Diedre Sud

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 51.61127°N / 4.90212°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Difficulty: HS 4a (5.6-5.7 YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 2
Sign the Climber's Log


It's difficult to give a just introduction to a route of this calibre, and even to simply say that Diedre Sud is nothing short of remarkable seems to be unforgivably weak. Just know this, it ascends the entire West Face of the already magnificent Mowing Word, is very steep and satisfyingly exhilarating, has many sublime positions, and might well be the best route of its grade anywhere in Britain – oh what the hell, the world.

Diedre Sud represents the fruits of the first explorations of South Pembroke, which were dominated by Colin Mortlock, Lyn Noble and Jim Perrin. This particular route fell to Mortlock on the 30th of May 1967, not the first route on the crag, but almost certainly the best. Today it is a popular attraction for British climbers, and is considered a corner stone in many an aspiring leaders' career. Be aware though, bird restrictions affect this part of Mowing Word and climbing is banned between the 1st of March and 1st of August each year. See the Mowing Word mountain/rock page for more information.

Getting There

Diedre Sud

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 965 947). 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 (SR 987 944) to a small sandy bay. From here you will be able to see the narrow headland of Mowing Word (SR 991 942) 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. Choose the small and slightly rusty 'double' stake.

At low tide it is possible to reach the base of the crag on foot by abseiling in at Gun Cliff and strolling across the beach. The final push to the start of the route will require a short sea level traverse across the Chimes of Freedom Area.

Route Description

Anchor your static rope to the small 'double' stake just above the corner that gives the route. Abseil in and establish a hanging belay on ledges just above the high tide mark.

Pitch 1 (20m): The only way is up! Follow the steep corner crack on reassuring holds to a series of ledges at around 15 metres. Continue easily up these for another 5 metres or so to a large ledge on the right. Belay here, or climb straight through. If climbing in choppy seas your second won't thank you for climbing on.

Pitch 2 (20m): This pitch gives the crux of the climb, which comes in at a surprisingly reasonable 4a. Follow the natural line of the corner to the overhang above, but before reaching it take the large crack to your left. Follow the crack around the overhang to the top and belay your second from the stake used for your abseil. Bring your second up and high fives all round – you've just completed a UK classic!

Mowing WordThe West Face
(Photo by Nanuls)
Pembroke PegThe Stake
(Photo by Nanuls)
Mowing WordPitch 1
(Photo by Nanuls)
Mowing WordPitch 2
(Photo by Nanuls)

Essential Gear

The route is either one long pitch or two short ones - so equip yourself accordingly. The route will take an absolute ton of gear, so if you like to place a lot, take as much as you can carry. Unlike many of Pembroke's climbs, Diedre Sud will take a mixture of small and large gear so be sure to have a good mix. Cams become very useful higher up. You will also need to make allowances for a hanging belay at the start of the route. 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.


Open Space Web-Map builder Code
Navigation Maps

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

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

Road Maps

Ordnance Survey Tour Series 11 South & Mid Wales


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 5 Stackpole and Lydstep Climbers' Club Guides to Wales: Pembroke Volume 5: Stackpole and Lydstep by Emma Alsford & Paul Donnithorne

A superb and extremely comprehensive guidebook to Pembroke’s climbing east of Range East; includes descriptions of most of the routes at Mowing Word.
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

Mowing WordThe West Face (Photo by Nanuls)
Mowing WordRestriction Markers (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


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


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


Youth Hostel Association in Wales

Independent Hostel Guide

Campsites in Pembrokeshire

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey

The Climbers’ Club

Cicerone 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



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