/ Fixed abseil points

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mgb - on 10 Aug 2017
A few weeks ago I left a long rope sling and a screw gate crab, as a permanent abseil point on Kirkstone Buttress, only to find some one has taken this, what I am interested to find out is WHY, if the person who stole it was hard up for 6m of 11mm rope and an old screw gate, then if they would like to contact me I would be willing to give them as much 11mm rope and old screw gates as the can carry , so they don't go and steal the one I have replaced it with,
Lusk - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

Somebody will have removed it, considering it as being 'abandoned' gear, rather than stole it.
Most people just walk round to the bottom of crags.
atrendall - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Lusk:

Perhaps taken because it was seen as litter to be removed especially if most people walk off.
mgb - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Lusk:

when you did your survey, of most people prefer to walk down, how many people did you survey, and what were the numbers, of people surveyed ,who prefer walking down, and the numbers of people who would prefer to abseil, I would be most interested to examine all the data you have collected, perhaps you could email it to me. ps have you climbed on Kirkstone buttress, if not do you know where it is, Regards
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:
Well his new survey above is at 6-0 for walking currently.

Make that 8-0
Ooh, 9-0.

Got enough data to getting on with?
Post edited at 20:31
summo on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

> Kirkstone buttress, if not do you know where it is,

I think even a none climber with the most limited lakes experience could hazard a guess.

tmawer - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

I would prefer to ab' and get a few routes done easily and quickly. I have climbed there once but can't remember the decent, but as a lazy crag rat i'm all for the easy life and would usually rig my own ab' and take it down when I leave, but I would have been happy to use yours.
mgb - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> Well his new survey above is at 6-0 for walking currently.

> Make that 8-0

> Ooh, 9-0.

> Got enough data to getting on with?

No, 9 is not enough, let us conduct a survey, with the question, are you in favor of fixed abseil points on crags in the lakes, yes or no, if we can get a good number of reply's say 100, and if we have more no than yes, I will go back and remove all the ones I have placed
mgb - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

that's not what I asked
summo on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

I reckon less than 1% of crags require an abseil decent, let alone some permanent installation. For most crags I can walk down quicker than folk can ab, certainly quicker than any pair can ab. Zero risk of rope jam, knocking rock off, getting in the way of those ascending etc...
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:
How about you provide data of that kind for this before littering crags and then moaning when people clear up your mess.

BTW, these things are discussed you know by the BMC.
Post edited at 21:11
DerwentDiluted - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

> Kirkstone buttress, do you know where it is, Regards

Pass.

MFB - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

Gimmer, lower falcon, castle, white ghyll - you would have to be going some to walk round quicker than rap on these crags
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MFB:

Not really. Multiple two person abs take ages.
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

> I reckon less than 1% of crags require an abseil decent, let alone some permanent installation.

What absolute twaddle.

MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What absolute twaddle.

Less than 1% have them, so clearly not twaddle.
teh_mark on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

If you leave litter on a crag, you have to expect that people will remove it. Convenience isn't an excuse for leaving things in the natural environment which don't belong there.
summo on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> What absolute twaddle.

A climbing pair. The leader strips the anchors as they put them in. The second coils the rope. 2 mins later you are walking down. Chatting, planning, swapping gear... meanwhile your abseilers are still rigging and finding the middle etc..

There are one or two exceptions, but not many.
Post edited at 21:31
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> Not really. Multiple two person abs take ages.

There's very rarely more than one team on these crags. Really, the idea that in the Lakes we should be walking down rather than keeping permanent ab stations in good nick is nonsense. I can't understand what possible advantage there might be in walking off a crag which ends on a steep, vegetated mountainside when you can quickly ab down without disturbing any vegetation, eroding any ground, etc etc. I don't want to see the mountain crags covered in tat and metalwork for no reason: part of what gives the routes character may be multiple pitches and a complete bottom-to-top adventure. But on many of the valley crags it is far better to maintain ab stations. The routes don't get enough traffic; they're often bold, hard and a little bit grotty. We don't want to make them even less attractive now, do we?
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

I climb in the Lakes where there are many, many exceptions.
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

There might occasionally be environmental reasons (Sargent Crag Slabs) but generally I think abbing is slower, more dangerous, and fixed stations detract from the climbing. They certainly aren't required.
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> Less than 1% have them, so clearly not twaddle.

What?
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

How can a fixed station detract from the climbing?
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

It looks horrible.
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What?

Well if they aren't there and people climb, they clearly aren't required
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Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

Where does this 1% come from?
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> It looks horrible.

So you'd do a really amazing route like Praying Mantis and it would be let down by the ab station? Barking mad?
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Summo
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Yes. Fair enough, you like them but you are a minority.
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

You assumed it was a fact?
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> Yes. Fair enough, you like them but you are a minority.

The issue is that the problem in the Lakes is lack of popularity and routes becoming dirty and overgrown. This type of pseudo-ethics is part of cause, and it's frustrating.
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

What!? You said it was.twddle, it wasn't, clearly. That's all!
MG - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

It's not.oseudo ethics. It's finding litter, of whatever.kind, spoils.my day.
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

> A climbing pair. The leader strips the anchors as they put them in. The second coils the rope. 2 mins later you are walking down. Chatting, planning, swapping gear... meanwhile your abseilers are still rigging and finding the middle etc..

> There are one or two exceptions, but not many.

What are you on about? This is obviously true if there is no hassle involved in walking down, but on most of the crags I visit it's a massive pain in the arse to negotiate all of the broken rock, perched blocks, vegetation, etc as the crag gradually becomes mountainside. Which is the whole reason there are ab stations. There are some which don't serve much purpose admitedly and I wouldn't miss those particularly, but most are there for completely obvious reasons: it's by far the most sensible way down!
Mark Eddy - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

Having never visited this crag i'm unsure of the exact nature of the terrain and its suitability for a walking descent. But from what I can see whilst looking up at it from the road, it seems like walking off would be quick and easy, if a little steep. I'm surprised x 2 about this: Firstly, it's an unfrequented crag so unlikely that folk would be stripping ab tat. Secondly, why have the ab tat? Is it really needed.

Equipping the bigger crags or those with horrid descend paths with abseil fixtures I think is a good idea. White Ghyll & Gimmer come to mind, where an ab makes for a far quicker descent. Scafell & Esk buttress too, but these places have long descents over some quite complex terrain. Kirkstone Buttress is tiny by comparison.
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> What!? You said it was.twddle, it wasn't, clearly. That's all!

Unless there's some reason to believe that less than 1% of crags have ab stations, (when about 50% of Lakes crags do), then it is absolute twaddle.
MFB - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> It looks horrible.

I take your point but

It's fairly hard to spot a length of 10mm and a mallion from 50m below, you pretty much have to be on the route to spot these things, they are generally collecting a covering of algae to further reduce visual impact that said I wouldn't like to see a massive increase in them.
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to MFB:

They are invisible until you're actually using them. I cannot think of a single ab point that is visible either from below or from the routes.
Rick Graham on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Mark Eddy:

> Having never visited this crag i'm unsure of the exact nature of the terrain and its suitability for a walking descent. But from what I can see whilst looking up at it from the road, it seems like walking off would be quick and easy, if a little steep. I'm surprised x 2 about this: Firstly, it's an unfrequented crag so unlikely that folk would be stripping ab tat. Secondly, why have the ab tat? Is it really needed.

> Equipping the bigger crags or those with horrid descend paths with abseil fixtures I think is a good idea. White Ghyll & Gimmer come to mind, where an ab makes for a far quicker descent. Scafell & Esk buttress too, but these places have long descents over some quite complex terrain. Kirkstone Buttress is tiny by comparison.

Been to the crag a few times and done all the routes. A useful venue.
An easy walk off at both ends, if a bit muddy.
Always fixed my own ab and walked down after last route.
If an anchor had been in situ , would have used it.
Fruit on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

No, please remove them.
Fruit on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

Is your ab point installed to support a commercial activity? Guiding, instructing, etc?
descender8 - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

It's a marmite issue !
If I were you I would just take a bit of rope and a screwgate each time you go there , you'll never win with the Eco mentalists on your case ;)
bodovix on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:
It could be said that man made 'goat tracks' all over a crags decent(s) are more environmentally damaging than an old rope and crab, also a fixed anchor round a tree is less harmful to the bark than people constantly doing releasable abbs off them (many do at popular crags). a good abb point could also be said to be safer than a lot of descents out there

no right answer; but why not leave a Maillon instead - cheap and no one wants them for anything other than abseils so it'll likely not turn into crag swag, and if it does get cleared then it probably wasn't thought to be necessary rather than swag.
Post edited at 22:39
climbingpixie on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Not to mention having to either climb with your trainers clipped to your harness or walk down in rock shoes. I'd take an ab descent over a walk off any day.
Rog Wilko on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to bodovix:



> no right answer; but why not leave a Maillon instead - cheap and no one wants them for anything other than abseils so it'll likely not turn into crag swag, and if it does get cleared then it probably wasn't thought to be necessary rather than swag.

Agree. With a maillon you could also take a spanner to make it tight enough for it to be non-removable by hand.
Jon Stewart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to climbingpixie:

I think this thread sets out an obvious challenge to all the anti-ab tatters - and it's much more generous than just a "race to the bottom": Climb a route on Goat Crags, Borrowdale of your choosing, and then go-pro yourself self righteously effecting the ethically superior descent (it's perfectly possible according to the guidebook), posting the footage here. And then if you've still got the wherewithal, you have license to climb another route and chop the tat. Start early and bring a headtorch - you've got do the descent twice


sfletch on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

Slam a bolt in the f**ker
J Whittaker - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Im with Jon, a fixed ab station on some crags makes absolute sense.

Get off your high horses. They wont wreck the image of the crag, and are less of an eyesore than tat everywhere.

summo on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Goat crag... The 1% I bet there are 99 other crags where even laurel and hardy could walk down quicker than an abseiling duo.
jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

Take only photos, leave only footprints.

You're also changing the character of the crag for everyone after you, it's less of an adventure for them, which isn't very nice.
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tmawer - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Take only photos, leave only footprints.

That's a nice idea, but most of us leave a tonne or two of metal in a nearby car park for a few hours, and a trail of exhaust fumes for miles ....particularly getting to Kirkstone crag. We seem to choose what offends us in an interesting way.

Rog Wilko on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

Unfortunately we leave more than footprints. Descents routes from some mountain crags are an eyesore visible from a mile away. This was my main reason for supporting the ab bolts at Sergeant Crag Slabs. Also, bolted ab points may offend our precious ethics but we forget that only we, the climbers, see them. Tat is much more likely to be seen by the non-climber.
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

Scafell East Buttress, White Gyhll Lower, Iron, Esk Buttress, Great End Crag, Quayfoot... This 1% is starting to bulge a bit.
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

If the descent from the top of an outcrop is what you go out climbing for, maybe take up another sport?
Tyler - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Raven Crag, Threshthwaite Cove
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> Raven Crag, Threshthwaite Cove

Or just about any Raven Crag! Maybe not the Langdale one, but Thirlmere?
jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to tmawer:

If you want my environmental opinion on driving to the crag, I can give that too. Always share cars (4x4s and gas guzzlers are still driven by tw*ts, as are people that buy new,) climb local and if you don't live in a climbing area, move to one.
MG - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> If the descent from the top of an outcrop is what you go out climbing for, maybe take up another sport?

Alternatively, if you want convenience, McClimbing, try sport or indoor!

More seriously, I wouldn't actually mind the occasional bolted ab station but strongly suspect they would multiply and become bolted belays and then bolted routes, so I object on thin end of the wedge basis. However, I do object to tat lying around, as in the OP. It looks unsightly, decays, and spoils the whole feel of a place.
jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Rog Wilko:

A very poor excuse. Organise volunteers, build a decent path.
jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Did I really say that, or are you just being silly?
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> A very poor excuse. Organise volunteers, build a decent path.

Why?
MG - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

You didn't, but I do. Jon's view of climbing appears to be simply going up rock. I think many people enjoy the wider aspects, including descending, walking in, and general wildness. Both views are fine, but it would be a pity if one spoiled the other.
tmawer - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

Like I say, it's genuinely interesting how we all adopt and adapt our actions and views.....for you it's ok to drive up kirkstone pass so long as you have a partner in your car, it's less than some unspecified "local" distance and your not a tw#t in a new car or 4 wheel drive. Someone else may feel differently and that an ab point is a lesser evil than erosion from walking off. I've no idea of the rights and wrongs of any of it, but do know I'm lazy and don't like sore feet!
jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to tmawer:

People pay hundreds every year to join a gym and yet moan about walking off from a crag.
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

You're not reading what I'm saying. Let's rewind:

> I can't understand what possible advantage there might be in walking off a crag which ends on a steep, vegetated mountainside when you can quickly ab down without disturbing any vegetation, eroding any ground, etc etc. I don't want to see the mountain crags covered in tat and metalwork for no reason: part of what gives the routes character may be multiple pitches and a complete bottom-to-top adventure. But on many of the valley crags it is far better to maintain ab stations. The routes don't get enough traffic; they're often bold, hard and a little bit grotty. We don't want to make them even less attractive now, do we?

The problem is that people are talking about stupid blanket rules rather than considering what the best thing for any given crag is. For loads of crags (not 1% by any stretch!) the most sensible thing is an ab point.
timjones - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> You're not reading what I'm saying. Let's rewind:

> The problem is that people are talking about stupid blanket rules rather than considering what the best thing for any given crag is. For loads of crags (not 1% by any stretch!) the most sensible thing is an ab point.

You're worrking on the assumption that crags "need" to be climbed and that we should encourage people to do so.
summo on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Scafell East Buttress, White Gyhll Lower, Iron, Esk Buttress, Great End Crag, Quayfoot... This 1% is starting to bulge a bit.

Mountain crags, which would require multiple ab stations in some cases. I think you desire French campsite bolt clipping convenience in UK hills, two different beasts.

For longer mountain routes the second having a very small rucksack or clipping trail shoes to your harness seems to solve most problems for me. Without the need for multiple abseils.

Of course some will still want to abseil regardless, because to many it's a sport in itself. But it adds to the wear. Wonder how many folk have ab down cenotaph corner...
jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

But it's not just an ab point is it? It becomes the top roping point and the belay point too, then people wonder why there isn't one at the top of each route. I was climbing with a Canadian on Wednesday, she was repeating a route I'd lead and grabbed a sling to clip the bolts on top so she could get lowered and clean the gear. I explained that you don't get that here and I'm glad of it.
summo on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:
> People pay hundreds every year to join a gym and yet moan about walking off from a crag.

Not sure if the opinions of people towards ab stations correlated with their entry route into climbing. Many progress from walking and scrambling, others the convenience of indoor walls. For me 99% of time it is simple quicker, easier and potentially safer to quickly scoot around the side and down, than start abseiling. Which is of course my choice, but I bet there aren't many here who haven't encountered a Muppet launching a rope down a crag without warning etc.. or asking if you don't mind taking their gear out and throwing it down to them etc.. because they are multiple pitch abbing a busy crag.
Post edited at 10:36
MFB - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:
I think all the crags mentioned are rapped in a single 50m descent


Post edited at 11:07
tmawer - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> People pay hundreds every year to join a gym and yet moan about walking off from a crag.

And pay thousands for a car to get them there....I don't think your going to get my point about the subjective nature of our views.
summo on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MFB:

> I think all the crags mentioned are rapped in a single 50m descent
> The raps are often a lot safer than the alternatives

If you know where to ab off etc.. and those who do are more than capable of tackling the ground to walk off. But I didn't say that all crags should be walked, hence the 1% where it is logical for multiple reasons to do so.
MG - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to tmawer:
> And pay thousands for a car to get them there....I don't think your going to get my point about the subjective nature of our views.

Of course they are subjective, but so what? Anyway, it's a case of making space for a variety of views. I don't think anyone would now want a road from Wasdale to Borrowdale, for example, although this was once planned. Equally, I think resisting equipping mountain crags is sensible, while I am happy for appropriate sports crags with ab points to exist.


MG - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MFB:

> The raps are often a lot safer than the alternatives

Seems unlikely. The ease with which you can kill yourself abseiling is well know. Very few die walking off. Further abseiling involves throwing things (and often accidentally knocking things) down crags that will likely have people coming up, with the associated risks.
jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

Nah it was aimed at tmawer for saying they were lazy and get sore feet, which is why they supported ab points.
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jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Hundreds.
tony on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> A very poor excuse. Organise volunteers, build a decent path.

Why is the visual intrusion of a path better than an abseil station?
summo on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> . I don't think anyone would now want a road from Wasdale to Borrowdale, for example, although this was once planned.

It would have saved a few folk expensive taxis over the years when they've been navigationally challenged.
MFB - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:
Fair point - on reflection stats probably support that
Post edited at 11:00
MG - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MFB:

Did you just change your mind due to something I wrote? Get off UKC NOW or you'll break it
MFB - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

Hey I can be flexible
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

What you fail to understand is that these crags are very quiet. We need to encourage more climbing on many of them, we don't have problems of overuse to manage.
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

?? The alternative to these abs generally involve dicking around on horrible steep vegetated ground. The statistical fact is that no one dies doing either, accidents are rare.
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to timjones:

> You're worrking on the assumption that crags "need" to be climbed and that we should encourage people to do so.

I'm working on the basis that I like climbing, and so, presumably do other climbers. And thus we are sad to see high quality classic routes become overgrown. That's the only reason crags "need" to be climbed. If you think classic UK trad routes are a total waste of time and you don't get what I'm on about, have you considered using a different Internet forum rather than UKC?
MFB - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
>high quality classic routes become overgrown.

I don't really get that, if they are popular and face the right way they stay clean.

Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MFB:

But loads of them don't face the right way, and thus aren't popular!
MFB - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Then they become adventures

Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

> Mountain crags, which would require multiple ab stations in some cases. I think you desire French campsite bolt clipping convenience in UK hills, two different beasts.

Twaddle. You don't know what you're talking about.
tony on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> ?? The alternative to these abs generally involve dicking around on horrible steep vegetated ground. The statistical fact is that no one dies doing either, accidents are rare.

Sadly, it's not true that no one dies dicking around on horrible steep vegetated ground. David Cassidy died descending at Polney Crag at Dunkeld. As you say, it's rare, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
tmawer - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> Of course they are subjective, but so what? Anyway, it's a case of making space for a variety of views.

People seem to be arguing as if there is an objectively correct answer rather than, as you say, making space for a variety of views.

It feels as if some on here believe there is something virtuous about walking off, but morally reprehensible about abseiling off, and then fail to see the nonsense of a morality based argument whilst driving cars (of any value) to climb, and being offended by a discreet abseil point.

DubyaJamesDubya - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Fruit:

> Is your ab point installed to support a commercial activity? Guiding, instructing, etc?

Does that matter?
DubyaJamesDubya - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to J Whittaker:

> Im with Jon, a fixed ab station on some crags makes absolute sense.

> Get off your high horses. They wont wreck the image of the crag, and are less of an eyesore than tat everywhere.

It's the removal of tat we're discussing.
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to tmawer:

People need to cut the self righteous crap and blanket policies, and local climbers need to make sensible decisions about installing and maintaining ab points on their crags. Decisions which maintain the atmosphere and ethics of the crag according to local consensus, while supporting access and environmental concerns.
MG - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Isn't that exactly what happens? With, generally, the consensus being for not having abseil anchors, certainly on mountain crags.
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:
With generally in the lakes, a consensus in favour of ab points, especially on valley crags with vegetated tops, and on many mountain crags too.
Post edited at 12:36
C Witter on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

To be fair to MGB, who's on the receiving end of quite a lot of dislikes, I've used "fixed" abseil points on crags in the Lakes on a number of occasions (where "fixed" means a loop of decent rope and a crab, or similar).

I've abbed off "fixed" ab points on (at least) Gimmer (from three ab spots), Raven, Middlefell Buttress, Gouther, Lower Falcon and Shepherds. And I tend to really appreciate a stout bit of cord or whatever so I don't end up wasting my own slings and crabs.

In fact, I almost never take tat and an old crab with me to the Lakes, precisely because I know the ab will either be a walk or a fixed ab point, unless it's unplanned, in which case I'll try to recover my gear or be happy just to get to the ground in one piece...

I'm sure most people have a similar approach, so I'm not sure why the great pretence to some sort of ethical purity, re. abbing off others' tat.
tmawer - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Nicely put.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:
> Alternatively, if you want convenience, McClimbing, try sport or indoor!

> More seriously, I wouldn't actually mind the occasional bolted ab station but strongly suspect they would multiply and become bolted belays and then bolted routes, so I object on thin end of the wedge basis. However, I do object to tat lying around, as in the OP. It looks unsightly, decays, and spoils the whole feel of a place.

I seem to recall one of the regular American posters saying that is exactly what happened in some areas over there and warning of the dangers in following that path.
Post edited at 13:25
Trangia on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to tony:

> Sadly, it's not true that no one dies dicking around on horrible steep vegetated ground. David Cassidy died descending at Polney Crag at Dunkeld. As you say, it's rare, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

How many of you who are opposing the concept of fixed abeil points at crags where the descent route is chossy and dangerous have ever experienced the shock and heartbreak of losing a climbing partner in a needless fall from such a descent route? My good friend Simon Wakeford fell to his death 35 years ago whilst making just such a descent at Symonds Yat. He was in his early 20s, an experienced and capable climber who had just led an HVS nearby. I was terribly shaken at the time, and I will never forget the awful impact his death had on his friends and family particularly his parents who dealt with the tragedy in such a dignified way.I think what was so shocking for us all was that he didn't die climbing, but in a needless and unexpected way. No self righteous crap about the ethics of discreet abseil points can possibly balance the loss of a life. No, we don't want to festoon our crags with needless ab stations, but there are times when common sense dictates that they are a better option and less unsightly than old tat being left behind, where the alternative is a chossy so called "easy" descent route full of objective danger.
Big Lee - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Symonds Yat has one tremendously eroded descent I remember about a quarter of the way along the crag. Equally though I remember the tops of some routes being also very eroded from rope wear. From memory, I remember thinking a few carefully placed abseil points similar to Shorncliffe might have lessened the overall environmental impact and erosion.

Generally speaking through, I'm in favour of whatever descent causes the least erosion and is safest for the given crag. I think it depends on the nature of the crag as to what that is. Where there is to be an abseil point I'd much rather see some sort of active maintenance strategy as with bolts. Eg a single rope and ab ring that are regularly replaced, rather than numerous slings and crabs all backing one another up, which become an eyesore. I'm more than happy to walk off mountain routes but also happy to ab where appropriate. Using my brain to decide upon the safest means of descent on a case by case basis is always going to be the safest form of descent for me, rather one specific method applied to all.
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jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Because descending steep choss safely is a great skill to learn and practise for mountaineering?
jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to tony:

Because paths are so common they are part of the landscape and abseil stations have the issues discussed above.
tony on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Because paths are so common they are part of the landscape and abseil stations have the issues discussed above.

I'm sorry, but that's hopeless. If you're in favour of the 'leave nothing but footprints' ethos, I don't see how you can advocate the visual impact of man-made paths. It's hypocritical in the extreme to accept paths and yet dismiss abseil station 'because of the issues discussed above'. Paths have an impact, abseil stations have an impact. Visually, in my experience, the impact of paths is far greater than that of ab stations. And please don't try to pretend that one has any kind of ethical superiority over the other.
flour - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:


Because abseiling safely is a great skill to learn and practise for mountaineering?
jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to tony:

Eh? The impact of humans when they have a well made path to use is nothing compared to the eroded mud left when the same number have no path.
jonnie3430 - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to flour:

And which one requires more time and judgement to master?
Ramblin dave - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Because descending steep choss safely is a great skill to learn and practise for mountaineering?

Any time you want to go and practise descending steep choss you can feel free.

But it sounds like more-or-less everyone else is choosing option b), and saying sod it, let's go to Shepherd's again instead, and leaving the crags in question to return to nature. And huffing on the internet about how they ought to be proper mountaineers and appreciate annoying rubbish descent routes as an integral part of the Lake District valley-cragging experience isn't going to change that.
goatee - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:
A bit of rope and a biner is just that and anyone should feel free to remove it. If you want "fixed" Angelis place bolts, rings and or chains????
Post edited at 18:52
tony on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Eh? The impact of humans when they have a well made path to use is nothing compared to the eroded mud left when the same number have no path.

And there would be even less impact if they were able to abseil instead of using a path. And, compare the cost and effort of making a good path compared with the cost and effort of a few decent ab stations, bearing in mind you're proposing it's all done on a voluntary basis.
timjones - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
Classic routes are most definitely not a waste of time and that.is why they aren't in any danger of becoming overgrown for the lack of an in-situ abseil station.

This is the second time today that you have suggested that anyone who doesn't share you narrow viewpoint can't be a climber. Can I suggest that maybe you aren't much of a climber if you aren't prepared to put in the little bit of extra effort required to walk off.
Post edited at 19:34
timjones - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to flour:

> Because abseiling safely is a great skill to learn and practise for mountaineering.

Abseiling without relying on in-situ anchors is an even greater skill ; )
mgb - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:
A bit of rope and a biner is just that and anyone should feel free to remove it. If you want "fixed" Angelis place bolts, rings and or chains, yes I couldn't agree more, that is the best option, but while we have members of the flat earth society involved, we are pissing up the wall with that one, one day this will happen, but I cant see this happening until most of the valley are so dirty that they cant be climbed on, then it will

Rog Wilko on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> People pay hundreds every year to join a gym and yet moan about walking off from a crag.

How do you know they're the same people?
harold walmsley - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:
> Wonder how many folk have ab down cenotaph corner...

I don't think many people abseil down the corner. Most go down somewhere near Lord. That didn't appear to be suffering too much last time I joined the masses.



Fruit on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Yes
flour - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to timjones:

Have a like for that!
Jon Stewart - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to timjones:
> Classic routes are most definitely not a waste of time and that.is why they aren't in any danger of becoming overgrown for the lack of an in-situ abseil station.

Classic routes *are* becoming overgrown. This isn't simply to do with any lack of in situ anchors, because most of the crags where they're appropriate *do* have them, they're just really grotty. I will do my bit to replace them over time, but I won't be told by any self-righteous wanker that I'm doing something wrong.

It's frustrating, when I say over and over again that I only support fixed ab points on a case by case basis, to get stupid responses about not being bothered to walk down. Why won't you accept that on loads of lakeland crags walking down is a shit idea and it's much more sensible to abseil? Which is why everyone who visits these crags (e.g basically every crag in borrowdale) does precisely that.
Post edited at 23:30
TRip - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

I'll meet you at the top of Grim Wall if you like.

I bet you a pint that I (and a partner) can abseil down the crag, and climb back up again, in the time that it takes you to walks down and back up to the base of the crag.

Down here in Wales plenty of crags and routes have fixed abseil stations. This is great as they mean more climbing can be done.
baron - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to TRip:

One place that doesn't need abseil stations is Tremadog.
If one more tosspot abseils on top of me when I'm trying to lead a route I won't be responsible for my actions.
Walk off, have a cup of tea and a cake in the cafe, enjoy the experience.
The place hasn't been the same since the BMC bought it!
davidbeynon on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:
In reply to flour:

Safely descending steep choss and abseiling are both necessary skills to learn and practice for mountaineering.

It is reasonable to discuss how necessary they are for cragging given that the current consensus seems to be that there is more to climbing than training for mountaineering.

For the record I have a mountaineers* loathing for abseils, while I merely dislike walking down choss.

*The one you pick up after a forced ab in the dark from crappy anchors.
Post edited at 00:53
Wayne S - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to TRip:

Tremadog is one crag which puts fixed abseils in a poor light. The one above grim wall direct perhaps the most notorious. The walk off most of Tremadog is easy and dare I say traditional. Perhaps not the best example to support some fixed abseil points. TBH some people will pretty much do as they please and I would prefer to see some cord and a mallion than damage to a tree.

John Stewart is getting a bit of a hammering for simply saying that it's a case by case decision (note I am talking natural fixed gear not bolts), and I would agree with him. Many crags just make sense to abb off, parts of White Ghyll for instance. Let's be honest Dinas Mot hardly ends at the top of a mountain, and most abb off the side down the gullies. Why would you insist on a rigor beyond this for the Lakes?

It's quite bold to suggest that these rock climbing activities breach the sound and solid ethics found in mountaineering! At least that's what I am reading into comments.

Wayne
timjones - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

How are you defining a route as "classic"?

I'd say that a classie shoyld stand on it's merits rather than requiring old farts you you or I to ensure its continued popularity.
jonnie3430 - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to tony:

They can abseil as much as they want, just clean the ab at the end of the day, or finish with their bags and walk off.
Wayne S - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

Well said by the man with the awesome picture from the top of a sea stack!
Most pinnacle climbs reinforce the case by case argument!

jonnie3430 - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Wayne S:

The first time I went off the crap tat and pegs at the top. The second, a few years later, the pegs were much worse and we did a counter weight abseil (he went first and sits at the bottom with his belay plate locked of when I went,) which went very smoothly and left nothing.
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Wayne S - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

More saying I liked the picture! But then chucked that so may pinnacle climbs have fixed anchors at the top. It just made me chuckle, sods law would have it that if I made a point then my profile would conspire against me also.

It is a skill to get off rock clean, and we should all aspire to that. But sometimes it's just better to be able to abb off a fixed point. Clearly the subject polarises, but that surely supports the case by case basis.
timjones - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

> They can abseil as much as they want, just clean the ab at the end of the day, or finish with their bags and walk off.

Or don't complain when somebody else tidies up after them ;)
wbo - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to mgb:

Ignoring the last 115 posts above, if I were to encounter what you left, a piece of tat of unknown provenance, age and safety I'd be tempted to dump it too.

If you are going to make permanent rap stations do it properly, though that of course is unthinkable in the lakes
Jon Stewart - on 12 Aug 2017
timjones - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You're suggesting that 4 pitch routes are seeing a lack of traffic due to the absence of in situ abseil stations?

Whatever happened to self reliance?
Jon Stewart - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to timjones:

> You're suggesting that 4 pitch routes are seeing a lack of traffic due to the absence of in situ abseil stations?

> Whatever happened to self reliance?

How tedious. What I'm saying is that it would be great to have more people climbing these routes so that they stayed clean (and chalked! Why not open this can of tasty little worms...). Maintaining fixed ab points could potentially encourage this (plus posting on here that the route's had a bit of TLC and what a great route it is). On the other hand, bollox about self reliance, removing useful gear and saying "if you leave a good ab point, I'll go and take it down for completely spurious reasons, and the routes are better when overgrown and descending involves thrashing through vertical vegetation or leaving crap tat behind" is a sure-fire way to convince everyone that climbing in the lakes is shite and subject to ludicrous crag-policing by self-righteous bell-ends and their pseudo ethics.
Lusk - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Just for the record, I'd've left our OP's piece of gear where it was.
It probably wouldn't have even registered in my mind.
mgb - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart. Thank you Jon from all these posts it seems to me that only us local lakes climbers know what we are talking about, it will happen, and we will have proper safe and secure abseil points,set in the right places on the crags that need them, but until then we will have to make do with bits of rope and old crabs not always in the best places, when the next generation of lakes climbers come along, they will be amused by this opposition, however until then we will all just have to piss about as we are now.

timjones - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

In almost 30 years of climbing I have seen the popularity of routes and even whole crags wax and wane.

The greatest influence seems to be the publication of a new guidebook. Whilst ab stations might help in some quarters they will achieve nowt without the necessary publicity.

But I still can't help but wonder whether or not it is a real problem if the popularity of some routes declines.
MFB - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to timjones:

I don't see the lack of people on lakeland crags as a massive problem, as you say it's fashion

Currently langdale boulders are choca with youths lying around on mats go pro-ing their beeanys but walk up a hill and the crags are awash with old fellas, generally on Monday lunchtime (kendal wall must be shut), polishing the classics and abbing off in situ tat. This is not necessarily a bad thing, soon those youths will grow old and bored and may then look to the high crags to deploy their finely honed skills , brakens permitting.

We'll all be complaining about having to queue for routes
Jon Stewart - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to MFB:

Bramcrag quarry is awash with old folk more like. Lack of traffic isn't a problem in the lakes per se, but it's an issue on those classics I mentioned and many others. It would be interesting to search the logbooks for the comment "needs more traffic" to determine where this is the case. But I can certainly think of lots of crags where I'm put off by the condition the routes and would only climb well within my grade.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to Fruit:

Why?
MFB - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I do quite like the way routes evolve over time (the exception being having to use bigger wires as the slots widen), holds fall off and moss grows, weather, I get fatter etc etc - I see that as an integral part of the game - It adds to the variety of th experience, it works for me, maybe not everyone
Jon Stewart - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to MFB:

> I do quite like the way routes evolve over time (the exception being having to use bigger wires as the slots widen), holds fall off and moss grows, weather, I get fatter etc etc - I see that as an integral part of the game - It adds to the variety of th experience, it works for me, maybe not everyone

In the nicest possible way, that's fine if you're old and you've done'em all.
fred99 - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Surely the safest and also crag-friendly system, particularly at Symonds Yat (or other generally single pitch crags), is to put up a sling and screwgate on finishing the first route, and abseil from this temporary fixed point until the last route.
At this point you then use the retrievable abseil system.
This gives you the best of both worlds.
If you are not able to do so then 1 person can abseil, the rope(s) can be thrown down, and either only 1 person descends the path, or you meet up at an agreed point.
If the walk off is at the top then a rope can be used to haul rucsacs up, with the second holding the rope to keep it clear of the cliff.

This is a system that I have used on many occasions, particularly at Symonds Yat, as descending polished limestone has always been dodgy.
Big Lee - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What I'm saying is that it would be great to have more people climbing these routes so that they stayed clean (and chalked! Why not open this can of tasty little worms...). Maintaining fixed ab points could potentially encourage this...

Agree with a lot of what you've said on this thread but not convinced that fixed abseils would affect the popularity of a crag much. Is Dinus Mot's Nose anymore popular than some of the crags on the opposite side of the pass for example primarily because it has an abseil descent? I generally can't recall me or my partner making a decision on where to climb based on the nature of the descent, except on bad weather winter days. Usually the amount of driving, approach time, and route lengths and difficulties are the main factors. I don't think UK routes are long enough for the descent be a major factor. I'm not ashamed to say I am happy to abseil if it makes for a more pleasant, safer experience though.
timjones - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> In the nicest possible way, that's fine if you're old and you've done'em all.

Just think how fortunate you are to be able to climb them I conditions that mimic the first ascent.
Jon Stewart - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

What makes the difference is looking on the log books and seeing plenty of ascents with good write ups and no moaning. Getting on the routes, doing a bit of gardening, putting in a decent anchor and reassuring suitors that they'll have a great time will help. One person a year trying the route and saying "filthy, abbed off early" or "shame this is so vegetated, epic descent through brambles so missed last orders" will not.
davidbeynon on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I would just like to point out that some of us see that sort of write up, rub our hands together with glee and think "challenge accepted!".

I admit that we are in a minority and it probably makes us subhuman deviants of some sort.
Jon Stewart - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

Great. Just take a knife, some rope and chunky maillons with you when you do.

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