"THE BLUFF" and CLIMBING AREAS
Jeff Elison and Liz Grenard on the fantastic North Wall
** Jump to: SPOT BAY NORTH WALL EAST WALL SOUTH SIDE
"THE BLUFF" is composed of limestone, a highly prized climbing medium. It is steep terrain, about 150' high, peppered with dissolution pockets, caves of many sizes, stalactites and flowstone. It has a generally smooth consistency where climbing is found, although it is characteristically sharp and user 'unfriendly' in other locations. While some of the Bluff's walls can be approached by land from below, over half of the walls rise abruptly out of the churning Caribbean Sea (climbing at these locations is even more exhilarating). Interestingly, the limestone found on Cayman Brac compares favorably with other high quality limestone areas around the world including the mogotes of CUBA, the valleys of Southern France and popular areas of southeast Asia. (The shot is SH on 'Hermy the Crab' found on the spectacular North Wall).
Most of the Bluff's faces are vertical to overhanging and one should be experienced to climb here. The majority of Brac's climbs are graded from 5.10 to 5.12 by the Yosemite Decimal System, denoting a moderately high to high degree of difficulty. Easier climbing is hard to find, although a few routes have been put up in the lower grades. While extremely rare on limestone, these easier climbs range from 5.7 to 5.9 and are superb. They allow many adventurers who are not climbing specialists to sample Brac's gourmet limestone. (The shot is SH on 'Shiver Me Timbers', North Wall)
There are 4 principal locations of climbing on Cayman Brac as shown on the island map below. They are, beginning in clockwise fashion from Spot Bay and progressing around the northeast end of the island: (Also see the MAP below)
1.) The SPOT BAY AREA including:
2.) The NORTH WALL including:
Wall of the Early Morning Flight
No Problem Mon
the Northeast Point
3.) The EAST WALL including:
4.) The SOUTH SIDE Climbs including:
The Orange Streak
The Orange Cave
Love Shack Wall
**NOTE: Some routes are tagged ('') for identification purposes, usually with a small yellow tag attached to the rock above any given route. Bolt counts are indicated as 2/12/2 (2 top anchors, 12 bolts on the route, 2 bottom anchors) or 2/12 (2 top anchors, 12 bolts on the route). The routes in the Spot Bay area are approachable by land. The routes along the North and East Walls are approachable ONLY from the top, ie rap down to bottom anchors and pull the rope. The Northeast Point of the Island is very near the light towers at the east terminus of Major Donald Drive. Climbs on the South Side are approachable via the beach. (Shot is of Greg Diamond on Dixon's Delight, Dixon's Wall in Spot Bay).
NOTE and WARNING !!
Many of the original bolts placed on the island have experienced Stress Corrosion Cracking (aka ""). This is becoming an all-to-common, yet DANGEROUS phenomenon on sea cliff routes worldwide, one that seriously weakens the placements and causes accidents/injuries. A project to re-equip all routes with TITANIUM HANGERS called Tortugas from Ushba Mountain Works was begun in November, 2000. Over half of the existing routes have been re-equipped so far. Therefore, it is suggested that you climb only the re-bolted routes which are indicated by '' !! For more information on this project and interesting particulars on SCC, go to WWW.Ushba.com .
Remember, Ti = Titanium Hangers!!
HERE ARE SOME RECOMMENDED CLIMBS AT EACH GRADE !!
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