Harrison’s Rocks: debating bridge access

Posted by Peter Burnside on 28/09/2017
Harrison's Rocks: the popular BMC-owned Southern Sandstone crag.

Should a bridge be built to access the Isolated Buttress? We attempt to summarise the wide-range of views for and against a bridge before it’s discussed at the Sandstone Open Meeting on 8 October.

Why do we need a bridge?

In 2015, the boulder used to jump and cross the gap to the Isolated Buttress (IB) became loose and local climbers were concerned it could easily fail in use. It was a serious hidden danger, especially if the boulder fell with someone on it, so BMC volunteers decided to remove the boulder immediately – a decision that the BMC supports.

The IB is no longer as easily accessible as a result, and new ways to access the pinnacle have developed – some of which are not recommended. These include:

  • Solo a route to gain access to the top.
  • Climb across with a belay from the ‘mainland’ (long swinging fall potential).
  • Extend a top rope across the IB from an anchor on the mainland side with a very long piece of rope to allow belayed access, as described in the video below.
  • Fix an extra rope from the mainland to bolts on the IB to be used as a handrail or to clip into – not recommended by the BMC due to the potential for overloading the bolts and system failure.

WATCH: Southern Sandstone: how to access pinnacles on BMC TV

What can be done to improve access?

The only practical solution is to install a bridge or to leave the situation as it is – climbers can assess and accept the risks, or choose to climb elsewhere on the crag. Many views for and against building a bridge have been discussed, and the BMC wishes to support the decision of the majority of climbers that actively use Harrison’s Rocks.

Discussions will take place at the Sandstone Open Meeting on 8 October and will help to inform any decisions made by the Harrisons Rocks Management Group (HRMG) and Land Management Group (which has oversight of the HRMG and all other crags owned by the BMC).

A summary of major points – both for and against – has been assembled into a report, which is downloadable here. Anyone wishing to attend the Sandstone Open Meeting should read this report before attending, so as to be fully informed of the situation.

DOWNLOAD: Isolated Buttress: arguments for and against building a bridge 

WATCH: BMC TV's Southern Sandstone skills playlist


BMC Travel Insurance has got you covered for Covid-19

Wherever the hot rock calls, make sure that you go prepared with travel insurance cover before you head off.

You can get cover with BMC Rock insurance from just £46* for a week

To make planning your international trips easier, we've added Covid-19 cover into all BMC Travel Insurance policies.

 

Our Covid-19 cover includes:

  • £5,000 cancellation cover if you test positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of departure
  • Medical and repatriation Covid-19 related illness
  • Being denied boarding if you test positive for Covid-19 prior to your return home

BMC travel insurance comes in five policies: Travel, Trek, Rock, Alpine and Ski and High Altitude. Read more about the Covid-travel FAQs here

* Policy details: £46.70 for 7 days European Rock policy up to age 69.  

For full terms and conditions see our Evidence of Cover

WATCH: BMC Travel Insurance built for the mountains


« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 5100 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

BMC launches Crag and Upland Restoration Fund: invitation for applications
0
BMC launches Crag and Upland Restoration Fund: invitation for applications

The BMC has set up a new £10,000 per year fund to support volunteer led environmental initiatives and work days to improve crags and upland areas across England and Wales.
Read more »

Mynyddoedd Cambria - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty/Ardal o harddwch naturiol?
0
Mynyddoedd Cambria - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty/Ardal o harddwch naturiol?

As members of the Alliance for Welsh Designated Landscapes, BMC Cymru was recently invited to share a Senedd petition with members, calling for the Cambrian Mountains region in Mid-Wales to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Read more »

Tell us what you think is the future of our National Parks
0
Tell us what you think is the future of our National Parks

The BMC would like to know what you think about some of the key proposals that government have put forward to help protect and improve our English National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONBs) for future generations.
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
5
Anonymous User
29/09/2017
The linked isolated buttress paper is a Microsoft office document. Could you produce more accessible version (PDF maybe) for poeple that can't open MS Office docs.
29/09/2017
Don't do it, it's easy enough to access as it is, and Climbers don't have a problem with it as it is. There's plenty of other areas with easy access if you're not comfortable accessing the buttress.
Anonymous User
13/10/2017
If you walk along Harrison's any day of the week and ask around you will find the majority in favour of a bridge. A small group of about 20 sandstone yokels are the only barrier to this happening. I have climbed here for 33 years and there are plenty like me who are in favour of a bridge. The decision to smash the boulder should not have been taken by two people only with no consultation. These people are still on the management group and are now trying to call the shots re. Bridge. This is an outrage.
Anonymous User
14/01/2018
Bridge definitely
Anonymous User
17/01/2018
This is possibly the most misguided decision the BMC have ever taken.

RELATED ARTICLES

BMC launches Crag and Upland Restoration Fund: invitation for applications
0

The BMC has set up a new £10,000 per year fund to support volunteer led environmental initiatives and work days to improve crags and upland areas across England and Wales.
Read more »

Mynyddoedd Cambria - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty/Ardal o harddwch naturiol?
0

As members of the Alliance for Welsh Designated Landscapes, BMC Cymru was recently invited to share a Senedd petition with members, calling for the Cambrian Mountains region in Mid-Wales to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Read more »

Tell us what you think is the future of our National Parks
0

The BMC would like to know what you think about some of the key proposals that government have put forward to help protect and improve our English National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONBs) for future generations.
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 »