We just had a potentially extremely dangerous accident in Wyndcliff, on the route "Gone are the days". A massive rock of 30-40 kg fell off from near the anchor, on the right, and hit the ground. The rock was so unstable that fell as soon as it was touched and there was no way to stop it. Luckily, everyone ran away after shouting and no one got harmed, but it could have end up really badly. After coming off the wall and cleaning the route, another rock fell from the same spot and no one was even climbing! This route is extremely dangerous and should be avoided, at least until someone goes up there and checks if there's any other loose rock that might fall.
I left a feedback for the route here, but I don't know how many people actually read it:
Here are some pictures of the rocks that fell (the book for scale): https://imgur.com/a/NkMJewj
After that massive boulder fell, the other rocks might even be more unstable and people should be aware of that. Who else can I email to make sure that no one gets harmed?
Rick Sewards is the BMC's access rep for the area, he can put a note on the Regional Access Database and may organise for someone knowledgeable to go and take a look/ prod the loose stuff with a crowbar.
I'll let the person who bolted that route know and he will go and have a look. I may be passing there this week as well so could pop in and have a check.
Its an old quarry and potentially very dangerous, I think people forget that.
All those properly big blocks you can sit on at the bottom of the crag are things we took off when developing the place!
I would not make too much about loose rock, it may remind NRW & MCC about their liabilities and you may find access is compromised.
> After that massive boulder fell, the other rocks might even be more unstable and people should be aware of that. ..
That's just what you need to expect climbing in old limestone quarries in this area. It is normal. In fact I've seen similar size rock, and bigger, come away outside that context at Brean, Cheddar and Portland on sport routes. Expect it, and plan your climbing to suit.
I think the problem is (and apologies if it isnt the case here) that there are many indoor wall climbers out at these crags who are truly shocked when something falls off!
You're right, I guess people that mainly climb indoors are not used to things falling off. I've seen many rocks falling while climbing and that's why I always wear a helmet. What really freaked me out yesterday though, were the size of the rock and the height that it fell from. When I tried to lift one on the main blocks it broke into, I could barely move it off the ground and that thing fell from 16 m. Moreover, you can usually tell when a rock is unstable and you stay away from it. This rock instead was just on the verge of falling and its fall was unavoidable.
I'm not saying that people shouldn't climb there (if that's what the downvotes are about...), I'm just making sure that the right experienced person goes up there to make sure that route is still climbable safely
Lets be honest. An experienced climber only needs to look at Wyndcliff Quarry to see that in essence it's one loose block perched on top of another and interspersed with smaller loose blocks. That's not to say it cannot be climbed by those with the necessary experience but to go straight from indoors to there is not something I would recommend. Unfortunately that is precisely what is happening with increasing regularity.
> I'm just making sure that the right experienced person goes up there to make sure that route is still climbable safely
That's the thing though isn't it, climbing isn't safe. I don't think you'll find anyone who's prepared to declare that an outdoor crag is "safe, and fit to climb on"
> After that massive boulder fell, the other rocks might even be more unstable and people should be aware of that. Who else can I email to make sure that no one gets harmed?
Hi. Many thanks for the feedback. I've put an update on the UKC route description, suggesting people avoid the route until it's been inspected.
Better to pop down and put a note on the start of the route.
A friend pulled off a 150mm diameter round piece of rock on the 6a just as u climb up to the second level of climbs. This weekend too. It was a sturdy used handhold untill it broke
Been there once. Its a polished, chossy, unstable heap. Its convenience keeps everyone away from the nice crags, though.
> It was a sturdy used handhold untill it broke.
Arent they all?
> Its convenience keeps everyone away from the nice crags, though.
What? like Cloggy?
Fair point. Now that Tintern Quarry is closed I suppose it's got to be Cloggy
The A Team are going early Thurs morning to fix it.
> The A Team are going early Thurs morning to fix it.
Well, they are a 'crack' commando unit, so probably the best men for the job.
They'll just do donuts under the crag in a big van and then open fire on all the loose blocks but miss everything. Not sure it would help.
Sorted today, removed remaining loose chunks. Now should be all fine up to the rings but, as elsewhere at this quarry, DO NOT GO HIGHER THAN THE RINGS (see warning in WVS guidebook) - there are random stacked loose blocks near the top of many routes at this crag (see photo).
Thank you so much for taking care of this!!!
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