Me and my partner have walked past or abbed into the leap and always discussed the possibility and technical requirements of rigging a rope swing through the leap, probably using the stakes on both sides and jumping from the centre at the inland end. I just want to get some opinions on whether this is something that might offend the wider climbing community or if it's even wise to load belay stakes in that way.
Any response will be greatly appreciated.
Sorry to be a kill-joy but given the fragile and sensitive history and nature of negotiated access for climbing to this area, I would very strongly suggest that this is not done!
The belay stakes that are in place are for abseiling and climbing anchors only and have been agreed with both the conservation bodies and the MoD. Placing of any new belay or other stakes is not permitted due to the real danger of hitting buried unexploded bombs.
It's also likley to lead to some opposition from the MoD Defence Estate and the conservation bodies that manage the area and potentially lead to conflict.
BMC Access & Conservation Officer (Wales)
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:
Thanks for your prompt and honest response. I was expecting this would be the answer and I understand the fragile nature of access to the range, my partner got very excited after seeing a YouTube video of something similar in Utah, they pepper the crag in bolts to do it. I guess we can't all treat our national parks like the Americans do!
Furthermore - Elfyn's point about the designated use of the existing stakes goes beyond simply what has been agreed; using them as the end anchors of a tensioned line from which the swinging rope is suspended would expose them to a load several times greater than that of an abseiling or belaying climber, with failure a considerably increased possibility.
In reply to Tyler:
Drilling a dozen bolts into delicate sandstone and leaving steel cable hanging across the canyon are practices that I think would probably be frowned upon here.
Let alone bolting cracks and leaving draws hanging from crags like smith rock.
In reply to twilkinson-dix:
Many years ago I watched someone I didn't know do it. It looked fun and they certainly screamed a fair bit, but I did wonder if they were fully aware of the loading on the belay stakes.
Anyway the real buzz is to jump across it without ice axes or ropes. I was there when Adam Long did it minutes after he'd arrived at the crag. One moment he was checkign routes in the guide book on one side of the leap- the next he was walking back along the other side- very cool.
I know (fairly well) the guy who made the swing. Back in May 1990.
He wouldn't do anything so silly nowadays, allegedly.
The extra loading was discussed ... or maybe it was discussed afterwards in the pub... who knows it was 23 years ago. I think the stakes (a number were rigged together) were given a kick as a test, lol. The set up was clearly strong enough, but the safety margin could be questioned.
More questionable (looking back at the old photos), was the red Ron Hills and purple fleece combo.
We'd been in the Leap earlier in the day doing the The Beast, Shape up & Strap Up, so some climbing was also done.