Goto Chockstone Home

  Guide
  Gallery
  Tech Tips
  Articles
  Reviews
  Dictionary
  Links
  Forum
  Search
  About

      Sponsored By
      ROCK
   HARDWARE

  Shop

Set of 11 "Wallnuts" (1 to 11) N/B NEW Anodized colours!!! New "lighter" version. Steve's favourite wired Nuts.  $169.00
15% Off

Chockstone Photography Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints





Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
Bolted route near the Mt Hay/Butterbox canyon exit

sbm
13/01/2014
3:01:17 PM
The canyoners have noticed this…quoting from Tim Volmer on OzCanyons:

> G'day folks,

>Last Thursday I did Butterbox Canyon, exiting by the common route (the easy climb from the exposed ledge after the small cave).

>About 10 - 15m back along the ledge from the usual route, a bit before the low overhang you scramble under, I noticed a line of bolts going up an alternate climb. For some reason I forgot to take a photo, but from what I could see it followed a finger-width crack up. The climb looked slightly harder than the usual route, and didn't show much sign of wear. I assume from the top of the little pitch I could see you would then head right and join the top of the usual climb out.

>Has anyone else noticed these new bolts? Does anyone know what the reason is for them? It seems like completely pointless duplication -- two climbing exits less than 15 metres apart. I also worry that it'll confuse some less experienced people exiting the canyon, especially as at a quick glance it was a harder grade than the usual climb.

> This is one of the cultural elements from rock climbers in the canyoning community that worries me. As it is the usual climb had extra bolts added a few years back, but to have new climbs breeding on a canyon exit makes you wonder when it will end. This culture of bolting every bit of rock in sight is going to leave the Blue Mountains as more steel than sandstone in a few decades time! Not to mention the impact of having lots of bolts -- of vastly differing quality -- left behind in our canyoning areas as potential risks to the unsuspecting…"

Anyone know anything about this. I remember it's pretty steep and exposed before the cave, so it sounds like "real" climb. Not going to argue the merits of it, but it's not a secret spot so a bit rude not to publish IMO.

Canyoning has generally been much more ethical than climbing in the Blueys, pretty strict no bolt stance and even no guidebooks stance, but a few retrobolts have been appearing in canyons the last few years. All for very good reasons I'm sure, and all done anonymously...Perhaps Tim (aka FatCanyoner) is right to worry. I suspect the reason most of these haven't been chopped is that most hardcore canyoners don't own the required toolkit.

shortman
13/01/2014
3:05:36 PM
I will post hacksaws Australia wide, ;P

nmonteith
13/01/2014
3:13:06 PM
Just a thought - maybe it was bolted as an alternative exit route if the original bottlenecks up with gumby punters? I've seen queues forming on the original in the past with totally inexperienced 'canyoners' attempting to be climbers.

sbm
13/01/2014
3:30:45 PM
On 13/01/2014 nmonteith wrote:
>Just a thought - maybe it was bolted as an alternative exit route if the
>original bottlenecks up with gumby punters? I've seen queues forming on
>the original in the past with totally inexperienced 'canyoners' attempting
>to be climbers.

That was mentioned, it seems likely. But still poor form to do it anonymously and without discussion.

I bet no-one in the original party that discovered that pass was consulted (Dave Noble, Tom Williams etc), they did it without bolts of course. edit: found the trip report for the original discovery of the pass. Good read actually.


nmonteith
13/01/2014
3:34:20 PM
IMHO - one of the lovely things about canyoning is the lack of bolts. I love the dodgy raps off ingeniously wedged logs and flimsy trees. The original exit on that canyon is already way way overbolted - even for a sport route. It's effectively an aid bolt ladder now.
citationx
13/01/2014
3:49:30 PM
On 13/01/2014 sbm wrote:
>On 13/01/2014 nmonteith wrote:

>I bet no-one in the original party that discovered that pass was consulted
>(Dave Noble, Tom Williams etc), they did it without bolts of course.

So now people have to get permission to consult the first cliff-finders before bolting something?
There are climbs elsewhere that are substantially closer than 15m apart and I'm not sure many people consulted the "first bolters" of the previous route...
Not quite sure what you're getting at...
(Or is this like the trad/sport thing - "It's a canyoning exit cliff, so you're not allowed to climb it! It spoils the "feel" of the exit from a canyon...")

sbm
13/01/2014
3:57:27 PM
On 13/01/2014 nmonteith wrote:
>IMHO - one of the lovely things about canyoning is the lack of bolts. I
>love the dodgy raps off ingeniously wedged logs and flimsy trees. The original
>exit on that canyon is already way way overbolted - even for a sport route.
>It's effectively an aid bolt ladder now.

Eh I don't remember it being that bad...unless more have been added?

To be honest the quiet canyon retrobolting in the Bluies is more worrying than the usual climber's shenanigans. Claustral, Whungee Wheengee, Water Dragon, Tiger Snake (chopped?) and Nightmare off the top of my head. Plus it seems to be often done by commercial guiding companies.

Maybe the theme of Festival Of The Canyon this year could be "chopping retrobolts". Dangerouser Cliffs Australia t-shirts on sale. Dave Noble wielding a hammer and crowbar.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
13/01/2014
5:46:27 PM
On 13/01/2014 sbm wrote:
>I suspect the reason most of these haven't been chopped is that most hardcore canyoners don't own the required toolkit.

It only takes a stilson and some grunt, plus some epoxy putty and gritty-dirt to fill the holes.


& later;
>To be honest the quiet canyon retrobolting in the Bluies is more worrying
>than the usual climber's shenanigans. Claustral, Whungee Wheengee, Water
>Dragon, Tiger Snake (chopped?) and Nightmare off the top of my head. Plus
>it seems to be often done by commercial guiding companies.

It is all worrying, and I am further disturbed by this canyon-retro-ing happening.
>
>Maybe the theme of Festival Of The Canyon this year could be "chopping
>retrobolts". Dangerouser Cliffs Australia t-shirts on sale. Dave Noble
>wielding a hammer and crowbar.

Dangerouser Cliffs Australia T-shirts have a logo of skull with crossed cam + wired nut, behind same...
martym
13/01/2014
11:24:10 PM
>>Has anyone else noticed these new bolts? Does anyone know what the reason
>is for them? It seems like completely pointless duplication -- two climbing
>exits less than 15 metres apart. I also worry that it'll confuse some less
>experienced people exiting the canyon, especially as at a quick glance
>it was a harder grade than the usual climb.

I've never done butterbox canyon - but my guess is someone spied a nice line and thought: what a great day out, go do a canyon & then a climb afterwards - nice combo trip.
I'm sure the description will turn up somewhere.

>> This culture of bolting every bit of rock
>in sight is going to leave the Blue Mountains as more steel than sandstone
>in a few decades time! Not to mention the impact of having lots of bolts
>-- of vastly differing quality -- left behind in our canyoning areas as
>potential risks to the unsuspecting…"
What a load of crap. The most popular canyons I've been through are filled with tat and chains and all kinds of rubbish. Two nice deeply receeded ring bolts would be far less damaging than a dozen slings and old ropes wrapped around a poor dying tree or loose boulder.

>Canyoning has generally been much more ethical than climbing in the Blueys,
>pretty strict no bolt stance and even no guidebooks stance, but a few retrobolts
>have been appearing in canyons the last few years.
Probably for the above reason. Someone realised there's more tat in the canyons than sandstone.
PThomson
14/01/2014
7:28:11 AM
Regarding to the new route at the Butterbox Canyon Exit (Which I think is a completely unrelated topic to placing bolts in the canyons themselves, though this thread seems to be working its way onto THAT tangent), I'm with martym and citationx on this one in ...

There have been trad, bolted and mixed climbs in the vicinity of the Butterbox canyon exit track since forever, and if you look around a bit you will spot them on the walk out. Why should someone NOT choose to bolt another route which -coincidentally- might be better climbing than the original doddle exit. Furthermore, you most definately AREN'T in the canyon when you get to that section of rock, so it's hardly "retroing the canyon".

Besides, the original canyon was always done dropping down into the Grose and exiting via a few possible horrible bush-bashes. If you want to call ANYTHING retroing a Canyon, the precedent was set when the CURRENT Butterbox canyon exit was bolted.

Why does bolting a new route (accepting the ethics of not bolting a PURE trad route) need to seek permission? And short of publishing details on TheCrag or Sydney Rockies, there are thousands of undocumented bolted routes in the Blueys. A lot of climbers don't subscribe the the new-school philosophy of using social media to log routes.

Seriously, this is just looking for controversy for the sake of being controversial, it's not even based on any rational argument.
climberman
14/01/2014
8:56:17 AM
I guess when canyoners are perfect we can try to be too!

sbm
14/01/2014
9:52:16 AM
Yeah I guess I am sh!t stirring. Really I'm just jealous that other people are climbing, I haven't been outside in like a week.
martym
14/01/2014
10:26:23 AM
On 14/01/2014 sbm wrote:
>Yeah I guess I am sh!t stirring. Really I'm just jealous that other people
>are climbing, I haven't been outside in like a week.

:)

I haven't climbed outdoors since August (though that was in the Dolomites)
My second baby is due in February.
Nothing like some armchair climbing discussion to ease the pain.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
14/01/2014
6:10:07 PM
On 14/01/2014 martym wrote:
>On 14/01/2014 sbm wrote:
>>Yeah I guess I am sh!t stirring. Really I'm just jealous that other people
>>are climbing, I haven't been outside in like a week.
>
>:)
>
>I haven't climbed outdoors since August (though that was in the Dolomites)
>My second baby is due in February.
>Nothing like some armchair climbing discussion to ease the pain.

Despite the kissing and making up warm'n'fuzzy campfire scene being re-established, I don't feel entirely trolled, mainly because of this originally quoted passage;
> "This is one of the cultural elements from rock climbers in the canyoning community that worries me. As it is the usual climb had extra bolts added a few years back, but to have new climbs breeding on a canyon exit makes you wonder when it will end. This culture of bolting every bit of rock in sight is going to leave the Blue Mountains as more steel than sandstone in a few decades time! Not to mention the impact of having lots of bolts -- of vastly differing quality -- left behind in our canyoning areas as potential risks to the unsuspecting…"

... I tend to agree with the bit about wondering when it (the proliferation of bolts), will end.

~> & yes, I have done Claustral Canyon, amongst others, back in the daze, so have a reasonable idea of what is achievable there without bolts.
martym
16/01/2014
10:53:16 AM
On 14/01/2014 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
> ~> & yes, I have done Claustral Canyon, amongst others, back in
>the daze, so have a reasonable idea of what is achievable there without
>bolts.

You mean 3 filthy slings, two ropes and some manky cord connected to one rusty mallion and all tied around the same small tree?
FatCanyoner
16/01/2014
9:47:41 PM
Thanks for posting this Sam. I'd been caught up and hadn't had the chance. I'm kicking myself for not taking a photo, or looking more closely at the route. As I mentioned in my original email, it follows a crack, and seemed to me (a non-climber) to look like the kind of thing a real climber would enjoy. That said, it didn't strike me as part of a bigger route, simply an alternate exit. I suppose I'm curious more than anything. If it is a simpler exit climb, then why not tell people. If it's harder, then perhaps it's worth warning people (before some hopeless canyoner gets themselves on trouble on it!)

As for the "tat v bolts" debate in canyons, I think some of you guys are doing the wrong canyons. I was recently canyoning at Glen Davis and saw one sling in a couple days of canyoning. There's plenty of good canyons where that's less of an issue. It's the popular, easy, touristy canyons that get that way. It's no surprise many climbers do those ones, given how you guys are notorious for hating a long walk-in! :-P

I have recently been hauling a whole lot of shit out of canyons (fixed ropes / old slings / general rubbish / lost items / even the waist strap from a pack...) so maybe some bolt cutting gear would be a good addition. I'll have to get some lessons from an expert though!

E. Wells
26/01/2014
7:11:37 PM
So after reading this curious post i finally returned to said canyon and there simply is no such route as the one mentioned. Nothing has changed in the last five years with the exception of a staple added nearly to flexing unreccessed single ring anchor on top of standard climb out. It didn't surprise me.

nmonteith
26/01/2014
7:38:40 PM
On 26/01/2014 E. Wells wrote:
>So after reading this curious post i finally returned to said canyon and
>there simply is no such route as the one mentioned. Nothing has changed
>in the last five years with the exception of a staple added nearly to flexing
>unreccessed single ring anchor on top of standard climb out. It didn't
>surprise me.

Maybe the 'new' route is actually been there a while. I did that canyon for the first time in late 90s and remember climbing up something with only a couple of bolts and a bit of trad and it was reasonably easy. The last time I did it (2012?) I saw a line of many bolts up a short steepish crack system - presumed this was the exit route and climb up it. I was a little confused as it didn't feel familiar to the route I had done 12 years previously...

So maybe what you consider the normal exit is in fact a 'new' route that has been there a few years already.

* my memory is pretty bad these days.

E. Wells
27/01/2014
3:34:26 PM
The route is the same one tom Williams pioneered but with four fixed hangers leading up. I do this canyon possibly more regularly than the average punter and am in no doubt about no new lines sharing the same finish. About 20m before exit clim there is a fixed hanger at shoulder height used to provide an anchor for a traverse line which is then protected by a thread and a wire along the way u til arriving at base of climb. This fixed hanger is the same vintage as those used to protect the climb. Above it is a small fingers crack leading nowhere really, with no bolts. You certainly couldn't walk across to finish of standard climb and if you could it would be hard scary trad. Really nothing has changed in a long long time (which is good) . I'm sure if you asked tom Williams he would think the addition of those hangers was a shame as there are opportunities for placements though only the first 4 meters have really good gear, but he has down climbed the whole canyon with no ropes which is pretty incredible.

There are 19 messages in this topic.

 

Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.



Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints