Addition of bolts in traditional-climbing areas

Another thought-provoking criticism is that I have set a worrying president for further and unwelcome retro-bolting, but I am totally confident that this fear is unfounded. As an example, when the first quarry was bolted for dry-tooling in Scotland in the early 90s I spoke out and criticized it publicly. My concern was that dry-tooling might spread onto crags where it was unwelcome; but interestingly this didn’t happen and I was proved wrong. On reflection, I think climbers should be given credit for having more intelligence and sensitivity. Are routes like Right Wall or even Face Value or Central Wall at Kilnsey going to be bolted? Of course not. Should other messy so-called trad routes like Déjà Vu or the Cave Routes, which are actually far more like sport routes be retro-bolted? Quite possibly, yes. Of course the issue will always be slightly grey but common sense usually prevails and the climbing community invariably resolves things for the better.

Great words throughout from Neil Gresham on an issue over some new bolts that were placed in the UK to replace some threads (well worth reading the full post as it highlights that the first ascentionists advocated the idea).

As someone who's placed some bolts in the same county as numerous trad climbs in Ireland, and promptly had them removed, it's refreshing to see positive, rational discussions such as this. In my case, the bolts were hacked off with a bolt cutter leaving a nasty mess, and not one person ever trying the lines, trad or sport.

Neal McQuaid