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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 78
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The Irish Solution to The Ben Lomond Problem
Tastrad
7-Sep-2017
4:54:56 PM
Here's an article addressing the issue of bolts and rap stations on Ben Lomond, inspired by my recent visit to Fairhead in Northern Ireland. Constructive feedback would be appreciated. Thanks

http://climbtasmania.com.au/blogs/news/the-irish-solution-to-the-ben-lomond-problem

JamesMc
7-Sep-2017
5:28:44 PM
Honestly is a couple of rap anchors at Ben Lomond really such a big deal? There's a Fn ski resort near the top!

Stugang
7-Sep-2017
5:39:24 PM
Good thought experiment but 20 years too late for that to be accepted - the lomond practice has been set. Just like the Irish practice is set and good on them for that.

I'm all for bolt free crags but if that leads to ugly dangerous tat then a very limited number of well positioned rap stations with explicit statements that no more will be tolerated seems ok to me. And also more likely to be sustained as local ethic once us old farts move on to greener pastures.


gnaguts
11-Sep-2017
4:39:21 PM
On 7-Sep-2017 Tastrad wrote:
>Here's an article addressing the issue of bolts and rap stations on Ben
>Lomond, inspired by my recent visit to Fairhead in Northern Ireland. Constructive
>feedback would be appreciated. Thanks
>
>http://climbtasmania.com.au/blogs/news/the-irish-solution-to-the-ben-lomond-problemi

I c where U comin from Tasgeez. Itz in Ur backyard so U kinda own it.
Vgood , loco ethic rulz.
But afta U bequeath Ur bolt choppin gear in Ur will , how many spinz in tha grave U gonna do when it iznt usD as intendD?

How willU feel when some futcha numpty just gradU8td from gym sez Y buy 100m cord 4 access here alone , an is 2 convenientified 2 carry it up, let alone likely diez afta stuffin up tha setup of it?

Can hear ther conversatin now 1, 2 tha otha.
U sure we rappin tha gd 18?
Yeh m8, we rappin tha 18.
- hafway down-
Looks hardR than 18 cuz.
She B rite m8.
-turnZ out it B ur gd26 an they up stikclip creek witout good comms while tryin 2 rememba ther call signz!
Cummin bak 2morra with tha boltgun an saftyize this decscent cuz...
Yeh dont wanna get caught like that agen m8...
rowan
11-Sep-2017
8:25:18 PM
I've climbed in both spots. I think they are slightly different in that the walk to the top of fair head is a flat paddock that is really not far and you start at the top and end at the top once done climbing.

I know you say you walk to the top at the ben. But I personally would rather not walk a 100m static to the top to then walk it back down. Having said that, I would if I had to. I climb with a 6mm static trailing and just rap with that normally.

I like the idea of a bolt free crag but wouldn't mind a bolted abseil option. The thing is when there are no bolts you end up with bits of tat hanging everywhere. Or people walk down that gully and trash it, like at the flutes.

I think over all, a bolted abseil is a better environmental option. But it sounds like it is not just about that for you. It may be more about the actual interaction of the whole experience.

I for one don't think an abseil station would ruin the experience. What if they were swaged bits of wire rope instead of bolts so you could still say it is bolt free?
Tastrad
12-Sep-2017
12:05:57 AM
Someone has tried to solve the tat problem by replacing it with chain looped around a bollard. It is not suitable as the ropes get caught, and it is quite difficult to find an appropriate natural anchor for a wired rope/chain. My fear is that the chain will proliferate, so that every classic climb and buttress will end up with chains..and then people will get sick of those and replace them with bolts.

The next step is to start bolting routes, which is why the old rap bolts were removed...people were talking about bolting climbs and the abseil bolts created an ambiguity/grey area/start of the slippery slope.

The trashing of the gully is not a big issue as most of the walk is on a scree slope.

Carrying a big static to rap down is purely a convenience issue, but worth it, in my opinion, to preserve a totally bolt free crag.

Interesting that Fairhead, Gogarth, Pembroke and several other places in the UK are fiercely preserved as bolt free crags by the climbing community, including the descents/access. Why can't the Australian/Tasmanian community adopt the same attitude? Seems we are obsessed with making it safe/convenient for everybody.

I scrambled up to Centotaph Corner in Wales and was terrified by the approach; steep, wet, slippery, one slip and you're dead. Then the abseils were dozens of old tat around a tree, or a thread. But they don't seem to care. In Australia we would bolt a handrail, fixed line up to the crag, and put double bolt anchors at the top of Centotaph Corner, Left Wall, Cemetry Gates, and be done with it.

I complained to Steve Findlay (Hazels Dad) at pembroke one day, about having to find a belay amongst loose rock, gravel and steep grass at the top of Rock Idol, talked up in the guide as the best E1 in Britain. His attitude was that if you lack the traditional skills to belay in that situation, then you shouldn't be climbing there.

I agree. Ben Lomond is a serious crag and one of the last places left in Australia where all your trad skills are required to access, climb and descend the cliff...self reliance in the mountains is a dying skill set. Something worth preserving.
The Rock Robster
12-Sep-2017
7:15:53 AM
On 12-Sep-2017 Tastrad
>Why can't the Australian/Tasmanian community
>adopt the same attitude? Seems we are obsessed with making it safe/convenient
>for everybody.

Yes, safety is ridiculous. How dare people want to enjoy the sport without the potential of death.

>I scrambled up to Centotaph Corner in Wales and was terrified by the approach;
>steep, wet, slippery, one slip and you're dead. Then the abseils were dozens
>of old tat around a tree, or a thread.

Obviously an ideal solution, it isn't climbing if more then 7/10 people survive it.

As someone who (because I'm an entitled brat) thinks that climbing should be made safe, to avoid unnecessary deaths, injuries, and meddling by the government, I reckon bolts are great. There's a place for bold trad routes, don't get me wrong. It's entirely up to whoever puts the route up in my opinion, as long as it isn't retroing or unnecessary.

Bolts as rap anchors are in my opinion the best way to go. They last longer than tat, are safer, and honestly look better too. Sscrambling down gullies is just messing the area up, if you really care about the place you should be trying to preserve it.

If you're worried about ropes getting stuck in chains, chuck a maillon on them.
RhythmSection
12-Sep-2017
9:44:17 AM
I'm writing this as someone who climbs at the Ben "fairly" regularly, last season we made 6 trips up from the south, we have been going to stacks and africa lately but climb at the flutes all the same. No one I climb with (my mates) disagree with the Ben being bolt free. Imagine a bolt on runwezori? We are proud to climb there as a total trad cliff and it gets us well psyched. We have shleped statics up to the top and left them up on the flutes for days. Last season there was a 90m static up on the flutes just near rajah for weeks. we just coiled it up and hid it up top after the day was done because wind was pretty gnarly. Who are the people winging?, I may live in a little bubble of like minded individuals but I haven't heard any complaints from anyone (as in Tassie climbers).
Tastrad
12-Sep-2017
2:43:57 PM
Way to go guys. Seems people are already using the Irish Solution. Smart move just to leave the static up there for the duration of the trip as you only have to carry it up once..its only 40 minutes and mostly flat with a couple of small hills if you go via the track and the plateau.

Having a static from the top means you have to top out on the routes...eliminating the need for tat half way down. Besides, if you rap from the half way tat, you haven't finished the climb.
It stops any environmental damage to both gullies...the access gully to the base, and the descent gully.
It negates the need for any bolted abseil stations.
And is also a smart way to access other buttresses such as Cuchulain/Hickory Wind and 35mm Dream, which involve nasty scrambles up steep vegetated gullies.

Good on you Rhythmsection, spread the word that this is the way to go on the Flutes.
Olbert
12-Sep-2017
7:22:00 PM
The problem with making everyone bring a 60 metre static when they climb at Ben Lomond is that not everyone has a static. In fact I reckon only a small minority have a static. And for people that do have a static, who is gonna bring it on a climbing trip?

So asides from the locals, who have got it worked out cos they climb there regularly, who else would have static to bring to Ben Lomond? Nobody.

Olbert
12-Sep-2017
7:23:48 PM
So instead of 'lucky me, I've come when the locals have left their static out' or 'f--- me, I'm here by myself so it looks like I'm walking', I'm for bolted rap stations (chains will do if it means they can exist) and a squadron of angry locals to chop any sprouts on routes.
chalkischeap
12-Sep-2017
8:46:40 PM
No bolts for me please.

I miss the experience of Gogarth or Cloggy where you have to really psyche up for a days climbing.

Haven't been to Ben Lomond yet but it would be great to keep it bolt-free. Requires additional skills and it's a different level of adventure.
Tastrad
12-Sep-2017
9:36:49 PM
If you don't have a static, I've found that a 70m dynamic on stretch reaches the bottom of Robins Buttress.
uwhp510
13-Sep-2017
7:48:22 AM
On 12-Sep-2017 Olbert wrote:
>The problem with making everyone bring a 60 metre static when they climb
>at Ben Lomond is that not everyone has a static. In fact I reckon only
>a small minority have a static. And for people that do have a static, who
>is gonna bring it on a climbing trip?

Maybe just buy/borrow a long static and bring it if you actually want to go to the Ben instead of expecting the world to cater to your particular expectation of the level of convenience? Not everyone has a number 5 camalot, but that doesn't mean we should put bolts next to all the wide cracks. If you want to climb the wide crack, buy or borrow a big cam. Same thing here, if you want to rap down, bring a long rope.

Truly bolt free crags are such a rarity these days and they should be preserved. Bolt proliferation is like a ratchet; it only ever goes one way. The existence of any bolts WILL be used as an excuse by someone at some point for more to be added ("I think there should be another rap anchor here, and since there's already one over there, I'm within my rights to add another one.").
Wendy
13-Sep-2017
10:02:16 AM
I must be a masochist ... but seriously, are you guys on the same drugs as the anti-same sex marriage crew? a perfectly rational bolted anchor or 2 at a crag does not lead to to instant mad bolting in the same way that same sex marriage doesn't lead to people marrying the harbour bridge, although to be perfectly honest, people can marry their toaster for all I care.

The tatt all over Ben Lomond is crap. the chain solution is still a ridiculous compromise. Just because it is theoretically removable doesn't mean that it's not still way more visual than a bolted anchor, it can't be placed in the most appropriate place for the job and in effect, it is going to just stay there in the same way a bolted anchor would.

Suggesting rapping in on a 70m rope on rope stretch is asking for someone to have an accident. Not to mention that people are approaching from the bottom because that's what the guidebook says. Hence that's what they will continue to do and continue to leave bits of tat because the top of the cliff is weetbix. For all the yadda yadda about the experience, I don't climb at Ben Lomond for the weetbix experience. I do it for the amazing crack beneath it. It's like Indian Creek. There is absolutely no loss for me rapping off after a pitch and a half when the rock turns to shit.

I could probably annoy a lot of people with explaining why I don't take a lot of English crags and ethics as an example. I don't think the rusty star pickets that serve as anchors at Pembroke are any improvement on a bolted anchor. They are ugly and crappy. But really, "tradition" has a lot of fixed gear and aiding. Have a read of Vanessa's article in VL about what "traditional" ascents left all over Ball's Pyramid. And if you are so keen on the adventure, doesn't having the escape route of a fixed line ruin that? Hell, I would prussic up the last pitch rather than climb that weetbix. Is it not visually invasive to have a fixed line running down the cliff as well?

Ben Lomond is hardly a last bastion of bolt free rock. Most of the rock around the country is in fact bolt free. You can go and have the full experience of adventure climbing on all sorts of little or untrafficed rock. Being a national park also has no relevance to provision of sensible anchors. National parks around the country are full of bolts. Climbing always has an impact on the environment and no crag is pristine, especially once information about it is in the public domain. You say no one is complaining about not having anchors. Well, they are by their actions. That's why the cliff is covered in tatt.

I am all for a couple of sensibly located bolt anchors. Slippery slopes are logical fallacies. You can use them to argue against anything. In actual fact, we set boundaries that prevent slides down slippery slopes all the time. Same sex marriage does not lead to child marriage because we can acknowledge that child marriage is a different and unacceptable issue. These arguments are just fear mongering.

Stugang
13-Sep-2017
1:09:45 PM
Sorry Wendy I have to disagree.

Marriage between human and toasters should not be allowed. There is a whole host of moral, ethical and property ownership issues that need to be resolved and in truth I don't think they ever will.....for example how can an inanimate object give consent?

However marriage between two toasters or a toaster and the Sydney harbour bridge is fine - a pity it's too late to be included in the poll so we could reestablish our position as the most progressive nation on earth - I mean think about the carbon tax; light years ahead and other countries are now following our model.


rightarmbad
13-Sep-2017
7:34:58 PM
I have a 100m static and if I get to Tassie this is the first place I will head.
Weetbix tastes rather nice sometimes.
chalkischeap
14-Sep-2017
10:46:27 AM
I'd be ok with it if the toaster had a 5 year warranty.

No bolts though - the ratchet does happen over time.
johny
16-Sep-2017
3:26:43 PM
On 13-Sep-2017 Wendy wrote:
>I must be a masochist ... but seriously, are you guys on the same drugs
>as the anti-same sex marriage crew? a perfectly rational bolted anchor
>or 2 at a crag does not lead to to instant mad bolting in the same way
>that same sex marriage doesn't lead to people marrying the harbour bridge,
>although to be perfectly honest, people can marry their toaster for all
>I care.
>
>The tatt all over Ben Lomond is crap. the chain solution is still a ridiculous
>compromise. Just because it is theoretically removable doesn't mean that
>it's not still way more visual than a bolted anchor, it can't be placed
>in the most appropriate place for the job and in effect, it is going to
>just stay there in the same way a bolted anchor would.
>
>Suggesting rapping in on a 70m rope on rope stretch is asking for someone
>to have an accident. Not to mention that people are approaching from the
>bottom because that's what the guidebook says. Hence that's what they will
>continue to do and continue to leave bits of tat because the top of the
>cliff is weetbix. For all the yadda yadda about the experience, I don't
>climb at Ben Lomond for the weetbix experience. I do it for the amazing
>crack beneath it. It's like Indian Creek. There is absolutely no loss
>for me rapping off after a pitch and a half when the rock turns to shit.
>
>I could probably annoy a lot of people with explaining why I don't take
>a lot of English crags and ethics as an example. I don't think the rusty
>star pickets that serve as anchors at Pembroke are any improvement on a
>bolted anchor. They are ugly and crappy. But really, "tradition" has a
>lot of fixed gear and aiding. Have a read of Vanessa's article in VL about
>what "traditional" ascents left all over Ball's Pyramid. And if you are
>so keen on the adventure, doesn't having the escape route of a fixed line
>ruin that? Hell, I would prussic up the last pitch rather than climb that
>weetbix. Is it not visually invasive to have a fixed line running down
>the cliff as well?
>
>Ben Lomond is hardly a last bastion of bolt free rock. Most of the rock
>around the country is in fact bolt free. You can go and have the full experience
>of adventure climbing on all sorts of little or untrafficed rock. Being
>a national park also has no relevance to provision of sensible anchors.
>National parks around the country are full of bolts. Climbing always has
>an impact on the environment and no crag is pristine, especially once information
>about it is in the public domain. You say no one is complaining about
>not having anchors. Well, they are by their actions. That's why the cliff
>is covered in tatt.
>
>I am all for a couple of sensibly located bolt anchors. Slippery slopes
>are logical fallacies. You can use them to argue against anything. In actual
>fact, we set boundaries that prevent slides down slippery slopes all the
>time. Same sex marriage does not lead to child marriage because we can
>acknowledge that child marriage is a different and unacceptable issue.
>These arguments are just fear mongering

Some good points Wendy. I agree with Gerry. I also agree with Rowan. Fairhead access is different but the ethic is similar enough. Gay marriage and bolting? wtf?

Wendy, I think you are a bit harsh calling the chain rap station ridiculous. It's an effort at compromise. I also think you are understating the traditional climbing ethic of Ben Lomond. I agree that Gerry's argument about National Parks is weak. He is using anything he thinks will keep the place bolt free. Picking against the weakest links in his argument does not make your case. He is not out to win an points in a debate. He wants the spirit of the place respected.

Ben Lomond is a special place that needs to be kept bolt free. I like this idea. It suits the Tasmanian ethic in general.

Gerrys Irish solution seems to have been implemented so its working. Hey no nutz. Yeah when Gerry gives up the ghost there will be a bunch more stubborn angle-grinding safety-last dicks to pick up the torch.

JamesMc
16-Sep-2017
8:17:39 PM
If you're going to marry a toaster, unplug it before going to bed.

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