Due to some recent “new routes” out at Arapiles that were already routes, and the insertion of bolts into one of these (Yes ODH the bolts have been removed), it now seems necessary to ask those of you who are interested in new-routing to refrain from claiming things or putting bolts in, until you have done the required research into it. This applies to all crags, but it has come to a head at Arapiles in the past week or so. This trend is damaging both the integrity of Arapiles, and is disrespectful to the original first ascentionists, and those of us who love the mount.
I’m certain that there are many repeats at Arapiles that have been claimed because The Crag is not, in fact, an exhaustive list of all existing climbs and those responsible haven’t spoken to locals who know the area, nor have they consulted Louise’s guide book, which has far more routes in it than the Selected Guide. To make matters worse: the routes in question that have brought about action were actually present on The Crag, so the (I want to say False First Ascentionist but FFA is already taken) perpetrator has not even bothered to do any research at all (although to his credit he immediately agreed to take the bolts out and was suitably sorry about the incident). To many of us, this is unacceptable.
The onus to make sure your ‘new routes’ are actually new routes, is on you. Especially if steel is being added to the equation. We are not asking all new-routing to stop, merely that you take the time out to talk to locals (in particular the older Natimukians) and consult as many resources as possible. If you are unwilling to do so, then don’t claim the route. Nobody is going to be upset if you do it and believe it’s an FA, but when you start trying to attribute routes to yourself incorrectly, we take issue.
Squeeze jobs, link-ups, and accidental retros are another matter (but are still vitally important to the integrity of Arapiles) and won’t be discussed here. This is also not a thread to discuss whether you should or shouldn’t bolt new routes, merely to try to improve awareness that there are more resources than The Crag and the Selected Climbs guide.
Efforts are being made to improve the listings on The Crag, but this is not an overnight job, thus using a multitude of sources will be necessary for some time to come.
TL;DR – Want to go new-routing? Ask as many locals as you can if it’s been done before and consult the Selected Climbs guide, Louise’s guide, The Australian Route Register, and The Crag. If this is too much effort for you, then please don’t list it as a new climb on The Crag.