UKC

Salisbury crags Arthur’s seat - game over?

The barriers closing off the radical road under Salisbury crags have been replaced with fences - including a second set just before south quarry… looks like could be the end of climbing at the crags for the foreseeable. Anyone know anything more? 


 daWalt 20 Jul 2021
In reply to vscott:

FFS. this is ridiculous.

 daftdazza 20 Jul 2021
In reply to vscott:

Sad really, a classic and beautiful walk and actually risk seems extremely small, I guessing the fences are due to a lot of people ignoring the previous warning signs etc. 

Hopefully one day historic Scotland, Edinburgh council etc will get there act together and figure out a way to reopen the route. 

 Dr Toph 21 Jul 2021
In reply to vscott:

My understanding is that it's the HSE that is "Glacially Slow", to quote my pal the HScot Ranger.. Hence also the closure of the road under Samson's Ribs for the foreseeable..

Can only hope that the fences are hired, so they have some motivation to sort things out.

 CurlyStevo 21 Jul 2021
In reply to vscott:

There was only bouldering and soloing allowed on a tiny bit of the crags anyway. I say just open it up fully to sport and trad climbers as is and make it clear walkers enter at their own risk.

In reply to daftdazza:

> Sad really, a classic and beautiful walk and actually risk seems extremely small, I guessing the fences are due to a lot of people ignoring the previous warning signs etc. 

The fences are due to the people running the park shitting themselves over a really small risk, not because of the magnitude of the risk but because it is an unusual or unfamiliar risk.   I blame the queen since it her park.

The whole 60 tons of rock fell in two years thing they put on their signs is sh*te.   60 tons of cars pass on the road through the park every few minutes and people accept that risk.   They even walk across the road or on pavements next to the road without a care.   I've been walking through the park for decades and in that time I've seen quite a few road accidents, at least one was fatal.  I've seen a few people getting rescued and bodies recovered after falling off cliffs or having a heart attack.  Never seen anyone get hit by a falling rock.  

We have a 1 in 2 chance of getting cancer, pretty high chance of heart attack or stroke or car accident, the Tories are setting out to give us a near certainty of catching Covid why on earth should we worry about a 1 in a few hundred thousand chance of getting hit by a rock.

They should allow climbing on the crags and walking on the path and just stick up an 'at your own risk' sign.

 subtle 21 Jul 2021
In reply to vscott:

Oh dear.

Haven't climbed there in over 20 years, visited it recently and was saddened to see the barriers, even more so to now see the fences.

Sad.

 daWalt 21 Jul 2021
In reply to Dr Toph:

ask you mate to explain what bit of the HSE's remit this comes under, and what they're expected to be doing - sound like bullshit to me.

In reply to vscott:

I don't know the topology of the area but what would happen if you climbed over the fence (this is a climbing forum) and just went climbing/bouldering.

Is it visible? Are there park rangers? Do they have legal powers to remove you? Or is it a leave quietly if asked to by someone in authority.

 redjerry 21 Jul 2021
In reply to vscott:

Worth pointing out that climbing in the park was completely banned when I lived in Edinburgh in the 70's and 80's. Didn't stop me and pretty much the entire climbing community from climbing there though.
It's more of a shame from the perspective of the general public, it's such a nice walk around the radical road and that's a big loss for the people of Edinburgh.

In reply to redjerry:

> Worth pointing out that climbing in the park was completely banned when I lived in Edinburgh in the 70's and 80's. Didn't stop me and pretty much the entire climbing community from climbing there though.

Yes, the fact that it is not allowed has always sort of been half the point of climbing there!

In reply to Michael Hood:

> Is it visible? Are there park rangers? Do they have legal powers to remove you? Or is it a leave quietly if asked to by someone in authority.

Ages ago when the path was shut for a different rockfall I ran round the barrier.  They'd shut it well along (not at the start like now) and I was knackered and couldn't be bothered adding an extra km to my run to avoid the short section of path they'd decided wasn't safe.

I got stopped by the park police (they were actual cops then, not rangers), they were sitting in the car park beside the palace and saw me coming down.   The penalty was that this old cop gave me a lecture about not wanting to get blood on his boots after my death or serious injury and explained to me the extreme danger I had been in while the young female cop with him tried not to laugh and I bit my tongue and refrained from giving him a lecture on the physics and mathematics of the situation.

I'd stay away from the palace end of the path, far more likely to come across cops or rangers and get spotted there.  

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I once tried bouldering on the outer wall of Holyrood Palace (we were looking for good training venues in the days before decent climbing walls). The police were not amused.

 DannyC 21 Jul 2021
In reply to vscott:

This is an utterly ridiculous barrier to access. I guess you've already reported it to Mountaineering Scotland? 

As others have said, it suggests a complete lack of ability to gauge the different risks. Banning climbing and the use of the Radical Road is a major barrier to people staying healthy, active and fulfilled, which is a genuine risk to public health. The risk of occasional large rockfall is insignificant in comparison. 

Meanwhile cars will happily rattle along at 40+mph along the road below through the park...

Grumble grumble. 

 Maggot 10:33 Thu
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Look at it as a window into the future of an independent Scotland. Your future Lords and masters are the kind of people who want to stifle any possible pleasure the plebiscite may desire, desire! that'll need  eliminating!, hard-core Presbyterianism is your future. Start growing growing your facial hair and dying your sack clothing black, oh and don't forget your buttons 😄😄😄😄

In reply to daWalt:

> ask you mate to explain what bit of the HSE's remit this comes under, and what they're expected to be doing - sound like bullshit to me.

My thoughts exactly. This will be the mythical HSE that's responsible for banning conkers in school playgrounds, making Christmas decorations illegal and closing public toilets because someone might drown in the urinals.

 65 11:09 Thu
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Is it visible? Are there park rangers? Do they have legal powers to remove you? Or is it a leave quietly if asked to by someone in authority.

The quarry where all the bouldering goes on is secluded, what with it being a quarry and all... Once in no-one would know you were there. If you could get round the fence at the top end without being seen you'd be highly unlikely to have any issues.

 65 11:14 Thu
In reply to Ridge:

> My thoughts exactly. This will be the mythical HSE that's responsible for banning conkers in school playgrounds, making Christmas decorations illegal and closing public toilets because someone might drown in the urinals.

To paraphrase Stewart Lee's wonderfully sarcastic routine on confusing political correctness with health and safety legislation, "You used to be able to go climbing in the quarry and rocks would rain down on your head and squash you flat and it was great, and you can't now, in case it upsets refugees."

In reply to DannyC:

MCofS aware and raising with Historic Scotland. Bouldering through the spring/summer (bypassing old barriers/signs) seemed to be tolerated - new fences (there's a second set at the start of the radical road before Hutton's section) would prob need to be directly climbed over or climb down into quarry from above... if the concern is avoiding exposure to possible rockfall seems a bit odd to single out the radical road when rocks get kicked/fall off arthurs seat summit and other crags as well...  

In reply to vscott:

p.s. if anyone wants to raise with ranger service email is Rangers (at) hes.scot

 oldbloke 12:23 Thu
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Years of spending evenings there and the main rockfall risk in the South Quarry was the neds chucking them down for fun.   

If reopening requires all the loose rock to be removed, then entire place will need to be flattened as there's never going to be  a layer reached which will be stable indefinitely.

In reply to Maggot:

> Look at it as a window into the future of an independent Scotland. Your future Lords and masters are the kind of people who want to stifle any possible pleasure the plebiscite may desire, desire! that'll need  eliminating!, hard-core Presbyterianism is your future. Start growing growing your facial hair and dying your sack clothing black, oh and don't forget your buttons 😄😄😄😄

I've no doubt Tom will find a way to pin this on the Tories. 

 stuartf 16:40 Thu
In reply to 65:

It's ages since I've been there, but I seem to remember there's an easyish route (Diff?) That you can climb down from the top to get into the quarry if getting past the fences is too hard/visible.

 daWalt 18:14 Thu
In reply to Ridge:

The HSE suffer badly from lack of public awareness. I'm no fan-boy especially, they're underfunded, weak, and seem to overcompensate by going after small companies much more than the big boys who can afford lawyers. But, they do get implicated a lot in things which they just are not involved with.

Local authority officers (they're all "officers") are the ones who are pathologically incapable of making a decision, even on the most basic things, without 5 engineer's reports guaranteeing that it's fail-safe and idiot-proof. I'm sometimes involved in these kinds of reports; and no, we can't guarantee it's fail-safe, there are too many unknowns, and yes, there are idiots in this world - deal with it.

In reply to vscott:

Bit of a 'elf & safety panic going on in England right now about open water swimming. For a second time Yorkshire Water are employing security staff to discourage people swimming in a couple of accessable reservoirs. Not that it deters the determined swimmers who have worked out how to dodge the security. 

There's certainly been a few water related deaths in recent weeks but, as pointed out up thread, traffic is a much bigger cause death and injury. 

In reply to Deleated bagger:

> There's certainly been a few water related deaths in recent weeks but, as pointed out up thread, traffic is a much bigger cause death and injury. 

Depends how you measure it. The number of people on the roads is considerably higher than the number of open water swimmers. Modern vehicles are extraordinarily safe, because we have required them to be. I would bet that you could travel many thousands of miles in a car before accruing the same risk as a solo dip in an abandoned quarry.

In reply to stuartf:

> It's ages since I've been there, but I seem to remember there's an easyish route (Diff?) That you can climb down from the top to get into the quarry if getting past the fences is too hard/visible.

From memory, there's a spot where you can clamber down in the first bay (i.e. before the climbing area) which would be enough to get past their fence.  The cliff hasn't got high at that point and it is totally trivial.

In reply to graeme jackson:

> I've no doubt Tom will find a way to pin this on the Tories. 

I already blamed it on the Queen.  It is her park.

If it wasn't a royal park it would presumably be run by Edinburgh Council and I don't see any evidence they are anti-climbing.   They subsidise Ratho and there's a few quarries where they tolerate climbing.   If someone pointed out to them that developing the crags as a climbing area could bring in a few more tourists they'd probably be all over it.

 Fat Bumbly2 09:39 Fri
In reply to Deleated bagger:

Somebody was on the Today programme this morning being very sensible on the issue and giving good advice. However earlier in the week we were told only to go to crowded beaches (yes I know that is the only flavour of beach for many) and to avoid quiet places.  

There is a river beach where I am staying now, no danger of that being quiet but as all of the locals know, it is a killer with a track record. Only a matter of time.

In reply to Fat Bumbly2:

> Somebody was on the Today programme this morning being very sensible on the issue and giving good advice. However earlier in the week we were told only to go to crowded beaches (yes I know that is the only flavour of beach for many) and to avoid quiet places.  

That is excellent advice for other people; I resent having to share a beach with anyone else.

 Fat Bumbly2 10:19 Fri
In reply to Robert Durran:

Just left a beachside cottage. Saw one passer by while we were there.  Of course a fair bit of time was spent in the hills.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I guess that might be why the second fence shutting the path at south quarry itself - shown in photo - has been added. 

 stuartf 15:28 Fri
In reply to vscott:

Having dug out my old lowland outcrops guide I think the route I was thinking of was either The Lift (M) or The Long Stride (M) which take you right into the South quarry itself. It's over on the LHS when looking into the quarry.

Post edited at 15:30
In reply to vscott:

> I guess that might be why the second fence shutting the path at south quarry itself - shown in photo - has been added. 

Probably.

I'd still clamber down into the first bay to get past the larger fence and then outflank that second fence on the left or right rather than downclimb a route.

OTOH if you've gone past two fences and they catch you climbing you're probably going to get a fine. 

In reply to stuartf:

Was there a few months ago and they’d done a lot of stabilisation work in South Quarry. Think the bottom of the downclimb had changed a bit.


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