Altitude 8m a.s.l
Deep Water Solo by Lamps! © bunn.aroundthebloc
A very worthwhile venue with a wide variety of climbs and climbing styles.
Its main attraction may now be it's deep water soloing - well developed with plenty of short, safe routes at a good mixture of grades (Fr4+ - 8a). In summer, the quarry rim gets sunshine for much of the day, although many solos will be in the shade. The DWS is easily combined with a sport climbing trip to Ansteys Cove; check the tide times to optimise the visit.
The back walls to the quarry offer some excellent slab climbs and a few rather tougher sport climbs in single and multi-pitch routes up to 90m. The majority of the routes comprise relatively adventurous trad. climbs, many of which are reliant in key locations on in-situ pegs. Some vegetation and the ubiquitous 'LQP exfoliating flake' are likely to be encountered on the less frequented routes. Hence the trad. routes are probably more suitable for those with plenty of experience. Refer to notes on particular climbs for latest info. on condition. The leader should carry a nut key for broddling. The back walls can be bleak in winter if the wind is from the east, but conversely it is feasible as a winter climbing venue if mild weather coincides with dry conditions, especially on a sunny morning. Torquay's 'alp by the sea' The Grey Tower is a venue unlike any other on the north side of the bay, giving knarly mountaineering-style adventure climbs.
Notes with each climb presume ownership of South Devon 2018 for topos and descriptions, in most cases only supplementary notes are given.
From the outskirts of Torquay, follow road signs for Babbacombe (B3199). After passing through the town, head on towards Torquay and look out for a retail car park (currently The Range) on the left. Historically it has often been possible to park in this retail car park, but the status changes regularly; check for any notices. On-street parking is available in the general area as an alternative.
Take the footpath up onto Walls Hill Downs. Head for the pale coloured shelter by the perimeter fence; pass the fence at its left hand end and, for the large majority of the climbs, follow the steep descent path to the quarry floor (the exception is The Odyssey area, which can be approached by abseil from fenceposts set back). Brambles are prevalent at the foot of the back wall crags (Shadow Beast Wall in particular) and can hamper access to the start of some climbs; a bit of pruning by visiting climbers is encouraged (take your secateurs...)
There has been a Spring period climbing restriction for breeding birds on the Grey Tower, Shadow Beast Wall and Odyssey area in recent years. Check the BMC RAD mid. March to late July.
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