UKC

/ New South Devon Guide Addendum: Durl Rock

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Kafoozalem - on 04 Jul 2018

Typically a guidebook is out of date when it is published. The rockfalls along Magical Mystery Tour have been well publicised on UKC. When the bird ban ends on Aug 1st we'll get in an report back on whether the route is adversely affected. Yard trimmings (F6b+) is sadly no more.

Durl Head:  a recent visit showed most of the 7 stakes I have placed have gone awol or are just impossible to find in the thick grass (even by feel on hands and knees). This has prompted a proposal for limited BELAY bolts over the top of this crag and a couple others where the tree belays have been cut (Meadfoot and Telegraph Hole). This will be voted on at the next local BMC meeting.

In the meantime the following routes are best avoided unless you are happy belaying to a blade of grass. Route 1 (Pigeon Post) to 8 (Dragnet) have no belay. I placed a temporary peg above 11 (Up the Aunty) which should serve for that route and prove useful for the North Bay routes like Berry Red Wall and Lady of Shame. Best check the belays before commencing climbing.

Toerag - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to Kafoozalem:

Link the stakes with some tatty rope to help people find them. I've done this here and it works well - find one stake and you can find all the others. I used 8mm blue polypropylene and poor knots so climbers will know it's not for belaying use.

Kafoozalem - on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to Toerag:

Thank you. I did exactly this but with orange polyprop! I think the local nature warden may not have been impressed and removed them? There is other evidence of work done in the vicinity.

Sean Kelly - on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to Kafoozalem:

> Durl Head:  a recent visit showed most of the 7 stakes I have placed have gone awol or are just impossible to find in the thick grass (even by feel on hands and knees). This has prompted a proposal for limited BELAY bolts over the top of this crag and a couple others where the tree belays have been cut (Meadfoot and Telegraph Hole). This will be voted on at the next local BMC meeting.

Hurrah to that Pete. I was grovelling in the long grass at Meadfoot the other week and failed to locate the stake. Has this too been wafted away on the winds?

Sean

 

scope on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to Sean Kelly:

As far as I know, there never was a stake at Meadfoot, you just take an extra rope to reach the bigger trees further back.

Telegraph hole has a couple of stakes, (one of which is hard to find,) a peg, an in situ thread, and nut placements.

I don't think either crag needs any bolts. The issue for me is Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust's lack of knowledge, or lack of empathy, about how their aggressive gardening affects climbers. Not only concerning belays, but also the stability of the top of the crags.

Chris Ebbutt - on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to scope:

You’re right about no stakes at Meadfoot, but would be beneficial particularly at the top of Diamond Rib. Paths are worn enough in this area that I think the stakes would not get to overgrown hopefully if installed. Bolts would be of little use for trad belays as the only rock stable enough to take bolts is below the top outs, at Meadfoot.

The tree clearance in the long term will I think probably improve the stability of the crags as the Holm Oaks being removed are extremely powerfully rooted trees breaking up the rock at the top of the crags and aliens to the UK, Coast and Countryside are removing them to try to return the cliff tops to areas of exposed rock with thin soils  providing the right environment for the plant species as designated in the SSSI. Over time at Telegraph at least the rock beneath the felled trees is starting to protrude and provide potential belay placements, a bit of careful scratching around so far has exposed the thread and nut placements near the top of Crinoid. I suspect more could be carefully exposed as the soil is naturally thinning with the loss of the trees.

Enjoying the DWS at the moment here in Torquay, water is bath temperature.

cheers Chris

 

Chris Ebbutt - on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to scope:

You’re right about no stakes at Meadfoot, but would be beneficial particularly at the top of Diamond Rib. Paths are worn enough in this area that I think the stakes would not get to overgrown hopefully if installed. Bolts would be of little use for trad belays as the only rock stable enough to take bolts is below the top outs, at Meadfoot.

The tree clearance in the long term will I think probably improve the stability of the crags as the Holm Oaks being removed are extremely powerfully rooted trees breaking up the rock at the top of the crags and aliens to the UK, Coast and Countryside are removing them to try to return the cliff tops to areas of exposed rock with thin soils  providing the right environment for the plant species as designated in the SSSI. Over time at Telegraph at least the rock beneath the felled trees is starting to protrude and provide potential belay placements, a bit of careful scratching around so far has exposed the thread and nut placements near the top of Crinoid. I suspect more could be carefully exposed as the soil is naturally thinning with the loss of the trees.

Enjoying the DWS at the moment here in Torquay, water is bath temperature.

cheers Chris

 

scope on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to Chris Ebbutt:

Very interesting to hear about the holm oaks etc, I was unaware of this. By the sounds of it, the intentions are good. Some of the methods however, I disagree with. The felled trees at Telegraph hole for example, were dumped at the bottom of the crag, making accessing the bottom of some routes difficult.


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