Outdoor Beginner Climber Locations in and around Wye Valley

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 stanante 01 Jul 2021

I am looking for a good spot for taking a pair of novices in this area. I have been to Symonds Yat and Wintour's Leap for my RCI course 2 years ago but haven't been back to climb personally.

I wasn't too enamoured by Symonds Yat mainly for the damp and mud (even in mid-summer) but the ease of setting up bottom ropes due to an abundance of trees seemed useful. I have heard the area is pretty busy with groups and the rock fairly polished. We will be doing a Sunday and Monday so aware the weekend could make it unappealing.

Wintour's Leap seemed more appealing to me with sport routes. But the main thing for me is the ease of getting a bottom rope established.

If anyone can recommend any areas around here that are fit for the job and even recommend specific rock faces/routes I'd be really grateful.

In reply to stanante:

Easy access, easy short routes, easy to get top ropes on easy things. 

Post edited at 10:27
 whenry 01 Jul 2021
In reply to stanante:

Symonds Yat isn't that bad or that busy - and there's plenty to go at there, even if your preferred routes are occupied. It's probably the best place in the Wye Valley to set up top ropes - Wintour's has few options for that, and those (mainly on Fly Wall) are popular and polished - more so than most routes at the Yat.

I wouldn't recommend Wyndcliff Quarry - access is easy, but with exceptions of the lower two tiers (which don't have many easy climbs), setting up a top rope is not so straightforward (no access to the top of the crag), and it's also quite polished and busy.

 Cobra_Head 01 Jul 2021
In reply to whenry:

> ...... quite polished

Quite is a massive understatement, especially for the lower tier, the 6a I lead there was easier than the 5, because of the polish.

 PaulJepson 02 Jul 2021
In reply to stanante:

Fly Wall at Wintours has easy access to the top and tree/block belays. Routes are generally straight corners and grooves. You might want to take a static with you to set up the anchors (some of the trees are a way back from the edge) and the routes are ~30m so you'll want a 60m rope minimum. To be honest, Windcliff, Tintern and Woodcroft Quarry are pretty loose in parts.

If you're going to be leading up first and then setting up TR (i.e. don't need access via the top of the crag), Shorn Cliff would be perfect. 

 whenry 02 Jul 2021
In reply to PaulJepson:

Shorn Cliff's great, but there's not much there for novices - there are only five routes below HS - and as you say, you don't have access to the top of the crag.

In reply to stanante:

Not the Wye Valley but not that far away... Do you know Goblin Combe?  Lots of single pitch routes between diff and severe.

 Paul at work 02 Jul 2021
In reply to inglesp:

And also a lot of ticks.....

 stanante 13 Jul 2021

Thanks to everyone's replies. Was really helpful.

I'm going to Symonds Yat this weekend.

Would be great if anyone can recommend specific areas/routes in Symonds Yat that would suit setting up an abseil for novices if any are well known.

Also aware of contributing to polish for both abseils and easy climbs but I don't know if there's much I can do about avoiding that. Any suggestions welcome.

 smithg 13 Jul 2021
In reply to stanante:

The far North (The Introductory Rocks - Left-Hand Sector) and South (Final Zone - New orleans buttress) ends are good because they are shorter and there are walk off descents.

In terms of reducing polish, the main thing is to be particular about thoroughly cleaning dirt off the soles of all your shoes before climbing. People use bits of carpet, beer towels, brushes, rags etc and maybe a mat to give a clean area to stand on. For the ropes, extend the anchors over the edge and/or use a bit of carpet or similar between the rope and rock.

Another vote for:

Really easy, quick access, there are bolts everywhere and you can walk along the base of the top tier to easily arrange ropes for the lower tier below.

Post edited at 22:44

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