Rocktype Sandstone (soft)
Altitude 61m a.s.l
Nigh Climbing, a long exposure at night with my self climbing a route with a head torch to expose the line. © neal grundy
TOILET AND CAMPSITE IS NOW OPEN - REVISED CAR PARK FEES APPLY - see approach notes below...
Harrison's Rocks belong to the BMC. Popular with groups and becoming well worn on the easier routes. Please use soft soled shoes (preferably climbing shoes) and clean your feet on a carpet or mat before climbing. There are large bolts above most climbs and a 3m length of static rope should be adequate to ensure your belay karabiner hangs over the edge of the crag to avoid damage to the rock from moving ropes.
The car park is pay and display and belongs to the Forestry Commission.
Cars: £1/hour, £4/Day, £6/24 hours or a 'Discovery Pass' (see below) which allows unlimited parking for a year from the date of issue. (This will only be available for cars).
Minibus (up to 17 seats): £2/hour, £6/day, £8/24 hours
Coach: £3/hour, £10/day, no overnight stays
The Forestry Commission offer a "Discovery Pass" for £27 per annum. See their website http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pass.
The Birchden Wood pass is here http://boxoffice.forestry.gov.uk/en-GB/memberships/birchden%20wood%20discovery%20pass
Camping available on the Julie Tullis Memorial campsite adjacent to the car park, currently £5 per person per night, £2.50 for children.
Often crowded on warm weekends. Please help to avoid further damage to the crag. If you witness poor belaying, please advise on the correct method. Ropes running over the edge of the rock will destroy the crag so please bring long slings with you.
Take the road S from Groombridge, past the old station on the left. Take the R fork; 200m further turn R again down a narrow lane signposted "Birchden Wood and Harrisons Rocks". The car park has recently (2015) been re-laid. Please see car parking above.
From the car park, various footpaths lead in a southerly direction to the crag - about 10 minutes walk.
Harrison’s Rocks are now owned and managed by the BMC for the benefit of climbers. The rocks are well-equipped with bolts for top-roping. A group of volunteers peridically load-test these placements, but we still strongly encourage climbers to make their own assessment of their safety before use.
Birchden Wood is Forestry Commission land and is open to the public. The fields to the west of the Rocks are private property. Any trespassing strains the good relations between climbers and our neighbours - if you are in charge of a group please make sure that your party is aware of this. Parking and Camping Charges will begin at Birchden Wood / Harrisons Rocks on the 24th of August 2015. For more information please visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-8zuf6x
Isolated Buttress Update
The large block on the mainland opposite Isolated Buttress which was used to step across the gap has been removed due to it becoming unstable and dangerous. At the Sandstone Open Meeting in May 2015, considerable local opposition was voiced to the idea of construction of a bridge across to the pinnacle (to allow access from above). The Harrison's Rocks Management Group are monitoring the situation during the summer of 2015 to help inform a decision on a long term solution.
In the meantime, please avoid abseiling or lowering off from routes on the Isolated buttress as this will increase wear to the fragile rock.
Various methods can be used to access the pinnacle and setup your ropes including soloing and being belayed across from above but these will be too risky for many climbers. The method which offers the most protection requires a very long length of rigging rope and is described in this short film on BMCTV or below:
Attach a locking carabiner to the end of your rigging rope
Clip your climbing rope through the locking carabiner at it's mid point
Throw your climbing rope over the pinnacle to another climber on the ground
The climber on the ground gently pulls both ends of the climbing rope until the rigging rope screwgate is hanging over the lip of the crag and flicks the rope into the right position to protect a route
The climber on top of the crag ties off the rigging rope to the set of bolts on the main crag (or a suitable tree), leaving the locking carabiner hanging over the lip of the crag and the climbing rope not contacting the rock when it moves
The first climber up then re-rigs the rope for subsequent ascents using the bolts on top of the Isolated Buttress, ensuring the moving rope does not come into contact with the rock
All climbers then climb the route(s) and downclimb either the route they climbed or an easier alternative, rather than lowering off or abseiling
To retreat from the pinacle at the end of the session:
The last climber to top out re-clips the climbing rope through the long rigging rope attached to the bolts on the main crag.
All other rigging equipment is removed from the bolts on top of the Isolated Buttress.
The climber then down climbs a route with a belay rather than abseiling or lowering off.
Once back on the ground the climbing rope can be pulled through and the rigging rope retrieved from above.