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Routes in Edd's Place

Limestone Pirate S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Spiral Staircase S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Shared By: Skip Harper on May 6, 2010
Admins: John Byrnes
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Description

Edd’s Place is the most remote climbing area on the island. We first spotted it from a boat in 1995, a strip of light colored, smooth appearing rock rising abruptly out of the churning sea. It was clearly unapproachable from the bottom, only from the Bluff top - however no trails exist that lead to this part of the island. Update 2014: A new road has been cut. See below. Access is across a lonely windblown headland, an arid stretch devoid of most living things. The footing is very unstable over nasty Karst (photo #1) and there is literally no protection from the sun from sunup until sundown or from storms. Luebben and I headed out to find it one morning until Craig tripped, his left knee taking the brunt of the fall. We spent the next hour roasting like two weenies over a camp fire while I listened to his insufferable howls as we picked and pried razor sharp limestone spicules out of his knee. We stumbled out of the place in a dehydrated trance, both convinced there was definitely something ‘evil out there’. Edd’s remained elusive for more than a year until Jeff Elison apparently made a pact with the devil which provided him with safe passage. Jeff and Lizz Grenard made the perilous journey on several occasions, hauling both climbing and bolting gear, and they put up at least two of the most aesthetic routes on The Brac. True, getting there ain’t pretty, but the climbs are testy on highly featured, smooth limestone and absolutely spectacular in both position and exposure. So if you want adventure climbing in it’s most refined form, this is the place for you.

Four climbs are found here, but only two have been re-bolted with glue-in titanium Tortugas, “Spiral Staircase“ and “Limestone Pirate“. These are the two ’rightmost routes’ when facing the sea. The other (leftmost) two, ‘Lizz’s Route’ (approx. 11d) and ‘Jumpin’ (approx. 12a) have NOT been re-bolted as yet - so don‘t even think about climbing them. WARNING: Many older bolted hanger placements remain on the wall that should NOT be clipped or otherwise used for any reason. Avoid them at all costs. They are in a state of deterioration and will fail under minimal load. Use only the Tortugas.

Some additional advice. Head to Edd’s Place prior to sunup while it is still ’cool’ (cool is a relative term here). The routes do get morning sun, but remain climbable and are usually in complete shade by noon or shortly thereafter. Remember the Bluff top is baked by tropical sun all day long, an inescapable fact. So alternatively, save Edd’s for a cloudy day, one hopefully without rain - it is not a good place to be caught in a storm. Wear hiking boots/shoes with solid soles (no tennis shoes or so-called ’trail runners’) or you will regret it. Extra water, food, a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen are good to have along. Don’t climb these routes on windy days or during rough seas. You are venturing into inhospitable territory. Make your plans accordingly.

Getting There

Finding Edd’s is quite simple, however actually getting there is another story. Drive to the turnaround at the end of Lighthouse Road (Major Donald drive) and park near the light tower. Go directly east to the Bluff edge and turn RIGHT (roughly south). Do your best to follow the Bluff edge for about 40 minutes (time it, it helps), passing small concrete squares called ‘DOS’ (Department of Surveys) Markers until you reach Marker #154 and finally #155. About 40 yards past #155 is a sizable cairn of white rocks at Edd’s Place. Total distance to Edd’s from the light tower is about 3/4ths of a mile.

Update 2014: A new road has been cut, going right, from the intersection of the Lighthouse Rd and Peters Rd. Follow this road 2km to a parking area on the right. Walk ~200m further down the road to a cairn about 50' off the road on the right. From this cairn, walk on an angle 45 degrees to the right, aiming for some large bushes on the cliff edge and the cairn at Spiral Staircase. You can actually see the cairn at Spiral Staircase from the car park, but walking directly at it is futile. 15 minutes from the car. More details at www.climbcaymanbrac.com.

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