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Topic - UK Bolt Fund Appeal

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?

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