/ Ratho Quarry Sport Wall Topo

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buzby78 - on 30 Jun 2013
Unfortunately a little late for entry into the new Scottish Sport Climbs guide but for those interested, here's a topo for 6 nice new sport climbs at Ratho Quarry: http://eicaratho.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/ratho-quarry-sport-wall-topo.html

Robert Durran - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> Unfortunately a little late for entry into the new Scottish Sport Climbs guide but for those interested, here's a topo for 6 nice new sport climbs at Ratho Quarry: http://eicaratho.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/ratho-quarry-sport-wall-topo.html

For "new" read "retrobolted" in at least two cases!
buzby78 - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yep, Slow Strain and Pettiffers have been retro'ed with the kind permission of the 1st ascensionists, everything else is new as far as I know?
Fraser on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to buzby78)
> [...]
>
> For "new" read "retrobolted" in two cases.

Fixed that.


In reply to buzz:

Good routes and topo, cheers.

Fiend - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Thanks, that is useful. It's a pity that SS and PW couldn't have been thoroughly cleaned and lower offs installed, rather than fully retroed - I'd rather that was the way to restore neglected routes (Farrletter aside!). But still it's good there are more additions to the quarry.
JLS on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Cheers Buz, look forward to having a crack at them.
Robert Durran - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> Thanks, that is useful. It's a pity that SS and PW couldn't have been thoroughly cleaned and lower offs installed, rather than fully retroed.

Indeed. I went to Ratho today after 30 years of regular visits (the last 10 of which have been in intensive training), finally feeling ready and psyched for my onsight of Pettifer's Wall, only to find that someone had retrobolted it. Gutted.

Pre EICA, Slow Strain used to be one of the more popular routes in the quarry. Had it fallen into disuse?
JamieSparkes - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: The workings above the quarry had left a large earth cornice above them, meant they were always dirty and wouldn't stay clean.
Roberttaylor - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to JamieSparkes: 'earth cornices' , I don't think I've ever read a more terrifying phrase.
Fraser on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Don't worry Bob, you can now legitimately take the ball-point tick, safe in the knowledge that both were well beyond you. ;-)

PS shouldn't you already be abroad in some exotic climbing location for the next 6 weeks?
Robert Durran - on 30 Jun 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> PS shouldn't you already be abroad in some exotic climbing location for the next 6 weeks?

I've gambled on a summer in Scotland (because nowhere else in the world comes near it), though I might resort in desperation to forays south of the border if it rains. So that's probably five weeks in Ratho and a week dodging showers in Pembroke then......

ANC on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Excellent job and effort, thanks buzby! See there are also a couple of additional routes next to wounded knee. Wally 2(?) Retrobolted? And another route to the left? New or another retro route?

Excellent bolting. kamakazi was particularly good. Sure they will get traffic. Hopefully there will be some more!
James90 - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to buzby78:

what are the 2 routes bolted on the right hand side of the quarry, i lead the left hand of the 2 (with the big mantle to start)but dont know a name or grade.
buzby78 - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to buzby78:

The new route left of Wally 2 is called The Corrieman and goes at about 6c+, a really great route I think! Wally 2 has been bolted and is now a cheeky 6c.

Getting the local farmer with his JCB in next week to help tidy up more of the quarry, lots more new routes to get bolted, watch this space...
smally - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to buzby78: Hi Buz,
I really hope it's not the intention to retro-bolt most routes in the quarry ? I'd have serious problems with the Septic Heil/ Gruel Brittania area being touched. I feel even starting on the Wally wall is a bit far, Wally 2 was a great wee bold route.
So what is the plan for the quarry's future,now that folk have realised there's some rock just outside the arena door? Has there been any type of consultation with 1st ascentionists and those who still climb trad in there? I know Ean T was against the retro-bolting of one of his trad lines.
Interested to know.
Cheers Iain
buzby78 - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to smally:

It's not the intention to retro-bolt most routes in the quarry, only ones that are neglected and gearless and then after I had spoken to 1st ascentionists. Most of the new bolted routes are new ones and its really helped to get the quarry tidied up a little!

I've spoken to Ian T and he's stated that he doesn't want one of his routes bolted, i'll honour that request. If we left the quarry in the way in was, machete's were going to be needed to access and depart most routes! Having another big tidy up next week, feel free to come along and help! buz
JamieSparkes - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to smally: Agreed. Bolting Pettifer's Wall was the obvious solution. By all means put up new routes in whatever style you want, but it seems more than a little unnecessary to start retrobolting existing routes just because they're bold. How widely are you consulting before you start throwing bolts in?

We don't want one of Edinburgh's few decent local trad venues to be destroyed. However, good work on attempting to keep the brambles down, it has become a bit overgrown up top and could do with another prune.
Eric9Points - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to JamieSparkes:
Good post.
It would be utterly wrong for this quarry to be indiscriminately retro bolted. I'm utterly dismayed that someone felt it ok to bolt Wally 2.
As for the flora, yes a bit of pruning should be enough to keep it under control.
Let's not see the quarry turning into an extension of the indoor wall.
martinph78 on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to buzby78:

> It's not the intention to retro-bolt most routes in the quarry, only ones that are neglected

>Most of the new bolted routes are new ones and its really helped to get the quarry tidied up a little!

>If we left the quarry in the way in was, machete's were going to be needed to access and depart most routes!


I have to ask, how does bolting tidy up the quarry in a way that pruning can't? Genuinely interested to know the thinking behind this.

Bolting routes to clean them seems like a poor argument and a very slippery slope to start on.

JamieSparkes - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to Eric9Points: I imagine it's for the convenience of the OP, given that he works for EICA.

whenever I climb here, I take a pair of secateurs as a matter of course and spend a few minutes at the base/top of each route to try to keep them clear, especially the exit path round from the top of Shoskred etc.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Really good to have some sport routes next door to EICA! Great work.
buzby78 - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to buzby78:

If anyone really does object to the work I've been doing out in the quarry recently then please feel free to drop into Ratho sometime and have a chat or else drop me a phone. I'm not really too keen to have any online discussions about this. Cheers, buz
Eric9Points - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to buzby78:

No, I can see why you don't like the way this is going.
Unfortunately you can't be contacted through this site and you haven't got a real name or posted your phone number. If you want to rectify this then great, I might drive out to Ratho and have a chat with at a time that's convenient for me, you and your employer.

Otherwise, here's my view.
I have no issue with the existing sports climbs on the unprotectable parts of the quarry.
I object to you retro bolting existing lines and ask that you remove any fixed protection from Wally2.
I am concerned that you plan to carry out cleaning of the quarry floor on an industrial scale. The quarry has always been overgrown and I would object to wholescale removal of trees and other vegetation.

Regards,

Eric Christison
Robert Durran - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to buzby78)
> Unfortunately you can't be contacted through this site.

Yes he can - by email.

I hope it was clear that my "outraged" post about four weeks ago (I've been up north living the montain crag dream!) was tongue in cheek and not to be taken seriously. However, one of the first ascentionists of Pettifer's contacted in sympathy and claimed that permission had not been given for the bolting of that route. If that route and Slow Strain are permanently dirty due to a new earth cornice, are bolts going to make any difference (without recleaning every time it rains). Personally I've no problem with a mix of trad and sport in the quarry but agree with othres that there should be a presumption against retro-bolting.
JamieSparkes - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: I think that in the case of pettifers they will do. It's more a problem of topping out.

I went out with the intention of digging the top of these routes well back but after the effort involved in getting quick pull to a state you could climb it again I honestly couldn't face doing it for the rest, so fixed lower off's below the earthworks did seem to offer a solution.
Eric9Points - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: You're right I'm browsing on mobile phone and my first attempt didn't work...
Yes, Petifer's wall looked a bit of a hopeless case the last time I looked which was a while ago. I recall seepage from the top bringing down earth with it. I seem to remember thinking though that given time, enough vegetation would establish itself to limit the amount of debris coming down. And of course you're right that bolts won't keep a route clean any more than they will limit the growth of vegetation.
buzby78 - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

neillbusby@edinburghleisure.co.uk

0131 3336321

Fiend - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:

I hadn't seen this update to the thread and if I hadn't been emailed about it I'd half think it was a joke.

This is an utter bloody disgrace. Wally 3 is NOT neglected and gearless at all, I lead it a couple of years ago and it has good RPs to protect the crux and a good rest before placing them. Absolutely proper trad that should not be ruined by needless retrobolting.

Further to that I was aspiring to lead Wally 2 when I next was in the quarry outside and do not want that ruined either.

Despite having a climbing wall built in it, Ratho has always had good quarried trad climbing and this must not be ruined. Please remove the bolts ASAP.

> I'm not really too keen to have any online discussions about this.

If you're not able to defend you actions online (perhaps because they are indefensible), then you shouldn't have taken them in the first place. Make major changes to a crag removing established trad routes and you should be prepared to discuss it openly.
Kirriemuir - on 09 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend: Wally 2 has probably seen more ascents in the couple of weeks since it was bolted than in the last 20 years. To me it makes more sense to have it in a state (bolted) where people actually get on it and get some use out of the rock...rather than just really be a few lines in a guidebook that almost nobody climbs.I think sometimes people can get a bit too precious about retrobolting trad routes that few people are ever likely to climb. This one in particular...it wasn`t some kind of iconic route or anything, just another reasonable line in a dolerite quarry that saw an ascent about once every ten years or so. Now it exists as a pleasant easy-mid grade sport route that will see plenty of ascents.Good!
Jamie B - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir:

> Wally 2 has probably seen more ascents in the couple of weeks since it was bolted than in the last 20 years. Now it exists as a pleasant easy-mid grade sport route that will see plenty of ascents.

That would be true of a great number of trad lines. Should we bolt all of them?

martinph78 on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:
> Make major changes to a crag removing established trad routes and you should be prepared to discuss it openly.

Agreed, and discuss it BEFORE bolting it!

How one person thinks they have the right to do this is beyond me. I'm sure this is being done purely for commercial reasons. Why else would ANYONE get a tractor in to clear the bottom of a quarry??



Kirriemuir - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B: You are, of course, free to bolt whatever you want. I don`t think all the trad lines you refer to should be bolted, and I don`t like the idea of blanket "rules" like no retrobolting either. Much better to consider routes/crags individually. The retro`ed routes at Ratho are a positive step...making routes available to loads more people, what`s bad about that?
Kirriemuir - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Martin1978:
> (In reply to Fiend)
> [...]
>
>
>
> Why else would ANYONE get a tractor in to clear the bottom of a quarry??

Because it is miles more efficient than having a team of workers do it, perhaps?
martinph78 on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir: What a stupid argument!

Based on your argument we should tarmac every possible route up a mountain, as that would make tem even more popular and "pleasant".

Not everything in life is a right and should be given to the majority on a plate. Some things need to be earned, including climbing routes. It wasn't impossible before the bolts. If you REALLY wanted it then you'd have worked at it and got it as a trad route. MTFU.

martinph78 on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir: No shit, it was a rhetorical question given the context of my reply.
Kirriemuir - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Martin1978:
> (In reply to Kirriemuir) What a stupid argument!
>
> Based on your argument we should tarmac every possible route up a mountain, as that would make tem even more popular and "pleasant".
>
> Not everything in life is a right and should be given to the majority on a plate. Some things need to be earned, including climbing routes. It wasn't impossible before the bolts. If you REALLY wanted it then you'd have worked at it and got it as a trad route. MTFU.

You`re being hysterical now, please stop.
robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Good work Buzby!
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:

No it's bloody not. What is good about ruining decent, accessible trad routes? Nothing.
hexcentric - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:

It's a quarry, Entirely man made. Surely the scope for bolting is endless. However, good routes with frequent ascents and stars should be left alone.

Judging by what's been bolted the bolter/s have taken this into account?

Why is everyone getting so riled up? It's not like Sedge or Oroborus have been/will be getting bolted.


What I would like to see though is Godzilla Cleaned up and bolted for use!
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir:

Absolutely wrong. Number of ascents does not equate to the value of the experience and does not justify ruining an established route. There's a lot of easy shit rubble that gets bolted in Peak quarries and gets lots of ascents because it's convenient and accessible, that does not mean it's worth bolting or worth climbing.

Equally just because retro-bolting a route makes it a lot easier lead and allows more people to do it, that does not mean it should be bolted. If the challenge is too high there are a LOT of easier accessible trad routes around the Central Belt or within an hour's drive.

I noticed you've conveniently left out Wally 3 which has 5 listed leads on UKC in 3 years (and who knows how many else not listed), and further leads of this should not be denied because it gets retrobolted.

Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to hexcentric:

> It's a quarry, Entirely man made.

So?? It's got good, well-established trad climbing in it, that should be left alone.

Millstone, Lawrencefield, Dinorwic Slate, Hodge Close....are all quarries, and all have trad climbing from good to great. Ratho may only have a few great routes (Shear Fear, Gruel Brittania, Wally 1?) but it has a lot of good ones that are well worth leading.

When the "neglected" Pettifar's Wall got bolted, you could say "It's not like Wally 3 will be getting bolted"....except it has.

IF there is neglect in the quarry, the best thing to do would be to tackle that neglect rather than ruin the routes. Clear vegetation, highlight paths, clean top-outs, add lower-offs if necessary, clean or fix loose rock, have clear signposts past the indoor wall for trad climbers, ascend all the trad routes and post up-to-date information online - there is so much positive that can be done whilst leaving the routes intact.
robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:
So accessible that no one climbed them? It was overgrown and unloved, now Edinburgh has some clean accessible sport thanks to Buzby's hard work, I'll climb them next time I'm down now, I had no interest in getting on them before.
Hay - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:
But no-one climbs there.
It is almost always empty even on lovely sunny days.
Even Shear Fear has only seen 5 ticks this year.
The newly bolted routes will see more ascents this summer than all the rest of the quarry put together.
You might not like it (I might be at best ambivalent) but folks prefer well bolted middle-grade sport to trad climbing on quarried dolerite.
The EICA own the quarry - it does not have to be a democracy or a commitee decision.
Jamie B - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:

That the routes will get a lot more ascents is not in doubt.

The discussion should be about whether established trad routes which still have appeal to a few should be retro-bolted without a widespread consultation.

Or to put it another way, what is "the greatest good in the greatest number"?
Hay - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
Jamie,
*puts on Devil's Advocate hat*
Do they actually need to consult?
They own the quarry.

B
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:

Just because "no-one climbs there" does not mean that lack of bolts is the problem, nor bolting is the solution, nor at all justifiable. AS I said above there are many ways to encourage people onto these climbs without ruining their trad nature. If the quarry was getting "overgrown", the obvious solution is to clear the vegetation (when I was down in England I was involved in clean-ups doing just that, and later on met people climbing trad at the quarry we'd cleaned, just because it had been cleaned). Also, signposting the trad quarry clearly, making it easy for trad climbers to get in there, would be a much better option.

EICA gave reassurances that putting Ratho Wall in Ratho Quarry would not destroy the trad climbing there. Now they are allowing one of their instructors to do just that.
robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
The discussion is about a specific quarry who's owners have decided to bolt it. The fact that it is owned by a climbing centre means that it can offer a first step into climbing on real rock for many. In this case I feel that the bolting is justified, do we need another discussion on retro bolting?
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:

So EICA-Ratho have decided to retro-bolt the established trad routes, not just Busby??

In that case, does anyone have a copy of their initial promises that they would not destroy trad climbing in the quarry??

The bolting is completely unjustifiable, and the quarry is not a suitable place to start climbing on real rock. The easier routes at Rosyth, Hawkcraig, or Traprain Law would be more suitable.
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
Also, this is how to sort out a "neglected" and "overgrown" quarry, and believe me Egerton was a LOT worse than Ratho:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=187635
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=230978
robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:
I wasn't aware that the EICA had elected me as their spokesperson!

There aren't many bolts at Hawkcraig or Rosyth...
Robert Durran - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to Fiend)
> But no-one climbs there.
> It is almost always empty even on lovely sunny days.

Just like Carnmore, Beinn Eighe, even The Dubh loch?
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:

No but you've said that Ratho are doing it as quarry owners, rather than Busby on his own.

No there aren't any bolts at those venues. You don't need bolts as the first step to real rock, from any direction. On the other hand there are bolts at North Berwick and all the Angus quarries.
robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:
No, for those wanting trad as their first steps they have all the crags you mentioned, if they want to climb sport they don't have the same choices.
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:

If they want to climb in the UK, they will accept that trad climbing is prevalent. Climbing is climbing. If people are not able to manage it, they have a choice to not do it.
Robert Durran - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> In this case I feel that the bolting is justified, do we need another discussion on retro bolting?

Absolutely!

hexcentric - on 10 Aug 2013


Just another thought...

Seeing as it is a man made hole in the ground, Surely it also shouldn't matter if a route is bolted (given it is not a classic) and you can still choose to climb it with trad gear. No one is making you clip the bolts.

robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

Total rubbish
robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Let's hear something new then....
Robert Durran - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to hexcentric:
>
> No one is making you clip the bolts.

Oh FFS

Robert Durran - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Let's hear something new then....

No need for anything new. Some people just clearaly need to hear again (or perhaps for the first time) the long established principle that there is an automatic presumption against the retrobolting of existing trad routes, except in exceptional circumstances and ideally with the permission of the first ascentionist.

Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to hexcentric:

Once again, the man-made hole in the ground argument is just as wrong as the neglect argument and the popularity argument. Master's Edge is in a man-made hole in the ground and has had the same number of recorded new leads as Wally 3. Neither should be retrobolted.
robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

What about landownership?
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:

One would hope the owners of a climbing wall in a climbing quarry in one of the most popular climber's counties in Scotland, having given reassurances to the climbing community about continuing to allow climbing in that quarry, would show some responsibility and respect for the climbing community and not start, or even allow, ruining routes in that quarry.

IF I had turned up at Ratho Quarry and started retro-bolting routes (rather than just adding new sport routes), I would have fully hope and expect that Ratho would step in and stop me doing so, to avoid destroying a good trad venue that they have taken responsibility for.
Robert Durran - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> What about landownership?

Except perhaps in a strictly legal sense, I really don't think that is relevant to climbing precedent, traditio or ethics. Legally, I'm sure the EICA could chip convenient holds on all the routes in the quarry. It could be argued that, as a high profile and influential establishment, the EICA should be bending over backwards to uphold precedent, tradition and ethics.

robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.
robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Or opening up rock to more people? Is there not some massive percentage of wall users who never climb on rock? They may view it as their role to open up climbing to more people.
Robert Durran - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Or opening up rock to more people? Is there not some massive percentage of wall users who never climb on rock?

And, if the way to get them on rock is to bolt trad routes and inevitably create a snowballing demand for more, I hope they never do.
sebrider - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

> If you're not able to defend you actions online (perhaps because they are indefensible), then you shouldn't have taken them in the first place. Make major changes to a crag removing established trad routes and you should be prepared to discuss it openly.

Well put. This forum is a valuable source of the opinions of some of the community. First ascensionists should be asked their opinion regarding retro bolting but I don't think this should be the only opinion concidered for a route, as many other subsequent climbers will climb these routes.

Ratho is an excellent trad venue and should remain as such. That said there is a lack of sport in the area, so some sport routes in the quarry can be a good thing. Wich routes to bolt is however very contentious, as can be seen in the thread. A great job has been done creating these routes but consultation of other climeber in the area is needed.

As said by others over and over again, climbing trad routes without using palced bolts is not a resonable option!!!

I hope further developments in the quarry will be within the wishes of the majority of the community.
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to sebrider:

Yes. FWIW I do support the creation of NEW sport routes in the quarry especially on walls unsuitable for trad climbing.
martinph78 on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to robmack)
> [...]
>
> And, if the way to get them on rock is to bolt trad routes and inevitably create a snowballing demand for more, I hope they never do.

Agreed.
Hay - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to sebrider:
Hi Seb,
Which community though?
An exit poll at the Centre? Ask the ever-dwindling number of Edinburgh-based club climbers? An online forum?

I am not saying I disagree with you but I don't know if a) there actually is a community and b) if they are poll-able in any useful way.

Bruce
Hay - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Hay)
> [...]
>
> Just like Carnmore, Beinn Eighe, even The Dubh loch?

Not as handy for an evening out those three.

For Ratho Quarry to be as empty as it is speaks volumes to me.
Its often desolate on evenings when the wall, Limekilns, Aberdour and Traprain are all busy. Do local clubs ever go?


Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:

Ratho is emptier because of the lack of easier routes. Sobeit. Some crags don't have easier routes so they are less popular because less people can climb the routes. That does NOT under mean they should be retro-bolted for that reason.

If the quarry is "desolate", then people should do as I said before:

> ...Clear vegetation, highlight paths, clean top-outs, add lower-offs if necessary, clean or fix loose rock, have clear signposts past the indoor wall for trad climbers, ascend all the trad routes and post up-to-date information online ...

Before ruining the routes.
Hay - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to Hay)
>
> If the quarry is "desolate", then people should do as I said before:

> Before ruining the routes.

But why should they do that? They have decided to clean it up and bolt it instead. Its theirs so they can do that.

I would suggest that if there actually is a ground-swell of irate local traddies then they should have organised a clean up themselves before now.


Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:

Sorry as a semi-local climber (sport trad and bouldering), I was too busy sporadically working my way through actually climbing the trad routes in the quarry to notice it needed much of a clean-up. I haven't been this year so maybe it needed one this year or maybe that is some justification pulled out of thin air to try to pretend this cock-up has some point to it.

See above re: ownership. Yes they own it, and yes they said initially that they would keep the quarry routes and keep access for climbers, not that they would decide to remove the trad routes by retrobolting them.
hexcentric - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

Do you suffer from high blood pressure?
Hay - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

You are totally justified to be agitated about it....I would be miffed too if a route I'd stuck my neck out on was suddenly bolted. It would take something away from my memory of having done it. Not sure why but it would.

However that won't change things - the reality is that more routes will get bolted and retro-bolted at Ratho (and probably elswhere) esp. if they have fallen into disuse. Whichever way you look at it Ratho quarry is in disuse. Even the 'popular' routes see very little traffic.

If trad climbers (and I am one) want to preserve their history, ethics and routes of then more needs to be done to secure that.
Local quarries are a mess. Ratho is overgrown, Cambu Wee Quarry is a jungle, Rosyth is a permanent mess, getting down from Hawkcraig (west) is either time consuming or unjustifiably dangerous.

If we want to hold onto these places then they need to be places where folks want to be and to climb in the style that the routes were put up in. Sometimes that will mean getting organised to do a proper tidy up and for clubs to adopt crags and look after them. Sometimes it will also mean accepting conscessions - ab stations, replaced pags (yuk) even (yikes) a bolt or two.

The choice is that or accept that everntually there will be waaaaay more sport climbers than traddies and more things will get bolted up.

Bruce



Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:

> "a bolt or two"

4 fully trad routes fully retrobolted as sport climbs is what you mean.

Ratho was nowhere near too overgrown to climb a couple of years ago. The routes that have been retrobolted are on open walls - clean open walls in the case of the Wallys.

Cambus West is nowhere near a jungle, I recced it in spring. IF it was then a bit of tree clearence would be all that was needed - and would ALWAYS be the obvious choice before wrecking the routes with bolts.
Hay - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:
What was the off like on the Wally side? That was always the defining factor for me not climbing much in there, horrible belays and all the sprauchling about in the gorse. Getting down from the other side of the quarry it just horrible. Better belays and ab stations would help a lot.

Wally area was also enough of a damp cowp at the bottom for them to need a tractor. Same could have been done to clear it as a trad area. Did anyone ask? Did any local climbers take ownership of that?

Cambu needs a good clearance with permission from the landowner. It is just about manageable at the moment but much longer and the number of sycamores will mean it is canopied. Yuk. Midgie hell.

You are right, for Traddies spring cleaning would be the best solution before bolting. When was the last time anyone did any.....?

lukehunt - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:
I was disappointed to turn up at Ratho last week to find a number of perfectly good, established trad routes retro-bolted. I might be in the minority here but feel strongly that all climbers should be given a voice, especially in the central belt where rock is relatively scarce.

I go out to have a bit of an adventure and enjoy bold/less frequented routes. By bolting the existing trad routes in the quarry, you are reducing them to a lower level and sanitising the climbing experience for others. Route like Wally and Pettifer's wall are great examples of this.

I'd much rather climb these in their original state without bolts, accepting and enjoying the risk involved, than climb them as 'just another sport route'. If you want this kind of experience then it's not too far to the EICA...

Please don't bolt any more established trad routes at the quarry or elsewhere in the area without proper discussion with all crag users.
Thomas Kirkpatrick - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Why is nobody listening to me???

Do you not realise I'm a climbing god!! Voices tell me all the time, I need to tell everyone else what to climb, grade routes for the mediocre masses and be an all round oracle. Ignore me at your peril as I'm going to carry on my mission whatever obstacles you throw in my path

I'm going to be spreading my message continually through this mass medium of electronic information, so stay posted for more

M
Martin W on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to Fiend)
>
> getting down from Hawkcraig (west) is either time consuming or unjustifiably dangerous.

So descend at the east end, then. It adds all of about two minutes compared to the downclimb at the west end. Or you could ab down The Chimney if there's no-one climbing it, which there usually isn't because it's a bit dirty and not particularly interesting; there's even a massive tree-root at the top you can run your ab rope round.

In reply to robmack:
> (In reply to Fiend)
> No, for those wanting trad as their first steps they have all the crags you mentioned, if they want to climb sport they don't have the same choices.

Well, they wouldn't have the same choices, would they? In addition to the sport climbing venues Fiend listed there's also Benny Beg which is absolutely teeming with low grade bolted routes if people insist on having fixed gear for their first outing on real rock. But it really isn't necessary, as I suspect a majority of actively climbing UKC members would be able to attest to.
robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Martin W:

The venues Fiend listed are trad venues, like all other climbing round Edinburgh, these bolted routes bring more choice.
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:

...at the cost of destroying trad routes, betraying trad climbers, snubbing the first ascentionists AND all those who have climbed them as trad and want to climb them as trad, and going directly against the general spirit and ethos of British climbing.

Chipping the routes into submission would bring more choice.

Putting bolt-on holds on the routes would bring more choice.

Drilling a via ferata into the rock would bring more choice.

Putting a load of self-belays at the top would bring more choice.

Climbing is not about making the routes as easy as possible so that as many people (not climbers) can do them.

Climbing is about the full spectrum of routes from easy to challenging, and if routes are too challenging, then people have the choice to not climb them, to go elsewhere out of the vast choice of venues with easier routes, and to leave the routes until they are good enough. They do NOT have a choice to ruin good trad climbs.

Climbing is about having a balance between trad and sport and that balance comes from accepting the generally trad nature of UK climbing and working with that, not wrecking trad climbs on a whim.

Hay - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Martin W:
Martin,
Would it not just be better to instal an ab piste at the hotel end?
Certainly better than abbing a climb, however grotty.
Faff, pointless danger and grottiness are three of the things that put folks off trad climbing.
If we can limit the amount of non-climbing related faffing about and get folk enjoying more routes then I reckon we'd have more trad climbers.
B
Fiend - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

Needless to say I am only talking about the retrobolting of the good established trad routes.

I support adding more sport climbs to the quarry (the F6b I climbed on the same day as doing Ane Ledge was rather nice), and I support sport-climbing in suitable non-trad venues around the country including the Angus and Arbroath ones, Berwick Law, Benny Beg, etc.
robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

Thanks for clearing that up, I hear all those developments are part of stage 2!

robmack - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

I actually agree with this, I'd be interested in taking a look at some of the starred trad lines.
Hay - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:
Would it be worth asking for an open meeting with Centre mgmt to discuss improving the quarry for all climbers and safeguarding the other routes....?
sebrider - on 10 Aug 2013
> Which community though?
> An exit poll at the Centre? Ask the ever-dwindling number of Edinburgh-based club climbers? An online forum?
>
> I am not saying I disagree with you but I don't know if a) there actually is a community and b) if they are poll-able in any useful way.

Hi Bruce, by 'community' I just mean those climbing in the area or with an interest with climbing in the quarry.

True getting the opinion of folk not so easy. Think a meeting could be a great idea, it has been done before i.e. for development of aberdeenshire sea cliffs, apparently constructiveWould be a good opportunity to discuss the future of all dolerite quarries if things are going that way :/

This is an issue, leaving routes as harder trad, for a few annual ascents, which is needed, or sport routes that would see much more traffic, a difficult choice that won't please all!

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lynx3555 - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78: I was never happy with the construction of the Ratho quarry climbing centre....I have never been to visit the place since it was built.
I spent many nice days in that quarry in my early years of climbing. It was probably the best quarry to climb in around Edinburgh, the quarry was full of trees and the routes were really challenging with only a few pegs here and there.....it had a bit of a natural/trad feel to the place.
Retro bolting is not a good practice, yes, it may make the route more popular but I'm sure that would be the case for lots of trad routes.
I don't oppose bolts, I've installed them when doing new routes, but I would never consider retro bolting anything.
Jamie B - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:

> The venues Fiend listed are trad venues, like all other climbing round Edinburgh, these bolted routes bring more choice.

Do they? Or do they pander to sport-only climbers who have no intention of choosing anything else?
Jamie B - on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay

> If we can limit the amount of non-climbing related faffing about and get folk enjoying more routes then I reckon we'd have more trad climbers.

So by retro-bolting routes that are still climbed you make trap more attractive?! Interesting hypothesis...
Martin W on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to Martin W)
> Martin,
> Would it not just be better to instal an ab piste at the hotel end?

Actually, I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to that. However, as I pointed out, it's hardly a major imposition to descend at the east end if you don't fancy the down-climb at the west end (which isn't "grotty", and can only barely be described as pointlessly dangerous - and of course abbing has risks too).
Martin W on 10 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:
> (In reply to Martin W)
>
> The venues Fiend listed are trad venues, like all other climbing round Edinburgh, these bolted routes bring more choice.

I know Fiend's list was of trad venues. That's why I said that sport climbers don't get the same choice ie they can't climb at those venues because they're trad. As you yourself allow, there are already a number of sport venues which climbers who prefer fixed protection can choose to go to. I'm not sure what your point is?
robmack - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Martin W:

Snap! I don't get your point either.

Benny Begg is miles away as are any of the bolted crags & quarries in Angus and Perthshire.
colin8ll on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78: I visited the quarry for the first time recently and enjoyed both the sport and trad lines. I wouldn't want to see any more retro bolting however.

I found the walk off from the trad lines pretty prickly. It would be great if a path could be cleared up here as part of the clean up.
Jamie B - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:

> Benny Beg is miles away as are any of the bolted crags & quarries in Angus and Perthshire.

I used to live in Edinburgh. I found that mountain crags were miles away, but this didn't stop me travelling to enjoy them or lead me to demand that one got built in the Central Belt.

robmack - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

Good for you, so do I. Would you travel to Edinburgh for some dank quarry from hours away or some pretty shitty sport outside of Crieff from Edinburgh?

Jamie B - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to robmack:

> Would you travel to some pretty shitty sport outside of Crieff from Edinburgh?

I've done so from Kinlochleven, if that answers your question. Not saying I wouldn't welcome some easier-access sport nearer my home, but I accept my geographical constraints and don't try to overcome them by bolting local trad routes.

robmack - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

We're in the same boat then. I'm not going to bolt anywhere but I welcome easy access sport locally.
Hay - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
Jamie,
Sorry don't think my post was clear - have strayed into territory from the other thread.
Re faff and the 'quality' of the day out: no, bolting up routes is not the answer to that. Bolting up is what has happened here to a bit of rock that the owners thought could be better used.
I would hazard a guess that the Centre would not have taken these actions if....a local club had adopted the crag, local traddies had got organised and mounted a clear-up, traddies we're more open minded about the logistics (ab stations, decent belays, replacement of old pegs).
If we want the indoor climbers to go out into the quarry then decents can't involve jumping fences or 30m free-hanging abs off bits of the building. Balays can't involve gorse roots and ancient scaff bar.
Bruce
Jamie B - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:

So in short, make sport better, make trad better. I think we can all agree on that.
Hay - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
Aye.
Fiend - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:

> Would it be worth asking for an open meeting with Centre mgmt to discuss improving the quarry for all climbers and safeguarding the other routes....?

Once the bolts are out and the current trad routes are safeguarded (not that there ever should have been any danger to them in the first place), then that would be a good idea. I'd happily be present to support improving the quarry.


In reply to lynx3555:

> (In reply to buzby78) I was never happy with the construction of the Ratho quarry climbing centre....I have never been to visit the place since it was built.

To be fair, until this debacle, the construction of Ratho Wall had not caused many problems to the remainder of the quarry at all. Once the dust had settled most of the good trad routes were just as good as before and well worth doing. I'd done Welcome To The Cruise (quite hard), Ane Ledge (short but great fun), Pete's Wall (pretty good), Oroborous (still don't like this!), Shear Fear (brilliant), Wally 3 (great), and Gruel Brittania (brilliant). Next on the list was Strong Arm, Wally 2, Wally 1 and maybe Alopecia.

And to be fair, the wall itself is truly excellent, despite the cold issue in winter.


In reply to robmack:

> Benny Begg is miles away as are any of the bolted crags & quarries in Angus and Perthshire.

So?? Edinburgh doesn't have many sport crags on it's doorstep, SOBEIT. Neither do many places in the country. If you don't have crags / sport crags / mountain crags / sea-cliffs / whatever on your doorstep, you travel to go climbing, it is as simple as that - just as Jamie said.

If you live in Carlisle you don't start bolting Northern Lakes trad just because Chapel Head Scar is miles away. If you live in Leeds you don't start bolting Caley because Yorkshire sport is miles away. If you live in Northumberland you don't start bolting Simonside because there's no sport for hours.

AND IF YOU LIVE IN EDINBURGH YOU DON'T START RETROBOLTING RATHO TRAD.

Especially since Benny Beg is scarcely an hour. There's also Glen Ogle, Dunira, Berwick Law. If people NEED sport that is, and you certainly do NOT need it to progress to climbing outside.


In reply to Hay:

> I would hazard a guess that the Centre would not have taken these actions if....a local club had adopted the crag, local traddies had got organised and mounted a clear-up, traddies we're more open minded about the logistics (ab stations, decent belays, replacement of old pegs).

I'm still waiting for confirmation that this was fully organised by the centre, and if so, why they did it - especially as to whether there are any commercial motivations.

> If we want the indoor climbers to go out into the quarry then decents can't involve jumping fences or 30m free-hanging abs off bits of the building. Balays can't involve gorse roots and ancient scaff bar.

We don't want the indoor climbers to go out into the quarry until they are skilled enough to do so. It simply is a quarry for HVS+ climbers, so it's not suitable for starting out outdoor climbing. That's not elitist that is just the way the quarry has formed. By the time any climber is able to climb in the quarry, they would have the skills to deal with the issues you mentioned. There are many other venues for indoor climbers to transfer to trad on.

BUT if there is an issue with the trad being "neglected" then I agree that making the trad more logistically accessible (whilst retaining the proper trad nature it has always had) is a good idea. I personally think the obscurity of access through the centre might put people off climbing the trad there so that's something that could be improved.
Hay - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:
Hi,
See this 'skills' thing is something I don't really get.
Lots of the skills learned at Ratho Quarry are only really useful in other badly maintained and neglected quarries.
Mountian routes and even multi pitch cragging tends to end up on suitable ledges and belays are usually pretty obvious (even if they are manky pegs *boak*). A bit of gear selection, a bit of equalisation and thats all you really need.
Quarry climbs just end at the top and no-one really learns anything by crawling about in gorse bushes. Getting off at Ratho is just farcical.
Far better to have ab pistes, clear paths at the top and proper anchors to learn to equalise.
Justice Wall climbers would path most of the routes out there IF the set up was good enough to get them seconding a heap of routes with a traddie leader. At least then the could concentrate on learning the really important stuff; gear placement, rope management, rock movement etc.

We need more trad climbers and Ratho is too well situated to ingnore. It can't be a mystical and esoteric place where you can only climb if you can thread a rabbit-hole belay and are willing to abb off a dubious weld-mesh fence.

As Jamie said ^^^ pretty sure we're all after the same thing and if this recent bolting spurs that along then great.

Bruce

Dr Toph on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

Well put, Certainly I second the sentiment that just cos their isnt much sport on your doorstep, you dont have carte blanche to retro existing trad venues.

The old MCofS guidelines to bolting might be relevant here, bolts only being acceptable (on quarried rock) when:
Natural protection is absent or inadequate for the number of falls the route would require.
There is no local anti-bolt ethic.

I would attest that the natural protection on most of the routes in Ratho is adequate for their grade, and that the degree of objection expressed in this thread points to an anti-bolt feeling on the naturally protectable areas of the quarry.

Ratho is a great concentration of harder trad close to Edinburgh, and looses nothing for being a bit overgrown. Its called the outdoors. I have had many formative experiences there and would hate for that to be lost to future generations. I for one would happily contribute to a plan to improve peg safety and belay/ab stakes etc if that would protect the remaining trad lines.

And if centre staff are so keen for accesible routes to start the transition from plastic, why not equip the routes now hidden inside the centre? If I recall that was the original stated plan when it was first built, and hence the ammount of good rock covered by the roof. If we are no longer allowed to come in and trad up Godzilla and Doomed Oasis, bolt them before ruining anything else outside!

For the record, I have little objection to the bolting of the Pettifiers wall area, since the earth cornices have made it impossible to top out there for years. Lower-offs make sense. Just please dont get carried away.
hexcentric - on 11 Aug 2013
Does anyone know what type of bolts have been used?
Andrew Mallinson - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

Hi Mate,

...following some of the logic on here...if it's "neglected" trad, then it's OK to bolt it.....time to get bolting on Craigmore then.....and just about any other trad site in the central belt.....they're all pretty rubbish anyway.....

ANdy
Jamie B - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:

> As Jamie said ^^^ pretty sure we're all after the same thing and if this recent bolting spurs that along then great.

I'd like to stress that I only said the first half of that sentence!
Jamie B - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Andrew Mallinson:

> ...following some of the logic on here...if it's "neglected" trad, then it's OK to bolt it.....time to get bolting on Craigmore then.....and just about any other trad site in the central belt.....they're all pretty rubbish anyway.....

Hi Andrew, not sure if you're being tongue-in-cheek here but there is little doubt in my mind now that the "under-use" argument is going to get used more and more to justify retro-bolting. Welcome to the brave new world...
Hay - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
You did, thats true. Don't worry, your not complicit ;0)
Andrew Mallinson - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

Hi Jamie,
You're right mate...sadly.....
Brave new world....with bolts the word brave doesn't come into it....
Give me a shout mate when you want to get out on some real routes...summer or winter....preferably without bolts....
ANdy
JamieSparkes - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay: what are you on about the descents? You walk round the top of the quarry and down the fire escape. How could it possibly be any easier than that?
Hay - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to JamieSparkes:
Does that not still involve jumping over fences?
Last time I climbed there (2011) getting to the fire escape from Crackin Up end was an epic of gorse bashing. Folks either climbed the big fence or abbed off the building.
The fire escape is not without its dangers too....there was a used johnny on one level and a jobby on the next. Sequence was unclear.
Fraser on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

Matt, give it a break, you'll burst a blood vessel at this rate. You don't like the new additions to the quarry. I think we all get the message! Having a UKC hissy-fit like Violet Elizabeth Bott isn't going to persuade others to agree with your opinion. And frankly, that's all it is - an opinion. Spitting the dummy and stamping your feet will get you nowhere. If the routes in questions were so wonderful and precious to you and by your own admission you're a local climber, why hadn't you climbed them? I'll tell you why: the quarry was a pile of mank and rapidly reverting to nature in many parts. Nobody climbed the routes and that's the truth of it.

FWIW, I've climbed at Ratho hundreds of times, both indoors and out in the quarry. I was there today, climbing both inside and outside. I've NEVER seen it busier in the quarry, so take from that what you will. I'm certainly not saying bolt everything willy-nilly - I enjoy trad as much as sport, perhaps even moreso, but I think the judgement and consideration Buzz & the team have shown on the matter has been spot on.

I for one applaud them and I know a lot of other people do too.
JamieSparkes - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay: you can either jump the fence and then open the gat (use a nutkey) or you can walk round the inside of it and step over the bridge barrier. Both are fairly trivial to fix if they are getting a little prickly.
Hay - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to JamieSparkes:
You are sort of making my points for me.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Hay)
>
> So in short, make sport better, make trad better. I think we can all agree on that.

... and ship in some nice natural boulders too ;-)

Seriously, as a regular customer I think it's great that Ratho are starting to get some more use out of the quarry. It's an obvious opportunity to further develop the centre's offering.

Fiend - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

As a regular customer (travelling from Glasgow), it is a bloody disgrace. The wall is amazing and the quarry is a good trad venue and that is how it should stay (albeit with the addition of new sport lines). If it's developing what the centre is offering (commercially??), then that is a betrayal of their original promises to keep the quarry climbing intact, as well as going against the general ethos of Scottish (and British) climbing.
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lukehunt - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Fraser:
The thing is that the retro-bolts at Ratho affect the ethics of the whole area. What happens here will spill over to other venues in the central belt.

Are we just going to allow other neglected, bold routes to get bolted in this fashion to make them more accessible? Surface tension, for example, would make a great f7a+.

Fiend might be outspoken, but he's right in saying that it's completely against the traditional ethics of British climbing.

How about a proper debate to discuss where this is all going?
Fraser on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to lukehunt:

Nobody is suggesting what you fear might happen. I'm sure Buzz isn't and I'm certainly not. It's not the 'thin end of the wedge' argument either. What has happened, in my opinion and that of plenty of others, is considered and appropriate for these particular routes at this particular venue. Buzz has a long history of involvement in the climbing community and I know for a fact didn't lightly undertake the bolting.

I understand the point you're trying to make but 'Surface Tension' gets traffic and isn't overgrown, so it's not a great analogy.
Hay - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:
Without being unnecessarily inflammatory...
Was any promise not made by the previous owners?
Sean Bell - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to lukehunt)
>
> Nobody is suggesting what you fear might happen. I'm sure Buzz isn't and I'm certainly not. It's not the 'thin end of the wedge' argument either. What has happened, in my opinion and that of plenty of others, is considered and appropriate for these particular routes at this particular venue. Buzz has a long history of involvement in the climbing community and I know for a fact didn't lightly undertake the bolting.
>
> I understand the point you're trying to make but 'Surface Tension' gets traffic and isn't overgrown, so it's not a great analogy.

Well worded.agree!!
Fiend - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:

I don't know the details of the previous owners and haven't got my copy of the old L.O. so I can't check what it said in that. I do remember when Ratho was being built that there was a good deal of concern about access to the quarry for continued trad climbing there, and there were reassurances given out by EICA-Ratho that this would not change - unfortunately it was a while ago and I can't remember where one would find these reassurances, but clearly the recent actions contradict this.


Sean B:

Except, it's wrong. Wally 3 at least got traffic and was nowhere near overgrown (and besides, the obvious and clear solution to overgrown routes is to take the simplest, least damaging course of action - clear away the vegetation). The bolting at Ratho started with new sport routes, then moved on to retro-bolting currently dirty routes (Pettifars), then moved on to retro-bolting clean and climbed routes (Wally 3). I usually dislike the "thin end of the wedge" argument but when it's actually proving to be true....
Mike Lewis - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78: I've really enjoyed the new sport routes I've done, thanks Buzz! I love both trad and sport, so it's great to have good routes of both types so close to Edinburgh. Hopefully everyone agrees that some routes in the quarry are better as sport climbs (say, Pettifer's Wall area) and others as trad climbs (say, Shear Fear), so it just needs some compromise and consensus to work out the best solution.
3 Names - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

Dress it up how you like, this is fairly shoddy behaviour from EICA and or
one of its employees.

Id be interested to see clarification/justification from EICA?
buzby78 - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

Just for clarification; Wally 3 hasn't been bolted, this route is clean, has gear and gets ascents.

It's probably worth taking a look at whats been done before speculating or making assumptions no?

buz
hexcentric - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:

It's not really that shoddy though is it?

They've had more than enough opportunity to bolt whatever they please out there yet held off.

Then after bolting the sport routes and the manky petifiers (with agreement from the only opinion that matters) they decided to bolt something else.

Assuming they chose it because no one is ever on it and the gear was a bit debatable may have been on the grey side of the line but it's done so let’s get over it.

Now that it's all settled, Who's for a cup of tea?
Fiend - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:

I was told in an email:

"I visited the quarry last weekend and discovered that Wallys 1 & 2 (the two on the back wall) had been retro bolted"

I replied:

"As for the Wallys, if you mean Wally 2 and Wally 3 (Wally 1 is the E2 in the East Bay), then that is an utter disgrace."

And I did NOT receive any correction that it was just Wally 2 and a new sport route, rather than Wally 3 as well.

I also did not receive any correction on here until today, despite mentioning the route several times. I was posting based on the best information I had, and even the people arguing against me were not contradicting that information.

Based on your correction, I retract any of my comments that referred specifically to Wally 3. I stand by all of my general comments and reasoning about retrobolting in this trad venue (including the denial of a trad route I fully intended to lead), and my concerns how this might develop in the future.
Ramblin dave - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to hexcentric:
> (In reply to Vince McNally)
>

> Then after bolting the sport routes and the manky petifiers (with agreement from the only opinion that matters) they decided to bolt something else.
>
> Assuming they chose it because no one is ever on it and the gear was a bit debatable may have been on the grey side of the line but it's done so let’s get over it.

Isn't this almost exactly what people mean when they talk about "the thin end of the wedge"?
Harry Holmes - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78: I visited Ratho Quarry on saturday to climb the newly bolted routes. I have to say it feels a nicer place to climb now. It all fits much better with the general setting of the quarry. I thought Kamikaze was particularly good. Slow Strain and Pettifers wall on the other hand weren't so good, although Pettifers was much better than Slow Strain.
The bolting is quite nice a friendly spaced too.
Call me overly social but I like not being the only person at a crag.
hexcentric - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to JamieSparkes: Whose opinion is it that matters? There was most definitely no permission from the FA if that is what you are implying.

Post number three in this thread Jamie.
Hay - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to All:

Move along please. Nothing to see here...
Fraser on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Fiend:

> And I did NOT receive any correction that it was just Wally 2 and a new sport route, rather than Wally 3 as well.
>
> I also did not receive any correction on here until today, despite mentioning the route several times. I was posting based on the best information I had, and even the people arguing against me were not contradicting that information.


This isn't personal, it's a general statement: people aren't obliged to reply to or even acknowledge you. It's up to them. Like I've said before, as have others, you have opinion A, others have opinion B...or even C or D. Please try and get over it.
Turfty on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to hexcentric:

From the now at peace Scottish Climbs

Pettifer's Wall E4 6a **
Top out cleared and climbed 2012. Will definitly need brushed and inspected before another attempt.

From UKC

Got it clean on my 3rd attempt today but did struggle lol. Good route and the wet wall at the bottom forces you left which is good. Soil at the top is a shame but could be removed. Abseil the route before you climb it to brush it and wear helmets. :o) I do not know if it is an E4. (2012)

Now fully bolted (thanks Buzz!) 6c ish. Good climbing, but needs more traffic still very dirty at top. (2013)


I think it would be very useful if the OP where to post the specific criteria by which he made his decision to bolt the 2 star route Pettifer's Wall. This would at least help those who are against the bolting of existing routes in the quarry understand the logic behind the action.
buzby78 - on 12 Aug 2013
As there has been a fair few ill informed, speculatory comments being bandied around on here over the past few days, I thought I better make a factual statement:

I have bolted 8 routes in Ratho quarry this year, in this order:

9th May: Buzooka 7b+
16th May: Kamikaze: 6c+
25th May: Pettifers Wall: 6c
25th May: Slow Strain: 6b+
28th June: John McCain 6b
28th June: Panzer 6a+
7th July: The Corrieman 6c
7th July: Wally 2

I have also spent a fair few days cleaning and gardening around the quarry.

This has been off my own back, in my own time and for the sole reason of wanting to put something back into a climbing area that I have used for 3 decades. I have not done this for any commercial reasons.

I have tried where possible to speak to 1st ascentionists and also to gauge opinion with as many local climbers as possible.

The reason I decided to retro Slow Strain was because the top 4 meters were dangerously loose, covered in mud and after a discussion with the 1st ascentionist who thought this was appropriate.

The reason I decided to retro Pettifers Wall was because nearly every hold had been covered in mud for at least 2 decades, nobody had cared to clean and the top out impossible.

The reason I decided to retro Wally 2 was because the top was becoming dangerously loose.

I have no intentions of retro-ing any more trad routes unless the 1st ascentionists I have spoken to decide to change their minds on things.

I do plan to bolt a few more routes (again this will be done in my own time and hopefully for the benefit of the local climbing community...)

If people want to debolt any of these routes then please consider what I have mentioned above. If you do de-bolt, then please also give something positive back to this area i.e. some cleaning up etc.

I'm quite happy to discuss this over the phone: 0131 333 6321 as I'd rather not get drawn into any slanging matches on here.

Cheers,

buz

Kirriemuir - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:
> (In reply to Fiend)
>
> Dress it up how you like, this is fairly shoddy behaviour from EICA and or
> one of its employees.
>
> Id be interested to see clarification/justification from EICA?

It is not shoddy at all...on the contrary it looks to me like a climber working to improve a venue that he and others would like to climb in. Hats off to him for that.
Jamie B - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:

It looks like your actions have been considered and rational - time will tell. I'm more concerned by the voices on this thread who seem to think that a convenient local bolted venue is a given right.
Kirriemuir - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> It looks like your actions have been considered and rational - time will tell. I'm more concerned by the voices on this thread who seem to think that a convenient local bolted venue is a given right.

Quite. It`s outrageous that people should want to have a crag with decent, climbable routes within easy travelling distance of most of the population of the country. How selfish of them.
Hay - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Buzby:
Neil,
Obviously I know you so am biased...but good effort with the clean up and with keeping the heid during all this.
I look forward to floundering about on the easiest of the new routes.
Bruce
sneaks - on 12 Aug 2013



Buzz.

Do you think it would be possible to stick in bolt belays at the top of the quarry for some routes to save folk having to use the fence/gorse/rabbit holes?

I'd also love it if we could get a team together to remove that disgusting scaffold pole at the top of shear fear.

If so, We could set up some sort of 'Ratho happy belay fund' where folk could throw a few pennies to cover the cost?



Jamie B - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir:

Without doubt it would be handy, even desirable, but it's not a given right and doesn't in itself justify steamrollering trad sensitivities on existing crags. Although that's not neccessarily what's happened here.
Donnie - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78: I've really no idea of the rights and wrongs of it all, but personally I'm glad you've bolted it. So thanks.
lex - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:

'ow do?

I don't believe the reason for bolting crags because 'it isn't used enough' or to make it more popular, is a valid reason.

The reason Ratho quarry isn't as popular as other central belt quarries is becasue there are more hard climbs there than easy ones, and very liitle of quality below HVS. This contrasts with the pyramid of climbers abilities with more climbers climbing easier routes and fewer operating in the higher grades. For example, Aberdour is very busy because it has lots of easier routes.

I sincerely hope that no-one will be advancing the arguement that, for example, Shibboleth should be bolted to allow more people to enjoy it.

I have climbed a few times at Ratho quarry, done the routes I can do, and enjoyed them. I don't feel upset or hard done to because some routes are out of my reach - thats the nature of climbing. I would climb them if I was better at climbing. Like Shibboleth....

Cheers,

Lex

tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Aug 2013

It's great that the quarry has been cleared up and that when you go to Ratho these days you usually see multiple teams climbing there. It'd be awesome if EICA put some money and creativity behind developing the quarry area further.

jonnie3430 - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to Hay)
>
> I don't know the details of the previous owners and haven't got my copy of the old L.O. so I can't check what it said in that. I do remember when Ratho was being built that there was a good deal of concern about access to the quarry for continued trad climbing there, and there were reassurances given out by EICA-Ratho that this would not change - unfortunately it was a while ago and I can't remember where one would find these reassurances, but clearly the recent actions contradict this.
>
The wall management promised that there would be access to the trad climbing both outside and inside Ratho (the whole point of roofing the quarry instead of building a new venue,) but failed to deliver. After the wall was finished you could sneak in and climb, but would get kicked out by wall staff, the permission was then negotiated that you had to drop your name off at the reception to tell them what you were up to, but I have done that and been told that climbing wasn't allowed, so went back to discrete climbing there.

The state of the top of the routes is because the wall wants to control what's going on there and local activists who normally clean crags over winter don't get involved with the wall because they have too much organisation to make a decision. Having the top fenced and gated off gives them a sense of ownership and doesn't make you feel particularly confident that you are within your rights by jumping over the fence and climbing back over the gate to descend by ab from the point near Shear Fear. In my experience of climbing there, using the fire escape would result in an invitation to leave the quarry.

Based on that, are you surprised that clubs don't go there? Are you surprised that nobody looks after the topouts? My experience of climbing there is that you are not wanted and a distraction from the main event of the BIG climbing wall and the high ropes course over the ceiling.

Ratho has the MASSIVE potential for the indoor climbing introduction world to meet outdoor, normal UK trad climbing world. Indoor climbers should be able to open the doors and walk out and watch the trad climbers, chat to the belayers, lounge on grass, have a sausage off a barbeque, etc... Actually no one comes out. Last time I was there it was pretty over grown, the remains of two dead rats were lying about the place and it felt less friendly than Dumby, Cambusbarron and Rosyth combined. The best solution is for either Ratho climbing wall lets locals tidy up the area, or they tidy it up themselves, until they do so, it will remain the same.

P.S. The MCoS suggest this for retro bolting: http://www.mcofs.org.uk/climbing-code.asp where "Retro-bolting (the addition of bolts to established climbs without them) should only be considered with the permission of the first ascensionist and after wide consultation with interested climbers at local and national level." I hope that as a local climber I would have heard consultation at a local and national level. I don't think I have, disagree with the retrobolting of the routes mentioned as I have ambitions to climb them in the future and would like the bolts removed to allow this. I'd be happy to remove the bolts quickly too as I think a drawn out discussion would lead to more people climbing the routes as sport climbs and wanting them to stay this way. I also see bolting like this setting a dangerous precedent for the future.
Hay - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
Hi Jonnie,
Were the experiences you had historic i.e with th previous, private owners? In the four year I worked there I did not hear of anything like that. Yes it was scruffy and unloved...The top outs and ab were/are horrible but climbing in the quarry was accepted withou question by those working on site.
Bruce
Hay - on 12 Aug 2013
In fact the only person I ever saw get a row was Greg Boswell.
He soloed Ourouborus in the snow in trainers when he was meant to be working. Proper lying on the ledges snow.
The scamp.
paulipauli - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Buz, the new and retro-bolted sport routes are great. Thanks for all your efforts. In my opinion, nothing of importance has been taken away from the quarry and some neglected areas can now be better used. It's fantastic to see the quarry being used by more people.

I am really only interested in trad climbing but I was tempted onto one of the bolted routes today and very much enjoyed it.

It's a reality in life that things are never simply black or white. Some judgement is always necessary and of course it's impossible to please everyone. For my part, I think you've done a good thing.

PK
ads.ukclimbing.com
Fraser on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

> The wall management promised that there would be access to the trad climbing both outside and inside Ratho (the whole point of roofing the quarry instead of building a new venue,) but failed to deliver.

The original management no longer have any say in the wall. It was sold, as I'm sure you're aware, so your point is somewhat untrue.


> After the wall was finished you could sneak in and climb, but would get kicked out by wall staff, the permission was then negotiated that you had to drop your name off at the reception to tell them what you were up to, but I have done that and been told that climbing wasn't allowed, so went back to discrete climbing there.

I'm sure these days, being barred from climbing on the old trad routes inside the arena is to do with liability and insurance. Society becoming more litigious than it ever was is undoubtedly the main reason for this wariness. How can ECC underwrite climbers potential injuries and subsequent claims on 'self-protected' routes. You can't have a trad route officially "tested and approved as safe", and absolve ECC of any liability.


> The state of the top of the routes is because the wall wants to control what's going on there and local activists who normally clean crags over winter don't get involved with the wall because they have too much organisation to make a decision.

Sorry, but that just doesn't make sense. I'm sure EICA want as many folk as possible in the doors or in the quarry, thereby increasing the number potential customers of the cafe and shop and other facilities.


> Having the top fenced and gated off gives them a sense of ownership and doesn't make you feel particularly confident that you are within your rights by jumping over the fence and climbing back over the gate to descend by ab from the point near Shear Fear. In my experience of climbing there, using the fire escape would result in an invitation to leave the quarry.

I've never had that experience. I walk in past receoption or round the back of the arena and I'm in the base of the quarry. No hassle, ever. After topping out, you negotiate the gate at the top of the fire escape bridge and come down that. Simple. Again, no hassle - ever.


> Based on that, are you surprised that clubs don't go there? Are you surprised that nobody looks after the topouts? My experience of climbing there is that you are not wanted and a distraction from the main event of the BIG climbing wall and the high ropes course over the ceiling.

I'd ask the same as Bruce: how long ago did you experience this? I've never had anything like that sort of reception or reaction to my climbing in the quarry, quite the opposite in fact. Any staff encountered have always been very friendly and encouraging.


> Ratho has the MASSIVE potential for the indoor climbing introduction world to meet outdoor, normal UK trad climbing world. Indoor climbers should be able to open the doors and walk out and watch the trad climbers, chat to the belayers, lounge on grass, have a sausage off a barbeque, etc... Actually no one comes out.

When I was there at the weekend, people were having picnics on the grass and further along, there were some youngsters getting archery instruction in the sun. Everyone was havbing a great time. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I've never seen the place busier.


> Last time I was there it was pretty over grown, the remains of two dead rats were lying about the place and it felt less friendly than Dumby, Cambusbarron and Rosyth combined.

I've climbed at Dumby and Cambusbarron a lot and would have to disagree with you there. Again, perhaps you've been very unlucky or I've been very lucky!


> The best solution is for either Ratho climbing wall lets locals tidy up the area, or they tidy it up themselves, until they do so, it will remain the same.

It's already much cleaner than it ever was, thanks mostly to the efforts of EICA /staff.

> P.S. The MCoS suggest this for retro bolting: http://www.mcofs.org.uk/climbing-code.asp where "Retro-bolting (the addition of bolts to established climbs without them) should only be considered with the permission of the first ascensionist and after wide consultation with interested climbers at local and national level." I hope that as a local climber I would have heard consultation at a local and national level. I don't think I have, disagree with the retrobolting of the routes mentioned as I have ambitions to climb them in the future and would like the bolts removed to allow this.

On at least a couple of occasions I'd been asked what I felt about potential, highly selective bolting. Perhaps if you'd been there more you might have been asked too? I'd asked Fiend earlier in the thread why, as a local climber, he hadn't climbed the routes in question if he considered them so wonderful and sacrosanct - why it was only now he decided he wanted to climb them and didn't get a reply. I'd put the same question to you as I'm genuinely interested.

> I'd be happy to remove the bolts quickly too as I think a drawn out discussion would lead to more people climbing the routes as sport climbs and wanting them to stay this way. I also see bolting like this setting a dangerous precedent for the future.

I've made my opinion clear in earlier posts about the retro-bolting of these particular routes. I think what has happened is an entirely appropriate solution to these specific routes at this specific crag. I'd also point out that the quarry is indeed private property and it's not up to you to decide whether or not the bolts stay.

Finally, and just for the record, I have no connection to EICA other than being a regular sport and trad. climber there.

DannyC on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Even as a trad climber who clips bolts probably only once or twice a year, I like the additions and think they fit well with the overall feel of the quarry. I've only climbed Pettifers, Slow Strain and Kamikazi, but was very impressed. (I can't comment on how the move was agreed, as don't know enough of the background and not even sure what I think the process should be...). It would be a shame if the retrobolting spread much further, but I think we'll begin to see more, much-needed, traffic on the trad routes there too. For me, the mix of bolted and trad routes we have at Ratho now works well, much like at the Llangollen crags or Upper Cave Crag.

Danny
MeMeMe - on 13 Aug 2013

> I'd also point out that the quarry is indeed private property and it's not up to you to decide whether or not the bolts stay.

I'm not a local so don't feel I should get involved in the general debate, but this particular point seems a rash one.

Do you really think that the future of climbing venues should be decided by the what's legally permissible for the the owners to do?
If you do then that's rather short sighted.

Ratho is part of the climbing culture in Scotland and if it wants to be a good member of the climbing community it has a duty to consider the views other members of that community.
If in the end the argument comes down to 'we own it we can do what we like', then that hardly sets a good precedent for other venues owned by less sympathetic people.
jonnie3430 - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> [...]
>
> I'm sure these days, being barred from climbing on the old trad routes inside the arena is to do with liability and insurance.

I was referring to climbing trad routes outside, in the quarry.
>
>
> [...]
>
> Sorry, but that just doesn't make sense. I'm sure EICA want as many folk as possible in the doors or in the quarry, thereby increasing the number potential customers of the cafe and shop and other facilities.
>
In that case explain the overgrown nature of the cliff top and locked gate to get back in after doing a route?
>
> I'd ask the same as Bruce: how long ago did you experience this? I've never had anything like that sort of reception or reaction to my climbing in the quarry, quite the opposite in fact. Any staff encountered have always been very friendly and encouraging.

I've been climbing there since it opened and this are my memories.
> [...]
>
> On at least a couple of occasions I'd been asked what I felt about potential, highly selective bolting. Perhaps if you'd been there more you might have been asked too? I'd asked Fiend earlier in the thread why, as a local climber, he hadn't climbed the routes in question if he considered them so wonderful and sacrosanct - why it was only now he decided he wanted to climb them and didn't get a reply. I'd put the same question to you as I'm genuinely interested.

I've climbed nearly every VS, HVS and E1/2 in the central belt and am progressing on E3 and hopefully beyond. As I've done most routes at my grade I know the limited number of routes in the central belt and would rather they were still trad in the future when training and experience will hopefully let me get up them in the same manner as the first ascent.
>
> it's not up to you to decide whether or not the bolts stay.
>
So you are asking me why I haven't tidied up the top and bottom of the crag to make access easier, yet you are telling me that I can't tidy up bolts on it too? Where do you draw the line on the maintenance locals can and can't do?
gurumed - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> I've climbed nearly every VS, HVS and E1/2 in the central belt and am progressing on E3 and hopefully beyond. As I've done most routes at my grade I know the limited number of routes in the central belt and would rather they were still trad in the future when training and experience will hopefully let me get up them in the same manner as the first ascent.

If you want to do these run out/gearless routes without clipping the bolts you can. The sport traffic will keep these routes in better nick for the time that you are ready to do them. I really enjoyed Pettifers Wall as a sport route, but even with all the recent traffic I spent half the time on the route shoveling dirt out of the holds; I can't imagine what state it would've been in with years of neglect.

In reply to lex:
> I sincerely hope that no-one will be advancing the arguement that, for example, Shibboleth should be bolted to allow more people to enjoy it.

There is no danger of this happening, anyone that would be capable of bolting a four star mountain route would never do it. Quarries are different, and it's obvious Buz isn't going to bolt something like Shear Fear either.

We should be all thanking him for his efforts.
jonnie3430 - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> If you want to do these run out/gearless routes without clipping the bolts you can. The sport traffic will keep these routes in better nick for the time that you are ready to do them. I really enjoyed Pettifers Wall as a sport route, but even with all the recent traffic I spent half the time on the route shoveling dirt out of the holds; I can't imagine what state it would've been in with years of neglect.
>
But that's a really bad precedent! If you argue that, then routes like surface tension, mascarade, glass direct at auchinstarry, chisel at Cambusbarron which need a brush before a climb should all be bolted as "the sport traffic will keep these routes in better nick..."
beychae - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> I'm more concerned by the voices on this thread who seem to think that a convenient local bolted venue is a given right.

Well I'm concerned by the people who think having vastly more trad climbing than sport climbing in the UK is their given right. Of course, that's only my opinon, and as I'm not a trad climber my opinon obviously isn't worth much.
Fraser on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

> I was referring to climbing trad routes outside, in the quarry.

Sorry, I'd misunderstood your comment: "...and inside Ratho (the whole point of roofing the quarry instead of building a new venue,) but failed to deliver. After the wall was finished you could sneak in and climb, but would get kicked out by wall staff" From that, I thought you'd meant the (now) indoors trad routes.

> In that case explain the overgrown nature of the cliff top and locked gate to get back in after doing a route?

Well, I suppose you're entitled to make the claim that the centre wants to control what goes on in the quarry. Personally, I think it's more to do with minimising risk to the public whilst on their property, similar to many other quarries. I woldn't be surprised if Building Contro and/or the relevant Fire & Rescue authority insisted on a fence and secure gate at the top of the quarry. Notwithstanding this, people with the ability to climb a V Diff can surely negotiate a fence or locked gate without too much difficulty.

> I've been climbing there since it opened and this are my memories.

Fair enough. It's indeed a shame you had those experiences. They're very different to my own.


> I've climbed nearly every VS, HVS and E1/2 in the central belt and am progressing on E3 and hopefully beyond. As I've done most routes at my grade I know the limited number of routes in the central belt and would rather they were still trad in the future when training and experience will hopefully let me get up them in the same manner as the first ascent.

Fair point, I can't argue with that sentiment.

> So you are asking me why I haven't tidied up the top and bottom of the crag to make access easier,

I didn't ask you that. It was you, in fact, who made the suggestion of locals cleaning it, not me.


> yet you are telling me that I can't tidy up bolts on it too?

I didn't say that either. If you'll check again, what I actually said was: "...it's not up to you whether or not the bolts stay."


> Where do you draw the line on the maintenance locals can and can't do?

I was simply stating a fact. The quarry is essentially 'privately' owned and not free for you to do with it what you wish. That's not to say I agree with the notion that an owner can do whatever they like. What I would say is that what Edinburgh Leisure has done in this particular instance is sensible and with merit. That's just my opinion of course, I know you and others disagree.
Milesy - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> I'd also point out that the quarry is indeed private property and it's not up to you to decide whether or not the bolts stay.

Debatable. You mean like when the owner of the land at Limekilns put up bat boxes on his own property and was swiftly told to remove them? Slightly different case but it shows that being the owner of land in which access has been agreed does not give you the right to do what you want.
AWR on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
Can't you just not clip the bolts..?
gurumed - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> But that's a really bad precedent! If you argue that, then routes like surface tension, mascarade, glass direct at auchinstarry, chisel at Cambusbarron which need a brush before a climb should all be bolted as "the sport traffic will keep these routes in better nick..."

I see what you're saying, these routes do need a brush before being climbed. But they are also being climbed and cleaned often enough that they aren't getting buried the same way the routes in Ratho Quarry are.

Are you saying that the excavation of the route is part of the experience for the next person to do a trad lead, and that all the sport use of the route ruins it? Is it really better that the rock sits neglected and benefits nobody for years?
Hay - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Milesy:
They weren't told as much as asked through pretty delicate negotiation. I don't imagine telling Lord Elgin or his Factor would really have worked.

Fraser on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Hay:

Correct, but let's not have facts getting in the way of opinion! This is UKC after all.
andynips - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:
Just back from a day up at ratho, was supposed to be climbing just indoors but after reading about the new bolts took some gear up to give them a try. Thought the routes were great, spent the full day there rather than indoors. If it had not been bolted i wouldn't have even thought about trying them tbh. Cant see why everyone is freaking out if you want to climb it trad you still can. No harm done imo.
sheppy on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:
Well reasoned action Buzz. Hats off to you mate, can't wait to get my next trip to Ratho to try them out. We often joke its warmer outside than in so that's sorted now!
krasavenko - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Hay)
> [...]
> ... as I think a drawn out discussion would lead to more people climbing the routes as sport climbs and wanting them to stay this way.

OMG people may actually enjoy the routes that were neglected for years?? How dare they! Somebody call the police!

andynips - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to krasavenko:
Exaclty! That's why we're all climbing in the first place, no point in the face just sittin there not bein used.
Fiend - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Genuine question:

Instead of retro-bolting routes and presenting them as a fait d'accompli (sp!), why didn't you announce your plans and give an advance warning, so that people who wanted to keep them trad would have the opportunity to clean them or get them regularly climbed, or at least people who wanted to climb them trad would have a chance to do so??

E.g. "I intent to retrobolt routes x,y,z in a year's time, because they are currently neglected and rarely climbed. If you want to clean them or climb them trad, do so within the next year"

???
Milesy - on 14 Aug 2013
Obviously higher E grade climbs will be more neglected than S-HVS as that is where the majority of climbers are clustered. Should it be then that all climbs above the average elsewhere should be bolted? How do you define neglected? What constitutes "traffic"? How much and when? Does something need to be climbed every single day or every single week?

I have been climbing at Auchinstarry for years and there are routes at higher grades which I have not climbed or lead and I look forward to being able to lead them when I am good enough to do so. At the moment they are inaccessable to me as I am simply just not good enough a climber, physically or mentally I accept that, but I also accept the challenge for the future. Of course harder routes get less traffic - but that does not mean they should be bolted.

The amazing thing is that at the climbing academy and the glasgow climbing centre I see lots of people with amazing strength and skill that if they took the time to learn they could be climbing really well and climbing safely in trad. I was talking to a old guy at Auchinstarry who was amazed that everyone climbs indoors now when back in the 80s and 90s you couldn't move for people on most of the routes at the quarry.

Jamie B - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Milesy:

> at the climbing academy and the glasgow climbing centre I see lots of people with amazing strength and skill that if they took the time to learn they could be climbing really well and climbing safely in trad.

But maybe that's not what they want? Maybe they just want to crank moves in near-total safety? Nothing wrong with that. I don't think we should see leading on trad as the default logical final destination for climbers - it's always been a broad church and you can specialise how you will.

That having been said, with more and more climbers taking that option, the demand for convenient venues increases. And if that co-incides with a decrease in usage for more marginal trad venues, we can see what is going to happen.

It's not wrong to want more bolted venues, but this case-history clearly shows that retro-bolting will always be contentious, as there will always be those (thank God) who are prepared to staunchly defend the status quo of even the less lovable trad routes.

In areas like the Central Belt, Lancashire, etc where there is virtually no unclimbed rock but loads of dirty, under-used venues, this scenario is going to repeat itself. I don't think ring-fencing all trad routes for all time is realistic, but there clearly need to be protocols about how the "discussion" is conducted. For one thing, what happens when the FA dies?
Milesy - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> But maybe that's not what they want? Maybe they just want to crank moves in near-total safety? Nothing wrong with that. I don't think we should see leading on trad as the default logical final destination for climbers - it's always been a broad church and you can specialise how you will.

Of course, but many of them have probably never tried it to experience it. I have taken some people who have only climbed indoors outside before and I would say its an even split between those who really enjoyed it, and those who have looked bored as a dog with no legs waiting on the leader doing his thing, seconded up really quickly and not been massively enthusiastic about lack of actual climbing. But those who have enjoyed it have continued, other have went back to the wall.

I enjoy splitting my time between pushing my own grade and testing myself, and getting new people out on rock and trying it out and feel I have at least some responsibility to at least give the chance to expose it to others to keep it alive.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Milesy)
>
> [...]
>
> But maybe that's not what they want? Maybe they just want to crank moves in near-total safety? Nothing wrong with that. I don't think we should see leading on trad as the default logical final destination for climbers - it's always been a broad church and you can specialise how you will.

I think when you drill down a bit you'd find that what a lot of indoor climbers want is to climb outside in summer and get some sunshine. That get's translated into a demand to bolt trad routes because people don't consider other options. Actually I've got a feeling that the kind of outdoor artificial climbing structures you see on the continent would be a better solution for sport climbing near cities than quarries - safe climbing at the range of grades people climb indoors but outside with a bit of sun and wind and a view when you get to the top.
jonnie3430 - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Milesy)
>
> But maybe that's not what they want? Maybe they just want to crank moves in near-total safety? Nothing wrong with that. I don't think we should see leading on trad as the default logical final destination for climbers - it's always been a broad church and you can specialise how you will.

As the majority of british climbing is trad it is a sensible logical final destination. It takes a bit longer to gain proficiency and the risk is greater but the number of enthusiastic climbers suggests it is worth it.
>
> That having been said, with more and more climbers taking that option, the demand for convenient venues increases. And if that co-incides with a decrease in usage for more marginal trad venues, we can see what is going to happen.

This is your opinion and should be treated as such. If you could prove it please do, I would like to see some facts brought into the discussion.

My opinion on what you are suggesting is that there would become an group of outdoor climbers only climbing bolted routes and wanting to take the bolting ever further so they can have the multipitch mountain experience gushed about by other climbers. Or they could learn to trad climb and nothing changes.

If you are a dedicated sport climber in the UK you will always have a limited number of crags and routes to climb on, there is just not enough rock to get the variety that you can get with trad climbing. I think it is more important to accept this than try to change the mentality of climbing in the UK to allow bolting of trad routes.
>
> It's not wrong to want more bolted venues, but this case-history clearly shows that retro-bolting will always be contentious, as there will always be those (thank God) who are prepared to staunchly defend the status quo of even the less lovable trad routes.

It's not really a trad route is it? It's just rock that someone has found a sequence of moves to be able to climb, there is no other sign that someone has been there, occasionally some chalk or worn gear placements. As soon as you bolt that, it is no longer a piece of rock. It's been turned from something natural to something natural that has a line of bolts up it. I really like the natural look and think we should limit the changes we make so that others in future can experience things the same way as we do. Who are we as individuals to permanently change the nature of a climb for everybody in the future?
>
> In areas like the Central Belt, Lancashire, etc where there is virtually no unclimbed rock but loads of dirty, under-used venues,

Loads? Please share? North face of Dumbarton Rock maybe, it's one of the few places that I've not bothered to force an old route because its minging? Some areas of Craigmore are probably better left to the moss. If somewhere is dirty is sport climbing going to magically clean that? Or will it still be dirty but frequently climbed on?

Please also explain what under-used is? We don't have to flood the crags with new climbers, queuing for the next route in the same way as you do in a climbing wall. There is no quota for routes, they are, after all just a bit of rock.
Jamie B - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

I didn't think I'd stated an opinion? Just my view of how things are going. It certainly gives me no pleasure to see that all the things which I hold great about climbing are being increasingly rejected by the new wave. But we do have to acknowledge it and work with it.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> [...]

> It's not really a trad route is it? It's just rock that someone has found a sequence of moves to be able to climb, there is no other sign that someone has been there, occasionally some chalk or worn gear placements. As soon as you bolt that, it is no longer a piece of rock. It's been turned from something natural to something natural that has a line of bolts up it. I really like the natural look and think we should limit the changes we make so that others in future can experience things the same way as we do. Who are we as individuals to permanently change the nature of a climb for everybody in the future?

That's a good argument for mountain crags and sea cliffs but it is pretty thin for old quarries. The rock shape is just what was convenient for the quarrying operation at the point it closed down.
creag - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to buzby78:
Well done Buz, look forward to trying the routes before the bolts are chopped.
...and well done for kicking the hornets nest!
krasavenko - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> [...]
>
> As the majority of british climbing is trad it is a sensible logical final destination.

along the same line of logic - the majority of British population is obese. Shall we all sporty people start eating up then?..
3 Names - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to krasavenko:

Thats not the same logic
jonnie3430 - on 14 Aug 2013
Milesy - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:
> (In reply to krasavenko)
>
> Thats not the same logic

Also not even true. I am fairly sure that 23% is not a majority....
krasavenko - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Vince McNally)
> [...]
>
> Also not even true. I am fairly sure that 23% is not a majority....

OK I'll correct that: overweight and obese; which brings the figure to roughly 2/3 of the population.

And in broad sense it is: Johnnie is saying everyone should follow the majority, because being in the majority makes them right
jonnie3430 - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to krasavenko:
> (In reply to Milesy)

> And in broad sense it is: Johnnie is saying everyone should follow the majority, because being in the majority makes them right

No I'm not, I said the majority of climbs in the UK are trad, not the majority of climbers. As I also pointed out; there is no other qualification for a trad climb than for it to be there. If you were to make the majority of climbs in the UK sport, you'd have to drill thousands of holes across the country and leave behind the same number of bolts. I'd rather the crags (and old quarries,) left as they were, in their natural (or semi-natural,) state.

3 Names - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to krasavenko:

Also you may note the word 'sensible' in Jonnies post

clearly this does not apply to yours?
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Can anyone tell me if the retro bolted routes are now clean? If not, can I suggest that they are. It would be a shame if the bolts were chopped and left a mess. It seems that the best way of tidying up the holes would be to mix some epoxy with rock dust. Obviously the bolter is responsible for the mess as they were the one that made it.
Robert Durran - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> Can anyone tell me if the retro bolted routes are now clean?

Bolts still there yesterday.

> It would be a shame if the bolts were chopped and left a mess.

The chat I have heard concerning possible chopping is that it would be done responsibly and cleanly. And quite rightly so. No one wants a mess.
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

A mega plus that I see from this thread is that Ratho is saying that they are happy with climbers looking after the crag. When the greenery dies down we can chop back the jungle at the top and get rid of the banks of earth that were placed on the Pettifers top out when Ratho was built as well. Does anyone have a point of contact for a tidy up in Nov or Dec? It'd be good to get a skip for the bushes.
Robert Durran - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> When the greenery dies down we can chop back the jungle at the top and get rid of the banks of earth that were placed on the Pettifers top out when Ratho was built as well.

Sounds a massive operation..... If practicable, happy to help if the bolts have been chopped.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> Can anyone tell me if the retro bolted routes are now clean? If not, can I suggest that they are. It would be a shame if the bolts were chopped and left a mess.

It would be a shame if the bolts were chopped full stop.
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> It would be a shame if the bolts were chopped full stop.

No, the damage was placing them in the first place. They should be removed and the route returned to it's original state. (P.S. If you don't want bolts chopped, don't place them.)
robmack - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

+1 for the bolts to stay
3 Names - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to robmack:

+ 1 for the bolts to go
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to robmack:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> +1 for the bolts to stay

But the bolts can't stay. There was no justification for them in the first place so to allow them to remain would open the gates for retro bolting anywhere!
beychae - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> No, the damage was placing them in the first place. They should be removed and the route returned to it's original state.

Fair enough viewpoint - do you happen to have a few million tonnes of dolerite we can use to fill the quarry back in?

If not, how about leaving the bolts there so people can enjoy the rock for climbing on?

colin8ll on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

It's not time to chop the bolts. We need a proper meeting on the future of bolting in Scotland before any more action is taken (bolting or chopping).
Kirriemuir - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to robmack: +2 for the bolts to stay. I`ve climbed, or been on, all the newly bolted routes and they are a great addition to the quarry. Nobody would have been near Slow Strain or Pettifer`s Wall if they were not bolted, and Wally 2 would probably have someone top-roping it once every couple of years or so. With the bolts in you get people on them...only downside is about 6 "outraged" trad evangelists have had their sensibilities upset. You can`t keep everyone happy in this kind of situation but there appear to be more people happy with the bolts than not.
robmack - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
I disagree
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to colin8ll:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> It's not time to chop the bolts. We need a proper meeting on the future of bolting in Scotland before any more action is taken (bolting or chopping).

No! The meeting should have been before the bolting, not after. Retro bolts placed before should be chopped, the responsibility is on the bolter to tidy up. Decisions on whether a route should be bolted or not should be taken before the bolts are in place, otherwise we would have bolts all over the place with people (who have probably done the route and couldn't care less,) defending the placement in retrospect.

Please remove the bolts tidily from the retro bolted routes at Ratho.
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to robmack:

I don't mind if you agree or not, I would normally say do what you want, but in doing what you want you bolted a route I had in mind for the future. That's permanently changed, so long after you have climbed it and forgotten about it, it will still be bolted. That's what breaks me. Do what you want, but don't spoil it for the rest of us!
tom_in_edinburgh - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
> [...]
>
> No, the damage was placing them in the first place. They should be removed and the route returned to it's original state. (P.S. If you don't want bolts chopped, don't place them.)

I've got no interest in placing bolts. I'm just a customer that buys climbing services from EICA. They improved their offering and I'm happy about that. Threats of chopping have no place in this debate because the bolts were legally installed by the landowner.



Kirriemuir - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:Poor broken you.How about having a go on the routes as they currently are? I bet you would enjoy them.
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir:
> You can`t keep everyone happy in this kind of situation but there appear to be more people happy with the bolts than not.

It takes one persons arrogance to place a bolt. It takes one person to tidy up after them.

There is more than enough CONSTANTLY CHANGING bolted routes less than 50m away in the EICA, so why the need was felt to bolt more routes is inexplicable.

If you are pulling out the "everyone happy," argument, then climb in EICA, there are 30m sport routes don't you know! And it is 50m away. Central belt trad is severly limited, leave it for those that want to climb it this way.
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> the bolts were legally installed by the landowner.

Thats not my understanding. I understand that Busby placed them and is employed by EL, but it wasn't with their consent?
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir:

I'd enjoy them more without the bolts. What is a clip up but a number? I'm surprised that Ratho would allow this competition on their front door.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
> [...]
>
> Thats not my understanding. I understand that Busby placed them and is employed by EL, but it wasn't with their consent?

Why not write to Edinburgh Leisure and ask their permission to remove the bolts?

jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> Why not write to Edinburgh Leisure and ask their permission to remove the bolts?

I'm pretty sure Edinburgh Leisure would not claim any responsibility towards the bolts. If I wrote a letter to them and pointed out that the placing of the bolts was not in the Scottish bolting guidelines and is in competition with the profit they make from the EICA then they would rapidly remove themselves from the situation. I'd rather not do this, nor chop the bolts but ask that Buzby pull them and tidy up afterwards.
Harry Holmes - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: I like the idea of loads of moody old men getting all irate in their arm chairs about some bits of metal in a hole in the ground, their fat little faces going all red just thinking about people enjoying themselves. I imagine they also smell faintly of urine, like mutton and have an old sweaty jumper which they wont wash as it reminds them of the good times.
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to naffan:
> (In reply to buzby78) I like the idea of loads of moody old men getting all irate in their arm chairs about some bits of metal in a hole in the ground, their fat little faces going all red just thinking about people enjoying themselves. I imagine they also smell faintly of urine, like mutton and have an old sweaty jumper which they wont wash as it reminds them of the good times.

Want to go out for a route this winter? We'll see who smells like a woolly jumper by the end of the day!
Kirriemuir - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Kirriemuir)
>
> I'd enjoy them more without the bolts.

I bet you wouldn`t.

You seem really fired up by this tonight...have you been knocking back the Babychams again? Instead of just thinking "me,me,me, what about my shattered dreams", how about sparing a thought for all the happy punters who will get a shot on some nice mid-grade sport climbs (in among the hundreds of trad climbs in Central Scotland).
Harry Holmes - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430: Haha sure
jonnie3430 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> I bet you wouldn`t.
>
> You seem really fired up by this tonight...have you been knocking back the Babychams again? Instead of just thinking "me,me,me, what about my shattered dreams", how about sparing a thought for all the happy punters who will get a shot on some nice mid-grade sport climbs

I actually expected that the last burst of emotion would see the bolts removed. It didn't, so I am starting to think that unless reminding Buzby that he was in the wrong works and he pulls the bolts, then I may need to suggest to some mates that the bolts are removed. I'd rather not do this as they are messy, but you can see the dramas from having wrongly placed bolts in situ for a while, some people feel that they should remain there.

P.S. Awwww, all those climbers that would get out, but nobody has bolted the routes for them... Drop a rope! There is no shortage of belays on top, use them!!!
Oceanrower - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430: Do you own the quarry? No.
Do Ratho (EL) own the quarry? Yes.
Do you want the bolts? No.
Do Ratho (EL) want the bolts? Yes.

You lose!
3 Names - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to jonnie
> Do Ratho (EL) want the bolts? Yes.
>
> Id be interested to see the evidence for this?

jonnie3430 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to jonnie3430) Do you own the quarry? No.
> Do Ratho (EL) own the quarry? Yes.
> Do you want the bolts? No.
> Do Ratho (EL) want the bolts? Yes.
>
> You lose!

Can you show me where I missed the fact that Ratho want the bolts? It would allow free sport climbing in the quarry, giving people an opportunity to avoid the fees for the indoor wall. I can't imagine they would be that stupid. I know Buzby bolted it, and he works for them, but that doesn't mean he consulted them, or did I miss that.
jonnie3430 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to naffan:
> (In reply to jonnie3430) Haha sure

Game on.
3 Names - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

Buz made it clear that he did not consult with Ratho, that the bolting was his decision as an individual and has nothing to do with them.
Wicamoi on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:

As we have seen in the past, retro-bolting routes without securing some kind of prior consensus leads, even in grubby quarries, only to chopping, mess, wasted effort, aggravation, annoyance, ill-humour: in short, nowhere good.
Fiend - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

> The meeting should have been before the bolting, not after.

> Decisions on whether a route should be bolted or not should be taken before the bolts are in place,

Absolutely correct as always.

As mentioned numerous times before, in the context of the UK being a primarily trad climbing nation with a strong set of ethical guidelines, the obvious and sensible procedure for "neglected" routes is to try other means of restoring them (cleaning, better access, better information, lower-offs if needed), THEN consultation and discussion about possible bolting THEN some advance warning if bolting is decided on and ONLY THEN actually retro-bolting the routes. This current action goes completely against that spirit of UK climbing.

Also, replying to jonnie with snide/personal remarks only makes the pro-bolting side even less justifiable.


(Fiend - Ratho paying customer yesterday and last Wed, Ratho trad climbing visitor 2 weeks ago)
Andy Nisbet - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:

The problem with consultation is that it will always end with no bolting, because there will always be someone who doesn't want bolting, however grotty the cliff. Which is why the anti-bolters are so keen on it. The only way is to bolt and see if anyone feels strongly enough to remove the bolts. That moves the goalposts slightly towards the bolters and at least gives them a small chance.
victim of mathematics - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to Fiend)
>
> The problem with consultation is that it will always end with no bolting, because there will always be someone who doesn't want bolting, however grotty the cliff. Which is why the anti-bolters are so keen on it. The only way is to bolt and see if anyone feels strongly enough to remove the bolts. That moves the goalposts slightly towards the bolters and at least gives them a small chance.

I'msorrywhatpardon?

'If we ask people whether we should retrobolt trad routes, they'll say no, so we should do it anyway and see if anybody notices'?

Why should anybody be giving the bolters 'A small chance'?
Andy Nisbet - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> Why should anybody be giving the bolters 'A small chance'?

Because, despite there being a few folk who don't want any bolts on any rock under any circumstances, sport climbing is enjoyed by many. Note: I am a keen trad climber.

victim of mathematics - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> Because, despite there being a few folk who don't want any bolts on any rock under any circumstances, sport climbing is enjoyed by many.

That's not an argument for anything. If your goal is to maximise the total amount of enjoyment, then you'd end up grid bolting every bit of rock going, since the potential audience for sport climbing is almost certainly greater than that for trad climbing.

But then we'd live in France, only without the good cheese and croissants. And nobody wants that.

Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to Fiend)

> The only way is to bolt and see if anyone feels strongly enough to remove the bolts.

So it's ok to bolt, but you can't then complain if they are chopped?

But people do complain and call the chopping "vandalism" and " selfishly spoiling people's fun".
Donnie - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: I'd really like it if we could keep the bolts.

If they are going to get cut please give it a few weeks so I've time to climb them before they go.
Donnie - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Andy Nisbet)
> [...]
>
> That's not an argument for anything. If your goal is to maximise the total amount of enjoyment, then you'd end up grid bolting every bit of rock going, since the potential audience for sport climbing is almost certainly greater than that for trad climbing.
>

No you wouldn't. You'd maximise enjoyment by having a reasonable balance between the two.

I'm new-ish to climbing and do a bit of both sport and trad, but can see there's a large imbalance in favor of trad based pretty much on 'we were here first'.



victim of mathematics - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Donnie:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> No you wouldn't. You'd maximise enjoyment by having a reasonable balance between the two.

OK, fair enough. The end result would be that everything worth doing gets bolted, and only chossy bobbins that nobody goes near would stay for trad. Using words like 'reasonable' is massively unhelpful here. For me the current situation (well, prior to the recent rogue retro-bolting) is reasonable. Others clearly don't agree.

>
> I'm new-ish to climbing and do a bit of both sport and trad, but can see there's a large imbalance in favor of trad based pretty much on 'we were here first'.

Or, as others might call it 'a strong and proud heritage and tradition of trad climbing'. So what? Nobody's entitled to whatever kind of climbing they want, they just get what they happen to live near. We live in a largely trad area. Deal with it or move somewhere else. Don't go sticking bolts in all over the shop just because you're sore about it.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Donnie)
> [...]
> Nobody's entitled to whatever kind of climbing they want,

... unless they own the crag.
3 Names - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Buzby doesnt own the crag
Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
>
> Buzby doesnt own the crag

And even if he did, it would be an extremely bad precendent for climbing if he were to have used that as justification for bolting.

3 Names - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Donnie:

Remember we are not talking about bolting sport routes here, we are talking about retro bolting of existing trad routes!
Donnie - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics: > OK, fair enough. The end result would be that everything worth doing gets bolted, and only chossy bobbins that nobody goes near would stay for trad.

I really don't think so. I wouldn't see that as a reasonable balance and I don't think the majority of climbers would. Even those that only enjoy sport climbing.

> Using words like 'reasonable' is massively unhelpful here. For me the current situation (well, prior to the recent rogue retro-bolting) is reasonable. Others clearly don't agree.

Okay... I think the current arrangements are closer to what the trad side of the debate want. I think it would be reasonable to have it somewhere closer to the center..... I'm not sure why that's massively unhelpful.

> Nobody's entitled to whatever kind of climbing they want, they just get what they happen to live near.

Including those that prefer trad.
Donnie - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:
> (In reply to Donnie)
>
> Remember we are not talking about bolting sport routes here, we are talking about retro bolting of existing trad routes!

Yes, I'm aware of that.

I just don't agree that being here first trumps all other arguments, like what the majority of people would prefer.

victim of mathematics - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> ... unless they own the crag.

As far as I can tell, nobody but you thinks that this bolting was in any way sanctioned by/approvedby/done with the knowledge of the landowners, irrespective of whether that's really the point anyway.
victim of mathematics - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Donnie:

> Okay... I think the current arrangements are closer to what the trad side of the debate want. I think it would be reasonable to have it somewhere closer to the center..... I'm not sure why that's massively unhelpful.

Because clearly what is reasonable is many different things to many different people. It's like arguing that the law should say "Do what you like to other people as long as it's reasonable". That would get us nowhere.

> Including those that prefer trad.

Yup. If I moved to Siurana I'd have to deal with the fact that I was living in a sport climbing area. I wouldn't think I was entitled to start ripping the bolts out of existing sport routes just because I prefer trad climbing and there isn't any next to my house.
andrewmcleod - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Why? It is definitely the exception rather than the rule.
beychae - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> OK, fair enough. The end result would be that everything worth doing gets bolted, and only chossy bobbins that nobody goes near would stay for trad. Using words like 'reasonable' is massively unhelpful here.

So, trad routes take longer to climb than sports routes. There are more people who would like to climb sports routes than ones who would like to climb trad routes. So a reasonable balance would be to have slightly more sports routes than trad routes, no?

In reply to Donnie:
> I just don't agree that being here first trumps all other arguments

Spot on.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Vince McNally)
> [...]
>
> And even if he did, it would be an extremely bad precendent for climbing if he were to have used that as justification for bolting.

I'd get angry if someone claimed to own and control the Cuillin or sea cliffs or some other major natural landscape feature, but a quarry is just a man made hole in the ground and to my mind the landowner has every right to define how it is used. In this case it's owned by a climbing centre and it's natural for them to try and get more people using that part of their property.

Ratho is a major international climbing centre and the quarry is an opportunity to take that further. There's lots of centres in Europe with artificial outdoor walls but a crag next door is something else. We should be encouraging them to develop it further and make maximum possible use of it (e.g. for indoor to outdoor courses) rather than carping about rarely climbed routes.

victim of mathematics - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> So, trad routes take longer to climb than sports routes. There are more people who would like to climb sports routes than ones who would like to climb trad routes. So a reasonable balance would be to have slightly more sports routes than trad routes, no?

No.

This is such a moronic argument that you have to be trolling. Well done you.
beychae - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to beychae)
> [...]
>
> No.
>
> This is such a moronic argument that you have to be trolling. Well done you.

Which part of my argument did you think was factually incorrect? I note your response addresses my points in detail.
Donnie - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Donnie)
>
> [...]
>
> Because clearly what is reasonable is many different things to many different people.

Yes, and a reasonable balance should be struck at some point across the range of views that people have regarding what's reasonable.

> It's like arguing that the law should say "Do what you like to other people as long as it's reasonable". That would get us nowhere.

No it's not. This is about balancing different peoples wants - not about doing things to people. But if you do want to discuss it in those terms, putting up bolts is as much doing what you like to other people, as not allowing people to put up bolts is.

Having said that, the law basically does say you can do what's reasonable to people. It just generally considers that doing things to other people that they don't want is unreasonable.

> Yup. If I moved to Siurana I'd have to deal with the fact that I was living in a sport climbing area. I wouldn't think I was entitled to start ripping the bolts out of existing sport routes just because I prefer trad climbing and there isn't any next to my house.

If, in future, a majority or even significant minority of climbers in Siurana wanted a bit more trad, I'd say it would be okay to de-bolt a few sport routes.

3 Names - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Donnie:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)

> If, in future, a majority or even significant minority of climbers in Siurana wanted a bit more trad, I'd say it would be okay to de-bolt a few sport routes.

Well you would be wrong then

3 Names - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> Which part of my argument did you think was factually incorrect?

This

So, trad routes take longer to climb than sports routes.


Where is your evidence for this?


There are more people who would like to climb sports routes than ones who would like to climb trad routes.
kipper12 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_ed

In this case it's owned by a climbing centre and it's natural for them to try and get more people using that part of their property.

If this the case, surely the land owners have the first and last say. They are kind enough to sanction us climbers using their hole in the ground. We whether pro or anti bolting have no legtal claims to teh rock climbs there. It is amazing arrogance to think the antis have a legal right to potentially trespass, and vandalise someone elses bolting.

Similiarly it is arrogant to presume that one can walk onto someone elses land and bolt up a hols in the ground.

Now the bolts are in palce, I imagine the sane option would be to consult the land owners, if they give tacit or actual approval to the bolting tehy should stay, if not they go.

It is not for us to decide, we have no legal authority to do so.
Fraser on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to all:

I'm not going to get back into the debate about why I think the bolting on these specific routes at this specific crag was a decent, well-considered move, as I've done so several times already on this thread. What I will do is give a thread-tally so far of those who have expressed an opinion as being for or against the bolting:

- against these bolts: 16
- in favour of them: 23
- indifferent: 7 (of whom 3 seemed to hint at being against, and 1 was in favour)

I think most of us would probably agree that, irrespective of an issue being discussed, objectors generally are more vocal than those who are in favour of <whatever>. The fact that more people have expressly stated their approval of the actions at Ratho speaks volums. I've spoken to many other climbers who have also stated their agreement to the retro-ing but who have not stated an opinion on this thread. Sure, some from the 'anti'-camp will also have remained silent, but I imagine anyone with a strong opinion against them will have already spoken up

Finally, just to clarify for the umpteenth time, these retroed routes weren't bolted at random without any forethought or with the intent to retro thousands of other routes elsewhere in the country. These two routes were pretty much never climbed and were in a terrible mess. People who climbed in the quarry were consulted and their opinions were sought. The past month or two has already shown that people are now climbing these routes again, as well as many others in the quarry, both trad and sport, which is surely a positive result.
Grahame N - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:

Put me down as an against.
IanMcC - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Grahame N:
and me
AG - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser: not climbed the routes but i'm all for the bolts...time for the minority whinging trad fannies to pipe down. This will not lead to the retro bolting of all trad climbs.
Look what happened at lower lednock....bolts were put up, then chopped because someone climbed it 10 years before and no one had been there since...now it's been rebolted with agreement from all involved.
AG - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to AG: PS I climbied trad for 10 years before giving it up ...mainly due to family reasons!.
Donnie - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:
> (In reply to Donnie)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Well you would be wrong then

Why would I be wrong? Why should 'we were here first' trump trying to strike a balance between what different people want?
Mark Bull - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:

...and me as an "in favour".

Trying to apply hard and fast rules (such as "no retro-bolting ever") risks condemning perfectly good pieces of rock to permanent disuse, which seems to me to benefit no-one, except those taking pleasure in demonstrating their ethical superiority over others.

I don't think there's an easy way around examining each case on its merits. I have no wish to see wholesale retroing anywhere, but for routes (or their access/egress) that have changed substantially, have fallen into disuse, are in a man-made setting, and where there is precendent for bolted routes and permission from the first ascentionist, I think there is a pretty good case to be made.

Who got there first *does* matter, but again it should not be a hard and fast rule: there should be some onus on us trad climbers to keep climbing the routes - use it or lose it!

For those advocating prior consensus, can you propose a workable model? Specifically, who gets to decide and what are the rules? As Andy N points out, the "whoever turns up at some random meeting" and "no objectors" model doesn't work.



jazzyjackson on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Good work. much appreciated, great to get some sports routes locally : )
cat22 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser: Another in favour of the bolts.

Anyone thinking of chopping the bolts - please don't even think about chopping the new sport routes (as opposed to the retro-bolted routes). It's not exactly clear which routes are being discussed.
victim of mathematics - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Mark Bull:

> For those advocating prior consensus, can you propose a workable model? Specifically, who gets to decide and what are the rules? As Andy N points out, the "whoever turns up at some random meeting" and "no objectors" model doesn't work.

Both clearly have problems, but are they really worse than the "do what you like then tell people afterwards" model?
Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to AG:
> Look what happened at lower lednock....bolts were put up, then chopped because someone climbed it 10 years before and no one had been there since...now it's been rebolted with agreement from all involved.

Ok. So once the bolts have been chopped, see if there is agreement from all involved to put them back in. Which is the debate which should have happened in the first place.

Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to cat22:
> (In reply to Fraser) Another in favour of the bolts.
>
> Anyone thinking of chopping the bolts - please don't even think about chopping the new sport routes (as opposed to the retro-bolted routes). It's not exactly clear which routes are being discussed.

I don't think anyone is thinking of doing so.

Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Mark Bull:
> (In reply to Fraser)
>
> I don't think there's an easy way around examining each case on its merits. I have no wish to see wholesale retroing anywhere, but for routes (or their access/egress) that have changed substantially....

Not in this case.

> ......have fallen into disuse.....

Yes in this case, but a chain and a clean would have ben the correct solution here.,3

> ........ are in a man-made setting.....

I really don't think that is releveant.


> ......and where there is precendent for bolted routes.......

Not in this case (except for the bolter in the weeks preceding the retro bolting, so that can't really count)


> ........and permission from the first ascentionist......

Not in this case with Pettifer's Wall.


> ......I think there is a pretty good case to be made.

Not in this case on those grounds then.


> There should be some onus on us trad climbers to keep climbing the routes - use it or lose it!

Yes, I think this acts as a wake up call to the very real threat that is out there.
Andrew Mallinson - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Hi Robert,

"Yes, I think this acts as a wake up call to the very real threat that is out there."

Out of genuine interest, what is this "...very real threat ?"

ANdy

daWalt on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to jazzyjackson:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> Good work. much appreciated, great to get some sports routes locally : )

+1 to that.
Mark Bull - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I really don't think that is releveant.

You're entitled to your opinion: I disagree.

> Not in this case (except for the bolter in the weeks preceding the retro bolting, so that can't really count)

I think these have been there for some time:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=125932
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=32292


Mark Bull - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

>
> Both clearly have problems, but are they really worse than the "do what you like then tell people afterwards" model?

No, but they're not much better, either. There ought to be a role for the MCofS here, maybe along the lines of the BMC area committees. That would at least provide a forum for would-be bolters to discuss their plans and get feedback in advance, but I have no experience as to how well this works in England.

victim of mathematics - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Andrew Mallinson:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Hi Robert,
>
> "Yes, I think this acts as a wake up call to the very real threat that is out there."
>
> Out of genuine interest, what is this "...very real threat ?"
>
> ANdy

That some numpty with a Hilti will come along and retro-bolt a load of routes without consulting anybody about it first?
Andrew Mallinson - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

...and that is a threat because......?
ANdy
buzby78 - on 03 Sep 2013
After a discussion with the 1st ascentionist of Pettifers Wall today, it was decided that the bolts should be removed.

I'll be de-bolting this route tomorrow afternoon.

buz
kipper12 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Mark Bull:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> [...]
>
> No, but they're not much better, either. There ought to be a role for the MCofS here, maybe along the lines of the BMC area committees.

Do, the BMC own the quarry? If not then it is the land owner, no one else to decide. It can't be the pro or anti factions. It is not our hole in the ground!

victim of mathematics - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to kipper12:
> (In reply to Mark Bull)
> [...]
>
> Do, the BMC own the quarry? If not then it is the land owner, no one else to decide. It can't be the pro or anti factions. It is not our hole in the ground!

Erm, that's not how things work.
Mark Bull - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to kipper12:

>
> Do, the BMC own the quarry? If not then it is the land owner, no one else to decide. It can't be the pro or anti factions. It is not our hole in the ground!

If the landowner objects, that should be respected. If the landowner does not object, then there is still a need for debate. Landowners typically have no interest in climbing ethics!
Mark Bull - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Mark Bull:

Having done a bit of poking about on the BMC website, it appears that in some cases at least (e.g. South Wales) the BMC area committee is very active in trying to build consensus and develop bolting policy both in general and on a per-crag basis. The S. Wales committee are intending (if it's not already happening) to use a public wiki site for people to post bolting proposals in advance of their being discussed at area meetings.

This thread seems to highlight that we could really do with something similar in Scotland.

redjerry - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
Tr'd a bunch of these routes a week or two ago. Not a local anymore, but here's my 2 cents.
1) The effort spent bolting these routes would have been better spent clearing out the bushes to improve access at the top of the crag.
2) Bolting on the Wally Wall takes away a pair of pretty impressive trad routes and turns them into pretty generic sport routes.
3) Pettifers was still filthy so the rationale for bolting that route doesn't seem to hold up.
4) I'm not a big puritan when it comes to chipping, but the chipped holds a few feet on either side of existing routes?..a bit suspect even in a grotty quarry.
Donnie - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Is there any chance you could leave it until after this weekend, or even for a month or so?

It'd be nice to give people that want to try it with the bolts a chance while there still there. It'll be not bolted for ever afterwards so people that only want to do it trad wouldn't be too put out.


Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Andrew Mallinson:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> ...and that is a threat because......?

Some of us value the the limited supply of local cragging in the central belt. It was even more valuable to us in our carless youth and so we fear for the nurturing grounds for the next generation. I've actually been out cragging at one such venue this evening. It was great. It is worth protecting from the bolting wedge.

Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to kipper12:
> (In reply to Mark Bull)

>
> Do, the BMC own the quarry? If not then it is the land owner, no one else to decide. It can't be the pro or anti factions. It is not our hole in the ground!

Total bollocks! So if I want to bolt Lochnagar, ask the queen for permission and, in her ignorance, she says ok, I should be able to turn Eagle Ridge into a clip up without controversy. For goodness sake.

Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> After a discussion with the 1st ascentionist of Pettifers Wall today, it was decided that the bolts should be removed.
>
> I'll be de-bolting this route tomorrow afternoon.


Good decision and result which does you credit. Really excellent news. I hope a line has been drawn in the sand as far as getting the first ascentionist's permission for retro-bolting is concerned
r0x0r.wolfo - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser: put me down as against
buzby78 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Thanks Rob! I'm hoping you'll be 1st in the queue for the 1st trad ascent of the century? I'll be happy to belay...

buz
Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Thanks Rob! I'm hoping you'll be 1st in the queue for the 1st trad ascent of the century? I'll be happy to belay...

Getting psyched already.....
Of course I might get spanked, but that's climbing for you!
Is the chain staying?
Pinhead27 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Grahame N:

Me too.
buzby78 - on 03 Sep 2013
First ascentionist was happy for the chain to stay so no excuses!
Eric9Points - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to Fiend)
>
> The problem with consultation is that it will always end with no bolting, because there will always be someone who doesn't want bolting, however grotty the cliff. Which is why the anti-bolters are so keen on it. The only way is to bolt and see if anyone feels strongly enough to remove the bolts. That moves the goalposts slightly towards the bolters and at least gives them a small chance.

Come on Andy! You must have a bee in your bonnet about Farreltter :-)!

If you reflect on that for a moment you'll see that you're suggesting a a very dodgy precedent. Hanish Hilti decides he wants to climb a *** route he can't get up at the moment so goes ahead and bolts it and it's up to others to take the bolts out. That doesn't sound like a good course of action.

Re Ratho. No one is talking about cleaning the new sports routes. It's PW and the two Wallys that are being discussed as the first ascensionists weren't approached and no consent was given. The First ascensionists of PW would have definately refused and I understand the Kenny Spence would have been unlikely to give permission either (he couldn't believe anyone would want to bolt something that easy). Rab Anderson was consulted and gave permission to bolt Slow Strain so no one is talking about cleaning it.

Surely that is an entirely reasonable approach?
3 Names - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> After a discussion with the 1st ascentionist of Pettifers Wall today, it was decided that the bolts should be removed.
>
> I'll be de-bolting this route tomorrow afternoon.
>
> buz

Thank you

Andrew Mallinson - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Hi Robert,
Most erudite description I've seen yet and one I would subscribe to...but...I also consider that with some thought and understanding on all sides there may be opportunities here also....
ANdy
Dr Toph on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Forgive me if Im being a little slow, but in one of your first posts you say that Pettifers was bolted "with the kind permission of the first ascentionist", but now its being debolted due to objection by the very same.
Were you just making it up initially, to counter the predictable storm of trad wrath? If so, it doesnt seem like a good example to set with regards to protocol and communication by a bolter.

Glad a workable compromise has been reached. It was the topout that was the main barrier to climbing PW all these years, so a chain is indeed beneficial.
I'll be joining the cue behind you Rob, been wanting to climb that for a long time.
beychae - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Dr Toph:

I assume PW is going to be re-graded appropriately for the chains? If the top-out was a significant amount of the risk, it would seem fair to make it a couple of E-grades lower.
Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Andrew Mallinson:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Hi Robert,
> Most erudite description I've seen yet and one I would subscribe to...but...I also consider that with some thought and understanding on all sides there may be opportunities here also....

Yes, my personal opinion is that bolting of new lines in the central belt quarries should be ok (realistic trad lines are probably pretty much exhausted anyway) as long as they are kept at a respectful unclippable distance from existing trad routes. Retro-bolting should be an absolute non-starter, though an odd chain in exceptional circumstances such as on Pettifer's might be ok.


Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to Dr Toph)
>
> I assume PW is going to be re-graded appropriately for the chains? If the top-out was a significant amount of the risk, it would seem fair to make it a couple of E-grades lower.

Perhaps back down to E4 then?

kipper12 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Mark Bull: what's the legal basis for,you not considering the land owner to have a right to sling bolts on any crag on their land?

And the anti bolters to have a Legal right to resort to chopping said bolts.

It must be down to law in the end, not bluster
beychae - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
>
> Perhaps back down to E4 then?

Was it not E4 before? I was suggesting E2 or E3 at a push.
Eric9Points - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to Dr Toph)
>
> I assume PW is going to be re-graded appropriately for the chains? If the top-out was a significant amount of the risk, it would seem fair to make it a couple of E-grades lower.

No, when it was first done the top out was quite different. When the quarry was ddeveloped for the centre the area above PW was bulldozed flat and left completely devoid of vegetation. That resulted in a lot of mud washing down that wall which left it in an unclimbable state for many years. Now that the vegetation is growing back it may be that it eventually becomes a route with a reasonable top out.
Robert Durran - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Was it not E4 before? I was suggesting E2 or E3 at a push.

It was E4 originally. I believe it has been consudered pretty much unclimbable recently (E whatever) due to an "earth cornice" which appeared during construction of the climbing centre. Unless the original top-out contributed significantly to the E grade, I imagine it will revert to E4.

Andrew Mallinson - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Probably like you Robert I am a dyed in the wool trad man through and through, but I do feel we have to recognise there is a significant body of sport climbers out there who have just as much right to their form of this mad game as we do - there is no primacy of activity in my opinion. They are probably not well catered for just now and I don't think we have the right to deny them the positive opportunity to enjoy their sport. Instead of everyone hunkering down in their trench, whichever one it may be, and just entrenching themselves deeper (witness the crap spouted on this thread), it's time in Scotland to develop a situation that works for everyone.
We can't ignore the fact we have a large body of climbers bred on indoor walls that want to get outside - I think we should all find a way to cater for everyone. All this bollocks at Ratho is just diverting attention from this need. I'll stick to my trad thanks, but it's not my place to dictate to others, and nor is the right of anyone else to do so. It's time to cater for the large body of sport climbers in the central belt of Scotland with some quality bolted venues.
ANdy
victim of mathematics - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Andrew Mallinson:
> It's time to cater for the large body of sport climbers in the central belt of Scotland with some quality bolted venues.

That sounds lovely. Where exactly do you propose to produce them from? It's not like the central belt is overburdened with an abundance of climbable rock to start with?

jonnie3430 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Andrew Mallinson)
> [...]
>
> That sounds lovely. Where exactly do you propose to produce them from? It's not like the central belt is overburdened with an abundance of climbable rock to start with?

Build them?

Thanks to Buzby too.
Fiend - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Donnie:

> Is there any chance you could leave it until after this weekend, or even for a month or so?

I can't recall any advance warning before the bolts went in, to give people a chance to climb it trad....

But then again it would be pretty mean-spirited (almost in the same poor spirit as dismissing people as "whinging trad fannies" and "having hissy fits") to do that with the debolting as tit-for-tat, so I think it would be okay to wait a week or two for people to sneak the last ascents in in it's temporarily wronged state.

I will be queuing under Wally 2, myself, when that gets fixed.
Andy Nisbet - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to Andy Nisbet)
> [...]
>
> Come on Andy! You must have a bee in your bonnet about Farreltter :-)!
>
> If you reflect on that for a moment you'll see that you're suggesting a a very dodgy precedent. Hanish Hilti decides he wants to climb a *** route he can't get up at the moment so goes ahead and bolts it and it's up to others to take the bolts out. That doesn't sound like a good course of action.
>
> Re Ratho. No one is talking about cleaning the new sports routes. It's PW and the two Wallys that are being discussed as the first ascensionists weren't approached and no consent was given. The First ascensionists of PW would have definately refused and I understand the Kenny Spence would have been unlikely to give permission either (he couldn't believe anyone would want to bolt something that easy). Rab Anderson was consulted and gave permission to bolt Slow Strain so no one is talking about cleaning it.
>
> Surely that is an entirely reasonable approach?

I was in a rush and didn't state my case very well. But the way things are going on this thread makes the point better than anything I write. Without the bolting these routes would have continued to be unclimbed and unclimbable. Now that someone has been cheeky and bolted them, it looks like a reasonable compromise will be reached, and the routes will be climbed again, either trad or sport, it doesn't matter. But if there simply has been "consultation", then the anti-bolters would have the say, and the routes would likely have remained unclimbable. My personal thought - if someone makes a trad FA of a poorly protected route in a accetable venue for sport and then lets the route overgrow, then they lose the right to keep it as trad. That just moves the goalposts slightly and prevents large numbers of routes disppearing.
Andrew Mallinson - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

You've just supported my point...the lack of rock venues is why we need to cater for sport climbing as well, at the same crags. Where? Bolt and trad alongside...if the routes are not being trad climbed, bolt 'em. Let everyone have their fun.
ANdy
Fraser on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:
>
> I can't recall any advance warning before the bolts went in, to give people a chance to climb it trad....


Think again Matt: the quarry has been there for decades, if not centuries. You have a guide book. You had the opportunity. You chose not to climb it. Those are the facts.
Dangerous Dave - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Fiend)
> [...]
>
>
> Think again Matt: the quarry has been there for decades, if not centuries. You have a guide book. You had the opportunity. You chose not to climb it. Those are the facts.

There are many routes on many crags that I would like to do. Just because I haven't got round to doing them or have not yet got good enoough to try them is not a justification for someone to bolt them.

Stupid arguement!
Fraser on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:

I think you've misunderstood my point. Read his comment them reread my response.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:
> (In reply to Fraser)
> [...]
>
> There are many routes on many crags that I would like to do. Just because I haven't got round to doing them or have not yet got good enoough to try them is not a justification for someone to bolt them.

It's a bit of a crazy system when people can shout 'bagsy' and reserve a valuable resource indefinitely at zero cost to themselves on the off chance that they might want to use it some day when there's other folk queuing up to actually use it.

Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Dangerous Dave)
>
> I think you've misunderstood my point. Read his comment them reread my response.

I think you have missed Fiend's point.

There was no precedent for this kind of retro-bolting, therefore no need tpo prioritise having a go at these routes.

The wake up call has been made; this sort of thing must not be allowed to happen again. Lessons have, I hope, been learnt all round.

Fraser on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

I refer you to my response to dangerous dave.
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> I refer you to my response to dangerous dave.

Does the fact that I have not climbed a route mean I am never going to climb it? If the answer is yes, then logically, nobody will ever have climbed or will climb any route at all.

Jamie B - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> It's a bit of a crazy system when people can shout 'bagsy' and reserve a valuable resource indefinitely

That's not the "system". The "system" is that the first ascenionist climbs the route in the style they feel is appropriate, and subsequent ascents respect that style, be it sport or trad. This can be reversed, but only with the consent of the FA.

Of course the balance between sport and trad opportunities is skewed because most of the Central belt venues were developed at a time when trad was the dominant player and bolts were only considered for high-end training. And yes, the result is a whole bunch of routes and even whole venues that very rarely get climbed and are in some cases going back to nature.

With more and more people looking to climb on bolts it's easy to see why these routes are being looked at as opportunities. But who is to say that 100+ ascents of a newly-bolted sport route are more important than the intense journey that one person can still have if they are motivated by the climb in its existing state?

I can't answer that question, and I suspect that nobody can very effectively. But it's clear that it's not just about popularity and numbers. I'm willing to bet that Pain Pillar at the Hawkcraig (a brilliant three-star VS) would get more ascents if it was fully bolted. But that doesn't mean that it should happen.

So who decides that a route has effectively "died" as a trad venture? Mr Busby knows his climbing and made what he thought was a fair decision. Others disagreed. How many (possible) trad suitors should constitute a veto on development? Impossible to answer, which is why Direct Action tends to hold sway.

Direct Action means that if you put bolts in somewhere where there will be general approval, they'll probably stay in, although this is not a given and someone will always object. If you push your luck and try to bolt Pain Pillar, they'll come out instantly and people will threaten you with violence.

Is Direct Action working or could it be improved upon? Looking around Scotland I'd say that we've got the sport/trad balance pretty well, with only Farletter standing out as a complete failure from both sides. But it does seem inevitable that every action will occasion a vast amount of online posturing and air-blowing. Could this knowledge and passion be better-channeled? Is there a need for a retro-bolting committee? The issue isn't going to go away...
gurumed - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> It's a bit of a crazy system when people can shout 'bagsy' and reserve a valuable resource indefinitely at zero cost to themselves on the off chance that they might want to use it some day when there's other folk queuing up to actually use it.

Well said!

In reply to Robert Durran:
> The wake up call has been made; this sort of thing must not be allowed to happen again. Lessons have, I hope, been learnt all round.

I guess the lesson we've all learned is if you try do so something constructive a bunch of whiney bitches who were never going to do the route will ruin it for everyone else.

If someone wants the bolts out, they should first climb the route without clipping the bolts.
Andrew Mallinson - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

Morning Jamie, trust you're well mate!

Correct..the issue isn't going away...and the situation we have at the moment isn't sustainable...I just think it's time we came up with a solution that enables all to enjoy their facet of the sport...
ANdy
tom_in_edinburgh - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

I understand the present system I just don't think it's a particularly good one for safety and making best use of the resource.

We'd be better off with a legal framework on who was allowed to place bolts (e.g. compulsory licensing and training to do it safely and cleanly) and legal sanctions for bolting or chopping without the landowner's consent.
Jamie B - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

What would be a better system? That a bolter can just make an informed (or not) decision and get on with it? Or that some form of "consensus" be sought? How does that get achieved - I haven't seen a true consensus yet. What size of minority of would-be trad suitors constitutes good reason not to bolt? Does the FA have any rights? What about when they die?

I definately wouldn't get landowners and licenses to bolt involved. At present most landowners are blissfully ignorant or uncaring about what goes on. If they find out that fixed equipment is being drilled in and that people are arguing about liability, they may easily take the easy line and just ban something which has no use or value to them. Let sleeping dogs lie.
victim of mathematics - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
>
> I understand the present system I just don't think it's a particularly good one for safety and making best use of the resource.
>
> We'd be better off with a legal framework on who was allowed to place bolts (e.g. compulsory licensing and training to do it safely and cleanly) and legal sanctions for bolting or chopping without the landowner's consent.

Why the hell would you want to get the landowners involved if they've not previously expressed any interest? That's just opening a whole can of worms with questions of liability and would probably result in access being revoked in some cases. I can't see how that's a positive outcome for anybody.
victim of mathematics - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

> If someone wants the bolts out, they should first climb the route without clipping the bolts.

What, like the first ascentionist...
Andy Nisbet - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
>
> I definately wouldn't get landowners and licenses to bolt involved. At present most landowners are blissfully ignorant or uncaring about what goes on. If they find out that fixed equipment is being drilled in and that people are arguing about liability, they may easily take the easy line and just ban something which has no use or value to them. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Absolutely. As soon as you ask, then a landowner may require proof of correct practice in bolting and a regular maintainance schedule (probably with annual testing). If you don't ask, then they can't be involved in any dispute.
If you want that, then you must expect to pay every time you go to a sport crag.
gurumed - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> Why the hell would you want to get the landowners involved if they've not previously expressed any interest? That's just opening a whole can of worms with questions of liability and would probably result in access being revoked in some cases. I can't see how that's a positive outcome for anybody.

Totally agree.

In reply to victim of mathematics:
> What, like the first ascentionist...

If they'd like to do another lap :) Seriously though, I get what you're saying, but if it was probably decades since the last time the route was climbed in a trad style. This isn't the same as bolting a bold route that gets regular ascents.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> [...]

> If you want that, then you must expect to pay every time you go to a sport crag.

I'd rather pay for parking somewhere nearby than for fuel to get to a free crag much further away. Providing a financial incentive to landowners would be a good way of getting more places to climb.

Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Andy Nisbet)
>
> I'd rather pay for parking somewhere nearby than for fuel to get to a free crag much further away. Providing a financial incentive to landowners would be a good way of getting more places to climb.

I think you should move to the Lakes.

Andy Nisbet - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> I'd rather pay for parking somewhere nearby than for fuel to get to a free crag much further away. Providing a financial incentive to landowners would be a good way of getting more places to climb.

I wasn't talking about paying the landowner. I was talking about paying the company which would be necessary to test the bolts every year. And you and I couldn't place any more bolts, unless we had a credited qualification both for working at heights and for the testing. And I'm being serious; it's happening elsewhere when folk just trying to be helpful to the climbing community have asked for approval from the landowner.

Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> We'd be better off with a legal framework on who was allowed to place bolts (e.g. compulsory licensing and training to do it safely and cleanly) and legal sanctions for bolting or chopping without the landowner's consent.

God forbid.

buzby78 - on 04 Sep 2013
Bolts are now out of Pettiffers Wall (they came out surprisingly easy with along crow bar!). I've left the chain in. I'll be keeping an eye out for all these trad ascents now! Have fun...

buz
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
>
> I guess the lesson we've all learned is if you try do so something constructive a bunch of whiney bitches who were never going to do the route will ruin it for everyone else.
>
> If someone wants the bolts out, they should first climb the route without clipping the bolts.

Humourous answer:

I'll settle for that as long as bolters first have to climb the route without the bolts.

Honest answer: FFS

Doghouse - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Andrew Mallinson:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> > We can't ignore the fact we have a large body of climbers bred on indoor walls that want to get outside - I think we should all find a way to cater for everyone. All this bollocks at Ratho is just diverting attention from this need. I'll stick to my trad thanks, but it's not my place to dictate to others, and nor is the right of anyone else to do so. It's time to cater for the large body of sport climbers in the central belt of Scotland with some quality bolted venues.
> ANdy

What we have is a large body of people bred on indoor walls who want to get outside .. . I agree.. but they are dictating to others, they want sport routes which don't exist and by developing sport routes they are potentailly taking something away from trad climers (what an awful term!).

It would help if people recognised that climbing indoors is not the same aas climbing outdoors and if your only experinece of climbing is indoors then if you wish to move outside then accept the game as it is, don;t try to impose your personal set of requirements on it.
IanMcC - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
Right decision (I think) and done with good grace. Well done.
12345 - on 04 Sep 2013
There's less xenophobia and racism at a BNP rally. It never ceases to amaze me to see how superior some people seem to think they are because they climb trad and that they are so much better than the rest of Europe- except at climbing though....
I also find it hilarious that some of the racist and xenophobic complainants aren't good enough to climb half the routes in the old quarry before the EICA was built and their continued inference about how macho they are because they trad climb is a joke- you're using a rope- onsight routes with no rope then you might get some respect.

It's a pity that Neil has had nothing but abuse for trying to help the community- although that community seems to be full of racist , xenophobic tw*ts.
Perhaps he went about it the wrong way/ perhaps he didn't - Scottish climbing is not defined by Ratho quarry so really, who cares.

What I do care more about is that the EICA should not be opening it's doors to racist, xenophobic morons so it would seem win win if these idiots were banned from the centre and then spent their time tending to the trad walls outside keeping them clean etc.

Perhaps we will also see less top roping on the lead walls from all these macho trad climbers...


Fraser on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> Bolts are now out of Pettiffers Wall ... I'll be keeping an eye out for all these trad ascents now! Have fun...

Just for the record, the last trad ascent was done a couple of weeks ago....while the bolts were still in place. Make of that what you will.

I'm still rather curious as to why all the folk complaining about it being bolted didn't get on the route earlier. Funny how it's only now they want to try it.

victim of mathematics - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:

> I'm still rather curious as to why all the folk complaining about it being bolted didn't get on the route earlier. Funny how it's only now they want to try it.

It had a dirty great earth cornice at the top?
victim of mathematics - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to 12345:

Wow, tremendous.

In a totally batshit mental no idea what you're on about kind of a way.
Fraser on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
>
> It had a dirty great earth cornice at the top?

Surely all part of this wonderful trad experience! If they really wanted to climmb it, they could have cleaned it, but it seems not one of them could be bothered.

Hay - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to fraser:
This is inescapably true. The quarry was/is in a pretty poor state and nothing had been done to make it a more popular or pleasant trad venue.
The same is true of pretty much all central belt venues.
Cambu Closed is only just about usable but on its way to a complete canopy. Starry back wall is hideous to get to and in need of better access and ab point on the slab. N Queensferry is totally lost to bramble hell. Rosyth needs a clean up and new stakes. Aberdour needs some pegs removed/replaced and an ab piste.
Bruce

Jamie B - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to 12345:

There have been some strong opinions here, but I struggle to see the "racism and xenophobia" that you refer to. Please enlarge.
Jamie B - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay:

Is the descent at the Hawkcraig really all that bad? I don't recall any problems with it when I was a (semi)regular there.
Franco Cookson on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Since when was boldness of a route a defense for retro-bolting? A route is just as good, sometimes better, if it has no gear. The Indian face has only seen a few ascents, doesn't mean it should be bolted.

Climbing ownership and legal ownership are also different things. Ratho may legally own the quarry, but they don't have the ethical right to bolt it. A climbing wall that acts so against the grain of what local climbers want ain't going to last very long.
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to 12345)
>
> There have been some strong opinions here, but I struggle to see the "racism and xenophobia" that you refer to.

I think he was just going out of the way to be downright offensive and moronic.

A complete contrast, I might say, to the very civil, balanced and intelligent conversation I had with Buzby at Ratho last week.

While the vast majority of people who climb trad also climb bolted routes and are able to take a balanced view (has anyone got particularly upset about the new bolted routes?), there is unfortunately a minority of sport only climbers who are either in no position to or obstinately refuse to see the argument against retro-bolting and therefore just rant nonsense arther than engaging in intelligent debate.

Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to buzby78)

> I'm still rather curious as to why all the folk complaining about it being bolted didn't get on the route earlier. Funny how it's only now they want to try it.

Yes, we've learnt our lesson, got the wake up call and are now awake and alert to the threat not just to Ratho, but, judging by some people's views (and contrary to what some people were naively saying about this not being the thin end of the wedge), the other central belt quarries.

Donnie - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B: I think he means that someone on the trad side of things made a throw away comment re nobody wanting to be like the French somewhere back up the thread...

That or he sees trad climbers and sport climbers as different races.
Donnie - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Doghouse:
> (In reply to Andrew Mallinson)
> [...]

> It would help if people recognised that climbing indoors is not the same aas climbing outdoors and if your only experinece of climbing is indoors then if you wish to move outside then accept the game as it is, don;t try to impose your personal set of requirements on it.

I'm a wall bred climber that now climbs outside (sport, trad, bouldering)as much as I can. How long will I need to climb outside for before my opinion is worthy of consideration?
ads.ukclimbing.com
gurumed - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> Honest answer: FFS

I'm not sure what to make of that?

In reply to buzby78:
> I'll be keeping an eye out for all these trad ascents now! Have fun...

I wouldn't hold your breath... :)

In reply to Fraser:
> Just for the record, the last trad ascent was done a couple of weeks ago....while the bolts were still in place. Make of that what you will.
>
> I'm still rather curious as to why all the folk complaining about it being bolted didn't get on the route earlier. Funny how it's only now they want to try it.

Yeah, dude. It'll have only been done to prove a point after all the hard work of cleaning the route has been done by Buz. The bolts also didn't seem to stop the trad ascent being made.

In reply to Franco Cookson:
> Since when was boldness of a route a defense for retro-bolting? A route is just as good, sometimes better, if it has no gear. The Indian face has only seen a few ascents, doesn't mean it should be bolted.

Indian Face is a recognised classic route on a mountain that doesn't require excavation. It's very different from quarried dolerite that has been neglected for decades. Buz didn't bolt it because it was bold, he bolted it because the rock there was squandered. He resurrected that bit of the quarry; with a few bolts he made it into something hundreds of people could enjoy.

Unfortunately there are people who seem to hate seeing other people have fun.

In reply to Robert Durran:
> While the vast majority of people who climb trad also climb bolted routes and are able to take a balanced view (has anyone got particularly upset about the new bolted routes?), there is unfortunately a minority of sport only climbers who are either in no position to or obstinately refuse to see the argument against retro-bolting and therefore just rant nonsense arther than engaging in intelligent debate.

You're making a faulty generalisation; it's not exclusively sport-only climbers in favour of bolting Pettifer's. I love trad and there are many things I wouldn't want to see bolted even though I'll never lead them in a trad style, Nijinski for example. Pettifer's was buried in a quarry receiving no attention for decades, which is what it will become again now the bolts are gone. What a total waste.
beychae - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Is there any chance of a time-sharing solution to this? I'm thinking removable bolts, trad Jan-June, sport July-Dec.

http://climbtech.com/products/removable-anchors or http://fixeusa.com/triplex_3-piece_removable_bolt.htm

This wouldn't work for many crags, given the high cost of removable bolts, and the need for a maintainer to replace the bolts with filler sleeves and back again twice a year. But for Ratho I'm sure you'd have people willing to contribute to both a bolt fund and the maintenance.
gurumed - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> Is there any chance of a time-sharing solution to this? I'm thinking removable bolts, trad Jan-June, sport July-Dec.

That's an out of the box piece of thinking :) I don't think the bolt-choppers would go for this, unfortunately. It seems to me that their aim is to minimise the number of ascents the rock ever receives.
victim of mathematics - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

> I'm not sure what to make of that?

That statements like "I guess the lesson we've all learned is if you try do so something constructive a bunch of whiney bitches who were never going to do the route will ruin it for everyone else.

If someone wants the bolts out, they should first climb the route without clipping the bolts."

Are unhelpful, wrong and make you sound like a tw*t?


> Yeah, dude. It'll have only been done to prove a point after all the hard work of cleaning the route has been done by Buz. The bolts also didn't seem to stop the trad ascent being made.

I thought we'd got some kind of moratorium on pro-bolters saying "but you could always just not clip the bolts"?

> Indian Face is a recognised classic route on a mountain that doesn't require excavation. It's very different from quarried dolerite that has been neglected for decades. Buz didn't bolt it because it was bold, he bolted it because the rock there was squandered.

Was it not neglected because the work to construct the EICA resulted in the route becoming essentially unclimbable? Something a lower off would have (and has) resolved. I don't see anybody arguing that the lower off should be removed.

> Unfortunately there are people who seem to hate seeing other people have fun.

Unfortunately there are some people who are so ignorant that they're not worth bothering with.

> You're making a faulty generalisation; it's not exclusively sport-only climbers in favour of bolting Pettifer's. I love trad and there are many things I wouldn't want to see bolted even though I'll never lead them in a trad style, Nijinski for example. Pettifer's was buried in a quarry receiving no attention for decades, which is what it will become again now the bolts are gone. What a total waste.

Except it's got a lower off, so people can climb it without facing the earth cornice of peril?
Franco Cookson on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
>
>
> In reply to Franco Cookson:
> [...]
>
> Indian Face is a recognised classic route on a mountain that doesn't require excavation. It's very different from quarried dolerite that has been neglected for decades. Buz didn't bolt it because it was bold, he bolted it because the rock there was squandered. He resurrected that bit of the quarry; with a few bolts he made it into something hundreds of people could enjoy.
>
>

The fact that it is 'recognised', classic, or on a mountain should make no difference to whether a route is bolted or not. What you're left with is 'it is in a quarry'. Speaking as someone who has put up three star lines in quarries, I don't really see this as a defense for retro-bolting either.

Whether a route has been neglected or not is also a moot point, for reasons stated previously. Trad is a slow game, you don't need someone on it every weekend to justify protecting it.

If you justify it being bolted on the numbers of people who can now enjoy it, then you'd have to bolt every route in the UK.

Basically, all of your argument (and this bolting) goes against all logic or norms of British climbing.
gurumed - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> I thought we'd got some kind of moratorium on pro-bolters saying "but you could always just not clip the bolts"?

Why? Because it's devastating to your position?

In reply to victim of mathematics:
> Unfortunately there are some people who are so ignorant that they're not worth bothering with.

You know you're winning when ad hominems come out.

Seriously though, I'm sorry you feel like that. It must seem like arguing with a brick wall, for the both of us. To me, I haven't heard an argument that doesn't just sound like a few people selfishly wanting to keep a resource to themselves.

Please explain it to me. Why is it better that the rock is only enjoyed by a select handful of people over the coming decades rather than by hundreds each year?

In reply to Franco Cookson:
> If you justify it being bolted on the numbers of people who can now enjoy it, then you'd have to bolt every route in the UK.

Bolts aren't free, and putting them in requires graft. They are only going to be placed somewhere when someone cares enough to put in the time and money. No routes with decent gear will ever get bolted. Anyone capable of bolting the route wouldn't have the motivation.
Franco Cookson on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed: At least troll creatively.
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> You're making a faulty generalisation; it's not exclusively sport-only climbers in favour of bolting Pettifer's. I love trad and there are many things I wouldn't want to see bolted even though I'll never lead them in a trad style, Nijinski for example. Pettifer's was buried in a quarry receiving no attention for decades, which is what it will become again now the bolts are gone. What a total waste.

I didn't say say it ws only sport-only climbers who were in favour of the bolts. It is just that the pro-bolters who also climb trad tend to be the ones making reasoned arguments (even if I don't agree with them) and are worth engaging with, rather just spouting ignorant nonsense with no sensible perspective on trad, sport, the past or the future.

Dangerous Dave - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed: I suggest you troll :-) your way through all the other million threads on why you can't trad climb bolted routes. Once you have done this you will understand. If not you are obviously too stupid to be allowed an opinion!
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Donnie:
> (In reply to Doghouse)
> I'm a wall bred climber that now climbs outside (sport, trad, bouldering)as much as I can. How long will I need to climb outside for before my opinion is worthy of consideration?

Until your opinion is essentially indistiguishable from mine ;-)

andrewmcleod - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:

Not exactly sure how the Petzl bolts work, but can you just remove the hangars?

Assuming the issue is the trad head-game, and not the bolts themselves (this being a quarry, not a Tor or mountain crag).
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to fraser)
> This is inescapably true. The quarry was/is in a pretty poor state and nothing had been done to make it a more popular or pleasant trad venue.
> The same is true of pretty much all central belt venues.
> Cambu Closed is only just about usable but on its way to a complete canopy.


OK. I shall put my money where my mouth is and set the ball rolling and try to organise a clean up of Cambusbarron. I'll aim to get down there resaonably soon to assess what needs doing to get the routes in a good state (though I'd be surprised if it is as bad as you make out). With a reasonable number of people, it should be possible to clean a route each in a day and cut back any trouble some vegetation. It could either be done before the winter, or perhaps better spring next year.

If anyone on here is interested in getting involved, please email me through UKC initially.
gurumed - on 04 Sep 2013
It's pretty lazy to call me a troll.

In reply to Dangerous Dave:
> I suggest you troll :-) your way through all the other million threads on why you can't trad climb bolted routes. Once you have done this you will understand. If not you are obviously too stupid to be allowed an opinion!

So which of the old arguments are you referring to?

"When I get scared I'll clip the bolt, I don't want that option"?

"The rock won't look as pretty"?

"I nearly died doing this route, it's not fair if others get to enjoy it safely"?
Dangerous Dave - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed: By old arguements do you mean perfectly valid ones? There are lots of reasons why you can't trad climb bolted routes. You can choose anyone you like to try and argue but I won't bother responding to them. There are lots of threads explaining why you can't do it. If you do not know why read through some of the threads. Simple.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
> [...]
>
> I think you should move to the Lakes.

Do I get to choose between moving to the Lakes, growing a pair and staying indoors ;-)


Fraser on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Bob,

I’d be happy to come over with you to Cambusbarron closed, but tbh, the rock there is in very good condition and I'd say most of the routes are immediately climbable, assuming conditions are favourable. I’ve been there a few times over the last couple of years and it’s a very impressive crag with excellent, clear lines throughout the grade range, all worth a go at. It could probably still do with some very minor additional tree felling, but most of the necessary work was done I think about 4-5 years ago. I’m sure you’ll love it.


In reply to Dangerous Dave:

See my post earlier today at 13:05. Pettifer’s Wall was climbed in trad. style only a couple of weeks ago before the bolts were removed, so to say "There are lots of reasons why you can't trad climb bolted routes" is untrue. Maybe you didn't quite say what you meant?

Even more simples! ;)
jonnie3430 - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> Surely all part of this wonderful trad experience! If they really wanted to climmb it, they could have cleaned it, but it seems not one of them could be bothered.

But it's at Ratho! I've had a bad history of access to climb there, it's only on this thread that I've realised that I'm not going to be asked to leave for using the fire escape to get down from the top of the routes! Now we know that Ratho are onside, we can tidy up the top of the routes. I usually do a little bit each time I visit a crag, it looks like Ratho will need a little bit more and it sounds like it's necessary to have a look at the earth on top of Pettifers to shift it or stabilise it so that it doesn't drift down the route.

Tidying up crags does happen, JLS usually has a Dumby clean, I've been to a Starry clean before and have some spare pickets that I will take to Rosyth the next time I go. Everyone should feel that they should do a bit of tidying if they get the opportunity or something irks them.
Fraser on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to jonnie3430:

Well, I've said it before both on this and other threads that you're the only person I know of who's ever had access issues at Ratho. I've climbed there since the arena opened and never experienced the same problem. I think it's actually only you who "now knows" Ratho are onside. It's a genuine shame it's taken so long for you to realise this.

I'm quite aware crag clean-ups happen and have also participated. Incidentally, it's actually usually John Watson who organises the Dumby one, not JLS. I too tidy up whenever I'm at a crag, but admit I don't generally 'clean' routes other than a very quick wipe if I'm climbing it at the time. My point here is that no-one climbed the routes in question and they'd fallen into complete neglect over the pasing decades. Buz addressed that, showed some initiative and effort and should be commended.
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> I’d be happy to come over with you to Cambusbarron closed, but tbh, the rock there is in very good condition and I'd say most of the routes are immediately climbable, assuming conditions are favourable.

I was surprised when Bruce said it was so bad - I was last there a couple of years ago and it seemed fine, though Murray's groove could have done with a good brush. I might have a look anyway. Which quarries could do with a concerted effort? Rosyth? North Queensferry? These are more local to me anyway.
JamieSparkes - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: The right hand side of Rosyth could definitely do with some trimming.
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Do I get to choose between moving to the Lakes, growing a pair and staying indoors ;-)

No, you get to choose between moving to the lakes and getting free parking at crags.

Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to JamieSparkes:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) The right hand side of Rosyth could definitely do with some trimming.

Shall aim to take a look.

Hay - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
Robert,
Been a year or two since Ive been in tbh. Mybe more.
The humid conditions and midgies were horrible. Esp up at back wall.
Lots of self seeded sycamores which eventually grow into a canopy.
It was forever coming up on scottish climbs about a clean up an cut down of the trees.
If it has already happened then thats great.
Now all I need is some smidge and some manning-up to get back on that e1 on the back wall.

Bruce
tom_in_edinburgh - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
> [...]
>
> No, you get to choose between moving to the lakes and getting free parking at crags.

Well I definitely don't want to move to the lakes so I guess I'll just have to live with the free parking.

Jamie B - on 04 Sep 2013
Which one is Cambusbarron closed? I had a look around both main quarries last year, and the one referred to in the guide as Thorntons was pretty bad - green, totally enshrouded in trees and with a resident population of feral youth. I wasn't tempted to stick around. Impression was that it would need a *lot* of tree-felling and social cleansing to become viable again.

The other one (Fourth Quarry) was pretty good by comparison, and wouldn't need much work (if any)
chrisprescott - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: I've avoided being dragged into the bolting discussion and still intend to stay away from it. I have however been talking to a few people about getting out to the quarry and putting some serious effort into clearing the vegetation back properly. It would be great if we could arrange a suitable date that a group of us could go there and do some proper clearance work.

I may ask EICA about the possibility of a small bonfire somewhere to clear the branches etc, or if they have any other ideas on ways to dispose of it all.

I'd also wondered what the general consensus would be about installing the odd belay stake in appropriate places at the top to avoid people using the fence/ small bushes etc?
JamieSparkes - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to chrisprescott:

To take this away from the bolting debate, I've made a new thread here http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=562189&new=7481389#x7481389 (please don't drag this argument over with you!)

If we can get an idea of which venues would benefit most, what needs doing and who is game for helping out then we should find it easier to organise crag clean ups. Getting them done over the autumn/winter season should really help.
Hay - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
Thats the one I mean Jamie.
Some amazing (looking) routes but the tree cover is an issue.
If it was totally clear I reckon it would be the best trad venue in central belt.
B.
buzby78 - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to chrisprescott:

Hi Chris, I was thinking about organising something in the autumn. I've been speaking to a fair few people who'd be keen for this, bonfire bbq afterwards too?

buz
Hay - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
Neil, will come if I can.
Also happy to contribute to stake fund if needed.
B.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> (In reply to chrisprescott)
>
> Hi Chris, I was thinking about organising something in the autumn. I've been speaking to a fair few people who'd be keen for this, bonfire bbq afterwards too?


Sounds a good idea. Please make it when the crags are damp for the winter, but the snows have not yet arrived ;-)

Robert Durran - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to Jamie B)

> If it was totally clear I reckon it would be the best trad venue in central belt.

Thornton's at Cambusbarron is actually pretty high quality by the standards of any quarry and many natural crags. It was very frequented and clean certainly up to five or six years ago.


Dangerous Dave - on 04 Sep 2013

>
>
> In reply to Dangerous Dave:
>
> See my post earlier today at 13:05. Pettifer’s Wall was climbed in trad. style only a couple of weeks ago before the bolts were removed, so to say "There are lots of reasons why you can't trad climb bolted routes" is untrue. Maybe you didn't quite say what you meant?
>
> Even more simples! ;)

nope I meant exactly what I said. Simples!

Fraser on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:

I assume you mean that you won't have the same experience as you would if you climbed it on trad gear with no bolts to tempt you to clip if you got into bother. That's possibly true, but to say 'you can't climb a bolted route on trad gear' is simply incorrect, as someone disproved on Pettifer's Wall only two weeks ago.
jonnie3430 - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Dangerous Dave)
>
> , but to say 'you can't climb a bolted route on trad gear' is simply incorrect,

You can also say that there is no difference between top roping and sport climbing when working a route. Just top rope it a few more times before the red point and lead it on trad gear and there is no difference. Best quality is still onsight, the rest is training so top rope.

Fiend - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

> In reply to Robert Durran:
> [...]
>
> I guess the lesson we've all learned is if you try do so something constructive a bunch of whiney bitches who were never going to do the route will ruin it for everyone else.


> In reply to victim of mathematics:
> [...]
>
> You know you're winning when ad hominems come out.

Quite correct and well proved.


Dangerous Dave - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser: so he climbed a sport route using trad gear. That is not trad climbing.
Oceanrower - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave: If you climb a route using trad gear, that must surely be a trad climb. No?
Dangerous Dave - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Oceanrower: not if it has been fully bolted. Its a sport route you have climbed on trad gear. Having the option of clipping bolts stops it being trad climbing.
chrisprescott - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: Autumn would work well, the idea of having a BBQ and bonfire afterwards is a good idea too, would be great to get the place properly cleared up!
gurumed - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave
> [...] not if it has been fully bolted. Its a sport route you have climbed on trad gear. Having the option of clipping bolts stops it being trad climbing.

That is ridiculous. So what makes trad trad is having no escape?

Nobody has yet provided Fraser with a decent answer to the question why you can't just not clip the bolts.

Has anyone got a better reason that doesn't distill down to "I want to prove how brave I am by risking my life on this bit of rock. If you make it safer I won't feel as special and unique." ?
Jamie B - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

> Nobody has yet provided Fraser with a decent answer to the question why you can't just not clip the bolts.

It's because we are very, very, very tired of this f*cktw*t of a non-argument being trotted out. It's been prominent for a couple of years now and is driving me to near-suicide.
Kirriemuir - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> In reply to Dangerous Dave
> [...]
>
>
>
> Has anyone got a better reason that doesn't distill down to "I want to prove how brave I am by risking my life on this bit of rock. If you make it safer I won't feel as special and unique." ?

Yes...I would like to exercise my skills of utilising what natural protection is available on a climb, and having the mental strength to do the climb even if that protection is poor/non-existant, as well as having the ability to do the moves to climb this route...

How about that? Even got a few big words in there too ;)

gurumed - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> It's been prominent for a couple of years now and is driving me to near-suicide.

Perhaps you're now in the perfect mindset to do some bold trad onsighting :)
gurumed - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir:
> Yes...I would like to exercise my skills of utilising what natural protection is available on a climb, and having the mental strength to do the climb even if that protection is poor/non-existant, as well as having the ability to do the moves to climb this route...

Thanks for taking the time, dude. I still think what you've said isn't really answering the question. But I can now see why we're just going to go round and round in circles. You want the challenge without having to resist clipping the bolts, I can't see why you can't use that mental strength (which you must have to climb above dubious gear) to just not clip the bolts. Is it important that people know you didn't have the option of clipping the bolts?

The anti-bolters think that their experience is more important because they're brave and at the same time the pro-bolters won't understand why you can't skip the bolts if the risk is so important. The anti-bolters will die out in the end and a lot of time will have been wasted resisting the inevitable.

Hopefully the two or three guys that trad lead the route enjoy it. I'm sure the intense experience those brave few have on the route will be profound and beyond the ken of the hundreds of bolt clippers who would have otherwise enjoyed the route.

Maybe I'll climb it in twenty years after someone else excavates it and bolts it again.
lukehunt - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
Nice one for putting the effort in at Ratho. It's great to see the crag clean and on the radar. I'm sure that when the dust settles, the place will remain a decent place to enjoy good trad and sport routes, and be much better for it.
Cheers,
Dangerous Dave - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed: My god you really don't get it do you?? I told you earlier there are lots of threads on why you can't bolt trad routes. If you do actually want to find out you will use the search function and read some of the threads. Instead you can't be bothered to read through the topic that has been done to death and would rather spout uninformed garbage on here from a very narrow minded view point.

Here is your first thread to read http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=559860&v=1#x7454834

For what its worth I don't really have an opinion on the specific routes at ratho on if they should or should not be bolted as I don't know anything about them. But what I do care about is this stupid idea that you can just ignore the bolts if you want to lead it on trad.
Fraser on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:
> (In reply to Fraser) so he climbed a sport route using trad gear. That is not trad climbing.

Ah yes, I suspected you'd reinterpret the facts to somehow suit your opinion. ;-) As I understand it, Luke placed his own protection on a route and didn't clip the bolts. That, to my mind, is climbing a trad route in a trad style.

Can I ask Luke, if you're still reading the thread, how did it 'feel' to you as you were climbing it? Possibly a bit contrived since in theory a bail option was always available to you, but overall would you say you did a trad route or a sport route?
Dangerous Dave - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Dangerous Dave)
> [...]
>
> Ah yes, I suspected you'd reinterpret the facts to somehow suit your opinion. ;-)

Which is exactly what you have done.

Fraser on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:
>
> Which is exactly what you have done.

Er no, I wouldn't really say that's true, though I can see how you'd think it.

The difference is you've said that you "...don't really have an opinion on the specific routes at ratho on if they should or should not be bolted as I don't know anything about them." On the other hand, I have seen them (pre and post bolting) and have climbed them, so kind of feel I have a slightly more qualified understanding of the situation. I'm not saying you're not entitled to an opinion about it, but rather that you can't say 'you can't do X' bacause clearly someone has done just that.
s kennedy - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser: So in a similar vein to climbing a route in traditional style that has been bolted 'by not clipping the bolts' I presume sport climbers would be happy top roping traditional climbs, but have the person belaying leave out 3m of slack to simulate falling between bolts. Problem solved, no need to bolt anything.
lukehunt - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to fraser:
On trad routes I tend to enjoy the feeling of commitment and the immediacy of dealing with a potentially mortal situation. The knowledge that it would be possible to clip a bolt in extremis detracts from this. I'd compare trad climbing a sport route to viewing a tiger in the zoo, rather than in the wild. It's still thrilling, but is obviously going to be a less satisfying experience.

What gurumed seems to be suggesting is that one should find challenge in resisting the temptation not to clip the bolts. That just misses the point a bit...



On a wider point, it feels the right balance has been struck in terms of establishing some class sport routes at Ratho whilst protecting the best trad routes. Any thoughts?
Dangerous Dave - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser: I am talking about trying to trad climb bolted routes in general. I am not specifying the specific routes at ratho. Not that I think it makes any difference though. Luke seems to have summed up the point I am making.
Franco Cookson on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Why can't sport climbers just climb a trad route without clipping the trad gear if they want to climb it 'sport'? They don't have to be selfish by placing bolts.
gurumed - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> Why can't sport climbers just climb a trad route without clipping the trad gear if they want to climb it 'sport'?

Your suggestion is that sport climbers don't place any bolts and just solo everything? That doesn't make any sense, dude. :)

> They don't have to be selfish by placing bolts.

Selfish would be keeping the rock in a state where only a minority can play your favourite game on it.

In reply to Dangerous Dave:
I'll have a read of the thread you linked.

In reply to lukehunt:
> What gurumed seems to be suggesting is that one should find challenge in resisting the temptation not to clip the bolts. That just misses the point a bit...

I didn't mean the challenge should become resisting the bolts, just that resisting the bolts shouldn't be a problem if you've got the mental resolve to climb a bold route. Even bold trad has escape options; you could stay at a good hold and request a top-rope rescue from others at the crag, for example.
Kirriemuir - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to lukehunt:
> (In reply to fraser)

> On a wider point, it feels the right balance has been struck in terms of establishing some class sport routes at Ratho whilst protecting the best trad routes. Any thoughts?

It is good that there are now a few more bolted routes in the quarry for everyone to enjoy. I don`t think that the best trad routes were ever under any threat (from being bolted, I presume), despite what some of the more excitable posters on this thread have claimed. In the case of Pettifer`s Wall (and other routes) the threat was that no-one would ever climb the thing again because of the state it was in, and that it just took up a bit of space that could have been better used by having a sport route there.
I`m not in favour of the first ascentionists of any particular route having an absolute veto on the bolting of it, if there was enough of a demand for that and the other criteria for bolts were met.
Incidentally, one of the FA`ists of Pettifer`s, if he had been consulted before the bolting, "would have seriously considered" giving his consent to it, thus avoiding an unseemly and entertaining internet spat.The fact he wasn`t asked prompted him to turn up at Ratho, debolting gear in hand, ready to avenge the perceived sleight. When the EICA management and bolter learned of his intentions, they offered to take the bolts out and save him the bother.
Will be interesting to see if the "saved" route gets traffic and stays climbable (I hope so), or if it reverts to its former state.
If it is the latter, I would be in favour of getting the bolts back in...after suitable consultation/agreement/handshakes/hugs,etc.
And I`ve got a Hilti....:)
victim of mathematics - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

> Selfish would be keeping the rock in a state where only a minority can play your favourite game on it.

If volume of ascents is your only goal, then why don't you want to bolt Indian Face?

>
> I didn't mean the challenge should become resisting the bolts, just that resisting the bolts shouldn't be a problem if you've got the mental resolve to climb a bold route. Even bold trad has escape options; you could stay at a good hold and request a top-rope rescue from others at the crag, for example.

1) That's bollocks. Not only do you apparently not understand anything about trad climbing, you also seem to have no grasp of how the human brain works. Having the 'mental resolve' to attempt a bold route is fundamentally not the same thing as having the 'mental resolve' not to clip the bolts. Plus, you're probably more likely to get on it knowing that you could always clip the bolts and bail if you wanted to. Rather than waiting until you really did have the 'mental resolve' for it.

2) For a lot of people a large part of the enjoyment of trad climbing is the aesthetic pleasure in turning up at a bit of rock, climbing it under your own steam, and walking away, with the rock exactly as you found it. The very presence of bolts in a route preclude this.

3) I've always worried that on slightly slabby routes you might hit the bolts if you fell off, which wouldn't be a whole world of fun.

Right, that's the last bite that you're getting. Now go away until you've either realised that trolling is for tedious cnuts, or learnt something about how climbing works in the UK.
beychae - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

I've got an analogy that could be helpful:

Imagine that you get pretty good at Sudoku, but you want to add a bit of spice to the game. So you invent a game where you have to solve a Sudoku, watched by someone with a stopwatch and a gun. If you don't solve the puzzle correctly within a certain time limit, you get a couple of rounds in the chest. This means you have to have incredible mental strength to be able to focus on the Sudoku, instead of going to pieces worrying about the guy with the gun.

Of course, if enough people play this game, some of them have to get shot occasionally. Otherwise the risk wouldn't be real, and you'd remove the mental challenge *.

Trad climbing a sport route would be like playing this with a bullet-proof vest in easy reach. You'd probably know if you were near to running out of time, and could grab for the vest and pull it on. You wouldn't need nearly the same level of commitment (although there is still a chance you could misjudge things).

* In the interests of balance I should add that people do sometimes "get shot" sport climbing, and even indoor climbing, but I suspect the risks are of a very different magnitude.
gurumed - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> If volume of ascents is your only goal, then why don't you want to bolt Indian Face?

Indian Face has had more trad repeats this year than Pettifers probably had in the last decade, before Buz cleaned it up. I'm not saying if something's bold we should bolt it, I'm saying if it was neglected then it hurts noone to bolt it. And anyone who suddenly wants to trad that particular route, now that it's been cleaned by sport climbers, can do so over the bolts.

It doesn't seem fair the pure-trad guys that were ignoring it for decades, leaving it buried, can coming running claiming something has been stolen from the trad experience when it would've never come up on their radar if it hadn't been bolted.

In reply to beychae:

> Imagine that you get pretty good at Sudoku, but you want to add a bit of spice to the game. So you invent a game where you have to solve a Sudoku, watched by someone with a stopwatch and a gun. If you don't solve the puzzle correctly within a certain time limit, you get a couple of rounds in the chest. This means you have to have incredible mental strength to be able to focus on the Sudoku, instead of going to pieces worrying about the guy with the gun.

Nice analogy beychae, that's cool that people enjoy shoot-me-suduko (it would make great tv :-) but it would be crap if a suduko lover found a long discarded puzzle, started to do it without the gun then someone came along and insisted the puzzle could only be played with the gun.
victim of mathematics - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

> Indian Face has had more trad repeats this year than Pettifers probably had in the last decade, before Buz cleaned it up. I'm not saying if something's bold we should bolt it, I'm saying if it was neglected then it hurts noone to bolt it. And anyone who suddenly wants to trad that particular route, now that it's been cleaned by sport climbers, can do so over the bolts.

OK, so wind the clock back 3 or 4 years. The route's had 3 ascents over 20 years. Does that count as 'neglected'? Would bolting it have 'hurt noone'?
ads.ukclimbing.com
beychae - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> OK, so wind the clock back 3 or 4 years. The route's had 3 ascents over 20 years. Does that count as 'neglected'? Would bolting it have 'hurt noone'?

Give that it is *not* 3 or 4 years ago, that looks like an implicit admission that bolting PW today was a reasonable action.
gurumed - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> OK, so wind the clock back 3 or 4 years. The route's had 3 ascents over 20 years. Does that count as 'neglected'? Would bolting it have 'hurt noone'?

Bolting Indian Face would've hurt because it was a famous route that people aspired to. People know that routes name. People dream of doing it. It was exciting to see when MacLeod did it. It also isn't being buried with neglect.

I haven't been within 100 miles of the Indian Face but I've heard of it. I've literally stood beneath Pettifer's without knowing about it. It was just a dirty wall in the corner of a quarry that was being ignored and that's why bolting it hurt no one.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> [...]
>
> And anyone who suddenly wants to trad that particular route, now that it's been cleaned by sport climbers, can do so over the bolts.

They could trad climb the new route with the bolts, but that's not the same as climbing the original route without the bolts. It's been made easier just like if someone had chipped better holds.

Something was lost but there's a strong case that more was gained in the actual context of Ratho by trading off an almost never climbed difficult route for a regularly climbed but easier route.
Robert Durran - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> Indian Face has had more trad repeats this year than Pettifers probably had in the last decade, before Buz cleaned it up. I'm not saying if something's bold we should bolt it, I'm saying if it was neglected then it hurts noone to bolt it.

Buz (or even better me - I am guilty here) should have cleaned it, put the chain below the "impossible" top out and left a good trad route which would get traffic (as it now will).


> And anyone who suddenly wants to trad that particular route, now that it's been cleaned by sport climbers, can do so over the bolts.

Yes, but for the millionth time, it wouldn't be a "trad" experience. It would be such a poor, contrived climbing experience that hardly anyone would even aspire to bothering. With the bolts removed it will be a fine E4 challenge that plenty will aspire to but, yes, few will actually do - and there is absoluteluy nothing wrong with that (cf Indian Face)
>
> It doesn't seem fair the pure-trad guys......

Who are thes "pure trad guys"? I think you find they virtually all do sport as well and so have a prettry balanced perspective on the whole issue.

> Nice analogy beychae.

Another one: imagine setting off to swim across the channel completely alone. Now imagine it with a support boat alongside. Totally different challenges and experiences, albeit physically identical.
Robert Durran - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

When the pro-bolters (Kirriemuir, Tom) start having to spell out the pro-trad case to you, you should realise you are fighting a losing battle!
victim of mathematics - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> Give that it is *not* 3 or 4 years ago, that looks like an implicit admission that bolting PW today was a reasonable action.

Erm, no. Challenging somebody's argument is very much not the same thing as agreeing with them. I'd have thought that was fairly obvious to anybody over the age of about 5.
beychae - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> Erm, no. Challenging somebody's argument is very much not the same thing as agreeing with them. I'd have thought that was fairly obvious to anybody over the age of about 5.

What you did was propose a hypothetical addition to someone's argument, and then challenge that. If you'd had a strong argument against gurumed's actual position, why didn't you make that argument, instead of adding an extra clause?
victim of mathematics - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> What you did was propose a hypothetical addition to someone's argument, and then challenge that. If you'd had a strong argument against gurumed's actual position, why didn't you make that argument, instead of adding an extra clause?

Clearly logic is beyond you. Reframing an argument is not the same thing as extending or changing it.
beychae - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

Maybe if you insult me some more, you'll switch to a winning position in this little disagreement? ;)
gurumed - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> [I] should have cleaned it, put the chain below the "impossible" top out and left a good trad route which would get traffic (as it now will).

Yes, but you didn't. And neither did anyone else. For decades.

> Yes, but for the millionth time, it wouldn't be a "trad" experience. It would be such a poor, contrived climbing experience that hardly anyone would even aspire to bothering.

The right to a "trad" experience was lost when the route was abandoned for decades.

> With the bolts removed it will be a fine E4 challenge that plenty will aspire to but, yes, few will actually do - and there is absoluteluy nothing wrong with that (cf Indian Face)

I see plenty wrong with only three or four people enjoying the rock over potentially hundreds of people, especially when that minority only became aware of the route because bolt-clippers were enjoying it.

Dangerous Dave - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed: Routes and areas go in and out of "fashion" for want of a better expression. It does not give people a right to go and bolt a route just because it had not been climbed for a while.

Black Spout Wall had hardly been climeb at all if at all in the past 10 years. Then this year it recieved about 10 ascents. Thankfully no-one decided it had been neglected for a while and got the Hilti out.
Robert Durran - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:
> Black Spout Wall had hardly been climeb at all if at all in the past 10 years. Then this year it recieved about 10 ascents. Thankfully no-one decided it had been neglected for a while and got the Hilti out.

Excellent example! Same with quite a few routes. What a great summer!

Mark Bull - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:

> It does not give people a right to go and bolt a route just because it had not been climbed for a while.

I agree, but I think there needs to be a certain amount of generosity of the part of trad fans to give up some routes to sport. Otherwise we're just being arrogant, elitist and selfish, and increase the chances of rock-starved sport climbers doing the wrong thing. I still think a forum for debate with the authority of the sport's governing body would be good idea.

Pettifer's Wall was a difficult case. On reflection, I think the current state (without bolts but with a lower off) is probably the best one. I still think a forum for debate with the authority of the sport's governing body would be good idea, and in this case could have avoid a lot of unnecessary angst.

Dangerous Dave - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Mark Bull: Sounds like a good idea. I am not against retrobolting just needs done with some thought and discussion. Otherwise we end up with more Farletters kicking about which is now of no use to anyone!!
Robert Durran - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Mark Bull:
> (In reply to Dangerous Dave)

> I still think a forum for debate with the authority of the sport's governing body would be good idea, and in this case could have avoid a lot of unnecessary angst.

No governing body exists. Unless you count the IFSC, heaven forbid!

gurumed - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> Excellent example! Same with quite a few routes. What a great summer!

Black Spout Wall is a multi-pitch, three star, classic mountain route. It is not an excellent example. It is almost the exact opposite of what Pettifer's is.
Dangerous Dave - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed: Ok, many of the routes on the back wall of this crag had not seen ascents in years. http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=2511
This year saw many of them getting done, thankfully no-one had got the Hilti out.

There will be many more examples of this.
JimboWizbo - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: I climbed an old E1 5b on gear that had bolts, what grade do I get?
Robert Durran - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
> Black Spout Wall is a multi-pitch, three star, classic mountain route. It is not an excellent example. It is almost the exact opposite of what Pettifer's is.

Ok, it's a crap example.
Pettifer's in it's new cleaned, unbolted, chained state is the perfect example.

Mark Bull - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> No governing body exists.

Don't be obtuse! I meant the MCofS, of course. See my earlier posts re. BMC area committees - do you think they are a bad idea?



Robert Durran - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Mark Bull:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Don't be obtuse! I meant the MCofS, of course. See my earlier posts re. BMC area committees - do you think they are a bad idea?

Yes, I know. But some people mighgt not realise that the MC of S does not "govern" as in make rules or decisions on our behalf. It is there to represent climbers' interest and, I suppose, possibly advise us for our own good.

Fiend - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Thanks Rob! I'm hoping you'll be 1st in the queue for the 1st trad ascent of the century? I'll be happy to belay...

He'll have to be second in the queue now.

Just did Pettifar's Wall, very fine route that is now in the neglect-resolving state that it should have been put in several weeks ago - completely trad apart from the sensible lower-off, chalked and reasonably clean. It is still a bit sandy although I scraped out the gear cracks and brushed the holds. The climbing is excellent, unusually slabby for the area, and the gear is fine with a curious mix of small offset wires and large-ish cams. If it didn't get dusty it would be a 3 star route and is probably E3 5c anyway.

Please repair Wally 2 and Slow Strain next (I'd never really looked at the latter until today but it looks like a fine trad proposition) and I'll get on those next.

P.S. The bolt-chopping has been very neat.
Chad123 - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

I'm a bit sad that these routes are getting returned to trad lines before I get a chance to have a play on them as sport routes to be honest. I'm a trad climber through and through indeed I was nicknamed trad chad for many a year, but Ratho quarry to me lost its appeal once the climbing centre opened, before that it was a nice quiet place with solid rock where I did most of my first E1s and E2s. Gruel Britannia was also a great E3. I've been back in recent years and the whole place is still climbable but just has an air of dust, dirt and loose rock in places. I optimistically repeated things like welcome to the cruise, shear fear and gruel Britannia but they're just not the same. If ever there was an ideal venue for sport climbing this is it. Let it go I say, Ratho has had it's heyday and can never return to pre Eica condition. I could still lead pettifers, slow strain etc if I so desired as trad, but they appeal more as sport routes. If you want dolorite trad go to cambusbarron etc, or better yet go further afield for proper three star adventures, nothing in Ratho would get three stars on a national scale, don't be absurd. +1 for a local Edinburgh sport crag besides north Berwick. Vive la difference......
sebrider - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Chad123:

Have to say I tend to agree. I do like the juxtaposition of Ratho outside though, had some nice quiet eves there :)

There is a shortage of sport in the central belt so this addition in Ratho is great, thanks for the good work. On reading previous posts apparently there is a shortage of trad too, so better not use them up for sport!

Oh well, would be nice if the rest of the sport routes stay as well as the good trad routes...

Retro bolting good trad routes, even if neglected is perhaps dodgy ground, where is the line drawn...I guess it has been demonstrated!

Maybe this bolting thing is a bit like Diana...we are just not ready yet!
Robert Durran - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to buzby78)

> He'll have to be second in the queue now.

No problem. Actions are so much better than words. I'd be delighted to be much further down the queue.
>
> Just did Pettifar's Wall.

Nice one.

> Please repair Wally 2 and Slow Strain next.

I'll second that. A line hopefully having then been drawn in the sand, there will be no more reto-bolting and we can move on to sensible accomodation of sport climbing.
hkstu - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: great stuff. Bolting or retro bolting these routes doesn't stop folk climbing them trad if they want to. Been to the indoor wall 100s of times and from memory only saw folk on the outdoor quarry once. This initiative can only enhance what are already superb facilities.
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to hkstu:
> (In reply to buzby78) great stuff. Bolting or retro bolting these routes doesn't stop folk climbing them trad if they want to.

Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggg........

> Been to the indoor wall 100s of times and from memory only saw folk on the outdoor quarry once.

Either you didn't look, or your memory fails you, or you never go in summer.

gurumed - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> > Please repair Wally 2 and Slow Strain next.
> I'll second that. A line hopefully having then been drawn in the sand, there will be no more reto-bolting and we can move on to sensible accomodation of sport climbing.

Sensible accomodation would have been leaving Pettifer's bolted. If you're all so suddenly keen for trad in the quarry, how about cleaning up some of the other abandoned lines instead of trying to steal freshly resurrected lines from the sport climbers?
Smelly Fox - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
I've stayed out of this thread so far but that last comedy comment... "stealing from sportclimbers" has inspired me to add my tuppence worth to the sht pile.

I visited the quarry to climb for the first time yesterday. I had in the past had a look and a wander around during sessions at the indoor wall, but have always been put off by the overgrown approaches and topouts.

I was really delighted by the work that has been done in there. Clearing the approaches etc. I like the look of the new sport routes too. I'll definitely be back soon.

Without going into a boring rant, I hope the bolts come out of the existing trad lines. The E2 6a arête next to Pettifers looks awesome, in fact so awesome I nearly got on it as a sport route yesterday. What stopped me was that nagging feeling at the bottom of my gut that I would be somehow cheating myself...

Anyway enough from me. Thanks again for the good work clearing the Quarry Buzby, next step should be sorting out a decent descent!

Regards

Trist
lukehunt - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:
> Please repair Wally 2 and Slow Strain next

Wally 2 is a solo when climbed without the bolts. Best left alone?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to lukehunt:
> (In reply to Fiend)
> [...]
>
> Wally 2 is a solo when climbed without the bolts.

Define solo (On second thoughts don't)

Fiend - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to lukehunt:

Good. I'd much rather prepare, train, psyche myself up and solo it - that's how it originally was and that's how it inspired me for the last couple of years (during which I haven't done it because I've been exploring the rest of Scotland and have saved it for a short local day).
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to lukehunt:
> (In reply to Fiend)
> [...]
>
> Wally 2 is a solo when climbed without the bolts. Best left alone?

That might be fair enough if this is really the case (I suppose it could be said to give the authentic trad experience since there would be no point in carrying anything to clip the bolts with anyway). So de-bolt Slow Strain and leave Wally 2 (if there really is no gear at all).
sheppy on 06 Sep 2013
There seems to be a bit of talk going around about trad routes having bolted lower offs.
Going to make it easier etc etc
Forget it.
If you want to trad then trad, that doesn't include lowering off bolts.
If you don't want bolts in the routes then don't expect them at the top.
Fiend - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to sheppy:

Ideally the less fixed gear the better, but it's definitely NOT that black and white:

Firstly it's a grey area - pegs, old bolts, threads, tat, abseil points, recommendations of fixed ropes to lower off, etc. Trad routes aren't necessarily devoid of fixed protection (on route or at the top), but it is almost always very clear what is a good trad experience and what isn't.

Secondly, busby's argument - which is one of the very few sensible ones - reiterated by some people on here, is about routes becoming neglected and dirty and unclimable. Lower-offs are a compromise that allows a good trad route in the spirit of trad climbing, whilst avoiding an extraneous problem (filthy earth cornice) that could continue that neglect.

Fiend - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Solos are still valid trad experiences!
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Solos are still valid trad experiences!

Yes, very much so. Would you be happy with the experience of soloing (Wally 2) with the bolts in? Obviously carrying nothing with which to clip the bolts.

Fiend - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Would I f*ck!

I'd rather go up and down, get scared, come down for a think, keep working it out, get committed.....the usual experience.
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Would I f*ck!
>
> I'd rather go up and down, get scared, come down for a think, keep working it out, get committed.....the usual experience.

Isn't that what you would be doing even with the bolts in?

Enty - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to sheppy:
> There seems to be a bit of talk going around about trad routes having bolted lower offs.
> Going to make it easier etc etc
> Forget it.
> If you want to trad then trad, that doesn't include lowering off bolts.
> If you don't want bolts in the routes then don't expect them at the top.

Is there no cicumstance at all where a bolt lower off on a trad route is justified?

E
sebrider - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to sheppy: Very well put!
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to sebrider:
> (In reply to sheppy) Very well put!

Smacked of sour grapes to me.

Actually, if that's the way he wants it, take the chain out. No one ever climbs the route because of the suicidal top out. So be it. At least the principle of no retro-bolting is maintained (which in the grand scheme of things is more important than having one more route to climb anyway). I was looking forward to doing Pettifer's but can live without it.

whispering nic - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to lukehunt: There's some kit in a useful place.
Fraser on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Bob, you're really putting the 'petty' in Pettifer's!

Seriously, you and Fiend should get a grip. As a very loud and insistent minority (or so it would appear from this thread at least) you've got your way. PW will now see way fewer ascents from hereon in than it would if the bolts had remained.

> At least the principle of no retro-bolting is maintained (which in the grand scheme of things is more important than having one more route to climb anyway). I was looking forward to doing Pettifer's but can live without it.

And that sums up the futility and idiocy of what has happened here. The vociferous few would rather have no-one climb a route for some out-moded, nebulous reason than let a larger majority get joy from climbing a piece of rock which will undoubtedly now see diminishing traffic to the point whereby it once again becomes forgotten, abandoned and overgrown. My we should be proud of that achievement, bravo!


In reply to Fiend:

> ...I haven't done it because I've been exploring the rest of Scotland and have saved it for a short local day.

If I had the balls to come out with such a blatant load of bollocks as that statement, I'd surely have manned up and lead / soloed the route. You can't seriously expect any of us to believe that one do you 'cos my head doesn't button up the back!

> Lower-offs are a compromise that allows a good trad route in the spirit of trad climbing

Remind me again why we should 'compromise' to appease the personal whim of the minority rather than compromise and meet the wishes of the majority. In this instance - please remove the blinkers for once and note this preface - the bolts were a compromise that allowed a good sport route in the spirit of climbing.
Fiend - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Isn't that what you would be doing even with the bolts in?

LOL! Well since the presence of bolts makes no difference to the trad experience......................................!

Meanwhile, back in reality, when this route is repaired to it's true state, I'll be taking the full rack of RPs, offsets, superlights, C3s, tricams, sliders and skyhooks - just in case. Actually got me psyched just thinking about it.
Andy Nisbet - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:

Well argued and spot on.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to sheppy)
> [...]
>
> Is there no cicumstance at all where a bolt lower off on a trad route is justified?
>
> E

Depends whether you espouse the Wahhabist or Salafist school of trad climbing.
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> LOL! Well since the presence of bolts makes no difference to the trad experience......................................!

Not much if you are not carrying and krabs.

But yes, if there is gear to be had, the bolts should go.
gurumed - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:

> And that sums up the futility and idiocy of what has happened here. The vociferous few would rather have no-one climb a route for some out-moded, nebulous reason than let a larger majority get joy from climbing a piece of rock which will undoubtedly now see diminishing traffic to the point whereby it once again becomes forgotten, abandoned and overgrown. My we should be proud of that achievement, bravo!

> Remind me again why we should 'compromise' to appease the personal whim of the minority rather than compromise and meet the wishes of the majority. In this instance - please remove the blinkers for once and note this preface - the bolts were a compromise that allowed a good sport route in the spirit of climbing.

I wish I could express myself that clearly. Well said, dude!
buzby78 - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to whispering nic:

Was that "useful kit" the 7 bolts and lower that you clipped yesterday by chance? ;)
gurumed - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
Fiend wants the bolts out, even if it's a death solo. It would seem that the goal is to make sure only he and a select few can enjoy the route rather than the unwashed masses.
Hay - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
Robert,
Are you suggesting that an unprotectable route is a more acceptable retro-bolt?
That seems very louche.
B.
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> Seriously, you and Fiend should get a grip. As a very loud and insistent minority (or so it would appear from this thread at least).

I'm not sure this thread is representative. I actually feel quite exposed standing up and being counted. Tyres let down at Ratho? I actually felt a little nervous going there yesterday and will feel even more so tomorrow.

> You've got your way.

Yes, as things stand as far as Pettifer's is concerned

> PW will now see way fewer ascents from hereon in than it would if the bolts had remained.

Yes, and most trad routes would see more ascents if they were bolted. It's a non-argument.

> The vociferous few would rather have no-one climb a route for some out-moded, nebulous reason........

No, in this unusual case I would much rather see a slightly flawed trad route with a chain. I thought it was obvious I was just highlighting Neil's apparent petulance. However, if it came to it (and I sincerely hope it doesn't), I would rather sacrifice one route than see the red line of no retro-bolting to be crossed.

> ..........a piece of rock which will undoubtedly now see diminishing traffic to the point whereby it once again becomes forgotten.

Yes, An E4 is much harder than a 6c, so it will obviously receive less traffic, but hopefully, assuming the chain remains, it will get regular ascents and remain clean during the summer. It sounds a good route.
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Robert,
> Are you suggesting that an unprotectable route is a more acceptable retro-bolt?

Yes. As long as it is so clearly unprotectable that there is no point in carrying any krabs when leading it.

> That seems very louche.

Excuse my ignorance, but what does "louche" mean?


gurumed - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> Excuse my ignorance, but what does "louche" mean?

Something louche is of questionionable taste or morality.
Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> It would seem that the goal is to make sure only he and a select few can enjoy the route rather than the unwashed masses.

I thought it was us scummy trad climbers who didn't wash. I sometimes wonder what the world is coming to.......

Robert Durran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> Something louche is of questionionable taste or morality.

Always happy to compromise ;-)

gurumed - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
We're all scummy :)
Hay - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
Was thinking rakishly decadent.
B.
Fraser on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I actually feel quite exposed standing up and being counted. Tyres let down at Ratho? I actually felt a little nervous going there yesterday and will feel even more so tomorrow.

Bob, I'm genuinely sorry to hear you feel that way and I apologise if I've overstepped the mark in any of my posts here. They're not targeted personally but more at the stance some people have taken. The whole thing to my mind is just very disappointing.

The weather here is rubbish too so I'm heading in to the arena later this morning. Maybe we can continue this discussion in person and I'll try and moderate my language ;-)

victim of mathematics - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:

> Seriously, you and Fiend should get a grip. As a very loud and insistent minority (or so it would appear from this thread at least) you've got your way. PW will now see way fewer ascents from hereon in than it would if the bolts had remained.
> And that sums up the futility and idiocy of what has happened here. The vociferous few would rather have no-one climb a route for some out-moded, nebulous reason than let a larger majority get joy from climbing a piece of rock which will undoubtedly now see diminishing traffic to the point whereby it once again becomes forgotten, abandoned and overgrown. My we should be proud of that achievement, bravo!
>

The argument that all we should care about is the number of people who can 'enjoy' a route is totally specious and should be consigned to the same dustbin as that tired old 'you can always not clip the bolts' horse. If you genuinely think that we should be doing all we can to maximise the number if people who can climb every route then grid bolt everything and chip holds in everything above f6a. That way almost everybody can have the dubious pleasure of climbing all of the routes.

Otherwise, and I'm sorry to use the same example again, why not bolt Indian Face? More people would 'enjoy' it that way. History? Quality? Fame? For what are you prepared to compromise your 'maximum fun for the maximum number of people' stance?


> Remind me again why we should 'compromise' to appease the personal whim of the minority rather than compromise and meet the wishes of the majority. In this instance - please remove the blinkers for once and note this preface - the bolts were a compromise that allowed a good sport route in the spirit of climbing.

Given that retro-bolting trad routes without the permission of the FA is against every bolting policy and guideline that I'm aware of, can you really say that doing it was the wish of the majority? If you made the argument solely about Pettifer's Wall, then perhaps you could persuade a genuine majority of British climbers that the bolting was justified (that's a big perhaps though) in spite of this, but there's an awful lot of talk on this thread about increasing the provision of sport climbs in an area with limited rock and not a huge amount of decent trad climbing in the first place. Are you seriously advocating wide scale retro-bolting without permission from the FAs? Because that's what all this sabre-rattling sounds like and I, for one, find that terrifying. In that sense these routes at Ratho appear to represent the genuine thin end of a huge wedge, which is why people are getting so exorcised about some 'dirty routes in a grotty little quarry'.
Fiend - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

A reputedly unprotectable trad route is still a trad route. Maybe rarer up here compared to the plethora of grit / quarried grit / sandstone / quarried sandstone routes that shouldn't get bolted, but it's not unusual, and there's plenty of bold routes in Scotland that would be just as dangerous.

Even if one was to follow one report of the route being unprotectable and take nothing on it (which I certainly wouldn't - I did a recent route at Aberdeen recently with an apparently unprotected finish according to two local veterans and got two good RPs in and would have got more if I hadn't been a knob and dropped my wires!), having bolts as additional hand and footholds, having a chain to use at the top, hell even threading chalkbag cord through the bolts....it would all make it a non-trad experience, protectable or otherwise.
Robert Durran - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> Even if one was to follow one report of the route being unprotectable and take nothing on it......having bolts as additional hand and footholds, having a chain to use at the top, hell even threading chalkbag cord through the bolts....it would all make it a non-trad experience, protectable or otherwise.

Good points I hadn't thought of.

abbeywall - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: it's been a good debate which as usual I have watched from the sidelines I was about to enter the frey when it was suggested that silence meant agreement. Not sure it is a minority view. I reckon it's about 50/50 on the thread whatever that means. I might have aspired to do pettifers as a sport route but not as a trad route. But it's the right result as far as i am concerned for all the reasons given by others.
If we now have a group clean up of overgrown central belt crags that will be great. Respect to Buzby for how the de-bolting has been handled and for taking the initiative to do something about the quarry.
I look forward to not having to be a comedy sketch at ratho as I shuffle along the gate on my stomach, puzzle over the the reverse nut key lock which i still cant do and not having to abseil into bramble bushes and other horrors (thanks the guys who have cleaned up rock a boogie/beanpud bit)
But I think Farrletter should be bolted.......although some of the views on bolting on this thread have made me pause on that one
Robert Durran - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> Bob, I'm genuinely sorry to hear you feel that way and I apologise if I've overstepped the mark in any of my posts here. They're not targeted personally but more at the stance some people have taken. The whole thing to my mind is just very disappointing.

I don't think you have overstepped the mark. You are entitled to your views; I just happen to disagree.

However, I do feel that some people have overstepped the mark or, at least, show so little understanding of the issues that the discusssion could turn nasty and I have no wish to get involved in anything other than civilised debate. It is the idea of possibly getting verbally set upon by a rabid pack of pro-bolters that makes me a little nervous going to Ratho at the moment. Maybe I'm being paranoid though.

As for my comment about having tyres let down, I don't for one minute think that is going to happen today, but what if I removed the remaining retro-bolts (or at least publicly put my name to it - I don't have the skills or tools to actually do the chopping chopping myself)?



Smelly Fox - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Fraser)
>
> Given that retro-bolting trad routes without the permission of the FA is against every bolting policy and guideline that I'm aware of, can you really say that doing it was the wish of the majority? If you made the argument solely about Pettifer's Wall, then perhaps you could persuade a genuine majority of British climbers that the bolting was justified (that's a big perhaps though) in spite of this, but there's an awful lot of talk on this thread about increasing the provision of sport climbs in an area with limited rock and not a huge amount of decent trad climbing in the first place. Are you seriously advocating wide scale retro-bolting without permission from the FAs? Because that's what all this sabre-rattling sounds like and I, for one, find that terrifying. In that sense these routes at Ratho appear to represent the genuine thin end of a huge wedge, which is why people are getting so exorcised about some 'dirty routes in a grotty little quarry'.

Couldn't have put it better myself.
Robert Durran - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> Because that's what all this sabre-rattling sounds like and I, for one, find that terrifying. In that sense these routes at Ratho appear to represent the genuine thin end of a huge wedge, which is why people are getting so exorcised about some 'dirty routes in a grotty little quarry'.

I couldn't agree more. To be perfectly honest, if the case had been made that Ratho Quarry was a special case because it's in the back garden of the EICA and there was no suggestion that a general precedent was being set and that there was no appetite or demand for the retro-bolting to spread (as there clearly is from some of the comments on here), I could probably have lived with the retro-bolted routes at Ratho. But, as thing stands, there is clearly a need for a line to be drawn.



Hay - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
Robert,
I think you'd have waaaay more friends at Ratho than enemies.

Bruce
Kirriemuir - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay: Not so sure about that Brucie :-)
Kirriemuir - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> [...]
>
> I couldn't agree more. To be perfectly honest, if the case had been made that Ratho Quarry was a special case because it's in the back garden of the EICA and there was no suggestion that a general precedent was being set and that there was no appetite or demand for the retro-bolting to spread (as there clearly is from some of the comments on here), I could probably have lived with the retro-bolted routes at Ratho. But, as thing stands, there is clearly a need for a line to be drawn.

We are indeed very fortunate to have you around to keep Scottish climbing safe from what a clear majority (on here at least) would like to see.
If ever a line needs drawing, I`m pretty sure you are the man do it with mathematical precision ;)
gurumed - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> The argument that all we should care about is the number of people who can 'enjoy' a route is totally specious and should be consigned to the same dustbin as that tired old 'you can always not clip the bolts' horse.

You keep saying this argument is bollocks, but nobody ever says why.

> why not bolt Indian Face? More people would 'enjoy' it that way.
I don't know about that. Are there many 7b sport route slabs? Nobody seems to set anything like that indoors ever.

> Given that retro-bolting trad routes without the permission of the FA is against every bolting policy and guideline that I'm aware of, can you really say that doing it was the wish of the majority?

I agree that it's polite to ask, but I don't recognise anyones right to lay claim to a piece of rock just because they climbed it first. Are you saying if I do a gearless death solo somewhere nobody else gets to enjoy it unless they are willing to risk their lives too?

> In that sense these routes at Ratho appear to represent the genuine thin end of a huge wedge, which is why people are getting so exorcised about some 'dirty routes in a grotty little quarry'.

It's not the thin end of the wedge. I guaruntee you that everyone in this debate would say no to bolting Shear Fear, for example. The bolting Buz did was 100% reasonable. No one was aware of that rock, never mind using it. Bolting it only enhanced the crag for everyone. Unfortunately now that somebody else has put in the hard work of cleaning it up a few top-end trad fellows would like to take the rock for themselves.


In reply to Fiend:
> A reputedly unprotectable trad route is still a trad route. Maybe rarer up here compared to the plethora of grit / quarried grit / sandstone / quarried sandstone routes that shouldn't get bolted, but it's not unusual, and there's plenty of bold routes in Scotland that would be just as dangerous.

By that definition any bit of rock is a trad route. Convenient for you.

In reply to Robert Durran:
> However, I do feel that some people have overstepped the mark or, at least, show so little understanding of the issues that the discusssion could turn nasty and I have no wish to get involved in anything other than civilised debate. It is the idea of possibly getting verbally set upon by a rabid pack of pro-bolters that makes me a little nervous going to Ratho at the moment. Maybe I'm being paranoid though.

I hope you're not referring to me :) Tone in text form can be a little hard to get across. I try to emphatically make a point, but the statements aren't shouted. A least not in my head. I considered talking to you on Thursday night but you were getting a lot done and I didn't want to interrupt your flow.

> As for my comment about having tyres let down, I don't for one minute think that is going to happen today, but what if I removed the remaining retro-bolts (or at least publicly put my name to it - I don't have the skills or tools to actually do the chopping chopping myself)?

I'd never chop the bolts on your car, or let your tyres down. I'd give you the evil eye though :P

Maybe the correct response would be to remove all the gear placements so you could have the maximum trad experience?

In reply to Kirriemuir:
> We are indeed very fortunate to have you around to keep Scottish climbing safe from what a clear majority (on here at least) would like to see.

Indeed, if we keep going this way nobody will be in the quarry and it'll return to a decrepit state again.
Jamie B - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> The argument that all we should care about is the number of people who can 'enjoy' a route is totally specious and should be consigned to the same dustbin as that tired old 'you can always not clip the bolts' horse.

Can you fit a horse into a dustbin? You may want to reconsider this metaphor...

Jamie B - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to abbeywall:

> I might have aspired to do Pettifers as a sport route but not as a trad route. But it's the right result as far as i am concerned for all the reasons given by others.

That's kind of where I'm at. I don't think routes should be retroed without FA permission, and I don't think this is selfish as it denies me a route!
Robert Durran - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay:

> Robert,
> I think you'd have waaaay more friends at Ratho than enemies.
>
> Bruce

I'm just a bit worried which side James is on ;-)

Robert Durran - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> In reply to Robert Durran:
>
> I hope you're not referring to me :) Tone in text form can be a little hard to get across.

I don't mind your tone, but I do seriously question your understanding of the issues (the "why not just not clip the bolts" thing and the "what gives most people the most enjoyment is what's best" thing)

> I considered talking to you on Thursday night........ I'd never chop the bolts on your car, or let your tyres down. I'd give you the evil eye though :P

Funny how we presumably frequent Ratho together and debate on here, while I have to admit that I have no idea at all who you are! I'll be watching my back.......
Fiend - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

I think I prefered your initial posts when they were avoidable trolling, but in case you are being serious:

> Are you saying if I do a gearless death solo somewhere nobody else gets to enjoy it unless they are willing to risk their lives too?

Obviously. This is the UK. Bold climbs are part of the climbing heritage and what makes climbing so special. Hopefully there is no need to list the hundreds of classic (or even just merely good) gritstone "death solos", particularly with a mega-classic "death lead" being featured all this week - including people who are willing to risk their lives on it.

In Scottish terms, consider the variety of routes like Jahu, The Fuhrer, Land Ahoy, Icon Of Lust, Nijinski, Firestone, Nandralone, The Final Solution and so many of Dave Mac's routes. There are still good bold routes up here and they don't need to be retrobolted.

> It's not the thin end of the wedge. I guaruntee you that everyone in this debate would say no to bolting Shear Fear, for example.

It's already thicker than the thin end of the wedge. That's the whole analogy, it's a wedge, it slowly gets thicker.

After retro-bolting attempts at Farrletter, it would be hard to imagine retro-bolting neglected routes like Pettifar's at a much more obvious and well-used trad venue like Ratho, but it happened. After retro-bolting Pettifar's on the grounds of it being filthy, it would be hard to imagine retro-bolting Wally 2 on the grounds of it being bold, but it happened. Increments, each time.

> The bolting Buz did was 100% reasonable. No one was aware of that rock, never mind using it. Bolting it only enhanced the crag for everyone.

I have had Wally 2 marked down for a lead for the last year, ever since I did Wally 3. I fully intended on using it when I wasn't up at the Highland crags. Bolting it has ruined that option for me - regardless of the general ethical problem with retro-bolting.

> By that definition any bit of rock is a trad route. Convenient for you.

No. Any bit of rock taken by a route that was first climbed trad, has been well established as trad, especially in an area that is very trad suitable (unlike Moy for example) and in a primarily trad venue (unlike Goat Crag for example) is a trad route. Just like the rest of the UK.

> I hope you're not referring to me :) Tone in text form can be a little hard to get across.

From your earliest post:

> a bunch of whiney bitches

You do a very good job of getting your tone across. More convincingly than the arguments presented.

> Maybe the correct response would be to remove all the gear placements so you could have the maximum trad experience?

No. The trad experience is what the rock allows (sometimes including peg and thread placements). That's obvious and pretending otherwise is just pointless.

> Indeed, if we keep going this way nobody will be in the quarry and it'll return to a decrepit state again.

No. There have been people climbing in the quarry throughout recent years DESPITE encroaching trees, hidden routes, seemingly off-putting approaches and descents. I only went three times before the recent problems, but that's because I was too busy exploring elsewhere.

As said many times before, the solution to neglected trad routes is cleaning, removing vegetation, improving approaches and descents, clarifying access, inspecting and updating routes, implementing compromises like lower-offs, before even considering consultation and discussion about bolting. Some of these actions are now in motion (and probably would have been in motion a lot sooner if people had realised there was this retro-bolting threat), further ensuring that this trad venue will not be decrepit.
Robert Durran - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> We are indeed very fortunate to have you around to keep Scottish climbing safe from what a clear majority (on here at least) would like to see. If ever a line needs drawing, I`m pretty sure you are the man do it with mathematical precision ;)

I honestly don't know whether that is sarcasm or a genuine compliment. Anyway, I don't agree it's necesarily a majority, let alone a clear one and certainly whether it is relevant anyway.

PS I have absolutely no idea who you are either!
Fiend - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:

My mistake, I've been 4 times before the bolting, and twice since:

1.
Welcome To The Cruise - hard, struggled on second.
Oroborous - awkward, not a fan of this.

2.
Shear Fear - bloody great, intimidating, wild, but steady.
Gruel Brittania - brilliant, technically hard and bold, good value.

3.
Ane Ledge - very cool, classic wee grit style moves.
6b to the left - good fun, usefully bolted.

4.
Pete's Wall - tricky, technical, good value.
Wally 3 - great, reasonably safe, committing moves, good wall climbing.

5.
Wally 1 - excellent, full value, as good as short E2s get.
(attempted Strongarm but backed off due to death flake)

6.
E2 5b I forget - quite tricky and pumpy, interesting lower wall.
Pettifar's Wall - excellent climbing despite some dust, thoughtful protection, very steady and delightfully slab.

A common theme being enjoying local but very fine trad routes in the quarry. Strongarm, Wally 2, Alopecia and Rebel Without Claws being next on my list.
Kirriemuir - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Kirriemuir)
> [...]
>
> I honestly don't know whether that is sarcasm or a genuine compliment.

Compliment..I like having a strong, reasoned view on both sides of the pro/anti retrobolting at Ratho. Nice to see routes still getting climbed there this week in trad and sport styles too, Pettifer`s in particular.
I`m hoping that Wally 2 could remain as it currently is...think that would be a nice gesture if the anti side gave that one up in return for Pettifer`s. 1-1 and call it a day perhaps

Colin Moody - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

>
> That's kind of where I'm at. I don't think routes should be retroed without FA permission.

I don't understand why people go on about the FA permission as if they own the route, they were only the first to climb a route.

If you want to bolt Pain Pillar and it is my route, and I say fine, do you bolt it?
Robert Durran - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Colin Moody:
> (In reply to Jamie B)

> I don't understand why people go on about the FA permission as if they own the route, they were only the first to climb a route.
>
> If you want to bolt Pain Pillar and it is my route, and I say fine, do you bolt it?

No. FA permission is arguably a necessary condition but certainly not a sufficient condition for retro bolting.

Colin Moody - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Maybe I should have pointed out I was being sarcastic.
Kirriemuir - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Colin Moody:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
>
> [...]
>
> I don't understand why people go on about the FA permission as if they own the route, they were only the first to climb a route.
>
> If you want to bolt Pain Pillar and it is my route, and I say fine, do you bolt it?

Have to say no...unless there were pretty strong reasons apart from the FA permission.
Seems fair that the FA isn`t the only one to decide on bolting.
victim of mathematics - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

You use phrases like ad hominen and are comfortable with the word louche, yet you apparently can't follow the most basic of arguments.

Bugger off back under your bridge. There's evidently plenty of people on this thread capable of being wrong without your assistance.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Fraser)
>
> Otherwise, and I'm sorry to use the same example again, why not bolt Indian Face? More people would 'enjoy' it that way. History? Quality? Fame? For what are you prepared to compromise your 'maximum fun for the maximum number of people' stance?

As shown by the recent articles and video on UKC many people are inspired by Indian Face and enjoy reading or watching other's exploits even if they have no chance of climbing it themselves. The enjoyment of this large group which is dependent on the route remaining unchanged can be taken into account within the utilitarian 'greatest good of the greatest number' stance. A Utilitarian would most likely conclude Indian Face should not be bolted. Trying to focus on the greatest good of the greatest number is usually a good way to achieve consensus.


victim of mathematics - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

If you're going to get all Benthamite about it, then the social optimum is blatantly just bolting (almost) everything and chipping it down to the median grade achievable by the vaguely interested member of the public. Do you really think utilitarianism is the right framework here? Imagine the queue for all the half-decent routes...
Donnie - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
>
> If you're going to get all Benthamite about it, then the social optimum is blatantly just bolting (almost) everything and chipping it down to the median grade achievable by the vaguely interested member of the public. Do you really think utilitarianism is the right framework here? Imagine the queue for all the half-decent routes...

I'm not sure how you're working out the social optimum here?? I don't think anyone on the bolting side of this debate thinks it would be bolting almost everything.
buzby78 - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

Have you climbed at Ratho quarry before?
colin8ll on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics: Of course it's the right framework. Take Indian Face; the great joy that the very few who have climbed it have derived from the experience could quite possibly outweigh the sum of the small amounts of joy derived by the many who would climb it bolted. Add to the scales the loss in happiness of the many people who aspire to climb it as a trad route (even if they are only dreaming!) and I'm sure the outcome would be to keep IF as a trad climb, as would be the case with the vast majority of good trad routes.

However if you apply this process to fairly crappy crags/routes the figures would be quite different i.e. less satisfaction derived from a trad ascent compared to climbing a great trad line. Less people aspiring to climb these lines as trad routes. Also add in the effect of the happiness brought to local climbers by having a decent training venue. In these cases I don't think there is a clear winner but the 'grid bolt it' argument does not hold up.
victim of mathematics - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Nope. I'll let you into a little secret - I've never climbed Indian Face either...

Does that mean I'm not allowed an opinion? I've been to Auchinstarry (twice) if that helps :o
ads.ukclimbing.com
victim of mathematics - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to colin8ll:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics) Of course it's the right framework. Take Indian Face; the great joy that the very few who have climbed it have derived from the experience could quite possibly outweigh the sum of the small amounts of joy derived by the many who would climb it bolted. Add to the scales the loss in happiness of the many people who aspire to climb it as a trad route (even if they are only dreaming!) and I'm sure the outcome would be to keep IF as a trad climb, as would be the case with the vast majority of good trad routes.
>
> However if you apply this process to fairly crappy crags/routes the figures would be quite different i.e. less satisfaction derived from a trad ascent compared to climbing a great trad line. Less people aspiring to climb these lines as trad routes. Also add in the effect of the happiness brought to local climbers by having a decent training venue. In these cases I don't think there is a clear winner but the 'grid bolt it' argument does not hold up.

You're erroneously applying a utilitarian framework to only the current climbing population. If you stick bolts in everything and bring the difficulty down to a suitable level with some sympathetic chipping then you'll open climbing up to a whole new audience. Think of the potential utility gains there! If you applied a utilitarian framework to all decisions then you'd have a via ferrata on Cloggy tomorrow.

But nobody really wants that. So everybody has a line that they draw between utilitarianism and their own agenda. The question is where you draw that line, so for some people to pretend that they're just in it for the greatest good for the greatest number is somewhat disingenuous.
Fraser on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics et al:

FWIW Robert D and I had a really decent, frank discussion on this particular topic yesterday whilst at Ratho. Reading between the lines which we have both posted on this thread, I think the underlying impression is that in reality, we're actually very close to singing from the same hymn sheet.

For me, the key is that the thread relates to the bolted routes at this specific location - the clue's in the subject heading. I for one was never advocating the wholesale retro-bolting of routes just for the sake of it. I'd like to think I had already made that abundantly clear from my many posts on this thread thus far.


Regarding your never having climbed at Ratho (and I kind of guessed you never had, but that's beside the point), it doesn't affect your ability to express an opinion. In this particular instance however, it just probably means we don't attach much weight to it.
victim of mathematics - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics et al)
>

> For me, the key is that the thread relates to the bolted routes at this specific location - the clue's in the subject heading. I for one was never advocating the wholesale retro-bolting of routes just for the sake of it. I'd like to think I had already made that abundantly clear from my many posts on this thread thus far.
>

If that was all this thread was about, I'd never have got involved in the first place. My issue was with people talking about the need for more sport climbing provision in the central belt, even if that involves unapologetically retro-ing existing trad routes and irrespective of any existing bolting ethics in Scotland and the broader UK.

> Regarding your never having climbed at Ratho (and I kind of guessed you never had, but that's beside the point), it doesn't affect your ability to express an opinion. In this particular instance however, it just probably means we don't attach much weight to it.

When it comes to a purely Ratho-centric discussion you're absolutely right, but as I and others have made abundantly clear in our posts, the problem here is what people are inferring about climbing in general based on Ratho. In which case I think anybody that cares about trad climbing in Scotland and the apparent danger of some kind of 'bolt what you like' precedent being set here, has a right to be involved in the debate.

Donnie - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to colin8ll)
> [...]
>
> You're erroneously applying a utilitarian framework to only the current climbing population. If you stick bolts in everything and bring the difficulty down to a suitable level with some sympathetic chipping then you'll open climbing up to a whole new audience. Think of the potential utility gains there! If you applied a utilitarian framework to all decisions then you'd have a via ferrata on Cloggy tomorrow.

You're erroneously applying a utilitarian framework based on the idea that the more people you get to climb something the more 'utility' there is. You ignore that: a) people that don't start climbing will do something else with their time; b) that people want to have harder routes to climb in future; c) that there's most likely decreasing marginal returns to bolting more routes.....

As oft repeated above, people just want a better balance between trad and sport. Pretty much every one arguing for more bolts climbs both....

Robert Durran - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Fraser)

> If that was all this thread was about, I'd never have got involved in the first place. My issue was with people talking about the need for more sport climbing provision in the central belt, even if that involves unapologetically retro-ing existing trad routes and irrespective of any existing bolting ethics in Scotland and the broader UK.

This is absolutely spot on. In some ways your detachment adds weight to your opinion.
Doghouse - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Fraser)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> If that was all this thread was about, I'd never have got involved in the first place. My issue was with people talking about the need for more sport climbing provision in the central belt, even if that involves unapologetically retro-ing existing trad routes and irrespective of any existing bolting ethics in Scotland and the broader UK.
>
> [...]
>
> When it comes to a purely Ratho-centric discussion you're absolutely right, but as I and others have made abundantly clear in our posts, the problem here is what people are inferring about climbing in general based on Ratho. In which case I think anybody that cares about trad climbing in Scotland and the apparent danger of some kind of 'bolt what you like' precedent being set here, has a right to be involved in the debate.

Very well said.
Robert Durran - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to Donnie:

>
> As oft repeated above, people just want a better balance between trad and sport.

Yes. Absolutely. There is just disagreement about where the balance lies.

> Pretty much every one arguing for more bolts climbs both....

But I would put a lot of money on a greater proportion of those arguing against more bolts climbing both trad and sport.

Crucially, the new phenomenon of a demand for more lower grade sport routes (which isn't going to go away and needs to be sensibly addressed) stems from an emergent population of sport only climbers. And that is what this debate is really about.

Robert Durran - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics et al)
>
> FWIW Robert D and I had a really decent, frank discussion on this particular topic yesterday whilst at Ratho. Reading between the lines which we have both posted on this thread, I think the underlying impression is that in reality, we're actually very close to singing from the same hymn sheet.

Having just got back from a particularly shit day's trad climbing with Fiend (!), I was going to post something very similar about our discussion yesterday. A lot of nuance gets lost over the internet (and even between those on the same side of the debate).
Andrew Mallinson - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

"Crucially, the new phenomenon of a demand for more lower grade sport routes (which isn't going to go away and needs to be sensibly addressed) stems from an emergent population of sport only climbers. And that is what this debate is really about."

Absolutely bang on Robert...and this debate is not going to go away...it needs to be addressed so that everyone can enjoy their poison, whatever that may be.

Personal opinion, I think the MCofS has a role to play in addressing this.

ANdy
gurumed - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> Crucially, the new phenomenon of a demand for more lower grade sport routes (which isn't going to go away and needs to be sensibly addressed) stems from an emergent population of sport only climbers. And that is what this debate is really about.

I'd be surprised if there are any sport-only climbers in the UK. I find it hard to imagine, anyway. One of the best things about rock climbing is being able to change gears between trad/sport/bouldering to keep things fresh. There might be some who are sated solely by trad or bouldering in the UK, but I think you'd have to live in the continent to be a happy sport-only climber.
Robbie_Phillips - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed: I'm a spoulderer...
gurumed - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Robbie_Phillips:
Do you really never do trad?
Hay - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Robbie_Phillips:
I have seen you climb trad ...
... I reckon you could get steady at E1 with some work ;)

B.
Robert Durran - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
> I'd be surprised if there are any sport-only climbers in the UK.

You must be joking.

It really is hard to take you seriously when you are clearly so out of touch.
andrewmcleod - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

I would happily be a sport-only climber if there lots and lots of stuff was bolted. As it stands, all the fun-looking rock (i.e. what it usually a multi-pitch VDiff) around here is not bolted; only single-pitch limestone stuff (Portland and Cheddar). And I don't get on with limestone yet, although I do try :P

I'm sure if I spent a few more years indoors before getting outside, I would be even less inclined to trad it up since I could do hard sport stuff; currently I just get it handed to me :P
andrewmcleod - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> Given that retro-bolting trad routes without the permission of the FA is against every bolting policy and guideline that I'm aware of, [...]

Not really relevant, but I believe the South Wales bolting policy is that the first ascensionist should be 'consulted'. They don't necessarily have to agree.
Robert Durran - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> I'd be surprised if there are any sport-only climbers in the UK.

.....and from the extraordinary lack of understanding of trad shown in your earlier "why not just not clip the bolts" stance, I had assumed that you were one of the many sport only climbers!
buzby78 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Robbie_Phillips:

...and I bet you'd bolt Indian Face given half the chance!
gurumed - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> ...and from the extraordinary lack of understanding of trad shown in your earlier "why not just not clip the bolts" stance, I had assumed that you were one of the many sport only climbers!

Not at all. I love trad climbing. Heading off for a trip to Pembroke in a couple of weeks, actually. Do you think I could take a Hilti on the flight as hand luggage?
Robert Durran - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> (In reply to Robbie_Phillips)
>
> ...and I bet you'd bolt Indian Face given half the chance!

I'b bolt Robbie to Indian Face given a quarter the chance.

Jamie B - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> Everybody has a line that they draw between utilitarianism and their own agenda. The question is where you draw that line.

Where indeed? And what actually equals the "greatest good in the greatest number"? More matter-of-fact sports ascents, or the occasional inspired trad lead? Nobody can quantify this, it's massively subjective.

It's pretty obvious that more sports routes across the grades would be welcomed. It's also pretty obvious that retro-bolting even the poorest of existing lines is going to meet with objections, as evidenced here. How to reconcile? If you live in the Highlands it's easy - opportunities for new sports venues abound. Less so in the Central Belt where every bit of rock has been climbed on.

The FA permission rule is not a perfect benchmark, and will become even less so as FAs shuffle off. But for now at least it's the best we've got for delineating something which is so much down to "feel" and individual interpretation. I think we should respect it, but start asking serious questions about how we "manage" retro-bolting. Some crags may well be much better off bolted, and the pressures to do this will only get greater.

It would be nice if the undoubted change and evolution that we see in climbing could be accommodated without civil war. Is this possible?
Eric9Points - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

Hang on...

What happened to the premise that you should climb something using the minimum of fixed protection?

If you take this view then the decision about whether it is acceptable to bolt a route or not becomes fairly straightforward.

I also take issue with the idea that entire crags are either bolted or not bolted. Yes in some cases that's obvious in others then what's wrong with having both types of routes (and hybrid routes) side by side? Shouldn't climbers expect to have to deal with a climb whether it's got fixed protection or not? I rather get the impression that some people, including some professionals, are beginning to expect crags to resemble climbing walls rather than the other way round.
Jamie B - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

> What happened to the premise that you should climb something using the minimum of fixed protection?

I don't remember this premise, and I've been climbing for considerably longer than many of those who are now crying for bolts.

> If you take this view then the decision about whether it is acceptable to bolt a route or not becomes fairly straightforward.

Very straightforward I'd have thought - you just don't bolt anything. But probably not very realistic either..
Eric9Points - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
>
> [...]
>
> I don't remember this premise, and I've been climbing for considerably longer than many of those who are now crying for bolts.
>
> [...]
>
> Very straightforward I'd have thought - you just don't bolt anything. But probably not very realistic either..

I think you must be trolling but anyway.

If you stand at the bottom of a new line and don't see anywhere to place protection then you may well consider adding fixed protection. Most existing crags with a predominance of sports climbs are like that. If you see a line which follows a nice big crack then obviously you don't need to consider fixed protection.

Surely climbers should aspire to "take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints" when they get to the bottom of the crag as well as when they are walking to and from it?
buzby78 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to buzby78)
> [...]
>
> I'b bolt Robbie to Indian Face given a quarter the chance.

Rob, please reconsider this statement. Does bolting Robbie to Indian Face actually have any benefit for our climbing community? This sounds like a potentially selfish and irresponsible act to me?

I would make a compromise at bolting Robbie to a scruffy lowland outcrop but to an iconic route such as this? Are you mad? ;)



Robert Durran - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

No. Maximum utility would be achieved by bolting him to Indian Face. He would then appear bolted in the background of all the videos of that route, bringing great pleasure to many, many thousnads. He would be wasted in a scruffy quarry.
Robert Durran - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

You are Robbie Phillips and I claim my £5
(I am actually serious)
Valaisan on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: Well done Buz, good job, loved Slow Strain, looking forward to repeating then doing others.
buzby78 - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> No. Maximum utility would be achieved by bolting him to Indian Face. He would then appear bolted in the background of all the videos of that route, bringing great pleasure to many, many thousnads. He would be wasted in a scruffy quarry.

But surely bringing pleasure to many, many thousands is just pandering to the needs of the modern climber no? I'd imagine that they'd have no understanding of what this route stands for and would notice no difference if he was actually just bolted to an old dolerite quarry?

Robert Durran - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
> But surely bringing pleasure to many, many thousands is just pandering to the needs of the modern climber no? I'd imagine that they'd have no understanding of what this route stands for and would notice no difference if he was actually just bolted to an old dolerite quarry?

Indeed. Most modern climbers are now armchair climbers and are entitled to maximum entertainment in their local qurries (any old retro-bolting has-been sport climber could be harmlessly bolted to, say, Pettifer's Wall). However, the fact remains that an icon of ridicule such as Robbie Phillips deserves, in this age, maximum you-tube exposure and I would still argue that this is achieved by bolting him to an iconic trad route such as Indian Face. After all, nobody actually has to laugh at him while watching the videos; surely any self-respecting armchair climber could resist doing so if they felt the bolting of Robbie Phillips was unethical.

ads.ukclimbing.com
gurumed - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
No £5 for you, I'm afraid. Try again :)
Robert Durran - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> No £5 for you, I'm afraid. Try again :)

No idea. A Ratho employee?






Harry Holmes - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: I think some people have too much time on their hands. The internet shouldn't be used for petty arguments. It can be put to much better use as a tool for accessing porn and the like before it gets banned! Make haste while you still can.
Now if you will you excuse me I have to shave my palms, which is hard seeing as I'm blind.
allycat on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

I can't believe you haven't worked that one out yet Robert!
gurumed - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to naffan:
> The internet shouldn't be used for petty arguments. It can be put to much better use as a tool for accessing porn and the like before it gets banned!

The very purpose of the internet is the anonymous slandering of others, if we don't exercise that beautiful right then the terrorists have already won. :)

> Now if you will you excuse me I have to shave my palms, which is hard seeing as I'm blind.

Speaking of hairy palms I'm getting a bit worried about Robert, he seems quite fixated on binding Robbie to a wall. But so long as Robbie is up for it, I see nothing unethical about that.
Robert Durran - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to naffan)

> The very purpose of the internet is the anonymous slandering of others.

Speaking of which, who the hell are you, you anonymous ignorant idiot?

I actually think you might be on the anti-bolting side, deliberately putting forward such moronic arguments for bolting just to discredit the bolters by association.

gurumed - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> Speaking of which, who the hell are you, you anonymous ignorant idiot?

What if I turned out to be a Tyler Durdenesque mental projection your mind fabricated to admit the shameful secret that you want to bolt everything?

> I actually think you might be on the anti-bolting side, deliberately putting forward such moronic arguments for bolting just to discredit the bolters by association.

It could just as easily be argued that you've been satirising the anti-bolting movement.
johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

>I'd be surprised if there are any sport-only climbers in the UK.

Good grief. You really don't know much, do you?

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Did we ever get to the bottom of the OP's assertion that this was done with the permission of the first ascensionists? From a quick scan I have the impression that this was simply not true. Is that right? Was there ever any explanation advanced?

jcm
buzby78 - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> Did we ever get to the bottom of the OP's assertion that this was done with the permission of the first ascensionists? From a quick scan I have the impression that this was simply not true. Is that right? Was there ever any explanation advanced?
>
> jcm

I had spoken to various first ascentionists of routes I (and many other local climbers) felt might be better suited retro'ed.

In the case of Pettifers, I took the liberty of retro-ing after failed attempts to contact the first ascentionist. I admit that this was over stepping the line slightly which is why I removed the bolts after discussions with the FA.

How does this sit with you?

buz

johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

>How does this sit with you?

Well, I'm not sure what I can politely say. AFAICS, you fail to contact the FA, retrobolt the route anyway, and then come on here and proudly announce that you retrobolted it after consulting the first ascensionist.

What am I missing? I'd have thought there was only one way that could sit with anyone.

jcm
buzby78 - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
>
> What am I missing?
>
> jcm

Perhaps a visit to Ratho quarry?

johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

Well, I don't see what that would have to do with what seems to be the position, i.e. that you told a downright lie in your initial post, presumably with the intention of painting your retroing in a better light than you knew it deserved.

jcm
buzby78 - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> Well, I don't see what that would have to do with what seems to be the position, i.e. that you told a downright lie in your initial post, presumably with the intention of painting your retroing in a better light than you knew it deserved.
>
> jcm

Perhaps it would give you a far better understanding of what has actually happened in this particular scenario?

buz

In reply to buzby78:

> Perhaps it would give you a far better understanding of what has actually happened in this particular scenario?

I've climbed quite a few routes in Ratho Quarry, including my first ever E1 so it holds a special place in my heart for that, if no other reason; but I'm not sure if that gives me any more understanding of this scencario than JCM. John, albeit in his normal combative style, is pointing out originally that you said that you had checked with the FAists before retrobolting their routes, and only later admitted that in one case this wasn't true.

I'm glad you took the bolts out in that case (how easy was that by the way? Presumably they were expansion bolts as I don't see how you can easily get out modern glue-ins) but I guess the route now has a line of holes up it that weren't there before.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> Well, I don't see what that would have to do with what seems to be the position,

The position is that pretty much everyone is happy with the final outcome and the quarry is a better place for both trad and sport than before. 'Thank you' seems like a better response than calling in the Spanish Inquisition.

Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)

> The position is that pretty much everyone is happy with the final outcome.......

Who said it was the final outcome? The other retro-bolts still need chopping.
gurumed - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!! :)

In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> What am I missing? I'd have thought there was only one way that could sit with anyone.

Sits fine with me. Just because some dude climbed a piece of rock in 1975 doesn't mean they have a unilateral say over what happens to it in 2013. Particularly if said piece of rock spent the last couple of decades buried.

In reply to Robert Durran:
> Who said it was the final outcome? The other retro-bolts still need chopping.

You won't be happy until nobody is climbing in the quarry again, will you? If you suddenly feel so bad about there not being enough trad in the quarry why don't you clean up some of the other bits of rock and put up some new routes instead of trying to regress the state of the quarry? Surely that would be even more adventurous?
AG - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed: well said. I think the outcome is a good compromise. Please can it be left at that. People need to accept that times are changing.
This thread has gone on far too long!
Fiend - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to AG:

How can this possibly be considered "well said":

> You won't be happy until nobody is climbing in the quarry again, will you?

Can you or anyone else really believe that that is Robert's (or any of the other balance-defenders) desired outcome?? I cannot imagine the mentality that would make one think that we don't want people climbing in the quarry. The utterly obvious desired outcome is to have the new sport routes in place as they should be, the established trad routes in place as they should be, have encouragement for people to climb both, and have encouragement to keep the quarry in a clear and accessible state.

As for "compromise", there has been no good compromise yet. There was no compromise when routes were retro-bolted without warning nor consultation, without even giving anyone the opportunity to clean and climb them even before that necessary consultation. The lower-off on Pettifar's is a start to a good compromise, the new sport routes next to established trad is a start to a good compromise, having unnecessarily and unjustifiably retro-bolted routes is not a compromise and will only be when the bolts come out.
Fiend - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The position is that pretty much everyone is happy with the final outcome and the quarry is a better place for both trad and sport than before.

No, the bolts have made it a worse place for trad as they have still temporarily removed two trad routes.

Yes the PW lower-off has made that route a better place for trad, but that's only after the retro-bolts have been removed.

I will definitely be saying 'thank you' for that lower-off, and for the new sport routes, once the other retro-bolts are out. Until that point, there is a problem to be resolved with the routes.
Fiend - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA:

> I'm glad you took the bolts out in that case (how easy was that by the way? Presumably they were expansion bolts as I don't see how you can easily get out modern glue-ins) but I guess the route now has a line of holes up it that weren't there before.

They were clearly twisted out (with a crowbar), causing the bolts to shear off - usually level with the rock, but sometimes a bit deeper in.

The de-bolting work is very neat, it has left very little damage, and with the general texture of the rock and chalk on it, the flush bolt stubs are scarcely noticable. Those tiny stubs/holes have little aesthetic effect on the route and no effect on the proper trad climbing on it. It is now in a fine condition with a sensible lower-off at the top, the situation it ideally would have been placed in 2 months ago.
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

>'Thank you' seems like a better response than calling in the Spanish Inquisition.

I can’t agree. Deliberate public dishonesty is always a matter for remark, especially when it is accompanied by an initial refusal to discuss the matter further publicly and, when challenged, a petulant reply along the lines that people should come and visit the quarry and see the liar’s wonderful work.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

Your stupidity continues to astonish me, though I suppose it shouldn’t.

There may or may not be a debate to be had about whether ‘some dude in 1975’ who established a route as a memorial to a dead friend should be entitled to have a say in what happens to that route.

There can’t be any debate though about whether deliberate public lies in order to justify bolting are an acceptable tactic or not.

jcm
Fiend - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Who said it was the final outcome? The other retro-bolts still need chopping.

Yes.

To make the final outcome clear that I, and I presume many of the trad+AND+sport pro-balance / pro-tradition climbers, want:

- Remove the remaining retro-bolts from Slow Strain and Wally 2.

- Keep the existing sport routes how they are.

- Freely develop other sport routes in the quarry as long as they don't impinge on established trad climbs.

- Before any possible future retro-bolting, go through a process of cleaning, vegetation clearing, re-climbing, posting updated details, compromising with lower-offs, engaging in consultation and discussion and IF retro-bolting is decided upon only after that process, give climbers advance warning the routes will be retro-bolted.

- If possible, make access into the quarry through or around the centre as easy and obvious as possible.

- If possible, make descents through the quarry easier.

- If possible, continue cleaning and clearing vegetation - or just encourage others to do so.

- Encourage people to keep climbing trad and sport climbs to keep them in condition.

That is it. Despite all the hostility in response, we are genuine climbers standing up for trad climbing whilst genuinely appreciating and enjoying sport climbing, and we want a positive outcome where both can be enjoyed without retro-bolting suddenly spoiling trad climbs. Believe me I am as keen to get on and climb SS and W2 as trad as I'll ever been, and then I will probably be on the new sport routes straight after.
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

What’s particularly distasteful about this, in fact, is the history.

When Ratho was established the prospect of trashing an established climbing venue to create a climbing wall was, as you might expect, controversial. As Fiend says, there were plenty of assurances given during the planning and public consultation period.

Here’s the first hit I find from a quick google

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/outdoors-news/ratho-scoop-pics---biggest-indoor-wall-ever/2304.html

I particularly like this bit:

“Hearteningly the people behind the centre have a strong commitment to make an appreciation of outdoor ethics, history and the environment an intrinsic part of courses at Ratho. Outdoor heritage,' they say, will be built into the course structure. And to underline this, the remaining outdoor section of the quarry with its 50-odd climbing routes from VS to E5 will remain free to use, though accessed through the main centre.”

Now, ain’t that heartening? ‘Built into the course structure’, hey? The courses taught by the likes of Mr Busby, would that be?

And what actually happened? Well, first off, during the construction period they trashed some of the established classics of the quarry by leaving earth slopes above them. This could easily have been rectified, of course, but it wasn’t – would have cost money, d’you see? Their commitment to the environment might be strong, but it’s not strong enough for that.

Fast forwarding ten years, what do we find? The ‘appreciation of outdoor ethics’ inculcated by their courses appears to produce the likes of gurumed, and one of their instructors is demonstrating his appreciation of history by retrobolting routes without the FA’s permission and lying about it in public.

Of course, we were fools to expect anything different – if any of us did.

jcm
beychae - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> [...]
> To make the final outcome clear that I, and I presume many of the trad+AND+sport pro-balance / pro-tradition climbers, want:

I think the central point you're making is that sport-only climbers are inferior creatures, and do not deserve to have any weight attached to their opinions.

I am not happy with the outcome, because it involved removing bolts from a perfectly good route. And I would have actually climbed that route, had it remained bolted.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to Fiend)
> I am not happy with the outcome, because it involved removing bolts from a perfectly good route. And I would have actually climbed that route, had it remained bolted.

I actually felt the blood physically "boiling" in my head reading that post. I am literally shaking with fury writing this. Sorry, that's the way myself and many others feela about the retro bolting of routes and the the attitude of people like you.

victim of mathematics - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to Fiend)
> [...]
>
> I think the central point you're making is that sport-only climbers are inferior creatures, and do not deserve to have any weight attached to their opinions.

Well if you're going to moronically misinterpret people's words like that, then you probably don't deserve an opinion.

beychae - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to beychae)
> [...]
>
> I actually felt the blood physically "boiling" in my head reading that post. I am literally shaking with fury writing this. Sorry, that's the way myself and many others feela about the retro bolting of routes and the the attitude of people like you.

Finally, a sensible post!

You're exactly right - it comes down to you want one thing, other people want something else.

The anti-bolters have absolutely refused to budge from their position. This is not the same thing as everyone sitting down, having a sensible conversation, and reaching a mutually-just-about-acceptable compromise.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to AG:
> (In reply to gurumed) well said. I think the outcome is a good compromise. Please can it be left at that. People need to accept that times are changing.

If changing times means that it is ok to go round retro-bolting routes then it most certainly cannot be left at that.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> In reply to Robert Durran:
>
> You won't be happy until nobody is climbing in the quarry again, will you?

I still don't know who you are but you are either jokong /trolling or, if serious, then judging by such a moronic dick-headed comment, a moron and a dickhead.

gurumed - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously>
> Your stupidity continues to astonish me, though I suppose it shouldn’t.

I'm glad that my posts are keeping you interested. I really enjoyed your articles, by the way, particularly the one about Archtempter at Blackchurch.

In reply to Fiend:
> Before any possible future retro-bolting, go through a process of cleaning, vegetation clearing, re-climbing, posting updated details, compromising with lower-offs, engaging in consultation and discussion and IF retro-bolting is decided upon only after that process, give climbers advance warning the routes will be retro-bolted.

So what you're saying is, if you find a piece of rock that hasn't been touched for decades, clean it up and do all the work that any potential trad climbers were too lazy to do?

In reply to Robert Durran:
> I actually felt the blood physically "boiling" in my head reading that post. I am literally shaking with fury writing this. Sorry, that's the way myself and many others feela about the retro bolting of routes and the the attitude of people like you.

Dude, it's really great that you're passionate about this. We all are. But if this thread is making you shake with fury it's not healthy. Maybe take a break for a day or so?
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> The anti-bolters have absolutely refused to budge from their position. This is not the same thing as everyone sitting down, having a sensible conversation, and reaching a mutually-just-about-acceptable compromise.

Precisely. And that is what should have happened before any routes were retro-bolted in the first place.

If an acceoptable compromise means retro-bolting some routes and not others and that "compromise" spreads by precedent to other venues it would toatally change the face of rock-climbing in Scotland. That is what is at stake. That is why it is important. And that is why feelings are running high among those of us who value climbing through a perspective of tradition and history which some of the pro-bolters are sadly oblivious to.

AG - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: it's obvious that yourself and others will never be change their views even though it would seem your are in the (very vocal self appointed guardians of trad) minority on this occasion. I probably won't ever climb these routes trad or sport because I don't live in the area any longer, but if the FA of the routes with the existing bolts has no issues with them, then that should be that.
victim of mathematics - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to AG:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) it's obvious that yourself and others will never be change their views even though it would seem your are in the (very vocal self appointed guardians of trad) minority on this occasion.

Didn't somebody up-thread reckon posters were split around 50-50? I'm not sure how you infer a minority from that.

r0x0r.wolfo - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to AG: I'm a sport climber, just in kalymnos, coming back soon will have been here three weeks. I think the trad should stay as they were apart from the lower off, you can't be selfish about these things. Routes are being put up in the quarry anyway and there is a massive climbing centre next door. Who's lacking bolted routes here? It seems the traddies are happy for routes the be bolted as long as there is no bolting over old routes. Seems fair to me?

There's many lifetimes worth or better sport routes in europe how about a visit instead of wasting time arguing about some trad routes in a quarry? It all seems lazy and spiteful to me. Pretty unimaginative bolting over some trad routes when you've put half a dozen new ones up. Bit of a slip up there. There's not much accessible unbolted rock going to be left in the world and we should preserve what we have, bolt new stuff not decade old routes.
daWalt on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to AG)
> [...]
>
> Didn't somebody up-thread reckon posters were split around 50-50? I'm not sure how you infer a minority from that.

why not check back for yourself?
r0x0r.wolfo - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to Fiend)
> [...]
>
> I think the central point you're making is that sport-only climbers are inferior creatures, and do not deserve to have any weight attached to their opinions.
>
> I am not happy with the outcome, because it involved removing bolts from a perfectly good route. And I would have actually climbed that route, had it remained bolted.

Why don't you climb the route on top rope? Serious question.
gurumed - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
> Who's lacking bolted routes here?
The argument for bolting wasn't that the percentage of sport routes at this crag was too low. The reason for bolting was that the particular bit of rock hadn't been touched for decades.

> It seems the traddies are happy for routes the be bolted as long as there is no bolting over old routes. Seems fair to me?
I don't think it's fair to expect a monopoly on a particular piece of rock if you ignore it for decades.

> bolt new stuff not decade old routes.
The routes essentially were new because no one was ever climbing them.

> Why don't you climb the route on top rope? Serious question.
Why don't the trad guys solo the routes? Why didn't you top rope the routes in Kalymnos? Clipping the bolts is more convenient and fun.
buzby78 - on 11 Sep 2013
I'm thinking that it's probably best if I remove the bolts from Slow Strain and Wally 2, I really don't want to be the one responsible for starting World War 3 (or at least giving big Bob an aneurysm...!)

Would you like the lower off's kept on these routes?

buz
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to AG:
> (In reply to Robert Durran

> If the FA of the routes with the existing bolts has no issues with them, then that should be that.

I think that first ascentionist permission should be anecessary (if alive and contactable) condition for retro bolting, but far from a sufficient one. Suppose I contacted Kenny Spence and asked him if it was OK by him if I bolted Steeple and he said yes (I know it's unlikely, but still) then would it be acceptable to bolt Steeple? I know this is an extreme example but it illustrates my point.

gurumed - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
Don't be put off by a couple of guys having a tantrum just because other people are playing with a toy that they'd long forgotten about.

The bolts are already there, why not leave the bolts in for a year or two? If the majority of people think the bolts should come out after things have had a chance to settle then fair enough. These trad guys are a patient bunch; they were willing to ignore the route for decades, what is waiting a couple more years for that trad experience?

My money would be on them having forgot about the route by then...
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

> I'm thinking that it's probably best if I remove the bolts from Slow Strain and Wally 2.

That would be an excellent move; get back to the status quo and then have a sensible debate. It would be much the best for you rather than anyone else to remove them. If you don't I am now sure they will be removed anyway.

> Would you like the lower off's kept on these routes?

My opinion is that, if the top out is appalling, effectively stopping the route being climbed, then the lower off should, as on Pettifer's, be left. If the top out is reasonable or would be with a bit of cleaning, it should go.



AG - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to AG)
> [...]
>
> Didn't somebody up-thread reckon posters were split around 50-50? I'm not sure how you infer a minority from that.

This is ukclimbing, it does not represent the whole climbing "community". People throwing toys out of prams as soon as some takes a drill to a piece of rock thats been quarried and not climbed for decades , proclaiming "the end is nigh for trad" is ridiculous , but then again this is UKclimbing where sensible discussion is not permitted.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:

> If you suddenly feel so bad about there not being enough trad in the quarry why don't you clean up some of the other bits of rock and put up some new routes instead of trying to regress the state of the quarry?

If I noticed a line which inspired me (probably unlikely), I might do so.

More to the point, if you are so desperate for more more sport routes in the quarry, why don't you clean up some of the other bits of rock with no existing routes and bolt them - I don't think anyone is going to object.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to buzby78)

> .........get back to the status quo and then have a sensible debate.

I was out climbing last night with an old timer who has been knocking about the Central Belt outcrops since the dawn of time itself. Naturally, this debate came up. He knows of a quarry out towards Boness which was climbed on many years ago (he's done about six routes there), but fell into disuse and didn't even make it into the guidebook. Maybe, with proper discussion and concensus, this might make a suitable sport venue. From what he can remember (though it was a long time ago), he reckons it might be worth cleaning up for that purpose. I'll get the name and grid reference from him and post it on here so that those wanting more sport routes locally can check it out if they want. I suspect there may be other such places.
victim of mathematics - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to AG:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> This is ukclimbing, it does not represent the whole climbing "community". People throwing toys out of prams as soon as some takes a drill to a piece of rock thats been quarried and not climbed for decades , proclaiming "the end is nigh for trad" is ridiculous , but then again this is UKclimbing where sensible discussion is not permitted.

That was kind of my point. By exactly the same token, a few people peddling some kind of 'sport for all, retro-bolt everything, trad climbing's had its day' agenda doesn't mean that there's actually any appetite for this sort of thing.

Which is why some kind of consultation process that involves actual climbers, not just the kind of nutjob that hangs around here, is important before people go around sticking bolts in things.
gurumed - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> More to the point, if you are so desperate for more more sport routes in the quarry, why don't you clean up some of the other bits of rock with no existing routes and bolt them - I don't think anyone is going to object.

I don't have any specific lines in mind, but it is a thought I've been entertaining.

I wouldn't say that I'm desperate for more sport routes in the quarry, just more routes in general. Having already climbed the routes that you're talking about chopping; my wanting the bolts to stay isn't because they will useful to me, but because they make more sense that way.

> That would be an excellent move; get back to the status quo and then have a sensible debate.

The status quo for the last couple of decades was nobody touched those routes. Doesn't sound excellent to me.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to r0x0r.wolfo)
> [...]
> The argument for bolting wasn't that the percentage of sport routes at this crag was too low. The reason for bolting was that the particular bit of rock hadn't been touched for decades.

That isn't a good reason on its own, you realise this. Or else we'd bolt all rock not climbed for a certain amount of time... There's not a inherrent problem with something not being climbed for a while. If a sport route isn't climbed for a few years can I debolt it? Of course not, especially if its a route of quality which it sounds like these are.

> [...]
> I don't think it's fair to expect a monopoly on a particular piece of rock if you ignore it for decades.

I dont think the rock gets upset about being 'ignored'. Some routes in my local quarry have probably not been climbed in a while too, but I wouldn't dream of bolting them. Appointment with death hadn't been climbed in a while before tom randalls recent one. Not many ascents of that, its bold, turn in into a clip up?

Don't see people lining up to chip 9b's because they would get more traffic that way.
> [...]
> The routes essentially were new because no one was ever climbing them.
No... the routes are older essentially. Lack of ascents doesn't make anything newer or older it means they have had less ascents...
> [...]
> Why don't the trad guys solo the routes? Why didn't you top rope the routes in Kalymnos? Clipping the bolts is more convenient and fun.

1) Well actually most the good routes on kalymnos are overhanging and therefore unsuitable for top roping.

2) Also, many of the crag tops are inaccessible, this isn't the case at the quarry.

3) There is no trad ethic here, climbing is a recent thing on kalymnos.

4) The rock isn't suitable for trad gear on the majority of routes, and there are no rescue services.

You don't seem to know much about sport climbing and why it is more suitable for certain areas.

It's not really the placement of a quickdraw on a bolt that I enjoy, its the climbing. Maybe they should place some ground level bolts for doing that if that's what you're into. If I was really inspired by a route, lets say appointment with death, but didn't want to climb it trad I would top rope it not bolt it, despite the lack of ascents. Just for what it means to other people and the fact its a brilliant established trad route.

Fiend - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

That would be great. As per my earlier post, that's the only """anti-bolt""" (heavy quotes deliberate) action we're after.

As for the lower-offs, Wally 2 top looks very clean and even if it is a bit fragile, looks to have possible gear, so I think that lower-off should go.

Slow Strain I'm not sure about, I didn't take a close look at the top. If there is an earth slope like PW then yes, if there is just some gorse and blocky stuff like that E2 5b left of Pete's Wall, then no, that would be a sensible top-out.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to beychae)
> [...]
>
> If an acceoptable compromise means retro-bolting some routes and not others and that "compromise" spreads by precedent to other venues it would toatally change the face of rock-climbing in Scotland. That is what is at stake. That is why it is important.

The specific circumstances of Ratho are that it's next one of the largest climbing centres in the world. Using the outdoor space to improve what is already a world class facility and provide a path from indoor to outdoor climbing is the big opportunity. It's a unique set of circumstances and it shouldn't serve as a precedent for anywhere else.




Fraser on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> I'm thinking that it's probably best if I remove the bolts from Slow Strain and Wally 2,

This would be a big mistake IMO Buz and is the easy way out. You're simply 'oiling the squeaky wheel' which is grossly unfair. If everyone pro- the bolting here had complained as vociferously as the relatively few who are against it, why not appease them? You backed down in favour of the complainers and the FA of PW, which personally, I think was also a mistake. What they don't seem to understand is that many other folk disagree with their personal opinion. Frankly, it's not their rock and not their decision, despite what they might wish to claim. I'll not repeat the points I've made several times already on this thread. And I think everyone realises the excuses that they've given for them not climbing the routes in question are, without a doubt, embarassingly naive, schoolboy bluff.

As I understand it, the FA for Slow Strain was fine with the retro-ing, so they should definitely stay. Wally 2 I've no great opinion on tbh. The route's ok, but on principle, I'd keep the bolts in.

What you did has been a well-considered and appropriate course of action....apart from the PW bolt removal ;) That's my tuppence worth.
Fraser on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> a few people peddling some kind of 'sport for all, retro-bolt everything, trad climbing's had its day' agenda

Nobody's on this thread has actually stated that. We're talking about these routes in this location.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
> The specific circumstances of Ratho are that it's next one of the largest climbing centres in the world. It's a unique set of circumstances and it shouldn't serve as a precedent for anywhere else.

As I said earlier in the thread, if it was absolutely clear that this was a special case and the noises people were making didn't suggest that there was an appetite for more retro-bolting, then I could just about have lived with the retro-bolting at Ratho. As it is, I think it especially important, given the high profile of the venue, that a clear line is drawn; retro-bolting has never been and simply isn't acceptable without an overwhelming concensus for it. This is an opportunity to draw a clear line in the sand.

> Using the outdoor space to improve what is already a world class facility and provide a path from indoor to outdoor climbing is the big opportunity.

Why do sport routes do this more than trad routes? The step from indoors at EICA to outdoor sport climbing is a pretty simple one that anyone can readily take at any sport crag. If you think it is a good thing for the EICA to encourage more people to climb outdoors (I'm not sure it is!) then encouraging trad (and, most importantly, upholding trad ethics) is a much more needed and worthy cause.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to buzby78)
> [...]
>
> If everyone pro- the bolting here had complained as vociferously as the relatively few who are against it, why not appease them?

Oh come on! On this thread there's a few people being vociferous against the retro-bolting and a few people being vociferous pro the retro-bolting. We really don't know what the weight of opinion in the silent majority really is.

> What they don't seem to understand is that many other folk disagree with their personal opinion.

Of course we are aware of that. Do you think we would be worried it it was just one rogue bolter and an isolated handful of supporters?

> Frankly, it's not their rock and not their decision, despite what they might wish to claim.

And it wasn't and isn't Buzby's rock and Buzby's decision either, though it would be much the best outcome if he removed the bolts having placed them rather than leaving it to others.
gforce on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:

Yo.

I don't get this "relatively few against it" that you've mentioned a few times as have others. "Early on" in the thread (only at post 200 or something - jeez) you did a wee tally of those for and against. And it came out pretty even - you then said that this was proof that more people were for the bolts or some such - I struggled to follow the logic :) . I did a later tally when a few more posts were down. Pretty much the same result - pros slightly in the lead but not statistically significant - I was a statistician in my youth you know. To claim that this thread shows that most people support the bolting is ridiculous. And that's before we even consider whether the posters are a representative sample of climbers with an interest. Right, I'm going to step back out of it.

Fraser on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Why do sport routes do this more than trad routes?

Probably because you don't trad climb indoors, you climb on bolts. Shifting only one variable is going to be more likely to persuade the switchers to try climbing on real rock.

> ...and, most importantly, upholding trad ethics) is a much more needed and worthy cause.

While I'm reluctant to jump from a location-specific argument which I've tried to keep it to thus far, I'll make an exception in this case:

Climbing evolves. It has evolved to where we are now, and it will undoubtedly continue to do so. Factions within the climbing community in general may not actively embrace it, but surely they must accept that it will happen. Attempting to freeze some 'grand trad. climbing ethic' in a sepia-toned snapshot forever more is simply unrealistic.

As we discussed last week Bob, I agree that debate is required and that just because there are bolts on these particular routes at Ratho it doesn't give carte blanche to anyone with a Hilti to run amok however they wish.

sebrider - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> As I understand it, the FA for Slow Strain was fine with the retro-ing, so they should definitely stay. Wally 2 I've no great opinion on tbh. The route's ok, but on principle, I'd keep the bolts in.

I agree.

If the FA of slow strain has agreed to retro bolting and at least 50%(?) support the bolts, then there is not really a strong argument for them to go? Agreement of FA and community, which there probably is (except some very vocal traditionalists who like'trad' with bolted lower-offs) this meets MCofS guidelines - Ratho is neither sea cliff or mountain...unlike the Needle!!

Previously, I'm sure sport only climbers (God forbid them and half the rest of the world's climbers) or those just wanting to sport climb, would be less inclined to visit as there were too few routes. Now with more than 3 routes thanks to Buzby's efforts, Ratho is a worthwhile venue for a sport climbing session.

Fraser on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to gforce:

Hi G, knew you couldn't resist ;)

I don't think I said "this thread shows that most people support the bolting" - I may have, but I do doubt it.

What I do remember saying is that in any debate it's almost always objectors who are more vocal than those who agree with something. I think that you might accept that, no? The fact that it's at least 50-50 in this thread suggests, to me at least, that more are genuinely in favour it the bolts staying. Everyone I've spoken to outwith the thread are in favour of the bolting, not one was against it. Could just be the bad company I keep, but that number does include some dyed in the wool tradders.

PS statistics can be manipulated, as you well know! ;P
ads.ukclimbing.com
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> As we discussed last week Bob, I agree that debate is required and that just because there are bolts on these particular routes at Ratho it doesn't give carte blanche to anyone with a Hilti to run amok however they wish.

I know you and I don't think it does, but, reading some of the posts on here, there are certainly people out there who feel "entitled" to a convenient supply of bolted routes and almost certainly see this retro-bolting as a precedent. And that is why I see it as an impoortant moment to draw a line in the sand.

Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to gforce)

> Everyone I've spoken to outwith the thread are in favour of the bolting, not one was against it. Could just be the bad company I keep.

It is the bad company you keep. I've yet to speak to anyone outside the thread who is for the retro-bolting. Could just be the good company I keep.
Fraser on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> And that is why I see it as an impoortant moment to draw a line in the sand.

The 'problem' with that line of argument surely is that you'd never bolt or retro anything. I accept some may see that as an ideal solution, but I don't think it's realistic.



Me:
> What they don't seem to understand is that many other folk disagree with their personal opinion.

You:
> Of course we are aware of that.

I know you probably do, but 'he who must not be named' definitely doesn't. And that's today's factoid - no charge. ;)

Eric9Points - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to r0x0r.wolfo)
> [...]
> The argument for bolting wasn't that the percentage of sport routes at this crag was too low. The reason for bolting was that the particular bit of rock hadn't been touched for decades.
>

I suspect you're just on here to wind people up but I feel I should point out that Pettifer's was climbed a couple of years ago to my knowledge. The other retroed routes have of course also been climbed, I suspect fairly regularly if not frequently.

Regarding why Pettifer's wall hasn't been cleaned before, can I offer my view. After the centre was opened the top of this area of the quarry was left in a mess. Every year I climbed there I noted the amount of mud that washes down many of those lines due to the amount of loose earth and lack of stabilising vegetation. I had contemplated cleaning one particular line some time ago and putting in a lower off at the top but decided against it because I felt the route would return to it's dirty state after a few months of wet weather. I felt that given a few more years of stabilisation cleaning may be worthwhile but not then. It may well be the case that others have made the same judgement and decided to wait a few years more.

Neill has taken a different view and presumably feels the top is now sufficiently stabilised that the wall won't be covered in mud again by next March. That remains to be seen, I do hope it does remain clean but I'm a little skeptical.

Two last comments on this affair.

Firstly, I'm aware that the main protagonists in this affair have behaved in a civil manner towards each other. I think that's to their credit and has avoided the spectre of a full scale bolt war breaking out such as the one that seemed to happen in Cambus O'May. At the risk of sounding rather snide it's perhaps a result of the prospect of actually having to take action rather than sitting behind a keyboard making inflammatory remarks that has tempered their behavior.

Finally, an observation and a conditional offer. If nothing had been retroed the whole climbing community in Edinburgh would be praising the work done in Ratho this year.

Neill you have suggested removing the bolts from the remaining retroed lines. I think that's a very generous offer and if you do then I'll tell you about another quarry in the North of Edinburgh that would make a perfect sports crag giving about 6 lines in the high 6's and 7's. I'll even help you clean it up (though don't ask me to touch a Hilti!). You've got my email address.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to sebrider:
> Now with more than 3 routes thanks to Buzby's efforts, Ratho is a worthwhile venue for a sport climbing session.

Silly argument. Should I go and retro-bolt a few of the hard, bold and relatively unfrequented routes on Upper Cave just to make it a "worthwhile venue for a sport climbing session"?.

gforce on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:

Yeah, it was the misuse of stats that drove me to posting! Not the bolts! Not sure I see your objectors / proponents distinction though. Could swing it the other way. People wanting the bolts in are objecting to trad getting most of the rock space in the dolerite of the central belt. Then your argument explains why all the diehard traddists are so silent in their backing of maintaining this ethic.
Fiend - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to sebrider:

> If the FA of slow strain has agreed to retro bolting and at least 50%(?) support the bolts, then there is not really a strong argument for them to go?

Well apart from going against the general principles of UK climbing - something which people are trying to ignore, that this is not merely personal opinion, but a matter of principle, tradition, heritage which are such strong and important aspects in making UK climbing as good as it is.

And that all the arguments in favour of keeping the bolts have been repeatedly refuted.

> Agreement of FA and community, which there probably is (except some very vocal traditionalists who like'trad' with bolted lower-offs)

Trad is still trad whether it has a bolted lower-off or recommended fixed abseil rope or abseil station. You go to Ratho for good quarried trad climbing up sheer walls and flakes, you don't go for Gogarth-esque rubble and mud top-outs.

I'm not sure where these pure "traditionalists" are, but having climbed at 29 of the sport crags in your guidebook, I haven't encountered that many myself. Although all the trad_and_sport climbers I've been hanging out with recently (from relatively new climbers to hardcore veterans) all agree that the retro-bolting is unjustifiable and needs to be fixed, whilst acknowledging the need to deal with the issue and pressures for the future.

> this meets MCofS guidelines - Ratho is neither sea cliff or mountain...unlike the Needle!!

From what I understand these guidelines were written to cover mere bolting, not retro-bolting, which was such an abhorrent rarity that no-one was anticipating it spreading in the way it is now. So retro-ing is not MCofS endorsed.

Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> The 'problem' with that line of argument surely is that you'd never bolt or retro anything.

No. I mentioned this quarry out near Boness earlier; if there is proper discussion and no objection, it might be OK. I'd have no problem with those Ochil crags if there was a concensus (there may well not be though). Personally, I had no problem with Bennie Beg.
Fiend - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

> If nothing had been retroed the whole climbing community in Edinburgh would be praising the work done in Ratho this year.

Indeed, or rather the whole community in the Central Belt and anyone interested in seeing a good balance of developing sport whilst preserving trad.

My first post on here was praising the new sports additions whilst regretting the retro-ing without trying any other neglect-combatting methods.
Kirriemuir - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: Please at least leave the bolts in Slow Strain...you have clearly stated you have FA permission (not that I personally think it should be necessary), it makes an OK sport route, would make a shite trad route, and there are only about 2 shouty and insistent bolt-outers for this.
Have some spine Buz, don`t give in to these doom-mongers.
Wally 2 is a little more controversial...the rock is clean, but a bit shoogly at the top, so can perhaps understand peoples desire to climb it as a vanity project type of thing.
If it was me, I`d leave the bolts on a point of principle now and if the outers wanted it badly enough they can do their own removal.
I`m not for advocating any further retrobolting at the moment but hope that some structured way forward for bolting comes out of this...perhaps involving the MCofS.
Nobody wants to see routes neglected and overgrown when many could get some enjoyment from having them climbable again. Selective and appropriate retrobolting could be a way forward here. But compromise from both sides would be essential and at the moment there is a small but very vocal minority around who (while acting as a useful counterpoint to the loony bolter fringe) seem to just shout "zero tolerance" louder and louder in the hope that this makes them right.
sebrider - on 11 Sep 2013
Just did a tally only including folk whose opinions were obvious (ish). Not an exact science and affected by my interpretation of posts.

34 for bolting and 21 against.

Even giving Rob and Matt two votes each for their efforts still 34 VS 23 ;)

As representative as any other selected cohort!
sebrider - on 11 Sep 2013
> From what I understand these guidelines were written to cover mere bolting, not retro-bolting, which was such an abhorrent rarity that no-one was anticipating it spreading in the way it is now. So retro-ing is not MCofS endorsed.

Open to interpretation to an extent but here are MCofS guidelines...

Established Climbing Venues:
• Sport climbing development in Scotland is considered as an integral part of the diverse
range of climbing styles available
• Bolts are unacceptable to the majority of Scottish climbers on established (documented)
mountain cliffs and sea cliffs, in both summer and winter
Established (documented) ‘traditional’ and sport venues would be expected to remain in
their documented style. If a change in style is to be considered in the future (bearing in
mind the above guideline on mountain and sea cliff venues) then generally:
 Retro-bolting (the addition of bolts to established climbs without them) would
only be considered with the agreement of the first ascensionist and after wide
consultation with interested climbers at local and national level
 Retro-trad (the removal of existing bolts) would only be considered with the
agreement of the first ascensionist and after wide consultation with interested
climbers at local and national level
Fraser on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend:

> Well apart from going against the general principles of UK climbing - something which people are trying to ignore,

These routes are perhaps the exceptions that prove the rule.


> ...that this is not merely personal opinion, but a matter of principle, tradition, heritage which are such strong and important aspects in making UK climbing as good as it is.

Again, that's your opinion and you're certainly entitled to it.


> And that all the arguments in favour of keeping the bolts have been repeatedly refuted.

I disagree; again, thats your opinion.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Kirriemuir:
> If it was me, I`d leave the bolts on a point of principle now and if the outers wanted it badly enough they can do their own removal.

If Buzby doesn't do it (though I think he shoud as a point of principle) I'd happily do so as long as I can be sure I don't get banned from the EICA, messing up my training schedule for my sport climbing trip in October ;-)

> Nobody wants to see routes neglected and overgrown when many could get some enjoyment from having them climbable again. Selective and appropriate retrobolting could be a way forward here.

Yes, those of us who value trad must get the message, get our act together and get routes clean and climbed (A positive to come out of all this is that this looks like happening), and suitable new sport venues (some possibilities have been suggested) sought by those wanting more bolted routes - and some of these might involve retro-bolting if there is an overwhelming concensus.


Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to sebrider:

> 34 for bolting and 21 against.

Even if there was any reason to believe this is representative, it is certainly nowhere near the concensus in my opinion needed to justify the major step of retro-bolting established routes.
In reply to gurumed:

> I don't think it's fair to expect a monopoly on a particular piece of rock if you ignore it for decades.

Can I therefore chip routes, sport or trad, if they haven't been climbed that much for decades? It they were hard before but with some more holds I make them 5+, surely they will become much more popular?
sebrider - on 11 Sep 2013

> Even if there was any reason to believe this is representative, it is certainly nowhere near the concensus in my opinion needed to justify the major step of retro-bolting established routes.

What is an acceptable a consensus is anyone's opinion.

Still can't argue that that is not a majority though, for those on the forum that is.

I do agree on your principal that the way some of these routes were retro bolted without full permission or wider consultation is against good practice - the de-bolting of PW does well to demonstrate this and will hopefully curb the setting of any precedent...we do need to preserve our trad ethic.

There are buts however, neglected routes, quarry, popular, routes are there now, lack of sport in the area etc. etc. Several of these may not be arguments per se but as a whole for these specific routes maybe they are.

These specific routes, in this venue, are a possibly a grey area and ultimately will depend on peoples actions. It would be nice if the wishes to the majority (what ever they really are) where the final outcome and no precedent was set for retro-bolting where ever.

And it goes on!
Wicamoi on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

I'm one of those who has kept out of this till now.

First, thanks for removing the bolts from Pettifer's Wall. I think it would be great if you would also remove the bolts from Slow Train and Wally 2. You've already demonstrated that you're capable of doing a good job, and leaving it for someone else to remove them is bound to cause more ill-feeling.

Those who think they can read the consensus of opinion of the Central Scotland climbing community from this thread are probably as misguided as those who think that no logged ascents in UKC logbooks mean a route has not been climbed.

buzby78 - on 11 Sep 2013
Some motivation for retro-ing did come from visits to Hodge Close, Harper Hill and Horseshoe quarries this summer.

Is there any evidence that retro-ing routes in these venues had a negative effect on other crags etc?

buz
buzby78 - on 11 Sep 2013
If you didn't know about the Harper Hill debate here's an interesting UKC article: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=223
sebrider - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Wicamoi:
> Those who think they can read the consensus of opinion of the Central Scotland climbing community from this thread are probably as misguided as those who think that no logged ascents in UKC logbooks mean a route has not been climbed.

And why not exactly? Yes it does not contain the views of everyone, but it is a representation.

For it to not to be a fair representation there needs be confounding variables..i.e. being on an internet forum skews your views on the bolting at Ratho.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to sebrider:
> (In reply to Wicamoi)
> For it to not to be a fair representation there needs be confounding variables..i.e. being on an internet forum skews your views on the bolting at Ratho.

No. You have to be on an internet forum and then you have to bother posting your view.

Donnie - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to sebrider)
>
> [...]
>
> Even if there was any reason to believe this is representative, it is certainly nowhere near the concensus in my opinion needed to justify the major step of retro-bolting established routes.

what would be the consensus needed iy(h?)o?

Wicamoi on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to sebrider:

Any UKC thread is a non-random, and therefore biased, sample of climbers.
Robert Durran has already pointed out a couple or reasons why the sample is non-random, and I won't insult your intelligence by pointing out a few more: you, and most others reading this, can probably think of them too.

Instead I'll just invite you to consider whether - even within the confines of UKC - a thread entitled "Retro-bolting in Scotland" might have attracted a different readership to one entitled "Ratho Quarry Sport Wall Topo"

sebrider - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to sebrider)
> [...]
>
> No. You have to be on an internet forum and then you have to bother posting your view.

Yes. How does this affect either the for or against view on the forum? You have to do both if you are for the bolts or against the bolts!! There are those against not on here and there are those for not on here. Their vies are probably similar (not the same) to those of UKC users. Therefor a fair 'representation'.
sebrider - on 11 Sep 2013

> Instead I'll just invite you to consider whether - even within the confines of UKC - a thread entitled "Retro-bolting in Scotland" might have attracted a different readership to one entitled "Ratho Quarry Sport Wall Topo"

Well this is true. But is it significant...if sure most will have clicked on it now?
cat22 - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: +1 for leaving the bolts in on the other two routes, given that the first ascensionists have agreed to the bolting. I've climbed Slow Strain a couple of times this summer since the bolts went in, and it seemed like a much better sport route than a trad route - didn't spot many obvious places for gear. Surely a neglected line with fun moves but without great gear in a quarry is a good candidate for retro-bolting? Many people will get to have a good time climbing it. I don't think a blanket ban on retro-bolting is a fair way to solve this issue.

Buz - thanks again for putting the work in.
Wicamoi on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to sebrider:
>
> [...]
>
> Well this is true. But is it significant...if sure most will have clicked on it now?

Most of whom will have clicked by now? Most readers of UKC or most climbers in Central Scotland? Either way, count the respondents. Even if most of Central Scotland's climbers have clicked, you'll have to admit that very few have responded. None of my climbing partners for a start, what about yours?

So, if we agree that only a very small proportion of central Scotland's climbers have responded to this thread, then there only has to be a small difference between the nature of people who have
a) clicked on this thread and
b) responded to this thread
and those who have neither clicked nor responded, for this not to be a representative sample.


You'll note that I'm not claiming the direction of this bias, merely that there is a bias.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to cat22:
> (In reply to buzby78) +1 for leaving the bolts in on the other two routes......it seemed like a much better sport route than a trad route - didn't spot many obvious places for gear.

At the risk of being very boring (but some people just don't seem to get it): Indian Face also doesn't have many obvious places for gear.
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to Donnie:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> what would be the consensus needed iy(h?)o?

Given that the presumption should be against retro-bolting, my opinion is that the concensus for retro-bolting should be pretty "overwhelming". Interpret that as you like.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Robert Durran - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to sebrider:

"You have to be on an internet forum and then you have to bother posting your view".

> How does this affect either the for or against view on the forum?

I don't know. Do you? No, I thought not.
cat22 - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to cat22)

> At the risk of being very boring (but some people just don't seem to get it): Indian Face also doesn't have many obvious places for gear.

In my previous post, I suggested that Slow Strain was a good candidate for bolting because it is: " a neglected line with fun moves but without great gear in a quarry". Not just because it is lacking in gear. I was going to call it a grotty quarry but thought I would be charitable :-)

My opinion is that Slow Strain is quite a different route to Indian Face! It doesn't follow that if you bolt one you should bolt the other.
Robert Durran - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to cat22:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> In my previous post, I suggested that Slow Strain was a good candidate for bolting because it is: " a neglected line with fun moves but without great gear in a quarry".

That's not the bit of your post I quoted and commented on.
gurumed - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> I don't know. Do you? No, I thought not.

Wow, dude. You're losing it.
Robert Durran - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Wow, dude. You're losing it.

Ypou are an idiot. I shall no longer respond to your moronic posts. You are an emnbarrassment to the pro-bolting side.

I'll restrict myself to engaging with people who are actually capable of grasping the arguments and saying something intelligent which adds to the debate (whether they agree with my opinions or not).

Simon Caldwell - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> Is there any evidence that retro-ing routes in these venues had a negative effect on other crags etc?

The bolting of Horseshoe coincided with a decline in the popularity of Stoney across the road. I've no idea if there was any cause and effect though.

I think that the retro-ing of Harpur Hill had a negative effect on the reamining trad routes there, in that they are never climbed any more (except by me :-))
Fiend - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

The very fact there was a huge controversy and debate about Harpur Hill at the time is quite significant. These things can't just get swept under the carpet.

Where is Ken when you need him??



P.S. When Slow Strain is repaired I will list details of all the gear placements, I am excited to find them out.
creag - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Fiend: Rather you didn't. Are we not allowed to find out for ourselves?
Valaisan on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

After watching this thread for about a week I have finally succumbed to its attraction!

As a man-made site I support whatever the decision of the FA's was and respect the work Buz and his colleagues clearly put in for the pleasure of those that choose to benefit from and enjoy their work.

I'll elaborate even though I'm sure I'll regret it!

If I recorded a Trad route in a quarry and was asked some decades later if I minded it being bolted and for what I thought were good reasons, I agreed to it, I would hope that would be good enough for all those who had had the pleasure of enjoying my recorded route over the years and would expect very little resistance from those who had never climbed it. If I also gave that permission to an employee of the owner of the site (which Buz is as an employee of EICA which is owned, along with the quarry, by the Council) I would expect even less resistance. I'm not saying our collective opinions don't count in the face of decisions made or acceded to by those in Authority (heaven forbid!) but we are only talking about what is essentially a training ground for a sport that takes place in a man-made site at Ratho which has already had some major venue-changing development work to it since many of the Trad routes were recorded. Therefore I think our opinions should remain proportional to the (limited?) importance of this particular site within the wider context of Scottish Climbing.

Times, like sports move on and progress; sport climbing in the right environment, for the right reasons and with the right permissions is a progression that can benefit both the hardest of climbers as well as the novices who are attempting to work their grade to progress and achieve their goals. Ratho quarry is an ideal (I repeat, man-made) location to enhance the learning opportunity EICA already offers, enjoyed by thousands, by providing more incentive to venture to outdoor routes through Sport and then on to Trad to many future generations of climbers. This development makes the Centre more attractive to anyone wanting to try outdoor climbing for the first time, it could generate more business for the centre, increase the number of instructors and therefore the number of coached or at least informed beginners wanting to take to the Mountains just that little bit more prepared. That is a good thing, surely?

I was thinking of donating a box of 100 Petzl Bolts and Plates to Ratho if they wanted to do some more Sport routes, but for now I'll wait and see how much flak I get for my comments first!
victim of mathematics - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> If I also gave that permission to an employee of the owner of the site (which Buz is as an employee of EICA which is owned, along with the quarry, by the Council) I would expect even less resistance.

This is a total red herring. Given that Buz is operating entirely without the endorsement, consent or even awareness (unless he's kept that quiet thus far) of the landowners, you can hardly conclude that he is an agent for their intentions or wishes for the quarry.

I'm not saying our collective opinions don't count in the face of decisions made or acceded to by those in Authority (heaven forbid!) but we are only talking about what is essentially a training ground for a sport that takes place in a man-made site at Ratho which has already had some major venue-changing development work to it since many of the Trad routes were recorded. Therefore I think our opinions should remain proportional to the (limited?) importance of this particular site within the wider context of Scottish Climbing.

To dismiss any crag as 'a training ground' for bigger and better things is total nonsense. Some people might treat it as such, but plenty of others will go there to climb, not to train. As for the fact that Ratho has had some major work undertaken there when the EICA was built, as has been pointed out several times, when this happened they gave assurances that the climbing in the quarry would remain. So that's also a total non-argument for bolting.

>
> Times, like sports move on and progress; sport climbing in the right environment, for the right reasons and with the right permissions is a progression that can benefit both the hardest of climbers as well as the novices who are attempting to work their grade to progress and achieve their goals. Ratho quarry is an ideal (I repeat, man-made) location to enhance the learning opportunity EICA already offers, enjoyed by thousands, by providing more incentive to venture to outdoor routes through Sport and then on to Trad to many future generations of climbers. This development makes the Centre more attractive to anyone wanting to try outdoor climbing for the first time, it could generate more business for the centre, increase the number of instructors and therefore the number of coached or at least informed beginners wanting to take to the Mountains just that little bit more prepared. That is a good thing, surely?

I've no idea why you think the only logical progression is indoor sport>outdoor sport>trad and that therefore increasing the number of outdoor sport climbs is necessarily going to increase the number of people who go trad climbing in the mountains (if that's even what we should be aspiring to anyway). Retro-bolting trad climbs as a mechanism to get more people trad climbing is a ridiculous suggestion. Instead you'll create more people who learn to climb indoors then start sport climbing outdoors, then wonder why there aren't more nice outdoor sport climbs for them to turn their new-found skills to, so start clamouring for more retro-bolting.I mean if that was ok at Ratho, why not elsewhere...

Robert Durran - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Valaisan)

Thanks. You've saved me writing a long reply! Agree with all you say.

I would add, as I have said before that, I might have seen Ratho as a special case, a one-off, if it was not obvious from comments on here that the retro-bolting is feeding the "entitlement" that some people feel they have to a supply of sports routes and is therefore potentially the thin edge of a very dangerous wedge which must be cut off; the retro-bolts must go.
robmack - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
Did you not already disregard UKC as a valid cross section of the climbing community?
gurumed - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to robmack:
> > In reply to Robert Durran:
> Did you not already disregard UKC as a valid cross section of the climbing community?

Busted! :)
UKC represents a valid cross section of the climbing community only when it suits his argument.

In reply to Robert Durran:
> I might have seen Ratho as a special case, a one-off, if it was not obvious from comments on here that the retro-bolting is feeding the "entitlement" that some people feel they have to a supply of sports routes

I find that hard to believe. If anyone's been using the thin end of a wedge it'd be you. First you whined that you only wanted Pettifer's chopped, you got your way now it's the other routes next.

I don't see the basis for your "entitlement" to chop routes so that a handful will enjoy them instead of hundreds. Particularly seeing as you'd been ignoring these routes for decades.
Valaisan on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

Some good points victim of maths, but you've added a level of emotion and conviction to my comments that didn't exist as well as made a few extrapolations of my points that I would not accept, eg:

I don't dismiss Ratho as a training ground only, but that doesn't mean it isn't one too, and given half of it has already been developed into an indoor Centre (for training as much as for a good climb and competitions as you point out) I don't think that having a few Sport routes outside really does any harm in a man-made environment to the sanctity of Trad climbing in the wider Scottish context, especially when the FAs (in all but one case, I note) gave their permission.

Re Buz, his employ and the owners position, I think you have taken the point too literally: I was certainly not proposing that he was acting as an Agent for the Landowners intentions. I was suggesting that if I were the FA I would be happier giving permission to retro-bolt one of my routes if asked by an employee of the owner (or operator if you like) of the site than some random fellow with a penchant for drilling holes.

But, I would ask you now if you think that Buz managed to spend days using a mini-digger to remove earth and level ground, clean the lower rock up, bolt the face using a drill in plain sight of offices, the gym and probably most employees within the centre, without the knowledge of his immediate boss, let alone the Centre Manager? If the Centre Manager knew, then surely he is acting in turn on behalf of his boss, Edi Leisure who are endorsed by the owners (the Council) to carry out their business as they see fit.

Of course you make a good point about the Council's initial intentions, and promises, when granting planning for EICA; that the climbing in the Quarry shall remain. But what exactly did they mean by that? Were they specific to Trad routes and in turn that they would remain untouched forever, or did they mean climbing in a general context?

I did not suggest (nor do I believe) that one can only progress to Trad from Indoor Sport via Outdoor Sport. Where did I say that? What I attempted to suggest was that it lends itself to a natural progression that might suit some people.

However, I agree with you entirely that "Retro-bolting Trad climbs as a mechanism to get more people Trad climbing is a ridiculous suggestion" and as such I am delighted that I didn't make it!

I was talking about this handful of Trad Routes in this Quarry next to its indoor centre with permission to Retro-bolt from the FAs. Extrapolating that very niche set of circumstances I explained to suggest that my view is that we should be Retro-bolting Trad climbs as a matter of course to get more people in to Trad climbing is equally ridiculous.

Your final paragraph just confused me. Why would someone who has first learned to climb in EICA not benefit from trying their hand outside for the first time on a bolted Sport route before starting to learn the Art of gear placement, etc. It is not, as you say the only way to do it and certainly not the traditional way either, but surely a spell leading on outdoor Sport routes before trying to lead a Trad route is a good idea, or do you disagree and if so why? Some Sport routes are actually ideal for training Trad climbing newbies; take a competent indoor or outdoor sport lead climber and give them a small rack and put them on a sport route and teach them to place gear between the bolts. Safe as houses and a good training tool. If you disagree I'd be really keen to learn why.

From your last sentence you seem to believe that my views (if put into wider practice) might lead to a false sense of security among new wannabe Trad climbers heading for the hills who as a result of being exposed to bolts during their formative climbing years will start randomly bolting classic Trad routes.

With regard to your comment: "I mean if that was ok at Ratho, why not elsewhere", please read my post again, I clearly stated 'Therefore I think our opinions should remain proportional to the (limited?) importance of this particular site within the wider context of Scottish Climbing.'

Obviously I want to protect Mountain and Sea-cliff Trad routes as much as the most ferment Traditionalist. One could ask though: whilst there is a strong case for protection of Trad routes on the classic crags and regions of Scottish climbing, is there any case whatsoever for protecting Trad routes in Quarries which are entirely man-made and therefore are unable to support the ethics at the heart of Traditional climbing. If people feel that Quarry Trad routes should be protected with as much vigour as Mountain and Sea-Cliff routes, then surely anyone recording a Trad route on a man-made structure (bridge, building, etc) should expect the same courtesy? (See: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=15923 for some interesting examples:-)
Robert Durran - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to robmack:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> Did you not already disregarded UKC as a valid cross section of the climbing community?

Almost certainly. I've never for one minute claimed that there is reason to believe that the tiny self-selecting sample of people posting opinions on this thread are representative of the climbing community. It could easily be biased either way.

Obviously the same goes for any other thread on here.

This is just the sort of example that comes up regularly in the examinations I prepare pupils for and they are asked to give several reasons why it is not representative. It's pretty basic stuff really.



Valaisan on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
>
> In reply to Robert Durran:
>
> I don't see the basis for your "entitlement" to chop routes so that a handful will enjoy them instead of hundreds. Particularly seeing as you'd been ignoring these routes for decades.

Well said guru! Put in a handful of words what I managed to completely fail to do in 500.

robmack - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
Yet your using it as thin edge of the wedge excuses and you think someone is off to bolt Dunkeld?
Valaisan on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> Thanks. You've saved me writing a long reply! Agree with all you say.
>
That's a shame Robert as not an inconsiderable amount of what he said extrapolated my points well beyond their original meaning as well as made assumptions that I simply was not suggesting.

victim of mathematics - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Valaisan:

Having re-read your original post and my reply, I'm not at all convinced that I've extrapolated anything from what you said. In fact, by assuming when I say "Retro-bolting trad climbs as a mechanism to get more people trad climbing is a ridiculous suggestion" that I was referring to some imagined campaign you might wage of retrobolting everything that doesn't move, you're extrapolating from my actual point that retro-bolting these trad climbs at Ratho as a mechanism to get more people trad climbing is a ridiculous suggestion.

You seem to be failing to make the very important distinction between 'new sport routes at Ratho' (which Buz has created some of, and as far as I can tell nobody has done anything other than praise him for this, including the most outspoken anti-retrobolters) and 'retro-bolted trad routes at Ratho'. I don't know exactly what the promises made when the EICA were built were, but a number of people who ought to know clearly stated up the thread that the assurances were understood to be to protect the trad climbing in the quarry, not some nebulous 'climbing of some kind'.

As for Buz's relationship with the landowner. In the same position as an FA it wouldn't make the blindest bit of difference to me, but that's a subjective thing. What matters to me is the fact that I don't really know what relationship we think landowners ought to have with the ethicial goings-on on their land. If I approach the owner of any trad crag on private land and persuade them that I should be allowed to bolt it on the grounds of safety (or whatever other argument I might care to advance), does that mean that the rest of the climbing community should just say "Fair enough, bolt away" to me? For me the best position from landowner is one of general disinterest where they're happy to let climbers get on with it, rather than getting involved themselves. Perhaps you disagree?

I'm not really convinced by the argument that in general more outdoor sport climbs will lead to more trad climbers. I think that more outdoor sport climbs will lead to more sport climbers. I'm not going to pass judgement on whether that is a bad thing or not, but I think if what you want is to get more people into trad, then this isn't the way to achieve it. That's notwithstanding the distinction I mentioned above.

Finally, your last paragraph is totally bizarre (touche). Are you really suggesting that 1) any quarried route is ripe for retro-bolting 2) I should give two hoots about some drunken pissing about on a building and 3) that is in any sense the same thing as a quarried route, irrespective of history, quality, etc etc?

Are you playing devil's advocate badly here, or just totally out of step with the rest of the universe?
buzby78 - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> (In reply to buzby78)
> > I was thinking of donating a box of 100 Petzl Bolts and Plates to Ratho if they wanted to do some more Sport routes, but for now I'll wait and see how much flak I get for my comments first!

I'd happily recieve your donation! Loads more more new routes waiting to get drilled...

daWalt on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
>
> I don't know exactly what the promises made when the EICA were built were, but a number of people who ought to know clearly stated up the thread that the assurances were understood to be to protect the trad climbing in the quarry, not some nebulous 'climbing of some kind'.
>

well......let's not over interpret;
EICA never promised anything specific (unless someone can quote me a genuine source), other than to allow people to continue to climb in the undeveloped, the not built over, part of the quarry.


> For me the best position from landowner is one of general disinterest where they're happy to let climbers get on with it, rather than getting involved themselves.
>

that's how it is at ratho.
Valaisan on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Valaisan)

I quite appreciate some of your reply and also accept some of its conclusions but I do have a few comments below. I'll try to be brief:
>
> I'm not at all convinced that I've extrapolated anything from what you said. In fact .... you're extrapolating from my actual point...

We both think the other is extrapolating; let's leave it at that then.
>
> You seem to be failing to make the very important distinction between 'new sport routes at Ratho' and 'retro-bolted trad routes at Ratho'.

No I'm not, I was referring to the strength of opinions raised on the subject of the retro-bolting of some Trad routes at Ratho in the first instance and how I think the sport routes (generally) add something positive to what's on offer at Ratho (including the maintained Trad routes, I want to make clear with hindsight) in the second.

>For me the best position from landowner is one of general disinterest where they're happy to let climbers get on with it, rather than getting involved themselves. Perhaps you disagree?

No, I totally agree with you on that point, as a general rule, but (sorry); in this case the landowner also owns the Company that run a climbing centre so I would expect them to have either more interest in or perhaps in this case, a general level of acceptance that the people who run the climbing centre (whom they ultimately employ) will have some notion of what's best for the place.
>
> I'm not really convinced by the argument that in general more outdoor sport climbs will lead to more trad climbers.

Nor am I; I wasn't suggesting that in any case.

>...but I think if what you want is to get more people into trad, then this isn't the way to achieve it.

I'm not interested in getting more people in to Trad than already do so naturally, and I didn't say that. I was merely suggesting that in Ratho's particular and peculiar case having a few more Sport routes may be a useful means to assist beginners to move in to Trad should they so choose.
>
> Are you really suggesting that 1) any quarried route is ripe for retro-bolting

No.

>2) I should give two hoots about some drunken pissing about on a building

No. The comment and University route URL link was tongue in cheek.

>
> Are you playing devil's advocate badly here, or just totally out of step with the rest of the universe?

I was asking some genuine open questions (where I put a '?') rather than playing the Devil's advocate, offering my opinion in a not too intensely serious or overly self-sanctimonious way (I hope) and then responding to the ensuing debate out of politeness and continued interest in other's opinion. That said, I may well be totally out of step with the rest of the Universe, but who knows really; you?
Valaisan on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> (In reply to Valaisan)
> [...]
>
> I'd happily recieve your donation! Loads more more new routes waiting to get drilled...

:-) I'll bring them down later this week.

r0x0r.wolfo - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> (In reply to Valaisan)
> [...]
>
> I'd happily recieve your donation! Loads more more new routes waiting to get drilled...

How come you did retro the trad routes? If you still have more new routes to bolt? No need surely?

r0x0r.wolfo - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> Your final paragraph just confused me. Why would someone who has first learned to climb in EICA not benefit from trying their hand outside for the first time on a bolted Sport route before starting to learn the Art of gear placement, etc. It is not, as you say the only way to do it and certainly not the traditional way either, but surely a spell leading on outdoor Sport routes before trying to lead a Trad route is a good idea, or do you disagree and if so why? Some Sport routes are actually ideal for training Trad climbing newbies; take a competent indoor or outdoor sport lead climber and give them a small rack and put them on a sport route and teach them to place gear between the bolts. Safe as houses and a good training tool. If you disagree I'd be really keen to learn why.

Here's the reason. Hard bold trad routes arent good for new climbers to learn to place gear on. If this isn't obvious here is why:

1) It is bold therefore not much protection to learn to place.

2) Too high a grade for new climbers to climb or climb and learn to place protection

>
> Obviously I want to protect Mountain and Sea-cliff Trad routes as much as the most ferment Traditionalist. One could ask though: whilst there is a strong case for protection of Trad routes on the classic crags and regions of Scottish climbing, is there any case whatsoever for protecting Trad routes in Quarries which are entirely man-made and therefore are unable to support the ethics at the heart of Traditional climbing. If people feel that Quarry Trad routes should be protected with as much vigour as Mountain and Sea-Cliff routes, then surely anyone recording a Trad route on a man-made structure (bridge, building, etc) should expect the same courtesy? (See: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=15923 for some interesting examples:-)

Bolt millstone then.
In reply to Valaisan:

> One could ask though: whilst there is a strong case for protection of Trad routes on the classic crags and regions of Scottish climbing, is there any case whatsoever for protecting Trad routes in Quarries which are entirely man-made and therefore are unable to support the ethics at the heart of Traditional climbing.

This is a very vague argument though. Fraser - who normally is an eminently sensible contributor to UKC - made some equally vague appeal to the 'evolution of the sport' above that struck me in exactly the same way. Because if retro-bolting trad routes in quarries is demand-led evolution, then surely dry-tooling is too. Following your line of argument I don't see why central belt sport climbers shouldn't expect to see dry toolers trying their route next.

I also don't get why quarries can't support trad climbing ethics? Isn't the main face at Dumby quarried?
Valaisan on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
> (In reply to Valaisan)
> [...]
>
> Here's the reason. Hard bold trad routes arent good for new climbers to learn to place gear on. If this isn't obvious here is why:
>
> 1) It is bold therefore not much protection to learn to place.
>
> 2) Too high a grade for new climbers to climb or climb and learn to place protection
>
> [...]
>
> Bolt millstone then.

I wouldn't bolt millstone let alone anything else in the UK. Not worth the flak.

I do agree with you on the bold trad route comment as a general rule. Good point. I saw its merits, but as your point suggests, probably in the lower grades and that raises loads of other objections.

Valaisan on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Valaisan)
>
> [...]
>
> This is a very vague argument though. Fraser - who normally is an eminently sensible contributor to UKC - made some equally vague appeal to the 'evolution of the sport' above that struck me in exactly the same way. Because if retro-bolting trad routes in quarries is demand-led evolution, then surely dry-tooling is too. Following your line of argument I don't see why central belt sport climbers shouldn't expect to see dry toolers trying their route next.
>
> I also don't get why quarries can't support trad climbing ethics? Isn't the main face at Dumby quarried?

I only raised the question, I didn't say which side of the argument I fell on. It was meant to be vague because it was just an associated afterthought. I do agree with the basis of your points though.

My view is that there is a place for all forms of the sport alongside each other when appropriate and developers (so to speak) should work with all the relevant parties in a reasonable way to attempt to satisfy the majority whilst taking into account the views and needs of the minority.

In reply to Valaisan:

> My view is that there is a place for all forms of the sport alongside each other when appropriate and developers (so to speak) should work with all the relevant parties in a reasonable way to attempt to satisfy the majority whilst taking into account the views and needs of the minority.

I agree this is best but also see sometimes those positions are irreconcilable. "Reasonable" is an equally slippery concept.
Valaisan on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Indeed.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Fraser on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA:

> This is a very vague argument though. Fraser - who normally is an eminently sensible contributor to UKC - made some equally vague appeal to the 'evolution of the sport' above that struck me in exactly the same way.


I'm not sure I did make such an appeal, all I said was: "Climbing evolves. It has evolved to where we are now, and it will undoubtedly continue to do so." I didn't say this situation was right or wrong, simply that it happens.


> Because if retro-bolting trad routes in quarries is demand-led evolution, then surely dry-tooling is too. Following your line of argument I don't see why central belt sport climbers shouldn't expect to see dry toolers trying their route next.

I can see the logic there.


> I also don't get why quarries can't support trad climbing ethics? Isn't the main face at Dumby quarried?

Not positive but I don't believe it was. I'd agree with you about quarries being able to support the trad ethic, but equally with Valaisan's suggestion that such venues may not be as sacrosanct as others.


And with that, I've decided that I'm now bowing out of this thread. A long time ago it had already taken up too much of my time and I think it's pretty much run its course. The same points are being repeated on both sides of the debate and I'm not very confident we're any closer to a conclusion. I hope the final solution is fair and acceptable to as many interested parties as possible. Buz, thanks for doing what you did, I certainly enjoyed the routes you created and am glad I got on them when I did.
buzby78 - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> And with that, I've decided that I'm now bowing out of this thread. A long time ago it had already taken up too much of my time and I think it's pretty much run its course. The same points are being repeated on both sides of the debate and I'm not very confident we're any closer to a conclusion. I hope the final solution is fair and acceptable to as many interested parties as possible. Buz, thanks for doing what you did, I certainly enjoyed the routes you created and am glad I got on them when I did.

Thanks Fraser, it's been nice reading your posts, a rational head when all about were losing theirs I feel!

Well I'm still keen to tidy up the quarry, bolt a few new routes and clean/stabilise some of the existing trad routes over the next few months.

I've got some grass seed ordered that can be planted in the autumn, perhaps coincide this with the general tidy up?

Speak to you next time you're in climbing and thanks for the support...

buz



In reply to Fraser: And I didn't mean to suggest you weren't being sensible here, just that saying along the lines of "it is what it is" sort of glosses over the conflicts and compromises that have got us to where we now are. Where climbing evolves to next is in the hands of all us doing it now I suppose!
Robert Durran - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to robmack:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Yet your using it as thin edge of the wedge excuses.......

It is not clear to me what you are referring to here (maybe you could clarify?).

However, if you mean that I am arguing for the removal of the retro-bolts on the grounds that a few rogue retro-bolters might take them as a green light to retro-bolt further routes in the central belt because they feel "entitlement" to more sport climbs and are too lazy to find new lines, then yes I am. Such people could be far from a majority (indeed a small minority - the thin end of the wedge), but if the precedent set at Ratho is that such retro-bolts don't get chopped, then they are getting quite the wrong message in my opinion.


> .........and you think someone is off to bolt Dunkeld?

No. Please read my mention of Dunkeld again. It was purely as an extreme example to illustrate the absurdity of someone's argument that once a crag has a few sport routes, retro-bolting others could be justified to make it a better venue for "a sport session".

Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> (In reply to gurumed)
>
> Well said guru! Put in a handful of words what I managed to completely fail to do in 500.

As I said earlier, I am no longer going to bother replying to the monstrously ignorant and apparently hopelessly unintelligent Gurumed, but since you are clearly one of the more sensible and thoughtful defenders of the retro-bolts, I'll comment on the quoted "I don't see the basis for your "entitlement" to chop routes so that a handful will enjoy them instead of hundreds":

Firstly, this is emphatically not the purpose of chopping the bolts (though it is undoubtedly obviously but incidentally true that a 6c is accessible to far more people than an E4). The purpose is to restore the status quo before their drilling without the proper consultation demanded by all acceptable precedent - to return to the point where a proper debate should have taken place without the prejudicial existence of the fait-accompli retro-bolted routes.

I am more "entitled" to chop these bolts than Buzby was to place them.

Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> (In reply to Fraser)

> Well I'm still keen to tidy up the quarry, bolt a few new routes and clean/stabilise some of the existing trad routes over the next few months.

Yes, please do continue this good work (including finishing the righting of your mistake in retro-bolting routes). It will be much appreciated by many on both sides of this debate.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:

> And with that, I've decided that I'm now bowing out of this thread......I think it's pretty much run its course. The same points are being repeated on both sides of the debate and I'm not very confident we're any closer to a conclusion.

I think, after all this, that, on reflection, Andy Nisbet might have got it right where bolting debates are concerned (I can't remember whether it was in this thread or the Fasrletter one): If bolts are placed, their fate will, in the end be decided by wheteher or not someone feels strongly enough to make the effort to chop them. I suppose this allows the water to be tested, while maintaining the long established presumption against bolts in rock up to that point free of bolts.
Jamie B - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Or to put it another way, "he who shouts loudest". I have to agree, it's a flawed "system" that does seem to have antagonism built in, but direct action (or the threat of it) will tend to ensure that the sensible bolts stay in (think Tunnel Wall) and the daft ones come out. The difficulty arises when you have a venue which is right on the cusp of "acceptability" with highly motivated activists on both sides of the argument. That's when a destructive cycle of bolt/chop can occur, which benefits nobody.
In reply to Robert Durran:
> Andy Nisbet might have got it right where bolting debates are concerned (I can't remember whether it was in this thread or the Fasrletter one): If bolts are placed, their fate will, in the end be decided by wheteher or not someone feels strongly enough to make the effort to chop them.

When I first saw this photo http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=226741 I presumed that's what Fiend had done?
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> When I first saw this photo http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=226741 I presumed that's what Fiend had done?

No he'd just reclimbed Pettifer's in it's restored trad state.
I think it's some sort of vaguely homoerotic chopped bolt fetishistic celebration thing ;-)

buzby78 - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
I have to agree, it's a flawed "system" that does seem to have antagonism built in, but direct action (or the threat of it) will tend to ensure that the sensible bolts stay in (think Tunnel Wall) and the daft ones come out.

Retro-bolted routes on the side of a mountain, is that really sensible?

victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

> Retro-bolted routes on the side of a mountain, is that really sensible?

I see what you're trying to do there. It's rather unedifying.
buzby78 - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> [...]
>
> I see what you're trying to do there. It's rather unedifying.

And hiding behind a computer screen making derogatory comments about others is?

Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> (In reply to Jamie B)

> I have to agree, it's a flawed "system" that does seem to have antagonism built in, but direct action (or the threat of it) will tend to ensure that the sensible bolts stay in (think Tunnel Wall)

> Retro-bolted routes on the side of a mountain, is that really sensible?

It was pretty controversial at the time. Looking back, it's surprising they stayed in really. Same goes for the Dunkeld Sport Wall bolts. It could be argued that both cases robbed the future of stunning trad testpieces in the mode of their location.

victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> And hiding behind a computer screen making derogatory comments about others is?

Arf. I'm not going to drive up to Edinburgh just to make the point in person that trying to justify your own actions by pointing out that you're not the first to retro-bolt something is a pretty specious argument. This is the internet, everything anybody says is from 'behind a computer screen', I'm not sure how you propose to get past that, some kind of officially-sanctioned UKC gladiatorial arena perhaps?

tom_in_edinburgh - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Or to put it another way, "he who shouts loudest". I have to agree, it's a flawed "system" that does seem to have antagonism built in

Rather than building up antagonism why not restore the retrobolted routes and set up a small committee to consult on future development (e.g. someone representing the trad climbers, someone representing the indoor/sport climbers, someone representing EICA and someone from MCofS to chair it and ensure fair play). With the involvement of the main groups, the landowner and the MCofS hopefully everyone would see there was a legitimate process and the decisions could be made to stick.

Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> Some kind of officially-sanctioned UKC gladiatorial arena perhaps?

Excellent idea. I'd love to have an officially sanctioned opportunity to deal with the likes of Gurumed.

buzby78 - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to buzby78)
> [...]
>
> Arf. I'm not going to drive up to Edinburgh just to make the point in person that trying to justify your own actions by pointing out that you're not the first to retro-bolt something is a pretty specious argument. This is the internet, everything anybody says is from 'behind a computer screen', I'm not sure how you propose to get past that, some kind of officially-sanctioned UKC gladiatorial arena perhaps?

No but you could make your points without using offensive language?
victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> [...]
>
> Rather than building up antagonism why not restore the retrobolted routes and set up a small committee to consult on future development (e.g. someone representing the trad climbers, someone representing the indoor/sport climbers, someone representing EICA and someone from MCofS to chair it and ensure fair play). With the involvement of the main groups, the landowner and the MCofS hopefully everyone would see there was a legitimate process and the decisions could be made to stick.

I don't tend to agree with many of your opinions, but that's a very sensible idea. To be honest, it came as a bit of a shock to me that there isn't an equivalent to the BMC area meetings in Scotland. Something along those lines is clearly needed. It's not some kind of panacea which will magically resolve all disputes, but it's a damn sight better than the current free-for-all.

Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Rather than building up antagonism why not restore the retrobolted routes and set up a small committee to consult on future development (e.g. someone representing the trad climbers, someone representing the indoor/sport climbers, someone representing EICA and someone from MCofS to chair it and ensure fair play). With the involvement of the main groups, the landowner and the MCofS hopefully everyone would see there was a legitimate process and the decisions could be made to stick.

Some sort of proper consultation along some sort of sensible lines would be ideal once the retrobolted routes have been restored to the state they were in when such consultation SHOULD have taken place.

victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:

> No but you could make your points without using offensive language?

You think 'unedifying' is offensive?
buzby78 - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to buzby78)
>
> [...]
>
> You think 'unedifying' is offensive?

It's not particualry nice is it? Would you say that kind of thing in a real life conversation?

Looking back at previous posts you regularly use derogatory remarks towards others, that's what I find most offensive...

victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> [...]
>
> It's not particualry nice is it? Would you say that kind of thing in a real life conversation?
>

I'd put it right up there with uncouth and undignified - shocking! If you wouldn't use that kind of language in everyday conversation because it's offensive then you must be a very sensitive soul. Well done. Maybe the world would be a better place with more people who share your sensibilities.

> Looking back at previous posts you regularly use derogatory remarks towards others, that's what I find most offensive...

Other than one use of the word 'numpty', any offensive remarks have been directed at two posters who were blatantly trolling. I'm more than happy to engage in reasoned, civil, debate with anybody who actually wants to try and discuss the issues.
beychae - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

If you are accusing me of trolling, then you are absolutely wrong. I just happen to have very different opinions to you.

I suspect lots of people hold similar opinions to me -- and this thread has backed that up, overall -- but these opinions are not expressed often on UKC because of the kind of response they get from extreme traddies such as yourself. Plus the fact that UKC is predominantly a trad climber's forum.
gurumed - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> As I said earlier, I am no longer going to bother replying to the monstrously ignorant and apparently hopelessly unintelligent Gurumed

Tell me what you really think :)

Having an opinion different than your own is not ignorance.

Q1) What is two plus two?
A1) I dunno, I hate math.
This is ignorance.

Q2) What is two plus two?
A2) Seven, for sure, totally positive.
This is being wrong.

> I'll comment on the quoted "I don't see the basis for your "entitlement" to chop routes so that a handful will enjoy them instead of hundreds":
> Firstly, this is emphatically not the purpose of chopping the bolts (though it is undoubtedly obviously but incidentally true that a 6c is accessible to far more people than an E4). The purpose is to restore the status quo

If you really wanted it restored to the status quo you'd have asked for the chains to be removed and for Buz to pour tons of mud down the route. What you wanted, after the rock had been unearthed and cleaned up by others, was for the route to be switched over to your own preferred style. This is for your conceited desire to have a "pure trad experience" at the cost of hundreds enjoying this piece of rock. A piece of rock you'd have never noticed if Buz hadn't bolted it.

In reply to Jamie B:
> Or to put it another way, "he who shouts loudest".

If that's the game Robert is going to win :)

In reply to buzby78:
> Looking back at previous posts you regularly use derogatory remarks towards others, that's what I find most offensive...

These guys are fighting a losing battle; they are trying justify that their own selfish wants are actually the noble defense of some ethical ideal. It's bound to make them lash out when they get cornered.
victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
>
> If you are accusing me of trolling, then you are absolutely wrong. I just happen to have very different opinions to you.
>
> I suspect lots of people hold similar opinions to me -- and this thread has backed that up, overall -- but these opinions are not expressed often on UKC because of the kind of response they get from extreme traddies such as yourself. Plus the fact that UKC is predominantly a trad climber's forum.

I'm sure Fiend and Robert will be touched to be described as 'extreme traddies'. I do hate all sport climbers though...

You appear to be able to read whatever you like into what has actually been said, which makes trying to debate with you utterly pointless. You were being a moron, so I called you a moron. I'm not apologising for that. Stop saying ridiculous nonsense like "I think the central point you're making is that sport-only climbers are inferior creatures, and do not deserve to have any weight attached to their opinions" and perhaps I'll pay your opinions the blindest bit of attention. Otherwise I'll just ignore you.
gurumed - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> Stop saying ridiculous nonsense like "I think the central point you're making is that sport-only climbers are inferior creatures, and do not deserve to have any weight attached to their opinions" and perhaps I'll pay your opinions the blindest bit of attention. Otherwise I'll just ignore you.

"Stop having your opinion or I will call you stupid and ignore you!" that's a fantastic way to win hearts and minds, dude :)
beychae - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to beychae)
>
> Stop saying ridiculous nonsense like "I think the central point you're making is that sport-only climbers are inferior creatures, and do not deserve to have any weight attached to their opinions" and perhaps I'll pay your opinions the blindest bit of attention. Otherwise I'll just ignore you.

No, I think my point got to the core of the problem. I was obviously phrasing it sarcastically, which might not have come out well online. I don't actually think that Fiend (or whoever it was I was replying to) thinks "sport-only climbers are inferior creatures". However I was trying to emphasize that this is how they make us feel when they completely discount our views.

Some of you don't seem to believe that there are people in the UK who are keen climbers, but don't want to climb trad. This is illustrated by you deciding that me and gurumed are trollers, and that you can therefore justifiably ignore any points we make.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> I'm sure Fiend and Robert will be touched to be described as 'extreme traddies'.

Ridiculous, isn't it, this manufactured "then and us" distinction these clowns try to make. Very unhelpful when most of us are trying to have a sensible debate with sensible people who happen to disagree with us.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)

> Some of you don't seem to believe that there are people in the UK who are keen climbers, but don't want to climb trad.

If you believe that you are plain wrong. Ignorant.

> This is illustrated by you deciding that me and gurumed are trollers, and that you can therefore justifiably ignore any points we make.

Trollers or just, as exemplified by this post, totally out of touch. Ignorant.

beychae - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> If you really wanted it restored to the status quo you'd have asked for the chains to be removed and for Buz to pour tons of mud down the route. What you wanted, after the rock had been unearthed and cleaned up by others, was for the route to be switched over to your own preferred style. This is for your conceited desire to have a "pure trad experience" at the cost of hundreds enjoying this piece of rock. A piece of rock you'd have never noticed if Buz hadn't bolted it.
>


> These guys are fighting a losing battle; they are trying justify that their own selfish wants are actually the noble defense of some ethical ideal. It's bound to make them lash out when they get cornered.

Couldn't agree more on both counts!

Of course I can see it from their perspective too: they started this whole "indoor climbing wall" idea so they could get in some extra training; but now, these walls have produced new climbers, who have the ridiculous idea that they can now lay claim to "their" outdoor rock, and ruin the experience for them.

Now as far as I'm concerned, and here I probably am different from other posters here, I'd like every route in the country retro-bolted. However I'm not going to argue for that, because I think trad climbers have a right to rock to enjoy their hobby on, too.
beychae - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

Ah - you mean there is no "them and us"? We're all just climbers? [sarcasm] How about if we share the routes then -- we'll bolt them and you can just climb them trad and ignore the bolts [/sarcasm].

I see you've actually not responded to gurumed's arguments, but have decided to call us unhelpful and ignorant instead.
victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:

> No, I think my point got to the core of the problem. I was obviously phrasing it sarcastically, which might not have come out well online. I don't actually think that Fiend (or whoever it was I was replying to) thinks "sport-only climbers are inferior creatures". However I was trying to emphasize that this is how they make us feel when they completely discount our views.

Not immediately acceding to all your demands is not 'completely discounting your views'. Yours just aren't the only opinions that matter. Hence why a process of consultation before anything was retro-bolted would have been the right thing to do. As has been said countless times on this thread.

>
> Some of you don't seem to believe that there are people in the UK who are keen climbers, but don't want to climb trad. This is illustrated by you deciding that me and gurumed are trollers, and that you can therefore justifiably ignore any points we make.

I don't really know what to say to this. If that's what you believe then you've been paying no attention to anything anybody has said on this whole thread. If somebody won't engage you in a reasoned debate and just twists your words and makes fatuous comments at every turn, ignoring them doesn't mean that you're somehow conceding that they're right. It means that they're an arse.
beychae - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> Not immediately acceding to all your demands is not 'completely discounting your views'.

Please note that I haven't demanded anything on this thread. I've only expressed my preferences. I'm pretty sure there have been demands that bolts be removed.

> Yours just aren't the only opinions that matter. Hence why a process of consultation before anything was retro-bolted would have been the right thing to do. As has been said countless times on this thread.

Absolutely, I agree. However, I suspect that in the past, consultations have rejected retro-bolting if there was any disagreement at all. This is not an acceptable way to run a consultation. (I apologise if this is not the case).

For example, would you be happy if any retro-bolted routes could not have the bolts stripped, so long as one person wanted to keep the bolts?
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> I see you've actually not responded to gurumed's arguments, but have decided to call us unhelpful and ignorant instead.

The trouble is that your's and Gurumed's views are founded on such an ocean of ignorance, stupidity and gross assumption that it is impossible for any informed and intelligent person to take them the slightest bit seriously. Yes there may well be the odd defensible point buried amongst all the stinking shite you spout, but, quite frankly, it just isn't worth getting my hands covered in the stuff rummaging for it; one of the sensible pro-bolting posters will have already made the point and it will have been sensibly addressed and debated.

Of course your comic prejudices and lack of intellectual capacity will mean that you won't accept the message coming from an "extreme whining traddie bitch" (or whatever the delightful phrase was) like me. What is needed is for one of the intelligent, mature and well informed pro-bolters such as Fraser or Valaisan or even Buzby (all of whom I have plenty of respect for and two of whom I've had perfectly civil face to face conversations with in the last couple of weeks) to point out what arses you are making of yourselves and how your daft incoherent rantings are doing nothing for the pro-bolting case and are probably undermining it - which is a shame because there is an important debate to be had.

I said yesterday that I was no longer going to waste my time stooping to replying to Gurumed's posts and now I am no longer going to bother with your drivel either.
daWalt on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
which other crags do you want de-bolted?
daWalt on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to daWalt:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> which other crags do you want de-bolted?

or;
which other routes do you want de-bolted?
gurumed - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> "extreme whining traddie bitch"

If I ever put up a sport route that what it's going to be named, dude. Thanks :)

In reply to daWalt:
> which other routes do you want de-bolted?

All of them! Eventually Robert will be wanting to chop the bolts inside the arena :)
Valaisan on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> In reply to daWalt:
> [...]

> All of them! Eventually Robert will be wanting to chop the bolts inside the arena :)

Did Robert suggest that at some point? Personally I doubt it, he enjoys the Arena. I seem to remember from his posts that he had no objection to the new sport routes put up by Buz either, but I could be wrong.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to gurumed)

> Now as far as I'm concerned, and here I probably am different from other posters here, I'd like every route in the country retro-bolted. However I'm not going to argue for that, because I think trad climbers have a right to rock to enjoy their hobby on, too.

You really think those hs's you lead are going go be improved by bolts? You climb more trad than sport.

r0x0r.wolfo - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Valaisan: Totally correct.
gurumed - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> Did Robert suggest that at some point?

Nah, I'm only joking, dude.
beychae - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
> (In reply to beychae)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> You really think those hs's you lead are going go be improved by bolts?

As pointed out earlier in this thread, HS and below are not that great candidates for bolting, because they tend to have blocks and ledges so you'll hurt yourself anyway if you come off, plus they tend to have good gear. But yes, if it was purely for me, I'd have them bolted -- for me fiddling bits of metal into place is just a distraction from the climbing.

> You climb more trad than sport.

So my position is that I've recently decided to give up trad climbing, after having a serious think about the risks involved versus how much I enjoy it. Given this, I might be a bit like a smoker who's recently quit, and be even more anti-trad than I should really be. I apologise for this, and I also don't rule out wanting to lead lower-grade (by which I mean even lower than HS) trad routes in the future.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to daWalt:
> (In reply to daWalt)

> Which other routes do you want de-bolted?

No other specific ones in Scotland that I am aware of, though I'm a bit uneasy about some of the sport developments in the north west and the direction in which it is heading. If the Tunnel Wall and the Upper Cave sport wall were being bolted now, I think I might be opposed - they've always seemed anomalies to me.

I am opposed to all bolting (and especially retro-bolting) of all routes in the high Alps (the precise interpretation of "high" being tricky to define, but there has to be a line somewhere, certainly well below the foot of, say, the Brouillard Face of Mont Blanc).

Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Valaisan:
> (In reply to gurumed)

> He enjoys the Arena.

Indeed I do. I absolutely love it. We are very lucky to be blessed with a world class and uncrowded training facility.

> I seem to remember from his posts that he had no objection to the new sport routes put up by Buz either, but I could be wrong.

No objection. New bolted lines in the Central Belt quarries seems a good compromise to me - just my opinion but I don't think anyone else on here has objected to Buzby's new ones at Ratho.

Valaisan on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I am opposed to all bolting (and especially retro-bolting) of all routes in the high Alps (the precise interpretation of "high" being tricky to define, but there has to be a line somewhere, certainly well below the foot of, say, the Brouillard Face of Mont Blanc).

Oh dear: bolting in the High Alps, a whole other topic far from Ratho that I am quite torn over because I have benefited from it whilst being quite opposed to it!

MattDTC on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to beychae)
> The trouble is that your's and Gurumed's views are founded on such an ocean of ignorance, stupidity and gross assumption that it is impossible for any informed and intelligent person to take them the slightest bit seriously. Yes there may well be the odd defensible point buried amongst all the stinking shite you spout, but, quite frankly, it just isn't worth getting my hands covered in the stuff rummaging for it; one of the sensible pro-bolting posters will have already made the point and it will have been sensibly addressed and debated.
>
> Of course your comic prejudices and lack of intellectual capacity will mean that you won't accept the message coming from an "extreme whining traddie bitch" (or whatever the delightful phrase was) like me. What is needed is for one of the intelligent, mature and well informed pro-bolters such as Fraser or Valaisan or even Buzby (all of whom I have plenty of respect for and two of whom I've had perfectly civil face to face conversations with in the last couple of weeks) to point out what arses you are making of yourselves and how your daft incoherent rantings are doing nothing for the pro-bolting case and are probably undermining it - which is a shame because there is an important debate to be had.
>
> I said yesterday that I was no longer going to waste my time stooping to replying to Gurumed's posts and now I am no longer going to bother with your drivel either.


Now that's the way to tell someone to shut the f**k up. I suspect you enjoyed writing it as much as I enjoyed reading it.
Valaisan on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Valaisan)

> No objection. New bolted lines in the Central Belt quarries seems a good compromise to me - just my opinion but I don't think anyone else on here has objected to Buzby's new ones at Ratho.

Excellent to hear it, a rare moment of agreement giving rise to an air of tranquility in the forum:-)

Have a good weekend.
gurumed - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to MattDTC:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
> Now that's the way to tell someone to shut the f**k up. I suspect you enjoyed writing it as much as I enjoyed reading it.

He was probably shaking with fury again :)
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to MattDTC:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Now that's the way to tell someone to shut the f**k up. I suspect you enjoyed writing it as much as I enjoyed reading it.

Not really. It just obviously needed doing.

beychae - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to MattDTC:

I think what Robert said is that he thinks my opinion is stupid, and therefore he's not going to take any notice of my contributions to this debate.

Or did I miss something?

I'll be at Ratho tonight - anyone can feel free to PM me if you'd rather discuss this in person.
daWalt on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> No other specific ones in Scotland that I am aware of, [....]
>

Alps aside; that can only be summarised as no and what else is out there now is all ok; which is a relief....... given your objections could easily be applied at other locations, (there’s a couple of routes at N Berwick that would be on very shaky ground).

Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to daWalt:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> ....... given your objections could easily be applied at other locations, (there’s a couple of routes at N Berwick that would be on very shaky ground).

I know that the route up the left edge of the wall was originally climbed with peg protection by a friend of mine and when the rest of the wall was bolted, he agreed that it too could be bolted - since the wall is entirely sport, it seems it wasn't a problem for anyone. Which other one? Which other locations?

daWalt on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
Anarchic Law, Solitary Soul? possibly...
daWalt on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
If the Tunnel Wall and the Upper Cave sport wall were being bolted now, I think I might be opposed - >

mmmm...... I’d think so too.
We’re not exactly suffering because of them.

gurumed - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to daWalt:
> > (In reply to Robert Durran)
> > If the Tunnel Wall and the Upper Cave sport wall were being bolted now, I think I might be opposed
> mmmm...... I’d think so too.
> We’re not exactly suffering because of them.

Indeed. What the EWTBs (Extreme Whining Traddie Bitch, to use Roberts neologism) don't get is that sensible retro bolting doesn't inevitably lead to boltageddon.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to daWalt:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> "If the Tunnel Wall and the Upper Cave sport wall were being bolted now, I think I might be opposed" - >
>
> mmmm...... I’d think so too.
> We’re not exactly suffering because of them.

No, not really (except the loss of some incredible futuristic routes), though some objected at the time.

It is important to note that those cases are very different from the Ratho situation and are therefore not a reliable precedent for what the result of the Ratho retro-bolting might be if allowed to stand.

The Tunnel Wall and Upper Cave were bolted by top climbers of the day wanting to push their own limits and feeling unable to do so without minimal bolting, the routes later being fully bolted.

At Ratho the bolting (and retro-bolting) is to satisfy a demand for lower grade sport routes by punters. This is a relatively new and growing phenomenon which is not going to go away and therefore (as I have said before) needs to be sensibly and carefully addressed. Retro-bolting, especially without proper consultationa and debate, and the dangerous precedent it sets is not the answer.


daWalt on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
what's a punter?
gurumed - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> It is important to note that those cases are very different from the Ratho situation and are therefore not a reliable precedent for what the result of the Ratho retro-bolting might be if allowed to stand.

But bolting Indian Face is a fair comparison? Please. It seems to me that what you actually mean is you'd choose to discount that point because it undermines your case?

> At Ratho the bolting (and retro-bolting) is to satisfy a demand for lower grade sport routes by punters.
No, the bolting was done because nobody was using the rock.

> This is a relatively new and growing phenomenon which is not going to go away and therefore (as I have said before) needs to be sensibly and carefully addressed.

How about not kicking up a fuss when people bolt piece of rock that haven't been looked at for decades?
gurumed - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to daWalt:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> what's a punter?

That's a good point, daWalt. I'm glad you picked up on that, because I missed it.

The true bolt/no-bolt criteria for Robert and co is "Can I personally trad lead it?"
ads.ukclimbing.com
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to daWalt:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> what's a punter?

Let's say, for the sake of argument, and pretty arbitrarily, someone not in the top 3% of climbers by ability/achievement.

Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> But bolting Indian Face is a fair comparison? Please. It seems to me that what you actually mean is you'd choose to discount that point because it undermines your case?

OK, you've provoked me into a reaction, because it gives me a further chance to point out what a pointless moron you are. Indian Face was brought up to illustrate a particular point: that if you take the argument that bolting is justified if it allows more people to get more enjoyment to it'slogical conclusion, then you would bolt Indian Face; completely irrelevant to the point being discussed in the previous few posts. Of course you are too stupid to see that.

> No, the bolting was done because nobody was using the rock.

A chain and a clean would have made the route perfectly climbable as has now been demonstrated. The bolts were just, as I said, satisfying the demand for lower grade sport routes.


Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to daWalt)

> The true bolt/no-bolt criteria for Robert and co is "Can I personally trad lead it?"

See what I mean about gross, ignorant, stupid and in this case really pretty offensive assumptions. If that were the case I would obviously be in favour of bolting Indian Face and the vast majority of routes above E4 in the country.

You really are a complete dick-head aren't you? You quite obviously just aren't bright enough to say anything which makes any sense at all, so why don't you just f*** off.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to daWalt)
> [...]
>
> Let's say, for the sake of argument, and pretty arbitrarily, someone not in the top 3% of climbers by ability/achievement.

Actually, I'll change that to "anyone not at the cutting edge" just to make it clear that I consider myself to be a punter.

Jamie B - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> (Tunnel Wall) was pretty controversial at the time. Looking back, it's surprising they stayed in really. Same goes for the Dunkeld Sport Wall bolts. It could be argued that both cases robbed the future of stunning trad testpieces in the mode of their location.

It could also be argued that the bolting created the two highest-quality sport crags in the country, which are now deeply embedded into the climbing mix and probably most used by all-rounders and trad leaders. They both had their detractors but to my mind they achieved net gain without opening any floodgates.

Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> It could also be argued that the bolting created the two highest-quality sport crags in the country, which are now deeply embedded into the climbing mix and probably most used by all-rounders and trad leaders. They both had their detractors but to my mind they achieved net gain without opening any floodgates.

Yes (though I should emphasise again that the situations were not comparable with the one at Ratho now), that is a perfectly reasonable argument. Marlina and Silk Purse are certainly brilliant sport routes (I've not climbed on Tunnel Wall though).

andyathome - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
> Actually, I'll change that to "anyone not at the cutting edge" just to make it clear that I consider myself to be a punter.

In that case I am a punter. Bum. I used to feel I climbed quite well :-)

For what its worth - and just to skew the pro/anti stats even further - this particular punter thinks that retro-bolting routes that have been climbed in trad style is a really, really retrograde step and should not be countenanced; and this instance at Ratho exemplifies that. And before I get jumped on I, too, have never climbed at Ratho (though have dabbled at Auchinstarry and Dunkeld). Having Crookrise / Malham etc on my doorstep WTF would I want to?

The sequestration of a route by drilling holes in the rock and placing bolts where those bolts are not 'needed', i.e. where leader placed protection is available, is a truly retrograde step; NOT a progressive one. It should be condemned by the mountaineering councils (and, indeed, the current protocols of the MCofS and the BMC both oppose retro-bolting in general terms). The justifications for that act of despoilation (sport for all, keeping the routes popular, allowing wider access, making sure routes get done, providing a transition for wall climbers, sport for all, keeping the routes 'clean',allowing wider access, sport for all.....) basically boil down to 'that route looks a bit pokey as it is; lets make it safer'.

Isn't that what this is all really about? Minimising risk? Turning the sport of climbing into a minimum engagement 'game'*?



* What was the Hemingway quote; 'there are only four sports; boxing, motor racing, bull fighting and mountaineering. The rest are just games.'?
spunkymonkey - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to andyathome:

And before I get jumped on I, too, have never climbed at Ratho (though have dabbled at Auchinstarry and Dunkeld). Having Crookrise / Malham etc on my doorstep WTF would I want to?

Another armchair critic then? You really don't have a clue of what's been done here, it's opened up and made a pretty manky venue a far more appealing place to be! Please don't interfere in things you really know nothing about.
spunkymonkey - on 13 Sep 2013
I may also add that i wouldnt class my self as a bumbly or a punter as you guys are called. I feel that being more advanced in climbing of high grades it was quite nice to be able to go out and climb some easy routes that where once utter choss that will soon be utter shite again threw pricks wanting to chop bolts. Grow up guys this is 2013 there is no THIN END OF THE WEDGE argument anymore. :P
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:
> (In reply to andyathome)

> Another armchair critic then? You really don't have a clue of what's been done here, it's opened up and made a pretty manky venue a far more appealing place to be! Please don't interfere in things you really know nothing about.

He has every right to comment on the general principles at stake and I suspect he might know more about them than you do.

I think everyone applauds the fact that the quarry is now a much more appealing place to be, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the retro-bolts.

spunkymonkey - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: I dont like to suspect because i know more about these things than yourself. You may rule the keyboard but i rule the crag. I feel trad and sport climbers can climb together. Place gear rather than clip bolts vice versa. Why is that so hard to do. ?
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:
> Grow up guys this is 2013 there is no THIN END OF THE WEDGE argument anymore.

I would be interested to know why you think that is the case.

spunkymonkey - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Calum93)
> [...]
>
> I would be interested to know why you think that is the case.

Because retro-bolting has been happened at shitty crags all over Britain for the past 20 years without harming British trad climbing. Are you really Ken Wilson in disguise?

spunkymonkey - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Calum93)
> [...]
>
> I would be interested to know why you think that is the case.

I bet you're a journalist from The Sun?

Cog - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think you will be first this week again.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/info/top40.html
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

>
> Because retro-bolting has been happened at shitty crags all over Britain for the past 20 years without harming British trad climbing.

Maybe, with proper consultation.
But Ratho is not a shitty crag - it is quite good by the standards of quarries and of the Central Belt.
Why don't you go and find yourself a shitty quarry to bolt? I'm sure they're out there.

> Are you really Ken Wilson in disguise?

I'm flattered, but no.

Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:

Calum, I quite like your youthful enthusiasm around Ratho, but please don't make a fool of yourself.

> I dont like to suspect because I know more about these things than yourself........ I feel trad and sport climbers can climb together. Place gear rather than clip bolts vice versa.

I'm afraid this is well established utter bollocks which proves that you know virtually nothing at all about trad climbing (I'm not going to explain the whole thing yet again - trawl back through the thread if you want).
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Cog:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> I think you will be first this week again.
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/info/top40.html

Sadly and slightly embarrassingly yes.
Last week's "solo" thread was fascinating and pleasurable. This one just feels like a chore, but I reckon someone ought to do it........

spunkymonkey - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Calum93)
>
> Calum, I quite like your youthful enthusiasm around Ratho, but please don't make a fool of yourself.
>
> [...]
>
> I'm afraid this is well established utter bollocks which proves that you know virtually nothing at all about trad climbing (I'm not going to explain the whole thing yet again - trawl back through the thread if you want).

I am also a keen trad climber and understand the importance of our heritage. You are just not in tune with the younger generation of climbers in the UK, you can't use the THIN END OF A WEDGE arguement anymore, it's bloody 2013 not 1988!

spunkymonkey - on 13 Sep 2013
Although I think your climbing outfit is from 1988 no?
Jamie B - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:

> Grow up guys this is 2013 there is no THIN END OF THE WEDGE argument anymore.

I think there is. More people want to climb on bolts, and they want more venues where this is possible. Various venues with trad histories are barely climbed on and are going back to nature. To some it seems logical to retro-bolt these to satisfy a demand. If this happens it will become progressively easier to climb exclusively or mainly on bolts. So other trad venues will get fewer visits and go back to nature. And get retro-bolted. Etc..

If that's not a wedge I don't know what is; the only uncertainty to me is at what point the thin edge arrived. I think it is well inserted now.

victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:

> Another armchair critic then? You really don't have a clue of what's been done here, it's opened up and made a pretty manky venue a far more appealing place to be! Please don't interfere in things you really know nothing about.

Cleaning the crag up and retro-bolting the trad routes are fundamentally not the same thing. Arguing that one is a good thing => the other is a good thing is desperately ignorant.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> You can't use the THIN END OF A WEDGE arguement anymore, it's bloody 2013 not 1988!

I fail to see what the date has to do with it.
Your attitude actually reinforces my fears that this is the thin end of the wedge. If you consider retro-bolting at Ratho ok, then why not other "shitty" quarries like Cambusbarron?
victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
> I am also a keen trad climber and understand the importance of our heritage. You are just not in tune with the younger generation of climbers in the UK, you can't use the THIN END OF A WEDGE arguement anymore, it's bloody 2013 not 1988!

If the 'younger generation of trad climbers' think that wantonly retro-bolting trad routes without prior consultation or even warning is acceptable, then they're much, much more short-sighted than I've ever given them credit for.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to Calum93)
>
> If the 'younger generation of trad climbers' think that wantonly retro-bolting trad routes without prior consultation or even warning is acceptable, then they're much, much more short-sighted than I've ever given them credit for.

........and the thin end of the wedge argument is far more relevant than ever before.

gurumed - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> OK, you've provoked me into a reaction, because it gives me a further chance to point out what a pointless moron you are.

I always just knew that we'd be friends again eventually :)

> You really are a complete dick-head aren't you?

You're just getting upset because the truth hurts.

> Actually, I'll change that to "anyone not at the cutting edge" just to make it clear that I consider myself to be a punter.

Nice bit of back peddling, dude.
Hay - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to thread:
Guys, this farago of a thread has turned pretty poisonous. I reckon you should stop now tbh.
Bruce
andyathome - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:
> (In reply to andyathome)
>
> And before I get jumped on I, too, have never climbed at Ratho (though have dabbled at Auchinstarry and Dunkeld). Having Crookrise / Malham etc on my doorstep WTF would I want to?
>
> Another armchair critic then? You really don't have a clue of what's been done here, it's opened up and made a pretty manky venue a far more appealing place to be! Please don't interfere in things you really know nothing about.

Bugger! Got jumped on.
andyathome - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:
> I may also add that i wouldnt class my self as a bumbly or a punter as you guys are called. I feel that being more advanced in climbing of high grades :P

Best Onsights
Trad - HVS
Sport - 7c
Indoor - 8a

Worked Grades
Trad - E1
Sport - 8a
Indoor - 8

Apart from your spelling you ARE taking the piss claiming you are 'advanced in climbing of high grades' aren't you?
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to thread)
> Guys, this farago of a thread has turned pretty poisonous. I reckon you should stop now tbh.

Possibly you are right, but retarded arseholes like Gurumed make me genuinely f*cking angry.



daWalt on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
>
> Yes (though I should emphasise again that the situations were not comparable with the one at Ratho now), that is a perfectly reasonable argument. Marlina and Silk Purse are certainly brilliant sport routes (I've not climbed on Tunnel Wall though).


Did these set a dangerous precedent at the time? but as JB says they did not open any flood gates.
Possibly because this type of thing is decided through considered evaluation of the individual situation and circumstance against ethic; not just precedent?
Hay - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
I know but the thread is well into the law of diminishing returns.
B.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to daWalt:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
>
>
> Did these set a dangerous precedent at the time? but as JB says they did not open any flood gates.

Interesting question. Possibly that crag at Gruinard (Goat?) might have parallels with Upper Cave. But no, the floodgates didn't open after Tunnel Wall. Maybe they would have without some sort of protest even if it fell short of chopping the bolts.

> Possibly because this type of thing is decided through considered evaluation of the individual situation and circumstance against ethic; not just precedent?

Certainly the cutting edge activists would have carefully considered their action, but I'm not sure about consultation. I get the impression that individual circumstance is what is dictating the bolting of crags in the NW at the moment. Personally I find it a bit worrying but I think the local activists probably take a pretty balanced aproach.

Again, note that Ratho is a different situation with different motivations - and it's retro-bolting.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> I know but the thread is well into the law of diminishing returns.

Again, probably true.

andyathome - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:
> (In reply to andyathome)
>
> And before I get jumped on I, too, have never climbed at Ratho (though have dabbled at Auchinstarry and Dunkeld). Having Crookrise / Malham etc on my doorstep WTF would I want to?
>
> Another armchair critic then? You really don't have a clue of what's been done here, it's opened up and made a pretty manky venue a far more appealing place to be! Please don't interfere in things you really know nothing about.

Now, you know, I do get a wee bit hacked off at the concept that I'm an 'armchair critic'. I'm not climbing so hard at the mo. (old age and arthritis etc comes to us all) but I've onsighted some pokey E4's and also soloed a few of them beasts as well in my day. And I don't even own an armchair (living in a caravan luxuries like that take up too much space) I actually feel I AM a climber. OK I'll accept the punter title but that's it! That, at last, puts me on parity with John Dunne :-) The idea that I have no valid comment to make about a matter of principle like this is a bit hard to take.

I will reiterate in simple language. Putting bolts into routes that have been done without bolts is wrong. It is sanitisation. That is a general precept and there may be some exceptions. I believe that principle is enshrined in the current Councils' guidance on bolting; i.e retro-bolting is not acceptable.

If you think that retro-bolting existing trad routes IS the way forward then what you really need to do is put down the drill and get the MCofS and the BMC to agree with you?

Not just go out and put bolts in.

Ciao,

Andy
beychae - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to beychae)
>
> The trouble is that your's and Gurumed's views are founded on such an ocean of ignorance, stupidity and gross assumption that it is impossible for any informed and intelligent person to take them the slightest bit seriously. Yes there may well be the odd defensible point buried amongst all the stinking shite you spout, but, quite frankly, it just isn't worth getting my hands covered in the stuff rummaging for it; one of the sensible pro-bolting posters will have already made the point and it will have been sensibly addressed and debated.
>
> Of course your comic prejudices and lack of intellectual capacity will mean that you won't accept the message coming from an "extreme whining traddie bitch" (or whatever the delightful phrase was) like me. What is needed is for one of the intelligent, mature and well informed pro-bolters such as Fraser or Valaisan or even Buzby (all of whom I have plenty of respect for and two of whom I've had perfectly civil face to face conversations with in the last couple of weeks) to point out what arses you are making of yourselves and how your daft incoherent rantings are doing nothing for the pro-bolting case and are probably undermining it - which is a shame because there is an important debate to be had.
>
> I said yesterday that I was no longer going to waste my time stooping to replying to Gurumed's posts and now I am no longer going to bother with your drivel either.

On reflection, I've realised that what you're trying to do here is cyber-bully me into backing out of this argument. I think I should fight back, as otherwise UKC will become a place where you're not allowed to express an opinion in favour of retro-bolting.

So I'll try again, slowly this time so even a maths teacher can follow:

1. I do want to climb outdoors, but do not want to climb trad. I suspect you're willing to accept this as a reasonable position, but please let me know if I need to justify it.

2. Given I have no desire to climb routes in a trad style, but I would like to climb them sport, it is in my self-interest to want routes to be retro-bolted.

3. I have been arguing in favour of something which is in my self-interest.

4. I am aware and fairly happy with the fact that I cannot expect all trad routes in the UK to be retro-bolted.

Please tell me where you think I'm being stupid?
victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:

Step 2 = f*ck everybody else, I want it, why can't I have it.

If that doesn't make you stupid, then it at least makes you a selfish tw*t x
beychae - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to beychae)
>
> Step 2 = f*ck everybody else, I want it, why can't I have it.
>
> If that doesn't make you stupid, then it at least makes you a selfish tw*t x

This is the point I've been trying to make! You want routes to remain trad for selfish reasons, and I want routes to be retro-bolted for selfish reasons. All the other reasons we can come up with are spurious.

Your argument above could just as easily be used against you: "f*ck everyone who wants sports climbs, I want trad, why can't I have it?"
gurumed - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> Step 2 = f*ck everybody else, I want it, why can't I have it.

Isn't that the exact argument for chopping the bolts in Ratho?

Grahame N - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78:
>
> Loads more more new routes waiting to get drilled...

Buzby, I'm sure you know this already but its very important if you are creating new bolted routes that the bolts cannot be reached from any trad routes nearby.

I was looking at the new bolts at Cave Crag earlier this week ( http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=269357 ) and the bolter has been careful to place them so that they are just out of reach of Rat Race, but if they had been placed a few inches to the left then I would be asking for them to be moved.
victim of mathematics - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae & gurumed:

Thank you both for succinctly illustrating why I'm not bothering with the pair of you.

'I want it, why can't I have it' isn't the same as 'I don't want it, we should discuss this with all interested parties before anybody does anything'. As should be abundantly clear to anybody with half a brain. Maybe if you pooled your collective resources you might manage that between you.

andyathome - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

>
> 2. Given I have no desire to climb routes in a trad style, but I would like to climb them sport, it is in my self-interest to want routes to be retro-bolted.
>

No. It is in your self interest to have sufficient sport routes available for you to keep you interested in your newly acquired pastime. Having routes retro-bolted is not required. Why would you wish to climb trad routes as sport routes?
spunkymonkey - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to andyathome: hahaha funny mate climbed for Britain. Look who the arse whole is now.
andyathome - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:
> (In reply to andyathome) hahaha funny mate climbed for Britain. Look who the arse whole is now.

If you'd like to translate that from 'pissed up gibberish' to 'English' (I can't find the appropriate Google translation engine) I will try to reply.

I could probably have ago at Lowland Scots if that's all you can manage.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to beychae & gurumed)
>
> Thank you both for succinctly illustrating why I'm not bothering with the pair of you.
>
> 'I want it, why can't I have it' isn't the same as 'I don't want it, we should discuss this with all interested parties before anybody does anything'. As should be abundantly clear to anybody with half a brain. Maybe if you pooled your collective resources you might manage that between you.

I doubt it.

Thank you for succinctly illustrating why I'm not bothering with them either. At least they have further confirmed me in my conviction that the remaining retro-bolts must go.





andyathome - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Calum93:
> (In reply to andyathome) hahaha funny mate climbed for Britain. Look who the arse whole is now.

Sorry Calum. I hadn't realised that you were only 17 and had had only ever contributed to this one thread on UKC before. And your location was 'Ratho'!

Welcome to the big, wide, diverse climbing community.

Have fun, and learn......
beychae - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to andyathome:
> (In reply to beychae)
>
> No. It is in your self interest to have sufficient sport routes available for you to keep you interested in your newly acquired pastime. Having routes retro-bolted is not required. Why would you wish to climb trad routes as sport routes?

In an ideal world it would definitely be best for me to have all trad routes retro-bolted. Then I could go climbing almost anywhere I happened to visit in the UK, choose whatever type of rock I preferred climbing on, enjoy sea cliffs (sea cliffs are great places to climb!), etc.

But yes, given this is unlikely, I would be very happy simply to have sufficient sports routes to keep me interested.

Also you seem to be implying there is something different about trad vs sports routes, other than of course the presence of the bolts. Perhaps you could enlighten me?
andyathome - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to andyathome)
> [...]
>

>
> Also you seem to be implying there is something different about trad vs sports routes, other than of course the presence of the bolts. Perhaps you could enlighten me?

Just my opinion: but I do think there is an underlying philosophical divergence.

If you will allow a digression......

I used to show my Outdoor Ed. students in Yorkshire the three or four bolts that some incompetent had placed on our local gritstone crag and then draw their attention to the gert big building society headquarters building on a new build industrial estate in the valley below. In terms of impact on the environment the bolts were total trivia; the industrial estate locally massive. (And the building society went bust eventually!)

BUT the then current underlying philosophy of 'I want it and I want it now' WAS a connection for me - and the students saw it as well. It was not an issue simply of environmental impact but more about our relationship with the world around us.

To simplify greatly: Trad climbing implies an acceptance of the natural environment and the opportunities that it gives us to move within that environment; sport climbing implies that the environment is flawed and needs to be altered to allow us to operate within it.

I want it and I want it now.
Smelly Fox - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae: (And anyone else posting of a similar ilk)

It's inevitable I suppose the spread of bolts. In my opinion this thread has proved that British climbing ethics are in their death throws, and as the younger generation pushes in, our crags and outcrops will succumb spray bolting and the dumbing down of everything that makes climbing in this country great and unique.

I hope it doesn't happen in my lifetime, but it probably will.

Truthfully I blame climbing walls. Double edged sword here. Great for improving the standards and athletisism, but unfortunately makes climbing too accessible to the masses.

The characters and activists that I remember reading about and rubbing shoulders with when I was learning, are slowly being dissolved by the ever increasing number of gym rats.

Or is that all just a load of sh*te?

What ever happened to Ken Wilson anyway?

Trist
aln - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to andyathome)
> [...]
>
> In an ideal world it would definitely be best for me to have all trad routes retro-bolted. Then I could go climbing almost anywhere I happened to visit in the UK, choose whatever type of rock I preferred climbing on,

You can do that. It's going climbing, UK climbers have been doing it for over 100 years and they haven't needed bolted climbs to do it.
Robert Durran - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> On reflection, I've realised that what you're trying to do here is cyber-bully me into backing out of this argument. I think I should fight back, as otherwise UKC will become a place where you're not allowed to express an opinion in favour of retro-bolting.

This is a completely absurd assertion. I and others against the retro-bolts have engaged in robust but perfectly civil discussion on here with most of the pro-retro-bolters. Perhaps you should be asking yourself why, on the other hand, we find it almost impossible to do so with you and the admittedly far more preposterous Gurumed.
>
> So I'll try again, slowly this time so even a maths teacher can follow:

Ok, since you seem to be, for once, attempting something coherent (unlike Gurumed, whose pathetic apology for a neural network prevents him from ever coming up with anything other than ignorant assertions, non-sequiturs and what are effectively lies).

> 1. I do want to climb outdoors, but do not want to climb trad. I suspect you're willing to accept this as a reasonable position, but please let me know if I need to justify it.

That's fine. There are many like you.
>
> 2. Given I have no desire to climb routes in a trad style, but I would like to climb them sport, it is in my self-interest to want routes to be retro-bolted.

Yes, fine.

> 3. I have been arguing in favour of something which is in my self-interest.

Yes, fine.

> 4. I am aware and fairly happy with the fact that I cannot expect all trad routes in the UK to be retro-bolted.

Yes, fine.

So I am left wondering what your point is.


> Please tell me where you think I'm being stupid?

In some of your earlier posts (in this one you are just triviallly stating your position).


So, by all means argue for the evolution of climbing towards having more retro-bolted routes. Climbing has evolved before and will no doubt continue to evolve (In the early eighties, when I first climbed at Ratho, I suspect the bolting of new routes at Ratho would have been as unacceptable as the retro-bolts are now). However, that evolution will, as it always has, take place in small increments, each step being questioned, debated and tested until some sort of concensus is reached. If your aim is the destruction, by retro-bolting, of a substantial part of what many of us love about climbing, you can expect to be resisted at every step along the way. In particular, routes retro-bolted, as at Ratho, without proper consultation will be chopped so that proper consultation can take place (the idea that retrospective consultation is acceptable is ridiculous - it would gives a green light for anyone to retro-bolt anything they want and hope they get away with it).

You and those like you personify the thin end of the wedge. You will be resisted.

Robert Durran - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> Also you seem to be implying there is something different about trad vs sports routes, other than of course the presence of the bolts.

Yes, just like there is a difference between a live person and a dead person other than the existence of a death certificate ;-)
colin8ll on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Smelly Fox: I think if trad climbing is to stay strong and healthy in this country, climbing walls need to take some responsibility and do more to facilitate peoples transition from indoor wall climbing (which I believe is how most people are getting into the sport nowadays) to outdoor trad climbing. It's easy enough for people to make the transition themselves from indoor to outdoor sport climbing, but trad is a much more difficult transition as it's more expensive, more dangerous initially, and requires much more work to learn gear placing and belay building skills.

I think this is playing out now, for example I went sport climbing at Kirriemuir Hill this summer and it was absolutely mobbed. The next day I was in Glen Clova and we had the whole place to ourselves! I wondered if the climbers at Kirrie Hill didn't feel like glen clova was accessible to them. If this is the case we need to help them to develop trad skills or else they (or the generation who follow) will eventually try and take their sport climbing to trad venues like this.

So the battle really is to show the new generation how great trad is, why it is so important to protect it, and to make it accessible to them.
beychae - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to aln:

True, yes. And you don't need modern ATC-type devices, cams, sticky shoes, or even ropes to go climbing. But I bet you use some, and probably all, of those.

Would you still climb if someone insisted that you weren't allowed to use any of them?
beychae - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> You and those like you personify the thin end of the wedge. You will be resisted.

Cool - we want broadly incompatible things, so it's right and proper that you should resist the things I want.
daWalt on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
>
> Again, note that Ratho is a different situation with different motivations - and it's retro-bolting.

of course it is, every situation is individual and should be looked at holistically and in context.
The argument for any bolted route is not solely on the basis of case
precedent is it?
There may be certain, or even several, similarities but there will always be distinct factors for every location, even on a route by route basis.

Are these routes in question completely analogous to the rest of Ratho or any other Cent Belt quarry such that no distinction could be made as to why one and not the other?





Hay - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to colin8ll:
Colin,
I agree that there is a problem and that access to 'trad skills' and a trad rack play their part.
As do the dwindling of younger Clubbies serving apprenticeships at local trad crags.

There is also an issue of grades = value (i.e. higher grade = better route and the fact that indoor climbers enjoy an aestheticism of movement that might not be available at easier (sub E4??) grades.
Traddnig as all standing on giant ledges covered in grass, right...?

What they are missing is less tangible and therefore less easy to understand;

* route finding as opposed to move sequencing
* the simple pleasures of a good belay stance
* the 'joy'* of being off-route in Sron Na Ciche (may be retropspective)
* head control even on easier ground when there is little/poor/no gear
* winter climbing

Bruce
r0x0r.wolfo - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to aln)
>
> True, yes. And you don't need modern ATC-type devices, cams, sticky shoes, or even ropes to go climbing. But I bet you use some, and probably all, of those.
>
> Would you still climb if someone insisted that you weren't allowed to use any of them?

which of those involves permanently alterting the rock?

Thats not the point is it, the question is, would you still climb if you were not ever allowed to use bolts?
r0x0r.wolfo - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay: Erm.. if you think that everything sub e4 is standing on grassy ledges you'd be wrong...
r0x0r.wolfo - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to beychae:
> (In reply to r0x0r.wolfo)
> [...]
>
> As pointed out earlier in this thread, HS and below are not that great candidates for bolting, because they tend to have blocks and ledges so you'll hurt yourself anyway if you come off, plus they tend to have good gear. But yes, if it was purely for me, I'd have them bolted -- for me fiddling bits of metal into place is just a distraction from the climbing.

1) So they're no safer with bolts.
2) Clipping bolts is 'fidding bits of metal into place'. Top roping or soloing then?

>
> So my position is that I've recently decided to give up trad climbing, after having a serious think about the risks involved versus how much I enjoy it. Given this, I might be a bit like a smoker who's recently quit, and be even more anti-trad than I should really be. I apologise for this, and I also don't rule out wanting to lead lower-grade (by which I mean even lower than HS) trad routes in the future.

Ah I see, but not everyone is as risk averse as you, you could lead many fine crack routes and have as much protection as you want, when you want it. Or there are many single pitch venues where a slack top rope could provide the safest and least distracting environment while you're climbing for the harder/less protected stuff.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Hay - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
Yes, thanks for that...I had noticed.

The point is that some indoor climbers and hot-rock bolt clippers think it is. I've heard it quite often.
It is a hard sell to get a 7a bolt-clipper to accept that they would find an E1 exciting when they have 6 grades in hand.



r0x0r.wolfo - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay:
> (In reply to r0x0r.wolfo)
> Yes, thanks for that...I had noticed.

Your words not mine...

> The point is that some indoor climbers and hot-rock bolt clippers think it is. I've heard it quite often.
> It is a hard sell to get a 7a bolt-clipper to accept that they would find an E1 exciting when they have 6 grades in hand.

Most people climb a few grades harder indoors or on bolts then still feel excited on trad. Was dave mcleod bored on indian face? Heard he can climb a bit better than 7a.
Hay - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
You're not great with context are you...?
Jamie B - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to colin8ll:

> It's easy enough for people to make the transition themselves from indoor to outdoor sport climbing, but trad is a much more difficult transition as it's more expensive, more dangerous initially, and requires much more work to learn gear placing and belay building skills.

People (myself included) never used to have any great difficulty making the transition, but then again we didn't have any other options.
Robert Durran - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to daWalt:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> Are these routes in question completely analogous to the rest of Ratho or any other Cent Belt quarry such that no distinction could be made as to why one and not the other?

The only distinction within Ratho is that one (Pettifer's) has a hideous mud cornice at the top (a problem which has been eaily circumvented by the chain) due to construction work and the other (wally 2) is very bold, but then so are many routes in many places. There is a distinction between Ratho and the other Central Belt quarries in that Ratho is in the back garden of the EICA and it is accordingly possible to make arguments either way for both strictly upholding ethical standards and for bending them there. For me the clinching factor is that it is clear from this thread that there is an appetite for the retro-bolting to spread and that there is therefore an absolute imperative to nip it in the bud, draw a line in the sand and remove the Ratho retro-bolts.
spunkymonkey - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to andyathome: have you been to Ratho quarry ? If not i ask you to just stay out of something you have no idea about. Would love to see you actually try belittle me face to face. Rather than over ukc. You'd soon see I'm not 17. I also don't care how hard you think I climb either if you want to chase grades all be it but some of us actually climb to enjoy it not get f*cked of by grade chasers who's ego is f*cking huge. Don't try belittle me again please.
Much appreciated
spunkymonkey - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey: ill chop the chain at top of pettifers. So it can go unclimbed for another 20 years.
beychae - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
> (In reply to beychae)
>
> Thats not the point is it, the question is, would you still climb if you were not ever allowed to use bolts?

I think I've been pretty clear on this thread that I don't want to climb trad!
Robert Durran - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:
> (In reply to spunkymonkey) ill chop the chain at top of pettifers. So it can go unclimbed for another 20 years.

How childish: "I can't have the toy, so I'm going to break it so that you can't have it either".

beychae - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
> (In reply to beychae)
> [...]
>
> 1) So they're no safer with bolts.
> 2) Clipping bolts is 'fidding bits of metal into place'. Top roping or soloing then?

Just to clarify, just because I've never lead anything harder than an HVS doesn't mean I only sport climb 4s and 5s, in case there has been any confusion here.

> [...]
>
> Ah I see, but not everyone is as risk averse as you, you could lead many fine crack routes and have as much protection as you want, when you want it. Or there are many single pitch venues where a slack top rope could provide the safest and least distracting environment while you're climbing for the harder/less protected stuff.

Sorry still not interested in trad. Perfectly happy for other people to do it, so long as they are fully aware of the risks involved.

The top roping question is an interesting one, though. When you get to the top of a trad climb at your very limit without having fallen off and died, you basically get a huge rush. For me, that rush doesn't out-weigh the feelings of terror I get while climbing the route. But I suspect sport climbing has the right level of fear - let's say perceived risk - for me to get a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction from making it to the top. And I don't have to feel I'm risking my life in the process.

(Obviously I am risking my life, but in the same way as I am when I get on an aeroplane, say. I'm not going out of my way to risk my life.)

Robert Durran - on 14 Sep 2013
I climbed in Ratho quarry this evening for the fist time in twenty years - to my great shame :-(

Anyone who argues that "holes in the ground" can't have three star routes is kidding themselves (as well as having to explain why London wall is only worth two stars!)

I warmed up on wally 1, which, perhaps contrary to appearances, is perfectly adequately clean, has bomber gear and, move for move, would hold its own with many single pitch three star routes anywhere (felt more E3 than E2 to me too!). It looks a bit neglected and deserves loads of traffic.

I then did Pettifer's (watched by Buzby and a few strays from the bouldering comp. barbecue - so no pressure there then.......). It is without doubt a superb route; great line, technical, intricate, pretty committing in places but with adequate protection (given perseverance) - everything you want from a great trad pitch. It would truly have been a travesty to have left it as a clip-up. I thought solid E4 6a (Matt, unlike me, you must be really good at the bold, balancy stuff if you really thought E3 5c!). Two of the bolts on the sport route to the right can be clipped from Pettifer's and I suggested to Buzby (and he agreed) that they should be moved out of reach - the climbing is steady at that point and you would be unlikely to clip them in panic in extremis, but they offer an easy bail out option and detract slightly from the experience at the moment. Despite the rain since Matt's ascent about ten days ago, dirt on the route was not a problem (the last few moves were pretty muddy, but the climbing is easy there). It will certainly need cleaning after the winter or prolonged rain, but you can easily send your mate up the sport route to the left to swing across and down to the chain to give it a brush ;-)

I am now psyched to do (and clean if necessary) some of the other routes in this excellent venue. So big thanks to Buzby for sorting the place out, in the end making the right decision on the retro bolts on Pettifer's, and promoting a great mixed trad and sport venue - not to mention the complimentary barbecue burger :-)


spunkymonkey - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: No not at all Robert I'm just saying if we had to chop the bolts why should the chain stay. To me that seems a valid point. Not childish the argument that started this whole thread was bolts in the quarry. I joined in to add wood to the fire as it was already out of control of subject. Look on a serious not busby thought yeah let's open up the quarry lets bolt yes. Thinking as the quarry has seen few to none visitors it would make it a popular crag. I don't really care about bolts or grad routes the fact is in 20 years the route turned to utter choss. Buz spent 2 days cleaning it. In my eyes if busby hadn't bolted pettifers a few months ago it would have still been a pile of choss today. Thanks to Buz Robert you could actually climb your way up the nice peace of rock that was dug out.

At the end of the day the quarry saw more traffic in 2 weeks than it did in 20 years. The bolts aren't in pettifers anymore. Surely end of this thread. ?
r0x0r.wolfo - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey: do you know what choss is? Obviously not.
spunkymonkey - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo: hahaha funny one mate. Yes I do no what choss is. Not going to explain it to you cause your no doubt an old man who can probably google it. Your a big boy try it might achieve something tonight. Learn something new. The one thing I learnt new today was that your a prick.
spunkymonkey - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo: you ever been to Ratho ?
Robert Durran - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:

> (In reply to Robert Durran) No not at all Robert I'm just saying if we had to chop the bolts why should the chain stay.

So that the route actually gets climbed in as near to its original state as practicable; it would probably not get climbed ever again with an earth cornice to negotiate. It is a sensible and pragmatic compromise.

> The argument that started this whole thread was bolts in the quarry.

Yes, but the implications of those bolts (and especially the reto bolts) potentially goes well beyond the quarry.

> Buz spent 2 days cleaning it. In my eyes if busby hadn't bolted Pettifers a few months ago it would have still been a pile of choss today. Thanks to Buz Robert you could actually climb your way up the nice piece of rock that was dug out.

Indeed. I am course much indebted to Buzby for the cleaning, the chain, and the good decision to remove the bolts.

> At the end of the day the quarry saw more traffic in 2 weeks than it did in 20 years. The bolts aren't in pettifers anymore.

Yes, I fully support the bolting of the new sport routes. After all the debate, the end result (once the other retro-bolts are removed) will be excellent :-)

> Surely end of this thread?

Once the other retro-bolts are removed, I would certainly like to think so.

spunkymonkey - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: jokes aside from me unless you take the piss. I totally understand your points. Yes retro bolting could go else where. I'm sure busby is at home in the quarry making it more vesible for people to climb on whether it be trad or sport. Yes maybe retro bolting wasn't the best but hay know one else stuck there neck out and tried it. Learn from mistakes ?. Hopefully there will be more sport climbs out there as well as the old trad routes dug out.
Would like to try some my self
kingieman on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey: And what you've said is one of the underlying issues of this thread. Route unclimbed cos of environmental factors - route gets cleaned and restored - route sees (many) ascents. And yes, I appreciate that it's not quite the same route as before due to the change in conditions at the top of the crag.

A good route is always a good route, as long as the rock retains its integrity, and this has nothing to do with cleanliness. The argument revolves around B's (for many controversial) decision to retrobolt the route after cleaning it. B then compounded the issue with his opening gambits and has come across as (at best) disingenuous. IMHO there was no malicious intent by B, just a desire to see the quarry have more use.

There's certainly a huge potential for conspiracy theories here. Maybe Buzby could have got it in for EICA - why else would he develop a free alternative right on their doorstep? Or perhaps he is doing it under the auspices of Ed Leisure, and they're planning on charging for access to the quarry in future? Or maybe the bolts were placed for EICA users to attach their dogs to?

Whatever, it's great to see the quarry getting more (climbing) attention.

That's my tuppence worth ...
Robert Durran - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> Hopefully there will be more sport climbs out there as well as the old trad routes dug out.

Yes!

> Would like to try some myself.

You should. Go for it!

Robert Durran - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to kingieman:

> IMHO there was no malicious intent by B, just a desire to see the quarry have more use.

I am sure that is the case.

> Maybe Buzby could have got it in for EICA - why else would he develop a free alternative right on their doorstep?

I am equally sure that is not the case; a good outdoor venue in the back garden can only the profile enhance the place (and even scummy trad climbers sometimes buy a massively overpriced slice of cake).

> Whatever, it's great to see the quarry getting more (climbing) attention.

I'm sure we can all agree on that.


spunkymonkey - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to buzby78: so is this thread finished with everyone chilled out. ?
kingieman on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to kingieman)

> [...]
>
> I'm sure we can all agree on that.

Until some endangered species is found there, or plans are submitted for some form of green energy installation!
kingieman on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:
> (In reply to buzby78) so is this thread finished with everyone chilled out. ?

Don't stop now guys, I'll have nothing to do in the evenings.
Robert Durran - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:
> (In reply to buzby78) so is this thread finished with everyone chilled out. ?

I'm certainly feeling chilled out after a great route, a burger and beer, and half a bottle of wine :-)

spunkymonkey - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: wish my night was that good Robert
gurumed - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> I'm certainly feeling chilled out after a great route, a burger and beer, and half a bottle of wine :-)

I'm glad you enjoyed the route, dude. Now that you and Fiend have climbed it to prove your point, the route will go back to being ignored for a couple more decades.
Robert Durran - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to gurumed:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> I'm glad you enjoyed the route, dude. Now that you and Fiend have climbed it to prove your point, the route will go back to being ignored for a couple more decades.

I'm feeling chilled. I really can't be bothered with you now. Goodnight.

gurumed - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to Smelly Fox:
> What ever happened to Ken Wilson anyway?

He got sick of all the puerile tickers, chucked his rack in the bin and started sport climbing.

In reply to Robert Durran:
> [...] unlike Gurumed, whose pathetic apology for a neural network prevents him [...]

Are you accusing me of being an AI? :)

In reply to Robert Durran:
> How childish: "I can't have the toy, so I'm going to break it so that you can't have it either".

No more childish than: "I've just noticed you're playing with a toy that I've been ignoring for 20 years, my entitlement to it is greater yours!"

In reply to Robert Durran:
> You and those like you personify the thin end of the wedge. You will be resisted.

Resistence is futile mwahahahaha! :)

In reply to Robert Durran:
> I'm feeling chilled. I really can't be bothered with you now. Goodnight.

Sweet dreams.
Robbie_Phillips - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: Just for peace of mind... where are we with the "Bolt Robbie to Indian Face" debate?
Robert Durran - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to Robbie_Phillips:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) Just for peace of mind... where are we with the "Bolt Robbie to Indian Face" debate?

I'm up for leaving you there, totally ignored for twenty years and getting covered in shit.

ads.ukclimbing.com
tom_in_edinburgh - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to Robbie_Phillips:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) Just for peace of mind... where are we with the "Bolt Robbie to Indian Face" debate?

It's the thin end of the wedge. There are just too many people on this thread wanting to bolt sport climbers to iconic rock faces. A line has to be drawn or next week someone will be bolting Chris Sharma to 3 Pebble slab and in a couple of years Stanage will be grid bolted with random French climbing stars.

buzby78 - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> I climbed in Ratho quarry this evening for the fist time in twenty years - to my great shame :-(

> I then did Pettifer's (watched by Buzby and a few strays from the bouldering comp. barbecue - so no pressure there then.......). It is without doubt a superb route; great line, technical, intricate, pretty committing in places but with adequate protection (given perseverance) - everything you want from a great trad pitch. It would truly have been a travesty to have left it as a clip-up.

Stirling effort yesterday on Pettifers!
Robert Durran - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Robbie_Phillips)
> [...]
>
> It's the thin end of the wedge. There are just too many people on this thread wanting to bolt sport climbers to iconic rock faces. A line has to be drawn or next week someone will be bolting Chris Sharma to 3 Pebble slab and in a couple of years Stanage will be grid bolted with random French climbing stars.

This is 2013, not 1988. There's no thin end of the wedge; absolutely no precedent to suggest it will go further than Robbie Phillips, Ondra and Sharma. No one's bothered about laughing at a second rate sport climber.

In reply to spunkymonkey:
> The one thing I learnt new today was that your a prick.

If you're going to keep calling people rude names, best to at least check your spelling first.

http://bit.ly/SW5Sna

And yes, I have climbed at Ratho and really liked it when I did.
spunkymonkey - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA: I'm dislexic you f*cking bellend. I would love to meet you so you could say this to my face.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:
> (In reply to TobyA) I'm dislexic you f*cking bellend. I would love to meet you so you could say this to my face.

Spell check that last post? Or is your dislexia intermittent?
Hay - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:
Come on now fella ... nae need for that.
spunkymonkey - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo: Please feel free to keep going with mate. Just be careful how far you take this. That's right hide behind a computer screen. Not got the balls to actually say this face to face do you.
andyathome - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:
> (In reply to andyathome) have you been to Ratho quarry ? If not i ask you to just stay out of something you have no idea about. Would love to see you actually try belittle me face to face. Rather than over ukc. You'd soon see I'm not 17. I also don't care how hard you think I climb either if you want to chase grades all be it but some of us actually climb to enjoy it not get f*cked of by grade chasers who's ego is f*cking huge. Don't try belittle me again please.
> Much appreciated

Goodness! Sorry to have upset you. I realise that this thread is ostensibly about 3 routes in Ratho Quarry; it doesn't take much to see that the issues spread far beyond that particular hole in the ground. So I don't think that it requires a visit to Ratho (charming as the place sounds) to have an opinion on the issue retro-bolting routes that have been climbed in 'cleaner style'*. There's a bit of that goes on all over the UK.

You ever been to Norber Scar?

Cheers, Andy

*contentious phrase no.37
r0x0r.wolfo - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey: I'm not the one running my mouth and calling people names.
spunkymonkey - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo: : I wouldn't be but can't help it when you clearly know your being a dick.
In reply to spunkymonkey: But you just keep swearing at people though. You've got some perfectly fair points to make about Ratho, so why not just make them, rather than just insulting people and making threats? I'm happy to believe your suggestion that you're very hard and could have any of us in a fight, but why can't we just discuss the issue at hand and keep it at that rather than making threats?
andyathome - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to daWalt)The only distinction within Ratho is that one (Pettifer's) has a hideous mud cornice at the top (a problem which has been eaily circumvented by the chain) due to construction work

Are you saying that the construction of the climbing centre currently called EICA was actually the cause of the state of the routes that resulted in neglect?
Hay - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:
Dude. Really. You'll get banned.
Jamie B - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:

> That's right hide behind a computer screen. Not got the balls to actually say this face to face do you.

Rather difficult as he doesn't actually know who you are, on account of you being hid behind a computer screen....
spunkymonkey - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA: look I've said my points made them clear okay. It's got nothing to do with how hard or fights I am. It just gets under my skin when some guy starts slagging me off. Look I know my spelling ain't great but I don't care I care when A block I have never met starts taking the piss out of me. I won't have a problem if you stop taking the piss.
Hay - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:
Delete this mate. Youre better than that...
spunkymonkey - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay: I know mate sorry
Hay - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to spunkymonkey:
It is too easy to get into rammies on here. If you do then folks stop listening to you.
You are a very good climber with totally valid opinions ... don't worry about spelling and stuff, it the things youve got to say that are important, not how you spell them.
B..

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