/ Fairy Cave quarry
Have you got a grudge against him?
Those are the best bits!
"Just about the only part of the quarry in sun, so thought I'd lead this. Pulled off a breeze block sized chunk near the start (just left of the actual line) and the ropes dislodged another large piece higher up. Gear is spaced and mostly behind semi detached blocks. 4c section is short lived and easy for the technical grade (if you can trust what you are pulling on), but with no good gear and atrocious rock this is no pushover for VS. Not one I'll be repeating. Partner had a nasty slip in the descent gully too (bruises and grazes to show for it). XS 4c?"
That one's just a little way into the quarry on the left. It wasn't that loose when I climbed it, but then my definition of 'loose' was calibrated against some of the horror shows oposite the glacis. It has also been through some freeze-thaw cycles over the intervening years.
Anyway it was fun, but I won't be rushing back to that part of the quarry again. I thought the rock was about the same as the other non-slab non-xs routes down there -- shattered, loose and unreliable.
Heh. "Death Wish' is not actually on the wall I'm thinking of, rather it's continuation further right around the corner a bit (as you look at it). Although to be fair, just about all the rock on that side of the quarry is shite. RIP Keef the Kittin' is pretty solid though.
A lot of FCQ routes have untrustworthy rock; that's just the nature of the place. The notion of the N-facing slabs being solid and everything else not is an oversimplification - try the first ascent of Lumbar Puncture or Epic-dural after they haven't been done for a winter!
Entry Wall Area has suspect rock, but IMO nowhere near as bad as the lower half of Pete's Wall, or several routes in the Death Wish Area. If the climbs haven't been done for a while some looseness is to be expected, and the slabby sections will accrue debris - a quick abseil inspection/clean isn't a bad idea, if you can bear sacrificing the onsight :)
?? Interested in feedback on Pete's Wall routes, so had a quick look in your logbook, but couldn't see any of the PW routes logged there.
Didn't have time to do any more (just a quick 1hr round trip) but FCQ is <15min drive from home so I expect we will try those next time the main slabs are too wet to climb.
Thanks for the reply.
Yes. there's some looseness on 10 MA, but it's not too bad by FCQ steep route standards! In terms of rock security I'd put it on a par with the Entry Wall routes and the more solid Death Wish Area routes (Capability Brown, RIP Keef ...). A lot of climbs at FCQ are considerably looser and more dangerous, including the routes on Pete's Wall proper.
There is a lot of loose rock at FCQ, but looseness is relative, and it would be a shame if all the steeper routes got tarred with the same brush, and neglected because of that. Several are worthwhile, reasonably solid, and just need a little more traffic.
A lot of thought was given to the grade revisions, and hopefully they reliably reflect the seriousness of the climbing, although I may have got it wrong in one or two cases. 10 MA stayed at VD, as did Cookie Crumbles - but if either were to get Severe to reflect looseness it would be the latter.
I didn't find the rock on Yet Another Bristolian Affair too bad, and didn't feel an upgrade from the original VS 4c was called for, but in the light of some comments here, perhaps it merits HVS 4c. I'll have another look :)
Thanks for caring so much...
Overall I guess I'd concur with the current grade - I voted for low 4c and high VS (due to the seriousness), but think it does fit into both those grades.
I used a sling to protect the crux; not sure if this placement is actually shite or doesn't exist any more. Looking at a photo from it:
it does look like a pretty fractured piece of rock, but I recall it being pretty solid. Some freeze-thaw could well have changed that though.
Seems strange to be discussing an obscure and esoteric quarry route in such detail, but that's climbing for you - I'll certainly have a look at that crux next time I'm at FCQ, but no intention of climbing it again! :-)
If you get 3 or 4 days of high pressure weather (cold, crisp, northerly breeze etc) they probably will be dry.
These routes are probably your best bets in the lower grades at Avon, and you might even find yourself climbing in Sunshine!
But don't think they're iced up - the routes are always that shiny...
Personally I'd always travel the extra miles to get to a crag with a decent prospect of sunshine, especially in winter. Even if it is dry FCQ is likely to be cold and gloomy until Spring.
I take it you know about the access situation at FCQ, if not then make sure to read Brian's guide, the crag notes on UKC or the BMC RAD for the information before heading there.
Your comment made me laugh because actually I also live miles from any crags. I'm in Berkshire so my nearest would be Harrison's Rocks or Avon at about 1:45 each. My parents place is about 30mins from FCQ hence my keenness to get some climbing in whilst I'm closer to a crag! I don't like driving so my tolerance for extra miles is small.
I can also recommend some other crags around the area. Mells is a favourite - it is actually very pleasant climbing in a delightful setting.
> I can also recommend some other crags around the area. Mells is a favourite - it is actually very pleasant climbing in a delightful setting.
And you could follow it up by walking about a kilometre down the valley to Vallis Vale where there is a good mix of grades including the classic Vallis Crack,vs.
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