Hello happy climbers, we are pleased to announce a meet to the much loved Cheddar Gorge and Fairy Caves.
The Cheddar Gorge is described as “a breathtaking natural phenomenon” which Climbers will have a special appreciation for as it offers the rare attraction of multi-pitch sport routes. There are some single pitch sport routes at low-mid grades, although the 5s can be rather polished. On the other side of the Gorge are some more feisty climbs for explorers.
There is some trad around the Gorge as well as in fairy caves. A wide range of grades for all levels. We will be staying a short walk from the fairy caves and with such a large group, it’s likely that we will be at both the Gorge and Fairy Caves on both days.
In some ways this is a good chance for people new/recent to outside. There may be places where you can pair up with climbers or we may be able to set up top ropes. This isn’t a set beginners meet, so as always, we can’t guarantee that you’ll get loads in but if you’ve been outside before and want to get more hours in, its worth going along, and there is plenty of local nature to enjoy between climbs. Minor warning – the climbs are quite exposed, if you don’t like exposed top-outs this might not be for you.
We shall be staying at a rather unique cavers hut, run by a local group that regularly explore the fairy caves. It is a bunk house with 2 massive separate rooms, hence it can host so many people. The facilities such as those found in the kitchen are substantial and the massive living room has sofa and a fire place. There is space outside for a BBQ and/or small bonfire, should the weather allow…and wait for it…. there is an indoor bouldering wall running down the corridor.
As is classic caver hut style, it is rather dusty. When we refer to substantial facilities, please don’t arrive expecting hotel or campsite style upkeep.
For information on the hut, including what they expect from us and facilities available, please visit: http://www.cerberusspeleo.org.uk/hutinfo.htm
The Gorge’s popularity with tourists and climbers alike puts strong pressures on a sensitive environment, and the close proximity of some climbs to the road brings its own safety concerns, to help manage these the climbing access is reassessed each year. The Gorge is a site of special scientific interest, and the restrictions are in place to protect rare plants such as the Cheddar Pink, and provide safe nesting for protected species of bird, so the approach to, and descent from the climbs also needs careful attention
Both Fairy Caves and A lot of the Cheddar Gorge are private land, where permission for climbing has been granted, but for the Gorge in particular there are seasonal restrictions and it is essential that these are observed if access is to be maintained. It’s also important for a large group of climbers such as SCC as “climbing tourists” to be respectful of local climbers, and avoid overcrowding the crag or hogging routes.
Sleeping: The bunkhouse has mattresses, pillows and sleeping bags will be needed.
Climbing kit: bring what you plan to use! If you need to borrow club kit from ropes to helmets, let us know.
FYI: The plan is to arrange a group dinner on the Saturday – we may ask for your help with this.