/ NEWS: Bolting at High Tor

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Michael Ryan - on 19 Oct 2007
Derbyshire Dales District Council has reported a recent incident where a climber was seen installing bolts on a sport route at High Tor, Matlock. This involved removing some hawthorn at the top of the crag, deliberately placed to discourage abseiling. High Tor is a sensitive area and climbers are ...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/
shark - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I am completely mystified by this report. Hawthorn to deliberately discourage abseiling - what is that about ? When did High Tor become sensitive ? its not of an SSSI is it ? or is the reference to ownership issues ? What has removing hawthorn at the top of the crag got to do with bolting ?

Can anyone elaborate on this incident ?

??????????
Enty - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

This need some more airtime.

The Ent
Chris the Tall - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Simon Lee:
Saw someone placing bolts on the left wing about a month ago.

Agree with you that the notion that Hawthorn is placed along the top of the crag to discourage abseiling is very odd. Although wasn't the tree cut down for the same reason ?

No doubt this issue will be on the agenda at the next area meeting on Nov 28th
craig d - on 19 Oct 2007
What was the route? Is it new or a retrobolt?
shark - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Chris the Tall: No doubt this issue will be on the agenda at the next area meeting on Nov 28th


Nice plug ;-)

A less cryptic write up on the website would be more helpful though.
Gordon Stainforth - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Chris the Tall:

The cutting down of the tree at the top of the crag, by the council I believe, was a disgrace. As far as I'm concerned, the crag should be an SSSI. But maybe no one else/ few others are concerned??
Ropeboy - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I don't know about discouraging abseiling BUT last time I was there in the spring there was a company doing abseiling fromn the top of the crag, there must have been about 20 of them. They'd used up all the pro and I really struggled to find anything to make myself safe.

Maybe it's to discourage commercial abseiling?

J :-)
Neil Foster - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Simon Lee:
>
> Can anyone elaborate on this incident ?
>
It was a complete storm in a teacup, Simon

A generous soul was replacing the old bolts on Wil E Coyote when he got challenged by some passers-by.

They obviously had no understanding of climbing, but sensibly he chose to leave rather than argue with them.

End of (non) story.

Neil
shark - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Neil Foster:

Hi Neil

What was the deal with the hawthorn bushes ?

Reminds me of 'climbers bolting the peregrine falcon shock' at Malham by the twitching fraternity which an investigation seems to have been a bunch of numptie abseilers http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=236777

Shoddy verbatim reporting by the BMC of complaints is scarcely either useful or effective representation.

It would be delicious if the 'Generous Soul' had been using BMC sponsored bolts !. My thanks to the 'GS', though I'm sure, like myself, those bolts still had a few good years left in them.



belperpete - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Simon Lee: Simon, I know you've got a longer term interest in the crag and full respect for what you've done! I'd like to know exactly what DDDC have said, but I do know something about this crazy situation. Not going to say more yet, but, someone I know was simply intending to replace old bolts in order to rationalise and make a completely free ascent of a well known existing sport route in the cave area(You will know which one I refer to). At this point, can all trad only climbers veer away, as this does not affect any other routes on this amazing mainly trad, but some sport crag. In fact, no bolts were installed at the time, but after lightly pruning (they're still fine) and setting up abseil, this person was approached by a Derbyshire Dales District council worker (a regular habituee of the area) and asked what he was doing (politely). No mention of problems with pruning (not eliminating) hawthorns was made, but when X explained the intention was as explained above, said worker insisted on referring to somebody else present (obviously superior - English Heritage??), re the situation. Response was "possible 2000 fine - SSSI site???". It was clear that neither worker knew the first thing about climbing!Anyway, faced with this, X left immediately. Subsequently, a suggestion was made to X to refer this to BMC for clarification, but was declined ( a mistake, maybe, in retrospect!). I do have more recent info on developments, but will not divulge at this point. Everybody get this straight, the main issue here is, 'have the BMC got all the issues truly sorted here with DDDC?' Walk along the bottom and you will see complete trees cut down by the path, with more marked for destruction (not by climbers, I think??). Above all, this is nothing to do with retro or rebolting issues - it's seemingly about hawthorn and abseiling - what??. Anyway the route SOS is now finally free and excellent. Other developments completed or underway. Get in touch if you wsant more info. Nuf said, so far!
belperpete - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Neil Foster: Thanks Neil, absolutely right, but no probs on Wile e Coyote, just Squeezing... Check my relpy to Simon for full details. I await with interest!!
belperpete - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Gordon, you're right, cutting down that tree was a disgrace - what for???. Have you walked along the bottom path recently - plenty more trees cut and rotting by the path - English Heritage remit or what? Why do you think the crag should be SSSI designated? It's a special place, no doubt but if you check out the parameters I don't know of any reason (other than fondness for the place) why it should be. Remember the main thrust of supposed complaint from DDDC "This involved removing some hawthorn at the top of the crag, deliberately placed to discourage abseiling.". Hawthorn is not a protected species! So what are the issues here? BMC maybe haven't got it quite right yet??
Chris Harris - on 19 Oct 2007
belperpete - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Chris Harris: Sorry Chris - elucidate please!
Gordon Stainforth - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to belperpete:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) Gordon, you're right, cutting down that tree was a disgrace - what for???. Have you walked along the bottom path recently - plenty more trees cut and rotting by the path - English Heritage remit or what? Why do you think the crag should be SSSI designated? It's a special place, no doubt but if you check out the parameters I don't know of any reason (other than fondness for the place) why it should be.

Probably because I'm an aging fart! Seriously, though, I feel very strongly that somewhere as special as High Tor should be treated like gold dust/ Stonehenge/ the Parthenon. As climbers, our goal should be to do just that and to aim, as far as is humanly possible, to leave no permanent marks on it whatever.

The whole question of the felling of trees should be looked into. It may be part of a very well thought out gardening plan, but I suspect it's the exact opposite.

>Remember the main thrust of supposed complaint from DDDC "This involved removing some hawthorn at the top of the crag, deliberately placed to discourage abseiling.". Hawthorn is not a protected species! So what are the issues here? BMC maybe haven't got it quite right yet??

This whole hawthorn thing sounds so far-fetched that I hope it's just a case of very garbled reporting.


johncoxmysteriously - on 19 Oct 2007
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Oh, I don't know. People could do with being discouraged from abseiling down High Tor.

I didn't know the tree had been cut down - what was the idea of that? - but if stops selfish people abseiling down that will be something gained, at least.

jcm
shark - on 20 Oct 2007
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

The Castellan tree was, and remains, the preferred abseil point - far more airy and exciting and doesnt interfere with any routes as it is free hanging - its also got a good chain on it now.

The descent paths have become quite overgrown now. I had a bit of an epic failing to find the one on the Left Wing a couple of years ago.
curly ben on 21 Oct 2007 - host86-145-161-36.range86-145.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Ropeboy:
yep.. i have came across 'abseilers' at high tor. all very peculiar- no problems per se tho, jus monopoly of the main ab point and quite weird watching people zip past from the delicattessan belay with the whites of there eyes showing. To be honnest i think they thought we were a bit crackers for climbing.. takes all sorts i guess. HOWEVER friend of a friend had a nastier tale to tell- onsight attempt on supersonic (i think?) and had ab ropes chucked on him. despite shouting at 'abseilers' repeatedly that he was in a dangerous position- then had a group descend on in him while in extremis. bit of naughty gossip i suppose, but this source is a reliable and generally understated kinda chap.
johncoxmysteriously - on 21 Oct 2007
In reply to curly ben:

Par for the course. The best tale I've heard in this area is a friend who was soloing the Sloth, and emerged round the roof in a horizontal position to find a carelessly lowered rope momentarily curling itself up on his chest.

Abseilers, like dog owners, profess responsibility but in fact are basically all inconsiderate see-you-next-Tuesdays.

jcm
Al Evans on 21 Oct 2007
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Jesus, did you ever see what they did to Dovedale a few years ago? Wholesale massacre of trees, made me laugh about the complaints of the Ivy curbed from Chapel Head.
edwardwoodward - on 23 Oct 2007
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to curly ben)
>
> Abseilers, like dog owners, profess responsibility but in fact are basically all inconsiderate see-you-next-Tuesdays.
>

As an abseiler who likes dog owners, I object to this crass generalisation.

Jonny2vests - on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Simon Lee:

You mentioned that the Castellan Abseil was the preferred ab point which is reflected in UKCs database. The BMC however seem to disagree...

http://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmccrag/ViewCrag.aspx?id=134

Don't get me wrong - I think the Castellan ab is the perfect compromise for all concerned.
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shark - on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to jonny2vests: The BMC however seem to disagree

From the link: "Do not abseil from trees at the top"

The Castellan tree is of course below the top so no problemo.


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