UKC

Climbs 172
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 179m a.s.l
Faces all

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BenP solo on Jive Talkin', E2 5b, Fairy Caves Quarry © James Jackson

Crag features

UPDATE (May 4th 2021): it is no longer necessary to email for the gate combination, which is now available on the BMC Regional Access Database.

A large limestone quarry featuring some very good quality slabs up to 40m in height. The main areas mostly face north; nevertheless they get some sun from May to August and are quick to dry. The slabs can, however, remain damp for extended periods in the depths of winter. There is also an assortment of areas facing west, south and east: these are generally of lesser quality.  More recent fracturing obvious with plenty of fresh large boulders on start of some routes - tree roots on some faces accelerating the process.  New areas of breakaway obvious on faces by fresh pinky-orange stone.

 

Approach notes

The quarry is situated just east of a small lane between Stoke St. Michael/Oakhill and Holcombe. It is one and half kilometres west of the Holcombe Quarries, and clearly marked on OS maps. There is roadside parking for four or five cars, but large lorries regularly use the narrow road, so please park with this in mind. Some parking down the hill by the beck on the junction.

Restricted Access

The BMC has negotiated with the landowner and secured an access agreement, but this is dependent on the continuing responsible behavior of climbers.

Local cavers have an agreement with the landowner to manage recreation in the quarry through the Fairy Cave Management Committee. They have been extremely supportive of climber’s efforts to secure access and without their support it is unlikely we would have been successful. Mark Courtiour (BMC Access Rep) has been co-opted onto the Management Committee but the cavers have overall responsibility for recreational use of the quarry.

Maintaining our good relationship with the cavers is important, as is following a few simple points within our access agreement:

  • Take all of your litter and any you find away with you to dispose of responsibly.
  • Responsible parking is essential to maintain access - see the 'parking and approach' section below for more information.
  • The only people with permission to be within the fenced area are cavers and climbers. If you find other people in the quarry please ask them to leave.
  • Parts of the quarry could be unstable and potentially dangerous for the unaware. In particular young or inexperienced climbers should be closely supervised at all times.
  • The quarry forms part of a larger SSSI and European SAC (Special Area of Conservation). Natural England are monitoring the rare flora and fauna within the quarry so avoid removing any vegetation without checking with the local Access Rep or Access Officer first.

Descents:

Movement around the top of some areas of the quarry can be difficult and local climbers have established abseil descents from all popular areas. Please do not remove these fixtures. Most lower offs/abseil points have been renewed and stakes have been installed above Robs Crack and Lumbar Puncture/Epic Dural. As always with fixed equipment, be sure to thoroughly inspect all parts of an anchor before committing to using it.

  • The best abseil descent (easier to pull through) from the Robs Crack area is from a pair of stakes with wire strops and maillon situated above Who Needs Hair Anyway i.e. next to the Hawthorn bush on the crag edge about 50m left (facing out) of Robs Crack.
  • A strop and maillon have been added to the stake above Halfway to Kansas/Lumbar Puncture, another above Balch's Slide and another above Senile Taff Corner to facilitate abseiling.
  • All routes in the Glacis area have lower offs in place.
  • The Alpine Ridge can be ascended/descended as a relatively easy but exposed scramble.
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