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Cheddar Access Map

 wilkinscl 18 Jun 2020

I appreciate the tenuous nature of the climbing agreement regarding Cheddar South. I have a few questions who's answers  aren't clear from the Access Map.

In the cheddar access map 2020 it says "Unrestored routes only accessible between Oct 1st and March 15th except:


Sunset Buttress (The Arete Left of Irradiation). 

Is that the left hand end of the permissible climbing (I always thought it was out), everything right of which is in apart from on the specified dates?

Also please can the list of Restored Routes be made available online somewhere?

 Fakey Rocks 18 Jun 2020
In reply to wilkinscl:

There is more info in the Martin Crocker guide, which I don't have to hand right now. I can check + reply later / tomorrow. Anything in particular you were you interested in there?

Are you sure the answer to your question isn't here? If you click on the yellow restricted access box... 


Post edited at 19:45
 Fakey Rocks 19 Jun 2020
In reply to wilkinscl:

All the restored routes are in the Martin Crocker 2015 guide, you should buy it especially if wanting detailed info. 

There's also loads of info on the ukc page re when and what you can climb, but yes it can be a bit perplexing understanding Cheddar. 


South side has 11 more days then banned for July and Aug except Horseshoe bend, Yew tree Wall, and Ginsberg Wall, after 6pm, and other areas as shown on access map.

Mostly everything right of the SB left arête is in, but depending how far right you mean? Other buttresses have restrictions. 

It's mostly choss just left of the arête, but around the arête and lower down is Madrugada wall. There are a few routes, on the Madrugada wall, pg 62 new 2015 MC guide that are accessed by walking from the thin path under Burmese wall and SS buttress, very precariously around the corner, which is a bit scary too. There's a few restored sport + trad routes The first route along there is a 7a+, and left again are 3 trads. Stuff right of the 7a+ that is in the old guide will be winter access only, or banned, page 83 old 2004 CC guide.

I'd recommend getting the guide (guides in your case if you want to explore less popular stuff). 

Almost everything that is in Martin Crockers guide (latest 2015) is a restored route, is one way of looking at it.
But there are also some unrestored trad routes in the new guide, with grey shading on the title, some of which are on sunset buttress. Unrestored routes that aren't in this guide, are only permitted in "winter" season, or are now totally  prohibited for some old climbs on the south side, I think. 

Also, click the yellow restricted access box here... 

Quoting from the above link... 
It has been reported that there is some confusion or misunderstanding of the use of the terms "restored" and "unrestored" routes in relation to access.  Restored routes are trad routes that were cleaned and equiped with lower off bolts, and sport routes that were  bolted or rebolted and equipped.  This work was carried out as part of the Cheddar Gorge Climbing project between 2003 - 2005.  All these routes are described in the current guide book  - Cheddar Gorge Climbs by Martin Crocker.  The access agreement for 2019 only includes routes found in this guide.  Some restored routes in the guide remain as winter only routes. This includes most of the multi pitch routes in the gorge. Full details are in the guide.  The climbs on the South side listed in previous guide books and not found in the current  book, including the previous CC guides are winter access only - 1st October -- 15th March.
Annual loose rock removal carried out by the landowners has nothing to do with access changes for climbers and has no bearing on on the climbing access agreements.  It is carried out entirely in the interest of safety for visitors to the gorge.

Re the bmc access map download, where it says... 

This is the link... 


Unrestored routes (Inc Coronation St) only accessible 1 Oct to 15 March inclusive, except... 
It means the unrestored routes can be climbed in winter from Oct to March 15, except... 

and gives a list of exceptions. 
I'm not sure if this is totally correct about the exceptions, but i understand it to mean this.. 
The list of exceptions, means they are exceptions from the winter access too, in the sense that they are permanently now out of bounds and not to be climbed at all, I think. 

The routes on the wall above bus turning circle are permitted when the gorge tour bus isn't running, and from Oct to 15 March.

The same list of exceptions are listed in a box that says "prohibited" on pg 167 of the 2015 guide.

Mark C will be along soon to correct me if I am wrong
I'll be embarrassed if I've still got this wrong! Ha! 

If you have a route name and aren't sure if it's in or out, feel free to email me and I'll check. 

Post edited at 15:35
 wilkinscl 22 Jun 2020
In reply to Fakey Rocks:

Thank you for your very helpful reply. Looks like I'll be adding a 4th Cheddar guide book to the collection, a bit of a shame and not particularly sustainable.

"The list of exceptions, means they are exceptions from the winter access too, in the sense that they are permanently now out of bounds and not to be climbed at all, I think. "

This is the part that I was uncertain about, I think left of Irradiation is out of bounds all year round. If Mark C reads this, the exceptions could be made more clear.

 Fakey Rocks 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Fakey Rocks:

Just a quick correction... 

1 July, which is when the South side 2 month restriction starts, is next Weds, not this Sat. So South sides last day, most sectors, is Tues 30 June. 

 Fakey Rocks 26 Jun 2020
In reply to wilkinscl:

Several pages of that are made from gold leaf....

Not sure if you are into jungle scrambling or just scary climbing? 

Post edited at 01:23
 badgerjockey 27 Jun 2020
In reply to wilkinscl:

Yeah, I don’t know how they can still make the access map not 100% clear. Same goes for the Crocker guide, pretty user unfriendly layout I’ve always thought. 

Anyway, the access map shows Long Wall and that whole area in the good old orange zone. Yet Castles Made of Sand(WW) (6c) Is in the book and on UKC as WW, which I take to be winter season only. But, isn’t it a restored route by virtue of being in the latest guide and bolted etc? So, going by the map, it’s climbable now, right? No explanation for this on the map... same question for Creationist Whack Job and Who’s Nailin Pailin?

Post edited at 00:26
 Fakey Rocks 27 Jun 2020
In reply to badgerjockey:

Castles Made of Sand + Stone Cold Fever, plus several multi pitch trads either side, are Winter Routes. 

Both of them are restored routes, and bolted, but like many South side bolted routes, are subject to restrictions in summer or are restricted further as winter only. 

On the map it says "For Restored routes listed in Cheddar Gorge Climbs 2015", and then does the colour coded zones list....I'm pretty sure the map is meant to be used in conjunction with the guide, and that anyone going there, ought to buy that guide. It wouldn't be possible to put all the details of every winter route on such a map, as there's actually about 50 winter routes in the orange zone.

With the map, a South Side supplementary of about 6 pages, with a list of whats in for each climbing season might help....

All year allowed routes, After 6pm in restricted summer, Unrestricted Summer, and Winter Only. 

You make a fair point, anyone making a flying visit could think they are OK to just download the map and get the wrong idea about stuff. I'm sure they'd need a guide too though, or would probably refer to Ukc, which covers it in good detail.

A note on the map re the orange zone explaining about the presence of WW's in the orange zone could be good idea, especially those 2 multi pitch routes. 

In the back of the 2015 guide is an index /list of routes, pg 170, its got 45 routes per column, 4, pages, 16 columns over those 4 pages.

A download-able list of what's in per season under subheadings would be do-able, if people want another 5 or 6 pages, but it's already there with the full details that you really want of where the route is, how many bolts, length etc, in a nice book with topos. Access is complicated so it's explained over 3 pages, 8,9, 10. 

Post edited at 01:42
 badgerjockey 27 Jun 2020
In reply to Fakey Rocks:

Yep, that’s my point, all it needs is a note explaining that WWs are separate again and listed on UKC and the guide. I regularly see people on Castles (not just the first pitch) in the summer and I would have thought the lack of clarity doesn’t help. 

Similarly, the wording of “restricted: 1-15 April” etc can be misinterpreted by a visitor that climbing is restricted to these periods. It should probably say “climbing not permitted between:”. Much clearer. 

Who puts this together? Obviously BMC but is it the SW area team? cheddar access rep?

 Fakey Rocks 27 Jun 2020
In reply to badgerjockey:

I'm not sure but I've got a feeling people who get on Castles or Stone Cold Fever probably do so knowing they aren't supposed to, as it's unlikely you would choose to do those routes without looking for info on them, either from the guide or Ukc. For a start you need to know how to get up there from the road, and where to leave the gully. In the route description for both in the 2015 guide, and earlier print of the Martin Crocker guide, it's clear that they are winter routes. 

Can't remember how the 2 are listed in the Climbers Club guide that precedes Martins, I'll check later, but perhaps someone could think using the old guide in conjuction with a download of the access map might work, and end up on stuff when it is prohibited.

I agree with you that restricted can be meant either way, and it took me some mental gymnastics to get my head round the wording... I ended highlighting the 3 different restriction in 3 different colours in the contents list, access pages, and tables at the back of the 2015 guide. I added myself as Cheddar South mod just to be able to get all the routes in order, add some missing ones, put in buttress dividers, and more info on what is restricted to Winter only, it took me about 3 days using just a mobile phone that had its own problems, a lot of swearing was involved! but nearly all the info anyone should need is on Ukc, so anyone who checks that has no excuse for getting on a winter route out of season. It's weird how some people obviously use Ukc and try routes when they are prohibited, as they are are happy to log them with the date in the prohibited periods! I once asked someone wearing a Bmc t shirt who came down from Burmese wall in the holidays if they knew they'd been on restricted stuff, and they pleaded innocence.

I've seen people with the 2015 guidebook out, climbing daytime on horseshoe bend in prohibited holiday periods. The warden can probably have a pretty frustrating time, but basically everyone can help to keep the south side open by politely reminding anyone seen getting on restricted stuff that they are jeopardising access for everyone else.

Post edited at 14:54
 Fakey Rocks 29 Jun 2020
In reply to badgerjockey:

Have checked latest Climbers Club Cheddar guide (2004).... none of the multi pitch sport routes existed then! So anyone interested would look at either Ukc, or Crocker guide, which explains when they are in/out. Errors can be made... I turned up to do Stone Cold Fever on 23rd March last year thinking it was in (I had thought it was banned from April to 15 Oct), but at the base of the 1st pitch, just decided to double check on Ukc as phone had signal, and found out I was wrong (ban is 15 March to end Sept). There was a lot of wtf said! We did the 1st pitch anyway, lowered off and moved onto something else. I assumed the 1st pitch of these 2, SCF and CMS, can be done during summer season, especially as CMS 1st pitch is listed separately with a different name, The Witching Hours, so long as you go no further. 

Post edited at 19:43