/ NEWS: Cornwall BMC Meeting - Bolting on the Agenda
The main thing on the agenda (except perhaps the curry that is being provided afterwards) is, of course, a bolt debate. Following on from a recent Cornish controversy again the subject is drilling - this time it's bolts.
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=58085
Have any specific areas been suggested as candidates for bolting?
We already have a thread on this topic, we are all looking forward to a nice jolly meeting with lots happy people.
Sam SW Sec
> ...we are all looking forward to a nice jolly meeting with lots happy people.
Beautiful, Sam! Just beautiful...
Re. the designation 'Penwith and Cornish' attached to the proposal that Carn Vellan in West Cornwall should be rebolted and that other certain specific non-granite venues in Cornwall should be considered for sport climbing:
I've always considered 'Penwith' to be in Cornwall, but I may be wrong.
If there is a distinction between 'Penwith' and 'Cornish' can the 'Penwith' climbers please identify themselves. I'm a 'Penwith' climber and I didn't sign up to their statement. At least the Land's End Climbing Club is a clearly identifiable group.
So, AW and XYZ, How about fronting up? Otherwise, I'm afraid you sound a bit shifty and that's not healthy for open, honest debate.
More specifically: It seems from the 'Penwith and Cornish Climbers' statement that other specific non-granite venues in Cornwall should be considered for sport climbing: do these include such cliffs as Gurnard's Head, Tater-du, Carn Gowla, the Lizard Cliffs, Pendeen, Trewellard, among many more?
How about giving us a couple of examples?
This sport targeting of non-granite cliffs, regardless of the various conditions expressed in their statement, would create a hugely dangerous precedent. The core issue regarding Carn Vellan, for example, is that sport routes were established on the cliff unilaterally, without discussion, debate or final consensus - not even with a passing Cornish Chough… If the Penwith and Cornish Climbers plans were accepted then this kind of unilateral action would be repeated, without question, by those interested only in a fait accompli on whatever cliff caught their fancy. By the time everyone else got together with the BMC to 'discuss' the matter, the bolts would be established and anyone chopping them would be branded as 'vandals'.
The entire issue of whether or not bolts should be established for any purpose on Cornish sea cliffs of all rock types involves a complex mix of ethics and aesthetics, as well as differing perceptions of landscapes and how far we should exploit them. It involves much more than the sometimes blinkered desire of climbers to play their games. I suspect that the 'Penwith and Cornish' climbers are approaching this whole debate from a single issue perspective. The fact that they seem obsessed with 'Cornwall being treated with parity with any other 'regional' climbing area in the UK (especially in so far as sport climbing is concerned') is depressingly parochial and reflects a rather narrow understanding of the special status of the Cornish cliffs, which are more of a national (and even international) semi-wilderness resource than merely a local one. As Mike Raine points out on another thread, Cornwall is comparable with Pembroke, Gogarth, the Burren, Fairhead etc.
So why should Cornwall be 'just like the rest of the UK'? Wake up and smell the Atlantic, PACC.
I also suggest the following should be added to the Penwith and Cornish climbers' conditional list of 'relevant factors':
Consult with the owners of Carn Vellan (or any other potentially targeted cliff) on how they feel about someone drilling the cliff for a pastime.
Consult with those responsible for management of Cornwall's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and World Heritage Site. (All designations for Carn Vellan) about 'materially altering' a cliff for a pastime.
Des Hannigan (aka DH)
I read that bit as meaning that no bolting should be considered on any natural granite cliff, not that it could be considered on other rock types if they had a traditional history. This would clearly keep your examples protected.
> More specifically: It seems from the 'Penwith and Cornish Climbers' statement that other specific non-granite venues in Cornwall should be considered for sport climbing: do these include such cliffs as Gurnard's Head, Tater-du, Carn Gowla, the Lizard Cliffs, Pendeen, Trewellard, among many more?
> How about giving us a couple of examples?
Couldn't agree more. Being a non-granite cliff in Cornwall is hardly a distinction, I suspect in fact non-granite Cornish sea-cliffs account for somewhere in excess of 90% of sea cliffs in the county.
There are inland quarries in Cornwall which already have an established tradition of bolted routes - these quarries are rarely frequented and have plenty of gaps, If you want to fill 'em in with bolts, they're not that hard to find.
I'm not sure that it would to be honest. It was the equivocal wording of previous agreements that led to the justification of the bolting of the Carn Vellan roof in the first place.
Carn Gowla as a case in point. Certainly going by previously published guidebooks, there are vast swathes of it that have no routes at all and it can hardly be said to be one cliff as it's very heavily featured and about half a mile long. Definitely potential for someone to look at a particular cliff at somewhere like Carn Gowla and decide that it doesn't have any previous history of traditionally protected routes I reckon.
Damn i wish i could make it! I might be able to.
I am fully in support of the words Des as used so far.
Does this mean that Kenidjack is up for bolting?
Just because hasnt got the balls or strength to try a hard new unprotected route, doesnt mean some selfish tw*t can come along and place a bolt.. Ruining any effort from future talent.
We should be learning from the mistakes in America.
Bolts were placed on routes that had long run outs and bold sections, or some even with bomber gear.. subsequently, groups have now gone around climbing the routes and eliminating the bolts. Going Trad!
How Wil this be any different in the future, than the past of Didier Berthod Climbing "Greenspit" a beautiful crackline, bolted.. Then the bolts removed and done trad.
I have no problem chopping bolts, drilling them out, then replacing it with crushed local rock and resin.
Also wanted to add.. I like to consider my self a Penwith climber.. and i initially felt the name of this group was a wrong branding!
Des views put my feelings across more eloquently than I ever could! I'm not against bolts or sport climbing but they dont belong on these sea cliffs. The name 'Penwith and Cornish Climbers' is very offending and mis-leading.
peace,love and respect for the crags
"Penwith and Cornish climbers who wish to develop sport climbing in Cornwall should have the same opportunity to develop crags in their local areas just like the rest of the UK”
A dramatic and emotive headline, worthy of the front page of any Sunday Red Top. Your commercial associates and adverising clients should be well pleased at your attempts to increase footfall across the site.
As a local climber based in Helston I fully endorse the statements made by Des.
Given the statements and restrictions made by individuals within the pro group I wounder what benefits would arise from the development. Given the focus on top grade development, the number of sport routes and activists would be small in number. The gains would be marginal their 15 minutes of fame short lived and the potential costs could be enormous.
The acceptance of their request would not sprout a Hunters Bar in Truro, a suburb of Llanberis in Redruth or a state of the art plywood and resin training facility in the centre of the area, of course you would never ever be tempted to bolt training circuits would you ?
If you were to be successful, how would the acceptance be policed, yours is not the only drill in town, open the flood gates and Bosch is your uncle and Hilti your aunty at a crag near you.
We as a climbing community are too fragmented for peer pressure to be an effective agent.
The acceptance of your request would not bring the area into line with the rest of the uk climbing scene , it would fundementally change the entire uk climbing scene by way of the domino effect.
I wonder if the sport climbing lobby would object to the opening paragraph but with two minor changes.
"Penwith and Cornish climbers who wish to develop hammered aid climbing in Cornwall should have the same opportunity to develop crags in their local areas just like the rest of the world”
Because that would bring us into line with the rest of the aid climbing world.
Stan Norrie - Helston
"Penwith and Cornish climbers who wish to develop sport climbing in Cornwall should have the same opportunity to develop crags in their local areas just like the rest of the UK”
That is a quote from the group called 'Penwith and Cornish climbers', not a UKC statement.
It has to be said that I agree with your interpretation, and I do think that bringing the names of all these well established trad cliffs into the equation feels like ridiculous scaremongering that aims to stifle any meaningful debate - I suppose that's probably the aim though, it's a lot easier to argue against a strawman than wait and see whether their suggestion (which let's face it wouldn't seem that controversial as a bolting policy in many other areas) has any real merit or poses any threat to cornwalls existing trad cliffs.
This topic is very emotive and there is a lot of personal histories with the subject. Many of these issues are away from the core argument as should the roof at Carn Vellan be developed as a sport venue. I think that with all this feeling that a compromise could be found.
The future generations argument : There are four routes which have already been climbed i.e. already lost to future new routers.
The creep argument : Reinforce the current BMC policy stating no bolting on natural sea cliffs, therefore, no new routes to be bolted. As I understand there was no BMC policy on bolting sea cliffs when these routes were put up and retrospective chopping of routes would be against the precedent set by the BMC in other areas.
If the existing lines are re-bolted, the bolters should agree to remove/drill out and fill the old placements and thus causing the least environmental impact.
The result would be four hard sport routes, no more environmental impact on the crag actually less if the chopping mess is cleaned up. No creep of new bolts on Cornish or British sea cliffs. Everyone happy!!
I look forward to the meeting
I'd also like to reassure everybody that their is no shadowy commercial enterprise about to scatter bolts all over the hallowed granite. Nor is their a cabal of hooded sport climbers eager to exploit the ethical grey areas of the BMC bolting policy, chomping at the 'bit' eyeing up the 'trad' crags.
The reality is that discussion amongst a collection of climbers in Penwith and West Cornwall and 'up country' who incidentally are not represented by the Lands End Climbing Club, has initiated an attempt at a dialogue/debate initially and specifically with regards to the roof at Carn Vellan.
The motion on the BMC agenda is directed towards achieving dialogue. I look forward to the meeting for that reason.
So it's really all about Carn Vellan? I think it might help to direct people's thoughts if this were more widely stated. I wish I knew more about the history and the architecture of this feature, because it does sound as if it may be a little bit different to more typical coastal cliffs. Which may indicate that a site-specific approach is more appropriate than blanket bans?
"As I understand there was no BMC policy on bolting sea cliffs when these routes were put up and retrospective chopping of routes would be against the precedent set by the BMC in other areas."
Sorry James you understand wrong. The bolting was against agreed policy and there was a policy voted for in favour of chopping. The meeting was in the pub at Gulval can't remember the date but I'm sure there'll be someone at the meeting who can remember the details
I thought the bolting at Vellan was done In the period when the area meeting said "no bolts on granite" and everyone says it was outside the spirit of the rules which were meant to apply to all seacliffs except the Edwards who say that that's not actually what it said. The later meeting then clarified/extended the policy to include all seacliffs, and then the bolts were chopped as being in breach of this new policy, retrospectively applying the new policy to existing bolts which may or may not have breached the old policy depending on how you wanted to read it.
It has to be said, if that isn't the timeline then the CC west Cornwall guide gives a very clear and precise description of something that didn't happen!
Again from the cc guide it says the "no granite" policy was a statement of local opinion not a bmc-approved policy since at the time the bmc had no clear policy on how to decide on area bolt policies, so he may have a point of detail correct even if accidentally
It's a pity I don't know who I'm talking to … but there you go. For such a forensic mind you seem very coy.
On your 'ridiculous scaremongering' point re. the PACC's potential development of sport climbing at certain specific Cornish venues':
The Penwith and Cornish climbers can easily cast a clear light on this extremely important new factor in the Great Big Bolt Debate by simply giving us an example of these non-granite 'specific Cornish venues' where the 'Penwith and Cornish climbers may develop sport climbing'.
I think a lot of people would like to know...
On the endless 'no bolts on granite' circus:
The key meeting, from which this emerged, had discussed an overwhelming opposition to bolts on Cornish sea cliffs, full stop. Unfortunately, the word 'granite' was wrongly appended in the minutes to the decision of no bolts on Cornish sea cliffs,(nations have gone to war over lesser slips of the pen). There has long been a careless general use of the word 'granite' to describe Penwith (Land's End Peninsula) as the 'Granite Kingdom' etc. and the Penwith cliffs in general as 'granite' cliffs. The National Trust even went into print on acquiring their emphatically non-granite Zennor property as the 'granite Zennor Head'. The climbing world was no less cavalier about using the 'granite' label as a coverall term for every cliff from Bosigran to Tater du. It was this semantic 'loophole' that the Edwardses (they were the only voters against the no-bolt policy at that long ago meeting, by the way) exploited over Carn Vellan. The fact that Mark Edwards also drilled bolts on the unquestionably granite Cribba Head after the meeting, rather gave the lie to their supposed innocent interpretation of the meeting's decision.
…I could fall asleep over all of this, and often do. But you did ask…
As far as I'm aware we have never met, or at least not knowingly, so whilst I don't have particular desire to be anonymous (ive been signing things both on and off line with my initials for years) I'm not sure how you feel it would help you? I'm actuay genuinely curious - you answer, I'll tell, how about that? :)
I still maintain it's scaremongering to bring crags like gurnards head into the equation. In this day and age with the trad heritage (and boltless ascents of routes that had had bolts) of the cliff did you really imagine anyone would suggest in a bmc meeting putting bolts there? You might at a stretch imagine it being done under cover of darkness if you were particularly paranoid, but discussed at a bmc meeting? Really?
One of it's members has clarified that as expected the hotly debated topic of vellan is their primary concern. Since it would probably provide excellent quality sport routes were it to be bolted, in contrast to most of the other cliffs you mentioned, that's hardly a major surprise. Given how close the voting in the last meeting (rumours abound that it was a single carful of bristolians who tipped a narrow "no" vote) it's also hardly surprising that the issue has been raised again given that a very significant minority would be in favour based on previous votes.
Regarding your point about granite - I don't doubt you are right, but on the other hand it's sloppy drafting that means the words didn't give a true picture of what the attendees voted for, which means that by the letter of the agreement bolting Vellan was ok at the time - that's unarguable, the contention is whether that's what people thought they were voting for - most people agree with you but obviously the Edwards in particular/alone disagree. Since I was probably in primary school at the time I'm basing much of my knowledge here on the history section of your (and others) historical from the 2000 guide, which if it mentions the cliffs head bolts doesn't do so onthe same area as the discussion of bolts, in which section only Vellan is mentioned as happening between the two meetings.
Can we just forget the Edward's for a moment. I don't think it matters who did it, it should not be about that, any visiting climber could have come down placed those bolts and it wouldnt have been against the published policy for the area at the time (it could have been Jerry) but the fact is, it was done loophole or not. The routes were climbed they exist. That cannot be changed why can they not be left as a little oddity of cornish climbing history, it is only four routes on a cliff almost no one currently visits. You never know that one "mistake" could raise the standard of cornish trad climbers for generations to come.
Cligga head, not cliffs head - damned auto spellcheck!
> Cligga head, not cliffs head - damned auto spellcheck!
It's Cribba Head! ;-)
Thanks to Des for explaining the granite thing he does it much better than me. The meeting was at The Yacht on the front in Penzance and there 64 people. 61 for no bolts on Cornish seacliffs and natural outcrops and 3 against. The error in the minutes was very unfortunate but the message was clear.
AJM Gurnard's Head has already had one sport route on it, thankfully it didn't last long. When you look at how many bolts and other drilled protection there is around the Cornish coast you understand the paranoia
Hi James there are rather too many 'oddities in Cornish climbing'!
And finally I wonder if the Cornish and Penwith climbers have made the same mistake in their proposal with the word granite?
Sigh - it's clearly just one of those days. And I can't even blame the spellcheck for that one...
I knew there were a few monobolt or spaced bolts sort of things - do you mean those, and if not which one/where was the full blown sport route?
I'm not sure that changes my point though - do you really see someone trying it again? I do think that colouring all suggestions of bolting with the errors from the past is unhelpful - there's no reason why the present day need resemble the past... Different people, different ideas, different ethics, all these factors contribute...
In reply to AW
Well done Andy Whall! C'mon on down!
Now, that didn't hurt a bit. (I really hope that you're not AJM as well…All these rude alphabeticals, plus the continuing conflating of Cornish Penwith with Cornish West Cornwall is doing my Scottish head in…)
And I'm hugely disappointed that PACC is not a 'hooded cabal' . (Have you been reading Dan Brown again..?)
However, what I'm really curious about Andy, is why you seem happy not to bolt what you call 'hallowed granite' but are happy to bolt 'specific' non-granite Cornish sea cliffs.
As far as I'm concerned Cornish sea cliffs are Cornish sea cliffs whether they're granite, greenstone, killas, blue elvan, schorl, hornfels, pegmatite, choss, ad inf. And I certainly don't even think of Cornwall's sea cliffs as 'trad' crags - just sea cliffs.
I don't pigeonhole the rock types. I don't fixate on one crag. I don't even fixate on the climbing. It's the bigger picture I'm concerned with - the Cornish coastal landscape in its entirety and how far we go in our intrusions upon it. As climbers we already have fantastic freedom and license. We've already intruded deeply and had a major and often negative impact on the Cornish cliffs, over generations. But I simply believe that drilling these cliffs (for sport bolts, belay bolts, eco bolts, whatever) is a mechanical and artificial intrusion too far. This, for me is the real sticking point in the debate. I completely understand your desire for sport climbs, believe me. It's where you want to satisfy that desire, in this particular case, that makes it negative, and a bit pointless - in my view.
For what it's worth: I'm arguing that we should be materially as non-intrusive as possible on the Cornish coast and its cliffs (mistakes and wrong turnings accepted) because, as a whole, the coast is an awesome and unique entity that matters far more than our sports and pastimes. You're arguing for making a material change to a Cornish sea cliff by drilling it. That's irreversible. That's bringing the cliff down to our feet.
I have been involved in cleaning a long forgoten grit crag in yorkshire, in view to bolting some great lines on it, maybe to the 8a grade, I know this has been done on the limestone in the area, and now thoes crags are popular again.The only thing is that i am not sure on the ethics regarding bolting grit, can anyone help?
I was never obscuring my identity, no one asked. I don't have a profile on here because basically the general level of this forum is lowest common denominator, uniformed etc etc. If in doubt check a comparitive discussion on UKB, reasonable, intelligent, informed etc.
The motion is an attempt to drag this debate into a contemporary context, with reference to historical issues but not driven by them.
The non granite sea cliff is of course Carn Vellan, which as we all know has had several 'intrusions' allready.
I agree with you. We should reflect on our material intrusions/footprint on the coast.
SW&SAC Minutes 12/6/93 Penzance:
"Three proposals were put forward:
1) [[not strictly relevant to this topic]]
2) "To reaffirm this committee's view that Cornwall remains a bolt free area including lower-offs.
3) "To give credence to the bolt free area in Cornwall all remaining bolts be removed."
The proposals were passed with only two votes against out of approx 60 attendees.
SW&SAC Minutes 2.10.93 Chuddleigh:
"Mike Raine advised the meeting…that since the meeting in Penzance at least 22 bolts have been placed … and that one of these climbers has since placed around 12 bolts in a new project on Carn Vellan. … several of the new bolts on this crag can be clipped from established routes previous climbed without bolts."
The minutes were not mine (I became Secretary a year later) but they were unchallenged at subsequent meetings.
Good to see you still in fighting fettle, Des. I trust you have been staying clear of the vipers!
Since his username is aw and mine is AJM it's safe to assume not, especially given that I've already explained how mine are my initials - M is a different letter from W after all.
I have to say you are coming across a bit paranoid, assuming that people are creating multiple profiles just to make it look like a proposal has more support than it does. We haven't really been arguing for the same thing either - do you reckon it's more likely to be different people or schitzophrenia?
But yeah, my offer in the previous post is still open - if you can explain why you think a poster with a username of AJM is better for you to answer than a profile with the equally arbitary username of Darren Peterson then I'm more than happy to reciprocate :) if you look at my posting history it's a fairly well-established profile, I'm hardly any more anonymous than the exact same profile but called something else...?
you obviously haven't heard of daisy!!!!she climbs
Thanks to John Wilson for clearing u the minutes issue
to AGM the sport route at Carn Vellan was Art of the Slate subsequently soloed by Shane Ohly with the bolts being removed.
There is a list somewhere prepared by Pete O'Sullivan (I think) which noted something like 160 bolts on Cornish sea cliffs. Hence the concerns.
In all fairness, I'd have to be pretty stupid to set up an alter ego that was arguing a different point to me wouldn't I? People who set up fake poster ids either do it to troll or to back themselves up in arguments.
As far as I'm concerned, a poster like me with a long established posting history, relatively fixed viewpoints in them, fairly coherent writing style, conversational posts with other long established users who clearly know me, lots of personal information dotted through the various posts, and so on is probably no less anonymous than Des, who registered recently and has posted on three threads all about Cornwall and bolts and has provided no other personal info. Online, a username is an identity whether it be a real name, a made up name (and lets face it, how could anyone really tell without some other information between the two), a cartoon characters name or some initials.
> to AGM the sport route at Carn Vellan was Art of the Slate subsequently soloed by Shane Ohly with the bolts being removed.
Art of the Slate is at Gurnard's Head, one of the finest and wildest spots in West Penwith. Bolting that was a far far worse act than bolting anything on the roof at Carn Vellan.
Sorry I would have joined in earlier on but I’ve had a hell of a day raising finance for the PCC’s forthcoming flotation on to the LSE of ‘KernBolt’. An extreme adrenaline charged outdoor pursuits business. A bit like Land’s End but all over Cornwall and without any Daleks. The short term business concept is to bolt every crag in Cornwall then charge punters to chop or alternatively clip the bolts; after all its all about consumer/climber choice. Some long term plans include installing bungee jumps and ski lifts (wind powered) at all of those crags with tricky access to avoid the scramble in.
I drafted the PCC policy with some friends. I have since grown three more heads. (Sorry if I appear facetious).
DH - admittedly the policy contains some tautology. But its meaning and the intentions behind it are pretty clear so lets focus on the real issues.
To put the policy into some context:
We regularly trad climb around Cornwall. Some of us are really very keen trad climbers. When we trad climb we don’t chip, place fixed gear, or poo at the crag (much, or if we do its usually discrete).
We all boulder as well. Sometimes we clean holds and put chalk on them. Occasionally a hold gets broken.
We also like to sport climb. But we live in cornwall where there is no sport climbing and so at present we can’t. Yes, there are quarrys but frankly they all pretty crap. Perhaps we should have more money and time so we could travel to Europe or ‘up country’ and climb on all those foreign crags.
As I see it, the issue is really very simple: Is there any principled reason why in 2010 we should not be able to sport climb, trad climb and boulder amongst Cornwall’s 630 odd miles of coastline?
What should not be in issue, as I see it, are: ad hominem arguments about the Edwards; foggy recollections of past apparently poorly minuted meetings; background noise about access (crag specific); hand wringing about cornwall whilst happily clipping bolts everywhere else and indulging in debates like some throwback from High magazine’ s letters’ page circa 1989.
Hopefully we can all reach some common ground and consensus tomorrow. We are after all climbers.
Er…I was only joking…Honest…
In reply to Dan Dyson (DD)
I feel your pain, Dan. And no, you don't just appear to be facetious.
As an ex-pat Penwith climber (who will one day return to Penwith to live again) I would like to throw my support behind Des and eggburt's views.
It is my understanding that most of the cliffs around Cornwall are privately owned by the National Trust, the Prince of Wales and Lord Falmouth being prominent names. It is at the permission or should we say tolerance of these landowners that we can enjoy our sport in these wonderful locations at all.
Whilst the debate for bolts/no bolts may rage on it would be very beneficial if those argueing for the inclusion of bolts were to remember that neither they nor the BMC actually own the land in question and any bolting should be done with the landowners express written permission. In seeking this permission you would be drawing attention to the numbers of climbers trampling all over this very fragile eco system which may ultimately have a negative outcome regarding access for all climbers be that trad or sport.
There is a much wider picture here which seems to be temporarily forgotten.
I have very mixed feelings on this complex and emotive subject, but I do think that putting the caption "Classic traditional climbing in Cornwall at Bosigran. But will it stay that way?"below a picture of Bosigran in the sunshine was complete nuts and an absurdly alarmist piece of journalism.
It is frankly inconcievable to me that anyone would ever seriously contemplate bolting Bosi, and I'm quite sure that all of the protagonists on here are in absolute agreement on that. I suspect that trad ethics on the premier cliffs are safer than ever; the Edwards tried to blur the lines by bolting LGPs in amongst trad lines and (rightly) got it thrown back at them.
Carn Vellan appears to be different. It seems to have been an attempt to create a whole performance sport "sector" on a feature known to be grotesquely steep and with extremely limited trad potential. Would it have given rise to a proliferation of coastal bolts or just become a much-appreciated workout-zone for a relatively small number of local hones? Not sure.
I dont see Cornwall ever seeing the sort of mass-bolting across the grades that has ocurred at Portland, Yorkshire and elsewhere. It's just too far away from cities and climbing walls, and the terrain is probably too adventurous for those seeking convenience sport.
> I knew there were a few monobolt or spaced bolts sort of things - do you mean those, and if not which one/where was the full blown sport route?
"Samson", and E5 to the left of "Samson arete" at Sennen had 3 bolts.
A couple of routes at the far right (looking in) at Chairladder had several bolts around.
Gurnards Head has seen bolts..
Many more palces have had as you would put it " The odd bolt"
It doesnt matter whether its a single bolt, or a line of ten with 2 for a lower off. A Bolt or many bolts. Ruins it for future generations, and degrades the rock, and degrades the climber.
For instance... If someone had 5 £10 notes in their wallet.. £50 ... If you took all the Notes, that would be stealing. But if u only took 1 £10 note.. Would that be bad ? Equally Bad? Or Less Bad...
In reply to Dan Dyson (DD)
There is alot of sport climbing in Cornwall. You obviously has been misguided, or havent done your correct research.
Cheesewring Quarry, Gold Diggings Quarry (Recently 4 new sport lines), Bearah Tor Quarry (Recently 1 new sport climb), Carbilly Tor Quarry (Several Bolt lines, some mixed bolt and trad, and some trad, and some bouldering), Delabole Slate Quarry is rumored to be shutting down. The Sheer size of this quarry is unbelievable. It is visible from space, and if climbers were allowed to come here, this would complete trash the Slate climbing in Llanberis and surrounding area.
Think about that mate.
If you had read my post and the one to which it replied, you would have known I was asking specifically about gurnards head, not for a random list of where bolts were placed on granite cliffs. Mike very kindly answered my question several days ago.
>It is frankly inconcievable to me that anyone would ever seriously contemplate bolting Bosi,
Oh yes? How about Sennen?
Think of the present and future John, not the past. Do you see anyone proposing at a bmc meeting that bolts should be placed at sennen, honestly? The people involved clearly wanted a discussion of the issue, and I can't imagine anyone thinking there's much to discuss regarding bolts on Cornish granite in this day and age.
I just hope that the discussion at the meeting was reasonably mature and able to move beyond the level of continually harking back to the Edwards era of bolting and trying to make it sound like voting for rebolting 4 routes at Vellan would somehow lead to bolts at bosi and sennen, as various people including you, and the rather misleading ukc report, seemed to be trying to do.
The meeting went well on the whole, one loud voice trying to make himself heard, but the group mostly all wanted the same thing!
Thanks to the boys for giving up hours to make some great pots of curry.
The date for the followup meeting with venue will be posted soon.
P.S The Edwards didnt get a name mention at the meeting which is a great step into the future and not harping on about the past.
>Think of the present and future John, not the past. Do you see anyone proposing at a bmc meeting that bolts should be placed at sennen, honestly?
Of course not, no. The people who do this kind of thing never propose it first.
> I just hope that the discussion at the meeting was reasonably mature and able to move beyond the level of continually harking back to the Edwards era of bolting and trying to make it sound like voting for rebolting 4 routes at Vellan would somehow lead to bolts at bosi and sennen, as various people including you, and the rather misleading ukc report, seemed to be trying to do.
That's rather the point of a discussion though isn't it. If people have those concerns, whether misplaced or not, then they should be able to air then despite whether or not you or anyone else find them tiresome. There is history of bolting at Bosigran and recent history of pegs there, so it's perhaps not as misplaced as you think anyway.
Either way, the discussion was entirely mature and not really concerned with whether or not bolting/pegging etc is acceptable. Rather it was (to some people's discontent) concerned with resolving the exact points on which everyone would be voting at the next meeting. Amongst the hubbub, I'm still not entirely sure exactly what they were, suffice to say that there will now be a number of votes on various issues, concerning pros/cons of further fixed gear, stripping fixed gear, fixed gear at Carn Vellan specifically etc.
Hopefully someone less tired than I was will be along to explain all in due course.
Needless to say, both sides were well represented by some pretty local active climbers and a few faces off of here.
> P.S The Edwards didnt get a name mention at the meeting which is a great step into the future and not harping on about the past.
Yes, I did think that was rather good.
Jerzy and I are working on all the points as we speak and we will post them as soon as we can along with the date and venue.
I look forward to the next meeting when everyone can have plenty of time to put their points across, and we will have enough seats :0)
Sounds good Sam, I'll look forward to it.
Exactly my point. The people here wanted to discuss rebolting the routes at Vellan, and initiated the whole thing by inserting an item into the area meeting agenda. Why you or anyone else therefore wants to tar them with the actions of people who, as you yourself said, "never propose it first" I don't know.
I don't mind if people have concerns about bolts spreading, although I consider it beyond any reasonable possibility they will spread to bosi (yes, people place pegs there, but most people who are against bolts tend to see pegs as hugely and symbolically different somehow). What gets on my nerves is the way that people always bring it back to the last time as if somehow anyone who suggests the b word is Mark Edwards in a wig and a false moustache. I just think it would be nice if these people were judged on their own actions, which as jcm says are very different from Marks, rather than assuming seemingly with no better evidence or reasoning than "Mark did last time" (despite the fact that Vellan was one of the last places to be bolted, wasn't it, a culmination rather than a start point from which the bolts spread?), that they will do same sort of thing. It seems rather rude to prejudge them in that way.
> Oh yes? How about Sennen?
That was years ago and part of a different battle, one which we won. It's the fact that we did so that ensures that Cornwall's trad heartland is safer than ever; it's the grey areas like Carn Vellan we have to examine now.
Certainly the people who were there who pro new bolts/retention of old bolts etc, were at pains to put their own motivations across and clearly had nothing to hide, so I agree with you insomuch as they should certainly not be judged on the previous actions of others.
However, it was pointed out quite rightly that despite the best intention of local would be sport climbers, any lifting of bolting restrictions effectively makes it open season for those visiting climbers who've heard that bolting is progressing in Cornwall and don't bother to familiarise themselves with agreement-x, before coming down and bolting their own lines contrary to that agreement, whatever it may be. There is hardly any way to police this other than to maintain a complete moratorium.
Jerzy and myself where not aware of this issue until the last minute, we put the message on the UKC thread on Thursday and hoped that the word got around.
I guess it didnt even though we emailed LECC.
"There is hardly any way to police this other than to maintain a complete moratorium."
or have agreed sport climbing areas like elsewhere in the country
As someone else has already said, there are bolting agreements throughout the country that specify where can and cannot be bolted (often far more complex ones than the one suggested), and the idea seems in general to work, so why is Cornwall is so different from these other places that in Cornwall only a moratorium will do?
Just because people may not be able to get to them because of their money situation or travel circumstances, is not an excuse to then go and destroy rock by bolting it.
Its like someone asking the BMC to have a policy that pays for free public travel, just because some BMC doesnt have a car to travel the closest crag.
People have to travel to Cornwall to get an amazing experience from the sea cliffs, others Never get to do that. If people wanna sport climb. Dont modify the cliffs and degrade the rock around you. Find a way of traveling, or start top roping stuff.
IMO There are so many hard trad routes that are well protected, that you can easily become stronger, or more fit, or wateva the reason is. Theres always a means.
I'm well aware there are some sport venues in Cornwall already, but I'm not sure what relevance it has to vellans suitability or not as one?
You might need to work on the free bmc travel analogy before it becomes convincing im afraid. Noone is asking the bmc to do anything at the moment, for starters...
Looking at the grades of the sport routes in question, I'm not sure any of the trad routes in Cornwall go up to 8b+ do they, so I'm not sure toproping trad routes is a suitable alternative (it also to be fair misunderstands what many people get out of sport routes - it's not just a fitness exercise...)
> As someone else has already said, there are bolting agreements throughout the country that specify where can and cannot be bolted (often far more complex ones than the one suggested), and the idea seems in general to work, so why is Cornwall is so different from these other places that in Cornwall only a moratorium will do?
The problem is that previously (and as now) there was a moratorium and it is alleged that it was deliberately misinterpreted by M.Edwards for his own ends. Whatever the truth of this, the result was that Carn Vellan was bolted. I think it would be much easier to further misinterpret (deliberately or not) any exceptions to a ban, rather than a complete ban itself. Like it or not, it's hard to escape the historical precedent here.
Cornwall's coastline is several hundred miles long, far greater than any other banned areas (with the exception of Scotland) I think. This is what would make it difficult to police what has gone in and where. As we've seen, once bolts go in somewhere, there is a move to let them stay there - ad infinitum (or maybe not quite that far ;-)
Carn Vellan keeps being touted as the only place on the Cornish coastline that is a worthy exception to the rule. If it is to be an exception, then this is hardly the case. I can think of a couple of locations that fit the bill (although crucially I'm not sure of the effectiveness of bolts on shale) in terms of general lack of protection, lack of trad history, ease of access etc. These locations would yield some pretty mediocre sports routes, or possibly over time some awesome trad lines. It is on the whole these lesser well know and yet to be explored locations that I'm concerned about, rather than as you point out the unlikely event of Bosigran being retroed.
I'm not sure your historical precedent holds water - surely it proves that if you want to ignore a rule you will do whatever the rule is... If anything, a sensible bolt policy might encourage people to work within it, whereas if these frustrated new routers (I'm dubious, given the potential for medoicre sport routes nearer the centre of the country, how many really would trek all the way to Cornwall to bolt mediocre stuff when there's so many quarries left in the peak and elsewhere) see a refusal to allow any bolting regardless of the suitability of the crag they're more likely to just ignore the rule entirely - seeing it as set by a bunch of irrelevant old fogies, or whatever the excuse would be.
I would imagine bolts in shale is something of a nogo personally.
And if they are operating above even say 7b, It is VERY likely that they have been climbing elsewhere on bolts for a long period of time.
Ergo, no reason for bolts at Carn Vellan.
i seem to remember more than one loud voice at the meeting but perhaps i particularly upset your sense of beaurocratic procedure resulting in your tetchy little comment, the Edwards name did come up at the meeting but perhaps not in officially permitted parts of the discussion. The meeting did NOT go well, with both sides frustrated by the lack of oportunity to actually discuss the real issues, this was caused by the BMC's failure to inform people of the true nature of the meeeting ie;- the meeting about the next meeting. Most of us (both sides) came to discuss the actual issues and vote on them the fact that the meeting was attended entirely by locals of both sides including all the main protagonists both for and against, meant that this was a great oportunity for us to thrash out a solution to this issue "in house" that would leave both sides satisfied and not have the issue resolved by seeing which side can bus in the greatest number of voters to get a result . This was done at the real meeting that was held at 9.30 in the climbers bar at the Radjel inn where both sides including most of the leading protagonists were finally were able to discuss without hinderence what most had attended to do, far more was achieved here than in the previous two hours of bureaucratic twaddle that we had to sit through earlier.
>What gets on my nerves is the way that people always bring it back to the last time as if somehow anyone who suggests the b word is Mark Edwards in a wig and a false moustache.
Well, it's because this (or part of it) is exactly the same proposal as the last time. It gets tedious having to debate the same issues over and over again. It's hardly surprising if people say 'Oh, for God's sake, not these people again.'.
Last time I pointed out that bolters were like the IRA because they only have to win once Mick banned me, so I won't do that again. Let me make it clear; they're not at all like the IRA, even though they do only have to win once. You'll have to think of your own simile.
>or have agreed sport climbing areas like elsewhere in the country
Which will be regularly violated like they have been elsewhere in the country.
>Its like someone asking the BMC to have a policy that pays for free public travel, just because some BMC doesnt have a car to travel the closest crag.
Actually that is precisely the BMC's cash-for-bolts policy, of course. Why they're prepared to pay for the gear clippers use and not for replacing mine I've never had any idea.
>I'm not sure any of the trad routes in Cornwall go up to 8b+ do they,
I think Rewind does.
8b google tells me, but since the poster I was replying to was talking about toproping hard routes for fitness it's probably not the best suggestion since falling off toproping the lower section would involve decking, and higher up you would probably clip the gnomes - probably a route that's logistically a nightmare to work without bolts.
There was no proposal last time. You said that yourself.
Whether there are bolts elsewhere or not doesn't change whether Vellan would be suitable or not. I'm not sure why you keep arguing that somehow because bolts exist somewhere in one place this is somehow a reason for them not existing elsewhere.
I have to say from your posts I had assumed you were a hardcore trad climber rather than someone who seems quite happy to go sport climbing too, which I must say colours your argument in my mind.
If you think you heard more then one loud voice then why assume I am talking about you?
So a big thanks to the BMC for getting you all togeather and talking to each other. A result in my book and should make the meeting in the Spring a more pleasant one and more balanced. Which is the aim of having two.
You have just given all the reasons why the process works!
In reply to AJM:
I'd consider that a good thing for a successful debate. How can we come to agreement if the people involved have no idea why others would feel different.
If the people arguing for a blanket ban have never clipped a bolt and think it's just 'gym work' then sport climbers are not going to have any respect. If sport climbers have never climbed trad and dont understand the inner experience or the significance of doing it entirely under your own steam then equally they will not be respected by Trad climbers?
That said, ultimately for me it doesn't come down to climbers selfish opinions. (Cornwall and) Penwith in particular is a protected wilderness area and it's not in our rights to irreversibly change the rock. I can understand peoples frustrations in not having a sport climbing venue but thats far from enough justification to start drilling sea-cliffs in this area.
>There was no proposal last time. You said that yourself.
Do try and keep up. There was no proposal when the Vellan bolts were initially put in, of course, since that was Those Who Must Not Be Mentioned and they knew perfectly well any proposal would be rejected. But it was proposed to replace them some years ago, and the proposal was rejected. That was the last time this debate was had.
Of course. So why you insist on comparing it to the initial bolting (by referenced those who shall not be named and bolts at sennen and things) rather than the reasoned proposal (suggested by those who probably could be named if I could remember their names) and debate that was had a few years back still escapes me?
It was a very very close decision last time I believe. You make it sound so tiresome to go over marginally decided issues again, as if an almost 50% minority is something that can just be brushed under the carpet and ignored...
Good grief. The chap said he couldn't imagine anyone wanting to bolt Bosigran. So I pointed out that people had wanted to bolt Sennen (and recently Gogarth, Lakes mountain rock, agreed trad crags at Swanage and Wye Valley, etc, etc). I didn't compare anything to anything. I simply pointed out that such failure of imagination was naive.
Then you said there hadn't been a proposal last time. I merely corrected you. Again, I didn't compare anything to anything.
Not that I agree with you that comparing would be wrong. After all, those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are bound to repeat them, as some tedious proser or other said. Hegel, possibly?
In binary decisions the minority's wishes are always brushed under the carpet and ignored, I'm afraid. You think Cameron is paying attention to the almost-whatever-it-was minority who voted for the other lot?
> Not that I agree with you that comparing would be wrong. After all, those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are bound to repeat them, as some tedious proser or other said. Hegel, possibly?
Santayana, I do believe.
Mick (another 'tedious proser'?)
I'm going to give up on you now, as I really should be working and you appear to be distorting (or perhaps oversimplifying) the discussion in your account above to a point where I can't be bothered. His point was that he couldn't imagine anyone proposing at a meeting to bolt bosigran (criticising the captioning of the ukc news items photos), and he was right, they weren't. All your other examples were done in a non consensual way without discussion, so are frankly irrelevant to this particular situation where discussions are happening before any actions are taken.
The point about Cameron is interesting, it is a useful parallel in that every few years we take a look and work out which minority to ignore for the next few years. We don't just do it once and then declare the result valid for all eternity. It may be tiresome, but that's only the same as is being done here.
>His point was that he couldn't imagine anyone proposing at a meeting to bolt bosigran (criticising the captioning of the ukc news items photos),
No, it wasn't. He said 'seriously contemplating'. Not 'proposing at a meeting'.
>We don't just do it once and then declare the result valid for all eternity. It may be tiresome, but that's only the same as is being done here.
True, but then the considerations affecting the political situation change rather more rapidly than those affecting the question of whether Cornwall needs some 8b sport climbing on its sea-cliffs.
However, as Sam said somewhere above, the meeting served to get the issue to the bar room, the forums and into people's conciousness so that by the time a more meaningful and coherent proposal comes before a properly advertised meeting (not like your one at the radjel) it can be decided on by everyone and in full possession of the facts.
Anyway, the Penwith & Cornwall Climbers' proposal was badly worded and sometimes meaningless in it's language. From talking to sam and the chairman afterwards, it seems that we will very shortly have a very clear and coherent proposal for all of us to consider. You are obviously passionate about the issues but, given the history of the area, this is something that has to be done carefully and slowly and properly, even if it does seem a bit bureucratic to you. The curry was also excellent: well done to the chef!
I think this meeting was a productive and informative one that I hope leads to a realistic and workable solution for Cornwall today.
> You make it sound so tiresome to go over marginally decided issues again, as if an almost 50% minority is something that can just be brushed under the carpet and ignored...
How the Bloody Hell can u have a 50% minority. 50% IS HALF!
he said almost 50%!
very Well pointed out!
Again, Statement Retracted :)
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