Date of Incident

15/07/2012

Country

England

Incident

Horseshoe has never been my first choice of venue after pulling a big block off a route there on my first visit but I found myself there after tagging along with a group of less experienced climbers. After climbing a 6a warm up route I had a go at a 6b I’d never tried, “Mind Your Head”.

At the chains I found myself surrounded by disconcertingly loose rock including a terrifying Jenga-esque pillar that you could easily attempt to use to clip from of you didn’t have your wits about you. After lowering off, Iadvised my partner and all others nearby not to climb this route and kept my helmet on until we left.

An hour or so later, after we’d moved on to another section of the quarry, I heard a commotion from that area and saw that both a leader and his belayer has blood coming from their heads- the leader had pulled the pillar down and rocks had hit them both. Each was conscious and they were able to get to hospital without calling out emergency services luckily.

Thankfully this route was debolted by the BMC as part of work done in 2017 but few, if any, other such venues have received this treatment.

Lessons

Wear a helmet at all times in chossy quarries.

Don’t expect rock to be perfectly solid anywhere, but especially not on quarried Peak limestone.

If you find a route dangerously loose, leave some sort of marker to warn people- don’t rely on word of mouth.

Activity

Sport rock climbing

When

Ascending

Injury

Serious injury requiring medical treatment, Minor injury

Causes

Falling rock, snow, ice or object, Hold breaking

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Observer

Wearing Helmets?

No

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.