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Climbs 48
Rocktype Culm

Faces W

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Rob Byrom and Caz Neely clocking up some early season mileage on Solid Air (VS 4b) Gull Rock © Mark Glaister

Crag features

Not high - routes up to 120ft - but interesting, sunny and near a family beach (Welcombe Beach). Slabby routes. Easily the best is Walking On The Moon (HVS 5a). 26/3/2011 Abseil pegs in poor condition, in situ back up rope seen better dasy if anyone goin that way could replace it great! Peg in argaunout now dead as is peg in crazy streak/ousieux, lead boots pegs so so

Intermediate Warning: A serious accident occurred on this crag in May 2015. The reasons have not been established so until the cause is known please take care on route selection and when abseiling.

28/08/16 - Abseil above main slabs is now relatively safe, using ropes round three massive spikes as well as the rusty peg. Only a matter of time before the ropes start weathering though.
 

Approach notes

Tidal in many parts, though the central slab should be uncovered at high water.
Reached either by traversing from Welcombe Beach (low tide) or Marsland Mouth. Or scramble down the headland by a faint path to the top of the promontory, and abseil (pegs in situ).
Both Rockfax and SW Climbs imply that the Welcombe Beach approach is accessible 3 hours either side of low tide. We left rapidly just 2 hours after low tide, and had to wade through knee-deep water! Also worth noting that although the crah dries very quickly, the boulders on the beach take more time, and many of them (the green and brown ones) are treacharously slippery when wet an hence slow going - the described 25 minute approach took is an hour and a quarter on the way there!
 

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Guidebooks

West Country Climbs

West Country Climbs is a major Rockfax guide to one of the UK’s most celebrated, sunny and diverse climbing regions. The book is fashioned in Rockfax’s award-winning layout and design, and copiously illustrated with action photographs of the climbs and cliffs that reflect the quality and variety of climbing experiences to be had on offer in the UK’s most popular holiday destination - the West Country. This is a selected route and buttress guidebook which covers the best 900 routes from the crags listed below.
More info
More Guidebooks:
South West Climbs Volume 2 (2014)
Javu website new routes

Out of print:
SW climbs rockfax sandbag. The 25 mins walk in is more like 45 mins and very slippery if wet. We left the crag 2 hours after low tide and just made it without getting wet- rockfac says 3 hours which is a joke.
spragglerocks - 18/Jul/20
Do not approach from Welcombe beach if you value the paintwork on your car. I've visited twice now and ended up with massive scratches due to the poorly maintained lane down to the bay. 40 mins of boulder hopping to the crag. 3 hrs either side of low seems right, but don't push it! Abseil in good condition.
cdpuk - 16/Sep/19
After getting cut off by the tide we first tried to ab down the N side of the promontory, but this was pointless as there are other deep sections further on. Eventually we scrambled back and escaped S along the beach to the descent for Cornakey Cliff - easy enough but a lot of uphill at the end of the day!
Rob Davies - 13/May/17
A shame neither guidebook mentions the scrambling approach, that would have increased our climbing time to more than 2 routes!
Simon Caldwell - 30/Aug/16
We left some static rope and a carabiner above Red Carnation. So, there's now an abseil point above the rock pool climbs, although someone might want to bring a maillon with them as there's currently only a snap-gate in place (hasty improvisation)!
ianlaw - 09/Apr/15
The abseil stake to the top of Baywatch Wall no longer appears to be in place, so the walk around the bay is the only sensible access route.
Alex Thompson - 31/Aug/14
Abseiled in twenty metres up the hill/North from the stream that comes down through Marsland woods, down a loose shale slope that I thought would make a reasonable exit when the tide came in - my sixty metres rope was about five short so I slid down the final rubble/mud ramp. The rope was fixed I could use it to help on the way back - I came up the rope with a prussik, then belayed partner up. Was tough for both parties and could have escaped more easily off the back of the Gull Rock headland (above Haile Selasse probably best). Oh well, you live and learn...
Motown - 13/Jan/13
If you get cut off by the tide you will have to face the Alpine ascent up the ridge. The ground is very unstable and whilst it is advisable to rope up there is very little solid protection. I once descended this way ... never again!
Kafoozalem - 09/May/12
A great crag in a great situation, best approach is via the beach, but be careful of the tidal, we got caught out and had to walk back out over the cliffs, puffed out. Take small wires as protection is scarse in places, abundmet of stakes and a few pegs.
Chris M at work - 16/Jun/03
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