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DESTINATION GUIDE: South-West Sport Climbing

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 UKC Articles 08 Oct 2020
Is it Kalymnos? No – it’s Foxhole on Gower – Jon Warner on Chicken Licken (6c).

September heralded the fast approaching end of the summer climbing season with many praying for an eternal Indian summer to get that last project clean. However, truth be told, the deteriorating weather can turn many crags into a dank seeping mess within a few weeks. Normally, this is the time to book that winter fix to the Costa Blanca, Mallorca or Kalymnos to soak up some vitamin D and bag some holiday grades. Unfortunately this year the lingering effects of the COVID pandemic are hampering hot rock trips abroad.

Beat the autumn blues with these South-West sport climbing spots...



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 dan gibson 08 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

I don’t understand why the ‘Top Tip’ for Portland is to book some out of season accommodation in Weymouth.

There’s good accommodation options on Portland, less driving involved, and makes a direct contribution to the local economy.

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 OliverR17 08 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Tirp & Foxhole are in Welsh Government local lockdown at the moment (Torfaen and Swansea areas respectively). That means it's a criminal offence to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse.... What's the logic behind posting this article now?

Also, since when was the sport at Foxhole tidal...? I know there's some tidal trad lower down and the slabs can get occasional spray but none of the Cove is affected by this.

Post edited at 13:53
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In reply to OliverR17:

> What's the logic behind posting this article now?

We've debated long and hard about destination articles within the current climate, so here's a bit of background:

At the beginning, during the lockdown, it was obvious - there was no need to publish destination articles, as nobody was going anywhere. Once restrictions were eased, and people were able to move about again, we published a few, but only a few - barely a fraction of what we might have within a usual year. Why? Because travel - particualrly foreign travel - did not seem like the right thing to promote.  Now we're in something of a state of flux, with rapid changes to regional restrictions, our plan is much the same.

The following article is an unfortunate case of timing, and is by no means a 'green light' to climb at either Tirp or Foxhole whilst the local lockdown is in place. That said, articles such as these have perennial appeal - hence it is as much for next year and the year after as it is for now. We've included a disclaimer at the start to make this obvious.

As a summary, it is quite unlikely that we'll be publishing many (or any) other destination articles throughout 2020 for the reasons outlined above, but hopefully this one will give you - and others - ideas for 2021.

Post edited at 14:34
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 Blake 08 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Keep em coming I say... a bit of inspiration is what climbers in the UK need at the moment. 

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In reply to Blake:

As per the above post, I'm conflicted, not least because writing destination articles is one of my all time favourite things to do.

I also operate on a similar basis to yourself by the sound of things, whereby I quite like reading about places I might like to go - even if I can't go there today.

With that in mind, let's see how things go

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In reply to UKC Articles:

For Wyndcliff Quarry it should read:

Guidebook: Great Western Rock Wye Valley Sport or GWR Wye Valley Sport

Just sayin'!

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 tom.wp6 08 Oct 2020

Last photo of cheddar is not everyday lives, but Sing a Mean Toon, Kid (7b+) I think

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In reply to UKC Articles:

No South Devon crags?

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 TMM 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Toerag:

> No South Devon crags?

Shhhhhhhh! Don't tell they grockles.

Post edited at 18:07
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 OliverR17 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Cheers for the reply Rob, I do enjoy the extensive bank of the "Destinations" articles and they've helped inform plenty of good trips, so fully understand where you're coming from. I'm also a big fan of the places listed!

Just surprised there's not even a little note or header mentioning the current access situation, especially given the popularity of Tirp with Bristolian climbers and how careful you guys have been previously.
 

Notwithstanding the above, when lockdown is over I strongly recommend climbers consider the Gower for some winter sun.  Watch House Crag is also good in the easier grades and shares the same parking! 

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In reply to Mark S Davies:

> For Wyndcliff Quarry it should read:

> Guidebook: Great Western Rock Wye Valley Sport or GWR Wye Valley Sport

Your wish has been granted: just changed it to Great Western Rock Wye Valley Sport

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In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Thank you sir!

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 Rod_Vortex 09 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

"Wyndcliff Quarry is less well known than the key venues of Ban-y-gor, Wintours Leap and Tintern Quarry."

Hmm not sure about that!  

Access to Tintern quarry is banned and it's mostly an absolute choss fest. I've been a few times and only ever seen anyone else there once. At Ban-y you will be hard pressed to see more than a couple of other pairs. Wintours is well-travelled for trad but the sport is mediocre and not that popular.  Wyndcliff Quarry is always busy with multiple teams. It's not much of a secret.

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In reply to OliverR17:

> Just surprised there's not even a little note or header mentioning the current access situation, especially given the popularity of Tirp with Bristolian climbers and how careful you guys have been previously.

It might have been after your initial post, but we did add a disclaimer to the top which (hopefully) made it more obvious. As you say, the last thing we want to do is encourage the exact opposite of what people should actually be doing right now.

> Notwithstanding the above, when lockdown is over I strongly recommend climbers consider the Gower for some winter sun.  Watch House Crag is also good in the easier grades and shares the same parking! 

On that note I've got a rather shameful confession to make: I've never climbed on the Gower Peninsula. It's a major omission and one that I can't quite justify, but is one that I'll hopefully remedy sometime throughout 2021.

Still though, pretty unforgivable...

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 Stroppy 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Rod_Vortex:

Agree with this. Go to Wyndcliff Quarry on a sunny evening and it will be crawling with teams. Polish on the more popular routes, especially lower tier, is testament to its popularity.

I don't even like it that much but end up there out of pure convenience. (not this year though)

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 Tom Last 09 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

What, no Gold Diggings...? 😂

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 overdrawnboy 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Stroppy:

>  Go to Wyndcliff Quarry on a sunny evening and it will be crawling with teams. Polish on the more popular routes, especially lower tier, is testament to its popularity.

Must be popular if they travel from Poland!

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In reply to Rod_Vortex:

I would suggest you have not been near Wintour’s recent, dozens of teams on the bolts while Fly Wall is virtually deserted.

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In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I’m a bit confused. 
I always thought south west started at Brizzle down to Lands end,  

 South west wales is another country 🤣

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 Cusco 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Chewie65:

No. The South West is only Devon and Cornwall. Everything else is The North.

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 Rod_Vortex 10 Oct 2020
In reply to HighChilternRidge:

Was the last place I climbed actually. Quarry was empty. We were one of three pairs at Fly Wall. 

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 tjdodd 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Cusco:

> No. The South West is only Devon and Cornwall. Everything else is The North.


No.  The South West of England is Devon and Somerset.  Kernow is its own country so not the South West of anything.

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In reply to Rod_Vortex:

Wired, the last few weeks before we were locked down in South Wales the quarry has been heaving while the rest of the crag has been quite. Strange behaviour with number of picnic chairs, etc.

Agree however that the quarry is a complete cross fest.

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 Colin Knowles 10 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles: Yes, as others have mentioned, Access can be a big issue and here I’m thinking that a few wise words about where to park for Wyndcliffe Quarry wouldn’t have gone amiss. There’s a very good Forestry car park about 200m on the Chepstow side of the quarry which is the jumping off point for the long steep sunny trad routes on Wyndcliffe’s west wing. Those tempted to park on the main road itself may discover the sublime joys of receiving a parking ticket.

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In reply to Cusco:

I got exiled from Cornwall to Devon, not allowed back across the border as I get stroppy with emmetts 🤣 

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 Cusco 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Chewie65:

And because the Devonians taught you that the correct way is, of course, the clotted cream first then the jam. 

I remember a train journey from Exeter to Bodmin Parkway when I was about 8 years old. As we crossed Brunel's bridge over the Tamar and entered Saltash, the British Rail conductor came over the speaker and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very glad to announce that we have just left Hell. Welcome to Paradise. Classic.

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In reply to UKC Articles:

An alternative list:

Ansteys

Torbryan

Uphill

Gilwern Main

But please stay at the overcrowded, polished, chalk-slimed routes of Brean and Wyndcliff Quarry and leave the pleasant venues to me!

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