/ NEWS: Auchinstarry Quarry Glasgow - Council 'Safety Work' Affecting Climbers

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UKC News - on 14 Apr 2010
[Ellis Ash and Martin Reynard enjoying Surface Tension, Auchinstarry Quarry, Lowland Outcrops, 1 kb]Auchinstarry Quarry, a popular venue for Glasgow based climbers, has been undergoing 'safety work' courtesy of North Lanarkshire Council which is having a major impact on the climbing there.

The council are concerned about liability and have deemed some areas of the quarry unsafe...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=52916

seaofdreams - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:


the only safety issue about climbing there is the neds throwing stuff at you or dieing of sand inhalation.

A small closure effecting the routes in the corner of the car park area (of which only 3 or 4 ever get climbed) isn't really a big deal. Anyway the "barrier" wasn't stopping people earlier this week. There are loads of other routes in the quarry worth doing.

Granted it needs sorted out (sooner rather than later) but lets not piss the higher ups off about it too much and let the MCofS do their bit.
In reply to seaofdreams:
> (In reply to UKC News)

> Granted it needs sorted out (sooner rather than later) but lets not piss the higher ups off about it too much and let the MCofS do their bit.

The MCofS contacted UKClimbing.com directly and asked to work together in raising the profile of this issue.

Thanks,

Jack

Toby S - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to seaofdreams:

Was it someone who posts on here that got jarred by the Police for bouldering there a few weeks back? I'd be curious to see what the actual legalities of this are. I've got fond memories of Auchinstarry as it was the place where I learnt to climb.
seaofdreams - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Interesting - this is very common knowledge for the people who climb here.

If they want our help then maybe suggest what we can do in the News Item rather than just posting. Do they want us to write to the council to support something they are suggesting? If so, then who and their details? we are going to need some from of info regrading the work and time scale rather than just moaning about something that a council worker thinks needs done, because that will never get listened to. For all i know the work is in desperate need of completion and the area really is unsafe.

If they don't want/need help or need time to bash something out with the council (which is what i said above) then post that as an update and don't just post a link to info that is now out of date... what was the resolution of the discussion on Monday?
In reply to seaofdreams:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)

> Interesting - this is very common knowledge for the people who climb here.

Perhaps not for those who haven't been there recently or are not from the area but may consider visiting? Personally I have never been there and have little knowledge of the subject except what I know from speaking directly to the MCofS.
>
> If they don't want/need help or need time to bash something out with the council (which is what i said above) then post that as an update and don't just post a link to info that is now out of date... what was the resolution of the discussion on Monday?

I'm sorry I didn't really understand the first part of your response there.

But as for the second part, I believe the meeting has been postponed until the 19th, as quoted in the UKC news item.

Thanks,

Jack

MCofS - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to seaofdreams:
MCofS are a helpful bunch and very happy to answer direct enquiries if anyone has any questions. When big things happen we try to get them up on the website asap but we have a heap of work to keep on top of, thats also why we cant speand all day on UKC. If the "out of date" ref was to the meeting on 12th - it has been postponed for a week, so there is nothing more to update at the moment.
seaofdreams - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

I appreciate the fact that UKC considers this is going to "wider world" but at the end of the day its the climbers in the immediate area that will have the most impact in any petition that the MCofS may want.

If you don't climb there then complaining about it isn't exactly legitimate - how are you to know if the safety work needs done. I am a local geologist and I can't tell you that? Looks fine to me but then the blocks at the base suggest otherwise.

All I was saying is that the MCofS look like they need a little more time to sort this one out, which is fair enough. Lets give them that time and unless they want me to write to a council worker (more info needed from them) then this post could have waited until more info exists.

I sorry if i've hurt your feelings but thats the internet - at least your getting coverage.
seaofdreams - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to MCofS:

Hey - no worry i think you guys are doing a grand job but if you need something from the local climbers then we need the info to help you out..

mountains out of mole hills with this argument... (its not even an argument)
elsewhere on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to MCofS:
I wrote to the council access officer (cc MCofS) a while back
but how as individuals can we help raise the profile of the issue?

Should we be raising it with the canvassers & survey forms sent out by candidates?

PS MCofS did a great job with Limekilns last year - thanks.



vscott - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Hi all,
If anyone has been there recently could they update as to which areas/routes have been deemed to be 'unsafe' and hence "inaccessible" by the powers that be?

I'm no geologist (despite working in a building full of them :-/ ), but having spent some time enjoying the 'delights' of central belt dolerite quarries it seems that removal of the more weathered outer rock (for so-called 'stabilisation' or otherwise) almost always exacerbates looseness by exposing much more friable un-weathered rock/mud making the problem worse... anyone with any expertise out there?
JamieSparkes - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to vscott: routes 2 - 13 on the logbook page are currently fenced off I believe.
Choss Weasel on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to Toby S:
> (In reply to seaofdreams)
>
> Was it someone who posts on here that got jarred by the Police for bouldering there a few weeks back? I'd be curious to see what the actual legalities of this are. I've got fond memories of Auchinstarry as it was the place where I learnt to climb.

Yep it was me who was hassled by the Police while bouldering at Auchinstarry a few weeks back. They didn't believe my stated reason for being there and were on the verge of arresting me unless I told them "what I was really doing". After 40 minutes I was let go with a stern warning that if they see me "hanging about" again at Auchinstarry they would have me.

I've been back to Auchinstarry a few times since then, cragging with a friend. Last day I was there the barriers were still in place on the left-most section of the quarry.

zebidee - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Auchenstarry's my local outcrop (although I'm technically not in North Lanarkshire) ... routes 2-13 are in the corner and include Pod, Green Onion, I-Spy, Mr Men** & First Footer**

Auchenstarry's used by lots of beginners climbing their first outdoor routes and you commonly see groups of people trying out their first leads there - myself included.

Taking away such a central resource with such easy access would be a major loss to folks in the north-west Glasgow area looking for good routes within a short hop of home/work.

Z~
Eric9Points - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to zebidee:

If you live locally I suggest you write to your local MP and perhaps all the prospective candidates. You might get a reply given that there's an election in 3 week's time.

JamieSparkes - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to zebidee: Though if its a case of the council intend to continue levering blocks off these every year if they stay accessible or close them off for public safety and leave the rest of the quarry be then I'd choose the latter, the routes in the other parts of the quarry are far better quality, and since the end of the promontory is fairly stable I can't see that being a problem.
dave555 - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to jamface: it'll be Welsh Slate next ! then god know's what they'll pick on ? i've alway's thought chess could be quite risky ! all those small piece's sat there pointing up just waiting to take someones eye out as they walk past and trip, landing face first into ,,,,,, perspex saftey sheild's during all chess game's would prevent this as would manditory saftey helmet's to be worn at all time's 24/7 by the genral public incase of unplanned passing of chess game's and ,,,,,,,, Latest study's show that Alcohol, tobcco ,,,,, and buring fossil fuel's are all good for your health
,,,,,, making war with unhostile country's thousand's of mile's away is the safest most sensible way to keep the people safe ,,,,,,,
the result's have now prove'd that table tennis is extremly hazardous to health and therefor,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
fimm on 15 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:

1) Climbers from Edinburgh sometimes go to Auchinstarry too!
2) "Mister, Ye Can Walk Up Roon The Back" is a fine route name - I want to lead Severe just so I can lead it, just for the name...
Mark Bull - on 15 Apr 2010
In reply to jamface:

> Though if its a case of the council intend to continue levering blocks off these every year if they stay accessible or close them off for public safety and leave the rest of the quarry be then I'd choose the latter, the routes in the other parts of the quarry are far better quality

Unfortunately the council have a history of "stabilising" other parts of the quarry too: entire routes have been lost in the past due to this.

> and since the end of the promontory is fairly stable I can't see that being a problem.

It didn't prevent a block in the initial groove of Prom Direct being removed a few years ago.

sjminfife - on 15 Apr 2010
In reply to Mark Bull:
> (In reply to jamface)
>
> [...]
>
> Unfortunately the council have a history of "stabilising" other parts of the quarry too: entire routes have been lost in the past due to this.
>
Yep Fusion was one of my favourites and I never could understand what was unstable about it.
sjm
zebidee - on 15 Apr 2010
In reply to sjminfife:

Always wondered what was to stop you climbing anyway even if it's been deemed "unstable"?

If it's a public park and you're not causing any damage surely there's nothing they can do you for.
Eric9Points - on 15 Apr 2010
In reply to sjminfife:
> (In reply to Mark Bull)
> [...]
> Yep Fusion was one of my favourites and I never could understand what was unstable about it.
> sjm

Probably nothing.

Imagine an analogous situation. You're worried about the roof of your house. You heard in the pub that someone in the US got sued for a million dollars when a slate fell off their roof and hit someone on the toe. So, worried about getting sued by one of the Kilsyth locals you call in a roofing contractor to have a look at your roof because you don't have a clue what is well stuck on and what isn't.

The roofing contractor looks at your roof, sucks his teeth and shakes his head and tells you that he'll need to replace 20% of the tiles immediately and do a yearly inspection from now on.

Who are you to argue? In fact if you do argue, tell him to piss off and stop being ridiculous and then something does happen then you'll be in a worse situation than when you started...

Yes, if you're wondering I suspect a lot of geotech work of this nature is unnecessary. I also think the best way of keeping the rock safe is to have loads of unpaid volunteers climbing all over the rock every weekend pulling on all the potentially loose bits.
pigeonjim on 15 Apr 2010
In reply to Eric9Points:
> I also think the best way of keeping the rock safe is to have loads of unpaid volunteers climbing all over the rock every weekend pulling on all the potentially loose bits.

I love this comment :-D
sjminfife - on 15 Apr 2010
In reply to pigeonjim:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
> [...]
>
> I love this comment :-D

Excellent,and we do it at our own risk as well.:-)
sjm
Choss Weasel on 15 Apr 2010
In reply to fimm:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>

> 2) "Mister, Ye Can Walk Up Roon The Back" is a fine route name - I want to lead Severe just so I can lead it, just for the name...

Mister Ye Can Walk Up Roon The Back is an excellent route. It goes right up the flake in the left-most corner. Unfortunately it is at the moment firmly behind the 8ft high barriers and has been for about 7 months.
daWalt on 16 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News:
I strongly suspect that this has nothing to do with safety and stability everything to do with council budget expenditure before the end of the tax year.
In the idiotic and wasteful "use it or lose it" system of local authority departmental funding, this seems like a convenient way to spend a few remaining Łk before the end of march.
This handy "stability work" would be easy to arrange with little or no planning or foresight, and wouldn't be out of place in the long list of stupid little jobs that get rushed out around "mad march".
This might explain the obfuscating and generally evasive reasoning behind commissioning this work. All we ever hear is, it's health and safety, you can't argue with health and safety.
JamieSparkes - on 16 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC News: However at the last session for trundling blocks, many of those earmarked for removal, including the huge flake of promontory direct, the finishing jugs for mascerade/red lead and the seven year plan were not affected after agreement with the council - I believe that this was as they were not seen to be a threat to the general public, given that to be beneath these routes requires an abseil descent such that you could not walk under them unaware.
niallk on 18 Apr 2010
In reply to Eric9Points:

Unfortunately I don't know many details, but from what I understand, one of the geotech guys who worked on this in the past (contracted by the council) is a climber himself and attempted to provide a balanced view taking into account concerns on both sides.

In above situation I'd probably get a quote from another roofer or two, or pay for an independent survey if the relative costs merited it.

Regardless of the merits of ripping of blocks (it's not something I'm in favour of and have written to the access officer saying as much), I don't imagine the place is something the council can ignore.
Scott_vzr on 19 Apr 2010
The 'drystane dyke', above the fenced off area, is loose and is unstable, I think this is the concern. I climb up to it and grab a piece and it falls on a car or someone walking below ?

Nick
Scott_vzr on 05 May 2010
bump
Ian Jones on 11 May 2010
In reply to Scott_vzr:

Can anyone confirm the situation at the moment please.
Can we use the carpark area?
seaofdreams - on 11 May 2010
In reply to The Purple Pimpernel:

Was climbing in there today.

no change - green onion, I spy, mister men first footer etc are all out of bounds everything from access route right is open for climbing.

Any progress on this issue? People have started to knock down the fence and are ignoring the barrier. I imagine the council would be angry if a climber hurt themselves in this area and would end the MCofS's efforts to restore the climbs.
Scott_vzr on 12 May 2010
Before I take my group there, we go there regularly, I need this clarified 100%.

However, found this on the MCofS site -

Auchintarry Quarry Access - update for what its worth

Wednesday 12th May 2010

Today I received an e-mail from the Access Officer at N Lan Council to update me

"After the meeting yesterday, I wanted to update you on the present situation with regard to access at Auchinstarry.
There are ongoing discussions internally with regard to the legal advice that has been received and the effects that any actions may have on all affected parties. No decision has yet been reached with regard to any action being taken in light of the monitoring report carried out by Jacobs.

The Council has to consider it's liabilities with regard to all of the different parties who use the site and in due course the Council will be pleased to seek the view of the Mountaineering Council for Scotland on the most appropriate way forward.

I will keep you informed when I know more. "



Not terribly helpful, it basically just means they do not seem to be able to conclude what to do with the issue, which is a bit unsatisfactory given the months since we first raised this, and recent developments involving the police. Before we escalates this issue, I have asked for urgent answers to the following questions. When we have this we will have the information on which to decide our next step.
1. Whats the outline timescale for a "decison"?
2. Also in the meantime, what is the situation? Has there been an Order under the Land Reform Act withdrawing access rights as I think is requiredfrom the Scottish Ministers for closures of more than 6 days. If not, under what right has the Council closed an area - I dont think "cos of H&S" quite cuts it, especially if police are trying to enforce it, which they couldnt / shouldnt be doing unlessaccessing the area is against some law. In which case i need to know which law so i can explain the legitimacy to all the people that have been complaining to me and for MCofS to properly represent climbing interesst.
3. Also could you clarify exactly which area restrictions apply to and presumably therefore the area which is barriered off?
could i aslo respectfully suggest that maybe the most useful time to enter discussions is before a decision is taken rather than after, otherwisse it is more providing information about a decision?

I will continue to pursue this doggedly!
Hebe Carus, Access & Conservation Officer
Fiona Reid - on 18 May 2010
In reply to Scott_vzr:

Just noticed there's now a new update on the MCofS site:

"Monday 17th May 2010

MCofS is pusuing this still and maintaining pressure - local govenment is not reknowned for its fleet of foot on decisions, but we think it is about time they at least had a plan ad have requested this a s a p. The area affected is at the extreme left of the car park area - affecting it seems 7 routes ie everything left of Access Route, including I-Spy, Mr Men and First Footer, it is unclear about the bouldering routes further left. This leaves over 100 routes still open. Although a small proportion of routes are affected there is plenty to have fun on, athough we do not consider this matter as unimportant. Reputedly the danger is from a drystone dyke at the top of the barriered section in addition to that areas loose rocks on the face. There has been NO Section 11 removal of access rights in ANY part of the quarry, and eventually NLCouncil has told us that climbers are requested not to go behind the barrier. MCofS have suggested that maybe this needs conveyed to the local police in light of the incident a while back to prevent a recurrence, and that the signs should reflect this status. The issue apparently is danger to climbers of loose rock and to other quarry users endangered by any stone fall. Please be aware of the climbing Participation Statement (at the bottom of all MCofS webpages), but also be aware that your membership provides Third Party Insurance which may be invalidated if you dislodge a rock that then injures someone else if you climb behind the barrier.

MCofS will continue to provide updates as things change. If you experience anything at the quarry that does not fit with this information, please get in touch asap."

source:
http://www.mcofs.org.uk/news.asp?s=2&id=MCS-N10501&nc=Access%20and%20Conservation

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