Ducky Lucky 7a+
Conard Cannard 7b
Set in the back of a cave with overhanging side walls, the cliff looks somewhat innocuous yet closer inspection reveals perfect rock, easy access and an atmosphere just like a coastal crag in Mallorca.
Initially discovered by John Bullock who gave the cliff its original climbs it lay dormant until the inevitable onslaught by Martin Crocker and more latterly Roy Thomas. The cliff also attracted the attentions of Goi Ashmore who provided the areas hardest route. Additional routes and various link ups have been added since and there are still several hard projects awaiting completion.
With the cliff in the form of a cave the climbing is overhanging with excellent tufa systems, weather-worn holes and pockets and some strangely welded (sanded) together holds. The pitches require a variety of techniques with little respite and all seeming much longer than their length.
The cliff can take a lot of seepage due to it lying below a natural run off and the main cave area can remain wet all year round. With some good sunshine and a refreshing breeze the cliff dries relatively quickly, especially on its flanks. Avoid hot sunny afternoons as the cliff can prove to be a cauldron in such conditions. but remains non-tidal throughout.
Follow the road through Southgate and locate the National Trust car park (£1.50 at the time of writing). From here, walk west along the small road on the edge of the houses for 250 yards and at house number 9 break left across the field to the edge of the plateau. Descend down between two grassy knolls via an obvious broad grassy gully until the cliff edge is gained, not easily identified except for the obvious recess in the bay and two stakes at its top.
From here there are two options: either traverse left (looking out) above the cliff and then descend a vague track to its right taking care not to dislodge rocks and stones or, better, continue slightly rightwards down an old fisherman’s track and contour back left into the cliff. Either way, once the cliff is gained it is completely non-tidal and gear can be left at its base without any problems over theft.
At the time of writing no access problems have arisen in gaining the cliff nor has there been any incidents of theft or similar. However it is important to remember that no routes are to affect the conglomerate rail in the cave nor is there to be any gardening of the rare mosses hereabouts.