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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Fully sick bolt wars at Araps 15-May-2016 At 11:13:08 AM Macciza
Whilst I do support the idea of FA 'copyright' regarding a route perhaps it should not be in perpetuity. Most routes should probably just end up as public domain but many are important and should be viewed as heritage and kept in as much as original shape as possible regardless of FA. Replacing hanger less bolts with rings can really change a routes experience.

But, one factor that also kind of overrides this is the concept of Progression in climbing, equipment and standards improve such that routes can be climbed in better style; Aids were eliminated where possible to create free climbs, and removal protection used in preference to fixed pro. Climbing standards and gear had evolved to make 'Clean climbing' possible back in the seventies, and have improved massively again since then.

But the ethic seems to have been largely lost with the advent of Pleasure climbing, where 'number of ascents' seems to be more important then style of ascent; where fixed artificial protection is used regardless of the existence of available removable natural pro; where the climb is often brought down to a lowest common denominator of ability and objective safety; where the intrinsic experience of climbing the natural rock is reduced to an outdoor climb gym.

Given that mixed routes were(are) really trad routes where the FA placed fixed pro where they couldn't find any; then it naturally follows that should removable gear become available it should supersede the need for the bolt. The bolts on such routes are essentially artificial aids to be eliminated, same as it always was. Particularly in areas generally regarded as bastions of trad-dom like Araps. Personally I think the concept should also extend to many new routes as well where if there is decent gear available near a new placed bolt, the bolt should be'freed' and hence removed ...

Trad has really progressed far beyond what most gym-bred pleasure climbers think it to be and deserves a new name - Contemporary Climbing! Is really what it is , or just Clean Climbing, as they called it back in the day.... Though it seems we have not progressed much in almost 50 years ....

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