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25/01/24 NOTICE - A rockfall has occurred on the white pillar of rock on the left as you enter the main quarry floor, just before the pond. An area of loose rock was dislodged by climbers investigating new route possibilities. Rock behind which cams were placed gave way under very little load and without warning. Please do not climb on this area of rock.

This incident highlights how loose some areas of the quarry are, especially away from established lines. With this in mind it is requested that anyone wishing to add routes within the quarry always discuss plans with the BMC in advance.

 

The BMC has owned part of this popular sport climbing venue since 2005 (routes from Mr Cellulite’s Arete rightwards on the lower tier and from In the Jailhouse rightwards on the upper tier) and BMC land is actively managed for the benefit of climbers, walkers and conservation. Horseshoe varies from good quality, solid rock to significant areas of loose, hollow and blast shattered rock. Visitors should pay close attention at all times in case of loose rock and helmets are highly recommended whilst climbing or belaying.

In 2017, a re-bolting project took place on routes located on BMC owned land at Horseshoe to replace the old bolts and scale loose rock. The project replaced old fixed equipment of various vintage with new stainless steel glue in bolts, rationalised the bolt spacing on sport routes to reduce long runouts and standardised lower offs to double ring lower offs. A new lower off simulator has also been added to the large boulder below The Dust Bunnies on Main Wall to allow new sport climbers to practice re-threading rings before getting on the sharp end

19 routes were unfortunately decommissioned due to unstable or fractured rock which could not be scaled back to a solid state to place new bolts with confidence in their quality and strength. These routes have had their bolts removed and will not be re-equipped – we hope climbers will respect this decision.

Whilst this work has undoubtedly made the crag saferit has not and cannot make it completely 'safe'. This is still a quarried venue with blast damaged rock, subject to ongoing weathering and undoubtedly loose rock will develop again over time, not to mention all the normal hazards associated with climbing outdoors. It should also be noted that the areas of the quarry not owned by the BMC have not been re-equipped and there will still be old bolts which could be widely varying in age and quality. Whether re-equipped or not, assessing the quality of the bolts and rock they are placed in before and as you climb is still an essential part of the climbing experience at Horseshoe, as it is at any other crag.

Rockfax Description
The steep left-hand side of the wall. © Rockfax

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Route of Interest
Apollo Creed

Grade: 6b ***
(Harpur Hill Quarry)

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