Most outdoor instructors tend to develop a set of venues for their activities that we have become familiar with and know work. That’s fine but sometimes a nagging doubt appears that their might be somewhere better to use. With this in mind, I met up with my mate Martin Digby to hunt for new rock climbing venues. The crags we visited where:
We’d heard of a crag right by the road with a car park as well. The West Midlands Rock guidebook also suggests that it’s a good place for group climbing sessions, but neither of us had ever seen it. It was incredibly easy to find, and the crag is right at the edge of the car park – brilliant. However, Telford & Wrekin Council had fenced off the crag for environmental reasons so it was with regret that we had to cross it off our list of potential rock climbing venues.
This is a little limestone crag out towards Much Wenlock on Wenlock Edge. The descriptions from the guidebook took a little deciphering, but we eventually found our way to the crag. From the ground the climbs looked stable and steep so perhaps not a venue for beginners. However, once we started to look around the top of the crags, there seemed to be a distinct lack of anything to use to set climbs up for groups.
The sandstone outcrops of Harmer Hill was our next port of call. It didn’t take us long to find the crag(s) but it again became clear that this was a place for rock athletes / serious climbers. The routes were seperated and generally consisted of long thin cracks up near vertical rock faces, requiring some serious layback technique and strength so not the place to introduce beginners to the sport.
Overall, it wasn’t a very successful day. With no new ‘gems’ discovered, it was a little disappointing, but at least we know we’re not missing out on something amazing.