With a wet start to the summer and many Peak sport climbing crags suffering from seepage, Yorkshire has been popular lately for climbers based in the north looking for dry bolt clipping. Kilnsey, in particular, has seen increased numbers which is starting to lead to some issues that urgently need addressing before they threaten future access.
The biggest issue by far is that some climbers have been parking inconsiderately – leaving cars parked on yellow lines, verges and in turning circles. This is beginning to cause problems with the farmer unable to get his tractor through and the message is simple – be considerate when parking at the crag. The best advice for parking at Kilnsey is on the RAD:
Please be prepared to walk a little further along the road if the obvious limited area below the cliff is full. There is a large layby 200m beyond the cliff on the right and there is usually plenty of roadside parking on the lane leading across the river to Conistone about 400m to the south.
Parking considerately is important at any crag. But at Kilnsey it can’t be stressed enough that climbers need to self-police and ensure that cars are parked so they don’t block gates, turning circles or the highway. The additional parking areas are only a short walk away – if you arrive after the nearest parking has been filled, please accept the marginally longer walk-in rather than squeezing into inappropriate spots that are nearer to the crag. Failing to do this is likely to lead to deterioration in our currently good relationship with the farmer and could lead to future access problems.
Dogs and draws
It’s also worth a quick reminder about dogs at the crag and in situ draws.
The crag is situated on access land and there are no formal restrictions listed at this time. Despite this, dogs should be kept on leads from 1 March to 31 July each year to protect ground nesting birds and at all times when around livestock. The farmer keeps sheep in the field below the crag and so dogs should be kept on leads at Kilnsey if livestock are present. This helps to maintain a good image of climbers as responsible countryside users and is equally applicable elsewhere.
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In situ draws should also be kept to a minimum where possible. Clearly some routes can be difficult to fully strip safely and it’s often a grey area with many variables depending on the routes and situation. Remember that Kilnsey and other crags are considered beauty spots by non-climbers too and in situ draws, which we may not think twice about, can be thought of as ugly intrusions to others. Where possible, it’s best to remove your kit at the end of a session.
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