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Dry gritstone and damage

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 T8by 28 Jul 2020

Hi All

Planning to go on my first outdoor climbing trip this week and I am looking for some advice regarding the weather. I am looking to boulder in the peak district (probably Burbage area)s. On the gritstone, is there a way to tell whether the rock is dry enough to climb? I don't want to cause damage to any boulders which I understand can be a problem after the rain. It rained a lot yesterday and there may be some showers this afternoon as well. Would that make climbing this evening a no go? Should I be waiting several days after rain for the rock to dry?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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 PaulJepson 28 Jul 2020
In reply to T8by:

If you had to wait several days every time it rained then nothing in the Peak would get climbed! 

Post edited at 13:00
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In reply to T8by:

If its dry to touch you'll be fine 

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 deepsoup 28 Jul 2020
In reply to T8by:

If your shoes are clean and it's dry to the touch you're good to go.

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 Droyd 28 Jul 2020
In reply to deacondeacon:

Seeing as you've had some pretty brief answers - what Deacon has said is basically it, but good on you for asking! Sandstone (as found in Northumberland, to the south-east of London, and in the Churnet Valley in the south Peak) is much more fragile and needs time to dry out, whereas grit has a hard crust that means that if it's dry to the touch it's good to go. If you end up bouldering at Burbage South Valley, say (which is a really good place to go for a first outdoor bouldering session), there are some problems with footholds where the crust has been eroded away, and climbing on those shortly after rain will really exacerbate that damage, but those are quite obvious (big golden, sandy scoops); beyond that, as long as you make sure your shoes are clean and dry before you pull on you're being as conscientious as you can be!

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 T8by 28 Jul 2020

Wow, thanks everyone for the responses!

That's good news for me! I'll make sure to pack a towel for my shoes as well.

Thanks again!

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 cragtyke 28 Jul 2020
In reply to T8by:

Should dry very quickly after any showers today with the breeze. Main problem may be keeping your pad in place if you're using one. Shouldn't be midgey either.

In fact I might get out myself.

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In reply to T8by:

I'm no geologist, but in my experience some rocks can be dry within minutes (30-60) of rain (depending on how windy and sunny it is). It was wet here most of yesterday but I went and climbed on dry grit in the evening.

Post edited at 12:56
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In reply to T8by:

> That's good news for me! I'll make sure to pack a towel for my shoes as well.

An old one that you can stand on before stepping on to the rock is good - it seems erosion is coming in part from people climbing with grubby shoes. Even if you have a bouldering mat, a cleaning towel still is helpful.

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