/ Fairy Cave quarry

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wurzelinzummerset on 01 Dec 2012
Anyone been there the last few days? I know some of the pools can expand a bit when it rains, but with the downpour earlier this week I wondered if the quarry floor is flooded.
lazzaw - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to wurzelinzummerset: I have just been there this afternoon. The ground is ok but the rock is still quite damp. Baldness area is ok. Robs slab a little patchy in places but a lot of shatter cave and the glacis is quote damp.
lazzaw - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to wurzelinzummerset: (Balches, not baldness). Auto correct!
wurzelinzummerset on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to lazzaw: Thanks, I'd wrongly assumed the slabs would have dried out by now.
riddle - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to wurzelinzummerset: How about the south facing slabs/esoterica?!
The Pylon King on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to riddle:
> (In reply to wurzelinzummerset) How about the south facing slabs/esoterica?!

Have you got a grudge against him?
wurzelinzummerset on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to riddle: I'd like to still be here to see in the New Year, so maybe not...
lazzaw - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to wurzelinzummerset: we climbed Pete's wall which was dry. Not brave / suicidal enough to try the other stuff that side
James Jackson on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:

Those are the best bits!
The Ivanator - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to James Jackson: Hmmm, had my first venture onto the more esoteric lines at FCQ recently (one of your lines I think James), not an experience I'll be in a hurry to repeat ...and the route in question "Yet another Bristolian Affair" didn't even get an XS grade. My log notes:
"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?"
James Jackson on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ivanator:

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.
The Ivanator - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to James Jackson: I see you avoid using the very apt name that the area opposite the Glacis has assumed - "The Death Wish Area". Entry wall was quite loose enough to satisfy my taste for adventure - admittedly the rock on "Yet Another ..." is better after the low crux section although I wouldn't have wanted to test any of the 3 pieces of gear I placed. Had the crumbly crux have been much higher I would certainly have backed off - it was at a "this is going to seriously hurt if I come off" rather than "I could die here" height.
The Ivanator - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to wurzelinzummerset: See from your logbook you ventured onto the entry wall area today Alan - what did you think? I did "Good Intentions" when I was last there, it was certainly better furnished with gear and not so worrying as "Yet Another..." I'm assuming much of the quarry was damp and shady, how were conditions/weather?
wurzelinzummerset on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ivanator: We thought we'd have a look in there despite the predicted dampness. The main slabs were a bit borderline with greasiness so we decided not to chance it as the gear's a bit thin on the ground. The Entry Wall was dry and sunny so we did a few of the easy ones. But definitely a case of proceed with caution as a lot of the holds were dodgy.

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.
James Jackson on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ivanator:
> (In reply to James Jackson) I see you avoid using the very apt name that the area opposite the Glacis has assumed - "The Death Wish Area".

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.
bpmclimb - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to all:

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 :)



bpmclimb - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to lazzaw:
> (In reply to wurzelinzummerset) we climbed Pete's wall which was dry. Not brave / suicidal enough to try the other stuff that side

?? 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.
lazzaw - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to bpmclimb: I've just updated it. Actually we did 10 minute arete which is a bit to the right of Pete's Wall. The guide says solid rock, but there is loads of loose stuff from pebble up to toaster sized now. I chucked what I could over to the left as otherwise it would have tested the helmet of my belayer. The climbing was simple but worth it for the large quartz crystals en route. Could do with a bit more cleaning

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.
bpmclimb - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to lazzaw:
> (In reply to bpmclimb) I've just updated it. Actually we did 10 minute arete which is a bit to the right of Pete's Wall. The guide says solid rock, but there is loads of loose stuff from pebble up to toaster sized now. I chucked what I could over to the left as otherwise it would have tested the helmet of my belayer. The climbing was simple but worth it for the large quartz crystals en route. Could do with a bit more cleaning
>

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 :)

Mick Ward - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to bpmclimb:

Hey Brian,

Thanks for caring so much...

Mick
The Ivanator - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to bpmclimb: Definitely echo Mick's sentiments - you are the benevolent guardian of FCQ! Regarding "Yet another..." I'd say a hard one to grade. The rock on the crux seemed pretty unreliable to me, but my anxiety was possibly exacerbated by the fact I'd just pulled off a big chunk from just left of the actual line. The crux move or two are low in 4c, but the only gear to that point is a nut behind a semi detached flake, not a placement I fancied testing. As I said earlier coming off those moves is unlikely to prove fatal, but if the large flake the gear is behind were to accompany you earthwards there could be painful consequences. Higher up the rock seems more reliable, I got in a reasonable large cam low on the right on the mid height ledge, then another nut behind a second detached flake a little further up - not a lot of gear for a 20m route, but after the crux the climbing is only V Diff/Severe.
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.
James Jackson on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ivanator:

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:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=23735

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.
The Ivanator - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to James Jackson: I had looked at this photo before, my recollection of the route is slightly different, which might indicate some rockfall or a hazy memory on my part. Can't believe I would have missed that sling placement, but maybe I placed a nut in the RH crack of the same detached block, as you say it looks pretty fractured and the chunks of debris on the quarry floor behind you are evidence of the unstable nature of this sector.
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! :-)
Oujmik - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to wurzelinzummerset: Sorry for the slight hijack (actually it's more of a return to the original topic...). Do any of the easy slab routes (Minute Waltz, Pueblo) tend to be dry in winter? I'm in the area at Christmas and if there's a decent chance of dry rock I'll pack my rack. Obviously if it's raining then it's a no go, but how long after rain do they tend to stay wet, or are they perma-wet in winter?
The Ivanator - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Oujmik: It takes a few bright breezy days for the North facing slabs with the routes you mention to come into condition after rain, but they are not necessarily a no go area all winter. The easier routes at Avon are a more reliable winter option and not too far away.
The Pylon King on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Oujmik:

If you get 3 or 4 days of high pressure weather (cold, crisp, northerly breeze etc) they probably will be dry.
The Ivanator - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Oujmik:
These routes are probably your best bets in the lower grades at Avon, and you might even find yourself climbing in Sunshine!
Morpheus:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=29806
Idleburger Buttress:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=32548
The Arete:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=32255
Bob's Climb:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=32290
Oujmik - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to wurzelinzummerset: Thanks all, some good tips. I'd like to visit Avon at some point although I'd be driving up from the south to get to FCQ, so Avon isn't really a substitute for that particular trip.
The Ivanator - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Oujmik: Perhaps some of the easier stuff at Portland then, East coast has more friendly winter days than most UK crags and plenty of amenable routes, try the Bower for starters.
James Jackson on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ivanator:

But don't think they're iced up - the routes are always that shiny...
ads.ukclimbing.com
The Ivanator - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to James Jackson: :-) The Bower routes don't yet have the same sheen as those on the left hand of the main Cuttings cliff (Bonsai/skating area). Dungecroft has plenty of easy unpolished routes too, or Godnor Far North. But perhaps Portland is too far the other way? Seems like Oujmik is averse to a long drive if FCQ is in, but Avon is out (only half an hour further even from the South/East surely)??
Oujmik - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to wurzelinzummerset: Yes, I am averse to a long drive in the sense that I was only going to FCQ because it was near to my parent's house. Avon is probably qually near to my own home, so no point combining those trips. Portland would make more sense in terms of trip efficiency, but it's still not exactly close. I'm sure I'll visit them all eventually, just FCQ is conveniently located so is likley to get done first if in condition.
The Ivanator - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Oujmik: Fair play, you don't know how lucky you are if an extra half hours driving time is the deciding factor in your destination. Nearest climbing to me is Swanage at 1hr 45, the extra half hour on top to get to Portland, Lower Wye, never seems like much of an issue - it's going to be a bit of a drive either way.
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.
SophieEmily - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to wurzelinzummerset: Any new updates on the Fairy Caves situation?
mike kann - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to SophieToast: if you're referring to the locked out situation, then yes, you're still locked out unless you register with Ian Butterworth care of the bmc...
Oujmik - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ivanator: Yep, I've got the code and the guide for FCQ thanks.

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.
James Jackson on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Oujmik:

I can also recommend some other crags around the area. Mells is a favourite - it is actually very pleasant climbing in a delightful setting.
deepstar - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to James Jackson:
> (In reply to Oujmik)
>
> 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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