Seventh Dread © Kafoozalem
BEWARE PARKING FINES. A camera clocks you entering and leaving. No longer can visiting climbers sleep in the car park!
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, NOVEMBER 2018 UPDATE: The latest in a series of rockfalls has made the original finish of swimming the cave to the Promontory impossible since it is now impossible to safely scramble back onto the mainland. All future ascents will need to finish through the very excellent Blue Grotto via excellent climbing or failing that, by swimming.
Amazing and surprisingly sound rock which creates both epics and magic days. Perhaps best known for Moonraker (HVS 5a) - is it the best HVS in the country? - Dreadnought (E3 5c), Caveman (E6 6b) and the vast sea traverses of Magical Mystery Tour and Rainbow Bridge.
It is now also a mecca for Deep Water Soloing (DWS) with the publication of the Rockfax Deep Water Guide. The Wizard of Oz is a new extended variation of Rainbow Bridge is touted as "Britain's Best DWS Traverse" and could it really be the best climb in the UK? Article here http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3218
Dave Henderson's website provides excellent miniguides to the DWS here http://www.javu.co.uk/Climbing/Guides/DWS/DWS-contents.shtml
New route info is also found at http://www.javu.co.uk/Climbing/NewRoutes/index.shtml
PLEASE CHECK THE ACCESS NOTES BELOW FOR INFORMATION ABOUT BIRD BANS.
BIRD BAN MARCH 1st TO JULY 31st. nb. the start date is now earlier than that published in the 1995 South Devon & Dartmoor Guide. There is a £1,000 fine for breaking this, and a camera monitors the cliff, so don't hope. There is a variable access agreement for some parts of Rainbow Bridge but there is no access by the Great Cave. Check the details here http://www.javu.co.uk/Climbing/News/Rainbow-Bridge-access.shtml. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE PLEASE DON'T CLIMB.
DWS : The BMC now requests Deep water soloists to phone Brixham Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre before starting on (01803) 882 704. In 2009 climbers have caused a number of false call outs - this creates significant problems for the rescue service and may jepordise future access on the Nature Reserve.
Park as for Berry Head Quarry.
Footpath from the seaward end of the car park leads down a steep grassy slope to the sea. Take the rocky scoop to the R, leading to the easy (but very exposed) sea traverse to a non-tidal platform. Don't fall off.
It is important that climbers wanting to deepwater solo on these crags MUST call Brixham Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre on (01803) 882 704 before descending to the base of the cliffs. Climbers have caused a number of false call outs in the past - this creates significant problems for the rescue service and may jepordise future access on the Nature Reserve.
Dates: 1 March to 31 July
Reason: Nesting Birds
Berry Head is becoming a mecca for deep water soloing, but it is also an important breeding site for many seabirds. Historically, access was completely restricted during breeding but thanks to the efforts of local climbers, the BMC and Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, the restriction has been made variable. This means it will be lifted as soon as nesting has been completed. The variable restriction has been granted on the condition that the following is adhered to:
1) The Great Cave and pitch 1 of Rainbow Bridge is still covered by the restriction (1st March to 31st July) and NO ACCESS is permitted. This is because the birds frequent the large platform. The standard approach for Rainbow Bridge (and The Great Cave) crosses this platform and will disturb the birds so climbers must choose one of the following options: a) Abseil from the metal post en route to The Great Cave (just beyond a red access notice) to an in-situ thread at the end of pitch 1. b) Down-climb HVS rock just to the left (looking out) of the post. This is not recommended for those who don't know the route.
2) The final Terminal Zawn (pitch 11) is still restricted. A marker just before this shows the extent of the ban. Climbers should exit up VS territory above the marker.
3) Access restrictions still apply to the following: - White Rhino Tea Buttress (Barnacle Traverse Continuation) - The Oz Wall - The Ledges above the Oz wall, beyond the Terminal Zawn. - The Great Cave and Bismark Wall. Markers have been positioned at both ends of the "open" section and these will show whether or not you are allowed on the traverse. This can be checked by contacting the Berry Head Rangers office (01803 882619).
Please contact the ranger if you are confused about cliff accessibility. A few other considerations: If you fall into the sea (during the restricted nesting season) getting out is now much more problematic as you must NOT get out at the Great Cave ledge (doing so would disturb the nesting birds). Those concerned by this should opt to abseil in (see b above) - doing this allows you to leave a rope through the in-situ thread at the base of the abseil to facilitate pulling out of the sea....or make the big swim to the ‘ Red Walls’ area.
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