High Sharpley Introduction
OS ref. SK449170 (Sheetl29)
SITUATION and CHARACTER
High Sharpley is the most surreal landscape in Leicestershire. Its name is apt - a towering sharp ridge of miniature pinnacles surrounded by a field of biscuit-like boulders. The jagged summit commands superb views, High Sharpley is just the place to be alone when everyone else is at work (or school). When you are in this lunar landscape of rock it is difficult to believe you are in mid-England.
The highest rock face is only six metres and only rarely do any of the routes exceed two or three moves. This is no outdoor gymnasium; not a place to get pumped out. The manoeuvres you make are like the place itself - unique. You climb here for the desperate mantleshelves, the frightening pinch grips and the back-breaking landings. Nothing is obvious; sometimes you start a problem from a sitting position. Sometimes you jump. High Sharpley is, like Cademan Wood, a place to play, explore and invent.
But the terrible truth is that the area may be quarried. So if you want to experience the place it will have to be sooner rather than later.
The craglets are on and around the rocky ridge which runs from High Sharpley to Gun Hill where there is an old ruin. The rock is a natural very coarse granite (actually Precambrian porphyroid) and the outcrops lie on the extension of the ridge through Cademan Wood just across the road.
APPROACH and ACCESS
The barbed wire, notices, and keepering make this the Colditz of Charnwood. The Ramblers' Association has petitioned for the right to roam. The area is owned by DeLisle and the recent restrictions on access are in contrast to other parts of the estate (Grace Dieu and Cademan Wood). Some link the recent restrictions with a plan to quarry the area.
The obvious access from Cademan Wood is heavily wired. The track from the Thringstone-Mount St. Bernard's Abbey road is also wired off.