/ Radical Road/South Quarry - still closed?
Has anyone been up to have a look at the South Quarry on Salisbury Crags recently? The Historic Environment Scotland web site for Holyrood Park is still saying that the Radical Road is closed "until further notice". That's been the case since at least April last year. I've read that fencing has been erected to block access at each end of the RR, including access to the South Quarry. Is this still the case?
At the risk of stoking rumour, I remember reading somewhere (sorry, no reference) that the only long-term solution for park authority (re tourists, not climbers obvs) is mesh over the whole surface and/or bolts and plates everywhere. Authority not keen on that as it costs £££ and ruins the look. So I think they're stuck at the mo. Was shut a couple of weeks back when I last noticed; think still the same.
Be interesting to see what reaction folks get when asking for a climbing permit for South Quarry...they may well not be issuing them on the grounds it's shut for the forseeable, I dunno! (officially, permit is required, free from park office/education centre on Parade Ground. I'm the only oerson I know to ever get one). Climbers NOT the park's favourite user group IMHO.
> officially, permit is required, free from park office/education centre on Parade Ground. I'm the only oerson I know to ever get one
I got one many years ago. I've no idea where it is now.
It's frustrating that South Quarry is completely inaccessible, given that the rock faces (a) aren't that high, and (b) for the most part are set a fair distance back from the RR. I'd have thought that it should be possible to organise access to just that part, with suitable signage to make people aware of the risks. But accommodating climbers probably isn't one of their priorities, unfortunately.
IMO it's sad that the RR is closed, both because of its history and because it gave access to some fine views over the city without the sheer drop at your feet.
There are still signs. No fences and it would be dead easy to get to south quarry if you wanted. Once you were there you'd probably be pretty much invisible since RR is closed.
They should just stick an 'at your own risk' sign up and let people use the RR. Anybody that goes hillwalking takes similar level risks all the time.
A friend of mine is a park ranger there, and the inside line is that there have been significant multi-ton rockfalls recently (around the great quarry) and more large unstable areas looking to drop. Historic Scotland are unable / unwilling to fund the full cleaning and stabilization work in the "foreseeable future" and so would rather leave the Radical Road closed. Its going to be years while they work it out.
The rangers themselves are no longer allowed to patrol the road due to the risk (they would normally do a daily sweep to check for folk fallen/jumped off the crags, but not anymore). Ironically its now more dangerous for people walking the clifftop than it was before the road was closed.
The upside of this scenario, is that nobody is going to be checking along the bottom to prevent you climbing in the south quarry. Also, the quarry can easily be accessed by down-climbing The Lift (M), but be sure you are able to identify the route correctly from above. Then you can play in the quarry bay without ever treading on the Radical Road.
Useful info, thanks.
I know that Historic Scotland manages Holyrood Park but I was under the impression that it was still actually owned by Her Maj, who isn't exactly short of a bob or two...
If only Her Maj was on UKC...
<awaits new user HerMaj appearing>
I was bouldering in the south quarry on a sunny summer evening last year when one such guy had 'fallen' from the top! Needless to say he was in a bit of a mess and required ambulance and special rescue guys to come out and get him. The ambulance ladies weren't too happy about being in the rockfall area although its all slab in the south quarry so its not really too bad. Nobody asked any questions about why i was there though in the first place, but if i wasnt - the guy surely would have succumbed to his injuries!
Moral of the story it seems the rockfall isnt what you need to worry about!
Very glad you were there!
The South Quarry is generally safe to boulder/climb, the large instabilities are further along the line of the crags, in and around the Great Quarry.
Its actually quite nice and peaceful in the South Quarry now, without the procession of tourists making dumb comments, or asking for directions to Arthur's Seat
One week into lockdown and the UKC/UKH staff are starting to climb the walls. We're taking solace in the fact that the hills will be there when we emerge. Meanwhile there's an abundance of online films to help us plan our next adventure....