Mountains & Rocks
Page Type: Mountain/Rock
51.99511°N / 4.90085°W
Hiking, Trad Climbing, Bouldering
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
1001 ft / 305 m
Created/Edited: Apr 1, 2009 / Jan 14, 2015
Object ID: 503081
Page Score: 87.31%
- 24 Votes
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Mynydd Dinas (Fort or City Mountain) is something of a geological oddity, even in an area where the underlying strata is as diverse as it is in Pembrokeshire. While most of the area’s climbing takes place on igneous intrusions, carboniferous limestone and old red sandstone, the rocky outcrops of Mynydd Dinas have a distinctly gritty texture and are more akin to those of England’s Peak District than anything in Wales. The grain of the rock is said to be comparable to that of Ashover grit (Black Rocks and the southeast Peak), which is probably smoother than some of the Peak’s more popular areas such as Stanage and Ramshaw, and probably with less friction, but the approximation is close enough. Such is the class of the rock, that the problems it yields are second to none in the area, and exceed even those of Treffgarne in quality.
The tors straddle the hill’s crest and on a clear day are silhouetted against the skyline of northern Pembrokeshire. The rocks range in size from a couple of isolated boulders to whole crags, which house arêtes, corners, slabs and pinnacles. The activity is split between four outcrops: Carn Enoch, which is the first tor reached when approaching from the parking area; Garn Fawr, which is the largest and most prominent piece of rock on the hill; Carnsefyll which is located just to the north; and the Elephant’s Arse Boulders, a couple of isolated rocks located just to the south.
Owing to the openness of the area, bouldering is probably best avoided when the weather is really foul, however, if it’s just windy then the multi-faceted nature of the outcrops means that you should be able to find at least one sheltered little corner to climb on. On a clear day, there are fewer places better, with panoramic views stretching across much of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Cardigan Bay.
| |Bouldering on Carn Enoch | |Garn Fawr’s Upper Tier | |Looking north over Cardigan Bay
Problems and Routes
Attempts have been made to grade the bouldering problems using the Hueco V System, however, many grades are still given using the British Technical Grading System which is usually used for rating the crux of trad climbs. The system is great for easy problems (less than 5a), however, above that they start to become too vague and in the higher grades they are hopeless, with 6c covering everything from V6 to V10. A grading comparison table is available of Rockfax’s website. To maintain a level of consistency, wherever possible, both V and Technical Grades have been listed.
Trad climbs are rated using the British Adjectival Grading System. With the exception of Tenby South Beach Quarry, bolting is strictly prohibited everywhere in Pembrokeshire, so don’t even think about it here. A conversion table of international climbing grades by SP member Corax is available HERE!
Carn Enoch (Enoch’s Rock) is the large jumble of boulders that can be seen from the parking area, and has several green paths that lead directly to it. Most problems, and also those of the highest quality, are found on its east face, but there are many more dotted around the pile. Facing east, two cracks divide the slabs; the left hand one is undercut, splits the face from top to bottom, and is gives a real classic problem: Freddie’s Nightmare, one of those gems that'll take the skin off your shins. The prow immediately left, and the slabs to the right, are depressingly desperate. Problems are generally described from left to right, but there are some oddities, so it’s best to check the crag diagrams for confirmation. For legibilities sake the problem descriptions have been split between Carn Enoch's East Face and the rest, which are listed under the heading Odds and Sods.
| Problem 1 || V1 (5c) || |
| Begin by standing on the arête, and from the obvious side-pull go for the top just to the right. |
| Problem 2 || V2 (6a) || |
| Starting from the same place, go left and up the prow on a series of big sidepulls. |
| Problem 3 || V0 (5a) || |
| Standing jump for the top of the boulder and mantel. Fun! |
| Problem 4 || V2 (5c) || |
| A low-level traverse from the slab rightwards under the prow to finish up Problem 3. |
| Problem 5 || V0+ (5b) || |
| A low sidewall beginning with a sitting start from the break, then through the side-pull for the top. |
| Problem 6 || V4 (6a/b) || |
| Starting in the same place, dyno for the top directly. |
| Problem 7 || V2 (5c+) || |
| Straight for the closed-in flying arête, with no assistance from the boulders on either side. A sitting start has still not been completed. |
| Problem 8 || VB (4b) || |
| Traverse the small crack to the left. |
Garn Gawr (Big Rock) is the largest of Mynydd Dinas’ outcrops, and subsequently has the highest concentration of problems, plus the only trad routes on the hill. Much of the bouldering is around the main cliff, but there are a few gems to be found lower down. All the trad routes are on the main crag, none of which exceed 10 metres in length, and some of which are of a surprisingly high quality. There is a wall and solid fence that runs across its south side, don’t damage it!
Problems are generally described from left to right, but there are some oddities, so it’s best to check the crag diagrams for confirmation.
On Garn Fawr’s northern face are a number routes of medium to hard difficulty. Although onlyeight routes have been recorded at the site, there is great potential for more, and a number of projects have already been identified. Routes are described from left to right, or for those with a purely geographical mind, from east to west.
Trad routes on Garn Fawr. For a clean version of the photo click HERE.
| 1. Memoriam || 8m || S 4b || |
| The route follows the crack on the left of the left wall of the buttress into the large niche, and then through the overhanging layback crack above. |
| 2. Tombstone || 9m || VS 4b || |
| Starting halfway along the wall, traverse the obvious handrail rightwards to meet Rememberance halfway up the arête. Continue to the top. A nasty landing, without any real gear. |
| 3. Remembrance || 9m || S 4b || |
| A fine and worthwhile route. Climb the easy-angled front face of the buttress, starting from the left side of the arête. |
| 4. Dougie the Wondercat || 9m || E1 5b || |
| Start on the buttress to the right. Follow the line of holds left of the left arête, from a hard but eliminate right hand start to a long, insecure reach for a flake. |
| 5. N/A || 9m || PROJECT || |
| Cracks not yet cleaned. |
| 6. Kamikaze Lichen || 9m || VS 4b || |
| Down and to the right, the crag sports a large face, with three cracks running up it, and a large raven’s nest in the centre. The left arête of the face is reasonably easy, though lichenous. Another bad route to fall off. |
| 7. N/A || 9m || PROJECT || |
| The right-hand arête. |
| 8. Bunker Mentality || 9m || E1 5c || |
| Another quality route. Start on the slab left of centre with some thin moves, and continue direct. The crux is at the bottom, but as usual there is a nasty drop off the landing. |
| 9. Stopgap || 8m || VS 4b || |
| A poor route up the short wall and arête left of Speed Trap. |
| 10. Speed Trap || 8m || E3 5a || |
| This takes the right side of the sidewall, past a hollow perched flake. |
Elephant’s Arse Boulders
These intriguingly named boulders are located a just to the south of Carn Enoch, and should come into view after a short walk from any direction, although if visibility is poor, they may be difficult to locate precisely. The boulders are easy to recognise: one has the appearance of a large tooth, while to its west is a spherical boulder resting on a flat slab; both are only about 3 metres in height. The North East Arête of the tooth has a good problem at V0+ (5c); while the spherical boulder has some excellent hanging start problems on slopers, and the top is the eponymous Elephant’s Arse problem, which at V2 (6a) is particularly good if the one poor hold is ignored.
| |Elephant’s Arse Boulders from the west | |Elephant’s Arse Boulders and Mynydd Preseli beyond | |Elephant’s Arse Boulders from the east
This section displays the weather forecast for Fishguard Bay, which is located just to the west and is one of the nearest towns to Mynydd Dinas. Remember that Fishguard Bay is around sea level whereas Mynydd Dinas reaches 305m. This means that when looking at temperature the adiabatic lapse rate must be taken into account, which in Wales is a drop in temperature of between 0.5 and 1°C per 100m in altitude. Exposure and wind speed can also significantly lower temperatures.<.p>