Just to keep you going, here are some route details. I am working on a some topos etc so expect these soon!! Please view the current access situation before visiting.
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RAINBOW BRIDGE AREA
The following 2 routes are found on the wall beneath the quarried platform at the end of Rainbow Bridge – this platform is beneath Upper Ranger Buttress.
Lucid XS 5c S0 20ft #
Traverse intricately R for 30ft just above the HWM to an overhung niche. Pull up L onto a rib and pull around the L side of the overhang onto a line of L-facing slopers and flake holds, and so to the top. FA Martin Crocker 13.9.98 (onsight solo)
The Groovy Gang XS 6a S1 **30ft #
Brilliant. Abseil from the huge square block into the quarry and then down from its E edge to a good ledge below an overhanging white groove. The ledge is about 6m above HWM and can be approached via the Oz Wall Traverse. Climb the groove direct; strenuous, sustained but a piece of cake for the 6a grade. FA Martin Crocker. 13.9.98 (soloed after inspection)
Oz Wall Traverse XS 6a **220ft S0
An excellent traverse, all of which is position above deep water. It also has the added attraction of being possible at any state of the tide. From the ledge adjacent Barnacle Traverse/ White Rhino Tea follow the descending break (4c/5a) to the HWM where stopped by a sea-washed alcove after approx. 150ft. Pull over a bulge and swing L to a ledge beneath the white groove of The Groovy Gang. Make a very precarious step L across a steep wall and, ignoring possible escape, climb down slightly westwards crossing below two grooves. Step L into a red scar and gain a rest in the niche of Lucid. Now, reverse L and traverse intricately L just above the HWM until you run out of crag. FA ? Possibly Nick Hancock Variation It is also possible to traverse through the cave and back out along the wall at the start of the traverse. FA Probably Ken Palmer, Ben Bransby Summer 99
...is now the Deep Water Soloists Mecca! The following routes are described from L (i.e. the start of Rainbow Bridge) to R.
Rainbow Bridge E4/5 ................... is very long, superb and traverses from The Great Cave towards Red Walls. A full description and topo will follow soon!!
Drop Squad XS 5b 25ft S0 #
Small route, big drop. From the R end of the Rainbow Bridge approach ledge swing right along the upper wide break to a point 6ft from the L hand end of the high level roof. Grope around for flat holds, swing out and lock for glory! FA Martin Crocker 27.8.98 (onsight solo)
Yokel Hero XS 6a **35ft S1/2
After birth as an E3 trad route this has now received a few solo ascents and has become a good bottle test. The route is found directly below gearing up spot for the main crag. Either abseil from a metal post or traverse along the start of Rainbow Bridge to a square cut niche (belay here if you’ve got ropes). Step up to a niche and climb the crack above to the big slanting break. Swing R and follow the obvious line of holds through the roof (Friend #3 for trads). Finish direct. FA Clark Alston, Dave Henderson 16.8.95 FSA Ken Palmer
To the R of Yokel Hero is a rib. This goes as HVS 4c and provides a good introduction to the harder routes hereabouts.
Beyond this is an incredibly smooth, pocketed wall which has a hard project on the left and a steep pocket crack line on the right:
.... E4 6b 40ft S1
The right hand line.. FA Kenny Palmer
R again of this is:
Un-named XS 5c ***35ft S1
The brilliant scooped pocket line. FA. Unknown
High Tide Running XS 5c *35ft S1 #
The leaning pocketed brown wall R of the above; a high crux. Move and traverse the wide inclined break rightwards for 6ft. Feel for the base of a huge pocket overhead and follow superb holds direct and then L to an obvious handrail. Rock up to exit and scramble out easily Rwards. FA Martin Crocker 27.8.98 (onsight solo)
Un-named XS 5b 35ft* S0
Pocketed wall 6ft R again. FA. Unknown
The Lost Locals XS 5b/c 45ft S1 Follow Rainbow Bridge to the chimney at the end of Pitch 2 which is followed to a sloping shelf. Traverse Rwards for 20ft to a large niche. Steep moves R around a nose lead to a pocketed crack, which is climbed with a steep pull to a slightly crunchy finish (the large niche can also be gained direct from a point midway along Pitch 3 of Rainbow Bridge at a slimy 5c). FA Ian Parnell 1995 (solo)
The following solos start from a sloping grey ledge beneath a small through-cave at the end of pitch 3 (“The Hall of Mirrors”) of Rainbow Bridge. An abseil approach is possible and desirable if you hope to tick all of the routes. Due to the steep angle you’ll have to keep bouncing to remain in contact with the rock!
Aeronautics XS 5c S0 ***40ft #
A classic solo on a steep and strenuous pocket-line bountiful with jugs. From the lower (left- hand) entrance to the through-cave pull steeply into the pocket-line and power up it past a wonderful round hole (and flower!) in the final bulge. Scramble out easily. FA Martin Crocker 27.8.98
Show Goes On XS 5b 40ft S0 #
Entertaining. Move up from the sloping grey ledge to the upper (R-hand) entrance to the through-cave. Undercut R along a ramp, then climb a narrow R-facing corner to the top. Scramble out easily. FA Martin Crocker 27.8.98 (solo after cleaning top-out)
Inimitable Toenails XS 5b 40ft S0 #
Move R from the sloping grey ledge and climb a black streak on pockets to a gain a break. Continue direct past a pink hole to the top. Scramble out easily. FA Martin Crocker 27.8.98 (onsight solo)
Stripper Robertson XS 5c S1 *40ft #
Nice positions. Traverse right from the sloping grey ledge for 3m to a blunt arete. Teeter awkwardly up onto a projecting ledge from where good spaced holds on the arete lead to easier ground. Carry on, using a slanting ledge, to exit rightwards. Scramble out easily. FA Martin Crocker 27.8.98 (onsight solo)
Rainbow Bridge variation E5 6b/c ***30ft #
Although only short this route "packs a mean punch". After the crux pitch (6) of the original this route continues at the same level along the pocketed "barrel" wall. Although the route can be lead (1TR) it is better as a deep water solo 25ft above the sea. FA Ken Palmer Autumn 1997 (solo after top rope inspection)
Disco Inferno XS 6b **50ft S1
Powerful climbing up the pocketed wall between Look Before You Leap and Into The Fire. Probably Fr.7b. The second crux, at 30ft, involves a blind finger-pocket; only the purist will not sneak a look on the abseil approach. Bridge seawards out of the cave of Look Before.. and, using a downward-pointing fang, stretch R for bomber jams in a short crack. Take the crack, finger the pocket, and stride L to larger holds again and the break of Rainbow Bridge above. Move R to deep pockets and follow these to an exit gully. FA Martin Crocker 12.9.98 (solo after top roping)
Into the Fire XS 5c 50ft S1 #
This route, described in the SD+D has received a solo – however, due to the very sharp nature of the start (crux) the route was not soloed in it’s entirety. Abseil and transfer warily to the weak thread above the initial crux bulge. Climb the awkward wide crack and make a steep move to the Rainbow Bridge break. Swing R to deep pockets and follow these to a broken exit-corner. FA Martin Crocker 12.9.98 (solo after abseil approach)
Nor’ Wind Blows XS 5b 45ft S1 #
A dodgy solo up the Rhand side of the red wall (R of Out of The Cauldron). From the R end of the small ledges climb a rib to the L end of a roof. Use an undercut to reach fingerholds on the red wall, step R and follow a short flake to the top. Variation HVS 4c; traverse R between the roofs to the arete. Scramble to the top. FA Martin Crocker 12.9.98 (solo) The next group of solos is based around the projecting low-level roof which overhangs pitch 9 of Rainbow Bridge, obvious when looking East from the gear-up zone. The easiest approach is to abseil down the red wall R of the chimney crossed by pitch 8 of Rainbow Bridge, and then traverse R to the corner at the end of pitch 8.
Cod Tympani XS 6b ***45ft S1 #
A classic roof problem with the crux high enough (30ft) to guarantee the full fix. Above the small, step-across zawn R of the red wall is a roof. Take the crack and corner to the roof. Improvise through the roof using the convenient foot-ramp and stretch for the lip and the inevitable (?) victory swing. Scramble out. FA Martin Crocker 12.9.98 (top section inspected; onsight solo of the rest)
Un-named XS 5c 45ft** S0
Superb and steady. Climb the rib R of Cod Tympani to a jug-line. Using an obvious pocket stretch for another jug-line then move R and up into a shallow L-facing corner. One tricky move up this leads to big holds and the top. FA ?
Hear My Boat A-Comin XS 5c/6a *45ft S0 #
A smashing pitch, generally on jugs up the overhanging L wall of the projecting roof. Traverse R on Rainbow Bridge and move up to a projecting sloping hold. Crank up the leaning wall 10ft L of a white corner to big holds. Continue direct to a rattling jug in a niche, then trend R to the top. FA Martin Crocker 27.8.98 (solo after inspection)
Torpedo Dive XS 5c 45ft ** S0 #
The white corner left of the projecting roof. Traverse right on Rainbow Bridge to a horizontal finger-slot and make a hard move to enter the corner. Positive holds lead all the way up the corner to easier climbing and the top. FA Martin Crocker 27.8.98 (onsight solo)
Dolly Dagger XS 6a 60ft S0 #
Only one hard move, with a slight plop into the sea if you fail. Traverse to the finger-slot as for Torpedo Dive. Find a shallow pocket in the bulge above and stride R across the lip of the projecting roof. Amble up the easier rib above. FA Martin Crocker ‘98 (onsight solo)
The final set of deep water solos commence from the ledge overlooking the ‘Terminal Zawn’ at the start of pitch 12. Scramble or abseil down to the ledge.
Comeback Kid XS 6a S0 25ft #
Dynamic, but only a short fall to the sea. Step up from the ledge and launch up a leaning white scoop to grasp flat holds. Pull into the easier corner above and escape out L. FA Martin Crocker 13.9.98 (solo after top roping crux)
Un-named XS 5b/c *30ft S0/1 #
A line of pockets veers up the leaning brown wall. Follow them from the R end of the ledge and, ignoring a premature escape to the corner of Comeback Kid, continue Rwards until a swing back L gains escape ledges. Beautiful. FA ?
A Tear Drop in the Sea XS 6a S2 *60ft #
Challenges the full height of the Terminal Zawn wall. A daunting solo with some questionable holds at 45ft. Traverse R along Rainbow Bridge to 2 small holds after 10ft. Make fingery moves up and R to start the obvious R slanting crack which is followed to deep jams. Ignoring the ledge on the R, pull up direct on pockets to a fawn-coloured calcite boss and large holds above. Step L to the arete and finish on widely spaced jugs. FA Martin Crocker 13.9.98 (top-roped upper half then soloed)
The Mike Robertson variation to The Terminal Zawn pitch of Rainbow Bridge (I think this is called Maximus Glutamus or summfink like that!!) is basically the lower line through the zawn. This is possible at mid-low tide and provides a less scary, but harder (Fr 7a ish) finish. Note that this is still affected by the bird ban.
THE OLD REDOUBT
No Hands Wizzy XS 5c 70ft S2 #
An awesome deep water solo proposition that taking the arete of the Great Cave (i.e. the R arete of the Man O War Wall). Gain this direct through the roof below, using a large dodgy flake. Continue up to gain a rest then make scary moves (about 5c) up. Descend Rwards by reversing The Yardarm (this descent is a bit dodgy as it takes you across some slightly suspect rock, and you‘d hit rock before the sea!). Would probably be E5 as a lead. FA Ken Palmer (solo after Top rope) Summer ‘98
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