A new BMC project, ClimbBristol, has just been launched with the aim of caring for and promoting the interests of what has been called ‘the most significant urban crag in Britain’.
The Avon Gorge has been a forcing ground and a training crag for generations of southwest climbers, and its cool runouts and polished technicalities have produced many fine performers. It also provides perfect after-work moments of madness to excitable Bristolians and as such is an essential part of the city’s mental health.
Now, ClimbBristol, or the Avon Gorge Restoration Project to give it its longer title, is seeking to build on the relationships between the Avon Gorge and the city of Bristol. Dialogues between the project officer and the City Council will see how climbers’ interests and those of the authorities can run hand in hand.
“It’s not all polished holds and dodgy pegs,” said the BMC’s CEO Dave Turnbull, no stranger to the local scene.
“This is an exciting opportunity to bring some life back to the Gorge. Over the years, factors such as parking difficulties and fixed-gear issues have combined with the rise in popularity of climbing walls and Cheddar Gorge, causing fewer climbers to visit this great crag. We’re hoping to address the issues, get Avon buzzing again and bring the climbers back.”
At the minute the group, headed up by local activists Martin Crocker and Colin Knowles, is working with BMC access reps and the authorities to secure the groundwork.
On-the-crag work, such as pruning vegetation, removal of loose rock and sorting out fixed equipment, will of course involve volunteers. If you would like get involved, you can keep up to date by joining ClimbBristol’s Facebook page or by keeping an eye out on the BMC website for dates.
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