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.


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.
36m. Start at the right edge of the Lumbar Puncture slab, and climb discontinuous cracks, more or less directly, to the right-hand end of the halfway ledge. Move up to the trees; then climb directly up the upper slab.

NOTE: the line of the route on the lower slab is less than obvious, and some recent ascentionists have strayed off line. This applies to the picture on here, in which the climber has gone too far left. The route goes very slightly left to a shallow hole, and up to a good little square-cut finger hold. From here, the 5c crux bears slightly RIGHT and then up to the RIGHT-hand end of the ledge. Following the crack up and left is part of My Own Trumpet.

FA. R.Nadin, P.Clarke, M.Raine 30/Mar/2002.


User Date Notes
archieharris2011 14 Apr, 2022 Show βeta
βeta: Fun little tumble just before getting to ledge. 10/10
Show beta
βeta: Fun little tumble just before getting to ledge. 10/10
James Leetch 26 Apr, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: The very thin, flat flakes are very delicate and ‘snappy’. Care needed
Show beta
βeta: The very thin, flat flakes are very delicate and ‘snappy’. Care needed

Logged Ascents

126 users have logged this

Guidebooks for Fairy Cave Quarry

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High E3
Mid E3
Low E3
High E2
Mid E2
Low E2
High E1
Mid E1
Low E1
Votes cast 19
High 6a
Mid 6a
Low 6a
High 5c
Mid 5c
Low 5c
High 5b
Mid 5b
Low 5b
Votes cast 20
Votes cast 18
Style of Ascent
Not Set
Flashed (β)
Not Set
Route of Interest

Grade: E2 5b ***
(Cheddar Gorge South)

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