Cornwall BMC Meeting - Bolting on the Agenda

by Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Sep/2010
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Classic traditional climbing in Cornwall at Bosigran. But will it stay that way? © Mark Glaister

A BMC South West Area meeting will be held at 19:30 on Saturday 2nd Oct 2010 at the Count House, Bosigran.

The main thing on the agenda (except perhaps the curry that is being provided afterwards) is, of course, a bolt debate. Following on from a recent Cornish controversy (see UKC News), again the subject is drilling - this time it's bolts.

You can view the area meeting agenda on the BMC Website. There are two camps - the Lands End Climbing Club are voting for no bolts and a group called Penwith and Cornish climbers are voting to be able to use bolts in their home area.

The 'Penwith and Cornish climbers' group state:

“Penwith and Cornish climbers who wish to develop sport climbing in Cornwall should have the same opportunity to develop crags in their local areas just like the rest of the UK”

The bolting policy put forward by this group is not a wholesale bolts everywhere debacle, but fits with the BMC national policy. Is it unfair that climbers in Cornwall have a blanket bolt ban? Is this wholesale ban on drilling partly to blame for the strange half-way house antics that caused such a stir earlier in the year? Or is it simply a necessary rule to stop the rapid sprouting of unwanted bolts across a traditional climbing area?

The suggested policy is as follows:

"Penwith and Cornish climbers may develop sport climbing at certain specific Cornish venue/s excluding all natural granite cliffs/outcrops;

The selection of those venue/s will be based upon a coherent, rational and logical basis, relevant factors may include whether-

  • there are verified and repeated existing trad lines;
  • whether there has been a history of sport climbing;
  • the BMC's approval of the use of the venue in question; and
  • its suitability for sport climbing by comparison to other national sport climbing venues.

The policy is not to be construed as an approval or tacit acceptance of the chipping or manufacture of protection/holds that has taken place recently or historically in connection with trad climbing. This policy for sport climbing, therefore, should not be conflated with any other aspect of climbing."

If you have strong opinions on bolting in Cornwall, then the place to air those views is the Count House at Bosigran on Saturday 2nd Oct. And you get a curry thrown in.


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