Major Welsh Rockfalls - Vivian Quarry closed and Tremadog Trundled

The BMC has been informed by Gwynedd Council, who manage the Padarn Country Park, that a major rockfall occurred in Vivian Quarry, Gwynedd, on 12th June. Landowners have stated that until a full assessment is made, access to the whole of Vivian Quarry (all levels) is prohibited. Elsewhere in North Wales, over 150 tons of rock were removed from Craig Bwlch y Moch (Tremadog) on 14th June in an operation to stabilise the crag.

Vivian Quarry rockfall - June 2019  © Mark Reeves
Vivian Quarry rockfall - June 2019
© Mark Reeves

Elfyn Jones, BMC Access & Conservation Officer (Wales) commented:

'It appears that the rockfall occurred during the heavy rainfall and mainly affects the routes to the right of "Last Tango in Paris." The "bad step" to get past the base of the Comes the Dervish slab seems to have partially collapsed, as well as a considerable amount of debris falling from higher up above the Conscience slab, affecting these routes and everything below them.'

Snowdonia-based mountaineering instructor Mark Reeves inspected the situation from a distance. He told UKC:

'I suspect that most of the routes on this slab are seriously affected in that any bolts will more than likely be damaged in some way. I also think the lower-offs will no longer be there. The same is true of the left-hand side of the Dwarf Level and some of the Poolside level to the left of Mental Lentils around Fat Lad Exam Failure.'

On 14th June, two classic VS's at Craig Bwlch y Moch (Tremadog) were purposefully destroyed for safety reasons: Shadrach and The Brothers. Due to the highly unstable nature of the pinnacle and surrounding blocks, the BMC commissioned professional expertise from rock engineers to remove these blocks, following tip-offs from climbers. Removing the pinnacle (some 30 tons in weight) also removed the 100 ton pinnacle that made up the first chimney pitches of Shadrach and The Brothers. In a complex operation, a total of over 150 tons of rock fell from the crag, also taking out some large trees. While the initial huge blocks are now safe and in large pieces on the ground, considerable amounts of loose rock and debris remain.

Elfyn Jones explained:

'Until a further day of work can be arranged to clear off the remaining debris (which will be very soon), climbers are asked not to climb Grim Wall, Meschach, the remains of Shadrach and the Brothers or any other routes in this area. The informal parking area at the base of the crag has also been cordoned for the time being.'

More information on the BMC website.

Keep up to date with access issues via the BMC's RAD database.

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16 Jun

Pictures of Shadrach area before and after please.

16 Jun

I'd like to see the video. Surely someone filmed it.

‘Purposefully’ destroyed???!!!

Funny; I was trying to persuade an American visitor the other day that this hideous misuse of ‘purposefully’ to mean ‘deliberately’ was something only an American would contemplate. Evidently I was wrong.


How do you know that was the intended meaning here? The sentence also makes perfect sense with its correct usage.

17 Jun

Sad days that Shadrach is no more but understand fully why. Well done to all concerned for addressing the issue.

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