Shropshire History

Shropshire

Climbing

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Climbing mountains was a popular pastime of Victorian gentlemen in the mid-19th Century, mostly around the Alps. This type of climbing was mostly walking with the aid of an ice axe and ropes for safety. Rock climbing as such involves vertical ascents up rock faces and was first carried out in Britain in the Lake District in the early 1880s. It was popularised following a solo (where a climber ascends on his own without protection) ascent of the 70ft Napes Needle on Great Gable in 1886 by Walter Parry Haskett Smith.

 

Image result for napes needle

Napes Needle

 

It is not known when rock climbing was first carried out in Shropshire but it must have been around the turn of the century. Since most quarries were still active then, this would have been on small outcrops of rock. This type of rock climbing is known as “bouldering” and was initially done without the use of ropes or climbing aids. The term is also used for modern artificial climbing walls. As large quarries became disused, climbers used them for longer and more difficult climbs.

 

Grades of Climb

 

Each climb is given a grade which informs the climber how hard it will be to climb.

 

  • E - Easy
  • M - Moderate
  • D - Difficult
  • HD - Hard Difficult
  • VD - Very Difficult
  • HVD - Hard Very Difficult
  • MS - Mild Severe
  • S - Severe
  • HS - Hard Severe
  • MVS - Mild Very Severe
  • VS - Very Severe
  • HVS - Hard Very Severe
  • E - Extremely Severe (E1 - E11).
  •  

The second part of the grade (technical) gives an indication of the hardest move to be found on the route (irrespective of how many of them there might be) or how strenuous it is. It starts at 4a, presumably because lower grades are regarded as too easy to be worth mentioning! The scale is

 

4a   4b   4c   5a   5b   5c   6a   6b   6c   7a   7b.

 

Thus a typical climb might be grades as VS5a.

 

 

Climbing Walls

 

Climbing the Walls

 

Oswestry Climbing Centre

 

Shrewsbury Sports Village

 

Shropshire Climbing Centre

 

The Edge Adventure

 

 

Climbing Clubs

 

British Mountaineering Club

 

Shrewsbury Mountaneering Club

 

Shropshire Mountaineering Club

 

Wrekin Mountaineering Club

 

 

 

 

Gazetteer of Climbing Sites

 

(See UK Climbing Gazetteer)

 

Area 41

SJ558279

Sandstone rock with 2 climbs

 

Carreg y Byg

SJ248321

Limestone rock with 38 climbs.

 

Clee Hill Quarry

SO593779

Basalt rock with 3 climbs.

 

Gaer Stone

SO472934

Rhyolite rock with 4 climbs.

 

Grinshill

SJ518238

Sandstone rock with 171 climbs.

 

Harmer Hill

SJ481226

Sandstone rock with 18 climbs.

 

Ippikins Rock

SO569965

Limestone rock with 49 climbs.

 

Lilleshall Monument

SJ729156

Man-made monument with 5 climbs.

 

Llanymynech Quarry

SJ264218

Limestone rock with 125 climbs.

This quarry is a nature reserve managed by Shropshire Wildlife Trust. Due to rare nesting birds, parts of the cliffs are under restricted access from 1 March to 30 June.

 

Moreswood Quarry

SO325934

Dolerite rock with 2 climbs.

 

Nesscliffe

NGR SJ385195

Sandstone rock with 180 climbs.

There is a publication Climber’s Guide to Nescliffe

 

Pim Hill

SJ488205

Sandstone rock with 10 climbs.

 

Pontesford Rocks

SJ409047

Igneous rock with 47 climbs.

Restrictions apply during the nesting season.

 

Rock Lane Quarry

SJ718194

Sandstone rock with 1 climb.

 

Stiperstones

SO365981

Quartzite rock with 27 climbs.

Restricted to Cranberry Tor. No permanent climbing aids permitted.

 

The Ercall

Not a recognised safe climb. In 2016, a climber had to be rescued after getting stuck on the unstable rock face. He was brought down by two fire crews from Wellington, safe but embarrassed.

 

The Wrekin

SJ627079

Rhyolite rock with 3 climbs.

 

Weston

SJ557279

Sandstone rock with 9 climbs.