/ new belay point keyhole cave
I climbed Piccadilly circus yesterday and it appears there is a new bomber belay point in the cave?
Never been on that side of the cave before and heard horror stories of the belays. Seemed pretty good to me...
does this mean I can abseil out of keyhole?
What does the belay consist of?
it looks like a massive glue in 'U' bolt,
just above piccadilly circus P1, just under an inch thick maybe?
the rock it is in is solid but extremely sandy and soft - looks bomber though
Ill try & get a pic this weekend
I did Piccadilly Circus on Sunday. Yes the new belay point is very handy but it will encourage people to top rope the lower wall section and make it even more polished.
I cant see any point in splitting the route into two pitches. I just clipped the staple on a long sling. The bit out of the cave is great.
I cant imagine that is going to be there for very long!
It would take some getting out
Who placed it and why?
i am sure it can be chopped
There was a lot of nonsense spouted at the time of my article saying that people should "man up" and climb the routes all the way to the top, but anyone with half a brain and a grip on reality knows that doesn't and won't happen in 90% of cases. Installing the lower off is a sensible and reasonable thing to have happened.
What was wrong with the preplaced ab rope/lower off?
Better or more convenient?
Oh, I see you've already answered that.
I'd like to offer my support for this belay point.
Historically there has been old spikes in the cave, and I see this as replacing like for like. I am not in favour of fixed gear in general.
The current definitive guidebook suggests it is possible to ab off from the cave. This leads to a safety issue, as I'm sure plenty of people have got to the cave expecting to have the option, and instead found themselves out of their depth in sandy death.
Yes, I know a competent enough party could always extract themselves by abbing off, and then ab from the top for the gear. However its certainly not an easy abseil to set up, as the rock is soft and sandy, and to achieve good redundancy you need to use bits of gear that are far apart and hard to equalise.
It has opened up two superb 5a pitches to those who cannot face the horrors of leaving the cave upwards. Picadilly Circus is the only easyish exit and at a scary E2 5c, is not for everyone. I'd not use this arguement to support putting ab stations all over the place - but it seems reasonable to support replacing this one.
It also offers safe retreat for anyone who did intend to continue but failed to negotiate the sandy roofs.
Abbing from the top of the crag to retrieve gear creates a saftey issue for anyone else at the crag, as it is virtually impossible without knocking stones down. I've seen plenty of rock come down from people just setting up normal belays.
Could anybody considering chopping it make sure they consider the issue from a visiting E2 climbers perspective.
I agree with this - I think it should be left in place. As said above folks might use it for top-roping the cracks below, but they would need to get there 1st. Maybe the addition of a big maillon, tightened with a spanner would stop the belay getting worn?
Seems ok to me to have an ab point in the cave. Fixed gear for runners is not accepted on grit, but fixed gear (stakes) for belays and ab points is (e.g. Burbage S, Windgather, Castle Naze, etc).
Hmm more bolts in grit quarries - Heptonstall and now Millstone.
Fixed gear for runners *is* accepted on grit; there are pegs and bolts scattered all over the place (but almost exclusively in quarries). A pedantic point perhaps, but worth making it so as not to confuse an issue that people like to get confused over!
As discussed at length in the past, I don't agree with this. It will be the only modern bolt on Eastern Grit, and that for me is a mistake. I don't believe the pitches made more accessible to HVS climbers are of sufficent merit to justify the addition.
If it stays in it I will be amazed if it is not used as justification for other convenience bolts.
Interesting that the above supporters don't seem to have been active on the past threads linked above. Just not aware or felt uncomfortable showing support?
I don't have any objection to the fixed anchor. It could do with a chain to extend the ab/lower point over the lip of the cave to prevent erosion.
This is an established trad quarry so I'm not advocating wholesale bolting, fixed lower offs here. Some people would.
Preventing a nasty abseil accident is obviously a good idea so please donít remove it.
Ok, good point, so let me re-phrase to saying that placing NEW fixed gear for runners is not generally accepted on grit, even quarried grit. However, placing new belay stakes, or replacing old one, in places that need them, doesn't seem to raise objection.
The vast majority of which are historical items, placed in the aid era or mining relics. The number of modern bolts to protect free climbs is vanishingly few on gritstone, and should remain so.
I'll restate the crucial difference between pegs and bolts here too - pegs are natural gear, they require an adequate weakness to be present in the rock, and therefore should be far less controversial than bolts which can be placed anywhere.
But if you see this as a belay stake rather than a bolt runner, then it is more acceptable.
I saw some of these previous threads but at that time had not done any of the relevant routes so didn't have much of an opinion. Having since led Piccaddilly Circus and been in the cave I've arrived at the opinion that I don't object to a belay/abseil stake/rod there.
Can you give examples of possible other bolts?
True, most of them are. The NW area agreed many years ago to replace fixed gear like for like and it's had a rejuvenating effect in the places where rotting bolts/pegs have been replaced. Is the Peak Area backward, or is it visionary?
In reply to your other points: There are probably lots of people who think that making things safer for lower grade climbers in this specific situation is quite reasonable. Dan Arkle has eloquently reasoned things out in his post above.
I would be amazed if this was the mythical & hilarious "thin end of the wedge". I suspect that this will presage nothing whatsoever.
Personally, I wasn't aware of some of the threads mentioned above. If people are comfortable showing support now, I'm sure they'd have been comfortable showing it then.
So "No bolts on gritstone" is now taken as "no bolts on gritstone unless we pretend it's a belay stake or it's a replacement for something from a long time ago"?
Frank - you cannot be serious, surely?
You can say many things about the appropriateness of the creeping proliferation of bolts into traditional climbing areas in the UK over the last 20 years, but the one thing which cannot be denied in any way, is that those passionate traditionalists who described the arrival of the first bolts in different areas and rock types as "the thin end of the wedge" were absolutely correct in their prediction.
To deny this is a bit like putting a paper bag over your head...
The Irony being, that the only reason things like this dont become the thin end of the wedge, is because of people that disagree with you.
The thin edge of the wedge has truly passed and has proved to be neither mythical nor hilarious. The perennial sanitisation and dumbing down of climbing, albeit at a probably slower rate than the original detractors envisaged, is a fact.
If it was a stake - a 'like-for like' piece of re-bar perhaps, you might have a point. But it's a bolt.
In reply to Frank the Husky:
>The NW area agreed many years ago to replace fixed gear like for like
Like for like? Or bolts for pegs?
I've not seen it, so am not sure what it's like, but surely any normal bolt would not be safe there, and anything worth having would need to go in about 8 inches or more.
Oh dear. Don't agree with the bolt at all. Never mind thin edge of the wedge arguments, this is already into the middle or getting towards the thick end of the wedge.
All in the name of convenience....
Described higher in the thread:
"it looks like a massive glue in 'U' bolt,
just above piccadilly circus P1, just under an inch thick maybe?"
> Interesting that the above supporters don't seem to have been active on the past threads linked above. Just not aware or felt uncomfortable showing support?
Definately uncomfortable showing support - due to the abuse that is all too common on these forums
I massively support this & did not post my opinion on the thread. I am pleased of the support
There was at least 9 people in the keyhole cave area when I topped out the first pitch - all of these knew it was there and seemed to convey an impression of 'its about time'
It doesn't really look like a bolt, its pretty big
OK, but it would have to be vastly bigger than a normal bolt to work in such sandy rock, and as such its nature and function are more akin to a belay stake than to a bolt runner.
I think there is a huge difference between bolts on a route, and belay bolts.
When you lead a route it's your decision as to the risk you put yourself at. With a belay it's someone else you are putting at risk.
We can all say that the extra risk in a bold lead has enhanced our enjoyment of a route, and that would be diminished if bolts were placed. But does anyone claim that seconding a route with a crap belay, or having to ab off some crap, has enhanced things ?
On a lighter note , in the 60s there was a TV fixed in the keyhole cave with a card on the screen saying " normal service will resume as soon as possible " .
yes but do you have to drill holes to put a belay stake in?
because there is such a shortage of safe lower grade routes at Millstone/ Peak?
What you've just said is meaningless in every sense. Where's your evidence that climbing is becoming more santised and dumbed down, and what do you mean by that anyways? I've just spent three weeks on a climbing road trip round the UK and the number of people doing hard trad routes (i.e. E1+ for the sake of a definition), taking big falls and running it out seems higher than ever.
I support this because the situation in the cave, with it's terrible sandy death-rock, is quite unique (being half way up a crag and full of sandy death). It doesn't allow or encourage top-roping, it doesn't alter the traditional ethic of the climbing, it just replaces a shit, dangerous old fixed belay with a new and hopefully good one.
I don't think this sets a dangerous precedent. It isn't a clifftop bolted belay, it isn't a bolt to protect a bold route, it isn't a bolt to replace a protection peg, it's a sensible solution to a uniquely dangerous lack of belay in a sandy cave half way up a big quarry face with a massive pile of ground-choss between the cliff edge and distant belays.
Do we know if it has gone into a drilled hole (bolt) or was just hammered straight into the sandy rock (stake)?
-if a peg that was rotten couldn't be effectively replaced, a bolt might be considered if modern gear hadn't opened up any other possibilities and if the area meeting agreed in that particular case.
-it was also agreed that if modern equipment meant the fixed gear was no longer needed the bolt/peg would be removed and not replaced.
That's been in place for years and it's been very effective at rejuvenating various routes and sections of crag, though it's been low key and fairly limited.
It has meant that people have no had to rely on rubbish to protect them when they didn't need to. There was some comment about restoring the route to the original state/experience being a reasonable thing to do.
Looked to me like its been done very well, no dust, cracking or anything
I'd say two large holes have been drilled, then the large unit/bolt/steel was cemented in?
I'd say its almost an inch thick
Yeah, Bill; that's the problem with modern slimline flat-screen tellies - you'd never want to ab off one!
What a load of tripe. Climbing has obviously changed because of the passage of time, we now have modern gear, guidebooks and the internet. If you can't cope with that, then that is your problem. But the UK has also maintained a strong traditional ethic which shows no signs of decline.
Another voice for keeping this in place.
That doesn't really mean anything, does it?
I would like the fixed belay to stay.
Especially seeing as in this case there was ironmongery there to ab off 40 or more years ago that stayed in place for decades.
Let me explain the wedge, since you're so keen to pretend it is meaningless.
The thin end was accepting any bolts on British rock to protect free climbs. This was the debate in the eighties.
The middle of the wedge was accepting some crags to become fully bolted, and some to have a mix of sport and trad.
The thick end is where the convenience of bolts becomes so familiar that they start to appear even on strict trad only venues, like Eastern grit.
This was the prediction made in the eighties of what would happen if we accepted any bolts, and it has gone exactly as they said. I am happy to accept that bolts have their place, but I think this is a step too far.
Accept bolts, and more will appear nearby. Give me an example where this hasn't happened - I have had enough private conversations with pro-bolters to know that what they would like to see is american-style 'trad-lite' with bolted belays and lower-offs, and scary-but-safe tamed runouts. They won't admit to that on here, but it's already happened on most of our limestone, and is creeping on to grit through the quarries.
I go trad climbing because it is adventurous. I don't want to have an acceptable level of safety dictated to me by folk who would rather have things a little more convenient. If I wanted convenience I'd go to the wall or Horseshoe. Grit is special, and world famous for being so. Let's not trade that inheritance for a mess of pottage.
There have been bolts at Millstone for a long time but I take your point
As I said much earlier in the thread, there are no modern bolts to protect, or lower-off, free climbs anywhere on Eastern grit. There are some old relics of the aid climbing era when the quarries were first developed, and some iron left by quarrymen.
Accepting a modern bolt for convenience in this area is an enormous ethical step and should be done by consensus, not on a try-it-and-see basis.
Convenience bolts are not about 'safety' - unless you can show how pre-existing anchor failures were directly responsible for injury.
Perceived safety is in itself a cause of danger.
The second belay on Red Wall at Gogarth is rotting pegs that are unsafe, once the bird ban is over I will put a couple of staples in. It will be much more convenient.
All the routes on the keyhole cave wall can be climbed(by a competent party) in a single pitch so why put a bolt halfway up?
Its not really a lower off anyway, its half way up a trad crag where all the routes can be done in one pitch.
Anyone thinking they can't get to the top of a route or don't have the skill to bail if things arent going to plan then maybe go climb elsewhere!
Plenty of other HVS cracks to do , pure convenience and laziness and out of keeping with the area- chop it please!!
I agree with Adam
And Graham D
I'd like a couple of belay bolts at the end of the first pitch of Dreadnaught at Berry Head, the existing belay is a a couple of rusting pegs and various other dubious bits of gear. I nearly crapped my pants when I seconded the route, sank gratefully on to one of the anchors and the thing popped, leaving me hanging 6 foot further down the cliff on the lip of the cave. As it stands I won't be leading the route because I'm not man enough to deal with the belay and that makes me sad, but it would also make me sad if someone placed a bolt there on the Old Redoubt because it would be an erosion of the climbing spirit there and it would be a step backwards. I believed trad climbing used to be a game where you justified what risks you were going to take and if you couldn't accept a situation then you didn't do the route. Now it's ok to bring the situation down to your level by placing a bolt. That's a shame.
I also note that back in the 1991 Froggatt guide, the routes were described as 2 pitch E2s and E3s, with no suggestion that it was even an option to 'take the tick' for just the first pitch. As a result I left the Keyhole cave routes until i felt man enough to take on the whole route (and ended up moving away before this happened). Maybe rather than creating the demand for the bolt by describing the lower pitches as routes in their own right, recent guidebooks should encourage people to aspire to climb the whole route and until then leave the first part alone (on account of the previous difficulty of abbing off)?
In addition to my last:
I really like this quote from ramblin dave on the bolted abseils thread - it sums up my rambling Dreadnaught paragraph better than I could (especially the second part about taking the rock as you find it):
"but it does seem like something that will add to the expectation that crags will be pre-prepared to be as safe and convenient as possible, and undermine the culture that assumes that you'll take the rock as you find it and use your skill and judgement to get safely up and down it."
(edited for poor spelling on my part...)
I think the difference is the historical precedent of having a stake in the same location for very many years - indeed I believe the vast majority of the time the routes have been in existence. That is a very clear distinction between replacing this fixed gear and placing any new drilled gear anywhere else.
I would have been far happier if the new gear was a stake, so more clearly a like for like replacement. I think replacing it with a staple gives mixed messages, which is unfortunate; even though I recognise that it's inherently a safer design than a stake I don't remember any stories of any ropes coming off the stake and I'm sure a compromise could have been made such as a stake with a bulbous top or nut permanently attached to inhibit rope lift.
I'm with you Adam (and others).
If you can't finish the climb and are stranded in the keyhole what's wrong with untying and getting your belayer to drop the rope down to you?
On any other route on grit it can be a last resort to get off the crag and it's no different here. You're hardly in a precarious position while waiting firths rope to come round.
A vote for chopping it.
Well I think this is a good thing and canít see what all the fuss is about.
This allows an hvs leader enjoy a route and bring his buddy up safely and get of safely. Itís not going to become a top roping venue you have to get up there in the first place.
Why not replace something that has become dangers, and whilst we are on this topic lets replace all the multi pitch routes with lower of consisting of shity tat with a good soled chain!!
Your memory must be failing you Adam. That's not remotely true.
The ring bolt on the Froggatt Pinnacle (which I assume is still there?) was, at least according to a previous UKC discussion, placed around 1987.
Also, the lower off on Rivelin Needle clearly falls into neither category and sets a precedent of having an in-situ lower-off on natural gritstone. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivelin_Rocks#mediaviewer/File:Rivelin_Needle_tip.jpg
"Could anybody considering chopping it make sure they consider the issue from a visiting E2 climbers perspective"
You could always climb out on the E2 at the left side of the cave. I've always done that.
Fixed belay points at Millstone seems a bit un-trad to me and not in keeping with progressive ethics of this style of climbing . I usually wouldn't bother making this point but there's loads of single pitch HVS's around for those that want it. Why spoil good adventure and excitement just for the sake of HVS mileage.
Isn't it also possible to escape right out of the cave onto Regent Street - I haven't done it, also at E2? i.e do all those Keyhole Cave area routes as one pitch, putting good gear on just below the cave and then traversing on to those escape routes?
'Why not replace something that has become dangers, and whilst we are on this topic lets replace all the multi pitch routes with lower of consisting of shity tat with a good soled chain!!'
If we are talking trad - and I think this thread is about that - then I'd be interested in the number of trad multi-pitch routes that you imagine have a lower-off! I'm intrigued by the idea that trad routes have a 'lower of'.
Love the juxtaposition of 'shitty' tat with 'soiled' chain though.
I'm completely with Adam on this one (especially after spending 6 months in the USA and Canada last year).
It's semantics I know, but that appears not to be a bolt...
... but you're not actually getting anywhere. "Lets climb half a climb, that'll be fun".
I looked at this wall this year, I'm leading about the right grade for the bottom but one look at it made me not bother. If I'm not good enough to get to the top, then I don't deserve to do the bottom half of the wall. Maybe I'll never be good enough? That's more than likely. HVS leaders can go and do HVS climbs - this wall was never HVS to start with.
At this rate, people will want bolted belays after the first pitch at Tremadog. I understand people were used to the old metalwork but it's gone. Same as when rockfall happens... things change. We have to adapt, not head off up there with bricks and mortar. I'm not sure I even agree with people sticking holds back on either.
the only thing I would say about the new Belay point is what would happen if it came out and someone got badly hurt ..Elf and Safety and all that.whoever put it in better know what there doing
Nice to meet you at Torbryan the other day - I think I have a project.
For info, what is the current state of Anglezarke's Coal Measures crag? Are there still lower-offs half way up (above the grit, below the shale)?
What's that got to do with the keyhole cave at Millstone.
You might not think its worth it but I think there good hvs pitches in there own write
Maybe a drilled hole with a peg hammered into it would have been more acceptable. At least then there would have been the head of a pin for the angels to dance on.
Respect. You evaluate the challenge and evaluate your 'talent' and make a decision.
> What you've just said is meaningless in every sense. Where's your evidence that climbing is becoming more santised and dumbed down, and what do you mean by that anyways? I've just spent three weeks on a climbing road trip round the UK and the number of people doing hard trad routes (i.e. E1+ for the sake of a definition), taking big falls and running it out seems higher than ever.
My evidence? Probably from the same place your 'mythical and hilarious thin edge of the wedge' bollox came from.
Sorry, Bud the Dog. I asked for examples of trad routes that had lower off's rather than random rock types. I could counter with 'sandstone' but that wouldn't get us anywhere would it?
You're not related to that other dog Frank the Husky are you? You seem fairly new to these forums.
It is fixed-gear lower-offs on a quarried grit crag half-way up it. Can you really not see the relevance to keyhole cave?
> What a load of tripe. Climbing has obviously changed because of the passage of time, we now have modern gear, guidebooks and the internet. If you can't cope with that, then that is your problem. But the UK has also maintained a strong traditional ethic which shows no signs of decline.
Nobody is disputing that a strong trad ethic exists in the UK nor that climbing has changed with modern gear etc but the proliferation of bolt protected climbs, either totally or in part, is santising climbing - see Adam Long's post above. I feel sorry for anyone who can't see that.
Martin, I'm afraid that your world view does not relate to reality. You consistently denigrate the metaphor of the 'wedge'as 'meaningless'. You're posting bollocks there I'm afraid.
As has been commented above we are well past the 'thin end' of the metaphor whether you can see that or not. You may well be perfectly happy in your own view of UK climbing 'as it should be' but why can't you accept that there may be other views? You've had a nice trip. Cool! So?
If we are to accept a 'mixed economy' of trad / sport then we have to accept that there are lines drawn between the two. Lines that shouldn't be crossed?
Exhibit 1 - http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=20566 Have a look at the associated thread. This is really not the toblerone end of the wedge?
"(above the grit, below the shale)?"
Keyhole cave doesn't have a top half made up of shale. It has several clear lines with good protection on good rock.
Sorry Iam I missing something. Isent limstone trade doesn't Pic tour and cheedale have lower ofs?
It's a reference to Anglezarke rather than Millstone I think.
They are good pitches, but surely it's better to aspire to complete the whole route? Or is just doing the 1st pitch of a multi-pitch (or the bottom part of a 1 pitch route where the crux is in the top half), avoiding the main challenge and lowering off a valid thing now and I'm just behind the times?
You may be missing the difference between limestone and grit ethics and traditions. Tongue in cheek but basically limestone after a lot of arguing over the years you can more or less bolt and peg into submission while grit you should aspire to eliminate fixed gear and keep everything pure. Arbitrary but then isn't almost everything about climbing...
Not sure where to start......Some limestone is trad. Some isn't.
I'm not sure if Pic Tor has lower off's currently - they most certainly weren't needed when I climbed there; you just topped out and walked down the back. Quite easy really. I did hear that GG had been drilling though.
Cheedale. Big place. Are we talking lower-off's on sport routes or on trad routes.
Tell you what - I've got a new game.
Hang your head in shame young man.
Or were you indulging in that modern 'irony' thing?
P.S. Just stay away from the Malham wings with your drill.
What would concern me is that this item has been placed by who and how? has it been installed correctly ? Has it been home made?
Until all of these questions are answered then any speculation about the safety of this anchor is questionable. It may appear to be "Bomber" but may prove to be marginal at best, a loaded gun at worst. Remember the Screwfix educated bolters in wales who's masonry bolts failed at alarmingly low loads.
I'm amazed the protagonist hasnt surfaced yet.
We all have anecdotes about the people we've spoken to about this and that, and we can turn those anecdotes into anything to support our arguments, so here's one of mine to counter Adam's one about the pro-bolters he might have spoken to: I had long conversations during my BMC time with several people who are more trad than everyone on UKC combined. Onsight mountain E7s in the rain, that sort of thing. They were very firmly of the opinion that lower offs in the mountains would be a great idea. They'd still have to climb the route, but they could get back down quickly and do another one, and another and another. Of course, it's a meaningless anecdote because you have to take my word for its veracity, but there you go.
I really hope that British climbing has actually moved on from 1987, although judging by the nonsense on here it's probably still festering there. I remember sitting in a bolt debate at The Floundry in the very late 80s (I think) where someone fairly hardcore and trad presented Ken Wison with a thin ended wedge. As far as I know this wedge of which many of you speak is still in Ken's loft in Macclesfield.
I've said my bit, and I'm right about everything so I'm off out of this thread now, but for those of you still in it: have fun, and play nicely.
You'll never know...
I look forward to taking on Carnage at some point.
Purely in a trad capacity though!
Wimberry? A number of monster lines there wouldn't be possible without the bolts originally used for Appointment with Fear. The old aid bolts were never chopped which I guess they could be very easily, but no one has bolted anywhere else on Wimberry (or even around that valley rim) have they?
Carnage? Piece of piss - with a decent trad head on, of course.
I can't be arst getting into an argument about this my stance is, if you can get of a route safely then I have no objections to placing bolted lower offs.
Yep. I'm sure we've all got lots of 'anecdotal evidence' that we can't, actually, substantiate.
Wrong. There has been a bolt belay on Prognosis since 1983 which I paced. Nothing else has been added on this crag by me since. Why make this accusation based on inaccurate assumptions in a discussion about something I had nothing to do with?
That's not what Adam means, Toby. The Wimberry bolts were old aid bolts. What he means is that once you start drilling new bolts for free climbing, more new bolts will appear nearby. Which they invariably do.
I guess you mean 'placed'? And it has indeed been a long time since I climbed there. So my comment that I had heard that you 'had been drilling' was entirely correct? (albeit just for one lower off on a trad route which didn't have one previously)
Do you really mean 'Appointment with Fear'? When Sam Whittaker kindly led it for me for a picture in my Peak book I have no memory of him clipping any bolts at all and in the rather wide angle picture I took (p.181, if you have it, which is unlikely) there's no protection in sight. Just a LOT of rope out. His last runner was in the Severe crack to the right and if he had come off near the top I think he would have decked it, and possibly killed himself.
PS. The ascent/ situation I'm referring to was in 1996.
Well, they're bolts that have been accepted - which is what Adam said - and they are used for free climbing (they've been fallen onto haven't they?). Indeed they have allowed the creation of some now celebrated routes. But it hasn't led to more bolts.
If you want to say they are massively different because they are from the aid climbing era, then fine but it's angels on a pinhead stuff and not very convincing. Just like there being some old stake or whatever previously in Keyhole, but now their is something glued in and that is ethically way more dubious than something hammered in? If you say so, guvner'. :-/
No, that's the arete to the left. Bolts not accessible from AWF. I can't remember where Sam started but the meat of the route was a long left traverse on minute pebbles, and then straight up, just right of the top section of the arete, all with no gear as far as I remember (or he may have got on some v small wire near the very top - can't remember).
OK, is there one of the other older routes there that uses old bolts? Wristcutters Lullaby maybe? They're mentioned in On Peak Rock I'm think, although my copy is the UK so I can't check.
Hang on, hang on... "Climbs an amazing fin-cum-prow-like arete, without clipping the very old bolts under the roof. Very old bolt en route while an RP1 is useful. Exposed to say the least." http://www.oocities.org/yosemite/4755/climbing/gritlist/grit_e7.html So sounds like there is a bolt on route.
It's not angels on a pinhead; it's what experience shows. Drilling leads to more drilling; using old aid bolts doesn't.
And ethically too I'd say it was a fundamental difference; it's the difference between walking up to a crag and using what's there and walking up to a crag and thinking that it needs changing for your convenience.
Isn't the story with AWF that Dougie Hall originally stick-pre-clipped the bolts under the roof (the Baron Greenback ones) but that people eventually decided this was more trouble than it's worth and/or not cricket anyway? Or did I just make that up?
It's pushing it a bit to describe the ring-bolt on the top of the Froggatt pinacle as "modern" too, even if it was placed a mere 27 years ago.
Re AWF, see the cover of the previous Moorland Gritstone, I'm sure the notes say Dougie Hall is going for the clip, which I've always taken as being a bolt.
Probably wrong as always!
Like stakes at the top or whatever was previously in the cave?
I think no bolts on grit is a fine ethic and tradition, but why not remove the ones left by aid climbers then, rather than using them now? I can see why the spanner in Spanner Wall is a bit of quarrying history that is hard to object to, but bolts put in by climbers are bolts put in by climbers surely? Does 20 years somehow wash away the sin of placing them?
Urm I think this thread was about millstone?
Anyway, it's one large bolt out of sight in the back of the cave
Not like it's been retroed
Plus isn't millstone a bit man made anyway....
I am a big supporter of it, although I saw a very good point in here to say that the keyhole has always had a bit of a reputation. Very true, I always wanted to go up there, and didn't get up there until I could lead E2. But losing this is a small price to pay imo
Adam has made some very good points which I respect, but I do not think this means regent street will be bolted
Bolts equal relative safety,trad equals more risk.
Take your pick.
Not a good idea for bolters to encroach on trad areas.
Tradders could encroach on accepted bolted areas and strip bolts.They don't.So it would be considerate to keep unnecessary bolts off trad crags.Tacit agreement is that these two ethical areas are kept separate as much as possible.
Seems some bolters say that safety is enough of an excuse to bolt anything they like.I thought that risk is a large part of what makes climbing worthwhile and enjoyable.As I say,take your pick.There are plenty of routes at Millstone that it is easy to escape from.You could even go to a smaller grit crag where the walk round to the top is 30 seconds quicker,for the ab.
Hardly think this is sport climbers or 'bolters' trying to retro coventry street, but ok
I've just looked at the pictures of Piccadilly circus, it must be the softest touch E2 5c in Britain, it's only about 15ft.
Bag the 5b and go for glory!!!
Damnation, missed out on that one.
So my question is (again), why can't people get good gear on just below the cave and then finish up that, as one pitch? Or, if a route further right, up Regent Street? Obviously it would be ideal to belay in the cave, but is it really necessary?
Well, it's not 20 years, it's more like sixty since people were putting bolt ladders up grit edges. And yes, of course time hallows things. What a strange rhetorical question.
>Like stakes at the top
C'mon, Toby - no, stakes at the top are not the same as bolts.
>or whatever was previously in the cave?
You do realise that what was previously in the cave is quarrymen's spikes rather than anything placed by climbers, right? At least I've always assumed that's what they are; they look like the ones on Amanita to me.
Anyway, as to AWF I learn from the guide that the first ascent did indeed pre-clip the bolts under the roof, and that the knight in shining armour who decided this wasn't cricket and led the route without was Dougie Hall himself, making the second ascent of his own route. So that's nice.
While we're digressing on other routes, what about the Spanner at Running Hill Pits? :-)
>Obviously it would be ideal to belay in the cave, but is it really necessary?
No, of course not. It's just comfortising.
I can see the thin end of the wedge argument but in this particular case, which is fairly unique, I think the new lower off is a reasonable way forward. However it would have been better if it's placement had been sanctioned by the BMC area meeting.
This is the picture I took in 1996 which went into my Peak book. Not v good quality - because it was taken on medium format film I can't scan the original, so have scanned it straight off the half-tone image in the book.
I'd not read previous threads, and certainly not realised that the issue had been discussed and rejected by consensus at a BMC Area Meeting. http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/news.php?id=2806
I hold to my opinion that the crag is better with it in.
However, I definitely don't support strong actions like this against an established consensus.
A quick count on this thread gives 17 against to 8 in favour. It looks like its gonna go.
chop it! hvs climbers getting on e2s should not be safe or made safe... hvs climbers could safely do great slab if you put some bolts on that too
I thought the spanner of spanner wall had gone. Could be wrong though.
There's quite a few e2's that people would like to bail off at half height. Why do we need another hvs pitch? Plenty of them and much better one's too. Pointless really.
Shouldn't be there. Should be removed, preferably by the person who put it in.
The next argument for keeping it will probably be that it's too hard to remove it and it will damage the rock...
I agree it should be removed. And the argument about damaging rock again is not relevant, it doesn't matter. Millstone is damaged by definition.
The argument is about making a climb accessible to someone who isn't good enough to access it without the bolt.
The bolt shouldn't be there. The phrase you're only half way there at the top springs to mind. You can clearly see it will be a challenge to get down from the cave before you've taken the first step off the ground. For me, getting back down is part and parcel of the route and if you're not unto scratch on that particular route go try something easier and get the skills required to climb the route in a good style.
That is what I assume most do. What other option, until now, did they have, apart from finishing up something much harder like Coventry Street or Jermyn Street.
I tried that once, surprisingly hard and awkward, not to mention very bold and on soft sandy rock. Nowhere near E2, and the worst bit is at the end.
In case you come back to this thread let me answer your last in similar terms.
Your E7 trad heroes who want lower-offs at the top of mountain crags. You know why they didn't do it? Because they know it's wrong.
The bloke who placed this bolt, a mere 4 years after the very idea was dismissed as ridiculous and never going to even come up at a BMC area meeting, he's wrong too.
You might think you're just talking about one bolt, but there's idiots out there who read these forums who thought dry-tooling on Millstone's a good idea, for crying out loud, so you really think there won't be someone who will read about this and say "there's a belay in Keyhole cave now, so that justifies me placing another at the top of X. They did it without asking anyone, so that's ok for me too."
Regarding the metaphorical wedge you think is so ridiculous, I would say come back in 5 years and see how it's going, but by then there will have been a few more sledgehammer blows on it and it will be sunk a couple of inches further in...
I'm with everyone in favour of removing it, there's no need for it. I'm local and climb there a fair bit. If you can't get out at E2 you shouldn't be on those routes, so what, there's plenty of easier good routes at millstone too. Chop chop.
Another voice of support for keeping the lower off.
The biggest problem with this, is that it has been placed without any consultation - indeed against a consensus 4 years ago at a BMC meeting.
Keyhole Cave has always been a piece of choss, with iffy gear - it's part of the character. If you don't like that, then climb somewhere else - it's not as if there aren't plenty of other similar (indeed better) routes at Millstone.
Whether the person who placed it, believes they have made an altruistic gesture to improve the safety of fellow climbers, is irrelevant - it shouldn't have been placed!
This is unfortunately what happens when you get someone with a Hilti and a personal opinion.
Do you actually know that? I meant 20 years from when AWF was first led so I was thinking that the bolting was probably done in the 60s. Was it really the 40s or 50s?
One just gets the sense here that there is of "All fixed gear is TERRIBLE! <quietly>Except for the bits I want to use on the routes I want to do...</quietly>"
BTW, no one uses stakes round here, indeed I think climbers would think it is a pretty weird solution. People just bolt lower offs instead even to many trad routes. That's never going to happen in the UK but for people who aren't climbers two bolts and a chain (out of sight over the edge of the cliff) when walking on the top of the cliff is possibly preferable then various bits of rusty old rail or whatever gets used hammered into the ground. But the stake point was more that someone above had said that things had been added to keyhole by climbers. If they are from the quarrying era then I guess its more like slate metal bits or Spanner Wall.
I don't know, I think the Peak is doing pretty well at resisting this wedge to be honest. 30 years after the first cordless drills came around we have some fair to middling sport routes in limestone quarries that would have made awful trad routes and most likely not have been climbed. We have some excellent top standard sport routes on crags like Raven Tor and the Cornices that wouldn't have been climbed, and we have some great trad crags that have remained relatively bolt free like High Tor, Chee Tor and many others. We also have a number of places where trad and sport have co-existed pretty well next to each other like Rubicon, Two Tier and Dove Dale.
Okay, it may have gone a bit wrong in one or two places where Gary got a bit carried away, but overall, for most climbers, Peak Limestone is a better place because of the cordless drill.
On the grit we have no bolts placed for free routes and some old aid studs removed. I also get the impression that fewer pegs are being placed on new routes and pegs which fall out not being replaced )probably due to pads being used more). Fixed threads, like on the Tippler, are not left in place any more either.
In the Keyhole Cave case I can see that it does set a precedent that might be misinterpreted but in itself it is a sensible virtual like-for-like replacement in a relatively unique situation. I have confidence that anyone who decides to use this as a green light for more bolting on grit will be brought into line pretty quickly.
So yes, let's revisit in 5 years. I reckon we said that 5, 10, 15 and 20 years ago as well, and I can't think of any terrible indiscretions in all that time that haven't been dealt with.
High Tor and Stoney are not now 'relatively bolt free' IMO.
Which bolts do you object to? Or is it the filler-in bolted routes that you object to?
I can't think of any bolts on existing trad lines on those crags apart from the ancient ones on routes like Darius, Lyme Crime and Bastille which date from the 70s or earlier.
In reply to All
I was genuinely conflicted about this, but it seems to be about convenience and safety. The arguments about safety are moot because with care a pre-placed abb rope from the top can be used to get off (or you climb E2) so it's about convenience.
Take it out.
ps. it's not limestone, the comparison shouldn't be made.
Evasor is the route I particularly object to - but the comment isn't really on retrobolting existing lines, its howr the remaining undeveloped lines are now deemed to be fair game for bolting. Specifically at High Tor and Stoney - the great bastions of trad limestone in the Peak that they are.
I object to filler-in bolted routes on trad crags. To me things work best if a crag is either one or t'other.
I'm also not keen on the fact that in the slate quarries new development is always fully bolted, rather than the minimalist bolting that made slate.
There does seem to be a presumption (on limestone anyhow) that while we preserve existing trad *routes*, new development can be bolted at will.
It's a belay point. Replacing a belay point that was previously there and has been for years. What a massive amount of fuss about precisely nothing.
Methinks a sense of perspective is needed rather than back in my day hyperbole. Back in your day you where whacking pegs in willy nilly and leaving them to rust.
Well there were sport routes added to High Tor, Stoney and Chee Tor in the 1980s and there are many examples of crags that have both types of routes and have down for years - Rubicon, Moat Buttress, Two Tier, Plum Buttress, to name a few.
Filler-in routes tend to be climbed on bits of rock which have been available and ignored. They give mediocre sport routes and would usually give terrible trad routes.
Yes, I suspect that is true although I still can't think of an example in the Peak where a plum trad line waiting an ascent has been bolted.
It wasn't a belay point, it was the rusty remnants of quarrying which 'could' be used to belay/abb off at your own discretion.
A vote to keep it in and check in a few years.
It would be helpful if whoever placed it could (anonymously if needed) confirm the depth etc. We don't want to find that it's some comedy shallow stud that just looks solid because it's made from thick bar.
Not a massive difference is it? You could belay/abb off dodgy gear, now you can belay/abb off possibly dodgy gear.
This needs to go. Arguments about safety are entirely spurious. The only inherent danger of the old rusting mank was that it could hit someone on the head if it fell off spontaneously.
The perceived danger comes from conflating the hazrd of it failing under the load of an abseiling climber with the risk that said climber is idiotic enough to put themselves in that situation. There are clear (if inconvenient) ways of avoiding that risk already so the effect of the bolt is to add convenience, not safety.
But I bet my Dad's willy is bigger than your Dad's willy.
Ancient, hammered in quarry workings that would never have been put there in the modern climbing era
Drilled and glued in belay put in without consultation and against the current, democratic consensus.
If you want the consensus to change show up and voice your opinion at the BMC meetings where these things are discussed and voted on properly.
These comments just demonstrate your complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the history, traditions and character of trad climbing in the UK, and the origins of the gear in Keyhole Cave.
I know it's fashionable on here these days, for the younger generation to class anyone who was born before the internet, as a relic from the same era as Edward Whymper, but for a lot of us, 'back in the day' was actually last week?
So before you make pithy comments, take the trouble to educate yourself first.
A predictable and yawn inducing response.
> Not a massive difference is it? You could belay/abb off dodgy gear, now you can belay/abb off possibly dodgy gear.
Yes a big difference.
> A predictable and yawn inducing response.
Predictable because it was warranted?
Carry on enjoying your ignorance. It will prevent you getting bored having to learn anything.
Predictable because of the poster and his belittling attitude.
I don't care either way, but the knee jerk reactions to anything like this are fairly irritating and will be the thing that holds climbing back. People seem perfectly happy to have rusting piles of crap or rotting tat in situ despite the fact that it is an eyesore and leads to littering crags with manky slings but the mere mention of replacing the aforementioned crap with something similar but more permanent and yes, safer seems to fill them with ire. It's a weird form of cognitive dissonance.
What a marvellous idea this bolt is.
In fact, while we are at it, why not put bolted lower-offs at the top of all the routes at Millstone. It's WAY too much bother actually topping out and setting up a belay. What a faff! Carrying a couple of slings for the fence posts adds so much unnecessary weight while climbing. So much better to just have one of those funky twisty things at the top of each route (just like the ones at Horseshoe quarry).
Can we also have a bolt just after the low bulge on Regent Street too? WHy bother climbing to the top once you've done the hard bit. Too much hassle for me. If not after the low bulge, then a lower off is definitely needed. Climbing over that shale at the top is so unpleasant.
On the subject of keyhole cave, that two minute walk to the top of the crag to set up an ab rope is a right pain in the ass - why would I want to do that when I could ab from a bolt and then have more time at home to dangle from my pinkie on my beastmaker.
In fact, f*ck it - why bother at all - when there are so many indoor walls. Driving to the crag - too much of a faff. Not enough holds either, and it's no fun at all when they're not colour-coded.
Yes. That's all exactly the same.
Looking at this thread, the only knee jerk reactions are from those keen for the new fixing to remain.
Arguing against replacing ancient (possibly pre-climbing) ironmongery is not holding climbing back, it's recognising that such material is not necessary for it to move forward. Many of the pegs currently in place around the country were used when there was no alternative, there were no wires let alone micro-wires. Look at London Wall on Millstone, it was originally a pegged aid route, over time it had enough ascents that caused enough damage that: a) pegs were no longer needed, b) it could be free climbed. It still has (I think) a couple of in-situ pegs but when these go there's no need to replace them, the route is just going to be a little harder as you'd have to hang around to place another bit of gear rather than just clip the peg.
If a natural gear placement failed/became unusable would you argue for a similar slot to be created "because there's always been a placement there and without it it's denying climbers the route"?
I have attempted to climb through the cave three times, and managed it once only to say that I would never do it again - those upper sections are horrible. I climbed Coventry Street lots of times and always abseiled off the spike, as many of the climbers replying to this thread did. I never suspected it was rotting away, perhaps it wasn't in those days. So the argument is one of convenience, a convenience many of us had which isn't there any more.
I can see why we shouldn't use the convenience argument to support bolting, but I do think this is a unique situation and as such could be given special consideration.
On the history issue: my dad was responsible for the first aided ascent of quite a few of the routes at Millstone. You should hear him talk about it. Millstone was a quarry and fair game - pegs, bolts, whatever it took. The ethics relating to fixed gear in Millstone are a much more modern creation.
Not sure Bob. I see knee-jerk reactions about what might happen all through the thread but none of them have been substantiated by any significant examples of it actually happening in the past 30 years.
Which is exactly what happened a few years ago. The first peg is no longer there and hasn't been replaced.
No, he would probably argue for a bolt to be placed - more convenient, and what's the difference? :-)
Because of course when it happens (has happened?) we no longer compare the original state of affairs with the future but the current state? So to those who don't or won't see things we are always at "the thin end of the wedge" whereas in truth we have moved along it.
Ah, a while since I've been to Millstone.
I completely agree Alan.
However, the person who placed this bolt, hasn't considered or discussed the 'special nature' of it with anyone.
So if this bolt is sanctioned, then it does create a kind of precedent, which might not open the flood gates for other situations, but as GK Chesterton said 'never underestimate the ingenuity of idiots'.
Go compare to the old state then? What have we moved on from at Millstone?
At the moment we have:
- All the aided routes stripped of most of their fixed gear with free ascents.
- The old bolts on Wall Street Crash removed and replaced with pegs in much worse positions - generally objected to by many people, but arguably a cleaner state of affairs.
- We have pegs falling out after many years and not being replaced.
- ... and we have this lower-off/belay replacement.
This doesn't sound to me like a wedge getting thicker and I think you can roll something similar out for pretty much every gritstone crag.
Unfortunately what has happened over recent years is that when people have taken it to meetings or forums, things have got bogged down and the debates tend to have got very personal.
I recall Simon Lee getting a lot of abuse for removing the chockstone from Right Eliminate despite the fact that he was unquestionably cleaning up the route by removing a bit of fixed gear, albeit a natural one.
Based on these precedents I can see why someone would stay under the radar, do the job and remain silent. That isn't to say it is the right course of action, but I can see why they would do it. I also doubt that they will come forward now on this one either.
> On the history issue: my dad was responsible for the first aided ascent of quite a few of the routes at Millstone. You should hear him talk about it. Millstone was a quarry and fair game - pegs, bolts, whatever it took. The ethics relating to fixed gear in Millstone are a much more modern creation.
It was called progress when I entered the sport. Eliminating artificial aid, chopping it altogether where possible.
>I don't know, I think the Peak is doing pretty well at resisting this wedge to be honest.
Agreed, as far as the thick end goes. But as this instance shows, the thin end does keep being tried in new spots.
>On the history issue: my dad was responsible for the first aided ascent of quite a few of the routes at Millstone. You should hear him talk about it. Millstone was a quarry and fair game - pegs, bolts, whatever it took. The ethics relating to fixed gear in Millstone are a much more modern creation.
My Dad a fair bit of pegging in the sixties too, though mainly in Lancashire not at Millstone. I'm not sure the spirit behind the ethics have changed even if aiding on pegs is no longer done. The big difference with this is of course the intent - back then gear was placed on lead in an (often scary) attempt to progress upwards. I daresay drilling a massive bolt on abseil for convenience's sake would have been as unacceptable then as it is now. American bolting arguments revolved around this point for years.
I've belayed in the cave several times since the stakes went. There are still bomber cams in the cracks on the ledge you sit on. This bolt is not about safety.
Doing Coventry Street in full makes for a 3 star E5, instead of the 1 star E4 to the cave. The crux is pulling onto the headwall, but getting through the sandiness in the cave is all part of the variety that makes such a great route. All of which is perfectly protected with a bit of craft, but the presence of one on the most adventurous section cannot help but change the character.
If there is no clear opinion in favour at these meetings, then I suppose the sensible thing would be to leave well alone.
I think that was a nettle which shouldn't have been grabbed :-)
But the danger is, if the bolt stays, and after a few days the furore on here dies down - as it will - then the person has in effect got away with it, and that will possibly send a signal to some sections of the climbing community.
There has been a huge mould covered bedsheet on the floor by the keyhole cave for well over a month now
Does this not bother anyone???
Does that make Baron Greenback a retrograde step then? And I suppose Pete W. and Ben B.'s ascents flawed in some ways? I like the pic of Ben's fence post he added as protection, although I'm sure he took it away again later. http://dmmclimbing.com/news/2014/03/baron-greenback-2nd-ascent/
Precisely my point. Arguably the thick end of the wedge at Millstone was in the 1950s, it has only been getting thinner since then.
> and would usually give terrible trad routes.
My entirely personal feeling is that such filler-in sport routes detract from the ambience of good-quality trad on the same crag, and thus I would prefer that they not be created (and such bits of rock remain unclimbed).
[I am, though, ok with mediocre sports routes being created on mediocre sports crags.]
Did you not think to remove it when you were there looking at it and wondering if someone else should move it?
Another vote for it to go.
Well of course it's flawed but it's still progress in that it was a previously unclimbed line. If someone climbs it with the bolts taped up they should then be chopped like what happened with Fred Zinnerman.
It's a controversial decision to take. If you have a thin skin don't make controversial decisions. Don't try to get one over by bolting things behind people's backs. I don't understand this 'democracy is tedious' view.
"Where possible". As soon as someone frees that route they'll be chopped, or left to rot as is currently the case.
Naughty thought. If these massive spikes are removed (didn't someone say they are an inch in diameter?), the holes might be so big that you might be able to get Friends into them to belay on. ??
But this is a step backwards, for convenience but attempted to be justified under the name of safety.
You, Frank and John pooh-pooh the wedge argument and yet we have a shiny new staple bolt on Millstone which was previously unthinkable and a significant minority of posters are arguing it is a good thing.
There is a hole about a two foot to the left that you can get a cam in, but the sandstone is much too soft to trust really. Thankfully there are bomber cam placements in the gritstone ledge three feet below.
It's also rather childish. What on earth is the point of having a belay there, if you can only climb HVS and can't climb on at E2? There are just so many other VS and HVS routes at Millstone, why is it necessary to have this little bit of glorified outdoor climbing wall ending halfway up the crag? It's just playing about in a rather self-indulgent way, whilst breaking the now-standard precedent of not putting bolts into trad grit. If you can climb at E2 and above you can climb to the top without having to stop at the cave. (I couldn't climb quite well enough to do those routes, so never tried them, and didn't feel the slightest bit deprived by it.)
Which means you can climb out by that short Piccadilly escape, if you can climb at E2.
The very fact that the perpetrator of this, has remained anonymous, says an awful lot about how valid this placement is?
There's no need to exaggerate to support your side of the argument. It's certainly not a minority, though obviously the same vocal old timers who post in every bolting thread are here as usual with the chop-chop stuff.
You can take the punter out of the indoor wall, but you can't take the indoor wall out of the punter :-)
Well back in't olden days the cave was used as a stance and the various bit of iron-ware were the belays. When I did the harder routes there, the iron bars made decent runners whilst you pedalled up the sand and tried to get decent gear in the solid rock above.
Would you like us to paint the holds in lots of pretty colours for you too - just like an indoor wall?
And these 'vocal old timers' are the ones who can do these routes without a bolt, so that makes it old farts 1 v young turks 0
Since the loss of stakes there was still a decent belay or runners there, just not a convenient lower-off.
Because those vocal old timers care more about the long term interests of climbing than the short term ego of a few.
And the idea of describing the likes of Adam Long (34 years old a/c to his profile) - an astronomically better climber than I ever was Ė as 'an old fart', is just a joke.
There are no real belays in the cave. As Adam points out, there is good gear below the cave but that doesn't make a good belay.
The best approach for all the routes is to press on to the top. This could make the easier first pitches of Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus accessible using the continuation of Piccadilly Circus at E2, but you won't get across there from Coventry Street in a single pitch. This would mean that Coventry Street is only really a one pitch E5 6b since the option of pre-placing a rope to halfway isn't a good idea with all the loose crap on the slope above the cave. An E5 6b with a dirty top section (no matter what Adam says, I don't think many people will actually enjoy it) is fine if that is what people want, it isn't what most of us have had though.
TBH I am not massively for or against this and I am certainly not arguing it as a 'good thing'. I recognise that the precedent of convenience isn't a good one, but I don't see this as causing a massive problem simply because there is nowhere else quite like it.
What I do object to is the continually trotting out of the thin end of the wedge argument without anyone ever making much effort to support it with concrete examples. If people are going to object to this bolt then use an argument with some substance not a nice soundbite that you can't actually support with evidence.
You mean you weren't good enough.
We shouldn't be bringing things down to our own level, be that ability to climb or place gear.
Anyone who climbs HVS should have a look up at the cave from the ground and think 'I don't fancy that, might get out of my depth'. And go and do something else.
Well, quite a good example would be someone placing a bolt at Millstone and the argument around it being muddied by references to Froggatt Pinnacle, Rivelin and the old aid bolts at Wimberry rather than being a straightforward application of the "no bolts on grit" principle.
It's possible that you're right about the thin end of the wedge argument being exaggerated, but it's surely still rather depressing that this kind of thing is happening when climbing ethics on trad crags are meant to be better than ever?
A wedge needs more than a single example - that would just be a tip. Also, it would need to be a general progression and, as has been pointed out, Millstone is significantly ethically purer now than it was 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.
Hmm, that sounds like a vote for the wedge pointing in the other direction.
I think it would be depressing if it was someone bringing a first ascent down to their level. It sounds more like someone acting for what they perceive as the general good of climbers. Right or wrong, this wasn't placed for someone's ego.
I would argue that the wedge has reached a middling to thick part on limestone (Yorkshire especially) with the bolters having tried their luck virtually everywhere and been turned back in some areas, compromise reached in others and given free reign on other areas and the inevitable next stage testing the waters on grit has now begun. So yes, up until now ethics on grit at the individual crags have improved and that's great but it won't take many exceptions to be made for 'unique situations' before that won't be the case any more.
"While we're digressing on other routes, what about the Spanner at Running Hill Pits? :-)" (this one is jokey I know)
"Wimberry? A number of monster lines there wouldn't be possible without the bolts originally used for Appointment with Fear. The old aid bolts were never chopped which I guess they could be very easily, but no one has bolted anywhere else on Wimberry (or even around that valley rim) have they?"
"Especially seeing as in this case there was ironmongery there to ab off 40 or more years ago that stayed in place for decades."
"Fixed gear for runners *is* accepted on grit; there are pegs and bolts scattered all over the place (but almost exclusively in quarries).†"
"I'd like to offer my support for this belay point.
Historically there has been old spikes in the cave, and I see this as replacing like for like."
"Seems ok to me to have an ab point in the cave. Fixed gear for runners is not accepted on grit, but fixed gear (stakes) for belays and ab points is (e.g. Burbage S, Windgather, Castle Naze, etc)."
Most have been careful to avoid the the wedge argument. But the fact is, most will argue using previous examples to justify current/future bolting. If this is kept in place, who needs the other examples when you have a shiny new bolt at Millstone? One will not need to hark back to ancient aid bolts at Wimberry, stakes or spanners for their reasoning any more (although they most likely still will). As soon as people start extending that bolt, it also becomes a runner, and is the used as justifcation for runners on routes with harder (or horrible in your words) finishes.
That's not the point, though. It illustrates how every bolt that gets placed for whatever reason makes it a bit harder to argue against the next one. If this bolt sticks around, then the next time someone thinks they've found a "special case" and whacks a bolt in, the inevitable objections will be met with "yeah, but what about that bolt at Millstone, if that one's justified then this one is too..." Just like they are doing here with the existing bolts, except that it'll be a bit easier because there'll be one extra example to point at.
You misunderstand me Alan. There are perfectly adequate belays in the cave. You sit on the ledge, and there are cracks in it you stick cams in. They aren't below the cave, they are in the floor. I find it hard to resist an airy belay and have often split the pitch there.
As a belay, it's fine. But what some folk want is not just a belay, but a fixed lower-off.
>An E5 6b with a dirty top section (no matter what Adam says, I don't think many people will actually enjoy it)
You haven't done it. Everyone I know who has done it thought it brilliant. That's why it's a 3 star route. And it's not the 'top section', its a ten-foot stretch in the middle. The top section is excellent rock. Thinking of this as a retrobolt on Coventry street, (which it is, being exactly where you move up to the roof) it's surely unacceptable?
The main boundary lines of what obviously is and isn't acceptable have now largely been drawn in the Peak thank goodness. On lime trad and sport co-exist on some crags and not on others.
Grit is immutably trad with occasional fixed gear which leaves a few oddities like the belay of the keyhole cave - once a metal stake now a bolt (of sorts).
For these oddities it would be better to consider the practical merits or otherwise on a case by case basis.
Think with beginners mind (eh Paul?).
But that argument is always based on what might happen and never on what actually has happened. It only starts carrying any weight when it can be substantiated with examples and the more time that passes without examples, the less weight it has.
So 30 years after this hypothetical wedge started getting thicker I can't think of a single example of a bolt that has been placed elsewhere that would justify this bolt. The reason I am not massively against it is that I see it as a like for like replacement of a bit of old gear for safety reasons, in a unique situation and I don't think there is the remotest chance that anyone will use it to justify placing bolts elsewhere.
However, if the climbing world is against it then I suggest someone goes and removes it. I won't lose sleep over that. I bet they don't though, people always talk a good anti-bolt but seldom go and remove them.
(As an aside I have removed more bolts from Peak Limestone than I have placed - not big numbers either way, but not nil).
> Did you not think to remove it when you were there looking at it and wondering if someone else should move it?
im not one of the ones moaning about the belay
just find it amusing that these people moaning about the belay destroying the crag have been walking past this mess with no issue (you can see it from the approach to the main crag)
Well I tried hard and hence had a horrible time failing. If I had got through I might have enjoyed it more for sure. I did do Jermyn Street and thought the top wall of that was a disappointment compared to the lower wall.
A retrobolt on Coventry Street is an interesting thought - that wouldn't be a good thing but considering it would be pretty much exactly what I had when I tried the route, I still don't see it as a major change.
I think we have to be clear this is all about laziness. I've done both versions of coventry street. As Adam says, the top wall is very good. The most recent time I climbed the E4 version and there was no stake or bolt. I lowered off gear placed in the ledge and abbed for it later. This was both no trouble, and probably safer than lowering off the old spike. This is a retrobolt in the middle of a 3-star E5 to save people a walk. I just can't understand why people would even think it should stay.
And re: the wedge. With one or two exceptions we *are* doing OK in the peak. But there have been notable problems in Yorkshire, Devon and Dorset to name a few. Go and have a look at Cocytus, or the Cave Routes in Gordale. The wedge is being hammered home all around the UK. Perhaps the reason we've got off lightly in the peak is because stuff like this Millstone bolt gets taken out sharp-ish?
I'm so annoyed about this bloody bolt, I'd have no hesitation in going out there right now to remove it, - but I don't know how I'd get out of the cave?
Spot on with everything there midget.
> I think we have to be clear this is all about laziness. I've done both versions of coventry street. As Adam says, the top wall is very good. The most recent time I climbed the E4 version and there was no stake or bolt. I lowered off gear placed in the ledge and abbed for it later. This was both no trouble, and probably safer than lowering off the old spike. This is a retrobolt in the middle of a 3-star E5 to save people a walk. I just can't understand why people would even think it should stay.
> And re: the wedge. With one or two exceptions we *are* doing OK in the peak. But there have been notable problems in Yorkshire, Devon and Dorset to name a few. Go and have a look at Cocytus, or the Cave Routes in Gordale. The wedge is being hammered home all around the UK. Perhaps the reason we've got off lightly in the peak is because stuff like this Millstone bolt gets taken out sharp-ish?
This is there to allow top roping of part routes
Hi Alan, out of interest will you be running an article about the Keyhole Cave Bolt like the one you did about Hawcraig Anchor Bolts... After all they could be an argument that both cross the same line of crag additions... To refresh your memory here is a quote from the Article.
"Since there are sufficient natural anchors on this sector of the crag for any competent leader to construct a belay the bolts serve no useful function for climbers. It is therefore unclear who the culprits may be,
The Hawkcraig is not and has never been a sport climbing venue. Regulars are likely to be saddened by the unnecessary damage to this very traditional climbing crag. UKC user A9 says:
'[It shows] no respect for the place whatsoever. They need chopped of course, but how to repair the rock?'"
And those exceptions are?
And the other areas are?
That is two examples, and these two examples are the "wedge being hammered home all round the UK"?
Which has happened where exactly?
I think that we can do better than the wedge argument. It is typical angry young man hyperbole, blasting out unsubstantiated statements and hypothetical theories but not putting in the effort to support the case. It also has the effect of alienating those who are undecided or neutral on the matter.
In this case Adam's retrobolt on Coventry Street has got me thinking and is a much better point, which is why I will stop defending the bolt from now.
Hi Alan, I found going around the edge of the cave on Jermyn Street quite bold from what I remember, gear difficult to place, and most of all very sandy/slippy. If someone bobbed a big staple in on the right side of the cave, it might give a clean lower wall to go at, but really avoids the fun challenge of the overall route.
Am I not right in thinking that precedent was set in the cave by the placement of a bong, or am I mixing it up in my memory with other route/cave combos?
The mention of a bong does ring a bell. Can't remember too much about Jermyn Street but it doesn't really tackle the cave in the same way as Coventry. I do remember the photo of Keith Sharples doing it in the blue (1992ish) Froggatt guide with an outrageous side-runner in Regent Street though!
The reason I thought Coventry Street was different was because I was under the impression that no-one climbed the upper wall hence it might become redundant without the fixed gear in the cave. As Adam and Stuart have pointed out though it does get done as a full route and is enjoyed by those that do it even if it isn't my cup of tea. The prospect of a bolt half-way up a full route is different to a lower-off bolt in a relatively inaccessible part of the crag where upwards progress isn't the norm. Hence my change on this one.
Good discussion overall though.
I believe there has been a Bong under the lip of Coventry Street since the 1st free ascent - don't quote me but I wouldn't be surprised if the one there now is still the original.
I don't know where this new 'staple' is but if it is over near the old Piccadilly Circus belay, it is further from the crux of CS than the good wires at the top of its initial crack, so isn't going to be a massive help. If it further to the right, that may be a different kettle of fish,
I think the bong is tight under the roof on Coventry street, and I think unusable without tat which it hasn't had for years. There are decent cam placements either side.
I think a significant change since these relics were regarded as crucial is we now routinely carry full racks of cams. In the photos in the '91 guide there are more pegs and bits of tat around, but no one seems to have anything like the rack of gear you'd carry now.
(Although Sharples has got no less than three side runners in Regent street!)
In reply to Chris Craggs:
Its in exactly the same spot as the old stake.
Ok, I was only interested in this thread because I would love to try Regent Street sometime and love the pictures of Big Ron on Coventry Street in his book. But you've gone a bit AWOL trying to drag The Shire and us Devonian Hobbits into this.
Notable problems in Devon???? Which crags, which routes?
(The most notable problems in Devon at the moment are being paid extremely short thrift by some far too talented yoof - is Dart Rock to blame or the Buckie?).
You've only mentioned Cocytus. I'm presuming you're aware of the two pegs to two petzls to two pegs to two staples history of that route (which I've witnessed since learning to climb at Ansteys) and that, as I understand it, it was none other than Captain Kenny P who put in the extra bolts?
Personally, I was disappointed that the two extra bolts went in on what used to be the first pitch right next to the two gear placements that were used.
But the new bolts straight up the top groove (rather than the weaving about of the old second pitch) to a new double lower has now led to most finishing at the top of the upper wall rather than doing pitch 1 then abbing/lowering off. In 23 years climbing at Ansteys, I've only ever seen one person do the second pitch, and try to top out to the old bolt lower off in the vegetation in the jungle above. The guy (coincidentally from The Peak) had whimpered his way up pitch 1 saying "There's no way this is E3 6a", only to have a nightmare on pitch 2 trying to top out and find the bolt. He eventually came back down through the jungle and lowered off the old single bolt and manky thread at the top of More Steam.
Most of the local outdoor climbers I spoke to were either wholly in support of the new bolts or just couldn't give a damn. Even JCM found better things to do than visit Cocytus with his angle grinder, despite his initial threats.
But if anyone puts extra bolts in Devonshire, I predict they'll be lynched by the pitchfork rebellion mark 2 (either use a long clip stick if you haven't got the balls or, as per Chris Nicholson, perfect the art of the airborne retreat - into the thorn bush, conveniently placed for the barn door off the arÍte).
Now let others get back to more important matters at Millstone...
(And when will I have enough time to get to Millstone and Higgar for Regent Street, The Rasp and the second round of Cusco-v-The File...?)
One of those is clearly at odds with the others. There's a trend but this bolt fly's in the face of it.
There would have to be an extremely compelling reason to justify breaking the new bolts on grit taboo and this has nothing like that.
It is maybe 3ft left of picc c crack, probably above the E3 to its left.
The bong is still in Coventry street with no tatt
I think using the new belay for cov street would be odd, deffo easier to get the wires in the roof as it is quite far left
Sorry, wasn't talking about the bolt, but the manky blanket.
> There has been a huge mould covered bedsheet on the floor by the keyhole cave for well over a month now
> Does this not bother anyone???
You've been looking at it for months and not moved it? How do you think this is going to happen?
someone else is going to remove it for me
Just like the bolt that I support...
Why do you support it? Are you in favour of bolting grit?
It's a recently placed bolt which you claim to support. In one of your posts you say that it surprises you that so many people are objecting to it.
Why start a thread about it?
Definitely not in favour of bolting natural grit & I see this as being different to 'bolting grit' due to many of the reasons discussed above
Read above if you want to see why I posted a thread about it??? Fairly interesting topic don't you think? Plus was keen to find out who did it and for some info as to its quality
Is that ok with you :-)
On a second note, I am certainly not surprised it has caused objections, if I said that above I'm not sure why - but I openly admitted to Adam earlier in the thread that I did not write my opinion on the opening thread due to how some people get on here
Plenty of people have voiced support for it
And this is why people it's impossible to talk about this kind of thing sensibly. Enormous amounts of hyperbole and wild exaggeration.
There, fixed that for you :-)
Can it really be said that this bolt has been placed in Gritstone ? Sounds to me like its in Sandstone, with the emphasis on Sand
Admittedly I've never actually been up to Keystone cave - partly because I wouldn't be good enough to do the E2 finger cracks to escape and don't fancy abing off fresh air ! Actually I've never been particularly good at HVS finger cracks either.
Hoping to get one tonight
> Definitely not in favour of bolting natural grit & I see this as being different to 'bolting grit' due to many of the reasons discussed above
> Read above if you want to see why I posted a thread about it??? Fairly interesting topic don't you think? Plus was keen to find out who did it and for some info as to its quality
> Is that ok with you :-)
> On a second note, I am certainly not surprised it has caused objections, if I said that above I'm not sure why - but I openly admitted to Adam earlier in the thread that I did not write my opinion on the opening thread due to how some people get on here
> Plenty of people have voiced support for it
I genuinely wanted to understand why you supported it. When I first read your post I was pretty neutral about it as I was under the impression it was to create a safe belay in a place where an existing 'historical' one had been and there was no alternative. In your opening post you say "Never been on that side of the cave before and heard horror stories of the belays" I think the reason people have been in support of this (rightly or wrongly) is they too believe it to be an essential belay. Since then it has been established that: It is not essential to do any of the routes and that safe belays can be arranged (see Adam Long) and, far worse, it might even be possible to clip it for the upper sections of the routes.
I can see why you supported it initially (Like Alan James did to a point) but I can't understand why you still support it now.
I think some of the guides are responsible for this as I recall phrases like 'the lower crack can be done at HVS' in some of the descriptions I've read.
> [...are you in favour of bolting grit?]
> And this is why people it's impossible to talk about this kind of thing sensibly. Enormous amounts of hyperbole and wild exaggeration.
Perhaps I phrased it badly. I probably should ask 'Are you in favour of adding convenience bolts to crags with a trad ethic?'
The guides have mentioned indifferent or poor belays in the past (along with worthwhile or good HVS first pitches) but I think it would be good if they intimated that character building faff in terms of abbing off your own gear and then retrieving it is an expected part of the game if you do those pitches...
> has been established that: It is not essential to do any of the routes and that safe belays can be arranged ...
It is certainly not needed to do any of the complete routes as single pitches, and whether it is a useful runner for any of the upper sections depends a bit on where it is, which I'm not sure about.
It would be very useful for doing any of the sections up to the cave as routes in their own right. Whether that is a valid thing do to can be argued about, but some of the lower sections (the HVS cracks, 1st section of Coventry Street) have often been done as routes in their own right. Those against this fixed belay are really saying that either people should not do that, or if they want to they should fix a rope from the top to use as a belay and/or retrieve belay gear.
According to one of the threads linked to in post 1, the original stake had totally gone in June 2011.
Assuming this bolt has just been placed, that's 3 years with no fixed gear in the cave.
So you could argue, this is a case of bolting 'virgin' rock!
Get it chopped!
Is anything wrong with this idea other than a little inconvenience?
I had wondered about this - I suspect the lower pitch that gets done the most is Coventry Street as a soft E4 (though the logbook suggest they all see some action) - and I wonder folks got down from the cave. My latest cragshots show a fixed krab below the cave, apparently on an old peg. If so, this BAD IDEA - don't forget the London Wall accident from a couple of years ago,
Although they did a pretty bad job of it, and someone with decent tools should neaten it up a bit.
It's also interesting that you're happy even though they did a "pretty bad job" of it. As long as there's no bolt, it doesn't matter how trashed the rock gets. I knew I was missing something somewhere. Who's the "persons unknown" who did this - shouldn't they be proud of what they did? Who is the someone who's going to tidy it up?
To answer the question I posed to Adam Long, and who never answered it, the Peak Area is evidently rather a backward child.
They can take it through the normal democratic channels as they should in the first place. Simples
Hope someones goes and chucks another one up next to the now chopped one.
Wonder how many would end up there before a winner was declared.
Anyone who thinks it was removed because of this thread on UKC is making some big assumptions about the importance of these trivial non-democratic minority fora.
And if it was then the same applies to the person who removed it..
In my first post on this thread I asked who had placed it. That hasn't been answered either.
Democracy has prevailed. A bmc meeting voted against it, someone went along and bolted anyway. Now its chopped and rightfully so.
One individual took it upon themself to put it in, another took it upon themself to take it out. That's generally how things happen but I wouldn't describe it as democracy.
One individual took it upon themself to put it in despite an existing former consensus to the contrary, another took it out, acting on that very, re-checked (at the local area meet), consensus.
I can't imagine that you truly believe that acting on a "try it and see" basis is better than the above (imperfect as it may be)?
Or that in these matters the local area meets (to which you attend [and vote[d]?]) don't truly represent the views of local climbers?
I'm not clear what opinions you are ascribing to me. I'm saying its not democracy which some people state they think it is.
If you want to know my personal opinion then I'm generally in favour of the undemocratic process of activists (ie people who give a shit) doing their thing at the crag on the proviso that the actions don't enfringe wider concerns such as environmental/access issues (ie the ethics that really count). In this case they didn't. I abstained from the BMC meeting vote because I don't think this issue is the Peak areas business as none of the wider issues were affected.
Of the 32 there I think 19 voted for the removal and the rest abstained. If the activists want to use the BMC Area meet as an open forum to thrash things out that's up to them and probably a good thing not least because it enlivens the meeting and bumps the numbers up.
You have a brilliantly poor understanding of democracy, and you obviously don't understand that BMC meetings are not even slightly representative. They generally (in the Peak at least) have 50-60 people there, which must be something like 2% of the active climbing population.
Has anyone got a picture of the democratically inflicted damage?
Of course they don't truly represent the views of local climbers, how strange that you should think they do. The meetings represent the views of the people who are at the meeting which, as I've said above, is no more than 2% of the active climbing population of the area.
You need to update your "Favourite Climbing-Related Discussion Topic(s)" :-)
If there was a simple 'No new bolts on any Trad crags WHATSOVER' policy, then it might avoid these issues arising in the first place.
There is a set of guidelines on fixed gear (rather than policy) debated, refined and agreed over a number of meetings. The finished version (I think) can be found here: http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?id=2887
In this particular place it really isn't a big deal either way. Get over it, people!
Well that looks like it could have come from a Whitehall political think tank staffed with members from every party - in other words, grey, woolly and about as decisive as Nick Clegg after a long lunch.
No wonder it's such a grey area open to 'creative' interpretation.
If you keep re-drawing lines in the sand, you eventually get to the stage where nobody knows where the bloody line is anymore!
It's called turn out. If you don't turn up, don't moan about the result. Bolts have been added, due to BMC meetings. Are you going to help me chop them all for not being democratic enough? If you think these 3,000 climbers have a different point of view, why don't you ask them to come along?
The damage caused by the bolter you mean? Funny taking a drill to rock doesn't bother you but how dare someone remove the metal?
It's quite funny this Martin - if 50 people turned up at the meeting and 40 of them voted for the bolt you'd be running round like a dog with two dicks and definitely not quoting any voting stats.
That's a Russell Brand like statement if ever I heard one.
Granted, it's imperfect, yet I'd take it any day over the "try it and see" mentality that you put forward here and in your aforementioned article.
Got to agree. If you want something done, come to the meetings and make a case. We don't want a cycle of bolting/unbolting, that does no good for anyone. Anyone placing controversial bolts will have them chopped, especially if backed by a BMC vote, it's pointless acting selfishly without consulting others that also care about the issue (much less than the total climbing population of an area).
Yes but yes but yes but only 2% of the climbing community are represented at these meetings!
All climbers are welcome at the meetings as you know. If the ones that turn up all the time are not representative of the general climbing population, maybe more of that population should turn up and have their say to make it more representative.
The keyhole 'belay point' was discussed and voted on some years ago (I was in the USA at the time, and am therefore going on hearsay!). If someone wanted to change that vote to allow the new bolt they should have turned up to the meeting and brought their disciples with them to get the voting outcome they wanted. Simple process.
So all you climbers, why are you not turning up to Peak Area meetings to make your voices heard. Costs you a little time and fuel, but you do get good free sandwiches and chips, and pleasure of the company of other climbers!
As Dan said, went to get the pic and it has been chopped. very sharp edges now, be careful!
I bet there aren't enough sandwhiches for his 3,000 mates that all wanted the bolt though!
According to recent research, by me, that would be 0.03% of climbers in the UK at a BMC Peak Area meeting.
I'm with Shark on this, always have been, there is no democracy nor a consensus, all there is are actions and do nothings.
I wonder what the next action on UK rock will be to purposely stimulate internet debate?
You're refering to Simon's post:
I'm generally in favour of the undemocratic process of activists (ie people who give a shit) doing their thing at the crag
I agree, that's the way it should be.
On this thread I make it about 12 for vs 28 against.
On UKB about 3 for vs 15 against.
On Twitter, I got about ten messages against, and one vaguely for from a guy who admitted up front he had never climbed outdoors.
(Hard to get exact figures as not everyone states so simply, but I've erred in favour of the fors if anything. E.g. where Dan suggested 8:17 higher up I made it 9:15. Yes I am bored, the baby has me under house-arrest.)
>What about taking it to the BMC meeting!
As a proposal, it was discussed at the BMC 4 years ago. As an in-situ existant lower-off, it was discussed at the BMC meet on Wednesday. At both meetings there was a vote. No one at either meeting was prepared to vote in its favour, and a large majority voted against.
If that is clearly unsatisfactory, how else do you suggest we canvas opinion? Un-named E7 climbers in BMC corridors? Who was it who wrote "Iím sorry folks, but just because you climb E8, youíre not the boss of me"? Well me neither, but I'll take a vote from those who can be arsed to voice an opinion anyday.
I went up and had a look tonight. The rock is incredibly soft. A big dish was made when the original stake went in. A bigger dish was made when the staple went in, along with two holes full of unsightly resin and metal (mild steel too - which would have rusted). The dish was was further enlarged when it was chopped, but the most unsightly bit is the glue.
>I knew I was missing something somewhere. Who's the "persons unknown" who did this - shouldn't they be proud of what they did? Who is the someone who's going to tidy it up?
Who are the 'persons unknown' who placed it? Are they not proud either? Personally I have no problem with these things being anonymous to be honest - it keeps the discussion on the principles not the personalities.
I'm afraid you'll have to repeat it as I'm not sure what you're referring to. If you mean in terms of fixed gear policy, the Peak policy is near identical to these lines you posted above:
"-if a peg that was rotten couldn't be effectively replaced, a bolt might be considered if modern gear hadn't opened up any other possibilities and if the area meeting agreed in that particular case.
-it was also agreed that if modern equipment meant the fixed gear was no longer needed the bolt/peg would be removed and not replaced."
What has happened followed the above process exactly. It's seems strange for you to promote such a process whilst refusing to accept it's outcome.
Where we are left is that we have a short stake that is slightly wobbly but can be tied off for those who feel a need for it. In fact pretty much an exact like-for-like replacement of the old stake that you removed, only much stronger. Given that, and presuming it's in quite deep, I'd suggest accepting a bit of a compromise and leaving the stub in - another little bit of history, and hopefully stopping a repeat bolting.
However if you insist someone should 'tidy it up' the softness of the rock here is unique in that the stubs could be removed entirely and the rock would look pretty much the same given a few weeks wind and rain. I'd be happy to oblige if that's the consensus.
It was a busy day at Millstone, with lots of people having a good time.
Here is a photo of the current state of affairs
The bolt was in the very back of the left side of the cave, not on Coventry St. Its remains are fairly ugly, and the back part protrudes enough so it is still possible to lower off it, although you'd have to leave some tat. It wobbles a bit, and I think possibly a lump hammer may be enough to remove the remains.
Thanks to whoever took the mouldy blanket out.
Bizarre! They removed the bolt but left enough to ab off? FFS!
Elaborate on this research.
Oh yeah you can def still ab from it
As I think was mentioned earlier, the left-hand bit of metal has been hammered down into the ancient original piece of metal, a bit of square-section hollow pipe,
That's a rookie bolt removal. Shoddy workmanship. Drill thin bits in the cement around the metal then pull. Fill in the hole with rock dust, top with glue, sprinkle with rock dust. Hey presto as good as old.
I might ab off that if not abbing off meant certain death...
Adam reported it was placed in a dish in the rock and getting at it wasn't easy.
Anyone talking about damaged rock here is being silly as the rock is soft rubbish and you can't see it unless in the cave.
As for 'democracy' of the area meeting it would of course be imperfect but it is a process and probably in this case fairly certain to be reasonably representative (of a majority position). Quite a few of those at the area meeting who abstained or voted for removal have said before they support bolting abseil stations in certain circumstances on a case by case basis. however, there is clearly a risk in such votes and I'd be very careful about trumpeting democracy (similar to where some hard left trade union activists talk about democratic victory when they have forced things on their more moderate membership using 'majority' votes in meetings with low turnout). Shark is also right that irrespective of area meetings most things get done (be this good or bad) through individual action, yet I can't see how the meeting can ignore such issues.
Yes, yes, yes but a majority does not make it a democracy - a democracy has an established structure and a process.
If the Peak fixed gear policy is pretty much identical to the one in the NW, then I'd have called this a like for like replacement...so it should have been left in. Perhaps I'm again missing something, although it might be that the policy is redundant/applied when it suits/ineffective!
When I spoke of the Peak area being "backward", I meant emotionally. There seems to be a stubborn holding on to the past and some - I don't know - Golden Age. Instead, in places like Lancashire, Yorkshire, the NE, Wales, the SW and Cumbria (most of the rest of the country, then) bolts are installed here and there and where necessary. Sometimes this even happens on trad routes in grit quarries and the impact is immediate and positive. Supercrack at Wilton 1 (owned by the BMC, no less) is now the most popular route outside of The Prow now it has a lower off. White Slabs Bunt - going the same way, Black Mamba has a new bolt where the horrible old one used to be and guess what? Chalked up throughout the year, previously neglected crags used and a positive vibe. This is not wholesale bolting of our heritage, it's just common sense in a handful of places where it's needed.
Anyways, the deed is done, and life moves on. Whatever. Perhaps the most touching part of your reply is that you can still accurately quote a line of mine from - what is it - six years ago? I remember using that to describe a meeting at The Winking Man and it was highly accurate at the time. For you to remember it and bring it up again after all this time (albeit completely out of context) is heartwarming and has made me chuckle.
Sure. It's the best we've got though and I don't see why it isn't representative of those who have an opinion.
Why is this a good thing? Lets not justify bolting by saying it makes routes more popular
It was 'officially decided' at the meet four years ago which was well publicised, not that you bothered to attend or that the decision was respected. This week we just happened to have a meeting on the same day the bolt was publicised - inevitably it was discussed.
The Peak is not backward by any measure. We have the both the hardest and many of the most popular easy sport climbs. If I lived in Lancashire I would probably have a more relaxed attitude to such matters given the nature of many of the crags. But Millstone is in the heartland of gritstone climbing and has a well-established ethic known and respected worldwide. I don't agree that popularity is the best measure of worth where adventure is concerned - or your 'meaningless' wedge might raise it's head again.
The article with your quote is linked, albeit indirectly, higher up the thread. It just struck me as deeply hypocritical of you to act as if a good climber's opinion is worth hearing when they agree with you, but not if they don't. And given both discussions were about retrobolting, hardly out of context is it?
That's not the policy. Any replacement of fixed gear with a bolt will be decided on a case by case basis. It explicitly states that most will not be replaced.
As they are in the peak. That bolt was not necessary but a convenience to bail of the route without abbing back down for gear.
It's not, even with the caveat of excluding the prow it's not.
It would be the best 6b+ in Lancashire with 8 bolts................hold on a minute.....
Actually only needs 5!!! and use the other 3 on Cameo?
I think it was John Arran (always a safe pair of hands) who pointed out, somewhere in the countless posts above, that what was needed was a similar metal stake to what was previously there being wellied in. Problem solved (and a lot of huffing and puffing avoided).
But only three on Cameo and the pro bolters would be moaning about minimalist bolting. You know, like the exciting routes on slate which are being dumbed down....
To be fair, even though I would have thought this the best option in general, I wasn't aware of the BMC area discussion and vote on the matter just a few years ago. That's the proper forum for these things so that decision should be respected (or challenged again through the same forum).
Also, given the the choice between a bolt-like staple and nothing I would certainly have chosen nothing, so for both reasons I think it's best that it's been removed.
>bolts are installed here and there and where necessary.
It's never "necessary".
I chatted with several folks at Bamford today who had done the jamming cracks into the cave over the past few weeks whilst the belay was in place. They all said it was sad and pointless that it had been chopped,
Well I asked some people and they thought the bolt was sad and pointless...
Indeed - two points of view.
Had your people done the routes btw?
No, they have climbed at Millstone but not those routes whilst the bolt was in place.
I understand how a few more HVS routes might be attractive to a guidebook writer, and certainty of whether a belay is going to stay there or not is even more important for a description.
However, it's probably safer publish that there isn't a lower-off, whether that changes might be bonus for those seeking to bail off/top rope at the cave. There's some other routes with easier starts, I see this as a lower-off sport style. I.E. first 15m is a 6a then the next 10m is 7a, it makes sense to place a lower-off at 15m for more ascents/traffic. However, are we really struggling for HVS routes in the peak that we need to save someone a trip to the top of these routes to retrieve their gear?
I'll adapt the description when the guide is due. I was more interested in the response of climbers who had done the routes recently, enjoyed them a lot and were surprised that someone had gone to the effort of removing the belay.
You can still ab out of the cave, you just have to retrieve your own gear, just like everyone else who bails mid route. I'm surprised that someone added a redundant bolt.
Edit: Judging by this description:
"Led both pitches but brought Alex up to the cave after the first. 2nd pitch is outrageously good, just ignore the slight spoiling by the ledge on the arete." Sounds like those you talked to missed out. A pleasant if watered down experience no doubt.
you mean 3 wouldnt make it exciting? better go for 6 and also sika on the odd creaking flake...presume that would make it more exciting?
plus a lower off and warning that you may not get down on a 50m rope...but that would make it scary!!
"Supercrack at Wilton 1 (owned by the BMC, no less) is now the most popular route outside of The Prow now it has a lower off."
Why is this a good thing? Lets not justify bolting by saying it makes routes more popular
Thanks for your post, the bolt belay on supercrack did make it a very popular route in the past two years, as before then there had been a major rockfall on the finish and it was "tottering heap of death" to top out and was not climbed for 3/4 years.
Looking forward to seeing you at the BMC NW area meeting tomorrow night so that you can be part of the discussion.
Supercrack at Wilton 1 (owned by the BMC, no less) is now the most popular route outside of The Prow now it has a lower off.
It's not, even with the caveat of excluding the prow it's not.
Please excuse me for hijacking this thread to some extent,but the staple, stake, belay? that has has been placed at millstone has now been removed, to some climbers "loss" and others "gain", and that is said tongue in cheek.
However, the BMC NW (lancs)Area in meeting tomorrow (Mon), at the Black Dog,Belmont to discuss the placing of bolt belays at certain venues in Lancs.
Please come along and get involved in the discussion.
And look forward to meeting you there, and chatting with you over the popularity of supercrack
Then there's people like me, who only a couple of months ago decided climbing the first pitch of an E grade climb was a bit pointless. That on my first visit to Millstone and unaware of any bolt or stake. Walk round the corner and there are climbs where you can get to the top... which seems a lot more fulfilling to me but then I learnt to climb on multipitch routes.
"sad and pointless"? Chopping the bolt is hardly pointless, there's solid reasoning behind it.
Hardly an unbiased cohort, plus they may well have seen that you supported the bolt on here, plus folk tend towards trying to say what they think people want to hear...
> Hardly an unbiased cohort, plus they may well have seen that you supported the bolt on here, plus folk tend towards trying to say what they think people want to hear...
which is why many people refrained from supporting the bolt on here - due to the obvious backlash
works both ways in my opinion
> which is why many people refrained from supporting the bolt on here - due to the obvious backlash
> works both ways in my opinion
You haven't explained why you support it.
> You haven't explained why you support it.
Dont need to - I just support it. But what does that matter now anyway since it has gone?
when i did pic c & the bolt was in, I didn't even clip it - makes no difference to me.
Plus in future if I want to get out of there I will rap off then rap from the fence - I really dont care. I just think it would be nice to open that area up to more people
When I visited the keyhole again on friday two guys were doing this, all kinds of crap came down from the sandpit above which wasn't really very nice
I don't see it as a different situ to the lower off on Supercrack. Supercrack lower off is in place due to loose blocks up top. The same exists above the keyhole cave
I'll explain why I am not opposed to it (though that's not quite the same as strongly supporting it).
* Sited where it is it isn't a useful runner on any routes (as far as I can tell).
* It is a useful ab-point for those doing the lower pitches by themselves (which many people do or would do).
* Leaving gear and abing from the top is anti-social if there are other people around (owing to the likelihood of dislodging stones from the top, though also simply because it occupies the route for longer; this may not be an issue for locals but it is for non-locals who may only be able to visit at popular times).
* All in all it functions more as a belay stake than as a bolt runner, and belay stakes are widely accepted at trad venues where appropriate.
Having done all the routes on that side of the cave, I used the old stake as a runner every time, including Coventry street. It would be contrived to avoid it.
OK, maybe I'm wrong on that (Coventry Street is out of my league, though when I did Picc Circus there seemed enough else around that it wouldn't make much difference).
> Dont need to - I just support it. But what does that matter now anyway since it has gone?
> when i did pic c & the bolt was in, I didn't even clip it - makes no difference to me.
> Plus in future if I want to get out of there I will rap off then rap from the fence - I really dont care. I just think it would be nice to open that area up to more people
> When I visited the keyhole again on friday two guys were doing this, all kinds of crap came down from the sandpit above which wasn't really very nice
> I don't see it as a different situ to the lower off on Supercrack. Supercrack lower off is in place due to loose blocks up top. The same exists above the keyhole cave
Ok, so you see it as opening up part of the crag to people who wish to do the bottom part of the routes in isolation.
I don't agree with it in this case and I think Supercrack is a different situation because, as I understand it, it was always a whole route in its own right.
Its even simpler than that; a democratic process is one that that produces a result you agree with. If the process 'gets it wrong' then it was patently undemocratic. I think that's how we evaluate the middle east as well as climbers in the peak.
Someone could have set up a survey monkey type thing to at least get some idea of opinions. Now that it's gone I feel more at ease revealing my opinion that I would be happy for it to be there. The against arguments get far too personal and so you don't really get a balanced show of opinions.
Having never been in the cave (because I couldn't climb out of it and didn't like the idea of lowering off a manky lump of rust) what was the original bar held in place by? Was it in a drilled hole or a natural crack/weakness? Could we hammer a replacement in the same place? Would this be like for like replacement and therefore acceptable?
To reinforce the point made earlier;if you want to join in opinion and policy making at the BMC area meetings,then you need to turn up and have your say.
There are always important access and nature conservation issues,as well as the eternal battle between trad and sport.
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