Dali's Hole and Llanberis Slate access update

Posted by Elfyn Jones on 09/10/2009
Walkers in Dali's Hole. Photo: BMC.

Following the recent closure of the slate quarries for filming, and the revival in interest in climbing at the Llanberis slate quarries concerns have been raised by the owners, First Hydro regarding liability and safety issues at the Dinorwig slate quarry. This is a brief update of the current situation at the begining of October.

For much of July and August access to the upper slate quarries in Dinorwig (inc. such venues as Dali's Hole, Australia, California, etc.) was completely restricted to allow Warner Bros to film a major blockbuster re-make of the film Clash of the Titans. During this time public access was completely restricted and even the public footpath through the site was closed under a formal closure order issued by Gwynedd Council.

The filming has now been completed and the main public paths through the quarry are now fully open again. BMC are not aware that there were any access incidents during this time and climbers demonstrated to the owners and other authorities, that they can and do behave responsibly towards reasonable requests to avoid certain venues for specific temporary periods. However First Hydro have become increasingly concerned about their liability towards members of the public (including climbers) at this venue, and in particular at Dali's Hole. Under the Mines & Quarries Act First Hydro are duty bound by law to errect appropriate barrier; to prevent members of the public form coming to harm at this site, and they can be prosecuted for failing to do so.

While First Hydro have no real desire to prevent us climbing at the slate quarries they cannot formally give permission for us to climb on their land, and in order to discharge their legal responsibility have placed new signs on their perimeter fencing, and also more significantly errected a new 2.4 metre high fence across the enterance to Dali's Hole. They have done this due to the proximity of this site to the path and the increasing numbers of people gathering at this particular site (not all climbers).

They are especially concerned at the number of groups using the site and in particular under-18's and unaccompanied children who are following climbers over the gate on to the site.

Climbers are asked to avoid gathering in large groups at this very visible site and organised groups (club meets, youth groups, etc.) are requested to be particulary aware of the sensitivity of this site and the need to keep a low profile here.

If asked to leave by any of the site security staff, climbers should explain that they are fully aware of the risks and dangers of the site (which are considerable and not always obvious) and avoid confrontations. The security staff have a difficult task and have to explain to all members of the public (not just climbers) that they are not allowed away from the paths. Please report any confrontation or incidents to the BMC.



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