All the main belay threads along the girdle have been replaced today, with 10mm static rope and stainless rings. About 14 in total. All the mouldy ancient tat and rusty chains have been removed - some were in a pretty awful state. Please don't add more tat to the threads unless you're removing something else. A lot of the anchors replaced today had three or four pieces of cord or tape, generally all bad, and quite hard to see what's connected to what.
Some photos here: https://imgur.com/a/cmUZSwU
Didn't have time to clean any routes today, but it's all dry and there was chalk on a couple of routes. Looking forward to getting back to do some proper climbing!
You make me feel guilty - meant to replace some of these myself. Are there any still to do?
We only did as far as the mortlock tree belay, which is going to need a rethink in the near future, is starting to sound a bit funny, ash dieback? Beyond that, nostradamus and two sunspots would probably appreciate a refresh
Where did you get the stainless rings from?
Always been looking for a relatively cheap source of them for the same purpose as maillons and old karabiners are never ideal.
Good work Mowgli. I replaced a handful of old belays with new 10.5mm static last October. I see you have stripped some of this from the photos. To avoid duplication, maybe worth checking route descriptions to see where belays have recently been replaced?
> To avoid duplication, maybe worth checking route descriptions to see where belays have recently been replaced?
Yeah, I helped out when a bunch were replaced in 2018. We used 11 mm white static rope with steel rings on them. I suspect they would still be ok now, but changing three year old tat is probably a good idea.
Absolutely, tat deteriorates fairly quickly. I expect the belay at the top of Nostromo/Rave On would have been replaced then as it’s a warm up, yet it was quite dangerous when I replaced it in the autumn. Good effort to anyone prepared to go out of their way to improve in situ belays, not everyone who lands there will have a lot of experience in judging whether it’s safe.
I replaced some of the Millstone tat around trees, some of that was shocking too.
> Good work Mowgli. I replaced a handful of old belays with new 10.5mm static last October. I see you have stripped some of this from the photos. To avoid duplication, maybe worth checking route descriptions to see where belays have recently been replaced?
We took a sort of 'start from scratch' approach this time, as we had enough time and gear to do (nearly) everything, so now there's a record of how old the belays are, rather than having a mixture of different vintages. I think I've kept your static rope as it looked half decent still - you're welcome to it back if you'd like the re-deploy it somewhere
Thanks! I am okay for rope, I’d bin it now. Good effort on replacing the belays, good public spirit!
Well done, If you've not done so, put notes on the UKC crag pages detailing the work so people know what they're going to find. Assuming you've used the same colour rope for all you could then change colour for future equippings so people know how old those are.
Mowglee, Jamie - thanks a LOT for sorting this.
I made an effort getting a whole bunch replaced a few years ago, and had always intended to get around to doing something like this, but never did. The fact you've replaced not only the threads, but removed the chains as well, makes what you've done all the more impressive (I can't imagine that the latter were easy to undo).
There's still a variety of new-ish stuff at the top of various routes that actually top-out, including Great Central Route (E2 5c), Ceramic Extension (E5 6a), One Night (E1 5b) and (if I recall correctly) Sergeyenna (E1 5b) and Two Sunspots (E2 5c); however, the thing we should all be conscious of now - alongside the condition of the static rope - is what that rope is around. If it's ash, which it's likely to be down Chee Dale, then this is a growing concern in light of ash dieback.
This is potentially worth a separate thread in/of itself, but we're looking to implement a reporting system through the logbooks, where you'll be able to submit information such as this, which can then be shared with the BMC and the relevant access reps. It'll also act as an alert in much the same way as the feedback does and is something we should all be keeping an eye out for.
In terms of the longer term solutions there are several options. The easiest is to find a suitable alternative, if available. Chee Dale is predominantly ash, but this isn't to say it's all ash, so there may be something else around. The other option, which is potentially going to be more contentious, is to place a double bolt belay. The likely candidate for this treatment is the ash tree belay/abseil station at the top of Mortlock's Arete, because shy of leaving a load of rusting wires in-situ I think this will be the neatest, cleanest and most subtle solution.
Sorry to digress a little from the original post, but it's all on a similar topic/theme, and is something we should all be thinking about before committing our weight to any fixed gear is what that gear is actually fixed to.
> Well done, If you've not done so, put notes on the UKC crag pages detailing the work so people know what they're going to find. Assuming you've used the same colour rope for all you could then change colour for future equippings so people know how old those are.
We might be able to help here, courtesy of some tech wizardry...
Mowglee/Jamie, would you be able to compile a list of the routes you've replaced lower-offs for and send it across? I'm aware this will take time, but we'll be able to do the rest (and by 'we' I mean our Developers).
In return I'd be happy to arrange for a few free months subscription for Rockfax Digital, just to say thanks. Ordinarily I'd offer to buy you a pint, but with pubs being closed it might be a while before I can reimburse you!!
I've put a brief note on the crag page for now. Looking through the guidebook now, I think we did the following (maybe Jamie can confirm).
(Didn't do Apocalypse (E4 6a) - plan to go back for this sometime)
Possibly not Of Youth (E3 5c) ?
Great Central Route (E2 5c)/Rattle and Role
Possibly not Two Generations (E6 6b)?
I'm struggling to work out which of the following we did - basically anything with a ring/maillon/carabiner, we replaced, but didn't add any new lower-offs, and removed a couple where there were two very close together.
Grapple and Grope
Apocalypse we just missed,mostly because looking down didn't seem like anyone had ever been up there! Sorry!
We didn't replace the meditation belay, which is a wire strop. There is some surface rust on this, but as a whole it seemed sound.
Skipped of youth because no metalwork on the tat. Assumed most would step R onto the great central belay.
Not hooligans - this goes to a very dead tree stump currently.
Sleepwalker/pleasant dreams done i think
Also gulle gulle groove and flycatcher
I was thinking a separate thread for this one as a test case might be worthwhile.
I don't recall seeing any obvious threads in the break above as it opens out quite wide and has a sort of wobbly flake layer in between the upper and lower tiers.
One option for mortlocks arete would be to simply sidle round to the golden mile stance and escape from there if not continuing up to the top.
Those on the girdle could do similar, but is likely to be considerably less satisfying and involve an awkward hanging stance in the middle of the last crux?
I think my preference would be for the final pitch of the girdle to be reinstated, which wouldn't take too long i think, and lands you on the ledge with the big old yew above sergeyanna etc.