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Altitude 34m a.s.l
Hanging out on Spiritchaser, FA © Anaconda
Babbacombe Crags are an intriguing collection of shady cliffs and secluded bays which extend northwards from Long Quarry towards Withy Point. There are six climbing sectors, which collectively deliver a surprisingly broad spectrum of climbing style and crag character. Routes of historical stature rub shoulders with worthwhile recent additions. The six sectors, all limestone, may be summarised:
Sea Slater Area – DWS and eclectic short trad. climbs
Love Not War Area – longer quarried/natural trad. lines
Exile Buttress – (mostly) bolted lines on steep, natural rock*
Shelter Cove – DWS/coasteering and an adventurous cliff climb
New Quarry – quality trad. climbs on both quarried and natural rock, plus bouldering** and DWS
Withy Point Rocks – seaside DWS and more eclectic trad. climbs
*ground falls away at the crag base, clip stick and long sling(s) advisable
**described separately in UKC under the wayward venue name Walls Hill North
The topography of the area is relatively complex and warrants a little time spent in familiarisation. The 2018 South Devon guide gives detail on the key access routes. Gloves, secateurs and an adventurous disposition are beneficial as some of the descent paths are ill-frequented.
As well as being a fine viewpoint and picnic spot, Flagstaff Point is the starting point for the southward descent to Sea Slater RHS/Love Not War area and the northward descent to Exile Buttress and the abseil approach for The Wake. Northwards along the edge of the Downs, two separate descent paths close to a prominent kink in the fence (a viewpoint, with a bench) lead down to the respective abseil approaches for the Neophron Wall and Krapps Area in New Quarry. Further north again, a walk-in route to New Quarry can be gained from the gated road which heads downslope from the cricket club; bear right across a level area overhung by trees at the point where the road swings left then continue down the steep coastal slope. Withy Point can be reached from Babbacombe Harbour and access to Anaconda area from above is possible by exploring the woodland below the Coast Path. If you don’t have the benefit of the guide book and need more guidance, contact moderator Anaconda via. UKC.