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Climbs 541
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 108m a.s.l
Faces NW

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Climbers on the Longstone Pinnacle, Symonds Yat © JHC

Crag features

A characterful and adventurous crag with a bit of a misinformed negative reputation. Very good steep and juggy limestone which is often much better than it first appears, mainly sound but with occasional looseness in places, so always take care. One of the major climbable areas in the Wye Valley, in an idyllic setting, a great variety in rock features, including a pinnacle and caves, a good spread of routes across the grade range and the bonus of parking and a tea shack at the top!! Some real classic routes and always a quiet esoteric corner to explore. Mainly single-pitch routes 10m up to 30 metres plus some longer two pitch routes spread around the place. Protection tends to be solid but can be spaced with sometimes bold starts. SY has had a reputation for sandbag grades, but this is now a thing of the past (See current 2010 CC guide). Because of the tree cover and steepness of the rock, most of the crag remains dry after long spells of rain in the Summer, although the paths below become extremely muddy under foot.

A recent overhaul and reappraisal has been carried out for the excellent new Climber's Club definitive guide (2010)

Approach notes

To reach SY from Bristol, cross the old Severn Bridge, pass Chepstow on the A48 and take the B4228 through Tutshill and Woodcroft along the top of Wintour's Leap. Continue for 10 miles to Coleford from where SY should be signposted -- watch out for the turning right a short way up the hill that leaves the town, carry on straight

across the Pike House crossroads. In less than a mile, almost opposite the church of Christchurch, there is a small crossroads and then immediately an oblique fork to the left; take this (B4432). After about a mile, after The Rock Inn on your right, there is a well-signed entrance to the main car-parking area to the left (Pay and Display). Note that this car park closes at dusk, so late finishers should seek out alternative parking arrangements just a little bit further up the road on the right.

Access to SY have been painstakingly and patiently negotiated. Note that the areas known as 'Yat Rock' and 'Coldwell Rocks' are now out of bounds for climbers. In previous guides these areas have come under the collective name of 'The Western Cliffs'. Also out of bounds are 'The Seven Sisters' (sometimes called Symmonds Yat West), and in fact all the other outlying limestone crags. This is due to the prescence of rare flora and fauna. Please do consult the guide for the specifics of SY access.

Access Advice

As described in the 2010 CC guide, climbing at Symonds Yat is only permitted on the north-west facing cliffs - from The Introductory Rocks to the Final Zone inclusive.

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 March to 30 June

Reason: Nesting Birds

Peregrine falcons have established a nest since 2019 on Strathdon, in the White Wall.  Climbers should therefore avoid all routes from Motorway Madness to Night Nurse, inclusive, during the restricted period. 

July 2020 update - The peregrines have left the nest on Strathdon - restriction lifted

Routes from Dwarf to Hedgehog Sandwich inclusive at the Introductory Rocks section have been cordened off with posts and a chain. This is due to the dangerously loose rock on Funky Gibbon.
cpoad - 28/Aug/19
New route added today Porcini Pump House goes at about vs. Get on it!
Felix Ottey - 07/Jul/19
Nice place to climb. Be warned that it can get very sheltered under the trees (cold) and watch out for some stiff grading and polish on the easier grades.
CyberTaff - 17/May/15
HS 4b routes r bloody hard here so be carefull.
mrdigitaljedi - 13/Jul/14
17th May - Blackbirds nesting about two-thirds up Nansen Crack. On 5 eggs. Please take care or avoid. Should fledge within a month or so.
Rob Morgan - 17/May/14
As of 26/05/13 there was a female mallard nesting on the pinnacle, so watch where you step!
james.slater - 27/May/13
Hi Jay1902, think you might be out of luck with the sport climbing at Symonds, if you look at the routes on the page there are 3 routes with a sport grading, not much help if your after a load of sport or a day out! I'd try Ban-Y-Gor or tintern, some great sport climbing there!! P.s do you work at go outdoors in gloucester??
McKEuan - 16/May/11
Hi, i'm relatively new to climbing, and i'm starting to sport climb outside, are there many sports routes here??
Jay1902 - 03/Mar/11
The Pike House pub has been flattened this week. It's signposted to Ross & Symonds Yat.
morticiaskeeper - 23/Oct/09
The dodgey pillar at the start of "Coruscation" and "Little Roden" has now collapsed leaving a steeper but much more solid start, however, the crucial small wire placement just above has shattered (not linked with the rockfall), subsequently "Coruscation" is now E2 5c and "Little Roden" E3 5c.
Mark S Davies - 14/Aug/09
Currently being checked for new C.C. guide due early 2010, lots of routes being cleaned of loose rock and vegetation as well as threads and peg replacement. All bolts are being removed. Check this database for current individual route information.
Mark S Davies - 08/Nov/08
Keep in mind that The Russian, graded HVS 5a, is a serious undertaking. It was a notorious sandbag when graded at VS but even at HVS it has seen many falls and at least one recent fatality. http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=144389 Although somewhat polished it is a great route but it requires the knowledge to place small wiress in less than perfect placements while under pressure. The route seduces you to take one or more moves up in the hope of finding a bomber placement that just doesn't materialise. With the right approach it is well enough protected but having led it recently I would have no argument with E1 5a.
poey50 - 29/Aug/08
not so popular with the folks on here but never the less a good place to climb. Lots of intersting features (mud and loose blocks to name a couple!) but worth a visit and certainly very different if you're a grit climber
hereforded - 21/May/07
Stay away from inroductory rocks and far south. Although both have some lovely climbing, these are particularly popular with groups and to say that some of the rock is polished is an understatement! I live near the "yat" and I feel that it's had to many negative comments about the state of the rock i.e loose and dirty holds. There are some awesome climbs there and it definitely has it's own unique personality. Anyone visiting the wye valley should give it a go and a trip to wintours leap is also definitely recommended (but give yourself plenty of time to find your route as it can be a bit tricky).
petercollins - 25/Jul/06
have to say that SY is home to some excellent climbing despite what some people say, my top ten would be...1.RedRoseSpeedway (HVS), high in the grade but well worth it! 2.The Ankh (E2) superb! 3. Stress Arete (E1) 4. Whitt (VS) great for a first trip to the longstone pinnacle. 5. The Russian (HVS) easier than "red rose speedway" 6. Golden Fleece (S) wonderful openbook corner 7. Bookworm (HS) excellent entry moves 8. Snoozin' Suzie (VDiff) easy climbing but great intro to multipitch routes 9. Winky Wanky Wall (E1) Brave the runout for some of the best wall clinbing at the yat 10. Nansen's Corner (S) good for a first lead
AlexP - 28/Dec/02
Worth the trip just for 'The Russian' (HVS 5a? ***) which got my season off to a flying start a couple of years ago.
Will Judge - 04/Nov/02
Symonds Yat has a character all of its own and is particularly suitable for middle grade climbers, with some excellent routes in the range Severe to HVS, although some of the harder routes (within the range of ordinary mortals, not the occasional E6 horror) are challenging and good value as well. Don\'t go on a wet day as the bottom of the crags gets very muddy and slippery, and the crag does take a while to dry (if you want a quick-dry crag in the Wye Valley, go to Wintours Leap, or if it\'s raining go to Wyndcliffe where you can climb dry rock in a downpour!) At the Yat, I recommend Snoozin Susie (V Diff - real nice); Golden Fleece, Salutation (for the top pitch), Kipper Crack (Severe); Peacock, Offspring, The Druid, Whit, Mockingbird, Pam\'s Pride at VS); The Russian, Strathdon, Stress Arete at HVS; E1/E2: The Trip (out there), Rainbow Warrior, Red Rose Speedway (brilliant), The Ankh, Yellow Grip Road. The most unlikely route I\'ve done is The Wasteland - go to the bottom and have a look! There is gear!
Bill Parker - 23/Apr/02
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Climbs at this crag

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