Castle Rock comes tumbling down

Posted by Peter Burnside on 26/11/2018
The remaining scar and the huge boulder. Photo: Vicky Bowman, United Utilities

The long wait is over: at 2pm today the big block on Castle Rock in the Lake District finally detached from the crag and fell onto the scree slope below. Climbers are warned to continue to stay away – the remaining face is loose and rock is still falling off.

It's been a growing concern and a growing crack for many years now, ever since the widening fissure was first spotted and swiftly monitored by eagle-eyed volunteers in 2012. This year, an automated monitoring system was installed and in September began to show accelerated widening in the gap between the top of the crag and the teetering 500 tonne boulder slowly peeling away.

The below post on Instagram from Dom Bush of Land & Sky Media in early August shows the scarily large crack before its rate of expansion started to rapidly increase in September.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Land and Sky (@landandskymedia) on

Despite the gap expanding even more quickly, there was still no way to know when it would eventually fall, and so climbers were advised to stay away from the crag. But now the boulder has toppled, the potential for new routes will soon be available once any danger of further rock-fall has passed. 

The photo below shows the huge scar that has been left behind.


The remaining scar and the huge boulder. Photo: Vicky Bowman, United Utilities

Rob Dyer, BMC access and conservation officer, says: “United Utilities reported today that the large block at the top of the North Buttress of Castle Rock of Triermain in the Lake District, which has been showing signs of slumping for several years, has finally fallen. Fortunately the falling rock hit the scree slope under the crag and came to rest before hitting any buildings below.

“The block has been monitored since 2012 with a crack clearly visible and gradually widening over time. In April 2018 an automated monitoring system was installed by Newcastle and Durham Universities which showed acceleration in the widening of the crack in September 2018. Even with this monitoring system in place, it was impossible to predict for sure when failure would occur. Although it was definitely moving and the block would eventually fall, there was no way to know whether that would be this week, this decade or longer.

“Considering the scale of the rock-fall, further instability is possible and climbers are advised to stay clear until a better assessment of the stability of what remains can be made. What is certain though is that some of the formerly classic lines will have been changed significantly – routes such as Overhanging Bastion can now (in large part at least) be found on the scree slope below. A very cautious approach once climbers do venture back onto the crag would be wise!”

FOR MORE INFO: Visit the Castle Rock page on the BMC Regional Access Database

ALL THE DETAILS:


Rock out! With BMC Travel Insurance policies

Bag a bargain this year with our fantastic cover on all BMC Rock Insurance policies. Lots of cover that works out at only £37* for seven days! 

We've been insuring climbers like you for over 30 years. That's why all of our policies come with:

  • 24-hour emergency assistance helpline
  • £10 million emergency medical cover
  • £100,000 search, rescue and recovery cover
  • £10,000 personal accident cover
  • £5,000 cancellation cover
  • £2,500 baggage cover

WATCH: BMC Insurance: Get out there

Want to know more? READ: 5 reasons why you need BMC Travel Insurance

*Policy details: From £37 for seven-day single-trip European Rock cover up to age 69.


« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 28802 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Celebrate our 75th Anniversary at the BMC Montane Skills Camp at Keswick Mountain Festival
4
Celebrate our 75th Anniversary at the BMC Montane Skills Camp at Keswick Mountain Festival

Meet a medley of mountain-loving outdoor-adventure people at the Keswick Mountain Festival. The BMC is back and we’ll be running skills workshops, films, talks, music and quizzes until the stars come out. What’s more, there’s free beer for BMC members.
Read more »

BMC campaign wins open access to the Welsh coast
1
BMC campaign wins open access to the Welsh coast

In a big win for a key part of a long-running BMC campaign to improve access in Wales, walkers and climbers should be able to freely access coastal areas and sea cliffs as a part of a shake-up of access law recently announced by the Welsh Government.
Read more »

BMC seeks dedicated volunteer to head review of specialist areas
0
BMC seeks dedicated volunteer to head review of specialist areas

Help us build a better BMC. We are currently recruiting for a key role to lead a small group of volunteers to conduct a review of the BMC's specialist areas. The ideal candidate will have chairing and organisational skills, be a high-level communicator, be great at working with others, and have experience of at least one of the BMC's specialist areas.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
3
Anonymous User
14/12/2018
nature decided to rage a little. The main thing is that no one was hurt and everyone was warned. such things happen sometimes it is important to just behave correctly. <a href="https://www.climber.co.uk/skills/alpine/starting-out-in-alpinism.html">Here</a> you can find out some advice.

RELATED ARTICLES

Celebrate our 75th Anniversary at the BMC Montane Skills Camp at Keswick Mountain Festival
4

Meet a medley of mountain-loving outdoor-adventure people at the Keswick Mountain Festival. The BMC is back and we’ll be running skills workshops, films, talks, music and quizzes until the stars come out. What’s more, there’s free beer for BMC members.
Read more »

BMC campaign wins open access to the Welsh coast
1

In a big win for a key part of a long-running BMC campaign to improve access in Wales, walkers and climbers should be able to freely access coastal areas and sea cliffs as a part of a shake-up of access law recently announced by the Welsh Government.
Read more »

BMC seeks dedicated volunteer to head review of specialist areas
0

Help us build a better BMC. We are currently recruiting for a key role to lead a small group of volunteers to conduct a review of the BMC's specialist areas. The ideal candidate will have chairing and organisational skills, be a high-level communicator, be great at working with others, and have experience of at least one of the BMC's specialist areas.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »