In keeping with the rebellious nature of the climbing people of this area, how about a tribal approach to solving these issues rather than a committee? Meetings taking place outside, say at Cathedral cave, or Sundown. There is shelter there and it is where we are most comfortable. BYOB would be cheaper too. Meetings would be more fun and I think there would be some memorable antics and such. Trying to boil climbing down to a civil, domesticated â€˜committee, insults the raw, free nature of the pursuit itself. In a tribe, all work together for the good of the tribe, there is no governing body; the elders may guide the young ones who conversely show the progression of the tribe. One thing that human tribes don,t do is to try and take control of their environment, and it works, death is more prevalent but I wonder why this is a bad thing? We,re taught all our lives that human life is sacred but we,re all made up of atoms like everything else.
So to the pro-bolters, why must we try to prevent deaths and accidents in rock climbing? Rock climbing is a very dangerous activity and if you don,t realize this then hopefully experience will be kind to you. I don,t wish harm on anyone but if you want to avoid getting hurt, don,t climb, or stay in the gym, don,t drive there though because you might get hit by a truck, better yet play video games and stay inside until you slowly go insane or die, hopefully the latter will come first.
So the problem appears to be that there are those who like to bolt the rock to make it safer. They may not think it wrong, and may actually believe that it is a service to the community; it is really a slap in the face though. Those opposed to bolts stick to the â€˜respect for the first accensionist and their style, mantra that makes the FA,er into some sort of god-like figure with authoritative power over a particular line up a rock face.
We should shift our focus to respecting the rock, the cliffs that give us the playground and proving ground for this mad pursuit, respect for the environment that surrounds the cliff and makes it beautiful. Why do we feel the need to conquer, claim, and control all the time, I thought climbing was one of the few pursuits that makes us realize that we can,t control the earth and to do so will prove disastrous. Do sailors try to control the ocean? Why should we alter the cliff to make it more safe? I say, remove all fixed gear, starting with bolts on Cathedral and Cannon. Let the civilized, rad-climbers have Rumney and other sport climbing areas and leave the big cliffs alone.
I realize that removing all bolts from these cliffs is unrealistic but how about a rule of thumb. No bolts on climbs easier than 5.10 or something? Like a tribe, the locals will welcome outsiders who respect the land but those who do not will be driven off, in as discrete a fashion as possible, or by public humiliation. Hang em by their undies from their own bolts (wedgie-style), heh heh..
The progression of most climbers will be slowed by this approach to restoring the cliffs but better this than Cathedral and Whitehorse and Cannon becoming multi-pitch sport climbing areas. That being said, I clip bolts, and commend the people who have worked so hard at Rumney. For the big cliffs, let,s leave the land alone and appreciate it how it is, it was perfect before humans came to the valley.
Clean climbing is pure, all else is somewhat domesticated or tamed down, but I do not want to detract from the FA,ers whom have used bolts on very hard and committing routes, they are visionaries. We need to establish the â€˜character, of the Mt Washington Valley and what exactly we want it to be.
Do the shops in N.Conway sell bolts? If they do, maybe they shouldn,t so that there is no double standard.
This is just my thoughts but it means dick because I havn't removed or placed a bolt in rock ever.