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News 2004

Please send in any climbing news - South West or further afield.

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2004 News Archive

South West Area Meeting (9 November 2004)

Wye Valley Climbers’ Forum (4 November 2004)

New Jersey Guide (4 November 2004)

Rock Fall on Controlled Burning (4 November 2004)

Barn Comp (4 November 2004)

Dave Pickford Climbs Major new line on The Great Wall, Pentire (10 October 2004)

Final Comp of The Barn Summer Bouldering Series 2004 (20 August 2004)

...Gone West Nearly there! (2 July 2004) The eagerly awaited South West bouldering DVD is nearly finished!
Pre-Order you copy here!

New Wall Near Exeter (1 July 2004) Grand Opening Saturday 24th July

Vixen Tor - Owner Fined!! (10 June 2004)

The BMC Safety and Good Practice Seminar 2004 (8 April 2004)

Bouldering World Cup Report (8 April 2004)

Cheddar Access (3 April 2004)

Hazard Restriction (3 April 2004)

Gone West! (26 March 2004)

Fly or Die! (25 March 2004)
Ridiculous Work at Height Proposed Regulations (24 March 2004)
Barn Bouldering Comp (13 January 2004)

Don't forget to also check the New Routes Pages for latest news

South West Area Meeting (9 November 2004) For those of you who have to have their say about climbing in the South West the next area meeting will be held on Sunday 28th November 2004, 18:00 in the Bristol Climbing Centre, Mina Rd, St Werburghs, Bristol BS2 9YH

There will be a short slideshow by Ian Butterworth and beer-fuelled chat afterwards in the pub.

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Wye Valley Climbers’ Forum (4 November 2004) All climbers with an interest in the future of the Wye Valley are invited to an open meeting at the Warehouse Climbing Centre, Gloucester, starting at 6.30pm on Saturday 13th November.

A formal discussion will be followed by full opportunities for informal discussion. The bar will be open and a light buffet will be provided. Topics for discussion will include access, vegetation, ethics, fixed gear, and guidebooks. The meeting is being hosted jointly by The Climbers' Club (publisher of the guidebooks) and the BMC, and is open to anyone interested in the future of climbing in the Wye Valley.

For a location map of the Warehouse, visit The Warehouse website.

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New Jersey Guide (4 November 2004) Jersey Climbs, published in Sept 2004, contains the latest rock climbing offerings from the Channel Island of Jersey.

The new design and layout combines a traditional guide book approach along with modern photo-topos to provide a definitive snapshot of free climbing to be found on the Island.

Containing 1100 climbs, along with many alternates and variations, there should be more than enough to keep climbers occupied whether visiting or living on the Island.

Jersey Climbs was funded by The Jersey Rock Climbing Club and individual Members. Research and the consultation process has led to many omissions, amendments and errors being addressed, also the production of a database to hold this information.

Additional photo-topos that reference the guide are also available here on the web site, along with details for submitting new lines, comments, corrections etc.…

see the Jersey Climbs website for more info!

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Rock Fall on Controlled Burning (4 November 2004) The block forming the roof of the popular Lundy classic crack climb has collapsed leaving a grittier and vastly infereior route. With the recent storms that battered the south coast of Devon and Cornwall it will be interesting to see if anything else has suffered rockfalls. (I went for a bit of wave watching at Anstey's Cove last week and saw waves washing over the top of Arapiles,Oh Arapiles and nearly the top of the outer quarry pinnacle!! Incredible!). Please send in any details!

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Barn Comp (4 November 2004) Funky Simon Young's got a bouldering comp on Sunday 11th November. Check the Barn Website for further info.

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Dave Pickford Climbs Major new line on The Great Wall, Pentire (10 October 2004) Dave Pickford has only gone and climbed one of the most significant routes on the North Coast... Those familiar with the Great Wall at Pentire may have noticed the rather large wall left of the top pitch of Last Leviathan... well, this is now climbed by Dave's route Wall of Spirits at E8 6b. According to Dave I think the route would perhaps be just a 'big' E7 if it were not for that bloody ledge atop the shield of the lower wall... I calculated that a fall from that last hard sequence would end up in a high speed collision with that ledge, leaving the climber halfway up Great Wall with two broken legs... "

See the North Devon and Cornwall new routes page for a full desciption.

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Final Comp of The Barn Summer Bouldering Series 2004 (20 August 2004)

Friday 27th August

Start 8pm. (Barbeque after, please bring food and beer/beverage of your choice)
2 Levels of competition, Easy & Hard. 12 Problems.

Your best 3 scores of the summer are taken to make your final score.

Open to all. Cash Prizes: £150 & £75


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New Wall Near Exeter (1 July 2004) Robin Sutton and Graham Atkins have nearly finished building a new bouldering wall in the village of Ide, on the outskirts of Exeter. Here's the info:

The Uberwoody is a purpose-built training and bouldering facility on the outskirts of Exeter. It’s in a barn and got 320 square feet of climbing area. There are three linked walls varying from slightly overhung to well steep.

We want to launch the club with a bit of style, so we thought you might like a competition and a good look around. This will happen on:

Saturday 24th July

There’ll be a range of problems to take on, the chance to sign your life away by joining the club and there will be a BBQ for lunch. Kickoff is at 11.00. If you would like to come, contact either Graham or Rob and we will give you directions to the barn.

Graham Atkins: 07791 721842
Robin Sutton: 07866 372367

The way it works

- We’re a club, not a commercial wall. All the cash goes back into the wall, holds, rent, upkeep. We both work fulltime so don’t have the capacity to run a business too. As a club, we are affililated to the BMC which gives us insurance cover and a few other perks.
- Members are free to come and go as they please, provided they stick to the rules (see separate sheet).
- From time-to-time we’ll organise events and stuff to get people together, but most of the time we’ll leave it to you to get strong.
- Why do it? We know there are loads of climbers in the area, but there’s no focal point for us all to meet. That and the driving got to us… going to Bristol and Bude for the evening was getting tedious!


If you decide to join the club – the launch will be free. If you come for the launch only we will charge you £7 for the event.

£60 annum or £6/month standing order. Entitles people to use the wall at any time and insurance cover whilst there.

Occasional visitors
There will be an honesty box. Each visitor must contribute £3 minimum/visit. There is no insurance cover for occasional visitors.

See you there

Rob and Graham

Vixen Tor - Owner Fined!! (10 June 2004) Mary Alford (the unpopular owner of Vixen Tor who banned access to her land) has been fined £6000 by Plymouth Magistrates after being convicted of breaking laws which prohibit the cultivation of Moorland. This is after she spread manure and calcified seaweed on the land (apparently the reason for this was she was attempting to change the classification of the land so it would be exempt from compulsory access under the new CROW stuff). Cashback!!

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The BMC Safety and Good Practice Seminar 2004 (8 April 2004) Supported by the Mountain Training Trust The 2004 Student Seminar will be held on the weekend of 9-10 October at Plas y Brenin, North Wales. Designed for student-based walking and climbing clubs, the seminar gives around 100 senior post holders from universities across the country the opportunity to improve their club practices and help ensure safer and environmentally sustainable enjoyment of our mountains.

The focus is on developing the skills needed to safely introduce novices to the sports of mountaineering and climbing, while also offering a chance to enhance personal climbing, hill walking or mountaineering skills. The programme comprises a mixture of lectures, discussions and practical workshops, plus a mountaineering slide show. Previous years' lecture topics have included: event planning, access and conservation, qualifications in walking and climbing, first aid and emergency care, club pooled equipment, transport, organising overseas trips, the teaching of lead climbing, indoor coaching, risk with responsibility, sourcing of funding, the legal perspective on club liabilities, club incidents and outcomes and BMC guidance for clubs. Practical workshops are run by Plas y Brenin instructors and a host of highly qualified volunteers; activities available range from indoor climbing, single pitch rock climbing and multi-pitch climbing, scrambling and hazard awareness to hill walking, navigation and fun bouldering and orienteering competitions.

With increasing numbers of clubs coming under pressure from their Student Unions as to how they operate, this event becomes more valuable each year. All those attending last year came away with increased personal skills, and a good base of knowledge to help defend themselves against any restrictive policies.
Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis (although priority will be given to clubs who have not previously attended).

Further details and registration forms are available from early May via the BMC website www.thebmc.co.uk or BMC office (0870 010 4878), or email ana@thebmc.co.uk for further information.

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Bouldering World Cup Report (8 April 2004) Some of the best boulderers in the world gathered at the NEC last weekend (2-4 April) to pull off some amazing climbing in front of an enthusiastic and over capacity crowd.

The result was the best set of results for the British Team ever! A podium place for Gareth Parry, 4th for Mark Croxall and 6th for Andy Earl, not forgetting Tom Sugden’s best ever position as he qualified for the final, finishing 12th. This was the first round of the 2004 UIAA-ICC Bouldering World Cup, and saw entrants from 14 countries competing for ranking points. It became the centre of attention at the Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show, which attracted 50,000 visitors over the three days.

Some of the performances on the specially built Entre Prises boulders were inspiring as the climbers sought to overcome the problems designed by Forerunner Laurent Boudier and his team. Male qualification on Friday saw Gareth Parry (GBR) & Killian Fischhuber (AUT) complete all six problems on their first attempts. The pair were joined in the final by climbers from France, Slovakia & Holland.

Female qualification on the Saturday morning saw Lucinda Hughes (GBR) miss out on a final placing by the narrowest of margins - one extra ‘bonus hold’ and she would have been in. Reigning World Champion Sandrine Levet (FRA) topped the ranking to qualify for the final along with climbers from Germany, Australia, Russia and Italy.

The World Cup competitors shared centre stage with The North Face Junior Bouldering Challenge on Saturday and these young climbers wowed the audience with more fantastic climbing. Congratulations to Katie Whittaker and Tom Bolger on their victories.

The finals on Sunday were a fitting finale to the weekend. The women’s final went true to form with Sandrine Levet winning, although as ever Olga Bibik (RUS) pushed her all of the way. Jenny Lavarda (ITA) achieved her first podium place with a fine third, particularly impressive when you consider she is normally associated with Difficulty (lead) climbing.

The male final saw Daniel Dulac (FRA) take victory with five successes out of six, only the evil crack evaded him. Killian Fischhuber (AUT) achieved his best ever result to finish second and Gareth Parry (GBR) climbed the last problem to complete the podium. Other notable results from the home Team were Mark Croxall in 4th, Andy Earl in 6th and Tom Sugden in 12th. Many, many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make the competition run smoothly. The Outdoors Show for next year is scheduled for 18-20 March.

Source - British Mountaineering Council (www.bmc.co.uk)

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Martin Crocker on Stoned E6,  Cheddar.Cheddar Access (3 April 2004) The BMC are reporting that: "A proposal to extend the climbing season on the main cliffs (South Side) of Cheddar Gorge is currently under consideration by the owners of the main cliffs, Cheddar Caves and Gorge, and other relevant agencies. A decision is expected within several weeks." Martin Crocker (pictured right on his rather exposed route SToned E6, Cheddar Gorge photo: carl ryan) has played a very important role in this potential increase in access thanks to his ongoing negotations with the relevant landowners and authorities - nice work!

View the BMC website (www.bmc.co.uk) for the full story.

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Hazard Restriction (3 April) The uncertain access situation at Hazard Quarry has been clarified for the summer as protected birds again take residence - the crag is now closed for the nesting season (I believe this extends to august) and the ban is being actively enforced. Please avoid visiting as any infringements on the ban will only lead to further access problems and a deterioration of relations with the RSPB.

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Gone West! (26 March 2004) The eagerly awaited Big Pebbles South West bouldering video is still eagerly awaited!! However, I have been keeping my eye on progress and it won't be long now! The film will include footage from venues throughout the South West, including the beaches of the North Coast, Dartmoor, West Penwith and The South Cornish Coast. Pre-order your copy now! Picture right: Prowed V6, Hound Tor One of the many problems featured on the new film. Photo: carrie hill

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Fly or Die! (25 March 2004) Andy Kirkpatrick, solo aid climber extraordinaire, is visiting the South West to give an insight into "cheating death on Yosemites deathliest walls". By all accounts this will be a thoroughly entertaining evening! The event will be held at:

The Barn Climbing Centre, Bude on 9th April and starts at 8pm. Tickets will be available on the door for £5.50 or pre-booked through www.planetfear.com

For further details on how to find the Barn see their website.

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Ridiculous Work at Height Proposed Regulations (24 March 2004) Some of you may have heard rumours about the proposed new Work at Height regulations. The HSE's new proposals will apply numerous regulations that are totally irrelevant to the outdoor pursuits industry - these include things like using two ropes for all instructing activities, putting up signs warning of any hazards (imagine how many you'd need at your average crag), requesting that any rescues must be immediate (which would potentially mean that instructors will not be able to work alone - this would make many courses financially unviable and could put individual guides out of business) and treating any site as a managed workplace in which managers control access. The BMC have further details and are requesting that all concerned parties write to their MP urgently as the consultation period ends on 2 April and is due to be passed as law on 19 July.

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Barn Bouldering Comp (13 January 2004)

Date for Simon Young's next bouldering comp.

SAT 24th JAN
Start 12pm. Finals at 4pm.
2 Levels of competition, Easy & Hard!
Open to all.
Prizes by Wild Country.
Party After.

See the barn website for further details on the wall.

(People are welcome to stay the night at the barn if they need to.)

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