Club Outing to Cummingston

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Club Outing to Cummingston

Post  Admin on Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:55 pm

The next outdoor venue on our calender is Cummingston on Saturday 22nd of May. This date has been pulled forward a week from our original plans as this is a sea cliff venue, and the climbing area is affected by the tides.

Cummingston is a relatively safe venue with a shingle beach at the base of the cliffs. Access to the beach is by a short walk from the car park along the old railway line (which is now a foot/cycle path) to the top of a moderately steep bank. Getting to the beach level is only a walk down the bank and does not involve climbing. There's ample space at the bottom of the climbs to spread out and kit up away from the rock. If it's a nice day it can be really pleasant to eat here as well. There is a toilet block in the car park (about 5 -10mins away).

The intention would be to set up top ropes and allow climbing from the base of the cliffs to "top out" on top. There is then a path to follow to the base again. The path does not involve climbing.

There are many grades of climbs at Cummingston, so we can set up ropes to suit the abilities of the kids/parents? who turn up. If you have never climbed outdoors or only done a few climbs I would thoroughly recommend you come along, we will ensure there is something for everyone.

There is a cave area which has a hole in its roof. This can be used to set up an exciting abseil. There is also a relatively flat wall which can be used for abseiling.

There is a stack which stands in isolation which can be climbed by many routes and requires abseiling to descend from.

It would not be our intention to introduce kids to Trad leading, as there are many issues to consider with this.

Cummingston can be a very popular venue, and we would have to manage any top ropes we set up with respect for other climbers.

Potential dangers at Cummingston include:-

1 – The top of the cliff is very sandy and it would be possible to start sliding some way back from the edge and not be able to stop. Kids and adults alike need to follow instructions and move with care at the top of the climb. We will point out the pathways at the start of the day. Depending on the number of people who attend we will probably have adults to escort the kids from the top of the cliif back to the bottom. Kids must not "explore" at the top of the cliffs.

2 – The collapsed roof into a cave has a sandy funnel like entrance meaning that you need to stay well back. If we set up an abseil here we will keep everybody well back and nobody should approach until the abseil organiser is ready.

3 – The rocky foreshore extends a long way at low tide and the kids can wander well away from the cliffs exploring the rock pools and are soon out of sight. Everybody will need to keep the kids within sight.

4 – It is a busy area with other climbers and walkers with a potential for dropped stones, kit or ropes if you are not paying attention. Everybody who is climbing or belaying must wear a helmet, as should anybody at the base of the climbs. If you choose to belay your own children without a helmet, that is up to you but it is unreasonable to ask other members to take this responsibility.

Equipment.
Everybody will need rock shoes, helmet,harness & chalk (if you use it). If you have a rope (40m) please bring it.

As this is an outdoor meet all climbers and belayers will need to be members of the club. This is necessary to meet the conditions of the MCofS Civil Liability Insurance.

Since climbing is a sport that is inherently dangerous the Mountaineering Council of Scotland has a standard participation statement that reads:-

“The MCofS recognises that climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement”

While there may be a few adult members of the club attending who will be happy to share their knowledge and experience with less experienced climbers, they should not be regarded as a Leader or an Instructor, regardless of any climbing related jobs or qualifications held by these individuals. Any information shared is advice only and as such the onus for responsibility remains with the less experienced climber (or their parent/guardian) and they must decide whether or not to accept this advice.

All equipment and ropes in use on the day will belong to individual club members. As you are responsible for your own and your child's safety, you should satisfy yourself that any equipment used during the day is suitable and safe. If you are in anyway unsure, you should ask for advice.

On the day.
We will meet between 1000hrs and 1100hrs. We will have a short briefing to cover some safety points.

Directions
The carpark post code is IV30 5
Click [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] for google maps

From the car park, start walking towards the sea, the toilet block is on your left. as you walk towards the sea you will go down a slope to reach the old railway which is now a footpath. Head to the left (west) along the path. Walk along the path for approx. 5 mins until the embankment on your right falls away to reveal the sea again. Look for a path leading down to the sea starting roughly where the embankment starts again. Follow the path down to sea level (still heading west). the climbing area is is front of you and to your left.

Crag information can be found [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

If you are intending going please let Scott Kinghorn or John Donaldson know. If you require any more details please ask.

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