UKC

Six (!) bolt abseil anchor, Balmaqueen, Skye

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 Nut Tool 19 Jul 2021

Was on Skye last week, and was saddened to see an abseil anchor consisting of not two, but six (!!!) 316 stainless glue-in ring bolts. 

Anchor was on the sea cliff at Balmaqueen (57.690430, -6.286724), above a gentle slab.  Not a climbing crag to my knowledge, but a shed load of nesting birds about.  Presumably placed for some commercial operation.  Downgrading and permanently damaging the natural environment for one's own financial gain.

In fairness, it looked like a bit of a faff to rig a natural anchor, so two bolts might be forgivable.  Six???  It didn't appear to be a slackline rig either.

Anyway I just wanted to have a whinge.  I'm from Australia, where we get a lot of this shit.  Saddened to see it in the UK too, the bastion of traditional climbing and ethics.

I'll report to Mountaineering Scotland when I get around to it.  Unfortunately I didn't have a crowbar with me at the time.

 Iamgregp 19 Jul 2021
In reply to Nut Tool:

Hold on a minute... If you can't climb at this crag and there shed loads of nesting birds on it, it doesn't sound like it would be a likely spot for a commercial operator to start adding bolts, particularly on Skye.  And why would they add 6 of them?

I'd guess the bolts have been added for another reason - perhaps by Ecologists monitoring the bird population?

In reply to Nut Tool:

> ...Unfortunately I didn't have a crowbar with me at the time.

Erm, if you don't know the purpose of the anchor then removing it with a crowbar would seem to be unwise at the very least. Other people use bolts aside from climbers.

In reply to Nut Tool:

Get your GP to refer you to a physio. They may help repair that jerky knee of yours.  

In reply to Nut Tool:

I'd bet its Slackliners / Highliners.

Not a climbing crag, so live and let live.

 Nut Tool 19 Jul 2021
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Erm, if you don't know the purpose of the anchor then removing it with a crowbar would seem to be unwise at the very least. Other people use bolts aside from climbers.

It's best to just take matters into one's own hands immediately, without involving bureaucracy, or others' opinions.

How bolts get placed, how bolts get chopped.

More seriously though, yes, I guess this isn't climbers, but it is climbing equipment.  It certainly looks like climbers.  And it is overboard. 

EDIT: if they placed six rusty pitons, I obviously wouldn't have blinked.  But six shiny ring bolts!  The audacity of it!

Post edited at 12:02
 Nut Tool 19 Jul 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Get your GP to refer you to a physio. They may help repair that jerky knee of yours.  


I might look into this.  The knee jerk has definitely been troubling me lately.  Breaking all that crust off sounds painful though, and I hate taking advice.

In reply to Dan Arkle:

> I'd bet its Slackliners / Highliners.

> Not a climbing crag, so live and let live.

Which? The natural environment or the bolts?

 craig h 19 Jul 2021
In reply to Nut Tool:

Could have something to do with the TV series "SAS - Who Dares Wins"? 

Their base is on Raasay just to the East of Skye, however a fair bit of their abseiling and at height challenges were filmed on Skye. 

 Iamgregp 19 Jul 2021
In reply to craig h:

Very possibly.  Would explain why so many bolts as they would have had to rig for camera operators and additional safety personnel... 

Seems more likely than my ecologist theory at any rate! 

In reply to Nut Tool:

Skye resident here based in Staffin. 

I am also aware of these bolts, not sure who placed them but the local coastguard teams use this stretch of coastline to practice scenarios on, often their bolts / stakes are useful for accessing new areas. They are generally left well alone and people don't tend to stick stuff in for no reason. 

I don't know that it is them this time but as you say i could also be camera crews or ecologists. 


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