/ King Kong - Abseil Station Chopped

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HappyTrundler - on 14 Sep 2009
I did King Kong at Wintours yesterday. There was a small plastic sign screwed into a boulder at the bottom, with words to the effect that the bolts at top of pitch 2 had been removed and it was now possible to top out. The 3rd and final pitch is short, scruffy and ungraded, it seems that it was common practice to abseil off the twin bolt belay station.
Whilst I am grateful for the option to top out, kindly negotiated by the BMC, why chop the bolts? There are still the holes there and gleaming metal stubs, now you have to ab off a load of unsightly tat on the adjacent tree if you don't want to top out. So what's the purpose of removing the bolt hangers? I don't get it...
John Willson - on 14 Sep 2009
In reply to HappyTrundler:

The bolts were not 'chopped' in the vernacular sense; they were removed in 2005 as part of a carefully devised and widely approved plan that is explained on page 153 of the 2007 guide.

They were placed in the mid 90s as an emergency response to the then landowner's requirement that there should be no topping out onto his land during the summer months.

Abseiling this (second) pitch caused many problems, mainly other than to the people abseiling: such as ropes thrown down blind and debris being knocked onto climbers below and littering the rock.

The fortuitous combination of a change in landowner and the GO Wall Restoration Project offered the opportunity for a reconsideration, and a wide consultation indicated a substantial majority in favour of removal.

The bolts at (and just left of) the top of the first pitch were left in place as they do essential duty for other routes in that area and because abseiling there does not cause similar problems.

Please consider topping out and walking back down rather than abseiling down this climb.



GrahamD - on 14 Sep 2009
In reply to HappyTrundler:

The bolts were only ever placed as an expedient when there was an access ban to the top of the crag. By rights, the route should and does finish there.

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