Special Sandstone Open Meeting – Isolated Buttress access outcome

Posted by Rob Dyer on 10/10/2018
The Isolated Buttress at Harrison's Rocks. Credit: Daimon Beail

A special Sandstone Open Meeting was held on Sunday 7th October to discuss future access to the Isolated Buttress at Harrison's Rocks.

Huge thanks goes out all of those who attended and contributed at Sunday night’s meeting – the Southern Sandstone climbing scene has a fantastic group of keen grassroots climbers, passionate about protecting their local area, even if there are a variety of views about how that is best achieved. The BMC is nothing without local climbers and volunteers who are willing to step up for their area, so we really appreciate all those who came along and made their voice heard.

Members of the Land Management Group (LMG) visited the Isolated Buttress and attended the Open Meeting to hear any compelling arguments that had not already been considered by the Harrison’s Rocks Management Group (HRMG) in taking their decision in December 2017. Following the Open Meeting, the LMG discussed what they had learned their during their site visit and the Open Meeting, and six options were discussed in detail:

  • Installing a hawser rope
  • Re-creating the step across
  • Providing/installing  a ladder
  • Installing via ferrata style staples
  • Installing a bridge
  • Do nothing

There was recognition from the LMG that all options have advantages and disadvantages and there is no ‘perfect’ solution, but that the key priorities - as far as is possible - should be to minimise risk (both to individuals and the BMC), be minimally intrusive and protect the rock. There was a unanimous vote amongst the group to endorse the HRMG decision from Dec 2017, but all suggested options were considered again to ensure a comprehensive discussion and comparison took place. The final decision of the LMG is that a bridge solution for future access to the Isolated Buttress should be pursued, subject to any planning consent that may be required.

Full details of the reasoning behind the LMG’s decision will be published at a later date but as promised at the Open Meeting, in the interim the LMG wanted to inform climbers of their decision. Once again many thanks to everyone who took the time to attend on Sunday - your contributions to the discussion were welcomed and appreciated.


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