Eridge Rocks - Climbing the Southern Sandstone

Living in the South East of England doesn’t offer much when it comes to rock climbing outdoors. We do however have a few sandstone outcrops to sink your teeth into for a fun weekend of climbing.

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These sandstone outcrops are a mix of emotions. It’s quite different climbing here and can really hit your grades hard. The surface of the rock doesn’t offer a great deal of friction. The rock takes a decent length of time to dry and you could still find yourself cleaning out a pocket before pulling on it.

However, because of these factors it can bring a whole different experience to your climbing which can actually be a pro rather than a con.

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Eridge Rocks is one of about 8 different outcrops in the area. It gets the sun early in the day and sheltered in the afternoon. It’s in the woods which can keep you out of the wind but can be problem at times with biting insects in the summer. Parking is available right at the beginning of the crag but, arrive early to secure your spot. More parking is available in the area with a small walk in. Just avoid parking in front of gates and pissing off the locals.

Parking Grid - TQ 555 355 - Postcode - TN3 9JU

Eridge Rocks offers a mixture of grades. If you climb between f5c-f6b you’ll be more than happy for the day or a weekend here. There are some lovely enjoyable routes to be climbed.

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If you’ve never climbed here before there are a few rules to take note of. Being sandstone the rock is really soft. No leader protection is to be used, everything is top roped or soloed. There are plenty of natural anchor points and access to the top is real easy. Do ensure you bring long slings or a long section of rope at least a few meters. The climbing rope cannot run over the top of the wall as it will erode the rock very easily and damage it for future use. We really need to look after it. Don’t use excessive amounts of chalk or wire brushes.

Let’s talk gear:

  • Harness

  • Climbing Shoes

  • 30m rope

  • Belay Device

  • Guide Book

  • A piece of matting to wipe your feet

  • Long sling or length of static rope (for the anchor)

  • Screw gate

  • Food and Drink

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No toilets are available at the site so make sure you clear out before hand. Plenty of bushes though for a No 1.

If you’re in the area and want to get out of the climbing gyms then this is your best bet. It’s not at the same standard as spending the day at Stanage but you will find it rather enjoyable for sure. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Aaron.


End Notes

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this post. Please do share with your friends and let me know what you think. Perhaps you’ve climbed on the southern sandstone before and would love to contribute to this site? I’m all ears and please do get in touch. Until the next time, enjoy life.

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