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  • #7205 Reply
    Phillip, CAWA Committee Member

    The existing CAWA Bolting Ethics has served the WA climbing community very well in the past. However not only are climbing techniques, hardware and methods changing, but so are the various government regulations that allow – or disallow – us, to climb.

    Due to this, and various other reasons, it’s seems that it is time to update the guidelines. These are posted on another page and can also be downloaded as a pdf – see the link below. The Code was developed by the CAWA Committee and several other people have already commented on them.

    The Committee is now calling for submissions of comments from CAWA members on these draft Code and Guidelines. Submissions may be made in writing and should be posted to the CAWA PO box or given to a Committee member; or they can be emailed to CAWA; or put up under this thread on the CAWA web forum. Only submissions and discussion from persons properly identifying themselves with their name will be accepted! If you do not want to publicly identify yourself but want to make comments, then please do so in writing (ie a letter to the PO box) or by email and clearly state that you do not wish your identity to be made publicly known. Also unless you clearly state otherwise, comments and submission made by email or post may be posted up on the website, although as mentioned above, your identity will not be if you have asked for it not to be.

    So, no abuse or arguments please! If you want to make comments on the draft – and that’s what they are – then please say it clearly and if necessary, give justification. Don’t say ‘This is a load of rubbish’ and leave it at that – say something constructive like ‘ I disagree with point XX because…’ or ‘Yes, point YY is a good, but I think it needs to be worded to take into account…’

    The CAWA Committee reserves the right to delete any posts from this, and any other thread, which it deems to be unacceptable in terms of bad language or makes any threats to any person.


    #7206 Reply

    The code of conduct says it applies to all climbers in WA – yet CAWA only invites comments from CAWA members on the code ?

    This seems incredibly hypocritical; especially when the many of the most active climbers and new routers are not CAWA members.

    I urge CAWA to think long and hard about this situation and acknowledge that chipping in WA quarries and carrot bolts are not easy issues to deal with. But WA is unique – as is every climbing region – and each must develop its ethics to reflect the passions and history of the area. You can not copy and past ethics from one area into another and it often does not make sense to do so.

    For example, here are some passionate ethical issues that exist in other climbing areas – but not WA. They all have relevance for the respective area, but copying and pasting them into the WA scene would not make sense.

    For example:

    Some areas in the USA have a strong “bolting on lead” ethic – where all bolts must be placed on lead, with no abseil access. A recent incident in the USA where a FA team abseiled down and placed bolts has generated over 2000 post on a forum topic discussing the issue ! Clearly bolting on lead is a strong ethical requirement for that area – but it is not applicable to WA at all.

    Another example is aid climbing – and drilling hook holes. This is essentially chipping for aid climbing. I do not understand this one at all – but it is an accepted ethic in many places, but proposing it for WA is once again silly.

    Yet another interesting example is a fairly recent controversy over removing a (the) bolted abseil station at Ben Lomond – a cliff in Tasmania. Here they have taken away a lower off / abseil station and the only decent is an arguably erosion causing gully. But WA ethics propose lower offs be installed whenever erosion is an issue – but at Ben Lomond this is not the case as they have opted for a bolt free / tat free cliff and will accept the erosion consequences.

    Other examples – Gritstone climbing – contrived headpointing, strange gear, sticky taped sky hooks etc etc etc

    It is in the contexts above, that I suggest that carrot bolts and chipping be permitted – in CERATIN situations. For example, chipping only in quarries. And carrot bolts only in wilderness slab areas where they offer a fit for purpose level of protection and the fast installation process offers advantages. e.g the Porongurups.

    For what it’s worth here are some of my comments (number refer to Code of Conduct point):

    1) What does this mean ? Does it mean the health and safety of the individuals in the community or are you referring to the health and safety of the community as a whole ?

    2) nice bit of rhetoric here….

    3) ok. Very subjective though. Should also apply to DEC wrt them acting in areas where they have experience and can demonstrate competency before making decisions…..

    4) ok

    5) ok

    6) ok

    7) ok, but 50m does not seem far enough ?

    8) Why not just say “no dogs”. It is not appropriate to have them at any WA climbing area.

    9) Do we really need this ? this is a CAWA objective and not necessarily an obligation for EVERY rock climber….

    10) And gratuitous cleaning, is it permitted ? The reason given for not allowing modifications “as it destroys the natural quality of the rock face” is silly. Cleaning / bolting also does this as well and they are allowed. The distinction between bolting and chipping is clear only to rock climbers. As far as non-climbers are concerned, both are cheating. I think this point should say “Manufactured holds are not acceptable at natural crags and cleaning/glue re-enforcing should be done in moderation, especially at natural crags”. I also think “manufactured” holds should be permitted in quarries – given that certain conditions be adhered to. WA has long had history of dubious ethics in quarries and many of the manufactured routes offer some of the best climbing near Perth e.g Urban Ethics, Cardio Funk etc etc. It is naive and incorrect to think that these routes were chipped down to suit the first ascentionist or that the behaviour was some form of unjust travesty against nature. Cleaning any route in the quarry can change the character and amount of holds just as much as chipping. And no, there are no future Chris Sharma grade 35+++ projects out there being chipped down to suit the fat assed weekend warrior. More often than not the chipped lines have been left ignored for over 20 years because they required too much cleaning, too much chipping or were just plain cr*p rock climbs anyway ! Of late, slowly the choss has been nibbled away to reveal the occasional worthwhile line. If you are an enthusiastic Perth climber, then most welcome these additions to their weekend diet of new routes to go and do.

    11) Fine

    12) This slightly contradicts the promotion of lower-offs in other points. Lower offs are often the most prominent visual polluter.

    13) Fine. Should be extended to say “negotiations with land managers/owners about bolting should also only be undertaken by people with the appropriate pre-requisite knowledge about bolting and new routes”.

    14) Well…. Perth boulders are very small. Can we not consider 0.8125m ?

    15) Fine


    a) I still think carrots and other bash in protection e.g pitons should be permitted if deemed “fit for purpose” by the first ascentionists. Point 16 a) should read “bash in carrots and pitons are not recommended”. This is consistent with the VCC bolting code. Pitons are still an internationally recognized form of protection (and essentially bash in carrots are not very different). These items are accepted world wide in CERTAIN situations. There is no reason why they can not be accepted in CERTAIN situations in WA as well.

    b) ok.

    c) Minimum should be 316SS in coastal areas.

    d) Hmmm. Better clarify this for expansion bolts that are not of the true-bolt type. i.e 10mm holes size with an 8mm shaft that is threaded… is this allowed ?

    e) ok.

    f) Old things should only be replaced if required. It is possible that piton scar may be used for natural or gear or new technology (eg micro cams) may make a replacement bolt superfluous.

    Some guidance for glue selection / use should be added here. Something simple such as “use only glue that has been proven by experience to be suitable for WA conditions”.

    17) Do not agree. WA has some “unique” fully bolted climbs that are not “sport” routes. Bolt spacing should be established with respect to the ethic of the crag. e.g Porongurups – routes bolted similarly to existing routes there. Bob’s – like existing routes there and so on. “Safe by most climbers” is way too subjective. Most climber’s abilities/balls are toward the low end of the scale.

    18) Hmm. This sounds good in principal, but I think its more complex in reality. Does this apply to trad routes ? do they still need a bolted loweroff if there is erosion potential ? Probably best to say that lower off should be used where traffic and erosion concerns warrant it and leave it at that.

    19) Well… whatever.

    20) I am not going to enter into an argument about the validity of this statement. But this is not appropriate in code of conduct. Leave it out.

    21) This seems a bit selective given recent goings on. I think the emphasis should be on no fixed protection or anchors. i.e No commercial abseil stations going down various party cliffs…. No adventure climbing zone anymore either ? South coast granite ?

    22) High tourist areas – Kalbarri ?

    Additional things that seem to have been missed out:

    Bolted climbs that are not in any guidebooks and not published elsewhere should be considered closed projects. Climbers should stay off such routes unless they have evidence that the first ascent has been completed.

    Bolts should not be placed to facilitate commercial activity eg abseiling where sufficient natural protection exists. e.g Willyabrup is the most overbolted cliff wrt cliff top anchors I have ever seen !

    #7207 Reply

    Hi Neil,

    thanks for your comments.

    A few quick comments in return….

    “The code of conduct says it applies to all climbers in WA – yet CAWA only invites comments from CAWA members on the code ?

    This seems incredibly hypocritical; especially when the many of the most active climbers and new routers are not CAWA members.”

    Yes, maybe, but then that’s how things often work. I know of lots of people that live in Australia, pay their taxes in Australia, obey (or at least are suppose to) the laws of Australia, but have no right to vote or influence the law-making and political process in Australia. The same goes at all levels of administration – the official rules of Aussie Rools is set by someone somewhere and 99.999% of players have no input into the rules. The same goes with the rules that govern the various sports being held at the Olympics. If a sportsperson wandered off the street into an Olympic Committee meeting and demanded they change the rules to suit the person, then I think that the IOC would quickly call security and have the person escorted away.

    Well, we are not going to do that – we are going to listen to peoples’ comments – even those that are not members of CAWA and won’t pay a measly $50 a year membership but still demand that CAWA represents them to the WA government, let them use the webpage created by and paid for by CAWA members, organise events and so on.

    I could make a lot of other comments now, but most would be my personal opinion. I actually agree with you on some points, disgree on others, and I think others are simply that we need to word the draft better – the Committee knows what we mean, after all we discussed it ad nauseum, but what is obvious to us may not be to other people, and that’s one of the reasons why we are seeking feedback.

    Anyway, the CAWA committee is going to collect and collate peoples’ comments – yes, even comments from non-CAWA members – and then discuss them and re-issue a second draft for more comments.

    I will make one quick comment however that is not my opinion, and that is regarding:

    “I also think “manufactured” holds should be permitted in quarries – given that certain conditions be adhered to. WA has long had history of dubious ethics in quarries and many of the manufactured routes offer some of the best climbing near Perth e.g Urban Ethics, Cardio Funk etc etc.”

    While you are certainly entitled to your opinion on this and we are seeking input on these matters, what was written in the Draft Guidelines was only re-iterating what the law currently says.

    Previously, the management of the quarries was under the aegis of various State and local government bodies and there was no general policy on bolting and chipping and ‘what was not prohibited, was permitted’.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), the quarries are now under DEC management and official DEC policy is now quite different to what existed previously. The following is from an email from DEC:

    “While it can be argued that a quarry by its construction must therefore

    not make it natural, recent legal advice from the State Solicitor’s

    Office advises that CALM Regulations 2002, Regulation 37 (2) applies to

    damage to a quarry face. The Regulations states that:

    “37 Damage to property

    (2) A person must not, without lawful authority, cause any

    damage or disturbance to, or interfere with, any ticket vending machine,

    sign, aboriginal site or artefact, or other thing or structure that is

    part of the landscape or property on CALM land.”

    Advice was that damage or disturbance does occur to rockfaces by the

    action of “bolting” and therefore all unauthorised bolting is unlawful.

    The Department believes that this would also apply to the other damage

    to a quarry rockface you mentioned like unacceptable “chipping”.

    While DEC has the legal mechanism to closely manage this practice it

    would not be an efficient approach to the issue, and we believe

    continuing to work with CAWA’s membership is a more pragmatic method.“

    (Manager, Recreation Planning and Interpretation Branch, Parks and Visitor Services Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, dated 30 April 2008)

    If you disagree with this, then I suggest you should either contact DEC directly; or become a CAWA committee member and come along with other committee members and discuss this, and other issues, in a meeting with DEC.

    #7208 Reply

    I don’t think this is the appropriate forum to argue what I think about DEC’s email.

    However – CAWA’s draft code of conduct does not require permission from DEC to bolt – so it presumably condones the unlawful act of bolting but not chipping ?

    i.e “11) Persons considering bolting or altering rock faces should ascertain who owns or administers the area and take this into account. For new crags, it is recommended to approach the land owner/manager for consultation.”

    So if I want to bolt do I have to approach DEC for permission ?

    It seems not according to point 11) – I think this is GREAT !

    But do DEC agree ?

    What is the process for obtaining authorisation to bolt ?

    If there isn’t a process – and we don’t need to do anything – FANTASTIC !

    But….the Code of conduct offers no guidance on this and CAWA is actively publishing that bolting is unlawful ? I am very very very confused……

    Please don’t drag me into the whole $50 membership to CAWA cr*p. I contribute to the WA climbing scene in a constructive manner by doing new routes, exploring for new crags, re-bolting and publishing / collating mini guide information – in doing so I incur a cost significantly greater than $50 per year. I am not a member because I do not agree with some of the fundamental decisions CAWA has made and some of the basic principals they adhere to. The details of this are my own business – suffice to say that it is better for Neils if they are not members of CAWA and are hence free to do and say what they want.

    I have offered several times to attend meetings with DEC and get involved in developing new areas in a LAWFULL manner. But so far no one from CAWA has accepted my offers. I also approached DEC on my own and was told to “go away”.

    Aside from this last point I think our posts contain good food for thought. I would like to see some other climbers contribute – people certainly had a lot to say about stupid issues in the past – but now when it is important and things are happening, no one is saying anything !!!!!!!

    #7209 Reply

    Hi Neil,

    thanks for your comments.

    A few point:

    CAWA can’t make you do anything you don’t want to. The Draft guidelines are just that – Draft guidelines. We put them out for public comment and it is good that you are commenting on them. However you seem to be taking them as a personal attack of your own climbing ideas. If you don’t like or understand anyone them, then please comment in a clear and logical manner.

    Regarding #11, this simply recommends that you contact the appropriate land manager if you want to bolt. If you think it needs to be re-worded as it is unclear, then please suggest better wording. In the case that the manager is DEC and you don’t follow DEC Regulation, then you have chosen to break the law and that is up to you. However in doing so you also jeopardise other law-abiding climbers’ right to climb, as unfortunately, many government departments have a knee-jerk reaction and if just a few people start breaking the law and they can’t or can’t be bothered finding out who, then they will often tend to take it out on everyone.

    As for the process to obtain authorisation, DEC has stated in their policy documents and Regulations how to do this. Without looking it up, I think that you need is to obtain permission from the District or Regional Manager. Have a look at the CALM Act and the DEC policy documents for the exact details. Excerpts from these have been posted on this website numerous times and they are also available from the DEC website and the State Law Publishers. If you wish, I will dig them out and send them to you.

    If you have offered to come along to DEC meeting with CAWA, then I am unaware of it. These meetings have been organised by myself, Toc or Dena, and neither Toc or Dena have ever mentioned to myself that you would like to come along. I do know however that at a recent meeting Toc did put forward a query made by you about bolting at another quarry – incidentally one that I did some climbing in about 20 years ago.

    If DEC told you to ‘go away’, then you should stand up for your democratic right and insist that they meet with you. DEC also often calls for public submissions of various things (these are announced on the DEC website) and you can have input into DEC policy in this manner. If all else fails, go and see the Minister.

    If you disagree with how CAWA is run and some of CAWA’s policies, then the best way to change them is to join, become a committee member and do something about the things you don’t like.

    #7210 Reply

    Neil quote: …I do not agree with some of the fundamental decisions CAWA has made and some of the basic principals they adhere to….

    Comment: Fair enough but what are you actually talking about? You can email me with your concerns and I can take them up at the comm mtg. They can remain remain cofidential should you wish to state so. CAWA will continue to act to represent WA climbers at the official level and it is your feedback that makes this representation meaningful….and by the way we greatly appreciate your comments. Thanks for taking the time Neil. I hope others will contribute also (by web, mail or email, no need to be public). The world is what we make it.

    #7211 Reply

    I forgot to say – for a first draft, the code of conduct was a fair effort from CAWA. Especially, considering how tricky these things can be to put into words.

    I would like to see some comment from others too.

    #7212 Reply
    ed nepia

    interesting stuff.. regarding a bolting code i think the best approach is to be quite specific in terms of technical ‘best practice’ and then make some general ethical statements which cover ‘style’ issues

    Why not spell out exactly what types of bolts are acceptable and in what situations, obviously some crags need glue in ss rings, others ss trubolt style bolts are fine, it shouldnt be hard to decide what these are .. i cant understand why anyone would place carrots anywhere anymore, the worlds moved on and its time WA caught up. Just reject them and get on with it.

    Lower-offs are a bloody good idea at most crags as they can save wear and tear on vegetation, tracks etc. they can also be cunningly disguised so they can be very hard to see ..

    point 17 is an interesting one, whats safe? i think that the statement could be reworded so that it guides bolt placements to be appropriate for the grade and expected future users.. in other words try and eliminate strong climbers bolting easy rotes with dangerous run outs, its funny how hard routes almost never have dangerous run outs eh.. given that 99% of routes are rap bolted these days its ludicrous to bolt contrived run outs. Bolted routes can be and are often best when they are ‘sportily’ bolted but when its safe ie any falls could be long and spectacular but wont end on a ledge or the ground. I’ve climbed some mind blowing runouts on french limestone 10m or more at times but any fall wouldnt have resulted in serious injury or death cause the bolts were bomber and placed perfectly to avoid injury but maximise excitement.

    Good ideas to make a statement about crowding routes with new bolted lines, i have seen many nice crags ruined by stupid bolted variations and variations of variations , strong independent lines are best rather then a grid bolted mess.

    with respect to the code of conduct my advice is to keep it simple, dont fall into the trap of trying to expect climbers to be role models, climbers are as much a bunch of misfits, retards, saints and sinners as the rest of society, just set a bunch of rules and let them get on with their disfunctions.. eg do not light fires, do not leave rubbish and remove others etc.. but leave out the moral stuff

    good effort on the update, be interested to hear from others

    and neil what do you mean by “most climbers abilities/balls are towards the low end of the scale”?

    does that mean only you have the right to decide because of your attitude and testicular dimension?

    over and out

    #7213 Reply

    no ed it doesn’t. stop trolling and grow up.

    #7214 Reply
    ed nepia

    oh dear you are an over serious young boy after all

    #7215 Reply
    Jeff M

    So what if most climbers balls and/or ability are towards the lower end of the scale, if the routes are in the grades these climbers will be playing on towards their limit of balls or ability why should it be dangerous and run out. If all of the lower grade climbs are put up by stronger climbers with the attitude of “well I can climb super hard stuff so I don’t need to bolt this too well” how are the bumbleez supposed to have a go? I am sure a few of these guys contribute to the bolting funds too, and like you said “most climbers” so there are obviously a few of them, so why not look after the masses? Most people doing the bolting are climbing a lot harder stuff, so why not just bolt your projects at your limit to suit you and the easier stuff for the general climbing public?

    Also carrots differ from pitons generally as the piton has a lot more surface area to bite into the rock, the carrot has a taper which limits its contact. however both have probably seen their day and it is time to move on.

    probably less on the moral stuff and just concentrate on look after the crag area too.

    #7216 Reply

    To anything that can be top-roped demands for additional bolts do not apply.

    #7217 Reply
    ed nepia


    #7218 Reply

    Firstly, just a comment about Neil’s “Most climber’s abilities/balls are toward the low end of the scale.”, is he saying that people like some of the older climbers shouldn’t be climbing as their climbing ability is not as high as his own? Will Neil still be climbing when he is Chris’ or Mike’s age or even my or Toc’s age?

    Anyway, enough of that. Below are comments by someone that emailed their comments to me. I am not commenting on them (at this point in time) apart from I agree with some and disagree with others and they raise some interesting points. If the person that wrote them wants to put his or her name up, then that’s up to them.

    The posted draft of the latest climbing code looks pretty rough. I suppose it’s meant to be altered. Going through it one realises why other climbing codes are so sparse. Almost every point opens a can of worms.

    There are only a few things that belong in a climbing code. The important ones are

    -The principal of individual responsibility and recognition of objective dangers.

    -Respect for the environment (valuing the wilderness, discouraging development other than for environmental protection).

    -Respect for the rock

    -Care and attention not to endanger others by one’s own actions

    -Adherence to rules made by the land managers

    -Respect for local ethics

    It’s difficult to word these things in a way that can’t be misinterpreted or used against climbing. The best is not to put too much into the code. This thing will be used by non-climbing management organisations dec etc. They won’t ask us for our interpretation, they’ll go by what’s written down.

    In some ways a climbers code should be of little use to government bodies because what a climbers code should respect most highly is freedom.

    So be careful. If Cawa chooses to integrate itself with the bureaucracy then climbers should abandon it. As many have over the last few years.

    First, before going over the proposed code point by point it’s important to state that it should be split in two. The climbers code and the bolting guidelines must be separate documents.

    It should be possible to cite them separately and update them separately.

    Bolting guidelines must be represented only as guidelines. At no time should anyone get the idea that they are a standard, like a structural standard for indoor gyms. They are guidelines only; based on experience. Unlike a standard there is no implied guarantee that following the guidelines will result in sound bolts. There are too many scenarios where faulted or weak rock or unusual environmental conditions combined with lack of maintenance will make bolts less than reliable. This must be clear

    Apart from complicating maintenance of the documents; having bolting mixed in with the code confuses things further when apply the code to non-bolting areas. Keep these documents separate.

    The code is critiqued point by point.

    1. This is a really bad point to have in a code. The key point in climbing is individual responsibility and management of risk. Trying to give climbers some kind of duty of care over other people who climb is dangerous. Better be more specific such as something like,

    “While recognising the principal of individual responsibility (and individual management of risk) climbers should not through their actions ( Not inactions) increase the risk to or endanger other climbers.”

    Anything more is probably overkill, but some of the following might be considered. Reference could be made to the cawa risk management guidelines, or specific dangers eg

    “Take care not to cause anything to fall on climbers below

    Give timely and adequate warning of lose of falling rock

    Take care in setting up anchors that others may use.”

    Climbers should be aware and communicate the objective dangers of outdoor climbing. Rock faces carry no manufacturer’s guarantee, and bolts, which may or may not be installed correctly are seldom maintained.”

    Better to refer to the Risk Management Guidelines.

    Also a down-to-earth code should avoid cosy concepts like a “climbing community”. Just say climbers.

    Climbers must assess their own risk and the trust they have in their companions.

    Climbers must appreciate their responsibility in accepting and managing risk.

    Consequences are real and extreme.

    Some dangers are given in the CAWA risk management guidelines.

    2. This para is pure Walter Scott. Unfortunately Walter Scott makes some people throw up. It’s unnecessary and condescending to list the virtues a climber should have. Be specific. Courtesy, respect for the environment etc.

    3. This opens up the accreditation can of worms. “Climbers act within their competence”. What determines a climbers competence? Qualifications, certificates? This gives people, eg. legal litigants, CALM, government, another stick to beat climbers with. If something goes wrong they can say, he didn’t have an abseiling certificate, he didn’t have a first aid qualification, he acted outside his competence.

    Forget about your intentions or what you think the document means. This is going to be cited by DEC, land managers, to them competence is NOLRS.

    Apart from exposing climbing to accreditation this is a list of pious hopes and wishes. If we do want to list the virtues climbers should have better to do it in a way that doesn’t damage climbing. Something like – Climbers should respect other users and land managers and obey rules made by land managers – . Although this means cawa supports adherence to the DEC rules on the quarries. One would have hoped they would be more neutral.

    4. Grammar could be improved. Strike out wilful. Respect for the environment is an important principal. This should go with number 6.

    5.It’s not a good idea. Telling people to use lower offs that may be old or defective is foolish. Some people may take this as an instruction and if there’s an accident they may have cause for complaint. Climbers should use their judgement as to the best way to descend from a particular climb at a particular time. (Climbers being lazy will generally use the lower-offs anyway).

    I would very strongly suggest including in the bolting guidelines a prohibition that loweroffs should never be more than 25m above the belay. Putting them a few metres higher has killed people.

    6. I like the “regardless”. As access officer I used to take rubbish out of the climbing areas and tried to get working bees together. I’m sure the committee members still do pick up rubbish. Everyone should help.

    7. Good. Short and succinct.

    8. Won’t be popular. Remove the last sentence. The climbers code shouldn’t include rules from other organisations. Some national parks may one day allow dogs. The quarries are technically part of a park and people walk dogs there. If you must – then say climbers must obey every rule dec chooses to make.

    9. again pious hopes and wishes. People climb with whom they choose. But then I’ve never supported development of climbing. Climbing for climbers, and getting into climbing is somewhat like acquiring a drug addiction. Not something you go out of your way to encourage. Though once they’ve got it they’re one of us. Poor pillocs.

    10. This is not a neutral position. Other codes say things like, respect the local climbing ethic, don’t damage or alter exiting climbs. This is an attempt to shut down the chipping debate by making a godlike statement.

    11. Many of our crags owe their existence to being completely off the radar. Although they can never say so, it really suits dec and land managers not to be asked about bolts. It releases them from duty of care. If they are consulted they have to consider their legal position and the safe answer is no.

    The code of course can’t encourage sedition. Best that this point quietly disappears.

    13. Say “trial bolting” not “bolting practice”.

    16. If SS bash-ins are not recommended, which is logical, they’re essentially similar to pitons, though usually longer lasting, then expansion bolts should also be discouraged. They continually load the rock, and even in hard rock, given time, will either loosen or crack the rock.

    The word carrot should not be used. Glue-ins can also be carrots. Best not confuse things.

    When promulgating standards, such as bolt material and diameter, it would normally be the case that such standards would be based on published test results;, and the standards would only be applicable to similar situations to those in the tests. It may be wise to make it clear that these are guidelines based on experience, not standards. Adhering to them will not guarantee safety. On sea cliffs scc has been shown to occur in 304. At Bobs hollow given the thinness of the limestone crust many are surprised that the bolts hold. Put in some covering words, general consensus, or suggested guidelines.

    On point –f – It should be required that replacement bolts be of the same style as the old bolts. As Mike Law pointed out on the web-site a few years ago, replacing hex-heads with rings is retro-bolting.

    17. this is controversial. It’ll alienate a lot of climbers. Considered safe by “most climbers”?. That’s most climbers who climb that grade, or most outdoor climbers, or most of us bumblies? Individual responsibility is the principal. Know your limits and assess the climbs you want to take on. The first ascensionist may want to set the style and the atmosphere.

    This also impacts natural climbs. Some climbs take a lot of skill placing gear. Should they be bolted because most climbers don’t have that skill?

    18. Again a bad idea to mandate lower-offs. It depends on the circumstances. The rock on top may be soft or loose. It may be safest to top belay and walk down. Recommend don’t command.

    19 We do live with this first ascensionist rule. It seems to work. Though I think if someone messed up a climb I enjoyed, with or without fa permission, I’d feel quite free to chop bolts. It’s all part of the discussion.

    20. Again possible confusion. Many people, particularly over east, refer to glue-in hex heads as “carrots”. Don’t use the word.

    21 and 22 are particular regulations that shouldn’t be in a code of conduct. Rather say something like, – respect non-bolting areas as agreed with land managers -. Or don’t bolt in declared adventure climbing areas.

    #7219 Reply
    Johnny Bolter


    Because CAWA said so!

    Don’t argue or the almighty CAWA will bamboozle you with retoric and guidelines and big words about ethics and……..

    #7220 Reply

    Hi Johnny,

    you are very welcome to put up your comments, but a part of the requirements for this thread is that you properly identify yourself.

    While Neil only did so as ‘Neil’, I think most people know who he is. Same with Richard, Jeff and Ed, as they are fairly regular posters and are well known in the WA climbing community.

    As you do not seem to be a regular poster that is well known in WA, could you please properly identify yourself? A phone number or email address would be good. Please email these to cawa@climberswa.asn.au

    As moderator (OK, maybe immoderator…) of this thread, I reserve the right, as I pointed out in my first post, to delete any posts that don’t abide by the requirements.

    #7221 Reply
    Johnny Bolter

    Told you Ed….CAWA have the power.

    My life on this thread is short lived it appears. Wonder if all the hundreds of other people who are “not well known in WA” will be deleted from other threads in this forum.

    Seems a little facist to me

    #7222 Reply
    ed nepia

    constructive engagement is the thing 😉

    #7223 Reply

    No Johnny, it’s called transparent and open participatory democracy.

    While Neil, Richard and others may agree or disagree with the code and offer constructive (usually!) criticism of the draft, they have the balls to put their name behind what they say.

    As for your comment on “not well known in WA”, I wrote in the first post who I am. Ed gave his (real) second name, and most active climbers know who Neil and Richard are, and as a result I’m willing to let their not-quite full omission of their details pass because of this. And if anyone wants to know who they are, I’m sure they would gladly fully identify themselves.

    If you don’t want to publicly identify yourself, well that’s fine. But if you want to participate in this discussion, you need to identify yourself properly at least to the CAWA committee for accountability purposes.

    If we are asked by CAWA members, non-members or the various government agencies interested in this matter, ‘So who’s comment is this?’ and we answer ‘Stuffed if we know!’ rather than ‘It was such-and-such’ or ‘The person wishes to remain anonymous and we are going to honour that, but are satisfied that they are a bona-fide and so took their comments seriously’, then accountability and transparency goes out the window, which is one of the basis of fascism.

    So it seems that at this point, you are the gutless fascist hiding behind a pseudonym and possibly also location, which in itself is another interesting point – if you are in Canberra, why are you commenting on a local WA matter?

    If you disagree with CAWA, then come out from your hidden ivory tower and participate. Either join, if you are not already a member, and get on the committee, or start your own WA climbing association.

    #7224 Reply

    Having read the thread so far i have to say that this will be tricky, but one major point I have to comment on so far (others to follow) The CAWA code of ethics and the bolting guidelines should be separate entities.


    #7225 Reply
    ed nepia

    quick everyone, hurry up and say something before nothing else happens …

    #7226 Reply

    Here are some more comments that were emailed to me:

    For those drawing up the code, it would be good if they kept in mind the reasons for doing this and don’t go overboard and produce a list of regulations which is the last thing we want. What is the good climbers code for. It’s not likely that cawa would use the code for much. They wouldn’t preach it or pursue code breakers. Partly the code would inform new climbers about how the rest view things and encourage them to value the environment and the rock and so forth.

    But a big reason for the good climbers code appears to be to reassure managers ; DEC and government ; that climbers are reasonable and sane and will try not to wreck things. They, the bureaucrats, will include it in their land management plans, as a guide for the behaviour of some land users. So it would be a good thing to give them this reassurance. They will think well of us and not be too phased when we climb on crags where they manage some of the land. But it would not be a good thing to give them too much.

    Government bodies in the past have encouraged cawa to become involved in accreditation. Cawa has always declined, of course. Government likes rules. Other than some environmental issues the good climbers code shouldn’t be rules; it shouldn’t be too detailed. As far as possible it should accord with what most climbers do anyway. And where there are issues that can work to the detriment of climbing it should be silent. Government will be a bit disappointed and will think we have deficiencies in our code and should include more regulations. But the code will be just right if it allows enough initiative and latitude.

    #7227 Reply

    CAWA, good work on the Code of Conduct. It gives good guidance on how to behave without being restrictive to normal climbing activities.



    #7228 Reply
    Jeff M

    Just having a quick re-read of the guidelines and comments and was just curious about something Neil said. He says that if you see a bolted climb that is not in the guide it should be considered a closed project. I may not have an up to date guide with me and no access to the net from the crag, how do I know if a line has been sent? Why not use the old standard of a red cord or tape on one of the lower bolts to signify a closed route? No confusion there, what do you guys think?

    #7229 Reply

    No red tape, go for gold 😉

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