We are very pleased to have been able to support the excellent re-gearing project being undertaken at Wintour’s Leap. Adam Bird from the project described it for us here:
Wintour’s Leap Fixed Gear Project
The project started when a couple of keen climbers from the Gloucestershire Mountaineering Club were discussing the history of Wintour’s Leap with the first climbs being done in the early 1950s and 1960s, the conversation soon turned to how old some of the pegs must be! We noted there have been previous efforts to replace pitons at the cliff, however, there’s not been a significant effort for well over 15 years, and some routes still had original pitons in. A steering group was formed from local climbers and we put a scope together which was endorsed by The BMC.
The first issue we faced was the sheer scale of the problem. According to guidebooks and a very geeky spreadsheet made by one of the steering group members, we estimated that there are over 500 pitons on the cliff. We started by prioritising routes in order of popularity and thanks to the UKC logbooks this is pretty easy to judge!
Gaining top-down access isn’t always straightforward, the cliffs are up to 90m tall, lines wander, and getting to the correct place to abseil is sometimes problematic. There’s certainly been times when we’ve been aiming for a certain route and found ourselves on a completely different line instead. Anyone who has carried a couple of 100m static ropes and a bag full of pitons will understand the effort it takes just doing one route, a lot of thanks is in order to those few individuals that have spent countless hours replacing gear to keep these cliffs in a climbable state for years to come.
Donations have allowed us to buy a significant number of pitons and a couple of static ropes in order to carry out the work safely. To date, we estimate around 150 pegs have been replaced across 63 different routes. There is still a huge amount of work to do at Wintour’s Leap and the group is also starting to look at other venues within the Wye Valley that need a bit of TLC too.
If you would like to support the effort then you can make a donation on this PayPal donation page.
If you would like to find out more and get involved then please email [email protected]