Local Area debates Horseshoe bolts

Posted by Nick Colton on 05/09/2009
Horseshoe Quarry. Photo: Niall Grimes

The BMC's Land Management Group (LMG) has been looking at some of the fixed equipment in the BMC owned Horseshoe Quarry and is proposing to replace selected equipment such as some protection bolts and some lower-offs.

The main factors that the LMG has been considering are as follows

  • The age of some bolts
  • Whether lower-offs are up to acceptable standards
  • Easier routes are a higher priority

Where it is considered that bolts need replacing the BMC's policy is that replacement should only be made on a like for like basis.

Accordingly, the BMC's position is that the LMG will act as follows:

  • In all cases LMG will seek to preserve the current character of routes. 
  • If the LMG feels that additional bolts may be needed, or may need moving substantially, the LMG will consult the BMC for guidance and members' views.

The BMC Peak Area had their Area meeting in Glossop on Wednesday 2nd September and the issue of bolts at Horseshoe Quarry was discussed.  Henry Folkard outlined the situation as seen by LMG and stated that if the LMG is aware of particular bolts that may seem likely to fail, or were in unstable rock, it may be under a duty of care to replace or remove such bolts. Everyone at the meeting supported LMG in doing this.

The meeting then looked at the issues surrounding whether the LMG should also consider repositioning or adding additional bolts at Horseshoe Quarry in order to reduce the risk of serious injuries, in particular with respect to the spacing of the first 3 bolts on a route.  After debate and discussion the following proposal was suggested: "This meeting feels that the LMG should have the ability to add additional bolts as it sees fit". 

The voting went as follows: 8 in favour, 3 against and 7 abstentions.  LMG will now start this work.  It will be carried out by a local ropes access group who employ local climbers who climb at Stoney Middleton.   Additionally, every effort will be made to preserve the nature of the routes in the quarry.

Peak Area Chair Matt Heason said "These are difficult issues and it's good that we can have a rational debate about such things in order to find a way forward." 

More information about LMG

More information about Horseshoe Quarry

BMC guidebook to Horseshoe Quarry 


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