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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Boganville 5-May-2010 At 5:55:42 PM phm
Some friends of mine have established a bunch of routes at a new crag that was discovered by them and some other climbers. In fact, my friends have bolted a stack of routes in a number of new crags they discovered. Actually, they probably bolted more routes than anyone else during the past years in the general area. And thatís quite an achievement, considering that the likes of Mikl Law and Neil Monteith call this very same area their home ground.

I am digressing, however. I really only want to talk about this one area they developed. They put up about 30-odd routes at this crag, at grades between 20 and 32 or thereabouts. They also put in quite a lot of work to provide safe access. All in all it would have taken them around 50 days of hard work to get this crag to where it currently stands, plus several thousand dollars worth of steel, glue, drill bits etc.

My friends are not rich people. Putting up this sort of money is not easy for them. They really only have time to spare on week ends and in their holidays. But they love exploring and bolting new climbs, strange as it may sound for most others, and they are prepared to pay the price.

This new crag is an awesome place. And I am forever grateful towards them for taking me out to spend time with them there.

In actual fact, my friends have been quite generous with sharing their new routes with others. Chances are, if you really want to come out and climb at this place they will take you there, give you the tour and make sure you have a good time. Quite likely, they will put the draws on the classics for you, and if you are a bit like me, a top rope as well.

My friends have no problem with publishing the information about their new routes, as long as it happens on their terms.

Enter commerce. There is this guy who is writing a guide book to the general area. He doesnít bolt any new routes himself, doesnít really explore new areas or support those who do. He is running a business, and therefore his interest lies elsewhere: he wants to make a buck. Nothing wrong with that of course.

This guy heard about this crag my friends have developed. Since many people know, he also found out where it is. He hasnít really climbed there much himself, and surely hasnít contributed in any way to the development.

However, this guy has just given my friends a phone call. He reckons, he will put the crag into the new guide book he is putting together. He also reckons, that if my friends donít provide information on route names and the like, he will simply make it all up himself. This guy also claims, he is acting in the general climbing publicís interest. He reckons, that climbers have a right to find out about new places to go. He reckons, that this right of the general climbing public overrules my friendsí terms for publication of their new routes.

So when the new Blue Mountains Guide Book comes out, and you read about Boganville remember this story. By all means, please wonder out there and have a climb. As I said, itís an awesome place and you can be sure to enjoy great days there.

But also ask yourself: if this is only one of several crags my friends have developed, and if the story behind the publication of this one crag is the story I have just told, then what are the chances for you to ever find out about the other places my friends have developed? How would you feel, if you were in the position of my friends? Even if you donít share their views Ė can you at least respect them for what they do? And if you can respect them, why canít the guide book Ďauthorí?

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