/ Borrowdale guide

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mag - on 23 Dec 2016
I hear a number of worthwhile crags have been left out of the new borrowdale guide. Old news maybe , but I have just been talking to some lads who think they are now fair game for bolting? Discuss.
2
3leggeddog on 23 Dec 2016
In reply to mag:

Many a true word said in jest
mag - on 23 Dec 2016
In reply to 3leggeddog:
Oh it's going to happen. One of them has previous.
1
Jim 1003 - on 24 Dec 2016
In reply to mag:

Sooner the better...
1
3leggeddog on 24 Dec 2016
In reply to mag:

This could be really interesting.

Neglected crags become cleaned and popular leading to the more popular crags becoming neglected and dropped from the guide, until some bright spark with a drill comes along...

One only needs to look at the popularity of the OAPs crag to see what may happen.
Phizzers - on 25 Dec 2016
In reply to mag:

I discussed this with Corney earlier this month. We both agree that the likes of Paper Crag and Millican Dalton's Buttress in Borrowdale would both benefit from bolting. They're both totally neglected, but would become popular with the mid-grade sport climbers, bringing more attention to the area and possibly more income for the locals. It's win-win, but there's still a hard core anti-bolting team in the area.
Interestingly, when I brought this subject up at last year's FRCC guidebook meet, there were no objections, even though most readers of this post would define the FRCC guidebook team as being full of dinosaurs.
As long as the land owner has no objections (get permission first) just go for it.
12
Howard J - on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to Phizzers:

BMC policy is for decisions on where bolting is acceptable to be made locally through area meetings Of course that's not enforceable, but Just "going for it" is likely to result in vigilante action and bolt wars. Even if a decision is made at a BMC area meeting that may not deter the hardline anti-bolters, but it will at least put them on the wrong side of the argument.
tmawer - on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to mag:

Has this post attracted so little heat due to the rather non contentious title, as it is probably a pretty contentious issue worthy of more interest I think.
1
Lord_ash2000 - on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to Phizzers:

I too think a few bolted crags in and around borrowdale wouldn't be a bad idea. I've discussed similar with Corney in the past too (I used to work for him a few years back) and we both generally agreed.

Mean for one, there are already bolted venues in borrowdale although quarried Admittedly. Also it might seem like a mountain environment to those from peak but by lakes standards borrowdale is quick fix, roadside, convince climbing rammed with tourists. I'd rather have clean bolted routes to climb than half the crags being overgrown and everyone scratching about at an overcrowded shepherds crag doing the same old polished routes.
1
1poundSOCKS - on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> half the crags being overgrown and everyone scratching about at an overcrowded shepherds crag doing the same old polished routes.

I wish I'd known how rubbish Borrowdale was before I bought the guidebook.
Phizzers - on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

At last, somebody has noticed that Borrowdale is rubbish. Been saying that for years!
1poundSOCKS - on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to Phizzers:

> At last, somebody has noticed that Borrowdale is rubbish. Been saying that for years!

Wrong poster. It wasn't me saying it.
Bulls Crack - on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Also it might seem like a mountain environment to those from peak but by lakes standards borrowdale is quick fix, roadside, convince climbing rammed with tourists. I'd rather have clean bolted routes to climb than half the crags being overgrown and everyone scratching about at an overcrowded shepherds crag doing the same old polished routes.

Must remember that next time I'm at Goat or Eagle crag

3leggeddog on 29 Dec 2016
In reply to mag:

Will the guide to these bolted routes be of a sensible size and come with a weatherproof cover? If so I am in.
Lord_ash2000 - on 29 Dec 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
I'm not saying its rubbish, I'm saying that there are crags which have been pretty much lost to climbing from lack of use and if someone was to propose taking a couple of the more suitable venues, cleaning them up and bolting them meaning they then get regular traffic and stay accessible I'd be for it.

I'd rather have the option of a few sports routes to play on than nothing at all because the crag has become some overgrown, loose, seeping, choss fest which no one ever visits.

Yes you've got Shepherds, Black crag, Goat, Reecastle (not technically in borrowdale), Earl, Falcon and others, not saying we should grid bolt any of those but if there are suitable little crags in Borrowdale which have long since been left to nature which could be rejuvenated to provide additional climbs to add into the mix I think it would be great.
Post edited at 21:32
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1poundSOCKS - on 29 Dec 2016
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Fair enough, but you have changed your tune a bit. Best to have the debate based on the reality rather than hyperbole.
Jim 1003 - on 31 Dec 2016
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Shepherds is so polished now it's awful, it would benefit from bolting.
Falcon is so loose it should be bolted, hardly anybody climbs there anymore.
7
kevin stephens - on 31 Dec 2016
In reply to mag:

A major reason why Borrowdale has become less popular is the appearance of lots of bolted climbing at crags nearby in Yorkshire. As well as being bolted the crags are short walks, have better weather and are not dependant on fickle conditions or traffic to keep the vegetation off. Bolting a few obscure crags in Borrowdale will not unfortunately overcome these other reasons for lack of popularity
Duncan Bourne - on 31 Dec 2016
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

If a crag has become lost to climbing through lack of use I wonder a) why it is not being used and b) should it be used.
a) crags fall into disuse for various reasons. Unco-operative landlords, chossy dangerous routes, not interesting enough or hard to access. If the crag has become overgrown and loose etc. then I don't see how bolting would help, you would just have a loose, overgrown, seeping bolted crag...unless it was cleaned up then you would have a cleaned up trad crag. Unless we are saying that trad climbing has become such a minority sport that people won't climb unles it is bolted. But then the overcrowded nature of Shepards etall would seem to contradict that. Really I wonder what it is about the abandoned crags that makes them unpopular and not worth the effort to clean up at the moment and why bolting would miraculously transform this?
b) Should a crag be used? I just question the ethos that if a crag is not climbed on then it is wasted. A crag that sees no human traffic is a crag where wild life can live undisturbed and this may not be a bad thing.

Just a few thoughts
tmawer - on 31 Dec 2016
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

I think you are correct in that crags fail to get climbed on for many reasons, including the ones you gave and a few others. I can think of a few with only one or two routes well protected enough to prove popular and so don't warrant the effort for many to go, but suspect that if bolted would attract much more attention. Bramcrag Quarry had perhaps 3 popular routes from 1984 until very recently, and is now very popular. The Crags at Grange were very popular for a period but now sit largely neglected whilst the nearby crags heave.....who knows what would happen if bolted, but my guess is they would again be popular and remain clean?
Chris Craggs - on 31 Dec 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

> Shepherds is so polished now it's awful, it would benefit from bolting.

How is that going to help? Maybe by making the routes even more popular?


Chris
Ron Kenyon - on 02 Jan 2017
In reply to mag:

This idea has been floated for a while. Good comment from Al that the FRCC guidebook committee is not dinosaurs - it is amazing that Al and me put bolts in at Bram Crag Quarry 25 years ago. Good to see Colin "finish off" the job.
Interesting thread re crags not included in guide - and could look at bolting. Times and crags have changed a lot in the last 40 years - or even 10 years. Rock climbing is "our game" - but there are lots of opinions on how it develops. I like nothing better that climbing a trad route - but have climbed 60 routes in two weeks in Kalymnos (can't remember much about the routes though !).
Bolting Shepherds would be dreadful - it would be even more polished and totally unnecessary. Thoroughly enjoyed Adam and Eve recently !!
A lot of the routes/crags not included in the new Borrowdale guide were not included because they were overgrown / unclimbed for years and never will be climbed again. Others may be popular if bolted.
I have another (limestone crag (or two) - not in Borrowdale) in mind for bolting !
Times they are a changing but as with anything need ground rules.
This threat may continue and I have no doubt this matter will develop and be on the agenda for years to come.
Simon Caldwell - on 03 Jan 2017
In reply to Ron Kenyon:

> A lot of the routes/crags not included in the new Borrowdale guide were not included because they were overgrown / unclimbed for years and never will be climbed again.

Well they certainly won't be now they've been omitted from the guidebook

Another option with neglected routes is the one that's being adopted in Cwm Cywarch, which is to clean the routes and advertise the fact so that they stand a chance of becoming popular once more...
MFB - on 03 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

I think some of the new routing that went on in the past was, with hindsight, fairly misguided, removing quite big chunks of decent habitat from inaccessible/wet/north facing crags that were always going to trend back to nature. It probably wouldn't stack up today

last time this was logged as a rock route was in the 80's
Crinkle Gill
ironically quite good ice routes though

even less traffic or no traffic at all
Scar Lathing, Upper Eskdale

I think omitting them from the guide is part of letting go and allowing nature back in, worthwhile routes with favorable aspects will get traffic
Ron Kenyon - on 03 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

We are talking about routes like Ragnorak and Rat Trap (on right of Goat Crag); The Lion Heart and Black Prince (Kings How); Earthstrip and Greatend Grooves (Greatend) and so many more - which were omitted from the guide.
There have been lots of other routes omitted from guides in the past in other areas which are overgrown (eg Bull Crag in Thirlmere) etc - Borrowdale had a bigger lot of development in the past; more routes overall and more now overgrown. Need to concentrate on what is still clean or reasonably clean and be realistic about the rest. There may be some which should have been included in the guide but not a lot.
The guide is published. Routes not in the guide are on the FRCC website.
This threat is more directed to the future - and the idea of bolting some of the routes now omitted.
Simon Caldwell - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to MFB:

What about these routes, on a well-climbed crag, all given stars in the last guide, all climbed in the last 5 years, and all omitted from the new edition. Possibly overgrown now, but they were once considered good so surely worth a mention and/or clean?

Moonraker (VS 4c)
The Lastest (HVS 5a)
Triptych (E1 5b)
Gleaned Grooves (VS 4c)

There are an additional 7 unstarred routes there that have been climbed this decade and are also missed out.
MFB - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
I haven't done any of these routes but the description of Gleaned Groove

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=68677

From logbook

'Utter rubbish...one of the only routes i've ever thought, sod this and finished up another route...bad description in guide meant not sure of route line, last pitch looked awful so finished up Troutdale, don't bother with it.'

Doesn't sound great

I don't know Borrowdale that well but having been involved in a tiny bit of new routing in the distant past I'm pretty sure a percentage of the routes climbed probably should not have been cleaned (if you can get up the line in it's original condition, crack on) on the basis that - they are poor routes, they will return to nature quickly, they had some enviromental value in their uncleaned condition.

Stars - there are some odd decisions made when awarding stars, hard routes always seem to get them, I think there is often an agenda - not always a reliable commentary on quality.
Post edited at 21:27
ianstevens - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to 3leggeddog:

> Will the guide to these bolted routes be of a sensible size and come with a weatherproof cover? If so I am in.

Just for you it will be app-only ;)
1
Dave Cumberland - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to MFB:
> I haven't done any of these routes but the description of Gleaned Groove
> Gleaned Grooves (VS 4c)
> From logbook
> 'Utter rubbish...one of the only routes i've ever thought, sod this and finished up another route...bad description in guide meant not sure of route line, last pitch looked awful so finished up Troutdale, don't bother with it.'
> Doesn't sound great

Funny you mention that route, because we did most of it on Saturday (New Year's Eve), it was 10 degrees, dry, little wind, no one else on the crag. Pretty sure the account you read was from someone with limited route-finding ability.
The final pitch is a fantastic 40 metre flying slab which forms a superb finish to the lower parts of TP or other routes.
Unpolished, technical, fantastic line.
There are many comments about Borrowdale climbing on this site from people who know very little about what they are talking about.
You can forget the idea of bolting obscure or neglected Borrowdale routes - because they will bounce back when we get a good dry summer and a bit of traffic. Anyway, I like them just the way they are.
It was a superb afternoon's climbing.
If you want to debate the issue - go and do the routes.
Take a saw, some loppers, an old ice axe and do some public service work while you are there, then come back to the debate.
There is a legacy to sustain.
DC.
ads.ukclimbing.com
MFB - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:
As I said I haven't done the route and only highlight the comments of someone who has tried to follow the line
I have assisted clean new routes in distant past and I regret rolling tonnes of rock, soil and attached flora and fauna off remote crags, If the opportunity to new route occurred again I would be more gentle with the crag environment
Routes that were cleaned, found to be crap and tend to become overgrown should be allowed to returns to nature, they were a mistake not a legacy, omission from guide books is first step

Bolting ? I assume your just replying to thread generally and not talking to me , bolts - not my thing
I don't think I need your advice on doing routes or what I'm allowed to debate
Post edited at 21:53
MFB - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

>Anyway, I like them just the way they are.
Agree






Dave Cumberland - on 06 Jan 2017
In reply to MFB:
I disagree re. cleaning routes in Borrowdale for example. As climbers, I don't believe we should have environmental concerns about protecting our legacy/heritage or cleaning routes further (excepting SSIs etc), reasons being:
If you take the east side of Borrowdale alone, you have about 15 square miles of fellside including bits of Watendlath and Langstrath. (Forget the west side but that would half the impact if included).

Let's assume there are arbitrarily ten decent crags 200 feet high and wide (forget the slope of the fellside which would further reduce the impact).

There are 28 million square feet in a square mile.
So 15 square miles is 420 million square feet of fellside.
Ten crags at 200 x 200 feet is 40,000 square feet.

The resultant percentage of climbable or potentially climbable rock is 10,000 times less than the fell area, or less than 0.01% (half it and reduce further to include both valley sides and the slope effect).

Bear in mind that of the other 99.99% of fellside there are crags and fells too numerous to mention for the birds and plants to thrive on that climbers never touch.

So cleaning a bit of grass and heather from a microscopic area of rock has negligible impact compared for example to the path-builders, helicopter scree removal, mini-digger track construction, the bracken, building of berms and boulder placements to stop parking, the parking machines and car parks, the general urbanisation practices of the NT and NPA.

Climbers have as much right to access the land as anyone else, and the legacy of Beetham, Peascod, Ross, Greenwood, Clark, MacHaffie, Downer et al should be honoured and we should strenuously protect our past and future climbs. I believe in so doing, we are still being very environmentally responsible, let's face it, most climbers are at one with birds and nature. Certainly climbers in my view are no less environmentally responsible than the current self-serving quangos running Borrowdale and the LD in general, in fact probably much more in tune with nature and local knowledge.

I apologise in advance for any cock-up in the maths.

DC

3
Doug on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

your argument is too simplistic, cliffs are home to plant & animal species that don't occur elsewhere so you can't simply compare the area used by climbers with the whole area. So the impact of cleaning can be quite high on the overall biodiversity and most climbers would not recognise the rarer plants, many of them mosses, liverworts & ferns.
And I suspect a high proportion of the cliffs in Borrowdale are in SSSI
1
Dave Cumberland - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Doug:
> your argument is too simplistic, ........most climbers would not recognise the rarer plants, many of them mosses, liverworts & ferns.
> And I suspect a high proportion of the cliffs in Borrowdale are in SSSI

I share your concerns, esp for special sites, but I think you would be surprised and have under-estimated how many climbers are quite well-versed about nature, rare plants, birds in particular, many have appropriate degrees and more importantly, local knowledge. So I think climbers do understand, and do have a sense of responsibility, but also a realistic practical view.

Sounds to me like you have a massive amount to worry about in the other 99.99%+!
DC
MFB - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

What Doug said
You can't compare the general fellside with the micro habitats on big crags, loads of fellside but not many pristine bits of rock/crack/ledges beyond the reach of herdwicks
I think where great routes have been established we should work to protect the legacy but where crap routes have proved unpopular and have demonstrated a tendency to return to nature we should go with it and leave it out of guide book.
I recall cleaning rock, soil and a small garden of unbrowsed vegetation off remote crags in the distant past, it had been there since end of ice age and with hindsight (and in the absence of a popular three star route emerging) it should probably have been left alone.
Sure your maths is ok (love the use of feet and yards, bring back the furlong) and would agree climbers are often very knowledgeable about the environment they play in
Doug on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

I know many climbers have apparently appropriate degrees (I have two myself). I've also taught botany at universities in Scotland & France and know that, unfortunately, you can get a degree with very little, maybe even no, field skills. In fact the local naturalist (who may be a climber) is almost certainty better at identifying wildlife (although of course there are some people who are both). That's a subject for another thread but I don't think I'm underestimating the knowledge of climbers as a whole

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