/ NEWS: Adventures in Wadi Rum for Muskett and McManus

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UKC News - on 28 Nov 2016
Pitch 3 - 7c+, 3 kbCalum Muskett and Dan McManus have just returned from Wadi Rum in southern Jordan, where they scoped out and bolted a hard new multipitch line with four pitches up to 8a in difficulty.

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Greasy Prusiks on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:
Would love to visit the Wadi Rum. I'm very jealous!
Post edited at 15:47
Lawrie Brand - on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Excellent choice of route name!
oliver.ghill91 - on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Great effort lads, looks amazing.

Dan its a shame your dark horse status is dwindling!
pootle - on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Calum is a guest speaker at the Guildford Mountaineering Club tonight 28/11. See the GMC web site for details.
USBRIT - on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Very similar area to the sandstone of crags of Utah ... Multi pitch FA's are done on sight ground up bolting on lead up to 5.12 ...and still lots of such unclimbed rock in the Utah deserts..
Andy Cantrell - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

I thought the local ethics were trad
Jonas Wiklund - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Andy Cantrell:
I'm friend with one of the local bedouin climbers on facebook and have seen pictures of him bolting routes. Can't get more local than that?

That said, when we went there a few years ago all routes bar maybe 2-3 exceptions had little or no fixed gear. Almost all belays have been bolted by french guides though.
Post edited at 18:46
jondo - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

It is not an 'otherwise unclimbed wall' ... No way, its near merlins wand there are routes on that wall, i know for sure... Just bad reporting.
Wry Gob - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Andy Cantrell:

The local ethics always have been trad - Tony Howard and others have gone to considerable effort to try and maintain this, see - http://www.nomadstravel.co.uk/countries/jordan-wadi-rum/wadi-rum-safety-and-environmental-awareness/
jondo - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Wry Gob:

> The local ethics always have been trad - Tony Howard and others have gone to considerable effort to try and maintain this, see - http://www.nomadstravel.co.uk/countries/jordan-wadi-rum/wadi-rum-safety-and-environmental-awareness/

Yes, but there are bolts on the early classics as well.. It's more like "place bolts only when necessary.. '
Not sure this is the case here. In general some people don't follow those guidelines these days.
jondo - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to jondo:

> It is not an 'otherwise unclimbed wall' ... No way, its near merlins wand there are routes on that wall, i know for sure... Just bad reporting.

Whoever didn't 'like' it you are either pathetic or shy... Do explain your problem.
Robert Durran - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Wry Gob:
Well done for putting your head above the parapet - I nearly did yesterday but bottled it. As a Rum regular, I have real reservations about this sort of development. Yes, there are already some routes heavily dependent on bolts and the odd bolt on some classics, but, in my opinion, they are out of character with the spirit of the place. Is it really necessary to bolt the blank walls into submission? If this became the norm, the feel of Rum climbing would be significantly changed. How long, for instance, before every major wall had an abseil piste? The rarely repeated bold super routes of Precht and others, which wander around the biggest walls finding the line of least resistance would be devalued if bolts allowed direct lines on the same walls. McManus and Muskett have the talent to continue development in Precht's spirit and it's perhaps a shame that they have chosen a different path.
Post edited at 21:58
Robert Durran - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to jondo:

> Whoever didn't 'like' it you are either pathetic or shy... Do explain your problem.

Fair enough. Yes there are plenty of other routes on that side of Barrah Canyon in the vicinity, but clearly what was meant was the blank section between obvious climbed features.
Hugh Cottam - on 29 Nov 2016
Rob / Jondo:

I basically agree with you both. For two obviously bold and adventurous climbers visiting this bold and adventurous area for the first time I find it disappointing that they chose to stick a load of bolts in. I'm sure that the route has big run-outs, and it is by no means the first route in the area bolted in this fashion, but the creation of bolt routes up blank walls seems out of keeping with the history and general existing development. I have no problem with people "Disliking" what I have to say but if you do so without even having been to Wadi Rum then you don't know what you're talking about.
Jimbo C - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Looks like amazing rock and good (and hard) climbing.

Question for those who are dis-agreeing with bolting. Suppose a strong team finds a line on a 'blank wall' which is climbable but very hard, and then they find there is next to no natural protection. Should the rock stop being developed at this point, or should bolts be placed where needed?

Genuine question, but I won't accept an answer akin to "it should be left for better and bolder climbers in the future". I accept that someone extremely talented might be able solo 4 pitches of thin 8a climbing on vertical sandstone, but let's be reasonable.
Andy Cantrell - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Jimbo C:

You should follow the local ethic, especially if you are not local. I don't see what technical grade has to do with it
Robert Durran - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Jimbo C:
> Should the rock stop being developed at this point, or should bolts be placed where needed?
> Genuine question, but I won't accept an answer akin to "it should be left for better and bolder climbers in the future".

Eh? What's the point in asking then? You give two options, but then are only prepared to accept one of them!

Oh, and by the way my answer is: "it should be left for better and bolder climbers in the future, possibly for ever".
Post edited at 23:41
Hugh Cottam - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Jimbo C:

I think to understand the point that some of us are attempting to make you need to have an appreciation of Wadi Rum, the sheer size of it and the massive potential for route development. This is not some quarry in Lancashire with some remaining unclimbed blank faces. There's huge amounts of unclimbed rock and thousands of good natural lines at all sorts of grades.
Michael Gordon - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Question for Rum regulars. Does the area also have a ground-up ethic or have lines been worked as trad? I thought the former but wanted to ask.
jondo - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Question for Rum regulars. Does the area also have a ground-up ethic or have lines been worked as trad? I thought the former but wanted to ask.

its not an ethic like in the uk where it has strong organization behind it.
the locals mostly want to make a living and get out of poverty. it is a harsh area to live in.
any European that shows up with a ton of bolts can put them wherever he likes...
the ethic of 'adventure climbing' was loosely defined by Tony Howard and collegues, especially Precht, and is not imposed by anyone.
jondo - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Fair enough. Yes there are plenty of other routes on that side of Barrah Canyon in the vicinity, but clearly what was meant was the blank section between obvious climbed features.

ok , but when someone says 'otherwise unclimbed wall' then most people would look at the photo thinking the entire face has not been climbed... not the case to my knowledge.
john arran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

I've been to Rum several times and done a few pretty exciting things (new routes, FFAs, solos) there but I've not placed any bolts there. I headpoint-soloed a new line that lent itself to that style as it had no gear and was pretty easy to drop a rope down. I've also climbed Arnaud Petit's fully-bolted 400m La Guerre Sainte and some of bolted lines on the East Face. In my opinion each has its place there, each adds to the climbing enjoyment to be had in that wonderful place, and as it stands none take anything away from the others. For the most part it seems to be a harmonious win-win.

To understand better I think you need to appreciate that, when a Rum face is not cracked, it often is effectively entirely devoid of gear but still may be physically climbable; very much like limestone. Indeed just like a lot of limestone, whereas many of the mid-grade routes have adequate gear for a scary-at-times but mostly safe lead (the kind of routes people usually want to go there for), the option for harder routes becomes almost completely one of virtual soloing. This will never be popular and so development in Rum at the higher end would barely happen. Most UK limestone underwent a similar process in the 80s and 90s.

Let me make it clear I'm talking about whole faces (of which there are many) without trad routes or possibility for even reasonably sparsely protected trad routes. I'm not talking about bolting lines next to cracks or up faces that have been, or could reasonably be, climbed with an adventure ethic rather than a sport ethic. This is fundamentally unclimbable rock unless bolted and, given that it can provide brilliant multi-pitch sport routes, it would be a shame to see such potential go to waste to satisfy the style police who aren't even on the same wall and who never will be.

I do acknowledge that there will be occasions where people cross the boundaries of where a sport route may be acceptable, in terms of its proximity to existing or reasonably possible trad lines, and such behaviour as and when it appears should be condemned. But the answer to this more subtle distinction is not to crack the nut with a sledgehammer and also deny climbers the opportunity to climb fantastic multi-pitch sport routes on completely separate faces.

Well done to Calum and Dan for putting up a fine-looking hard route and having a lot of fun in doing so.
Michael Gordon - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to jondo:

OK thanks. To someone unfamiliar with the area, John Arran's stance seems fair to me. The route does look brilliant and does not seem to be harming anything else there.
Robert Durran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Jonas Wiklund:

> I'm friend with one of the local bedouin climbers on facebook and have seen pictures of him bolting routes. Can't get more local than that?

But that is missing the point of what is meant by local ethics. Being born and bred in Hathersage does not mean it's ok for you to put bolts in Stanage; local ethics evolve, hopefully by consensus, across a wider climbing community.
Robert Durran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to john arran:

Yes, there is a case for saying that bolts are ok on the blankest faces which will never be trad climbed. But it is only sustainable if there is no crossover between the two styles on the same faces with bolts restricted to truly unprotectable walls without the development of abseil pistes accessible from trad routes, and I agree that this is, in principle, possible. I just hope that future developments do respect the existing trad ethic.
jondo - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, there is a case for saying that bolts are ok on the blankest faces which will never be trad climbed. But it is only sustainable if there is no crossover between the two styles on the same faces with bolts restricted to truly unprotectable walls without the development of abseil pistes accessible from trad routes, and I agree that this is, in principle, possible. I just hope that future developments do respect the existing trad ethic.

just left of the Beauty there is a bolted line which is quite close to the route. (and to Alan and his perverse frog i think its called).
on the Beauty there are bolted belay stations, plus a few bolts which are either for belay or protection.
just an example.
Robert Durran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to jondo:

> just left of the Beauty there is a bolted line which is quite close to the route. (and to Alan and his perverse frog i think its called).

Yes, I noticed that on my last visit. It's between the two routes and really quite close to them - not a welcome development in my opinion and not in the spirit of only bolting completely blank walls with no possibility of trad routes. This is why I'm concerned about any bolts at all if the style is going to spread to walls with trad options.

> On the Beauty there are bolted belay stations, plus a few bolts which are either for belay or protection.

The only bolts on the Beauty are the belays, but there are two drilled pegs on the fourth direct pitch (same difference, I suppose).



Ian Parsons - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to jondo:

> just left of the Beauty there is a bolted line which is quite close to the route. (and to Alan and his perverse frog i think its called). >

Is it this route - subsequently retrobolted?

Purple Pyjama Rum (F6b+)

ads.ukclimbing.com
jondo - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Ian Parsons:

> Is it this route - subsequently retrobolted?


i think the bolted one is harder.
jondo - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:


> The only bolts on the Beauty are the belays, but there are two drilled pegs on the fourth direct pitch (same difference, I suppose).

i don't get those single bolt belays. also before the beauty 5th pitch and after the crux on the inferno..
you won't belay from a single bolt usually so you have to place gear anyway... ?
Robert Durran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Ian Parsons:

> Is it this route - subsequently retrobolted?


So put up bolt free by plucky brits and subsequently dumbed down by dastardly drill wielding Frenchies?
Wry Gob - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to john arran:

I have to disagree John; basically you're saying is that if you come across a blank wall in the mountains, it's OK to go to the top of the mountain, abseil down and bolt it? That we should apply the same ethic to desert mountain rock as we do to UK limestone? That's a very long way from what I understood to be the established ethic in Rum.

That said, I guess in truth you're probably just reflecting the majority view today, which seems increasingly more about us 'having our fun' and less about being sensitive to the places we're climbing in. Maybe I need to shut up, go away and accept I'm just a dinosaur!

I just think it'd be a shame if we didn't at least make an effort to preserve a ground-up approach in mountain regions like Rum. The place is vast, and there's endless scope out there for folk to climb ground-up to at least E6, if not harder. If the goal is simply to make everything climbable, that doesn't leave much for the imagination?

Cheers, Guy

Robert Durran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Wry Gob:

Yes, the rock is not just a resource which HAS to be exploited to the full with every possible route climbed and every impossibility murdered. Sometimes it should be enough to just stand back, look at a beautiful piece of rock and give it space.
Jimbo C - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, there is a case for saying that bolts are ok on the blankest faces which will never be trad climbed. But it is only sustainable if there is no crossover between the two styles on the same faces with bolts restricted to truly unprotectable walls without the development of abseil pistes accessible from trad routes, and I agree that this is, in principle, possible. I just hope that future developments do respect the existing trad ethic.

I agree with this. It's a reasonable stance to take. That's why I didn't want a standard 'wait for somebody better and bolder to come along' type response further above.
Robert Durran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Jimbo C:

> I agree with this. It's a reasonable stance to take. That's why I didn't want a standard 'wait for somebody better and bolder to come along' type response further above.

But that is still my view. I have simply conceded, unlike you, that cases can be made for other defensible and reasonable views.

jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Jimbo C:

> Genuine question, but I won't accept an answer akin to "it should be left for better and bolder climbers in the future". I accept that someone extremely talented might be able solo 4 pitches of thin 8a climbing on vertical sandstone, but let's be reasonable.

Disagree; it may not be bold in the future. Protection will continue to develop and I think it'd be wrong for us to bolt now when it may just be a scarred legacy for the future to comment on past ignorance. If you haven't seen the research into gecko's feet, you should Google it as it's fascinating (poor gecko's!) Sticky suction cups used to carry glass are pretty powerful if the seal can be improved and what about drone with a wing or some other fall restraint. I'd love to spend more time climbing and less belaying! Something will come along that will leave bolts as a rusty mess on the cliff.

I'm also a civil engineer, so from that perspective can't agree with bolting. What's the design life in that environment? What's the testing program? What's the replacement program? What's the standard for placement? Who placed it? When? I ask these questions because accidents have happened by ignoring them, something that will only increase as the bolting explosion gets older and expected bomber bolts become 'should hold.'

We may manage this better in the UK, but not everywhere. I've climbed in badami, lots of short dirty routes with the bottom two hangers pinched. What was the point? That accident in Australia when poorly placed bolts failed on the second ascent, or even the carrot argument which I hope has been resolved (I'll leave you to figure that one out!)
Ian Parsons - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Robert Durran and jondo:


> So put up bolt free by plucky brits and subsequently dumbed down by dastardly drill wielding Frenchies?

Sort of, although I'm unsure of the nationality of the latter. A news item in Vertical [English edition #39] reported that Purple Pyjama Run was "reopened", with mostly bolts for protection, as Priez Pour Nous. http://www.camptocamp.org/routes/307281/fr/djebel-um-ejil-priez-pour-nous. The 7b grade of the latter route suggests some variation in line, unless Crocker's trad 6b+ was very wide of the mark - which it tends not to be; but Priez Pour Nous appears at least to impact substantially upon the original route. The piece in Vertical refers to it as "an unfortunate mistake" which could suggest that those involved might have been unaware of the earlier route. This from Tony Howard http://www.alpinejournal.org.uk/Contents/Contents_2007_files/AJ%202007%20288-290%20Wadi%20Rum%20Jord... [page 290] doesn't mention Purple Pyjama Run.
john arran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Wry Gob:

> I have to disagree John; basically you're saying is that if you come across a blank wall in the mountains, it's OK to go to the top of the mountain, abseil down and bolt it? That we should apply the same ethic to desert mountain rock as we do to UK limestone? That's a very long way from what I understood to be the established ethic in Rum.

I think if you come across a genuinely unprotectable wall in the mountains there would be a good case for accepting that bolting it may be a reasonable way to climbing something that otherwise would have no active value to climbers. This is pretty hypothetical though since mountain environments tend not to fall into this category due to freeze-thaw cracking. Walls such as those in Tsaranoro in Madagascar are a very good example of how it can work to very good effect. It's really only where there's a real choice of climbing style on the same rock that contention is likely, not usually when there is only one reasonably possible style.

> That said, I guess in truth you're probably just reflecting the majority view today, which seems increasingly more about us 'having our fun' and less about being sensitive to the places we're climbing in. Maybe I need to shut up, go away and accept I'm just a dinosaur!

What is climbing if not challenge-based fun, usually in a beautiful environment? I don't really buy the environmental destruction argument, even though I'm very sensitive to the risk of removing options for climbing in a more fulfilling way where that could be possible. IMO bolting needs to be justified on grounds that don't involve convenience or availability/cost of trad gear, but such justifications at times do exist and are reasonable.

> I just think it'd be a shame if we didn't at least make an effort to preserve a ground-up approach in mountain regions like Rum. The place is vast, and there's endless scope out there for folk to climb ground-up to at least E6, if not harder. If the goal is simply to make everything climbable, that doesn't leave much for the imagination?

I'd agree completely, except that I'm not a fan of ground-up bolting and nobody is suggesting any goal of making everything climbable, just adding an option for faces that otherwise wouldn't even have a chance of being climbed. Experience from closer to home suggests that a ground-up approach has enduring appeal, being more popular again nowadays after a long period of headpointing during the 90s and 00s.

nb - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Andy Cantrell:

> You should follow the local ethic, especially if you are not local.

Not sure you can really talk about a local ethic in Wadi Rum. I was there in January staying with one of the local guides and he said that none of the locals really climbs anymore. The tourist trade has taken a big hit in recent years and this was a big motivational factor for locals who were wanting to work as guides.

The ethics seem to have been imported from Europe for the most part. Trad ethics have been used on easier lines following features whereas bolts have been used on harder blanker faces. Brits have generally tended to the former but there's no reason why they shouldn't be doing the latter. I think it would be an issue if someone started bolting on ground which could be protected with natural gear, or retro-bolting established trad routes, but this doesn't seem to be the case here.

I think the locals would be happy to go with whatever brought the tourists back!
Robert Durran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to nb:

> I think the locals would be happy to go with whatever brought the tourists back!

Nothing to do with climbing ethics will bring the tourists back (small numbers of dossing, low spending climbers were always a tiny part of tourism income). Only an elimination of the fear of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism will bring back the hordes of high spending coach loads of tourists.

danm - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Nice one Dan and Callum, looks awesome.
Nigel Coe - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News: Martin Crocker led me up Purple Pyjama Rum in 2 pitches, finishing either at belay 3 of Alan... or at the same level as belay 3 of The Beauty. Priez Pour Nous has the same first pitch but then traverses right of PPR, only rejoining it near the end of PPR's 2nd pitch. PPR takes the crack above the belayer in the photo of PPN (http://wadiram.userhome.ch/images/Priez%20pour%20nous.JPG) and then moves a short distance left before going straight up to its second belay.
Here's hoping Priez Pour Nous's bolts don't intrude on The Beauty, which it must cross.

Ian Parsons - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Nigel Coe:

Thanks Nigel; I was hoping you might spot this and dive in with some detail. Presumably, then, it's your first pitch that has been affected - and now has four bolts. Which of your two pitches was regarded as the harder - both technically/physically and overall? It looks as if your second pitch might have escaped the bolts; there are none mentioned on Priez's 5+ pitch which it presumably joins - although none are mentioned on the 7b pitch either on which one would imagine there to be several.

Can you remind me where I would have seen a report of your and Martin's various activities on that visit; did you write a magazine piece, or contribute to a news item? I've been searching, but no luck so far.
trouserburp - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to nb:

I could accept bolting to bring in tourists if this is what they want, it undoubtedly sets precedents each time and accelerates further and more contentious bolting. But not up to us, there are more important things in life like feeding the kids. Perhaps the article should say if they were invited or got a view on sport bolting. Otherwise this article is completely at odds with the article two months ago about the wonderful adventure of the place
Robert Durran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to trouserburp:

> Otherwise this article is completely at odds with the article two months ago about the wonderful adventure of the place.

I did mention the bolting in the article and said that it was contentious but felt it wasn't the place to offer my personal opinion on it.

Jimbo C - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Disagree; it may not be bold in the future. Protection will continue to develop and I think it'd be wrong for us to bolt now when it may just be a scarred legacy for the future to comment on past ignorance. If you haven't seen the research into gecko's feet, you should Google it as it's fascinating (poor gecko's!) Sticky suction cups used to carry glass are pretty powerful if the seal can be improved and what about drone with a wing or some other fall restraint. I'd love to spend more time climbing and less belaying! Something will come along that will leave bolts as a rusty mess on the cliff.

> I'm also a civil engineer, so from that perspective can't agree with bolting. What's the design life in that environment? What's the testing program? What's the replacement program? What's the standard for placement? Who placed it? When? I ask these questions because accidents have happened by ignoring them, something that will only increase as the bolting explosion gets older and expected bomber bolts become 'should hold.'

> We may manage this better in the UK, but not everywhere. I've climbed in badami, lots of short dirty routes with the bottom two hangers pinched. What was the point? That accident in Australia when poorly placed bolts failed on the second ascent, or even the carrot argument which I hope has been resolved (I'll leave you to figure that one out!)

I just have to say that climbing whilst strapped to a drone hovering above sounds even less adventurous than sport climbing

The issue of bolt managment and replacement is an important one, and as you point out there are many examples of it being done poorly. I have also climbed some pretty dire 4 bolt pitches in 'sports' quarries and wondered why I just did that as I lowered off. However if placing bolts was genuinely the only way to climb a route with a reasonable chance of surviving and it didn't interfere with existing routes or go against local precedent then I would not be against it. Just trying to see through to the reasons for some people's knee jerk reactions to bolts.

Robert Durran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Jimbo C:

> Just trying to see through to the reasons for some people's knee jerk reactions to bolts.

If that's really the case it's even more weird that you asked a question earlier but specified that nobody was allowed to disagree with you!

jondo - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to trouserburp:

> I could accept bolting to bring in tourists if this is what they want, it undoubtedly sets precedents each time and accelerates further and more contentious bolting. But not up to us, there are more important things in life like feeding the kids. Perhaps the article should say if they were invited or got a view on sport bolting. Otherwise this article is completely at odds with the article two months ago about the wonderful adventure of the place

Adventure climbing is like democracy. Its success depends on the populations valuation of the activity.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Jimbo C:

> However if placing bolts was genuinely the only way to climb a route with a reasonable chance of surviving and it didn't interfere with existing routes or go against local precedent then I would not be against it.

I wouldn't either, if I could see the future and knew that alternatives wouldn't be created, but I can't, so think that the routes should left for it.
nb - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:
Climbing's changed Robert. Climbers make up a significant part of the tourist trade in places like Kalymnos and Taghia. The guide I was staying with in Wadi had recently built a large annexe to his house which he'd been hoping to fill with climbers sleeping on the floor and eating meals. He also makes money from taxiing climbers out to the base of routes in his 4x4. One of his most popular runs is to the foot of La Guerre Sainte, a 100% bolted climb. But business is not good at the moment. Climbers get scared off by the threat of terrorism too (although ironically Foreign Office warnings were more dire for France last January!)

My point was that its not really meaningful to talk of local climbing ethics in Wadi Rum. Their priority is not upholding British climbing values, but making the area attractive for visiting climbers.

That said, there's not any plans to do any wholescale bolting. The mix of mostly trad with the odd bolted line on the blank walls seems to suit most people.
Post edited at 22:45
Robert Durran - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to nb:
> Climbing's changed Robert. Climbers are significant parts of the tourist trade in places like Kalymnos and Taghia.

Yes, but Rum is different. Before the fear of terrorism put people off visiting the Middle East, Rum was a major attraction with coach loads of tourists arriving every day from aqaba and Petra and many staying overnight in desert camps. This has largely dried up. Of course climbers did form part of the tourism, but a small proportion. I don't think climbers will ever be a significant part of tourism in Rum as they are in Kalymnos or Taghia.

> My point was that its not really meaningful to talk of local climbing ethics in Wadi Rum.

But, call it what you want, local or imported, there used to be a presumption of an adventurous trad ethic, but for better or worse, that has been partly eroded with Guerre Sainte being the symbol of this change.

> Their priority is not upholding Britain climbing values, but making the area attractive for visiting climbers.

I agree there is a conflict, not easily resolved.

> That said, there's not any plans to do any wholescale bolting. The mix of mostly trad with the odd bolted line on the blank walls seems to suit most people.may have different ideas.

If it stays that way, it's probably ok, but many visiting climbers are not British. And I do personally find it disappointing that some British climbers are now adopting the bolting ethic.


Post edited at 22:55
Robert Durran - on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to nb:

> My point was that its not really meaningful to talk of local climbing ethics in Wadi Rum. Their priority is not upholding British climbing values, but making the area attractive for visiting climbers.

> That said, there's not any plans to do any wholescale bolting. The mix of mostly trad with the odd bolted line on the blank walls seems to suit most people.

Unless, heaven forbid, there is wholescale "plaisir" (horrible word!) bolting of the easier classics, I don't think bolting would result in a major increase in visiting climber numbers and certainly not enough to make a significant impact on tourism revenue. The kind of bolting which many people find acceptable, which is happening on the blank, otherwise unprotectable faces will only ever, by the nature of that rock, produce really pretty high standard routes of limited accessibilty to large numbers of climbers. Much better, in my opinion, to promote what is already the greatest appeal of Rum, the brilliant scrambly and low technicality "Bedouin" style routes which are accessible to very large numbers of competent British climbers and continental alpinists. I'm always telling people that Rum is the ultimate climbing paradise for the V.Diff climber, but it seems a hard sell at times! I have in mind a follow up article to the one already on here, which would focus on the best of these routes, but I need another trip first to check out a couple more classics.

Nigel Coe - on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Ian Parsons:
Sorry Ian, I can't remember much about about the climbing on Purple Pyjama Rum - it was back in 1998, and you'll understand that a 2-week holiday with Martin meant that I had a lot of pitches to remember! We gave information on the new routes and feedback on the others we climbed in High magazine's Mountain Info for June 1999.
Ian Parsons - on 20:29 Fri
In reply to Nigel Coe:

Ah - thanks Nigel; I hadn't been looking far enough into 1999. Some interesting stuff, particularly your ascents of Raid and Revienta [the latter of which needs moving to Jebel Rum in the database]. And yes - I know exactly what you mean; no rest for the wicked - or, indeed, the virtuous - if you happen to be tied to the other end of his rope!

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