/ Visiting SW UK area for work - looking to climb!

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L Drewk - on 06 Dec 2017
Ciao mates!
I'll be visiting the Yeovil area for a bit over a week and am likely bringing some climbing gear with.

Any planned trips or interest in outdoor climbing in the area on either Saturday the 15th or Sunday the 16th?
I'll be looking to bring 10 draws and a double dry rope, I don't yet own trad gear but have followed trad climbs.

From what I've read so far, Cheddar Gorge seems like a great area, and not too far, but I'm open to driving further or was considering flying elsewhere for the weekend.

I've been climbing consistently for about a year, currently leading up to 5.10A's in YDS which I believe corresponds to 5b5c in English units.

So, if anyone is free to climb, or provide suggestions of things to see or do, or possibly interested in getting a beer - let me know!
beardy mike - on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to Drewk:

Hey Drew - it's well possible. Bear in mind though that Cheddar can be damn cold at that time of the year. I was there the otherday and there was snow falling from the sky! Not settling thank goodness but just about everything was numb at the end of it! It also requires a particular tenacity and disregard for vegitation, muddy/scary approaches and a high tolerance for being scared shitless whilst on the routes. That said, some of the most rewarding days I've had have been there. Also take into account our crappy weather... But if you can deal with that lot, drop me a line closer to the time as I'm a dad and not sure which way is up some of the time. But that said, even if I can't climb I'll be able to hook you up!
David Staples - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Drewk:

Hey Drewk, This time of year I tend to climb at Portland (Sport) during weekends. Mike is right on the money about Cheddar, I have been there before in spring and have been freezing my tits off even with 5 layers on! If you are looking for a partner for Portland (For Sport) or Swanage (For Trad) and have Facebook then the Dorset Climbing group would be well worth joining. You can normally track down partners pretty reliably there.

L Drewk - on 07 Dec 2017
Mike, David,
Thanks so much for the help & suggestions, this is perfectly what I'm looking for - that necessary info from locals who know it so much better than I ! It seems Cheddar Gorge has nice vistas so maybe no climbing this time of year

I'll look into the Portland area and ask around on that Facebook group for partners.
Any further suggestions or tips still much appreciated!


beardy mike - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Drewk:

It's not that there is no climbing, it's just that you have to put up with being cold :0
beardy mike - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Drewk:

PS Swanage can be warm or in the other direction, Avon Gorge in Bristol is often a nice warm suntrap!
Mark Kemball - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Drewk:

Mucn nearer to Yeovil: Brean Down a good winter venue on a dry day, particularly if the wind is in the north.
Ian Parsons - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Drewk:

> Any planned trips or interest in outdoor climbing in the area on either Saturday the 15th or Sunday the 16th?

Do you mean Saturday the 16th/Sunday the 17th of this month? The 15th and 16th don't fall on a Sat/Sun until September next year.

Here's a tide table for Brean. Low water 16th/17th around noon so should be ok, but don't hang around much after mid-afternoon [it'll be getting dark anyway]; close to Springs so the tide will come in fast.

Ian Parsons - on 07 Dec 2017
....although you may find that the main crag at Brean doesn't have much to offer at your grade; 5.10a probably equates to about F5c/6a Sport - which, as you'll see from the database, would limit you to a couple of warm-ups. A bit more to go at if you can nudge up towards the top end of 5.10. Brean Trad isn't necessarily the best place to use a conversion from YDS to UK Technical; I think that most people would find a route like Great Corner (E2 5a) rather harder than 5.10a, despite its UK 5a grade. Probably best to think of 5.10a as around HVS/E1. Maybe Brean (Central Crags) would have more to offer, but I've never been there myself.

Paz - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Drewk:
Don't worry about Brean trad unless someone as good as Mark K or Mike K takes you there and insists on it. If you get the chance with someone keen then do it - it'll be a great tale to tell.

I don't know what part of the USA you're from or what level of cold, discomfort and suffering you're willing to put up with in winter. But basically it's going to be freezing. Make sure you have lots of layers, extra socks, and a pair of gloves, a hat and a scarf. Climbing in winter is as much about avoiding the wind (and rain of course) as it is about blagging the sun in a perfect sun trap. That said, if you get lucky, conditions can be perfect while the daylight lasts.

Given you're not leading trad in the UK. I'd say the most suitable venue for you is bouldering and maybe short trad on Dartmoor if you get a good break in the weather or Portland for sport or bouldering. Cheddar if you hunt the sun, and Brean are definitely worth a look for sport and Swanage is worth it if you know the weather is going to be good down there. Most people here you meet to climb with will have a rope and drawers they'll let you use, so you can probably leave yours at home and save the airline weight allowance.
Post edited at 21:36
L Drewk - on 10 Dec 2017

Thanks all for the suggestions!

I'm bringing layers and my shoes+harness, into climbing and trying to get into mountaineering, so I've expectations of what I'm getting myself into climbing this time of year :D I'm from Philadelphia where it just snowed yesterday, mostly ready
Post edited at 19:59

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