/ Swanage or Wye valley for beginners

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ElBarto - on 07 Sep 2012
Hello,

I'm taking two new people out climbing on the coming Sunday, one of whom is just getting into trad leading and the other has only started climbing recently but he's not intending on leading.

I'm trying to figure out the best place to take them, my main concern is finding some where for the person who's just started leading to have a few routes she can have a go at. Looking at around the VDiff grade.

I'm thinking of either Swanage or the Wye Valley, had a thought of Symonds Yat but thought I'd see if anyone here has any good suggestions? Open to ideas except the Snoozin' Suzie & Golden fleece area as we were there a couple of weeks ago and she lead Snoozin' Suzie.

Thanks in advance, I'll be looking in my guidebooks tonight but just wanted to see if anyone else has some suggestions.
AndrewHuddart - on 07 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto:

Swanage trad is a bit intimidating for many beginners - Cattle Troughs is the obvious choice but is still an ab/steep scramble to get into.

Hedbury quarry has some very easy sport though, as an alternative.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=257

Can't comment on the Wye.
Pursued by a bear - on 07 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto: Wintour's Leap is the obvious choice; one of the Corner Buttress routes or Ordinary Route. I'd avoid Bottle Buttress (fine climb, but perhaps not the best V Diff to choose for someone just starting leading).

T.
Monk - on 07 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto:

I've often found it quite tricky to find good beginner crags in the South. Nowhere really has a nice range of VDiff-S climbs. Swanage can be a little intimidating, but Subluminal does have a bunch of Severes. However, these can feel pretty tough at the grade (the easier ones are quite bold). In the Wye Valley, Wintour's Leap probably has the best low grade stuff in the central section, with some lovely 3 or 4 pitch routes. Shorncliff doesn't have that many low grade climbs, only a couple, but it is a nice setting and many of the routes have a reasonably gentle feel to them as they are quite slabby.

Have you considered Dartmoor? It's pretty quick to get to Hound Tor or Hay Tor as they aren't far off the motorway. There is much more lower grade stuff around there.
ElBarto - on 07 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto:
Thanks all for the replies, like I said one of the people who is coming hasn't climbed outdoors before, what are your opinions on taking him up a multi-pitch route?

I can't see it being a problem as both my self and the girl starting to lead know how to secure him at each pitch etc but I've heard people talk about not taking people on multi-pitch routes until they know what they are doing.

Also I hadn't thought of Dartmoor but I'm in Salisbury and I think it's about an hour or a bit more than that to get there than the Wye Valley.
David Coley - on 07 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto:
How about Avon? Single pitch, top roping and long easy multi pitch (V.Diff) routes. The road is a pain, but access is easy and you can get a lot of different stuff done. Slabs are always good for beginners as they are not under physical stress.

David Coley - on 07 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto:
Easy multi pitch is normally much better for beginners than harder, steeper single pitch.
ElBarto - on 07 Sep 2012
In reply to David Coley:
Thanks for the reply, I hadn't even considered Avon but it could be a good option. Certainly worth me considering.

I was thinking the same about easy multi-pitch it's just that I've heard a fair few people say multi-pitch routes should be done after knowing a bit more, but I have to admit I never understood why that was. Unless they meant more mountainous multi-pitch routes, like in the Alps I guess.

Again thanks for the reply, kind of reaffirmed what I thought about taking them on a multi-pitch route or two and gave me a good venue I hadn't considered.
Monk - on 07 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto:

AS long as you know what you are doing on multipitch, I don't think that it is too much of a problem taking a canny novice up one. I've done it before and it can be a really nice experience.
bpmclimb - on 08 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto:

Waterpipe Bay at Symonds Yat has a selection of short VDiffs which should suit.
CurlyStevo - on 08 Sep 2012
In reply to Monk: multipitch isnt a good place for beguinners to learn to lead unless its very easy (roughly the same difficulty you'd all solo). lowering off can be problematic as can helping with belays otherwise.
CurlyStevo - on 08 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto: i think dartmoor is friendlier than the local limestone have you considered sheeps tor (which i think is more straight forward climbing and less polished than hay tor)
David Coley - on 08 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto: Once upon a time (sounding old there) long multi pitch was how those that didn't live in the Peak learnt to climb. Idwal slabs, Langdale, etc. Just make is super easy so the climbing is never an issue. I still think it a better way to open people to the joys of climbing than a 20ft 4b jamming crack on Stanage.
scott titt - on 08 Sep 2012
In reply to David Coley:
Spot on. My first route ever was Flying Buttress on the Cromlech on a Christmas Day, my first lead was Ordinary Route on the Idwal Slabs; seemed to work for me.
scott titt - on 08 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto:
Have a look here, http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=1633
67 miles from Salisbury, 2hrs 1 min according to AA route maps (the last 5 miles take ages)
I have not climbed at the Fort but here is what South West Climbs (CC) says about Red Slab Wall...."Small, but perfectly formed, and just about the friendliest bit of rock in the whole area the easier routes all have solid, juggy and completely unpolished rock, bombproof protection
and a reasonable angle."
puppythedog on 08 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=71995 at the yat was nice the other day, clean rock and I'm sure there are more in that area. Plus harder stuff if you want to lead and they second something.
puppythedog on 08 Sep 2012
In reply to scott titt: I found locating the actual crag a nightmare when I went. Lots of gun emplacements that could be the right one. I have also only heard bad things about the climbing. I didn't make it to the fort crag but did a VS on the beach that get's 2 stars which I thought was absolutely horrible.
GrahamD - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to hindu:
> (In reply to ElBarto)
>
> Swanage trad is a bit intimidating for many beginners - Cattle Troughs is the obvious choice but is still an ab/steep scramble to get into.

Lower Tier of Dancing Ledges is very beginner friendly. It does head up hill quite rapidly from there though !
FrJ on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to hindu)
> [...]
> Lower Tier of Dancing Ledges is very beginner friendly.

I'd second that. Not too big and serious or intimidating. Easy access. Probably at about Diff grade. Bolts on the top for easy anchor building. You'd probably only want to do one session there, but I think it would be good enough for basic intro.

Weather at Swanage might also be nicer which always boosts the spirit and calms the nerves.

In general, I would look for good easy angled rock, where you can focus on gear placement without getting pumped out too quickly, which generally runs against limestone venues such as Swanage or Symonds Yat which are generally much steeper.
Ybot Htulk - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to ElBarto:

Easy multi pitch is the way to go as long as you are confident that you can take controll of any situation that arises allowing your friends to have an exhillerating but safe experience. So if you are happy to lead any or all pitches on a route if required then it's fine.
Wintours is good. You could do Central Rib 1 at Sev 4a. A really good route if they are climbing well and your ok leading 4c is Nibelheim VS 4b,4a,4c. I have taken
new climbers up this a few times. You lead the first and last pitches and your friend leads the long safe 4a middle pitch. They get to enjoy seconding a very exposed but pretty soft 4c pitch.
Lefthand Route, Zelda and Joe's Route are all excellent if they are confident

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