Learn to set up your own ropes on the Southern Sandstone

Our one day Southern Sandstone Ropework course is designed for climbers who wish to develop their technical knowledge and learn how set up their own ‘bottom ropes’ (often known as top ropes) on the Sandstone outcrops in Sussex and Kent.

The bottom rope system allows the belayer to stand on the ground at the bottom of the crag while belaying the climber and lowering them back down again afterwards.  (Please note that due to the delicate nature of the sandstone and the risk of erosion, lowering back down is not possible at Harrisons Rocks- climbers can untie at the top of a climb.)

Our Southern Sandstone Ropework course is taught by our highly experienced and qualified instructors who will teach you the skills needed to implement the bottom rope system in other outdoor scenarios. Learning the basics of this bottom roping system and its set-up allows a climber to climb without an instructor and therefore advance their climbing skills independently at their own pace.

Our Southern Sandstone Ropework course covers selecting climbs using guidebooks, learning about rock climbing equipment (including how to look after and maintain it,) how to safely assess anchor points and rig your own climbs and much more.

We also look at how the Sandstone environment in the South East is such a wonderful yet fragile climbing environment that we have to look after, and learn how to minimize the significant impact of erosion by climbers on the rock.

For those who are considering progressing their climbing further why not learn how to second a lead climber on our Guided Climbing Course or try lead climbing on our Lead Climbing Course.



March to October



Group Size



Minimum age: 18 Max weight: 19 stone (120kg)


To learn the best practise for safely setting up your own ropes on the Southern Sandstone crags found in Sussex and Kent, and to have a much greater understanding of climbing equipment, its intended uses and its limitations.

Who is it for?

Perfect for indoor climbers who want to take their first steps climbing outside in the South East, or those that have completed our Introduction to Rock Climbing course wants to further their knowledge in the sport and climb without an instructor.


You must be able to safely and confidently tie into the rope and belay. There is no minimum climbing standard for this course as although you will do some climbing its the technical ropes skills we're looking at.


£95pp (Group Size 2-3)
£90pp (Group Size 4-6)

Please note that all group bookings will be available for others to book, unless booking for a minimum of 3 people.

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During this course you will learn how to set up your own 'bottom ropes' on the Southern Sandstone crags found in Sussex and Kent.   We start by setting up a climb for you to get everyone warmed up and check current climbing / rope skills.

The morning is then spent learning to assess appropriate anchors to set up you climbs and how to safely access the edge of the rocks. We start with single point anchors using bolts, trees, boulders, spikes and how to look after and protect the sandstone rocks to ensure they enjoyed for generations to come.

The afternoon, is more advanced climbing set ups such Y-hangs and multipoint anchors as well as how to look after and maintain your equipment.

Skills Covered

  • Personal safety
  • Using guide books and route selection
  • Equipment selection
  • Setting up basic bottom ropes
  • Single point anchors
  • Y-Hangs & multi point anchors
  • Rigging issues / safety
  • Climbing history / etiquette
  • Sandstone erosion / conservation

Climbing sessions can be run at a number of Sandstone crags in Sussex and Kent


Equipment supplied

All rock climbing and safety equipment is supplied including:

  • Ropes
  • Helmet
  • Belaying device and karabiners

The items below are included, however to gain the most from this course we recommend that you have your own items:

  • Harness
  • Rock boots

Equipment needed

For all outdoor climbing courses you must have extra warm clothes and waterproofs, we will provide you with a full kit list upon booking.

  • Comfortable clothing, suitable for the time of year*
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Rock boots / trainers**
  • Harness
  • Rucksack
  • Packed lunch and plenty of water
  • Medication / Tablets / Inhaler etc.

The above list is just a guide and appropriate clothing for the time of year should be worn.

*Clothing should comprise of several layers to trap the warmth. Please do not wear denim as it restricts movement, is cold when wet and is slow to dry.

**Please wear soft-soled shoes such as trainers; you are not permitted to wear walking boots etc. as these damage the rocks. Please remember that the rocks are a short distance from the car park so it's important to put all of your kit in a suitable size rucksack, leaving space for climbing equipment.