/ UK Bolt Fund Appeal

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Mick Ward - on 30 Apr 2008
Many of the (20,000+??) readers of these forums enjoy both Trad and Sport climbing. In recent years, there has been an upsurge in crag clean-ups, both BMC organised and from local activists doing their thing. Neglected crags have emerged from the undergrowth. Perhaps as importantly, we’ve begun to realise, en masse, that crags need to be maintained - and it’s up to us to do it.

To date, rebolting seems to have remained the province of the few – although, with workshops, this will hopefully change. Understandably most of us are nervous about placing bolts; there’s more than a little skill involved.

There’s also considerable cost involved in rebolting. This cost has been borne by regional bolt funds and (again!) by local activists, the most notable being Pete Oxley (now emigrated) and Gary Gibson. It’s easy for us to do hundreds of routes that they’ve equipped while never giving a thought to the costs involved. It’s a bit like having permanent free outdoor climbing walls that mysteriously maintain themselves.

My suggestion is to have a centralised website (ukboltfund.org??) with listings of different regional bolt funds (or links to their websites). The re-equippers could be groups or individuals. The funds would not be for new routes, unless otherwise stated. Any retro-bolting would have to be democratically agreed.

Thus Freda Bloggs could send a donation to Area X. Unless she wanted anonymity, her name and donation could be listed periodically (quarterly?) with subsequent periodic reporting of what was achieved. Ideally she could see her money being used well. The re-equippers would be funded. The crags would benefit.

What do people think?

In reply to Mick Ward: Mark Reeves and V12 are rebolting the Ormes and Slate too and require donations as well as the contribution from the BMC bolt fund.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/older.html?month=06&year=2007

see further down.
Rob Kennard - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to blueshound: I live in Dorset, and I have witnessed hundreds of climbers visit the area to enjoy the products of this "defilement" - It may of occurred to these climbers that they might want to support efforts to maintain the crags- perhaps they could post a more positive response?
Dan Middleton, BMC - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to Mick Ward:

It's a really important issue to raise, Mick. We have a dedicated webpage for UK bolt funds on the BMC website. Currently active funds can be contacted via this. There are some other groups and activists who could probably be added to this - just send me the details people. I'm sure that there are probably webpages and wikis as well, detailing the latest news from different areas, which could be linked.

Instead of yet another website, why not have a sticky forum thread, or premier post supplied free by UKC, with quarterly updates from bolt funds? If people can see where their money has been spent, they'll be more likely to donate again. Make no mistake, money is needed. The BMC donated 10K last year, which hardly touched the sides as it went down!

There's the issue of recruitment as well. Some areas have bolts, drills and donated funds. Just nobody to do the work! Hence the focus on running some workshops. A permanent premier post could help alert potential recruits to training events etc.

Finally, you mention democratic agreement for retrobolting. Again, this system is already in place - BMC area meetings (complete with free chips etc).

Cheers

steve taylor - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to Dan Middleton, BMC:

This link points to the page Dan mentions above...

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=1929
Mick Ward - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to Dan Middleton, BMC:

Hi Dan, Many thanks for your reply. There's certainly an argument that this ought to reside on the BMC website which, as a member, I should visit more. < embarrassed cough >

> Instead of yet another website, why not have a sticky forum thread, or premier post supplied free by UKC, with quarterly updates from bolt funds?

I asked Mick about this a couple of months back and, while he was undoubtedly sympathetic to the cause, he didn't seem to think it appropriate. Maybe we could ask him again...


> If people can see where their money has been spent, they'll be more likely to donate again. Make no mistake, money is needed. The BMC donated 10K last year, which hardly touched the sides as it went down!

I think this is the nub of the argument. I just think that feedback loops are motivating! You think, "I gave 'em £10 last time, well they made bloody good use of it, might give 'em £20 next time... or a day's work."


> There's the issue of recruitment as well. Some areas have bolts, drills and donated funds. Just nobody to do the work! Hence the focus on running some workshops. A permanent premier post could help alert potential recruits to training events etc.

Totally agree.

> Finally, you mention democratic agreement for retrobolting. Again, this system is already in place - BMC area meetings (complete with free chips etc).

I just put that in to pre-empt nasty anti-bolting posts. Looks like we had one deleted.

Really all I'm suggesting is a well publicised, well updated central access point where people can go to and get involved regionally. It would be good if this could run in tandem with crag cleanups.

Mick



Dan Middleton, BMC - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to steve taylor: Cheers Steve.

I've added links to the Slate and North Wales Limestone wikis to the page, so you can now access up to date info on routes in these area. You can report damaged bolts, missing holds etc, and also find out if a route has been re-equiped or is scheduled to be.
Gary Gibson - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to Dan Middleton, BMC: Dan,
cosidering all the work I have done, which is considerably more than most in the Peak, South Wales, Wye Valley, Clwyd and Mid Wales is there any chance of putting my name on the BMC list? The Peak bolt fund doesn't seem to function properly despite its good intentions and I have loads of areas I am about to re-equip: Masson Lees, Cawdor Quarry - which incidentally has cleaned up - Harpur Hill, Crag X, some at Clwyd etc. And these are areas for the masses rather than just the high7s/8s climber.

My home address is Keristone, Carr Bank, Oakamoor, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs. ST10 3DG
Gary Gibson - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to Gary Gibson: Oh and of course my web site is www.sportsclimbs.co.uk
In reply to Gary Gibson: Gary

You might want to email your address rather than listing it on an open forum.

g
Gary Gibson - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: Fair comment
mark reeves - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to Mick Ward: Whilst the idea of a national bolt fund is both forward thinking and a great idea, I think that what we have at the present is striking a reasonable balance. A National fund would require a great deal of management, in terms of sharing out the money and keeping tabs on what has gone where, and what work has resulted.

The local system that operates in most places means that people can choose where there money goes, and in the case of North Wales they have seen that money go to what some believe good use, whilst other can and will criticise what has gone on. What the local funds do allow is local debate through BMC area meetings, and awareness of the work that has gone on through websites.

The north wales bolt fund has done well, probably on the back of the many people that have been involved in the process, which has lead to an obvious change in use of some areas in and around the area, from not only the slate, but various limestone venues that you will no doubt be made aware of when the developments are complete.

Most of the money that comes into the North Wales bolt fund, and funds like the dorset fund, as far as i am aware is through the activitist basically shaking a collection tin at crags and large events like the Tremadog Fest, LLAMFF, Gogarth Fest, etc... Whilst there are cash and cheque donations made to the funds it is more about getting 100 climbers to donate £2 each.

I may be wrong as I don't know how the Peak Bolt Fund(?It might be another fund from over that way?) that set up a paypal account fair on attracting donations that way.

It is a valid question to put to UKC, however the 'think globally, act locally' approach is hopefully working.

Michael Ryan - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to mark reeves:

Lots of local bolt funds in the USA and then some national ones too.

The Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI) managed by Climbing magazine

http://climbing.com/community/ari/

and ASCA, American Safe Climbing Association.

http://safeclimbing.org/

Mick
Robert Bennett on 30 Apr 2008 - 87.113.42.21.plusnet.pte-ag1.dyn.plus.net
In reply to Gary Gibson:
Good point Gary about the popularity of the 6 grades. Peak district quarry climbing on bolt protection is a branch of climbing with many devotees in the Peak and from outside.
In my view, the main funding for Peak bolting should be raised in the Peak area , and you should be certainly included as a special case for financial support.
Some of us would also be more than willing to get out there and do some of the work!
Mick Ward - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to mark reeves:

Mark, thanks for your contribution. All I was suggesting was a national portal (website/premier post/access point) which would devolve to the regions. If you lived and climbed in Dorset, you might choose to send your money there. Alternatively, if you'ld just been up to North Wales/Clwyd, you might like to send your money there. Either way, you'ld get some kind of feedback as to what resulted.

I'm glad that what you're doing in Wales is working. The last time I saw the local collection tin in Dorset was seven years ago, so it's about time I put in a contribution! Meanwhile Gary (and others?) struggle on.

It would be good if we would access the undoubted power of UKC to help. There are a few well heeled people on here who could afford quite a bit. There are lots of skint students who could carpool and help out with physical work. And we could all consider what we pay on a visit to a climbing wall (£5 to £10 with tea and buns for a dozen routes?) versus what we contribute towards a dozen routes outside - usually sod all!

Just some thoughts... What you and others have done in Wales sounds great. The personal abuse you got last year was well out of order. Hopefully some people have come to their senses.

Mick

Mick Ward - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to Robert Bennett:
> (In reply to Gary Gibson)

> In my view... you should be certainly included as a special case for financial support.

Totally agree.

> Some of us would also be more than willing to get out there and do some of the work!

Yep!

Mick

belperpete - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to mark reeves)
>
> Lots of local bolt funds in the USA and then some national ones too.
Mick

Can somebody please give a simple, but accurate explanation of how the equipping and re-equipping get funded and done in France/Spain etc?
Mick Ward - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to belperpete:

Not sure this is 100% accurate but I think that local councils fund approved climbers to bolt - on the basis that it adds to the infrastructure and encourages climbing tourism. I guess we could ask David Mora, for instance, as to what happens on the Costa Blanca.

Mick
johnl - on 30 Apr 2008
In reply to Mick Ward: Considering what the visiting climbers to Portland must contribute to the local economy there must be a case for the local borough council to chip in.
Mick Ward - on 01 May 2008
In reply to johnl:

Hi John, did your new routes on the New Cuttings with Jon. The slab's a real gem. It's going to give so many people such a fun outing, rather than the more normal New Cuttings experience of, "I've been here half an hour; I'm sure I'll be leaving the ground some time soon..."

With Portland, there certainly is a case for the local council to chip in. Sadly, they're more likely to try and ban climbing, when the local scallies finally manage to kill someone by lobbing stuff off the top.

I was replying to the previous poster's query about continental ways more out of politeness than anything else. I don't think that we have the same commitment to creating infrastructure in this country (but it would be great to be proved wrong!) Meanwhile Gary (and Pete in the past) struggle on. Ain't right somehow.

I'll give you a shout over the weekend. Be good to get out.

All best wishes,

Mick
tlocker - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Mick Ward: What about using the approach the charities use and establishing a mechanism where people could set up a direct debit for a small amount each month. This would thus generate regular income for the bolt funds and probably be more effective than intermittent collections/ donations.
If the bolt fund could be made a charitbale organisation the tax could also be reclaimed. I don't know enough about the legislation to know if this is possible but might be worht a go.
Mick Ward - on 01 May 2008
In reply to tlocker:

Good idea. If we can just get a highly visible central access point (a portal) that people can use to make regional donations, then we can refine it.

Mick
Paul Bowen - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Mick Ward:

> Not sure this is 100% accurate but I think that local councils fund approved climbers to bolt - on the basis that it adds to the infrastructure and encourages climbing tourism.

This is pretty much what happens, climbing/crags are seen as being of great benefit to an area, well worth the investment..

on another point, why couldn't the BMC act as a wholesale hanger supplier, spending £10,000 would allow them to deal direct with the likes of petzl fixe etc. thus driving the price down to rock bottom, these could then be purchased by the relevant bolt funds saving them ££££'s
I don't buy hangers in this country as they are too expensive. I bring them back from France. For my last two projects
http://www.ukclimbing.com/databases/crags/craginfo.html?id=3658
http://www.ukclimbing.com/databases/crags/craginfo.html?id=8695
I purchased 300 hangers 10mm fixe passivate or chromate these cost 60cents each or 49pence at todays rate I also bought 70 stainless steel 10mm they cost 1 euro or 82pence, this is from a shop where the guy is making a profit aswell... can someone tell me where i can buy hangers in this country at these prices???
I prefer to go it alone in South Wales as the rules and reg's laid down by the local SWMC/bolt funds?? as to how their gear is used is too restrictive

Dan Middleton, BMC - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Paul Bowen: In France, the FFME (the closest equivalent to the BMC) is part of the government. They sign over crags so that the landowner is no longer liable for it, and then, unless there is a good reason not to, "sanitise" it by bolting it. The idea is to provide accessible sporting opportunities for all, its a bit like building a leisure centre as far as the French are concerned. In addition, in mountain areas the local guides office may be contracted by the local government to equip crags for sport and tourism reasons. Similar arrangements happen in other countries as well. Sport climbing and alpinism are mainstream activities in these countries, which makes a big difference.

On the wholesale idea, maybe, although most bolt funds with a bit of nous seem to already have arranged trade deals with suppliers.

Whats the restriction problem in S.Wales? I was at a meeting the other week and things sounded very positive from all concerned, inc. the SWMC. Email me direct, I may be able to help.
Dan Middleton, BMC - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Gary Gibson: Your details are on the site now Gary.
JamieAyres on 01 May 2008
In reply to Paul Bowen:

Well, I'll be...

Gilwern Hill crags eh? Blimey. I used to play about on those when I was a kid growing up in Govilon in the early 70's.

Good effort. I will have to have a ganders next time I'm over.
Paul Bowen - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Dan Middleton, BMC:

> Whats the restriction problem in S.Wales? I was at a meeting the other week and things sounded very positive from all concerned, inc. the SWMC. Email me direct, I may be able to help.


Hi Dan,
yes i was at the meeting aswell, the SwMc only allow their gear to be used for re-equipping retro bolting.... no new routing..
http://www.southwalesmountaineering.org.uk/
go to newsletter spring 2008 read their article on 'The club and fixed gear'
In 'restrictive' i mean you have to pass through a number of hoops before you can get started. I prefer to own all my own gear provide all my own hardware thus by by-passing the hoops..

Paul
Paul Bowen - on 01 May 2008
In reply to JamieAyres:


yep... proving to be a very popular crag... lots of low to middle grade routes in a very nice setting, one of the best crag views in south wales i think... just need some warmer weather as it can be chilly at 400mts asl.

Paul
JamieAyres on 01 May 2008
In reply to Paul Bowen:

Oh yes.

I'll be waiting for the next heat wave before heading up there.

I've had tooo many brass monkey days at Llangattock as it is.
cleofis99 - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Paul Bowen:

On the topic of buying whole sale from fixe, in el chorro the fixe hangers that the shop owner puts up are all engraved with the El chorro logo and name, infact I got two sat next me now, I paid around 60cents for these aswell.

If there was to be bulk buying either buy the BMC, a local bolt fun or from a national collective, The then the BMC name or otherwise could be put on the hangers, this gives people a good sense of where there money is going as when they climb they see BMC (or other name) bolts. This will also work as a confidence thing (in theory), ensuring people the bolts they are climbing on have been placed properally and safely.

Thom
Dan Middleton, BMC - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Paul Bowen: Most people seem a lot happier donating money for re-equiping than for new routing and retrobolting. AFAIK in Yorkshire, the funds are kept seperate, so you can specify whether you want your donation to only go towards rebolting existing sport routes. I guess this may be because maintaining existing routes has no real kudos, and doesn't get your name in the guide - pure altruism?

Totally off the subject, anybody happen to know what the compressive strength is of St Bees Sandstone? I'm specifying a suitable bolt for this type of rock, and the alternative is heading up there and doing some test installations.

Cheers
Paul Bowen - on 01 May 2008
In reply to cleofis99:
> (In reply to Paul Bowen)
>
> On the topic of buying whole sale from fixe, in el chorro the fixe hangers that the shop owner puts up are all engraved with the El chorro logo and name, infact I got two sat next me now, I paid around 60cents for these aswell.
>
> If there was to be bulk buying either buy the BMC, a local bolt fun or from a national collective, The then the BMC name or otherwise could be put on the hangers, this gives people a good sense of where there money is going as when they climb they see BMC (or other name) bolts. This will also work as a confidence thing (in theory), ensuring people the bolts they are climbing on have been placed properally and safely.
>
> Thom

Excellent idea,
the ones i bought recently have faders stamped on them, i think it would help stop any theiving, i had 35 hangers taken from routes last year, they were plain fixe so hard to tell if they turned up some where else, a logo would alert anyone if they turned up on some new route elsewhere

cleofis99 - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Paul Bowen:

Faders are another indipendant company are they not? not related to fixe.

BMC engraved (or other agreed name) would also stop people getting "chop-happy" as the fact "offical bolts" have been supplyed suggests a concensous has been made as to the suitability of placing the said bolt/bolts.

Just an idea, but i'm sure its not a difficult or challanging idea to pursue.

Thom
cleofis99 - on 01 May 2008
In reply to cleofis99: Sorry i've lost the abbility to type coherently today.
Paul Bowen - on 01 May 2008
In reply to cleofis99:
> (In reply to Paul Bowen)
>
> Faders are another indipendant company are they not? not related to fixe.
>
> BMC engraved (or other agreed name) would also stop people getting "chop-happy" as the fact "offical bolts" have been supplyed suggests a concensous has been made as to the suitability of placing the said bolt/bolts.
>
> Just an idea, but i'm sure its not a difficult or challanging idea to pursue.
>
> Thom

yep faders are independent... fixe produced hangers for faders who failed to complete on the deal... my guy in france buys up the lot sells them for 60 cents each perfect....
another good suggestion for a logo
cleofis99 - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Paul Bowen:

Ah your on a winner!

We should deffinatly push the idea, (if anyone from the BMC is reading)
Gary Gibson - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Mick Ward: On the price issue, I don't pay much more than that in this country and I don't have to travel to buy them. I make my own staples and have a good cheap source for glue. I also get the stainless bolts at trade price without the VAT but I have a good mate on that one.

With the amounts I use, and believe me they are a lot more than anybody else, I can't afford not to find the cheapest deal.

Last year I did 140 new routes and the majority had fixed gear in them, so with that number perhaps you see the reason why I can't afford them to be expensive: and this year I'm already up to 50+.

I must spend £1500, or more, a year on new routes and re-equipping on the gear front alone and that doesn't account for drill bits, petrol etc.
Dan Middleton, BMC - on 01 May 2008
In reply to cleofis99:

We did give this idea serious consideration, when we were looking at buying bolts for repairing lower offs at Pen Trwyn, and those we bought for the Better Bolts Campaign.

Why didn't we? Well, and it sounds daft, but it is a serious point, we were worried that people would blindly assume that if it had an official BMC stamp on it, then people might start making assumptions about the integrity of such anchors, and relinquish responsibility for checking their condition themselves before using them.

Sorry to be a killjoy!
johnl - on 01 May 2008
In reply to Mick Ward: Glad you enjoyed the routes. Look forward to getting out over the weekend, just prey for some decent weather.
Cheers, John.
JamieAyres on 02 May 2008
In reply to cleofis99:
> (In reply to Paul Bowen)

> BMC engraved (or other agreed name) would also stop people getting "chop-happy" as the fact "offical bolts" have been supplyed suggests a concensous has been made as to the suitability of placing the said bolt/bolts.

Sorry mate, but I think you're being a little naive. If people are of a mind to chop bolts then they won't give a damn who placed them or who agreed to it.
JamieAyres on 02 May 2008
In reply to Paul Bowen:
> (In reply to cleofis99)
> [...]
>i had 35 hangers taken from routes last year, they were plain fixe so hard to tell if they turned up some where else, a logo would alert anyone if they turned up on some new route elsewhere

If that was in South Wales Paul, then you're only going to find your stolen 'branded' or 'logo'd' hangers down a cave.

It ain't climbers nicking them

Paul Bowen - on 02 May 2008
In reply to JamieAyres:
> (In reply to Paul Bowen)
> [...]
> >i had 35 hangers taken from routes last year, they were plain fixe so hard to tell if they turned up some where else, a logo would alert anyone if they turned up on some new route elsewhere
>
> If that was in South Wales Paul, then you're only going to find your stolen 'branded' or 'logo'd' hangers down a cave.
>
> It ain't climbers nicking them


yeah.. that's what we thought but no way of proving it... the way they had been stripped was very unusual, very random.
Scotti - on 05 May 2008
In reply to Gary Gibson: Hi Gary, after only popping into Harpur, due to wrecking my car on the way to the Peaks I wasn't fortunate enough to give it a good go, but was very impressed with the bolting. I'm gonna make a real effort to get up there more (and Horseshoe). For that reason I would be happy to donate to the bolt fund if you send me some details.

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