Gritstone: Loving it to Death?by Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Oct/2009
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"As you can see the brushing was pretty thorough..." remarked Graham looking at the famous line of Careless Torque.
Graham also sent pictures of the recently damaged flake of Right Unconquerable, the classic HVS first climbed by Joe Brown.
This perfect flake of gritstone had seen earlier damage (circa 10 years ago) when a car jack was reportedly used to try and remove a stuck cam. A new section of flake has been damaged, probably by a falling climber using a cam for protection. Obviously using cams is standard practice on gritstone and the climber involved is not to blame, but it is a stark reminder of the fragility of our classic routes.
"I guess Right Unconquerable is holding up quite well really, given that its one of the most sought after ticks in the country. It's not the most solid rock on the crag - the top half has a tendency towards sandiness, so I'm not entirely surprised." commented local friction addict Adam Long, after looking at Graham's photographs.
However he was less understanding about some over-brushing and chalking on the classic highball problem Careless Torque, one of the most aesthetic lines on gritstone:
"To quote Bernard Manning: It's a fu*king disgrace." he said.
"I can't really understand how people can be so blinkered as to not realise this is unacceptable. I can only assume from the amount of chalk that the route was being tried whilst damp, and from a top-rope." commented Adam.
“Get your eyes tested”
He went on to describe different ways in which it is possible to minimise damage and visual impact on these classic and beautiful rock formations:
There has been a discussion on over-chalking on Careless Torque a couple of years ago on UKBouldering.com.