/ High-rocks current status?
After a spell of dry weather I just phoned the High-Rocks Inn to check whether their Byzantine rules allow climbing this weekend. I was told that climbing is now completely banned! There is no mention of this on their website & I suspect they just wanted to get rid of me but does anyone know what's happening ?
Really? We may have lost access to arguably the best crag s of Derby and nobody knows anything.
Is that the Southern Sandstone one where they're more interested in wedding parties and charged £10 per day to climb?
Anyway I salute your enthusiasm for the place, but until just now I didn't know Pembroke, West Penwith, Berry Head, Connor Cove, Boulder Ruckle or Lundy were north of Derby.
I'm sure somehow we'll all cope.
> Is that the Southern Sandstone one where they're more interested in wedding parties and charged £10 per day to climb? <
Though people seem prepared to pay comparable prices to use many climbing walls.
Apparently their insurance company is at present reviewing the cover for climbing. It will be worth checking at a future date if you want to climb there.
Thanks. Can i ask how you found out?
I had phoned them and luckily spoke to someone more knowledgeable than the person you contacted.
I can't help wondering though if this is true. Seems very convenient for them.
Set up an access agreement with the condition that people phone beforehand then , when they phone, simply tell them it's not currently possible and voila! a de facto total climbing ban, which is what they've always seemed to want.
Not to mention Avon, Cheddar, The Wye Valley and Devon !
Time will tell. Why not just say climbing was banned rather than encourage ringing back? The guy sounded sincere, he said it was due to changing their insurance company. £10 per person for little effort might be worthwhile for them....as long as there were no extra costs such as expensive insurance.
They seem to have been slowly stopping climbing for a long time now. First climbing was restricted to certain days and places, then bouldering was banned, and now it seems everything has been banned. Nothing promised or delivered seems to have helped.
I think they earn all their money off weddings and just see climbers as an inconvenience. I would be happy bouldering from 6-9 am on a weekend morning in the summer, and can't see how that would affect anyone.
As a friend said to me, people have been climbing on those rocks for a long time, and it seems mean for someone to restrict them seemingly without good reason. Maybe we will get access back someday, hopefully before I get too old .
Easily the best crag in the south east and I miss it.
> Why not just say climbing was banned rather than encourage ringing back?
Possibly because they suspect , as I do, that a total ban would require very expensive policing whereas the climbing community has shown itself to be pretty good at honouring access agreements?
They might find that backfires. A climbing restriction, even if it's seen as unreasonable, sometimes gets adhered to mainly in order to avoid a total ban. Once somebody tries to actually impose a total ban, there's nothing left to lose.
I hope the eventual outcome shows my obvious naivety has triumphed over your paranoia! Unfortunately either way its basically up to the owners.
I wonder if the BMC access people have anything to add. They generally seem to recommend that climbers keep a low profile even when access has been banned on a crag.
I hope so too and yes it would be good to hear something more official.
> Possibly because they suspect , as I do, that a total ban would require very expensive policing whereas the climbing community has shown itself to be pretty good at honouring access agreements?
I take it that the comment about honouring agreements was made with tongue firmly in cheek... ;-)
At present, the owner has stopped access for climbing as he has been told to do this by his insurer. The usual local climbers are in contact with the owner and will work, as always, to regain access. The BMC are aware.
At present, there is no access for climbing at High Rocks until this is resolved and for the sake of future climbing, please do not attempt to climb there.
Should the situation change, I will advise.
Thanks Graham. Good to know somebody is on the case!
> I take it that the comment about honouring agreements was made with tongue firmly in cheek... ;-)
Not really, Maybe you have a better picture than me but I am always surprised by how well these are honoured, For example I've yet to see any evidence of anybody on the banned sections of Eridge.
Perhaps my expectations are very low when things like the "code of practice" introduced by climbers & for the benefit of climbers are simply ignored by the vast majority.
As of today 5th July, still no climbing! frustrating after all this good weather we have had!
Indeed! Also a month+ delay rather makes a nonsense of their flimsy "insurance" excuse.
I hate to say it but, their rocks, their rules. If they don't want climbers scruffying up the wedding photos then not much you can do about it.
Hard not to suspect they are just getting creative with ways to fob people off.
I went down hoping to have my first climb on the rocks to be turned away around a month ago due to a wedding party. The guy (who did seem somewhat sincere) told us we could climb for free next time we come down. Guess that's not happening now.
I presume you still avoid the English moors in an act of forelock tugging deference?
No, but it's hardly an open space, it's the hotel's bloody back garden FFS!
Those open moors were untill recently private grouse shooting estates. Having been escorted off by shotgun welding gamekeepers in 2004 I can attest to this.
In not suggesting trespassing at high rocks, rather im suggesting that a powerless acceptance of a closed situation is defeatist.
It's also worth keeping an eye here, http://www.southernsandstoneclimbs.co.uk as well as the Rockfax access blog and the BMC RAD for the latest info. The suspension will be a slow process to resolve I suspect but the BMC is helping to address the insurance issue where possible. Access reps have been aware of the issue growing, but no formal coms went out until High Rocks advertised the suspension officially back in June.
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