Looking for some guidebook advice.
I’d like to buy a guide for the Wye Valley area and can see the older CC guide is split into three parts - Lower Wye, Symonds Yat and Forest of Dean. All of which are of interest.
Then there’s the CC South West climbs volume 1 which covers these areas but also includes Dorset, which I already have covered amply by Rockfax Dorset and Dorset bouldering editions. However the coverage of Avon and Portishead is a plus removing the need to buy the latest CC Avon Gorge guide, which does look great by they way.
So I’m wondering what the best choice is...
Or perhaps there’s a new, comprehensive Wye Valley guide on the way and I should hold fire until this is published?...
Does depend where the majority of your climbing is?
E.g. for Wintours, Ban Y Gor, Tintern, Wyndcliff and Shorn Cliff the Lower Wye valley guide is really good for it and they did release a supplement guide, Looks like if you buy from Outside they chuck in the supplement guide!
Symonds Yat is probably best avoided, not as good as the guidebook suggests, muddy and choosy.
South West climb is great, more of a selects but worth having if you want an overview of everywhere, CC even say it's great as in introduction to the areas.
In summary get Lower Wye Valley and the supplement!
Lower Wye guide for the biggest (Wintours) and arguably best (shornecliff).
Plus Symonds Yat guide, which is an excellent and extensive crag, and includes the best of FOD (Ruspidge valley)
Agree with this for trad.
If you're into your sport then the GWR Wye Valley sport guide is worth having also.
You don't really need a guide for Portishead; the best lines are obvious from UKC descriptions. However if you're in the Bristol area then the GWR limestone guide (which contains Portishead) is worth picking up for Goblin Combe alone.
I'm not sure the Forest of Dean outcrops one is really worth having? It seems most of the development in quality bouldering was done after that guide came out?
Symonds Yat can be a really nice place to climb and, as Alan says, contains Ruspidge (which is massively underrated).
If you get the CC Wye guide, I'd recommend downloading the supplementary photo topos from the CC website.
> Symonds Yat is probably best avoided, not as good as the guidebook suggests, muddy and choosy.
That's what I used to think too. But after a few visits in drier weather I've revised my opinion. Loads to do at VS/HVS and pretty good quality rock. Rates nearly up with Shorn Cliff for trad IMO. And, via M42, it's the nearest Wye Valley crag to Ipswich unless the M25 is running free (ie seldom).
Great. Thanks guys. Lower Wye guide and supplement it is then.
Unless CC are planning an update imminently? There have been quite a few new CC guides recently.
I honestly don't think it compares to Shorn Cliff in terms of quality, personally.
It's a very OK venue, and I admit I used to spend a ton of time there but once you've climbed more in Shorn Cliff, Wyndcliff and then a few crags around Cheddar and Avon you really notice the difference.
> Unless CC are planning an update imminently? There have been quite a few new CC guides recently.
You're absolutely correct in that a good selected guide for the area is now sadly lacking...
For Sport, the only worthwhile option is the excellent (but relatively expensive and slim) dedicated Wye Valley Sport guide. The CC guides including the supplement are completely out dated. However given how popular Wyndcliff Quarry is these days you're almost guaranteed someone else at the crag will have a copy if you're struggling to get by with just using UKC.
For Wintours Leap and Shorncliffe trad, the CC Lower Wye Valley guide (+Supplement) is the best option but it is hard to be too enthusiastic about it. The same applies to the CC South West Climbs Vol 1 but it does cover most of the routes that get lots of traffic.
For Avon, it is worth being aware that Rockfax West Country Climbs is as good, if not slightly better then the CC South West Climbs Vol 1. Both cover a very similar selection of c.60 routes. Obviously it is without any of the Wye Valley routes but you get the bonus of all the best Devon and Cornwall stuff rather than Dorset. (If you buy the CC Lower Wye Valley guide then that makes the Rockfax definitely worth consideration.)
For Symonds Yat, picking up the previous edition small CC hardback guide for around a fiver online and annotating it with grade changes from UKC is probably good enough for 2-3 visits. If you do decide you want return regularly then at least you'll know that it's worthwhile buying the latest version.
Not sure if that helps matters or confuses things more...
PS don't currently have anything particularly helpful for sale. Best I can do are a copies of the 2nd and 3rd editions of the Wye Valley and Cotswolds guides from 1962 and 1965 which might not be that useful any more ;-)
Thanks Mark. That is helpful. I already have the Rockfax West Country guide so I think it’s going to be the CC Lower Wye Valley guide and supplement. There’s an Outside link above which I think I’ll use to get a copy.
Yes. And I'd add The Russian to the list, despite the health warnings, which I think might perhaps stem from when it was graded VS - take care though. In the Wye Valley as a whole I'd add Sinew at Wynd Cliff, and of course the Shorn Cliff classics. I'd rate Tigers Don't Cry and The Laughing Cavaliers as the best of a very good bunch of Wye Valley HVS's.
I've only had one day (well, evening...) at Symonds Yat, but I really enjoyed it. That said, I do like some pretty questionable places...
Whilst the rock may not be the best I did some great routes, with Red Rose Speedway (HVS 5a) and The Ankh (E2 5c) being two particular highlights. The position of the crag above the river, and the fact I recall it having lovely evening sun, made for a nice outing.
That said, I've no idea when I'll be back (if ever) and Wintours is quite obvioulsy better, so make what you will of that...
> I've only had one day (well, evening...) at Symonds Yat, but I really enjoyed it. That said, I do like some pretty questionable places...
You obviously have good taste and an open mind!
> For Sport, the only worthwhile option is the excellent (but relatively expensive and slim) dedicated Wye Valley Sport guide.
You pay for beauty and finely tuned quality, just like a Ferrari!
Now these are all my local crags I’ll expect to see you over the summer!😜
> Now these are all my local crags I’ll expect to see you over the summer!😜
I've never been to Shorn Cliff or Ban-y-Gor and always fancied going. Fingers crossed there'll be an opportunity to go sometime later in the year. In the meanwhile I'll leave you to scope out how child friendly and/or unfriendly they are...
I'll echo others above and here's a selection of routes I've enjoyed.
Pick a route to suit your grade on North Wall!
Whet yer appetite yet?
Now your down that way.......
Would you get days off in the week? Not sure what your up to these days. May need to redpoint a couple of F3's first😁
I'm often that way. You'd love ByG Main Cliff. Unfortunately, no way child friendly!
Neither are particularly child friendly but we could send the better halves on a nice woodland walk whilst I show you the delights Shorncliff has to offer, I’m shocked you haven’t been as it’s a lovely crag with fine climbing!
Hi Chris, days off seem to be a thing of the past at the minute but I’ll definitely bare that in mind! Perhaps send me your latest works rota when restrictions ease and we can get some 3’s projected!😂
The Yats a great spot......when the muds dry!!!
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