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/ Gilwern east, Sidewinder 6b+ *** bolts stripped!?

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cavclimber - on 11 Aug 2018

Gilwern East

A great route. Sidewinder 6b+ *** appears to have had all bolts removed, viewed 10/8/18. Just one piton visible, near crux. Does anyone know why this has happened? FA is sport. Can it be retro bolted?

guy xavier percival - on 11 Aug 2018
In reply to cavclimber:

I think it was first done as a trad route. 

Still a great route but not as safe.

 

 

Post edited at 11:48
Luke90 on 11 Aug 2018
In reply to cavclimber:

Must have happened recently. Somebody logged it at the start of the month.

freelunchprovider - on 11 Aug 2018
In reply to cavclimber:

This might be one of the routes Martin Crocker did trad many years ago but failed to declare until the line was rediscovered and done as a sport route. Possibly he(Martin) has removed the bolts to re- instate it's trad nature.This scenario with M.C has happened fairly often in S.E Wales . Doubt if it will ever be rebolted unless you are prepared to do it yourself.

elliott92 - on 11 Aug 2018
In reply to freelunchprovider:

That makes martin a bit of a bellend does it not? 

cavclimber - on 11 Aug 2018
In reply to cavclimber:

Seems a shame as this was a great sports climb, at a predominately sports climbing quarry. I'll take a better look at it on my next visit. But from memory it will take some small nuts for the last 2/3rds (at E3/E4).  I guess whoever stripped it it asked for permission from the Rockfax FAs...?

Raises the question: If it was first a trad climb, the piton would have remained and been obvious to the FAs/bolters?

I hear that there is a 'Gilwern Sports Climbing' guide book on the horizon, perhaps the authors (Mark Davis and Gordon Jenkin) will consider to re-bolt it.!

For me its a really convenient, sheltered sports venue with great climbing for a mid grade climber. If more bolts get stripped then it would be a really tough, flaky trad venue.

 

The Ivanator - on 13 Aug 2018
In reply to cavclimber:

Half Pipe Dream (6c) Has also been debolted, I’m at the crag now. 

Dell on 14 Aug 2018

 

This poses a question.

Is a trad climb still trad if you use the man-made bolt holes for pro? 

Ned on 14 Aug 2018
In reply to Dell:

Most of the climbs at millstone use old peg scars for fingers/gear so I'd say yes, if you get up it using only trad gear it's trad. If the holes make it way better protected it could change the grade though.

irish paul - on 14 Aug 2018
In reply to freelunchprovider:

I was climbing at Taffs Well Main the other day and noting this was a similar case with some of the big 7a's left of Genghis Khan that were stripped.  Got me wondering,  if the consensus at a bmc area meet were to bolt/return these to sports routes,  would this be respected? 

Giles Davis - on 14 Aug 2018
In reply to irish paul:

Paul, do you mean the older routes that were stripped by the aforementioned person further up the thread a good few years back or the perfectly legitimate sports routes that have been recently re-geared this March / April?

 

irish paul - on 14 Aug 2018
In reply to Giles Davis:

Older routes that were stripped.  I was on some of the regeared routes at the time! Loved Conneticut connection and  Kings of New York (though the pegs in this are genuinely loose/shit) - excellent climbing and the crag seems to be in as good a nick as I've ever seen it so full respect to those that put in the work. Just seems a shame that the other lines arent climbed/climbable...

The Ivanator - on 14 Aug 2018
In reply to Dell: The two routes at Gilwern have had the bolts removed and the holes filled in (possibly with resin?) so no trad protection opportunities created.

Half Pipe Dream in particular looks a very bold proposition without bolts. Seems a shame that two excellent and popular Sports lines at a predominantly Sport venue will now probably only get climbed about once every 5 years.

Respect to the first ascensionist if these were first climbed as trad, but at this particular venue a less precious adherence to ethics would seem an appropriately generous act.

 

irish paul - on 14 Aug 2018
In reply to The Ivanator:

 This is my point regarding consensus - you need it to bolt routes,  surely it should also apply to de-bolting? 

Seems strange to assign ownership of a route....

AJM - on 14 Aug 2018
In reply to irish paul:

>  This is my point regarding consensus - you need it to bolt routes,  surely it should also apply to de-bolting? 

> Seems strange to assign ownership of a route....

Requiring f.a. permission is the way most Bolt policies work, that I can think of, rightly or wrongly.

Whilst that stands, having to seek consensus to remedy a breach of the bolt policy essentially removes the requirement (or at least adds a huge hurdle to it) by the back door.

If there’s to be a move away from f.a. “ownership” to pure democracy, it should be debated and explicit imo. And that exercise of democracy should probably happen in advance rather than as a retrospective discussion after the fact.

Dell on 14 Aug 2018
In reply to Ned:

That makes sense, but the holes at Millstone and others are features left over from pre-trad historic industrial use, whereas bolt holes left from removed hangers were placed in the rock specifically for the act of climbing it.
I'm just being pernickety and I take your point about lowering the grading.

Chris Craggs - on 14 Aug 2018
In reply to Dell:

> That makes sense, but the holes at Millstone and others are features left over from pre-trad historic industrial use, whereas bolt holes left from removed hangers were placed in the rock specifically for the act of climbing it.

I assumed he was referring to the pegged cracks that used to be too thin to free climb, aiding the routes opened up the cracks for runners and fingers,

 

Chris

Post edited at 16:47
freelunchprovider - on 15 Aug 2018
In reply to The Ivanator:

Were the belays still intact on the two stripped routes?

Bristoldave - on 15 Aug 2018
In reply to elliott92:

Regardless of whether Martin stripped the bolts from this route (i have no idea btw) his contributions to climbing in the south west are orders of magnitide greater than 99.9% of other climbers. It seems a little unkind to call him a bellend no matter how you feel about this situation.

Luke90 on 15 Aug 2018
In reply to AJM:

> Requiring f.a. permission is the way most Bolt policies work, that I can think of, rightly or wrongly.

> Whilst that stands, having to seek consensus to remedy a breach of the bolt policy essentially removes the requirement (or at least adds a huge hurdle to it) by the back door.

I think your general point is an excellent one. In this specific case, though, the suggestion further up the thread seems to be that the FA was unknown at the time of the bolting and only made a claim on the routes after they were bolted. That strikes me as a pretty dubious way to operate. It seems to me that claiming any of the "rights"* associated with the first ascent of a route should require a good faith effort to publicise your ascent via whatever channels are locally relevant.

Obviously people are perfectly entitled to climb whatever pieces of rock they fancy, with or without letting anyone else know about it. However, if you choose to keep your climbs to yourself, I think you lose any right to be offended if somebody else treats them as unclimbed new terrain.

If there was a valid consensus to treat this crag as a bolted venue and nobody had previously claimed any trad lines, how could the bolters be expected to know?

(For the record, I'm generally somewhat hostile towards bolts so I'm certainly not an instinctive defender of retro-bolting.)

*Not quite a suitable term but the best I could think of. Hopefully you get what I mean.

AJM - on 15 Aug 2018
In reply to Luke90:

> If there was a valid consensus to treat this crag as a bolted venue and nobody had previously claimed any trad lines, how could the bolters be expected to know?

In this specific case, the peg the OP mentions still being in situ even now should hopefully have triggered some asking of questions.

Whether they did, and just failed to find the right person to ask, or just didn't, I can't possibly say. Ditto whether the FA thought enough of the relevant people knew, or really didn't tell a soul, for that matter.

freelunchprovider - on 15 Aug 2018
In reply to AJM:

I think the problem arose because the first ascentionist would sit on reporting his new routes so that an exclusive job lot article could be sold  to one of the climbing magazines of the day,sometimes this might be a year or more later. This has lead to several other  similar incidents in S.E Wales.Most of these routes have little sign of being already climbed trad,the belay was an ab rope and any pegs though declared( if you can find the magazine article) were removed and declared as such(bristol peg runner)

 

     

freelunchprovider - on 15 Aug 2018
In reply to AJM:

My reply seems to be lost in the thread above.

mik82 - on 16 Aug 2018
In reply to AJM:

From what I can gather, on this route the peg has been placed after the bolts have been stripped.

goi.ashmore - on 16 Aug 2018
In reply to irish paul:

Yes it would be.

cavclimber - on 16 Aug 2018
In reply to mik82:

Yes, the peg is brand new. Most certainly placed after bolts were stripped.

Ollie Keynes on 17 Aug 2018
In reply to irish paul:

>  This is my point regarding consensus - you need it to bolt routes,  surely it should also apply to de-bolting? 

> Seems strange to assign ownership of a route....

Likewise regards the application of bolts surely

leburnett88 - on 19 Aug 2018
In reply to Ollie Keynes:

I’m not commenting on ethics one way or another, but I will say for me personally this is really sad. Had spent a bit of time working out the moves on this and was anticipating it being my first 6b+ lead.

Martin Haworth on 19 Aug 2018
In reply to leburnett88:

> I’m not commenting on ethics one way or another, but I will say for me personally this is really sad. Had spent a bit of time working out the moves on this and was anticipating it being my first 6b+ lead.

No need to be sad, why not make it your first E3/E4 lead?

leburnett88 - on 20 Aug 2018
In reply to Martin Haworth:

Because, as someone just pushing myself on the moves on that climb, it would be extremely dangerous to attempt to lead it on trad. As a relative trad beginner i’m Lucky if I do a VS and the moves on this 6b+ were extremely difficult for me. There’s no way I would be able to trad lead it for a long time yet, not safely anyway. I’m sure you would feel the same way if you had been really working a project and then it was no longer available - whether trad or sport. 

irish paul - on 20 Aug 2018
In reply to Ollie Keynes:

> Likewise regards the application of bolts surely


Yep - agreed. 

Personally, on bolting, I tend to think that if it improves the quality of the climbing then do it, once you have said consensus.  I know getting this consensus is difficult (i.e when/where/who) but I don't like the idea of someone putting in work to genuinely try and improve our rock resource, only to see that work needlessly damaged (and that works both ways!). 

Martin Haworth on 20 Aug 2018
In reply to leburnett88:  There's no need to take things seriously, I assumed you would have understood that I didn't really expect you to try leading the route, I was trying to make a point. 

!

 

Post edited at 19:45
jt232 - on 25 Aug 2018

Ethics aside, how many people are going to go to a sport venue to climb a trad route? Especially one with a line of bolts either side and a peg protecting the crux? Shame to see what seems to be a popular sport route lost to someone's ego. 

Ollie Keynes on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to jt232:

...it's also an interesting statement of ethical consideration amongst a sea of commercial commodification.

Luke90 on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to Ollie Keynes:

I'm all for questioning bolting but it seems rather unfair to accuse most UK bolting of being "commercial commodification". As far as I'm aware, almost all UK bolting is done by volunteers and often at their own expense with no profit to be found.

freelunchprovider - on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to Luke90:

Too true,the only example that springs to mind of "commercial commodification" is the new crag at cheddar.

Donny M - on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to cavclimber:

I think keeping a single or very minimal trad routes at a heavy sport venue can be a detriment to the trad routes. Take Bristol for example, Quarry 3 has about 30 sport routes and there's randomly an E1 amongst them.

With all the other trad around who's going to hike into that quarry with a rack to do that route? No one. No logbook entries in years. A friend of mine had some cams so tried it and every hold snapped off and he decked from 6 metres. The routes basically facked because no one climbs it and the de-chossing/cleaning that comes with it. 

No ones going to carry a rack up to Sidewinder to do that one route. They'd go somewhere where they can climb a number of routes, it will become unmanaged and unloved. It's kind of like the council not issuing a music license due to 2 complaints when 2000 people would have enjoyed the party. Weigh it up. 

Post edited at 13:41
Ollie Keynes on 01 Sep 2018
In reply to Donny M:

You have just spelled out the definition of commodification.

In reply to Luke90:

I was only referencing Gilwern but somehow you've extrapolated my comment into the wider uk bolting scene...some form of defensive sensitivity on display?? I suppose guidebooks are all nonprofit after all.

Luke90 on 02 Sep 2018
In reply to Ollie Keynes:

> I was only referencing Gilwern but somehow you've extrapolated my comment into the wider uk bolting scene

Fair enough, keep it constricted to Gilwern then. I have no idea who bolted it or what their motivations were but I would be astonished if they had a profit motive. Do you know more?

> some form of defensive sensitivity on display??

What a daft attack. What possible reason do you imagine I have to be defensive about this issue?

> I suppose guidebooks are all nonprofit after all.

Damn close to it, as far as I can tell from talking to some guidebook authors. Certainly the rate of return tends to be quite low by comparison to the countless hours of effort it requires. There's money to be made but nobody would do it without a genuine desire to contribute to climbing.

bpmclimb on 08 Sep 2018
In reply to cavclimber:

On the face of it, it does seem a pity to mess with what has become a high-quality established sport climb and such a sought-after tick. 

Personally, I have mixed feelings: the retro-bolting of trad routes too often happens without proper research and consultation, and as a climbing community we need to consider how effectively to deter that behaviour. On the other hand, where the FA is in the habit of sitting on new route information rather than promptly going public, their whole case is weakened considerably.

On balance, I think Sidewinder and Half Pipe Dream could have remained bolted; however, I don't agree with Donny M and one or two others that no-one will now climb them. FWIW I often take some trad gear to crags which are predominantly bolted: the trad routes interest me, especially where I've already climbed many of the sport routes, and having climbed Sidewinder a couple of times on bolts, I'm quite interested in having a go without.


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