Garreg yr Ogof

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 52.90395°N / 3.92906°W
Additional Information County: Gwynedd
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Toprope, Bouldering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 722 ft / 220 m
Sign the Climber's Log


The crags of the Rhinogydd are notoriously difficult to access, and as a result are known by few and are visited by fewer. However, there are a few exceptions, and as you might have guessed, Garreg yr Ogof (Rock of the Cave) is one such exception. The crag is sandwiched between Llyn Trawsfynydd, and the eponymous village of the same name, and takes the form of a single outcrop, some 15 metres in height, coupled with a series of shorter crags and boulders. Close to the road, and in beautiful surroundings, the crag offers a fantastic taste of what climbing in the Rhinogydd is all about. Furthermore, the crag’s handful of routes span the grading spectrum, making it an ideal venue for the experienced and inexperienced alike.

The area surrounding the crag is significant from both an Environmental and a cultural perspective. Perhaps the area’s most obvious landscape feature is Llyn trawsfynydd, a 4.8 km² reservoir, originally created in 1928 as the header reservoir for the Maentwrog hydro-electric power station. In 1968 the Trawsfynydd nuclear power station was completed, and the lake was used to supply of cooling water to the power station’s twin reactor. Both reactors were shut down in 1991; and have since been in the process of being decommissioned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The power station is still clearly visible from the surrounding mountains.

More significantly, one of Wales’ most famous poets, Ellis Humphrey Evans, known more commonly as Hedd Wyn, was born at Penlan, Trawsfynydd in 1887 the eldest of eleven children born to Evan and Mary Evans. The family moved to his father’s old home, "Yr Ysgwrn", a small hill farm about a mile to the east of the village, and it was here that Hedd Wyn lived most of his life. He began writing poetry at an early age winning his first chair at Bala in 1907 followed by chairs at Llanuwchllyn (1913), Pwllheli (1913), Llanuwchllyn (1915) and Pontardawe (1915).

Llyn Trawsfynydd and the Rhinogydd (Photo by Nanuls)

In 1917 Hedd Wyn was called up by the army, and after a brief training period at a camp near Liverpool, he was sent to Flanders as a private in the 15th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. During the same year, the National Eisteddfod of Wales was held in Birkenhead, and the subject for the chair was "Yr Arwr" (The Hero). Whilst in Belgium, Hedd Wyn decided to compete for the chair, completing the poem by mid July. On the 31st of July he was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele at Pilkem Ridge, aged 30.

t the Eisteddfod pavilion on the 6th of September the adjudicator announced that the winning poet with the nom-de-plume of "Fleur-de-lis" fully deserved to win. The audience were informed that the winner was Private E. H. Evans - Hedd Wyn - and that he had been killed in action a just over a month earlier, and sadly the chair was covered with a black cloth. His body is buried at the Artillery Wood cemetery near Boezinge.

Be aware that when searching for the crag on an Ordnance Survey map, its name has been spelt Garreg yr Ogef. This is almost certainly a mistake as ogef isn’t a real word.

Rock Climbing

Most routes are located on the largest crag, while a number of shorter pitches have been recorded on the smaller crags to the south. A number of bouldering problems have also been recorded and published on, however I was unable to identify these satisfactorily, and so have decided not to publish them here. See the relevant page for further details. Routes are described from left to right, and are graded and with the aid of both the Climbers' Club Guide to Meirionnydd and

Technical grades are only given to climbs graded adjectivally as Hard Severe (HS) or above. Where the sources differ in their grading I have opted to list the highest quoted grade only, as I don’t want to mislead anyone about the seriousness of any of the routes. Please be aware that these routes have received relatively few ascents and so the grades are only rough approximations at best. I certainly felt that some of the climbs I did were quite high in their quoted grade. A conversion table for international climbing grades by SP member Corax is available HERE!. In addition, quality ratings have also been included, these are based on the three star system commonly used in British guidebooks.

Be aware that this is a trad climbing venue and that bolting is strictly prohibited.

First Fright 15m VD NO STARS
Climb the layback flake above a grass recess followed by a short finger flake.
Children of Lir 15m HVS 5a NO STARS
Climb the obvious tower in the left half of the crag, moving rightwards from the highest horizontal break to the top.
Alive Enough to Spawn 15m D NO STARS
Follow a vague crack in a stepped slab to a large wedged block. Move around the block and climb the crack in the left hand side of the wall to its rear.
Toxic Texan 15m VD NO STARS
Climb a rib to a grassy terrace and the wedged block. Take the right hand corner to finish.
Training Spotters 15m E1 5b 1 STAR
Climb the open left corner in the centre of the crag to a roof. Pull rightwards and follow a seam in the top wall.
First Flight 15m VS 4c 2 STARS
Follow the vertical cracks up a slabby face to the top.
The Wrath of Cian 15m HVS 5a 2 STARS
Climb the slab between First Flight and a large crack. Good ledges lead to a blunt flake, pass the break and take the right hand edge of the wall above.
Far for the Fledgling 15m VD NO STARS
Climb the slab on the right to a deep overlap. Step left below the overlap to a good crack directly above.
Garreg yr Ogof Main Crag (Photo by Nanuls)

Routes on Garreg yr Ogof's main crag. For a clean version of the photo click HERE.

Below and to the right of the cliff, in the direction of a farmhouse, is a plethora of small rock faces, lots of bouldering, and four described routes. On top of the level area behind the farmhouse is a prominent block with a fine arête, which forms part of a low crag.

Garreg yr Ogof southern crags (Photo by Nanuls)
Bloodscream 6m E2 6a 1 STAR
Climb the arête directly.
The slap of One Hand Sighing 5m HVS 5b NO STARS
Climb the block with the bulge left of a short corner to the left of Bloodscream.
Spreading Mischief 5m HVS 5b NO STARS
The leaning face left of the next corner on the left.
When the Rock Crows 8m E4 6a 1 STAR
The final route is located on ta north-west facing cutaway below the left end of the crag. Climb the thin groove on the centre of the wall and take a long reach/short dyno from a spike to a ledge on the left.

Further information and topos on bouldering at Garreg yr Ogof can be found over on UKClimbing.

Mountain Conditions

This section displays the mountain conditions for Snowdonia, of which Garreg yr Ogof is part. Click on the widget for maps and further information.

This Snowdonia weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

When to Climb and Essential Gear

The most reliable conditions are in the summer, but the low altitude of the crag may make it a viable option in winter when the area’s higher routes are too wet to be enjoyable. The gear needed depends entirely on the routes you plan to do. Easier routes will only require a moderate rack, while harder routes will require a something more comprehensive; a good compliment of friends or other camming devices will certainly help. A singe 50 metre rope should serve well on most routes, however, twin or double ropes would be a wise choice for the harder stuff.

Getting There

Turn off the A 470 at Trawsfynydd (SH 707 355) and park in the village. Walk down the lane along the left side of the large chapel in the village's centre, and follow it around to a small parking area and a church. Walk down the path that circles the church, cross a stone wall and the field beyond it to another stone wall. Cross this and walk across rough, unimproved grassland towards the lake and the crag (SH 704 356).

Red Tape

No red tape of access issues here!

For climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) runs a Regional Access Database, which holds mountain/crag specific information on matters of conservation and access, including issues such as nesting restrictions, nature designations and preferred parking:

Regional Access Database

If you are in any doubt about any particular access arrangement, or need to report an incident, you should contact your local BMC Access Representative or the BMC Access Officers for Wales: Elfyn Jones.

Garreg yr OgofThe farmhouse (Photo by Nanuls)
Garreg yr OgofThe main crag (Photo by Nanuls)
TrawsfynyddThe powerstation (Photo by Nanuls)

Camping and Accommodation

There’s an almost unlimited supply of accommodation within the Snowdonia National Park so it would be inappropriate to list it all here. For budget accommodation it’s worth checking out some of the following sites:

Youth Hostel Association in Wales
Independent Hostel Guide
Campsites in Gwynedd

A good option for this crag is the Llys Ednowain Hostel in Trawsfynydd itself. You couldn’t get much closer!


Open Space Web-Map builder Code
Navigation Maps

Ordnance Survey 1:25k Explorer Series OL 18 Harlech, Porthmadog & Bala/Y Bala

Ordnance Survey 1:50k Landranger Series 124 Porthmadog & Dolgellau

Harvey Map Services 1:25k Rhinogs/Rhinogydd

Harvey Map Services/BMC 1:40k Snowdonia South

Road Maps

Ordnance Survey Tour Series 10 North & Mid Wales


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 of the routes on Garreg yr Ogof. An essential purchase if you plan to do a lot of climbing in Mid Wales.

External Links

Garreg yr OgofThe main crag (Photo by Nanuls)
Garreg yr OgofThe smaller crags (Photo by Nanuls)

Government Bodies and Official Organisations

Snowdonia National Park Authority

Council for National Parks

Association of National Park Authorities

Natural Resources Wales


Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales

Gwynedd Archaeological Trust

Snowdonia Society

The National Trust

Hiking, Climbing and Mountaineering Organisations and Companies

British Mountaineering Council

The Climbers’ Club


Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre

Hightreck Snowdonia


Mountain Weather Wales

Weather from the Met Office

BBC Weather

Tourist Information

Visit Wales

North Wales Tourism Partnership

Local Information from

Local Information from Snowdonia Wales Net

North Wales Index


Welsh Public Transport Information

UK Train Timetable


Youth Hostel Association in Wales

Pete's Eats

Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey

Harvey Map Services

Cicerone Guidebooks

Climbers’ Club Guidebooks


North Wales Bouldering

Cordee Travel and Adventure Sports Bookshop

Wildlife and Conservation

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Natur Gwynedd

North Wales Wildlife Trust

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds