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Squeezed in sport at Wildcat

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 Brown 12 Oct 2020

Does anybody know anything about the line of new looking hangerless bolt stubs between Clash of Arms (E4 6b) and the Great Cleft (E2 5c) at  Wildcat?

Having climbed Clash of Arms yesterday I can state that the lower bolts (would if they had hangers) effectively retrobolt the E4 with only the last couple up the hanging arete above providing independent climbing.

I cant see anything regarding this line online.

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 Ian Milward 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Brown:

The hangerless bolts were there on Thursday - I noticed them when removing the encroaching ivy from Great Cleft (something I'd been meaning to do for ages). Saw someone (wearing a bright green top) up there on Saturday afto as I was cycling down the A6...

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 Graeme Hammond 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Brown:

Don't know were I got the idea but I was under the impression other than New Bridge Buttress Wildcat was considered a bolt free crag

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 Brown 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Ian Milward:

Thanks for removing the ivy on Great Cleft. I noted it was a recent clean as we climbed it.

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 Ian Milward 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Brown:

Pleased to be of service  

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 JamieSparkes 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

are there not bolts on that buttress already? on a couple of the e4/5s?

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 Brown 12 Oct 2020
In reply to JamieSparkes:

There is one old bolt on The Catcuss Furballs Connection (E5 6b).

This is nowhere near that.

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 Philb1950 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Brown:

Some bolts are being placed by Mark Pretty. I saw him recently in the cafe near Willesley and he told me about it. Don’t think he’s published descriptions yet though

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 Gary Gibson 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Ian Milward:

Good effort Ian.

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 Martin Hore 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> Some bolts are being placed by Mark Pretty. 

Of all the Peak limestone crags I would have thought Wildcat is the chief contender for keeping fully trad. What's going on here and has anyone approved it?

Martin

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 JamieSparkes 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Brown:

ah, its this one i was thinking of Stolen Jewel (E5 6b)

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 Philb1950 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Hore:

I’d have thought, if anywhere that should be High Tor, but there are now bolts there. In reality that trad. argument has been lost, as bolting encroaches onto former trad. areas and the retro bolting of routes. Who if anyone would you think should approve the action and please don’t say the BMC.

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In reply to JamieSparkes:

> ah, its this one i was thinking of Stolen Jewel (E5 6b)

Correct. Two bolts on that buttress, one on The Catcuss Furballs Connection (E5 6b) and  the other on Stolen Jewel (E5 6b) both placed in the mid 1980s. These routes are on either side of the new project.

What would worry me about this new line is that there isn't that much space and Clash of Arms (E4 6b) swings right at mid height, however, the headwall above is a blank and unclimbed bit of rock.

Alan

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 Brown 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I think this is compounded by the E4 climbing slightly further to the right than the text of the guides suggest.

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In reply to Brown:

> I think this is compounded by the E4 climbing slightly further to the right than the text of the guides suggest.

Ok, I have further info. It does join Clash of Arms (E4 6b) but needs some wires for that section. Not yet repointed.

Alan

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 Brown 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Having climbed Clash of Arms at the weekend I'd suggest it retrobolts the lower section (as I observed it on Sunday) as when we climbed it we commented that we could have put wires over the bolt stubs and span the nuts with our fingers.

The top section was independent.

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In reply to Brown:

I wish Clash of Arms (E4 6b) had had bolts on it in May, that way I might not have broken my leg falling off it. 

Though as I took the gear I’d placed out it anyway, perhaps it would have made no difference. 

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 Martin Hore 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> I’d have thought, if anywhere that should be High Tor, but there are now bolts there. In reality that trad. argument has been lost, as bolting encroaches onto former trad. areas and the retro bolting of routes. Who if anyone would you think should approve the action and please don’t say the BMC.

Why should I not say the BMC? At top level it may be currently dysfunctional but from what I've read on here BMC area meetings are still functioning well and IMO that's where local bolting policy should be decided.

In my experience (quite a lot at HS - HVS) Wildcat is one of the best Peak District crags for middle grade climbers wanting a little adventure with their climbing, Almost all routes at those grades have very adequate trad. protection. There is no excuse in my view to retrobolt any of those routes, nor to bolt any eliminates between them if the bolts can be reached from those routes. I would have thought that just about makes any bolting at Wildcat unjustifiable.

On what basis has "that trad. argument been lost"?

Martin

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In reply to Martin Hore:

I completely agree.

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 Lankyman 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Hore:

I hope you get this sorted out, Martin. As you're no doubt aware retro bolting has been going on for years in the Dales without consultation.

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In reply to Martin Hore:

> There is no excuse in my view to retrobolt any of those routes, nor to bolt any eliminates between them if the bolts can be reached from those routes. I would have thought that just about makes any bolting at Wildcat unjustifiable.

I am pretty much in full agreement with you about retro-bolting all the trad lines at Wildcat. I know most of the people active at bolting in the Peak District and I am confident that none of them is remotely thinking about doing anything like that.

Peak Limestone has survived very well for years with most crags having a mix of sport and trad. There are some examples of retro-bolted routes but, in the main, this hasn't happened to any great extent. Where it has the route was either severely neglected, or relied on plenty of fixed gear in the first place.

In this particular case a project which has been obvious and known about for years - the direct finish to Clash of Arms (E4 6b) - has attracted attention. This was always going to need some fixed gear. These days the tendency is to create complete bolt routes rather than the half-cooked things we dallied with in the 1980s. There are arguments here but in general, I am in favour of doing a proper job once you create a bolted route. It does sound like it might have interfered with the existing trad line of Clash of Arms. That is the debate here, not whether or not Wildcat should be bolt free. It isn't and hasn't been for years albeit to only a small degree. Willersley is similar but much more significant example - sport and trad living closely together. 

I think that trying to define crags in this way has never worked in the past and is usually an attempt to cure a problem that simply isn't there - namely the wholesale retro-bolting of trad crags.

Yorkshire Limestone is another matter entirely!

Alan

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 Brown 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I hope that the bolt positioning of a number of bolts on this line is a mistake resulting from ambiguity in the line of the existing trad route and that this will be corrected.

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In reply to Philb1950:

> I’d have thought, if anywhere that should be High Tor, but there are now bolts there. In reality that trad. argument has been lost, as bolting encroaches onto former trad. areas and the retro bolting of routes. Who if anyone would you think should approve the action and please don’t say the BMC.

The bolts on Big Cigar have turned the 3 star E5, Fantasia, into an E3/4 apparently. There’s now a bolt clippable in the middle of the crux. Big Cigar looks like a great pitch though so maybe Simon should take it out/re-position it? I think sport and trad can co-exist on the same crag, but it’s tricky maintaining that balance.

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In reply to Tom Briggs:

I think trad routes should be given a decent bit of elbow room if sport routes are going in nearby. Personally I think any adjacent bolt should be no closer than a metre away from as far as you can reach from the trad route. So by that I mean as far as you can reach + 1 m.

Post edited at 19:29
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 Andy Say 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> In reality that trad. argument has been lost, as bolting encroaches onto former trad. areas and the retro bolting of routes. Who if anyone would you think should approve the action and please don’t say the BMC.

The BMC Area.

Who do you think should approve the removal of those bolts?

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 Andy Say 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:a

"Im pretty much in full agreement with you about retro-bolting ANY of the trad lines at Wildcat."

Fixed that for you, Alan.

Why do think Yorkshire is different?

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 UKB Shark 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Tom Briggs:

News to me. I certainly had Party in the Park in mind when bolting so it didn’t affect that but I’ve never done Fantasia so it didn’t ‘cross’ my mind once I’m afraid which was remiss. 

Don’t the other bolted routes left of Castellan affect Fantasia as well? 

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 Ian Milward 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Tom Briggs:

 I think sport and trad can co-exist on the same crag, but it’s tricky maintaining that balance.

I thought so too but then Lorry Park happened...

Post edited at 22:55
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 Martin Hore 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Mark S Davies:

> I think trad routes should be given a decent bit of elbow room if sport routes are going in nearby. Personally I think any adjacent bolt should be no closer than a metre away from as far as you can reach from the trad route. So by that I mean as far as you can reach + 1 m.

That sounds very reasonable, but one metre away from where? You're assuming everyone climbs the trad route the same way. One of the joys of trad climbing is finding the easiest (for you), quite possibly wandering, line up a piece of rock surrounded by harder options. That's taken away if someone bolts the harder option next door potentially making it an easier option. 

I can foresee a situation where the presence of a bolt a metre out of reach of the "normal" trad line (whatever that is) encourages you to vary the line, clip the bolt and lessen your experience.

Perhaps there are buttresses at Wildcat that are candidates for bolts. Perhaps the one in question is one of them. But I don't believe trad and sport mix well on the same buttress, at least not at the grades I climb. If more capable climbers than me are happy to climb existing E4 or E5 trad climbs next to bolts that's up to them of course. 

Martin

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 UKB Shark 16 Oct 2020
In reply to UKB Shark:

Got in touch with John Codling the first ascentionist. He didn’t recall any poorly protected sections (except for the second!) and is happy for the bolt to stay in. However, I will have a look next time I’m there to see if repositioning works now I’ve worked it where it crosses.

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In reply to Martin Hore:

I agree. It should be (at least) a metre beyond ALL possibilities. Trad routes should not be compromised by nearby bolts.

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 Iamgregp 17 Oct 2020
In reply to Mark S Davies:

Call me obtuse but you could just ignore the bolts off to one side of your trad route?

Cue the dislikes! Asking a trad climber to ignore a bolt is proper red rag to a bull!

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 kevin stephens 17 Oct 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

You are obtuse

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 Iamgregp 17 Oct 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

Fair comment tbh

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 GrahamD 17 Oct 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Call me obtuse but you could just ignore the bolts off to one side of your trad route?

Bit like asking people to ignore the big yellow van parked in front of a lake district viewpoint.

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 Iamgregp 17 Oct 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Which yellow van? I didn’t notice it 😜

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 Rod_Vortex 17 Oct 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

The mere fact that the bolts are there can impact the route. It changes the risk and commitment level completely.  I'd be more willing to get on routes outside my comfort zone if there was an easy escape/safety option. If you can reach out and clip a bolt if it gets too necky for you then it isn't trad, is it. 

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In reply to Iamgregp:

> Call me obtuse but you could just ignore the bolts off to one side of your trad route?


Nah. Trad routes are a thing of beauty and bolts are vulgar so should be kept well out of sight, preferably in some dismal quarry.

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 Iamgregp 17 Oct 2020
In reply to Rod_Vortex:

Yeah I can see what you mean. I know my “just ignore the bolts” suggestion was pretty silly really.  Appreciate your explanation. 

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In reply to Brown:

Leave them in, great to have more routes and that buttress is full of fixed junk  

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 Philb1950 18 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Say:

Probably anyone who’s outraged by the bolts or the first ascensionist of trad. routes should remove them. What is it about the BMC that people seem to have to abide by the decisions of an unelected self promoting and perpetuating body, who direct you where to go, when, what to climb, what’s acceptable or not and make sure you wear a helmet. On the bolts on trad., debate, Simon Nadin once placed bolts on an E5 of mine at Beeston, but I didn’t say anything to Simon, as I didn’t care. So now the two routes coexist complete with bolts.

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In reply to Philb1950:

Have to say if someone plonked a load of bolts into a trad route of mine (which has happened once, albeit unwittingly) and I was unhappy, (that time I wasn't), I'd politely ask the person to remove them. If they didn't, I'd take them out myself. So we're in agreement thus far (I hope!)

However where it isn't quite as clear-cut as that, surely the local BMC area meeting would be the operative place to debate things? And surely that's all Andy's suggesting? I view these meetings (and freely admit I don't go to 'em!) simply as a bunch of fellow climbers, of all shades of opinion, who hopefully know the area well. Democracy innit? As JFK said, t'ain't perfect (God, he wasn't joking!) but thus far in history maybe the best we've come up with?

Mick

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 UKB Shark 18 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

> What is it about the BMC that people seem to have to abide by the decisions of an unelected self promoting and perpetuating body, who direct you where to go, when, what to climb, what’s acceptable or not and make sure you wear a helmet. 

 

I’m not uncritical of the BMC, to say the least, but some of your assertions are off the mark.

As far as outdoor climbing goes, the BMC is a representative body not a governing body. Therefore it can only advise not direct.

I’m in favour of knowledgable activists sorting things out amongst themselves. However, in those instances where they can’t then, as Mick says, the local BMC  Area Meetings provide a useful forum where opposing sides can put their respective cases.

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 UKB Shark 18 Oct 2020
In reply to Philb1950:

To add to the above together with Ian Millard who posted above we drafted a fixed gear / replacement guidelines which was agreed by the BMC Peak Area. Take a look. It’s far from dictatorial!

https://community.thebmc.co.uk/GetFile.ashx?did=1599 

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