Altitude 75m a.s.l
Dulcote Quarry © deepstar
Large abandoned Limestone Quarry like many Mendip quarries it is a bit of a Curates Egg in that although it has an awful lot of loose dangerous rock there are superb sections of soaring slabs punctuated by blast pockets.There is probably nothing here for the mid/low grade climber.It is unique as it is the only place where Mendip Potatoes are found(nodules of rock that when cut and polished reveal beautiful brown and white interiors)and it is common to find people"harvesting" them.
No guides found for this crag
|The thought of climbing at Dulcote Quarry has always been hanging around in the back of my mind. A vast empty wall that was waiting for a climbing Banksie to put some graffiti on it.Visits to the place,first as a child, scared by the sheer size of the crag and then much later on a recce with Remus hardly made the thought of actually climbing there seem possible. We had set up our abseil ropes at aproximately the middle of the wall and tentatively started abbing side by side over the edge,at this point the top of the crag is like the roof of an old house and as we got nearer to where he guttering would be large "slates" detached themselves and began there 80 metre journey to the bottom.At this point Remus knocked off a bigger one,it must have hit the ledge which girdles the quarry at half height and started an avalanche which made a very impressive boom! Remus came out with the classic line "I think I've broken the quarry",at this point we decided enough was enough and packed it in.I should have given up the idea of anyone sane ever wanting to visit Dulcote but on my walks around it with the Dog it just seemed too grand a backdrop to leave to the Buzzards and Peregrines that seem to love the updrafts blasting up over it.Eventually I managed to persaude Chris Bonner to come and take a look at the place and a sunny October morning we were setting up the abseil ropes again,this time to look at the mysterious untrodden ledge system that runs most of the way round the quarry at half height,around a kilometre long and at some places four metres wide it had to be a worth a look.We'd set the knot joining the two ropes a few metres from the stout Holm Oak tree so that we would be able to retrieve them but as I had volunteered to go first (shit it was my idea anyway) I realized that one rope was several metres short of the ledge and without being able to communicate with Chris or wanting to prussik back up the choss that I had just descended I just had to let go and land on the brambles beneath.Scratched but otherwise unhurt I was glad that us "modern climbers" carry mobile phones and I was able to tell Chris to equalize the rope lengths,we could pick them up later as we carried spares.Now the real fun started as we realized that we had descended too early and had to hack throught about twenty metres of Brambles and Buddleia to get to the main ledge,luckily I had brought some secateurs with me but unfortunately Chris had no gloves so he got a few scratches.After a scary section which was like a sloping gravel heap over a forty metre drop the ledge levelled out and became quite enjoyable and we spent a lot of time gazing at the massive solid walls and slabs above us.This is really the realm of sport climbers and it would be great to think that someone would be driven enough to get up there and bolt it as the real problem with the place is the top-outs which would be avoided by lower offs. We stopped for lunch watching the Birds spirral in the updrafts then continued on for a bit until we found an Ash Tree we considered strong enough to abb from.Reaching the ground was a relief but we realized that we could have carried on as it is difficult to tell where you are on the cliff (we needed a spotter). I might go back again one day as I'm sure it would be easier with hindsight if I can persuade another victim!|
deepstar - 18/Oct/14
Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer deepstar