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The Eyrie, Mt Boyce retrobolted! Badly...
Andy P
12:01:00 PM
On 30/12/2016 timfreddo wrote:
>It was me! Get a cuppa.

>2. Andy P, You might get your chockstone anti-boredom solved with the
>discussion that is sure to follow...

You're not wrong there Tim but afraid to say you are very, very wrong retro-bolting an established route from the late '60's. Particulary without concensus.

A very well known and (prior to) highly respected old friend and housemate of mine retro'd a bunch of Peak District classic trad routes to fill all the runouts with bolts. Ruined the experience/s for many subsequent attemptees who *weren't* afraid of taking long lobs.

Good thread nonetheless.

12:10:05 PM
I'll be honest and say that seeing this has really pissed me off. But I've tried to moderate my response (within reason) to be less hostile.


When I'm out bush-bashing to obscure climbs, or exploring to find new climbs of my own, I regularly come across untouched sections of cliff in a similar vein to The Eyrie or Bellbird Wall. I don't bolt them because I have no interest in developing climbs that easy, but all it takes is the act of walking 5min away from the established cliffs to find your own pieces of real-estate that can be developed (hopefully tastefully) as you wish. The key there is: walking AWAY from the existing real-estate. Not even bothering to find and develop your own climbs, and just wack extra bolts in an established climb is merely an act of indulgent laziness, and nothing more (because the potential easily exists to create climbs at the grade AS good or BETTER than The Eyrie, in a style that suits your own objectives, without perverting an existing classic).

The audacity to deface an established climb -one put up in the 60's, no less- without any attempt at consultation, and try and justify it as a form of "traffic smoothing" is transcending into a whole new realm of selfishness, and almost unfathomable to me. Even if it was a mistake, and you do go out and remove the bolts, the fact is that you have now damaged the rock, and no amount of concealing or creative camouflage will ever change that. It seems a bit hypocritical to be worried about people "hacking the rock away with an angle grinder", considering the first step in defacing the rock was yours alone.

If this was a route that saw zero ascents, perhaps there might be an argument to resurrect it, but in reality that comparison to the Organ Pipes at Arapiles is pretty valid, within the con text of Blue Mountains climbing (as opposed to Arapiles climbing).

I suspect that you're trying to turn The Eyrie into a guide-able route, and that that is the real reason that this got retro'd, and all other "reasons presented" are merely an attempt to justify this beyond the obvious selfishness. When I look at the stuff you've climbed over the years, it seems so strange to me that you -of ALL categories of Blueys climbers- would even be capable of entertaining the notion of retro-ing this.

Why don't we all climb Janicepts at 21M0? You're free to do that, or to climb it free at 21, but either of those ways of climbing it doesn't change the nature of the route from it's original style. If you start stitching it up with bolts, it does.

These climbs have history. Have been tackled without drama for -literally- decades. There has ALWAYS been an etiquette of how to address rebolting/retrobolting/modernising climbs (even back to the days of Joe Brown and co), and while there have been SOME deviations, generally speaking climbers have been respectful of that etiquette (or at the very least, hash out the for-and-against arguments BEFORE they go retrobolting).

And why do they "need" to be modernised? If there wasn't a scrap of rock left in The Blueys to find, maybe there might be an argument there, but there is substantially more quality rock WAITING to be developed than has already been developed. All it takes is a relatively small investment of time and energy.

EDIT: Oh, and for what it's worth, I DO respect the fact that you had the balls to admit responsibility for the retro-bolting, ESPECIALLY on this hive of condemnation we call Chockstone.

E. Wells
2:02:13 PM
I would like to rebolt 'Another Mans Juliet' and 'Sweet Irish'. Just to replace bashies. My intention was to use stainless 100mm machine bolts with a little extra rough and notch glued in with hilti epoxy , however online (as opposed to local) consensus does not favour placing bolt plates any longer , so how should I replace these carrots? I have removed carrots that were withered to 1 inch inside the hole on other old (80s , not so old) climbs before. Not particularily interested in technical advice. Moreso how should I replace bashies if I decide that I have the time , energy and money.
Mr Curly
2:18:26 PM
The citadel has been stormed!

This is a travesty. Although the person responsible now appears to be committed to removing the new bolts it is worthwhile highlighting the deficiencies in the thinking that led to their placement.

I agree with some, not all, of the general thoughts of timfreddo, but they donít lead me to the same conclusion.

Yes, it would be good to have some more grade 10-15 & 15-18 multi pitch routes. But Boyce will hardly fill that gap given the wall is barely 50m high. And yes, there are many old routes that were poorly protected {Honeycomb at Porters comes to mind: used to be graded 14} and see no traffic at all. But The Eyrie is not one of them. I have been there many times in the last few years, mid-week included, and there is always another party seeking to do the route. Why? Because it is an absolute classic AND an important piece of climbing history.

Contrary to the post, it is not poorly protected and although there are runout sections these are many grades below the crux moves on either pitch. The natural protection is, comparative to other climbs, easy to find and place. Donít own a rack? Then donít do mixed or natural routes. It is not expecting too much for a simple rack to be considered essential equipment once you start to lead.

There needs to be a distinction made between easy (low grade) and beginner climbs. The Eyrie is an easy climb but not a beginners climb. We need to allow for and acknowledge the benefits of there being climbs that suit absolute beginners, and then climbs that have adequate protection for people pushing the grade and then climbs that require a bit more thought.

Totally agree with the frustration of there being so many climbs > grd 20 with a bolt a metre through the crux but climbs < grd 15 are death routes. At the risk of sounding old .. if you think itís bad now Ö. you shoulda been around in the Ď80s. The solution is not retro bolting a mega classic but adding new routes: and itís been and is being done. Have you tried Boadicea: modern multi pitch (must admit havenít done it myself yet) There is also a 3 pitch grd 15 at Reservoir Dogs.

What is lost in the thinking behind the addition of the bolts, is that just as there needs to be beginner routes for leaders, there needs to be routes that allow teaching the placement and removal of natural gear Ė on a climb, not just standing on the ground. And the wall that contains The Eyrie is one such place: the low angle allows time to work things out.

Some other points:
- Why should old climbs be stuck in the past: because they reflect the period in which they were first ascended. Take a walk down Macquarie St Sydney some time: those old sandstone buildings donít look half bad.
- Climbers did wear helmets all those years ago: my first was called a ĎJoe Browní.
- Why do we aim to eliminate rests (M0) on the old routes rather than do them in the initial style: because we are free climbers, and the objective is to tick a route in one continuous push from the ground up. Begs the question: why consider it a first ascent if the leader had a rest or pulled some gear. Because it was an acknowledgement of the attempt and often, like Janicepts, quite possibly at the limits of what was then considered possible.
- Want more low grade multi pitch routes in the Bluies: go find em and climb em. They are out there. And hats off to you if you do.
- Not everything from the past should be discarded. There was once the idea of lifting yourself up to the climb, rather than bringing the climb down to suit yourself. Of the people on whose behalf the route was retro bolted, how many of them have attempted the route and then backed off because it was too hard. Went away, did some more climbing, came back, attempted it again, maybe succeeded maybe not, so went away and climbed some more and then attempted it again. Try it sometime. And if you can, find a way to bottle the feeling when you finally get to the top.
- People getting in above their head: will always happen, itís also known as pushing yourself. The key is learning the techniques that allow you to extricate yourself from the sticky situation.
- There are already some low grade Ďmoderní rap in climb out routes at Boyce Ė Baby Carrots Ė plenty of experience to be gained by getting on something like that. Unlike Bell Bird, if it all starts to go bad, the rap to the ground and walk out ainít that bad.
2:39:46 PM
Sweet Irish was never bolted in the first place. Granted it was a bit of a leap of faith to lead it but people did it without thinking themselves particularly 'macho' (see above)

Then 1 bolt appeared at the crux just next to the horizontal pocket which used to be the no 5 cammed hex runner and where you can put a cam ( the purple one I think). The other dozen or so bolts appeared some time later. Maybe you could pick which of these really need to be there and update them.

I'd suggest Paul T Is correct in his suggestion of wanting to make the eyrie a guided route. I'd reckon people would leap at the chance of an adventure abseil in to Boyce followed by a classic arÍte / cave route with excellent photo opportunity from interested parties. I don't know whythis means lots more bolts would be needed as the key risk is to the guide leader or have their standards dropped too ?

Here is a true guide story - I remember leading the first pitch of gently mine in the 1973 school holidays and sitting on the (boltless)belay ledge and trying to summon up the courage to go up the poorly protected second pitch (it has 2 bolts these days which makes it a lot nicer but maybe not how Lee and Warwick intended it). Anyway a guided party came up behind us and I had a chat with the leader, John who amazed me by smoking on belay. I should have known! After he brought his client, Giles, up he offered to lead us all up the second pitch which needless to say we appreciated. He made it look easy. Interestingly he was probably the most prolific bolter at the time but he seriously picked where he would do it. Vale JME

Sorry for rambling on it's wet here at mv. Wellsy if you're itchy to retrobolt something please go and update the 2 x 2" bolts in mass murder at mt York - I'll even pay for the hardware (that's for 2 bolts btw)

3:40:01 PM
I know I'm late to this one, & am really just jumping on the bandwagon, but;

"- Modernising this cliff?"

Today I learnt the adding unnecessary bolts to naturally protected climbs is making them more modern!!

I wonder if the million year old cliff knows it's dated?

It's not a new kitchen people, it's the outdoors!!

E. Wells
4:08:19 PM
Never itching , but sure , can do that. I guess my question is which hardware to use as I would tend toward a rebolt (like for like , with only difference being stainless glue in) on a climb where it is possible to stand upright on your feet and not fall backward. However there seems to be alot of people who oppose the continuation of bolts that require bolt plates. It is one thing to insist on community consultation but who ultimately makes the call in regards to REBOLTS. I personally wouldnt want to see rings or u's in Khe san or Dan the Bulldog but alot of people oppose the use of machine bolts so I think some routes will forever have bolts that are less dependable simply because its not worth the supposed controversy of replacing them. I am thinking of rebolts , not retros. So...back to my question , which is not entirely hypothetical , if I want to replace bolts specifically on Another Mans Juliet , which hardware do I use. I await community consultation. Otherwise anonymity will be the default of bolt replacement.
4:45:03 PM
New shred peraps as we havnt finishD tha roast meal here?

An wotcha got against macho?
I reckon no matta Ur climb Gd there iz macho involvD. Just Dpendz on tha audience dont it?

4:57:22 PM
My thoughts if its a mixed route, glue in machine bolts are fine if replacing carrots, not any harder than placing wigglys anyway..if its a full sports route replace with modern gear rings/u's..just my opinion of course.
Mr Curly
5:16:04 PM
I wouldn't like to see rings in Khe San either. The decision on what hardware to use when replacing is more of an art than a science. For Another Man's Juliet & Set Piece Battle - go machine bolts. Both routes are mixed rather than straight sports.
7:25:09 PM
On 31/12/2016 timfreddo wrote:
>On 31/12/2016 widewetandslippery wrote:
>>Timfreddo you are a wanker. There are so many unclimbed lines in the
>>you dont need to do public service.
>Nice productive reply wws... classic chockstone childishness... I wonder
>how many people you just talked out of sharing thoughts about climbing.
>There's different opinions out there, least you could do is bring up your
>thoughts in a productive manner that doesn't make people lose interest
>straight away.
Tim, you seem to have the idea that you are the hero to make things right. Believe it or not climbing can be dangerous. I have climbed said route a few times. No sweat. The route is not dangerous for someone who is up for the job.

note that the bolting of Sweet Dreams and Hocus Pocus are not well received by many as well. I often bolt easy sport routes. I do that because i like climbing them, not to prove a point.
At present I would shit myself. Thats my problem, not the routes problem.

So yes wanker still stands, you are self indulgent and going look at me in front of the mirror.
7:37:25 PM
On 31/12/2016 Mr Poopypants wrote:
>Hey Tim,
>No need to heat the bolt and glue. Just put a socket and short bar on
>it and undo it. They twist right out, there is no bond between the glue
>and the stainless.

Mr Poopypants
8:11:33 PM
Of course you could also test clockwise :-)

9:03:50 PM
My opinion on bolt type: old mixed routes, replace bashies with glue in stainless bolts. Full sports routes: hangers, rings or U's.
10:31:57 PM
Thanks for putting this in the public area. I'm learning a lot from the collective years of experience on here and plethora of opinions.
1:51:06 AM
The rebolting of The Eyrie has been brought to the attention of the Sydney Rockclimbing Club (SRC). We have been asked by certain members of the climbing community to weigh in on this very important matter. We will honour this request in due course. In the interim, we ask our fellow climbers to refrain from doing anything rash (i.e., chopping) for safety reasons. We are hopeful by our participation in this conversation that a consensus and constructive path forward can be attained.

Happy New Years to All,

Robert B.
SRC Access and Environment Chair
11:15:04 AM
Although the arguments have mostly been covered, since there seems to be a search for consensus on this I'm adding my significant concern about this retro-bolting, and also a vote for removing these bolts.

Even granted different views on whether the bolts on The Eyrie are adequate, as others have mentioned it is alarming that such a classic route can be retro-bolted with little if any discussion of it first. Since there are lots of routes in the mountains of a similar era and style, if people just start 'fixing' these routes with retro-bolts - even with good intent - there is no end to how many classic routes might be bolted into a completely different experience overnight. Even removing the bolts now is likely to leave some nasty scars, which I think underscores the need to consult widely on this type of retro-bolting before placing any new bolts rather than after.

Personally, I've found the gear on The Eyrie exciting but adequate. Yet even at Mount Boyce alone there have been a number of relatively new all bolted, good quality routes that are fairly accessible (e.g. Wild is the Wind, 15), and some classic easier trad routes that are really well protected (e.g. Gently Mine, 14) - not to mention the routes available at nearby crags. So I don't think we need to be retro-bolting these classics in order for new climbers to have a 'safe' climbing experience. And surely there are also many new climbers who want a more adventurous experience for their early leads, so we also need to leave classic climbs on good rock for them.

11:34:18 AM
On 2/01/2017 dazzz wrote:
>Although the arguments have mostly been covered, since there seems to be
>a search for consensus on this I'm adding my significant concern about
>this retro-bolting, and also a vote for removing these bolts.

On 2/01/2017 aussiwayward wrote:
>The rebolting of The Eyrie has been brought to the attention of the Sydney
>Rockclimbing Club (SRC). We have been asked by certain members of the
>climbing community to weigh in on this very important matter. We will
>honour this request in due course. In the interim, we ask our fellow climbers
>to refrain from doing anything rash (i.e., chopping) for safety reasons.
> We are hopeful by our participation in this conversation that a consensus
>and constructive path forward can be attained.
>Happy New Years to All,
>Robert B.
>SRC Access and Environment Chair

Re the 'safety reasons' that you cite, and given the significant history of the route...
Could you please elaborate?

11:40:14 AM
Hi all, (take 2, lost first edit, hope this is as good),

After making the initial posts I took it upon myself to start the removal process on 31/12 and got about half of them out, before dropping spanner down abseil gully whilst doing the very top one (now covered in red tape to warn against its use) before getting back on line to discover that Tim had realised the error of his ways and was going to remove them.

I managed to catch up with Tim at a party that night and we had a very good long rave about it all. There is backstory to all this where Tim has previously done some quite good rebolting work but copped flak for bolt-for-bolt replacement of old carrots with gluein hanger less bolts, being told he should have updated the routes fully to modern standard.... Can't win either way it seems, I feel for you.

I would like to congratulate Tim for owning up so quickly and in such a lions pit as Chockstone and Facebook- I don't think he has 'lost honour' in old world terms. There are many people would not have done so and there are a number of people who only operate in the shadows....

I should also thank him for bringing this whole topic glaringly into view for our BM climbing community. I believe we need to maintain the history and style of earlier climbing and that includes trad routes and routes with hanger less bolts. It also raises the issue of the somewhat rampant sport-ification of most of our crags with almost every previously trad crag being affected by new or retro-bolting.

Hopefully the discussions ensuing from this will contribute to improved behaviours all round, and a better knowledge and understanding of the issues for all concerned, particularly newer climbers/bolters coming out of the gyms


11:42:04 AM
On 2/01/2017 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:

>Re the 'safety reasons' that you cite, and given the significant history
>of the route...
>Could you please elaborate?

Total guess here but guessing meaning someone who starts up thinking bolts a plenty and finds they are not? ..doesnt really matter anyway as original bolter said will remove so really discussion about these particular bolts are over.

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