Following a review of anchors used on Southern Sandstone, the way we use bolted anchors in the area is changing. The current system of a main bolt (which takes all of the load), secured to a backup bolt with a swaged steel cable has been used on Southern Sandstone for 30 years or more. However, updated expert advice has recommended that this changes to both bolts equalised to a central point, in line with standard practice elsewhere.
It is not possible to equalise the bolts with in situ equipment in a way that is both strong and will not cause damage to the rock so climbers will now need to equalise both bolts as part of their top-rope setup. In the short term, all swaged wire backups will be removed from bolted sandstone anchors as soon as possible.
Visitors should arrive with equipment to allow them to equalise the double bolt anchors to a central point – there are many ways of doing this but the most common and easiest is to use either a sling or rigging rope with screw gates on each bolt. Remember to extend the anchor point sufficiently to prevent your climbing rope from wearing the rock. It’s a good idea to use rope protectors over any rigging to prevent damage to slings/ropes and the rock from normal movement whilst belaying.
The BMC would like to thank DMM for their assistance with testing.
The once overgrown nature of this crag has been addressed by the BMC's Bull's Hollow Restoration Project.
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There are belay-bolts in above most of the popular climbs. For routes not equiped with bolts, climbers should use a second rope to belay on the trees a short distance back from the edge. The crag is owned by the Tunbridge Wells Commons Conservators and the the rocks are part of the Rusthall Common geological SSSI due to their rock formation and natural erosion features. Local BMC volunteers contributed a significant amount of work on the vegetation clearance project to address overgrown areas. This was very successful and the results can be seen at - http://www.sandstonevolunteers.nildram.co.uk/index.html
Follow this link for the definitive Code of Practice for climbing on southern sandstone;
Guidebook info currently being updated
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