Altitude 53m a.s.l
The Earl of Perth P1 © Mark Davis
Unquarried limestone, richly pocketed and mostly sound. The main face is regarded by many as the best face in the Avon Gorge, with splendid exposure and a very atmospheric situation right under the Clifton suspension bridge. Emphasis is on the HVS to E2 range, 1-4 pitches. A must for the visitor is the classic "Hell Gates (***HVS 5a 5a -)". Routes to 90m.
Despite recent rumours, access to this crag is UNCHANGED to normal. ie, not officially permitted, but tolerated. Rumours of banned access & security guards etc are untrue. (see here: http://www.thebmc.co.uk/News.aspx?id=2507)
Park in one of the free or cheap car parks in the Cumberland Basin, Hotwells or on Spike Island and (after crossing the docks if necessary) walk along the footpath beside the Portway (A4) towards the large concrete canopy above the road and beneath the iconic suspension bridge. Parking in Clifton for free is not possible any more for non-locals, ever since the introduction of Residents' Parking Permits. If you do park up the hill, walk down the switch-back path, the Zig-Zags, just south of the Suspension Bridge lookout point (behind the Avon Gorge Hotel), and then make your way back toward the suspension bridge.
Approach 1: Cross the main road (the A4) and walk past the rock catch concrete canopy beneath the suspension bridge, cross the road back to the bristol side on the north side where there is a traffic island. Hop over the fence in the corner and climb the rock steps to the crag using fixed ropes that are usually in place.
Approach 2: From the base of the Zig-Zags, taking great care to avoid oncoming traffic, walk along the right hand side of the main road (the A4) back towards the bridge (northwards) for about 300 metres, passing a short dangerous `rat run' where the pavement dissappears, until shortly after it re-appears the road can be left to make a scramble up right just behind the rock catch fence to the concrete canopy.
Note that the bridge trustees do NOT allow climbers to escape onto any part of the bridge structure. Abseil off the ring bolt at the top of the route "Suspension Bridge Arete" -- note that a 70m rope is required (or doubles) for this abseil.
|Cleaned up Limbic Distrophy on 04/02/2017 - there is now a clear path through the brambles - a great route as is the other HVS (as described in the new guide) - please get on them as there is still more gardening needed!|
evhall - 06/Feb/17
|worth mentioning that parking in all of clifton is now pay and display|
cdpej - 21/Aug/15
|Had a minor problem on 01/04/2012 (not an April fool) with a guy on the bridge in a hi-vis jacket telling me I wasn't supposed to be there (and had to get down Immediately!)|
Nick Russell - 02/Apr/12
|One of the best in the Gorge. A must for the solid E1 leader. The routes are pretty well protected and very steep. From the left edge of the crag there are a few HVS all superb, some classic E1's and a few harder. Beleive me its some of the best|
Laubie - 16/Dec/04