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Scott F

Ed – Let me apologise for the `shoot from the hip nature` of my response. I intended no offence or insult to anyone posting previously (yourself included).

It just seems that in many cases when most people mention bolts along with that come other things like sport climbing, cragging, short spacings, lower-offs, crowds and sometimes poor quality. Are these things bad? – depends on what you are into. Do I think those things listed above belong in a wilderness/adventure setting like the SW WA sea cliffs – no. And it is this point that is the foundation of my argument. It is all about context and style.

I realize that sometimes bolts may also bring all the things you expressed ` try 3 pitches of immaculate face climbing with very engaging runouts between well placed ring bolts and wherever possible natural protection` . Climbing a route like this sounds interesting (and perhaps more difficult than I am able) especially in a remote spot like the south west.

So no, bolts do not always equal sport climbing – how can they? There are bolts on the Bachar Yerian – clearly this is not a sport route. The style of its ascent was unique, a true test piece which has stood the test of time.


John Bachar touches on the idea behind the style of the ascent in this short clip


I agree100% with your point that most fixed protection has zero visual impact on the natural environment when compared to the horrible blight created by other National Park infrastructure such as, walking trails, carparks, signs, rubbish bins, etc etc etc. The saying `give an inch and they will take a mile` applies perfectly in this instance. If there is a bush track, soon someone will get lost, they will blame the authorities and the bush track will turn into a signposted concrete 2mt wide footpath.

As climbers the notion of wilderness is now probably only a theoretical concept and never truly obtainable – as soon as you walk there and see it perhaps it is no longer wilderness? But what is wrong with retaining wilderness attributes where possible?

Ed I would love to head out with you for a climb some time to talk about this further. Whether or not we agree there are always two sides no matter how thin the issue is sliced and we can all learn from each other.

Please get in touch via my email scfielding@gmail.com

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