/ Cheyne Weares Collapse

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David Clover on 24 Aug 2014

Large amounts of rock have fallen from Cheyne cliff. Almost all of the Coralized area at Cheyne cliff collapsed today. coast guard and bmc have been notified. DO NOT CLIMB HERE. the remaining cliff looks incredibly unstable in a lot of areas, please do not climb here until it has been inspected etc etc it is very very dangerous. I believe local authorities will be closing the area underneath the cliff for safety reasons.

spread the word
steve taylor - on 24 Aug 2014
In reply to David Clover:

Oh dear - that's pretty serious!

Does it affect all the routes in that sector, or just Coralized?
Neil Foster - on 24 Aug 2014
In reply to David Clover:

First one of my few 7c on sights gets downgraded....

....and now it falls down...

Has this cliff got no respect?

Ian Parsons - on 24 Aug 2014
In reply to Neil Foster:

You need to lose some weight, Neil!
Felix Ottey - on 25 Aug 2014

I very nearly went down there today after leaving godnor far north... It did look rather unsettled so gave it a miss!
Post edited at 00:14
unclesamsauntibess - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to David Clover:

this thread is no good without pictures
alan ashmore - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to unclesamsauntibess:

Those familiar with area don't need pictures, general message is stay away !
Bob on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to alan ashmore:

Well I had to look up on the logbooks where it was.

Might be useful getting the crag moderator putting the warning at the TOP of the relevant page in the logbooks, ATM David's warning is a couple of screens down.
John Alcock - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to Bob:
As you will see from my separate detailed post entitled Major Rockfall, Cheyne Weares, Portland, it is an exaggeration to say that almost all of the Coralized area has collapsed. That said it was a huge rockfall and there may more to come.
I took some stills on my my mobile as I walked out under it. If I can find a way to get them off the phone, I'll post them
Post edited at 11:27
Pete Dangerous - on 25 Aug 2014
John Alcock - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to Pete Dangerous:
Here's what I posted on Rocktalk:

Elise and I were climbing on the Road Rage area of Cheyne Weares this afternoon, when at around 1500 there was a sound like a major quarry explosion and a huge rockfall came from the Coralized area nearby. It was so big that rocks bounced into the sea.

When the dust had settled, I went to edge of the debris to see if anyone had been caught. I discovered that what I estimate to be several hundred tonnes of rock had fallen from the cliff just left of Drowning on Dry Land, the scene of a smaller collapse a few years ago. Where the photo on page 211 of the recent Rockfax shows a smooth wall, there is now a horizontal roof running across the cliff at the obvious break at two thirds height and Drowning on Dry Land is now bounded on its left by a big corner. The debris extends from the cliff all the way to the sea. Some very unstable looking pillars remain below the roof.

I couldn't see or hear any sign of anyone, though I don't check thoroughly as I felt the area was still pretty dangerous, but by talking to the coastguard (who came along to check) and climbers who'd been on Neddyfields Main, I am almost certain that no one was caught. We and another couple who went for a swim seem to have been the only people to have walked under the cliff today. If it had happened at the same time last Sunday there would probably have been several fatalities as a number of climbers were belaying or sitting in the line of the fall.

The boulder field under the cliff is still passable (we came out that way) though unstable and dirty. Personally I would move quickly through the area. given there is still unstable rock above. Rocket from the Crypt looks largely unaffected though there may be debris on the lower ledges. I am not certain as I didn't go close, but I think Drowning on Dry Land probably now starts up tottering pillars and its lower ledges are covered in debris. It may not now be justifiable.

It was interesting that such a huge fall occurred at such an apparently random time: i.e. not during or after heavy rainfall or when it was extremely hot or cold.

John Alcock - on 25 Aug 2014
Gerry on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to David Clover:

This cliff has always been unstable, with periodic rockfalls. Of the four routes listed in the 1977 guide none still existed even prior to this latest fall. I've always been surprised anybody considers climbing there worth the risk.
Ramblin dave - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to David Clover:

Crikey! Did someone mention the r-word or something?
LakesWinter on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to David Clover:

Phil79 - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to Gerry:
Likewise, I've stood at the top of Neddyfields on a number of occasions thinking that the whole Coralized wall looked like a tottering pile of choss, and surprised it was still standing (and that people were willing to climb on it).

Even by Portland standards it looked decidedly iffy!
Post edited at 10:57
Richard Horn - on 28 Aug 2014
In reply to Phil79:

It looks like the same section where there was a rockfall a few years back that destroyed the starts of 3 routes in the 2005 guide (Raptor, Silver Studded Blue etc). After that rockfall, there was still a huge van sized block at the base that looked almost comically badly held in place at one end, and I suspect it might have been this that gave way releasing a lot of rock above by the look of it.

Makes me think a bit considering I had done those 3 routes in the past... Certainly I am not sure I will ever go back to try and complete Coralized!
John Alcock - on 30 Aug 2014
In reply to Richard Horn:

Went back yesterday. No further cliff falls so far. The debris at the bottom has cleaned up a bit if you're walking across it. To be honest the cliff by the fixed rope ascent and also the cliff just north of Coralized look even more unstable. Climbing/walking around there is a calculated risk.
Peter Swift - on 30 Aug 2014
In reply to John Alcock:
Is the
Neddyfields Main Cliff ok to climb at?
dereke12000 - on 31 Aug 2014
In reply to Peter Swift:

Yes, we were on the main Neddy cliff yesterday and it was fine, as was the Nook.
John Alcock - on 31 Aug 2014
In reply to dereke12000:
Neddyfields and Godnor are both fine

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