/ Top rope abuse on Merseyside/Cheshire sandstone
Just a thought. Easy access + metal stake belays = abseiling groups (as at Anglezarke). But surely they wouldn't cut such deep grooves abseiling, unless they were 15 stone 11 year olds (see 'arrested parents elsewhere on here').
Also, 'shape up lads' could be construed as being sexist. Except that no woman would be stupid. So alright then...
My mate and I paid a visit to Helsby last week in glorious sunshine. The pro is so scarce and flaky it's no wonder there's so much top-roping going on. Some great climbs but scary on lead.
Top roping as such is perfectly acceptable on Merseyside/Cheshire sandstone as long as it is done properly so the rock isn't damaged. Also the etiquette is that you don't hog routes and that you give precedence to climbers who want to solo/lead them. Many routes do have good protection and can be led safely - though sandstone isn't as strong as gritstone and it's best to check the guidebook or ask a local first.
Too many people think that all you need to top-rope is a sling and a krab.
You have to assume most of them are fresh from the gym though, I know I used pre-existing grooves to TR with at trevor rocks the first time I went cause' I didn't know to extend over the edge.
Also at Frodsham, the rope grooves are becoming worse .
It get's worse! If anything the rock at Frodsham is softer than Helsby. Could everyone watch out for bad practice and educate/chastise where necessary.
Do you know if there is any info at local climbing walls pointing out good practice on these crags with soft rock ? Might help ?
Knocking up a poster and sticking it up Widnes, NW Face, Boardroom, etc might be a good idea?
Here is the BMC's belay advice for Southern Sandstone:
The belays locally tend to be metal stakes and you can lead many of the routes but otherwise good advice.
I like to have a rope too, just in case like.
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