According to Wiki (not 100% I know) Cape Enninberg is the "second highest sea cliff in Europe",
Best left to the birds?
With a bit of traffic, it'll clean up!
Apologies, should have said 'The World's Tallest Sea Cliff Route.'
I felt very uncomfortable watching that; why disturb all the nesting birds in pursuit of an arbitrary goal just because it is a 'big route'? It was obvious that it was bird nest territory- so they deserved all the fulmar vomit they got. From the climbing early on there looked to be plenty of cleaner rock and free of birds. However, to me, it seemed to be a thoughtless, insensitive ego trip which could have done with more of a 'do no harm and leave no trace approach'.
Looking at 'The North Face' website they say they have a "mission to inspire a global movement of exploration and conservation" and have various statements about sustainability and responsibility, which doesn't seem to have got through to their 'sponsored athletes'.
Exactly, no doubt the sheep and locals do much more damage than they ever will but it can't be good for the vegetation either. Also the arrogance of rocking up and assuming they could climb there doesn't reflect well either.
Yes, irked me too. What's wrong with Mam Tor Gully after a week of torrential rain? Still, looks like a compelling place.
I enjoyed the video, they managed to make a fun film out of what looked like a fairly rubbish climb and showed us a bit of what the Faroes are like, which was an unexpected bonus.
I think you are being overly harsh. We are not talking rare and sensitive birds here: fulmars and other seagulls are well capable of holding their own. They don't think twice about entering areas of human habitation to aggressively search for food so i very much doubt a climber is going to give them a heart attack. If it was me, the presence of seagulls would only stop me due to puke worries, unless there was specific guidance to the contrary from BMC, RSPB or or another local wildlife organisation for that area. If the climbers were actively damaging nests that is obviously a different matter, but they weren't. Neither did they leave any other trace as far as i can tell.
Enjoyed that. Good little film.
Even if there is such an organisation on the Faroe islands i doubt they would have issued guidance on a cliff that has never been climbed before. I would hope that if there is an organisation the climbers would have consulted them first but given that they didn’t even consult the landowner it seems unlikely. Given that people on these islands have been clubbing the birds to death for centuries it may be ovely sensitive but the islanders are not doing it solely for fun or creating a promotional video about it.
It's also worth noting that there are plenty of 'common' birds which are suffering from very worrying declines in populations numbers (Sparrows, Starlings). Aside from the birds remote islands are often very special habitats and on islands that are sheep farmed so intensively the cliffs could easily be the last refuge of rare plant species and are unlikely to have been surveyed.
I got sent part of a video (it´s being made) last week from some of the "local" climbers bolting a sea cliff there (I supply the bolts for the sport climbing in the Faroes which are provided by the Danish alpine club).
The word I´d use is "atmospheric", like Scotland on a bad day.
And the traditional food is rotting fish, sheeps fat, seaweed and the odd puffin. (There is naturally enough a bird protection system, the breeding colonies are protected and the harvest controlled).
Don´t think it´going to become the next Kalymnos somehow!
thanks jim, well said!
> Neither did they leave any other trace as far as i can tell.
except the bolts...
always annoys me when you get these self serving promo videos of climbers going to 'wild and untouched' areas of beauty and then drilling a load of metalwork into the rock
Yes, that's a fair comment, I had forgotten it when I wrote my first post, but the bolting did look out of place. Perhaps less so given Jim's post though.
Faroe Islands cuisine is covered in some detail in "The Nordic Cookbook". Many of the dishes appear to demand a certain degree of fortitude.
> The bolting did look out of place.
Why? Just interested.
Why would the bolts *not* look out of place in a wild habitat such as this?
> Why would the bolts *not* look out of place in a wild habitat such as this?
I'm inclined to agree but the rock looked extremely compact so plenty of precedents.
I guess just the remoteness of the location and atmospheric nature of the cliff (at least as it came across in the film.) I haven't come across anywhere else like that which is extensively* bolted, not to say it doesn't exist.
I wasn't making a strong statement about it.
*I guess places like gogarth have the odd old bolt but not that would be placed now
> I guess just the remoteness of the location and atmospheric nature of the cliff (at least as it came across in the film.) I haven't come across anywhere else like that which is extensively* bolted, not to say it doesn't exist.
I think I surprised myself by not really raising an eyebrow at the bolting. Maybe I need to work on my sense of outrage. But it just seems pretty much the norm outside the UK now that unprotectable rock is fair game for bolting, sad though that may be.
Well I stopped watching the moment the bolt gun came out, disrespectful IMHO
> I stopped watching the moment the bolt gun came out, disrespectful IMHO
Aren't bolt guns for killing cows? I guess you mean "the moment the drill came out". Must make getting any DIY done tricky!
That was a great little film. I thought the bolting was entirely sensible & appropriate, and the temporary disturbance to wildlife and vegetation had a vanishingly small effect.
> Aren't bolt guns for killing cows?
have you not seen cliffhanger?
I must admit when I saw the cow killer coming out from under his jacket, I too felt a twinge of disappointment. I did however half way through think I was watching an episode of Hunted, and was left wondering, why go to all that trouble? ...I hate reality TV.
Yes, but have you seen No Country For Old Men? ! :-|
> But it just seems pretty much the norm outside the UK now that unprotectable rock is fair game for bolting
The sadder thing about the bolting is that it seemed to be full-on sport climbing bolting, as opposed to 'bolting when necessary'
q.v. youtube.com/watch?v=10uM6IU8S6U&t=337 (5m37s into the film, there are bolts placed within reach of what looks like perfectly reasonable cracks).
I am a long way from your anti-bolt thin-end-of-the-wedger (e.g. I think bolts should be placed a the Castell Helen abseil point) but I was a bit sad to see bolts being placed on adventurous cliffs where there seemed to be perfectly servicable gear placements. Maybe the rock was a bit 'explodey', who knows.
Isn't the accepted ethic that the locals decide what is appropriate? From the investigations I've done prior to a trip there later in the year, there's one (partly bolted) crag on the islands that's relatively normal, everything else is Fowleresque and pretty much anything goes in terms of climbing style.
> The sadder thing about the bolting is that it seemed to be full-on sport climbing bolting, as opposed to 'bolting when necessary'.
But one person's "necessary" is not the same as somebody else's "necessary". I'd prefer to see properly bolted sport routes than "designer" routes. Although widespread in other countries (and I've enjoyed many such routes) I've always found something a bit unsatisfactory and contrived about partially bolted routes.
I think some people are imposing a British perspective on this bolting, particularly our more or less complete no bolts ethic on sea cliffs and our pretty clear demarcation between trad crags and sport crags. The fact is that other places do things differently and, as much as it might sometimes grate with us, there's not a lot we can do about it. But it does mean that we should all the more jealously preserve the strong and almost unique bolting ethic we have in the UK (and that includes, in my opinion, resisting bolts at Castell Helen!)
Another sponsored trip to push a company profile. I can understand the fact that it is good to show another place of beauty to the world, but bolting expansion bolts who will rot within a couple of years seem rather stupid , but that's the grand rule I guess if you get payed and have a camera crew only there for a short time, so pressure is on the cards.
Bolting expansion bolts on sea cliffs are just old school and these pros should have a moral responsibility to show what's en vogue, because some people will watch it and think cool lets find a cliff and bolt the holy Jesus out of it with cheap expansion bolts.
I went and checked out the cliffs in the Faroes in 2012 to see if I thought they would make any good climbs.
At the time I thought it would require tonnes of bolts due to the compact nature of the rock and as a consequence of this, I lost interest.
The 600 meter vertical one direct into the sea is one of the most striking rock features around though.
I don't know what type of bolts they use, but bolting seems to be accepted by the locals rather than something introduced for this route.
Having been there to see for myself I thought the leader placed trad potential looked very limited. No visible cracks at all.