On my first day sport climbing I climbed at Horseshoe. After climbing in the most popular areas all day we decided to have a look at the shady wall opposite the main one.
Three to four bolts up a pretty poor 6a I pulled hard to get onto a ledge and the whole thing hinged out from the wall, hitting my thigh but narrowly missing my belayer as it hit the deck.
Luckily I didn’t have my foot locked into a crack or anything so I only sustained a small cut and some bruising to my leg.
I was completely naïve to the idea of loose rock- my experiences of plastic, grit and well-travelled mountain routes had yet to expose me to the potential dangers of quarried Peak limestone. This was a mistake as holds can always break. Wear a helmet while belaying and avoid standing directly below your leader.
Lots of these quarries have routes that were put up primarily to feed the first ascensionist’s ego and desire for quantity of new routes rather than to create fun and safe routes for others so always bear in mind they could be on rock that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned or was never really solid enough to be developed in the first place.
While the BMC-owned areas of Horseshoe have been assessed for stability and rebolted in recent years, the rest of the quarry hasn’t so the same care should be taken as would be at any other quarried venue.
Sport rock climbing
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All reports are self-submitted and have not been edited by the BMC in any way, so please keep an open mind regarding the lessons and causes of each incident or near-miss.