/ Southern Sandstone Tunbridge Wells Bouldering
Firstly sorry if this is the wrong place to post this question - the forums guide link wasn't working.
I'm thinking of arranging a bouldering trip near to Tunbridge Wells, but it's largely dependent on whether there is much to climb there. Looking to boulder only - can't be bothered to lug sport/trad equipment with me.
Considered getting the Rockfax Southern Sandstone climbing guide there but it's a bit of a waste of money if there's only a handful of problems worth climbing.
So I guess my questions are:
1. Is the area worth visiting for bouldering; and
2. Is it worth buying the Rockfax guide for?
Appreciate your responses.
> Looking to boulder only - can't be bothered to lug sport/trad equipment with me.
Hi Boydles, firstly and just to clarify, don't change your mind and bring sport or trad gear. This is soft sandstone and the ethic is soloing, boulder or top rope. The rock is too soft to place gear. Of the various crags available the larger venues, e.g. Harrison's or Bowles have anchor points at the top of buttresses allowing for top rope set up.
As for bouldering it's a case of one man's floor is another man's ceiling. Many of the problems are the start of existing routes or eliminate with little in the way of top outs. Some of these are very good, others less so. One thing I can tell you is that bouldering on Southern Sandstone will get you strong. I'd say if you've never been then give it a try. Maybe start at Bowles which does host some quality problems from f5 to f7C. What's the worst that can happen?
Thanks for the advice!
There's a dedicated bouldering guide by James O'Neil and Ben Read that's worth checking out, a mate has it. You'll find the odd problem has disappeared though as the "rock" has crumbled.
I saw that for sale in my climbing centre and leafed through it - it's what gave me the idea for the trip.
Do you recommend the book?
Depends what grade you are climbing
Get a piece of mat (as in "welcome" mat) to stand on & clean your shoes religiously- this should apply everywhere but particularly so on fragile sandstone:
I'd also suggest that pickings, of any quality, below 7a on Southern Sandstone are pretty slim because people have ignored the above.
> I saw that for sale in my climbing centre and leafed through it - it's what gave me the idea for the trip.
> Do you recommend the book?
The new Rockfax has plenty of new problems also. Tom Gore has been very active since the bouldering guidebook came out.
> Get a piece of mat (as in "welcome" mat) to stand on & clean your shoes religiously- this should apply everywhere but particularly so on fragile sandstone:
Agreed, decent pads have mat to clean your feet these days.
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