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Route 66 - Lunar Landscape
I started to lead the Lunar Landscape trad rock climb route at approximately 11.15am. This is a diagonal route cutting across one of the Glacis slabs in the West End area of Fairy Cave Quary. Stupidly, when I started to climb, it had been only a few minutes after rain had stopped. I managed to get 2 initial bits of nut protection in on the initial section. It was then tricky to place protection for a little bit after this. However, I was able to place 2 more bits of protection (nut and quad cam), just before what I believe is the crux of the route in the middle of the climb. Emboldened by having just placed protection, I then began to attempt the middle section, even though the rock was slippy. Unfortunately my foot slipped and my hands were unable to hold me. I began to slide down the slab and was shocked when I realise that the protection could not have held. I landed winded (approx 10-15m fall), but due to the steepness of the ground surrounding the slab, I then tumbled a further approx 3-5m through rocks and brambles. I sustained a minor head injury below the line of my helmet at the back, and was somewhat scratched and bruised. Help was summoned by my climbing partner and other climbers near by and in the quarry.
Overall the crag was slimy and damp, however we found a small area that appeared dry and climbable. A fellow climber had recommended the slabby route, and the crux was clearly well protected so relatively low risk. Downclimbing from the crux was easily possible. A pad was placed below the route to protect the first few metres. A small damp patch was noted however this was off route. Route was within capabilities of climber, but near the limit. Belayer was experienced in catching falls on gear. The climber placed two high quality pieces of gear (one on each rope) at the horizontal break just before the crux, rested and then attempted the move. Their initial attempt was unsuccessful so they downclimbed and traversed slightly, coming away from the dry line of the route and onto wet rock. This caused a fall which was well held by the gear and by good belaying, however panic caused the climber to flail and grab onto a block with a sharp edge, slicing deep into their hand. Climber was lowered to ground, hand was improvisedly bandaged and taken to Shepton Mallet Hospital.
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