/ 9a+/E10 slabs with wheelchair access
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.
Bowder stone roadside crag, national trust have put great paths in. Local centre Calvert trust have a Larkin frame that allows any one to abseil by being held out slightly away from the crag face.
Just off the top of my Head locally:
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.
shakeMantle quarry in forest of Dean.
Plenty Pretty good Access to top and bottom of crags on Dartmoor. As Long as you have competent Belay Arrangers.
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.
PS Access to the top at Meliden & Castle Inn is poor.
Peak: Horseshoe, Yarncliffe Quarry, Aldery and Burbage North spring to mind
<dons asbestos hat>
Baslow, Curbar and Froggatt
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)
Brimham should be pretty wheelchair friendly in places.
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
Warton Small Quarry http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=1436 would be OK for access with wheelchairs - you can actually park in part of it. The ground does get a bit soft in damp weather and the mud might contain stuff you wouldn't want on your wheels .....
The carpark area at Auchunstarry, near Glasgow, has excellent access from the bottom but not the top.
There is wheel chair designed abseil access from one of the bridges in Chee Dale.
+1 for Benny Beg.
> The carpark area at Auchunstarry, near Glasgow, has excellent access from the bottom
No it doesn't. The berms would make it extremely difficult for a wheelchair user to get to the bottom of the carpark routes.
You could get to a few of the climbs at Roche Rock in Cornwall.
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.
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.
Bit off the beaten Track.
Ivy scar rock in the Malvern hills.
Not exactly a slab, but single Pitch, solid, with excellent Belays on top.
Bit of uphill walk to Reach, but on a well smooth path. Crag is pathside as well. Bench there and everything.
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.
It aint that easy
hope this gives you food for thought.
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
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!
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.
Oh, and this suggests it's the national trust you need to contact to abseil in the quarry near Quayfoot/Bowderstone car park.
HeadEnd Quarry, Sandal, North Cumbria - Been used by the Calvert Trust for groups of disabled people.
Pic Tor & Rheinstor have good access to the bottom IIRC. Not good for access to the top though.
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.
> 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.
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!
Not sure if you can see these, but this was from a trip into serengeti
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!
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.
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