/ Honcho peg

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paul mitchell - on 09 Feb 2013
I have added a new peg to Honcho at New Mills Torrs.
This was after consulting the first ascensionist,Nick Colton,who gave the go ahead.Those who wish to do the route in conditions similar to Nick would naturally not use a bouldering mat to work the moves to the first peg.The first peg is ancient and some people are using it as the sole runner and taking big falls on it,despite cams over to the right.One day it will rip out;thus my addition.
Anyone is welcome to replace the red tat with a darker colour one.All of two minutes work.
I added to several of the pegs at the Torrs,in company with Martin Kocsis(Frank the Husky).Notably Grim Reaper and the Arete,as well as Bionics Wall.

Martin had placed a bolt lower off above Bionics Wall,to save wear on the tree lower off.The bolts were in a shattered block;pretty unsafe.

Along with Paul Rhodes I disabled the bolt lower off and handed Martin back the hangers.I replaced them with £30 worth of hexes and slings.

I had previously told Martin that I would not tolerate bolts on the crag at the Torrs,as I fear that people will retrobolt my harder routes there.There is no excuse for bolt lower offs at the Torrs,where there are ample piton placements and trees to lower off.

I understand that Martin was just trying to help,but reckon his action was misguided,in this instance by a friend who wanted to preserve the tree at the expense of the rock.Climbing can be a dangerous pastime.Let's be judicious about how safe we make it.


Dan Lane - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:

Actually, Mitch, I think the bolt belay above bionics wall was the right decision, I've since been back and saw your effort at a fixed belay...I'd not hand my coat on it...can we have the bolts re-instated please?
paul mitchell - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: Tell you what Dan,if the BMC buys me the pegs I will set up an absolutely bombproof belay at the top of Bionics.
I have asked the BMC to provide me with pegs on several occasions,but they say they can only fund bolts.Interesting.Especially considering the many BMC bolts now rusting quietly on Derbyshire sport crags....

Simplest would be to place a few hefty peg lower offs just below the top of Bionics.That would preserve the tree and solve it.There are plenty of peggable cracks there.Bolts do not have to be used carte blanche.

As I say ,the bolt belay was placed in a very shattered block. Very dangerous lower off.Anyone willing to spent ten seconds checking that block would agree.people are still lowering off the tree at present,anyway.

mark20 - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:
No need for bolts. Belay on the tree and abseil off using cord/rope and maillon
Hugh Cottam - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:
Most of this seems entirely unnecessay. I have climbed most of these routes in the last few years and I only really think that placing the new peg on Honcho was justifiable. As I recall Bionics is easily protected with natural pro. The Arête only really needs natural pro. It's bold but I think that's the nature of the route. I see no reason whatsoever to be adding either bolts or pegs for lower offs. Nothing wrong with slings and mailons on the trees. Why do the trees need saving. They're not getting damaged. If you're worried about slings looking unsightly they're not really visible from below. Haven't you all got something more productive to be doing with your time.
Dan Lane - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Hugh Cottam:
> (In reply to paul mitchell)
>... Haven't you all got something more productive to be doing with your time.

No, I'm a student... ;)

Hugh Cottam - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to Dan Lane:

Shouldn't you be smoking weed, eating pot noodles and chasing hopelessly idealistic causes!
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:

"Notably Grim Reaper" would be a great route name.

I don't know this crag. What's with all this lower-off stuff? It's a rare grit crag where it's too much trouble to walk.

David Kay - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: There is no way down from the top of the crag but to ab back down (although I think you can jump a wall and walk back through town!). Also the top can be a bit dirty and loose in places.

I don't see the need for the extra peg on Honcho. You are past all the difficulties by the time you clip it anyway.

Bulls Crack - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:

Paul, I seem to remember a few weeks ago, that you were advocating the Torrs as a climbing wall alternative; saying that top-ropes were easy to set up....so why not bolt belays - in safe rock?
redcal - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: Glad the peg has been replaced, did wonder wether it would stop me or not! Bolting a lower off and bolting a route are two very different scenarios...aslong as you put it out on the right channels its unlikely that people are gonna get trigger happy with bolts at the Torrs. Think the Torrs would benefit from a few bolted lower offs...its hardly going to be an asthetic issue, give the trees a little respite from traffic, give less experienced climbers the option of not picking the poorly rooted tree that brings half the crag to the ground with them.
RupertD - on 09 Feb 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I don't know this crag. What's with all this lower-off stuff? It's a rare grit crag where it's too much trouble to walk.

It's a rare grit crag.

paul mitchell - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: Indeed it is easy to set up top ropes at the Torrs.There is no need for bolts as there are plenty of solid trees .

Honcho is not over until you are standing on the good ledge above the second peg.I live locally and see plenty of people plummeting off the move just below that ledge.It is only easy if you are tall;thus the new peg.

Maybe a few aspirants would like to try top roping 54,E5 6b,just right of Alcove Crack?A bit harder than Honcho.Easy to scramble over from Alcove and set up a rope on a tree right at the edge...


Alex@home - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:

disclaimer - i haven't been to the torrs for a while so some of this is hearsay. if it is wrong then i apologise.

the new peg in honcho is apparently in a perfectly good cam slot. so why is it necessary?

you think it is wrong to place a bolt lower off *above* a route (disregarding whether or not the one above bionics was safe), yet you advocate placing a peg lower off *on* the route. bionics wall doesn't finish until you are standing on the ledge - i know that it's easy to misread the finish when pumped and not complete the route. adding a lower off would completely change the finish and, hence, the route.
i have a tree surgeon friend who has expressed his reservations about the depth and stability of the roots of the tree above bionics. yes i belayed from it and lowered from it but given the choice of that or a nice safe bolted lower off i'll take the bolts any day. this is not "the thin end of the wedge" and it is not the same as retrobolting routes - hard ones or otherwise.
i think that there is a pointless adherence to tradition in all its forms and mannerisms in the uk. i agree that a trad route should remain a trad route with all its reliance on leader competence and acceptance of risk. i do not agree that this attitude has to extend to lowering off where you are necessarily placing your trust in something that you cannot control - like how deep a tree's roots can go. would it really be so wrong to have a situation where we could accept that routes should be naturally protected, but in situations where abseiling is necessary then we are "allowed" to make abseiling safe by adding fixed anchors in appropriate places.
paul mitchell - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to paul mitchell: I was talking to your tree surgeon friend just last night.It was an amicable discussion in the pub.

The point I have made repeatedly is that there are other trees above that ledge and there are plenty of peg placements there too.

Absolutely no need for bolts there.I think Martin's argument was that bolts are safer than pegs.In this instance,with the bolt in a cracked block,not so.

When Martin bolted the bridge to make routes ,I was concerned that bolts would soon end up on the crag.Martin himself was the first to place a bolt on the crag/belay ledge.

That would tend to support the argument that when multiple bolts are placed,people get a bit trigger happy with the bolt gun.
I am arguing against bolts at the Torrs simply to preserve my routes there as trad routes.

I think that the BMC should negotiate with landowners and the Peak
Park Planning Board to establish a fixed gear code.One where bolt placement is kept to a minimum.
It should not be down to individuals to go to 'war' over the matter.
Nor should climbing be made safe for the 'health and safety' brigade.


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