/ Pitons - remove or replace with bolts?

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Pete_Frost on 07 Jun 2013
Anyone else fed up with finding thickets of in-situ pegs rusted beyond use, staining the rock and blocking gear placements? Why don't we change our ethics and remove pegs (like we do in winter) rather than leave them in place? Leaders will then have to place their own pitons or use modern gear. Let's even contemplate replacing existing (NOT NEW), peg belays with stainless steel bolts so they don't dribble rust down the cliffs for all to see. Surely that's the best way to respect the rock......

Anyone wants me, I'll be in protective custody ;-)
mkonca on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost: I agree. If something is reasonably protectable than the pegs should be removed. Otherwise bolts should be used. Some purists will disagree but climbing is a sport and no one should have to risk their lives by going many many meters above the last protection. If you really like danger, then get rid of your rope.
3 Names - on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to plonca:

Go away!
Bruce Hooker - on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:

The problem with each party placing their own pegs - something people did for years in the mountains on the continent before nuts became normal practice - is that repeated placing and removing pegs on popular route opens up the cracks until they become gaping holes. This provides more holds but doesn't do the rock much good.

Hence if a peg is required it's best to leave it in place... but everybody knows this so I suppose the first two posts on this thread are just trainee trolls warming up for the summer season :-)
biped - on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to mkonca:

Wow, you out-trolled the OP!
Pete_Frost on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Pete_Frost)
>
> The problem with each party placing their own pegs - something people did for years in the mountains on the continent before nuts became normal practice - is that repeated placing and removing pegs on popular route opens up the cracks until they become gaping holes. This provides more holds but doesn't do the rock much good.
>
> Hence if a peg is required it's best to leave it in place... but everybody knows this so I suppose the first two posts on this thread are just trainee trolls warming up for the summer season :-)

You spotted my unwritten message: in Yosemite and on many big walls the placements have opened up enough to accept micro-wires, sliders or even micro cams. A3 is now C3 and pitons are out of fashion. Here in the UK we have rusted peg stumps and placements jammed with un-removable iron - time for a change?

I mentioned the B word to flush out the trolls and it worked! Time to get my axe out.....
ice.solo - on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:

Clean or nothing. Come back when yer not scared.
pec on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to mkonca:
> ....no one should have to risk their lives by going many many meters above the last protection....>

Absolutely, they should take up golf, apparently 0.2% of UKCers already have. I wonder if its the thin end of the wedge?

mkonca on 08 Jun 2013
I knew most people would disagree with me in the hardcore trad environment of the UK. But I don't see the difference between a peg or a bolt. They are both "unnatural" protection. If you are going to put something in why not a bolt?

Here is a nice article that I came across last year:
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/is-there-a-future-for-pegs-in-british-climbing

The conclusion says:
"A peg can only be trusted on the day it was placed. Only the climber who placed it can give an opinion on its reliability, anything else is only a guess. My feeling is that to put corrosion resistant pegs on the market for permanent placements would be irresponsible and other solutions need to be found."

Therefore I don't trust pegs and I don't see the point of soloing for 12 meters of a 25 meter route.
wilkie14c - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Pete_Frost)
>
> Clean or nothing. Come back when yer not scared.

This ^^
Rob Parsons on 08 Jun 2013

In reply to mkonca:

>
> The conclusion says:
> "A peg can only be trusted on the day it was placed. Only the climber who placed it can give an opinion on its reliability, anything else is only a guess. My feeling is that to put corrosion resistant pegs on the market for permanent placements would be irresponsible and other solutions need to be found."

It goes on to say:

"Replace pegs with bolts: this is what is done in much of Europe, and in some ways is the obvious solution. In traditionally bolt-free areas the majority of climbers would be firmly against this though. "

> Therefore I don't trust pegs ...

Perfectly reasonable.

> ...and I don't see the point of soloing for 12 meters of a 25 meter route.

That's up to you. Choose other routes to go climbing on, in that case.
Pete_Frost on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to mkonca:
> I knew most people would disagree with me in the hardcore trad environment of the UK. But I don't see the difference between a peg or a bolt. They are both "unnatural" protection. If you are going to put something in why not a bolt?
>
> Here is a nice article that I came across last year:
> https://www.thebmc.co.uk/is-there-a-future-for-pegs-in-british-climbing
>
> The conclusion says:
> "A peg can only be trusted on the day it was placed. Only the climber who placed it can give an opinion on its reliability, anything else is only a guess. My feeling is that to put corrosion resistant pegs on the market for permanent placements would be irresponsible and other solutions need to be found."
>
> Therefore I don't trust pegs and I don't see the point of soloing for 12 meters of a 25 meter route.

Respect! Good report. Conclusion: we should place our own pitons and not rely on in situ pegs. Let's see the end of these rusting death traps. In situ belay pegs are unreliable and could kill both leader and second. Take them all out!

Peg runners are old fashioned and should either be placed on the lead and removed by the second, or not used at all. We may have to accept that some climbs are not protectable.

We follow these ethics in winter, why not in summer too?
Pete_Frost on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Pete_Frost)
>
> Clean or nothing. Come back when yer not scared.

Just off out for a day soloing on a traditional mountain crag - care to join me?
wilkie14c - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:
> We follow these ethics in winter, why not in summer too?

I agree that many if not all pegs should be removed if the resulting scar leaves something that can be used by modern gear, remember that when most of these pegs were placed WC Zeros, aliens and tiny nuts in conjuntion with screamers etc didn't exist, now they do and many these chop routes can be protected by leader placed gear.

The winter/summer agrgument isn't as clear cut as it first appears though, pegs are used in winter yes, I place odd ones myself and this is simply due to passive gear like nuts, hexes and the like not being suitable or reliable in iced up cracks. The winter routes we are talking about though are often in areas when during summer rock climbing simply isn't suitable, dank, wet and dirty gullys that any sane climber stays away from during summer but in winter they change into superb winter routes. We have learned the error of our forefathers and now take the extra effort and remove any pegs we've placed. It isn't even a case of climb it clean or not at all as most pegs I've placed are at belays, not on the route proper.
JIMBO on 08 Jun 2013
I'm quite 'happy' to run it out on a route with no pegs but it's when the belay is a rusty stump or two with no alternatives that I think a double bolt belay replacement would be a good idea. Kill yourself on lead but not your belayer!

Curiously belayer comes up as belated with my predictive text!
ice.solo - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:

Dunno. I may be scared. It happens.
If youre anywhere near my area would be keen to head out tho, always lookin for partners.
In reply to Pete_Frost:
> Anyone else fed up with finding thickets of in-situ pegs rusted beyond use, staining the rock and blocking gear placements?


Examples please?


Chris
In reply to mkonca:
>
>
> The conclusion says:
> "A peg can only be trusted on the day it was placed. Only the climber who placed it can give an opinion on its reliability, anything else is only a guess.

The conclusion is tripe, a peg can be crap on the day it is placed and a well placed peg can be solid for years.


Chris
ERU - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:
> Anyone else fed up with finding thickets of in-situ pegs rusted beyond use, staining the rock and blocking gear placements?

You know we have also invented steel, corrosion resistant, pegs right? The cemented ones in the Wye Valley for example...
Mostro - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs: The belay at the top of the first pitch of Road Runner on Lundy. Umpteen places in the Avon Gorge. Come on Chris, I'm sure we can all think of a few.
Robert Durran - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to mkonca:
> I don't see the difference between a peg or a bolt.

Oh dear. A peg has much more in common with a nut than a bolt. Pegs and nuts go in cracks, exploiting a natural weakness in the rock (kind of what climbing is all about). Bolts don't.
Robert Durran - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to JIMBO:
> I'm quite 'happy' to run it out on a route with no pegs but it's when the belay is a rusty stump or two with no alternatives that I think a double bolt belay replacement would be a good idea. Kill yourself on lead but not your belayer!

So don't do the route then.
silo - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost: A rust peg just up the excitement!
In reply to Mostro:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs) The belay at the top of the first pitch of Road Runner on Lundy. Umpteen places in the Avon Gorge. Come on Chris, I'm sure we can all think of a few.

Well that is one specific case. My (poorly put) point was rather than replace every peg with a bolt we need to look at each individual case and see what the best solution is - remove all fixed gear/replace fixed pegs/consider a bolt is all else fails.


Chris
Rick Graham on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Robert Durran
>
> So don't do the route then.

Quite right.

Man up, climb an easier route or go to Europe.

JIMBO on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Rick Graham: many thanks for the helpful advice. I'd never have thought to assess the dangers and make a choice for myself.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to mkonca)
> [...]
>
> Oh dear. A peg has much more in common with a nut than a bolt. Pegs and nuts go in cracks, exploiting a natural weakness in the rock (kind of what climbing is all about). Bolts don't.

If protection is to be left in the rock and the idea is to 'leave no trace' isn't the best option the one that does the least damage? I'd have thought banging a metal wedge into a weak spot and then occasionally applying a lot of force to the end of it was a good way of expanding existing cracks and eventually breaking the rock up. Not only from the mechanical effect when someone falls but also because it will accelerate natural weathering as water gets into the cracks and freezes in winter.


cyberpunk - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost: The only logical compromise is to just drill a hole and use on of these
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDPctA3svm8

But that will never happen.
Robert Durran - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> If protection is to be left in the rock and the idea is to 'leave no trace' isn't the best option the one that does the least damage?

If that is your criterion (obviously not the one I was applying), then the best option is to use neither pegs nor bolts and I would be happy with that.
GridNorth - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to cyberpunk: No it's not because the damage is done by drilling the hole in the first place. Didn't Rowland Edwards try a similar thing on the Costa Blanca? I don't think it ever caught on. He drilled holes and lined them so they would take a rock 3 I think.
Timmd on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to GridNorth:

ENPs are funny metal cylinder contraptions put into holes drilled into the rock, into which you push a nut, a Rock 3, I think they were/are spring loaded. A funny hybrid between a bolt and a nut placement.

There was a collective letter written to OTE during the late 90's (IIRC) from a lot of Spanish climbers saying they didn't like what the Edward's were doing to their rock, with ENPs and manufactured thread placements created using tools.



wilkie14c - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Timmd: more recently there was some cylinder type cams thingies that had to be retracted, pushed into the bolt hole, then it opened out and gripped. Franko was after some for a project on here, can't remember the name of em now
tom_in_edinburgh - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
> [...]
>
> If that is your criterion (obviously not the one I was applying),

Fair point.

Timmd on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:

I'm thinking that if pegs go into places, things like Camp Ballnuts might do as well?
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:

Reading this, and other threads it's clear that many of those posting about pegs are not familiar with them, perhaps whole generations haven't used pegs? It's true that some pegs may look alright and aren't but the opposite is true too, really manky bits of iron do hold falls, judging them is probably harder if you aren't used to using them.

On the difference between pegs and bolts, again many appear to have missed a debate here - the main problem with bolts is that they can be put about anywhere but pegs, like your hands and feet and nuts need a crack or a rock feature to work, they help exploiting existing lines and weaknesses, which is what route finding is all about. It's an ethical or aesthetic difference not a purely practical one.

IMO.
leon on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:
I'd have said the main advantage of a peg over a bolt is that the peg does require some thinking about.

You often read in the log books people saying they didn't trust a peg so climbed as though they were making a big run out or hung around getting pumped to get more gear in & back it up. This compliments the adventurous nature of trad climbing much more than a bolt does.
mkonca on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
Thanks for the nice explanation Bruce. For the others: I also agree with the clean or nothing principle. The thing that puzzled me was why not a bolt instead of a peg? Now I have a better idea why some people prefer pegs. However there is still an argument to be made here: 1) Because pegs may end up damaging the rock more than a bolt in many cases and 2) As some people mentioned, the modern gear available would allow us to protect many of the old pegged routes.
climbnplay on 08 Jun 2013
some big words, you headpointers ;)
wilkie14c - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Timmd:
If the hole was wide enought / ballnut narrow enough yes, these are the thingies i mentioned:
http://www.upskillclimbinggear.com/products/Removable-Bolt.html
Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Pete_Frost)
>

>
> On the difference between pegs and bolts, again many appear to have missed a debate here - the main problem with bolts is that they can be put about anywhere but pegs, like your hands and feet and nuts need a crack or a rock feature to work, they help exploiting existing lines and weaknesses, which is what route finding is all about. It's an ethical or aesthetic difference not a purely practical one.
>
> IMO.

Well put. Also, causing wear to the insides of a natural crack is less serious than drilling a permanent hole in a pristine piece of natural rock. IMO.
pec on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to mkonca:
You need to fill in your profile so we know where you're coming from. You could be a novice or immigrant with little or no understanding of British climbing history or you could be trying to provoke people, who knows? I, and I suspect a few others, half thought you were trolling your comments were so far off the scale.

> I knew most people would disagree with me in the hardcore trad environment of the UK. But I don't see the difference between a peg or a bolt.>
Read the explanations people have given. There very much is a difference.

> They are both "unnatural" protection. If you are going to put something in why not a bolt?>

Natural or unnatural is not the point, there's nothing natural about a cam, its the features of the rock which do or don't allow you to place them that count.


> Therefore I don't trust pegs and I don't see the point of soloing for 12 meters of a 25 meter route.>
Then don't climb those routes or take up golf.

ice.solo - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to blanchie14c)
>
> I'm thinking that if pegs go into places, things like Camp Ballnuts might do as well?

In many cases, yup. Standing peg placements not so well, but vertical and some horizontal stuff certainly.
Pete_Frost on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Pete_Frost)
>
> Dunno. I may be scared. It happens.
> If youre anywhere near my area would be keen to head out tho, always lookin for partners.

Thanks - much respect to you, I may well do that. BTW my solo on Lliwedd was relaxed and fun, hope all yours turn out that way too.
Pete_Frost on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to pec: I'm starting to see some common themes emerging:
1. In-situ pitons can't be trusted and really ought to be removed - whether as belays or runners.
2. If pitons are still needed for a belay on an existing route, they should be placed by the leader, and removed by the second.
3. Peg runners on existing routes should be replaced by modern, leader-placed protection (micro cams, sliders etc). If a piton is the only form of protection available, and was used by the first, free ascentionists then it should be placed by the leader and removed by the second.
4. Peg runners and belays should not be used on new (summer) routes.

How does everyone feel about those points?

If we keep placing and removing belay pitons, then we'll soon create holes big enough to take modern protection, and piton use on summer routes will gradually die out. Do we agree with this accidental, but inevitable modification of the rock, or do we sanction the replacement of existing peg belays (not peg runners) with bolts - which deliberately modify the rock?
ice.solo - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:

Envious. I spent all day in lectures. Alone on a peak wins every time even tho half of my solo efforts are exercises in the darker elements of the psyche.
Bruce Hooker - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:

How many pints have you had tonight :-)

To quote an old mechanic's saying, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
ice.solo - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:

Works for me, and what i follow anyway, but cant hurt to have defined.

I do think tho, as often occurs in britain, the grey area of when summer routes become winter ones will raise its head.
Still, the 'placed by leader, cleaned by second rule' can always apply.

Who in summer wants to carry a f*cking hammer anyway?
In reply to Pete_Frost:

We have spent 50 years getting away from every Tom, Dick and Harry whacking pegs into the rock and making a complete mess - retrograde suggestions!

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=221369


Chris
tom_in_edinburgh - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> Well put. Also, causing wear to the insides of a natural crack is less serious than drilling a permanent hole in a pristine piece of natural rock. IMO.

I can see that from from an ethical or aesthetic perspective. But from the perspective of which action is causing most physical damage it is far less clear. My guess is that a drilled hole with a bolt matched in diameter and surrounded with glue is going to cause less fracturing and give less scope for water entry than a piton banged into already cracked rock.

PopShot on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to all: Bolts should be chopped wherever you find them basically as they encourage top-ropers, the rock ends up polished.
aipattison - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:
> (In reply to pec)

I disagree entirely:

> 1. In-situ pitons can't be trusted and really ought to be removed - whether as belays or runners.
I'd rather clip an old peg than nothing at all.

> 2. If pitons are still needed for a belay on an existing route, they should be placed by the leader, and removed by the second.
I certainly don't want to carry a hammer if I can avoid it. Also agree with others about damage caused by repeated peg removal.

> 3. Peg runners on existing routes should be replaced by modern, leader-placed protection (micro cams, sliders etc).
So we all need to go out and buy a full range of "specialist" gear, or risk facing run-outs that are not accounted for in the climb's grade?

> 4. Peg runners and belays should not be used on new (summer) routes.
I think that's the perogative of the first ascenscionist.


Pete_Frost on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to Pete_Frost)
>
> We have spent 50 years getting away from every Tom, Dick and Harry whacking pegs into the rock and making a complete mess - retrograde suggestions!
>
Interesting: in situ pegs are a ticking time bomb, stain the rock and block the placements when they fail, but we don't want to replace them each climb (either 'cos we don't want to carry the kit, or 'cos we don't want to damage the rock), and we don't want to permanently replace them like-for-like with bolts 'cos that defiles the rock. Looks like I'll be soloing a lot more in future ;-)

Pete_Frost on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to PopShot:
> (In reply to all) Bolts should be chopped wherever you find them basically as they encourage top-ropers, the rock ends up polished.

LOL! Would love to see someone top rope pitch 2 of Plexus (Dinas Mot) - and the holds are still polished to a fine gloss despite the absence of the evil bolt belay.
John Willson - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:

This thread is shot through with fallacies.

1. <pegs can't be trusted> wrong! Trust is not 0 or 10 out of 10, it is on a sliding scale, and this applies to all gear, which is only as good as the sum of the rock it is placed in, the skill of the placer, and the circumstances of the placement. Rust does sometimes (but by no means always) add an extra dimension to pegs, as it does to non SS bolts, especially on sea cliffs.

2. The arguments as presented seem to be make no differentiation between say Welsh igneous rock and Bristol region limestone. No one-size-fits-all solution to these problems applies, which is why different BMC areas formulate different fixed gear policies to cater for local needs. But the repeat-insertion suggestion is just about universally daft.

3. I can't understand why repeatedly inserting and extracting pegs is regarded as 'accidental damage' while placing a bolt is deliberate. They will both create damage, and damage from repeat pegging may be far greater; it may, but more likely will not, create the gear placements suggested; on the other hand it may destroy climbs altogether by loosening blocks and breaking off holds.

4. <a bolt can be placed anywhere> could only have been written by someone who has never placed bolts. Bolts placed on this premeise will be as untrustworthy as pegs.
Bruce Hooker - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to John Willson:

> 4. <a bolt can be placed anywhere> could only have been written by someone who has never placed bolts.

It can if the rock is sound, nothing stops a line of bolts if the bolters are determined enough. It's true I have never drilled a bolt placement for climbing, I never would by principle, but I have on buildings, which is where they belong.

PS. I agree with the rest of your post, repeated inserting and removing of pitons must be about the worst idea except in remote, rarely visited mountains.
jon on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to John Willson:

> I can't understand why repeatedly inserting and extracting pegs is regarded as 'accidental damage' while placing a bolt is deliberate. They will both create damage, and damage from repeat pegging may be far greater

Time to wheel this one out again. This was 35 years ago. As Jack Frost comments, it'd be an off width by now if pegging had continued. http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=140938
Jon Stewart - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to John Willson:
> (In reply to Pete_Frost)
>
> This thread is shot through with fallacies.

The biggest one being anything to do with damaging the rock. Climbers consistently use this manufactured and bogus justification for what is in reality an argument about the rules of the game.

Rock climbing damages the rock. And the surrounding environment.

My own view, for all the areas that I climb in, is that things should be left as they are with a trend towards removing pegs where they're really manky or totally unnecessary. I think that replacing pegs with bolts changes the rules of the game of trad climbing, and that's why I object. Even if a route is still bold, it has become an artificial and contrived challenge once the bolt-placer starts dictating where solid protection exists without the skill and judgement of the leader coming into play.

Two distinctly different experiences spring to mind:

When I led Zeppelin, I got to the peg pumped out of mind and it was shiny and new and I just about managed to clip it - I felt a massive rush of relief and got on with the rest of the route.

When I led Flytrap, I got to the 'peg runner' described by the latest guidebook scared out of my wits, to find that it no longer exists. I proceeded to psyche myself up for the hard, wet crux moves with poor protection, which I then got on with.

This is why I love trad climbing. The richness of the experience comes from mastering your response to the unknown.

With less fixed gear being added and replaced, old gear being removed, and remaining fixed gear becoming less reliable, a very small minority of routes will become a bit harder. We can now research routes pretty thoroughly before we get on them and make an informed judgement about what we want to climb - a far cry from when the pegs were first placed! All of the judgement that comes into choosing a route, and protecting it on the lead is what makes trad climbing such a rich and rewarding game to play. Changing the rules to make it safer and easier would erode what makes trad climbing distinct from other disciplines.*


*Incidentally, using bolted belays/lower-offs to protect the environment or to protect climbers where there aren't better alternatives more in keeping with trad climbing ethics does not alter the rules of the game in this way and is, in my view, a different debate. A bolt belay/lower off can have a sound argument that doesn't rely on the bogus 'damaging the rock' premise nor does it necessarily interfere with the skills and judgement needed to climb a given route.
Timmd on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Timmd)
> [...]
>
> In many cases, yup. Standing peg placements not so well, but vertical and some horizontal stuff certainly.

What are standing peg placements, stacked pegs, or pegs 'standing' on their point going downwards?

Ta.
John Willson - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I don't disagree with anything you say. My post was not to push a particular line, merely to highlight the illogicalities or some of the arguments being propounded. However, I do think the geographical and geological factors need to be taken into account, and the the BMC Area policy system, imperfect though it may be, should be given a chance to work.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> I can see that from from an ethical or aesthetic perspective. But from the perspective of which action is causing most physical damage it is far less clear. My guess is that a drilled hole with a bolt matched in diameter and surrounded with glue is going to cause less fracturing and give less scope for water entry than a piton banged into already cracked rock.

My position is that i've never liked either pegs or bolts, but that pegs are slightly preferable because they can always be removed and in many cases cases the rock returns more or less to its undamaged natural state.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to John Willson:

PS. Of course there are cases where a well-positioned bolt can be the best solution for minimising damage ... but I think it's a very serious decision, because otherwise we end up with whole crags totally desecrated.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

PS. I accept that this is just an opinion (based on what I would call, perhaps a bit pompously, 'environmental ethics') ... Perhaps it's better to simply see it as a matter of taste (which I still see as an important issue in the modern world, where taste is so often a tabula rasa for many people.)
LakesWinter on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: I'd say it's more about maintaining the challenge of the route in its complete form, i.e. as a mental and physical challenge, not purely the physical challenge of sport climbing. Sport climbing has a place but trad is more engaging.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to John Willson:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> I don't disagree with anything you say.

Likewise!
Timmd on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> I can see that from from an ethical or aesthetic perspective. But from the perspective of which action is causing most physical damage it is far less clear. My guess is that a drilled hole with a bolt matched in diameter and surrounded with glue is going to cause less fracturing and give less scope for water entry than a piton banged into already cracked rock.

Maybe the choice isn't between bolts and pegs, but between bolts and pegs and ballnuts?

GrahamD - on 10 Jun 2013
In reply to Pete_Frost:

I think "Walk of Life" got a lot of publicity for a lot of wrong reasons. The ethical stance taken by James on pegs is what it should be remembered for.
Kemics - on 10 Jun 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Pete_Frost)
>
> I think "Walk of Life" got a lot of publicity for a lot of wrong reasons. The ethical stance taken by James on pegs is what it should be remembered for.

I also thought it was a shame Dave Birkett then immediately smashed in some new pegs to put his route up next to it. Ignoring the 'no fixed gear' ethic.

But you know, it's cool ...because he's Dave Birket :) Much in the same way a few trad venues have 8a bolted routes because it's okay to bolt something if it's really hard.

I personally would like to see all crucial pegs replaced with bolts. and the rest removed. As long as it was completely agreed no more would be placed, unfortunately this would be impossible to police and we probably would end up with more bolts and the routes would be lost. So I guess the current situation is probably the best compromise.
Pete_Frost on 10 Jun 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to John Willson)
> [...]
>
> The biggest one being anything to do with damaging the rock. Climbers consistently use this manufactured and bogus justification for what is in reality an argument about the rules of the game.

Glad I'm not alone in believing this!

>
> Rock climbing damages the rock. And the surrounding environment.

I quite agree. I dislike seeing litter, path erosion, rust stains and old tat.

>
> My own view, for all the areas that I climb in, is that things should be left as they are with a trend towards removing pegs where they're really manky or totally unnecessary. I think that replacing pegs with bolts changes the rules of the game of trad climbing, and that's why I object. Even if a route is still bold, it has become an artificial and contrived challenge once the bolt-placer starts dictating where solid protection exists without the skill and judgement of the leader coming into play.
>

I quite agree. Let's eliminate pegs as runners on summer routes.

>
>
> *Incidentally, using bolted belays/lower-offs to protect the environment or to protect climbers where there aren't better alternatives more in keeping with trad climbing ethics does not alter the rules of the game in this way and is, in my view, a different debate. A bolt belay/lower off can have a sound argument that doesn't rely on the bogus 'damaging the rock' premise nor does it necessarily interfere with the skills and judgement needed to climb a given route.

Yes! I believe this can save a lot of visual impact and probably lives too. Perhaps the local BMC area could be requested to review peg belays, as they do abseil points, and replace them with bolted belays where it is clear that modern gear cannot do the job. Let's not go so far as to promote bolt belays for new routes though: I still think that a trad route has to rely on natural features in the rock first of all. If peg belays are used on new routes it should be with deep reluctance, and the understanding that subsequent parties should bring their own pegs. Once a route has become established, then we should assess if the peg belay should be replaced by bolts.


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