/ Bolts Proposed in a Lancashire Quarry
The last time this was mooted it was only narrowly defeated. I suspect that times have moved on and people are a lot less blinkered than they were then (only about 2009 I think). Not sure what the plan is regarding Anglezarke. Anyone got any info on that?
I'd prefer it if this wasn't bolted
A crap trad route if bolted becomes, guess what? A crap bolted route.
There's a reason why Lester Mill isn't climbed on and it isn't the lack of bolts.
What will happen is that the motion will be passed, routes will get bolted, there'll be a rash of ascents then next year the crag will begin to revert to its current state and there'll be fewer ascents. In two or three years' time no-one will go there again.
Someone, I think it may even have been Pete Whillance, bolted Eskdale Quarry many years years ago. Go there now and you find bolts sticking out of seas of moss.
I think low grade sport routes will be climbed because of their novelty, there is as much (more) demand for low grade sport routes as there is for high grade ones, there just isn't the supply. Most low grade sport venues I can think of in the UK are pretty poor but are popular nonetheless. Even if that proves not to be the case we have lost nothing (although you could easily argue that we have lost the principle that grit should not be bolted).
I agree with this - it will be mostly low grade sport routes, it has a nice outlook and is easily accessible. It will be popular as it is just a few mins off the motorway and near some large population centres. In fact at the last vote, a number of people who voted no raised their hands when asked 'would you climb here'.
I have a DOI in that I proposed this last time in (08 or 09?).
Its interesting that this has come up again - I though the last vote had put it to bed for years. It was very close last time, and a lot of the anti-arguments were (what I felt) a load of rubbish. But then again, they might have thought mine were rubbish. Hopefully exciting times ahead in our man-made quarries.
I've moved away now from Lancs now, but shall watch this with interest.
I think thesis the point where I and many others will get worried. Hopefully exciting times ahead for Lester Mill, yes but now you are suggesting all quarries.
Can you fill us non-locals in on what it is like?
Yes, to back track a little. I only would want to see bolts in Lancashire in Lester Mill, as all the other quarries that I have climbed in Lancashire have been good for trad :)
I should have said - exciting times for a man-made quarry
Sorry for any confusion!
"Hopefully exciting times ahead in our man-made quarries."
Well done for summing up so precisely the argument for the thin end of the wedge.
Well I'm not exactly a local myself. I've been to Lester Mill, once. An apt description would be "The hanging gardens of Babylon" and I don't expect it to have improved in the intervening years.
It's just over the road from Anglezarke and the difference in the number of logged climbs between the two should give a good indication of its quality.
Lester Mill: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=327
Sorry see above :)
Some may say Freudian slip - I really didn't mean it to come across that way.
I absolutely would not condone bolts in any existing trad climbing venue. Clearly at the moment Lester Mill is not currently a climbing venue of any sort at the moment (unless something dramatic has changed since when I last visited for a climb in 2010).
I just think that this would an exciting development for Lester Mill.
I meant quarry not quarries and the only reason I /didn't edit my post is because it has already been jumped on. Please ignore the word quarries!
I shall now bow out, as it no longer is my issue given that I have moved over to the correct side of the border :)
Excellent non-arguments there and a perfect example of the nonsense from last time. I could quote Robin Proctor Scar at you:- a crap trad venue, now a good bolted venue.
Comparing a quarry on the west coast of Cumbria to one close to Bolton, Manchester etc is just silly, but commendable.
Woudn't a better first stage be to get a BMC sponsored type clean up organised and the results promoted and then see if some momentum builds up?
Given Lester Mills is jot in the Lancashire Rock re-print it's perhaps not suprising it has got a bit neglected. With a new Lancs Rock on the near horizon should we not be waiting to see if that spurs interest before sharpening the drill bits?
Bolting in all quarries, you say?!
The sky is falling the sky is falling!
As i said earlier, please see above.
I fear this could become a repeating theme...
Why does it need bolting? Does it not get climbed because it's poorly protected, or simply because it's overgrown?
It doesn't need bolting, some people *want* to bolt it (or part of it).
Bolting part of it, as we have seen elsewhere other routes will get bolted over. Lets not kid ourselves, if part of a quarry is bolted most of it will be bolted for the better or worse. Decisions need to be made on a site by site basis, which is fine.
I genuinely don't care. As far as I'm concerned more low-mid grade sport climbing is a good thing.
I haven't seen anyone climb at Lesters Mill ever, and it's not the most attractive venue, with fairly rubbish protection.
Bolting one crappy grit quarry =/= bolting all quarries and to make the logical leap between the two is beyond silly.
Possibly not a good example if you want to avoid a TEOTW argument?
I climbed there last year but had to bail a few metres from the top due too lose rock. An excellent venue in the afternoon and evening when the sun is shining. Great views and very good access. Im with hardonicus. Give it some tlc and see how it goes before deciding to bolt. I for one would give it more attention
Your right it isn't. The thin end of the wedge passed by years ago with bolts all over Swanage and bolts impinging on classic VSs at Stoney (to name but two)
Ok my mistake - I only have the brick.
Anyhow my point about a clean up stands. A couple more questions:
1) Will the bolters get to wipe away history and rename the routes as has happened elsewhere?
2) As GrahamD says will the bolts impinge on trad routes left behind as has happened at e.g. Stoney and High Tor?
Who honestly cares? Nobody climbs the routes at the moment. It genuinely doesn't matter and will not impact on you one iota.
I'm pretty sure you'd be peeved if you had the first ascent. As highlighted by Al stating that he didn't want his route bolting
Excellent arguement there Spatula.
And how will it impact on you if it is left as it is?
I think the idea of having a big clean-up, then seeing if it gets traffic over 12 months then re-assessing after that would be a very sensible option.
Any FA may be "peeved" but unless the FA has legal ownership of the land thats all have. Ultimatley, it is the legal owener of the land who should have the final say, and if any FA wants to contest the courts must be the final arbiter.
If the land owner doesn't onject then each case should be treated on is metits.
'Not objecting' is not the same as 'supporting'.
Another factor to consider is what the landowner's perception is vis a vis their duty of care. They may believe that allowing or encouraging bolts to be placed on their rock implies that they have a duty of care to maintain those bolts and/or a duty of care towards the users of said bolts.
They may also currently allow access because it's not very popular. If it became Lancashire's Horshoe Quarry they may be less keen...
No, no! You don't understand, they want bolted routes. Waiting isn't an options.
Ahhhhh. I get it now.
In reply to Hardonicus: Which trad routes at Stoney & High Tor have been impinged?
Just interested to know.
Evasor at Stoney for one
*rolls eyes* but you don't have to clip it...
1) Of course not; not sure where else that has happened when a trad route has been retrobolted, I think that's a non starter.
2) I'm sure some routes (like Al's) would be left trad so that would be down the the bolting team on a neighbouring route to be careful.
Highlight at High Tor has a bolt that is clippable from a Gary Gibson number round the arete.
Some interesting goings on here regarding the renaming of retro-bolted routes:
No. But you can easily start an argument with the phrase, 'its the thin end of the wedge'. And then go on to have a 'thin end of the wedge' argument.
Did you climb much at Norber Scar then?
As CEM says, clippable from the main traverse pitch of Evasor - which is not remotely an esoteric climb
agree with you Bob
I climbed at Norber only twice in my student days at Leeds (1991-94) and was pretty unimpressed. I have been back to the bolted version more than that.
I vote No to the bolts, think the clean up idea is better.
There'll have to be a clean up of some sort whatever the outcome, unless the sticks-in-the-mud decide that doing nothing and leaving the place to rot further is the right way to go.
If there's a motion for a clean up, then I'll certainly turn up, but I suspect I will one of only a handful. I've been involved in loads of Lancs restorations over the last 7 years and it's nearly always the same faces at each one. I imagine this one will be no different, although it would be great to be proved wrong.
It's nearly always like that, not just in Lancashire.
I for one wouldn't bother even turning up for a clean up. Having done a fair few in the area, only to see the routes very quickly revert back to their original state:-( IMO it's a waste of time!
You need something extra to get people on the routes, and it's traffic on the routes that will really keep them clean.
In reply to Posters proposing a clean-up:
Have you even been to Lester Mill Q? Go have a look this weekend, top tier and lower section, then report back!
ps Apologies to Alan James. I did promise NOT to post unregistered anymore but this is just too important a topic.
Erm, there was a proposal to bolt LMQ that my friends and I made to an Area meeting 15 years or so ago (i.e. not the more recent proposal that Dave Tibbits is referring to).
Ken Wilson and a bunch of others turned up at that meeting and argued furiously that it was a great trad venue, just needed a bit of a clean up and some publicity. They then cleaned some of the routes and nobody bothered to do them. Within 18months the whole place was overgrown again.
At the meeting in 2008/09 the same argument was made but on this occasion nobody even bothered to re-clean the routes afterwards. LMQ has been a jungle for years. The 'trad' climbers who claim they want to climb there or that they intend to clean the place up have been shown to be simply fantasists.
Oh, and before I'm characterised as a myopic bolter its perhaps worth pointing out that I have been principally a trad climber for more than 35 years. It's just that I'm not a bigoted trad climber who thinks his game should be the only show in town.
all sounds good to me get them in .
Al is entitled to his opinion, however it is only his route in the sense that he was involved in the first ascent. First ascentionists do not get to own the rock they climbed.
Indeed they do not. But they 'own' the FA and they 'own' the style of that FA.
(As you'd probably agree?), if you do a lot of cleaning, equipping, bolting etc, you make the odd mistake (which the armchair brigade never seem to make!) Mistakes aside, I've always regarded it as sacrosanct that, if the FA wishes his/her route to remain unbolted, then it should not be bolted.
Look at places like Robin proctor scar or panorama! Rarely climbed on as a trad venue, but really well used as a sports venues. They've become good places for people new to the sport to climb, taking loose and underused rock and made it viable.
Lester mill has some good routes, but no one climbs them. Anglezarke has got some good/great routes and people do climb them, but it still gets massively overgrown.
If lester mill is bolted, it will take a quarry that was manufactured, make it a place where people will migrate, and hopefully have the knock on effect of many more climbers at anglezarke, thereby improving a trad venue!
Selfishly Meaning that when I go to anglezarke I don't have to take my feckin machete!
If your passionate about lester mill get their with your chain saw, machete and shovel! But it will be back to the lost world in two years without bolting it. Otherwise your not giving it any appeal. The safety of bolted routes is appealing to many and it will improve anglezarke!
Panorama is hardly a good advert for bolting, a good advert for "have drill, will bolt". RPS is a worthwhile venue now (I never went prior to the bolting) though naturally it's a clean if occasionally loose crag. But as a counter look at the RH side of Trow Gill, lots of low F6s but they are getting dirty even though the crag is popular. Why are they getting dirty? Not particularly good climbing, better climbing further left; less than vertical and overhung by trees.
As I mentioned above: if bolted LMQ will have its fifteen months of fame then once again fade in to obscurity.
Don't think bolting the catwalk at Malham has increased traffic on the wings, not a particularly strong argument there. Lack of popularity is not an excuse to bolt routes.
Oh, and care to sign your post - being anonymous is not the best way to give gravitas to it.
Spooky. We must have been at Leeds at a sort of similar time. I did a degree at Ilkley and then moved to Leeds for a masters.
This isn't really the thread for a 'thin' end' debate maybe. Could be there is another thread that could deal with that - although face-to-face is always better! The major issue, of course, is that an emerging generation of UK climbers want available sport routes. And, unfortunately, all the decent rock has been climbed! Bummer!
I think that there is quite a bit of 'evidence' about the 'wedge' argument with regard to the creation of 'sport crags'. I'm OK with a 'mixed economy' - what seems to be going on at High Stoney Bank for example, with sport routes being 'inserted' on the unprotectable bits between existing routes. And I do have a bit of a wry smile at some of the pieces of choss that are 'discovered' and bolted because no routes are already there.
I really do have problems with the wholesale bolting of existing routes on a crag to create a 'sport venue' however. Bolting V. Diff. and Severe crack lines on Portland I just regard as a bit sad. Norber Scar is an interesting case. In another thread I wondered why it was felt necessary to bolt an HVS that had been put up by Allan Austin. And then re-name it and claim a 'first ascent'.
We would not be having this debate 40 years ago.
Nor 30 years ago.
20 years ago Ken would have been warning us about the 'thin end...'
10 years ago there might have still been an interesting debate.
Now? I get the impression that very few people give a flying f*ck about the preservation of the trad ethic and the preservation of our climbing history.
Sad, ain't it?
What sport grade is golden tower?
I've got dibs on that one! What shall I call it guys?
Hmmmm.... Sceptical about that. Maybe more climbers looking for bolts at Anglezarke?
Are you eyeing up my route? Won't be long now!
'Golden Shower' would be an appropriate name?
Golden Shower it is unless anyone has any better suggestions?
or another idea.
Leave the crag to revert to nature and provide a habitat for some wild life. Last time i climbed in Lester mill I got bitten by bats so I am sure that they would appreciate the peace and quiet
Has the bolting of Horseshoe increased traffic at Stoney? I think the concept of a bolted venue next to a trad venue increasing traffic at the latter is completely spurious. You have two distinct user groups with a small amount of crossover.
Yeah I'm either doing one or the other for the day. I never go out sport climbing with my trad rack, who does that?
So why would it be different if the crag was retro-bolted? I'm willing to bet good money the crag will be overgrown within 2 years, especially the mediocre routes.
Oh Andy! that's the sort of anecdotal, overemotional nonsense that makes a decent debate hard to have. I climb sport and trad with a wide range of people and all of us (from 21 to 65+) completely care about these things, and understand them very well.
Ethics change with the times, that's what happens in medicine, law and climbing. If you want climbing ethics to stay the same, let's go back to 1896 shall we?
Climbing history isn't being destroyed by a grotty quarry being retrobolted...climbing history is being added to.
You naughty boy.
I don't see it as two distinct user groups at all.
When you're driving to Horseshoe you look up at Stoney and think "maybe I could climb that". Doing routes at Horseshoe can give people confidence to do stuff at Stoney.
Whether that will happen with LMQ and Anglezarke I've no idea. Never been to LMQ and was never that impressed with Anglezarke, but if the routes are overgrown, have poor top-outs and it isn't easy to arrange belays, then bolting seems a good idea to me.
Anglezarke has changed a lot since the 1980s - there weren't trees in the middle of the quarry for a start, it all felt a lot more open.
I don't think the "fifteen months of fame" applies just to sport either, there's lots of trad crags that were developed, got lots of visits (and occasionally caused access problems) but now hardly get visited at all. A case in point are Car Park Crags in Borrowdale. These are the closest crags to the road but looking at the log book* someone visited in 2013 but apart from that the last routes logged were in 2010.
Ultimately people are going to be lazy and go for the known good routes and a lot, if not most, of these venues are just going to fade back in to obscurity.
*I realise that not every climber is on here and logs their climbs using the logbook system.
It makes 100% complete sense to add lower offs to coal measure, the routes dont get done as the top out is more dangerous and more epic than some of the routes. Add these and the routes will get done more often, fact. No retro bolting, and leave the rest of the quarry alone, it is fine and happy.
Lestermill has some fine routes, esoteric trad with character, but good, that is what they are and how they should stay. Anyone wanting to do one may need to abb it and clean it, pull a few bushes out, so what? Stick a load of bolts up them and they become very siht sports routes that wont get much traffic anyway. Really they wont. And soon will be back in position where they will need cleaning before they can be climbed.
Yep - went there once (I'm blaming my lazy mate) and felt it completely missed the point of climbing in the Lakes.
As an aside it would be really useful new feature if the logbook could show how many ascents were logged by year, and what the recent ascents were
(I feel an email coming on)
I think that got asked for some time ago. "Ascents at this crag in the last week" or "The last X logged climbs at this crag". The nearest we have is the winter conditions list so I think it's technically possible though Alan probably will comment that they already have a lot of things on their list already.
I've been climbing at stoney quite a few times but not yet built up the confidence to climb anything at horseshoe...
To the thread in general; I'm not familiar with this crag so the following is probably of limited value but it looks like water might be as much of a problem as dirt. Would bolting/ increased popularity do anything to fix that?
Also, if there is a "wedge", surely fully bolting a grit crag despite FA objections is a different part of it to the thin end? Same goes for bolts on a classic stoney VS that I'd really like to do at some point.
Yeah! Good speech! For the history of climbing we bolt this quarry!
With all due to respect to Al (one of the most interesting people I've ever climbed with) I think the wishes of the people who currently climb at the quarry carry more weight than someone who climbed there 40 years ago and is now working on his tan in the Costa Blanca.
That said I am sure some (most?) of them would probably be nearly as popular if they were properly developed as top-roping venues with in-situ and easy to use bolted anchors. Look at Bowles Rocks, it is one of the busiest UK crags.
I am coming to the conclusion that this a probably an option worth considering for a number of UK venues. It certainly works well in many areas of the US, and I can't think of any reason why it couldn't here, apart from it not being what we are used to.
Not sure if it applies in this case, but it is certainly worth considering, even if only to rule it out.
Can't comment about that, they certainly carry more weight than mine since I'm unlikely to ever climb there, bolts or not. I only joined in because there are a few unpopular crags/ routes in areas closer to me that I'd hate to see bolted over. I fear the (possibly imaginary) wedge. An assumption against retro-bolting seemed sensible.
I don't see this as a trad vs sport issue though, even in kalymnos bolting through an existing route and changing its character can cause controversy (massive difference in popularity to this though!)
www.climbkalymnos.com/bbpress/topic.php?id=6195 ( I took out the http because UKC says the website is wrong even though the link worked in the preview)
Juxtaposition of LMQ and Kalymnos in the same post is hilarious LMAO
Yes, seems a bit silly now. I wasn't comparing the two, just saying that even in sport climbing paradise people don't necessarily support bolting over existing routes.
I'm more worried about bolts showing up on classic routes I might actually do like evasor than some quarry I hadn't heard of (Although I guess stoney vs Kalymnos is also pretty weird). I'd be worried this would become more likely if retro bolting is made acceptable. I'm going to leave this debate though as its well outside my local area.
You shouldn't - It's not a local debate.
I've dipped in and out of this thread about bolts in Lancashire quarries because they are in my back garden, so to speak, and hold Anglezark in high regard for the quality of routes and the many happy sun-baked days followed by an evening's BBQ.
I have only once, crossed the road to take a look at Lestermill and that was as far as it got. It was too 'over grown' to even think about wasting half a day gardening for one esoteric gem when I was spoilt for choice in Anglezark.
I'd be happy to see appropriately consulted/approved bolted routes in Lestermill. Two things will happen, either the quarry will get more activity or it will stay unloved. I for one do not see the spectre of bolts at Lestermill as the thin edge of the wedge.
Life is too short.
well said that man
I thought I was going to get flamed or called a blasphemer.
It's not a terrible analogy. It's ironic that another sport climber is complaining about 'bolts within clipping distance of X route'.
This thread is just a lot of armchair hot air. If YOU really care enough about LMQ, sort out a clean-up date. What with UKC, FB, Twitter, etc. it should be a doddle to set a date and those that want to see LMQ restored to its former glory, come on down and get your hands dirty. You don't need the BMC or any NW area group to give you permission.
IIRC there was a discussion regarding Dovestones Main Quarry over a year ago. Well! What a lot of wasted hot-key-strokes that was. I organised a clean-up, publicised it on UKC, FB, etc. and guess what?
Only one other person ( Hats off! To Mr. Kocsis) turned up! And I suspect the LMQ clean-up, if it ever gets "organised" will get a similar response.
My apologies for the perhaps over emotive language in the sentence you picked out. You did ignore the rest of my post however :-)
'I really do have problems with the wholesale bolting of existing routes on a crag to create a 'sport venue' however. Bolting V. Diff. and Severe crack lines on Portland I just regard as a bit sad. Norber Scar is an interesting case. In another thread I wondered why it was felt necessary to bolt an HVS that had been put up by Allan Austin. And then re-name it and claim a 'first ascent'.
We would not be having this debate 40 years ago.
Nor 30 years ago.
20 years ago Ken would have been warning us about the 'thin end...'
10 years ago there might have still been an interesting debate.
Now? I get the impression that very few people give a flying f*ck about the preservation of the trad ethic and the preservation of our climbing history.'
I have to fundamentally disagree with your statement that 'climbing history isn't being destroyed' and that 'climbing history is being added to.' Climbing history IS being destroyed if we have routes done by some of our greatest climbers being retro-bolted, re-named and re-claimed. You want concrete? Windy Wall at Norber Scar.
And, of course, there is a fundamental difference between the 'history' (what was done)and the 'tradition' (that which we hope will be done).
I could go out tomorrow (if I wasn't working) and chip buckets up Froggatt Great Slab (to choose a random route) to make it accessible to more climbers. That act would then become a part of your 'climbing history'. Doesn't make it 'right' though? And you would obviously recognise that.
I do acknowledge that I am a naughty boy. No problem. But fail to see how bolting Lester Mill Quarry advances our passion one iota.
Oh. And I have realised that my decades are maybe a wee bit out as the first bolts were probably going in about 30 years ago. But I'm sure you got my drift.
By the way; my eldest lad can't see why I get wound up. 'Bolt 'em all' would summarise it.
Do you want to bolt the crag?
I'd much rather see LMQ fade away into obscurity, just a cryptic mention in a guide book. For it to be rediscovered by the next, next, next... generation of climbers, thumbing through a well worn and tatty guide that they found in a charity shop.
Who knows, by then, bolts will be historical relics of our climbing history that any self-respecting climber would know about but would never ever really use!
There were genuine apologies for that day and some other clean up work done on Dovestones by other climbers so it wasn't all hot air. You are right it's often the same old faces (not always though I've been to a clean up at Woodhouse Scar organised by ROKT that was well attended).
I feel much the same as you in general with such venues but their are loads of them so I would like to see this as an experiment to see if bolting will help keep a crag clean and used. We really have a shortage of lower grade bolted venues in the UK. I'd rather see this than more and more encroachment on classic lines at Stoney. One mains thin end of the wedge is another's pressure relief I guess? Fancy Earl on Monday, might have a few people looking at the bouldering and the punter end of the new scripts.
That's sarcasm right?
Looks like there was a botched clean up effort, but now you can forever play the 'well I tried so now we must bolt' card so you got something out of it. I wonder if that will ever get old. Bolting isn't an option in chew valley anyway, it's not analogous, perhaps there's a case for LM but you're going about it the wrong way. Looking back at that thread it had about 10 replies and 2 maybes, and you didn't bother posting it or in it yourself, registering still too hard I see. I don't do the facebook game so I don't know if you had climbers on there not showing up but from what I've seen on UKC a turnout of 1 was optiministic.
I'm not sure where the false dilemna 'it will disappear to the ages' if we don't bolt now comes from. I guess you're trying to make it appear imperative and time sensitive when it just patently is not. A bit of patience would go a long way, lets see what people want done with LM. If a clean up is decided, don't throw your toys out of the pram, perhaps someone can do a better job of organising these things than you can. If not, you'll have more ammunition the next round.
As someone new to climbing outside (and this long-running argument), if they can be protected, why not just climb them? Do the proposed bolts go next to the nut placements for people who forgot their rack?
If they're unprotectable though, that's a different matter.
I spent today in the quarries, climbing and checking out some routes for the new!!! guide, Most of Anglezarke is in good condition, dry clean and a loads of routes have chalk on them except for coal measure, which is "sad" neglected, very dirty and is really in need of some serious TLC. Some of the routes on this wall are fantastic, but would need a MAJOR clean up to get them climbable and enjoyable
I then went over to Lester Mill...even more dirty, overgrown and neglected and from what I looked at has not seen anyone climb there in years, the fixed gear was in an terrible state.
These two areas do need serious discussion at the next BMC area meeting, so a decision can be reached about bringing them back into the excellent venues they once were.
NW Area BMC Chair
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