Whilst belaying my partner as he led P2 of Nightmare another team were up and right of us finishing the E1 alternate finish of that route. The second dislodged loose rock at the start of the headwall which bounced off the ledges below before thudding to the ground 15ft to the right of the start of the route. A couple of minutes before two climbers had been walking there looking at routes to climb, only one of whom had a helmet on at the time. Fortunately we had radios so I could check on my partner and he was ok. Team that dislodged the rock are an experienced pair and no one was injured. Wall was in parts and recent poor weather may have contributed to loose rock on lesser-climbed lines.
1. Always wear a helmet around Avon Gorge walls even before climbing.
2. Never start a route directly below any team already on the wall.
3. Use of walkie-talkies on Avon multi-pitch is incredibly useful. Not only avoids traffic noise issues, but meant we could quickly check on safety of our own team.
4. Beware falling boulders in Avon, discussion with others at car park after revealed a known list of accidents on that area of the wall some of which were very serious.
Trad rock climbing
Falling rock, snow, ice or object
Rescue Services Involved?
For more advice and guidance on good practices visit BMC skills
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.