/ Stoney west retrobolts
E4/5,at Stoney Mid,west,has been bolted.
Anybody know who did this?
I would like the person who put the bolts in to remove them.
The argument that nobody would do the route without the bolts does not convince me.
At least they didn't rename it...
Does the retrobolter's name get put in the guidebook?
At least they gave it a good name...
Seriously though this sh1t is outrageous. A rock climb is reascended in worse style than the original ascent and for some reason the retrobolter gets to rename the climb?
When these renamed, retroed routes are recorded in guide books, is the fact it used to be a trad climb done by X mentioned at all? While arguments may be made on many grounds for bolting of certain routes - any anyone explain how this type of action can ever become considered acceptable?
It's no wonder people are distrustful of the motivations of the pro-bolt lobby...
sounds like the thin end of the non-existent wedge has migrated south from Yorkshire
What has happened to common decency? Surely it isn't too much trouble to seek the view of the person who put up the route originally? I guess (and am hoping) that this was just carelessness and that the person putting the bolts in didn't look at the guidebook before drilling...
If anyone owns a route - debateable point - it is the first ascensionist. Seems to me that retrobolters who don't get in touch with that person first are showing a distinct lack of empathy. Worse, they are showing a serious lack of respect for someone who clearly deserves it far, far more than they do themselves.
I'm just wondering who would hold the moral high ground - the retrobolter who did this or some other person who might remove the bolts, even though in law (possibly) the latter might be committing criminal damage or larceny.
You fecking what? You don't check what routes are there before you start drilling?
'Carelessness' my arse.
Although Stoney West has always been a bit of a backwater with some quite mediocre routes on poor rock,Northerner's Can't Climb was an exception being an excellent and challenging E5 on superb rock. It was comparable with some of the best E5's on the main crag. I would hope that it's retrobolting was an honest oversight which will soon be corrected.
He doesn't "get" to rename the route, he just did, then recorded it. Adding a route to the UKC logbooks doesn't equate to acceptance.
Retroing viable trad routes without the first ascentionist's permission generally isn't regarded as acceptable.
I think retrobolters names should be ommitted from guidebooks. Also changing names shouldn't be allowed either. Let's remove vanity from the argument.
I'm struggling to understand this. I checked the logbook page for the crag. All the routes seem to be sport, so presumably it's been officially designated a "sport" crag - hopefully at a BMC area meeting. But can this be allowed to overrule the wishes of the first ascensionist of a trad route already established at the crag? If it's a BMC endorsed policy that this can be done, then that surely is the thin edge of the wedge - where next? WildCat, High Tor, Millstone? If it's against a BMC endorsed policy then it's not just a lack of common decency towards the first ascensionist. Surely it's a complete affront to the ethics of our sport and all who participate in it.
OK, perhaps I don't know the full details, but I'm quite surprised this hasn't generated a bigger response.
Totally agree with you.
If the retro-bolters thought they had a case for it, they should have come to a Peak Area BMC meeting, publicised what they were after, beforehand, and encouraged all their followers to come and a discussion could have been had.
That is what the BMC bolting discussions have been about for the last forever. There is a 'policy' on bolting in the Peak and other areas, it just needs more publicity, and people to think about what they are doing in relation to it.
The only reason I guess is that E5 is unknown territory for most of us
That's downright lenient. How about we just ignore the sport route completely and remove the bolts? Or, as Paul says, Mr Walker removes his own bolts.
There's nothing 'official' about the UKC logbooks, it's a crowd-sourced facility that holds no authority.
Look up the route under it's correct name, northerners can't climb. You will find it is surrounded by trad routes.
It appears the there is something odd about the data base.
Not really sure what your point is.
Not really, it just has all the errors that come with a crowdsourced database with very little oversight. You, I or anyone registered could submit all sorts of changes, UKC simply don't have the resources to ensure its actually correct. And nobody is moderating the crag either like making sure routes are actually in order.
Mr. Walker? Got any news?
Now that is a thin end of the wedge argument!
>Or, as Paul says, Mr Walker removes his own bolts.
Hah! Good luck with that. Mr Walker's kind aren't normally into that sort of thing.
I don't think it's the practice in any guidebooks I know of either to name retrobolters or to change the names of routes, is it? Though I wouldn't like to say what's gone on in Yorkshire.
What kind is that? People don't just randomly retrobolt trad climbs and Tony's name hasn't been prominant with past transgressions; so by far the most likely explanation is its an unfortunate misunderstanding on a crag where info isn't especially obvious.
>And nobody is moderating the crag either like making sure routes are actually in order.
Clearly the case, as all the trad routes are still listed, apparently all to the left of the sport routes. The description for the crag lauds Northerners Can't Climb as a quality route, when clearly it no longer exists unless someone removes the bolts
The suggestion that this might have been retrobolted in error is surely unlikely given that the "new" name is clearly a parody on the "old".
OK, so E5 and F7a are both beyond my ability, but this sets a precedent that could easily impinge on quality trad routes that are within my ability range. Seems to me it needs sorting out in a properly democratic way.
Really, when I started climbing at Stoney I doubt that there were 60 routes on the whole of the main crag.
Well, one doesn't like to call names. I think we all know what I think of the likes of Mr Walker.
>People don't just randomly retrobolt trad climbs
Good grief. What a sweet notion.
>so by far the most likely explanation is its an unfortunate misunderstanding on a crag where info isn't especially obvious.
Well, if you think that the most likely explanation for retrobolting a minor classic called 'Northerners Can't Climb' and renaming it 'Daddy's Fat, Daddy Can't Climb' is an 'unfortunate misunderstanding' together with a most unfortunate coincidence - subconscious, no doubt - in the choice of name for Mr Walker's new creation, that's your prerogative. Personally, it seems more likely to me that what we have here is a Statement.
But we needn't speculate, need we? Mr Walker is a keen UKC user, evidently. I'm sure he'll be along soon to clear up the misunderstanding.
Except that he won't, of course, will he? His kind never do. But let's see. I'd love to be wrong, of course.
>Seems to me it needs sorting out in a properly democratic way.
Oh, no it doesn't. It needs sorting out in the only way the likes of Mr Walker understand. He won't take his bolts out. Someone else needs to. Otherwise, goodbye Northerners Can't Climb, hullo new 7a with a silly name.
It needs sorting out in the "correct" way which is for someone who knows what they are doing to remove the bolts.
Maybe the neighbouring sport routes took from Paul's name then he took from the neighbouring routes. Call me glass half full but until its clear this was done deliberately Im not supporting the accusations.
Naturally I would appreciate the perpetrator took out the bolts.Within the next 7 days.I would also like him to contact me via UKC.
I emailed Gary Gibson re the matter,and he said he had too much respect for the route to retrobolt it.
Not good Paul, understand your frustration.
What gets me though, is the mentality of people who think they can just go round retro bolting whatever they feel like.
Is it ignorance, immaturity or just that they are selfish and don't give a f*ck as long as they get what they want out of their climbing?
I dont recognise this as being common. Some have retrobolted important trad routes with no consultation whatsoever but it is rare, fruitless (as the bolts soon get removed or chopped) and leads to a public tarnished reputation.
Not so Off-width. There are many retro-bolted routes on Peak limestone. And no I'm not prepared to list them.
You just stick to gritstone there's a good boy.
If a route gets retrobolted and you are against that, stop spinning forum air, get out to the crag and remove the bolts in the correct manner.
Here's a primer on how to do it right: http://eveningsends.com/climbing/chop-bolt-right/
It would be massively interesting to know how much attention this crag has since since the whole place was bolted - or would it be better if it resorted to it's old state . I can assure you that I've done many of the obscure no starred (poor) routes at stoney in my grade range - and cleaned a few too (to substantiate my argument). Admittedly it's bad form to retro and not consult the first ascentionist - but you could debate forever - and everyones dead before a consensus is reached.
Someone chop them and stop typing - or leave the route to get another 20 ascents (whatever happens the jug at the top of the roof is going to come off anyway then it'll be much harder)
It doesn't have to be commonplace. Just a handful, is too many.
Young wall bred sport climbers need to educate themselves regarding the history and tradition of trad routes, and our sport.
Ignorance is no defense for stupidity.
It's a popular place now since Gary G did his work
Every time I drive by the parking lay-by is busy.
Previous to that, the place was dead.
The routes were a tad loose last year and still hold the odd unexpected block; care needed. But it is getting better.
In the Peak try a dozen handfuls plus, you just don't hear about them until someone pops their head up on a forum.
But overall I would say it isn't a major concern or problem, the main trad routes are safe and sacrosanct.
In many cases, perhaps the majority, it will never happen.
It doesn't help when you say 'our sport' and place blame. People will just put two fingers up at you.
Yeah, I often mistakenly take a bolt gun to the crags, and find myself mistakenly bolting a route without knowing what I'm doing?
This tired old argument that if a trad route or venue doesn't see much traffic, or if it doesn't contain 3 star routes then it's fair game to retro bolt, is myopic at best.
The solution is to stop these wannabees retro bolting in the first place, not argue about who should chop them after.
I don't know.... that would require a topo or guidebook that only lists the sport routes, does such a thing exist?
This is how it's done around here Mick (of course this is re-bolting, not chopping, but I think you get the idea). Aesthetic eh?: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=211555 Flatten one bolt and glue in another...
Trad, Sport, Bouldering etc, is all 'our sport' - I meant climbing in general.
I wonder how the sport brigade would feel if trad climbers started going round chopping the bolts off sport routes, because they could climb the routes without the bolts?
And for the record, I do climb sport as well as trad.
I'll bite. Email me clues on these dozens of important peak trad limestone routes bolted without consultation and I'll admit my ignorance. I work with the area volunteers and access teams including very trad minded knowledgable performance climbers and I dont get how this could pass us all by.
You are too busy discussing and sitting in meetings to notice.
Like I said, it's not a huge issue but there are lots of retrobolts on Peak limestone.
Maybe get some BMC money to fund a count; that will keep you occupied.
How about a new website? UKretroboltscount.com
The guy obviously thought there was new route potential - and made a mistake. Hence the re-name. He sees/knows of other well known sport climbers retro-bolting trad routes in the peak (yes it does happen) and these routes increase in popularity- he does the same - shock horror.
I'm not saying it was the right thing to do at all - but i've taken some enjoyment from climbing the route.
What is a wannabee? A want to be what?
Well just say 'climbing' then. Saying 'our' is decisive, it can be interpreted as 'us and them' as is your quote:
"Young wall bred sport climbers need to educate themselves regarding the history and tradition of trad routes, and our sport."
Language and framing an argument is very important; it has consequences that can influence actions.
As you may know, the main people who retrobolt are Old non-wall bred climbers who don't need to be educated about 'our' climbing history and traditions.
Now what are we to do about them?
So, at a mixed trad sport venue - one of the most 'worked' crags in the Peak - he sees a line which isn't bolted. So instead of consulting a guidebook - or making inquiries - to see whether it is an existing trad route, he just gets out his Hilti and bolts it?
Really? There I was thinking I spent most of my time climbing and working on information for climbers like guidebooks and being lucky enough to do this alongside much more knowledgable and talented folk who know the limestone really well and recognise and oppose the very real threat of inappropriate bolting. I apologise for challenging your well founded reputation for respected independance on all matter bolting.
I still await those clues or it might look like you are full of it (yes Im also aware of many retrobolted trad but I said important and without any consultation )
Yes dumb shit like that happens. In this case its not clear yet.
This route was retro'd by mistake.
It is a shame because Northerners Can't Climb was a quality line - I speak from experience, though the memory is a little hazy. It was 1983 when I led it on sight, along with its neighbour Southerners Can't Climb.
One thing should be clarified though, as this thread is far from balanced at the moment. Whilst the person who developed the Stoney West sport routes chose to avoid Northerners (I suspect because he realised what Paul M's reaction would be), his 'development' has completely changed the look and feel of climbing at this crag. The sport routes he established have already part-retrobolted / changed / compromised a number of existing trad routes on this crag, though those lines had probably not been climbed for years.
Nobody was likely to climb Northerners prior to the retrobolting, and even if they chose to, there would have been a number of new bolts within reach of the climbing, so the experience would hardly have been the same one I enjoyed all those years ago.
In general I regard retrobolting as damaging trend, the prevalence of which clearly dispels any myth that the thin end of the wedge doesn't exist. But almost as bad is the boxing in of once resplendent bold trad routes with encroaching bolted eliminates, and then pretending those trad routes still exist.
They might exist in the guidebook name and grade, but they are forever neutered by their new neighbours and no-one should pretend otherwise.
Sorry, Offwidth. Hardly anyone buys those guidebooks you work on. They are sat in a warehouse in Leicester gathering dust.
You really do need to get up to speed rather than living in the past.
stoney west is one of the most 'worked' crags in the peak??
I'm sure they are Steve. But they are are either sending you the wrong message, you aren't listening, or they are uninformed.
Have you ever been down Chee Dale or WCJ; lots of retrobolted routes there.
Read Neil's post.
I differ from Neil though, in that I don't think it is a problem.
The main limestone trad routes are safe and it is those which count.
Whats got into to you today? Roaches 1 sold out, Burb infinity, Stanage, Roaches 2, Froggatt and YMC grit sold well; Moorland is less clearly successful on the sales front but maybe that says more about the imagination of many climbers than the guidebook as in many ways its the best. I do this for free not plaudits but cheap insults are uncalled for.
Yes im clued up on Cheedale. There are not dozens of important routes retroed there without any consultation. Neil is one of those in the meetings I trust to react to real problems, like the increasingly common neighbour bolt encroachement.
I met Gary at the Crag around a month ago and he was quite annoyed that it had been retrobolted
You just made one.
Go count them. No biggie though. Darl is far better bolted.
Retrobolts get placed and taken out without consultation. What's consultation got to do with it? That's not how those who bolt operate.
Your committee can make recommendations. It's an individual who decides whether to place or remove bolts (I've done both).
What committe is mine? I have no formal place on any relating to climbing and am fully aware consultation has many forms.
It seems Mick bears a grudge for some reason.... I wouldn't worry everyone else says nice things about you.
I don't do grudges Mike. But thanks for letting OW off lightly.
I am also greatly confused as to what Michael Ryan seems to be so angry at Offwidth for, and generally being quite rude. This is what gives UKC a bad name...
I don't work for UKC.
If the facts are uncomfortable for some, that's got nothing to do with me. But the level of bullshit and misinformation sprayed on this thread is suffocating.
As regards the OP (thanks Mike S). If Paul Mitchell wants the bolts out, that may now happen; internet forums are a good way of stimulating action, so someone may do it for him, or Paul should do it himself.
Once done, then there is the issue, as Neil stated, of bolts on the adjacent routes to Northerners Can't Climb.
Then there is the situation of other bolts, both retro and and those that impede on other routes at Stoney West and on Peak limestone.
Someone will have a big job on their hands to whip those out, they'd be better helping the Peak Bolt Fund do their requipping - they have a manpower problem.
In this case I agree. However, I just meant as a precedent for all cases of retrobolting. The FA is the FA, I don't understand how someone can come along and claim a new FA and rename the route.
I wasn't talking about the facts, correct or otherwise. I was talking about you being rude, and making irrelevant and unnecessary insults.
Thanks, I did not know that.
Off-width is to be applauded for his charity efforts to guidebooks that don't sell well.
He is to be quite rightly criticised for his ignorance of retro-bolting.
He's a big boy, he can take it.
I,ve known Paul for a good few years and he has wandered far and wide in the Peak, quite often on obscure venues, adding lots of routes, some like this very good.
I know the route was retro,d by mistake as I met the perpetrators just after they bolted it, thinking it was a new line.
I have quite a good knowledge of Peak routes and I didn,t know it had been done before, although if it was on the main crag, as Graham says, it would be as good as any on there.
The problem as Neil states is that on crags like this, Garage Buttress, High Tor Right, etc. existing trad. routes go further into decline as I,m sure 99% of climbers visiting such areas are only interested in sport climbs and trad. devotees just simply don,t visit.
The Peak does require new sport venues, as like it or loathe it, this is the way climbing on limestone has gone, as witnessed by it,s exponential popularity. Common sense would seem to prevail as to which crags can be retro,d
The route in question is brilliant as a sport route at 7A and though obviously I didn,t check the pro. it would seem to be solid E5, although English 6A I thought a little mean for the last few moves! In fact how was it protected
That makes no sense. Why would someone chopping bolts help with requipping? If anything, the less bolted routes, the less requipping,the less manpower issues.
He's not really ignorant of it is he? You're simply failing to prove your point, you haven't really done anything to show his ignorance. Either name the routes or don't, clearly the lack of information is far more impressive that simply laying it out on the table.
As a man with a long and illustrious history of saying stupid things on the internet, this thread is a particular highlight of yours. What's eating you today you miserable bugger?
I'll answer a slightly different question... the best person for the job of removing these might be someone who does re-equipping, as if they're good, they'll having experience of removing old metalwork so the hole can be re-used. In this case the hole would be refilled with a dirt and glue mix.... much preferable to an emotive hammer or hacksaw job.
Fair enough, this makes sense.
Having done the above a few times, and as it happens climbing at Stoney West in just over an hour I was going to volunteer.
This is a great opportunity for a forum head to grab fame, glory and the adulation of hot women (or men as the case may be).
Why doesn't someone come along, whip out the bolts and report back on the morrow to the assembled hordes - with photographic evidence.
I can guarantee forum adulation in the echo chamber of the dispossessed....and you might even get laid r0x0r.wolfo
oh go on... Mr Walker will be very grateful and probably leave a tenner behind the bar of the Moon for you, or that nice coffee shop if that's more you're thing.
"I know the route was retro,d by mistake as I met the perpetrators just after they bolted it, thinking it was a new line."
Thanks for confirming that; doubt we'll have any apologies from those who accused him of deliberately retro-ing though.
OK - I'm slightly sorry I entered the debate earlier as others have come along who are obviously far more knowledgeable about the actual circumstances in this case (though I think we're all entitled to our view on the general issue).
I wrote "The suggestion that this might have been retro-bolted in error is surely unlikely given that the 'new' name is clearly a parody on the 'old'". I apologise. However, I still think that, in general, those who create bolted routes ought to take care to check that they are not retro-bolting established trad routes were before doing so.
Haha. Yeah you'd definitely volunteer ;). I think you should, action at your age is probably hard to come by ;).
> I know the route was retro,d by mistake as I met the perpetrators just after they bolted it, thinking it was a new line.
OK, so an honest mistake. Although I have to say I would probably have done a bit more research before I stuck bolts in an obviously climbable (6a, which is mid-grade these days) route anywhere, but especially in the Peak.
In this case, doing more research wouldn't have required visiting the vaults of the BMC or knowing Paul Mitchell personally, it needn't have gone much further than checking the database on a site of which the climber concerned was apparently a member.
However, I guess it's mostly understandable enthusiasm and naivete. It's generally people who still have dreams and haven't had the hope crushed out of them by checking their list of recent new routes with Martin Boysen.
I wonder just how many routes Martin never officially recorded? :-)
OK, it was a mistake, but it was also a rather presumptuous 'mistake' to not check it out first.
Yes, someone should have kept a list.
I doubt very much if Gabriel Reagan thinks so, and as the second on the first ascent I certainly don't. Darl has been relegated from a great visionary trad route to just another sport route.
So should it be de bolted?
Get back to gritstone?
Then you get back to the climbing wall,because that is what Derbyshire limestone increasingly resembles.
As people do less and less trad,they 'require' more and more bolts.
Unfrequented crags are not a problem.I thought we should drag ourselves up to the level of the route;not drag the route down to our level with bolts.That's why I stopped putting up bolt routes.Trad routes that are retrobolted just get trashed and polished.Hardly progress,is it?
Junk rock for bolt junkies.Let's just junk limestone,because it's only limestone, eh?Bolting mnore and more 'obscure ' rock so that mid grade climbers can get a new fix,rather than climb the stuff they have climbed before.That old bolted stuff's no fun any more.Why?because it's polished and there are queues on it.It's junk.No psychological challenge;just,''have I got the beans?'' How one dimensional.Such tedious conversations one hears at bolted venues.'How long you been working it?Two years?Well you'll get it in the end'' etc.At least these bores are kept away from the rest of us.But now it seems they want to pollute trad venues as well with their lack of balls and imagination.
Maybe somebody would like to remove the bolts from Northerners,because I will not be doing any neat cosmetic job on them;nor perhaps any other bolts too close to any other of my trad routes at Stoney West.
Being nice doesn't seem to work.What a shame.
Mr Walker hasn't contacted me yet.No manners,it seems.
I was at Stoney West climbing earlier tonight. I'm texting from Ladybower waiting for nautical sunset, the blue light. I'm taking photographs.
I have a question for you.
Why do you want the bolts taking out of your route?
It's hardly cenotaph corner. It has no real value to the majority of climbers.
In fact more climbers are enjoying your route now than have done before. Sure not as you did, but that's your personal memory.
So, please, I know you are a bit of a thinker. Give some us solid reasons why you think the bolts should be removed..
And don't give the 'polished route' argument as that is not going to happen at stoney west and besides the most polished routes at stoney are cabbage crack and wee Doris that were used extensively as top rope training routes by 1980s dole climbers.
All the best from ladybower. The light is coming.
I know Al. Why did you guys let the retro bolting happen? Were you aware of it?
Plus all the other retro bolted routes at Raven tor and chee Dale.
Does your or your peers inactivity mean that accept this retro bolting activity.
Don't know about you Mick but if it was me I'd rather have 10 people a decade enjoying my E5 than 10 people a week enjoying my 7a.
Why oh why is popularity driving these arguments?
Oh and I think some of the others on this thread should cut you some slack. It's hard not to lose it when being asked dumb questions all the time.
>... I guess it's mostly understandable enthusiasm and naivete...
Was the French variation na´ve or merely slightly provocative :-)
But it may have to whoever climbed it first, Mr RokFax.
"And don't give the 'polished route' argument as that is not going to happen at stoney west"
I'm afraid not Mick. The better bolt routes have already got polished holds appearing, particularly footholds/smears - I think it's in the nature of the rock e.g. Whisper, Don't Talk to Strangers, Procession, Before Too Long. Additionally, the bridging 'holds' on the crux of 'Northerner's' are also polishing up already, so it's only going to become harder (particularly as a trad route if debolted!).
This this this this f*cking this times 1000.
The only things thicker than the end of the wedge are the heads that did the vandalism and of those making excuses for them.
If there's tens of thousands of trad routes in the country, you do realise they're not all attached to a piece string that leads to a bell at Al's house?
One could chop a few routes and not have this be discovered for quite some time. In this case the retrobolt was discovered shortly after.
... It has no real value to the majority of climbers.
Paul has already climbed the route in his style, whatever that was.
Present us convincing argument why it actually matters that the route is now bolted.
Stoney West is an obscure limestone cliff, that is loose, and had some routes that were rarely climbed.
Gary has done a great job of making it in to an OK sport cliff. It's still a bit loose.
People regularly climb there now, especially locals.
Even Rad, Jerry, Dave and co. made a special trip done there to climb from up North - they wouldn't if Gary hadn't worked his magic.
So why oh why is popularity driving these arguments?
Well, Ents, in some cases it is a great argument. Look up north at Robin Proctor, Trow and Trollers, Stoney Bank - relative obscurity enjoyed by many.
Do you not like people enjoying themselves?
If you want to really scare yourself, we all know where to go,
You are right Graham. Us climbers do polish holds, whether they are trad or sport.
Maybe we should ban stars in guidebooks, or maybe ban guidebooks, just give directions to a crag and you choose routes by looking at them!
Sorry, I'm not sure if this video is very relevant.
Apart from glue ins, most of the bolts in the Peak are through bolts. These have a short collar at the deep end of the bolt which is deformed when the cone at the end of the bolt is pulled back as the bolt nut is tightened over the hanger. Effectively you are left with a solid metal bar held in place by a crushed collar which sits near the end of the bolt i.e. deep in the hole.
The Texas video that you linked to is discussing the removal of expansion bolts which have a full length sleeve that expands against the wall of the hole - accordingly the core of the bolt can be unscrewed and the remaining sleeve can be extracted with a tapping device as shown.
Getting a through bolt out is much more problematic - the only solution I know of that provides a re-useable hole is to drill all of the metal out. I've never done this because it strikes me as extraordinarily time consuming and costly in trashed bits.
People resort to hack sawing bolts off (i.e. chopping them) precisely because through bolts are so hard to extract. If they don't have a hack saw they sometimes just bash the bolt hanger flat. Both are a pretty poor solution.
A tidier alternative is to remove the hanger and to drive the bolt further back into the hole and to then tidy up the small hole that remains with a bit of cement coloured with rock dust. This leaves a fairly imperceptible mark. However, this is only possible if the bolt hole is longer than the bolt that was inserted into it. For this reason I always over drill the depth of the hole when I am placing a through bolt. As far as I am aware this does not affect the strength of the bolt but it does allow a tidy and quick fix if the bolt has been placed in the wrong location and needs to be removed (unfortunately mistakes like this sometimes only become apparent after the route has seen some traffic)
Anyway, that's my sixpennyworth on the subject
Well said! I offer my full support, for what it's worth as a mere HVS TRAD leader who loves limestone and Stoney.
As far as the popular argument goes. How about if someone chipped a hard sport area. With easier grades the routes might see a large increase in traffic and after all the FA has already climbed them... in whatever style.
I assume this doesn't matter either.
"This registered user has chosen not to accept public comments about their photos."
Coincidence or anticipating a UKC bolt debate :p
Hi everyone Paul (Mitch) sent me an email and I replied with the following (which captures my views). I have undoubtedly cheesed a few people off and am sorry both for this and unintentionally retrobolting an existing route. It has created some lively debate and I agree with both sides of the argument in some aspects (except any that imply personal injury of course). I would have replied sooner but am not an ardent follower of the UKC forums. It is certainly the most controversial I have ever been in over forty years of climbing in the Peak!
Yes I am the guilty person and sincere apologies I didn't realise that it was indeed your route from the early 80s (or anyone else's). I think I probably did it very many years ago but only recall the name but not the route. I would not have retrobolted it if I had known. No excuses. Although I agree that I was in the wrong I do not think it the best course of action to remove the bolts other than to prove the point that I was wrong (which I admit). It seems quite likely that the bolts would be replaced in the next year or so as the remainder of the crag is likely to be bolted/retrobolted. This would only damage (if that is indeed the right word) the rock further.
I presume you remember 'our' first ascent on Stanage of similar vintage? A pleasant day out as I recall (something to do with Magic Roundabout).
Anyhow, on a lighter note, I hope you are keeping well and still climbing and enjoying it as much as ever (I certainly am - apart from the distress I seem to have caused with the above!)."
the remainder of the crag is to be bolted/retrobolted?
that wedge is looking like its being driven home these days. Or is it another nail in the coffin for trad climbing in the uk?
thus can't be allowed to happen; for ignorance, ease of access and popularity to ride roughshod over years of tradition.
As a matter of interest, what makes you say that the remainder of the crag will be retrobolted? Do you have any consensus of opinion? Has there been an open meeting to discuss?
In many ways I think this is the obvious and inevitable conclusion of a process that started a decade or more ago. I've always thought that mixing sport and trad on the same crag (or at least buttress) wouldn't work. Maybe we just have to surrender some places like this to bolting.
It works both ways of course. We'll have Cheedale back as purely trad venue in return.
And the chances of that happening are........
I don't think anybody asked us?
Thats like asking why any first ascent should be respected, or indeed 'why do we climb', there is no convincing argument. it's just something most climbers know instinctively.
And Dave Garnett:
I agree, I don't think mixes of sport and trad on the same buttress work well, since it spoils the vibes, and we should decide for one or the other by buttress, not by route. The two can be close, for example having Red Wall bolted and Black Wall trad at Llanymynech is fine, despite them being close, but we shouldn't have bolted lines encroaching on or adjacent to trad lines.
Kilnsey. Some of Britain's best trad and sport routes side by side.
Hmmm, what does that mean, Mick?
Jesus, how times change, eh?
> Kilnsey. Some of Britain's best trad and sport routes side by side.
Yes, but sooner or later someone will say that it's basically a sport crag (I mean, just look at it) and that no-one can be bothered to carry gear all the way up there and why don't we do the sensible thing and bolt all of it?
I remember a (spectacularly unproductive!) trip to Kilnsey with Neil Foster, long ago in 1988 before the main bulk of the modern sport routes were done. Even so all the routes that were fully equipped (bolts pegs threads etc) were plastered in chalk. The notable exceptions were the trad Face Value and Deja Vu which were covered in cobwebs. Just looking through the UKC database to check the current status of these two routes I found the Rockfax description intro to Face Value:
You could add Malham to that - though that tends to be sector by sector and the sports sectors are basically unsuited to trad as they are on very compact rock whereas the wings and terrace are better suited to trad as they've plenty of cracks and breaks for gear.
So it can happen but it does rely on people respecting what has gone before.
But Mick's already mentioned Stoney Bank, which is well on its way to being destroyed as a trad venue. At Giggleswick South the process is almost complete.
Stony Bank is all the better for being bolted. It was a rubbish trad crag that nobody bothered with.
Out of curiosity, exactly who was given the divine providence to decide what is a rubbish trad crag, and what isn't.
Was there a Damascian moment when someone's Hilti gun suddenly started glowing in ethereal light, and a voice from above said 'Go forth and retro bolt any crag which you consider to be rubbish?'
Just because a crag doesn't get much traffic, doesn't mean it's open season with a Hilti!
Yeah we should totally leave all crags as trad. Just to please you and some hypothetical people who are outraged but have never actually been there and have no intention of ever going there but really like to spout vitriol from their armchairs cradling their unused MOACs over there beer bellies and crying though their beards at the loss of one of the tens of thousands of trad climb that they've never had an intention of climbing.
Yes most of the bouldering is polished as hell but it remains popular and rightly so.
Sport/trad can co-exist but you'll never please everyone.
If you can't say anything intelligent, probably best to move on from this thread.
It was a low grade limestone trad crag with all that entails - some loose choss, some vegetation, some very good routes. And yes I've climbed there. Have you?
It used to be a popular trad crag, it might have become so again, but now never will be. And I think it's a shame.
What makes a crag 'rubbish' as a trad crag ? To me this is the key to this bolting argument - does it make a better climb because its bolted (IE does the technical nature of the climbing sufficiently outweigh the different challenges posed by a trad route).
Traffic is NOT a good criteria. The M25 has lots of traffic but the Snake pass (for instance) is an infinitely better driving experience.
Yes because Goucho, Johncox etc add a lot to these discussions with their throwing around of insults when people disagree with them. The intelligence shines through from both sides whenever these topics come up.
The sides in these debates is very rarely between trad and sport advocates, though. Most people who climb on trad also climb on bolts at some point (but not so prevalent the other way round, I guess). The debate is about the appropriateness of bolts in particular locations.
It's also about a lack of respect for other people's endeavours. In fact, it may well be mainly about that.
Was it really ever 'popular'? I climbed there years ago (once) and I remember it being pretty poor - like so many minor Peak limestone venues (Strawberry Rocks, Lathkilldale, Via Gellia, Winnats, etc. etc)
...Ravensdale, Willersley, Wildcat...matter of opinion really, innit?
Thing is with everyone just sticking bolts in trad areas and trotting out the old 'Oh its low grade and crap so drills out' argument is where the hell is everyone meant to learn trad if the 'crap low grade trad' areas are now 'crap low grade with maybe one hard-but-sh*te-route sport' areas? Is everyone meant to jump from VS to E4?
Also the commn argument of 'sport is safer' doesn't wash with me, sod knows whos placed those bolts, or even if they know what they are doing. Personally I place more trust in gear placed by myself or my partners than a flakey bolt placed by someone whos main drive often seems to be racking up FAs on what turns out to be sport routes of no real character (on rock thats already been climbed and logged.)
Perhaps they could learn on one of the hundreds of trad crags rather than going to a sport crag?
Or maybe the sport lot could stop bolting established trad crags?
I don't know, I just got that impression from the guidebook
I can only remember 2 of the routes we did. One because it was terrifyingly loose. The other because it was a superb route, worth a couple of stars, but which even then was spoiled by having a sports route traverse across it at half height.
No it isn't, the crags you have mentioned have alwasys been popular, the ones I mentioned didn't get a visitor from one year to the next, and with good reason,
Well I have climbed at High Stoney Bank. Done a few routes there. Including Divers Groove Direct. (Don't think I was still using MOAC's though it was a long time ago). But apparently 'The defunct direct start to Diver's Groove and the upper buttress of Candy's Case [are] now cleaned and bolted to give an excellent modern sport route.'
I personally don't think there is that much of a strong case for 'converting' crags with a long history of trad climbing into 'sport crags'.
How did you know I had a beard?
I think you are in the wrong county, Chris.
They'd be more popular still if they were bolted. Like Stoney West.
I'm not sure that one should hold out Yorkshire in general as an examplar of good practice over bolting.
Well one of us is - the thread was about Stoney West!
When did i do that??
They tend to ramble about a bit though these threads - the mini spat sparked by Mr Spatula up thread started with...
Kid Spatula - on 10:14 Wed
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
Stony Bank is all the better for being bolted. It was a rubbish trad crag that nobody bothered with.
...maybe its the kid that's confused :-)
Maybe the history of it isn't a great example, but the current situation seems pretty good to me. Malham, Kilnsey and Goredale have trad and sport happily co-existing, and Giggleswick. Which crags were you thinking of?
I'd hardly put Gigg in the same grouping as the other three. The area with Mutton Dagger et al, remains as trad everything else has been bolted/retro-bolted including one of Yorkshire's classic small crag E2s - The Ramp. Well actually it specifically hasn't been retro-bolted just that enough sports routes now cross it from which you can clip bolts (<naughty schoolboy> snigger, snigger</naughty schoolboy>) that it might as well have been. This despite there being a "bolting code of standards" written by, ooh have a guess.
I did wonder yesterday whether this was all a masterful attempt by Mick to provoke a response against something he actually thinks is a real danger that we are ignoring. It all seemed a bit out of character and grumpy.
Unless it's a different Michael Ryan of course.
The Peaks already have lots of crap, mediocre, decent and some good sport routes. There really is no need for any more. If there were no sport routes in the local area, may be I could see the argument for retrobolting. As it is, there are loads of sport routes locally and I very much doubt that there are many people who have done all the 7as in the Peaks, so it's not like there's a shortage of routes at that level or any level these days.
Just because a route doesn't get done often doesn't mean it should be retrobolted. Anyway, what is the definition of 'often'?
In this day and age when we don't need more sport routes except may be at the cutting edge (which won't be retrobolted anyway), the only real benefit of retrobolting is it boosts the bolter's ego. Sure, some people will go and climb those routes but they would just have gone elsewhere otherwise.
Clearly the bolter in this case doesn't have the decency to debolt it. I'm sure someone else will.
Also what happened to the ethic of 'leave no trace'? Not to mention the occasional total disregard for SSSIs in place.
I might be getting old but i'd have thought the old thing of having some respect for the countryside might still have meaning, or is it now the done thing to ignore all that as well? The recent thing on here about Southern Sandstone being covered in sh!t seems to be another thing to suggest that people dont really give two f**ks anymore.
You really ought to get your facts straight before you start waiving a 2 inch cock around.
If you actually took the trouble to listen to the arguments against retro-bolting of trad routes, instead of your usual knee jerk sniping at anyone critical of it, you might learn something sunshine.
Criticising the retro bolting of a trad route, which has been retro bolted without following the accepted code and protocols - in other words getting a consensus from the climbing community - is not being an old fart, or a trad dinosaur.
And for the record, this old trad dinosaur hasn't got a beer belly or a beard, and probably climbs more sport routes in a month than you do in a year, and has been doing so since before you were even a tingle in your fathers loins.
If you're going to make personal attacks, at least make sure you know who you're having a go at first.
I really think you need to look up the definition of irony. You constantly snipe at and belittle people whilst making personal attacks.
I'm totally aware of the arguments as to why it shouldn't be bolted and I agree with that. Never said I agreed with the bolting. I just think you need to put your ego away occasionally and stop with your usual patronising drivel and insults.
I don't actually, check the facts again.
And the real irony is your post, which sparked mine and others response to you.
In which case, you haven't put your opinion across very effectively.
I just think you need to put your ego away occasionally and stop with your usual patronising drivel and insults.
If you don't want to be patronised, then don't make silly comments - exactly like the above sentence.
A fair argument - I assume when climbing a sport route you take a rack up and place some gear you trust? And I assume you are much happier falling on trad gear than on a bolt? Or maybe this is just an argument to support your position (whether you believe it or not)?
PS the FA has complained the route was retrobolted, the bolter has apologised for the mistake (but feels debolting now is not worth it; the mistake has already been made). The only sensible discussion left is whether it should be debolted or not to undo the mistake or whether it isn't really worth it in this case...
Very rarely climb sport to be honest.
No need for the PS, I can read the thread fine. The sensible discussion should be about getting the 'new' sport route scrubbed from the logs and the existing route reinstated.
Just because the bolter can't be arsed doesn't mean that its all fine.
Because of this alone, I would say that the bolts should be removed from all retrobolted routes where a reasonable consensus has not been previously obtained which takes into account the views of the 1st ascentionist.
Please don't reply to this with examples where the precedent has already been set, I'm sure they're out there but they don't need the publicity.
If I bolted something I would feel obligated to remove the bolts if it had turned out I had bolted something I shouldn't have (although I would not necessarily require others to do the same). If the route had not been bolted but a request to bolt it had been made, would consensus be for or against the retrobolt?
Normally consensus would be gained before the bolting; however, since this route was bolted by mistake it would not be unreasonable (in my opinion) to try and gain it subsequently. It could then be left bolted or debolted depending on that consensus. In other words, BMC local area meeting etc? I don't know what the standard procedure is (if there is one) but I presume locals do. I am not local so I don't think my opinion is that relevant.
I suspect though (based purely on this thread) that it would not have been bolted originally and so is a good candidate for careful and clean debolting. Ideally anyone who learns to bolt will also learn to debolt.
As for the UKC logbook, anyone can submit a change to the UKC logbook moderator if they care enough.
So. All argy-bargy aside it seems that the first ascentionist of Northerners Can't Climb has asked for the retro-bolts to be removed and the bolter has apologised for the error but refused to de-bolt said trad. route on the basis that Stoney West is going to get fully bolted in the near future.
That is not an apology at all, you basically said I did it, I'm 'sorry'. And I'm not going to remove the bolts. Bollocks. And I like sport climbing.
Exactly. Tony's "apology" was basically a two fingered salute.
Good Lord. That really is some awesome weaselry.
Seriously, how the f*ck can anyone possibly be so stupid as to take a drill to Stoney without checking whether what they're drilling is a trad line? Especially when that line is amid a forest of Gibson bolts.
Especially someone who's been climbing forty years. I mean, come on. Seriously.
Incidentally, what's happened to Southerners Can't Climb?
Could you let us know the type of bolt used in your retro-bolting of 'Northerners Can't Climb'? It would be of help to the debolters. We wouldn't want anyone to make a mess would we!
I'm certainly prepared to admit that your guess was right and mine was wrong, if that's what you mean.
On the other hand, my observation that Mr Walker's kind never do anything to clear up their mess was of course correct, not that I claim any credit for that - it's always correct.
If Mr Walker says so, I'm also prepared to believe he was recklessly stupid rather than deliberately controversial, extraordinary though his claim is.
However, once you say it was a reckless accident but I'm not going to put it right, you move over into the 'deliberate' category as far as I'm concerned.
As for apologies, if it were possible Mr Walker's present stance deserves even less respect than if his actions had been deliberate.
As for Mick, if Gary Gibson thinks a route shouldn't be bolted, I wouldn't have thought further debate was possible.
As always though Mick is right about one thing - someone who cares enough is going to need to go there and devote an afternoon to righting wrongs; otherwise nothing will happen.
Sounds like he doesn't want anyone else to take his 'fa'.
Maybe Gary remembers Clarion Call.
He said he'd got too much respect for the route. Maybe he's scared of Mitch?
Or maybe he'd sooner forget it?
I haven't climbed at all areas of Giggleswick, but as far as I can tell, the best trad area has remained trad.
If its not a great route to begin with bolting allows a more casual approach. You can give it quick go, do it or not, and get on with the day without wasting loads of time and effort fiddling in gear to make a route safe. Because leading trad routes usually takes considerably more time than sport routes many people just can't be bothered to invest the time in what is going to be a second rate climbing experience to begin with.
It's false analogy. People's use roads is dictated by where they need to go not which roads are more pleasurable. With climbing its the opposite. The popularity of a climb should be a valid consideration. It's pretty much a vote that says: 'I prefer the route this way'.
A glance through the Stoney West section on here suggests that no one has done any of the trad routes this century!! That's a significant statement. And is also why some of them are now totally overgrown with foliage. If trad climbers are genuinely concerned about losing routes then why haven't they kept these routes in a climbable state?
The fact is that the vast majority of good rock in this country is preserved solely for trad climbing: the gritstone, sandstone, greenstone, granite, mountain rock, and even the best limestone (Pembroke). At the same time the popularity of sport climbing is probably greater than ever before, and above a certain level I think its probably now more popular than trad.
If people's wishes and desires in climbing are not good criteria then I have to wonder what on earth is?
What about the not so best trad areas?
Once again John you've hit about 6 nails on the head with one hammer blow.
F*ck me if Gary was wary about retro bolting the route it tells you everything you need to know.
And you're right about the apology too. I'd be absolutely fizzing if I was Paul Mitchell.
Not being funny or owt but the best trad climbers I know don't come within a million miles of the UKC logbooks.They never have. Just sayin.
what's all the bullshit about people being old with bellies!im 30 and loving working my way around all the trad limestone in the peak! Not loving the ever growing number of bolted routes appearing at many UK trad crags! I miss being able to go somewhere and feel like im the first person to climb there because there's bloody bolts everywhere!
It is good to hear the voice of reason on this thread.
+1 to all this.
Same Mick Ryan, Dave.
You are partly right. I'm far from grumpy, quite merry and bright. Offwidth does need a good lashing and a reality check now and then before he disappears up his own bottom!
But yes, most retrobolting in the UK goes un-noticed. Whole crags get grid-bolted these days, as well as isolated routes.
It's only when someone like Paul starts a thread about a particular route, usually their own, that most take notice.
It would be interesting to make a list of crags and routes across the UK that have been retroe'd - the ignorant would then understand that this is far from an isolated incident (in this particular case done by mistake - but like Neil Foster correctly stated earlier the route is compromised anyway by adjacent bolt routes).
The climbing community is certainly split about the issue. Some reckon the sky is falling, it isn't. Others sit on the fence and some just go and enjoy the routes.
Like I said earlier, I think the main trad routes, the classics and their neighbours are safe. Well I hope so as these routes are our collective climbing heritage and are valued highly.
Places like Stoney West and many other obscure venues that were developed in the 80's or earlier, have very little value to most climbers - except in the memories of those who established the routes - they stand there neglected, dusty and usually loose. Often retrobolts breath new life in to them.
Don't worry Al Evans the main Stoney crag,the routes in its bays are safe and there are many of us who would take action if bolts strayed onto Wee Doris or Padme.
You drive passed the parking at Eyam Delph and there are usually cars there, people enjoying themselves up in the woods at Stoney West - one young women took a right whipper there the other night!
There's nothing wrong with the popularity argument in certain cases, and with some actions.
Climbing and especially climbers are changing; new climbers enter the sport by urban bouldering walls. Climbing is usually just one sport of a multi-sport package that people engage in. You can't stop that, it's happening.
I think the challenge is to educate new climbers about the different types of climbing and the wonderful experiences they all give and at the same time educating them in an entertaining and modern way about our climbing heritage. Climbing can be life changing in a very positive way - but other climbers should stop preaching how others should climb, it's negative and counterproductive.
If new climbers don't experience climbing in all its shades by gentle nudging more crags will stand deserted, the huts will have low occupancy rates, definitive guidebooks will cease to exist, independent climbing shops will die off, and the BMC will morph into a bouldering and climbing competition organisation (Oh wait!!!!!).
Oh my god, the sky is falling. I knew I shouldn't have had that second coffee.
Must crack on, editing and books to publish.
All the best,
'Can't be bothered' sums it up pretty well.
If you don't like the analogy of the M25, think of Alton Towers, filled with people who want the quick an convenient 'thrill' fix. By your argument, this popularity is a green light to turn any less utilised recreational area, like say Stoney, into a theme park with cable cars and fun rides.
The 'Good rock' you talk about does not make it good for gym climbing. What makes it good for climbing (and different to indoors) is the interest and the variety of climbing (I assume you don't give two hoots for anything as wishy washy as the joy of being outside in unspoilt nature). A lot of rock - and especially rock like grit - would end up as unpleasently polished one move wonders with a path to the top (3PS being a prime example) rather than a challenge all the way as it currently is. Turning stuff that is a great challenge for those who can be bothered into quick fix of mediocrity for those that can't is just so obviously wrong.
Think is this statement highlights a fundamental difference in the psychology of sport and trad climbers.
See for me,the 'wasting loads of time and effort fiddling in gear' is a core part of leading a route. Its pretty much the central part to the experience of leading it in the first place to be honest. Dismissing it with a 'why bother?' attitude ignores the feeling and difference in headgame needing to lead hard trad.
Just making the point that leading a challenging route on lead on leader placed gear is a different experience to climbing the same moves on sport lead.
The Alton Towers comparison is again a very poor comparison. Firstly the predominant issue would be that it's a massive environmental issue. Secondly such places are built for one reason only: corporate profits.
I don't understand this statement.
I don't know why you think that or what relevance it has.
And there is precisely zero effort to get grit routes retrobolted.
Well firstly I specifically mentioned second rate routes to begin with so they never were a 'great challenge' to begin with. What we're discussing is small bits of scrappy limestone that without bolts no one bothers to go anywhere near.
As for 'those who can be bothered' well in the case of Stoney West such people don't appear actually exist which is why some of the old trad routes there are now completely overgrown and the recorded ascents on UKC for the 21st century is currently at zero.
Your statement says more about you than actual climbing. You don't like sport climbing. I think that's a perfectly reasonable opinion to hold and I respect that as I think most sport climbers would. It's a shame you can't respect the fact that some people prefer sport climbing and not try to put it down as an inferior form of climbing as many on the trad side always try to do in these debates.
That's fine and right as long as you appreciate that many climbers prefer the sport climbing style rather than trad style of climbing these days and that you don't star thinking that your preferred style is superior to what others like. That would be arrogant.
In the case of Stoney West it seems that sport climbing is far more popular at the moment.
So you agree that bolting up an existing trad route is arrogant?
You/we/I happen to live in a country with a long history of trad climbing and not a huge amount of quality sport routes, particularly in the lower grades.
You might argue that there is also a certain selfish arrogance in the attitude of 'I like sport climbing, so I am entitled to have some sport routes to climb', especially where creating those routes impinges on other climbers. I like climbing on sea cliffs, but that doesn't entitle me to flood the Derwent valley so I have some on my doorstep.
I'm not saying there should be a ban on bolting any new sport routes, but I don't think you can claim the moral high ground.
I suspect that the lack of a current guidebook may have something to do with it. The last edition was published in 1987 (nearly 30 years ago!) and has been out of print for years. It's rare IME to see anyone else climbing limestone trad in the Peak on any crag not in the Rockfax guide.
P.S. Cave Crack was logged in 2012.
I visited Stoney West a couple of times, once with Paul Nunn to do Swansong (was this one of his routes?) which was great fun, and he belayed me on the Southerners/Northerners can't climb routes. The place was totally neglected, didn't see any one else climbing, however those two routes were really excellent, and worthwhile for a dedicated visit to do them, I seem to remember Northeners being a bit 'steady' in the upper section, so nailed on E5.
GG seems to have done a great job revitalising the crag (a bit like garage buttress being the busiest part of Stoney now after the bolts went in). However, if Gary leaves a route alone out of respect, the message is unequivocal, 'leave it alone'.
Dear Mr Bolter
The route Northerners Can't Climb is easy to identify and has been in every guidebook since PM's first ascent. You didn't make a simple error, you bolted an excellent E5 without the FA's permission and I think knew exactly what you were doing under the assumption that no one can be arsed about a grotty little crag. It will probably be an excellent F7a but that's not the point. You can't take a unilateral decision that Stoney West is all being retro bolted.
Go and do the decent, grown up thing and remove your bolts and make good the mess. If you're up to it, try it as a trad route after you make good your vandalism, it's really excellent, and you might enjoy it as the FA intended.
This is from someone who thoroughly enjoys mindless European grid bolting on holiday, but in this case it's one step too far.
Even for me.
> A glance through the Stoney West section on here suggests that no one has done any of the trad routes this century!! That's a significant statement. And is also why some of them are now totally overgrown with foliage. If trad climbers are genuinely concerned about losing routes then why haven't they kept these routes in a climbable state?
I have to agree - Stoney West wasn't just a backwater, it was almost totally neglected. I can't really see the point in 'preserving' the sad, overgrown, loose trad routes here.
So they become "sad, loose sports routes"?
There seems to be an assumption that taking a crap route or buttress and bolting it suddenly makes it a good route/buttress as if that's justification in itself.
There are agreed guidelines in most areas about the process in agreeing what can/can't be bolted so why weren't these followed? Perhaps the vandal bet on the fact that whilst most (including myself) would complain, ultimately those who want the bolts to go won't remove them so the selfish get what they want.
So far... Even ignoring the fact that I, lke many others, record very little of what I climb on UKC, what about the 22nd century? If a temporary lack of fashionability is sufficient excuse for changing something forever then presumably there would be no logical objection to retrobolting anything that is rarely climbed.
OK, so maybe Stoney west is a scruffy little bit of loose quarried limestone and for all we know the whole of Stoney might be a huge active quarry again a hundred years from now. I'll admit it isn't the strongest example for the point I'm making, but we have to try to get beyond what's convenient for us in the next few years, or even for the rest of our lifetimes. Drilling and bolting routes changes them forever and my personal view is that (in the UK at least) as a permanent man-made change, as a starting point it should generally be restricted to man-made crags.
There will be exceptions, of course, and obviously that doesn't mean I'm in favour of automatically bolting all man-made crags (Millstone, for example) but at the very least we have to have some fairly simple, strictly-enforced rules.
Thirty years ago I thought we did. But bolting natural coastal crags is now sometimes OK, apparently (Shipwreck Cove, Portland, of course). Bolting natural limestone is now regarded as normal as long as it's absolutely convenient. Retrobolting whole crags, including the existing trad routes is being openly discussed and supported here. Everyone says that of course no-one would bolt mountain routes or gritstones but thirty years ago no-one of course would have tolerated wholesale bolting of Peak limestone (just look at the trouble Gary got into).
To be clear, I'm absolutely not against bolted routes per se but I think it would be clearer, more honest, more easily communicated and more enforceable, to have nationally agreed sport crags even if that means allowing retrobolting some pre-existing trad routes in return for returning some mixed crags to purely trad and having the distinction vigorously maintained.
I am against the gradual erosion of the distinction by the creeping bolting of odd corners of trad crags and, of course, retrobolting other people's routes without permission however rarely they are climbed.
Another inconvenient point frequently ignored is that whether or not a crag can be bolted depends not on the first ascensionist, not on the BMC or Gary Gibson but on the landowner. Bolting will inevitably result in huge liability issues as well as the visual effects and many landowners will simply not agree to it. I suspect that if many currently bolted routes were drawn to the landowners attention there might already be a problem.
Well they might clean up with a bit of traffic.
It appears to be more about developing a bit of rock that no-one climbs on?
I am unsure who is being most "selfish" the bolters, or the folks who say that a neglected crag has to stay neglected even though no-one (including themselves) ever goes there,
Could the fact that the trad routes have not been climbed have anything to do with the lack of a comprehensive limestone guidebook.
The total failure to provide details of existing routes leaves the place wide open to abuse like retro bolting.
Around 10 or 15 years ago, Stoney Middleton was unpopular and neglected, on my first few visits we never saw another climber. Some of the best easy routes had disappeared under the vegetation. Should this sad neglected overgrown crag have been retro-bolted?
Fashions change, the crag seems busy again, largely I think due to the guidebook team who have been out cleaning, re-climbing, and adding routes (both sport and trad).
OK, Stoney West is no Stoney Middleton, but this thread suggests there are/were some worthwhile trad routes there. Is short term neglect really a reason for bolting?
An argument that, by extension, could be applied to several 'neglected' crags here in the Lakes. Would you like to bolt those as well?
This is a false argument. Rock is continually being eroded by weathering and bolts and glue start to degrade as soon as they go in. Everything has a fixed lifespan. You could argue about what the life expectancy of a bolt is and the actual number will change from place to place but the effect of bolting is more like decades than 'permanent'.
> Same Mick Ryan, Dave.
> You are partly right.
Well, that's something.
I especially agree with this, except that one man's education can sound a lot like like another man's preaching. Of course, in this particular case we are dealing with someone who has been climbing for decades and ought to have known better but the point stands. In most cases, it's simply down to a younger generation of climbers for whom the bolt wars of the 80s are ancient history (and for many of whom history of any sort isn't their main priority, quite understandably)
It would be nice if they were offered (and accepted) a bit of guidance on these issues (if that doesn't sound too patronising) but it might also be that we need clearer rules and a redrawing of the map.
Dave will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he didn't necessarily mean in the physical sense?
> This is a false argument.
I can't complain that you aren't taking the long view!
Ok, so bolts may have a useful life of a decades but (a) they will presumably be replaced, (b) the extra traffic they produce will greatly accelerate polish and hold breakage and (c) even if they do all eventually corrode away and fall out the rock still won't be the same as if they hadn't been placed in the first place.
And yes, to Jon's point, the presence of bolts alters our perception of and attitude to routes. Our approach and experience is permanently changed and, especially in the case of retrobolted routes, diminished.
Of course, eventually the sun will expand and none of it will matter.
I don't really recall it being that 'neglected' there were usually a few teams there whenever we visited.
And nothing to do with Rockfax producing a new guidebook - their 3rd to Peak Limestone since 1992?
Spot on Chris I reckon.
Large format color topo guides published regularly do popularise crags, and importantly in this case the hard work done by Martin Kocsis formally of the BMC, BMC volunteers and Henry of course; they all did sterling work clearing ivy and base vegetation from Stoney.
See before and after photos here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=48145
Add to that Gary Gibson's hard work establishing a host of sport routes in the area, which has had a knock on effect of getting people to Stoney.
Adrian Heath, the owner of the Lover's Leap Garage at Stoney, and the owner of the dale has also put in almost daily effort to clean up the dale.
........and of course Phil Kelly's brilliant Stoney revival: photos here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=57775
Action, not words, keeps trad climbing alive.
I have been through a few times recently and the only busy sections are the sport routes on Garage Buttress and Stoney West. My son and I climbed Aurora a few weeks ago and I was shocked at how grassy and unclimbed it was and that is a 2 star trad limestone VS. I am not advocating bolting that, but the busy-ness of Stoney has nothing to do with any guidebook research, it is due to the new mid-grade sport routes.
I dislike the 'thin end of the wedge' argument since it is a cheap and simplistic summation of something which is far more complex and nuanced. As the Millstone bolt a few weeks ago illustrated, gritstone is mostly cleaner than it has been at any time in the last 50 years, so no thin end there. Limestone on the other hand is a different matter but people are jumping on the idea of all retrobolts being bad here yet the majority of the quality sport climbing in the Peak is actually retrobolted. Think of the Cornice in Chee Dale or the main wall in Horseshoe and virtually all those routes now have more bolts than when they were first put up. Is that retrobolting or sensible re-gearing while retaining a route's character? - I think it is both of these things.
These new side line crags like Stoney West may have the odd retrobolt on existing routes but most are in fact new lines. The main issue here is that the one good trad route at Stoney West has been retro'd. I disagree with Dave Garnett in that I think trad and sport can live side-by-side on the same crag and I think we have a lot of good examples of that in the Peak and Yorkshire. I also think that these trad routes in some places do still get done. Chee Tor and High Tor both have sport routes and are popular trad crags, Rubicon is also a good mixture. For that reason I think it is a shame that this quality route at Stoney West has been retro'd since I think it is important to preserve the possibility of routes co-existing on the same crag (however, if I am honest, I am not that fussed).
People need to keep this in perspective. Stoney West was mostly trad poor routes many of which had only had one ascent ever. It is now mostly poor sport routes that people currently enjoy climbing. Like many of these new sport crags it may drop off in popularity soon. It isn't the beginning of a full-scale retrobolt of Stoney Middleton.
Just to throw another spanner in the works, although it hasn't been retrobolted, Flycatcher on Garage Buttress is no longer a line that can be climbed at E5 6a unless you ignore the bolts on either side. Having actually climbed that route before I was a little disappointed to see that it is no longer a going concern. I would have been happier if it had been fully retrobolted (since it is a good line but too loose to ever be considered real quality) rather than ignored as it has been.
I must admit I've only been twice in the last 3 or 4 years. But both times it was busy with the guide book team. So I just extrapolated :)
No, my last visit was just before the new edition came out, so the only in-print guide to the trad routes was OPR.
The situation on the Embankment is another case - there are 20+ hardish sport routes there that see loads of ascents, whereas the two best 'lines' there, Black Widow (E1) and Red Spider (E2) never get done because they were done as trad lines. The fact this was 40 years ago and they were originally aid routes anyway strikes me as a bizarre reason for leaving them as museum pieces,
If you bolted those they'd HAVE to be renamed to comply with the crag's theme.
I think you are wrong about Aurora being unclimbed, it has had plenty of logbook entries in the last 6 weeks, also I think it is more one star than two. The new bolted routes probably are the most popular on the crag but maybe this is to do with convenience, if you want to climb for half a day then sport routes are convenient.
Regarding the main argument:
Using the popularity of a route as a reason to bolt seems wrong. Hypothetically, if you bolted Dead Banana Crack I suspect it would get more ascents than it does as a trad route but that wouldnt make it the right thing to do.
I think the GG bolting at Stoney West was acceptable to most climbers, the bolting of Northerers went a step too far and the bolts should be removed.
I actually am more concerned about the bolts at Stoney Middleton garage buttress which are impinging on a few routes, Flycatcher,Pendulum. I wouldnt want them to spread any further onto the crag.
Funnily enough no I don't think that.
I actually think its a bold thing to do. Retrobolt the wrong route at the wrong time and you're likely to draw the wrath of a lot of people and have the bolts taken out and get slagged off for years.
I actually admire such people. Getting off one's arse and going out bolting up routes for the good of everyone usually at their own expense not to mention the time taken is a selfless thing to do. I appreciate the hard work they do. That's not arrogant. They are in touch with a wider community of climbers and know their efforts will be appreciated.
That's completely different than sitting behind a computer screen spouting that, 'My climbing is better than yours!'
This pervasive smug attitude that trad climbing is objectively superior to sport is what is arrogant. It's absurd like claiming oranges are better than apples and goes no where to advance the debate.
Routes are either sport or trad. In all the cases I know retrobolted routes are vastly more popular that way than they were as trad. That is surely a good thing? If no one does a route then it might as well not exist at all.
I don't agree with the idea that the first ascentionist's wishes should be adhered to for ever and ever. If people retrobolt my routes I really don't care (and some have been). I've done them and I'm unlikely to do them again. So why should I insist that everyone else does them the same way I did decades ago when attitudes in climbing were completely different than they are today?
There is a burgeoning sport climbing community in this country. Like or not that is a fact. Modern indoor walls mean that many people's formative experience of climbing is sport climbing nowadays. Added to that all of the world's best climbers climb predominantly sport routes and people look up to these people as role models and are influenced by that and seek similar experiences.
As the percentage of sport climbers grows then its only natural that they are going to want more rock to climb on. As far as I can the retrobolting in this country has been done extremely selectively aimed at minimising the impact for trad climbers. Given the changing nature of our sport I don't think one could reasonably ask for more.
I also dislike the so called popularity argument, as from a convenience/ease of access point of view it nearly always works in favour of bolting. Personally, I'd say if bolting improves the quality of the climbing then thats a better argument and ultimately better quality would lead to more traffic/popularity.
On the other hand I really disagree with the FA having such a huge say in the discussions, they shouldn't own a route and it makes any consensus arguments totally redundant. If the consensus is split 50/50 then give the FA the casting vote but if the overwhelming majority feel a route would be improved by retroing, then inform the FA and get on with it, but don't change the name!
I think you are right there. It has been a while since I have been on any Peak mid-grade trad limestone but I don't remember it being that bad. Aurora is one star at best, and the first pitch is probably a bit dangerous for VS leaders pushing their grade.
I think the reason the hard trad at Stoney isn't as popular as it was is because people think back to the early 80s when it was the cutting edge and Stoney was the place to be. The cutting edge is somewhere completely different now, and there are many more options to choose. No new guidebooks, or trad festivals are likely to take us back to that degree of popularity. If we want them to become popular again then we should bolt them all up and create some brilliant sport routes. If we would prefer to retain our brilliant trad challenges for the few who aspire to that level, then we should leave them as they are.
I favour the latter approach overall but I do think that judicious application of the former approach is possible in some cases. The problem would be that we could never agree on which routes were appropriate.
If you want to be like that about it there's only one opinion that matters, that of the person who does own the route - the landowner.
This is one of the big differences between trad and fixed gear. In the case of light touch trad climbing the landowner usually has no liability, will often never know you've visited and at very worst can throw you off for trespass. Once you start drilling holes you are into criminal damage, liability in case of an accident and conservation issues (Mostly misplaced in my view).
Where we differ is that I don't believe that retro-bolting is a one-way change that can never be reversed. There's an ebb and flow, sport climbing is gaining ground against trad now but will probably lose out to something new or a resurgence of trad in the future. At which point the bolts will be left to rot or pulled out and a couple of bad winters will wipe out the polish.
Having said that indoor sport climbing already provides quantity and convenience so it's a mistake to prioritize those factors over quality outdoors.
Ah, you haven't climbed much on Peak limestone, have you?
You are wrong. I like sport climbing on rock that suits sport climbing - which is why I do most of it in Spain and France.
We could have a voluntary crag rotation system. Say, ban climbing on Raven Tor for two whole winters and Sardine will be pristine again.
Then the following two seasons do Malham to get Consenting Adults back in nick. Easy
I was going to mention that and the "indoor sport climbing already provides quality" to but you know what, I'm loosing the will......
Sardine IS pristine. It'd be VS if it wasn't polished.
I'm afraid the climb suffers from its surroundings. If this route was on a better crag e.g. the main crag at Stoney, it would have developed a deservedly good reputation over the years but now be unpleasantly polished. Its situation has spared it this 'damage' and it still has excellent rock and moves, with (originally) a bold finish. Its lack of ascents is more to do with the dearth of other decent hard trad routes at the crag, the lack of a guide and the demise in interest in hard trad on limestone, rather than its quality. This was not a poor, loose, vegetated route. It seems a shame that a rarely climbed trad route of (consequently still) good quality should be seen as being unacceptable and require bolting.
Trad and sport must be allowed to coexist on the same crag. Being not good enough to lead a route is no excuse to reduce its challenge. We have no right to expect to climb every route we want to just because we have the physical ability, but lack the skills or confidence to do so using natural protection.
And unlike most people banging on about this route, I have lead the original trad version - onsight flash. I've also flashed the new version and, ironically, the hardest move is now clipping the last (badly-positioned) bolt!
Mr. Walker's had a bit of a shocker here hasn't he.
A very well reasoned post, the route in question is probably a bit beyond me these days. But having climbed for a few decades I'm often gratified when a new definitive guidebook brings an obscure quality route back into the limelight. It strikes me there's a shortage of unpolished trad routes at Stoney. It's a shame that the selective rockfax guide seems to have made the regular definitive guides that could have achieved this less viable.
That's it, I didn't even know this crag existed. Whereas I go to Stoney every so often. I'd go to Stoney West to check out the trad (what's left of it) if there was a modern guide book for it.
General comment - bolts are inherently vulnerable as they can be chopped. So if retrobolters start overstepping the line, those who care enough and have the time will take action. As happened at Clwyd last year. The only issue is how to remove bolts without trashing the route. Glue ins must be particularly tricky.
The UK is mostly crap for sport climbing until into the 7s and even then it's hardly world class compared to France and Spain etc, except may be a few routes at the very top end. Whereas the trad here is mostly great and often world class in its own way. I don't want to lecture people on what climbing they should do but frankly doing mostly sport in the UK is missing the point unless you do it at a fairly high level. And I disagree that with our trad heritage (not unique in the world but certainly rare in Europe) we should pander to all these wall bred sort climbers who allegedly need more bolted routes to go at. Firstly, because we shouldn't pander to it, whether or not it's the current trend, because we have a trad heritage to protect and yes that does mean something. Secondly, because I really don't think we need more sport routes. Certainly not in the Peaks where there are hundreds of them.
I assume you mean the 'latest' definitive guidebook, that being the one published in 1987?
Hi everyone - the accused/guilty here.
Firstly, apologies to everyone that I have offended (especially Paul). It was an honest mistake - I thought I had spotted a nice route that Gary had somehow missed and did not intend to retrobolt Paul's route. I will remove the offending bolts (may leave belay in for future ascents of NCC - top 6' in very poor condition) as soon as I am able and restore the route to its former glory.
Hopefully this will calm everything down a little and we can all go back to our normal climbing lives.
Bolting issues aside, I would like to put forward one or two comments on the general tone of the debate in the forum. Quite frankly some of it was both abusive and offensive. Not just toward me but also between the contributors. Unfortunately, this seems to be a characteristic of many of the 'ethical' debates (spot the irony there!) that occur on this and other UKC forums. Don't get me wrong the UKC forums are fabulous and I am very glad of them (the few times I delve into them) but some of the contributors do let UKC and themselves down. Hopefully some of the contributors will reflect on this (or then again may be not).
Finally, and I must apologise for the cliches here, we are all climbers who came into the 'sport' not just for the physical challenge but also the kind of friendship, community and general 'joie de vivre' that it so uniquely provides. Unfortunately, these last three qualities seemed to be in very short supply in the recent forum and as a result we are all the poorer for it.
End of debate?
Internet forums have a habit of amplifying the level of extreme views and rudeness.
I had a few other points about traffic. Logbooks often show more traffic than people blithely claim and those using logbooks are very much in the minority. As for veg showing a lack of traffic: helping Moff on Aldery shows that even on routes we know have good traffic levels, veg grows back fast; it's only when routes are stopping the climbing you know it's not getting many ascents.
The UKC logbooks are one the best measure of a routes popularity we have in the UK....unless you sit at a crag doing a headcount everyday.
As I remember, over 20,000 climbers in the UK have a logbook at UKC (not sure how many are active or how many log every route they do). 20k is a significant percentage of the numbers of climbers in the UK (I've just done a paid project calculating that figure from several sources).
The logbooks are a stroke of genius; one of several thought up and developed by Alan James.
As regards numbers using them (Alan may be able to tell you) the logbooks are the go-to-resource if you want to find out other climbers experiences of a route.
Indeed - I remember going to Ilkley shortly after the Foot and Mouth ban came off and the quarry looked as if it had never been climbed in. Get a route or buttress that is overhung by trees or other vegetation and it isn't long before a route looks neglected.
A good case in point now that it's open is Houghton Quarry. I remember going there in the 1980s and the trees were back from the edge and the routes relatively clean. Move forward to the present day and 30 years of growth have seen the trees overhanging the rock and the routes are filthy. You aren't going to be able to turn up on the first day and do Boudicea without cleaning it first. There was a thread recently about cleaning Mandarin - 30 years ago it stayed clean throughout the winter, I did it in early April 198? (can't remember which year) and it was clean. There's no way you could do that now even if there wasn't a ban for most of the year.
Have you seen the latest Peak Limestone Rockfax? I am just wondering which trad route is waiting at Stoney to be revealed as an 'obscure quality route' when the new definitive guide is published? It sounds like there may be one at Stoney West which we will be sure to cover next time - any others?
Also, if this limestone definitive guide was unviable, what has changed to make it viable now? Could it be that in fact the three editions of Rockfax since 1992 have helped bridge the information gap and allowed the BMC to concentrate on books to other areas?
3,480,999 logged climbs from 24,403 users with logbooks
1,210,830 total votes on grades and stars
Not a good example Bob.
Th 70s/80s was the time that most routes there were established and the place was well-visited. I did my first climb there and one school sports day we bunked off and climbed at Houghton en masse.
Then sadly, access was severely restricted (totally at one point??) and now you can only climb there from 1st June to 31st August: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/RAD/viewcrag.aspx?id=203
We are drifting slightly off-topic here but as others have noted, not everyone logs their climbs on the logbook system. I was out biking round Malham Tarn on Tuesday evening and there were three teams (maybe four) on Great Close Scar but I can see only a couple of logged climbs from that date. I know one of the teams was on Black Death and that hasn't been logged.
If you looked at the logbooks as a survey then they are using a much higher proportion of the population than usual so you aren't suffering from the problem of small sample size meaning that the relative popularity of routes/crags/buttresses is going to be reasonably accurate. So if twice as many routes are logged on crag A than crag B then it's probable that is the correct ratio.
I disagree. I think this has been a great discussion thread with some excellent posts from all angles of the debate, similar to the Millstone one a month or so back. Yes, there have been occasional dubious posts, but nothing much that is really that abusive and offensive, and this is simply the nature of all forum debates anywhere where passions are aroused.
Exactly. I don't think anyone has ever said that Logbooks represents everything people climb (I forget to log half my own ascents) but there is no doubt that it is significant sample and very indicative of what people actually climb.
Look at shots of Houghton from the 70s and 80s - you can see the railway line quite clearly. There has been a massive growth in the surrounding vegetation. I agree that the ban/access restrictions have had a detrimental impact but having a mass of trees and rhododendrons overhanging the crag isn't going to help. The last time I visited (it was four years ago on the day Germany beat England in the world cup), we walked in and walked straight out again as did the other teams as the place was that overgrown and filthy.
Another example is Trow Gill - the routes to the right hand side of the North side, The Great Big Onion, etc. are dirty. Why because they are also overhung by trees and being slightly less than vertical collect debris. To be honest they aren't particularly good routes, I suspect they mostly get done as warm ups for the decent (actually some bloody good) routes further left.
Tony Walker has emailed to say he will remove the bolts.The lower off will remain for those who need to belay for a trad seconder.
The point about ''obscure'' crags is that there should be negotiation with first ascensionists where possible.
Bolting up mid grade routes just means they will soon get polished with traffic.Better think long term and allow ''obscure ''trad to remain unbolted,for a not too distant time when unpolished trad limestone is hard to find.
I am not totally against bolting.I think bolts should be far enough apart for climbers to worry about falling off.
If at Stoney West ,Arbeit macht Frei is compromised by bolts on or near the climb,or Southerners can't Climb,ditto,I want those bolts out.
I was at Trowbarrow this week and there was a Lancaster Council sign banning bolts.
I think bolting rules need to be codified on a crag by crag basis with land owners,National Trust,wildlife groups and relevant civic authorities.
Have you forgotten the Dave Cronshaw and Les Ainsworth defoliation team - Agent Orange (it's a route at Houghton) that operated there that made those views down to the railway possible
Houghton in my mind would be a word-class quarry destination if it weren't for the restricted access - Rhody Buttress and Arete, Mandarin, Boadicea
There have been clean-ups recently but nothing compares to Cronshaw and Ainsworth - they even used explosives at some quarries they were that thorough.
As a side note - Houghton is the place of the finale in Harrison Ainsworth's Lancashire Witches, an undiscovered classic if you haven't read it.
Goucho,please email re contact details.Mitch
The Cronshaw/Ainsworth team were slightly before my time? I do remember the fuss about Chapel Head Scar though since it was just across the way from where I grew up.
Off-topic, Paul - was the 'no bolting' sign below Red Wall still upright? It was uprooted and leaning against a tree a couple of weeks ago so we fixed it back into its original post-hole. We had wondered if/why climbers might have uprooted it (it's well back from the wall) and thought it might have been BMX bikers moving it away from one of their tracks?
BTW - totally agree with your stance on retro-bolting (speaking as someone who's had similar experiences).
Plus a few trees!
They're either not so best trad areas still, or bolted.
I know of one "logger" who b******ts his entry's. Logs routes he didn't climb, tr's a route and enters it as lead.
I never log my climbing in a public place because I am climbing for my own pleasure, not some form of ego boosting display. If people want to log, OK. I am sure that many loggers are honest.
I like the Rockfax guides, and buy them, but I will also buy the BMC definitive guide and climb less frequented routes.
As to vegetation on routes, at the start of last year I spent 4 hours cleaning a heavily vegetated route (It was one of my first leads so did for nostalgic reasons.) I had occasionally seen people fighting up through the vegetation. For a few weeks the route seemed to get some traffic, but over winter it has reverted quickly to vegetated (not as bad yet). It takes very little time for route to become overgrown, and as one friend said, "Why don't people clean up routes, they would be much better." When I asked when he last cleaned a route his response was "It's not my job!"
Thanks to the (very) few who put in the effort to maintain our great climbing areas, and come on you others, give them a hand, even if it is only pulling out a few grass sods as you pass!
Seems the best outcome.
So in other words a bunch of people who may well know absolutely nothing about climbing and probably have no interest in different opinions of climbers.
If such people choose to take a side on the bolting debate it will probably be entirely down to who they know or which side lobbies them most.
Yes because sport climbing arrived late on when most of the best crags had already been developed.
Well what is the point and why is it any different to elsewhere?
In most of Europe there are often thousands of sport routes in an area like the Peak district. If a few hundred is all that is 'needed' one might wonder why they bothered devoting all the time, energy and money into creating more.
How many trad climbs are needed? If there are more sport climbers than trad climbers does that mean there should be more sport climbs than trad?
I suppose it's an inconvenient truth that the reason for this is that there is about a thousand times more rock in Europe than the UK?
Within an hours drive of my house, there are dozens of crags which in the UK would be major venues, but are nothing special here. Why? Because there is just so much rock here in France.
In the UK, there is less resource - crags are fewer, smaller, and therefore more precious.
You accuse 'trad'climbers (is their really such a thing, I thought we were all just climbers, who probably partake of both forms?) of extremism, yet at the same time, pursue your own evangelical extremism in favor of sport.
As in most things in life, the answer lies somewhere in the middle, and with some kind of compromise. However, that requires discussion 'before' not 'after' someone takes an arbitrary decision to retro bolt something.
Thank you, that's great.
To turn the argument on its head how would you feel if you'd found and mastered a new sport route, then because it had one season of vegetation on it someone came along, chopped the bolts and managed to free the route and lead it on trad, inherently changing the route?
I'm not of the opinion that sport has no place in the UK, it just comes down to having a bit of respect for the history of climbing and other climbers. The attitude of 'havent seen anyone on it, so lets bolt it' is simply shortsighted.
Bolting is fine, as long as its in line with the local ethics & respects existing routes, also its considered polite to ask the FA their opinion and respect it. Also if somethings happened to alter the route sufficiently i can see the argue for establishing a new line.
A better analogy is someone coming along to your new F7a bolted project and chipping a few new holds around the crux to make a classic F6a - it'll be super popular and get more traffic than ever before and you could still climb it at F7a by missing out the chipped holds.
Bolting a line is bringing it down to your level because it lowers the risk and allows you to climb without as much fear and concentrate on the physical act of climbing rather than the mental challenges but it is bringing it down nonetheless.
Wrecking a trad line with bolts is no different from wrecking a sport line with chips.
I climb trad, I climb sport, I'll never climb E5 and I would try F7a so I'm precisely the sort of person who might "benefit" from the bolts in this case but I strongly believe that bolting was not right. We should let hard challenges exist and not bring them down to our level, otherwise we will succumb to an age where all that is left is VDiff and a lot of "extreme" Via Ferrata.
You are tilting at windmills again. If you read my post I was pointing out that sometimes folk here claim routes are not being climbed anymore when they have quite a few recorded logbook ascents, and those using a logbook are in a minority of all climbers. I'd go further and say there is a good chance that those logging will more likely be a larger proportion of the climbers on popular crags, partly as my experience on some more obscure Yorkshire and Moorland venues is in some cases I've personally seen more ascents than are recorded on the logbooks in total. People claiming trad routes are never climbed are usually talking out of their proverbial, unless the routes are completely overgrown.
I don't know that is shows much of significance but all but one of the logged ascents of trad routes on Stoney West are before 2000 with most being in Stoney's heyday of the late 70s and early 80s.
Obviously all the sport route ascents are more recent.
If it does show anything it is that adding sport routes to a crag doesn't make people try the trad routes, and it isn't a great support of the popularity of Stoney West for trad climbing since 2000.
No major trees were felled at CHS, one very thick bole of Ivy that Martin Boysen mistook for a large tree was cut down exposing the Sungod to Moonchild buttress after the ivy was subsequently stripped, any other trees were small saplings or bushes pruned to make the path passable.
I agree the logbooks show some large scale trends like the sports climbing there is popular. it doesn't show us how many trad ascents are done there though, even if we can guess it's probably not many.
How many trad climbs are needed? If there are more sport climbers than trad climbers does that mean there should be more sport climbs than trad?
Or if there are more via ferrata advocates does that mean all routes should be turned into via ferratas?
So, are the bolts out or not?
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