UKC

/ Climbing morons get a ban on Marian Bach

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rockcat - on 11 Apr 2018

Marian Bach

Some morons have succeeded in getting the fine little low grade crag of Marian Bach in North Wales banned. According to the landowner she found two climbers in her field a couple of days ago having parked their car in her drive and climbed over her fences. You can't really blame her. Its well known that the official parking for this crag is at nearby Castle Inn and that the access was via a public footpath at the bottom of the crag. Thanks a lot guys - hope that you are proud of yourselves. Its Craig y Forwyn all over again.

2
profitofdoom on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to rockcat:

> Some morons have succeeded in getting the fine little low grade crag of Marian Bach in North Wales banned

"having parked their car in her drive and climbed over her fences"?? I just do not know what to say. I want to give up I really do

Thanks for posting, rockcat, anyway

Wiley Coyote2 - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to rockcat:

There are no words. Well none that would survive the mods anyway

1
Dave Williams - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to rockcat

I believe that there's a lot more to this than just a knee-jerk reaction to blocked access. 

Having found her access blocked, the landowner proceeded to the crag where she not only found the idiots responsible, she also found that the crag had been bolted. Despite the existence of a public RoW beneath the crag, the crag itself is on private land and the landowner strenuously maintains that the bolting had been carried out without her knowledge/permission. This is the real issue rather than the recent blocked access incident. As a result the landowner has, not unreasonably under the circumstances,  informed BMC Cymru that she does not want climbers on her land and that climbing will no longer be allowed on the crag.

If what she says is correct, then questions need to be asked regarding the initial bolting of the crag, rather than simply focusing on and condemning the recent idiotic and selfish behavior of these climbers. 

Post edited at 15:52
JimmAwelon on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to Dave Williams:

From our UKC crag description;

"The crag currently has routes from about 4+ to 6c(+), they are all well bolted and up to 12m high. Some routes have the odd loose bit at the start. All the routes have stainless steel double lower offs apart from one which needs to be re-threaded."

So the bolting is not new, then?

Logs06 - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to Dave Williams:

On that crag there wouldn’t be climbs (that anyone would do) without there being bolts. So if what you say is true and the landowner refuses to allow bolts, then the ban is moot isn’t it.

 

9
Rampikino - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to rockcat:

I am responsible for 3 of the routes - bolted (out of my own pocket, not any fund) in July 2014.

It's important to note that this was done in good faith and on the understanding that a bolting precedent had been set, that there was no objection and that the sensitivity around the crag was parking/use of correct paths.

If this is not the case then I am disappointed and also saddened as I never intended anything other than to help develop the crag further for more climbers.

M

6
In reply to JimmAwelon:

> From our UKC crag description;

> "The crag currently has routes from about 4+ to 6c(+), they are all well bolted and up to 12m high. Some routes have the odd loose bit at the start. All the routes have stainless steel double lower offs apart from one which needs to be re-threaded."

> So the bolting is not new, then?

It had an extensive long crag description in UKC Logbook with lots of details including correct access. I received a threatening email on Monday about this since UKC was the first place the landowner had found when searching. She wanted all the information removed but I pointed out that would mean that people would not know that access was banned. I edited it back down to what it is now, added the banned info and pointed her at the BMC.

It does appear that it had a happy history while the landowner was completely oblivious however I agree with Dave that questions need to be asked about the initial bolting. A more cautious approach might not have led to the situation we now have.

Alan

 

DubyaJamesDubya - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Logs06:

> On that crag there wouldn’t be climbs (that anyone would do) without there being bolts. So if what you say is true and the landowner refuses to allow bolts, then the ban is moot isn’t it.

It's an odd one. Presumably the landowner wouldn't want to put any effort/money in to remove the bolts. 

6
Hardonicus - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Logs06:

I'm not local and have never been to the crag. But looking at the photos it would appear a fair few of the lines are perfectly protectable with trad gear although the rock looks a little blocky and suspect in places...

Post edited at 11:41
4
HB1 - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

You bolted 3 routes in 2014 The landowner lives very near (hence the parking in her drive etc) but she seems to have been unaware of the bolting (makes quite a noise I'd say) and a fair number of climbers (looking at the logbooks). Is she in fact a new landowner? If not then why has it taken so long for her to realize what's been going on! Did you meet her? 

2
Rampikino - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to HB1:

No - at the time the impression was that the farm building were out of use and that the land owner was not in residence.

All my conversations were with 3rd parties and people who had already started the work on developing the crag.  I took my guidance from them.  At that time a number of routes (a dozen?) had already been bolted and had been established for up to 2 years.  I think the first routes were bolted in 2012.

That being said, I think that the crag had been used for climbing beforehand, but I don't have any details of who/what.

I certainly mean to cast no aspersions on the landowner, but if they were visiting the crag frequently they would have known it had been bolted a long time ago - you can't really miss the bolts.

2
Ron Rees Davies - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to HB1:

The crag faces away from all nearby buildings, including the farmyard you walk through - drilling noise probably wouldn't have been obvious at nearby buildings. The footpath that goes near to ( but not directly next to) the crag isn't much used - it has had a fallen tree blocking it for a while and the far end that goes through Conwy Brewery often overgrows with gorse. I doubt the landowner would have noticed the bolting if there was nobody climbing there.

Do we know for certain which farm the land belongs to / where this woman lives?

The "abandoned looking" farm that you walk through has an intact rear half that is indeed occupied, and there is often a car parked there. I think there's a sign saying access is needed, as well as one claiming CCTV surveillance.  Presumably it's this access that was blocked, which is unforgivable!

I would have thought they were well aware of the climbing on the crag though - I've certainly walked through with a harness/draws on and carrying a rope several times. 

aostaman - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

The ban is not moot, it is absolute, it's their land and they don't have to put any effort into removing the bolts, climbing is now not allowed. We had a privilege and someone has abused it one time too many.

I am not sure the issues of who bolted what or when are relevant here. The lesson is that one immediate act of stupidity, in this case parking, but it could be music, alcohol, bbq's, lamp climbing, noise can override years of a quiet acceptance of a status quo. Ownership trumps everything else.

There does seem a culture within climbers in particular who simply believe that they have a right never to pay to park. They'll pay a fortune for gear, guides and travel but a fiver between two for a day? 

2
Dave Williams - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Hardonicus:

The landowner has not withdrawn permission for climbing on this crag; it was simply never given in the first place. The crag is on private land. Despite the existence of a public footpath running below the crag, the legal right on this path is simply to “pass and repass along the way”. A person who strays from a right of way, or uses it for purposes other than for passing and repassing, commits trespass against the landowner. In cases such as this one, trespass is a civil rather than a criminal matter. 

Where a person wanders onto another's land from a public footpath intentionally, without permission or with no form of legal right to do so - in this case to climb - they become a trespasser and may be sued for the hypothetical value of the benefit received by the person trespassing. If needs be, the owner of the land can also get an injunction against the trespasser preventing them from continuing to trespass. Similarly, instances of vehicles parked or blocking access on private land can be treated as per civil trespass. So any unpermitted approach to this crag on leaving the path is civil trespass. It follows that climbing on the crag is also civil trespass.

The crag was apparently first bolted in 2014, maybe even earlier and, as already admitted, this then seems to have incentivised others to undertake further bolting. All this seemingly occurred without the knowledge of the landowner and Ron Rees Davies has speculated how this could have happened. Anyway, it seems that no approach was made to the landowner at the time, nor subsequently. It should have been totally obvious that the crag would be in private ownership and with no right of access as these is no access land at Llysfaen. If this was the case, then as I've already suggested, questions should be asked as to how and why this occurred. Aostaman raises many valid points in his post.

Having now discovered what has happened without her knowledge or permission, the landowner has quite correctly exercised her rights of ownership and stated that climbing will no longer be allowed on the crag. The fact that it is now bolted is totally irrelevant. In fact, the existence of fixed protection may have, in this instance, made matters much worse. It is extremely difficult - if not impossible - to try and negotiate any permissive access after the fact with an already very angry landowner.

As Alan rightly notes, a more cautious initial approach to the landowner might not have led to the situation we now have. Unfortunately, we'll never know and we have to live with a situation where, for the foreseeable future, all climbing on this crag is banned. 

IMHO, the Castle Inn area has unfortunately become a classic victim of its own success. It is often absolutely rammed with climbers at weekends. This imposes a huge burden/imposition on local residents due to the additional parking required and consequently local goodwill towards climbers may already be in very short supply. It'll be interesting to see if other issues develop here in the immediate future. 

Post edited at 14:13
Michael Hood - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Dave Williams:

Might it be an idea to remove the lower-offs, after getting consent from the landowner. Would firstly help stop people ignoring the ban, which would make things worse, and secondly might improve the relationship with the landowner for any possible negotiations sometime in the future.

2
Otis - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Might it be an idea to remove the lower-offs, after getting consent from the landowner. Would firstly help stop people ignoring the ban, which would make things worse, and secondly might improve the relationship with the landowner for any possible negotiations sometime in the future.

Not a bad suggestion at all if there is no hope of coming to any agreement with the landowner. Thirdly, it'd potentially allow the metalwork to be put to good use on another nearby crag. 

Mike. 

Ps a massively sarcastic 'well done' to the inconsiderate idiots who acted as catalysts for the loss of a nice little spot. 

jim jones on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

> The crag faces away from all nearby buildings, including the farmyard you walk through - drilling noise probably wouldn't have been obvious at nearby buildings. The footpath that goes near to ( but not directly next to) the crag isn't much used - it has had a fallen tree blocking it for a while and the far end that goes through Conwy Brewery often overgrows with gorse. I doubt the landowner would have noticed the bolting if there was nobody climbing there.

 

> I would have thought they were well aware of the climbing on the crag though - I've certainly walked through with a harness/draws on and carrying a rope several times. 

Can't believe no one local noticed a Sea King there when "Splat" was first attempted either!

rockcat - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to jim jones: True - a huge yellow and noisy budgie hovering over the crag for 30 minutes must have been fairly obvious.

> Can't believe no one local noticed a Sea King there when "Splat" was first attempted either!

 

DubyaJamesDubya - on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to aostaman:

> The ban is not moot, it is absolute, it's their land and they don't have to put any effort into removing the bolts, climbing is now not allowed. We had a privilege and someone has abused it one time too many.

> I am not sure the issues of who bolted what or when are relevant here. The lesson is that one immediate act of stupidity, in this case parking, but it could be music, alcohol, bbq's, lamp climbing, noise can override years of a quiet acceptance of a status quo. Ownership trumps everything else.

> There does seem a culture within climbers in particular who simply believe that they have a right never to pay to park. They'll pay a fortune for gear, guides and travel but a fiver between two for a day? 


Totally agree. Not sure I got my point across.

Just thinking that if I was the land owner I wouldn't want to have to pay out to clean up what I would regard as litter.

paul__in_sheffield - on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Alan, just out of interest, how do you verify that the person emailing you is indeed the landowner, rather than a disgruntled member of the community fed up with the xtra traffic?

paul

rockcat - on 14 Apr 2018

The fact is that climbing had been going on here discretely for about 7 years without any problems before those idiots parked in the landowners drive and climbed over her fences to cross her fields. How did they know about the crag without knowing that the established access via the public footpath below it was on UKC and in the North Wales Limestone guide?

In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> Alan, just out of interest, how do you verify that the person emailing you is indeed the landowner, rather than a disgruntled member of the community fed up with the xtra traffic?

We have had a few of these over the years but never one I think that has been someone trying it on so I haven't really thought about it TBH. Most cases though they are trying to get the listing removed even though the UKC access info (usually directly fed from BMC RAD) is correct. They just think that removing it will stop people going there. I point out that will probably increase visitors since then the access situation isn't public.

In this case though it did appear genuine from the start. If it hadn't been then I am sure someone from the BMC would have pointed this out and we could have corrected it.

Alan

Ron Rees Davies - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

>  I am sure someone from the BMC would have pointed this out and we could have corrected it.

Elfyn Jones, the BMC access officer, is certainly aware of the situation and no doubt will have tried reasoning with the landowner. There may be more information available at the next BMC North Wales meeting, which, conveniently, is on Tuesday night at what used to be Eric's café in Tremadog. 

http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?id=3947

 

Paz - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> Alan, just out of interest, how do you verify that the person emailing you is indeed the landowner,

It's straightforward enough for a registered business to make an account and pay a few pounds and check the title deeds:  https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/

 

Stefan Jacobsen - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to Dave Williams:

In general, does the BMC get a written permission from the landowner who grants access to a given crag?

Paz - on 25 Apr 2018
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:

Hell no.

Ron Rees Davies - on 15 May 2018
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

> Do we know for certain which farm the land belongs to / where this woman lives?

The situation has become somewhat clearer (or less clear, depending which way you look at it) since the discussions above.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=3838

The access problem that led to the current ban was NOT someone blocking the gates to the "looks abandoned but isn't" (Ty ucha) farm that the footpath goes through. They had parked on the driveway of the big houses further along the road, and walked directly through a houseowners land and over fences/gates in an attempt to walk direct to the top of the crag rather than following the public footpath from either Ty Ucha or Conwy Brewery ends. 

The house owner apparently owns the fields at the top of the cliff but is NOT the registered owner of the cliff face itself - although they dispute this. The views of the landownwer at the bottom (and presumably the cliff face) are not currently known.

Hopefully Elfyn / BMC can sort ownership out and resolve the issue to our advantage!

 

 

Post edited at 11:20
2
FactorXXX - on 15 May 2018
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

> Hopefully Elfyn / BMC can sort ownership out and resolve the issue to our advantage!

Whatever happens, a handful of climbers have still pissed off the locals by their selfish and lazy behaviour.
 

 

steveriley - on 15 May 2018
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Hoping Alan sees this - a more cautious access note than 'No issues reported' might be worth tweaking. I see there's a recent date, so there may be stuff happening behind the scenes 

In reply to steveriley:

> Hoping Alan sees this - a more cautious access note than 'No issues reported' might be worth tweaking. I see there's a recent date, so there may be stuff happening behind the scenes 

We get our access information directly from the BMC RAD. The problem we have just found is that the BMC have changed their RAD system subtly so that this feed isn't coming through correctly. We are looking into. fixing it.


Alan

steveriley - on 15 May 2018
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Nice one - appreciate the attention. Fixing a feed issue for a client right now, so know the data is unforgiving


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