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Rockfax- Contribution or Vampire topo?

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 Rafa 02 Jun 2020

Hello,

Do you plan to make some kind of annual income-based contribution to island climbers so that we can at least rebolting routes for example, or are you going to be a vampire topo that takes advantage of the work of others and gives nothing in return? I'm talking about Mallorca, but I think this is common practice. I think in over 20 years you've only contributed two years to the local climbing community.

Best regards

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In reply to Rafa:

Yes, we are keen to support rebolting on the island. We have just published a new edition although obviously sales have been slow to non-existent due to the lockdown situation. Once things get going again then we will go through the same channels we did last time.

The last contributions came after several years working with some local climbers to negotiate the best way to donate since it isn’t a simple process. We try to only fund rebolting but not many people want to do that. Instead, they want to bolt new routes but they don’t want these new routes to be publicised. We don’t want to fund routes that aren’t going to be open to all climbers so finding the right project that we can fund is not straightforward. Fortunately, this was possible last time and we hope to find a new project this time.

Alan

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 Rafa 02 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I know, I participated in the last time rebolting routes in Cala Santanyi with your support but, If you just want to donate money to rebolting routes, why don't you just publish the routes that are rebolted? There are so many routes (the vast majority of the book) that you publish that have not appeared as mushrooms.

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In reply to Rafa:

> If you just want to donate money to rebolting routes, why don't you just publish the routes that are rebolted? 

There are legal reasons why we don't publish the names of the routes that have been rebolted. It works better for everyone if the money we give is a contribution to rebolting in general and not allocated to a specific set of routes.

Alan

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 Big Bruva 02 Jun 2020
In reply to Rafa:

Thanks for bolting these routes Rafa. Is there another guidebook or app that better supports your efforts?

Post edited at 21:59
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 daimon Global Crag Moderator UKH Supporter 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

I think it's important to note here that new routes will always be out of someones own pocket. Guidebooks are a separate entity all together and focusing on a book to purely fund an islands bolts is rather odd. You're much better off selling lollypops for £7 each as they are cheeper and easer to produce. Guidebooks take years and enormous amounts of effort if done right.  Re-bolting is an important factor in all areas and the best and most cost effective way is for people to crowd fund or donate directly to the bolt fund where one is available. Crowd funding is also a good way to develop and area, this was done in the Gower in the UK. Guidebooks play an important part by bringing awareness to work done and highlight appropriate bolt funds where available and additionally do their part and make perhaps the largest single payments to bolt funds than most individuals can. This does not take into account those who develop areas by the way. In Sicily the Titt brothers amongst others did a fantastic job developing large areas of the San Vito Area, but never asked for a penny. They know the deal just like all bolters and they have all left a legacy. The rebolting work is being done by the local Danni and he is doing an incredible job of which we will be supporting him in the same way we do with other people we work with.  

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 Mark Davies PK 03 Jun 2020
In reply to daimon:

Why do all these places need rebolting? Surely if the Titt brother bolted somewhere then that will never need rebolting?

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 jimtitt 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Mark Davies PK:

We didn't bolt all the routes.

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 Mark Davies PK 03 Jun 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

But the routes you did bolt were obviously done to such a high standard that they will never need rebolting? So the rebolting of these places is due to them being badly bolted in the first place?

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In reply to Rafa:

I find it absolutely bizarre that a large part of the conversation surrounding bolting in some places revolves around the bolting being funded by guidebooks. And frankly I don't like the idea of a direct relationship between bolting and guidebooks selling. That's awfully capitalistic and for minor crags without guidebooks it would mean that they are not worth bolting.

For a lot of crags I know, the only topos are either found on old website, or photocopied from a guy who knows a guy who has a copy of the topo. But bolting is funded by other means, and that's a good thing in my opinion because it allows for more funding possibilities for all crags.

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 Andy Hardy 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Mark Davies PK:

> Why do all these places need rebolting? Surely if the Titt brother bolted somewhere then that will never need rebolting?

Stuff wears out and, as we know rust never sleeps.

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 Mark Davies PK 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Andy Hardy:

But proper bolts dont rust.

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 RupertD 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Rafa:

What's the current situation re: needing permits to climb in the Tramuntana? I imagine that put a number of people off going.

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 daimon Global Crag Moderator UKH Supporter 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Mark Davies PK:

Probably something to look deeper into, but certain bolts end up rushing in harsher conditions such as those close to the sea. So specific types of bolts are needed to combat this.

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to daimon:

Crowd-funding may be the way that the Gower climbing community has decided to fund bolting. Great. Jim Titt's decision to fund his own bolting is personal and should be applauded. However these are not the way many European climbing communities operate. Guidebook funding actually works very well in a lot of areas, you only have to look at France for evidence. It's important that climbers respect local bolting policies and do not try to impose their own ideas on others. Your colonial mindset (I know what's best for everyone) makes for disgruntled locals which is counterproductive for everybody. Increasingly new routers don't publisise their latest routes because they don't want commercial guidebooks making money off their backs and depriving their community of much-needed revenue for buying equipment.

We have a moral duty to respect the views of the people who actually develop and maintain the crags. Without them we can't sport climb. I cannot comprehend why so many people have disliked Rafa's post. Or maybe they dislike the idea that Rockfax isn't pulling its weight...

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In reply to Big Bruva:

>  Increasingly new routers don't publisise their latest routes because they don't want commercial guidebooks making money off their backs and depriving their community of much-needed revenue for buying equipment.

If they don't publicise them how do they get any revenue?

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to daimon:

> I think it's important to note here that new routes will always be out of someones own pocket.

Also this statement simply isn't true . In many European areas, bolts for new routes are paid for by the local bolt fund. And putting up a new route is seen as a service to the community rather than an attempt to "leave a legacy".

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> If they don't publicise them how do they get any revenue?

From exisiting crags that are in the guidebook! I would have thought that was obvious. However, you do have a point. Like I said, not respecting the local method of bolt-funding is counter-productive for everyone.

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 walts4 03 Jun 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> If they don't publicise them how do they get any revenue?


Invariably they print off a A4 sheet which you can purchase from the local gear shop or  bar that the local climbers frequent, usually only a couple of euros & totally new cliffs off the visitors radar.

Seems to work really well & keeps the actual bolters happy.

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> Guidebook funding actually works very well in a lot of areas, you only have to look at France for evidence.

Actually it doesn't work very well and you only need to look at France for the evidence. The vast majority of bolting - new and re-bolting - there is funded by something other than guidebook sales. Often local area tourist funds, often local climbing federations that get their funds from various sources. Where guidebooks do exist they are often very small publications that are hard to get hold of for visitors and most areas have substantial numbers of bolts before they ever have a guidebook.

Local tourist authorities do like climbers to produce guidebooks though since they want to attract visitors. They don't usually mind who produces the guidebooks though.

> It's important that climbers respect local bolting policies and do not try to impose their own ideas on others. 

I agree here. My discussions with locals have revealed that perceptions towards public funding and 'charity' are very different in Spain and France and we should be careful making assumptions.

> Increasingly new routers don't publicise their latest routes because they don't want commercial guidebooks making money off their backs and depriving their community of much-needed revenue for buying equipment.

This has nothing to do with guidebooks. It is a long-standing feature of Spanish climbing (and French to a lesser extent) that new routers keep their routes secret for as long as possible. This is almost always said to be to avoid places becoming over-popular and polished soon after they have been developed. Whether it does that or not I don't know since word always gets out. 

> We have a moral duty to respect the views of the people who actually develop and maintain the crags.

We absolutely do. It took 18 months of work on my part (with a lot of help from an ex-pat local) to actually make a donation to the bolting on Mallorca last time. There is no local bolt fund hence no central place to donate which would make it very simple. Instead, we had to come up with a specific project which we couldn't so we asked the locals to decide how they would use the bolting money. After 12  months of discussion, the plan that came back was to develop a 7s and 8s cave but we weren't going to be given a topo for this. I didn't want to do this so we eventually decided to send some titanium bolts for rebolting the sea cliff areas. We hope to do something similar next time but this book is miles in the red at the moment due to the bills arriving now and the sales being non-existent.

Alan

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In reply to Big Bruva:

So people take money from a bolt fund which is funded by a topo to an existing crag or crags, and then spend that money bolting other routes which they keep, in effect, private? That doesn't seem great either.

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 jon 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I'd have thought France is a perfect example of how guide book funding works, Alan.

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> So people take money from a bolt fund which is funded by a topo to an existing crag or crags, and then spend that money bolting other routes which they keep, in effect, private? That doesn't seem great either.

Usually bolting is funded by an association which develops and maintains several crags in a region. The association might even publish several guidebooks to different micro-areas. The money from the sales is collected in a single bolt fund which is used to buy equipment for all the crags in the region.

If they think a commercial entity might come and use their information to publish a for-profit guidebook without contributing (or with just a token gesture) there is an understandable tendency to keep any new route info secret. You're right, it's not great but it's increasingly the case. Who would you say is to blame?

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> Usually bolting is funded by an association which develops and maintains several crags in a region. The association might even publish several guidebooks to different micro-areas. The money from the sales is collected in a single bolt fund which is used to buy equipment for all the crags in the region.

As mentioned, central bolt funds are not always the case and this is even more so in Spain. Where they do exist I have not yet ever found a public portal for payments - although my recent discussions I alluded to above show that there is a very different culture towards this sort of thing in France and Spain.

One area of France that we have had some flak for is Haute Provence. It is now over four years since I had some very positive exchanges with the local climbers from St. Leger and the Dentelles de Montmirail. I made them an offer to help fund their bolting from our guidebook sales. We discussed it briefly and I heard nothing. I followed it up a year later and still heard nothing. 

As I always say, discussion about guidebooks and bolting are seldom really about funding bolting.

Alan

Post edited at 17:09
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 daimon Global Crag Moderator UKH Supporter 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

Well you proved my point. Bolt funds and Crowd funding which bolt funds are, have been paying for the bolts for those routes and those volunteers putting up the climbs should be comended. Respect to every one who input into those funds, which also included rockfax from what was noted above. The UK is part of Europe so I think it's safe to say we're all on the same page and all those who produce guides are fully and perhaps more in tune with the bolting politics going on at the time. I have huge respect for those who bolt, and do a lot of bolting myself, though somewhat different to the sport climbs found elsewhere. Im also fully in tune with the costs of doing it. But if I were to develop a new sport climb I would do so out of my own pocket. Or if an area needed developing then crowd fund. Rockfax pulls its weight in more ways than one and the simple fact that local guides are the answer to funding bolts simply is not true, though I know some would argue differently, but modern guidebooks that people expect just require too much work and money to produce to simply sustain a fund. Guidebooks also need to be sustainable so you don't end up with a 30 year old guide that no one wants to work on, especially when people move on.  That goes for every crag on earth pretty much. Climbing tourism is another important factor of which rockfax helps with and brings much needed income into local community's. Also your note on I know what's best for everyone is daft. This is the state of play for climbing across Europe and the rest of the planet. At least authors are doing their bit trying bring awareness to the matter and are contributing. Jim Titt once made a good point that there are so many companies out there that could feed into the bolt funding i.e clothing companies, those that produce climbing gear etc, but for some reason guidebooks, get the guns pointed at them. Also not publishing routes so guidebook authors can't write about them is also silly. It's localism to a whole new level. If each climbing group did this for their area, then you would never see any one climbing in those areas as the information would not be available. People just don't operate like that. And buying a topo for £10 is about 2 bolts if you're lucky these days and climbers should give more into the fund. 

Worth having a look here at what a single guidebook publisher has feed back into the climbing community. https://rockfax.com/news/category/donations/

And this is just the start to be honest with some authors and the work they do for their own and other climbing community's. 

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> I have not yet ever found a public portal for payments - although my recent discussions I alluded to above show that there is a very different culture towards this sort of thing in France and Spain.

Best illustrated by this quote from comedian, Henning Wehn: "We don't do charity in Germany. We pay taxes. Charity is a failure of governments' responsibilities." 

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to daimon:

> Well you proved my point.

Sorry which of your points did I prove and how did I do it? Genuinely confused!

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> Best illustrated by this quote from comedian, Henning Wehn: "We don't do charity in Germany. We pay taxes. Charity is a failure of governments' responsibilities." 

Absolutely, great quote.

However, there is quite a difference between this country's addiction to charity fundraising for things many other countries regard as essential services, and climbers enjoying a day's climbing and being asked to help fund the local bolting efforts.

Alan

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Bolting is very much an essential service for sport climbers. In many areas of France the community as a whole takes responsibility for funding it through a 'tax' on guidebooks rather than relying on the whims of individual donations. It's the same concept as the one Wehn explains, just on a smaller scale...

...and not enforced by law, so easier to take advantage of.

Post edited at 18:39
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 Doug 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

France also has cliffs where bolting has been paid for by the local council to attract tourists/climbers & help the local economy. Does this happen any where else ?

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 jimtitt 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Doug:

Sure, I can think of maybe a dozen in Europe.

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 Rafa 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

When I mean to publish only the rebolted routes I do not say that you publish a list of those routes rebolted, I say your book should be with just those routes, the only ones that you have contributed, and that considering only those that help financially to rebolt, how many routes have you directly rebolted? as every rebolter knows, there is much more work, effort and expense than simple anchors and resin. When you travel to a new country, or at least it was done before more ethics existed, you would buy the local guide. Today with globalization and also a little because local guides sometimes are not very well, because people who have nothing to do with local development, benefit economically from the resources of other countries.

Mr. Wang and Mr. Chen without a relationship with the development of the UK climbing crags, virtually no one knows them, only some people who have climbing shops, they are selling books and Apps of the rock climbing crags of UK and decide to donate 1% of what they earn, but who instead of giving it to climbing developers, prefer to donate to restaurants in the area, because so the people who go will be happier according to them, in the end, the Chinese take profit of a job that the English have done.

What would the United Kingdom climbers think of the Chinese? Is it for everyone's safety? it seems to me that he may be disguised as false idealism, and the reality is closer to Lord Palmerston. "I have no friends, only interests"

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 tehmarks 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Rafa:

So, hypothetically, if I go to a world-class crag in Spain and bolt a *** route in the mortal grades with my own hardware, you categorically will refrain from publishing it in the local guidebook despite the consensus five years on from every single one of two thousand ascensionists being that it is the best route in the entire of Spain at that grade?

Post edited at 20:06
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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Doug:

> France also has cliffs where bolting has been paid for by the local council to attract tourists/climbers & help the local economy. Does this happen any where else ?

This does happen, but it's mostly for beginner crags that climbing instructors work on. A notable exception is Orpierre where they have fully gone down the sport-climbing tourism road. In most places in France climbers don't contribute massively to local economies. In fact they are very often not appreciated by conservationists and hunters who hold a lot of sway in rural municipalities. 

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Rafa:

Rafa, please ignore the dislikes. UKClimbing has a mob mentality and they try to shut people down when the truth gets too uncomfortable. Don't let them intimidate you. Keep sharing your views.

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In reply to Rafa:

> When I mean to publish only the rebolted routes I do not say that you publish a list of those routes rebolted, I say your book should be with just those routes, the only ones that you have contributed, and that considering only those that help financially to rebolt, how many routes have you directly rebolted?

The reason we include all routes we know about is because many new routers I have met over the years bolt new routes because they love it, they are passionate and they want to create new routes for other people to climb. Many of them from areas all over Europe contact me directly since they strive for their routes to be publicised in guidebooks so that others can go and enjoy them. The local businesses in Mallorca are also enthusiastic for us to promote the climbing, in fact we got some complaints this time from them that this was more of a reprint than a new edition since there were so many new routes.

> When you travel to a new country, or at least it was done before more ethics existed, you would buy the local guide.

Actually, when I first went to Mallorca in 1993 there was no local guide. This was the case on most of our trips to France as well at the same time.

> Mr. Wang and Mr. Chen without a relationship with the development of the UK climbing crags, virtually no one knows them, only some people who have climbing shops, they are selling books and Apps of the rock climbing crags of UK and decide to donate 1% of what they earn, but who instead of giving it to climbing developers, prefer to donate to restaurants in the area, because so the people who go will be happier according to them, in the end, the Chinese take profit of a job that the English have done.

> What would the United Kingdom climbers think of the Chinese? Is it for everyone's safety? it seems to me that he may be disguised as false idealism, and the reality is closer to Lord Palmerston. "I have no friends, only interests"

I am sorry but I don't follow this analogy.

Alan

Post edited at 20:43
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In reply to Big Bruva:

> Rafa, please ignore the dislikes. UKClimbing has a mob mentality and they try to shut people down when the truth gets too uncomfortable. Don't let them intimidate you. Keep sharing your views.

I agree, please keep sharing your views. This is an interesting discussion.

Alan

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> Bolting is very much an essential service for sport climbers. In many areas of France the community as a whole takes responsibility for funding it through a 'tax' on guidebooks rather than relying on the whims of individual donations. It's the same concept as the one Wehn explains, just on a smaller scale...

If it was all about the finances, why don't the climbers of St. Leger want to accept my offer of financial donations? 

As I said, discussions about guidebook bolt funding are never really about funding bolting.

Alan

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> I am sorry but I don't follow this analogy.

Try this one. A Spanish climber comes to the Peak district and decides to bolt all the trad routes at Stoney Middleton. They consider they are doing climbers a service and are working within the law. UKC mob attacks the Spanish climber for not respecting the local ethic.

A commercial guidebook publisher from the UK goes to an area in Spain where bolting is funded through the sale of guidebooks. After using the local topo to find the climbing areas, they decide to publish a for-profit book with only a token gesture to the local bolt fund. Again, they consider they are doing climbers a service and are working within the law. But again they are not respecting the local ethic. This time the UKC mob attacks the local ethic.

It's about values being conditioned by culture, and the inability of many people to accept that other cultures can have different values which are equally valid.

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> If it was all about the finances, why don't the climbers of St. Leger want to accept my offer of financial donations? 

I have no idea. I imagine they were worried that your gesture would be a token one that would normalise relations but would still be detrimental to them. This is quite a common phenomenon in colonial situations. It makes local populations complicit and thus undermines any form of protest. Rafa seems to believe it is happening in Mallorca.

Post edited at 20:57
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 Luke90 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

> This time the UKC mob attacks the local ethic.

"Mob" and "attack" seem like strange words to use for a bit of polite discussion and some people who choose to show which posts they disagree with by using the dislike button. It's hardly torches and pitchforks, is it.

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Luke90:

> "Mob" and "attack" seem like strange words to use for a bit of polite discussion and some people who choose to show which posts they disagree with by using the dislike button.

Mob is a group dynamic. It can absolutely be exercised through the use of the dislike button.

I would call this a polite debate rather than discussion. Attacking someone in a debate is very much par for the course. Just look at the House of Commons.

> It's hardly torches and pitchforks, is it.

Well it is the internet so physical weapons are not really an option! But if you want to delve into fantasy, just picture a non-virtual mob of British climbers getting stuck into that poor Spaniard who's just finished bolting Stanage.

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> Try this one. A Spanish climber comes to the Peak district and decides to bolt all the trad routes at Stoney Middleton. They consider they are doing climbers a service and are working within the law. UKC mob attacks the Spanish climber for not respecting the local ethic.

> A commercial guidebook publisher from the UK goes to an area in Spain where bolting is funded through the sale of guidebooks. After using the local topo to find the climbing areas, they decide to publish a for-profit book with only a token gesture to the local bolt fund. Again, they consider they are doing climbers a service and are working within the law. But again they are not respecting the local ethic. This time the UKC mob attacks the local ethic.

That isn't a great analogy not helped by the fact that the first one is so unlikely it is difficult to imagine.  It is also not great since it is obvious that bolting on Mallorca isn't funded by local guidebook sales since there has only ever been a couple of local guidebooks and the last one was over 13 years ago. Also, we never used the local guidebook to find the crags initially since it didn't exist. 

I think the counter analogy to your Stoney Middleton one would be a British climber going to Mallorca and removing all the bolts because they did them on trad. I can't really think of a counter analogy to your UK guidebook producer going to Spain since I doubt anyone would be bothered if a Spanish guidebook producer made a book to the UK, ... unless they graded Three Pebble Slab 6a+!

Alan

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

You are focusing on the bolts, I'm focusing on the ethics. If you focus only on the bolts you will never understand that many continental climbers view bolt funding as an ethical issue.

Also, I purposefully didn't mention Mallorca or Rockfax because I have no idea what the local situation is there. I was making a general point about commercial publishers bringing out guidebooks to areas where the local climbing community uses its own guidebook to fund crag maintenance and development.

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> I have no idea. I imagine they were worried that your gesture would be a token one that would normalise relations but would still be detrimental to them. This is quite a common phenomenon in colonial situations. It makes local populations complicit and thus undermines any form of protest. Rafa seems to believe it is happening in Mallorca.

Well, then that is their mistake for not following it up - don't judge us on their response.

Just take a look at El Chorro where the locals have been proactive and we are happy and able to support them. We have bought a drill and bolts and helped establish and promote the local bolt fund. They send us new route information and the relationship is ongoing. We have a similar relationship with some climbers in the Cote d'Azur - we give them bolt money and they send us new route information. We are establishing similar support, as Daimon has mentioned, with a prominent local bolter in Sicily. These things can work but it is a two-way relationship. I am more than happy to discuss future bolt funding with Mallorcan climbers and, as I said above we have the right contacts. It will take time though since at the moment no-one is travelling abroad to climb and no-one is buying Mallorca guidebooks.

Alan

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 Luke90 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Also, I purposefully didn't mention Mallorca or Rockfax because I have no idea what the local situation is there. I was making a general point about commercial publishers bringing out guidebooks to areas where the local climbing community uses its own guidebook to fund crag maintenance and development.

But you're trying to make those general points in a thread specifically started about Mallorca, whilst claiming that the key is understanding and respecting specific local cultures.

Claiming to only be making general observations is rather a neat way of avoiding having to address any of Alan's specific points.

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 Rafa 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

We are currently making topos for 2 applications. One gives us almost 100% of the profits and with the second 50%. If RockFax doesn't change its contribution policy to the community, from Majorca we would like it to stop selling topos.

I prefer not to say by the names of the applications here, now we talk about Rockfax. Thank you very much for your interest and for the rest of the post you have written.

Here it works like this: An developer puts his money, time and effort-free to open a route with parabolts that are usually made of steel and diameter 10 millimetres. When that route is old:

A: rebolted with the same material, normal steel, it is super cheap and easy, but on the coast that can mean every 3-4 years. In a good place over than 20.

B: rebolted with stainless parabolt, bad option, I at least IMHO, I prefer a steel parabolt that rusts to a stainless one that breaks without external signals of warning, after 10-15 years in the coast?, I have bolted routes with A4, and when I can I will change them to glue-in of 316L or titanium. Cheap and easy.

C: rebolted with good 316L stainless steel gluein, it is "relatively" cheap, but it is a laborious process. I hope we can talk about security for 15 years minimum on the coast. 

C: rebolted with titanium, which is the line we want to follow, but it is very expensive and laborious. In the end the expensive comes cheap if you look that in principle everything that gets in titanium will last for life, but of course, it pays now!!! and a route of 10 anchors and belay in titanium + resin is minimum 130 euros by route...Who pays for that?

*as you can imagine a single person is not going to be normal

*city council with public money, we have tried but for now they have not contributed anything.

*The Balearic climbing federation, participated for years, giving in total approx 12,000 euros, currently gives nothing. All that money is from a long time ago when it was rebolted with parabolts A2!!! or at least with glue-in 316L, very little of that money was invested in titanium.

* Annual party among local climbers. The last year 4,521 euros and only for rebolting.

*Rockfax, in its last contribution the most important I think, to Cala Santanyi it was just over 2000 euros. Not bad at all, but I would expect a lot more input on your part. You are selling guides for over 20 years and now App...and contributed 2 years.

This is the reality in Mallorca, you are all welcome, and everyone who bolts a route does it because they want, but you also have to understand or I hope, whoever sells and takes profit of the free work of others, would be to distribute some of that money among that community.

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Well, then that is their mistake for not following it up - don't judge us on their response.

> Just take a look at El Chorro where the locals have been proactive and we are happy and able to support them.

I suspect that the difference in attitude between El Chorro and St Leger climbers has to do with history. Perhaps you were involved with the El Chorro community from the early stages of your guidebook project?

> I am more than happy to discuss future bolt funding with Mallorcan climbers

I wish you all the best of luck and hope you can find a mutually beneficial agreement that  ensures that visiting climbers make a decent contribution to the resources they use.

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In reply to Rafa:

Rafa, tell me where you are planning to rebolt and I will see what I can do to help. Create a bolt fund that people can easily donate to and we can publicise it through Rockfax and UKC and generate a lot of money.

Alan

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 Rafa 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

>Many of them from areas all over Europe contact me directly since they strive for their routes to be publicised in guidebooks so that others can go and enjoy them. The local businesses in Mallorca are also enthusiastic for us to promote the climbing, in fact we got some complaints this time from them that this was more of a reprint than a new edition since there were so many new routes.

Maybe they're so excited because in the end they live off this and have publicity in your book? win/win for both. And the other actors?

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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Luke90:

> But you're trying to make those general points in a thread specifically started about Mallorca, whilst claiming that the key is understanding and respecting specific local cultures.

> Claiming to only be making general observations is rather a neat way of avoiding having to address any of Alan's specific points.

It's perfectly fine for a thread about bolting in Mallorca to digress to bolting in other areas of Europe. It's not like we've suddenly started to talk about the goverment's response to coronavirus!

And look through my posts. I've made specific points about things I know about, and general observations when I lack precise information about a particular situation. I know this cautious respect for facts is not standard behaviour on UKC but I'm sticking with it!

Edit...Rafa has just weighed in with all the facts you need about Mallorca. Thank you

Post edited at 22:20
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 Big Bruva 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Rafa, tell me where you are planning to rebolt and I will see what I can do to help. Create a bolt fund that people can easily donate to and we can publicise it through Rockfax and UKC and generate a lot of money.

Ah ok, so your contribution is going to be publicising the bolt fund they set up. I thought we'd agreed that charity funding doesn't work well on the continent.

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 Rafa 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Rafa, tell me where you are planning to rebolt and I will see what I can do to help. Create a bolt fund that people can easily donate to and we can publicise it through Rockfax and UKC and generate a lot of money.

> Alan

Having to ask permission to get those funds doesn't seem right to me, have you asked the community for permission to know if we want you to make a book? It is not that I want to rebolt myself, what I have to rebolt I already have the material fortunately because of the last party of the climbers and the contributions of a website, in particular, do not need anything.

Here is the common fund that if you want, you give directly to Carlos with which I suppose you will have a fantastic relationship, and I am sure he will distribute it correctly, that money is only destined to rebolting, but it is true that it is not all in public places (edit: in the guide I mean), here we have the problem that 95% of the areas are on private property, there are places that are very delicate, anyway, although I do not like the secrecy and I hardly go to any area that does not come out in your guide. I will tell for all something positive that you donate money to areas that you will not even see, and the reason is decongestion. If you come to Majorca to climb and climb in an area that is good and with few climbers, and no queues to climb, it is not enough for you? Do you need to know ALL the areas of Majorca to be able to climb them? In my opinion, there are more than enough routes in Majorca for a few trips, before you start running out of new routes to climb, I have been climbing for 20 years and I have not done them.

On the other hand, the idea of creating a button in the same App or where you consider to donate not only in Majorca but anywhere in the world where you have created a guide is necessary. And that doesn't take away the part of donating part of YOUR benefits, one thing is what people donate, and another your benefits for the work of others, some of which would be nice to redistribute them.

Post edited at 22:47
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 Luke90 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Rafa:

Reading between the lines of what you're saying, it seems like this is really about insiders and outsiders. Locals and tourists.

If the money you're demanding from Rockfax was truly relevant and needed then someone would have made the minor effort to set up a proper bolt fund for people to donate to by now. How hard is it to set up a minimal website with a donate button these days? If that doesn't exist, then it seems to me that what you really want isn't money, it's to keep the climbing restricted to locals.

Are you seriously suggesting that Rockfax and visiting climbers should cheerfully donate to the bolting of routes that you openly say in advance will be kept secret from them? That's crackers!

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 tehmarks 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

> that poor Spaniard who's just finished bolting Stanage.

Bloody hell. How long was he on holiday for!?

Post edited at 01:25
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 tehmarks 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Rafa:

I really don't understand the issue here. Surely you can see why a guidebook might be reticent to fund the bolting of routes which you then keep secret and which can't be enjoyed by any of the readers of that guidebook? The relationship is two-way. If Rockfax give you money, they have every right to know that it's not being spent on things which are of no benefit to the wider visiting climbing community. It's like my parents have every right to know that I'm not borrowing money from them solely to go out on a massive bender on illegal drugs or some other obviously questionable or illegal activity, or like the public having every right to know that their donation to 'Save The Kids' doesn't get spent on training children to fight wars in Africa. You can't jut expect someone to give you large sums of money without any transparency whatsoever.

Alan is very evidently more than willing to give you money, but you don't have any appropriate mechanism by which he can do so. He points this out, he asks, he reasons - and all you respond with is complaint. Be productive, engage in an adult discussion - privately, preferably - with Alan and Rockfax, and you may well get somewhere.

Just out of curiosity, let's say that Rockfax stop publishing their Mallorca guidebook, and by magic all of the tourists dry up and the locals are left with their crags to themselves. The cost of bolting is still the same - but now two potentially significant sources of revenue have dried up. Is this honestly a positive outcome?

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 tehmarks 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Rafa:

> that money is only destined to rebolting, but it is true that it is not all in public places

Or to rephrase: 'we demand you contribute money to build a new ice rink that you will be banned from skating in'. Absurd, isn't it? Why would someone give you money for something they'll never see any benefit from, and why don't you set up a system by which Rockfax can contribute to the rebolting of public and published crags only? Win win, surely? You get money to rebolt things that everyone can climb. Perfect, non?

Are you sure that this is about bolting, and you're not actually trying to say 'please stop publishing your guidebook, youre 'cking access to all our crags'?

Post edited at 02:17
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In reply to Big Bruva:

> It's perfectly fine for a thread about bolting in Mallorca to digress to bolting in other areas of Europe. 

But your replies are not only general, they are also simplistic. I don't know of any area that would fit into the basic situation you describe, there are always other things in play. You can only really deal with each area on its own merits which make generalisations less useful.

Alan

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> Ah ok, so your contribution is going to be publicising the bolt fund they set up.

No, that was just an additional way that we could help.

> I thought we'd agreed that charity funding doesn't work well on the continent.

They work well for Brits, Americans, Germans (despite what Henning says) and other northern Europeans - travelling climbers basically - and they are the ones that buy the Rockfax.

Alan

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In reply to Rafa:

I don't know what to make of that reply Rafa. The offer is there. Yes, we will help with rebolting and we have a good record of doing this. We can also help with publicity to try and harness other sources of funding. No, we will not contribute to bolting routes that are not going to be made available to everyone.

Alan

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to tehmarks:

> Alan is very evidently more than willing to give you money

Where do you get this idea? So far Alan has only offered to publicise their bolt fund. Indeed, he has implied that it will be a long time before his guidebook will have made enough money to allow him to contribute. According to Rafa he has only contributed twice in 20 years.

> Surely you can see why a guidebook might be reticent to fund the bolting of routes which you then keep secret and which can't be enjoyed by any of the readers of that guidebook?

Alan has made clear that Rockfax will NOT fund specific routes for liability reasons. So, as long as his contribution is on a par with the number of routes published in his guidebook, he should be very happy with this arrangement. Indeed for purely liability reasons it's possibly even better if the bolts he contributes are not used to protect routes in his guidebooks. It removes any causal relationship between an accident precipitated by bolt failure and information provided by his book.

The local climbing community spends countless weeks of unpaid labour bolting cliffs which all climbers have free access to, even though many are on private land. On the other hand, Rockfax expects to recover its costs before making a contribution. As for the guidebook reader, they contribute, at best, a few quid for the resource. So what makes you feel entitled to be given information about every single piece of bolted rock on the island.

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> But your replies are not only general, they are also simplistic. I don't know of any area that would fit into the basic situation you describe, there are always other things in play. You can only really deal with each area on its own merits which make generalisations less useful.

I am fully aware that each region is different and funding for crag maintenance can come from many sources. This is why I wouldn't suggest you fund bolting in Orpeirre, Sicily or the Chamonix valley. I am actually arguing for a very specific set of circumstances. In areas where the local equippers rely on their guidebook to provide funds, Rockfax should make a reasonable contribution. Rafa doesn't seem to think this is the case in Mallorca and I hope you will find an arrangement that satisfies the local community.

If it is actually impossible to make enough money from a for-profit guidebook and also contribute fairly to a bolt fund, then you should avoid publishing guidebooks to areas that rely on such contributions.

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> In areas where the local equippers rely on their guidebook to provide funds, Rockfax should make a reasonable contribution. Rafa doesn't seem to think this is the case in Mallorca and I hope you will find an arrangement that satisfies the local community.

But it obviously isn't the case in Mallorca since there have only been two local guidebooks in the last 30 years as far as I can remember and the last one was 13 years ago.

> If it is actually impossible to make enough money from a for-profit guidebook and also contribute fairly to a bolt fund, then you should avoid publishing guidebooks to areas that rely on such contributions.

No, it is perfectly possible, as we have illustrated in several areas.

Alan

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> So far Alan has only offered to publicise their bolt fund.

I think you need to read the replies more carefully.

Alan

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> I think you need to read the replies more carefully.

I have done and I mentioned the only firm offer you made. I also noted that you are not expecting to be able to contribute to the Mallorca bolt fund any time soon. I have not taken into consideration any vague promises as I am wary of duplicity. However, if you commit to any concrete financial proposals I will take note.

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> But it obviously isn't the case in Mallorca since there have only been two local guidebooks in the last 30 years as far as I can remember and the last one was 13 years ago.

Well it certainly seems to be the model they are looking to develop for the future. Rafa has told us that the current financial situation in Mallorca for bolt funding is problematic and explained the choices they must make if they are to continue to maintain the crags in a sustainable manner. He also mentioned 2 applications that are being developped to raise funds. We must hope that Rockfax does not divert money from these funds

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> He also mentioned 2 applications that are being developed to raise funds. We must hope that Rockfax does not divert money from these funds

I don't think these are being developed by Mallorcan climbers. I could be wrong but they are likely to be third party apps, probably Vertical Life and one other. I don't know what the amounts generated by VL apps are for local climbers. I'd be surprised if they were substantial since they cover so many areas but I could be wrong.

Alan

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 tehmarks 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Where do you get this idea?

'We don’t want to fund routes that aren’t going to be open to all climbers so finding the right project that we can fund is not straightforward. Fortunately, this was possible last time and we hope to find a new project this time.'

'I am more than happy to discuss future bolt funding with Mallorcan climbers.'

'Rafa, tell me where you are planning to rebolt and I will see what I can do to help.'

'The offer is there. Yes, we will help with rebolting and we have a good record of doing this. We can also help with publicity to try and harness other sources of funding. No, we will not contribute to bolting routes that are not going to be made available to everyone.'

I read the thread.

> So what makes you feel entitled to be given information about every single piece of bolted rock on the island.

Nothing. But to any reasonable person, being asked to support private developments which will benefit no one other than the local climbers in the loop is bizarre. Or, as Alan himself says:

'These things can work but it is a two-way relationship.'

There may be a vacancy on the Prime Minister's negotiating team if you're interested in applying? I think you'd fit right in.

Post edited at 11:43
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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to tehmarks:

> I read the thread.

So you will have seen that there has been no committment to any concrete funding proposals, just vague promises for future contributions if profits allow. For sure Alan would be very much at home in BJ's Brexit negotiating team! 

> But to any reasonable person, being asked to support private developments which will benefit no one other than the local climbers in the loop is bizarre. 

A private development? You mean the one where local climbers volunteer to do all the labour for free and commit to reinvesting all revenue back into the project. Meanwhile visiting climbers, who can turn up and use the resource for free, still whine because they don't get immediate access to all the info. 

I'm sorry tehmark but you really must stop this attitude of entitlement. British climbers, by any rationale, get an extremely favorable deal from European sport_climbing communities. Please stop acting like a victim, it's pathetic!

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 Luke90 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

> I also noted that you are not expecting to be able to contribute to the Mallorca bolt fund any time soon.

You're talking as if a bolt fund actually exists and that Rockfax are refusing to contribute. It seems from the thread that such a fund doesn't even exist. That was my experience when I last visited Mallorca a few years ago as well. I looked for a way to contribute and couldn't find one. If shortage of money was the real issue here, a fund would exist and there would be an easy way to donate, either online or at least publicised clearly online.

That's not the case because the money is really just a convenient excuse to attack outsiders while claiming the moral high ground. Rafa seems to want to pillory Rockfax for not contributing without providing any way for them to do so under reasonable terms.

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Luke90:

> Rafa seems to want to pillory Rockfax for not contributing without providing any way for them to do so under reasonable terms.

Er, Rockfax has already contributed to bolting in Mallorca and Rafa seems to think it was under reasonable terms. He just argues that it should be done on a regular basis. Please read the thread before commenting.

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 tehmarks 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

> So you will have seen that there has been no committment to any concrete funding proposals

I have seen that Alan seems to be going out of his way to give money to a cause that benefits both the local climbers and the wider climbing population. I have also seen that, unsurprisingly, Alan is reticent to fund projects which will not benefit the wider climbing community. Given that his source of revenue is the wider climbing community, that's hardly unreasonable is it? Projects funded by those who will see benefit is a pretty normal concept. Only the locals will see benefit from secret crags, and so I don't understand why any external funding is needed. The wider climbing community will see great benefit from the rebolting and development of open crags, and Alan is clearly willing to help fund that.

Do you reckon that I could approach the Peak bolt fund to bolt the minor crag at the bottom of my garden, for my own personal use only?

> just vague promises for future contributions if profits allow.

How do you contribute money that you don't have? Have you looked out of the window lately? The world is an exceptional place at the minute - millions unemployed, millions more facing the prospect of impending unemployment, businesses barely solvent, international travel on hold.

> A private development? You mean the one where local climbers volunteer to do all the labour for free and commit to reinvesting all revenue back into the project. Meanwhile visiting climbers, who can turn up and use the resource for free, still whine because they don't get immediate access to all the info.

I mean the one where a foreign guidebook gives money away to people who have no intention of cooperating so that there can be mutual benefit.

> I'm sorry tehmark but you really must stop this attitude of entitlement.

Mate, it's irrelevant to me whether Mallorcan bolting is funded or not. I'm highly unlikely to ever visit or climb there. In the real world, where we all live, people don't just give money away to those who demand it, and acknowledgement of that fact seems to be lacking in this thread. There's no moral dilemma here - Alan wants to give money to fund climbing development that will benefit climbers as a whole and not a small clique of locals only. That's not even close to unreasonable.

> British climbers, by any rationale, get an extremely favorable deal from European sport_climbing communities.

What's perplexing is that I simply can't imagine this same argument being made if the Spaniards and French publish wildly popular guidebooks to Portland, or Stony, or Malham, or...can you? No one would care - in fact I'd go so far as to say that the local climbers here would be overjoyed to see other peope wanting to travel to enjoy their crags.

> Please stop acting like a victim, it's pathetic!

I try my level best to argue from a position of logic and rational analysis, and I try my level best to argue on the facts rather than on emotion. It's disappointing that you interpret this as acting hysterically like a victim. I have no stake in the argument on either side, and I'd like to think I'm a fair and reasonable person - so I'd lie to think the conclusions I've drawn are also fair and reasonable. I'd like to think that what I've bothered to type is what the plethora of people silenty disliking te posts of Rafa and yourself are thinking.

You're welcome to call me Mark, by the way. It's more friendly that way, non?

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 tehmarks 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

And Alan would sincerely like to contribute under the same sort of reasonable terms. It doesn't sound like he has a problem contributing on a regular basis - certainly by the evidence of Rockfax's work in El Choroo, or the Cote d'Azur. Please understand the thread before commenting.

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In reply to tehmarks:

> What's perplexing is that I simply can't imagine this same argument being made if the Spaniards and French publish wildly popular guidebooks to Portland, or Stony, or Malham, or...can you? No one would care - in fact I'd go so far as to say that the local climbers here would be overjoyed to see other peope wanting to travel to enjoy their crags.

I think this has happened, because if I remember correctly the Perroux guide to Ben Nevis was published in French before in English. Perroux seems to have been central to popularising Scottish winter with continental climbers and I've never seen any Scottish winter climbers being anything other than delighted that people have come from across Europe to climb on the Ben or elsewhere in the Highlands. I'm sure the B&Bs, car hire firms, chippies and pubs appreciate a bit more winter tourism too.

edit: just found the book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ben-Nevis-Godefroy-Perroux/dp/2951774990

Post edited at 14:10
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In reply to Rafa:

I'm getting this vibe from this thread...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANquX0YHFhw&

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 Iamgregp 04 Jun 2020
In reply to daimon:

> Worth having a look here at what a single guidebook publisher has feed back into the climbing community. https://rockfax.com/news/category/donations/

Ok so there was £1500 for Kalymnos, if bolts are a fiver each like you say then this is 300 bolts so this is going to pay for the rebolting of around 25 routes at most. 

Actually, less than that because they'll need lower offs, so let's call it 20.

So if there are over 2000 routes on the island Rockfax have paid for less than 1% of them to be rebolted.

I applaud the effort made to donate, but forgive me for saying I doubt we're going to see many Kalymnian babies named "Rockfax" in their honour....

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 elliptic 04 Jun 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> the Perroux guide to Ben Nevis

And when it came out in English I went straight out and bought it to add to the shelf full of Ben guides (SMC definitive, SMC select and Cicerone) I already owned - thus illustrating another of the points that regularly gets made in these threads.

It's an engaging little book despite the quirky hybrid grading system and it had clear photo topos when the SMC volumes still used semi-legible black and white line drawings.

(Veering back to the main subject, Alan's position seems entirely reasonable to me - as a guidebook buyer I'm very happy to contribute via the cover price to maintaining open crags to everyone's benefit, but not somebody's private pet project.)

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In reply to Iamgregp:

> I applaud the effort made to donate, but forgive me for saying I doubt we're going to see many Kalymnian babies named "Rockfax" in their honour....

The Kalymnos situation is much more complex, it involves huge EU grants, and some other stuff which would be inappropriate to go into here. If you are desperate to know then email me but please don't judge us on this one.

Alan

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 Rafa 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> I don't think these are being developed by Mallorcan climbers. I could be wrong but they are likely to be third party apps, probably Vertical Life and one other. I don't know what the amounts generated by VL apps are for local climbers. I'd be surprised if they were substantial since they cover so many areas but I could be wrong.

> Alan

Well, you think wrong, of course, it will be developed by Mallorcan climbers.

In the international App that has a lot of publicity and potential, it will distribute 50% of the profits, when all climbing schools crags are developed, we expect more than 3,500 euros per year.

The other application is Spanish and for now, it will give us practically 100%, it is being born and that is why now offers us this very good treatment, we have direct contact with them, I can not estimate for now how much it will report us to the community. 

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to tehmarks:

Mark I'm not going to reply to all your points but I will try to offer you a vision of the situation from the perspective of the local bolting community.

This community has placed literally thousands of bolts, only a small number of which have been provided by Rockfax. They have sweated and grafted thousands of hours without getting paid to place these bolts. Rockfax benefits from this graft and investment by publishing a for-profit guidebook and in return donates €2000 worth of bolts. By Rafa's calculations this should equip around 15 routes (not counting labour), so basically Rockfax benefits from another 1000-odd routes bolted by the locals without contributing anything. Now you might think the balance of investment is quie heavily skewed towards the local community here, but Rafa actually expresses appreciation of the donation, despite the fact that a large part of the UKC readership dislikes everything he writes!

Alan must react because these threads undermine Rockfax's ethical credibility. He promises funding but doesn't provide any details and puts it off to in an unspecified period in the future. "Tell me what you want and I'll see what I can do", doesn't sound like a serious offer to anyone. It's damage limitation. Maybe something along the lines of: "I've contacted the president of the Mallorcan bolting association and committed to sending you X number of titanium bolts after the first 1000 book sales", would be more reassuring.

However, Rafa's grudge actually goes deeper than that and can probably only be understood by people who have experienced an abuse of power. The thing is that Alan wants to lay down conditions for the use of his bolts, demanding that they only be used on routes that he agrees to. This lever of influence is demeaning for people who have invested so much of their own time and money in creating routes for the enjoyment of everyone. Why should Alan care if his bolts are clipped by Rockfax purchasers or by local climbers? Rockfax purchasers are already clipping tens of thousands of bolts which have been bought and placed by the locals without any conditions or demands being placed. The locals have proved a thousand times over how willing they are to invest in routes for everyone.

Alan says that bolting discussions are never really about money but about influence. It's taken me a while to understand what he was talking about but now I get it. Yes, Alan is prepared to donate bolts, but only on the condition the local bolting community respects his wishes. His €2000 contribution gives him a lever of power that the locals can't even muster with the thousands and thousands of hours of work and euros spent to equip their crags.

Alan complains that he finds it difficult to work with the locals and only managed to find a channel for his bolt donation through working with an expat British climber. Wouldn't it be so much easier and less time-consuming if he showed the local bolting community that he trusts and respects them by not laying down petty conditions? He has already benefited enormously from their good will and hard work.

I'm not expecting you to understand this point of view by the way, and I know people will continue to argue that it's perfectly normal for Alan to place conditions on the use of his bolts. But try to put yourself for a minute in the skin of someone who has spent hundreds of days equipping the Mallorcan cliffs, having to justify their actions to a business whose profit is dependent on all that hard graft they have given so freely. Are you there? That feeling is a mixture of shame and resentment.

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I don't think there's an issue with bolt funding on Ben Nevis!

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 Phil79 04 Jun 2020
In reply to drolex:

> I find it absolutely bizarre that a large part of the conversation surrounding bolting in some places revolves around the bolting being funded by guidebooks. And frankly I don't like the idea of a direct relationship between bolting and guidebooks selling. That's awfully capitalistic and for minor crags without guidebooks it would mean that they are not worth bolting.

The best way to solve the whole problem is to ban bolting everywhere and chop all the routes already bolted. That way no-one need worry about cost of equipping routes.....

;)

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

I'm not sure Neil from the Young Ones did much graft at all, particularly hard physical graft on a voluntary basis. But congratulations for adding to the general vibe of trying to demean foreigners who bolt sport routes!

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 jimtitt 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Mark I'm not going to reply to all your points but I will try to offer you a vision of the situation from the perspective of the local bolting community.

> This community has placed literally thousands of bolts, only a small number of which have been provided by Rockfax. They have sweated and grafted thousands of hours without getting paid to place these bolts. Rockfax benefits from this graft and investment by publishing a for-profit guidebook and in return donates €2000 worth of bolts. By Rafa's calculations this should equip around 15 routes (not counting labour), so basically Rockfax benefits from another 1000-odd routes bolted by the locals without contributing anything. Now you might think the balance of investment is quie heavily skewed towards the local community here, but Rafa actually expresses appreciation of the donation, despite the fact that a large part of the UKC readership dislikes everything he writes!

> Alan must react because these threads undermine Rockfax's ethical credibility. He promises funding but doesn't provide any details and puts it off to in an unspecified period in the future. "Tell me what you want and I'll see what I can do", doesn't sound like a serious offer to anyone. It's damage limitation. Maybe something along the lines of: "I've contacted the president of the Mallorcan bolting association and committed to sending you X number of titanium bolts after the first 1000 book sales", would be more reassuring.

> However, Rafa's grudge actually goes deeper than that and can probably only be understood by people who have experienced an abuse of power. The thing is that Alan wants to lay down conditions for the use of his bolts, demanding that they only be used on routes that he agrees to. This lever of influence is demeaning for people who have invested so much of their own time and money in creating routes for the enjoyment of everyone. Why should Alan care if his bolts are clipped by Rockfax purchasers or by local climbers? Rockfax purchasers are already clipping tens of thousands of bolts which have been bought and placed by the locals without any conditions or demands being placed. The locals have proved a thousand times over how willing they are to invest in routes for everyone.

> Alan says that bolting discussions are never really about money but about influence. It's taken me a while to understand what he was talking about but now I get it. Yes, Alan is prepared to donate bolts, but only on the condition the local bolting community respects his wishes. His €2000 contribution gives him a lever of power that the locals can't even muster with the thousands and thousands of hours of work and euros spent to equip their crags.

> Alan complains that he finds it difficult to work with the locals and only managed to find a channel for his bolt donation through working with an expat British climber. Wouldn't it be so much easier and less time-consuming if he showed the local bolting community that he trusts and respects them by not laying down petty conditions? He has already benefited enormously from their good will and hard work.

> I'm not expecting you to understand this point of view by the way, and I know people will continue to argue that it's perfectly normal for Alan to place conditions on the use of his bolts. But try to put yourself for a minute in the skin of someone who has spent hundreds of days equipping the Mallorcan cliffs, having to justify their actions to a business whose profit is dependent on all that hard graft they have given so freely. Are you there? That feeling is a mixture of shame and resentment.

The rest of the world worked out 30 or 40 years ago that making any financial connection between guidebooks and financing development is a dead issue, the objective is to produce the best guide to an area to attract more visitors to give more leverage with the businesses and organisations that have real money, not pennies. One sleeps better when one isn't upset over trivialities.

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In reply to Big Bruva:

But did the foreign visiting climbers get asked to make a contribution towards the the massive upgrade in quality of the North Face path? Of course not. 

Where are you actually talking about by the way? I think you said that you don't know the situation in Majorca. Are you in mainland Spain or in France? I think it is worth being specific, I've been involved in crag development in Finland, even helping out friends who were bolting sports routes, and these issues never came up. The national climbing association would provide bolts and glue and had a drill that could be used, but were happy for other people to use their own drills and would still provide and bolts. Basically opening new venues to any and all climbers was seen as a good thing as long as there wasn't any access or environmental difficulties. When I've been in France in recent years and got the chance to do a few routes on local crags, I've been impressed by why how the equipping was often done by local municipalities partly to attract visitors, sometimes in conjunction with via feratas which must cost a hell of a lot more! A couple of tourist information offices happily photocopied sections of local topos for me because they wanted people to visit the crags, one said it was silly to buy the whole book if I only had chance to visit one crag!

p.s. the bolts I've seen on the Ben DEFINITELY look like they need re-bolting! 😆

Post edited at 16:23
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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

> The rest of the world worked out 30 or 40 years ago that making any financial connection between guidebooks and financing development is a dead issue

This is such a blatant untruth that I'm not even going to bother. 

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In reply to Rafa:

> Well, you think wrong, of course, it will be developed by Mallorcan climbers.

> In the international App that has a lot of publicity and potential, it will distribute 50% of the profits, when all climbing schools crags are developed, we expect more than 3,500 euros per year.

> The other application is Spanish and for now, it will give us practically 100%, it is being born and that is why now offers us this very good treatment, we have direct contact with them, I can not estimate for now how much it will report us to the community. 

Go effort. I wish you success in this.  

Alan

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to TobyA:

The Ben Nevis path was funded by public money so the situation is comparable to bolting in Orpierre. Nobody has suggested Rockfax contribute to this.

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 Rafa 04 Jun 2020

I also have the same opinion as Big Bruva, at no time has it seemed to me that you are going to offer a part of the great cake that you gain thanks to the roads that were all the way that was equipped here. Maybe I'm wrong, I'm going to try another analogy to see if it's better understood:

Two foreigners Mr Wang and Mr. Cheng (I have nothing against a foreigner or a local as mentioned in another post), going to a country to a restaurant in England that offers free food to customers where they come from the world, they only have a small menu of dishes at the entrance and that is almost their only source of income, it will not be the best menu in the world, but there it is since 1996. It turns out Wang and Cheng say they went to the restaurant before he even created the food menu, so they talk to a neighbour with whom they have a business in common or simply because the neighbour likes him, and he explains the name of the dishes they serve in the restaurant. Wang and Cheng decide to create a better food menu than the restaurant and an App that SELL and EARNS MONEY, where they talk about this restaurant and the dishes they offer and attract a lot of people who also eat for free in the restaurant, but who have paid for Wang and Cheng's book.

Over time the chairs, tables and rest of the restaurant furniture get broken, and in addition, the restaurant owners decide to expand to a back terrace to decongest the main terrace as there are many new customers from all over the world and annoy the neighbours. They ask Wang and Cheng for some help as he has been making money at the expense of his restaurant for many years, but Wang and Cheng decide that if they contribute something is to improve only and exclusively the main terrace. Wang and Cheng can't bear to contribute money to another terrace that possibly people who come through their book and App won't be able to visit, it's just for the neighbours. The only problem is that they do not take into account all the years they have been using those chairs, tables and furniture and they paid absolutely nothing at all. They paid absolutely nothing of all the initial contribution made by the neighbours to create the restaurant and furniture, Wang and Cheng only see their interest and that of their customers, at no time think of the neighbours, thanks to which for so many years has earned money.

And now without analogies Alan:

First: It seems that you propose that you will only contribute some money on account drops, on-demand to equip some routes or areas in particular (main terrace), and it also seems to be through the donations of the people who come to the restaurant and not through the money you make with the book and the App.

2nd Everyone moves by interest. Have you ever thought that interest is a veteran climber who is in 8b for example for rebolting an easy 6a and/or a place that I would not otherwise rebolted? THIS is some of the reasons, why we have to incentivize to give some of the material to rebolt a route wherever this veteran climber wants, and that can be on the main terrace and for everyone, or on the back terrace. I hope you change your mind, but it seems to me that it will not be so since I have just been told that it was not really 2000 euros for Cala Santanyi as I said, but rather 1000 euros, for 8 routes, far from the thousands of pounds you say... ;)  At least we will get something good, I will dedicate a sector "Rockfax vampire" in some school, with tracks with names "Alan the generous", so when someone climbs will know the reality of those guides that you are taking out almost equal to the previous edition, which is almost a hoax. Maybe you have so few new routes and you don't get information for things like we're dealing with.

I hope you think about.

You can collaborate with Charly or another shop buying glue-ins or if you want you can send me directly the titanium from Sheffield "Titan Climbing" to my house, I give you my word that that material will go to areas that come out in your guide, and I will say you the routes. 

We'll use the titanium we financed (parties, etc), to put it where we want. 

Deal?

A greeting

Rafa Ramirez

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 jimtitt 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

I think I've a better grasp of what's happening in area development, re-bolting and financing (including guidebooks) than you have.

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

Very probably but you're not "the rest of the world"!

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In reply to Big Bruva:

In your long post, you characterise the Mallorcan climbers as a single harmonious group. They are in fact a lot of smaller groups not all of which communicate with each other. All have their own agenda and all have their own secret crags that they don't even tell each other about. There are some great groups though, some of whom I have met, and others I haven't. One couple we did meet were the wonderful Armin and Kerstin at Sa Mola de Felantix who we met accidentally and who were so keen to get their routes in the guide. They were responsible for that crag and some of the routes at  Torre d'en Beu.

You also mention the local climbing federation. As Rafa has pointed out above, this organisation used to fund bolting but he says it doesn't any more. In my past experience, the connection between some of the climbing groups and the federation was not good. Hence there is no simple solution locally to as a one-stop-shop to getting a local consensus. This was essentially what caused the delay last time but we were able to work it out however without the ex-pat local, I wouldn't have been able to get anywhere.

You suggest that I am controlling by imposing conditions. We try and target the money we donate to be used for rebolting, not new routes. This is because this is always the area that needs help. People can often find funds to develop new areas but no-one wants to spend money or time rebolting. This is why we try and focus our effort on rebolting however we are fully aware that, where central bolt funds exist, it is not realistic to expect that the money will only be used for rebolting. I am certain that a lot of the money we have given over the years to bolt funds has been used for new routes.

If we do pay for new routes though then I think they should be open to everyone. This doesn't seem an unreasonable request. I find the idea of developing a crag for the exclusive use of me and my friends goes against everything I got into climbing for. This is the only time this has cropped up though and we quickly found a perfectly suitable alternative. So the extent of the controlling lever you mention was, here is some money, please try and use it for rebolting on one of the 34 crags that are in the guidebook or any other crag but please let us have a topo for that one. But, to be honest, as long as they were put to good use I wouldn't have minded

You suggest that I might not keep my promise (you do like to judge on things that might happen). Here is some evidence of us keeping our promise in the past - https://rockfax.com/news/category/donations/

Alan

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 jimtitt 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

I communicate and do business with the rest of the world though.

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In reply to Rafa:

> You can collaborate with Charly or another shop buying glue-ins or if you want you can send me directly the titanium from Sheffield "Titan Climbing" to my house, I give you my word that that material will go to areas that come out in your guide, and I will say you the routes. 

At this point, I refer you back to my first response at the top of the thread. I have always been prepared to do this. I will email you.

Alan

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 Big Bruva 04 Jun 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

> I communicate and do business with the rest of the world though.

I know, I've been working with the Jordanian sport-climbing federation to equip crags there using your bolts. 

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 daimon Global Crag Moderator UKH Supporter 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

Again, it's not up to guidebooks to fund climbing areas fully and also its not feasible on many levels. 

I quote Jim who hits the nail on the head.

"The rest of the world worked out 30 or 40 years ago that making any financial connection between guidebooks and financing development is a dead issue, the objective is to produce the best guide to an area to attract more visitors to give more leverage with the businesses and organisations that have real money, not pennies"

Any contribution a guide book can make to a fund is always classed as a contribution. I suggest that perhaps climbers pay £10 each to go climbing each day like they would at a wall and then your problems would be solved, but expect no one would do that. Jim also noted and as I have said, there are many other companies who are involved in providing equipment so people can enjoy climbing. Ask them to make a contribution also. Remember it can cost thousands to produce a guide to an area, even if its just on your door step.

And if some did calls their baby Rockfax, Id be a bit worried anyway, not rely a baby name, though Alan may disagree.

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 Rafa 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> In your long post, you characterise the Mallorcan climbers as a single harmonious group. They are in fact a lot of smaller groups not all of which communicate with each other. All have their own agenda and all have their own secret crags that they don't even tell each other about. There are some great groups though, some of whom I have met, and others I haven't. ]

I agree

> One couple we did meet were the wonderful Armin and Kerstin at Sa Mola de Felantix who we met accidentally and who were so keen to get their routes in the guide. They were responsible for that crag and some of the routes at  Torre d'en Beu.

Take a look at their bolted routes...good intentions but very bad bolted, with bad resin.

> You also mention the local climbing federation. As Rafa has pointed out above, this organisation used to fund bolting but he says it doesn't any more. In my past experience, the connection between some of the climbing groups and the federation was not good. ]

Bad relations because the perpetual Balearic Federation is mafia.

> If we do pay for new routes though then I think they should be open to everyone. This doesn't seem an unreasonable request. I find the idea of developing a crag for the exclusive use of me and my friends goes against everything I got into climbing for. This is the only time this has cropped up though and we quickly found a perfectly suitable alternative. So the extent of the controlling lever you mention was, here is some money, please try and use it for rebolting on one of the 34 crags that are in the guidebook or any other crag but please let us have a topo for that one. But, to be honest, as long as they were put to good use I wouldn't have minded]

I have said that every contribution you make will be for routes that are in your guide, but you will understand that the money we contribute local climbers will be used wherever we want.

> You suggest that I might not keep my promise (you do like to judge on things that might happen). Here is some evidence of us keeping our promise in the past - https://rockfax.com/news/category/donations/]

I didn't say you didn't keep your promise, I actually said I was there, but you said you've contributed thousands of pounds and it doesn't seem to be true.

https://rockfax.com/news/2017/02/27/rockfax-makes-significant-contribution-to-sustainable-bolting-on-mallorca/

How many?

> Alan

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In reply to Rafa:

Actually my reply, that you replied to, was to Big Bruva.

I have sent you an email Rafa.

Alan

   

And to Big Bruva:

Rafa's words - "Bad relations because the perpetual Balearic Federation is mafia."

Beginning to see the problem BB?

Alan

Post edited at 18:30
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 John2 04 Jun 2020
In reply to daimon:

' I suggest that perhaps climbers pay £10 each to go climbing each day like they would at a wall'

I have been stopped by a ranger in the Shawangunks and asked to pay to climb there. It's a fait accompli in the States, let's try and keep it there.

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> But congratulations for adding to the general vibe of trying to demean foreigners who bolt sport routes!

I'm not trying to demean anyone. I'm merely pointing out the odd nature of the approach that appears to be

'Dear blood-sucking vampire

Give us the bloody money

Best regards.'

Some mixed sentiments in that message.

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 Luke90 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Alan must react because these threads undermine Rockfax's ethical credibility.

Don't forget that he's in charge of the website. He could have deleted the thread altogether and banned you and Rafa. Or given his first response pointing out the donations Rockfax have made and then locked it to prevent further argument. Give him some credit for choosing to engage.

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 juanbrein 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Big Bruva:

> Thanks for bolting these routes Rafa. Is there another guidebook or app that better supports your efforts?

Disclamer, I'm the funder of "La Pirca"

We are building a new project with the sole purpose of funding bolting and maintenance of new and existing crags. Our goal is purely to maximize crag developers benefits by selling high quality digital topos (paperguides in the future too). Our platform provide all the necessary tools to create, price and distribute high quality topso. We provide a web access as well as Android and IOS apps. Crags can be created offline using the mobile app or using our website. We provide a exclusive crag editor where you can draw lines, bolts, pitons, anchors, descriptive comments, lines and much more. You can create single sectors or group them together to create a full guide. 

Contrary to any other project out there, the community sets the price and gets most of the benefits from selling the crag information.

Ethics are very important to us. That's why the uploaded content is 100% verified and produced by crag developers. We do not Allow climbers or companies to publish crag information they have not been involved in the development.

We strongly believe we can do much better than the rest of the platforms to help local bolters to develop new areas and maintain existing ones. Or simply recover some of the effort and money spent on the current areas. 

Want to know more? https://www.lapirca.es

Give it a try, support us... support the local bolting communities. 

Should you have any questions please let us know

Regards

Juan

Post edited at 21:13
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In reply to Big Bruva:

> This community has placed literally thousands of bolts, only a small number of which have been provided by Rockfax.

I've placed at least 2,000 bolts personally (staples, so arguably more effort than normal bolts). Virtually all of them have been funded by me personally. It was my choice. I don't expect anything from anybody.

> They have sweated and grafted thousands of hours without getting paid to place these bolts.

Me too. It was my choice. I don't expect anything from anybody.

> Rockfax benefits from this graft and investment...

The primary beneficiaries are the people climbing these routes - now well into the tens of thousands. They're the consumers. They're the ones benefitting most from 'this graft and investment'. Do I expect them to pay for the privilege? No.

Re Rockfax, I've seen enough shit guidebooks in my lifetime. Rockfax do good guidebooks, often far better than the competition. The climbing community benefits. They (hopefully) make a profit. Do I expect them to subsidise my bolting? No.

Bottom line. I don't expect anybody to subsiside my bolting. Why on earth should they? I don't expect anything from anybody. It's that simple.

Mick

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 daimon Global Crag Moderator UKH Supporter 04 Jun 2020
In reply to John2:

More pay £10 to a bolt fund each day they go climbing perhaps. 

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In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

A suggestion which you can take or leave. 

Donate bolts rather than cash, have a batch of hangers manufactured bearing the rockfax logo. This would give a very visible show of your commitment to the various areas that you support and be a bit of free advertising. 

If these hangers end up on "secret crags" so what? It reinforces with those keeping the crag secret that you are a good guy and may lead to improved relations and a relaxation of the secrecy. 

Consultancy fee waived this time. 

Post edited at 21:13
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 Rick Graham 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

> I've placed at least 2,000 bolts personally (staples, so arguably more effort than normal bolts). Virtually all of them have been funded by me personally. It was my choice. I don't expect anything from anybody.

> Me too. It was my choice. I don't expect anything from anybody.

> The primary beneficiaries are the people climbing these routes - now well into the tens of thousands. They're the consumers. They're the ones benefitting most from 'this graft and investment'. Do I expect them to pay for the privilege? No.

> Re Rockfax, I've seen enough shit guidebooks in my lifetime. Rockfax do good guidebooks, often far better than the competition. The climbing community benefits. They (hopefully) make a profit. Do I expect them to subsidise my bolting? No.

> Bottom line. I don't expect anybody to subsiside my bolting. Why on earth should they? I don't expect anything from anybody. It's that simple.

> Mick

Fair enough.

But what happens in twenty years time ??

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 juanbrein 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Fair enough.

> But what happens in twenty years time ??

And what if you can't afford 2000 bolts and you still want to develop an area that thousands of climbers can enjoy!

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 juanbrein 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Donate bolts rather than cash, have a batch of hangers manufactured bearing the rockfax logo. This would give a very visible show of your commitment to the various areas that you support and be a bit of free advertising. 

Please don't... leave the crags away from marketing and all that BS

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 Luke90 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Donate bolts rather than cash, have a batch of hangers manufactured bearing the rockfax logo. This would give a very visible show of your commitment to the various areas that you support and be a bit of free advertising.

Can't see this getting past liability concerns!

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In reply to Luke90:

I didn't mean manufacture the bolts himself. Any of the manufacturers of hangers will do them stamped with your own logo for a large enough order/high enough price a simple matter of changing the die from pretzel to rf. 

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In reply to juanbrein:

> Please don't... leave the crags away from marketing and all that BS

I feel your pain, but the hangers already advertise the manufacturer. The cool dude over priced draws have huge logos to make you look like a sponsored hero. Your brightly coloured euro pants, t shirt, rope bag all carry huge advertising logos. A discrete stamp on a bolt makes sod all difference. 

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 Luke90 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> I didn't mean manufacture the bolts himself.

I didn't think for a second that was what you meant. I just doubt that Alan wants the complication of having his logo stamped on bolts, with an implied endorsement of their safety, both now and for an unknown length of time into the future, with little idea who placed them or how good a job they did.

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> Rafa, please ignore the dislikes. UKClimbing has a mob mentality and they try to shut people down when the truth gets too uncomfortable. Don't let them intimidate you. Keep sharing your views.

You seem to be fairly active in a forum that you evidently hold in such low regard.

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In reply to Luke90:

Petzl, fixe et al all seem happy to have their name on the kit. 

If the bolt is poorly placed, it tends to be the placement that fails not the hardware. 

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In reply to Rick Graham:

> Fair enough.

Well, you say 'fair enough' Rick, like that just squares things - but it sure wasn't fair enough to the guy to whom I replied.

> But what happens in twenty years time ??

And 40, 60, 80, 100, 120... get the picture? You want to move the goalposts - let's move them.

Personally I've given not insignificent sums of money to bolt funds to re-equip - in this country and in Spain. And I pay a (very small) standing order each month to the local bolt fund to re-equip. But, over a year, or ten or 20 years, it's going to add up. So personally I think I'm doing all I reasonably can. I've spent a certain amount of time on general maintenance (clearing loose rock, fixing access ropes, making paths, banging in belay stakes). When I'm too old to climb (not long now!) I'll happily re-equip, knackered back permitting.

So that's my choice. Other people have their choices.

Let's take the worst case scenario. Let's say that every route I've done has a 20 year shelf life. Let's say that people don't put money into bolt funds. They don't get their hands dirty, rebolting. OK, after 20 years, if the routes haven't been re-equipped, let's class them as dangerous and leave them for evermore. At least they'll have given 20 years of pleasure - which is a hell of a lot more than nothing.

Mick

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 Luke90 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Petzl, fixe et al all seem happy to have their name on the kit.

> If the bolt is poorly placed, it tends to be the placement that fails not the hardware. 

Which is precisely why Rockfax wouldn't want to be in the position of publicly endorsing particular bolt placements by attaching their name to them. A badly-placed Petzl bolt doesn't reflect badly on Petzl because they sell bolts to anybody willing to pay for them and everybody knows that. It's quite a different proposition for Rockfax to attach their brand to bolts they're giving away to people who they're in no position to judge the competence of when some could still, rightly or wrongly, see it as an endorsement.

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 tehmarks 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

If a placement fails you can hardly blame Petzl when the hardware is found at the bottom of the crag, wholly intact. Petzl obviously didn't bolt the crag. You might, however, misinterpret and feel a bit aggrieved at Rockfax if you thought that they had a hand in actually equipping the route. Even if not, you might fancy being unreasonable and dragging Rockfax into a liability argument over the cost of your injuries.

Seems like a big can of worms waiting to be opened in ten years time.

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In reply to juanbrein:

> And what if you can't afford 2000 bolts and you still want to develop an area that thousands of climbers can enjoy!

Start a publicly-accessible bolt fund?

As has been suggested plenty of times on this thread already.

I also note that the OP seems to want money for bolting climbs that are not publicly accessible. Not to be enjoyed by thousands of people. Local climbs for local people, but funded by non-local people. A very bizarre demand.

Post edited at 00:50
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 Andy Gamisou 05 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

> I also note that the OP seems to want money for bolting climbs that are not publicly accessible. Not to be enjoyed by thousands of people. Local climbs for local people, but funded by non-local people. A very bizarre demand.

On the other hand they've already paid, out of their own pockets, for thousands of bolts that have equipped routes that are enjoyed by non-local climbers.  Even if donated bolts/money goes to equipping "private" sectors - so what?  Do these generally remain "private" for long?  In my experience, no.

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 Andy Gamisou 05 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

Mind you, I also tend to agree with Alan that these things aren't about money, but are about a sense of ownership and control.  This is certainly my experience as someone who's documented (at his own (not inconsiderable) expense, with no profits expected or given) a location as a foreigner - albeit one who's lived there for 15 years.

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In reply to tehmarks:

Using your logic, the ubiquitous patagonia sticker proudly displayed in the back window of the stereotypical climbers transporter van makes Yvon Choinard responsible for said van being poorly parked. 

Post edited at 06:31
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In reply to Rafa:

As a minor hijack, I don't mind the secrecy too much and can understand reasons for it. 

The developers have put in the work, let them enjoy it until they are finished/bored with the crag and move onto the next one. We have a history of similar actions in the UK. Eventually the crag leaks out and the pesky developers move on to their next project.

Early ascents on euro limestone are more likely to involve "unexpected" cleaning so it is safer to have fewer people at the crag. 

It all adds to the enjoyment of a trip to Spain, a bit of a side challenge, can we find a secret crag? 

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In reply to anyone:

I really don't get a lot of this debate.

Case 1 - new route - being bolted by someone who then climbs the route (1st ascent) - the main beneficiary from this is surely the climber in question - why should anyone else have to pay for their benefit. Other beneficiaries (subsequent people who climb the route) is purely a spin-off consequence and not a reason why the route was created/bolted.

Case 2 - new route - being bolted by someone for the benefit of others but funded by that person doing the bolting - does real altruism like this actually happen? Where someone else does the first ascent and the bolter isn't bothered about climbing the route (and I mean something beyond beneficial "swaps" like climber A bolts route A and climbs route B whilst climber B bolts route B and climbs route A).

Case 3 - rebolting - here I can see that a (climbing) public service is being done and there is a reasonable argument that any parts of the climbing community (climbers, equipment/clothing manufacturers, guidebook producers, etc) that benefit from that rebolting should contribute to that rebolting. 

I'd bet that Gary Gibson doesn't bolt loads of routes primarily because he wants loads of climbers to enjoy more different bits of rock. Of course that's an extra bonus which he's aware of and may get some satisfaction from (and may be his primary reason for rebolting), but surely Gary's primary reason is because he just loves creating routes (I am not implying chipping etc here) and climbing bits of rock that no one else has touched before. He asks people to donate, but doesn't (as far as I've ever seen) expect them to. Presumably because he knows that the primary beneficiary of his (initial) bolting is himself.

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 Big Bruva 05 Jun 2020
In reply to planetmarshall:

> You seem to be fairly active in a forum that you evidently hold in such low regard.

This is nothing, I also read the Daily Mail!

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 Big Bruva 05 Jun 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

> Bottom line. I don't expect anybody to subsiside my bolting. Why on earth should they? I don't expect anything from anybody. It's that simple.

That's great, thank you, but unless you're advocating that all bolting be funded by the individuals who equip the routes, I'm not sure what your point is.

In Mallorca, the locals community have decided to fund their bolts through topo apps and have set up a system for achieving this. Alan appears to be willing to respect their wishes by contributing proceeds from his guidebook. Seems to me like a good plan, especially in a maritime environment where the most expensive bolts on the market are required to provide safe climbing. Individual equippers - especially Damion's "legacy" climbers - might be tempted to go for cheaper options, even though their legacy will soon be a rusted line of bolts up a rock face!

Also it's not a plausible argument to say that in 20 years time someone (who?) will just classify these routes as dangerous and that's the end of the story. That decision has to be made by an expert who surveys the bolts over their lifespan (corrosion is often invisible) and the bolts removed when they are deemed unsafe. Corroded bolts left in rock climbs are like landmines.

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 Big Bruva 05 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Rafa's words - "Bad relations because the perpetual Balearic Federation is mafia."

> Beginning to see the problem BB?

Believe you me, I am well placed to appreciate how local politics can undermine climbing communities. However, I really don't think you need to get involved in this. A donation of €2000 pays for 15 well-equipped routes according to Rafa's calculations. Finding experienced equippers to bolt just 15 lines shouldn't be difficult. Just look at the effort Mike Ward has been willing to contribute. Bolting associations are necessary for fund-raising, but this is not your issue; you just need individuals to place your bolts. 

Giving bolts to motivated equippers only becomes complicated when conditions are placed on their use. If you really want to control this aspect (it appears you're not actually that bothered), then you could always get someone from Rockfax involved. 

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In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Using your logic, the ubiquitous patagonia sticker proudly displayed in the back window of the stereotypical climbers transporter van makes Yvon Choinard responsible for said van being poorly parked. 

Not quite the same though is it? Not only are we supplying the bolts, we are also publicising this action on our media channels and producing the guidebook to tell people how to get there and what there is to climb.

The legal advice I have says this is a non-starter anyway, but thanks for the suggestions.

Alan

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> Believe you me, I am well placed to appreciate how local politics can undermine climbing communities. However, I really don't think you need to get involved in this.

Unfortunately you do though if the alternative to a central federation/bolt fund is half a dozen disparate groups that don't necessarily get on with each other. My way round this is to try and find the locals who just get on with it and work with them. Rafa might be that person although the locals I have successfully worked with tend to be more 'co-operative' in their approach shall we say. However, I have had exchanges with Rafa before on email in the past (not recently) and I know he is a good guy. 

> Finding experienced equippers to bolt just 15 lines shouldn't be difficult. Just look at the effort Mike Ward has been willing to contribute.

I am reliably informed by virtually everyone in local areas that finding people to rebolt routes is a far bigger problem even than finding money to pay for the bolts.

> Bolting associations are necessary for fund-raising, but this is not your issue; you just need individuals to place your bolts. 

See reply above. Bolting associations, climbing federations are great if the locals respect them and they work well together. That obviously isn't happening on Mallorca although I know of some other local climbers who are fine with the Mallorca federation. The FFME, responsible for lots of bolting in France,  are regarded with similar suspicion in many areas.

> Giving bolts to motivated equippers only becomes complicated when conditions are placed on their use. If you really want to control this aspect (it appears you're not actually that bothered), then you could always get someone from Rockfax involved. 

No, it doesn't make it more complicated, it makes it simpler if both sides have agreed to work on a specific task.

Alan

Post edited at 09:21
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 tehmarks 05 Jun 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I didn't say it was right, I said it was an association that some idiot, somewhere, may some day make. And we both know how good the world is at making better idiots. Take a look at a look at a Macdonalds coffee cup for a prime example: 'caution: contents may be hot'. No sh' Sherlock. We both understand that - but some idiot, somewhere, didn't.

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In reply to juanbrein:

> And what if you can't afford 2000 bolts and you still want to develop an area that thousands of climbers can enjoy!

My personal response would be, "Tough. I can't afford it, so I can't do it."

And before we get into a 'rich climbers versus poor climbers' debate, the bolting referred to was over an almost 20 year period. Every staple has been hand-made from the raw steel. Safety in terms of fixed gear has never been compromised by cost. But other costs (e.g. personal equipment) have been cut to the bone.

Mick

P.S. Apologies for not replying to your post yesterday. Somehow I missed it.

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 Iamgregp 05 Jun 2020
In reply to daimon:

I don't know what the point of your post is? 

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think I said that it was up to guidebooks to fund anything, in fact if anything my post just backs up what you say, that the contribution from guidebook sales is a drop in the ocean compared to the total cost (and work) that goes into developing an area.  

If you're going to link to the donations page giving it the big one about "just look at what one publisher has fed back to the climbing industry" then forgive me for pointing out that some the figures are f*cking paltry. 

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 Iamgregp 05 Jun 2020
In reply to Michael Hood:

I met Claude Idoux out in Kalymnos.  He's bolted hundreds of mid to low grade routes simply because he wants people to enjoyment.  He saw that we had drawn a heart next to one of his routes and told us "this for me is why I do this, to know people enjoy the route"

So yes.  Altruism does exist.

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 Big Bruva 05 Jun 2020
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I really don't get a lot of this debate.

I think that's because you see the bolter as having the right to make the first ascent of their route. This is quite a UK-centric mindset and isn't understood by many continental climbers. The vast majority of new sport routes on the continent become open projects as soon as they have been bolted. People care about their own ascent, but don't really care who makes the first one. Equippers often get a mention in the guidebook (usually a token gesture in the introduction section) but not the climber who makes the first redpoint ascent of the routes.

Back in the 80s, French climber J-B Tribout was perplexed by the British way and initially didn't respect the bolter's 'right' to make the first ascent. It should be noted that some pretty average climbers were bolting hard routes and taking a couple of years to redpoint them, whereas a better climber could have done them in a day. Tribout ended up climbing these routes but intentionally dropping off the final hold so as to respect the bolter's 'right' to be the first to grab the chain on redpoint (you could grab the chain and claim the ascent back then too).

An awful lot of this debate is about cultural values so it's ok not to get it. However in my experience, respecting the cultural norms of a place you visit is almost always the best way.

> Case 2 - new route - being bolted by someone for the benefit of others but funded by that person doing the bolting - does real altruism like this actually happen?

This does happen. Last year I was climbing at a new crag in Spain that was being bolted single-handedly by a Frenchman who had given up climbing himself. However I don't think it was about altruism. I think he saw those routes as a means to express himself, give meaning to his life and perhaps win respect from climbers. There was also a slightly disturbing territorial vibe to the whole thing. But to be honest it was win-win for everyone involved. 

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In reply to Big Bruva:

> That's great, thank you, but unless you're advocating that all bolting be funded by the individuals who equip the routes, I'm not sure what your point is.

At the risk of being repetitive, my point is that I don't expect any help, financial or otherwise, from others (apart from a few mates, where we share costs and effort).

I'm not advocating that all bolting should be funded by X, Y, or Z. I'm not advocating anything. Conversely you (and others on here) do seem to be advocating such funding, based on your experience of the hardship of bolting. Well I beg to disagree.

> Also it's not a plausible argument to say that in 20 years time someone (who?) will just classify these routes as dangerous and that's the end of the story. That decision has to be made by an expert who surveys the bolts over their lifespan (corrosion is often invisible) and the bolts removed when they are deemed unsafe. Corroded bolts left in rock climbs are like landmines.

It was a worst case scenario, no more. You could put plastic sleeves over the first staple or two on a route, glue them and your 'landmines' would be inaccessible. Is this what I want? No, of course not. Is it likely to happen? No. Re-equipping is going on (though there's a huge burden on one person).

But my point to Rick is that I can't legislate for the future. I probably won't be around in 20 years and I certainly won't in 40. Should the fact that clearly I can't guarantee the upkeep of the routes for the next 100 years have stopped me bolting them in the first place? In my opinion, no.

> In Mallorca, the locals community have decided to fund their bolts through topo apps and have set up a system for achieving this. Alan appears to be willing to respect their wishes by contributing proceeds from his guidebook. Seems to me like a good plan...

Well, that's surely what we need - good plans in different areas. While they may well differ according to local cultures, I would respectfully suggest that localism and politics (e.g. petty mafias) are unhelpful and tolerance and goodwill are the way forward.

To take Daimon's point above:

> I suggest that perhaps climbers pay £10 each to go climbing each day like they would at a wall and then your problems would be solved, but expect no one would do that.

If loads of climbers simply made a standing order of £5 or five euros or five dollars per month to their local bolt funds and made modest one-off payments to the local bolt funds when they went to another area (e.g. climbing holidays abroad), there would be loads of money.

Getting skilled help to re-equip is another matter. But we're largely discussing money on this thread.

Mick (sorry to be so long-winded but I've tried to respond to your various points)

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In reply to Michael Hood:

> Case 2 - new route - being bolted by someone for the benefit of others but funded by that person doing the bolting - does real altruism like this actually happen? Where someone else does the first ascent and the bolter isn't bothered about climbing the route (and I mean something beyond beneficial "swaps" like climber A bolts route A and climbs route B whilst climber B bolts route B and climbs route A).

Yes, such altruism does happen. A while back John Arran (of this parish) mentioned bolting some routes in Ariege and leaving them for others to make the first ascents. I'm guessing they were pretty good routes too.

Last year, I did 15 FAs and gave eight to others. Admittedly the eight were ones I wasn't bothered about. A mate, John Leonard, is immeasurably more altruistic than me. He was out last night bolting a route with/for someone. He's always helping out, whether it's bolting, rebolting, taking beginners out, improving access, etc. There are loads of ways to help. Everyone can help. Everyone.

> I'd bet that Gary Gibson doesn't bolt loads of routes primarily because he wants loads of climbers to enjoy more different bits of rock. Of course that's an extra bonus which he's aware of and may get some satisfaction from (and may be his primary reason for rebolting), but surely Gary's primary reason is because he just loves creating routes (I am not implying chipping etc here) and climbing bits of rock that no one else has touched before. He asks people to donate, but doesn't (as far as I've ever seen) expect them to. Presumably because he knows that the primary beneficiary of his (initial) bolting is himself.

Yes, Gary does love creating routes and no, he doesn't expect financial help, though he will accept it. (It's still a tiny fraction of what he pays out.)  However, over recent years, Gary has spent more and more time re-equipping routes, irrespective of whether they're his or other peoples'. There was one particularly brutal winter a few years ago, where he cleaned up neglected trad routes on Ravenstor and Beeston Tor. There's no creativity in that. It's bloody hard work.

A lot of what Gary's done in recent years is simply giving back to the climbing community, with little or no personal benefit.

Altruism exists.

Micck

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In reply to Iamgregp:

> So yes.  Altruism does exist.

That's truly great to hear; hopefully it's just me allowing my developing CoronaVirus cynicism (in the "WTF are our completely numbskull government doing" direction) to leak into other areas 😷 

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In reply to Big Bruva:

I did wonder about whether the "UK right to make the first ascent" was giving me a view that wasn't applicable elsewhere and as I responded to lamgregp, it's good to hear that I was wrong about nobody doing it altruistically.

I suppose a lot of it is coming from a trad background, whereas where the culture is pretty much all sport, it seems that the individual climbs don't matter as much unless they are groundbreaking ascents.

Post edited at 13:46
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In reply to Rafa:

I don't know how Rockfax calculates the contributions it makes to bolting in the areas it covers, but it will probably be roughly proportionate to both the profits it makes from publishing the guide and the number of foreign climbers it attracts to that area.  That seems fair and reasonable to me.  It also seems reasonable to expect that contribution to be used in a way which will benefit Rockfax's customers, and not just a local clique.

As a mere punter, when I've climbed abroad I've often found it very difficult to discover how I might make a donation to support local bolting.  Most places aren't like Kalymnos, where virtually the entire economy supports climbing and you can buy a guidebook in the supermarket.  I've never climbed in Mallorca, but in 7 or 8 visits to the Costa Blanca I don't think I've ever seen a local guidebook on sale, or come across an recognisable "climbers' bar" where I might drop a bit of change in a jar for the bolt fund.  In view of some of the comments here about "charity" maybe the locals don't want my money.

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In reply to Mick Ward:

Although I've rarely taken advantage of it, I was vaguely aware that Gary was doing more rebolting than previously, my cheeky side wonders if it's just because he hasn't left himself any lines 😁, but I know that's not really true. Hopefully he'll fully recover from his recent stroke and get to 5,000 new routes.

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In reply to Michael Hood:

Gary's got something like 49 lines to go to hit the 5,000 mark. He knows exactly where they are. And I believe people wanted him to help with bolting abroad. Obviously that's on the back burner now. One way or the other, he will recover and hit the 5,000 mark. However cleaning and bolting takes a brutal toll on your body, that's something with which all equippers will agree, I think. So, with what's happened, he'll need to be careful for ever more.

I can assure you that, when Gary was rebolting and re-equipping, he was also doing a fearsome amount of new routes too. And there were whole areas for which he just hadn't got time to visit. He's also done a huge amount of guidebook work.

Altruism exists. There are a lot of people out there, quietly getting on with stuff (e.g. guidebook work for neglected areas). I guess 'climbing consumerism' (e.g. simply viewing crags as outdoor climbing walls) is more noticeable and the giving back is less noticeable. But it's still there.

Whatever the differences between the major protagonists on this thread, probably a commonality is that they all want to give back to the climbing community.

Altruism exists.

Mick

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In reply to Mick Ward:

> He's also done a huge amount of guidebook work.

Funnily enough I was looking at my 89 staffs grit guide the other day and noticed that he'd done several of the crags. Just looking again now and I see he's basically done half the crags, especially anything obscure - he was Volume Compiler so presumably if he couldn't find someone else to write up a crag then he'd just go and do it.

I hadn't realised he was so close to 5,000. It's a gobsmacking amount of new routes. Also we tend to nowadays think of him as the quintessential sports route new router, when of course he came from a trad background and did loads of new routes on grit and elsewhere. 

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In reply to Presley Whippet:

The ASCA does this in the US. It's a national non-profit supported by donations from individual climbers, retailers, equipment manufacturers, guidebook publishers and others, such as the American Alpine Club.

The focus is the replacement of unsafe anchors. Rebolters and projects are approved, and then get their supplies directly from the ASCA. All the hardware is camouflaged and stamped "ASCA".

Seems to me like a good way to avoid the pitfalls of localism or misuse of funds.

https://www.safeclimbing.org/index.htm

Post edited at 19:35
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In reply to Jonathan Lagoe - UKC:

Alan clearly understands more about the legal pitfalls than I do. I can see how a failure could lead to reputational damage if spun in a negative way. 

The negative to adopting this approach with an eye on the PR/advertising aspects is that this takes over and all that is supplied is branded hangers, no bolts no chains, no crabs, no maillons. Maximising advertising return on investment. 

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 Rafa 05 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Actually my reply, that you replied to, was to Big Bruva.

> I have sent you an email Rafa.

> Alan

Thank you very much, Alan, for the email and have decided to collaborate, I replied, I promise you all that material will go for routes that appear in the guide.

EDIT: 

We always try to rebolt the routes that need it most, that have more repetitions and we try to make them of all kinds of grades.

Best regards

Rafa Ramírez

Post edited at 22:46
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 Iamgregp 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Very good!  Love Ram's Horn's lower offs...

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 Baz P 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

A good outcome I also think.

All we have to do now is get Google Maps and Apple Maps to contribute to my local council's road repairs. Perhaps we should get Rafa on to it.

Post edited at 15:41
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 Gary Gibson 19:36 Tue
In reply to Mick Ward:

I’m sorry for passing my own comments on this thread but I am being hindered considerably by my rehab, the reduced level of peripheral vision in my left eye and awaiting more tests on my heart, 24 hour monitor test and echocardiogram to identify exactly where my brain clot was fired off from but I am determined to overcome another big hurdle in my life...Ive had enough already but I am determined to get to that personal and it’s personal to me despite what other people think but the exact number left is 46, which for me should, all being well will be achieved ‘in the blink of an eye and I can lay down my drill and cleaning equipment once and for all?

as for my web site, I started it around 20 years ago and my intention was to produce updates on new routes, obviously my new routes from an egotistical point of view as and when they have been done. I have always been comfortable with other people or guidebook writers using the info as it would be overly presumptuous for them not to use it. Of course I have had issues with people copying the information verbatim and I raised this issue with Alan JAmes and team who have scanned their databases and resolved the matter now and for the future to my satisfaction and to my mind, that draws a line under the marker once and for all, thank goodness!

AS for my regearing efforts, I take the attitude that I accepted the responsibility of trying to maintain these routes and regeared them for the future as best as I could, no matter the cost despite it costing me a lot of physical effort and drive and cost..now estimated at around £90,00, as well as almost costing me my life at BAn Y GOr buts what I do! But I have considerable support moneytarially from sections of the climbing community as well as from ROckfax, the BmcS ‘better boots campaign, which I am sad has now stopped due to financial reasons on their part. As for the cleaning and tidying up of other Crags like Beeston Tor and parts of Dovedale and other Crags was the fear that if they weren’t done, they may be lost as I remembered and loved them forever. It involved numerous days in almost Baltic conditions awinging on a rope stripping ivy in agreement with Natural England an the National Trust until I became a block of ice just pendulum back and forth on a rope until I returned home to thaw out! You may call it altruism but this is my obsession and something I want to give back to the climbing community. Of course I have tried to analyse my obsession in my autobiography but how ever much I enjoyed the reflections of my time in climbing it just compelled me to do even more and I have to reach that target come what may. Yes it’s obsessional but it’s almost a psychosis that no one will ever understand, especially not me! In reality I’d be a psychologist’s dream or even nightmare but I won’t stop until I am done. One final comment but I have to sign off with an apology if this reads in a garbled manner but stroke tires me quickly and I have to rest early at night. And thank you for your kind comments and your support during the past few years. Gary 

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In reply to Gary Gibson:

Hope you make a swift and full recovery ASAP Gary and can get back out there and find more routes to do!

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