Trouble at Mill...ers Dale - Mecca Crumbles

© Keith Sharples
Steve McClure bouldering at Raven Tor - nearby to the warning signs on Mecca  © Keith Sharples
Steve McClure bouldering at Raven Tor - nearby to the warning signs on Mecca
© Keith Sharples
Peak District sport climbing cognoscenti are holding their breath at the moment as Mecca F8b+, one of Raven Tor's most famous routes, enters its second week on the critical list!

Twenty years after Martin Atkinson's first ascent, the starting block of his test-piece route is in grave danger of falling to bits. Climbers are currently staying off the route whilst the 'repair committee' hastily muster their thoughts and resources!

A week ago the wide-grip pinch block that most Mecca-ites take as their fifth handhold was noticed as being loose. The large block that is immediately below was also judged to be in a 'critical' condition. This block is also important to the route as it provides two further handholds as well as a foot-jam. The pinch-grip block was removed for safe keeping and warning notices were posted and the starting holds taped over to keep people off the route. In its present condition Mecca is considered very definitely un-climbable as well as dangerous.

Also at Raven Tor - Steve McClure reports parking issues:

"There has been a lot of complaints from fishermen and locals regarding parking at Raven Tor. People have even been double parking and it has been an effort to get past. There were even complaints to the police!"
"It's good to see the place so busy, but it would be a shame to jeopardise climbing there. Other parking spots exist and the short jog to the crag would be a great warm up!"

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8 Jun, 2009
tis only a bit of rock .... all rock erodes and decays .. quicker if you try to glue it together glue reacts with the rock .. and don't forget freeze thaw process... Its a shame but it will change and be re climbed in days months to come ... Its sunny outside here the rock of Rhinogs is drying ... plenty of choice of rock to climb ..
I'm always surprised at replies like this to threads about classic routes changing. I'm not singling you out here Ian, as there's always a few posts like this on any thread. It surprises me because of the lack of empathy they show. Some people spend literally years of their lives devoted to climbing a route like Mecca. There are climbers who have trained week in, week out, always with Mecca in the backs of their minds. They've spent hundreds of pounds on Physio, with Mecca at the backs of their minds. They've woken up at 6am and driven to Raven Tor for a pre-work redpoint, with Mecca at the front of their mind. Some of these climbers, after years of effort, have reached the point where success could come at any time. For these climbers, the crumbling blocks on Mecca are one of life's minor tragedies - like a christmas period burglary, or writing off your car. To these people, the suggestion they should find solace on some heathery trad plod in the Rhinogs is like comforting a jilted lover with the tired 'fish in the sea' line.
8 Jun, 2009
Lol! Great post. Jack
8 Jun, 2009
And well said Midgets'!
8 Jun, 2009
Stu, Why are the holds crumbling? Mick
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