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Rock Climbing in the Isle of Man
Bradda Head

 

Bradda Head contains some of the largest cliffs on the Island, and some of the poorest quality rock. So far only two areas have been touched though more may perhaps be developed if serious exploration is undertaken.

PORT ERIN BAY AREA

From the car park at Bradda Glen cafe take the footpath West above the shore. After a few hundred yards a line of steps leads down to a life-belt post. This is the start of a long and interesting sea level traverse, passing below short steep and mainly sound crags. These offer a lot of potential, especially in the middle grades.

The first route starts a considerable way along the traverse, just before a corner where the traverse becomes more serious. It is possible to walk direct to this area by following the lower of the two concrete footpaths from the glen. A few yards before the paths reunite step across a tiny stream and traverse diagonally down to flat rock ledges on the cliff edge. From here an easy scramble down leads to sea level.

PEB CRACK ~ 20' ~ V Diff
From the foot of the descent climb a steep semi layback crack.

SOX ~ 40' ~ Sev
Pull onto the slab between Peb Crack and the corner, at a slight groove. Ascend directly to the small roof and make a delicate traverse right for 15' to an easy finish.

The next route lies on the West wall of the first main inlet, and cannot be reached from the traverse except at low tide. Approaching from above, scramble down the rib and descend a ramp to reach the edge of a cave in the wall where the route starts.

WALL CON BYE ~ 60' ~ VS
1/4a Climb up and right to ledges below a steep narrow wall. 2/4c Step left and climb up and right onto the wall until forced to finish at a ledge on the left.

The next buttress is that containing the life-belt post. Abseil down from this to ledges just above the high tide level.

THE BUOYS ~ 35' ~ Hard Sev
Climb the left edge of the Eastern arete.

The small ruined miners hut lies on top of a through cave, the traverse of which is not yet done (it is deep water at all states of the tide). A second through cave lies parallel to this a few feet seaward and the buttress on the other side has a few short problems on the seaward face. It is possible to scramble down the Eastern rib between the two caves to sea level and step around onto the face of the inner cave. This gives the next route.

WALL CON WATER ~ 35' ~ Sev
From the base of the rib traverse a few feet along the water to the middle of the wall, then up a small ramp to ledges. Climb the smoother upper wall directly up the middle.

Access to the next routes is by abseil down the seaward face of the second cave or by a very hairy step across the Eastern end of the chasm.

SPLISH ~ 20' ~ VS
A smooth steep wall high up on the left (West) end of the smooth face, just right of an easy leaning groove. Approach easily, step onto flanges at the base of the wall then climb up to a notch.

SPLASH ~ 15' ~ VS
A short overhang at sea-level at the right hand end of the face.

MINES AREA (A)

From the car park just below Milner's Tower walk over the first headland to the start of a steeply descending miners track. Some way below the top, just past several mine entrance holes, the path traverses below a loose rock rib. This is Miner's Rib.

MINER'S RIB ~ 200' ~ VS
The rib is very loose, vegetated, and more difficult than it looks. Degenerates into vegetation.

MINES AREA (B)

Walk over the next headland to the North, to the start of a second steeply descending miner's track. Follow this down to sea level, where it turns South, to reach an area of reddish coloured rock rising above the high water mark. Immediately South of this are the old mine buildings.

So far no routes have been recorded, but some potential undoubtedly exists.



All text © Manx Fell & Rock Club and Mike Caine