Sea Cliff Climbing


Most of us have now finished for the summer and will be heading out for some well-deserved climbing. UKC and the BMC have made some blogs about sea cliff climbing. Here’s my summary of them and a lovely picture of Rob from our trip in Gower back in November:


  1. Check the Regional Access Database (RAD - ) to see if there are restrictions to where you can climb - to protect wildlife etc. also try not to destroy too much vegetation when climbing

  2. Check the weather forecast

  3. Check the tides this video explains how tide tables work (it’s quite interesting) 

  4. Check the guidebook for the best way to approach the crag and maybe ask people who have been before. Sometimes you have to abseil in rather than just walk in. If you aren’t sure what you’re doing, then go with someone that does. If you abseil in, leave the ab rope where it is in case you need to escape out, and know how to prusik up back up the rope if you need to.

  5. Be careful of big waves - they can be more dangerous than you think

  6. Treat fixed gear with suspicion. It’s been sitting there for who knows how long getting all salty and eroded. It may be ok but don’t bet your life on it. The same goes with any crag swag you find. It’s also a good idea to remember to clean your gear (and ropes) after seacliff climbing to make sure the salt water doesn’t damage it.

  7. Wear bright clothes and take a torch - to help identify you to rescuers if necessary

  8. Go in groups

  9. Tell someone where you’re going and when you think you’ll be back


 What happens if you fall in? - it’ll be cold and can cause cold water shock

  1. Try to breathe normally
  2. Get rid of any excess weight, even if you know it’ll cost you a bomb to replace. Your rack will slow you down.
  3. Try to swim back to shore, preferably somewhere sheltered. But aim to get out of the water ASAP.

What happens if someone else falls in?

  1. Don’t dive in after them

  2. Try to talk the person to safety

  3. Try to reach them with a throw-line (we have one in stores)

  4. Call 999 and ask for the coastguard (not mountain rescue)

  5. A grid reference or GPS coordinates of the area you’re in can help

If anyone has any requests for future blogs (or wants to write one) let me or another committee member know or email