‘Contractors will insert rock bolts and fill in cracks in the rock face beneath the Clifton tower, according to a recent report to the Downs Committee.’
Some of these routes are iconic and the best climbing in the area. This would be devastating.
A shame if they are lost but probably better than the bridge mounts collapsing!
That would be devastating.
Not as bad as it sounds! More info here:
For those who don't wish to be forced into zuckerberglandbook for their climbing news, here's the update on climb bristol;
Forthcoming works on Suspension Bridge Buttress
In 2017 the Suspension Bridge Trust did us climbers a huge favour by clearing a lot of soil and vegetation off the West Face of Suspension Bridge Buttress.
The work was done to check for weaknesses in the buttress that might threaten the stability of the Suspension Bridge itself. They found some areas of concern, and so work is planned to stabilise the top of the buttress.
Some of you may have seen
https://www.bristol247.com/…/work-to-be-carried-out-to-str…/ which is written for general public interest. There are a number of points to bear in mind:
- Your BMC Access reps are in close contact with the Bridge Engineer over these works;
- The works will take place at the very top of the buttress, which will not significantly affect climbing routes;
- The work schedule has not been finalised – Natural England still have to give their consent to the works, and a contractor has to be appointed;
- During the work period there will be no access to the West Face during contractor’s working hours. BMC Access Reps will post notices on these restrictions on the approaches to the face, and the BMC RAD, and on social media;
- To the best of our knowledge climbs on the North Face are unaffected by the works.
ClimbBristol is very happy if our posts are shared on social media
It would be nice if they add some lower off bolts while they are at it
Reminds me of the time, back in the 80's, I got sand blasted off the crag whilst attempting Earl of Perth. They were treating the underside of the metal structure. I was part way up the route when they started.
Based on the drawings produced by COWI there will be three anchors in the top of the first pitch of Howhard, one in the second Pitch of Earl of Perth and three in the top of GT Special. These will be effected, along with any routes below the anchor locations which will be impacted by grout spillage; in 30 years I have never seen a completely clean anchor or soil nail scheme. Routes left of GT Special should not be effected.
Also, they intend to grout up discontinuities that may have an impact on crack lines and protection.
It looks like there are quite a few bolts going in. D6, 7 & 8 look to be on the second (now usually avoided) pitch of Limbo. The line that starts with D-P3 looks to follow either Hell Gates or Howhard. I think there may be a real risk of it affecting some buttress classics (especially if they fill in Howhard completely...)
The majority are above the Hells Gate third pitch. It Howard I believe will be impacted upon, it is the grout spill and dentition work that will have the greatest impact.
The lines seem to follow Limbo, Hell Gates and Howhard. If they intend to grout those lines up then they will be ruined.
Will take another look but I thought Limbo was unaffected apart from above the HG traverse. Three anchors in GT Special.
some of the best routes in the gorge. Would be a sad day for avon climbing. I cant imagine any of the tiny cracks we put gear in would affect the structural integrity of the buttress. I'm no engineer/geologist
Bolting-wise it is, but if they're talking about grouting in cracks and pockets along those white lines of weakness also then it will ruin them. Think Limbo would be quite hard without the pockets!
According to the COWI document only a single vertical joint set to prevent ingress of water. Don’t think the pockets will be effected, they are not likely too allow water in.
I'm sure the planners will be carefully weighing up the potential devastation to climbers compared with having the bridge come down.
They should ask at the next BMC area meeting before retrobolting and also ask the first accentionist.
> They should ask at the next BMC area meeting before retrobolting and also ask the first accentionist.
Barlow, Hawkshaw and Brunel are long dead... 🔩⚒⛓
The hazards of suburban climbing! It would be a real shame to lose the Suspension Bridge buttress. The climbing feels more "natural" than the more polished, quarried areas and is significantly different in character.
The current factor of safety against collapse of the buttress is a bit over 2.1 from memory, attended a lecture a while ago on the modelling; it is very much precautionary. I think there were mote concerns about the anchors for the chains.
That doesn't sound like such a great safety factor to me, considering the bridge relies on natural rock buttresses with (presumably) considerable strength uncertainty. So, a sensible precaution.
It is higher than would be required for a new design.
Is that true of new designs that uses rock buttresses, or a just those that use new, man-made structures?
in which case leave it to the engineers. but it would have been nice for the repair designers to consult with bmc.
These bolts will be the thin end of the wedge
Generally for a rock structure with a significant impact of failure you would be looking for 2.0.
Please check https://www.facebook.com/Climbbristol for the latest updates on this topic. This facebook page is the source of correct information about the planned works on SBB.