For the posting and discussion of Access Issues and Closures for Areas around South Africa.
17 posts • Page 1 of 1
Sadly, Lakeside is a crag in crisis. Conflicting ethics, hidious abuse and short-sightedness on the part of some pchyco-lunatic have led to this crag being chopped, hacked, re-bolted, sabotaged, littered, shat under and scribbled on. It used to be a really beautiful place, but now the vibes there are so bad I don't know why anyone bothers to go there.
Many of you who have climbed at Lakeside pinnacle in the past will be aware that over the years, vandals have been waging a battle to destroy the routes there, often causing much damage to the rock as well as the bolts and hangers. This is hazardous to the safety of climbers, making whoever is doing this criminally potentially liable for any injuries incurred as a result of their destruction. From time to time, someone comes along and re-equips the crag, which is then vandalised again. Charles Howell, and the climbers of SACS Junior, have recently not only re-bolted most of the existing routes, but have added another three on the right of the wall, which were formerly only toprope lines (from left to right: Asterix 15, Getafix 16, Obelix 16). Permission for this bolting was first requested from the Sport Climbing Working Group, a procedure that has been in place since the TM National Park signed the Management Plan for sport climbing in the Park some years ago. This arrangement is being administered by the Working Group, through the MCSA, for the benefit of all people who climb in the Cape. Anyone who wishes to bolt must please follow this protocol, if in doubt, contact the MCSA for the names of the people to whom you should speak. We can only hope that the Lakeside Pinnacle crag remains unmolested, as it's an exellent beginner's venue, with some great lines that are accessible with only a short walk-in. Climbers are asked to be vigilant when climbing there, and take note of any suspicious-looking people who may be loitering in the area. Remember, damage to a crag is an offence punishable by law; the Park views this sort of thing in a very serious light. Along that line, it has been noticed that somebody has written the names of some of the routes (and grade) on the rock below the first bolts. Not only should this practice be discouraged (this is NOT France!) but it is strictly forbidden. In addition, in at least one case the name and grade of the route was incorrect! Many thanks to Charles and the SACS boys for putting in the exellent work. I must just mention that Dave Hart helped with this refurbishment. Thanks guys.
I would like to canvass opinion about bolting the Lakeside “Crack of Dawn”. I have mixed feelings about this and cannot make up my mind. On the one hand, it has always been climbed as a trad route. On the other hand, does it make sense to have a ten metre high trad route on a sport crag? What do other climbers think? Should it be bolted or left alone?
My feeling is that the area is mainly a sport crag for entry level climbers, so bolting the Crack will add another route to the list. Its not as if it is a 'classic' which you are ruining, and to be honest I've never seen anyone climb it, mainly because the climbers at the crag are beginners and getting trad gear out is a mission for them. Having said all of this, I have never climbed the route, and it may well be done regularly?? I guess the ethical call would be to speak to whoever 'discovered' the crag??
Ahh, the ongoing bolting issue. Given that this is a sensitive issue, I would certainly leave the route alone. However it is as you said a crag for beginners and the more routes the better. So why not put some anchors at the top so new clibers can top rope it, and it retains its condition for tradding. Even so, best find the person who opened the route/area for their input. Shot for re-bolting the existing routes, hopefully they stay untouched now.
Thanks for the positive feedback, but I must mention that the retrobolting wasn't done by me alone. Dave Hart played a big role. As I had never bolted nbefore, I couldn't have done it alone. There are 5 new lines: Moaning Minnie (17ish) left of the Crack of Dawn Dogmatix (16) Diagonal traverse next to \"Who Knows\" Asterix (14), Obelix (16) and Getafix (17) on the right of the Pinnacle. Charles Howell
I agree that 'Crack of Dawn' needs top anchors, but I would suggest that, as a beginners' venue, that crack provides an ideal beginner's trad lead. It's just so perfect for tradding, it seems a pity to bolt it. Beginners could always toprope it before leading as well. Lastly, thanks aain to those involved in rescueing this cool little crag.
When we (UCTMSC) first retrobolted a few lines at Lakeside (the Undercling Route and one or two routes to the left of the pillar - I forget now, that was in 1992) we deliberately left out Crack of Dawn for exactly the reasons given above: it's an excellent beginners' trad lead. Times have changed a bit since then, but not that much - if people still use this route to train trad-beginners, then just put bolt-anchors at the top, so that everybody is happy.
I must voice my strongest possible objections to any suggestion of bolting such a perfect crack. This idea should not even enter your heads!!!! There are to many bolted lines in the Cape Town area that should have been left as either trad or toprope problems already. A noteable example being Wards Walkup at Peers cave. Give it a rest guys there are lank other worthwhile lines that could be bolted without obliterating every last trace of our trad forefathers. May I suggest that you all start saving for that trad rack and wean yourselves off your bolt addiction!