Interesting belays? Always back them up!

On Wreckers Slab a Patey route

This belay was on Wreckers Slab (description below) There was a few original pegs from the first ascent which I clipped for the photo of course it was backed up.

One of the longest, most alluring and serious VS climbs in the West Country, Wrecker’s Slab is nevertheless the most attempted of its genre on the coast. The huge, slim slab rising from the beach on the far right-hand side of the cliff has very little in the way of technical difficulty but should not be underestimated as the rock is poor, protection spaced and the situations very serious. Start at the base of the slab just right of the overhangs.

1) 4a, 35m. Make a couple of tricky moves to easier ground and work out leftwards along an easy-angled section of slab to the arete. Climb a loose corner groove just right of the arete to a good peg and then move up and right on more loose rock to a footledge stance and peg belays plus good nut belays 5m above.
2) 4b, 45m. Climb directly to the overlaps and pull through them onto the slab above. Climb the slab to a belay at a pillar on a grass terrace.
3) 4a, 45m. Climb up past the pillar to the easy-angled upper wall and follow this on its left side to the top of the slab and belay. A short scramble along a ridge is needed to finish. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
An amazing cliff, one of the best adventureous routes in the country. Make it a must to climb, what a fantastic day out. Oh and make sure you don’t throw all the hand holds down to your belayer.

Death belay – Route: Cioch Grooves (HVS 5a) Climbers: Colin Binks. UKClimbing guide to Sron na Ciche crag (Isle of Skye)

The photo above was on Cioch Grooved on Skye. This was after my mate Al McLeod had taken a fall on the pitch below. I had backed up a poor belay with three nuts one pulled as did some of his gear as Al flew through the air. Our belay held and Al went straight back up and climbed the pitch. As we got to the top I saw this below if you look closely the sling is round a big Boulder but not completely. I did tell the climber as he was unaware and thanked me. A scary watch.

Should you advise if you see a poor belay ? Comments welcome !

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Equipment, Ice climbing Canada, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Interesting belays? Always back them up!

  1. Alistair Jeffs says:

    Yes of course. I friendly word could save someone’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

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