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 Post subject: Rocklands Bolting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:50 am 
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On reading recent articles, I have a question to the community, when should a boulder problem/route be bolted in the Cederberg? It seems like it would be a fine line between a bold highball, and a short route. As bouldering standards improve and higher problems get done on a routine basis as boulder problems (for example have a look at some of the lines in Bishop and Yosemite) when should these lines be bolted, or should they rather be top roped by folks wanting to use a rope? When will the existing highballs such as Creaking Heights (sp?) and other classic lines at the Rocklands be bolted? Who has the final say about what is bolted and what is not. It seems to me that only asking the first ascentionist if it is OK to bolt is inadequate as it should be a decision made by the community as whole and not a few individuals. I am not trying to point fingers at existing bolting activities (I know it is hard work), but would like to get some clarity on how the process is being managed in one of the most spectacular climbing areas in the world.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:45 am 
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I just feel that if something can conceiveably be bouldered then it should be left well enough alone. As Sean points out the sport is advancing all the time and highballs are only going to get higher. If others would like to get on these problems one can always put in a piece of gear or use a toprope without defacing the immaculate rock forever. I think due regard should also be given to the area in which these problems are found. For example there are several new sport routes that have gone up on a large boulder in the Roadside area. With all due respect to the bolter I feel that it is an innapropriate spot to be drilling holes into the rock when there are so many other really good options near by. I'm sure they are good routes but I just feel that it detracts from the purity of the area and leaves an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Problems like Creeking Heights and Cedar Spine are clearly boulder problems and should never ever see any bolts drilled into them!!

Bolts are a man-made evil and should be avoided wherever possible!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:55 am 
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Sean you have raised a very interesting subject for debate:

I think most climbers share our sentiments that Rocklands is an awesome area that needs to be protected against overbolting - as we have seen in other areas such as Montagu. I am personally dissapointed with some of the bolting that has resulted in our crags looking like scrap heaps and our climbing culture degrading into an expectation that you cannot climb past a bolt at your knee. The new routes screening committee was specifically initiated to protect Rocklands against overbolting and we have seen that this simple process is working well. The committee is small and efficient and I can personally vouch that new route applications are dealt with quickly. So to answer your question: I believe they will be able to represent the greater climbing community and ensure that only the best lines are bolted and classic highballs will remain just that. I do hope that the climbing community will realise that the adventure and environmental status of climbing needs to be guarded.

I trust that the usual crowd won't contaminate this particular forum with their worthless rantings.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:08 am 
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Location: JHB
I only climb sport (so far) - but I know that the bolts are not supposed to be there (and if they werent I couldnt climb the route).

Bolts have their place, and should be used where trad / bouldering is not possible but they shouldn't be used to \"dumb down\" a route.

If a route can be bouldered or trad climbed thats how it should remain - if you want to climb the route you have to train (boulder / trad) so that you can climb it, not just make the route suit you.

Rocklands is a world famouse site, it doesnt make sense to change its character into another sport crag.

There are 1000's of sport routes that have already been bolted which should be more than enough to keep all of us sport climbers happy. So in my opinion dont bolt it.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:45 am 
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Andy Davies wrote:

The new routes screening committee was specifically initiated to protect Rocklands against overbolting and we have seen that this simple process is working well. The committee is small and efficient and I can personally vouch that new route applications are dealt with quickly.


The committee sounds like a great idea and would most certainly be beneficial for preserving more than just the rock (case in point the whole Bronkies eagles nest "debate") , but how does one contact the committee? This is the first time I heard of such a committee, or is it a question of moving in the bolting circles?

Andy Davies wrote:
I do hope that the climbing community will realise that the adventure and environmental status of climbing needs to be guarded.

Amen & thanks for your efforts.

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Live fast, die young & leave a good looking corpse


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:59 pm 
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Shouldn't common sense prevail here?
A line that is just too high too be bouldered, would surely still be too short (ie. a pointless 2 bolt crap line) for a route?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:11 pm 
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I guess we cannot stop the current bolting frenzy happening at Rocklands?! But PLEASE people, think about the position of the bolts before placing them!
I recently removed the first bolt from a route at Fields of Joy because it was obviously placed by an idiot! If you were to fall off the first move (highly unlikely?) the arrest would swing you into the undercut and break your chest and/or face! VERY DANGEROUS considering you are only 2m off the ground and on a ledge?
I've said it before and I'll say it again: \"More bolts on a route does not make it safer!\"

As for the bolting of boulder problems or potential boulder problems (there is a VERY good chance that you are NOT the first to find or climb this line): I need bolts for a new route and your contibution will be very much appreciated!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:51 pm 
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The bolting policies and approval committee procedures for Rocklands which Andy mentioned earlier will not apply to bouldering areas such as Fields Of Joy as these are located on private land (De Pakhuys farm). But the same approach will hopefully apply there too since this is essentially all part of Rocklands. Perhaps Thuys needs to be informed of the role MCSA is playing at Rocklands and follow the same guidelines at De Pakhuys too ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:46 pm 
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If you want my personal opinion... bolts suck... so don’t use them... with that said they do indeed have their place in our sport.

I say climb the route the way it was opened! (However this does not work for the routes being opened, I'd say put those decisions to a local committee)

I don’t boulder, and I don’t usually go to bouldering areas, but for the guys that do frequent Rocklands its my guess that they don’t go there to lead routes, they go there to do bouldering. So therefore make provision for top roping on high balls.

Also remember you don’t necessarily have to have to have to big gnarly bolts on top of a route in order to top-rope a route... with a bit of ingenuity you might be able to rigg something from the other side of the bolder, if this is possible include this in the RD


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:46 pm 
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I am glad the MCSA is taking the lead in reviewing bolting activities. The club gets a bad rap from people saying that they do not do enough for bouldering and sport climbing, but times have definitely changed. My only wish is that Rocklands does not become a rust pile of zippered routes. Perhaps the MCSA should push the top roping agenda for lines that could be both boulder problems and routes, thereby maintaining the natural state of the rock. Top roping gets a bad rap, but in the long run it has very little impact on the rock. Perhaps top rope anchors could be placed on top of large boulders where slings and other protection would not work.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:56 pm 
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I agree with Fanta
Quote:
Also remember you don’t necessarily have to have to have to big gnarly bolts on top of a route in order to top-rope a route... with a bit of ingenuity you might be able to rigg something from the other side of the bolder, if this is possible include this in the RD


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