Saturday, 26 April 2014

A Different Quarry

Having spent so much time in the angularity of slate quarries, I took the opportunity to explore the quarry at Trefor during my visit last month (while waiting for the tide to drop). My Great Grandfather was from Trefor, and worked for a time in this quarry. Although I felt no connection here, it was interesting juxtaposing it with my experiences from the Slate quarries. These quarries are still active, although only on a very small scale.
The walk up. (brisk) 

The first major difference with the Slate quarries, the derelict buildings are less middle earth, more Stalag 13; austere, and multi levelled, I didn't have time this visit to venture inside.. 

The quarries themselves, are generally ragbag and chossy, although I've seen pictures of more continuous walls in the upper levels, and there are some routes in the quarry at the top of Avernus. The Quarrying method seemed to be:
A)Blow it Up
B) Drag out the big bits
C) Cut up the big bits

One of the big bits that seems to be avoiding being cut up, beautiful texture, but in need of a little patioing.

The modern Quarryman. The Stone is primarily sought for Top End (Olympic) Curling Stones. Although there was also a little dressed stone. No new blasting of the faces occurs, but those loose blocks that exist are levered off  into the pile as needed

Curling stone waste from a more traditional quarryman

Another cool block, this time poised for the saw methinks...

The Pile. Much to play on here, but you project may eventually be thrown down the ice..

A Tunnel in the rubble. 10ft in diameter and it took all my will not to give in to exploring its depths (headtorch next time...)

Saw this lovely splitter and decided to investigate..

The spent charges still had wires in place. They may not blast the face, but they will blow things into manageable pieces.

A couple of really sexy blocks perched on the face. Sadly too detached to tempt the sportist, however, maybe a JCB will help a boulderer out? (there appeared to be one digger allotted to (abandoned on) each level)

Its not all about to fall off. There was this splitter next to a JCB.

So Trefor Quarry. You could lead there, but its a bit chossy. You could boulder there, but the boulders might be gone tomorrow. You could run around there like a big kid (like me), or walk the dog like the locals.

There's treasure everywhere!

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