/ Recent serious rockfall at Shorn Cliff

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Trevers 09 Feb 2020

Shorn Cliff

I was rather optimistically up at Shorn Cliff yesterday. There appears to have been a significant collapse of part of the cliff in the Tiger Bay sector, up and to the left of Renaissance and Bubble Memory. I wasn't familiar with the geometry of this part of the cliff before, but a pinnacle high up appears to have fallen (fresh scar).

There are a couple of other large blocks that appear to be unstable, we didn't investigate too closely!

The ledge below Renaissance/Bubble Memory and the gully leading up to them are full of large unstable debris blocks from the collapse. These pose a serious hazard to anyone walking below on the path that skirts under the sector. On a busy day at the crag there's the possibility for a serious incident.

Bizarrely, there's evidence that somebody has tried to cave/excavate in behind the bottom of the cliff since the rockfall!

Can anybody recommend the best way to report this to the BMC?

Post edited at 11:48
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Ian65 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Trevers:

I suggest you report it to the BMC area access rep. for the Wye Valley. Contact details on BMC website:

https://thebmc.co.uk/list-of-bmc-access-reps?s=2

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Mark Kemball 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Trevers:

I've just emailed the area access rep (Rick Sewards) with a link to this thread. He may well contact you for more info.

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Trevers 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Mark Kemball:

> I've just emailed the area access rep (Rick Sewards) with a link to this thread. He may well contact you for more info.

Thanks! I've also emailed the crag moderator on here.

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springfall2008 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Trevers:

Thanks, I've added a note to the top of the Shorn Cliff crag description to warn people

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Mark Davies PK 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Trevers:

Excellent. New route potential.

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Rick Sewards 10 Feb 2020
In reply to Trevers:

Thanks very much for reporting this - I know that bit of cliff very well but can't quite picture what has come down - did you get a picture? There is (or was) a cave entrance there, at the foot of Pump it Up...Again.

It would be good to make the path safe and also the starts of Renaissance and Bubble Memory (as they're excellent routes). I'm not sure when I can next get up there but will try to do so in the next few weeks.

Cheers

Rick

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Trevers 10 Feb 2020
In reply to Rick Sewards:

Hi Rick

No pictures unfortunately. It will be obvious I'm sure whenever you next visit. It may well be Pump it Up Again that's fallen down, judging by that route's description, and it probably is that same cave entrance.

There was a small wall of rubble built just outside the cave entrance, so somebody has already been up there, possibly they built the wall from blocks they cleared to access the cave? I'd strongly advise against caving in the present condition.

Shifting the rubble would be quite a laborious task, there's a lot of it! It would pose a serious hazard to anybody on the path beneath at the time. I'll also reiterate that there's possibly more large loose blocks on the wall that are ready to come down.

The approaches to Renaissance and Bubble Memory are dangerous from either side now so I'd recommend people stay off them for the time being, particularly if other climbers are around. I dunno if it'd be worth marking them as off limits on the UKC crag page. Neither route appeared to have been damaged fortunately.

Sorry if that's not particularly helpful but I don't wish to say more than I know on a public forum.

Cheers

Post edited at 23:22
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Rick Sewards 14 Feb 2020
In reply to Trevers:

Hi all

I paid a flying visit to the crag today, and the good news is that all routes appear to be present and correct - I couldn't see any sign that anything had come away from the cliff.  There is a load of rubble at the foot of Renaissance and Bubble Memory, and on the slope below them, but I don't think it's come from a rockfall - I strongly suspect it has come from cave digging work in the cave that overlooks the start of these routes, at the foot of Pump it Up...Again (there is caving gear in the entrance and for some reason a little dry stone wall has been built on the ledge).  

You could still do any of the routes round here at the moment (well, if it was dry...) but it would be a bit unpleasant moving around and belaying on a sloping mass of jagged blocks (they're not massive - it's more like big scree, which is another reason why I don't think it's a rockfall - I couldn't see any really big chunks of rock).  You do also have to be careful scrambling up to the foot of Bubble Memory not to dislodge any of it.  

I've sent a polite email to the local caving club asking if they know who is doing the digging and requesting that the rubble be cleared so it's not a hazard to anyone climbing in the area.  In fairness they may have assumed that no-one would be climbing there at this time of year and were planning to clear up, but it would be good to get it done before people start visiting the crag in earnest.  I'd also like to make sure that whoever is doing the digging is aware of the routes around here (particularly Renaissance and Bubble Memory) and their quality and popularity.  At the moment I wouldn't recommend doing either of these routes, but then again I wouldn't particularly recommend climbing there at all at the moment! (Wynd Cliff is miles better for winter sun). One way or another, I'll make sure they're OK to climb on by the time the Spring sun hits the crag!

Cheers

Rick

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Mark Kemball 14 Feb 2020
In reply to Rick Sewards:

Thanks Rick.

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alan moore 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Rick Sewards:

Thanks Rick for posting the facts.

I wonder if the burrowers will find my purple nine mill rope down there. Was coiling ropes at the foot of that part of the crag and saw that one of them was slithering through the leaves of its own accord. Chased after it was too slow and the tail whipped down a tiny 3 inch hole into the ground, never to be seen again!

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Mark Davies PK 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Rick Sewards:

The voice of reason dispels the fake news.

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Rick Sewards 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Rick Sewards:

Just a quick update - I've had an email from one of the cavers doing the digging, and I'm arranging to meet up with them on site soon.  Definitely no rockfall in this instance!  In defence of the OP - there is a chimney above this area that looks like a fresh rockfall scar and is in fact the finish of Dazed and Confused.  This is a newish route in the Wye Valley Supplement, with possibly the worst top-out of any route on the crag!

Rick

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