/ Moyer's Buttress damage, Gardom's Edge
The damage: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=231857
The route is almost 60 years old and has had thousands of ascents, another bit of Peak history bites the dust!
The block being used: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=213831
Crikey, yes - why did that happen?
Doesn't that now makes it harder getting round onto the slab?
I suspect it will be harder, the block had a good jam (and runner!) on top of it and made a useful foothold for getting back round the arete,
Oh yeah i remember now, getting round on the right.
Yeah will be hard to rest there now.
Really sad to hear that... it must have been removed by a ' climber' on purpose.
Looking at the logbooks it was there June/July.
Let's hope its removal didn't 'remove' a climber in the process....
Theres been a few cases of this kind of thing happening, some do gooders took out the wobbly chock (that had survived 100 years of climbing) from that Diff at Crow Chin.
It's surely possible that someone falling off the crux, with a thread behind the block, could have pulled it off?
I saved that on at least 3 occasions. One person took some persuading: I had to quote the guidebook text about leaving it alone before they desisted.
I doubt it, it was well cammed in - have a look at that 2nd photo. It would have been a bugger to thread anyway as it was pretty big.
It seems very peculiar for someone to trundle it i.e. to deliberately abseil in and do so.
Someone did do just that at Crow Chin
What can you do though, unless you meet the perps in action?
So where is the block now? At the bottom of the crag or removed completely. I imagine it would make the climb significantly harder and less safe.
Hopefully educate people to leave such blocks alone and contact the BMC or post here if they are worried.
I think this route will be a fair bit harder now
At the bottom of the crag in bits,
Anybody know Toby Dunn or Dave Rose, who've logged recent ascents of it
Anybody climb it in recent years care to report if the block was wobbling more than previously
I suppose it's possible that the block finally succumbed to wear and whoever was pulling on it at the time escaped but didn't want to admit it
It was the best E1 in the Peak, probably harder now
Just checked my dates, I was there on the 23rd Nov (later than any logged ascents on here) and the block was still there as it always was.
Wow, that must have taken a bit of effort. Can't imagine anyone could remove it by accident. What a strange and stupid thing to do, I imagine the route has been changed significantly.
How strange. Someone's twisted idea of commemorating the Peak Rock book? An (the) iconic route changed forever. I expect there might be a queue tomorrow.
The block seemed very secure at the end of June, btw.
I know Dave. He wouldn't have pulled it out though.
How sad. :o(
I was there with dave and sgl0jd (not sure how they've logged different dates), but the block was definitely left intact. Although wobbly someone must have put some real effort to pull it, we used for runners!
sad times, I climbed the route several times and was proud to have it as my first proper e1, the mind boggles as to the reasons why, I threaded the block when I climbed it and it always seemed safe... :(
SHAME . I suppose there are two explanations , one the block came out as someone pulled on it as they climbed the route and had quite a shock. Two , it came 3/4 out during an ascent so was removed to be on the safe side.
Maybe a third, some wanker decided the route would be better without it.
Whatever happened I'm sure its a bit harder than before , not a lot as you can get gear in the crack on the right but the step up and left will be harder.( you can start up Bivens crack if the lower move right is too difficult )
Is the route better or worse , well it became disjointed with the introduction of Friends which tamed the top slab so I suppose it will be even more so in future.
Must do it again when next in the Peak.
It always was (in the niche).
Biven's lost a block as well a few years back :-(
Fair enough, but the point remains the same:- lots of fuss, no point in any of it.
> Fair enough, but the point remains the same:- lots of fuss, no point in any of it.
It does send out a clear message to future potential trundlers to think long and hard about the reasons why, before taking any action.
What a bizarre thing to say. So because we didn't find out who chopped the tree, we shouldn't try and probe this mystery? Quite often a thread does end up shedding real light on some situation.
I didn't know this block. Are we sure this was deliberate. Or maybe someone genuinely thought it was dangerous.
If someone "genuinely thought it was dangerous", it would still be deliberate, and wholly inappropriate.
There's no way it was removed by hand, and we don't need numpties with crowbars hacking at every "loose" block they think seems dodgy, even if in their misguided way they think they're doing folk a favour.
I've done the route and I'm not in any way convinced it was deliberate. In fact I think its far more likely to have wriggled out, no matter how much people think this impossible. I'm often surprised at granite blocks that somehow come out that seem like they ought to be keyed in forever, so no surprise this happens to grit. Most loose grit doesn't stay loose for long.
I think you missed the "or" in my post. If someone genuinely thought a rock was dangerous and trundled it, then I'm not with you on the witch hunt thing. Is there a code of conduct for this kind of thing? I genuinely do not know. Who know's, maybe it came out quite readily or was unsettled by someone to the point where it should have been removed.
No one knows if a crowbar was used, steady on.
What "witch hunt thing"?
For starters, how about: don't deliberately trundle bloody great blocks out of ultra-classic routes that have been well known for having a loose/rocking/wobbly block for decades.
People's perception of what is dangerous varies a lot, and clearly some folk are either ridiculously risk-averse about such things or just really keen for an excuse to trundle something.
I'd much prefer it if they weren't the people making unilateral decisions to trundle every rocking block and damn the rest of us who may see that as unnecessary at best or wanton vandalism at worst.
At the very least, wannabe trundlers would do well to contact the BMC access rep to raise their concerns *before* they start their unilateral attempts to "improve" the situation. The Peak reps are very active and approachable.
Somebody knows, but yes, obviously I don't. Based on the last time I was up there (earlier this year), it just doesn't seem likely to me that block was dislodged without some mechanical advantage. Entirely possible that I'm wrong, I hope I am actually.
Not until they are hunted down and shot at dawn, no.
Ha ha. If there was a "like" button... ;o)
The witch hunt jon stewart makes fun of of course.
I don't have a clue about the circumstances. I'm just stating possibilities that may have lead someone to do this. I'm just not ready to call this person(?) a selfish-crowbar-weilding-vandal until I know more,.Which is exactly what you're doing.
You said you're not with me on "the witch hunt thing"? You were making assumptions, I haven't expressed an opinion about any kind of witch hunt thing.
"Makes fun" indeed - Jon was joking. You do understand that right? That nobody is actually going to be hunted down and shoot at dawn. (Probably.)
I don't really care that much about the perpetrator's motivation. Whether they're malicious, moronic or merely misguided the damage is done now and it's irreversible. Regardless of their intentions, if it was done deliberately it was the wrong thing to do. At least in the latter case there's a chance they might be persuaded not to do it again.
That's really sad. I fell on a thread around that block several years back. Surely this is a much harder proposition now its gone?
Of course. No one calls it a witch hunt. But you're going off on one accusing person 'X' of heinous crimes.
Yes making fun is joking.
'Perpetrator'. That says it all. Maybe it was the coyote trying to squash the roadrunner. Think if we look we will find some some evidence of TNT used.
I don't think anyone is hunting witches. There could be any number of explanations, the most likely of which is someone did it on purpose. It was wedged solid in the summer. No-one's saying it couldn't have been an accident. I don't know if anyone's been there to repeat it yet?
More likely to be a wizard hunt.
Just to posit an alternative explanation, I noticed a lot of trees blown down at Froggatt today, even well within the woods. The week before last we had a windstorm with the highest windspeeds recorded just north of Sheffield, the wind coming from just west of north. The timing would fit but would any wind be enough to move such a block?
At first sight the suggestion seems absurd … but then, on second thoughts, maybe not. If there was a mega blast/gust of about 80 mph round that arete, possibly speeded up by the 'venturi' effect of the slot the block was situated in, between horizontal break and overhang - and if the shape of the block was slightly convex (was it?) so as to act a kind of airfoil section, causing low pressure on the outside - and if the slot behind it narrowed slightly towards the eastern side to cause high pressure on the inside - could it have caused it to barndoor outwards slightly? It would then present a facet facing directly into the wind so that further very fierce blasts would hinge it out still further, until its centre of gravity was outside the ledge and so it toppled? A question for the scientists.
The idea of someone going to all that trouble to trundle it seems almost as far fetched. The only other possibility remains a rather unusual fall scenario, with a sling round the top of the block, maybe.
Of course, the crowbar scenario is plausible if someone had got a very expensive large cam irretrievably jammed behind the block. If the block was very difficult to move one can imagine a person learning out on the end of the crowbar on an abseil rope - well away from the block, both for safety and for maximum leverage, with one of both feet on the rock to one side - and suddenly the whole block hinged out and fell. ? ?
Was it ? A couple of people had put comments in the logbook that it was very wobbly.
I don't think it was moving significantly when I did it, but that was 14 years ago, and the number of ascents will have speeded up the natural weathering process. It was a square block in a square niche, both made from relatively soft rock.
I blame deepsoup and all everyone who has climbed it and accelerated the erosion of the block. Burn them all ;).
Honey-pot crags and all that.
Yes the block has moved. Fact. Beyond that, this argument seems entirely speculative.
Has anyone actually had a look at the scarring?? Surely if a crowbar (or other "mechanical advantage") was used that would leave very distinctive tool marks on the grit, in both the void left on route, and also on the block fragments. A few observations would be more useful than accusations or scientific (im/)possibilities... sadly I'm ~200 miles away from Gardoms...
I was expecting it to wobble and was surprised it felt solid. Then again, knowing it was supposed to be loose I wasn't yanking wildly on it. That was beginning of June. Perhaps it was in a better configuration that day.
I'm not one of those scientists, but for what it's worth I really can't see it at all. It seems about as likely to me as Higgar Tor being blown over.
It'd be nice to think so, but it's been done often enough before. There are examples mentioned up the thread, though it isn't clear whether they were misguided do-gooders or out & out vandals.
The climber would probably deck, with the block (which weighs/weighed what? - at least a quarter of a tonne) right behind them.
I imagine we might have heard something about that - either as a tale of a miraculous escape, or of someone being hurt or worse. (As we did when that large flake came away from the top of Valkyrie a few years back: the climber was probably quite lucky to end up no serious injuries beyond a broken arm and the whole story came out straight away.)
I think the traditional weapon of choice in that case would have been a car jack wouldn't it? ;o)
Same here, yet there are comments in the logbook about it's wobbliness at just that time. Maybe it's more to do with those expectations than anything else? Perhaps it just felt wobbly to those expecting it to be solid, and solid to those expecting it to be wobbly.
That's most likely but it's hard to get wound up about someone acting in good faith, easier to imagine the worst.
> At first sight the suggestion seems absurd ¡K but then, on second thoughts, maybe not. If there was a mega blast/gust of about 80 mph round that arete, possibly speeded up by the 'venturi' effect of the slot the block was situated in, between horizontal break and overhang - and if the shape of the block was slightly convex (was it?) so as to act a kind of airfoil section, causing low pressure on the outside - and if the slot behind it narrowed slightly towards the eastern side to cause high pressure on the inside - could it have caused it to barndoor outwards slightly? It would then present a facet facing directly into the wind so that further very fierce blasts would hinge it out still further, until its centre of gravity was outside the ledge and so it toppled? A question for the scientists.
My god, you're right. If the wind reached 88mph it could generate the 1.21 Gigawatts of energy required to accelerate the flake into some possible future in which it had already fallen out! No-one witnessed it fall because the actual event didn't occur in our timestream. It's so simple once you see it!
Yes, although it's been mentioned, no one's actually quoted what people said about it that implied that the block had become much looser this year (and was probably treated v carefully by most leaders):
>disturbed a midge nest, then the loose block put the wind up me. did one move above then reversed to the ground.
Daniel Heath - Solo dnf - 22/Jul/13
>What an amazing route lovely balancy moves, dont pull too hard on the chockstone though it moves!
Bloke on a Rope - Lead O/S - 05/Jun/13 with Matt
>careful of wobbly block just beneath the committing move onto the slab - it spat out my nut when it shifted!
thomb - Lead β - 26/May/13 with Jess
(Not that it matters too much, but it is an interesting 'puzzle') Surely the most likely explanations (given the looseness of the block) are, in order of likeliness:
1. Came off when pulled on or fallen on (i.e onto runner behind block)
2. Result of use of crowbar to remove jammed friend (not v likely because someone has already said the block 'spat out' a friend when it moved)
3. Deliberate removal, from an abseil rope?, because deemed dangerous.
4. The result of recent exceptionally strong wind, as suggested by Adam Long. Maybe not quite as crazy an idea as it first sounds (see earlier comments)
You express disbelief and then give the exact reason for it. If we knew what had happened then it would have been forgotten (or at least forgiven) by now, particularly if the culprit were a top climber ;-)
Whats more odd Frank is you getting upset about others getting upset. I've seen you waste hours happily chasing your tail ( or someone elses). Mourning is a process that can generate odd emotional reactions and despite gritstone perhaps being overrated at times this was a route that was worth it.
It does seem far fetched, but then the wind was very powerful that day. I work in a certain tall building in Sheffield which often causes a wind tunnel effect on the path next to it. On the day of the storm, the path was closed since people were being blown over. One exposed corner of the building was damaged - a piece of aluminium trim was ripped off. This is on a façade that was designed and tested to withstand hurricane force winds.
So it's not totally out of the question for the wind to dislodge a loose block high up on an exposed arête.
What I want to know is whether it's still E1, since it's high on my wishlist.
I went and had a look at the Moyer's today. Despite the general dampness, the lower arete was pretty dry, so I soloed up to the niche. There is very little mess in the niche - just a couple of worn points on the base, where the block must have rested. I couldn't see any marks from a tool like a crowbar or a jack, though the pivot point is a bit scuffed. No marks on the edge, almost as if the block had been lifted out.
I can't remember much about the moves past the block, but you can tuck in a good kneebar in the niche, and there is a good friend slot in the back which may have been obscured before - doesn't seem worn (looking at the photo in the OP, both look accessible). The move out on to the arete might well be harder now, as your feet are 18" lower, and you can't see into the break above easily.
The block itself is obviously in a worse state, but seems intact if someone wanted to put it back. Again, I couldn't see any obvious tool marks, and I scuffed the corners a bit more turning it over. There are a couple of other broken blocks in the area, but no obvious impact point. Again this suggests it might have been lifted down, if it had fallen you would expect it to have smashed.
Couldn't see much to add credence to the wind hypothesis - there is no damage to any trees hereabouts (save some old snow damage to a tree right in front), and the niche didn't seem particularly exposed to a Northerly.
I've trundled similar sized blocks from a crag top before that didnt break (most do) but you would see impact marks.
Bloody vandal. I hope you consulted properly first.
The mystery deepens if anything :)
From Chris's dimensions (comment on the first photo link at the top of this thread) then the block weighs nearly 300Kg. I'd expect that to make some impact mark, even quite small blocks (say 20Kg) do quite a bit of damage when they hit things.
If it was a natural event then I'd expect to see scratches on the lower lip of the slot where it once resided as it slid out. If it was a straight trundle then you'd also see such marks, so from Adam's description it does seem to have been lifted out. The photo also shows a couple of smaller blocks that look fresh - it would be interesting to know if they match up to any part of the large block.
The only time I've been to Gardom's edge was back in 1981 so I've virtually no memory of the area whatsoever.
Are you seriously suggesting it was lifted out in some cradle of ropes or placed in a net or something, and then gently lowered to the ground?
Well, if Adam's report of "no obvious impact point" is correct then it is possible. Without seeing a shot of the ground around the block and a decent set of close up shots of the block it's not easy to be sure.
From the photo, I'd guess that the block was maybe 8 metres above the ground so 300Kg of rock falling that distance, the height of a house gable, is going to make some impression (sic). Gritstone is also likely to crumble around the impact area so that sort of damage should be visible. Concrete building blocks behave similarly and if you dropped one of those from 8 metres then it should be pretty obvious where it struck.
Nearly all of my grit block trundles were insecure and exposed at the top of crags in eroding ground or sitting open and precarious on ledges (and those in obscure venues):... I don't see why anyone would ask about such? On more established routes I have dropped biggish bits I pulled off and couldn't hold and push back in (ie no chance to check status) but that's mainly on limestone; I could see how this could have happened in this case but would have expected someone to have gossiped, if not web posted somewhere or contacted the BMC.
I find it far more incredible that the rock was gently lifted to the ground. How did it come out without using tools? If it is infact that heavy. Then some sort of net or system of ropes were used to lower the block down via a pulley system or some other mechanical advantage. I think it's more likely someone borrowed a cherry picker for the day! What's the grade now adam?
All this is making me think the wind explanation is more likely! With such a block being 'lifted out' and slowed down hitting the ground. The plot thickens.
Not wanting to contradict Adam, but I though the block was broken into several pieces some of which had marks that could have been made by a crowbar. I was on a bit of a mission to beat the setting sun or would have spent a bit more time checking it out,
I would estimate the weight of the block at about 50-60 kgs, I rolled it over easily enough but would have struggled to pick it up. To me it looked intact, though I agree the that in the photo it looks bigger when in situ. There were two cobble sized freshly broken blocks next to it. At first I assumed they had come off the main block, but I couldn't find any matching broken surfaces on the main block.
I agree it being lifted out seems unlikely, but as I said there is surprisingly little mess. I'd imagine a single long sling, lark's-footed around the block, would be sufficient.
I think the block in the break was more like 500+kg - see 2nd photo in OP.
Just winding you up!
I suspect the whole section might be a bit harder now, though I doubt it would add a grade. To get across the ledge you now have the choice of a rather awkward belly-flop, or a hand traverse with a flat ledge for hands and poor feet.
What's the block in your picture then Chris? The one on the floor that looks fresh? It looks to be the one adam is talking about, which is going to be nowhere near 500kg
Hmm, it does look bigger in situ but nothing like 500kg. I didn't have the photo or a memory to refer to at the time, but the block on the floor is covered in chalk, and is about the same size on top as in the route photo, but perhaps not as deep. I can only think it might have split horizontally into two layers , but as I said there didn't appear to be any freshly broken surfaces. Does anyone remember a weathered split round the back?
Does anyone remember a weathered split round the back?
We've all got one of those surely? Sometimes comes in handy on the forums.
Chris gave the size as approximately 60cm x 60cm x 40cm. This is 0.6m x 0.6m x0.4m = 0.144 m3. I'd worked on a density of 2000Kg/m3 to get the 300Kg value
A quick Google shows that Millstone Grit has a density of approximately 2400Kg/m3 so:
0.144 * 2400 = 345Kg
Adjust as necessary for the actual size of the block.
On your photo of the block and smaller fragments on the ground it looks a lot less deep than the photo of it in the break. Suggests that it cleaved along its bedding plane upon impact and smaller pieces may be scattered down the hill. Just speculating of course, but I'd say that it hit the ground hard.
A possible motive for someone wanting to shift the block is if they got a cam stuck in it. Not done it for a while but seem to remember placing gear (cams) between the top of the block and the niche. I think Right Unconquerable was also damaged by someone using a crowbar or car jack to remove a jammed friend. (Sorry if this has already been mentioned - not read every single entry). The wind theory is interesting - some big trees did get blown down in the peak on 6th Dec I think.
Not true, that story is an oft-repeated invention. The true story is that a leader fell on the cam and the flake snapped (the people involved posted on UKC about this).
I'd like to suggest that the block was about 1,000kg which once it fell out / was removed from it's protected environment, sublimated in the strong wind and all that is left is the hard inner core.
That is by far the most probable explanation so far ;-)
I'm glad you said that. I also thought that the 'car jack to retrieve a cam' story was true. I heard it years ago and the idea of a climber doing that has annoyed me ever since!
wasn't this only the most recent dammage in the last few years, it had a larger section broken off previously which is the often quoted car jack story. Look at the photo of Joe Brown on the first ascent and the photo in the 2008 guide and you can see the sharp corner of the flake is missing
this photo http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=228601 shows the old section that broke off, just to the right of this guys first runner (in this photo),
the latest section to break of is just below his last runner and is the smaller of the two dark triangle patches of shadows which there was a UKC thred about.
Yes, it was the "old damage" on the first bit of the flake about which the car-jack story was told. However, the car-jack story originated in a UKC thread as pure speculation about how it might have occurred -- that speculation came to be treated as fact, and the story has been repeated ever since.
Shortly afterwards, the belayer of the incident posted on UKC and explained that it had simply been a leader fall onto the cam, snapping the flake, which narrowly missed the belayer, with the leader held by a lower runner.
Anyhow, that's how I recall the whole affair (though I've not gone back and searched the UKC archives).
Sorry to be a 'party pooper', but a Friend/camming device is almost as bad as a carjack. The forces it exerts sideways are something like 2.5 times the weight of the falling person - unless I've remembered this wrong. That is a huge force.
The only time I've led RU (on sight), having been scared of it for many years, I'm sure I didn't use any cams at all, just conventional nuts. About 5 or 6, just where I most wanted them. Placing the gear wasn't v difficult, though it took a bit of guts to hang around for a fews seconds to get it right. But, even doing it the old-fashioned way, I was up it in c. 4-5 minutes.
Both the broken flake, and the accompanying car-jack story, long predate the invention of this website.
Long term memory seems to tell me I first heard the car jack story in the 80s. Might have been a Perrin article...?
Someone must know something? I have a hazy recollection that I read the missing piece of flake was either on a mantlepiece in Sheffield or in a greenhouse somewhere but could be totally wrong
I picked up part of the broken flake and placed it in the garden next to the foothold block of Knights Move ( Burbage ) . If I still lived in Sheffield I would have been to Gardoms by now for the Moyers block.
Moved to Wales a few years ago but did not wish to disturb the rockery so they lay in peace in a suburban garden.
i climbed it on the 16th Nov and it was left perfectly intact. Tbh i didnt even noticed it wobbled.
Have you seen the Pub Forum listing "Rescue from Moyers Buttress"? Didn't see any reference to it in this forum
But what happened to the pillar at the right hand end of the flake on Fox House Flake?
RE the R Unconq. flake. Looking at my logbook I think it was 25th june 88. I knew the guy who was belaying and was along a few minutes later. The leader hit the ground but was OK (but didn't want to play any more). The flake end was lying on the ground and I thought about having it as a souvenir but didn't fancy carrying it around the rest of the day. As for the speed of rumours spreading, someone told me the car jack story before I left the edge that day.
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