Climbing at High Rocks (PLEASE READ)
Following agreement with the Owner, we are pleased to announce that limited climbing is now permitted at High Rocks. In order to ensure access is maintained, it is essential that the following restrictions and procedures are followed carefully. If conditions are abused, climbing will, once again, be suspended.
• Climbing will be available on weekdays when High Rocks is open. Some weekends are possible, especially Sundays. Availability will be made clear at pre-booking.
• Climbers must pre-book at least one day before you wish to climb.
• There will be no access for climbers turning up on the day without pre-booking.
• Book by telephone 01892 515532 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Climbing is £12 per person for the day. Payment will be taken when booking along with name and contact details.
• Opening time is 10:15 and closing will be about an hour before the light fails.
• Season tickets are not available.
• Access is for roped climbing only – bouldering and abseiling are not permitted.
• Climbers are to make themselves known to staff on arrival by using the intercom system at the gate and enter the rocks as directed. Access is only to be made through this gate. (The gate is to the right of the original turn-style entrance).
• When climbing, please respect High Rocks’ staff requests to have your name checked against the day’s list or move to a different climb if requested.
Please note the following:
• No Bouldering/Bouldering mats.
• No abseiling.
• No Group climbing.
• All climbers must be age 18 or over. No children.
High Rocks is a different climbing environment to Harrison’s, Stone Farm and Bowles Rocks. It is a natural crag with only limited man-made additions. The only belay bolts are on the Hut Boulder.
For all other climbs, natural belays must be used. There are numerous trees ideal for the purpose, but many are set back from the crag edge. You will need a length of static rope to build a belay. This should be a minimum of 10m in length but it is worth taking a longer or a second length where a ‘Y’ hang is required. Slings are of limited use. Chose another climb if you cannot ensure that your karabiner hangs over the edge of the crag and that no moving ropes come into contact with the rock. An additional rope/handline is advised for retreat from the Isolated Boulder.
As the name suggests, some of the climbs are high, maybe 12m or more at the north end of the crag and may require a longer than normal climbing rope.
Apart from the main crag, there are various Isolated Buttresses at High Rocks – each has its own character and access method. The three main isolated buttresses are:
Matterhorn Boulder – access by an easy climb on the ramp at the rear to fix a belay, mainly from the overhanging tree branch. Downclimb the ramp when you finish your climb. Do not lower off from the route you just climbed.
Isolated Boulder – Initial access by soloing a route. Ordinary Route (4a) or Simian Progress (5a) are probably the easiest. Once on top, set up the rope and belay for your selected climb. Ensure your karabiner hangs over the edge of the crag. There are a few smaller trees and a large one in the middle. In order to get back down,arrange a rope to hang down Ordinary Route and back climb using the rope as a handline for assistance. Do not lower off from the route you just climbed.
Hut Boulder – There are five pairs of bolts above the popular climbs on the Hut Boulder and these should be used in pairs (there are no interconnecting wires) to build a belay. There is also a legacy iron loop. Whilst this had proven well-fixed at bolt tests, its provenance and overall condition is not known. Hang your karabiner over the edge and ensure moving ropes do not come into contact with the rock. Initial access may be made by soloing a route (Crack Route 4c is an obvious contender). Alternatively, throw a static rope over the Hut Boulder from the mainland. There are a pair of bolts on the mainland near the top of Easy Crack for tying off to. Either use a Shunt or similar protection device to climb Crack Route (4c) or attach a karabiner and climbing rope to the other end of the static line and tie off in a position where Crack Route (4c) may be climbed on top-rope to gain access to the top of the boulder. Ideally, Crack Route should be down climbed when finishing a climb. Do not simply lower off from the route you just climbed.
As with all southern Sandstone crags, please follow the BMC Sandstone Code of Practice.
If you are unsure about setting up belays, read the guidebooks or ask other climbers.
High Rocks, (like other Southern Sandstone crags) is a finite resource, not a climbing wall – please do not treat it like one. Respect the rock, minimise the amount of chalk you use. When you finish your climb, untie and walk back to the ground. Do not lower off.
From Tunbridge Wells, take the A264 for East Grinstead; after 2km (1.2mi) on Rusthall Common turn L at signpost to The Beacon and High Rocks: follow down the narrow hill to a 'Y' junction (rocks visible opposite) where a right turn takes you over a railway bridge and to the High Rocks. The crag entrance is on the left and the car park is a bit further on the left.