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Discussion: Lack of bolts at KP unnecessary risk

  • Started: 12 weeks ago on Fri 1st Jul 2022

Public discussion This is a public discussion in Kangaroo Point.

Craig.Rowley started this discussion 12 weeks ago.

Lack of bolts at KP unnecessary risk

Is it time to have a discussion on the unsafe ethics of bolting at KP. The rules goes only existing bolts can be replaced but no new one's added. Problem is many climbs are very unsafe with long run out. These are often classed as mixed, ie. Use trad gear in the run out. Except very few climbers use trad placements at KP. Climbs like Arrow, Kiwi and Pre Menstral Tendons are group fall risks because of this outdated rule. The widely spaced bolting is largely due to historical leaders in the 60/70s who had to hand drill hole for carrot bolts so wanted to do as few as possible. These climbers like Rick White had exceptional ability and so had a much higher tolerance of risk than the average climber today. I think it's well overdue that the rebolting rule is revised to allow safe climbing for all average sport climbers at KP. It should not be necessary risk a ground fall or other long falls just to enjoy a challenging sport climb.

dpizz replied 12 weeks ago.

100% agree, but I am just your average gumby.

Scott Hailstone replied 12 weeks ago.

Have a look at the SEQ Climbing Facebook page and search “KP” around 2018/19 … for the last iteration of this discussion

replied 12 weeks ago.

Is it this time again?

Inb4 'mixed climbs are a patriarchal agression'.

replied 12 weeks ago.

Climbing is an unnecessary risk. It's up to you to choose your threshold. 'I'm not comfortable with X risk' does not mean said risk needs to be removed, it means you need to choose if and how you are going to manage that risk.

The assumption appears to be that you have the 'right' to climb a route in your preferred style (eg without trad placents) and only your personal risk threshold matters. It doesn't matter how many bolts there are, someone will always whinge that it's run out. I laugh when folk in the Bluies complain that a 10m route only has 7 bolts. You allude above to 'big falls' being 'very unsafe' which is not the case. They are very scary which is not the same thing.

You can choose not to climb the route, or to toprope it, or to stick clip your way up, or to rap and pinkpoint, or to place long runners where you are concerned about decking, or just wait until you have the necessary skills to measure yourself to the route. If none of those alternatives are acceptable to you, perhaps the issue is not one of risk but convenience? It is not 'necessary' to risk anything.

Were there all kind of unhelpful pissing contests and machismo back when the routes were getting put up? Sure. But you're not going to deck from Kiwi unless you fall before reaching the first bolt (or have an incompetent belayer), and if you can fall off the staircase on Arrow between the sling and the first bolt you shouldn't be on the route. PMT is an easy boulder problem to the ledge and if you can fall after that then you already didn't get that far. The one I dislike is Idiot Wind, because a fall above the fourth is a chance of breaking your legs if you don't clear the ledge below, and I manage that risk by mostly not leading it.

Climbing is a dangerous sport. That's why we do it. It has something to teach you, if you'll listen.

Mark Gamble replied 12 weeks ago.

Well put Dave!

My 2c worth: I'm against homogenising the 3 routes mentioned. If they're too scary, go climb other 19s & 20s. 6 bolts on Kiwi? Or Idiot Wind? No thx. A bolt to substitute valid gear on PMT or Arrow? A step down.

And for the record, I've lead PMT, Arrow and I lead Idiot Wind back when you had to mantle the lower crux to get to the first carrot.

replied 12 weeks ago.

There is enough generic development all around us, of new suburbs being bulldozed over bush land and sky scrappers squeezed in - that it paints an important image. Why do humans need to keep altering and developing things? Leave KP be. The way it is bolted is interesting and overall has an important “yesteryear” character- a characteristic that needs to be remembered as important to the core.

replied 12 weeks ago.

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Craig.Rowley replied 12 weeks ago.

I agree, Climbing is an unnecessary risk. But it's the degree of risk that is in question. I note you guys all lead 24s and up. Much higher still level and strength than the average climber at KP. I'm not suggesting all risk at KP should be eliminated but that ground fall risk in particular is too great a serious injury cost to prove self confidence. Being a quarried cliff KP is very blocky so even on well bolted climbs like Idiot Wind there is still plenty of risk to test our skill and confidence. My climbing buddy broke his ankle in a fall a while ago while trying to clip the 4th bolt on Pint Berets a well bolted climb. That climb doesn't need any more bolts, he wasn't at risk of a ground fall. Climbs with very high 1st bolts can't be stick clipped as there out of reach. Climbs with long runouts between the 2nd and 3rd bolts are ground fall risks. I love to challenge myself at harder climbs at the upper end of my ability but I'm not willing to risk serious injury to prove my ability. Very good climbers can just ignore easy bolts and wait to the crux before clipping. Lower skilled climbers trying to extend their ability cannot without taking a huge risk. Moving from Top Roping to Sport Leading is a significant progression in skills and confidence and one many KP climbers aim for but it should not be limited by the risk of serious injury.

Jack Kilsby replied 12 weeks ago.

If you're unwilling to take on the risk, challenge your level in other ways. Do different climbs, find safer more acceptable levels of risk to challenge yourself. I firmly believe that risk assessment and mental game is all apart of the challenge, and 'good climbers' assess and challenge themselves in this area all the time. Run outs and scary climbing don't end above grade 20. Adding bolts isn't the answer. I don't do much, if any trad climbing because I find it too risky and scary. Just the nature of the beast imho.

Craig.Rowley replied 12 weeks ago.

I checked the Facebook survey on this issue in March 2019 and noted about 70% of the 220 survey respondents agreed the KP bolting is very unsafe on those run out sport/mixed climbs.

replied 12 weeks ago.

I have to say I had a very similar view when I was new to leadng outdoors. I questioned why some routes at KP didn't have twice the number of bolts! As my experience has grown though, I've learnt that it really is just another (and important) facet to the sport. Head game is the other 50% of climbing skill and something that needs to be progressed and developed. Am I a bold climber? No. Do I consider and accept risks based on my current physical and mental abilities? Of course! If you are trying to push your grades, you will be able find a route at kp or elsewhere that fits the bill for your own risk taking threshold. As Jack said, particularly dangerous routes exist at all grades imaginable and that applies all around the world too. You won't find runouts and high first bolts just at KP, or in Queensland or Australia. If you're not ready to climb an intimidating line, come back to it when you are or not at all - it's a choice!

replied 12 weeks ago.

If I lead '24's and up' at a 'much higher skill level' it's because I spent many years refining my skills and learning how to climb well at KP on routes 19 and below, and carefully considered where and how to push through risk, and retreated when needbe. Hint: it's mostly been retreating.

I've ticked one 24 in my life, and a handful of soft 23s. Right now I'm squishy and weak and wouldn't push much above a 19. Take care before you assume what I've done is because I'm a fearless crusher with biceps of steel, or some kind of hyper skilled mutant beyond the capacity of any ordinary person to match. Promise I'm not. I'm as average as they come, with a lower risk tolerance than many. I have many aspirational projects at KP, most of which I am waiting to be prepared to do. I might not ever get to some of them. But they would be entirely devalued if they were turned into a clipfest - becoming just another line of stainless to tick and forget. Sport climbers are so stuck in the mentality of the only value of a route is in doing it, ticking it, climbing a grade, the physicality and callisthenics. Many routes have value in areas you fail yet to appreciate, and you would remove that value in ignorance. Sometimes the value of a thing is not in the thing itself, but rather in what the thing requires from you.

The 'you can ignore extra bolts' argument is tired and absurd. If you want the extra bolts, then by definition you are unable to know how it changes the route for those who don't want them. Wait until you understand. Maybe you'll never get there, and that's OK. But don't tell others what difference changing the route will (or won't) mean to them until you can walk in their shoes.

It's also worth looking at how many people have decked at KP, and what the cause was. It's not from whipping above 2nd on a supposedly run out climb.

replied 12 weeks ago.

There are options if you feel creative and build your own portable bolting scheme by using static rope + butterfly knots. As spaced as you wish. Not entirely sure how it works with the modern tick types, but is way cheaper than trad gear. With time, you can remove some knots and add spice to your climb. Or even rap the route and place knots exactly where you want.

PattyD replied 12 weeks ago.

We’ll said by Dave and others. Leave KP as it is, there are enough “safely” bolted routes around to keep everyone happy.

Frank Evans replied 12 weeks ago.

Cris Brazzelli +1 those comments. regarding the 'lack of bolts'... or 'exposure' at KP.. It is NOT a beginner crag.

SP replied 11 weeks ago.

+1 for leaving KP be, no rebolting.

As the old saying goes: Don't bring the route down to your level, bring your level UP to what is required for the route.

If someone doesn't feel confident leading something with bold bolting, Great news! they can still climb it!!

KP provides us with the opportunity to safely set up a tope-rope and work it until we have it dialled. But what if we never feel confident/safe enough to lead it? Well don't lead it!

There are plenty of other crags around SE QLD that provide a safe and friendly leading experience. KP is not one.

Again, if someone doesn't feel safe with the bolts that are provided, the council has provided bomber anchors to safely top-rope that sucker. There is no need to add more bolts. It can be as safe as you want to make it.

replied 11 weeks ago.

I agree with many of the above points for leaving KP as is.

No one is forcing anyone to climb something. It's perfectly okay to toprope a climb, as it is perfectly okay to not ever do a particular climb. Climbing is a risky sport, wherein personal risk assessment is vital, comparing one's own abilities with inherent hazards on the wall. This applies to all life.

Craig.Rowley , your risk mitigation strategy of not leading Idiot Wind due to the ledge fall is a good one and it's awesome that you're obviously thinking and are aware of the risks involved.

Other sound strategies are jumping out from the wall when falling to clear the ledge, instructing your belayer to run back and give you a short hard catch or climbing through this section with control and taking care to not fall just as you would walk carefully on a hike if there is a large drop-off or drive slowly and carefully on a windy country road at night in the rain.

Adding extra bolts to the climb is actually a great risk mitigation strategy and yes, people could just not clip the bolts if they want, but it waters down the experience. Making these risk assessments when you have a lifeline there just a bolt-clip away does not prepare you for the real thing on another cliff and another situation.

Also, I cannot find the poll you mention Craig.Rowley , though I remember the wording of the question being misleading from memory. Would love for you to link the thread here if possible!

kat.bambu replied 11 weeks ago.

Thanks for bringing up this discussion.

I believe in democracy and not in the dictatorship of a few loud people. If the majority of people in the community are of a certain opinion I think it is only reasonable to follow through on it.

replied 11 weeks ago.

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replied 11 weeks ago.

These arguments were all raised in the last iteration of this discusiion which I recall incorporated a poll. Some takeaways from that discussion:

  • Overwhelmingly the people 'voting' in favour of homogenizing/grid bolting KP were newer to outdoor climbing and had had less exposure to more climbing locations, styles and ethics than those 'voting' against retrobolting. Some people admitted that they didn't see the value in some of those headier routes until later in their climbing lives and now valued them.

  • Democracy is great. Lots of people have lots of opinions. Far fewer people put the time and effort into learning route development and going to the expense of equipping routes.

  • Retro bolts have come and gone at KP before. You only need to take a wander and look under some of those notoriously high first bolts to see the remnants of retrobolting attempts... Rightly or wrongly, those added bolts were promptly removed, leaving a hole or patch job on the rock. Any person should think long and hard before they pick up a drill - Regardless if they are emboldened by a majority on a facebook poll.

Craig.Rowley replied 11 weeks ago.

This is the link to the discussion but I can't find the survey results but it should be there somewhere.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/214840561935276/permalink/2158100097609303/?app=fbl

Craig.Rowley replied 11 weeks ago.

I asked an experienced climbing friend what her thoughts were and this is her reply (she didn't want to respond in the discussion as she was concerned about being bagged) "Those climbs, the climbs you originally mentioned,(in the 1st post) are great routes to set your goals but they are not safe. It's not the 70s! The climbing community is no longer limited to the elite. It now encompasses all ages and abilities and should not be limited by 'old times'"

I started climbing at KP when the army base was still open and the base was a dirt road and overgrown. We Top Rope belayed off the old wire fence at the top as Sport climbing didn't exist. I used an old Wheelans harness and a stitch plate belay devise and canvas climbing shoes. But time doesn't stand still. Like the KP parkland has been hugely modernised and improved so too has the climbing walls. The wire fence is replaced, top rope bollards were installed and recently upgraded to a much higher safer standard. BCC has rock bolted many previously unsafe areas of cliff and pretty much all the old carrots and even many fixed hangers and chains have been replaced with much higher standard stainless steel U bolt and chains.

So why shouldn't the high risk long runout climbs be safety improved with an extra bolt or two. No climb will ever be totally safe, lots of risk remain as per Idoit Wind as an example discussed. No sport climber should have to risk a ground fall to prove their ability. Sure it can be avoided by top roping but that's not sport climbing. The 70's was 50 years ago. Isn't it time to move on like the rest of KP.

replied 11 weeks ago.

With a custom made longer pole, you could stick clip the first bolt. Just another idea.

Craig.Rowley replied 11 weeks ago.

Ever tried using the longest stick clip. It goes about 5 metres and bends a lot. Longer would be impractical. The 1st bolt on Arrow is 6 metres and PMT is 6.5 metres. I could abseil down to the 1st bolt on PMT and put the rope through a quickdraw and abseil to the ground to start. But that's hardly sport leading.

replied 11 weeks ago.

Yeah you may be right. But I once saw a guy climbing up a couple of metres on what looked like an easy-ish ramp (not sure what climb he was on, but above that it was hard), then the belayer passed him a stick clip. I'm not a sport climber but I think top roping just the first section to the first bolt if runout, could be a fair compromise. You still have to lead higher up where the exposure increases.

Sam Pearson replied 11 weeks ago.

Hey Craig! You can avoid the beta stick going flaccid by using a length of accessory cord (~4mm) through the draw instead of the rope. Once the bolt is clipped, tie the climbing rope to the accessory cord and pull it through the draw.

This worked at Minto and the first bolts were way higher than 5m. I still had heaps of fun climbing this way!

replied 11 weeks ago.

Solution: Buy a yellow painters pole (Bunnings has 5m ones for $70 very sturdy) and attach a metal clamp on the end- and voila a safetystick clip- no need for extra bolts in KP. Message me and I can help build you one, or even rope gun, hang draws, possibly punt on some classics too with you 🤙🏼

As so thoroughly stated above, modernizing KP underpins the core of its history.

I say ye, Where’s your sense of - good ol bold, single pitch KP, Qlder questing?

replied 11 weeks ago.

The FAs of the routes in question are from the 90s..?

Plenty of people lead these routes safely in their current state. Get better or move on.

kat.bambu replied 11 weeks ago.

All of the people I've been climbing with at KP in the last years don't agree with what a few people here say. It's sad to see this toxic masculinity in a climbing community.

replied 11 weeks ago.

There is nothing toxic whatsoever about standing strong in regards to ethics. It’s what stops the flood gates from climbing becoming another fitness fad like CrossFit, and resulting in gridbolted walls. Please, do understand this.

Troy McAndrew replied 11 weeks ago.

KP is the perfect tool for learning how to mitigate risk. If you aren't utilising it as a learning and growing experience you haven't realised what climbing is all about.

replied 11 weeks ago.

Craig, another idea: stick clip a static rope to the first high bolt and have a couple o butterflies below, so you can still lead ground up and only have to clip 2 draws to the butterflies before you reach the infamous high bolt. My brother is a sparky and has a long orange pole that looks sturdy and light, you could try to investigate this. Don't allow the situation or the debate to put you down, overcome the problem, there are plenty of solutions. You already have few here to choose from. This scenario wouldn't take anything away from the sport climb, as you are still leading all the way.

Frank Evans replied 11 weeks ago.

If you looked at the exposure and run-outs at various crags, and graded them on this metric. KP might be a 5/10

Andromeda and Candy Mountain 2/10

Urban Climb (indoor) 1/10

Herb's spicy routes maybe 7/10

Italian multipitch climbs with 6m between every bolt at grade 20 are a 8/10

etc etc etc

Why do newbs think that because KP is near where they live, it should be bolted like Candy Mountain?

If it WAS bolted this way, not many people would use it or like it.

If it scares you too much, listen to Darwin and climb elsewhere.

Or top rope it.

Or add 'comfort pieces' (intermediate/temporary) pieces of protection ... which Cris has tried to explain already.

It's NOT a democracy, because YOU did not set the route Kat. And has NOTHING to do with men or women, 'loud voices', or bullying, or any other horse-pucky that young people say to get their own way.

SP replied 11 weeks ago.

Hi kat.bambu, I struggle but can somewhat see why perhaps you think this is about masculinity, but please understand it has nothing to do with machoism or chest beating.

Climbing is such a fantastic past-time because it challenges us physically and mentally. We know KP doesn't have the best routes in SE QLD, but what it lacks in classics, it makes up for with character. The heady bolting of some routes provides us a place where we can challenge ouselves mentally, which is half the enjoyment of climbing! The boldness adds to the character and truely is something that many of us enjoy about KP. If you do not particularly enjoy the mental challenge, there are plenty of other crags around that provide can provide a less heady experience, and I suggest you check them out.

I'll be the first to admit that some of the routes at KP scare me shitless, and some I would love to try, but never will because they are too risky or bold for me. But that is OK, because the crag isn't just for me; There are stronger women and men than I, and those routes I leave for them to enjoy.

If you are concerned that the consensus of the community is not properly represented here, I suggest you could invite your friends so they too can have their voices heard on this thread.

bronwen replied 11 weeks ago.

I was brought to this chat by a friend who was remarking to me "how rude could you be to be to change someone else's climb".

I would support adding more bolts to some of the climbs. But I think that discussion needs to be had on a climb by climb basis rather then being so absolute.

I have lots of respect for the people that set the climbs and bolted them. But the cliffs in a public park and I agree that we should reblot the climbs if the majority of climbers using the cliffs agree.

Yes, there are ways to top rope most climbs. But I think that one of the great things about KP is that it gives people an easy way to learn, work on projects and try new things. Yet is one of the most sparsely bolted climbing cliffs around.

Personally I think that peoples safety and avoiding ledge falls is more important than respecting the original climbers.

A freak fall can happen to anyone, even the best climbers. If some climbers want to skip bolts for the authentic experience, that is up to them. Hey, if you want the real authentic experience you should be climbing without a rope or shoes... We should be cautious of changing things for the worst, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't change.

I think it is even ruder to say that that if the majority of climbers think it should be rebolted to make it safer that they don't matter because they weren't there first.

Having said all that I do think we need to be restrained. I'm not suggesting that we installing steps in all the climbs to make them easy for the masses.

Craig.Rowley replied 11 weeks ago.

Thanks for all your suggestions re longer stick clips etc. I'm aware of most of those options but they miss the point. Sport climbing is usually the next step up from top roping for most climbers apart from the bolder climbers who go straight to trad leading. KP is unique in that it is a rock climbing area right in the middle of a city. It's easily accessible and the lights which have now been repaired allow climbing day and night. It's used by two university clubs and the rock climbers club and several climbing businesses and training groups. It's a natural progression for many local indoor climbers. Most of the newer climbers start top roping on the low teen grade climbs before progressing to sport. Trad climbing is very infrequent due to the lack of solid cracks. As the newer climbers progress they are limited by the number of climbs that have dangerous run-out such as to the first bolt as discussed or maybe the 3rd or 4th bolt. KP should cater for all climbers who use it, not just the Bold climbers. Sure all dangerous run-out will never be eliminated but but it certainly needs to be reduced. Climbs like Pommy Bastard, Idoit Wind and Surrender are all well bolted but still seem to be appreciated by many. Yes they still have their risky elements but does a climb have to a Bold ground fall risk to be truly appreciated? "Get better or move on". Is that really how we're going to support all the new up and coming climbers?

replied 11 weeks ago.

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Frank Evans replied 11 weeks ago.

I'm not sure many would call the routes at KP especially bold. That being said, I pick my battles, and top rope the harder routes into submission, rather than working them on lead. Heck, I've added a temporary piece on XXXX below the first bolt (as opposed to stick clipping). And I'm not ashamed to do this. I wouldn't log a redpoint ascent of XXXX without bouldering/soloing up to the first bolt. And sure as hell I wouldn't have the gall to suggest an online survey is the way to mandate a lower first bolt on XXXX. If you want perfectly safe falls 100% of the time, then climb somewhere overhung.

SP replied 11 weeks ago.

Hi Craig.Rowley

KP already caters for all climbers, beginner and bold alike. But does every single route cater to every ability for safe onsight attempts at their limit? No, of course not.

For those who are progressing into/through lead climbing, there are plenty of safe routes (some of which you have kindly mentioned) at most grades.

And if they want to try something that is too bold for them and still be safe? They can work it on toprope (like most of us do) or employ any of the other great methods mentioned above. This is all part of the learning experience, and KP climbing experience.

So it is not as if the bolting hinders the safe progression of climbers (I say this with my own personal first hand experience).

replied 11 weeks ago.

I think on some level all of us are actually in agreement:

> No one believes that every route at KP should be bolted with 8 bolts.

It is a question of how many climbs should be bolted in this way.

Already there have been a number of climbs retrobolted to be safer. Anonymous, Tombstone Row, Dysentery, climbs at KP North, Gigolo, and there are undoubtedly more.

These were retrobolted to offer more closely-bolted climbs at KP in addition to the others.

Now, the question is: Where do we draw the line? Do we retrobolt more routes, or do we say there are enough safely bolted routes?

Frank Evans replied 11 weeks ago.

Another possibility is having a better indication of the exposure in the grading. The 'R' rating is currently only applied to the few most dangerous climbs. R could be kept, and an additional rating applied to routes that are known as being somewhat exposed ... helping to protect newer climbers and visitors.

To be fair, I have seen and heard of some crappy falls that ended in minor injuries.... And yeah, SOME of these injuries MIGHT have been prevented with more bolts.. But... many were due to the climber being out of their depth at the time.

There are a LOT of risks at KP, that don't involve bolt spacing, that could be addressed and make the whole area safer for everyone.

Remediation of the top (around the bollards) is the most pressing issue IMO. Improved multilingual signage would be great also. Moving (scooter and bicycle, but sometimes delivery vans) traffic away from the base of the climbs is another thing that I'd like to see. A professional ultrasonic survey of all anchors would be nice too. Lighting perhaps?

Personally, I'm WAY MORE frightened of the tourists above. And these people are largely unaware that they are putting many lives at risk when they cross the wall for that selfie, or lay out the picnic blanket between the bollards and the edge. The rockfalls don't just endanger climbers, there are little kids and parents carrying food to BBQs, random people just watching the 'amazing climbing', cyclists, cross-fitters, and runners (rightfully) using what is now a very popular spot.

Retro-bolting a few climbs is possible, but one must give respect to the route setters and first ascensionists, and I'll write it bluntly here: IMO, their wishes DO trump concerns about the exposure. It's not a democracy where the route setters vote has the same value as yours. Sorry, that IS how it IS. And the angle grinder will inevitably teach you this.

kat.bambu replied 11 weeks ago.

Good point Alex Mougenot and thanks for trying to find common ground.

I for example am thinking of climbs such as RRR (1 bolt & 1 anchor), CCM (bolts & anchor). I also think that the bolting on FOBS is pretty unreasonable. Unless you are tall you can't reach the second last bolt from the ledge and the position of the third last doesn't offer useful protection.

I don't necessarily agree with very high first bolts but wouldn't argue about it (and just use a long clip stick if needed).

Reagen replied 11 weeks ago.

Late to jump in on this and don't climb down at KP anymore but when i did there was certainly a few routes that could do with some slight updating, Whilst some of the high first bolts may add some character to the climbs my thoughts have always been around that this is the most accessible crag in QLD and maybe Australia and as such is always going to attract new climbers. Again while it is great to preserve character for a region or crag it is also very important to keep the crag open, whilst adding more bolts or some safety bolts to risky routes may take away some character from the crag it might also prevent a few injuries that would otherwise put KP on the map and bring the actual access to the whole crags into question.

As someone has noted it isn't the 70s any more and climbing is mainstream as is the focus it gets for many different reasons. We all get to enjoy it now and i personally would usually just chuck a boulder mat below some of the more dangerous starts, CC, Bufo etc. however not everyone has this option or thinks to find ways to reduce the risk. Again this may be seen as a soft or poor approach but as the current custodians of the crags surely we want to ensure many future generations get to enjoy it the way we have and that may require some small compromises.

I may also be completely wrong and happy to be so and this is just my opinion, i have never found extra enjoyment completing a runout or poorly bolted route versus a well bolted one but we are all different.

Stick clips are also a very viable way around this but again there are new climbers coming straight out of gyms who are not on the crag or having access to good guides to educate them so maybe pandering to the lowest common denominator. Like with Coolum there is basically permanent stick clips there to allow for all newcomers to do this but that is simply not possible at KP.

Craig.Rowley replied 11 weeks ago.

Good to see the discussion becoming more rounded and open. I agree 8 bolt climbs are not needed or desirable. A quick check found Prickles is the only 7 bolt route while there's about 10 or so 6 bolt routes and most well bolted climbs can be adequately protected with 5 bolts. Interestingly PMT has 5 bolts in the upper 12 metres but none in the lower 6 metres. Arrow has 4 bolts in the upper 12 metres but none in the lower 6 metres. Sure you can sling the drill hole on Arrow at 3 metres but that only offers protection to about 4.5 metres. I do sling the bolt hole on Tiger Eye at about 10 metre height because it offers real protection. Another bolt or two on some of these high 1st bolt climbs doesn't take anything away from the quality of the climbs IMO.

hipyhop replied 11 weeks ago.

Personally, I enjoy KP the way it is. Sure some routes need updating, (for example Public Enema, 2 bash-in carrots in 20m), but overall I feel that the quality climbs are reasonably well bolted.

A key issue I feel needs to be addressed is the lack of redundancy in some sections. Often a lone bolt, or old carrot of questionable integrity, protects a section, and if that bolt or the rock it's placed in were to fail there would be a high chance of injury. Bolts fail, rock exfoliates but we can bolt climbs better with this in mind and hopefully avoid unnecessary injuries because someone decided to go for it above substandard absurdly spaced bolts.

Mel replied 11 weeks ago.

I fear that I'll never climb at KP, but still find Craig.Rowley question very interesting—also the polite tone of his discussion.

But no (sorry kat.bambu), route setting is not about democracy, even if lots of people use/enjoy the route. Don't think of dictatorship neither, maybe better understand it as some kind of art: you would never alter a sculpture or painting of an artist after a survey. Only the artist him-/herself may alter the piece of art. (not to even speak about the workforce, time and material needed) (thanks to Frank Evans words on this point)

But to all who see the old setting as a chance to challenge your mind, grow by risk, climb harder before you try again and such...

...if I spin this out...does this also oppose rebolting routes in general? I mean, why would you ever maintain a route with stainless steel expansion bolts—when you can also use the original, hand forged pitons that were set from the route setters in the good early days? Wouldn't setting a new bolt alter a route the same way as more bolts at top and bottom would do?

kat.bambu replied 11 weeks ago.

yeah, right Mel...

Frank Evans replied 11 weeks ago.

The older climbers seem to resonate with the thoughts of Mel

A few older climbers have suggested to me that, with some time, most climbers eventually arrive at this view.

We DO damage the environment when we climb. Sport climbing has always been contentious to some. Similarly, adding bolts to existing routes has always been contentious to some.

One might take the existential view that ALL bolting, and in fact ALL climbing on rock is hurtful/damaging.

One can perhaps argue that climbing indoor/artificial is more 'eco-friendly'.

Concrete climbing anyone?

lols

replied 11 weeks ago.

Cris Brazzelli you are a diabolical genius. Static rope with butterfly knots indeed!

Craig.Rowley replied 11 weeks ago.

I guess if the original route finder and bolt setter is the Artist and the sculpture can never be changed then it is possible to "die for your art" if a dangerous run-out results in a groundfall.

Jacques Beaudoin replied 11 weeks ago.

I get the "art" thing and I agree with it to a certain extent but if you think about it in term of limited real estate and take a look at it with a different perspective, one might tone down this ownership rights over a piece of cliff on limited public land. No one can take this piece of FA art and relocate it somewhere less busy. Graffiti "art" gets repainted all the time by democracy.

replied 11 weeks ago.

+1 leave them be (but replace old and questionable hardware!). I thought it was crazy at first too, when I was an ignorant n00b fresh out of a lead course, then I learnt to climb (somewhat), and I learnt to appreciate what KP offers as it is, which is extraordinary.

John replied 10 weeks ago.

Speaking as someone who cannot climb most of these routes, I agree that bolts should be added to make it accessible for ALL climbers. There’s climbs that I physically could do but don’t yet have the mental skills. Adding bolts would allow me to do these climbs. And while we are at it, holds should be chipped on any hard climbs at KP to make them accessible to everyone. Then I could do a bunch more that I don’t yet have the physical skills for. If you want to experience the route as it was originally set, just climb past all the chipped holds, you don’t have to use them! I know it won’t “technically” be exactly the same climb as it originally was, but it will still have the same name so I can tick it on this website. That should work, right?

replied 10 weeks ago.

This is a great discussion and I commend Craig.Rowley for starting it, knowing it would be divisive. I am an average climber, active route developer, have climbed KP a few times so have seen the high 1st and strung out bolts in question.

I believe every climber needs to ask themselves "what is it about this sport that I enjoy? and what am I trying to achieve? For me it is the physical and problem solving challenge foremost. I don't climb to scare myself (too much) or risk broken limbs and my own routes reflect this.

Is a climber (or route-setter) taking some risks to brag about it or do they live for the mental challenge? If it's a route I really want to redpoint, I'll do as SP and Frank Evans have suggested and rehearse it on top-rope again and again....I once rehearsed a route 34 times before I lead it because of the definite ground fall between the 2nd and 3rd bolts. There are routes at my local crag that I can easily top-rope but refuse to lead because of the injury risk. Pick your battles!

However,

  1. Bolts that are too high to be stick clipped. Are they high because it's relatively safe/easy climbing to that point? If no, I find that strange but what was the original intention of the route setter (saving money on bolts or the route is that hard that getting to the 1st bolt is the least of your worries).

  2. Bolts that are out of reach of shorter climbers. Possibly bad bolting or was it an unfortunate necessity because of questionable rock quality. Could a long perma-draw be a solution.

  3. Ground fall potential from bolt #?? Possibly bad bolting which can be fixed but sometimes it's hard to negate all risk without the route looking like a pin cushion. Rehearse, pick your battles and have a solid belayer.

  4. Dodgy, old hardware. No excuse in this day and age. Change it out with modern equivalent. i.e mild steel carrot bolt changed to a stainless glue-in carrot.

Just because a route "has always been that way" doesn't mean it shouldn't be questioned but we also need to question whether we are changing it to suit our ability, mental toughness or ego.

Craig.Rowley replied 10 weeks ago.

27 different respondents to this discussion so far, good to hear such a broad range of views. As far as chipped holds go there's only one at KP that I'm aware of, Finger Pop, a variation of Coxes Overhang below the Rotunda. An historical approach I'm sure no one wants to see revisited. Of course there are other man-made holds on the walls created by the council to reduce the risk of rock falls (it is their insurance after all). Cox's Corner was the councils 1st attempt at rock bolting loose areas. The protruding bolt heads and netting destroyed this great beginners top rope climb but the resulting discussion with concerned climbers resulted in all future rock bolts being counter sunk and covered with a flat concrete plug. A win for the climbing community. Other constructed holds include the undercling steel plate hold on Silly or Serious, the water drain hold in the spray concrete on the top of some climbs and of course the loss of some holds due to excavator wall scraping to " clean" some loose sections. Clearly KP is not wild untouched rock and therefore bolting locations should not be untouchable either. The discussion seems to come down to how to measure "Boldness". Less bolts, more boldness, more bolts less boldness? If that logic is followed then perhaps we should remove every second bolt to increase our opportunity for boldness. After all in some route notes it advises that the original first ascender climbed the high grade route with only one or two gear placements. Times move on, nothing should be set in stone or rock in this case.

replied 10 weeks ago.

Craig you continue to miss the point.

Noone here is saying all (or even more) routes should be 'bold', or that boldness is the only metric of value. They are not even saying that the number of bolts is the only metric of boldness. They are saying it is a spectrum and removing a part of that spectrum removes a part of the experience. If you don't like that part of the spectrum, you don't need to climb it. I struggle to get value from climbs above grade 24, so I rarely do them. It doesn't mean I change what is there so I can.

If you don't get value from a 'bold' climb, you don't have to do it (in fact you have the opportunity to do them in other styles, doing a grade 30 on TR doesn't make it more achievable for me). But that does not mean it has no value to others, or that you (or a collective of likeminded people) have the right to remove that part of the spectrum in the name of 'safety', 'equality', or some other buzzword, increasing the value available to you at the expense of value to others.

(As for chipped holds, you yet again miss the satire. And there are plenty. Chip-a-holdaway is hard to miss. The Olos slab did for a while. And if you read the guide you'll see a bunch more mentioned which I don't care to go and find.)

Warwick I would note that noone here is suggesting we should continue to climb on crummy mild steel bashies, at KP substandard hardware is getting replaced with quality modern hardware, and where reach is an issue it is considered in the rebolting process.

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John replied 10 weeks ago.

Well said Dave. (And thank you, I was starting to think I was being taken seriously.)

kat.bambu replied 10 weeks ago.

It's also about redundancy. We climbed Juice/ After the Gold Rush (RRR) the other night. It's very poorly bolted (RRR does not even have an anchor anymore). Yes, it is very well within our limit but --> rock & mate came down. Not funny. Gear can fail. Chossy bits can fall.

Craig.Rowley replied 10 weeks ago.

Most climbs that need just one extra bolt need it in the low grade areas of the route eg. After the Gold Rush, Arrow. Almost all climbs are well bolted at the crux, the "Bold" part of the climb to my way of thinking. Redundancy is important. A long fall resulting in significant injury from a low grade part of the climb due to a loose rock or unexpected slip is a high price to pay to maintain "spectrum". Surely sustained climbing sections and challenging crux/s are what gives a climb "spectrum".

Josh Shipp replied 10 weeks ago.

Run-out between bolts and the head game involved with that is definitely an aspect that contributes to the broad spectrum of sport climbing. Each outdoor route is a personal risk assessment, and different people hold different risk/reward factors for themselves. If you don’t feel comfortable on a sparsely bolted climb, there are a range of others to choose from at KP, as well as the multitude of alternative crags around SE Queensland. Don’t think that every route needs to fit into your framework of acceptable risk, instead use that framework to choose what you’re willing to climb. And I feel like this really goes without saying, but please don’t suggest retrobolting mixed routes because you’re not comfortable with placing gear. Climb the sport routes. That’s why we have the different style ratings.

replied 10 weeks ago.

Craig.Rowley - KP is the way an awful lot of sport climbing is still bolted elsewhere. I recently did Aphelion and Rubicon on Tibrogargan with a mate (he led the hard pitches and I struggled on second, so the "you climb hard stuff" card definitely isn't playable...). The access pitches to these have fairly big run outs on slab with ledges, I've led them but my take on them is that they're often no fall zones if you don't want to break your ankles or worse. KP is an important training ground for people to learn to deal with that kind of climbing, so they can safely climb elsewhere. I genuinely value what I've learnt at KP that has allowed me to move to leading elsewhere. Turning classic climbs at KP into bolt ladders will deny that kind of learning experience to new climbers in the future. Removing the problem solving aspect to climbs there ("So...how do I climb this safely?") Will deny people that learning experience. A fall at KP, very very very very close to immediate medical attention, is not what is available at most outdoor climbing locations. This is part of what makes it an ideal learning location. Despite it all there's relatively few injuries at KP let alone serious. Again, to echo others, if you don't wish to risk a lead fall... Top rope is immediately available to you and anyone else who would like to climb there. Assuming they can competently build a safe anchor system. Indoor gym climbing, with bolts so close to one another they're easy to forget about, is immediately available to you and anyone who wants to lead climb with minimal risk.

SP replied 10 weeks ago.

Craig.Rowley : "Surely sustained climbing sections and challenging crux/s are what gives a climb "spectrum"

I don't understand how you cannot see that other people may value different things to you in climbing.

replied 9 weeks ago.

Touche little pot.

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Max Fox replied 9 weeks ago.

can i just say - halva needs an extra bolt between 1 and 2. i understand its fairly simple climbing between the bolts but feels unnecessarily runout and have taken falls where i pretty much touched the ground. bolts should be placed for safety, not adrenaline.

replied 9 weeks ago.

Halva does not 'need' an extra bolt. You want one. There's a difference. Evidence point: you came close to the ground. You did not hit the ground.

Regarding your second point, read above. That you think something doesn't mean the whole world has to agree with you, or give you what you want.

Climbing is a dangerous activity, undertaken at our own risk. It is no-one else's job to keep you safe (except your belayer). When climbing, you choose to put yourself in situations where there are consequences for your actions. If you don't like the consequences, adjust your choices.

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Johnny Sullivan replied 9 weeks ago.

Listen to Neil Monteith’s episode on the Layback podcast where he talks about how KP used to be considered the soft sport climbing area of QLD

Max Fox replied 9 weeks ago.

i agree with pretty much everything you stated. was just giving an opinion as a fellow climber. not demanding (or even expecting) another bolt to be placed in that spot. it was just the first thing that came to mind when i read the topic of discussion. personally im fine with the bolting as it stands, just more concerned as beginners will likely try halva as its one of the most classic routes on the crag. looking back, the only bolt id encourage on the route is one a little below the first as that is probably the most dangerous part of the climb. however thats just my opinion and dont expect everyone (or anyone) to agree

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Mark Gamble replied 8 weeks ago.

Just catching-up here:

Arrow is fine, sling the drill hole.

Walter, kindly demonstrating bouldering up to the drill hole. (His right hand is in the drill hole.)

This gets you up to a reasonable stance on a ledge where you can clip the 1st bolt. This, being a grade 19, is hardly a beginner route.

Mark Gamble replied 8 weeks ago.

PMT:

The lower red arrow indicates a terrific cam placement. If that is unsatisfactory and deemed as being too low, I can get a viable tricam placement in the slot above (higher red arrow)_.

The yellow arrow indicates a geriatric ledge, which then gets you up to a 50cm wide ledge up right, from where to clip the first bolt.

Being a grade 22, one would expect a reasonable level of competency from a leader here.

Mark Gamble replied 8 weeks ago.

Kiwi: I will definitely agree that the first bolt (FH) is rather high, but, here's the thing, like Cucumber Castle, it's been lead that way sooooo many times now, over the years, it's gone into KP folklore as being what it is.

Like CC, leading it is a feather in one's cap.

Too scary? Fine, no probs, go jump on another 19/20.

Mark Gamble replied 8 weeks ago.

A couple of members said above: "keep KP as it is".

couldn't disagree more fervently!

There are several old school routes there, predominantly from the 80s & 90s that are just plain silly ego, chest beating trips.

I'll present a couple here:

Wrath Of Grapes: no reason why there shouldn't be a lower bolt below that ridiculously high first bolt.

G & M's Climb: same same. Ridiculously high first bolt.

Crossed With No Name: Another very challenging start up an overhanging wall with a high first bolt.

replied 8 weeks ago.

Kiwi is the first climb I ever did at KP and the experience is engrained in me (see main image banner). The first bolt is exciting but safe- as with all those climbs, Mark. It’s important to note too- The first bolts are all in the better rock if you look closely and examine. Bolting choss would be the other option

replied 8 weeks ago.

G&M’s could be retrofitted better though

replied 8 weeks ago.

Possibly worth pointing out... Yeap, it's high, but Kiwi's first bolt can also be stick clipped with even a medium length beta stick, a step up, and a little faffing while maneuvering the draw into the hanger. No one actually needs to attempt to climb to that in any semblance of original style if they're not confident in doing so.

One Day Hero replied 8 weeks ago.

What gets missed in these discussions is the feedback loop where bold crags train and empower bold climbers, whereas soft crags produce soft climbers.

It's a combination of effects. Darwinian selection, having the available terrain to hone skills, and having bold routes available (to provide the motivation to want to hone skills).

Also avoided in polite circles is the fact that many climbers would prefer to be on toprope all of the time but are in denial about that. If you have 2m bolt spacing on a sport route, you're never really getting the bolt below your knees and are effectively on toprope for most of the climb.

Twenty years ago most of the regular KP climbers who I talked to exclusively toproped. And that seems like a pretty good approach for that cliff. It's ledgey in places, quite a bit of bad rock, quite featured (lots of sharp shit to hit in a fall even if you don't deck on a ledge), and top access to the giant anchors couldn't be simpler.

I just don't understand the desire to chase the credibility of leading by retrobolting away any of the attributes which differentiate leading from toproping. Especially at a crag which is perfectly set up for toproping and has been historically approached that way.

Frank Evans replied 8 weeks ago.

I distinctly remember seeing decent quality climbers in the early 90s top roping KP a LOT

Mark Gamble replied 7 weeks ago.

Jimmy Blackhall, what's your basis for the statement re rock quality?

I presume you're referring to Radioactive Cheerio & Ego?

The three routes I displayed here are solid: Wrath Of Grapes, G & M's Climb + Crossed With No Name.

I chucked a rope on Radioactive Cheerio & Ego yesterday to tap both out, and there are quite good spots for a bolt below those high first bolts. Again, it comes back to the "standard" or mentality of the 80s and 90s.

Ego is a 23, so that first bolt really shouldn't be an issue. But RC, the 15 variant, shouldn't be an ankle buster. It should be beginner lead friendly.

One Day Hero replied 7 weeks ago.

What's the right grade for introducing risk and decision making? Does every gr15 in the country have to be super-dooper safe so that a leader can pitch off anywhere and not get hurt? Is this how you best teach people the things which they need to know in order to keep their insides in while leading rock climbs on rock in the big bad outdoors?

David Jefferson replied 7 weeks ago.

I’m going to stay neutral in the Great KP Bolt War of 2022. The only thing I’ll say is, like Portland or Austin in America, KEEP KP WEIRD!

Call my crazy, but one of my favourite aspects of KP climbing is its utter weirdness. Carrots, slung drill holes and engine valves, topping out something scary to interrupt staged Insta picnics. Rapping off of footpath hand rails. Chipped holds, slick rock at bizarre angles, ankle breaking fall potential. One time, my right index finger swelled up terribly for 6 weeks because I am apparently allergic to the prickly pear cactus I had cleaned off the top of Steaming Wally.

So for all these reasons and many more, keep KP weirdness alive to baffle and incense many future generations to come!

replied 7 weeks ago.

Ok you want to stay neutral but you want to keep things weird. Cool.

BCC should remove the rail at the bottom so cars can park along the cliff, reducing the approach time to the quarry climbs and perhaps allowing to belay directly while seating in the car. Also, a crash mat on the top of the car could mitigate the risk of a fall before reaching the high first bolt. Just my 2c...

Robert Mudie replied 7 weeks ago.

I'm so over listening to people wanting bolts in everything. Like ODH says "soft crags make soft climbers", and the massive influx of climbers from gyms (the softest of crags) means that there are massive numbers of people who want everything to be overbolted. Skipping bolts on climbs is NOT the same thing as the bolt not being there, and as soon as that argument comes up I instantly just think you're a gym climber who thinks climbing is solely about the movement. Welcome to outdoor climbing, there are more things to think about. If you don't want to think about things, go back to the gym, or go to one of the other crags that's bolted for people like you.

One of the biggest mistakes this community ever made was bolting "accessible", "beginner-friendly" crags thinking that we need somewhere for new people to go. Now we're facing the problem that people who have climbed at those crags are upset that other crags aren't bolted the same way.

As for the argument that replacing old bolts is the same as putting new ones in, those bolts weren't old when they were put in. Replacing bolts in the same locations with new gear keeps it more similar to the FA style.

And as a final point, what's happened to you ODH? I miss the venom, one of my favourite things in life was reading your rants. Reading this thread makes me think we need more people willing to be blunt like that.

Steven vdb replied 7 weeks ago.

Dave and Moogie get +1 from me. Safety is a primary concern of everyone. and everyone should approach a climb with a strategy to make it safe based on their own skill level. its part of the experience, and runout bolts get you one step further into taking personal responsibility for your own safety. Fundamentally I think Craigs point of view stems from a belief that progress in climbing is making climbing safer for everyone. I don't find this belief compelling in the least. Everyone's experience with climbing and safety is different, so rather than force everyone to follow your rule of what safe is, how about you figure out how to make climbing at KP safe for you. In my own experience I found KP scary too at first, but then i learnt how to mitigate my risks with new tactics, and now I love the climbing at KP. for example, for Cucumber castle, the first bolt is too high for my extended stick clip, so i use the cam needed for the 4th clip in the slots a meter off the ground, go in hard, and then stick clip the first. If I couldn't do that, I would bring a boulder matt, if not that then i would just NOT LEAD IT. that's always an option. KP is a gift, not a right.

One Day Hero replied 7 weeks ago.

Robert Mudie, I've got a couple of excuses. Fourth and fifth comments basically nailed it, and then a surprising majority of respondents are keen to leave the place alone.

Also, despite some appalling "ethics" getting tossed around by the o.p., at least he had the decency to sound out public opinion rather than making a unilateral decision. I feel somewhat obliged to encourage that approach by not ripping him a new ringbolt.

However, with that said, I'm going to piggyback on your point and say that anyone referring to the first ascentionist of a route as a "route setter" is immediately filed in my brain as a gym punter extraordinare.

A route setter is some 21 year old with a man bun and tatts, probably called Jayden or Spencer, whose only tools are an impact driver and milk crate of yellow slopers, and who unironically addresses people as "brah". Emilio Comici does not have anything in common with those people. He should not be referred to as "the route setter of the North Face of Cima Grande".

LuckyPhil replied 6 weeks ago.

Just remember that it is not just about the climber, it's also about the public that walks along the cliffs, no need for someone to witness a ground fall due to runout bolts.

Mark Gamble replied 6 weeks ago.

Hey Damian, I appreciate where you're coming from, and no, not every 15 in the country has to be super-duper safe.

Not sure if you've been to KP at all? If we were talking about Arapiles type rock - no probs at all. Wack that first bolt in at 20m or so.

But Kangaroo Point rock is a 20 million year old pyroclastic flow. It has hardened on the surface. Unlike Frog Buttress, f. ex., which was a volcanic intrusion, which never reached the surface, it cooled & hardened under roughly 3kms of earth. Super duper hard.

KP is s**t porous, friable crap. I do a sort of concierge function there, like 2-3 times a year, and clean up the grassy verge at the base of the cliff of all the rock that accumulates there.

Just a couple of photos to give you & others an idea:

So Radioactive Cheerio heads up through broken, fractured rock, before you get to the first bolt, about 8-9m up.

It doesn't have to be that way. No chest beating required.

The bottom red "v" indicates the first bolt.

The small column below the broken rock, is also loose. I tapped out the rock the other day, and it's all loose. It'll come down on some poor belayer someday. But the rock either side is solid enough for a bolt.

View from the first bolt. Not pretty.

First bolt.

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Mark Gamble replied 6 weeks ago.

Hah! ROFL.

😂😂😂😂

You think this thread is long Jelena, take a look at the FB discussion Scott referred to, at the start of this thread. About 4yrs ago. 2,500 participants.

This is but a baby, a mere shadow. 🙊

Craig.Rowley replied 6 weeks ago.

Yes the thread has gone on much longer than I expected. Great to see so much passion. The general consensus seems to be that KP bolting should be left as it is. Apparently bolting put up 30, 40 or more years ago cannot be changed, it's somehow sacred. Despite as noted much loose rock has fallen over the years and will continue to fall changing grading at times.

But despite this "boldness" is everything, nothing can or should change, at least 4 climbs have been identified as needing 1 lower first bolt (hardly a pin cushion approach).

Wrath of Grapes 17

G & M climb 22

Crossed with No Name 20

Radioactive Cheerio 15

So, how do we make it happen? I'm fairly sure Safer Cliffs Qld would put in the bolts but they would need the OK from the the original route setters? or the climbing community or who? Let's move this discussion to some concrete action.

One Day Hero replied 6 weeks ago.

No Craig it isn't sacred, you just don't fully understand what you're talking about. I've seen fifty of you. Different face, different name, but exactly the same narrow vision, small ambitions, and refusal to learn from past mistakes.

I'm trying to be patient, but it isn't my job (or anyone else's) to educate you on climbing history and ethics and the common pitfalls which have been seen time and again when climbers start down the path which you are proposing. Nothing you've said is an original idea, so you can go and find all the previous times these fairly basic notions have been suggested and read the detailed arguments against those proposals.

Reading shit on the internet isn't enough. This is a physical and corporeal pursuit which cannot be understood through words. In order to understand what people are talking about you have to go and climb at trad and mixed crags, and really climb there.

Go and climb at fifty different crags in a dozen countries, of all styles and rock types and ethical systems. Spend six months camped in The Pines. Learn to lead at Frog (and enjoy leading at Frog). Learn to lead at Girraween (and enjoy leading at Girraween). This is not a fast process, but the process will educate you and change you as a climber. I strongly doubt that your ideas about KP would remain the same if you went through that ordeal of learning.

However, I don't think you're actually going to do any of that. You'll choose to remain willfully ignorant, yet demand that your ignorance be treated as equal to other climbers experience and knowledge. And that is pretty fucking annoying.

replied 6 weeks ago.

I hadn't really wanted to climb at KP before; but now I'm keen.

Greg Emmett replied 6 weeks ago.

I'm super late to this discussion but just another + for seeing the character of climbing at KP retained as much as it can be.

I've always felt the bolting at KP is logical and that it wasn't just a desire for increased risk, or some type of gate keeping, that the bolts have been placed where they are.

Where the terrain is very easy for the grade you tend to find fewer bolts. Right before crux moves at the grade you usually have a bolt to see you through. Where there are no good clipping positions for a climber at that grade you won't find a bolt. Where there is a really solid clipping position above it might appear run out from below. Where there is a difficult start for the grade the first bolt might be high up at the first jug.

Mark Gamble replied 6 weeks ago.

The 2018 Facebook thread/discussion went on for well over 1 year, so at 5 weeks, this discussion has a bit of catching up to do.

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