North Wales Classics Update – Craig yr Ogof Topo

A trip to Cwm Silyn on a perfect September weekend provided an opportunity to check some of the classic routes on Craig yr Ogof.

This isolated mountain crag tends to be less popular than other mountain crags in North Wales but has a set of superb routes that are worthy of anyone’s attention. The nature of the main slab is such that it is possible to climb virtually anywhere on the main slab. This has led to some confusion over the years over exactly where the routes, particularly Kirkus Route and its variations, actually go.

After some fairly detailed research going back to the original 1955 guidebook, I have come up with a new topo which corrects the route lines from the North wales Classics guidebook which were a little out.

Download the new NWC Update PDF here

Sam James-Louwerse seconding pitch 3 of the Central Variant on Craig yr Ogof.

It became clear while researching that the line followed by what most people now call Kirkus Route is not the line that Kirkus followed when he led the first ascent when the slab had much more grass on it. It is likely that he weaved around at the top. It is possible that the second man Macphee climbed the upper section more directly on the top-rope, as the line goes now.


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