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NEWS: Climbing Hotspots to Avoid in England

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 UKC News 22 May 2020

The BMC access team has published an article with a detailed list of honeypot crags in England to avoid as climbers have begun making their way back to the crags.



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 eschaton 22 May 2020
In reply to UKC News:

I'm not going climbing full stop never mind in the lake district, but that subheading seems to be missing information - it just stops at 'here is the latest advice'.

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 Max factor 22 May 2020
In reply to UKC News:

So only one crag in the entire Peak is off limits but the whole of Portland is out of bounds?  It should be perfectly possible to climb in Portland without either interacting with or endangering the local populace. In fact I'd argue the former is the normal for most visiting climbers.

I've climbed there for 20 years and never once has it felt like climbers are (even slightly) overwhelming the local infrastructure. Not welcome, perhaps, but that's not the same thing no matter how it's being represented in the current Covid19 debate.

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In reply to eschaton:

Apologies, the link from the BMC article was missing. You're right, it would have seemed like something was missing!

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In reply to UKC News:

Less helpful than helpful article I'm afraid adding to the confusion.

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In reply to UKC News:

Reading between the lines - if you live in London, don't bother... I say that in jest but it kind of looks that way, though to be fair Swanage is an alternative to Portland, just more serious and less convenient. Ironic given that London is meant to have the lower R out of all the urban areas. Still, at least people in London can get somewhere if they're willing to drive far enough. Whereas most climbers in Wales and Scotland are still pretty much stuffed... Crazy days!

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 Will Beaumont 23 May 2020
In reply to Misha:

Having never lived in london I could well be wrong, but looking at a map, Cheddar Gorge and the southern Peak limestone both look to be about the same distance from London as Portland is.

Is there any reason these aren't seen as good alternatives? 

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In reply to UKC News:

I volunteer not to climb at Harpur Hill this weekend or any other....or any weekday...for ever. 

Post edited at 11:42
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In reply to Max factor:

> So only one crag in the entire Peak is off limits but the whole of Portland is out of bounds?  It should be perfectly possible to climb in Portland without either interacting with or endangering the local populace. In fact I'd argue the former is the normal for most visiting climbers.

> I've climbed there for 20 years and never once has it felt like climbers are (even slightly) overwhelming the local infrastructure. Not welcome, perhaps, but that's not the same thing no matter how it's being represented in the current Covid19 debate.

Unfortunately it's not "our" opinion/perception of climbers' impact on the local community that matters. It's that of the local community. I'd argue that if the locals don't want us there then that's the end of that

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 Zoomer 23 May 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Gatehouse Crag described as a ‘popular’ crag????? I’ve climbed there for the last 5 years and never, ever seen anyone else there. The situation with the gamekeeper, I would suggest, has more to do with the time of year (grouse chicks) than anything to do with lockdown or Covid. 

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 gazhbo 23 May 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Has there actually been any poor behaviour by visitors to Portland?  It seemed to be quite clear that no one was welcome long before anybody actually had the chance to turn up.

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In reply to UKC News:

Brean Down could be tricky. The NT car park is open but not huge. The area is very popular and if the car park is full then alternatives are difficult. I suspect the area may get swamped so probably best to get there early to get a space.

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 elliott92 23 May 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Ignorant in this matter so genuine question. If the crags at portland are mainly owned by the Crown or portland stone (correct me if I'm wrong) with some areas having legal public right of way. What can local dismay do to affect access? 

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 Denning76 24 May 2020
In reply to UKC News:

I guess the BMC hasn't seen the car parks around Curbar, Stanage etc...

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 silhouette 24 May 2020
In reply to Will Beaumont:

> ... Cheddar Gorge and the southern Peak limestone both look to be about the same distance from London as Portland is.

> Is there any reason these aren't seen as good alternatives? 

Not sure if your post reveals dislike of sport climbing or dislike of The Great Satan London but I'm surprised a climber with 11 - 20 years experience needs to ask a question like that.  Peak limestone is either very hard or crap and overcrowded.  Cheddar is hard, quite rightly restricted to some sectors to protect people below and can be cold in the shade.

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In reply to UKC News:

"Wintour's Leap: the recently installed combination lock gate which gave access to Woodcroft Quarry and Fly Wall has been vandalised during lockdown meaning the lock is currently unusable. Until it can be repaired, access through this gate is closed and climbers need to use one of the other approaches. In addition, local residents are concerned about climbers parking in the village, so the best option is to park on Lancaut Lane if there is space and walk in via the ruined chapel. Finally, don't forget that there are nesting peregrine and raven on Fly Wall this year – make sure you follow the agreed seasonal climbing restrictions."

All well and good - but does anyone know what happens if you try to drive across the M4 to get there?  Do you get stopped on the bridge by the authorities?  You go into Wales over the Severn Bridge and then back out of Wales crossing the Wye in Chepstow...

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 AJM 25 May 2020
In reply to Bobling:

You almost certainly run the risk of being stopped...

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 Tom V 25 May 2020
In reply to silhouette:

I alaways preferred Peak gritstone  to the white stuff to but your dismissal of Derbyshire limestone is way off the mark. Dovedale, the Manifold and High Tor offer a mixture of grades and are not usually considered crap.

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In reply to AJM:

Wonder what the response is if you said "But I'm just travelling through Wales to go to England!"  the only reason I have stopped is because you have stopped me.  

This is not an academic consideration for me.  I'm considering using a week's leave and the lovely weather to head over to Wintour's with my youngest to go on an adventure up the Easy Way Down.  Seems like the perfect time to do it...

Other option is to drive in via Glocester but that is a ginormous detour.

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 AJM 25 May 2020
In reply to Bobling:

I can't find it now but I thought I saw a friend in Chepstow saying on FB that there were a lot of police on that link road from the M48. I don't think the argument would have much weight personally but YMMV.....

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In reply to AJM:

Yeah think you are right, arguing the toss won't get me far I don't think.  My OH says bridge is closed for all but essential travel.  Hey ho, perhaps Wales will relax the lockdown tonight and all will be fine!  Thanks for the quick responses.

Edited to add - anyone who has made it out of England via the Severn Bridge and can update on conditions please let me know!

Post edited at 10:45
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 Sean_J 25 May 2020
In reply to Zoomer:

> The situation with the gamekeeper, I would suggest, has more to do with the time of year (grouse chicks) than anything to do with lockdown or Covid. 

Or maybe it's more to do with persecuting raptors without witnesses....

EDIT - now with added facts

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/0f04dd3b78e544d9a6175b7435ba0f8c

Post edited at 11:26
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 John2 25 May 2020
In reply to Bobling:

Take your child with you and tell the police you're travelling to your parents to self-isolate.

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 Uluru 26 May 2020
In reply to Bobling:

There has been an increased police presence in Chepstow and the Wye Valley for the past couple of weeks. Gwent Police, when questioned also said 

Follow

@WelshGovernment

for the latest guidance on restrictions in Wales. Residents outside of Wales are being reminded that travel restrictions lifted in England do not apply here – anyone travelling into Wales will be subject to Welsh legislation.

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 MarkH55 26 May 2020
In reply to Bobling:

I drove over to Wintours last week no problem.  Did hear of a cyclist doing the same journey being fined.  Seems like a simple place for the police to operate checks if they wanted to

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 Timmd 26 May 2020
In reply to Bobling:

> Wonder what the response is if you said "But I'm just travelling through Wales to go to England!"  the only reason I have stopped is because you have stopped me.  

> This is not an academic consideration for me.  I'm considering using a week's leave and the lovely weather to head over to Wintour's with my youngest to go on an adventure up the Easy Way Down.  Seems like the perfect time to do it...

> Other option is to drive in via Glocester but that is a ginormous detour.

You could turn it into a bit of an adventure with your youngest perhaps?

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In reply to silhouette:

>   Peak limestone is either very hard or crap and overcrowded. 

I guess that depends on what you mean by very hard.  There are good routes in the S-VS range, although I would concede that you need to be comfortable at HVS to get the best out of it.  Limestone HVS is soft compared to grit though.

It definitely isn't all crap or overcrowded.

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 Will Beaumont 28 May 2020
In reply to silhouette:

Sorry for the slow response, I've been offline for a bit.

I've got nothing against either London or sport climbing., but having not climbed in those areas (apart from a couple of Derbyshire quarys, which would definitely fit the 'crap' part of your description) I wondered why they weren't more popular with Londoners...

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