The Pit and the Pendulum

Posted by Martin Kocsis on 30/03/2009
Not to scale.

Sunday 29th March was the first of many regular restoration days. However, you don’t have to restrict your cleaning activities to the “official” days: you can turn up any time you like and do some work. If you do clean a route, or do work elsewhere in the quarry, then please let the team know (through me) so that we can keep an accurate record of work. This will help us to plan ahead.

Where a route is listed as having been cleaned, this can mean many things. In its most basic form it means that someone has abseiled down the line and dug out cracks, cleared ledges and scrubbed some holds. It does not always mean that the route is spotless (a la Millstone), and it may well benefit from another clean. The cleaned state of the route depends on the experience of, and tools available to, the cleaner, as well as the amount of effort they put in. It also depends very much on the original state of the route. Some routes (e.g. Regatta de Blanc) are now fully climbable after one clean as they weren’t too bad in the first place, whilst others will need another session or two as they were originally feet deep in crap and hadn’t been climbed for 25 years.

To the 45 people who contributed to a Better Wilton yesterday: I salute you all.

Jobs done:

  • Quarry litter pick
  • Base of routes in the Allotment (routes 4 to 46) cleared for 15 to 20 feet.
  • Christmas Chimney (descent) cleaned
  • Ground level work at The Pitface, White Slabs and Red Wall.
  • 3 home made cakes eaten
  • Outside Face of The Prow 75% stripped of vegetation.
  • 2/3rds height ledge (routes 4 – 10) partially removed.
  • Many brews consumed.
  • Massive stake banged in above The Allotment.
  • Foundations laid for climbers’ café (opposite Chimney Buttress)
  • 2/3rds height break (routes 14 – 18) partially cleared.
  • Peg and bolt replaced on Black Mamba
  • Initial work to drain the boggy area south of The Graveyard.
  • Beer, chips, garlic bread and onion rings devoured in the pub.
  • Peg replaced on Nothing Fantastic

Individual routes worked on:
Willow Wall, Asleep for Years, Press Intrusion, Puma, Zapling, Merchant Crack, La Rue, Flimnap The Pirate, Reeling in the Years, Big Al, Baby Arete, Valine, Proline, Green Wall, Dinah, Ruby, Insertion, Jean, Gravitational Experiment, Crow’s Nest, Regatta de Blanc, Astradyne, Max, Loopy, The Corner, Jubilee Climb, Peanuts, Horrock’s Route, Fingernail, Spider Crack, Eastern Terrace, Cameo, Manglewurzel Rib, Remembrance Corner, Nothing Fantastic, Black Mamba, Wipe Out, 999.

What next?
More of the same. The crucial thing is for people to start climbing at Wilton. Don’t just climb the same old routes, though. Go to The Allotment or The Graveyard and do something that’s been cleaned, or would benefit from having a few sods pulled off. There are plenty of stakes at the top of the crag, so think about climbing a route and then abseiling down another to clean it up ready for next time. It doesn’t take long if you have a few basic tools (Patio knife/nut key, wire brush, soft brush and a trowel) and your contribution will be noticed.

Further dates will be published throughout the year, so keep your eyes on your inboxes, Climber & Summit, and on climbing websites (BMC, UKC & club forums)

New stakes will be placed throughout the entire quarry, boggy areas drained and anti-green experiments will be taking place to see what works. If you want to get involved, get in touch.
 



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