Staple Edge Quarry (Ruspidge West Quarry) Gloucestershire, ENGLAND
Climbs 37 – Rocktype Sandstone (hard) – Altitude 200m a.s.l – Faces E
A great trad quarry venue, known by the locals as Jackdaw Quarry, which, having languished in obscurity for years with only two routes from 1988, has now emerged as a significant crag with some thirty new routes up to 25m, many of star quality. Well worth a visit.
To visitors using the new CC Symonds Yat guidebook: the following three climbs are not yet equipped with lower-offs and should be avoided: THE PAST, NOSE JOB, DAVID VIRGO 1969. Other routes finish at abseil stations or reach substantial trees. Topping out is generally not a safe option. There is loose rock above the finishes of all climbs, and helmets are strongly recommended.
On entering the quarry, a huge, roughly circular area of slab will be seen on the left: The Great Slab, which is home to a dozen new routes. Right of the Great Slab is a tower containing a prominent corner crack (The Horned One), capped by an enormous projecting roof: The Horn. A vegetated runnel separates the right arete of the tower from another arete: these aretes are taken by the original two Martin Crocker routes: Round the Horn and Del Fuego. Next comes a very large tree which has crashed down from high above and currently means that you have to drop down to get to the next climbs.
Right again is a distinctive whaleback slab (Baran), which steepens and narrows as it rises to twin cracks in a recess; to the right of this slab is an arete (Ice Age), and to the right again an as yet unclimbed deep corner capped by a large roof. Some 50m further is a small face (Master Seth's Edge), and, right again, the distictive hanging slab of Paper Clip Slab.
A small slab, Old Staple Edge, lies on the hillside above the first part of the approach track, and contains the worthwhile In a Lonely Place and 2 other routes.
UPDATE: several twin-bolt abseil stations now installed (in Spring 2011). See comment below for details.
From Cinderford, drive south through Ruspidge. Shortly after leaving the village, at a long bend in the road, there are two grassy lay-bys on the right. Park here and walk back towards the village a short way; then take the good new track on the left (facing towards the village). Follow the track to its end (at a recently capped mine shaft enclosed by green fencing) and continue straight ahead on a small undulating path, passing above the factory buildings. Ignore a left fork in the path which rises to an isolated telegraph pole, and continue ahead a short way; then drop down to a trough which rises up and merges from the right, and leads down left into the quarry. This all takes 5-10 minutes from the car.
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South West Climbs - Volume 1 (2012), Wye Valley supplement 2012 (2012), Symonds Yat (2010)
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Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer bpmclimb
Well, it looks like The Lost Treasure Of The Kingdom of Mercia is currently top of the leader board :)
The Pylon King - 12/Dec/13
A cracking little crag, good effort cleaning it up. From the photos it looks as though it is at its best during the winter, which is great as sandstone usually takes terrible seepage.
alan rosier - 08/Sep/13
Double bolt belays (with BMC consent) have been installed for routes on the main slab between 'Arthur Pod' and 'Tiffin Club' (exluding Back, Foot and Crack) as well as one at the top of 'The Future' and one at the top of 'Baran' that can also be used for 'Grendels Mother'. All other routes finish at adequate tree belays.
The Pylon King - 17/Sep/11
The routes are overhung by large amounts of veg, so as a result there is a lot of muck on the holds, in cracks. We did several one * routes and there was more loose rock than I'd hoped for. All the great photos seem to have been taken with a very wide angle lens which makes the crag seem much bigger than it is. Best temper your enthusiasm before arrival! Probably best enjoyed after a dry spell as some of the sandstone seems to absorb water and get softer.
Tim M - 19/Jun/11
Be careful on route 'Burnt Mound, VS 5a'. Just below the crux move the tree is acting as a spear, a fall onto this would be very serious. Climb 21 in the new CC Yat guide.
ACOY M - 22/May/11
Nice little crag. Be really very nice with a little more traffic to keep the brambles down!
Certainly going to return.
Ander - 11/Oct/10
Really like this crag and can't wait to come back next Spring when everything should be in tip- top condition. If ever a crag waranted bolt belay stations at the top of the crag though it is certainly this one!
D Berry - 29/Aug/10
Update: The Future is now equipped with a lower-off.
bpmclimb - 27/Jul/10
Just a note for anyone who has just bought the new Symonds Yat guide:
This newly developed quarry (formerly known as Ruspidge west quarry) has been developed over the past winter and early spring. Most of the routes finish at trees and/or lower offs. Several lower offs are not yet in place due to my accident yesterday:
please do not attempt to climb routes: 'The Past', 'The Future', 'Nose Job' and 'David Virgo'
lower offs for these will be put in ASAP.
Summer vegetation is rampant down there since we cleaned and climbed the routes and some routes need a bit of re-gardening but most of the routes look pretty clean.
The Pylon King - 19/Jul/10