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RIP Whitehouses (Read 9298 times)

turnipturned

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RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 01:41:56 pm
Went to Whitehouses today to find a sign drilled into the cliff saying 'Caution no Climbing' and pretty much any obivous hold been smashed off with a sledge hammer. (Can only presume this is the landowner).

Such a shame. Was such a valuable crag for our local community. It seems extremely short sited and a total overreaction.

I think access issues are going to become a lot more of an issue moving forwards, especially with the huge increase and popularity of bouldering. Think there is some lessons to be learnt here.

For photos; see my Instagram (@highballproductions) or Yorkshire Grit on Facebook.


Fiend

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#1 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 02:34:45 pm
 :o :no: :'( >:( :wavecry:

tomtom

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#2 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 04:57:00 pm
That’s a shame.... unfortunate no resolution could be found (BMC were involved non?)

daprince

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#3 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 04:57:20 pm
Couldn't Agree more, this is a tragedy but you could see it coming, as people parked in daft places and more people started to frequent the place, never went personally I'm too shite to do anything. Access to  the Cliff is already becoming a problem firstly lamping and then wall walking, plenty of people have used it as a bivvy site recently even though it's a few hundred metres from the farmer's house. We either treat private land with respect or we get kicked off.

205Chris

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#4 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 05:04:49 pm
It's pretty disappointing to see the perpetrator get called some fairly obscene things by other climbers on that instagram post with only one person (Mark Katz) seemingly acknowledging that climbers might have played some part in things escalating to this. I agree it seems fairly reactionary but the warnings were there.

I've only ever been once but I can see how it's proximity to the road and fast drying nature led to it becoming popular (not to mention appearances in a number of videos). There was even a old post here that alluded to the farmer taking things into his own hands, albeit the reality is worse than the threat was.

If anything comes of this I hope it's that climbers as a community take a long hard look at themselves. Anyone who thinks this is a one off incident only needs to look back at Eagle Tor in the peak where access was lost due to some inconsiderate climber crimping one off in what is essentially someone's back yard where their kids play.

Whether it's an education thing or not but things like this and the recent 'pack every problem with chalk' issue at Stanage make me pretty sad with the current state of affairs.

sxrxg

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#5 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 05:34:25 pm
Wadded 205chris as you have said what I was thinking much better than I could have done.

Oldmanmatt

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#6 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 05:38:49 pm
It's pretty disappointing to see the perpetrator get called some fairly obscene things by other climbers on that instagram post with only one person (Mark Katz) seemingly acknowledging that climbers might have played some part in things escalating to this. I agree it seems fairly reactionary but the warnings were there.

I've only ever been once but I can see how it's proximity to the road and fast drying nature led to it becoming popular (not to mention appearances in a number of videos). There was even a old post here that alluded to the farmer taking things into his own hands, albeit the reality is worse than the threat was.

If anything comes of this I hope it's that climbers as a community take a long hard look at themselves. Anyone who thinks this is a one off incident only needs to look back at Eagle Tor in the peak where access was lost due to some inconsiderate climber crimping one off in what is essentially someone's back yard where their kids play.

Whether it's an education thing or not but things like this and the recent 'pack every problem with chalk' issue at Stanage make me pretty sad with the current state of affairs.

I think I read that exact same tract, in the the letters section of High magazine 35 years ago...

We never bloody learn, do we. As a community, we seem to view ourselves with a distressing exceptionalism, some sort of Robin Hood/revolutionary/anti-establishment/rugged individualists with divine right of access.
To the landowners we piss off, we’re just a bunch of scruffy twats doing something incomprehensible and making a nuisance in the process.

In reality, we’re like kids scrumping in the orchard.

If we’d only asked politely, they’d have let us take a few apples. If we cut the grass, clear the windfalls, fix the fence and oil the gate; we’d be bloody welcome.

Nope. Tins, crisp packets, chalk, loud swearing and abuse. Broken gates and fences and a large turd behind the tree.
If it was your garden?

Doylo

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#7 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 06:11:50 pm
Things don’t change much. One of the best crags in North Wales, Craig y Forwyn was banned 25 years ago due to similar bad behaviour by climbers. It only takes a minority to fuck it up. Having said that smashing crags up with hammers is horrible .

Oldmanmatt

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#8 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 06:32:34 pm
Things don’t change much. One of the best crags in North Wales, Craig y Forwyn was banned 25 years ago due to similar bad behaviour by climbers. It only takes a minority to fuck it up. Having said that smashing crags up with hammers is horrible .

It’s horrible to us, it’s a lump of rock that looks pretty much like it did the day before the fella with the hammer hit it, to him.
To us it’s like squashing puppies, to them; squashing ants.

We always forget that.
But, can you imagine trying to explain that to the group you saw at crag x/y/z last week?
Would you speak to the dicks talking about their lamp session at a.n.other sensitive crag, as they swan around the cafe at the wall?

Probably not, because you’d just be laughed at. Or, in cases such as mine, accused of being aggressive and threatening (My face telegraphs like bitch). This has been spoken about, lectured about, leafleted about, debated about, for about, as long as I’ve been a climber (since I was 8, so 39 years (yes, one of my earliest experiences as a climber was picking up litter at the Cheesewring, with all the old boys, who thought my dad was “the lad”; because access was at risk. 1979 ish).

Humans suck.

teestub

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#9 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 09:20:46 pm
That’s a shame.... unfortunate no resolution could be found (BMC were involved non?)

No they weren't really, they did fuck all. All the 'new access arrangements' were just hearsay where some random had spoken to some random at the crag. No official access arrangement was made. At the Yorkshire BMC meeting it was dismissed as being a small 'hardcore' venue that would be no great loss, which is true in the grand scheme of things, but doesn't make it hurt any less for the locals who loved it.

I was patiently waiting for the BMC to get something arranged before heading back...

spidermonkey09

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#10 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 10:14:57 pm
That’s a shame.... unfortunate no resolution could be found (BMC were involved non?)

No they weren't really, they did fuck all. All the 'new access arrangements' were just hearsay where some random had spoken to some random at the crag. No official access arrangement was made. At the Yorkshire BMC meeting it was dismissed as being a small 'hardcore' venue that would be no great loss, which is true in the grand scheme of things, but doesn't make it hurt any less for the locals who loved it.

I was patiently waiting for the BMC to get something arranged before heading back...

Really gutted with this, has ruined my Sunday.

Disappointed that nothing official was put in place as I was at the meeting and thought there had been. However, I think in the interests of balance I should say that I didn't get any sense of the crag being dismissed as no great loss. They mentioned it was 'pretty hardcore' which I interpreted as a self deprecating remark.

Think we as climbers need to start taking responsibility for this as much as anyone else. Anyone can make a sign and put it on a fence without waiting for BMC apparatus to grind into gear. I include myself in this fwiw. Kilnsey was a flashpoint last summer due to parking and could be again this year. Perhaps it's time to run a load of signs up without waiting for 'official clearance'.

We can't ever be sure that someone who turns up at the crag will have checked the RAD even though I totally agree they should have. Equally, we can't assume that everyone who uses a venue is on the same Facebook page. Important stuff needs be made clear on site so there is no wiggle room IMO.

Out of interest, do we know yet what flashpoint triggered this reaction? Seems a few people were climbing there last week no problems.

mrjonathanr

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#11 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 04, 2018, 10:55:33 pm


We can't ever be sure that someone who turns up at the crag will have checked the RAD even though I totally agree they should have. Equally, we can't assume that everyone who uses a venue is on the same Facebook page. Important stuff needs be made clear on site so there is no wiggle room IMO.



Agree with assuming responsibility, though not sure about signs on private land.

RAD exists to provide key info so it's reasonable to hope it would be checked. There's no reason to assume someone will check Facebook, it's a commercial site, not a service.

spidermonkey09

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#12 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 07:53:05 am


I couldn't agree more, it is totally reasonable, but there are some seriously unreasonable people out there. In my experience it's much easier to challenge someone about something when there's literally a sign to point to alongside saying 'please don't do that.'

Re Facebook, I was referring to the Yorkshire Grit Bouldering page;
I wasn't on it til a week ago which is a case in point! But it does seem to be a forum for access issues etc, which is great as long as it's not the *only* place.


Paul B

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#13 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 10:20:44 am
That’s a shame.... unfortunate no resolution could be found (BMC were involved non?)

No they weren't really, they did fuck all...

....At the Yorkshire BMC meeting it was dismissed as being a small 'hardcore' venue that would be no great loss, which is true in the grand scheme of things, but doesn't make it hurt any less for the locals who loved it.

That's more than a bit worrying/damning!

Call me a stuck record but I was fairly unimpressed with how unbothered the BMC Yorkshire area meet was to rubbish behaviour at the big K (not quite as bothered as to the rubbish behaviour itself obviously).

It had the air of it having been handled which IMO it hasn't and nobody seemed overly concerned so I've tried to (/failed to) let it go. Maybe that's far from the correct approach?

Without getting too BMC 'bashy' here (as I acknowledge there's a lot of good work done, on a lot of fronts), it seemed like a fairly huge error to promote a video showing walking on the wall at the cliff on social media.

RAD only shows 1000 downloads on Google play.

tomtom

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#14 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 10:35:17 am
Well folks theres a BMC yorkshire area meet tonight if you want to bring it up?

http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?id=3931

And from the minutes of their last meeting (27/11/2017):

Quote
Gritstone: Access & Conservation: Mick stated as per report attached to agenda:
New notices now provided for owner of Almscliffe re: litter, lamping and drones as well as some re: parking.
Farmer has complained of damage to the wall up to the crag from people using it instead of getting muddy
feet.
Whitehouses boulder – has found the owner, access issues still ongoing. The farmer does not want any
climbing on this at the current time

Hawkcliffe has a change of owner and issues may arise.
Crookrise is a work in progress re: surveying and a potential Open Day in 2018.
Brimham - concerns were raised re loose rock above Lovers Leap Chimney – Mick has inspected and can
see no problem and has advised the Army to not use the chimney if they are concerned. Paul Clarke and
friends are busy compiling a

Maybe this wasn't well publicised? (by anyone - not necessarily the BMC) but seems pretty clear to me....


shark

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#15 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 10:45:15 am
No they weren't really, they did fuck all. All the 'new access arrangements' were just hearsay where some random had spoken to some random at the crag. No official access arrangement was made. At the Yorkshire BMC meeting it was dismissed as being a small 'hardcore' venue that would be no great loss, which is true in the grand scheme of things, but doesn't make it hurt any less for the locals who loved it.

I was patiently waiting for the BMC to get something arranged before heading back...

Understand disappointment and it sounds like you did right to hold off going and if others had done as well maybe this could have been averted.

As for the BMC doing fuck all the minutes of the last two meetings suggest that is not quite the case:

Minutes of meeting 11 Sept

Whitehouses boulder – this has created a few access issues as it is on private land with a public footpath alongside. The farmer does not want any climbing on this at the current time – Mick (Johnson) is going to speak to him

Minutes of meeting 27 Nov

Whitehouses boulder – has found the owner, access issues still ongoing. The farmer does not want any
climbing on this at the current time

galpinos

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#16 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 10:48:17 am
Quote
Whitehouses boulder – has found the owner, access issues still ongoing. The farmer does not want any
climbing on this at the current time


Maybe this wasn't well publicised? (by anyone - not necessarily the BMC) but seems pretty clear to me....

The RAD didn't reflect that though, which might be where people check instead of the last minutes of the regional meeting.

spidermonkey09

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#17 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 10:56:57 am
Well folks theres a BMC yorkshire area meet tonight if you want to bring it up?

http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?id=3931

And from the minutes of their last meeting (27/11/2017):

Quote
Gritstone: Access & Conservation: Mick stated as per report attached to agenda:
New notices now provided for owner of Almscliffe re: litter, lamping and drones as well as some re: parking.
Farmer has complained of damage to the wall up to the crag from people using it instead of getting muddy
feet.
Whitehouses boulder – has found the owner, access issues still ongoing. The farmer does not want any
climbing on this at the current time

Hawkcliffe has a change of owner and issues may arise.
Crookrise is a work in progress re: surveying and a potential Open Day in 2018.
Brimham - concerns were raised re loose rock above Lovers Leap Chimney – Mick has inspected and can
see no problem and has advised the Army to not use the chimney if they are concerned. Paul Clarke and
friends are busy compiling a

Maybe this wasn't well publicised? (by anyone - not necessarily the BMC) but seems pretty clear to me....

Am going, so will do. Agree that it wasn't publicised all that well because I would swear blind no one even said we shouldn't be climbing there at that meeting; but maybe my memories are faulty. By contrast I remember Mick saying 'it should be fine, the owner is ok with climbing but the tenant isn't' or words to that effect. Would be interested to hear from anyone else who was there as I may be totally wrong. Either way I'm sure it will come up this evening.

teestub

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#18 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 11:29:18 am
Unfortunately away with work tonight so can’t go. Likewise I don’t remember any talk of not climbing there at the last meeting. Interesting that the minutes don’t seem to reflect that point at all. They were too busy wanking on about which order in which to arrange their ducks to give much time to access.

Shark: let me amend my statement from ‘done fuck all’ to ‘achieved fuck all’.

spidermonkey09

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#19 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 11:37:00 am
Unfortunately away with work tonight so can’t go. Likewise I don’t remember any talk of not climbing there at the last meeting. Interesting that the minutes don’t seem to reflect that point at all.

Will point it out this eve seeing as it seems to be both of us challenging the minutes. Would also like to see considerably more discussion time given to access.

teestub

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#20 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 11:46:40 am
Thanks, that would be great.

Good look on the access front, assume you’re in for another night of organisational charts, subcommittee and participation promotion chat from the recent comms.

spidermonkey09

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#21 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 12:04:05 pm
Thanks, that would be great.

Good look on the access front, assume you’re in for another night of organisational charts, subcommittee and participation promotion chat from the recent comms.

Yeah I also suspect that, but they've hauled in Rob Dyer who I gather is the overall access man. I sympathise because modernising the BMC has to be done, and part of that is explaining things (semi)clearly and giving people a forum to discuss it. Flipside is we've all got lives to lead and the desire to go home at some point cuts down on access time which I would say is infinitely more important/relevant to me. Would happily sign off the modernising recommendations now tbh.

Will Hunt

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#22 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 12:13:49 pm
To be fair, I wouldn't ever think to check the RAD before I went bouldering on grit in Yorkshire - maybe I should? I'd normally look at it for bird ban info, limestone access which tends to be more fractious, and if I'm going anywhere on a Saturday where I know there might be shooting. I tend to keep up to date with things by looking on here and at various FB groups, but obviously not everyone will do that. Maybe the answer is to push people to check the RAD more regularly and to make sure it's always got the most up to date info.

Will Hunt

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#23 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 12:18:40 pm
What about a noticeboard at the local walls with the names of the local crags that people are likely to visit, particularly those in shooting areas, or not on CRoW with a red/yellow/green label next to them indicating the state of access.

andy_e

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#24 Re: RIP Whitehouses
February 05, 2018, 12:23:01 pm
Good idea Will, a "crag noticeboard" might work, if it's in an accessible place. Also, some form of awareness of access issues on those "indoors to outdoors" sessions that some walls run. Is that a done thing?