/ Trees Down at Keyhole Cave Area, Millstone Edge

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Michael Ryan - on 25 Apr 2012
Climbing at the Keyhole Cave Area yesterday.

Noticed that several....10 or so....of the Silver Birches (?) just beyond the grassy spot were down (not seen a thread about this, link if there is one).

They hadn't been chopped are sawed, but bent over and broken. The ends splintered. Some whole trees were down, others partially down.

Anyone know how this happened?

We thought at first strong winds, yet other trees in the area were untouched.

It was almost if they had been pulled down with a rope, maybe with some sort of pully system.

As an aside, yes the bar and peg has gone from the cave above Oxford Street etc...

So did Piccadilly Circus: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=10800

Great route.

Mick
mhawk - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: Noticed this at Froggat too. Defiantly wasn't wind damage.
gingerwolf - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
hasn't the peg in the keyhole area been gone for a while now?
(I seem to recall reading a post about it on here quite a while ago, saying if you wanted to climb the HVS starts, set up a rope from the top)
speekingleesh - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

I noticed the damaged trees yesterday. I wondered if it wasn't lightning strikes?
Chris the Tall - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to rampantchopper:
Eastern Moors partnership (NT/RSPB with BMC support) have begun thining out Silver Birch from below Froggatt and Curbar, but Millstone is a differant patch.
Michael Ryan - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to rampantchopper)
> Eastern Moors partnership (NT/RSPB with BMC support) have begun thining out Silver Birch from below Froggatt and Curbar, but Millstone is a differant patch.

I was with a BMC'er.... da boss!

Chris the Tall - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
I thought he was a greater ranges man these days !

He did a great talk at the last area meeting, though I think he might be a bit more cautious about taking holiday recommendations from his number 2 in the future...
jkarran - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

A small tornado, very localised turbulent wind or lightening would be my guess.

Pulling one tree down by hand I could imagine being 'fun', doing 10 or more sounds too much like hard work for it to be vandalism unless you're just talking about spindly saplings?
John W - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

Weight of snow?
deacondeacon - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
Talking to someone on the longshaw estate a couple of weeks ago, and they said that the last lot of snow was very wet and heavy causing damage to many trees. I imagine it was the same over the road. Seen it happen at burbage north a coule of years ago when we had very heavy snow.
Michael Ryan - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to John W:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> Weight of snow?

They survived this: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=160759

It may as jk suggests

'A small tornado, very localised turbulent wind or lightening would be my guess.'

Michael Ryan - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
> Talking to someone on the longshaw estate a couple of weeks ago, and they said that the last lot of snow was very wet and heavy causing damage to many trees. I imagine it was the same over the road. Seen it happen at burbage north a coule of years ago when we had very heavy snow.

Hmm. That could be it.

jkarran - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

I'd forgotten it snowed! I was away so missed it.
jk
MattDTC on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to deacondeacon:
> Talking to someone on the longshaw estate a couple of weeks ago, and they said that the last lot of snow was very wet and heavy causing damage to many trees.

Yeah, it was the big dump of wet snow that came in with strong winds at the start of April. Lots of trees have suffered in the area (especially the scots pines).
Dave 88 - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Chris the Tall:

No it's not tree thinning, I saw it at Froggatt the other week, they've been snapped rather than cut.
In reply to John W:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> Weight of snow?

Give the man a prize, it happens every few years.


Chris


PS Mini-tornado?????
jkarran - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> PS Mini-tornado?????

It does happen from time to time. I remember one very strange day watching several small-ish twisters sprout up out of nowhere including a couple of very impressive waterspouts from the sea. More like Kansas than the Isle of Man :)
MattDTC on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> Give the man a prize, it happens every few years.
>

It does, but not to this extent. I've not seen so many trees in the Peak trashed by one event before. A lot of wet snow came down over a short period which I guess is rare in April!
Michael Ryan - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to John W)
> [...]
>
> Give the man a prize, it happens every few years.

I'll give you a prize Chris if you explain why it happened to those in Keyhole Cave, but as far as Dave and myself could see, not others along the quarry.

The ones in Keyhole seem sheltered, perhaps that is it...snow accumulates because less wind.

Is it to do with the weight (moisture content) of the snow this year, compared to say 2010 when this photo was taken?

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=160759

Any theories appreciated.

I should go back and take some pics.

Tornadoes do occur in the UK, and localised ones. It may have occurred due to the topography of Keyhole area.

M



Jackwd - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: Is it the one that is over the descent path on the way down into Keyhole Cave area (as I noticed a couple of weeks ago)? Perhaps someone should go down with a saw and clean it up. Doesn't really matter either way.
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toad - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to MattDTC: There was a dump at new year 1990/1 the lying snow lasted less than 24 hours but I spent weeks clearing shattered trees from footpaths etc. Mostly birch (very fine branches, so my guess is they hold the snow much better than, eg, ash)
Michael Ryan - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to MattDTC) There was a dump at new year 1990/1 the lying snow lasted less than 24 hours but I spent weeks clearing shattered trees from footpaths etc. Mostly birch (very fine branches, so my guess is they hold the snow much better than, eg, ash)


Not just branches...... but trunks that you couldn't fit your hands around.
Michael Ryan - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Jackwd:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH) Is it the one that is over the descent path on the way down into Keyhole Cave area (as I noticed a couple of weeks ago)? Perhaps someone should go down with a saw and clean it up. Doesn't really matter either way.

Nope.... not by the descent path.

Of course it doesn't matter, how silly.

MattDTC on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

I wondered if it had anything to do with the snow coming very quickly after that really warm (hot) spell. Maybe the sap was flowing and so the trees were more prone to damage?
The damage has seemed to occur in pockets, i think some trees got heavily loaded either by being in the brunt of the wind (like those along the edge of Whim wood) or by being in a lee so the snow could accumulate on branches (keyhole area?)
Simon Caldwell - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
Had this year's new leaves started to appear yet? Presumably this would make them accumulate more snow (weight) than if they were still bare.
toad - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: Sorry, I meant the fine branches hold the snow, so there's more weight to break the whole tree off.
MattDTC on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
>
> Not just branches...... but trunks that you couldn't fit your hands around.

Since the April snow I've come across 3 big mature trees split down the middle and uprooted!
valentinesbabe - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
Was up at Rivelin the other week and noticed a similar issue there. At first glance it looks as though someone has been deliberately snapping the branches by swinging on them but then when you look around some are way to big to be snapped easily and a lot are quite high too.
Northern Climber on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

went to lawrencefield on monday and also noticed similar with lots of silver birches down and snapped.

just as a note the tree to the top and right of Gingerbread Slab (the one that is used to abseil off sometimes) has a branch snapped on it. we didn't have anything to prune the branch completely otherwise we would have as we were the only people there.
Enty - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

Can't you post a pic so that we can speculate more accurately?

E
Jonny2vests - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

How very odd. Here in the land of the silver birch you don't see trees trashed by snow unless they get avalanched. And we get a lot of wet, heavy snow.

I certainly don't buy the mini tornado theory. A dust devil is one thing, but if mini tornados capable if that were a reality in the UK, we'd know more about them.

Did you take any photos? What tree girth are we talking here?
Big Steve - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to jonny2vests: I noticed this at lawrencefield a few weeks back, there are loads of broken birch trees there too, so this small tornado must have been very selective
MattDTC on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:

It was definitely the snow. Day before snow = no trashed trees. Day after snow = loads of trashed trees. The wind will have helped - but no tornados ;)
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
>
> I'll give you a prize Chris if you explain why it happened to those in Keyhole Cave, but as far as Dave and myself could see, not others along the quarry.
>
> The ones in Keyhole seem sheltered, perhaps that is it...snow accumulates because less wind.
>
> Is it to do with the weight (moisture content) of the snow this year, compared to say 2010 when this photo was taken?
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=160759
>
> Any theories appreciated.
>
> I should go back and take some pics.
>
> Tornadoes do occur in the UK, and localised ones. It may have occurred due to the topography of Keyhole area.
>
> M


Your shot is from a long cold snap, the snow is fluffy and don't weigh a lot. The recent snow was wet and heavy. Also after the long warm spell I suspect the tree had sap flowing and were flexible so bent and snapped under the weight.

Not sure about why it happened over just some areas - wind direction/speed maybe?


Chris
Michael Ryan - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Not only was it wet and heavy...


> Not sure about why it happened over just some areas - wind direction/speed maybe?

.. it came at great speed (all day) from the east, Tuesday 3rd of April as I recall.

We had about 7 inches up here on the hill above Bradwell, with lots of drifting. Then two days later it was gone.

Maybe that is it.

I'll make you dinner!
victorclimber - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: could be ray mears
Duncan Bourne - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> [...]
>
> I'll give you a prize Chris if you explain why it happened to those in Keyhole Cave, but as far as Dave and myself could see, not others along the quarry.

It is possible that a) local conditions dumped more snow onto those trees. ie. less wind, snow being funnelled onto them. b) freezing conditions also shatter trees (most notable in pines which can have a tendency to explode quite alarmingly - these conditions are rare in the UK thou)c) trees being individuals (with differing strengths and weaknesses) have a varying susceptibility to harsh conditions hence in windy weather you get some trees up rooting and not others nearby
Turdus torquatus on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

If you watch "Troll Hunter" you'll have your answer.
Graeme Hammond - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

As mentioned previously, we noticed similar damage at Lawrencefield (12 April). At first we had similar thoughts that they had been snapped with a rope, as the damage was very selective seeming to only affect a narrow band of trees nearest the crag. But after further investigation we noticed the size of some of the trees and even full uprooting, and the number of damaged trees led to the conclusion that it may have been the recent snow.

didn't notice any damage myself at Rivelin in two visits recently so any damage must not be as extensive as at Lawrencefield.

Graeme
Jonny2vests - on 25 Apr 2012
In reply to MattDTC:
> (In reply to jonny2vests)
>
> It was definitely the snow. Day before snow = no trashed trees. Day after snow = loads of trashed trees. The wind will have helped - but no tornados ;)

Yeah, but I though Mick Ryan was talking about whole trees bent in two.
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John W - on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to John W)
> [...]
>
> Give the man a prize

Why thank you sir!

Come on Mick - get your hand in your pocket
thommi - on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to Turdus torquatus: Thats what I thought.... TROOOOLLLL!!!! (little one mind) :-)
stumbler555 - on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: Sounds like slackliners to me. They always attach thier lines to trees and use very high tension. Maybe they used the pegs for highlines aswell.
pasbury on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> [...]
>
> I'll give you a prize Chris if you explain why it happened to those in Keyhole Cave, but as far as Dave and myself could see, not others along the quarry.
>
> The ones in Keyhole seem sheltered, perhaps that is it...snow accumulates because less wind.
>
> Any theories appreciated.
>

Maybe the trees in the sheltered spots have not developed as much strength in their trunks because they haven't been thrashed around by the wind as much? Also if they are in a less well lit area they will tend to grow taller and more spindly.
ebdon - on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to pasbury: I was on a longish cycle around hope and ladybower last weekend and there seemed to be a lot of seemingly random tree damage which confused me as i dont remember it being particuarly windy (a big one had fallen across the path back up from the A57 to hope cross - it was a right arse to cross. so it seems not just isolated to Millstone, deffinatly the trolls.
Styx - on 26 Apr 2012
I've seen whole areas of forest completely devastated by ice storms in North Carolina, could be something similar?

Heavy rains are followed quickly by very cold temperatures and high winds, the trees literally shatter. The effect of it looks like a bomb went off.
Jimbo C - on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

The recent snow was very wet and 'sticky', seeming to clump onto things without falling off until very heavy.

I work in a tall building and we had to close the surrounding paths due to some hefty chunks of snow/ice falling off the roof. Some cars got damaged and the building opposite had a few roof lights destroyed. As far as I know it's the first time we've had that problem.
Jonny2vests - on 27 Apr 2012
In reply to stumbler555:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH) Maybe they used the pegs for highlines aswell.

You think? Wow, you'd have to be pretty dim to do that I reckon.

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