Rocktype Sandstone (hard)
Altitude 200m a.s.l
Paper Clip Slab (2nd ascent) © Mark Davis
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.