woman in sleeveless top and backpack surrounded by trees during daytime
person standing on gray stone fragment

Issue of climbing at Dairy Farm Quarry at a standstill after NParks prohibits entry to rock walls


CLIMBERS: NPARKS’ STUDY FLAWED

This study, according to RCC representative Mr Cheang, was flawed and lacked input from climbers.

“They used a very engineering perspective to look at the risk management plan in Dairy Farm. (They) did a risk assessment of different areas, but they are not really climbers so they don’t really understand what climbers do in order to mitigate the risks,” he said.

“Rock climbing has always been practised in the quarry. Where there is rock there will be rockfall. This is the nature of climbing on rock and any attempt to reduce or mitigate the risks to zero is futile, as nature is a force that we cannot completely control.”

What NParks has done “clearly defies the spirit of adventure and outdoor sports”, he added.

Climbers also noted that the prohibition might inadvertently lead to people climbing under the radar and failing to share information about possible hazards for fear of being penalised.

One such climber who was seen in the area when CNA visited said that Dairy Farm had “sentimental value” to him as he was one of its pioneer climbers.

The climber, who declined to give his name, said he voluntarily checks on the bolts and anchors at the rock walls and changes them if necessary to ensure they are in good condition. Asked for his views on Dairy Farm Quarry as a climbing site, the man said that it was a good place to expose climbers to climbing outdoors before they progressed to crags overseas.

Those who climb at Dairy Farm Quarry need to know what kind of rock surface they are dealing with, he added. Granite has a smoother surface with angled cracks, so there is a lack of friction for smearing – a move where you press your shoe to the surface of the rock to ascend.

“During the rainy season after heavy rain, we have to see the changes with soil erosion and if the place is good. After a prolonged dry period, if we see falling sand and we know to be careful, it helps us make better decisions….

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