Pandy Quarry (Pen Y Fron)

Crag overview

Pandy Quarry panorama

The Main Wall lies directly behind the open area and faces west or slightly north of west. On the right is a much smaller face, The Dark Side, which lies at right angles to the Main Wall and is always shady. A bay at a higher level on the left has no climbs at present and is probably too small and broken to be of interest.

This part of the Nant Alyn valley has no road and is very sheltered. The quarry has an open aspect at present, although birch trees are starting to encroach, and is a very pleasant place to climb. Despite the sheltered location it is not a good winter venue because, in the winter months, the opposite side of the valley keeps it mostly in the shade. From spring to autumn it gets afternoon sun and dries quickly. On warm days it can be better to climb before the sun arrives but excessive heat is rarely critical.

The Main Wall routes are mostly just off vertical with rests between moves and the occasional steeper section but a few, notably Manhattan Project and Discovery, are a bit more pumpy. A prominent feature of the Main Wall is a line of overlaps above a band of coal and shale that emerges by The Urchin and rises diagonally rightwards. The coal/shale is soft and disintegrating but is generally passed without undue difficulty. Typically, the shale has been cut back to reveal large, sometimes fragile, holds on the lower edge of the break and it is not normally far to decent holds above. It is best not to touch the shale itself as it can cascade dirt on to the holds below.

The Dark Side is short but a little steeper and even the easier routes have short, steep juggy sections.


Pandy Quarry (Pen y Fron) is just a 4 kilometres west of Mold and about a kilometre north of Pantymwyn and Devil’s Gorge. There are 3 possible parking places:

  1. From the chapel at Pen y Fron (SJ 196 657). Park considerately near the chapel, which is reached by minor roads from Rhydymwyn or Pantymwyn. (There are/were services at the chapel on the first Sunday of every month. Please don’t block/fill the chapel parking on these days: use one of the other approaches if this presents a problem.) Take a footpath slanting down through the trees from opposite the chapel gate. Pass a branch of the path that joins from further up the road then, a few metres further, turn sharp left at an intersection with a bigger trail and follow it downhill (west) to a gravel road. Turn left on to the road and follow it and the continuation path down into the open area at the foot of the quarry.

  2. From Nant Alyn (SJ 197 660). Turn off the A541 opposite the garage at Rhydymwyn. Follow the minor road to Nant Alyn. Park in the village near where the road turns uphill away from the river (Afon Alun). Cross the river by the footbridge and follow the path to a gravel road. Turn right on to the road and follow it up the valley to some houses where you join the last part of the Pen y Fron approach.

  3. From the Pantymwyn to Cilcain road (SJ 187 652). Park by the bridge over the river. Go back up the hill towards Pantymwyn. At the first bend go left down a steep earthy path that soon levels out and leads along the valley to the quarry. There is a boggy section at the end that can often be avoided by a minor braid to the left.