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The Diagonal

The Diagonal

The Diagonal

Page Type: Route

Location: Snowdonia, Wales, Europe

Lat/Lon: 52.64290°N / 4.00926°W

Object Title: The Diagonal

Route Type: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Less than two hours

Difficulty: Severe (USA 5.5 - 5.7)

Number of Pitches: 2

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: Nanuls

Created/Edited: Jan 28, 2009 / Apr 15, 2011

Object ID: 484236

Hits: 1521 

Page Score: 77.48%  - 8 Votes 

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The aptly named The Diagonal (Severe) takes an obvious line up a large diagonal crack, which slants up right from the base of The Diamond Wall to the top of The Bastion Face. The route is short but atmospheric, and although it might not be the greatest route on Craig yr Aderyn, it takes place on some of the crag’s cleanest, soundest rock, and is an excellent starting point for anyone climbing there. The 37 metre route is usually climbed in two pitches, however it can be split into three by belaying on a ledge around 10 metres below the usual belay point. This allows the climbers involved to communicate more easily, as since the route was first climbed, a tree has grown around the usual belay point, obscuring the climbers' view of one another and muffling their calls.

FA: A. Howard and D. Davies (Alternate Leads), November 22nd 1964.

Getting There

Craig yr Aderyn
The route follows the large diagonally rising fissure below the Diamond Face (Photo by Nanuls)
The Diagonal (Severe)
Halfway along the route near the first ledge, it is possible to belay here if you wish (Photo by Nanuls)
Craig yr Aderyn
The Diagonal ends above the Dysynni Valley and looks out towards Cardigan Bay some five miles to the west (Photo by Nanuls)
Bastion Descent
The descent ramp which runs down the back of the Diamond Face and is the quickest way back to the base of the rock (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, the best ones for this route are located just beyond the junction at grid reference SH 643 071. The start is at the bottom of the obvious crack that the route ascends.

Route Description

Pitch 1 (26m): Take a line just below the crack to a small ledge, the first 9m of climbing is poorly protected so take care. There’s a friend jammed in a crack on the left side of the ledge. You can belay here if necessary. Climb more in the crack to an awkward final move and another ledge where you can build a boulder and tree belay. The final moves can be a bit vegetated, particularly in summer.

Pitch 2 (11m): Move easily right over some protruding boulders and a stance on the buttress then climb to the top via a clean cut groove on the left.

Descend via a narrow ramp which can be accessed by walking a little further uphill and slightly to the left.

The Diagonal Route. For a clean version of the photo click HERE

Essential Gear

A single 50 or 60m rope will be fine (you may want to use a double or twin but its not essential) a moderate rack of nuts, hexes and maybe a few cams. Also be sure to carry a selection of slings and screwgates for constructing belays. The route is best done in rock shoes as boots would be way too cumbersome. Naturally you will also need all the other paraphernalia associated with climbing and hill walking in Wales: full waterproofs, fleece, hat, gloves and of course some lunch.


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.

External Links

The Bastion
The Bastion - The Diagonal follows the large crack below the Diamond Face (Photo by Nanuls)
Craig yr Aderyn
Craig yr Aderyn from Castell y Bere (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