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Climbs 603
Rocktype Sandstone (soft)
Altitude 61m a.s.l
Faces SW

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Dan Beban on Niblick (UK 5c), Harrisons. © Farez Rahman

Crag features

UPDATE: 3RD DECEMBER 2020 ONWARDS - The climbing suspension has been lifted but the rock is still vulnerable. Please avoid until conditions improve. Please do not clmb on wet or damp rock.

HARRISON'S CAR PARK Please note:

WINTER CARPARK OPENING TIMES: From 25th October 2020 the gates will open at 8am and close at 5pm.

SUMMER CARPARK OPENING TIMES: 8am - 10pm.

Harrison's Rocks belong to the BMC. Popular with groups and becoming well worn in places. Please use soft soled shoes (preferably climbing shoes) and clean your feet on a carpet or mat before climbing. There are large bolts above most climbs and a 3m length of static rope should be adequate to ensure your belay karabiner hangs over the edge of the crag to avoid damage to the rock from moving ropes. please avoid climbing on wet rock.

Car Parking:

The car park is pay and display and belongs to Forestry England.

Cars: £1/hour, £4/Day.

Forestry England offers a "Discovery Pass" for £27 per annum. See their website http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pass.

The Birchden Wood pass is here http://boxoffice.forestry.gov.uk/en-GB/memberships/birchden%20wood%20discovery%20pass

Camping is currently not available on the Julie Tullis Memorial campsite - Camping is currently closed for 2020 and will be reviewed in 2021. This is due to it not being able to open in a Covid secure enviroment. 

The rocks are often crowded on warm weekends. Please help to avoid further damage to the crag. If you witness poor belaying, please advise on the correct method.  Ropes running over the edge of the rock will destroy the crag so please bring long slings with you. Wipe your feet before you climb, and avoid climbing on wet rock.

Approach notes

Take the road S from Groombridge, past the old station on the left. Take the R fork; 200m further turn R again down a narrow lane signposted "Birchden Wood and Harrisons Rocks".   Please see car parking above.

From the car park, various footpaths lead in a southerly direction to the crag - about 10 minutes walk.

 

Restricted Access

Harrison’s Rocks are owned and managed by the BMC for the benefit of climbers and the general public for recreation on foot. The rocks are well-equipped with bolts for top-roping and as with all southern sandstone crags the rock is very soft meaning leader placed gear cannot be used here as it will damage the rock. The only acceptable styles of climbing are top roping using a well rigged system that will not damage the rock with moving ropes, or if you are confident of your abilities - soloing. A group of volunteers periodically load-test the bolts, but there is no way to guarantee their strength and as with any crag all climbers should make their own assessment of fixed equipment before use.

Birchden Wood (the woodland surrounding Harrisons) is owned by the Forestry Commission and has been dedicated as open access land. The fields to the west of the Rocks are private property. Any trespassing strains the good relations between climbers and our neighbors - if you are in charge of a group please make sure that your party is aware of this. For more information on Birchden Wood and the car park/campsite area please visit: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-8zuf6x

Isolated Buttress access advice

The large block on the mainland opposite Isolated Buttress which was used to step across the gap has been removed due to it becoming unstable and dangerous. At the Sandstone Open Meeting in May 2015, considerable local opposition was voiced to the idea of construction of a bridge across to the pinnacle (to allow access from above). The Harrison's Rocks Management Group are monitoring the situation to help inform a decision on a long term solution. 

In the meantime, please avoid abseiling or lowering off from routes on the Isolated buttress as this will increase wear to the fragile rock.

Various methods can be used to access the pinnacle and setup your ropes including soloing and being belayed across from above but these will be too risky for many climbers. The method which offers the most protection requires a very long length of rigging rope and is described in this short film on BMCTV or below:

  • Attach a locking carabiner to the end of your rigging rope
  • Clip your climbing rope through the locking carabiner at it's mid point 
  • Throw your climbing rope over the pinnacle to another climber on the ground 
  • The climber on the ground gently pulls both ends of the climbing rope until the rigging rope screwgate is hanging over the lip of the crag and flicks the rope into the right position to protect a route 
  • The climber on top of the crag ties off the rigging rope to the set of bolts on the main crag (or a suitable tree), leaving the locking carabiner hanging over the lip of the crag and the climbing rope not contacting the rock when it moves
  • The first climber up then re-rigs the rope for subsequent ascents using the bolts on top of the Isolated Buttress, ensuring the moving rope does not come into contact with the rock
  • All climbers then climb the route(s) and downclimb either the route they climbed or an easier alternative, rather than lowering off or abseiling

To retreat from the pinnacle at the end of the session: 

  • The  last climber to top out re-clips the climbing rope through the long rigging rope attached to the bolts on the main crag 
  • All other rigging equipment is removed from the bolts on top of the Isolated Buttress
  • The climber then down climbs a route with a belay rather than abseiling or lowering off
  • Once back on the ground the climbing rope can be pulled through and the rigging rope retrieved from above

Seasonal Restrictions

Reason: Other

The very south end of the Rocks is on private land and is fenced off – this covers five climbs, from Holly Tree Chimney to South Boulder - fortunately they are not worthwhile.

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