/ Helsby

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Went to Helsby yesterday and ventured over to Pigeonhole arete area. Hadn't been over there for a fair few years and could not believe how dense the foilage was at its base. I literally hd to throw by mat ahead of me trample it down and then repeat process just to get to foot of it. Can the BMC negotiate with the National Trust to have a clearing operation carried out ?
It was a nightmare and these climbs are great so surely something can be done.
Interestingly we had a pint in the Helsby Arms afterwards and the pictures on the wall dating from 1905 show a Helsby Largely devoid of trees and foilage which made the crag look much more impressive and appealing.
The new guide is great and I am sure that if something could be done we could have any even greater crag :-)
Rob Davies - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Allan McDonald (Gwydyr MC): Dense ferns etc do tend to get out of hand on the eastern side of Helsby in summer, then die back in autumn. More traffic would help.

Trees have become much more of a nuisance for climbers over the last 50years or so , as shown by some of the old photos in the guide.
Dom Whillans on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Allan McDonald (Gwydyr MC):
I was over that way a month ago and the bracken hadn't pushed through yet... the routes needed a bit of a brush though. can't see any point in trying to get anyone else to bash the vegetation down; if no one wants to climb there, why should the area be cleared? the footpaths down below the crag there are OK... more folk need to move away from the walls and the clip-ups. or not, i'm quite happy to have helsby for the few ;o)
Pekkie - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Dom Whillans:
> (In reply to Allan McDonald (Gwydyr MC))
> if no one wants to climb there, why should the area be cleared? the footpaths down below the crag there are OK... more folk need to move away from the walls and the clip-ups. or not, i'm quite happy to have helsby for the few ;o)

The trouble is, Dom, what you are suggesting would eventually mean the loss of these climbing areas. And instead of asking 'why doesn't someone do something?' as in the O.P., you should be saying 'what can I do to help'. I.e. get a hefty stick and swipe down the bracken yourself. Or post on here
'Helsby clear-up anyone willing to help?' Incidentally, the recent Pex Hill clear-up has been successfully completed. You can actually get to the bottom and get off the top of most of the starred routes now. Though some need to be cleaned from abseil. I was also amazed recently how much vegetation has grown back at Frogsmouth (Bloody Nature!). Ongoing maintenance. It's like painting the Forth bridge....

Offwidth - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Pekkie:

You want to try Turning Stone Edge (Rhododendrens) or Woodhouse Scar (mass bramble growth and industrial quantities of rubbish each year). Plenty of people just get on with it (special mention here for Andy Levanowski) so its a shame Helsby doesn't have such folk as bracken is a comparative doddle to deal with.
ex0 - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Allan McDonald (Gwydyr MC):

Me & Partner abseiled in from Greenteeth Gully last Saturday and had trouble finding abseil stakes at the top of the buttress. There's the obvious one at the top of the gully but we found a couple more buried in feet of grass further along. So the top could do with gardening also!
Al Evans on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Allan McDonald (Gwydyr MC): I remember when I first went to Helsby back in the 60's it was a huge clean red bastion above the village. The next time I went over ten years later it was a green vegetated horror. The change was put down to the fumes issuing from the chimneys of a fertilizer factor at nearby Ellesmeer port I think.
Dom Whillans on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Pekkie:
Point taken, but over in the area the OP's talking about, the only vegetation is annual bracken, and wasn't there when i spent a couple of evenings cleaning and climbing the routes back in May. In fact, it was a dead nice area to sit and chill out in the sunshine in between climbs.
My lumbering bulk flattens plenty of vegetation just by turning up, i should probably just be pointed in the direction of overgrown areas and be told "there's a great route over there, dom; suit you down to the ground"
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Mick Ward - on 11 Jul 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

> The next time I went over ten years later it was a green vegetated horror. The change was put down to the fumes issuing from the chimneys of a fertilizer factor at nearby Ellesmeer port I think.

It was bilious green ever since I first passed by en route to Wales (circa 1970). And yes, the rumour (true or false?) was industrial waste. I always wanted to get stuck into Kirkus' and Edwards' training ground. Such a disappointment to do so 'in the green'.

Re Pete's comments about painting the Forth Bridge. It's hugely to the credit of him and his mates that, every year, they do. Pex comes out of the shrubbery and challenges you to crimp a little harder and rock over a little higher.

Mick




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