Bolting Descent Routes! Ken Wilson's response


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Messages 1 - 7 of total 7 in this topic
Mick Ryan

Novice climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 23, 2002 - 10:44pm PT
This post, from Ken Wilson, one of the bigger mouths of UK climbing, gives his slant on bolting descent routes.......which is quite topical considering Billy Russell's Action Directe in trying to keep adventure and uncertaintity alive in American Climbing. The names, Grochan, Tremadog etc may be unfamilar....just replace with Cathedral Peak.

From an active debate at:

"Even awkward descents are being removed. No need to walk down from the Grochan now (quite a tricky little descent), as there is a great big abseil sling on a tree. Same at Tremadog. Yesterday I found and removed a great big fixed sling on the Milestone Direct. What was that for ... a quick descent to avoid the tiresome awkward bit of a scrambling descent. Such ground used to be valued for inculcating fast moving on mixed ground skills ... these days (particularly with the advent of ballet shoes for all ... scrambling descents are regarded as more "awkward bits" to be got rid of. They all fall into the category of processing the environment to make it more cuddly, make it nice for "exercise" rather than uncertain for "climbing".

Ken Wilson:

Novice climber
Sep 25, 2002 - 01:36pm PT

Novice climber
Sep 25, 2002 - 01:40pm PT
Well said Ken.

However, I'm not sure how much we should rely on the opinion of someone who still thinks high-top EBs are the sh#t. Ballet shoes???

Novice climber
Sep 25, 2002 - 01:59pm PT
I once had a cat named Ken and a math teacher named Wilson. I did not trust either.

Intermediate climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Oct 7, 2002 - 10:25pm PT
Rappel descents are an effective way to reduce erosion to these FRAGILE habitats.
Enough with the Tough Guy attitude.
Mick Ryan

Novice climber
Bishop better than Mammoth
Oct 7, 2002 - 11:33pm PT
"Rappel descents are an effective way to reduce erosion to these FRAGILE habitats.
Enough with the Tough Guy attitude"

There's nothing tough about it.

Bolt anchors have been used in numerous situations where there is a fragile cliff top.....thin soils and/or rare plants. Quite often bolt anchors are suitable where trees have been used to descend by running a rope around them which eventually kills the tree.

And in such situations bolt anchors/lower offs are completely justified but you shouldn't use that reason to bolt up every descent....especially on very tall cliffs or in the mountains.

Mick R
hiking is fun

Novice climber
Oct 8, 2002 - 04:35am PT
I think you missed Kens point. He didn't advocate using trees either. Walk you ass down.
And if the area is so fragile it can't handle a decent trail, maybe there shouldn't be a climbing route on it at all.
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