I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Bolts and you, by Stevie Haston

Bolts are the main stay of climbing today! And yet most of you know nothing about them and you certainly haven't placed one. Have you fallen on one? Have you a right to trust them? 
Bolts are now very, very good, and with a bit of care in placement should be extremely reliable. The only real problem with bolts is in a corrosive area and getting dumb people like me to place them! In a corrosive area, i.e. by the sea, you need very good stainless steel, the higher qualities involve costly processes, polishing and very stringent quality control, this all goes to make them very expensive. Have you donated to a bolt fund?

These are bolts that we used to fall on. I still fall on these! The right hand one, some of you will recognize as the first bolts you ever used, it is very rare to see these around today. They were bomber, and I took many wild whippers on to these in the Verdon and in Wales. The one on the left is a 'button head' its still actually bomber to fall on if placed correctly! The bolts that are being used today are very good but are very expensive, the quality above is more expensive still. Are you contributing to them? If you enjoy bolt climbing perhaps you should donate a bit of money to bolting.
If you are guide book writers who earn money out of the climber and the routes maybe you should give some money! If you are climbing news media perhaps you should give money! 
The climbing community and its related business are worth millions, I mean this, it is a recognized fact, and yet the climbers are ripped off. Climbers are expected to break their backs bolting, and then some people  want them held responsible for maintenance of bolts and cliffs, all for free. Are you all joking.

There is a bolt fund here  that you can donate to, this will contribute to re-bolting with higher quality bolts. Thank you!
There are similar  bolt fund in many areas, please check them out thank you.