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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
The Eyrie, Mt Boyce retrobolted! Badly... 1-Jan-2017 At 12:10:05 PM PThomson
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.

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