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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Tiger Wall - Dribble Bolting? 18-Aug-2009 At 4:39:25 PM egosan
Before I add my two pennies of bile and vinegar to this discussion, I should mention the
nice things. The Dribble is a fine climb. It is a direct and pleasing line right up the right
side of Tiger Wall. Simey did a great job cleaning it. So fine in fact I don't really
understand the comments about manky rock. The weather was fine, the climbing
satisfying and the lunch shared with Sarah at the top one of my most memorable. I was
very confident in all the gear I placed. More importantly, I was very impressed by the
quality of Sarah's placements and judgement.

Seconding the third pitch was lovely. Just the chance to bumble along for 50m is great, but
to do it in that place on that rock and in that company even better. Naturally after all the
kurfuffle in this thread, I was looking for those bolts as I pulled on to the belay ledge. I
didn't have to look hard. I share robersonya's cringe. They are great big 1/2in. bolts
pinning enormous bright yellow plates to the dusty sandstone wall. I thought of Henry
Barber describing how bolts "diminish the experience" and I agree. As Sarah mentioned
above, I looked at her natural anchors and was satisfied even if she wasn't. I certainly
would not need or want the bolts. There is enough natural gear for me to make an anchor I
would be confident of.

I must however defer to Sarah's experience and judgement. She was the one leading near
her best onsight. She sees how novice climbers might find that belay troublesome.
Though I don't really like it. In fact my urge is to tell them to take a couple teaspoons of
cement and harden the fvck up. To read the route description which mentions taking
plenty of medium nuts and clearly a 50m pitch is going to take more gear than the 15m
single pitch introductory routes that sprinkle the smaller buttresses that many people
might have their first lead on. However, simey did not spend all that effort cleaning that
route up for me. He did do it for climbers like Sarah. A climber I just met who was at the
Arapiles for the first time mentioned that one of the things that makes the crag so special
is that is does have a great variety of grades for climbers of all grades.

I am happy we are having this spew here at chockstone. We should be keeping pressure
on people to bolt responsibly. I had the chance to meet Simey for the first time. He was
the first to say that if you place a bolt you better be able to answer for it. I believe he did
right in placing fixed gear at that belay. Our responsibility in placing fixed gear does not
end with a valid justification citing safety or usage. We must ensure that these permanent
changes make the minimum aesthetic impact on the route. As such I think a couple glue
in carrots or some epoxy and rock dust camouflaged ring bolts would have been the better

In saying so, I better be able to walk the talk. As such, I will be happy to fund and assist
in cleaning up that belay on the Dribble.


There are 287 replies to this topic.


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