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/ Is Southern Sandstone climbable?

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mouseliveson - on 09 Jan 2018
Is Southern Sandstone ok to visit to climb during January?
If so where is the best bet for dry rock?
If we were to go for bouldering only, where would be the best places to go to?
Mr S. Man - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

I'm not sure how familiar you are with soft sandstone, but just in case you aren't it's good to stress that climbing it when wet risks serious damage - so don't do it.

I'm no longer in the area but looking at recent weather and the forecast, I wouldn't recommend. The Fandango area at Bowles will probably be dry but it's very small and not worth a day out on its own. In general, the whole area is not recommended in winter outside of unusually dry spells or without specialist knowledge.
Pete Dangerous - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Mr S. Man:

> The Fandango area at Bowles will probably be dry but it's very small and not worth a day out on its own.

If you haven't been before, there's actually a fair amount to do on that bit of wall from 6A to 8A. Plenty of hard projects to get stuck into and you're outside in the fresh air. Make the most of it!

Trangia on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

The ground in the SE is saturated and in view of the amount of rain we have had over the last few weeks the rocks will be too. Please don't even consider climbing on it until we have had many days of sunshine and wind to dry them, which won't be until well into Spring.
mouseliveson - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Mr S. Man:

Yes, I am that sandstone is fragile when wet/damp.
I guess I was more interested in current conditions.
So - Fandango may be a go, but most probably not.
Ardverikie2 on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

In general, in winter, Fandango wall seeps quite badly.

mouseliveson - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Ardverikie2:

Any other best options for some January bouldering close to London?
Trangia on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

> Any other best options for some January bouldering close to London?

Not in the SE unless you count Swanage.
Pete Dangerous - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

Peak if you're north of London... That's the closest I think. If not, I'd love to know otherwise.
afx22 - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

I'm so glad that I don't like down south
mouseliveson - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Trangia:

Swanage, Portland, and Southern Sandstone are all reasonable...heads up to other good sheltered/quick drying areas would be greatly appreciated...willing to drive 3hrs in any direction...
Trangia on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to mouseliveson:

> Swanage, Portland, and Southern Sandstone are all reasonable...heads up to other good sheltered/quick drying areas would be greatly appreciated...willing to drive 3hrs in any direction...

Wye Valley is also within 3 hours drive of London, probably less if you make an early morning start and aim to arrive at breakfast time

I've done it easily for a day from Hastings. There is some great multi pitch trad at Wintour's Leap or Shorncliff near Chepstow, just over the Severn Bridge. Quick drying limestone if good weather even in winter.

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