On 13th June 2002 a surprising 59 climbers attended the first of this season´s Range West Briefings which took place at the Warehouse Climbing Wall.Glos. The number registering were up on last years by 10+ which is a very good sign. The new slimmed down ´sensible´ briefing went briskly with all the relevant agency speakers getting the salient points across about not touching anything fluffy, pointy or falling off !! ´Kev the RSM´(who deputised in the absence of the New Colonel) also went ´At the Double´and the usual dreary Liability Mantra didn´t seem so much like chore this time. A new departure from the usual this year was the introduction of a ´Green Card´ method of registering to cut down on ´Time & Red Tape´. Applicants completed their basic details on this card which was signed and submitted at the end of the briefing. It seems these cards will be endorsed by the Colonel / Senior Range Firing Officer initially and on booking through the security gate on entry the ´Green Card´ will be presented like a ´Clocking In´ card and the the permit issued against it. This card would be handed back to the visiting climber on exit from the Range. Another new jolly sensible introduction was the relaxation on the earlir ´dawn raid´ attendances to get access permits. Climbers can now enter the Range by reporting as above at any reasonable time during the day but must be out ´Before Last Night´. It appears anyone considering Green Card falsity to gain fraudulent access could be banned from access, or worse be on the next Hercules out for a Potato Peeling Expedition to Bagram Airbase !! Let´s hope the falling annual attendances of climbers gets a welcome boost with these sensible measures and interest in this prime climbing area is revived. Give it Go !!.There was also strong talk of large boulders being strategically placed in some locations in the range as ´safe abseil points´ but this is yet to be implemented…Have I died and gone to heaven or what ? :-)) I did suggest to the Rep. Speakers that they consider Sheffield next year for a Range West Briefing Location. (PYB N.Wales didn´t prompt great interest)….Does anyone think the Sheffield & northern based Pembroke Diehards would do better than PYB ? Might be worth canvassing climbers views on your website posting to see what the feeling was ? Carl Ryan
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