December 13, 2018 | Sidney Sherborne
We're back for the 2018/19 academic year with another top-quality local crag guide - how lucky you are!
This entry is about the third crag within Bradgate Park - a lovely deer park 45 minutes drive from campus full of ancient oaks and the ruins of Bradgate House, the birthplace of Lady Jane Grey (the queen for 9 days). The other crags we have reviewed are the wonderful Wishing-Stone Crag and the otherworldly Sliding Stone Crag. Both are worth checking out in their own right, but the Stable Pit will be the main attraction for most visiting climbers.
On attempting to enter the park with our pads we were greeted by friendly park warden who we initially thought was about to turn us away; in fact he only just wanted to warn us that the park's other patrons may be very curious about our boulder pads. How right he was - we were stopped every 50 meters by inquisitive walkers, each with their own theory about the purpose of our pads was. Theories ranged from massive backpacks to camping equipment to gymnastic mats (pretty close tbh). All the chatting made the approach a little longer than we imagined but still only took about 15 minutes from the car park.
The Stable Pit is a quarried wall of granite of the type found at Markfield Quarry. It ranges from 4 to 5 meters high and is overhanging on the left and vertical on the right. UKClimbing.com lists most of the grades as Font 4 (V0) but this is inaccurate and the grades of the problems could be anything from Font 4 to 6A. Almost all of the problems can be sit-started to make them feel more complete. Route descriptions can be found on the online version of the old Leicestershire Climbs guidebook, fair warning, they aren't very helpful, the routes are very close to one another and you have to be quite strict with yourself to avoid essentially climbing the same route twice. The overhanging left hand side of the crag lends itself to good eliminate problems in the 6B-6C (V4-5) range and the right hand end gives a good 6B+ (Six Digit Wall, see video below).
Our intention for the visit was to see how appropriate the crag would be for an introduction to outdoor bouldering session. The holds are well defined and the landings are grassy and flat. Unfortunately the grades are all a bit harder than we thought they would be. However, on balance we think the Stable Pit could be a good location to get some experience in outdoor bouldering. The problems may be harder than those at the Wishing-Stone Crag but they'e shorter and with better landings. We'll probably do a trip here next term.
Niamh on Tootal
Sid on Six Digit Wall Sit Start 6B+ (V4)
45 minute drive from Warwick Sport
Park at the Bradgate Park car park; £3, cash only
Go through the main gates into the park, walk for 15 minutes down the path by the river, cross over the bridge on the right close to the ruins of the house
Our Recommended Routes:
Tootal 5-6Aish (V2-V3ish from sitting)
The Bulge 5-6Aish (V2-V3ish from sitting)
Rising Traverse 6A (V3)
Six Digit Wall Sit Start 6B+ (V4)
Ferne Arete 5+ (V2) from sitting