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Adding Bolts to an established route
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By Mut
Jul 12, 2010
This may have been beat to death on here but I didn't see any posts on the topic.

The question is, what is the etiquette for adding bolts to an already established route?

Before anyone blows a nut over this, I want to be clear, I am not about to add any bolts to any routes, I have never placed a bolt, I never intend to place a bolt.

I have always been a trad climber (mostly because there was more trad than bolts where I used to climb). But a friend and I were talking. He was climbing a route that, in his opinion, could use 3 extra bolts to make the climb safer (not just more comfortable). Apparently there was a few places you could ledge out.

So, when is it ok to add a bolt? Ever? It seems like a slippery slope to say it is ok to add bolts if there is real danger involved (grounder, ledge) but not just for comfort.

Is it simply a matter of asking the FA party? What if they don't agree or simply like the route to be scary? What if they are not around?

FLAG
By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 12, 2010
Bocan
Before the whole ethics thing gets started, from my understanding a person should get the FA's stamp of approval to do it, THEN the next best thing is to ask the local community at large just for a consensus. If the FA isn't around..tough luck.

You'll here alot of people voice a strong opinion about dumbing down a route to make it safer, so expect a thread disagreeing with your friends opinion. It's not at the discretion of other climbers to determine what the FA's masterpiece should look like. Like one artist changing another artist's work because they think that their idea will improve it. If it's too dangerous or scary, well there are other routes to be climbed.

That being said, I'm personally ok with replacing old crappy fixed gear ie. updating some rusty bolt with a new one as long as it's done correctly.

Climbing is inherently dangerous!

FLAG
By Mark Cushman
From Cumming, GA
Jul 12, 2010
Profiley Styley
Bolted Block of Wood
Bolted Block of Wood

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By England
From ?
Jul 12, 2010
Alpine toothpick.
This is happening in my favorite climbing area of Cheyenne Canon. Adding bolts, retro bolting, and rebolting of established routes. I was told when the bolter was asked about this. His girlfriend responded, "Do you think this is Hollywood where all of your dreams come true". The majority of these new generation climbers I have meet are pretty selfish, and you just can't deal with those people in a civilized manner.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 12, 2010
Bocan
England wrote:
This is happening in my favorite climbing area of Cheyenne Canon. Adding bolts, retro bolting, and rebolting of established routes. I was told when the bolter was asked about this. His girlfriend responded, "Do you think this is Hollywood where all of your dreams come true". The majority of these new generation climbers I have meet are pretty selfish, and you just can't deal with those people in a civilized manner.


Nothing worse than a lippy girlfriend...ugghh..

No offense ladies.

FLAG
By Alexander Blum
From Charlotte, NC
Jul 12, 2010
If you can't climb a route as is, go climb something else. There isn't really any excuse, there are so many routes out there that there is something for everyone.

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By Ken Isaacson
Jul 12, 2010
I have noticed that on older routes-1980's- the first bolt tends to be run out. Use a spotter and or crash pad if it is too scary. Or, find another route and get lots of practice and confidence. Personally, I have never placed a bolt and never will. That is why I do not need to travel to find interesting routes. There are plenty of old .10's and new .11's and 12's that I cannot climb. That's enough challenge to get something yellow trickling down my leg.

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By Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 12, 2010
Mut wrote:
This may have been beat to death on here but I didn't see any posts on the topic.


You didn't see any posts on this topic??? Try swinging a dead cat next time.

FLAG
 
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Jul 12, 2010
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a gr...
Mike Anderson wrote:
You didn't see any posts on this topic??? Try swinging a dead cat next time.


Ha! I was thinking the same thing. But, fortunately for Mut, people love to expound on their feelings about this topic ad nauseam. And then it'll morph into the "bolts vs. gear or sport vs. trad" argument somehow. Following that expect pedantic attacks on each poster involving name-calling and insults.

I'm definitely not clicking "Notify me with an email message when people reply to this topic".

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By Mut
Jul 12, 2010
Mike Anderson wrote:
You didn't see any posts on this topic??? Try swinging a dead cat next time.



MMM. dead cats.

You are right. I did not use the advanced search feature. I just typed adding bolts into the search box and got a bunch of pictures. Now I see the advanced search can limit the search to the forums.

I agree with the "find another route" idea.

But I do find the "I'm the FA party and this is now mine and you can't touch it unless I say so" concept a little bit over the top. Maybe that is a good general rule but I can think of situations where I would be happy if someone added, removed, or replace someone else's work. As an example, in the late 90's some douche bolted a crack (on rappel)in cascade canyon. It was a FA but it should never have been bolted.

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By Ben Beard
From Superior, AZ
Jul 12, 2010
roo, my only son, the stare that takes down a herd...
just bring a stick clip, and be safe.

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By Ed Wright
Jul 12, 2010
Magic Ed
It's only OK if you have permission from the FA party. Otherwise, it is up to the local guidebook author and local word of mouth to warn climbers if the route is poorly bolted or dangerous.

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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Jul 12, 2010
Mut wrote:
But I do find the "I'm the FA party and this is now mine and you can't touch it unless I say so" concept a little bit over the top.

That's not really the way it works. The reason routes should be left the way they are, is because the rest of us would like to climb them in that condition. Please don't retro-bolt; and please don't retro-unbolt.

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By Mut
Jul 12, 2010
Bobby Hanson wrote:
That's not really the way it works. The reason routes should be left the way they are, is because the rest of us would like to climb them in that condition. Please don't retro-bolt; and please don't retro-unbolt.


Bobby, Don't worry, I'm not retro doing anything.

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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Jul 12, 2010
:) I didn't think you were going to. Those statements were aimed at a more general audience.

FLAG


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