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Chopped bolts on High Tor

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 n-stacey 08 Jul 2024

In the last week the lower off anchors on Jon Clarks 8b "Limelight" have been chopped.

Has there been any mention of this activity or a rational given? I appreciate that this route runs very close to "The Castellian" but it has done since it was established.

Post edited at 09:18
In reply to n-stacey:

Are you sure you mean Limelight (8b)? As far as I knew, that finished at the Castellan belay at the top of its first pitch and didn't have its own lower-off.


Alan

OP n-stacey 08 Jul 2024
In reply to n-stacey:

That was the only route that I could credit the lower off too. 

 Tony-S 14:46 Mon
In reply to n-stacey:

I'm pretty sure you are confusing Limelight and Big Cigar but as you have not responded to my second email (sent an hour before your last post, above) I can not be sure.

Big Cigar presently has no bolts whatsoever.

Limelight (8b)

Big Cigar (7c)

Post edited at 14:47
64
 UKB Shark 19:25 Mon
In reply to Tony-S:

> I'm pretty sure you are confusing Limelight and Big Cigar but as you have not responded to my second email (sent an hour before your last post, above) I can not be sure.

> Big Cigar presently has no bolts whatsoever.

> Big Cigar presently has no bolts whatsoever.

> Limelight (8b)

> Big Cigar (7c)

Don’t be so reticent Tony. The reason they are no longer there is that you chopped them this weekend along with the bolt on the belay used by Dementia, Daydream and Storming as well as the bolt protecting the boulder problem start of Storming. These are coincidently? all my routes. Others on Lyme Cryme, Bromptons Cocktail, Original Route, My New Hat, Bastille and Passion Wagon to name a few have all escaped your hammer. 

1
 Tony-S 20:26 Mon
In reply to UKB Shark:

Not reticent at all Simon, I emailed you early this afternoon with precisely this information and my wish to seek a resolution.

77
 UKB Shark 20:51 Mon
In reply to Tony-S:

Reticent on here though.

Why chop the bolts rather than take the hangers off before you have the Area debate you want?

It feels like a creative act finding a solution on an piece and establishing something that others can enjoy. What you have done is destructive. Thanks for sucking all the joy out of putting them up.

Why my routes and no one else’s? How about the bolt on Darius? On Bromptons? None of these have been chopped by you or anyone else for that matter. You have displayed consistent animosity towards me on UKB. It’s hard not to escape the conclusion that this is personal. 

Over the space of 39 years of putting up new and trad routes at High Tor I have endeavoured  to be respectful to existing routes. The top bolt on Big Cigar was an oversight as it interfered with Fantasia however the FA didn’t mind and two out of the three recent repeaters I’m aware of were glad it was there. I’d accept taking that one out or if you were going for a bolt free ascent take the others out - if that was the case and you’d contacted me I would have said go for it.

The bolt on the start of Storming interfered with no existing route. You suggested climbing Bastille and clipping its first two bolts then downclimbing. Ludicrous .Why are those two bolts ok and my one not ok? And your suggestion of a skyhook? Where? In the shallow pocket that is a handhold? Tied down presumably. Very much seems like you are putting your personal preferences and undoubted ability first.
 

Post edited at 20:52
8
 Tony-S 20:57 Mon
In reply to UKB Shark:

Simon, as you well know, internet forums are particularly poor formats in which to have this debate.

I emailed you in good faith and wish to find a solution with you and the wider Peak Area. The very Peak Area bolting guidelines you helped author states that the onus is on the bolter to consult before placing the bolts. I have simply taken us back to that position.

95
 UKB Shark 21:03 Mon
In reply to Tony-S:

> I emailed you in good faith and wish to find a solution with you and the wider Peak Area.

Finding a solution by hammering the bolts rather than taking the hangers off?
 

>The very Peak Area bolting guidelines you helped author states that the onus is on the bolter to consult before placing the bolts. I have simply taken us back to that position.

Consult first ascentionists yes - which I do. Link please. You may not have got the eventually agreed document like last time 

Post edited at 21:03
11
 UKB Shark 14:08 Wed
In reply to Tony-S:

> The very Peak Area bolting guidelines you helped author states that the onus is on the bolter to consult before placing the bolts. 

As you have not provided a link re the above as requested I have looked back through the minutes and as I suspected the guidelines says nothing of the sort and is certainly not supportive of what you have done as you claim.

Referring to something you quoted on UKB it appears that you are referencing an unagreed draft version of the guidelines. I would have hoped you would have learned not to do that having previously claimed I was lying about ODG recommendations and referenced a draft version of the ODG report rather than the final report. Obviously no apology was forthcoming.   

For context the reason I became involved with drafting this is that Ian Millward had written a draft document presented to the April 2012 meeting that I took great exception to and likened it to the 10 Commandments. Whilst I wasn't in favour of any written policy I agreed at the meeting to work with Ian to come up with an acceptable guidance document. This was debated and approved at the  December 2012 meeting. 

Although things change over 12 years I think the content is all still relevant today. It is reproduced in full below with some relevant sections highlighted:   

Peak Area general guidelines on fixed gear and placing bolts

The issue of placing and replacing fixed gear is a can of worms, especially in an area as intensively climbed and rich in history as the Peak District.

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide the consensus view (as at 2013) of what is acceptable good practice, and to raise awareness of problematic issues and the alternative views of the environment, other climbers, visitors, landowners and other users.

In applying these guidelines you should attempt to use common sense, good judgement and consideration for other people whilst  weighing up the various (and sometimes conflicting) environmental, access, aesthetic, ethical, historical and safety factors . These general guidelines are supplemented by crag-specific guidelines given in the crag introductions.

Environment and Access

First and foremost: if you are gardening or (re)gearing new or existing routes, you have a (potentially prosecutable) responsibility to be aware of the environmental impact and existing access arrangements. Crags are owned by a diverse range of landowners, some of whom are conservation organisations. Some crags are located in/on environmentally sensitive areas and may be classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Such designation affords legal protection in the UK. SSSIs are so designated by virtue of the fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features in the area, e.g. a rare or special lichen or plant or rock feature. Whilst any activity that could harm the special interest should not be carried out within an SSSI, other non-harmful activities are not restricted. Note additionally that there may be special agreements regarding fixed gear negotiated by the BMC with landowners in some areas e.g.  Cheedale, Water cum Jolly.

Climbing styles change with time and with them crags rise and fall in popularity. Routes may become overgrown and/or covered in ivy. Unless specifically ‘banned’ under conservation agreements, climbers should be encouraged to climb all established routes lest they become reclaimed by nature. Where they have become overgrown re-cleaning activities should be undertaken sympathetically. The Regional Area Database (RAD) on the BMC website tends to cover the major areas well, but if you are in any doubt about what is allowed - or for more esoteric locations - then contact the BMC Head Office before embarking on something that might jeopardise access not only for those routes but a whole crag! The BMC Access Reps are in regular contact with the landowners and can help you get permission for what you propose. Landowners may attach stipulations: for example, they may require you to add one or more lower-offs for trad routes to minimise the impact of trampling at the top of a crag and on descent paths.

Act responsibly. Climbers contravening agreements about access, gardening and gear has resulted in landowners withdrawing permission to climb at crags. 

Aesthetics

Most people - owners, visitors and climbers alike - usually prefer crags to look ‘natural’ and not noticeably disturbed. Consequently consider the visual impact of any fixed gear as it could stick out like a sore thumb to some people. Be especially conscious if a crag is owned by environmentalist organisations and in open view of a footpath. Consider painting bolts and pegs to match the rock. Brightly coloured in-situ threads can be especially intrusive and in some circumstances replacing a thread with a bolt on a trad route might override climbing ethics on aesthetic and access grounds. In sensitive areas the use of chain belays should be avoided: dual bolt lower-offs are preferred.

Leaving in-situ ‘perma-draws’ on long-term projects to all intents falls into the category of fixed gear and the same issues apply. If you encounter ‘unattended’ in-situ quickdraws or colourful karabiners in a place that you consider likely to offend non-climbing observers, then please act and take them out. You can return them to the owners via the lost and found boards on UKClimbing and/or UKBouldering.

Ethics and history

In general the co-existence of bolt and trad routes in the Peak is a triumph of commonsense and compromise – let’s try to keep it that way! 

With improvements in protection over the years, the vast majority of trad routes no longer rely on all the fixed gear they might contain to provide adequate protection. Many of these now ‘historic’ pieces of fixed gear are of negligible value as protection and merely serve to act as waymarkers and/or reminders of our local limestone-climbing heritage. A distinct lack of fixed gear on many routes is another form of reminder!

Gradually, items in this historic category are disappearing and, when they go, will not need to be replaced.  As always, climbers should carefully assess ANY fixed gear placements they utilise and be particularly aware that much old and rusty fixed gear can be notoriously unreliable.

Occasionally though, a piece of fixed gear is significant to the grade and character of a route.

Some examples of these might include the single bolts on Circe (Stoney) and Midnight Summers Dream (Chee Tor); pegs such as those on Splintered Perspex (Chee Tor) and  Robert Brown (High Tor) and threads - like the resident one sported by Our Father (Stoney).

The absence of any of the above would be sorely missed by most leaders and would frustrate guidebook editors! Generally speaking, routine like-for-like replacement of fixed gear of this nature (where this can be adequately achieved) is welcome, but due regard should be had to any aesthetic considerations as mentioned earlier -particularly on those routes or buttresses where sensitivity exists.

Where like-for-like replacement is not possible, any replacement (with a bolt) - if considered necessary or desirable - would best be raised and debated at BMC Peak Area Meeting on a route- by-route basis. Drilling to protect a route previously climbed without recourse to such action is a significant step and should not be undertaken lightly. 

Be considerate of the history of a buttress or route. It is generally not acceptable to detract from existing classic routes (usually, but not always, trad routes).  This means that adding inferior new routes with fixed gear very close to, or crossing, classic routes should be avoided - especially if the new fixed gear can be clipped from the existing line. If you are re-equipping sport routes you should consider the original character of the route in terms of any run-outs or the belay position.  Greyer ethical areas apply to retro-bolting neglected existing trad routes.

Whilst the first ascentionist doesn’t have absolute rights to the original route they will undoubtedly have an emotional stake (however esoteric the route).  Please be considerate and contact them for their views as your first point of call if you want to retro-bolt a route or re-equip it in a significantly different manner. Generally speaking if they approve of your plans this is likely to reduce objections. In this day and age getting in touch via social media is usually quite easy.

If the first ascentionist is un-contactable (they may no longer be with us!) then sound out your ideas with other experienced local climbers or at the BMC Peak Area Meeting. This might be a bit of pain when you are at the crag with a fully charged Hiltibosch, but in the longer term repeated placement and removal of fixed gear does nobody’s savoir faire (or the rock!) any good. If you are considering something very ambitious, such as the wholesale retro-bolting of a large buttress of trad routes, then in the interests of gaining consensus support it would be wise for you to add this to the agenda for a proper debate at a BMC Peak Area Meeting.

The following climbs are examples of routes which are of either classic/historically significant status and therefore (according to current consensus opinion) should NOT be retro-bolted or crossed by new bolted lines despite being on crags which have substantial bolt-protected climbing (NOTE: this list is purely indicative and by no means exhaustive):

Chee Dale:  Nettle Buttress - General Incompetence; Summer Wine; Terra Incognito

Chee Dale: Two Tier – Ninth Life; Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Chee Dale: Plum Buttress – Sirplum

Chee Dale: Chee Tor – Mortlock’s Arete (a re-gearing of the top pitch would present an ethical dilemma if the pegs can’t be replaced like-for-like!); Golden Mile; Ceramic; Tequila Mockingbird (no extra bolts)

Safety

In general, bolt spacing on sport climbs should make the routes safe with bolts placed in good rock and in the optimum places for clipping.

Only 316/A4 stainless steel (or better) bolts and pegs should be used. Substandard bolts will corrode quickly necessitating early replacement:  this leaves unsightly scars and in some cases old studs in the rock. An example of particularly poor re-equipping is Too Old To Be Bold at Rubicon which is already on its second set of (rusty) bolts.

If you are unsure about the type and grade of bolt to use then please seek expert advice or refer to the Bolting Guidance on the BMC website. If using ‘through’ style bolts then over-drilling is highly recommend so that on (eventual) replacement the studs can be hammered flush with the rock. If you are re-gearing a bolt route then the equipment and metalwork can be provided free of charge by the Peak Bolt Fund. There is a long list of Peak sport routes with dangerous gear and a shorter list of people with the time, aptitude and psyche to do the re-gearing. Volunteers to help spread the load are very welcome.

Overstepping the mark

Taking into consideration these guidelines, if you see a new piece of fixed gear which you judge is unacceptable, what should you do? The first step is to directly contact the person that did it (if possible) to understand their actions and, if possible, reach an amicable resolution.  If this is not forthcoming and you feel strongly that these guidelines have clearly been disregarded, removal of the offending item(s) may well be justified.

If you are not confident or sufficiently proficient to take such action, then to get a consensus view and assistance you could debate the incident online and/or put it on the agenda at the next BMC Peak Area Meeting. This kind of dispute potentially enlivens the evening and may boost attendance!

Useful websites:

BMC website: www.thebmc.co.uk

Peak Bolt Fund: www.thepeakboltfund.blogspot.co.uk

Date Produced:

April 2013

Link here: https://community.thebmc.co.uk/GetFile.ashx?did=1576

     

(* https://community.thebmc.co.uk/GetFile.ashx?did=1411  Ian Millwards initial draft)

  

1
In reply to Tony-S:

Bad Tony! 

Please don't chop the bolt on Darius

3
In reply to UKB Shark:

Ah so this the culprit to chopping the lower off bolt on Eye of the Tiger as well? Knowing well that there's a bolting ban in place so it wouldn't be able to be replaced? It had been there for years, who is he to feel entitled to go around chopping bolts without asking anybody? What next, chopping all the bolts on Arch enemies? Looking at the down votes he gets tells you everything how welcome his actions are... 

9
In reply to Tony-S:

Please get off your ethics high horse and leave the routes alone. Don't you have anything better to do with your life? 

11
In reply to Tony-S:

You say in UKB: 

"We can’t change the past but, surely, we can do better in the future."

But you are changing the past (very intently if I must say), you are chopping bolts the were there for years and didn't bother anybody. And your actions are creating further damaging the rock because bolting wars have started or will start soon anyways. You are solely to blame for this, for all the new drilling happening and that will happen. You caused that. Who the hell do you think you are to go around being the ethics god?

10
In reply to Northern_Pie_eater:

I really wish people would use their real names in these debates. 

5
In reply to n-stacey:

It's pretty clear from Tony S's antagonistic attitude both on UKB and on this thread that he is essentially an Internet troll getting a kick out of annoying people. His manner is constantly one of seeking conflict rather than resolution and this is just the latest example. Removal of these bolts in this manner was completely unnecessary and people who know Tony personally should tell him he's acting like an arse. What good are friends for if they can't deliver honest truths? Anyway, he's acting like a child and I'd hope the Peak Area meeting which will presumably follow will reaffirm the community support for these bolts, and they can be reinstated. What a pointless process. Still, I'm sure Tony is really enjoying it behind his keyboard.

I'm aware the above is also somewhat antagonistic but I can't emphasise enough how pathetic I find this behaviour. Simon is being commendably polite. 

Post edited at 17:35
11
 Tony-S 17:39 Wed
In reply to UKB Shark:

Simon, as I have written before: we cannot change the past. 

I have been trying to make contact with you to seek a resolution for a number of days now. You have my email, I have offered to speak with you in person or online at a time that is convenient to you. Please get in touch.

70
 Tony-S 17:43 Wed
In reply to Northern_Pie_eater:

I refer you to the RAD for Dovedale, https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=555

If you change your profile to allow emails, I will happily arrange to speak with you. Or you are very welcome to send me a message via my user profile on here to arrange.

38
 Tony-S 17:51 Wed
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Hi Jim,

I will happily arrange to speak with you if you’d like to send me a message via my user profile on here.

Best wishes,

Tony

43
In reply to Tony-S:

This is classic deflection tactics. It's not acceptable to take unilateral action, post coy teases about it on the logbooks ("nae bolts currently" on the Big Cigar ukc log) and then refuse to engage publicly when people call you out on your actions. You've acted in a very public and unilateral manner. The least you could do is engage with people who disagree in a public manner as well. Politely requesting people email you in private could not be more at odds with the incredibly rude, antagonistic and public chopping you've carried out. If you truly believed personal discussion was the best way forward, you'd have raised it at a BMC area meeting. Instead, you acted publicly and unilaterally and are seeking private discussion now people object . It doesn't wash I'm afraid. 

Post edited at 18:01
7
 Tony-S 18:08 Wed
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Hi Jim,

I requested (in May) a discussion be held at the BMC Peak Area meeting. It appears this may not have been passed on to the chair, I emailed them myself yesterday.

I would be happy to discuss the matter with you (and others) before then should you like to get in touch. 

Best wishes, 

Tony

Post edited at 18:09
50
In reply to Tony-S:

Nonsense. I've been a BMC Area Chair. As you know, it's a volunteer position, as is every position on a local committee. If something wasn't passed on to them to be discussed that's unfortunate, and a shame from your perspective, but it's no reason to just crack on with the chopping in the meantime. It's a completely incoherent position. Emailing them again after the chopping has been carried out is putting G the cart before the horse. 

Post edited at 18:16
5
 UKB Shark 18:27 Wed
In reply to Tony-S:

See Northern Pie Eaters comment - you have changed the past.

As I’ve replied to you in email if you have a case for both what you’ve done and the manner in which you’ve done it then take accountability and have the guts to take it online and at an Area meeting to defend your actions and present your proposals.

You’ve acted unilaterally in utterly bad faith chopping the bolts and presenting it as fait accompli - that’s not seeking a resolution. Unless you are going to replace the starting and belay bolt on Storming there’s nothing to say. I’m less fussed at this point about Big Cigar as it wasn’t getting repeated - leave the hangers at the Foundry desk. 

4
 Tony-S 19:15 Wed
In reply to UKB Shark:

Simon, I really would rather speak with you in person rather than over an internet forum. However, since you are not presently willing to do so:

I think it would benefit all to know that I made it clear to Simon that I was against bolting in the vicinity of existing trad routes on the 17th June, citing the BMC position statements. Simon did not engage with me. Simon added a bolt 10ft to the right of Bastille (a trad route with modern bolts but with their origins as 1960s aid bolts) on or around the 5th July.

Simon, I really hope you will speak with me in person so we can resolve this issue. Excuse the trite phrase but there is -almost certainly- more which unites us than divides us. For one thing, we are clearly both passionate climbers.

Post edited at 19:19
54
 Ramon Marin 19:26 Wed
In reply to Northern_Pie_eater:

Well with EotT is a bit more nuanced I'm afraid, and I'm partly to blame. Last year I left a fixed rope to access the top of Ilam because it required many sessions of shunting on my own, and it's quite complex to rig and de-rig when you are there on your own every session. I, regrettably, didn't take the rope down after doing the route and made EotT and Final Round very popular in space of a year. I think Tony got annoyed, as many would do and understandably, about the rope being up there and removed it along with a whole lot of fixed gear. I've spoken to Tony about it and did apologise for leaving my crap up there. I did think personally chopping the single bolt that was there since circa 2017/18 was perhaps a step too far, but I'm not quite sure about what the deal was with that bolt (Randall or his film crew didn't put it there apparently) so I assumed he had his well-founded motives, so I accepted it for what it was. As far as I'm aware, not other routes at Dovedale have had any other fixed removed.

Post edited at 19:27
 wintertree 20:14 Wed
In reply to Ramon Marin:

>  I did think personally chopping the single bolt that was there since circa 2017/18 was perhaps a step too far

In terms of preserving the rock, chopping a bolt should be an action of last resort, not of first resort.

Removing the hanger whilst it’s worked out away from the rock is one thing, chopping it is another entirely.

4
 Sam Ring 20:52 Wed
In reply to wintertree:

Have you read the RAD directive posted above concerning this location?

2
 Sam Ring 20:54 Wed
In reply to UKB Shark:

It would seem unilateral actions have only been committed by others in this instance?

 wintertree 21:07 Wed
In reply to Sam Ring:

> Have you read the RAD directive posted above concerning this location?

Yes.

It clearly states that approval should be sought before bolting.  But it does not in any way authorise a third party to chop a bolt if that third party believes the bolt has been placed without authorisation. In fact the SSSI basis of their concerns make unauthorised bolt  chopping just as much of a problem IMO.

Looking for precedent elsewhere, if I violate planning permission then my neighbours can report me to the authorities for it, but neither the authorities or my neighbours can reverse my works up front, rather retrospective due process is gone through with the authorities and, if required, their decision is enforced.

If there has been unauthorised bolting, unauthorised destruction by a third party isn’t going to help relations with the land owner now is it? 

I’m not taking a view on if the bolts have been placed in accordance with the agreements nor not, I’m just considering the case where they haven’t as that’s the only one where your comments have any application and IMO that case still does not justify what has apparently happened.

Post edited at 21:11
6
 Stoney Boy 21:08 Wed
In reply to Ramon Marin:

Don't know why there is this fixation with High Tor and Dovedale...look at Central Buttress and routes like Sox that were bolted over and then given new names....

In reply to Tony-S:

I can see why you want this conversation private, but in public is perfectly fine with moi, thank you very much

So you are saying that you, and you alone, are the judge to say whether that bolt on top of Ilam rock was placed without consent of NT? Shouldn't have they been consulted before you took you unilateral decision to grind it off?

And also, you and you alone decided it was problem, nobody else had a problem with it. If NT hadn't raised an issue in however many years that lone bolt was there, why now take it up on yourself to remove it? Do you now work as a judge of bolting ethics for national trust? Wouldn't you think that since the bolt was there chopping it off might cause a bolting war? Certainly something national trust and BMC would want to avoid. Or were you just pissed off that other climbers not as good as you could do all these routes too?

Also, I find it very hard to believe you didn't make use of that bolt when you did eye of the tiger and final round. So you waited until you didn't need them to chop them... very sly if you ask me. I hear bolts of Steve's routes are also gone, which I assume is your handy work too.

Your actions are undefendable. The reason why you didn't raise any pf this publicly is because you knew you'd get shut down and hence you did a Putin on us the climbing community. I really hope you get some nasty looks next time down at the crag now that everyone knows what you are up tp

Post edited at 21:31
16
 Ramon Marin 21:48 Wed
In reply to Northern_Pie_eater:

To be fair the bolts on the lower off on Steve's Route (E6 6c) where atrocious, to a point of usable and unsafe (from what I could tell). One would assume Steve McClure had adhered to the RAD bolting practise back in 2007 and had permission to put them in, in which case a like for like replacement would have been potentially approved. But I might be wrong.

 Tony-S 22:17 Wed
In reply to Northern_Pie_eater:

I have to say it is a first for me to be compared to Putin.

I will not be lectured to by a wholly ignorant - as is clear from your comments - anonymous user.

The belay of “Steve’s Route” (he never named it) was placed by Craig Smith in the 90s.

The bolt on the top of Final Round was placed after I climbed Eye of the Tiger so, no, I did not use that when I climbed Eye of the Tiger. (Edit: Incidentally, the FAist of Final Round was not consulted about the placement of this bolt and did not support its continued presence.)

After I removed that single bolt, someone went back and unilaterally placed a double bolt belay. Was this you by any chance? On that, I only removed the hangers and reported it to the BMC reps. No one has returned since May to tidy that up despite them being made aware by the BMC reps that it was unacceptable.

I am still trying Steve’s Route, I removed those ancient bolts and use a natural belay at the top and a natural rebelay near where the bolts were. It’s never caused me any problems setting these up. It takes only a very little more effort and time once you’ve done it once.

Post edited at 22:32
18
 Neil Foster Global Crag Moderator 23:50 Wed
In reply to Northern_Pie_eater:

Why are you so frightened to post under your real name? It is really helpful in debates like this to know who is posting. Hiding behind a nom de plume definitely compromises your argument, which I’m sure isn’t your intention…

Neil

20
 Misha 00:01 Thu
In reply to Tony-S:

To be fair, a bolt 3m right of a trad route isn’t going to interfere with the trad route in most cases. It would be in the vicinity but if it doesn’t really interfere then I’d say no harm done.

10
 Tony-S 07:23 Thu
In reply to Misha:

Simon’s quote contains the pertinent point (emphasis added):

”Be considerate of the history of a buttress or route. It is generally not acceptable to detract from existing classic routes (usually, but not always, trad routes).  This means that adding inferior new routes with fixed gear very close to, or crossing, classic routes should be avoided - especially if the new fixed gear can be clipped from the existing line.”

It is the first bit that matters. But you’ll notice that the word in the final clause is “especially”, not “only”.

There is no extended history of new (non like-for-like) bolts being placed for free climbing on the main shield of High Tor. The vast, vast majority of bolts in place currently are-, or replaced-, aid bolts.

Moreover, I had expressed my opposition to new fixed equipment to Simon and directed him to the BMC position statements before he placed his most recent bolt. Simon did not engage with me; he has still not engaged with me.

As I have written several times, I would still like to discuss the matter with Simon to try to find a resolution. It is my hope that we could then jointly take a proposal to a Peak Area meeting.

15
 Andy Hardy 07:59 Thu
In reply to Tony-S:

What would your resolution (to this situation) look like?

 Luke90 08:09 Thu
In reply to Tony-S:

This post makes a reasonably convincing case that a debate was worthwhile. It doesn't come anywhere close to justifying your unilateral destructive response in advance of that debate happening. It's quite bizarre to hear you trying to claim the moral high ground with suggestions that you're just looking for a debate and a solution that satisfies everyone after you've poisoned the well like that. No wonder Simon isn't particularly keen to "engage" with you given how you've acted.

Yes, online debate sucks, perhaps especially when it comes to bolting. But once the topic is out there, you can't reasonably expect to shut it down in favour of just speaking to concerned people individually. If you think your debolting was justified, justify it (you haven't come anywhere close here, in my opinion). If you think you were too hasty and regret it, at least apologise. Trying to just dismiss that by saying "you can't change the past" is ludicrous when "the past" is your own deliberate actions only a few days ago!

5
In reply to Tony-S:

I can't quite see the relationship between a new bolt near Bastille and the bolts on Big Cigar which presumably were there from the first ascent in 2016.

 Tony-S 09:18 Thu
In reply to Luke90:

Hi Luke,

As you acknowledge, forums are not a good place for this kind of debate largely due to the difficulty of conveying nuanced meanings in a few words and with the absence of other cues. The anonymity also has a tendency to lead to people throwing insults and posting inaccurate information (knowingly or otherwise).

With that in mind, let me clarify a few pieces of inaccurate information:

I have never tried or asked for this discussion to be shut down. I have asked people to contact me privately because I believe that would be a more efficient way to discuss the matter, see para 1, above. However, I have not shied away from posting responses, from the start.

In your time lines you seem to have omitted the fact that I had made it clear to Simon that, my belief was, that the irreversible, destructive actions Simon subsequently committed should be discussed before the act. Simon did not engage with me, that was before I ever went near any of the bolts he placed.

When I write “we cannot change the past”, it has never been meant as an excuse. I have never tried to disclaim my own actions. I have laid them out for you to read. I would like to seek a resolution. However, what I an unable to do is go back and undo what I have done. No one can. That is what I mean by the words.

I would like to apologise in person to Simon but in the absence of that, I wish to convey the following (some of which I have already written to Simon):

I understand why you feel the way you do but I genuinely hold no ill will toward-, or grudge against- you. I apologise for any hurt and  upset you feel as a result of my actions. I do believe there is more we agree on than you think. We are both passionate about Peak District climbing, that much is clear. It would be good to discuss a resolution in person (or video call). Please let me know what works for you.

Post edited at 09:19
48
 John Gresty 09:49 Thu
In reply to n-stacey:

Does anybody remember the large bolting discussion that was held in Sheffield many years ago, instigated by the late Ken Wilson if I remember correctly. I know the meeting was recorded but do not know if any minutes were published.

There did seem to be some agreement of where bolting was not acceptable, ( and was OK ) naming individual crags and areas. This appeared to have been fairly well adhered to for the following years. I still remember the comment that 'if a  National trust Ranger saw you in Dovedale with a drill you would be escorted out of the valley'.

When the Peak bolting protocol was issued many years later it refused to identify individual crags or areas. 

Quite a few years have past since these discussions, do we need another mass meeting to thrash out the current situation and not just a topic for discussion at a Peak Area meeting.

I was present at both the Sheffield meeting and Peak Area meetings where the current protocol was presented.

John Gresty

1
In reply to John Gresty:

> Does anybody remember the large bolting discussion that was held in Sheffield many years ago, instigated by the late Ken Wilson if I remember correctly. I know the meeting was recorded but do not know if any minutes were published.

I do remember that meeting and whilst it was good to have that debate, I have always felt the significance of the actual discussion has been over-stated. The fact it took place was great, what was said was of much less consequence. 

To support this here is the cartoon I produced on the day after this meeting...


In reply to Tony-S:

> I have asked people to contact me privately because I believe that would be a more efficient way to discuss the matter

Nobody else does. This is definitely not something to be resolved in private.

3
 Tony-S 10:54 Thu
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

The full quote was:

“I have asked people to contact me privately because I believe that would be a more efficient way to discuss the matter, see para 1, above. However, I have not shied away from posting responses, from the start.

See my comment about “difficulty of conveying nuanced meanings in a few words”.

and

”As I have written several times, I would still like to discuss the matter with Simon to try to find a resolution. It is my hope that we could then jointly take a proposal to a Peak Area meeting.”

Post edited at 10:59
19
 Steve Clegg 11:00 Thu
In reply to Alan James - Rockfax:

> I do remember that meeting ...

Hi Alan, what date was that?

Steve

 Iamgregp 11:10 Thu
In reply to Neil Foster:

Surely we should respond to all points made in a discussion like this based on their merit, rather than on who made them?  

There may be all sorts of personal, professional or other reasons why a person doesn’t feel comfortable posting under their full name here, please try to be a little more considerate.

Post edited at 11:24
6
In reply to Steve Clegg:

> Hi Alan, what date was that?

> Steve

Hmmm, tricky. The meeting I am referring to took place at the Foundry so that would put it post 1992 but probably pre 1995. 

ALan

In reply to Tony-S:

As you've been told many times, the correct course of action is to take it to a meeting, not challenge Simon to a scrap behind the bike sheds.

And certainly before you start chopping bolts.

Post edited at 11:20
11
 Tony-S 11:21 Thu
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Once again, I will not be lectured to by an anonymous user who selectively quotes me. If you wish to contact me directly -civilly- feel free.

And where on Earth did the following come from?

"challenge Simon to a scrap behind the bike sheds."

You are now plainly making things up and I would add that this is certainly a defamatory comment.

Post edited at 11:25
69
In reply to Alan James - Rockfax:

> To support this here is the cartoon I produced on the day after this meeting...

Even further back, I thought the principle that quarried limestone was fair game but natural limestone wasn’t* was simpler and clearer.  Not sure how much consultation there was before that was abandoned.

* Exceptional single bolts on otherwise trad routes being quirky but tolerable anomalies.

In reply to Tony-S:

You don't get to go around chopping bolts and then think you can choose who you get lectured by. I won't be the last so I suggest you get used to it.

9
In reply to UKB Shark:

If it's decided at the next area meeting that these bolts should be reinstated (the proper course of action) the Avon gorge people are using core drilling to remove old studs leaving the hole reusable for twisty glue ins and removing the unsightly rebolting marks. 

https://www.facebook.com/100064690896403/posts/pfbid02iYy6Bz1aassvzrzRsPpii...

This should leave them back in the same state they were before this sad affair happened.

3
 Pedro50 11:54 Thu
In reply to Tony-S:

> Once again, I will not be lectured to by an anonymous user 

Well not being in the loop I have no idea who Tony-S is. Feel free to enlighten us.

Peter Steward 

Post edited at 11:57
In reply to Pedro50:

> Well not being in the loop I have no idea who Tony-S is. Feel free to enlighten us.

> Peter Steward 

Tony Soprano? In which case, he can do what he wants!

 Iamgregp 12:29 Thu
In reply to Tony-S:

You can’t be defamed when you’re posting on here under a generic, ambiguous username. Can’t have it both ways.

4
In reply to Niall Grimes:

> I really wish people would use their real names in these debates. 

I don't know if this is meant tongue in cheek, but this has been discussed at length on here before.  99% would be no less anonymous to me if they used their real name than their current pseudonym

3
 Tony-S 13:26 Thu
In reply to Iamgregp:

Except I’m not. Check my profile. My full name appended with “climber” will likely yield results with first result relating to me.

I am, in any case, readily identifiable from the context. I suggest you investigate the law around defamation and how “identifiable” is understood in that  context.

Post edited at 13:26
57
 Iamgregp 13:33 Thu
In reply to Tony-S:

Funnily enough, I looked at your profile earlier and your name wasn’t there.

Clearly you’ve just added it haven’t you?

You’re as dishonest as you are misguided. 
 

Post edited at 13:38
5
In reply to Tony-S

I noticed that your name wasn't in your profile yesterday and now is

Post edited at 13:38
 Iamgregp 13:39 Thu
In reply to Simonfarfaraway:

Yeah knew I wasn’t mistaken.

Swing and miss Tony.

1
 Tony-S 13:43 Thu
In reply to Simonfarfaraway:

I added my full name once I saw the message from Pedro that he did not know my name. It was an oversight that my full name was not present from the start of this thread.

Would you, lamgregp, and others care to add your own?

37
In reply to Tony-S:

It's pretty clear that you're the one who needs to read about defamation since you appear to have no idea what constitutes it. It's not anything anyone's said here that's harmed your reputation.

You did that yourself.

2
 duncan b 13:46 Thu
In reply to n-stacey:

Could this discussion be distilled down to 3 questions?

1) is it ok to add a bolt, or bolts, when putting up a new trad route on the main face of high tor? I'm kind of sympathetic to both sides here. Traditionally, only old aid bolts were replaced with bolts on high tor (e.g. Bastille I believe) but more recently a number of fully bolted sport routes have gone up unapposed so maybe there's a more recent precedent for it.

2) can the new bolts be clipped from existing trad routes? If so, I'd argue they're fair game to be chopped. Although I've no idea if this is actually the case I might add. 

3) is it right for someone to take unilateral action to strip the bolts. For 1) maybe, maybe not. For 2), yes I'd say that's fair as it could be argued that they're restoring the route to it's original state and it's the bolter who is acting unilaterally in effectively adding bolts to an existing trad route. 

Post edited at 13:53
 Ramon Marin 13:52 Thu
In reply to Alan James - Rockfax:

Great little comic that Niff, very Monty Python

 Iamgregp 13:55 Thu
In reply to Tony-S:

My god you’re a slippery customer - you come on here claiming you’ve been defamed and complaining that you won’t be lectured at by anonymous users, then when it’s pointed out to you you’re anonymous too  (which undermines both these points) you go back and add your name to your profile (guess you figured it was too late to change your username as we’d all notice) then try to pass it off like it’s been there the whole time!   

Then when you clock that you haven’t got away with it you just brush it under the carpet as an “oversight”.

I’ve seen some people make fools of themselves on here, but this is top end.

And no, no thanks. I won’t be telling you my name. It’s none of your business, and being as I’m not the one crying about being defamed or others being anonymous I’ve absolutely no need to do so. 
 

Post edited at 13:56
11
 tehmarks 14:06 Thu
In reply to Tony-S:

> Except I’m not.

No - not now you're not.....

 Tony-S 14:14 Thu
In reply to tehmarks:

Yes, I agree (I’ve given you a like), it would have been better to state that in that post. I had made an oversight and I should have admitted to it more transparently.

Just to be completely transparent, I have just updated my name on my profile again now. (Further transparency notice: credit to Climber_Bill).

Post edited at 14:16
22
OP n-stacey 14:32 Thu
In reply to duncan b:

As per point 2. You don't have to clip the bolt, do what your ethics dictate. But don't chop it for your own gratification or we just end up where we are today.

27
 Iamgregp 14:33 Thu
In reply to Tony-S:

No, no hang on. That not quite all of it it is it?

You may have made an oversight by not adding your name to your profile in the first place.  

But you then realised this, amended it, then you messaged me at half 1 with your “check my profile” message.

That wasn’t just not being completely transparent, that was a deliberate and conscious attempt to mislead.  

This does pose the question about whether all your claims of acting in good faith re. the bolts are to be believed.

I mean, you can see the problem you’ve created for yourself here can’t you?


 

8
In reply to n-stacey:

My name is Ben Darby and I think unilateral action is wrong almost all of the time.

What a farce

4
 jimtitt 15:06 Thu
In reply to n-stacey:

This gets better and better, I've got more popcorn and nearly time to settle down with an early beer!

1
In reply to duncan b:

From reading this thread it sounds like a bolt was placed near Bastille, presumably to facilitate a new line. Nobody has claimed that this bolt was clippable from Bastille so it sounds like it's in your first category. This bolt has now I believe been chopped.

Nobody (presumably UK Shark) has actually said (on UKC at least) exactly why they placed the bolt. Similarly nobody (presumably Tony-S) has actually said exactly why they chopped the bolt. There's only been vague quotes from policies/guidance etc. it would be good if both parties did this so that those of us not directly involved can better understand the situation.

It also appears that Tony-S has chopped the bolts on Big Cigar which was graded as a sport route. It would be good if he could explain his reasoning for doing this since those bolts (nowhere near Bastille and possibly not clippable from any trad route except the Fantasia girdle) have been there for several years without any significant complaints about their existence.

1
 Ed Booth 15:53 Thu

Tony, Ramon has mentioned higher up in this thread that it was yourself that removed some in situ equipment from around the top of Eye of the Tiger/Ilam Rock.

Are you able to clarify specifically what you removed? I have looked back on UKB threads and saw that you specifically responded in disagreement to most of the things I wrote about the route/situation. 

You didn't at any point mention that it was yourself that removed any of the equipment.

Thanks, Ed

2
 wjcdean 16:29 Thu
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

>>My name is Ben Darby and I think unilateral action is wrong almost all of the time.

I am Spartacus, I mean, Ben Darby.

(it was a tough call between this and a 'Fight Club, his name was Robert Paulson' thing)

Post edited at 16:30
OP n-stacey 16:48 Thu
In reply to wjcdean:

I'm Brian and so are my wife and children.

Post edited at 17:18
2
 Philb1950 18:11 Thu
In reply to n-stacey:

I’m a bit ambivalent about bolts on predominantly so called trad. crags and especially High Tor. High Tor has some of the best E5,s and 6,s in the Peak, which if  in the future they were bolted would quickly become polished 6c to 7A+ sports routes, hardly cutting edge and I don’t think it should contain hybrid routes because of lack of pro. as this might be the beginning of the rot. Also it’s been acknowledged for years that if the main face was bolted you could probably climb anywhere on it. I can see the need to possibly replace old aid climb bolts on freed lines and I realise that this may be viewed as hypocrisy but people have always applied nuance and common sense, but the bolt incursion has been allowed to grow increasingly unchecked without until now, kickback. I was always opposed to the off line bolt on Bastille and without it would be proper E6 or E7 but unbalanced and I have to admit to clipping it because it was there. I also don’t agree with the bolting of free lines on Chee Tor. But I readily admit I may be an out of touch old age climbing dinosaur. However unilateral action by an aggrieved individual is probably not the way to proceed, but perhaps it’s now overdue time to discuss all the implications and stick to an agreed consensus 

OP n-stacey 19:15 Thu
In reply to Philb1950:

Hi Phil

I don't think anyone wants to bolt the free lines on High Tor. This post is about chopping two bolts on an existing line.

3
 Stoney Boy 19:42 Thu
In reply to Alan James - Rockfax:

It was at the Marquis of Granby in Bamford 

 Misha 21:47 Thu
In reply to Tony-S:

I’m not in favour of reckless bolting or retro bolting on prime trad real estate like High Tor but equally if the new bolts don’t directly interfere with existing trad routes or go up feasible trad lines, I’d say no real harm done. 

8
In reply to Misha:

What makes a feasible trad line? Or perhaps, what rules something out from being a feasible trad line?

Post edited at 22:03
 Misha 22:21 Thu
In reply to Pedro50:

To be fair, there aren’t many very good trad climbers called Tony S around the Peak (my apologies to any other very good trad climbers called Tony S around the Peak). I don’t use my full name either but enough people seem to know who I am, and I’m pretty crap by Peak standards 🤣

Back on topic - I don’t actually have an issue with Tony chopping these bolts, as long as it didn’t cause a mess. It’s a unilateral action but so was placing them. Simon would have known that bolting on High Tor Main Face (the best piece of limestone in the Peak) was going to be somewhat controversial. It’s not like Tony has chopped some bolts at Horseshoe. A debate would have been a better approach and personally I don’t really mind bolts at a mixed crag which are near a trad route, as long as they aren’t easily reached from the trad route. However I’m not going to get worked up about these bolts getting chopped either.

15
 Misha 22:28 Thu
In reply to Neil Morrison:

Good question. I guess something that could reasonably be climbed by a very good climber without being death on a stick. I get that this is very subjective. 

2
 UKB Shark 23:05 Thu
In reply to Misha:

Tried to do a video this evening about the history of fixed gear at High Tor and the rationale behind the routes I put up but the sound quality was crap. Will have another red/headpoint attempt tomorrow evening. 

1
 Fellover 23:31 Thu
In reply to n-stacey:

> Hi Phil

> I don't think anyone wants to bolt the free lines on High Tor. This post is about chopping two bolts on an existing line.

I'm not very familiar with the crag, but I don't think this is right. E.g. Shark has recently put this up Storming (E6 6c) which while given a trad grade did have a bolt placed (which Tony has now chopped).

I'm not saying in this post whether I think this is 'right' or 'wrong', but it does seem to be happening.

Post edited at 23:32
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> As you've been told many times, the correct course of action is to take it to a meeting, not challenge Simon to a scrap behind the bike sheds.

> And certainly before you start chopping bolts.

Does the the same level of consideration apply before placing bolts?

2
 Tony-S 07:20 Fri

Here’s a topo of the various new routes around at the right side of the main face of High Tor:

In chronological order:
Red: Musical Women E5 6b, Pete Livesey and Pete Gomersall 1980
Green: Grimsvotn E6 6b, Crispin Waddy, 28 Jun 2024
Purple > Red > Green: Storming, Simon Lee, 5 Jul 2024 (former bolt marked as purple X)

Ignore lines 56, 57 and 58 as they are drawn incorrectly (also true in the Rockfax btw).

If anything, the initial traverse of the red line is probably shown too high. Green is probably a little bit off higher up.

Decadence (E4 6a, Arnis Strapcans, Gorden Jenkin 1980) starts by line 59, traverses left above the low roof and then follows the red line.

For a history of the development of High Tor (an elsewhere) I would recommend Peak Climbing by Kelly, Hoey and Barker (which whilst imperfect is at least impartial), https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/publications/other_publications/peak_rock-6...


7
 BlownAway 08:14 Fri
In reply to Tony-S:

Imperfect? How so?

Phil Kelly

2
In reply to Misha: very subjective and some of today’s benchmark trad routes were/are considered death on a stick. As to “could be reasonably climbed by a very good climber”, what happens as standards continue to rise and we’ve bolted the trad routes of the future? Just look at Franco’s project on Ben Loyal, ok to bolt that because it can’t currently be climbed by a very good climber and appears to be death on a stick?

I should qualify this by highlighting I like both my trad and sport.

Post edited at 08:23
2
 ptrickey 09:17 Fri
In reply to Tony-S:

Did Tony-S repeat Storming (E6 6c) without the bolt? If so he could have suggested at a Peak BMC area meeting removing the bolt and renaming the route "Storming Off With The Bolt". Perhaps it would have won over a few doubters to his position (and perhaps even the first ascensionists on this route?)... instead of kicking off unecessary bolt wars.

10
In reply to Tony-S:

"Once again, I will not be lectured to by an anonymous user who selectively quotes me. If you wish to contact me directly -civilly- feel free."

I think you need to get beyond this straw man and simply answer reasonable questions with (hopefully) reasonable answers.

The onus on both you and Simon was to consult properly before acting.  Since it doesn't look like either of you did this you've arguably you've both committed the same offence. As such you've deeply undermined your own arguments. 

Perhaps you're hoping that (as is often the case) that the status-quo will win so you decided to tilt the odds in favour of your position by changing the status-quo in your favour?

4
 maxsmith 09:38 Fri
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

To me it appears both Simon and Tony have acted unilaterally: Simon in breaking the existing area bolting policy and Tony in removing the bolts.  

I'm neither pro-bolt or anti-bolt but I do feel strongly that any changes from the status quo should only be made after consultation and consensus.  

Please, please, please can both 'sides' sit down together at the next BMC area meet and have a sensible debate.

 BlownAway 09:39 Fri
In reply to Tony-S:

Thanks for your email.

I would like you to highlight exactly what imperfections you are referring to (your email suggests ‘everything’ is being classed as imperfect by yourself.

If you are unwilling or unable to do this, I strongly suggest you remove that accusation.

Phil Kelly

8
 Sam Ring 10:37 Fri
In reply to BlownAway:

Seriously mate, get a grip. What history is "perfect"? I've got your book and whilst beautifully put together and lovely thing to have the history is just people's recollections noted and compiled, be it contemporaneous or 30 years after. You haven't got Hansard archives detailing who did what on some grotty bit of limestone in 1984. 

18
 Tony-S 11:00 Fri
In reply to BlownAway:

No.

31
 BlownAway 11:16 Fri
In reply to Sam Ring:

Errr…. Excuse me…. I was asking for clarification. I never said it was perfect. 
If you know of any specific errors, let me know, but FFS don’t snipe with rumour on forums like this.

Phil Kelly

5
 BlownAway 11:24 Fri
In reply to Tony-S:

Where exactly where the errors then?

Can you back up your original statement with anything specific?

6
In reply to Sam Ring:

> Seriously mate, get a grip. 

I’m aware that feelings are running high within this thread, but if we can keep it civil that would be great. Anyone failing to abide by that will be banned.

1
 malx 11:42 Fri
In reply to n-stacey:

I'm going to speak out in support of Tony a little bit here. I think there needs to be a bit more push back against people sticking bolts into nationally important crags. Hopefully people will think twice about bolting things without proper consultation if there is a good chance they're going to get chopped.

Obviously Tony could have been a bit more tactful about it but it's got people engaged!

6
 Sam Ring 11:53 Fri
In reply to BlownAway:

Phil, I apologise for my attacking message. I should not have used the phrase that I did. I felt, probably unfairly, you were being precious and diverting into another argument. Apologies. 

@Rob Greenwood, sorry for the impolite tone.

I have been annoyed at many comments called Tony S a **** implicitly, figuratively and literally, here and elsewhere, without truly engaging with what is at stake, which by no means is war, but that is something which many people cherish.

5
 abarro81 12:01 Fri
In reply to Sam Ring:

Tony is the one that started that "other argument" though isn't he. As usual 😂🤦‍♂️

5
 Howard J 12:02 Fri
In reply to malx:

> I'm going to speak out in support of Tony a little bit here. I think there needs to be a bit more push back against people sticking bolts into nationally important crags. Hopefully people will think twice about bolting things without proper consultation if there is a good chance they're going to get chopped.

Yes, but if there should be consultation before placing a bolt it should equally be the case that removing it also requires consultation. Tony-S would not have been the sole arbiter of whether or not the bolts should be allowed, and should not be the sole arbiter of whether they should be removed.  Whether or not this was justified, his unilateral action comes across as arrogant and entitled, which is probably why it has accumulated so many dislikes.

5
 Luke90 12:04 Fri
In reply to malx:

This isn't a binary thing where opposing Tony's approach to the debolting means you support the bolts or don't want pushback against them. Two wrongs don't make a right, so if we expect consultation and consensus-seeking, we should want to see them in both directions. And the deterrent effect you're referring to would surely be more powerful if it was backed up by publicity and a community consensus anyway. There was no urgency to act here, some of the chopped bolts had been in place for years.

> Obviously Tony could have been a bit more tactful about it but it's got people engaged!

Engagement, sure. But his hasty action, and his approach to discussing it, have taken the focus off the core question of whether the bolts were appropriate and forced most of the attention onto him and the debolting itself.

2
Message Removed 12:05 Fri
Reason: inappropriate content
 Tony-S 12:25 Fri
In reply to abarro81:

My email to Phil set out the reasons for my choice of words:

Hi Phil,

As you will see from the thread on which you have commented, I have spent a lot of time and energy responding to the contents of that thread. I don’t think I want to add to my woes with a further parallel discussion.

I largely used that phrase  because I envisage Simon will criticise any source I suggest. So from that perspective it is better for me to acknowledge everything is flawed in advance (regardless of whether it is flawed or not).

I trust you will not take offence.

Best wishes,

Tony 

Post edited at 12:32
17
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Does the the same level of consideration apply before placing bolts?

Yes, absolutely. No sympathy for that argument though when we're taking about bolts that have been in place for 8 years or more here. 

2
Message Removed 12:45 Fri
Reason: inappropriate content
OP n-stacey 13:28 Fri
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Why were the bolts chopped in the first place?

2
 abarro81 13:32 Fri
In reply to Tony-S:

UKC deleted my post for being mean, let's try again...

That's a ridiculously weak response Tony, we're one step away from Trump style "some great people say x". As for "I trust you will not take offense" to someone who very clearly took offense 😂🤦‍♂️ It's pretty low to effectively insult someone's work and then claim you only did so in case someone else did later!

Anyway, did we ever get to whether you chopped the bolts because you didn't like the process (or lack of) in how they were placed, or did you only take out bolts you were convinced messed with existing routes? 

Post edited at 13:35
7
 Misha 13:52 Fri
In reply to malx:

Agree. 

3
 Misha 13:55 Fri
In reply to Howard J:

I get your point but it bolts are placed without agreement in a sensitive area, I think it’s fair cop for anyone to chop them. It’s simply restoring the status quo. As I’ve said above, I don’t have an issue with this particular bolt but equally I don’t have an issue with it being removed. Perhaps the debate should really be whether the bolt was within existing policy or not and whether the policy needs to be clarified. 

5
In reply to Misha:

The vast majority of bolts in the UK will have been placed with tacit, rather than explicit, agreement. Thats the only workable way for it to happen. The upshot of what you propose is that every bolt someone considers to be problematic is fair game for the chopping. Thats not right; if a bolt has/some bolts have been there for years and years without anyone raising it (as in the case of Big Cigar), its clearly not returning it to the status quo if someone removes them without consultation. The status quo was that Big Cigar was an existing route. If someone considered them wrong, then as has been said ad infinitum already, the approach would be to raise it at an area meeting to get approval for their removal. 

3
 Luke90 14:27 Fri
In reply to Misha:

> I get your point but it bolts are placed without agreement in a sensitive area, I think it’s fair cop for anyone to chop them. It’s simply restoring the status quo.

I'm broadly more on the traditional, anti-bolt end of the spectrum, but I think this approach is really dangerous in cases that are at all nuanced, as this one seems to be. Because if we encourage any one person to unilaterally go chopping based purely on their own judgement of whether the bolts are appropriate, what happens if the broader community then ends up coming to the conclusion that the bolts are in fact appropriate? You're then left with 3 possible unsatisfactory outcomes: 

  • No bolts, and maybe no route, even though the community overwhelmingly wanted them 
  • Additional bolts placed next to the old ones with additional expense and additional damage to the rock, perhaps in less optimal positions
  • Someone has to put in extra work to re-use the old holes (I know nothing about bolting, so no idea how difficult this is or how specialist the tools are but it was mentioned as a possibility above)

So sure, if someone does something clearly absurd like stick a bolt in three pebble slab, let's whip that out as quickly as possible. Though even then I'd argue the community would be better served by enough deliberation to identify the person most capable of doing a really neat and unobtrusive job. But if there's any room for debate at all, let's have the debate.

1
 Iamgregp 14:30 Fri
In reply to Misha:

Yes I agree completely.  There’s clearly a lot of room for interpretation in the way the policy has been written (just how close is very close anyway?) and on a crag such as this where there are trad routes, trad routes with occasional bolts or historic aid points, and full sport routes it’s unsurprising that one persons idea of whats within policy doesn’t match another persons and there will be flare ups like this.

Of course in an ideal world everything gets discussed and agreed in advance at local area meeting but this doesn’t seem to be working, particularly as there seems to be some interpersonal issues going on here too so perhaps it’s time to come up with alternate means? 

Frankly given the conduct of some characters on here, I wouldn’t blame anyone for not wanting to spend an evening debating them.

2
 Ed Booth 14:39 Fri
In reply to Misha:

It would be helpful though if somebody has chopped bolts or is going to chop bolts to at least let people know. 
It wasted my day and fuel turning up to Eye of the Tiger to be presumably the first person to discover that fixed equipment had been removed. 

I will reiterate I believe it is a separate debate as to whether or not it should have been put there in the first place. 

Post edited at 14:41
13
 Howard J 15:09 Fri
In reply to Misha:

> Perhaps the debate should really be whether the bolt was within existing policy or not and whether the policy needs to be clarified. 

Exactly. By unilaterally chopping the bolt Tony-S has pre-empted that debate.

2
OP n-stacey 15:28 Fri
In reply to Ed Booth:

I had the same experience on Sunday on High Tor.

2
 ebdon 15:34 Fri
In reply to Howard J:

I suppose the converse of that is by unilaterally placing bolts Shark also pre empted the debate.

1
In reply to ebdon:

No. Because bolts exist on High Tor already, and they have not all been subject to debate beforehand. Limelight was not debated in detail before the bolts were put in. Big Cigar has had the bolts in for years with no apparent issues. The idea that every bolt has to be discussed in detail before placing just isn't true. There are a few new sport routes at Chee Tor already this year with new bolts - these were not discussed in advance, they were just placed because there is an assumption that sensibly placed bolts there are fine. I think it was eminently reasonable for Simon to assume this was the same at High Tor, given there are quite a lot of bolts on the crag already, hence why he placed his bolt on Storming without getting approval from an Area Meet first. They are not the same.

If people are really arguing that for every placement of a bolt in the UK, area meeting approval is required, fair enough, but I think thats mad and it would represent a change from the current status quo. Thats all I'm getting at. There are innumerable numbers of bolts placed everywhere in the country that are not discussed beforehand. Given the numbers that clip them every weekend, people calling for every bolt to be discussed in advance should think about the practical realities of how this would work (it wouldn't).

Post edited at 15:57
16
 ebdon 16:02 Fri
In reply to spidermonkey09:

I'm really not sure about that, the Peak bolting policy certainly doesn't support that approach. I'm well aware of the fixed gear history at High Tor and I know it's not a black and white issue, but it is a trad crag and new bolting that interferes with exsting trad lines really isn't on. I know a lot of this goes on on Peak lime and no one really cares as the trad lines rarely get done and the bolters are keen popular local enthusiasts but it's not really an excuse. Perhaps Tony should have waited for the area meet but even though its a PITA and i appreciated people would rather be out developing routes then doing admin these bolted lines should really have followed the same processes. It's long winded I know but we have a finite about of rock, especially in the Peak and of due process had been followed this mess would have been avoided.

Whilst I'm not saying two wrongs make a right at High Tor I think Tony did everyone a favour in Dovedale, if the NT had found out the would not have been best pleased.

5
 Lankyman 16:09 Fri
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> No. Because bolts exist on High Tor already, and they have not all been subject to debate beforehand. Limelight was not debated in detail before the bolts were put in. Big Cigar has had the bolts in for years with no apparent issues. The idea that every bolt has to be discussed in detail before placing just isn't true. There are a few new sport routes at Chee Tor already this year with new bolts - these were not discussed in advance, they were just placed because there is an assumption that sensibly placed bolts there are fine. I think it was eminently reasonable for Simon to assume this was the same at High Tor, given there are quite a lot of bolts on the crag already, hence why he placed his bolt on Storming without getting approval from an Area Meet first. They are not the same.

> If people are really arguing that for every placement of a bolt in the UK, area meeting approval is required, fair enough, but I think thats mad and it would represent a change from the current status quo. Thats all I'm getting at. There are innumerable numbers of bolts placed everywhere in the country that are not discussed beforehand. Given the numbers that clip them every weekend, people calling for every bolt to be discussed in advance should think about the practical realities of how this would work (it wouldn't).

What's that strange tapping noise? Why, I believe it's the sound of a wedge being driven in ...

14
In reply to ebdon:

The point is that Simon clearly believes the bolts did not interfere with existing trad lines, and therefore placed the bolt.

Fair enough, I just don't see it that way. There is a link to the bolting guidance in this thread, as far as I can see it doesn't specify that all bolts have to be debated beforehand. That isn't the due process.

Anyway, I need to do some work; appreciate people see these things differently but I personally think my view of this particular incident remains that its the chopping that is the issue, not the bolting. That coming from a trad climber who loves High Tor.

Nothing more boring than wedge discourse on UKC!

Post edited at 16:10
12
 Iamgregp 16:26 Fri
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Agreed. Whilst I can understand people’s annoyance in Simon placing the bolt, as a neutral I can see how it can be argued that it’s within the policy.

It doesn’t cross an existing trad line, nor is it what I’d consider “very close” to one and there are already bolts on this crag.

If people feel nonetheless it shouldn’t have been placed (which I can also understand!), as this is primarily a trad crag, and an important one with a long history, then it’s it’s the systems and policies that are at fault, not Simon nor even really Tony to be honest.

I repeat my earlier point that there are also interpersonal issues at play here. I get the feeling that bolts may be more tolerated if they are placed by particular people, (this is pretty well referenced by Alan’s cartoon of 30 odd years ago reproduced above). Not really sure it should work like that.

4
Message Removed 16:35 Fri
Reason: inappropriate content
 Andy Moles 16:56 Fri
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> The idea that every bolt has to be discussed in detail before placing just isn't true.

Obviously this is right - if every bolt had to be approved by committee we wouldn't have a fraction of the sport climbs that we do. It would be silly and unworkable.

But, there is an asymmetry in this. If we say that bolting unilaterally is largely acceptable, but removing bolts unilaterally is never acceptable, that is a contract that tilts steeply in favour of bolts. No problem where they are appropriate, but if they are to any extent controversial...?

1
In reply to Andy Moles:

I was referring to examples which fall largely within the agreed framework. I think these bolts fall within the Peak Lime framework, or are at the very least strongly arguable. I don't think it's possible to strongly argue that these bolts are in direct contravention in the way that eg. A bolt placed in the middle of ninth life would be. That above scenario would be one where an immediate removal would be justified without recourse to discussion, because it would be clearly in contravention. 

2
In reply to Iamgregp:

I'm reminded of a statement that I'm guessing is from the 80's which was basically that if you're climbing 6b, you can climb anywhere on High Tor (can't remember where from, Crags? 87 guidebook?).

But that doesn't mean that you should.

Otherwise the logical end conclusion of that bolting policy/guidance is that High Tor could be validly covered with bolts as long as they weren't in reach from trad lines.

Definitely sounds like bolting policy is due a revisit.

1
 Sam Beaton 17:15 Fri
In reply to ebdon:

> Whilst I'm not saying two wrongs make a right at High Tor I think Tony did everyone a favour in Dovedale, if the NT had found out the would not have been best pleased.

Does/did the NT have a problem with there being fixed gear on Ilam Rock?

 ebdon 17:28 Fri
In reply to Sam Beaton:

My understanding (from my armchair, i'm not involved) is the NT have made it very clear that any new fixed gear that isn't a direct replacement will result in them considering restricting access. There's a reason no one is going to own up to placing this one, it's well dodgy! 

Post edited at 17:41
1
In reply to Lankyman:

> What's that strange tapping noise? Why, I believe it's the sound of a wedge being driven in ...

... Or Ken signalling from the grave.

1
 UKB Shark 18:40 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

> Tried to do a video this evening about the history of fixed gear at High Tor and the rationale behind the routes I put up but the sound quality was crap. Will have another red/headpoint attempt tomorrow evening. 

I’ve managed to do this now using high res pics of the main face kindly provided by Alan James in a video. 

For the section where I talk specifically and in detail about Big Cigar and Storming skip to 15.41

youtube.com/watch?v=sTAM0w8OKBM&

3
 Howard J 19:21 Fri
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> If people are really arguing that for every placement of a bolt in the UK, area meeting approval is required, fair enough

No one is suggesting that. Most areas where bolting is an issue have a policy, which will have been introduced following, probably lengthy, discussion. That allows the placing of bolts in accordance with that policy and no further approval or discussion is then required. However things are seldom black and white, and there may be legitimate differences of opinion over whether a particular bolt is within the policy or not. Those cases should then be raised for discussion at the appropriate BMC Area Meeting, not chopped by unilateral action.

4
 Tony-S 19:23 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

Hi Simon,

Because I do actually care, I listened through all of your 33 minute video.

I am sorry that you feel that I singled you out and that you think this was for personal reasons. But I repeat below the email I wrote to you on Tuesday and which I stand by:

Hi Simon,

Thanks for getting back to me.

I understand why you feel the way you do but I genuinely hold no ill will toward-, or grudge against- you. We do have differences of opinion on UKB (sometimes not as much as you might think). Our differences in opinion on UKB are really rather minor:

1) How the BMC should reform
2) How much new bridges cost
3) Editing post which have been responded to
4) (Possibly) Buy-to-let home ownership (though, I was really only against Gov policy rather than individuals)
5) Bolting and retro-bolting at High Tor

None of the above keep me up at night, they are simply what I wrote, “differences of opinion”.

I have removed bolts from another Peak District crag (as I thought you knew). I have not target you. At High Tor, the simple fact is you have been the only one to add new bolts (since 2015) to the main face of High Tor, AFAIK. If I missed other new bolts it was simply that I missed them. The 2015 date is arbitrary - like everything in climbing - though it has meaning to me which I’m happy to explain in person.

I have been in contact with the BMC Access reps for some time re: new bolts in the Peak. It was me who sought to have this discussed at a BMC Peak Area meeting.

I do believe there is more we agree on than you think. We are both passionate about Peak District climbing, that much is clear. It would be good to discuss a resolution in person (or video call). Please let me know what works for you.

Best wishes,
Tony

The offer still stands. I hope you will get in touch.

I would recommend others do read Peak Rock for a wider ranging and impartial history of developments at High Tor. https://www.adventurebooks.com/products/peak-rock

Post edited at 19:32
17
In reply to Howard J:

Yes, I agree with your position. I think these bolts are in line with the area policy as agreed, and in line with the historical context of high tor, as Simons video demonstrates. I think chopping them without recourse to an area meeting is out of line with the area policy. 

I would recommend people watch the video, it's very informative. 

2
 Matt Podd 19:52 Fri
In reply to n-stacey:

This is such a fine thread! Perhaps a cage fight could be arranged for the main protagonists?

3
 JLS 20:04 Fri
In reply to Matt Podd:

It’s like the football… on both channels at the same time.

 Misha 20:33 Fri
In reply to spidermonkey09:

But the vast majority of bolts in the UK have been placed on sport crags or crags where sport is the predominant discipline. No one is proposing to chop bolts at Horseshoe or the Cornice. In fact there has been retrobolting at both Cornices in recent years which no one has objected to because it made sense. However High Tor is not the Cornice or even Kilnsey (where a few trad routes remain and I think they should do for the most part). I get your point about Big Cigar and there is something to be said for bolts becoming ‘established’ after a few months / a year. However equally if the bolting was not as per policy, the passage of time should not in itself protect the bolts. 

2

In reply to Misha:

I would say I think it's very hard to argue the bolt on Storming is outside of the policy. All of them really apart from the one on Big Cigar which crosses Fantasia. That was a candidate for chopping. The rest, no way. 

4
 Luke90 20:41 Fri
In reply to Tony-S:

> It would be good to discuss a resolution in person (or video call).

I'm really curious what range of options you could possibly have in mind for a resolution. You've already ripped the bolts out. Are you going to let him put some back if he asks really nicely? Are there more bolts you're considering removing and could be talked out of? Or are you expecting to be so persuasive that Simon just agrees you did the right thing?

7
 Misha 20:44 Fri
In reply to Iamgregp:

So the real question is were the bolts in policy or not. As you say, it’s not clear cut in this case. To avoid issues, it’s incumbent on the person doing the bolting to consult where there is doubt. Where there has not been consultation and the bolting is controversial, removing the bolt is a restoration of the status quo and so I would argue that unilateral debolting is not unreasonable. However a more inclusive approach would be to consult on the debolting. That said, the onus is on the person putting the bolts in to either consult or only bolt where it is patently obvious that no feathers would be ruffled. 

5
 Misha 20:49 Fri
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Which is why personally I don’t have an issue with it. However there is a wider point than simply whether the bolt is close to a trad route (whatever ‘close’ means). You have to also consider the nature and history of the crag. Even then, it’s not straightforward. Just because there is an ancient bolt on Darius does not mean that we can stick random bolts on the face. I think there is also an even wider point. Do new hybrid routes need doing?

4
 Misha 20:54 Fri
In reply to Howard J:

> Those cases should then be raised for discussion at the appropriate BMC Area Meeting, not chopped by unilateral action.

And not placed by unilateral action either. 

4
 Misha 20:59 Fri
In reply to Ed Booth:

That’s a fair point. 

 Misha 22:00 Fri
In reply to Matt Podd:

Don’t mess with Fat Tony.

1
 UKB Shark 22:22 Fri
In reply to Misha:

> Which is why personally I don’t have an issue with it. However there is a wider point than simply whether the bolt is close to a trad route (whatever ‘close’ means). You have to also consider the nature and history of the crag. Even then, it’s not straightforward. Just because there is an ancient bolt on Darius does not mean that we can stick random bolts on the face. I think there is also an even wider point. Do new hybrid routes need doing?

I very much considered the nature of the history of the crag and certainly have not stuck random bolts on the face. If you watch the video that should become clear. 

2
 jon 22:34 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

> If you watch the video that should become clear. 

Crystal clear when I watched it, Simon.

2
 mic_b 23:13 Fri
In reply to Stoney Boy:

Sorry to derail the thread but wasn’t it you that put a totally unnecessary bolt in A Millers Tale at Rubicon essentially retro bolting it and ruining it for others  

5
 Stoney Boy 07:14 Sat
In reply to mic_b:

Certainly was Mic..

I asked Andys permission but like Tone if you feel that strongly remove it. 

3
 Sam Beaton 07:42 Sat
In reply to UKB Shark:

Before watching your YouTube video, I was erring towards being on your side in this. Now I've seen it, I'm with Misha in wanting to sum this up as "two wrongs don't make a right".

Your bolts that were removed undoubtedly affected Fantasia and Decadence, however minimally. Whether or not the placing of them complied with the fixed gear policy is, I think, open to some debate.

The bolt on LC is a historical oddity that provides a moment of amusement as you climb past it thinking "there is no point in clipping that, but it's making me smile". I wouldn't want anyone to remove it. The bolts on OR and D should be discussed when they reach the end of their lives I think. In my opinion there should be no assumption that these should be replaced automatically.

Just because some bolts have been in place for a few years without objection doesn't mean it's wrong to question them (but not unilaterally chop them) a few years down the line. 

Finally, I was surprised to learn that Bastille has 6 or 7 bolts in it (I'm never going to be good enough to climb it, but I knew enough about it to think it just had a couple lower down). I'm aware it's considered mega-classic, but doesn't being neither a pure trad route nor a full on clip up tarnish that reputation somewhat? Genuine question, but perhaps off topic here.

2
 Sam Beaton 07:45 Sat
In reply to Stoney Boy:

> I asked Andys permission but like Tone if you feel that strongly remove it. 

If we learn just one thing from this discussion, please can it be that we minimise both the placing of and removing of bolts in some locations!

 UKB Shark 08:00 Sat
In reply to Sam Beaton:

> Before watching your YouTube video, I was erring towards being on your side in this. Now I've seen it, I'm with Misha in wanting to sum this up as "two wrongs don't make a right".

>Your bolts that were removed undoubtedly affected Fantasia and Decadence, however minimally. Whether or not the placing of them complied with the fixed gear policy is, I think, open to some debate.

I’m baffled and concerned how you managed to come to that conclusion after watching the video. Only the top bolt of Big Cigar affected Fantasia. The other bolts did not affect other routes at all. Similarly the bolt on Storming emphatically did not affect Decadence in any way. It is nowhere near it. Can you point to what I said or how I used the cursor that led to those conclusions as it may be that I need to re-record the video as the whole point of recording it  was to make things clearer.

5
 Sam Beaton 08:29 Sat
In reply to UKB Shark:

As you say, the top bolt on Big Cigar affected Fantasia. Is Fantasia a "classic" trad route that shouldn't be affected by bolts? Yes, probably. Should all the bolts have been chopped unilaterally from Big Cigar? Not in my opinion.

Doesn't Decadence traverse across Storming? Isn't the bolt on S clippable from D? It still isn't clear to me. But I would definitely categorise D as a classic trad route.

1
 UKB Shark 08:47 Sat
In reply to Sam Beaton:

> As you say, the top bolt on Big Cigar affected Fantasia. Is Fantasia a "classic" trad route that shouldn't be affected by bolts? Yes, probably. Should all the bolts have been chopped unilaterally from Big Cigar? Not in my opinion.

Ok we are totally on the same page here. When I put the bolt in 8 years ago I did not consider Fantasia as I hadn’t done it and didn’t know where it went. If I had I wouldn’t have placed the top bolt. It was a mistake to do so. I only first became aware of this last year when Tom Briggs mentioned it in a forum post on UKB and I was up for taking it out but hesitated because John Codling (the first ascentionist of Fantasia) said it wouldn’t affect the character of the route much and I picked up that a couple of people who had recently climbed Fantasia had liked it being there. Even so I wouldn’t have objected in the slightest if Tony had just taken that bolt out. It would have made Big Cigar a bit runout but not unreasonably so.

Neil Foster and Donie O Sullivan have now just posted on UKB saying that they were strongly opposed to the bolt. I know both of them well and am miffed that they hadn’t told me before as I definitely would have been left in no doubt that this bolt should have gone and would have removed it if they had and saved a lot of grief all round.

> Doesn't Decadence traverse across Storming? Isn't the bolt on S clippable from D? It still isn't clear to me. But I would definitely categorise D as a classic trad route.

No - it traverses about 20 feet above it. The bolt on Storming was clippable from just above the ground then you climb pretty much straight up for 20+ feet to join Decadence at a thread just towards on the end of its initial rising traverse. I’m sorry that wasn’t clear in the video. If anybody else came to that conclusion can they let me know please as I will edit the video to make it clearer. 


 

Edit: Neil has now made some some qualifying comments on UKB and whilst he didn’t say the bolt on Fantasia should go my conclusion would still have been that if he had said what he said to me before in person in his earlier post I definitely would have concluded I should remove the bolt 

https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,34080.msg696468.html#msg6964...

Post edited at 09:15
 Sam Beaton 09:01 Sat
In reply to UKB Shark:

Thanks for confirming and clarifying. It's appreciated

 Ramon Marin 12:48 Sat
In reply to ebdon:

I’m not defending the placing of the sole lower off bolt at the top of Ilam rock back when, but it had been there for at least 6 years, as far we know it, probably longer. It had been used extensively by many to repeat the routes there. Most repeats ascents were done by climbers who enjoy trad very much and appreciate ethics. No one report it to NT or BMC, so it obviously it server a purpose. It seems a bit too far to chop it without consulting the people who actually been climbing in that rock, the BMC or the NT. I have had private conversations with Tony about this so I understand his motivations. But I would preferred a debate prior to unilaterally chopping the bolt. I think it would kept things more civil judging by looking at this thread, I think everyone can agree to that. 

1

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