Loving the exposure. © Col Kingshott
Chalky, loose, scary and difficult. Take all the ammunition you have in your sack. Naivety may be your best friend in success. Ensure you lead a good number of grades harder than the route grade you intend to attempt.
Please ask for permission from the National Trust and the Lee on Solent Coastguard if you intend to climb on these features, you may just need their help.
The Old Battery is defended on its landward side by a safety fence to keep the public away from the cliff edge. One of the approaches is by abseil from a stake in the moat, and the finish of Skeleton Ridge is outside the safety fence. As the approach to the abseil stake is complicated (the fence gate is normally locked), The Trust require climbers using this way down and off to notify them in advance. This is for three reasons: so that they can supply a leaflet showing the approach and explaining the ecological importance of the site, to collect the admission fee, and so that arrangements can be made regarding the fence gate. Access to the Old Battery is possible to climbers whenever staff are on site; any day of the week in July or August, and Sunday to Thursday inclusive for the remainder of the year. To notify the Trust of your intention to climb the routes requiring access to the Old Battery (Wrinklie's Retreat, Strapped to the Wing with the Engine Running, Skeleton Ridge, and Hot and Cold) or to use the Wrinklie's Retreat abseil, phone the administrator at the Old Battery on (01983) 754772. Alternatively, write to; The Administrator, c/o 35 St James Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1LB. On arrival at the Old Battery, make yourself known at the Guardroom. The National Trust do not allow gardening of climbs and do not encourage new routes. The Solent Coastguard should be informed before climbing so that a rescue is not mounted unnecessarily. Tel No. (02392) 552100.
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