/ Kidderminster bouldering ?
Hello Peter. I'm a Stourport based climber and so feel it my duty to say that there is not much bouldering to be had in the area. If you can get hold of West Midlands Rock by Doug Kerr you'll get a good idea of the situation.
There is Southstone out past Abberley, an interesting and eerie venue. The path up could well be a mud bath at the mo and the bouldering there is on extremely sharp limestone/flowstone.
I haven't explored Southstone much because I tend to think that bouldering underneath the Bewdley bypass bridge over the River Severn is the best bet(right on the west bank footpath, other side of the river from Blackstone rock). There are some lovely up problems there and the traverses are also really good (relative to what else is on offer). The man made buttress is undressed sandstone blocks, covered in smallish interesting holds, good landing and is usually an all weather venue (provided it's not flooded!)
Other than that there is a bit on Clee Hill where there is some viable granite but it's a bit of mission for Kiddy for not that much I reckon.
Other than that it's a bit thin on the ground or further away. Nesscliffe/Grinshill and Huntsham are about 90 minutes in either direction, excellent places to go but the sandstone will probably be out of condition: there's a climbing wall in Worcester with a not great reputation: Shropshire climbing centre at Newport by Telford which is truly excellent: and the many walls of Birmingham and West Brom.
Hope this has been of some help,
Agreed, not a lot going on in those parts. The West Mids guide book would be useful,even though most of the crags are actually up against the border with Wales. Worcestershire is annoying in that there is exposed rock, but it is a soft sandstone and not the stuff for climbing. Malverns may be worth a visit, but go for the scenery.
Clee Hill is dhustone, which is a type of dolerite. There may be more of it about these days since the quarry closed.
I forgot that there has been some development in the Malverns. Bouldering behind the Clock Tower by some Worcester locals, the lads who work at Vertical Limit I think ,pretty hard (7b?) with a dody-ish top-out although that's second hand information on my part. There is also a Johnny Dawes problem in Broomhall quarry according to his book 'Full of myself'. Given the weather though the Malverns may be in poor nick, amazing ancient rock though.
Other local esoterica includes: High Rock at Bridgnorth (complete with old pegs and tat courtesy of unknown pioneers, maybe Cuthbertson I think I read somewhere) where you can make up a few decent problems and see the inscrutable green man carving: and Queen's Parlour where there is one piece of sandstone with a decent patina and a few short problems. Again I'd guess all these will be soaked and they are very much desperate locals' fare.
In my humble opinion Bewdley bypass bridge is worth a visit if you're in the vicinity, English 5c-6aish if I was forced to grade fart and good/bad on the fingers depending on how you look at it. Plus there is often a kingfisher that flies past, although probably not with the river so high.
When in doubt I and my friends find Newport wall is definitely worth the hour or so journey, the route setting is impeccable. There is a cool old DM converted squash court wall in Stourbridge, complete with inset real rock that I remember as slate and the best indoor slab I've ever climbed on, but sadly this was closed to the public due to an accident and a lack of common sense on the part of the Crystal Leisure Centre.
Merry Christmas all
I was thinking of heading out to Blackstone having seen it from the road in the past, so I will check out the Bewdley bypass bridge on the other side of the river as well.
If you end up going I would be interested to know what where your thoughts.
Im from Ludlow, and have played about abit on Clee Hill - not really worth a trip from kidderminster! Sometimes I wonder why I make the effort, and its only a 3 mile trip from my house!
The old West Midland guide mentions Kinver for some bouldering potential but I always presumed it was the horrendous sandstone like the rest of the area and probably not worth bothering with. I did some scrambling around in Habberley valley when young, the rock there was pretty crappy as well. I would think Southstone is the nearest thing to real rock from Kiddy as well. They've cleared a load of trees from round the rock last time I was there but it will still be so wet and muddy now I think.
Peter, best bouldering I've done in Kidderminster was just behind Matalan, but I don't think it will be in good condition this year: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=162696
Over all, probably best going for a nice walk or run instead and doing some cardio work! Worcestershire ain't the greatest county in which to be a climber.
Climber not so great!
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