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Rock Climbing in the Isle of Man
Clayhead Area

 

This area has started to provide some good worthwhile short routes. The climbing is often quite steep and fingery. The area is reached by driving to a grassy car-park almost at the end of Clay Head Drive. From here walk along the road, past the last two houses and strike out across the fields towards the headland. The most obvious feature is a deep gully like depression running down to the sea, with broken rocky walls. Follow this down to sea level. Looking South a short line of steep square-cut corners and walls will be seen starting from the high tide mark and rising up the hillside. These provide the first routes.

KIOSK CORNER ~ 20' ~ Hard Diff
The first corner nearest the sea.

KIOSK ARETE ~ 30' ~ Hard Sev
The right arete of Kiosk Corner. Hard to start, some loose rock near the top.

The wall right of Kiosk Arete contains two crack lines.

PUNCH ~ 20' ~ Hard V Diff
The left crack.

JUDY ~ 20' ~ Sev
The right crack.

CROCODILE ~ 20' ~ Sev
The corner to the right.

SIDESHOW ~ 35' ~ VS
The right wall of Crocodile. Start in the middle, climb thinly to a wide rising crack, follow this to the right arete, step left and climb straight up to finish.

THE PROFESSOR ~ 45' ~ HVS 5a
A few yards right of Sideshow, past two dirty corners is a fine cleaned crack in the wall. Climb this direct.

The other routes in the area are a little harder to find. Cross the gully from the Punch and Judy routes and follow the clifftop Northwards. After a couple of hundred yards the top of a small steep buttress is passed. The North wall is steep and black coloured and the seaward face has a slabby groove leading to a large overhang at 15 ft.

BLACKTHORN ~ 25' ~ VS
Climb the arete of the slabby groove then step onto the steep face which is climbed direct to ledges and a pull out left to finish.

Continue some yards further North to a small inlet. In the back facing North is a short steep wall bounded on the right (West) by a fine short corner slab.

SUTTIES SWEEP ~ 40' ~ Sev
The slabby corner direct.

BASIL BRUSH ~ 40' ~ VS
The left arete of Sutties Sweep direct.

The following routes are a little hard to find as the area consists of short broken buttresses and slabs with few outstanding features. About 150 yards North of the Punch and Judy routes there is a steep buttress with a large detached block on the top. A few yards to the right of this buttress and just above sea level an undercut corner crack splits the landward face of a narrow transverse gully.

THE PRICKLER ~ 50' ~ MVS
The crack is awkward to start and leads with sustained interest to an uncomfortable finish in a bramble filled niche.

Fifty yards further North the landward face of another transverse gully has yielded three routes.

THE RIGHT ONE ~ 30' ~ Sev
Climb without difficulty to the top of a short squat pinnacle and pull awkwardly into the slanting crack above which leads to a finish left of a short blank wall.


All text © Manx Fell & Rock Club and Mike Caine