/ Swanage Unknown ledge

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Phil Belcher - on 27 May 2014
I Have tried to speak to the president of the BMC but with no help from him I am asking for climbers point of view on ONE route. As far as I can see it the route "Fuel my Fire" at this crag has been de-bolted (by our BMC main man). I would like to get the opinions of climbers on there thoughts of this being re bolted and this being the only sport route allowed at this crag. The route is in a bolt free zone but was bolted along time before this was the case, we don't get many good steep hard climbs in a bird ban free area along the Dorset coast.

if there is any chance on a kind of vote to put this route back up this would be good thing.
Bisset - on 27 May 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

Although the route is currently out of my ability, I do think it's a shame it has gone. I remember reading an article in Climb in which Alex Honnold visited the promenade with Bob Hickish. Apparently Honnold frequently gets taken to local crags around the world, some of which he describes as more of a cultural experience. However, he did find the promenade, and the route "Fuel my Fire", as a good day climbing. As to the ethics of bolting in banned areas, of course I'm not 100% of the details in this case. I love trad climbing too, and wouldn't want bolts in places that spoil the experience of a trad area. However, I think this is set far enough away from the nearest trad area, over at Cattle Troughs, to be within the bolted area of the promenade.
scott titt - on 27 May 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

I have replied to you detailing the steps to take to debate this issue locally.
scott titt - on 27 May 2014
In reply to Bisset:

There are lots of trad routes at Unknown Ledge!
Ali.B - on 27 May 2014
In reply to scott titt:

Why just locally?... just asking
Mick Ward - on 27 May 2014
In reply to Bisset:

> Apparently Honnold frequently gets taken to local crags around the world, some of which he describes as more of a cultural experience.

What a diplomat!

< Smacks head >

Why didn't I come out with that wondrous line at Parbold, at Stannington Ruffs, at...?

Mick
3 Names - on 27 May 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

if its a vote you would like, I vote No
drewish on 27 May 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

I personally feel that the re-bolting of this single route will cause no harm and will enable climbers to enjoy climbing a hard, strong feature which is not subject to tides and is easily accessible.

With the recent demise of the leaning pillar that used to separate the two crags the route is practically in the Promenade anyway and could maybe become part of this sport climbing area as part of a new agreement?

I do accept that the route lies at the boundary of what has previously been agreed upon as a bolt free zone but i think It would be great if we could arrange a new meeting to re-discuss this matter with locals and those involved (in the birth and destruction of this route ie, Pete Oxley and Scott Tit) and get a new perspective on the matter which includes the new generation of local climbers.

Mick Ward - on 28 May 2014
In reply to 3 Names:

> if its a vote you would like, I vote No

If its a vote you would like, I vote Yes.

Mick
dan gibson - on 28 May 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

I vote Yes.
drewish on 02 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:
I vote Yes.
Post edited at 17:11
dannyboy83 - on 02 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

I vote Yes!
Marcus - on 02 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

I vote Yes too.
Richard White on 02 Jun 2014
In reply to Marcus:

I vote yes as well.
Tophe - on 02 Jun 2014
I vote Yes.
Doghouse - on 02 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

I vote No.
brices - on 02 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

Yes from me
Phil Belcher - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

Thanks for everyone to who put a reply, I have still had no reply by the local BMC man to organise a get together,
Mick Ward - on 04 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

And thank you for creating this post in the first place. It seems clear that we do need to have a meeting.

Mick
sam.sam.sam.ferguson - on 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

I vote yes as well. A meeting would be good.

Sam
BenL - on 11 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

I vote yes!!
sam.sam.sam.ferguson - on 12 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

Phil,

Any news on a meeting yet? Would be good to get it bolted soon for a play this summer OR accept it won't happen. Either way would be good to know.

Sam
Phil Belcher - on 12 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

nothing yet Sam
Mick Ward - on 27 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

Ironically, as I loathe meetings, it seems to me as though this one is long overdue. What is required for it to happen?

Mick
sam.sam.sam.ferguson - on 27 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

I believe Phil is following the steps needed to organise one through the BMC. Last time I spoke to him he said it was slow going.

Mick Ward - on 27 Jun 2014
In reply to sam.sam.sam.ferguson:

If it's too slow going, let's have our own meeting... and never mind the BMC.

Mick
sam.sam.sam.ferguson - on 28 Jun 2014
In reply to Mick Ward:

Seems fair. Will be happy to attend a locally organised meeting. I know quite a few people who would also attend who are in favour of the bolts returning.

Sam
Phil Belcher - on 28 Jun 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

Hi guys just to let you know there is a meeting in north devon (not local for swanage really) in aug. I was told the next free spot isnt till feb 2015. I have asked why it takes so long. I agree with you Mick that we should just organise our own one within the local scene involving everyone to put there view across I will wait for a reply but the weather is starting to get good so I think the bolts may miraculously appear soon....
sam.sam.sam.ferguson - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

This appears to have lost momentum...

Shall we arrange a local meeting for the next few weeks - put this to bed?
Mick Ward - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to sam.sam.sam.ferguson:

I think a local meeting would be far better than the bolts sneaking in again and maybe being snuck out again. And I'm sure most of us would be happy with a democratic decision, whether it supported our vote or whether it didn't.

But I would caution a note of warning. Much as I like and respect the most notable anti-bolting protagonist (though I vehemently disagreed with his debolting), he is perhaps the most skilled person in the country re climbing meetings. So unless those supporting the bolts actually turn up at the meeting, we may find a huge majority 'on the night' opposing the bolts.

It would be better if the decision is genuinely democratic, not just democratic in name.

Mick

The Ivanator - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

On a related note has anyone ever suggested bolted lower offs at Blackers Hole? I anticipate a flaming for this suggestion, but the wall which houses Tobacco Road/Rufty's Roll Up etc. is a fantastic piece of rock, but its appeal is seriously undermined by the horrendous topouts: 60 degree loose shaley earth, harrowing even with a pre-placed exit rope (which is hard to align correctly from above), it makes the Ruckle topouts look like a walk in the park. On safety grounds (particularly for the belayer) I think they would be a good addition on the more popular lines with the worst exits. If say 3 or 4 lower offs were installed then traversing to one of these should be possible from most of the other recognised routes.
I do not want to see Swanage riddled with bolts and regard adventurous topouts as part of the experience (within reason) - perhaps I'm just being a wimp in considering the Blackers Hole exits as unacceptably unstable - I appreciate I can always choose not to climb there!

sam.sam.sam.ferguson - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Mick Ward:

Is there another way to get feedback from the climbing community regarding the bolts?

A genuine meeting would be great and the outcome respected regardless - it would be a shame if it became a popularity contest style meeting.

A meeting locally in Swanage for example would make it much more accessible - and local to the issue being discussed rather than in North Devon.

If we were to organise our own what steps would have to be taken? And would the outcome be supported by the full community?
sam.sam.sam.ferguson - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to The Ivanator:

If there is a meeting arranged that could be discussed also. Fuel my fire bolts and top outs being bolted around Blackers? Although the second opens up a whole new can of worms...
Mick Ward - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to sam.sam.sam.ferguson:

Hi Sam,

Although the most anti meeting of folk (I've just escaped from one downstairs!), a meeting is the only legitimate way forward. I'm just making a cautionary note about the probable tactical outcome.

But we could just meet in a pub in Swanage (maybe hire a room and chip in for it). Hell, I'll meet on the flaming crag, if need be.

I don't know where this sits re the Dorset Bolt Agreement. It could be courteous to contact Steve, if he's the relevant person (although I assume this has been done). But if he's in foreign parts...

All I'd ask of folk is that ideally they're active, they genuinely care - one way or the other - and they're prepared to vote responsibly. It would be good to have Pete and Scott speak - but only if we could all leave acrimony at the door. Somebody would have to chair things pretty rigorously to ensure that everyone had their fair say in an orderly fashion - rather than folk hogging things/mindless rants, etc. If need be, I'll volunteer to do this - though I'm equally happy if anyone else wants to do it. (Neal's probably pretty good at this.) But without rigorous chairing, anarchy will reign. Not good!

But what do other people on here think? Come on Neal, Helen, Rob, Marti, Alex (both Alexes) etc, etc, what do you guys think?

Mick

sam.sam.sam.ferguson - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Mick Ward:

Maybe it is better suited with a BMC arranged meeting to prevent the potential chaos...? But you seem to have it right though Mick regarding how the meeting should take place. Would be good to have them speak and yes a good chair is essential, if locally is quicker (and a local location!) that would be the better route I would say.

Would be good to hear other peoples thoughts especially the local guys.

I'l be quiet for now and let other people have their say - my position is I am happy to help organise whatever is needed, will be present and believe the bolts should be returned although it would be strict to only this route - maybe the ivanator is a bit too far.
Phil Belcher - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

Well guys it's good to see that this has caused a reaction with the local climbers, given the fact no one wanted to do anything about the route until this thread was put on....

I have been approached by the BMC and Local man Marti and things are going ahead if not Slowly.

I will keep you all informed with the situation.

I don't think that bolted lower offs are a good idea as climbing out on a rope is all part of the epicness....

on another note I hope everyone knows bolts are not FREE they cost money and any donations to the Dorset Bolt fund would be great.

Thanks every one
Marti999 - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Mick Ward:

You know my dislike for having lengthy discussions on here. but i am trying to get something sorted, as i don't want some sort of bolt chopping war to start. But something within a bmc frame work would be probably most excepted by most parties.
i agree that a local meeting is the best way forward and if it can be held with a true representation of local (active)climbers, then both side may be able to accept the true feelings of the users of the majority our local 'adventure/sports'crag.
I've had to be a bit distracted from this task this week due to it kicking off a bit at dancing ledge, but as soon as the waves die down i'll be on it.
but lower offs at blackers you'll be lucky! man up ;-)
Marti Swanage BMC Access rep
steve taylor - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Marti999:

Wise words Marti!

I hope you guys can organise a proper BMC Area meeting to get the consensus on this. There's likely to be a fair bit of local opposition (given the history) so make sure you rally everyone to attend the meeting.

I'd vote "yes" as long as the bolts don't go in until after the meeting ;o)

Steve
steve taylor - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

Hi Phil - you might get more interest if you posted this in the general climbing forum. I only found it due to the link on Dorset Climbing's Facebook comment.
Langer - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Marti999:

Spot on.

This:
i agree that a local meeting is the best way forward and if it can be held with a true representation of local (active)climbers, then both side may be able to accept the true feelings of the users of the majority our local 'adventure/sports'crag.
Mick Ward - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Langer:


> ...if it can be held with a true representation of local (active)climbers...

I suspect that's likely to be the tricky bit. If the place is filled with Swanage dwellers, with a pulse, who turn up 'on the night', for me, that wouldn't be true democracy.

If we have 'postal' i.e. effectively online voting, how well informed would the voters be? And would this undercut local meetings? I was so pissed off I did this a few years ago with the dreaded Dog Rock but that doesn't necessarily make it right - or wrong.

I think we need to avoid bolt wars and be as honestly democratic as we can be.

Mick


Langer - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Mick Ward:

Completely agree Mick.

I would class myself as a dweller although i live in poole and climb sport over at Swanage a fare bit. I've never climbed at Promenade unfortunately and therefore it wouldn't be right for me to give a yes/no vote on the specific route in question but it's also important to me that this kind of stuff is done at the appropriate level so that there is consensus in the local community.

A lot of effort is put in by various people as you have said Mick and they are the people that understand the problems of the certain areas, they are also probably the first people to have to deal with the crap when it arises and this is why a meeting is important so that there is clear cut consensus and agreements.

On a wider issue I've seen some questionable bolting at a few venues in Swanage lately and it would be nice if people understood where the line is drawn.

Aaron

Phil Belcher - on 15 Jul 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

Looks like things are going fwd with some meetings being processed.

Just to add something into the mix as far as I know no one has asked for the opinion of the bolter......and no one has approached him either, not a nice way to say thanks for all the hard work he had to deal with (back in the day when all the old gits where young).
Doghouse - on 15 Jul 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

Who is the bolter?
steve taylor - on 16 Jul 2014
In reply to Phil Belcher:

I'm 100% sure that the bolter would want the bolts put back in!


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