Grid Ref: W377 336 Rock Type: Sandstone.
Single pitch climbing in delightful surroundings.
Access: Sands Cove is a small gravel beach at a cul de sac kept quiet by limited parking and the proximity of other more accessible beaches nearby. There are some houses at the beach so maintain a low key presence. We met some residents who were very friendly and didn’t mind us climbing there.
The climbs are tidal and the rocks at the base of the crag remain quite wet and slippery even at low tide. It is difficult to keep your rock shoes dry so bring a towel and a mat.
In general the bottoms of the climbs are wave washed, solid and smooth, the middle sections have better holds and the top can get crumbly. Limited belay options require some degree of creativity and caution.
Sands Cove Crag 1
This is the first crag nearest the house and the main gravel beach. The climbs are described from right to left.
1. Minecraft: Diff 6m.
B. Smyth solo 31/07/21.
Just left of the boulders on the beach start up the first inside square cut corner. Up slightly left to exit through the small notch at the top.
2. One for the road: V.diff 6m.
B. Smyth solo 01/08/21.
Climb directly up the middle of the slab between climbs 1 and 3. Exit through the small notch at the top as for Minecraft.
3. The Hammer Twins: Severe 6m.
E. McBride, B. Smith. 31/07/21.
Stand on the slippery tidal rocks and bridge up into the wide crack. The crack ends at 2/3 height. Keep left to pull over the top. Good nut protection.
4. The Dying Whale: VS 6m.
B. Smyth, E. McBride. 01/08/21.
Walk leftwards from climb 3 around the large bulge to the next internal corner. Start up the narrow crack to gain a thin ledge at half height, Finish up the through the flakey corner on the right. Hex/Nut protection.
5. What’s left of the whale?: VS 6m.
E. McBride, B. Smyth. 01/08/21.
Start at the bottom of the next crack to the left of climb 4. Climb up the crack onto the left side of the thin ledge. A direct finish is thwarted by loose flakey rock above so traverse rightwards on the ledge to finish as for the Dying Whale. Hex/Nut protection.
The next climbs are just left of crag 1 on an isolated rock tower surrounded by gravel beach and some large boulders.
Sands Cove Tower
6. Squirm: V.diff 7m.
E. McBride, B. Smyth. 31/07/21.
There is an obvious chimney on the front right side of the tower. Easy atmospheric fun. Good nut protection in the upper section.
7. Messner’s Trousers: Severe 7m.
B. Smyth, E. McBride. 31/07/21.
Go around to the back left side of the tower where two large boulders lie. Climb the face close to the left edge. Poorly protected by slings on 3 dubious flakes. Upon gaining the top edge, move right up the sharp arete for a sling belay on the rear crown of the tower.