/ Highway One, Portishead
Would anyone disagree?
I would disagree as I would have done with the Cocytus bolting, do you not think a little psychological dynamic can add to a routes experience? I think I did Highway one on the old bolts (I think they are staples now) which were apparently removed with teaspoon! I remember enjoying the route and the little spice was part of the fulfilment. If a couple of extra bolts are placed then so be it, there's plenty more climbing to be done....
Nice profile pic by the way :-)
It's bolted (with staples) for most of its length, and has been that way for quite a while. If there were a consensus to restore it to a trad route (which happens to have a bit of fixed gear), I'd probably support that. But in its current state it's so close to being a complete sport route that it just seems a bit silly not to complete the job. At the very least the old single bolt at the top needs replacing with a proper twin-bolt lower-off.
but it is bolted.
My point is that it is virtually a full on sports route with all the hard climbing'sport'bolted with just the easier start and finish not bolted.
Yes, a bold start and then leftwards to reach a good wire placement. Trouble is, there's a low bolt left of the start which belongs to a different route, but which could possibly be used, and which seems to cause confusion about the exact line. Part of the character of the route? Maybe. I tend to think it's a bit messy and unsatisfactory.
The bolts run out as you near the top, but there's a crack which takes good wires. I've no real problem with carrying a couple of wires for this, but as you've just climbed what is in essence (apart from one "missing" bolt at the start) a long sport route, it definitely feels like there's a bolt missing. Did to me, anyway.
It's been in it's current semi-bolted condition for at least 12years (when i first did it) and even back then i was surprised to fins a sketchy single bolt lower-off/ab-point. That is definitely something that needs sorting.
As to the other sections? I think it adds character and stops it being "just another sport route". I wouldn't vote to add bolts to the start.
As an aside, and probably not well known, but the whole route has been done on trad gear only at E6 6a, using aforementioned wires and some sketchy slings on blunt spikes as well as skyhooks for psychological protection.
Thanks for the info. Didn't know about the trad ascent.
"Semi-bolted" is a potentially misleading phrase, IMO - makes it sound like it's 50/50. Actually it's mostly bolted - 80% at least. All it would need to make it a fully bolted route is one additional bolt at the start and one at the finish (and as you say, an improved lower off).
I'm in a bit of a false position here, because 9 times out of 10 I'd be all for preserving the hybrid nature of a route. I just wouldn't put this particular route in that category - to me it doesn't feel like a "true" hybrid, more like a "close but no cigar" sport route. But that's a subjective, personal view, of course.
> Thanks for the info. Didn't know about the trad ascent.
> "Semi-bolted" is a potentially misleading phrase, IMO - makes it sound like it's 50/50. Actually it's mostly bolted - 80% at least.
I recall (late 80s) the bolts being really bad, with a 50% chance they would come out - maybe maybe 40% bolted!
I'm not even sure it needs that. It's easy enough to belay, bring the second up, and walk round.
The last time i was up there it was a massive bramble/scrub nightamre at the top of that wall. You could barely walk 5m let alone access the descent path that is at the top of the main slab.
I have looked at Highway One a few times and one of the things that has put me off is the belay. (I think the Avon guide has it as a small tree in amongst all the nasty stuff at the top??) with this in mind it could well be sensible to install a proper lower off in line with some of the other routes on the main slab. I think it would be a shame to fully bolt the route though but I am aware that this essentially would mean adding only 2 more bolts in 40m.
> I'm not even sure it needs that. It's easy enough to belay, bring the second up, and walk round.
When I did this a couple of years ago the rock was pretty loose- everything that wasn't a proper hold would come off at the slightest touch. It added something to the route imo. I think that there's more to this route than a typical sport route so would vote against more bolts- reckon the start adds something. Wouldn't mind a proper lower off tho.
madness, where would you stop? Them should have those rusty pegs replaced, start's a bit run out; think pink - tricky friend placements in the middle and an inconvenient belay.
As many have said it was a great classic with the old bolts and a pokey E3/4 then that many aspired to. It's now prob 6c/ 6c+ (French rather than English French grades)with a spicy start that most sport climbers (looking at cheddar) would overcome with a stick clip. So no need for another bolt.
As for the top: clippers for the brambles or more ascents?
The only bolt you could clip with a stick is low and to the left, and belongs to another route. If you then climb the proper start you're looking at a fall and big pendulum. You can't stick clip anything at the start of Highway One - unless you have a stick that either extends to nearly 15 metres or can place nuts!
BTW I think "madness" is a bit strong. You seem to have leapt to the conclusion that I want to render everything safe to the point of sterility. Actually it's the opposite - in general I'm all for keeping routes as they are and not being too hasty with installing or replacing fixed gear. All the routes you mention I wouldn't interfere with. So I know where I would stop. It happens to be my opinion that Highway One isn't in the same category at all - in its present state it's very close to being a fully bolted sport route.
Probably should change to E4 6a on here, if it's staying as it is.
And it should probably stay as it is (assuming the replies on here are representative).
I'd still like to see a proper lower-off installed, though.
If you like :)
One thing though - When I climbed I had expected to be able to lower off at the top easily (GF cant climb this hard). One bolt belay isn't cool especially as stripping gear is a mission as the route overhangs and traverses quite a way right.
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