Saturday 20 August 2011

Take care on Tower Ridge after recent rock fall at the Gap

As reported on UK Climbing and Alan Kimber's Blog there was a rock fall at Tower Gap on 30th of July. The pedestal block that people used to step down onto on the North/downhill side of the Gap dislodged and fell down Glover's Chimney (and best wishes to the lady who was injured when it dislodged).
I went up on Friday 19th August to take a few pictures and some video of the current situation. This is what I observed:

The step down directly into the Gap is now about 1 foot longer than it was.
The block that has dislodged has left behind 2 smaller blocks which move but are keyed in/attached by the remaining outer block and an amount of gravel and loose stones. These are exposed to weather and will become looser over time. It would be possible to remove the 2 small blocks but this might well weaken or dislodge the larger remaining block directly over Glover's Chimney.
The descent to the East / Tower Gully side is unaffected and avoids all of these blocks.
On the other side of the Gap (the South/Uphill side) one of the large obvious blocks regularly used as both a hand an foothold is also loose. This block seems well attached when pulled towards the Gap but moves a good deal when subject to a push/pull towards Tower Gully/Glover's Chimney.

None of these observations should be seen as definitive and like all locations in the mountains this situation is dynamic and will continue to change.
Those approaching the Gap may wish to use extra caution in the light of recent events and should, as ever, make a judgement for themselves as to whether to proceed and how best to do so.
Take care.


Unknown said...

Hi Alan,

would you mind if I placed this video on my blog too?
As an aside my wife sadly broke her ankle due to rockfall on the NNE ridge of the Eginner (from the Mittaghorn)in Saas Fee a month ago and was in hospital in Edinburgh with the female climber who was injured in the gap and as such they now keep in touch!


Tim :)

Alan said...

Hey dig in Tim. Publicise the video as you see fit. Hppe your missus get well soon.