I am hoping this isn't true! This was posted on a local Facebook Page. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust have apparently been informed. From the photo this looks like Fly Wall.
> I am hoping this isn't true!
Don't see what's wrong with that, Bit of fun really.
Shouldn't that be '...lunching-in-Gloucestershire'?
The access here is already contentious enough, peregrines nest on Fly Wall, they haven't even bothered to contact Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust who manage Fly Wall, this risks adding fuel to the local residents who are already not keen on this area being used for climbing
I think there's enough things to be worried about right now without people sitting on a portaledge on Fly Wall being another.
Save your outrage for something worthwhile.
Slightly bemused. Not entirely sure what to make of it...
FWIW there has been "Vertical Camping" being delivered by various individuals/companies in North Wales for some years now with no issues that I'm aware of.
Originally, that sort of thing was only done as training in how to rig and use portaledges safely on specialist big wall aid climbing courses but apparently more recently it has evolved and started to be delivered more as an "experience" aimed at recreational climbers and the general public rather than just those planning to head to The Valley.
As normal (outside of Scotland) there will be all sorts of complicated issues about the letter of law as regards access, CROW act, SSSIs etc. etc. that probably make it rather hard but not impossible to deliver legally however there's probably more important things to be outraged online about.
Nah, no Michelin stars, I'll give it a miss
There doesn't need to be a scale of opposition to things. Agreed there are other important issues but that does not make this unworthy of discussion.
Wintours Leap is in an SSSI. I personally dislike commercialisation to this extent. In this case people are actively encouraged to "bring a bottle of fizz". What next would you be happy with people bolting advertising material to cliffs all over the country?
Our presence on others land is tolerated under the understanding that we respect the natural environment and as such I think we should respect this.
I wouldn't worry, I think these things have limited appeal.
I can't imagine everyone is walking and all the kit is being carried round the long way to Fly Wall. So this means they must be using the access to Woodcroft Quarry painstakingly negotiated by our BMC access rep. I hope he'll be along soon to let us know if this is legit. Sounds doubtful to me.
Why do climbers think they have the monopoly on this piece of rock though? I do not see this as an issue and if it gets people outdoors then it's a good thing.
How do you know that Rise and Summit have no contacted the BMC and all the correct people to organise this?
All the climbers currently travelling to the Peak District are not respecting the natural environment, heck most of them aren't even respecting the fact we're in lockdown. I think this attitude that climbers are never in the wrong is ridiculous.
Hanging a portaledge, enjoying some food and a drink is hugely different to bolting signs all over the crag and you know that.
The chances of this happening every single day is minimal so there really is very little to get stressed over. Rise and Summit are a professional outfit so I'm sure if you turned up and they where in the way having a quick, polite, chat would sort the issue and they'd move.
> Shouldn't that be '...lunching-in-Gloucestershire'?
Is there even such a thing as 'lunch' in Gloucestershire? I always called it dinner.
Hmm do we know it's definitely on Fly Wall? That's quite bad if it is, given that climbing is not technically allowed there and it will likely draw a lot of attention to it and could result in a blanket ban. If it's somewhere around The Central Bay or something, I don't see much of a problem with it, as long as they stay off any lines (yes climbers don't have a monopoly on the rock but they also don't intend to sit on it for 5 hours in the way of anyone else who wants to be on it).
It's good that instructors are getting some work in a time which has probably been pretty rough for them.
> Is there even such a thing as 'lunch' in Gloucestershire? I always called it dinner.
They'd soon have beaten that out of you if you'd gone to one of the decent local schools like Cheltenham Ladies' College or King's Gloucester.
This is their web page for it https://www.riseandsummit.co.uk/cliff-camping/lunch-on-a-ledge/
They are charging £150 per person.
I am pretty sure I recognise where they are Fly Wall Butterfly Sector at the exit of the HVS Flies Rise https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/wintours_leap-51/flies_rise-35946
And they are charging £475 to spend a night on a portaledge in Pembroke, Dorset, North Devon or Torquay.
Wierd thread. Odd that climbers are saying to other climbers "why do climbers feel they have a monopoly over a piece of rock", when the central issue isn't about right of access, as clearly the instructor as welcome to access as anyone else if the human impact on the environment is justified and minimal to zero. It's about conservation of the environment and human impact.
The reason climbers are so vocal, is that we are the only group of people who see that environment close up and are the only group arguing right of access to the cliffs themselves and as such have something to loose that we're passionate about. Bird watchers etc aren't ON these faces.
My 5p is that I feel it's difficult to justify increasing impact for purely commercial gain in such a whim of the moment fashion. Conservation bodies interested in the area, locals who will get disturbed, the wildlife and climbers will all only loose something for the sake of this. So why do it. I agree with others that it's going to have very limited short lasting commercial appeal and sounds a desparate attempt to make money. It would be very hard to market and run such a limited business venture profitably at all let alone long term.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust have had no contact. I know because I asked the question
From a covid-restrictions point of view, will this appeal to many people in the village of Woodcroft?
It is also a CLIMBERS forum, hence why you're seeing climbers getting vocal. How many of the offer affected parties have their own comunity forums for discussion, and how many have any of us seen?
Paul is a passionate, experienced climber, who is very local to this location and well connected regards those concerned with access and conservation in the wider area. He has put plenty of his own blood sweat and tears into maintaining access, up keeping the crags and goes largely unchanged. He is very well placed to voice his opinion on this matter.
"Gloucestershire’s most courageous food lovers...." (quotation from the article). Ha-ha-ha
Looks daft, and a potential Darwin award, to me
How would people feel if they found access to a route they wanted to do blocked by a portaledge of (albeit well behaved and well managed) party-goers on on of their favourite crags?
I would be well miffed personally.
There are 435 routes at Wintors - not too bothered if one is blocked by a portaledge. It's more annoying when a group of 3 is climbing the Angel's Girdle on a sunny Saturday afternoon....
I'd clip their ledge and climb through them. That enough of an 'adventure experience' for ya?
Actually, thinking about it, do you reckon they'd hang themselves halfway up one of those bold hvs's that I'll never climb otherwise?
> I'd clip their ledge and climb through them. That enough of an 'adventure experience' for ya?
I should think you could charge extra for that. I once had the late great Sean Leary sit down on our ledge to belay Mayan Smith-Gobat while they were preparing to break the Nose mixed speed record and we were preparing to DNF with our haul rope between our legs. I was pretty damn star-struck.
Ha I love DNF as a verb.
> How would people feel if they found access to a route they wanted to do blocked by a portaledge of (albeit well behaved and well managed) party-goers on on of their favourite crags?
I'd be desperately trying to avoid that bottle of fizz that may come hurtling down the crag at any moment.
> I'd be desperately trying to avoid that bottle of fizz that may come hurtling down the crag at any moment.
I just hope they've got good big wall etiquette when it comes to what to do with the poop tube.
> I just hope they've got good big wall etiquette when it comes to what to do with the poop tube.
Blimey. Hadn't thought of that.😁
> There are 435 routes at Wintors - not too bothered if one is blocked by a portaledge. It's more annoying when a group of 3 is climbing the Angel's Girdle on a sunny Saturday afternoon....
I don't think the number of routes at Wintour's is particularly relevant here: yes, it's an extensive cliff but the majority of the routes are unstarred and get very little traffic. Routes in the N end of Fly Wall are in a small minority, being very popular. I can easily imagine one or more of these routes being unavailable for normal climbing causing friction, just as it probably would if a portaledge were set up on Central Buttress, LH Route, Nibelheim, or Angel's Eye, for example.
Plenty worse things going on in the world, so I wouldn't be offended if someone else wanted to enjoy the area for an evening, with an activity that in reality will cause minimal disruption. No different than getting to a route you want to do and finding someone else just about to set off up it - just go and climb something else.
What if it proves popular and there's a ledge set up on it on the regular?
I disagree, it's selfish to intend to set-up camp on a route. If someone else is on a route you want to do, you know you can go somewhere else for a bit or even wait for them to finish. Not the case if someone is having a picnic on it. It's the same as if a group was endlessly top-roping a route.
As someone who is more often than not on sub-extreme routes at the safer end of the spectrum, I'd be well peeved if someone set up a portaledge on flywall (especially since the landowner doesn't permit climbing on that cliff, and no commercial venture should be jeopardising climbing there).
That end of Wintours has obviously been picked because the approach is a short, easy path straight from the road. All the other cliffs are a lot harder to get to and many you can't access the top of.
Maybe it's selfish if they turn up and you're dogging the hell out of something for an hour?? Id be peeved if the one bit of good rock with good anchors at the top you monopolised for an evening. Who's in the right/wrong then?
In reality it will be a once a month activity at most. And I'm sure if you turned up and where that annoyed they would move. Just for you.
Not the same, is it? That's why I said 'intend to set-up camp'. I doubt there's many people who start up a climb knowing they're going to have a 'mare on it.
I think you're being a smidge precious over this whole situation. If you're that worried/annoyed email rise and summit. I did and they called me back and told me there plans for it.
All incredibly reasonable.
> Why do climbers think they have the monopoly on this piece of rock though?
They don’t - but if Peregrines nest there, they do.
But then neither climbers or diners can use it.
> I'd clip their ledge and climb through them. That enough of an 'adventure experience' for ya?
Don't forget to accidentally get some piss on it from the belay above
If I turn up and the ledge is set up I shall make damn sure I climb a route right next to it. Imagine the great photos they could email you. At last I'd have some shots where I didn't have to worry how big my bum looked.
> Plenty worse things going on in the world, so I wouldn't be offended if someone else wanted to enjoy the area for an evening, with an activity that in reality will cause minimal disruption. No different than getting to a route you want to do and finding someone else just about to set off up it - just go and climb something else.
Think we'll have to disagree here. Those Fly Wall VS climbs are very popular, largely because they're among the few reliably good climbs of that grade in the area. You don't appear to log trad ascents, so I don't know if you're aware, but there are a lot of trad climbers out there for whom VS is the upper limit. Not so easy for them simply to climb something else.
As for it being no different to finding climbers starting your planned route, the difference is one of time scale - I would have thought that's obvious. If it's climbers, often only a short wait. A picnic on a portaledge: that route unavailable for hours, probably (and possibly neighbouring routes too).
If I saw this on any of the lower-grade routes below the well-used terrace with the boulders, or nearby on the Freedom tower, it wouldn't affect me too much personally, as I have plenty of trad to go at within my grades - but that wouldn't stop me thinking it was a pretty selfish choice.
I know Wintors well and have done a large number of routes there over the years, so I appreciate some of the above frustration. If there was a portaledge blocking the exit of a route, some would go and argue; I would go somewhere else. I'm non-confrontational, life is stressful enough as it is. The route will still be there when I go back next week. Probably.
If they're camping, ie. overnight, then surely thats not going to impact any climbers because who wants to go climb limestone trad in the dark?
If it's at lunch or dinnertime, why don't you just eat your sarnies and wait for another route to be free? Theres literally hundreds of routes to go at in the Wye valley, and I don't think an instructor offering something like this is that much different from one with a static rope set up teaching leading or self rescue for half the day.
Storm in a tea cup?
I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to anyone that may feel upset by the fact I tried to organise an event on Flywall, a creative way to give 'Joe public' the opportunity to enjoy the scenes we as climbers sometimes take for granted. Also, as an instructor, I'm always trying to think of new and creative ways to explore courses and experiences I can run.
As some of you pointed out, we do not have permission to climb on Flywall or Woodcroft Quarry, something I did not know until a few days ago. Before you say, that as an instructor I am suppose to know. Yes I am, but as I have been climbing there for many years, and so has everyone else, I never thought to question this. I found out a few days ago, there are access issues here. Although not advertised very well. So I apologise for not doing my research properly.
As for that reason, not having landowners permission, my insurance policy would not cover anything going wrong (I'm sure your BMC insurance will not either). So, I cannot continue to advertise this experience. Which is a shame, I understand some of you would like to keep this crag to yourselves. There are more than 300 routes, and the idea was I would only take up one route, at the most once every two months, for a duration of 4 hours, trying to keep away from weekends, as these are the times climbers can get away from work.
I am very aware of peregrines nesting, and would not want to jeopardise this is any way. Thank you for everyone that has supported me with kind comments. And feel very saddened some of you had something negative to say. I would have preferred you contacting me direct, and not use social media as a platform to hide behind. There is a person behind a business, with feelings.
I have been contacted by the BMC, and they explained the contentious access issues here. I am more than willing to contact the owners, and see where I can take this. But this is a double edged sword. If I contact them, I would try and negotiate access to both Flywall, and Woodcroft Quarry, to see where it can be taken. I understand this has been tried before. If I do, we could have several outcomes:
1. we get access, and we all live happily ever after.
2. the owners tell me where to go, and we still go climbing there, without the owners' permission (as currently is being done)
3. the owners tell me where to go, and reinforce the no access on Flywall and Woodcroft.
That puts me in an awkward position, as I do not want to be held responsible for option 3.
The crags were up for sale a while ago for £85,000, if anyone fancy spending the cash, or maybe the BMC could buy it.
Again, I will apologise for anyone I have upset, and am very grateful for anyone who has been supportive of me trying to do something different. If you have something to say, please direct it to me please. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refrain from emailing abuse, as I will ignore it. Anything constructive is welcome.