New Areas. New routes. Retrobolting. Add-ons. Re-grading. etc.
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Post by Marijus » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:12 pm

Does anyone know what the ethics are in South Africa regarding projects that have been bolted years ago and don't seem to have been toached since? Can we go and try them?


Post by Justin » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:13 pm

If the bottom bolt does not have a piece of cord tied to it or 'IP' written (usually in chalk) somewhere at the bottom then the line can be considered an open project (it may also have been done already). Check with the locals in the area as well.

Greg Hart

Post by Greg Hart » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:17 pm

There have been a lot of questions about projects over the past few months prompting me to put some thoughts out there. It takes a fair amount of sus to be able to look up at piece of rock and spy a line that will not only go but that will be great to climb. To the avid first ascensionist some stretches of stone call out for a route inspiring and posessing the individuals imagination. The line haunts their dreams and becomes an object of desire, a reason to train, to save for that new pair of shoes and the hardware to equip the route. Until you have hung upside down in your harness, crotch chaffed to hell, legs numb with lack of ciculation and arms screaming in agony as you try to put in the last bolt straight without f@%king it up, you will never understand what goes into bolting a line. Its hard graft!! So what? What Im on about is that a huge amount of effort and no small expense goes into putting these things up. Added to that is that the project is part of someone's dreams, desires and goals. To steal the first ascent from under them is to stab them in the back in the worst possible way. I do however agree that having first dibs on a project for ever is a dubious arangement. So my suggestion here is that we agree on a time limit of lets say three years, with the provision that the person be allowed extra time for injuries or grievous personal loss/problems and also that the time limit be extended if they are 'this close' to getting it. I feel this would be sporting all round: allowing a generous time frame for the bolter to open their project, but at the same time setting a limit so that routes do not sit untouched for endless years and giving the bolters a deadline to get off their butts and train! In the meantime, while we punters wait for the lines to be opened, if there is a project that you just cannot wait to try: first contact the person who bolted it and ask if they mind if you try it (there may be factors other than simple ownership which need to be taken into account, such as loose rock which they havent cleaned yet, missing bolts/hangers [a common detterent for theft!] etc.) then if they agree and you get on it and feel you can do it, grab a draw to disqualify your ascent. This is simply sportsmanlike and good manners. The person who bolted it may have been training for the route for a long time and to steal it from them is just plain mean. (I should know having had more than one project stolen from me before - it sucks!!) You know you can do the line and you can even ask the bolter to contact you as soon as the line is open so you can grab the coveted second ascent!


Post by Richard » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:18 pm

Don't you think 3 years is a bit too long a waiting period ? We've had the situation on a number of occasions where very generous bolters have bolted numerous lines, all at about the same time, and where several are way beyond that climber's ability. This means these lines are effectively \"booked\" for up to 3 years ? I agree that some kind of protocol needs to be developed, and accepted by the climbing community. This stealing of lines becomes even more tricky with trad routes. How does one reserve a trad line you are working on ? Greg's suggestion that one keeps quiet about projects is probably the best bet. If he is pissed at having routes stolen, think about those who have had entire crags hijacked after sharing info, and then having access totally ruined !! Read Climbing Mag #226, article called \"An epiphany at Varazze\" for an interesting perspective on projects, climbing scene etc. !

Greg Hart

Post by Greg Hart » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:19 pm

Howzit Richard, Yeah I am passionate about climbing (mega love!) and having had people steal projects from under me before I guess the subject is a bit of a thorny one for me! It really hurt especially when one of the thieves turned out to be someone who I looked up to during my early climbing days!! They have still never apologised and the incedent(s) very nearly caused me to give up the sport. Fortunately the sport is bigger than any of the egos that inhabit it, as is my love of it! So you think three years is too long- ok. The only problem with too short a window is that it will tend to make people bolt things that are a lot closer to their limit. Im not sure this is desirable as it stops people from dreaming way out dreams, from striving to reach the unimaginable. Often when one gets on a really hard route it seems utterly impossible, but as you work out its secrets things start to fall into place. Eventually (that is if people give you a chance!) you get it and there is no greater natural high!! Anyway a time limit is just a proposal, a thought in my head, as at present there is no such limit enforced. There is a protocol, the problem is that no-one seems to follow it, hence all the angst and anger when people transgress. I didnt invent the rules but I do try to follow them. Trad Projects: as far as I know there is no protocol for 'ownership' of a trad line. The rock is just there as it has been for centuries (after all, if you think about it the only thing one 'owns' on a sport line are the bolts) with nothing to really stop anyone from walking up to 'your project' and climbing it. Fortunately trad circles seem to be made up of more accomplished climbers, who hopefully have developed a greater sense of the honour system, and with luck they will give you the space to strut your stuff and finish your line. There will still be an element of competition for really prime lines so I guess there are no guarantees in either trad or sport climbing. Im saddened by the lack of vision and exploratory vigour in most of the community, the apathy that causes people to 'steal' projects. The best advice I can offer anyone with a really cool project on the go is to simply not tell anyone about it until youve climbed it. Bit of a lonely option but how else does one keep the sheep out of your pasture?


Post by Richard » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:19 pm

People might be pissed off by some of Greg's comments but much of what he says is so true. The attitude of climbers, particularly here in the W Cape, really sucks at times. There is huge negativity here. So refreshing to climb up country where folk simply seem to enjoy climbing. Such a contrast with whitewater kayaking, where I can paddle with the best and only receive positive vibes and encouragement. This whole issue of stealing projects etc. would fade away if there was a greater sense of community. We would then also have a stronger voice when negotiating for access. At the moment we are a fragmented group with different factions often at loggerheads. What a pity. We share such a fantastic sport!


Post by Stu » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:19 pm

I think most people would agree with you, so the question is, what can be done about it? Or is it just one of those things we have to live with. I find that alot of people just don't care, like when its comes to paths and the likes.Don't bite my head of here,but I think the mCSA has to to take some of the blame. If it was easier to join I think alot of people would feel that they belonged to a larger community of climbers.But as it stands I find there is an elitist vibe about the MCSA, maybe there isn't, but the perception out there is that of an elitist one. The process of joining takes up to three months and you have to be nominated by a member and have another member agree. I was reading some of the rules and regulations and there is just too much, I just want to climb that's all. If they feel I am not the right person to join the club after having joined, then they can kick you out, but there is just too many rules.

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Post by Guy » Wed May 25, 2005 1:05 pm

Firstly, blaming the MCSA is a long shot. Have you ever tried joining a golf club? The simple truth is that clubs are groups of likeminded people - and how will you know that a potential new member is likeminded without meeting them (which takes a little time)?

Regarding projects, I propose (again) that people respect the right of the bolter to exclusively attempt the project WHILE THAT PERSON IS ATTEMPTING IT. In other words, if I bolt something - you should leave it alone until I have given up actively trying it. Attaching pre-defined timeframes is nonsense.

Obviously, manners will prevail and you'll contact me BEFORE you try the route to check that I'm not actively trying it. You might even offer to refund the cost of the bolts...

Post by » Thu May 26, 2005 2:45 pm

I guess there are clubs, and there are clubs ...

In Germany and Switzerland, you hand in your details, pay and are a member with immediate eligibility to the insurance and numerous discounts that go with the membership (At the outside, you may be asked to go to an AGM at some point). This is the way forward.

None of this test-your-karma shyte ...

But we digress ...


Post by Ed » Thu May 26, 2005 3:23 pm

Greg, I get what your saying but I think that now you have had enough time. I know YOU bolted the lines but I have also been looking for new lines to open. And if you hadnt bolted them I would have. 3 years is enough for just about any route. And lets face it, some of those climbs you never gonna do. We will keep your names, hows that?


Post by Stu » Thu May 26, 2005 5:58 pm

Greg you seem pretty carm about the whole issue, if someone had taken my lines without asking, I would be pretty pissed. Would probably chop the line. Simply because it is ownership of the bolts, respect for the work put in and common courtesy which seems to be sorely lacking these days and might put a point across. It is another issue if the bolter offers permission to climb the line.


Post by Grrrr » Thu May 26, 2005 8:28 pm

:? Ed Who? Where what u talking about? If u are who I think u are and are talking about where I think u are talking about, there is the whole of the rest of the cliff to bolt dude, keep ur sticky paws off!

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Post by Justin » Thu May 26, 2005 8:40 pm

Whooaaa! Agreed on not climbing/stealing other people’s projects etc, but chopping bolts for it to inevitably be rebolted later! Let’s not take drilling holes into rock lightly. Once you make a hole in the rock, its there forever! Bolting is hard work and I know Greg has done a lot of it. Thank you Greg, for your self reverence and sense of humour.

:idea: Respect, consideration and an enquiry before you jump onto someone’s project? If this is done, then there shouldn't be a problem? (aah, in a perfect world)

MCSA membership: I agree with Guy's comment on \"have you tried joining a golf club\" or any other club (besides the treehouse club).
The Mountain Club being elitist: Yes and no, climbers are elitist by default, its an elitist sport, maybe not in France, but pretty much everywhere else in the world you will hear people say \"you have to be barmy/hardcore/different to climb that!!!\"

Between climbers, I haven't seen any MCSA members brushing people aside saying \"you're not worthy\" (every climber who is a non-member should be seen as potential member surely?
Two months ago I found myself (accidentally) at an MCSA discussion regarding the MCSA and it attracting new members, etc (there was a big guy at the door so we couldn't just bolt out :D The discussion proved interesting, some members thought this and others thought that... what I discovered (hold on this might be ground breaking)... the club needs to be changed from within.

There is a huge infrastructure there! Power in numbers and all that stuff. Make no mistake, the MCSA piss me off from time to time. But if no one is there to voice their objection, then the subject that piss's us all off will be passed and we can continue to b!tch and moan about how the MCSA does nothing or does it wrong!

Its not testing karma, it tests your level of bureaucracy tolerance perhaps (when last where you at Home Affairs?), however, once you’re in - you’re in! And get a sick note from your mom to say you couldn’t make the AGM… where’s your imagination (you might even enjoy yourself!!) and make it up on a Friday night if you have to!

I also just want to go climb, but there are land owners, CNC, etc who get pissed off by dumb people doing dumb things and then someone has to go and remedy the situation. History shows that most times those persons want to deal with an organised body.
(Why can't we all just get on like the Joburg section does :?:

Right, everyone, now that I have finished my splurb 'that has seemingly become a mini crusade' You know who I am, don't go sabotaging my rope now :P
Last edited by Justin on Sun Oct 30, 2005 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Derek Marshall

Post by Derek Marshall » Fri May 27, 2005 8:54 am

I recently let go of some of my harder bolted projects. It was a freeing experiance...I can recomend it. No more presure from with in. Now I'm free to go trad-ing, which is much more fun! Give your projects to some one that you like...or some one up & coming...its way more fun seeing their joy.

I sold one for R200... the cost of the bolts...not much pleasure, whats R200?

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Post by dom » Fri May 27, 2005 9:39 am

Derek Marshall wrote:Give your projects to some one that you like...or some one up & coming...its way more fun seeing their joy.
So why'd you give them to Martin?
the fresh prince of darkness


Post by Stu » Fri May 27, 2005 12:18 pm

I guess chopping would be an extreme reaction, the next best thing would be to remove the hangers and nuts and let that person replace them at their own cost and effort. R200 might be nothing for some people but it is a fair amount for others. If you were refering to my comments about the MCSA, well I was quite anti-MCSA at the time due to the restrictions on joining and my view has changed a bit as it is quite simple these days to join. Well done to them - but it was only through pressure from members and others that they changed their policies on joining.


Post by Grigri » Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:10 am

:!: Change of hart! Ive decided to throw my Kalk Bay projects open. My wrist is busted and looks to be taking a long time to heal. Besides as Im heading off to Europe soon Im sure I will find more than enough to climb there. So up for grabs: The arete right of 'Dickless Ticks' (7+?) crux bolt is a bit low so make sure your belayer is fully on the ball! The bulging face right of 'Lurchin Urchin' (7+/8-??).

A third project is now the property of Ed coz hes being eyeing it for so long! One thing Ed: never say never. Im still fully intent on climbing the routes or dying in the attempt!


Post by Ed » Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:04 am

Thanks a lot Greg.

Derek Marshall

Post by Derek Marshall » Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:10 am

Hey Greg

Its not that easy to let them go. but there are thousands of other fine lines waiting to be openned. You will bolt more...

Is it a freeing experiance?


The Equipper

Post by AndyD » Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:32 pm

I reckon all guide books should state who equipped the route and not the 1st ascentionist. Prime example is Lexi's route at the Palace, she equipped it but couldn't finish it - surely we should give her some credit or in some cases (not her specifically) a hard time for doing such a k :twisted: k job!


Post by Grigri » Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:23 pm

Dont know about a freeing experience, but it was good to dump some of the angst Im feeling from being injured. As you say there are loads more lines waiting, Im more interested in seeing KBay developed into a fully useable crag than sitting watching the bolts slowly rust and no-one enjoying the routes. I still hope to work myself into good enough shape to send these 8's one day, but hey that will be easier to do with some beta input from others.

There are quite a few lines of all grades (some really good!) waiting for equipment, if anyone wants to try their hand at bolting and become a first ascentionist give me a shout. I am more than willing to point out the lines, coach you and supervise your efforts, I have a drill and maybe even a spare bolt or two floating around. Dont be shy guys lets get together and make it happen!! :) I have already ratified which lines are ok with the sport climbing committee so permission is sorted, we must just let them know when we are going in and what we intend to do. Developing routes have never been easier!


Post by Grigri » Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:30 pm

As far as acknowledging the bolter goes, its a good idea from the point of view that you may get to like a certain bolters style of equiping, but less important than knowing when the bolts went in (ie how old are they?) and of course the all important first send. Anyway point taken, Im gonna put an updated topo of the crag up on this site once some more routes have been done (only two done since Western Cape Rock was published) and will include bolters and other useful info like sit starts (there are several, hey its a short crag) warnings etc.


Post by Doug » Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:15 pm

Then there are the projects that nobody seems to want. Anybody climbed the lines I bolted at: 1. the Superbowl (Restaurant) - left of the route left of Snapdragon - starts up the tree routes - it's actually quite nice, and no harder than 7c - just needs a set of chains below the roof; 2. and at the Outback? These have been open for years.

Re: The Equipper

Post by » Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:58 am

AndyD wrote:I reckon all guide books should state who equipped the route and not the 1st ascentionist. Prime example is Lexi's route at the Palace, she equipped it but couldn't finish it - surely we should give her some credit or in some cases (not her specifically) a hard time for doing such a k :twisted: k job!
whould this be the same andy d who re/tro- bolted atomic aardvark at boven> If it is, then u'r a fine one to talk. you wrecked the route. destroyed a 5 star climb's character and messed up two crux clips. Are you the same andy who now people have to 'ask' if they wanna put up a route. I've climbed some of your routes and your bolting is sub-standard and biased towards beefy type ego climbing.maybe you should stay in the cape and leave our rock alone up here.atomic was one of my favourite climbs to do. since you bastardised it, I'll never climb it again. If you touch the gift, you'll get a #10 in the teeth,ok?

Post by » Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:20 pm

Ha Ha Ha :lol: Bust Bambi! Very funny! Sad, but very funny!

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