Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

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Jeremy Samson
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Jeremy Samson »

pic of red rain- sanbanessa visible to the right ( 26+ )
without the bolt there would be no gear between the big rail with the friend and the rail 6ft above him.
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mokganjetsi
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by mokganjetsi »

Stu wrote:anyways, wouldn't cry if they are chopped.
okay, i retrack that silly statement unconditionally.

red rain looks like an a-friggin-mazing pitch of climbing and re-introduces a thorny issue (?) : the finest pitch of sandstone climbing in the world needs the protection of 1 bolt....... imho its a completely different issue than bolting full sport routes on the frontal faces of wolfberg, tafelberg etc. this is hidden in a crack...... again many grey areas but sjees, if a route is so brilliant that it becomes a rarity one need not debate it too much - just keep it!
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Jeremy Samson »

the 'bolt ladder' on newborn that people suggest should be trad-ed this pitch is like this for 25 meters.
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Stu
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Stu »

mokganjetsi wrote:
Stu wrote:anyways, wouldn't cry if they are chopped.
okay, i retrack that silly statement unconditionally.
Hey mokganjetsi, Stu wrote???
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by proze »

I'm not wading through 8 pages of argument, but I will humbly ask this: please don't chop Newborn until I'm good enough to have a burn. kthxbai. :)

Oh, I do have a question, though, specifically about Newborn: if Jeremy et al added about 30 bolts when they opened it, and there are about 150 bolts on the route, it means about 120 bolts have been sitting there for over 10 years, since Sean put them in. Why is it an issue now? Or has it always been one?
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by mokganjetsi »

stu

dunno why you got the quote - used the web functionality and it was posted like that. anyways, since it was an idiotic thing to say i'm happy to atrtribute it to you :D
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by XMod »

Hi Sam, Ive given up on reaching any kind of consensus as certain elements will never let go of the romantic notion that these mountainous areas are still wilderness. Among the areas that they are proposing should be free of bolts only Towerkop actually has no bolts/fixed gear on it at all. So the whole argument for pure trad areas is based on a false premise, something that doesnt exist! Add to that the fact some of those arguing against bolts are the very people who put them there in the first place and you begin to see what a totally ridiculous argument this is!

Fact- Wolfberg has already bolts (although the landowners dont want them there), some of these protect two of the best routes around. Fact- Yellowwood has had a sport route on it for ten years already so arguing that these places should be kept bolt free is ridiculous. They arent!

As I said in my last post 'its ok for some to place bolts but the rest of us must sod off' or thats the gyst of the message coming from the anti-bolt crowd. Again pretty ridiculous and totally selfish. They are just scared they might actually meet a crowd next time they go to their favourite wall! Selfish, especially considering the vast amount of unspoilt tradding the rest of the country has to offer.

I can go along with Krakadouw, Tafelberg and Towerkop being protected from sport climbing (or any other kind of development), but then the first two are in reserves anyway and already protected by reserve regulations, so anything we say or decide here is null en void as the regulations overule whatever we say anyway!

Ive already stated quite clearly what I think about Yellowwood (and adjacent crags) and the possibilty of further sport routes, there is ample scope for more and development should be allowed to happen in a controlled and communicative environment (which will probably never exist judging by the intractable nature of the traddies!). The area will never be another Montagu, but there could be some cool routes done there. Reread my previous posts, its all there. Now, this all too frustrating for me so Im outta here! Too much BS politics and zero room for compromise or negotiation - bollox to that!!

PS: I dont believe areas should be designated one or the other, different style routes can live side by side quite happily, why do we have to have an exclusive definition of a style in which an area should be climbed. Surely we are not so brain dead that we need such simplistic divisions? Look at the Wedenstock (Switzerland) for an example of how this area could be developed - all sorts of routes all together = lots of fun.

PPS: @Nic - Jono Fisher a tourist? Blow me mate! He's the most technically proficient and solid climber this country has ever produced! Watching him climb was awe inspiring. - tourist pffft!

PPPS: Like Jeremy said, rather just get out there and do your own routes, sod all of this stupid argument! It doesnt solve anything nor add anything to the sport - opening routes will. Just watch out for the trad-pitbols - they bite! - OK now Im really outta here...
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Nic Le Maitre »

XMod wrote:PPS: @Nic - Jono Fisher a tourist? Blow me mate! He's the most technically proficient and solid climber this country has ever produced! Watching him climb was awe inspiring. - tourist pffft!
Oops, sorry. Jono Fisher and Sean Maasch were not tourists, sorry my mistake. However it doesn't change the fact that the routes were bolted without permission.
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by justin »

Justin wrote: I concur... Wolfberg, Tafelberg, Krakadouw and Towerkop should be bolt free.
Updating my opinion RE: Wolfberg - I'm not apposed to bolts that make Trad routes (at Wolfberg) possible and would not want to see Red Rain chopped (or anyones ankles getting broken).

On a side note:
Would removable bolts not be a good idea for such routes? (I realise this is not a solution to this topic).
A removable bolt means that the actual bolt never has to be replaced? All that is required is a hole (forever and ever), no unsightly hanger or old bolts in sight. The removalbe bolt is carried on the climbers rack and removed by the second.
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Nic Le Maitre »

It should be possible at least for the Red Rain route in the Wolfberg cracks to rap down the route and place a cam (with a looooong sling) in the rail above the unprotected run out, then climb the route from the bottom.

I don't see how pre-placing gear would be different from clipping the bolt
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Warren G »

I think removable bolts are the future, but before then we will have to teach ourselves this through the wanted desecration of our sanctuaries and the routes we love about the obvious truth known for so long before. I pity the future generations that climb Lotter’s with 6 scares about each protection point. Roger was saying he recently replaced a bolt for the 3rd time, he was the first ascentionist.

My guess is it is debates like these and concessions made here that brings about these sort of societal changes: If we say yes to saving this beautiful face we then encourage people to do the same on other beautiful crags. Are we humane enough to accept this or does the debate ignore this fantastic opportunity and continue on with its selfishness?

The other way that this sort of change could come about is from the Trad climbers themselves: it would be an extension of their sport and prove its place in the communities future in a viable way: Trads saving grace.
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Nic Le Maitre »

Removable bolts are the future... for sport routes where bolts need to be replaced often (read anywhere close to the sea), unless we can get titanium ones again.

For protecting untradable sections of trad routes... ...maybe... ...only if it isn't possible to protect with preplaced gear?

Anyway, to get the topic back on topic:
IMHO Bolt free areas: Towerkop - no bolting ever
Areas that should have no new bolted lines: Wolfberg, Tafelberg, any other trad only Cedarberg areas (Krakadouw comes to mind) and TM - no new bolted routes, some (most) old bolts chopped (except TM rapp anchors etc)
Mixed areas: Yellowwood, Truitjieskraal, Rooiberg, etc - no new bolted routes that are tradable
Sport areas: Where ever, go mad...
New areas: Up to the developer and his peers?
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Hector »

Those removable bolts sound like a brilliant plan for those old trad routes with one or two bolts. They will keep the nature of the route intact, and will last forever. Nice, will investigate and seriously consider this instead of replacing the old manky bolts in the kloofs.
Anyone actually fallen on these things?
Sorry for the thread hijack...

Nic, I hear what you say about pre-placing long slings, but in some way it will really detract from the experience. The line between leading and toproping becomes a bit blurred then and if you do send the route there will always be a nagging doubt about it (at least there would be for me).
On harder routes it often feels like the FA made a challenge that subsequent people try and meet. If there's one bolt on the route, then thats what you have to work with. If you start fixing long slings then you define your comfort level instead of upping your game to meet the challenge. Also, its a frikken ballache to rap in before you start climbing...
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Nic Le Maitre »

Personally, I think bolts on trad lines detract from the experience...

And having seen the bolt on Red Rain, I think falling on it with a high chance of it failing would also detract from the experience... :shock:
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Removable bolts

Post by justin »

See below comments regarding removable bolts from other threads on this forum.
Marshall1 wrote:We have some of those removable bolts. Very cool. Bomb proof. They will never become a big hit, but for sea cliffs they are the trick. A bit more tradish than sporty. Good for mixed run out trad routes.

They can be hard to remove. Take a thin flat screw driver to knock back the block. They cost about R380 including shiping from the US. Buy now before they pull out of Iraq and send the dollar soaring. Mine were sourced from Bentgate Mountaineering. Very reliable crowd to deal with. Its more tradish than sport. Mixed routes.
The above comes (edited slighlty) from the thread entitled Glue-ins VS Express Anchors Dated April 2005
Marshall it appears you were wrong about the US Dollar :D
SNORT wrote:I own removable bolts, they are pretty awesome!. You drill a 2cm deep 10mm hole and you have the perfect placement.
Firstly, problem is to find the hole!
Secondly, removable bolts are owned by no one else I know!
Thirdly, like bolts they can be placed anywhere and that messes with the character and commitment of the route.
The above comes from the thread entitled Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by mokganjetsi »

i kinda feel a drilled hole is more unsightly than a bolt - looks like a wound in the rock :?

from another forum:
"I've used these on maybe a half-dozen long climbs. They are a good tool for a temporary fix in blank rock or in remote areas where it's unlikely anyone will ever climb there again, but they are generally not good for routes where you're trying to create something for other people. Other climbers will need RBs, need to find the holes, not have a welded RB already stuck in the hole, etc. etc. They also tend to set pretty hard with an even moderately hard fall. Looks like RB makes a cleaning tool now, I carried a small flathead screwdriver to pound on the "ball" and get 'em loose after even just hanging on them. They do seem to hold and not blow out, but I wouldn't trust two of them at a belay, I'd whack in a good bolt.

I used them a lot while trying to sort out where I was going on lead on bad rock on a multipitch route and they worked OK for that, just had to be prepared to dick about getting them out. Now I just drill a shallow, steep hole and hang on a hook instead of a big hole for the RB, seems to work just as well and takes less time. "

seems like you can pick 'em up for around US$18.
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Removable bolts = round slider nuts

Post by SNORT »

Removable bolts pics
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by MarkM »

I would imagine that finding the drilled hole could be difficult.:scratch:
Perhaps we could spay paint an orange dot around the hole to allow the climber to find it easily?
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by ScottS »

Or a little flag sticking out?

Seriously, these things are cool technology but would be an utter waste of time on a multi-pitch trad route in one of the areas being discussed. "Campus desperately leftward up the clean grey face to a small divot with number 2 removable bolt for protection..."
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Hector »

My proposal for the one-bolt-wonder in the kloofs would then be to drill a neat 10mm hole next to each existing manky bolt. That way you use the mank bolt to find the hole and can even clip it if you're feeling desperate/brave. Leave the old bolt there but at least we dont need any additional scars or chopping in the future...
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by XMod »

the cat dragged me back in I swear...
These toys sound cool but check out the reviews Ive posted on Snort's thread about the RB's. Not great! These were used quite a bit in Red Rocks on back country routes, after a few falls the holes started to blow out at the rim of the hole eventually making the placement useless and leaving a nice fat scar. Our rock is a lot harder but the placements wouldnt last forever.

A properly painted hanger is often really hard to see and very inconspicuous. Painted glue-ins are even harder to spot. I think just trying to find the hole to wriggle the RB's into would be completely epic!

I think part of the problem is that the Traddies have never gotten on really hard sport routes and dont understand the vision behind the modern lines, nor appreciate the shear volume of falls it takes to finally piece together a desperate project. With hard sport its not a matter of if you fall just how many times. You need completely bomb-proof pro if you are going to really push your limits, the last thing you want is a nagging doubt about the security of the pro as this cripples your performance completely.

Ive been going through my photos of the Chesspieces and whilst its not a sport mecca by any means it does have some truly phenomenal faces scattered around where the rock is closed. There are some good lines there. I think it would be awesome to see some single and multipitch sport stuff developed up there.
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Gustav »

Hey MarkM, orange? I love orange!

Or how about chipping off a section of the surrounding rock to go get a true color match for each individual hanger?

And if it is so hard to find the hole, just drill a grid of holes, say 40cm apart, then you can choose where and how often to place 'em, just like on a trad route?

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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by MarkM »

I bet you love orange Gus, you should try self-tan then. I've always said that some of the routes at Halucinagenic should just be replaced by a 10mm chain hung down the route from the anchors. That way climbers could easily use 15-20 quick draws per route :D
It would also save some of the bolters a lot of effort :twisted:
The only ball-ache would be hauling in the chain, but fortunately I've seen that a 4x4 vehicle can drive right to the edge so no problem at all. It's the way forward really!

Now guys, please lets get back to the topic.
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by DiabolicDassie »

Climbing isn't clipping.......
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by DouglasWard »

Adam, I am not sure I like the idea of hand-drilled bolts only.

I have just returned from a weekend climbing in Catalunya - at Montserrat, and a place called Vilanova de Meia - further inland, fantastic. At Vilanova the stance at the top of the first pitch was a hanging belay on 2 ancient hand-drilled bolts. I would not have climbed the route if I had known that, but after 10 metres of climbing I was too committed.

I am not sure what the solution is. Having done the route, I feel satisfied, and my ego was nicely stroked. It was a great, wild experience with good friends. But with the alternative nowadays being two stonking glue-ins, I am not sure these old, crap bolts are justifiable - especially for middle-aged climbers with dependents. Technology has moved on.

At the other end of the scale is here in Switzerland, where many multi-pitch venues have been retro-bolted - at least to a large extent. Some retro-bolted to Waterval Boven levels - almost every metre. Do we want that? I think most people would say no.
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by XMod »

No, good point Doug, I dont think anybody wants to see high and wild places here bolted to the extent of some German or Swiss areas. Bear in mind that a lot of those areas are bolted with sponsorship from local councils who have cottoned on to the fact that the climbs attract tourists. That isn't the case here (yet?!). It would just be cool to put some more big bolted routes. I think slamming the door shut on further sport route development at a place like Del A Bat ridge (Yellowwod area) is shortsighted. Any development should however be carefully thought through to preserve future trad challenges and the venues themselves. Wholesale willy nilly bolting is definitely NOT desirable, planned choice lines are.

Hell why should there not be a climb like (smaller version thereof) the Grosse Turm here? 900m of bolted grade 13! Wow thats cool (you need ice tools as well to cross a small snow field at two thirds height on this route for part of the year) what an amazing and accesible adventure* climbing that would be, especially as there is a very swanky restaurant for beers and dinner after (if you can afford it! :wink: ) as well a funicular back down right at the top the route, you literally top out at the door to the hotel! Cant wait to go do it some day! Gentlemans' (and ladys!) climbing in style!
* -Climbing a route that long to the top of a high mountain is an adventure even on bolts!
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by DAcaveman »

this is my last post to this topic...can't believe i'm going into it again...

xmod, you're 100% correct in your accessment of the situation.
PLEASE Jeremy, DO NOT GO AND CHOP THOSE NEWBORN(sic) BOLTS, PLEASE!!! There are many who agrees with me on this.(i'm waking up in sweat every night since this bloody post came up... :roll: )

eish, can't believe people are even considering removing those bolts.
How can going backwards be a good thing? Funny how we sometimes complain and say that we're 'living in a 3rd world country' but then insist in keeping it that way...

Common sense says we keep OBVIOUS trad areas trad, and mixed areas mixed, and sport...we'll sport areas are always open to trad options anyways - funny how the sport climbing guys never complain about trad being done anywhere.

To all who complain, I suggest imho go and DO those routes u say needs to be chopped, the 5 star climbs like the stuff in Cederberg, Yellowwood ect, see (with me) why they are rated 5 star by some of the best climbers SA has/had to offer, and then, lets talk/chop ect...

Forgive me, but how can one comment on routes that are 5-7 grades harder than anything you've done before? :eye:

I'm sure as hell not going to go up to Chris Sharma and tell him that eg his Clark Mountain grade 38 route needs to be chopped because theres sections that can be trad climbed in it... if I can't take the heat, I'll stay well out of the kitchen, hey?
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Hilton »

Man, some guys can write rubbish. And some guys can massively over-contribute to a debate in which they should play no more than a small role.

Children, to remind you, I raised this debate as "there is the risk that the pristine nature of some very special traditional climbing areas could be lost to bolting development". How can some people be so ignorant and selfish as to shout from the roof tops that there is no justification for this concern? That would be like telling the Constantia horsey-set that they mustn't have any concerns about a motocross track being developed in their midst. It's all about appropriateness. And I'm flying the flag for just a hangful of historic trad venues - not the whole damn countryside. Get a grip.

I've consistently said that this is not about Newborn. Can this be understood? I've never advocated that bolts on Newborn should be removed. Never. Just because there is some development on Antarctica doesn't mean that we abandon the cause of conserving the place does it? Newborn must stay. At least until the bolts rust out. Then some smart people can think about a longer-term strategy that considers conservation of the route and the venue.

Me, and a lot of other all-round climbers, have a deep belief that some special places should be maintained in their special state. Or realistically, at least not reduced to the level of shopping mall consumerism. And we understand that there are different circumstances. Which is why we're advocating appropriateness. Bolt-free, Trapibo, Sport Route-free. Horses for courses. It just blows me away that so many people can't see a need to conserve a handful of places.

I definitely don't decry sport climbing or multi-pitch sport routes. Heck, in two weeks time Snort goes on to Automatic For The People with Kevin Smith and I go on to Liquid Sky with Bruce. Yesterday was TM. Last week was Du Toits Kloof. We're guys who see a role for all sorts. I love sport climbing and have probably bolted 20 or 30 routes myself.

Guys who are thinking about Removable Bolts, hand-drilling, compromise, ethics for venues, etc are thinking. Good on ya. Climbing needs debate and thinking. Not screeching.
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by XMod »

Well there seems to be some vague convergence of ideas here, sort of.

Hilton may I propose that if a trad area becomes designated purely as such (ie no sport) that it be kept completely bolt free. No abseil chains, no trapibolshit, no bolts whatsoever (or any form of rock alteration for that matter!). If you want the area kept as pristine as possible then there are no half measures. You cannot condone bolting in one form but ban it another. That would just be hypocrisy and would defeat the very aims you are trying to achieve. Either take on Nature in her raw state and leave her as such, or embrace modern development in all its forms.

definition of pristine: Original and pure, not spoiled.

Ok, outta here again lest I 'overcontribute!'.
Last edited by XMod on Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by adamr »

@Doug. Howzit dude. Glad to hear that aching carapace you drag around is still capable of climbing! thought we'd lost you to the dogs of lethargy. I also climbed at villanova some years ago. A great place. In fact i seem to recall having done both multipitch sport and mixed routes there.

My initial feeling about hand drilled bolts was the same as yours. I think most hand drilled bolts are worthy of such worries. However go back to my post and read the camp 4 link - this is Chris Macnamara's site about replacing dodgy old bolts using a hand drill. All the retrobolting in the Valley with bomber bolts is to my understanding from this site done by hand. There is no reason why you cannot put chemical anchors in a hand drilled hole. In fact he has some lengthy detail on the best chemical anchors to use. It's just a royal pain in the arse to drill a hole by hand.

I'm not saying this is necessarily the way to go but the reasoning is perfectly summarised on the Yosemite website:

"The resulting rule allows climbers the unusual privilege of permanently altering Yosemite's granite cliffs by adding bolts in the location of their choosing, but inherently limits the number of those bolts by requiring that they be hand drilled."

We are always going to squabble about this topic. I just thought it worth throwing in here that it is possible to have a self-limiting protocol that uses the simple reality of something being too much trouble to maintain a certain level of wilderness/wildness/mountain feel. Let's not forget that one of the biggest bonuses of slogging up the various 2 - 5 hour walkins to the crags under discussion is that they are empty and wild when you get there. Reason? It's simply too much trouble for most people to do the slog.
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