/ Pegs in Wintours leap, any plans to replace?

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springfall2008 - on 19 Mar 2017
Does anyone know if there is any active replacement of pegs at Wintour's Leap?

For example Zelda (HS 4b) is a classic route but the top pitch depends mostly on old pegs.

There are a of other examples of pegs in the area.


brianjcooper on 19 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

Contact the BMC as they usually give information.
Personally I don't have an issue with replacing old pegs with new ones on Limestone climbs.
However, on routes where natural protection can be used I frown upon it.
springfall2008 - on 19 Mar 2017
In reply to brianjcooper:

Some have been replaced, often with ones that are cemented in place, which in my opinion is basically a bolt....
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brianjcooper on 19 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

A Bolt or peg is still OK with me. Just so long as they are only replacements.
Mark Kemball - on 19 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

Well, the next BMC SW area meeting is in Bristol next Saturday, http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?id=3844 you could come along and raise the issue under access and local issues or a.o.b.
Graeme Hammond - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

> Some have been replaced, often with ones that are cemented in place, which in my opinion is basically a bolt....

I've always viewed pegs with suspicion as in many cases they look long past their best having often been placed in the 60s and 70s so can often be 50+ years old. I SUSPECT even with a brand new peg surrounding a particularly (or even fully?) banged in peg with cement still leaves the force needed to pull it out much lower than a typical bolt but it would be good to know from someone with proper data/experience if my suspicion is true or in fact they are as good as a bolt as you say.

Billg - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:
Its historically been down to individuals to make the effort to get out and do stuff like this. Its extremely unlikely that the BMC will be coming along to re peg Zelda etc anytime soon. Frank the Husky is selling some if you wan't some cheap ones.

However - it has happened before - Martin Crocker (and perhaps others?) did a huge amount of work gardening and replacing pegs and bolts, mainly on GO wall, so maybe by taking it to a local meeting you may encourage support for regearing certain classics.

I realise that some routes which have limited opportunities for duplicate placements, unfortunately these are just going to get bolder.

springfall2008 - on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to Billg:

> I realise that some routes which have limited opportunities for duplicate placements, unfortunately these are just going to get bolder.

Honestly I don't have the time and energy to discuss such things at an area forum, I wish I did but life gets in the way!

It would be nice to have an agreement of replacing pegs with bolts like for like, then anyone can renew as required.
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bpmclimb on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

> Honestly I don't have the time and energy to discuss such things at an area forum, I wish I did but life gets in the way!It would be nice to have an agreement of replacing pegs with bolts like for like, then anyone can renew as required.

Personally, I don't think that would be nice.
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megamonkeyman on 20 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

Zelda is a lovely route at the grade and doesn't need to get any bolder.

Pegs didn't look too good last year, maybe it's time...
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beardy mike - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008: Just for some historical context, the cemented in pegs are a remnent from the original route establishments, when local activists were finding that their pegs were being removed by people who wanted to reuse them elsewhere, so they were cemented to prevent this from happening. In my opinion these are far from as good as a bolt, as cement is porous and it could be hiding any amount of corrosion inside. I treat these pegs as suspect at the best of times.

With regards replacement, the only recourse for this is to broach the subject with the BMC area rep. If you haven't got the time to attend meetings, just send them an e-mail - at least your voice will have been heard. But taking matters into your own hands will most likely end up with additional equipment being removed. Not saying that is what I'd do, but I clearly remember the bolt wars that took place on the lowest tier beneath the big central ledge when bolt hangers were repeatedly hammered flat.
The Ivanator - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

The BMC area for the Wye Valley is Rick Sewards and he posts on here quite frequently, you could email him through his profile.
Personally I find the Wintour's bolting policy inconsistent at best. Better in my opinion would be to have bolts restricted to Woodcroft Quarry and essential abseil stations only (e.g. Main Ledge on North Wall), but judging by the stable door I fear that horse has "bolted"!
GarethSL on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

Isn't there already a bolt on Zelda, somewhere on the second pitch? I remember being quite relieved to reach that.

Whilst for me, quarried rock is fair game for bolts replacing old pegs, definitely bring it up with the BMC and also the landowner as iirc Wintours is a SSSI?

Honestly though, with classic routes like Zelda I don't know how I would feel going back to see the pegs replaced with bolts. To me bolts and pegs are essentially a like-for-like form of protection but things always feel a lot more dumbed down/ artificial when there are bolts.
John Willson - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to The Ivanator:

Wintour's bolting history has been inconsistent, but current policy (since 2007, and printed in the guide of that year) is crystal clear: no new development with bolts; regearing strictly like-for-like. This does not apply to Woodcroft Quarry.
John Willson - on 21 Mar 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

No, there are no bolts on Zelda. There are three peg runners on P2. You would be some way off-route if you clipped the bolt on Sweetest Victory.

Yes, Wintour's is an SSSI and the principal landowner is the Glos Wildlife Trust.
springfall2008 - on 23 Mar 2017
In reply to John Willson:

Yes, but replacing cemented in pegs like for like over the years is likely to do a lot more damage than a bolt.
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Rick Sewards - on 24 Mar 2017
In reply to all:

Hi everyone

Just to clarify a few things – as John Willson said, the current policy on fixed gear at Wintour's Leap is no new bolts (outside Woodcroft Quarry), pegs can be replaced by pegs and bolts by bolts (I think there is one exception which is if a belay - as opposed to a runner - is dependent on pegs and these are not replaceable and there is no alternative reliable placement). If you disagree, please raise the issue with the local BMC SW area rather than take matters into your own hands.

There isn't at present any active peg replacement programme at Wintour's – the last major overhaul was during the preparation for the guidebook in 2005-7, which included a full overhaul of the fixed gear on GO Wall by Martin Crocker and more ad hoc replacement of some pegs and bolts elsewhere by other guidebook authors. The cemented-in pegs are generally quite a bit older – they date back to the '70s and early '80s and were placed and cemented in by John to provide (semi) permanent fixed gear at a time when pegs were frequently removed. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are worse than the newer pegs – here I would cautiously question Beardy Mike (though he knows a lot more about materials science than me!) about the cement being "porous". I believe that John used water-resistant cement (he can correct me if I'm wrong!) and I certainly haven't noticed the cement remaining moist when the rock around it dries after heavy rain (in the way that the sandy breccia stuff at Wyndcliff Quarry lower tier does). My guess (and it's only a guess) is that most of the old cemented-in pegs are about as strong as they ever were – but not all of them and I'm definitely not giving any guarantees. Incidentally, as the top pitch of Zelda was mentioned in the OP – I've often heard that described as wholly peg-protected. It isn't, you can get other gear in (three cams and three wires is my record!)

There may well have been a few pegs replaced since 2007, and under the policy there is nothing to stop other pegs being replaced – but please only do this if you know what you are doing and what you leave is better than what you found (I'm not volunteering for this reason – I've never placed a peg in anger). If there to be was any more widespread fixed gear replacement, it would be good to keep an online record of it as has been done at Avon – and I would want to make sure that the GWT were aware of and happy with anything like that to avoid any more difficulties.

Cheers
Rick (Wye Valley Access Rep)
springfall2008 - on 24 Mar 2017
In reply to Rick Sewards:

> Hi everyoneJust to clarify a few things – as John Willson said, the current policy on fixed gear at Wintour's Leap is no new bolts (outside Woodcroft Quarry), pegs can be replaced by pegs and bolts by bolts (I think there is one exception which is if a belay - as opposed to a runner - is dependent on pegs and these are not replaceable and there is no alternative reliable placement). If you disagree, please raise the issue with the local BMC SW area rather than take matters into your own hands.

Personally I think this is wrong, if we replace the pegs with good bolts it will avoid further rock damage and allow them to at least be safe. It seems like some people would prefer a rusty peg to a shiny new bolt, which seems a little odd...

Don't worry I have no plans to take matters into my own hands!



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springfall2008 - on 24 Mar 2017
In reply to bpmclimb:

> Personally, I don't think that would be nice.

Explain, do you like the excitement of not knowing if a peg would hold a fall or not?
beardy mike - on 24 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

The arguement is a simple one: pegs go into naturally occuring features whilst bolts do not. You have to drill a hole which is arguably going to lead to a more artificial experience than a peg. Once you start bolting, it then becomes a much simple case to argue for more bolts. Wintours is not a sport climbing venue other than specifically selected lines, Brian doesn't want wintours to become a sport venue so the safest way to ensure that is to replace gear on a like for like basis. I'll grant you the cementing does make it considerably more like a bolt, but you still can only place them in cracks. Further more many pegs are now with the improvement of trad gear become more or less obsolete. Once these go I'd have though they will not be replaced.

Personally I can't say I have ever felt Zelda warranted more fixed gear than it already has, or even replacement of the fixed gear - there is adequate natural protection.
beardy mike - on 24 Mar 2017
In reply to Rick Sewards:

Hey Rick - not sure what cement was used but bear in mind that metal isn't going to adhere to cement perfectly and that these have been there for a long time - with time the materials are going to degrade, just like we are now finding with stainless bolts and SSC - metal in holes which can hold any water are just a bad idea in the long run. I think my point was not that they are all going to be mullared but that we simply don't know what degradation has occured in each case and there is no way to tell. Hence sayiong I treat them with mistrust...
springfall2008 - on 24 Mar 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

If I agree with your point then surely the conclusion is to remove all pegs and regrade the routes accordingly?
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kenneM - on 26 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:
It would completely change the nature of the cliff if all pegs were replaced with bolts. Wintour’s is predominately a Trad climbing venue (less Woodcroft). If we are to keep the overall character of this great cliff, then pegs are going to be part and parcel of it. Pegs are often not even as good as a bolt before the rust sets in - but that's Trad climbing for you! Don’t like it then climb somewhere else - there are now loads of quality sport climbing crags in the general area.

A slight exception would be when a single peg is the only gear on a crux section. If replacement is not possible, and the grade would increase significantly, then I think a bolt "might" be acceptable. An example of a peg matching this is on P2 on Kangaroo Wall, which if it went would change the route from a 3 star E2 to a bold E4 - although lengthening the in-situ thread might be another option

Any replacement of these route changing pegs should be managed through the BMC rep and with approval from the FA.

Post edited at 14:38
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springfall2008 - on 26 Mar 2017
In reply to kenneM:

> It would completely change the nature of the cliff if all pegs were replaced with bolts. Wintour’s is predominately a Trad climbing venue (less Woodcroft). If we are to keep the overall character of this great cliff, then pegs are going to be part and parcel of it. Pegs are often not even as good as a bolt before the rust sets in - but that's Trad climbing for you! Don’t like it then climb somewhere else - there are now loads of quality sport climbing crags in the general area.

I like climbing Trad and climbing at Wintours, but it's not good if the guide book grade includes a peg which maybe not safe to use. Personally I think that we (the climbing community) need to decide if the peg is required for the route and replace it with a bolt or if not then ensure the routes are described and graded without use of pegs.

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kenneM - on 26 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:
It just would'nt be feasible. There are many routes at Wintour's that reply on vitial pegs - many of which are fine and in good condition, take falls on a regular basis and the routes are graded accordingly. Nightmare of Brown Sugar (E3 5c), Kaiser Wall (E3 6a)and Suicide is Dangerous (E3 5c) to name but a few, are all routes that have vital pegs. If they were replaced with bolts, I for one would not be happy.

It is up to the individual to read the guide and make a decision on the in-situ protection and the conscience of it failing. I think a blanket policy of replacing all pegs with bolts would not be welcomed, nor would imagery up-grading. What next - if you can't place a large nut every 3m then the route needs a bolt?
Post edited at 17:28
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drysori - on 26 Mar 2017
In reply to kenneM:

> If replacement is not possible, and the grade would increase significantly, then I think a bolt "might" be acceptable. An example of a peg matching this is on P2 on Kangaroo Wall, which if it went would change the route from a 3 star E2 to a bold E4.

The peg in Kangaroo Wall (if I'm thinking of the right one) isn't a great example since it is an unecessary and not very good peg anyway. Far better on this route to describe the more obvious (and protectable) line, the 6a part is really eliminate, much more logical to skirt left then right and use the gear there. You might be right that the route would be E4 without the peg, but only if you try to go direct.
kenneM - on 26 Mar 2017
In reply to drysori:

Probably a fair point - although those moves protected by that peg are pretty good, in a nice exposed postion and would be some way above the gear below without the peg.

What are your thoughts on the idea of replacing pegs on the cliff with bolts? For me, a mass replacement of pegs would be a wrong move.
Bobling - on 26 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

Slight tangent, but perhaps informative about how those new to trad can get a false sense of security from the old pegs. I'd just topped out Right Hand Route at the same time as a youngster topped out Nibelheim. I'd watched him on the crux and was chatting away with him and was *suprised* to see him set up his belay using just a single rope clipped into a peg on the Great Ledge. I suggested he might want to back this up using a tree! Scary stuff but it is so easy for a newbie to see a peg and equate it to a bomber bolt. I'm not saying that we should replace the pegs with bolts just telling a story!
bpmclimb on 27 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

> Explain, do you like the excitement of not knowing if a peg would hold a fall or not?

In any comparison of pegs and bolts there are a whole host of other issues, other parameters to take into account, than a simple assessment of security.
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springfall2008 - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to bpmclimb:

Well yes, e.g. how far off to the slide you are and what you might hit on the way down.

But I think these concerns are totally orthogonal, there's no cases where a peg is better than a bolt (assuming the bolt is well placed and not rusty).
beardy mike - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

In your opinion. Not in the opinion of the vast majority of trad climbers. Your idea that bolts are better is one dimensional at best - there are plenty of circumstances when bolts can corrode and be rendered useless quickly by environmental effects. At the end of the day, this is about taking responsability for your own safety and assessing equipment on the go. If you don't trust a peg, place another piece of gear shortly before or soon after it. It is very very rare that you really can't get another piece of gear nearby. As I said previously, advances in equipment are slowly but surely rendering pegs obsolete. Bolts are not the answer as they too have a life span which will end in replacement, and which is perhaps even more difficult to conduct than peg replacement. Drill out old bolts for example takes practice and needs to be conducted by an experienced party. Are you going to be the one placing and replacing bolts, keeping a record of what went in when and making sure every placement is safe? Its a gargantuan task and one which would be a full time job. There are practical aspects to what you seem to be suggesting which I think you just haven't considered. And lastly, if you do not want to conduct an ongoing risk assessment of gear which you are using (for free) to ensure your own safety, then do something else. What's next after bolts? Improved nut placements because it's a bit inconvienient that certain placements aren't perfectly bomber? I know that sounds ridiculous but it's the next step...
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bpmclimb on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

> Well yes, e.g. how far off to the slide you are and what you might hit on the way down.But I think these concerns are totally orthogonal, there's no cases where a peg is better than a bolt (assuming the bolt is well placed and not rusty).

That widens the discussion a tiny bit, but you're still confining it purely to security considerations. I was alluding to historical context, existing protocols, the establishing of precedents (whether intended or not), etc.
ex0 - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> I know that sounds ridiculous but it's the next step...

You're right, it does. You may not agree with springfall2008's idea of replacing rusting pegs with bolts (although as he says over time it'd undoubtedly be less destructive to the rock) but he's entirely correct in saying that there's literally zero cases where a peg is better than a bolt.
drysori - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to kenneM:

> What are your thoughts on the idea of replacing pegs on the cliff with bolts? For me, a mass replacement of pegs would be a wrong move.

I'd agree. There are examples where a bolt might be appropriate I'm sure, but a lot of routes which would lose their character as trad routes. For instance Notung relies heavily on pegs, which are fairly spaced out. If they were replaced with bolts it would feel like quite a different lead, and an understandable reaction would be, "If we've put x bolts in already, why not just finish the job and leave a sport route?".

In general I think any peg replaced with a bolt needs very careful consideration, with simply leaving the peg to rot being a reasonable position. At the very least bolts should only be placed to replace really crucial pegs and where there isn't an alternative.


beardy mike - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to ex0:

Can you define better please?

316 or 304 stainless in a seacliff environment can be completely done within a space of 3 years due to Stress Cracking Corrosion. A peg may appear rusty in the same time but does not suffer stress cracking corrosion and may be far superior to a stainless bolt in the same environment over the same time. Sure, in time it will corrode to be useless too, but what is worse, a stainless bolt which is useless and you can't tell it's useless because the corrosion is internal or a rusty peg which you treat with caution? Sorry but you are oversimplifying the situation.

I quite agree that in some cases a bolt is a good, long lasting solution, but in the case of the OP, where he's talking about a route which has good natural alternatives to the existing fixed gear, it is not appropriate to suggest placing bolts. It's a route that have been climbed for decades by hundreds of climbers a year. There is just no need for a bolt on it. I maintain it's better to assess what you find and make your own conclusions rathr than adopting a blanket "replace pegs with bolts"policy. You are just adding to a growing problem which we should be aiming to resolve. With all the sport routes in the world there is a huge ticking time bomb and it's not being addressed other than on a very local scale.
ex0 - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

You're literally talking about the shitty old version of a bolt being replaced by a new version of a bolt. Your concerns are entirely nullified by using a titanium bolt which would last until the cliff fell down.
Vector686 on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

A peg is no where near " like for like" with a bolt.

I shudder to think what would become of the world, if it be left to unscrupulous voices such as yours kind sir.
Please think before you speak.
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beardy mike - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to ex0:

Yes. And how often are titanium bolts being installed compared to 304 and 316? Glue ins are better but still prone. Or Jim Titts easy to drillout bolts? All the bolts recently installed at Wintours were standard stainless bolts -I was there on Saturday and some more were going in at Woodcroft. Likewise over at Wyndcliffe.
springfall2008 - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to drysori:

To be fair, I'm not talking about sea-cliffs, Wintours is inland.

Also, it would only be a few key pegs, like people say for the most part modern gear means you don't need the peg anymore but I think those not replaced should most likely be removed.


springfall2008 - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to Vector686:

You have to remember that nobody has any more right to climb/bolt/peg on these cliffs than anyone else except for the land owner themselves, who frankly care little about rusty pegs or shiny bolts!

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Cheese Monkey - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:
> I like climbing Trad and climbing at Wintours, but it's not good if the guide book grade includes a peg which maybe not safe to use. Personally I think that we (the climbing community) need to decide if the peg is required for the route and replace it with a bolt or if not then ensure the routes are described and graded without use of pegs.

If you rely on a guidebook to keep you safe you really should not be doing trad climbing. You should make an assessment of every piece of protection you clip regardless of what it is, and if you decide the risk is too severe for you you should back off. Guidebooks make assumptions pegs are good for grades - you should make your own decisions. Guides also tell you to back up all fixed gear and make your own assessment of fixed gear.
Post edited at 21:32
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springfall2008 - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

> If you rely on a guidebook to keep you safe you really should not be doing trad climbing. You should make an assessment of every piece of protection you clip regardless of what it is, and if you decide the risk is too severe for you you should back off. Guidebooks make assumptions pegs are good for grades - you should make your own decisions. Guides also tell you to back up all fixed gear and make your own assessment of fixed gear.

It's a fair point, but if you claim a route is say an HS but only because of rusty old pegs then perhaps it's not really that grade anymore. In which case the pegs need replacing or the grade adjusting?
Cheese Monkey - on 28 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

One mans old peg is another's thank god clip. You never know with any peg if it will hold a fall until you jump on it. If you think they're that bad go replace them and if they can't be replaced let the guidebook authors know for future publications and/or raise it at next BMC meeting for discussion. It's really not a complex issue.
springfall2008 - on 29 Mar 2017
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Replacing a cemented in peg may well damage the rock?
Cheese Monkey - on 29 Mar 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

So raise it at the next meeting so a consensus on the way forward can be agreed
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