/ Bolts at Ogmore (S.Wales) - A natural cliff

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cinders - on 23 Jul 2013
I was climbing with my boyfriend yesterday and couldn't help but notice that Ogmore now has bolts installed. I found at the abseil above 'Fashoda Chimney'.

Upon reading the UKC intro to this crag, it seems there are loads dispersed above the top of the crag: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=1034

Was this agreed upon at the last area meeting? From what I can tell, from the SWMC site, is that they shouldn't be there: http://www.southwalesmountaineering.org.uk/g_book/index.php/Ogmore
Bolting policy = No Bolting...

What do the locals think of this? Do the BMC know?
switch - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to cinders:

Hi, there are lots of South Wales sea-cliffs which are bolted - consider Witches Point for example, just down the road. I don't know who owns the land at Ogmore but the landowner has the most say over fixed equipment. The SWMC can express an opinion, but everyone else is free to form their own opinion.

The Minchin Hole ukc page refers to a general SE Wales fixed equipment agreement discussed in 2011. If you can track down the details of that, it may be what you're looking for, though there's no guarantee that everyone agrees with it!
JoshOvki on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to cinders:

It appears the current Bolting Policy for South Wales is, if it sits still long enough, shove a bolt in it.
ERU - on 23 Jul 2013
This is the Gower and South East Wales Area Bolting Policy:

Gower and South East Wales has a bolt policy agreed at a series of Open Meetings at WICC in 1999-2000, chaired by Wayne Gladwin (brave man) and minuted by Stuart Thompson.

In the Gower and South East Wales guidebook, the bolting policy is listed separately for each crag, except for the sandstone, where it is noted at the start of the section.

The following aspects of the policy are more general.

Please keep to the policy, which reflects the wishes of local climbers.

Bolting will be defined as the placement of any ‘drilled gear’ assumed to be bolts.
De-bolting/smashing/spoiling of bolts is totally condemned.
New sports routes should avoid interfering with existing traditional routes.
Where (3) might occur, the first ascensionist of the traditional route should be consulted. It is left to the conscience of the leader to consult with the others on the first ascent.
Retro-bolting, where permissible, requires the permission of the first ascensionist. Retro-bolting for the purposes of this policy, means making a route into a clip up, rather than replacing worn placements with bolts.
Replacement of worn placements with bolts should be on a ‘point for point’ basis and only at specified crags.
Bolting at crags discovered in the future should assume the following:
Natural Sandstone – No Bolting
Gower – No Bolting
Quarried Sandstone – Sports routes allowed.
Quarried Limestone – Sports routes allowed.

Other rock types – Apply common sense, i.e. do not bolt up adequately protected cracks on natural limestone, for instance.

Bolts should be at least 8.8mm or staples and for sea-cliffs should always be BS316 stainless steel.

Those of you who have climbed on the fabulous South East Wales sandstone and other bolted crags will no doubt have thought about the time and expense that has gone into bolting and equipping. Put your hand in your pocket and make a donation the South East Wales Bolt Fund. Without it and your contributions, there will be no quality sports routes or quality bolts for you to fall on. Please send your vital contributions c/o, Roy Thomas, 90 Robins Hill, Brackla, BRIDGEND CF31 2PS.

It would be a good idea to bring any future problems to the attention of the correct forum of discussion, namely the BMC Committee of Wales area meetings. Your input is vital and welcomed.
Source: http://www.southwalesmountaineering.org.uk/en/bolting_policy


These are the current updates:
http://www.southwalesmountaineering.org.uk/g_book/index.php/Crag_Maintenance


I'm personally shocked about this... But it was only a matter of time...

Gordon Stainforth - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to ERU:

Very sad. I seem to remember Ogmore having extremely good natural gear all over the place
gethin_allen on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to cinders:
I was chatting to someone from the national trust recently and they mentioned rumors that some local "activists" were planning on bolting penard and gravesend. This person said that the NT own the land and that no permission had been sought and it would not look kindly on people just bolting whatever they like.
Anyone know any more about this? The official policy being no bolting.
mattrm - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to cinders:

cinders - You should probably be a bit more explict when you say 'it's bolted'. The bolts are all on the top of the cliff and mainly replace crappy abseil stakes. So we're talking about bolted belays and abseils.

They were certainly there when I climbed at Ogmore last year. I think they've been there for a few years now. If you've climbed there, then obviously you've seen them. As long as they stay at the top of the cliff then I'm not that fussed personally. It's not really any different to stakes really is it? However if someone starts retro-bolting routes on Ogmore main, I'll be along to remove them. Not that I think any of the current guys who bolt would ever do that.

switch - The information in the SWMC Wiki, is the guidebook information, which has been agreed on in area meetings. So when you say:

"The SWMC can express an opinion, but everyone else is free to form their own opinion. "

The bolting policy on the wiki isn't the opinion of the SWMC, it's the opinion of the climbers at the South Wales BMC area meetings who decided upon the bolting policy in those meetings. The SWMC provides the wiki as a service to local climbers. Anyone is free to amend the wiki as long as the information is correct.

JoshOvki - with all the new crags that are springing up (one this year, with several more in progress, one near Machen is currently being bolted) and all the new bolts on the Gower (http://www.positiveclimbing.com/gowerbolts/ ) then I think that's basically how it works. Sadly.

If you don't like how things are then the next South Wales BMC Area meeting is on the 3rd of September.
mattrm - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to gethin_allen:
> (In reply to cinders)
> I was chatting to someone from the national trust recently and they mentioned rumors that some local "activists" were planning on bolting penard and gravesend. This person said that the NT own the land and that no permission had been sought and it would not look kindly on people just bolting whatever they like.
> Anyone know any more about this? The official policy being no bolting.

It's just a suggestion on the Crag Maintenance page on the SWMC Wiki - this is a place for all crag maintenance (re-bolting existing routes, clearing vegetation, new crags, retro-bolting crags), it doesn't mean it's something that's suggested by SWMC, we just provide the page to put the suggestions on.

http://www.southwalesmountaineering.org.uk/g_book/index.php/Crag_Maintenance

If you scroll down a bit you can see the Gravesend suggestion. As you can see it hasn't got lots of support, but a few folk do seem to think it's a good idea. I'm not one of them.

I assume that it will be debated at the next South Wales BMC Area meeting (3rd Sept 2013).

Matthew Moore
SWMC Communications Officer

switch - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to mattrm:

Thanks for the information Matt. My point re the policy published on the SWMC website (policy agreed at the area meeting, as you point out) is that there's no link between that stated policy and what actually happens on the cliffs.

or to put it another way:

"Equippers need nothing more to compass their ends, than that traditionalists should look on and do nothing"

Simon
ERU - on 24 Jul 2013
> As long as they stay at the top of the cliff then I'm not that fussed personally. It's not really any different to stakes really is it?

So there has been a consultation and it has been agreed that all abseil points and lower offs are now to be bolted? I thought this was a trad only area, one of the best in the UK and had a no bolting policy?

Should Pembroke have bolts instead of stakes now?
mattrm - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to ERU:
> [...]
>
> So there has been a consultation and it has been agreed that all abseil points and lower offs are now to be bolted? I thought this was a trad only area, one of the best in the UK and had a no bolting policy?
>
> Should Pembroke have bolts instead of stakes now?

As far as I'm aware, there hasn't been a consultation. It's just been done over the years. I personally thought that this was fairly common knowledge at least locally (least it should be if you climb at Ogmore). Again, I have to say, I personally struggle to see the difference between a couple of bolts and the large pieces of scaffolding bashed into the ground at several points.

I'm sure that the folks who did it will find out about this thread and probably post up why they did it. I have no idea who they are (tho I could take a guess) and I personally have nothing to do with it. I just happen to be very local and have climbed there.
Jamie B - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to ERU:

> Should Pembroke have bolts instead of stakes now?

Would it alter the nature of the climbing? Would it act as a "stalking horse" for installation of bolt-belays at the base of routes? My suspicion is not, but I'll concede that I cannot prove this.

Ollie B - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to ERU:
> [...]
>
> So there has been a consultation and it has been agreed that all abseil points and lower offs are now to be bolted? I thought this was a trad only area, one of the best in the UK and had a no bolting policy?
>

Have you seen the 'stakes' that were used to ab down ogmore, some comprised thin bits of metal (nothing like stakes in pembroke) shoved into weak thin turf. Or holes drilled and normal nuts (as in the building type with a thread) slotted in (not glued or wedged in).

The bolts make it more accessible. Where good stakes or natural ab stations are applicable they are used (top of Ratfink / or the pillar at the top of Griffin for example).

> Should Pembroke have bolts instead of stakes now?

Ogmore isnt pembroke, the tops dont always cater for good stakes like they do at most pembroke venues. When they dont i have no problem with a ring bolt being put in at ogmore. The crag itself isnt bolted and im pretty sure it never will be.

Ollie
Dave Garnett - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to mattrm:

> JoshOvki - with all the new crags that are springing up (one this year, with several more in progress, one near Machen is currently being bolted) and all the new bolts on the Gower (http://www.positiveclimbing.com/gowerbolts/ ) then I think that's basically how it works. Sadly.
>


There's some pretty alarming stuff in some of these links. Adherents of the thin end of the wedge objection to bolting will find plenty of ammunition. The progression from bolting inland quarries, to coastal quarries, to tidal non-quarried areas is clear.

I'm a pragmatist when it comes to bolts but I draw the line at natural coastal crags, particularly in a designated AONB. I'm amazed that it's even being considered. Adrian Berry is openly touting for funds to bolt Shipwreck Cove (and surrounding areas) and others are suggesting widespread bolting with apparently no restrictions at all.

I guess that if agreements not to bolt areas like Gower are not being observed, then there might be those who wonder why agreements not to remove bolts should be kept.
Ollie B - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to mattrm)
>
>
> I'm a pragmatist when it comes to bolts but I draw the line at natural coastal crags, particularly in a designated AONB. I'm amazed that it's even being considered. Adrian Berry is openly touting for funds to bolt Shipwreck Cove (and surrounding areas) and others are suggesting widespread bolting with apparently no restrictions at all.
>

Shipwreck Cove is bolted...
Why does UKC house so many people that have opinions on places they have never been to and probably never will.

Im not advocating bolting by any stretch, but if it stops a crag rotting to death (nearly all south wales crags) due to the poor gear / dirty / shite climbing then thats fine.

Ogmore is pretty much the only decent trad venue in south wales (excluding the Wye) and the lines themselves wont get bolted. The ab stations being bolted is less of a big deal if the people who are complaining actually went there and regularly used the manky old stuff, realising what a ball ache / how dangerous it is.

Ollie
Kyle Warlow - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to mattrm)

>Adrian Berry is openly touting for funds to bolt Shipwreck Cove (and surrounding areas)


Shipwreck Cove has already been bolted.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=18361
Jamie B - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B:

> I'm not advocating bolting, but if it stops a crag rotting to death (nearly all south wales crags) due to the poor gear / dirty / shite climbing then that's fine.

Nothing wrong with that argument, but it's only a small step to declaring that a crag with a tiny but loyal trad following should be retro-bolted for the greater good. Farrleter in Scotland is a recent example of how this can happen.
johncoxmysteriously - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B:

>The ab stations being bolted is less of a big deal if the people who are complaining actually went there and regularly used the manky old stuff, realising what a ball ache / how dangerous it is.

This strikes me as bollocks. I've been there, and apart from the fact that you can walk down to the vast majority of the crag, the place is very little different to Swanage and Pembroke, where they seem to manage perfectly well without bolted abseil stations. The difference IMHO is entirely down to the mentality of local climbers (who in SEW are by and large bolt-mad; didn't I see Roy "Lundy-drilled-pegs" Thomas listed as one of the money-collectors, or is this a different RT?).

jcm
Dave Garnett - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Kyle Warlow:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
> [...]
>
> >Adrian Berry is openly touting for funds to bolt Shipwreck Cove (and surrounding areas)
>
>
> Shipwreck Cove has already been bolted.
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=18361

Sorry, I,m aware of that and I should have been clearer; it was the 'surrounding areas' bit that I was referring to. I think he says, if funds permit, extending the bolting to neighbouring walls and then possibly other areas.

Not that this changes my points about this being an AONB or about the agreed local bolting policy.
Dave Garnett - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
> [...]
>
> Shipwreck Cove is bolted...
> Why does UKC house so many people that have opinions on places they have never been to and probably never will.

I haven't climbed at Shipwreck Cove but I've climbed on plenty of other bits of Gower. I also have some sympathy that local climbers should have a big say about what happens on local crags, particularly if they are obscure and of no public interest. I don't think that natural crags on popular public beaches in an AONB come under that heading.

In any case, if I were planning to bolt the Roaches I'd accept that, while you might not get the final say, you had a perfect right to express an opinion even though you weren't local.


GrahamD - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

To be honest I'd trust a decent stake over bolts into Ogmore limestone to abseil off any day.
Ollie B - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Ollie B)
>
> >The ab stations being bolted is less of a big deal if the people who are complaining actually went there and regularly used the manky old stuff, realising what a ball ache / how dangerous it is.
>
> This strikes me as bollocks. I've been there, and apart from the fact that you can walk down to the vast majority of the crag, the place is very little different to Swanage and Pembroke,
>jcm

Yes you can walk down to parts of the crag at low tide (spring, not always on neaps)but its more appropriate to ab in for the vast majority of the time.
And with regard to it being like pembroke, your memory of the place must be pretty poor, the limestone at ogmore is no where near as good as pembroke, And the top outs at pembroke in the main have a lot more turf / or more than adequate natural gear to ab off = stakes work well.

I very rarely use the bolts to ab off into ogmore, i use the pillar at the top of griffin. But dont find the placement of the bolts along a large portion of the popular area of ogmore something that is 'the thin end of the wedge' Ogmore wont get bolted lines, the rock is predominantly not good enough to allow it.

>Nothing wrong with that argument, but it's only a small step to declaring that a crag with a tiny but loyal trad following should be retro-bolted for the greater good.

That is also a fair arguement but, no one- I repeat no one- does any of the trad routes on the south wales valleys sandstone (which im assuming you are referring to) on trad gear. And having the bolts in them just keeps them clean so if you happen to want to do the routes on gear you wont have to dig through decades of neglect to get to the routes. This may not be to some peoples taste (avoiding bolts) but ive done it and will do it on routes i think were cool as trad routes, that have been bolted.

Ollie

dave657 on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to cinders:

Out of curiosity as it's been a little while since I've been to Ogmore (except to boulder!), but are these new bolts? As I seem to recoloect seeing some old rusty looking belay bolts a few years ago in places, but my memory may be wrong of course!
Ollie B - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to dave657:

There are new (newish, theyve been there a good 6months if not more) stainless steel glue-ins above the top outs at elephant wall and above tiger bay.

Also some that are slightly older but newer than the rusty ones you're on about, near the top of Lephrachaun.

These are the only ones ive noticed/used.
dave657 on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B:

Ok, thanks.

I don't agree with the bolts at the top of elephant wall, I've done it a few times and never had a problem finding a good trad belay (by ogmore standards).

I've not climed at Tiger bay so can't comment on that, but I do know things start to get a but loose as you move in that direction! But for example I've done one route at the bisuit and I'd question weather the rock is good enough to hold a bolt...

So not against bolt belays per se, but I don't think they are needed if there is a trad belay, like Elephant wall. And I alwys thought part of the fun of Ogmore was topping out and wondering what the hell you were going to belay from...!

Just my tuppence..
drysori - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B:
>
> That is also a fair arguement but, no one- I repeat no one- does any of the trad routes on the south wales valleys sandstone (which im assuming you are referring to) on trad gear.

Nonsense. I've done plenty of the trad routes on sandstone natural and quarried in the past decade. I've also been pretty annoyed at the wholesale bolting of south wales rock. There are several which I think benefited from a lower off, but should have been left as trope or trad routes. I've been to some of the newer crags dug out of holes in the ground, and some aren't bad, but the attitude to bolting has been too lax and some of these carts are totally and unnecessarily grid bolted now. I do fear for the Gower in this respect as well.
MJ - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B:

no one- I repeat no one- does any of the trad routes on the south wales valleys sandstone (which im assuming you are referring to) on trad gear.

I know 'Fly Me To The Moon' has had an extra bolt put in, but I assume the likes of 'The Owl and the Antelope' haven't been made into Sports Routes?
Ollie B - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to Ollie B)
>
> no one- I repeat no one- does any of the trad routes on the south wales valleys sandstone (which im assuming you are referring to) on trad gear.
>
> I know 'Fly Me To The Moon' has had an extra bolt put in, but I assume the likes of 'The Owl and the Antelope' haven't been made into Sports Routes?


I apologise and retract my statement saying 'no one' does the trad routes, i was refering to a large number of routes that were originally trad (the gap or trebanog for example) but are now bolted and hence recieve a lot more attention.

The good trad routes (like 'owl...') dont have bolts as far as im aware.
drysori - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B:

>
> I apologise and retract my statement saying 'no one' does the trad routes, i was refering to a large number of routes that were originally trad (the gap or trebanog for example) but are now bolted and hence recieve a lot more attention.

Fair enough. In a few of those cases though they didn't receive attention not because they weren't bolted, but because they were covered in engine oil or similar! I wouldn't dispute that some routes have benefited from being bolted, but it does seem to be the default position in south Wales at the moment.

I'm not sure about Trebanog, or what the most recent bolting situation at the Gap is. When I started climbing there most routes were bolted already, with the top quarry being mainly trad and the lower one having half a dozen trad routes, usually with the odd bolt.
Anoetic - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B: Hi, just because climbs aren't logged in UKC doesn't mean to say they don't get climbed. I know a lot of people that only climb trad at The Gap and Trebanog. Ethanol & Firewater at Trebanog are much better as the original trad routes (i've climbed them as both). E2 & E3 routes shouldn't be retrobolted just because some people dont trad climb. The same with The Grout of San Romano, & The Mastic Mick at the Gap.
steveej - on 25 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B:

absolute bull crap.

The Gap has been bolted since I started climbing - 18 years ago! Its a sports crag and to put it in the same category as Trebanog (a trad crag with a sprinking of bolts on the hardest routes there) is nonsense.

To say that no one climbs trad on S.Wales sandstone says more about your attitude and the state of, dare I say it, 'wall bread'' climbers of today than bears resemblance to reality.

Definately thin end of the wedge as far as I am concerned.

steveej - on 25 Jul 2013
In reply to Anoetic: Well said!!
goi.ashmore - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Is that Roy Thomas drilled pegs who used to climb with Martin Drilled Pegs at Ogmore Crocker?
goi.ashmore - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:

I've done a lot of the routes at Ogmore up to and including the odd E6. I'm delighted that someone's taken it into their hands to place belay bolts at the top of the crag, which seem to me to be totally harmonious with the character of the climbing there.

I've often spent 1/2 hour or so hunting round for decent solid belays at the top of some of the less travelled sections, or had to pull up one of the 9mm to get a belay and had to bring up my second on a single 9mm. What a nuisance!

This faffing around feels out of line with the experience of traditional climbing or 'Convenience' climbing as we call it in South Wales (turn up, waltz up something on sight, go home) as opposed to sports or 'Investment' climbing (turn up, spend ages bolting, cleaning, even longer working, redpointing etc).

I'm really glad someone has brought this important issue up. I was previously labouring under the erroneous belief that the real issue at Ogmore is what to do about routes that place critical reliance on fixed gear and where there is no possibility of replacement / placing wires etc.

I now realise I've spend ages wasting my time at previous bolt meetings arguing that it would be better to de-recognise such routes than place bolts to maintain them.

I'm so happy that the scales have dropped from my eyes. I can't wait for this exciting development to be discussed at the area bolt meeting!!
Ollie B - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to steveej:
> (In reply to Ollie B)
>
> absolute bull crap.

Really which bit?
>
> The Gap has been bolted since I started climbing - 18 years ago! Its a sports crag and to put it in the same category as Trebanog (a trad crag with a sprinking of bolts on the hardest routes there) is nonsense.

Ok maybe trebanog was a poor example but the point was still the same, the number of people climbing the sandstone trad routes in south wales is much lower than it was in the past (18years ago for example)- this is no doubt due to the increase, particularly in s.wales of climbers leaving the wall and not wanting to climb trad but preferring to clip bolts. Easier routes may be getting traffic (not based on ukc logbooks, but on seeing people at the crag - i personally havent seen many) but to climb the e3+ trad routes on sandstone youd be hard pressed to find many that are clean and worth while doing in their present state. Name some if im mistaken.
>
> To say that no one climbs trad on S.Wales sandstone says more about your attitude and the state of, dare I say it, 'wall bread'' climbers of today than bears resemblance to reality.

It does say something about my attitude, an attitude that has been created from going out climbing in south wales. Not down the wall as you seem to think. To say im wall bread is pretty derogatory in my opinion and I find it quite offensive.
>
> Definately thin end of the wedge as far as I am concerned.

Going back to the original thread, how is putting a couple of bolts at the top of ogmore the thin end of the wedge. What is the fat end of the wedge in your opinion, grid bolting at ogmore....? That just isnt going to happen. 12ft long bolts couldnt make that place a sport venue.
steveej - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B:

Ive been climbing on S.wales sandstone for the last 18 years. How long have you been climbing on S.Wales sandstone? Just because you think no one climbs trad doesn't mean it should be stapled up.

Never mind retro bolting, your attitude suggests its fine to bolt because that's what the people of the time want.

Ive been climbing long enough to know that styles go in and out of fashion. It's a bit of a selfish thing to castigate your preferred style for eternity.

Thin end of the wedge? Yes, because we now have multiple forum threads on bolting in s.wales.

You should brush up on your history!

goi.ashmore - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to Ollie B:

I don't think there's anything wrong with Ollie's knowledge or analysis of the history here. The routes at the Gap were not always bolted. In 1993 most of the routes at the crag were already in existence. Only half a dozen of the routes in the lower quarry were actually bolted. The routes were largely retrobolted/re-equipped in 1993-1994. Catastrophic hold failure was common before this - the cliff cleaned up a lot from mid 1993 onwards, so much so that I felt comfortable to solo some of the routes there.

I'm only pointing this out to avoid incorrect historical statements being made. I don't see how the situation on the sandstone quarries reads across to the Ogmore belay points.
steveej - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:

because Goi there has been a sea of change in the attitudes around bolting in South Wales.

The broad rule over the years rule has broadly been that quarries (being man made) are fair game - who would trad climb at pant quarry?. At the same time we take a balanced view of natural crags that would be better off as sports crags (because they seep, are a pile of choss, whatever).

Surely this is what we have been aiming for all these years? - sports crags and trad areas co existing in harmony? Witches point versus Ogmore main cliff?

But the last few years, things have changed. Once you start bolting it becomes a sports crag (how many people go trad climbing at the Gap?).

Ogmore is a natural adventure crag and the shitty threaded bar belays were part of the natural off-the-wall nature of the crag. The rock is loose, the belays are shite. We should have adventure crags coexisting with sports crags.

Unfortunately, this is a perfect example of bolts spilling over and proves the whole thin end of the wedge argument.

We now also appear to have wholesale bolting on gower. Is this in the interests of climbing? or the interests of a few people having their routes paid for?

We should be looking towards an ethical balance, not a short term selfish view.

Dave Garnett - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to steveej:
> (In reply to goi.ashmore)

> We now also appear to have wholesale bolting on gower. Is this in the interests of climbing? or the interests of a few people having their routes paid for?
>
> We should be looking towards an ethical balance, not a short term selfish view.

I completely agree. I don't see any difference between natural tidal crags on Gower and those at Pembroke. I don't understand why bolting one should be acceptable and not the other.
Jamie B - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I completely agree. I don't see any difference between natural tidal crags on Gower and those at Pembroke. I don't understand why bolting one should be acceptable and not the other.

Isn't it the case that the bolters have found a corner of Gower that hasn't been touched by trad, and possibly wouldn't ever be? Or am I not paying attention?

I'm now asking myself how I would feel about a similar "sector" at Pembroke. Pretty negative I suspect, even if it was on ground disregarded by trad climbers. But are the 2 areas comparable? My knowledge of both is limited, but I did get the feeling that Pembroke (especially South) was inherently more adventurous.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Dave Garnett - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
>
> [...]
>
> Isn't it the case that the bolters have found a corner of Gower that hasn't been touched by trad, and possibly wouldn't ever be?

Well, that's always the question isn't it?

>
> I'm now asking myself how I would feel about a similar "sector" at Pembroke. Pretty negative I suspect, even if it was on ground disregarded by trad climbers. But are the 2 areas comparable?

As I understand it (and someone plese correct me if I am wrong) they are directly comparable in that both are covered by local policies agreeing that natural crags would not be bolted.
Dave Garnett - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

... and, if I'm honest (and this isn't an argument I would necessarily use in other situations) irrespective of the agonising about our rather esoteric self-imposed ethical rules on this, I do find bolting in an exceptionally beautiful natural setting (in this case, internationally recognised as such) problematic, as I would find any other artificial intrusion of unnecessary and insensitive fencing, path construction, signage etc.
goi.ashmore - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to steveej:

The threaded bar was placed mostly in the early 00s and was not part of the original ethos of the crag. The threaded bar is drilled. It is not really different from being a bolt.

Most of the crags on Gower have had some level of bolting since the 1950s yet haven't become sports crags.

I don't think your arguments are in cogent form yet. It would be great if you could formulate them and bring them to an area bolt meeting to improve the quality of the debate.
goi.ashmore - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Happy to correct you. There is no blanket policy that states that bolts may not be placed on natural rock in Gower and South East Wales area and there never was.

There was a policy that stated that bolts should not be placed on certain restricted natural crags and new crags. This policy ran until about 2010. Post 2010 (I don't remember the date of the meeting) there has been a loosely formulated agreement in that people wanting to bolt new areas should bring them to an area bolt meeting.




steveej - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:

Its not the same as a bolt because its dodgy as ****!. Home made stuff has been there way before the noughties though hasn't it. Dodgy anchors are part of the appeal. Some people actually like some uncertainty in their climbing rather than guaranteed safety. Climbing is not just a physical activity (even if it happens to be for you).

The point is we should have sports crags and trad crags co-existing. Witches point has bolted sport climbing less than a mile from Ogmore main cliff yet we are now getting bolted belays on Ogmore main cliff. So I think I am fair in my argument that this is the thin end of the wedge.

Its not as if theres a shortage of bolted climbing in south wales is it?There are plenty of other venues if that's what you fancy, but Ogmore should be left as it is.

List me the natural crags on gower that have had some level of agreed concencus bolting. Do you not agree that Gower is primarily a trad area?Its effectively a mini Pembroke and should stay that way before its ruined forever.

You've been climbing long enough to know that styles go in and out of fashion and to cast one persons style for eternity is a pretty selfish thing to do as far as I am concerned.
The Pylon King on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
>
> I do find bolting in an exceptionally beautiful natural setting (in this case, internationally recognised as such) problematic, as I would find any other artificial intrusion of unnecessary and insensitive fencing, path construction, signage etc.

I completely agree.
steveej - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:

Goi, your and Roy's guidebook from 2003 in the general notes section talks about the area bolting policy.

I quote from your book page 14 - Area bolting policy.....

''SE Wales & Gower has a bolt policy agreed at a series of open meetings at WICC in 1999 - 2000. The bolting policy is listed separately for each crag.....''

Page 234 ''Ogmore'' - bolting policy - ''No bolting!''

Page 124 section 7, bolting at crags discovered in the future should assume the following...

natural sandstone - no bolting
GOWER - NO BOLTING
Quarries (sandstone or limestone) - bolting allowed
Other rock types - apply common sense.



Page 2..''dedicated to Bridgend Steve James, who sadly passed away in 2001. Ogmore can never be the same again.''

It's a shame there are not more people like him in the scene today!



goi.ashmore - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to steveej:

So to answer your question, Trial Wall, Fox Hole, Oxwich, Pwll Du, Deborah's, Third Sister, Minchen, Watch House, Boscos etc.

There are a number of crags on Gower where bolting has been established for a long time and where there was a reasonable consensus prior to their (further developments).

As per the bolt policy, the statement in the guidebook summarises the 2000 position and the bolt policy has moved on with no encouragement from me.

Just before he died, Bridgend Steve said to me 'Wouldn't it be great if Ogmore were bolted up like Pant?' I don't agree, but he was a good guy and knew the area he was talking about intimately.

Are you sure that you do?



In reply to steveej:

> Its not the same as a bolt because it's dodgy as ****!. Home made stuff has been there way before the noughties though hasn't it. Dodgy anchors are part of the appeal. Some people actually like some uncertainty in their climbing rather than guaranteed safety.

But is this bar in a hole that was drilled? If so, the argument that this piece of drilled gear is ok because it's potentially dangerous whilst bolts are bad because they're reliable, seems extremely odd.
steveej - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:

You have mentioned half a dozen minor sports crags on gower, with the acceptance of trial wall that should never have had bolts in the first place and have a history of getting chopped as a tru representation of the gower area which is completely false. The Gower has how many trad crags?

The bolt policy has moved on by people doing whatever they please with no regard for concencus, simply whats in fashion at the time. I'm not blaming you for it, but weve had loads of sport development and now it seems to be spilling over.

Steve may well have joked about that, but he would Never have meant it. He kept telling me that the best thing about climbing was ''being scared!''
steveej - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to TobyA: no, I don't agree with the drilled bar, but its there so its too late to do anything about it.
In reply to steveej:
> too late to do anything about it.

I guess if someone is really motivated it could be removed and hole filled; but I know that those who drill gear tend to win those competitions just because inertia weighs against most people going and removing very hard to remove fixed gear.

I think though the widely held in the UK 'ethic' of leaving behind all sorts of fixed gear and tat to make abseiling easier on popular sea cliffs, but the horror at a well bolted ab station as an alternative isn't very logical. It was the summit block of the Old Man of Stoer that first made me think about this - in the 90s it was covered in slings going back to the Patey era by the look of some of them - and later by the Castell Helen ab point: http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2007/07/superior-ethics-or-littering.html
goi.ashmore - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to steveej:

The bolt policy was and is changed through open meetings. So stop misrepresenting the situation and turn up and make your case.
steveej - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
>
> Happy to correct you. There is no blanket policy that states that bolts may not be placed on natural rock in Gower and South East Wales area and there never was.
>


''Never was'' - maybe you should stop misrepresenting! when there is a clear policy mentioned in your book.
MJ - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to the thread:

I originally posted this on the Gower thread: -

I've climbed there on and off for about 20 years. Not sure of the exact vintage, but there's definitely been the odd abseil/belay bolt at Ogmore for quite sometime...
As for abseil/belay stakes, there are numerous scattered around of various quality, but that's probably the same for a lot of crags.
There's also some 'specials' there as well, such as gate hinges and other hardware and sundry that could be hammered into the rock.
goi.ashmore - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to steveej:

There never was a blanket policy on natural rock, because bolting was allowed on some natural rock. Do try to take the trouble to read through my posts in context before answering back, there's a good chap.
steveej - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:

I did and I also read your book.

It says.... Gower no bolting
.............. Ogmore no bolting

To which you said things have moved on and accused me of mis representing.

And up thread you say there was never any bolting policy for gower and s. wales
goi.ashmore - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to steveej:

There you go again. Tut, tut.

1. The statement was referring to a blanket policy of no bolting on natural rock.
2. There's never been a policy saying no bolting on natural rock.
3. This is obvious because some of the crags the policy allowed bolting on were natural.
4. For new crags not discovered, there was indeed a policy of no bolting on natural rock.
5. The policy on this (4) was changed at the 2010 (or thereabouts) meeting, where consultation with a possibility of waiver was introduced.
6. I do sympathise with your struggle around this difficult concept, but item 4 does not mean the same thing as 1. So, no misrepresentation from me.
7. Stating that a crag like Oxwich is a minor sports crag is however misrepresentation. Have a look at the number of new routes there on UKC. This would provide an informed context for you to base your comments on.

Could I get a copy of the book you've got? Mine doesn't talk, but I'd love to have one that does, even if it is rather selective with the lines it choses to verbalise, it would be so much fun.

Now this is a very silly thread nd I am not going to waste any more time on it, but do try and enjoy yourself without my input, won't you old chap?
Simon Caldwell - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:
> Stating that a crag like Oxwich is a minor sports crag is however misrepresentation. Have a look at the number of new routes there on UKC.

steveej - I'm afraid you seem to have lost the argument. The Gower is sadly headed the same way as Yorkshire limestone :-(
Kyle Warlow - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to goi.ashmore)
> [...]
>
> steveej - I'm afraid you seem to have lost the argument. The Gower is sadly headed the same way as Yorkshire limestone :-(

Hardly. Gower is an awesome trad venue and always will be. The addition of some sport crags isn't going to change that. Go and see for your self.

Kyle
ads.ukclimbing.com
Simon Caldwell - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to Kyle Warlow:

I've been, and seen. I agree it's awesome for trad. Always will be?
Have you been to Yorkshire? I suggest Giggleswick South or High Stoney Bank for a first visit, both used to be fine trad crags.
3 Names - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to steveej:

Hi mate

I have a lot of sympathy with your point of view and I certainly dont think you have lost the argument. However actions are always gonna speak louder than words. The argument will only ever really be won by those prepared to act.

All the best
Vince



Doghouse - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to Kyle Warlow)
>
> I've been, and seen. I agree it's awesome for trad. Always will be?
> Have you been to Yorkshire? I suggest Giggleswick South or High Stoney Bank for a first visit, both used to be fine trad crags.

I tend to agree with this. The thin edge of the wedge arguement seems all too real now :-(
ex0 - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Omg that's horrible, trad is banned at these crags now? What's the world coming to!
Dave Garnett - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:

Right. So, just for clarity, on which natural crags would you consider there to be an understanding that there would never be bolting?

And when you say that there is no blanket policy that natural crags would not be bolted, would you not say that pretty much everywhere there is a default assumption that natural crags will not be bolted without a specific discussion and decision to the contrary?
Simon Caldwell - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to ex0:
any minute now you're going to say "you don't have to clip the bolts if you don't want to"...
steveej - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:

Ok, so do you agree that.....

There HAS been a policy saying NO BOLTING ON GOWER

There HAS been a policy saying NO BOLTING AT OGMORE

?????

steveej - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to goi.ashmore:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
>
> Happy to correct you. There is no blanket policy that states that bolts may not be placed on natural rock in Gower and South East Wales area and there never was.
>
Your quote above is a mis representation.

The policy never distinguished between natural and non natural crags on gower.

It simply says Gower - NO bolting!

Ogmore - No Bolting

freelunchprovider - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to steveej: Steve stop TALKING TO YOURSELF it's embarassing.
Dave Garnett - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to freelunchprovider:
> (In reply to steveej) Steve stop TALKING TO YOURSELF it's embarassing.

Maybe it's something he's had to get used to? I notice I didn't get an answer to my question about which crags would definitely be out of bounds for bolting. I'm beginning to think I know what the answer to that would be.
dave657 on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:

He'll most likely be at the next area meeting, so you can ask him in person then.
pebbles - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to Kyle Warlow)
>
> Giggleswick South or High Stoney Bank for a first visit, both used to be fine trad crags.

You <are>kidding. I remember the club trip to HSB, the rock on the 'fine trad climbs' was so loose and chossy my buddy refused point blank to lead any routes whatsoever. Which with hindsight I think was good judgement on his part.

Simon Caldwell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to pebbles:
The presence of loose rock and vegetation shouldn't be an invitation to start grid bolting, otherwise there'd be no low grade trad limestone left in Yorkshire, Whitestone and Peak Scar would be sports venues, and there'd be bolts in the mountains.

Whatever your view of the place, HSB used to be a popular trad crag. Fashions change, and busy crags fall out of favour (Laddow, Dovestone Quarry). And out-of-favour crags become popular again (Stoney Middleton).
But bolt up a crag and it usually stays bolted, retro-bolted routes on those crags remain retro-bolted.

P.S. You did choose to lead a route in the most obviously vegetated part of HSB, so what do you expect!
pebbles - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador: I'v just rechecked the crags database, almost every trad route logged at that crag contains comments about the chossiness of the rock. yours as well as mine. nobody elses because nobody bloody goes there (although to be fair nobody goers to the bolted section either, and why would you given the world class bolted limestone crags just round the corner)
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to pebbles:
> nobody bloody goes there

no reason to bolt it though.
it used to be relatively popular.

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