Blockhouse Buttress might not be on top of everyone's Pembroke hit list, but that doesn't mean it's not worth describing, after all, pretty much everything in Pembroke is worth climbing at some point. Of the Buttress' routes, the aptly named Sheer Delight (Hard Severe 4b) is probably the best, taking the steep south face at a remarkably amenable grade.
FA: M. Harber and A. Moore, April 20th 1980.
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, 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 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. Blockhouse Buttress is the cliff where this fence meets coastline above a large landward slanting slab (SR 951 936). Abseil from a nut and hex anchor to the base of landward slanting slab – the start of the route is just to the left.
Pitch 1 (4a, 20m): Climb the left hand side of the slab to an obvious flake and climb this too. Protection is quite poor. After this the protection improves and one can enjoy the moment. Move upwards to a break and belay off a good ledge.
Pitch 2 (4b, 20m): Step up above the belay and immediately swing right. Continue upwards more easily on broken rock. An alternate finish is to simply climb straight on; the climbing is better but it pushes the overall grade of the climb down to Severe.
The route is two 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. You should also carry an abseil rope to safely access to the base of the crag, along with a set of prussiks (or equivalent) to allow for self rescue should the need arise.
||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
OS Road Map 6 Wales/Cymru & West Midlands
Government Bodies and Other Organisations
Outdoor Organisations and Companies
Weather and Tides
Maps and Guidebooks
Wildlife and Conservation