/ Abseiling in or around Wiltshire?
does anybody know where the best place to take a small party of begginers abseiling in the Wiltshire(ish) area is?
I have a group of friends who are planning a holiday to South Africa, and whilst there they will be doing the Table Mountain Abseil. Two of them have abseiled before, many moons past, and two are begginers.
They're not really interested in going from a multistorey carpark, so I'm looking for somewhere that has a good range in height to build them up, taking into account that my longest abeseil rope is 60m.
We'll be going on a Sunday, and I want to avoid inconveniencing other climbers as much as possible. All advice gratefully accepted. Thanks.
I have guide books for Wye Valley, Avon and Cheddar and Symonds Yat, but I have been climbing at any of these for about 8 years now, so can't really remember the crags that well.
Surely Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Surrey and many more are completely devoid of climbing opportunities?
I wouldn't think cleeve hill would be too appropriate. Bit loose and lack of decent anchors.
Where are you in Wiltshire?
You'd think so but maybe they all have some alarming choss pit esoterica that just about counts as climbing to rock-starved locals?
Yes, I used to climb there a lot. I think you now need a combination lock code from Ian Butterworth:
You could abseil at a number of locations in the quarry:
Robs Crack - Stakes at top
Balch's Slide - Tree at top
There could well also be lots of other options.
If anyone else has any further info on FCQ they'd like to contribute that would be good.
Also if anyone has any suggestions for Symonds Yat, Avon Gorge or Wintours Leap, that would also be great, as easier access and shorter drives! :)
Vallis Vale near Frome is just a few minutes away from Fairy Cave (and probably closer than FCQ for you). It's not terribly large but there is a stomping big telegraph pole plus a couple of bolts at the top to set up from. Not much choice in height (about 20m) or routes but they are close to vertical and walking to the top to abb off only takes a couple of minutes from the bottom.
Split Rock is a popular abseil location and not too far
By far the best single pitch for this in the Forest of Dean is Stony Green OS 645086 (page 247 in the Yat guide). A very gentle launch with the 25m slab steepening just a little towards the bottom. The main disadvantage is that there is only the one line but I always found that beginners are quite happy to do the same one over and again, and they can build up confidence, speed, and technique in doing so. The other snag is that another party may get there before you.
Re Fairy Cave:
I know you were trying to be helpful (always good on UKC!), but whilst it's not uncommon for climbers to abseil back down both routes after climbing them, I'm not sure I'd want to be suggesting two of the best routes in the quarry to be used purely for abseiling! Balch's Slide will get a whole lot slidier in a few years time if that happens. As you've climbed at Fairy Cave you'll probably appreciate the point. The OP might also want to note that there's a lot of loose rock elsewhere in the Quarry so care is required. Other venues would be better, I think.
My Symonds Yat guide book only goes as far as page 128, it's a little outdated I guess. :) I'll see what I can find about it on a search of here and the wider web, thanks John.
> I wouldn't think cleeve hill would be too appropriate. Bit loose and lack of decent anchors.
Don't know about that, everytime I've been there were stakes all over the place on Castle Rock and I would have thought that the loose stuff would be manageable.
Sea Walls, Avon Gorge (25M) - good tree anchors and or bolted anchors. Might be climbers but probably not.
Car Park Quarry, Goblin Combe (about 15M)- Good tree anchors and some good iron ground spikes. May be climbers but unlikely.
Most places at Symonds Yat (7M to 30M). More options than I can list. Great tree anchors all over the place and you will be able to find a place where there are no climbers easily.
There are places in Box Woods (Wilthsire) if you just want to get the principles of abseiling but they are loose and not recommended. There's a great looking old quarry there too but it's in someone's back garden :(
> Split Rock is a popular abseil location and not too far
> You could abseil at a number of locations in the quarry:
> Robs Crack - Stakes at top
To the OP: please don't follow this advice. These are not suitable sites for a group abseil (presumably all wearing muddy trainers). Added to which, the access situation at FCQ is sensitive; the landowner has made a special concession for individual climbers, not organised groups.
> Vallis Vale near Frome is just a few minutes away from Fairy Cave
Sorry to weigh in with more bad news, but Vallis Vale is best not used for any reason for the time being - see recent post on the BMC thread.
Sorry, I meant the BMC Areas forum
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