Access

  • Mallorca Access Update

    In September 2019 we reported on some access requirements for climbers visiting Mallorca. This was a new version of a scheme that first appeared in 2013 where climbers were required to get permits before climbing in the Sierra de Tramuntana. This is the main mountain area and covers everything in the Rockfax guide from the Valldemossa section to the Formentor section (p.82 to p.211). The permit scheme is still in place although we have yet to hear of anyone being refused access to a crag, or even being asked to produce a permission form.

    It is still advisable to obtain permission but the previous method no longer works. Instead, it has been replaced by an online form that grants the same access permission. All you need to do is fill out the form and this gives you a PDF to download which you can print out or store on your phone.

    Go direct to the access form (In Spanish – open in Chrome for translation)
    Read some background information (in Spanish)

    Thanks to Tim Knight for this information

  • Portland Camping

    The camping field at Portland Bill

    A large camping field has been opened on Portland for tents and vans which will be open during the summer holidays. The field is at Portland Bill and in a good position for the DWS and bouldering crags near Portland Bill and within walking distance to Coastguard, Godnor, Neddyfields and Cheyne Weares crags.

    Van owners – please use this site!

    The Cheyne Weares car park has been permanently closed due to overuse by overnight van users and the consequent mess they leave. The new site costs £10/night and has toilet facilities. People who park up on other places on Portland will jeopardise access for climbers.

  • Eridge Rocks – Update 2019 – New Climbing Restrictions

    Further to a site meeting with the Reserves Manager of Sussex Wildlife Trust, the BMC have agreed to ask climbers not to climb or boulder on Yew Crack Buttress (Southern Sandstone Rockfax Guide Page 130 – 131) due to the increase in erosion. This covers climbs/boulder problems Yew Crack/The Leaf to Earthrise Surprise.

    Earthrise is not covered by this restriction but if there is damage increase then there will, unfortunately, be no option but to add this to the restrictions also. The below sign should now be in place at the Buttress.

    Eridge has become a hot spot for bordering in recent years, primarily due to some of the access issues faced at High Rocks. Eridge is notoriously sandy in places and excessive brushing with prohibited items like bouldering brushes have caused damage to the rocks in certain places. It’s vital that we (climbers) take action to ensure climbing at Eridge can continue. Ensure to follow the code of practice to the letter! Climbing at Eridge is a privilege and we need to ensure we can all continue to enjoy climbing and bouldering by protecting the rock.

    Climbing at Eridge was once banned and has only been permitted since 1997 thanks to the Sussex Wildlife Trust and BMC’s access agreement.

  • Mallorca Access Restrictions

    May 2021 Update – The permission method has changed. Read this new report on how to get permission.

    Back in 2013 we reported some access problems on Mallorca for climbers. The second one we covered in that article was a permit system being introduced for access to the Sierra de Tramuntana (which is the mountain area hence the location of many of the crags we climb on). In the end it turned out that the permits were seldom required and we had no reports of people without permits being turned away or fined.

    It seems that this scheme has come back to life and people from the local environmental department are now going to climbing areas at weekends and asking to see permits. If you have a permit you will be fine. If you can prove you have requested a permit then you might be okay, but may be asked to leave. If you have nothing then you could be fined.

    It needs to be stated that this is a strange and disproportionate policy considering the major environmental problems associated with the costal and cruise ship tourism on the island whereas climbers have relatively negligible impact and often a positive impact where bird restrictions are concerned.

    The main areas where this is happening are Gorg Blau, Las Perchas, Comuna de Caimari and S’Estret but in reality a permit is required for all the mountain crags. That is pretty much everything in the Rockfax guide from the Valldemossa section to the Formentor section (p.82 to p.211).

    The good news is that, currently, the permits are free and last for a year. The bad news is that if you send in an application then hardly anyone at present seems to be getting a reply and hence a permit.

    Derek Watson, who lives on the island, says that the best advice is to go through the application procedure below and send signed paperwork by email, and have a copy of the application with you when you climb (electronic or paper is fine). If you can show that, they shouldn’t stop you climbing.

    He also says don’t get into arguments but if you can explain politely how ridiculous this system is and make yourself understood then that is good since it is important that it isn’t just locals who are complaining.

    How to Get an Application

    May 2021 Update – The permission method has changed. Read this new report on how to get permission.

  • El Chorro Floods

    On 20 October there was a huge storm in the El Chorro region which caused some damage. The worst areas were up by Teba and Campillos, but there was also some disruption in El Chorro itself.

    EC-floods-3EC-floods-1The road from El Chorro to the lakes above and Desplomilandia has been damaged – photos above. Currently the coaches for the Caminito del Rey are going through Alora to get to the top and this is also the way that climbers need to go if they want to climb at Desplomilandia.

    The local opinion is that the road should be repaired by the end of November – just in time for the new El Chorro Rockfax.

    Thanks to Susan Mitchell from Alimona Chica for this information and the photos.

     

  • High Rocks – Climbing Suspended Until Further Notice

    High-Rocks---Climbing-Suspended

     

    Climbing at High Rocks has suspended climbing until further notice.

    BMC UPDATE 
    August 2018 update: climbing access to High Rocks is currently suspended. Discussions are ongoing with the landowner – please bear with us whilst we try to negotiate a solution

  • Some corrections to the Lofoten guide

    Page 118
    Automatic for the People is 45m not 30m. There are fixed signs at bottom and top warning of this.

    Page 144
    Bare Blabaer P1 and 2 are more like 20m and 46m. P5 and p6 are not well protected.

    Page 191
    The positions Gollum and Smeagul are reversed, their positions should be swapped – as should the grades on the topo. Smeagul is route-line 9 and Gollum is route-line 10 – the descriptions are correct.

    Page 204
    Gaukerisset – the upper abseil point is right of the finish of the route. The lower abseil point has been moved and is now two bolts on the left side (looking down) of the gully

    Page 244
    Storsvaet is very poorly protected and not really a good beginner’s climb, at least on the sharp end.

    Page 320 and 321
    The two red number 3 route dots should be number 4s since they are showing the rough line of Englevinger which is properly described on the next page 322.

  • Rockfax Access and Bolt Fund Donations in 2017

    Boltfund-montage-RF

    We have just made our second payments for the year 2017 to the various bolt funds and access projects that we support. It has been a record year and we are very pleased to have been able to offer significant support to the Portland Path Project, bolting in the Côte d’Azur,  Mallorca and South Wales and a single one-off donation to the Horseshoe Heroes campaign run by the BMC.

    Rockfax’s involvement with the Portland Path Project has now reached the target amount of £2000 and, thanks to the great work of Marti Hallett and other local volunteers, there is now an much improved access path to reach the climbing on the Battleship crags on Portland. Obviously this work will continue as will work on maintaining the bolting on the routes of Dorset and Rockfax/UKClimbing remains committed to supporting this via donations from sales made direct from our web site which will now be channelled through the Dorset Bolt Fund.

    The bolting work done in the Côte d’Azur and  Mallorca is carried out by locals and supported by sales of these new guidebooks. In South Wales we have directed funds towards the prolific Gary Gibson this time having already made some payments towards the local bolt fun.

    IB Above
    Isolated Buttress at Harrison’s Rocks

    Harrison’s Bridge Project

    Our big book last year was the Southern Sandstone guidebook. At the time of publication we were aware of a local matter regarding the construction of a bridge to reach the top of the Isolated Pinnacle at Harrison’s Rocks. The old method of reaching the top involved using a huge block to cross the gap but this became unstable and was removed for safety reasons. This made the top quite difficult too reach so discussions were held locally about the idea of building a bridge. There are strong views either way on this. We understand fully the point of view that climbing is meant to be an activity where you deal with what nature presents to you – we shouldn’t make things easier just for convenience. Conversely there is also the point of view that we have an impact on the environment and a crags like Harrison’s already has belay bolts, steps and fences to help climbers carry out their activities and minimise impact as much as possible.

    We didn’t want to get involved in this discussion so we didn’t mention it in the book. Local meetings have now taken place and the decision has been taken to build the bridge. In view of this, Rockfax is  happy to pledge support for this bridge. This isn’t an endorsement of one point of view or another, it is more an acknowledgement of the fact that funds will be needed and we are happy to help the BMC ACT in this if required.

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