FAQ - Mendip Climbing
So, the Mendips, isn't it full of tottering choss?
Well, that depends on what you are used to. Some of the recently developed quarries do have an element of loose rock. However, others, like Fairy Cave Quarry (FCQ) and Holcombe offer some of the best routes locally and are definitely worth a visit.
Ok, I'll give it a go, however I'm just passing through, so what's the best crag in the area?
Holcombe quarry has some excellent sport climbing in all grades. For trad slabs, Fairy Cave Quarry has climbing as good as the Culm coast (albeit perhaps with not the same scenery), Fairy Cave was recently described as "England's last great crag" in Climber Magazine. Cheddar to the west obviously has tonnes of fine climbing (both trad and sport) and is now positively busy on a sunny winter's day.
If Fairy Caves is so good, why haven't I ever heard of it?
Well, partially because it is so new. A couple of routes were done there in the last ten years, but it was only really developed extensively in 2003 by a secretive group of local climbers. It hasn't been included in any guidebook until the most recent Avon and Cheddar guide. These days you have to queue for classics like Rob's Crack!
So are there any decent steeper crags?
Yes, but the rock is not quite as sound. Holcombe II has some excellent steeps sports climbing in the 6c - 7b range. Halecombe West (Leigh Quarry) has some good crack climbs - but the rock quality isn't the best.
Can I climb at Cheddar? And when?
Parts of Cheddar are now open year round and access is continuously being approved through the hard work of the Cheddar Gorge Climbing Project. Please check the BMC website before you visit and you can buy one of Martin Crockers photo topo's showing restored routes from the Cheddar Show Caves office in the gorge.
I've just done this great new route, where can I report it?
Here, of course! However, there is also a new routes book in the St Werburgs Climbing Centre if you prefer.
I heard the Bristol scene are all out in the Mendips new routing? Where?
Well, that would be telling…… all the latest news on new routes is on this site. However, there is a rumour that is that it is all a double bluff and they are actually going to Pembroke as usual.
Someone on rocktalk called James Jackson has recommended I repeat some of his new routes, should I?
Where can I stay? Where can I drink? Where can I buy good cider?
The Mendips are full of pretty villages and some not so pretty towns. There is a nice campsite in the village of Priddy along with accompanying pub. Please see the ApresClimb page on this site for drinking establishments.
What's with MendipClimb.org.uk?
Just really to try to ensure that new-route information is captured and to relay access information for local crags, some of which have been historically sensitive