Climber killed at Symonds Yat

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Randymamola 29 Aug 2005
 CurlyStevo 29 Aug 2005
In reply to Randymamola:
Symmonds Yat is well known as having more call outs there than the rest of the wye valley put together. It is very dangerous at the top of the crag as it's steep dust / mud and can be made worse in wet conditions. This isn't helped by the fact that the top section of the crag is often the crux which is often lacking in gear. All in all a decent crag though.

Condolences to friends and family....

Blacky 29 Aug 2005
In reply to Randymamola:
Sadly I was at the scene, the climber got into diff half way up The Russian & was unable to get gear in before comming off, we all tried to save him but his injuries were too great.
The air ambulance were up above very quickly but are unable to land close by, the fire service who cover emergencies there & assist with ambulance crew were also there within 20 min.
I had climbed the Russian just before & it has some serious polished holds on the route, a lot of care needs to be taken.
Heart breaking thoughts go out to his partner.
Ian 29 Aug 2005
In reply to Blacky:
That sucks - not good. Condolences to friends and family.

I've climbed the Russian a few times, and it is very polished with fiddly gear. Not a route I'd like to be stuck on...
DEL_35 30 Aug 2005
In reply to Randymamola:
Also condolences to friends and family.

A friend of mine also decked out about half way on The Russian a few years ago. Fortunately he wasn't too bad and walked to A&E. Not a route to get stuck on.
In reply to Randymamola:

Very sad news indeed. When I saw the headline 'Climber Killed at Symonds Yat', I immediately thought of 'The Russian'. I did it a few months ago and actually posted on UK Climbing that it was hard and serious for the HVS grade.
Theclimbinglab 30 Aug 2005
In reply to Randymamola:

Is there any news on who the climber was.
I live in London and wondered if this was someone I know.

Best wishes to the family in this sad time
 Ally Gillies 30 Aug 2005
In reply to Theclimbinglab:

Bloody hell. Sounds like a nightmare HVS if difficult to place gear.

Deepest condolencses to friends and family.
In reply to Randymamola:

Should it have a different grade?
Kev the Hat 30 Aug 2005
In reply to grizz: No, it is HVS and is comparable to other HVS's in the Wye Valley, eg Tigers Don't Cry at Shornecliff, Firebird and Suncrush at Wyndcliff, The Angels Eye at Wintours etc.

It was a joke in the old guide at VS.

Sad news.

Ian 30 Aug 2005
In reply to grizz:
No - its just a bit (quite a bit really) polished and the gear is fiddly.

As mentioned - comparable with Tigers dont cry or Angles Eye. Personally, I find it a hell of a lot harder than Red Rose Speedway.
Kev the Hat 30 Aug 2005
In reply to Ian: I'd agree, Red Rose is just a "little old fashioned", however, it is the better route, IMO.

 Ander 30 Aug 2005
In reply to HappyTrundler: When I did it, and also when a mate 'decked out' from the crux, it was VS.
David Pride 30 Aug 2005
In reply to Blacky:

an awful experience for you, let alone
th guys freind, partners & family.

Was climbing at the yat yesterday & the rumours seemed to
suggest head injuries - one question, was he wearing a
helmet ??

Not being morbid or ghoulish - but if he wasn't....

Take note people. We all see soooo many people with crap
belay rigs off fence posts & single trees amongst other
poor practices. The reason there are so many accidents at
the yat is because there are too many idiots who don't
respect the game we're playing. Not saying this guy didn't
take every precaution, it just saddens us all when this

I saw a yound lad ping off Joyces Route only 2 weeks ago
and his sleepy belayer caught him literally at the full
stretch of the rope, 10cm max off the floor from nearly
40ft up. Brown trousers & burnt hands all round - could
have been so much worse.

Take Care & Stay Safe...


 tombawimba 30 Aug 2005
In reply to David Pride:
In reply to David Pride
Early in my climbing career, I led a my first HS at symonds yat (golden fleece) I found it easy so I decide I could do a VS. Looking in the guide I found a 3* route called the russian. I duly set off up it and couldn't do the crux. With on peice of gear between me and the ground, I was about to deck it - not being able to climb up or down. I managed to make one move sideways and waggle in a piece of gear, which I found myself holding on to as my other hand gave up. Still not got the rope into it. Got the rope in and lowered off. Years later having climbed E2 maybe 3, I went back and still found it hard.
All of the grade at symonds yat are hard for the grade - I would say the Russian is E1 5b.
 Yanchik 30 Aug 2005
In reply to tombawimba:

Condolences to friends and family. Nothing can make up for such a horrible event.

The Russian ? From my experience, HVS 5a, no more, no less. It was one of my earlier HVS leads, and not easy. I don't remember details, but I would certainly have stitched it, more or less, and I didn't own cams at that point. However, I do remember it as being awkward, non-obvious. Whereas Tigers, Red Rose I'd say were straight HVS, and I've done harder VSs and easier E1s, as is the way of climbing grades...

I'd find it hard to see Symonds Yat as hard graded unless you've climbed purely at Shorn Cliff (and I was stumped by Motion Pictures this weekend !)

I did a lot of early leads at SY, and coming back to it this weekend (Sunday) I was struck by two things. First, how much stuff came down the crag - and nearly struck someone. One rock boot, one large hex (my own butter fingers !) and six or seven separate nasty sized pebbles in separate incidents.

The other thing was how much evidence of poor practice there was. By contrast with other crags, trees totally barked by abseiling. Yes, a couple of single-sling belays. A group top-roping who complained about the polish. Another group who top-roped themselves and their children slowly up a common access/descent route and were so loud explaining themselves that I couldn't hear my own second.

I'd have discussed this with them rather than whinge the next day, but I felt that bawling across from the Long Stone wouldn't be helpful or persuasive, and they'd gone by the time I got down.

A shame. Some cracking climbs. Be safe and lucky,
mac_climb 30 Aug 2005
In reply to Yanchik: Im thinking of going to Symonds Yat, is it any good?
Ian 30 Aug 2005
In reply to mac_climb:
polished and busy in places but well worth a visit
man_in_the_alps 30 Aug 2005
In reply to Ian:
yes and very close to my front door !
 Yanchik 30 Aug 2005
In reply to mac_climb:

I like it a lot, others don't.

I like limestone, I like interesting shaped rock (caves and pinnacles), I like climbs that are longer than extended boulder problems, I like a decent view and nice surroundings. I do better with small crimps than jamming.

There are (more objectively) some cracking climbs there; at/up to your grade (roughly mine) Red Rose Speedway, Whitt, Vertigo, The Russian, Golden Fleece, Snoozin Susie. Look for the stars in the guidebook.

It can be busy, it can be muddy. The top is loose, the climbs can be dirty (ah diddums !) Some of the climbs are polished to death. There are some horrors, too. I aided my first E2 (The Beak) there, great moves on atrocious rock with heinous gear and vegetation.

Mattress 30 Aug 2005
In reply to mac_climb:

Rubbish. Go to shorncliff or wintour's instead.
TMW 30 Aug 2005
In reply to All:

Is it me, or is all this chit chat a little insensitve on a thread about a guy who's died?

Have some respect.
Dead Goat's Society 30 Aug 2005
In reply to TMW: yeah, didn't take long did it?
Blacky 30 Aug 2005
In reply to TMW:
totally agree, this fellow climber as just died through a pastime that we all enjoy, it doesn't matter about the grades of other climbs in different places, anybody who's been climbing long enough as sand bagged on easier routes/found climbs under/over graded, & yes he was wearing a helmet.

adamswin 30 Aug 2005
In reply to Randymamola:

If he fell halfway up ~35' how much gear did he have in? Im thinking of going there in the next few weeks but I dont want to climb a polished route where you can only clip in every 15'
 Yanchik 30 Aug 2005
In reply to TMW:

I, and perhaps a few of the other readers, have found some things on this thread useful to learn and to think about. I guess that's ok by you and any of the poor souls involved.

Call for respect ? I'm in favour.
 tombawimba 30 Aug 2005
In reply to Yanchik:
In reply to Yanchik:
In the old guide I led mango chutney, graded HVS 5a, now graded E2 5b and alpinste graded HVS, I still can't do. Neither could my partner.
man_in_the_alps 31 Aug 2005
In reply to David FASTSMS: Love to mate,but i'm off to Nepal next week and have to get my sh*t together : 0 )
 Moacs 31 Aug 2005
In reply to Kev the Hat:

I climbed it at VS (one of my first)...and struggled, but still think it was VS. What has changed by the sound of it is the degree of polish. Is there still a sapling (I guess a trree now) about a third of the way up?

What it tells me is that routes change and climbing is a risky sport at all grades.

Desperately sorry for the chaps family and friends.

 woolwatcher 31 Aug 2005
In reply to David Pride: Yes he was wearing a helmet and it stayed on.
 phatlad 31 Aug 2005
In reply to Randymamola:

this isn't the first death on this route though is it?
Simon Ager 31 Aug 2005
In reply to Randymamola:
Condolences to family and friends, and all involved.
This was my first HVS lead, I remember gear as being OK, but as has already been said, all of this is fairly irrelevant at a time like this. It is knocked home when it happens somewhere so familiar to yourself.
Hannah m 31 Aug 2005
In reply to Randymamola:

This sounds like a viscious route.
I think 'The Russian' was the route a friend fell off years ago(early 90s)-I was learning,seconding around VS,which makes sense if the grade's changed-she got into trouble on the crux,fell and the gear ripped-fall stopped just above my head,with only cuts and bruises. Someone rushed over to help us & thankfully we were ok though pretty shaken.

I feel so sorry for the climber and his family.
adrian05 01 Sep 2005
In reply to Hannah m:

The climbers name was Jake killick, from n London. Jake was a close friend and climbing partner. I wasn't around on Saturday, but I know from his companions that they were very appreciative of the help of other climbers present and of course the emergency services.

I don't really need to know the details, but suffice to say Jake was an experienced climber who understood the risks that he was taking. He was a teacher in London and had also spent time as an outdoor pursuits instructor.

I/ we really appreciate the kind messages that people have posted. I will print out a selection for his parents.

The funeral arrangements are TBC, in the meantime if someone from Sheffield knows Dave Taylor's NZ contact details I'd appreciate it if you could let me know.

Be safe
Justin 01 Sep 2005
In reply to adrian05: I'm sorry to hear about your loss. If it's possible to make a donation towards flowers or anything at all, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to extend some gesture. I'm really sorry this has happened.
Bex Tarling 01 Sep 2005
In reply to Theclimbinglab:
> (In reply to Randymamola)
> Is there any news on who the climber was.
> I live in London and wondered if this was someone I know.
> Best wishes to the family in this sad time
I am the step-aunt of the climber, he was jake Killick (35 years) from london, an experienced climber and art teacher who lived for his sport, it's a tragic accident but Jake wouldn't have had it any other way, i'm sure the inquest will find he did everything that was necessary to climb safely. funeral tuesday 13th September in upottery ,Devon, approx' 12 noon. keep safe climbers. Regards Bex Tarling

bosch 02 Sep 2005
thank you to everyone who was at Symonds Yat on the 27 august. Thank you for what is written here. Jake would have loved it all - i'd know. and thank you adrian, well said sir.

keep on having a great time everyone.

Angela Cattanach-Chell 03 Sep 2005
I am a cousin to Jake and was incredibly saddened to hear of his death. He was such a super young man. It has actually helped me - as a non-climber - to hear from you all concerning knowledgeable details of the accident, thank you all for your condolences to the family.

I suppose none of us know when we will die. Not a morbid thought - just a statement of fact. Jake must have known the risks, was an experienced climber and as you state, was wearing a helmet that had not come off. Probably I am at similar risk when I commute into Birmingham by car every day (without helmet!). Not to mention heart attacks, etc. Maybe some of us will meet at Jake's funeral. Do make yourselves known to me if you wish - my name is Angela and I will be with the family party.
Benjamin_Dobson 03 Sep 2005
In reply to Angela Cattanach-Chell:

I would also like to express my condolences. I went to college with Jake in Sheffield and met up with him & Adrian every so often when back in London. The thing I will remember Jake most for is his friendliness and his natural way of making anyone he spoke to feel welcome and at ease. It's a very sad loss and I send my condolences to Jake's family and friends.

Best Regards
Chris Killick 04 Sep 2005
Jake was a tremendous inspirational brother to myself, and to my family. Although Jake was a lover of the outdoors, he was a brilliant artist. On one occasion Jake did a portrait of myself in a café in Soho. He was not ashamed to take out his sketch book and sketched away.

As Jake was a teacher, he was telling me in how one of his students came up to him on the last day of term and said “you are the best teacher, I will miss you”

I will miss my dear brother deeply, especially his smiles and the warmth of interest which he held in everything he did in life

Hope we can meet on the 13th September in Honiton, Devon
Anne Murat 04 Sep 2005
In reply to Randymamola: All my heartfelt sympathy goes to Sue and Peter, Jakes parents, and Christopher and Martin Jakes brothers. What a sad loss, but happy memories of childhood holidays with all three boys and my children. Anne Murat
david taylor new zealand 05 Sep 2005
In reply to Chris Killick:
Heartfelt sympathy and condolences to all Jakes family. I knew Jake at college with Ben and went on a few trips to abroad with him after we graduated which were greatly enriched for his company. I will always remember his independent and often thought provoking views on virtually any subject you copuld think of ! He will be missed greatly. Unfortunately I live in New Zealand now so will be unable to make it to the funeral. I'll be thinking of you.
Rachel O'Connell 05 Sep 2005
In reply to Chris Killick:

I have known Jake for 20 years. We first met at school and he showed me where the elusive 'cancer tree' was, thus incurring the wrath of all of his peers (up until that day it was a mens only club). He didn't care. Thereafter, and in the days before mobile phones, we bumped into each other all over the country quite by chance and straight away we would head for a pub and pick up where we left off - once I found him pavement painting in the centre of Newcastle, another time in a bus stop in Manchester, the student union bar in Sheffield, a festival in London and so the list goes on.

Jake was funny, talented, brave and kind. He was one of my closest friends and I will miss him for the rest of my life.

I hope to meet you all on the 13th.
adrian05 05 Sep 2005
In reply to Rachel O'Connell:

Funeral arrangements:

KILLICK.—Jacob Edward. "Jake" died, happily climbing at Symonds Yat 27th August, aged 35 years. Adored son of Sue Fox and Peter Killick, brother of Christopher and Martin. Service at St Mary's Church, Upottery, Devon, Tuesday 13th September at 12.30 p.m. No flowers, donations to Voluntary Rescue Services contact c/o Layzell Funeral Services, Awliscombe, Devon EX14 3PP. Telephone: 01404 44646.

Wildy 05 Sep 2005
I visited the Yat yesterday and traversed the bottom part of the Russian amoungst others... Difficult climb; there was a bloke on it and he was having trouble at the crux - luckily he was top roped... I did it 2 years ago and know the tricky balancing lay backs you face half way up... I paid my respects to Jake at the Russian, although I never knew him. He sounds like he came from the same mould as many of us... Sounded free and ready to live.

elisha 06 Sep 2005
In reply to Chris Killick:

mr.k was a great teacher i was one of the lucky kids to have him for art. He's a great artst and was realy looking forward to his climbing. me and most of his other students are going to miss him.


Your words will continue to inspire me.
Kerrie Neill 07 Sep 2005
In reply to Chris Killick:
I studied my PGCE with Jake, we became very close during the intense year and every few months since then I recieve a phonecall filled with news, laughter and sometimes a mutual moan. On Thurs 25th August Jake sent me an e-mail filled with enthusiasm for life, i want to share it with his loved ones .....................................
progress in the life known as jake, so far. passed driving test on tuesday. very very jammy indeed. i took the test in the sleepiest market town imaginable in the scottish borders near my mum. i had 14 faults out of 15. the instructor cut the test short at 30 mins i thought because i had failed. it turned out he had a 17 yr old to do a tractor test for. 10 mins more and i would have had that all important 15th fault. i cant believe my luck. he was such a sour bastard but may be gave me the benefit of the doubt due to my age. also he probably thought i was local rather than a londoner !!!! anyhow off car shopping with my big bro next week!!!!!!!!!

after that maybe a road trip to scotland and lots of painting, walking and camping.

then lots of supply work i hope, save wads of cash, buy a van next march/april with climbing partner and do 4 month tour climbing in europe. she's planning to start in morrocco but i'm not so keen - the helicopter rescue isnt that hot in the atlas mountains!!!!!!

otherwise life is good. so pleased to have passed my test. have just returned from my mums and some promising art work. so want some more of that. off to gloucestershire tomorrow eve to climb near ross-on-wye for the weekend. god i'm so glad i dont have to go back to school. will drop in tomorrow to check the results and then no more!!!!!! and i love this holiday business. how do people survive without 6 weeks off????

yes i would love to see you very soon. maybe i can persuade my climbing partner to take a road trip to n ireland in late september. we're planning on going to scotland anyway so maybe we could make it up to stranraer and across... just an idea.

right got to go and see what tins are left in the cupboard for me tea

keep well, much love, jake

.........................................................................................I am trying to book flights to attend Jakes funeral, unfortunately it isnt as straight forward as I hoped with times etc. Jake will always have a place in my heart and memories so if I am not able to be with his family and friends on Tuesday please remember I am thinking of you all. Love Kerrie
bdfox 09 Sep 2005
It is always sad to hear of a tragic death, I did not know Jake but feel saddened when I hear of someone dying while taking part in a sport we all love. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Rog Wilko 12 Sep 2005
In reply to Wildy:
Are you a local? Or does anyone else have local knowledge about numbers of accidents/fatalities on this route? I heard there had been 9 deaths on the route, but can't really believe it.
I did it some years ago when it was easy (VS) and found it pretty desperate and scary - not that easy to protect really well, I seem to remember.
If it really is attracting a lot of serious falls, a further regrading should be considered and perhaps a specific warning in the guidebook.
In reply to Rog Wilko:

I agree with Tombawhimba, it should be E1, I've been climbing 30 years, up to E4, it was polished, strenuous, awkward to fix good gear and an accident waiting to happen, tragically, the evidence now confirms this...
Wildy and the Pieman 12 Sep 2005
I'm local, and have done many of the climbs at the Yat (and the lesser known areas further into the forest etc.)...

I drift though there after/instead of work to do solos plus low level traversing from time to time when my belay partner can't make it...

I have tried to gain information on climbing deaths there but the police blocked me with the data protection act. I think that's stupid since we should at least be able indicate which routes have perhaps looked easy but then turn out to be killers... Now don't get me wrong, everyone should know climbing is dangerous and we all take the risks, but Jake may not have lead the climb had he known it's history on leads dispite what the handbook says, and his parents etc would have been spared this grief...

It's not a safe area to climb; I've often dodged football sized rocks and seen trees come down that I'd previously top roped off... I recently scampered around the base of the Eiger north face with a mate and I remember remarking how training for unstable apline climbs could be done at the Yat. The rocks are not to be trusted, and those that are, are usually polished making them dangerously slippery... Introductory, the Russian, Golden Fleece and one or two South Buttress routes like 'Is it a banana' are like that.

I have heard the Russian has taken other lives and continue to try to find out - if you have suggestions for me to try I will. The Yat is a magical place to climb; it gets into your bones, the sense of the rock on a climb there can be meditative with the trees all around... Jake died in a beautiful place.
In reply to Wildy and the Pieman:
There was another major accident at the weekend. A 24 year old man from Southampton suffered serious head injuries. I'm not sure which climb he was on.
Bex Tarling 12 Sep 2005
In reply to John Alcock:a
According to "Points West" the local news station it was the "Introductory". The climber was taken by air ambulance to frenchay hospital with severe head injuries, if i can tear myself away from the cricket there may be more info'on the 6pm bulletin.will let you know if there are any more details.
OP Anonymous 12 Sep 2005
In reply to John Alcock:
I was there
Vesuvius E2 5b
OP Anonymous 12 Sep 2005
In reply to Bex Tarling:

I'd give details but the family has asked for information to be withheld until they have informed the relevant parties themselves.
tippy1 12 Sep 2005
In reply to Anonymous: I am a Firefighter with Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service and also in our Rope Rescue team, I attended the young lad who died on the Russian and also the lad this weekend, my thoughts go to both famillies but i have to say I think you all must be mad to do what you do!!
OP Anonymous 12 Sep 2005
In reply to tippy1:
Only mad to climb at Symonds Yat!
A mecca for shiny rock and mud.
I have no intention of ever climbing there again.
Dave Mycroft 14 Sep 2005
In reply to Anonymous: If you were there could you email me please, urgently.
In reply to Bex Tarling:

The climber never regained consciousness and was declared dead on Monday night.
 Fidget 14 Sep 2005
In reply to Anonymous:

I've just had an email about this. The guy that died on Sunday was a friend of mine, a brilliant bloke who cared a lot about others, and had a lot of climbing potential. I'm a bit shocked and shakey. Sorry to everyone else that knew him...
Bex Tarling 14 Sep 2005
In reply to John Wellbelo
I am so sorry to hear that another climber has lost their life at Symonds Yat. My condolences to all family and friends. Regards Bex.
 Jamie B 14 Sep 2005
In reply to Wildy and the Pieman:

Surely you don't need access to accident statistics to know that this is a fundamentaly dangerous crag?
In reply to cider nut: (previous post as Anonymous)
I'd climbed with him many times and was only about 50 feet away when he fell. I also feel for the school group who were there. The teacher was brilliant, phoning the emergency services and giving directions to the crag. He took the group away as soon as he could, but they were visibly shaken and were white as a sheet.
 timjones 14 Sep 2005
In reply to Jamie B.:
> (In reply to Wildy and the Pieman)
> Surely you don't need access to accident statistics to know that this is a fundamentaly dangerous crag?

I think that it would be a serious error to start defining any crags as fundamentally dangerous. Yat may be muddy after rain but not on a sunny summer day, it may have some loose rock but no more than most mountain crags, the gear may be sparse on some routes but isn't this the same for all crags, it is far easier to find a safe belay at the top with all those trees than most grit crags. All crags have their own particular risk factors, it is down to the indivdual to identify these risks and minimise them thats the whole nature of climbing.

At present Yat looks bad due to a freak of fate that has lead to two deaths in as many weeks. I would guess that if the examination of the stats was widened to the last 5 years it wouldn't look any worse than many other crags that no-one would dream of defining as fundamentally dangerous. Lets all steer clear of such sweeping statements and pray that the rescue services, coroners etc have the good common sense to do the same.


Tim Jones

 Fidget 14 Sep 2005
In reply to John Wellbelove:

I met you once while I was climbing with Reub, I think it was at Gower but I'm not sure?

I'm going to go out for a jog at lunch time and think over some of the interesting stories he told me when we climbed together!
 Jamie B 14 Sep 2005
In reply to timjones:

You're absolutely right. It was the contention that knowing each route's body count was critical to making informed decisions that didn't sit all that well with me.
Wildy and P 14 Sep 2005
It was just a thought. You're probably right - every time I go there the conditions are slightly different - thus making each climb less or more dangerous... We must always make choices on the day... It's very sad that another climber has been killed there. I only climb for the fun of it and to think that people die there doing what I do just makes me want to help somehow... But they do say "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"... Like I say, you're probably right and I'm not thinking straight.

That climb is a straight up job isn't it? The difficulty is in the lack of holds - can't remember it well... I'll have another look and pay my respects sometime soon...

I hope it doesn't put off climbing at the Yat, it was very quiet the weekend after Jake...
In reply to Wildy and P:
I have to say that I thought the Yat was an unpleasent place to climb. What wasn't as smooth as glass was covered in a film of earth. Not nice, wet or dry.
In reply to cider nut:

> I met you once while I was climbing with Reub, I think it was at Gower but I'm not sure?

Yes, it was the Gower. Did you ever get that lost nut back?
 Fidget 14 Sep 2005
In reply to John Wellbelove:

Nope, I sacrificied it to the rock god!! Have replaced it now. I went back there a few weeks ago and remembered how terrified I was seconding Reuben on Osiris!
In reply to cider nut:

>remembered how terrified I was seconding Reuben on Osiris!

He often said how much he enjoyed that route. It's the one on the cover of the guide I think.
I imagine it was the traverse at the top that felt a little airy!
 Fidget 14 Sep 2005
In reply to John Wellbelove:

I have fond memories of that day, but it still makes me shudder. At that point I'd not even led a Severe, and that was an unprotected VS hand traverse with poor footwork, and Reuben could hardly hear a word I said. I was a gibbering wreck by the time I got to the crack!
 Jamie B 14 Sep 2005
I've just looked through the gallery on the carg database and the distinct impression I get is of an arboreal choss-fest.

Limestone rarely seems to work in the lower grades; just too broken and prone to polish.
 Jon Greengrass 14 Sep 2005
In reply to Jamie B.: retro bolt the lot?
 Jamie B 14 Sep 2005
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

That's hardly going to help aleviate the polish..
 Jon Greengrass 14 Sep 2005
In reply to Jamie B.: sandpaper soled rockboots?
 simon cox 14 Sep 2005
In reply to all:

Many years ago (20+) a friend of mine had a near fatal fall on the Russian (probably when it was graded VS). I climbed the route after this incident and other than remembering it was tricky for the grade can't remember anything. The route does seem to have more than its fair share of nasty accidents and maybe it is appropriate to note this in the guide book.

I recall that even in the Fontainebleau guidebook that The Cul de Chien roof problem is marked out as a problem that a number of people have had serious accidents on. Maybe something similar could be done in the Wye Valley Guide.

Whilst I haven't climbed in the Wye valley for ages - the thing which frightenend me the most at the time was all the loose blocks at the top of Wundcliffe; pls be careful.

Condolences to the friends and family of the guy who died.

 timjones 14 Sep 2005
In reply to Jamie B.:
> I've just looked through the gallery on the carg database and the distinct impression I get is of an arboreal choss-fest.

Hmmmm. As someone who knows the routes depicted I get exactly the opposite impression.

> Limestone rarely seems to work in the lower grades; just too broken and prone to polish.

It works well in the lower grades as long as your route selection skills are any good, unlike grit IMHO. Its horses for courses, if you don't like it don't climb it. Just don't go around making sweeping statements like this. I could rant on about low grade grit being rubbish or I could just accept that some people actually like it for some bizarre reason.


Tim Jones

 sutty 14 Sep 2005
In reply to timjones:

Actually from the routes I did on limestone the easier routes were often the loosest, more cracks and holds but that lead to holds coming away. Look at the vdiffs and severes at Malham, Stoney, Dovedale, Manifold, Willersley, all have worse holds than the harder routes. It is the same in the Dolomites, the steeper routes are usually the safest due to the major loose holds having been pulled off ages ago.

I don't know Symonds Yat but would suspect it is similar. Limestone only really gets good at HVS IMO.
 timjones 14 Sep 2005
In reply to sutty:
> (In reply to timjones)

> I don't know Symonds Yat but would suspect it is similar. Limestone only really gets good at HVS IMO.

The "suspicions of those who have never visited the crag aren't really a lot of help though are they?

Why not just trust someone who has climbed there regularly for over 15 years?

With the rescue services already making noises about safety at the crag, it seems somewhat daft for climbers to fuel their concerns.
 CurlyStevo 14 Sep 2005
In reply to sutty:
the west country limestone is completely different to the stuff in the midlands. Please don't compare. There are lots of good routes on the west country limestone under HVS.

In general it's lots less blocky than the midlads stuff and also less loose.
CosmosKey 14 Sep 2005
In reply to John Wellbelove:

Rick and Lisa where they guys that got me climbing in the first place but Reuben was the guy that got me really excited about climbing. Always enthusiastic, encouraging, helpful, positive, fun and always safety first. I learned a lot from him. Always up for a climb. I've been climbing just for a year and a bit but climbing with Reub was always a good time. First climb of the year we did second of January down at Swanage. On the way down he said; you'll see when the sun comes out how good grip you'll get in a dry winter morning as soon as the rocks warmed up just a bit. I didn't think it would be but after our second climb when the rock just had warmed up enough the grip was fantastic. IMHO he was a really good experienced and safe climber, good friend and a personality and a vision of life second to none!
Dave Mycroft 15 Sep 2005
In reply to John Wellbelove: Reuben was my foster brother, and although we rarely met up (usually at one of my wedding ) and he was many years younger he was always an ispiration to me.

He enjoyed climbing like he enjoyed life and my memories of him will always be a mixture of him as a baby and many years later talking about mountaineering and caving trips at my wedding reception.

For me it really is consolation that he died doing something he loved with his friends around him. In his tragically short life he made a big impression, and the warmth of his friends and climbing partners is a tribute to him. Thank you to all of you who've expressed what he meant to you, and thank you for helping make him the man he was.

Peter Killick 15 Sep 2005
ke's funeral in Devon or have sent donations or good wishes.

Jake had a wonderful service, he was a brilliant inspirational teacher and person, and he was my son, thanks every one.

Condolences to the parents of the guy that has also died, it is but little consolation, but as is Jake, your son is ''safe'' now.

Peter Killick.
Peter Killick 16 Sep 2005
In reply to Peter Killick:
>Thanks to every one who attended Jake's funeral in Devon or have sent donations or good wishes.
> Jake had a wonderful service, he was a brilliant inspirational teacher and person, and he was my son, thanks every one.
> Condolences to the parents of the guy that has also died, it is but little consolation, but as is Jake, your son is ''safe'' now.
Climbers, this may sound trite, (Jake's grandfather was also a climber) please do not forget those on the ground as you climb for your sport, each parent or loved one carries an inate fear that even with the safest practice the inevitable may happen and occassionaly does. Dont forget those left behind on the ground.

>Thanks to all, Peter Killick.

Reuben 17 Sep 2005
This message is for everyone,

I am Reubens little sister, and have been climbing ever since Reuben got me into it just over 8 years ago. As soon as I started climbing I found I loved it and never wanted to stop. I found I loved the feel of living a little dangerously, in a world that is so obsessed with safety and preserving life. It made me feel more alive to be challenging life. It is very sad that two lovely men have died in a short space of time. I still love the world of climbing, I only hope, that these messages and these tragic incidents will encourage climbers to take more care when climbing. As we all know climbing is an unpridictable sport, each of us needs to judge each climb, we embark on based on our experience, not on what we read in the guide books.

Reuben loved climbing, and would want everyone to carry on enjoying it just as much as he did.

David your message was lovely,

jimbob04 17 Sep 2005
Terrible news, Condolences to Peter and Family and Abi and family.
jo_willett 17 Sep 2005
In reply to Reuben:

Well done Abi, and well said. I completely agree.

The support on here, for both these climbers and their families, has been really heartening.

Jo (off to Swanage to get frostbitten hands...)
Angela Cattanach-Chell 17 Sep 2005
In reply to Randymamola:

Having attended Jake's funeral as his cousin, I can only say how very much uplifted I felt by the support given by all those who were there. (And thanks, Peter, for your comments on this page, too, after our conversation after the service).

What was so great was that there were representatives from so many episodes of his life - not only his climbing companions, but from his teacher training course (and the Headteacher of the school where Jake was currently teaching had actually brought some children down for the service from London!), people who had known him from so many different times in his life.

And the readings, hymns and tributes were so sincere and appropriate... I feel sure that Peter and Sue (his mother) and all of our family there, felt very supported. Thank you all for being there and for the support you have given on this web-site as well.

I offer my most sincere sympathy to the family of the climber who was killed even more recently, having been through this grief myself.

Having now explored some of the photos on this website, I feel terrified just looking at them! ............

With sincere thoughts to all.
monkeyboy69 20 Sep 2005
In reply to Reuben:

to all of Reubens family and friends, all those who new and climbed with him have been recountin what a fantastic and safe climber he was and this can only be repeated by me. from all the staff and climbers at Calshot activities centre, we send you are deepest condolences and are thoughts are with you at this time.
Sonia Relf 29 Sep 2005
In reply to monkeyboy69:
I am Reuben's mother. Peter (Jake's father) had the courage to post a message I can do no less. As a non climber I found this forum so helpful. Thanks UKC. Reuben's funeral took place on Monday and was a tribute to his whole, too short life - so many people attended. It was a joy to meet so many fit young men and women and sobering to see the tears of many.
Time races by; the deaths of two young, valued men is yesterday's news but our continuing grief.....
I don't want anyone to stop climbing but I do want you to be able to chat about your feats and narrow squeaks - I wish you well.
 Fidget 30 Sep 2005
In reply to Sonia Relf:

Hi Sonia (and family),

I'm not sure if you'll read this reply, but I just wanted to say that the funeral was absolutely beautiful, and in such an appropriate and stunning location. It was lovely to see some people I met through Reuben last year, and the passages that were read out were incredibly moving. I didn't know Reuben that well as I live in the Midlands, but he was brilliant to talk to, and he seemed to make such an impression on everyone he met. I felt that that really came through in the funeral, and it was comforting to see that so many other people got the chance to meet him, and it also made it easier to share how much he'll be missed.

Sarah x
 Skyfall 30 Sep 2005
As someone who did not know either of these two young men but who shares their passion for climbing, I'd simply like to pass on my condolences to their families. It's been very sad to read through these messages but strangely heart warming. All the best.
george hostford 30 Sep 2005
In reply to tombawimba: The Russian was VS for many years and a great route at that grade, but it was put up to HVS more recently. I like the route because the gear is very good throughout (important when you don't get out much) although I can see that there could be a tendency to skip gear placements lower down on the easy ground before the crux. When it was VS I thought it was at the top of the grade and a good route. Tigers don't cry is harder.

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