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Rock Climbing in the Isle of Man
Santon Area

 

The coastline North of Santon Head, up as far as Port Soderick contains a number of important crags. The area can be reached either by a cliff-top walk from Port Soderick or by driving down the Balnahow track off the old Castletown road, and turning right towards the old rifle range (now disused). Gob Lhiak is best approached from the North (Port Soderick) end whilst the other crags are best reached from the South (rifle range) end.

GOB LHIAK

Gob Lhiak is a popular crag with a fine offering of routes of good quality. It is the first crag from the North end of the area and can be reached from the very point of the headland, by descending a short steep crack which starts from a shallow depression between two rock ribs. From the bottom large ledges stretch around under the main crag to the South. The crag itself is a complex series of overhung and undercut slabs and walls, separated by crack and chimney lines. If the descent route is used as the centre of the crag the area can be divided into two sections, left of the descent route and right of the descent route.

LEFT OF DESCENT ROUTE

PIGLET ~ 40' ~ Hard Sev
Midway between the descent route and the short blocked chimney (Black Pig), climb the short thin crack leading to a ledge then up slightly left onto the yellow wall.

BLACK PIG ~ 25' ~ HVS
Just a few feet South of Piglet is a short blocked chimney with two vertical cracks coming out of the top. Climb direct.

PHYSCO KILLER ~ 40' ~ E1 5b
A few yards left of Black Pig, climb the large nose using the off width jamming crack. Pull over the nose then climb the ramp direct.

DALEY RELIEF ~ 45' ~ HVDiff
Climb up left of Black Pig until under the overhang, then traverse left and onto the right edge of Lucozade.

LUCOZADE ~ 30' ~ V Diff
Further South of the descent route is a short orange coloured wall with a large overhang low on the right. Starting on the left, climb to a ledge at half height and finish up the middle.

RECOVERY ~ 30' ~ Hard V Diff
The left edge of Lucozade Wall is climbed fairly direct, a little right at the top.

CRANKSHAFT ~ 120' ~ VS 4c
On the far side of the small bay to the left of Lucozade Wall is a short cracked slab. Climb this to the top of a pinnacle. This point is often used as the first belay. Step left across a steep, wide crack and climb this until it is possible to pull out right onto slabs and a belay. Traverse right across the slab to a slabby corner, and climb this to finish up a grassy gully.

RIGHT OF DESCENT ROUTE

WHAT DO I HEAR FOR A N0 5 HEX ~ 40' ~ HVS 4c
A few yards right of the descent route is a cave with an impressive roof. Climb up through the small gap left of the large roof.

CLOUD WALKER ~ 90' ~ VS
On the right wall of the cave climb up and right to the arete, then traverse across the main face until the corner (Kel) is reached, at the large ledge. Finish up the crack or boldly on the narrow ramp on the right.

SWALLOW ON THE WING ~ 50' ~ E1 5b
Start as for Cloudwalker but continue up to the roof then follow the crack to the edge of the short slab. Turn the corner and follow the crack to finish.

NUT CRACKER ~ 45' ~ E1 5b
On the main wall right of the cave start six feet left of the corner (Kel), then step left into the crack, pull over the white shield and continue direct up the crack until forced left to finish.

KEL ~ 40' ~ Sev
In the chimney / corner to the right of Nut Cracker. Climb the short corner into the chimney, then up through the hole to large ledges (possible belay). Finish steeply up right.

A new area is being developed about half way between Pistol Castle slabs and Port Grenaugh. Access is from either end. If approaching from Port Grenaugh, walk along the cliff top path until a small stream is crossed. It is possible to drop down to the beach at a group of fairly impressive small cliffs. From here a long and at times quite interesting walk can be made North until a small, square pinnacle is reached, separated from the main face by a wide deep cleft. The pinnacle is of excellent quality pale gritstone like rock. Six routes have been soloed by between V.Diff and Very Severe, including all four aretes, and a route each on the North and East faces. The North-East arete is used for descent (at V.Diff)

THE LOST WALL

This is the nice wall just South of Santon pinnacle. In addition to the following routes a girdle traverse has been soloed.

LONG BOW ~ 35' ~ HVD
A corner crack towards the left end.

COBWEB ~ 35' ~ VS
Climbs the centre of the wall, finishing up an obvious corner on sloping holds.

On the short wall in the gully behind the pinnacle are two cracks which have been climbed


All text © Manx Fell & Rock Club and Mike Caine