Hopefully the title will have got your attention. I am trying a new little project that the guys here at UKC are going to help with.
I am attemting to put together a list of all the crags that are wheelchair accesable. Now the main thing is all crags are accesable it just varies from being a gentle stroll with nice flat paths to a full on expedition with lots of hauling.
The other consideration is the climbs/abseils, slabs with good top access make for great abseils but equally steep ones with flat tops do wirh some specialist equipment.
Climbing wise again juggy slabs work as do verts with reasonably spaced holds.
So i need your help if you know any crags that fit the bill please. Post on here and give a short description of how easy or hard it is to get there (hard isn't a bad thing it makes for a great day out).
And if you always walk past a grim litle bit of rock that no one bothers with because its to flat it could be perfect. Add it as a new crag on the log book page.
far right Hand side of sea walls in Avon gorge. Should be easy to set good abseils up and top is reasonably easy to attain. And already used by every group going. The goat gates Might be difficult for wheelchairs. Cant Remember, will check for you next Time im up the gorge.
Some of the roadside walls in cheddar gorge should also fit the bill.
The left Hand side at the bottom of burrington coombe should be excellent as well.
Castle Inn quarry (A55 sport climbs) has the easiest access ever as it starts in the car park. You can belay from the passenger seat of your car if you want to! The easier climbs here perhaps aren't wheelchair accessible though.
You can also park very close to Meliden quarry just down the road. There are a couple of stone blocks that stop you driving into the quarry itself - not sure if you can fit a wheelchair between them? From there it's about 50 yards across flat grass to get to the climbs.
In reply to stuartholmes: Bowles Rocks, just a kerb and a few meters of grass seperates the crag from a tarmac road. Most of the easier climbs are of a slightly squirmy, mantle shelf, full body nature, rather than juggy.
In reply to Chris the Tall: Also Stoney, but please don't ab down minus wall and bugger up the bit that the boulders haven't buggered up. Fraggatt, quite a long walk, bit reasonable flat, only problem we had was the two gates, but they were not insurmountable problems, and the short descent at the south end of the crag.
Any quarry will have had an access road / ramp when in use, so
Them scruffy holes in the ground behind Matlock
Harpur Hill (if you can get vehicular access)
Bus Stop (must be others equally easy to get to)
Hodge Close / Tilberthwaite (if it hasn't fallen down already)
In reply to stuartholmes:
I have used Sennen a few times for disability climbers. Corner Climb I have used for a blind climber, Staircase I have used for a double leg (below the knee) amputee to try out his new screw on rubber feet, and also the slab below the lookout for a wheelchair bound climber to do an abseil and climb back up (with the aid of two climbers either side). Hope that helps. Access is easy and flat via the top Morais Lane. Mark
In reply to stuartholmes:
I would second castle inn near colwyn bay as you climb straight from the tarmac, however I may be wrong but I don't think there is any access at the top for a wheelchair ,however for jumering up( aka el cap style !) I would have thought it would have been a good bet and all bolted with lower offs.
saying that I wouldn't call it slabby ,some hard climbing there in fact.
In reply to stuartholmes:
trevor rocks quarry llangollan is accessible top and bottom but would probably require a helping hand to get up the wide footpath to the climbing area ,unless youre david weir of course.
Woden's Face, Borrowdale. There's a landrover track to within 50m of the base of the crag - the last bit would be a little more of a challenge. Slab with a few routes at about severe. And much nearer the car park (the one below Quayfoot, that's used for access to the Bowderstone), there's a quarry that's been set up for accessible abseils - may need to contact someone for access, possibly NT, or Calvert Trust would certainly know.
Does this not all depend on what type of wheelchair the user will have?
My wife has now been in a chair for a good few years and we do have an off road chair which makes getting places a little easier.
But if you start making claims like this crag is wheelchair accessible and this is then on a database somewhere, I am sure you are going to get a lot of angry comments from wheelchair user, that can not get in to certain areas.
One example given was the bowder stone. Now for me and my wife in the off road chair this would be an OK area to get to. An easy path with lots of bumps and stones to navigate, with one steep hill to make sure I was tiered before climbing. But for someone who is self-propelled with a non all terrain chair (even if it did cost £4k) would have little to no chance of getting in.
I think you need to think that little bit deeper about this.
I don't know if you yourself are in a chair but if you want to experience how hard it is to get someone into crag with even the easiest of walk-in's (and an off road chair) you are quite welcome to come and help me get my wife to say the Burbage South boulders. Ilkley - Cow and calf Millstone quarries.
The only one I could access in the Peak was Horseshoe quarry unfortuantely. There are a good few I could get close to (especially the tops), but not actually climb on from my chair. Once I was on crutches, it became easier though!
In reply to stuartholmes: Sandford Quarry (Somerset) would be a good wheelchair venue,some of the slabs could be reached directly from a wheelchair. Groups regularly use the place and have vehicular access, I am sure that if you contacted the owners,Mendip Ski Centre they would be helpful.
I don't remember Castle Inn as being particularly slabby ? other venues with this ease of access include Hobson Moor and Aldery. Hobson moor isn't slabby but access to the top is very good. Aldery is slabby.
Oh, and Head End Quarry (also known as Sandale), between Cockermouth and Carlisle. Fairly easy access to the bottom, much less so the top.
The point a few back is really good - it makes a huge difference who you're aiming info at. A normal wheelchair and just one helper is a very different scenario to an off road wheelchair and a group of people used to moving it over rough ground.
In reply to Tony Simpson: great point. This is something we are going to try and grade. The easier access will allow electric and self propeled standard wheelchairs. Then assistance based on two assistants per wheelchair user or specialist chairs. Then lots of hauling and laders/bridge boards for trickier walk ins.
Im not a wheelchair user myself bit have some experiance of taking groups cragging.
Part of my long term aim is to get a list together then get out and test them.
Or get first hand info from preople who have tried them.
If there are any you and the wife have been to id love to know which ones and an honest description of the walk in.
I cant speak for everyone but some times an absoulute epic in a single climb and an epic back can be a massivly rewarding day.
> (In reply to stuartholmes)
> Bowden doors Northumberland but I cant remember if you cross a stile or go through a gate to gain access to the field from the road, anyone remember? Literally 2-3min walk
There is a gate. The first part of the crag is quite accessible but then there is a stile over a stone wall.
In reply to stuartholmes:
A lot of the Llanberis slate quarries are accessible with a bit of perseverance. One thing worth thinking about is starting the approach from above, then walking out (rolling?) lower down - saves a world of pain pushing up steep rocky hills. Watching a paraplegic perform a 'gate vault' was entertaining, especially when we realised you can just lift most of the gates off their hinges. I'd imagine a lot of the Lakes ones will be good too, Hodge particularly springs to mind cos you can park right there at the top, although getting out again could be tricky
Brimham is easily accessible for the most part but once you're there I can't think there'd be much to do, crag wise it's a bit tricky. But - it has a toilet. Access to toilet facilities is often the crux of the matter when getting out and about.
Ilkley is surprisingly hard to get to - short approach and flagged but christ it's steep!
As Tony suggested, grading approaches is a great idea, as is alternative transport methods. A Freewheel is useful addition to any manual chair that makes rough ground a lot easier. If your clients are particularly skilled they may be able to back wheel balance down a lot of steep rocky terrain. An off road handbike can cover some serious distance, and there's always the Boma or Tank Chair. Then a pony or a piggyback can get you almost anywhere!
> No it doesn't. The berms would make it extremely difficult for a wheelchair user to get to the bottom of the carpark routes.
Perhaps my memory is faulty, but I thought if you went to the right a bit as you're facing in then you can avoid the berms on gentle grassy slopes, or possibly even paths. I suppose grass might not be described as excellent access, as in my first post, but still reasonable.