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Bennybeg debolted route?

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 StuartinFife 16 Oct 2020

Anybody know why Driven round the Benny'd (5c) in the LH sector has been completely de-bolted? The anchor at the top is still there but all bolt hangars were missing on 16th Oct. 

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 Climb Psyched 16 Oct 2020
In reply to StuartinFife:

Hi StuartinFife,

Some bats have decided to make that route their home. They didn't say for how long but looked cosy. Didn't get the chance to remove the chains but will do next time I'm passing. 

Cheers,

Paul. 

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In reply to Climb Psyched:

Good effort, Paul. Bat power! (And we don't need to climb everything...)

Mick

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 StuartinFife 23 Oct 2020
In reply to Climb Psyched:

Hi Paul,

Thanks. We wondered if it was a safety issue as some of the hangars at Bennybeg are looking a bit "tired" with the combination of age, traffic and seepage.

I see you have added a warning on the logbook page which is great as bats are a highly protected species and also one of the few ways to catch rabies in the UK if you manage to get bitten! 

Cheers,

Stuart 

Post edited at 12:15
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 Dr Toph 23 Oct 2020
In reply to Climb Psyched:

Well spotted and good work. There are plans afoot to upgrade the lower-offs at BB this winter, but will take great care not to disturb that line.

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 dmhigg 10:25 Sat
In reply to Dr Toph:

I've used and abused Bennybeg over the years, and it's been especially useful as an outdoor climbing wall recently. If the rebelaying goes ahead, is there a particular bolt fund I should look for?

(And can we have more big chains and maillons and fewer double rings, please. 😁)

I was also climbing next to the bats at dusk a couple of weeks ago: very spooky to have them appearing out of the wall.

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In reply to dmhigg:

We were also wondering if there was a Bolt Fund for Bennybeg as we have been responsible for our fair share of the wear and tear!

I think Mountaineering Scotland have a bolt fund? May also be worth asking the Scottish Mountain Trust. 

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In reply to StuartinFife:

I've sent a wee message to Dr Toph to see what his plans are and if he requires help.

I am local to the crag now and happy to help out removing and replacing the lower offs as a start. 

It would be good to have every lower off the same. 

Cheers.

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 Naechi 13:33 Sat
In reply to dmhigg:

> I've used and abused Bennybeg over the years, and it's been especially useful as an outdoor climbing wall recently. If the rebelaying goes ahead, is there a particular bolt fund I should look for?

> (And can we have more big chains and maillons and fewer double rings, please. 😁)

Scroll down on

https://www.7amax.co.uk/contact/

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 dmhigg 17:07 Sat
In reply to Naechi:

Ta. Donation made.

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 Dr Toph 12:14 Sun
In reply to Naechi:

Thanks for the support. We have plans underway to use some of the 7aMax boltfund to upgrade the BB lower-offs. There is certainly an interesting array of cobbled-together solutions on display there at the moment!

The plans are to install pairs of belay hangers - rounded loops large enough to take a biner and a doubled bight of rope. The chain/maillon arrangement just encourages top-roping off the fixed gear (judging by the wear evident on some of the maillons). Top-roping off ones own quickdraws or screwgates is a good practice for all to get into, as is the technique of safely threading a lower-off to descend and strip the route. Many of the LOs are even easily accessible from above.

If you want your boltfund donation to specifically support BB, I think you can send a message along with the donation and we will earmark it accordingly.

Thanks

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 dmhigg 15:12 Sun
In reply to Dr Toph:

I agree with the "best practice" argument, but if we were sticking to best practice BB might not have been bolted in the first place!

The nice thing about the chains/maillon however, is that only the maillon needs to be replaced when it's worn. You will still see the double ring thingies being used for top ropes, and when they do wear out (which they will anyway) you have to redrill and put new ones in. While best practice might be good to aspire to, it's not always easy to find at Bennybeg!

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 Macleod 16:28 Sun
In reply to Dr Toph:

Given the nature of BB as a low grade/beginners crag, how would people feel about installing a lower off station somewhere at ground height for people to use when they're learning/new to outdoor sport?

I've seen this at similar crags abroad and found it pretty useful for teaching new climbers.

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 JLS 16:51 Sun
In reply to Dr Toph:

>”The plans are to install pairs of belay hangers - rounded loops large enough to take a biner and a doubled bight of rope.”

My 2p worth...

Stainless steel ring on a stainless steel mallion on a stainless steel glue in bolt.

There will inevitably be top roping on anchors at BB, best make the rings replaceable without the need for bolt replacement... 

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 jon 16:58 Sun
In reply to JLS:

Best advice... and worth a lot more than 2p!

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 dmhigg 17:25 Sun
In reply to JLS:

You're spot on with the need for cheap replaceability. 

There are lots of people doing their first outdoor climbs at BB, though, and a surprising range of solutions to lowering off and setting up top ropes. I like the chain and single point solution because it makes it that much harder to mess up.

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In reply to jon:

I agree. 

The only thing better would be opposed steel karabiners as seen on some European sports crags. These avoid any single point of failure and remove the need for threading the rope which would reduce risk of beginners getting this wrong at what is often a gateway crag for those transitioning from indoor to outdoors. Suspect these would be too expensive,  though!

I have also made a donation to the bolt fund and will let friends know of its existence. 

Stuart 

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In reply to Macleod:

I think a ground level ‘demo’ lower off is a great idea, though it does mean drilling new bolt holes. Can someone offer a rotary SDS drill to do that?

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In reply to StuartinFife:

I find this a tricky dilemma:

 Do you put something super easy on (steel krabs for example) that removes the need for threading/ cleaning, but then folk never learn how to thread the anchor till they get somewhere much harder.

 Or do you put in something minimal, (two rings - I.e. exactly what they will find at every other sport crag ) and at least they can learn to do it properly in a friendly place with plenty of help?

pros and cons both ways.

Regarding top roping off fixed gear I think some folk will do that either way so something easy to replace is a good plan.

 Finally someone mentioned glue-in bolts - yes those are for sure the best option long term but from what I’ve read seem  a lot more involved to fit and fiddly to get right so there seem to be far fewer folk comfortable with doing it.

 Dave

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 Rich Ellis 19:38 Sun
In reply to StuartinFife:

Another vote for big stainless steel carabiners to lower off of.

Great when we used them In Spain .

Anyone thought of some toprope anchors on the tiny wall on the way in for small people to play on?

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 Dr Toph 18:33 Tue
In reply to drconline:

Thanks for the thoughts, I think a ground-level demo lower-off might be a good idea.
Not really in favour of carabiners for easy clipping. Its still a crag, not a climbing wall, and it would be best for all concerned to learn the safe, correct way to do it in a safe place, before being unpleasantly surprised when they go anywhere else. Also they inevitably get jammed closed.
Its really not hard to have a couple of extra quickdraws for top-roping, especially when the routes are so short.
The kit I have in hand already is rounded belay hangers - look like the usual glue-ins but bolt onto a stud (easily replaceable when worn) and wide enough to clip a carabiner and thread a doubled-over bight of rope.
Thanks for the extra donations! - will help us be able to upgrade the whole crag at a consistent standard.

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 JLS 19:31 Tue
In reply to Dr Toph:

>"Its still a crag, not a climbing wall, and it would be best for all concerned to learn the safe, correct way to do it in a safe place, before being unpleasantly surprised when they go anywhere else. Also they inevitably get jammed closed."

Hear hear.

Reliability and sustainability over short term convenience.

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