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Report - Bank Bottom Mill Chimney - Marsden Oct 2013

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by Bigjobs, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Bigjobs

    Bigjobs Official Smartarse
    Regular User

    Aug 29, 2007
    Likes Received:
    So here I am, sitting in my car waiting for fishbrain. I was early for once (I'm never early). I'd even prepared my gear (My gear is never prepared). Radio 4 was talking about something, but I wasn't really listening.

    Two days prior, we'd been here before. Got to the bottom of the chimney to find straps that were snapped & corroded. We decided that it was a stupid idea, and went to climb some aerials instead, the one's you can see in the background of picture 5 (we decided against that one too, medium wave aerials are apparently not that nice).

    I got home that night and couldn't sleep over the defeat, the day after in work all I could think of was that damn chimney. So I arranged a return visit, and thought of a couple of ways to make it a little safer.

    If anyone doesn't know, when a chimney starts to become structurally unstable, cracks become visible, the mortar between the bricks wears out, they put straps on it. This helps to keep it all in one piece. This chimney is ~150yrs old, and is fucked. Cracks you can stick your hands in, morter missing everywhere, etc.. So they put banding on it. It's not the type of straps they use now, now they bend the ends 90degrees and stick a bolt in, but this one is all looks like a blacksmith made it. There's vertical bars up at each corner of the octagonal chimney, and straps to keep it all in check. However, the elements have really taken their toll on them, as mentioned a couple of lower straps have corroded to the point of snapping, and as we're talking about 4 x .5 inch bar, that's no mean feat.

    I'd decided that the snapped straps were lower down, in an area that's shielded from the wind, so they never got a chance to dry out. Ok, I hoped that was the case.

    Anyway, fishbrain turned up, and we made our way to the base. We sorted out the rope, and kitted up, with fishbrain belaying me as I made my ascent.

    It was such a beautiful night, clearish skies, and a near full moon. No wind, yet cool. I felt so calm and at ease as Imade my way up. Till I got somewhere near the 3 quarter mark, where the structure has a smaller cross section. The bands were anything but static, moving as I went past them, creaking as I clipped the rope in. The vertical bars were well away from the brickwork and it just seemed mental to carry on. So I carried on. I got to the top, loving the vista, took some shots and descended for fishbrain to ascend.

    All in all, the night was perfect, it couldn't have gone any better. For a little chimney in the middle of nowhere this must rank up in the top 3 things I've done.

    The pictures may explain it :D

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    And a last one of fishbrain at the top.

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