 E4 6a 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
95. The Good Soldier 34m 1 E2 5c 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
96. Knocked Out Loaded 30m 1 E1 5b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
97. Black Crow Blues 30m 2 E3 6a, 5a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
98. Puppy Dog Blues 27m 1 HVS 5a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS


Forgotten Wall


Despite its name the Forgotten Wall is far from forgotten. Find it between the Hidden Wall and Stackpole Head's West Face.

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
99. New Balance 24m 1 HVS NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
100. Plain Sailing 24m 1 VD NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
101. Haystacks 24m 2 VS 4b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
102. Guillibility 24m 1 VD NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
103. Sulky Poos 24m 2 VS 4c NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
104. Easy Peasy 24m 2 VS 4b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS

Weather Conditions and Tides

Weather Forecast



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



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 port to Mowing Word:

Stackpole Quay Stackpole Quay (SR 992 957)

When to Climb and Essential Gear

Because the crag is an important breeding and nesting site for bird species such as Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), between 1st March and 1st August climbing is completely banned on most of the faces. Climbing outside this period is however, completely unrestricted, with late summer early autumn generally offering the most stable weather. Since most of the routes start with a hanging belay just above sea level, Mowing Word is probably better off avoided in high seas - unless of course, your belayer doesn’t mind receiving a good soaking.

The gear needed depends entirely on the routes you plan to do. Because most of the pitches are quite long, a well stocked rack with plenty of quickdraws is advisable; a good compliment of friends or other camming devices will also certainly help – smaller ones will generally be of most use. A set of double ropes of at least 50 metres in length is pretty much essential for all climbs and in addition to your usual gear; you will also need an abseil rope to access to the base of the crag.

The West Face (Photo by Nanuls)

Getting There

Mowing Word lies around midway between Broad Haven Beach and Stackpole Quay, but is best reached from the beach in the south. 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 9470). Drive through Bosherston (or stop for a cup of tea at Mrs Weston's Olde Worlde Café) to the Broad Haven Car Park (SR 975 939).

Leave the car park and cross Broad Haven Beach, from here follow a path along a fence that leads to Saddle Bay (SR 983 942). From Saddle Bay follow the coastal path past Raming Hole (SR987944) to a small sandy bay. From here you will be able to see the narrow headland of Mowing Word (SR991942) protruding far into the sea. The coastal path will now take you along the cliff tops to said headland where you will be provided with a choice of stakes for abseiling and belaying.

Red Tape and Access

Mowing Word
The Crumbling Stack
(Photo by Nanuls)
Mowing Word is owned by the National Trust and classified as open access land meaning that the public has a right to access it more or less at any time. However, it also forms part of a Special Protection Area and is an extremely important site for breeding and nesting choughs (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), therefore between 1st March and 1st August climbing is completely banned on most of its faces.

It should be noted that Pembroke nesting restrictions are complex and vary annually. Please check the notice boards in Stack Rocks or St Govan’s car parks for more information. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority also produce an excellent annual information leaflet illustrating the restricted areas on a clear map - download it from this LINK.

It is also available from the BMC, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Mrs Weston’s Ye Olde Worlde Café in Bosherston.
Mowing Word
The Hidden
Wall
(Photo by Nanuls)

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.

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 Climbers Club Guides to Wales: Pembroke by John Harwood, Dave Viggers et al.

An extremely comprehensive two volume guidebook to the area which describes most of the routes on Mowing Word.
Climbers Club Pembroke Supplement Climbers Club Pembroke Supplement by Dave Viggers

A little book containing updates to the Climbers Club Guide - costs around a fiver.
Rock Fax Guide: Pembroke Rock Fax Guide: Pembroke by Alan James and Mike Robertson

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

External Links

 
Mowing Word
The West Face (Photo by Nanuls)
 
Mowing Word
Restriction Markers (Photo by Nanuls)

Government Bodies and Other Organisations

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Council for National Parks

Association of National Park Authorities
Pembrokeshire County Council
Carmarthenshire County Council
Ceredigion County Council
Countryside Council for Wales
Forestry Commission Wales
Environment Agency
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
South Wales Mountaineering Club
The Climbers Club
UKClimbing

Weather

Weather from the Met Office
BBC Weather
Weather Channel UK

Tide Tables

BBC Tide Tables
UK Hydrographic Office

Tourist Information

Visit Wales
Visit Pembrokeshire
South West Wales Tourism Partnership
Local Information from Pembrokeshire Pages
Local Information from Pembrokeshire Online

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
Cicerone Guidebooks
Climbers’ Club Guidebooks
Rockfax Guidebooks
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
Sea Trust
Pembrokeshire Bird Group

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

Images