What's our stand?

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What's our stand?

Post by JuzH » Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:29 am

Just come back from Rocklands and was wondering what its the MCSA/SA climbers stand on the new routes at the bastille at the fortress in Rocklands. These routes were opened by some illegally and could have possible closed down the whole Cederberg area for climbers. Even Andy and Ed went so far as to write to international websites criticizing the bolts.

What I don't understand is why the bolts are still there and why they have not been chopped. Are we not saying by leaving the bolts in place that OK guys its illegal to bolt in rocklands but if you get away with it then cool, thanks for the nice routes.

I think the routes should be chopped, but then where do you draw the line as all the other routes in the area were also bolted illegally so should they be chopped. Maybe not but certainly the new ones one the bastille.

I also spoke to the main guy from the cederberg and they have no idea what is actually happening in rocklands. I still think the area could be closed at anytime.

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Post by dom » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:24 am

All it takes is someone from CNC to see a bunch of people walking up to Fortress, decide to wander up there, see people sportclimbing on shiny new bolts and shut the whole place down.

I don't want to have to sneak in to rocklands every weekend because some stupid Swiss dude f***ed up our access.

What is CNC's attitude towards the new bolts?
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Post by JonoJ » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:35 am

Chop 'em!.... else the local climbing community is just turning a blind eye to illegal bolting,... and then still goes out to climb the routes in question.
Not the best advertising! ... and authorities will start to completely generalise climbers, creating awful access issues.

As much as we adventure freaks like to rebel against society and the norm, we do sometimes have to work with the law to make to law work for us. Why jeopardize an entire area for the whole community, just for a few renegade routes?

Embarrasing as it is to confess.... I've not yet got my sorry ass up to Rocklands :oops: , and would still like to. Let's hope it doesn't get closed to us naked apes!

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Post by Guy » Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:49 pm

Why don't we talk to CNC about this? We now have a communication channel via Andy/Cheryl. Let's play open cards and ask them what they'd like us to do! We can tell CNC what action we've taken (re international websites etc). If the routes fit the criteria in our management plan - then we should suggest that they remain.

We should also ask that we (or they) place an appropriate signboard at the carpark - telling people what the rules are. That should prevent this happening again.

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Post by Grigri » Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:56 am

Chopping the bolts would only leave scars on the rock, surely there is a way that the message could be brought across without damaging the rock? In all likelyhood the routes will simply get bolted again as they are really cool! Visitors need to be controlled / educated somehow, but chopping bolts isnt it!

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Post by dom » Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:18 am

Grigri wrote:In all likelyhood the routes will simply get bolted again as they are really cool!
Great. In that case, why not bolt everything anyway, and screw the CNC..

It doesn't matter how cool the routes are, the fact is that they were bolted illegally, and if CNC says that they should be chopped, then they must be chopped.

Rocklands is primarily a bouldering area, and if some idiot bolt-happy sportclimbers (I'm referring to people like the guy who bolted those routes, not sportclimbers in general) jeopardise access to it, then they're going to bring down the ire of a lot of unhappy boulderers, and I'll be first in line with a crowbar to chop the bolts..

That said, I have no problem with mediated, controlled bolting at Rocklands, I just want to be sure that I can boulder there.
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Post by Justin » Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:54 am

Agreed, chopping the bolts would not prove useful, the routes would most likely be given permission to be bolted one day in the future.
The Swiss guy did apparently enquire about bolting (albeit in another area of the Cedarberg) and through misinterpretation or 'something' (I don’t think it was negligence on his part) he thought bolting was allowed?
And yes it pisses me off that the routes got bolted, we climbed a number of those routes on toprope some years ago! :P

Where does the MCSA stand on this matter and what communication (besides JuzH) has been made with CNC?
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Post by Stu » Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:40 am

What the hecks going on? We are just as much confused as we were before the management plan was created. everybody still seems to know nothing about everything. Isn't there someone in charge that can take care of these things or are we all just going tokeep guessing. Rant over.

Douglas Ward

Post by Douglas Ward » Fri Jun 10, 2005 12:35 pm

Firstly to Stu: just ask Andy or Cheryl - you know they're in charge.

Secondly, let me tell a bit of history. In 1990, the climbing community in Cape Town entered into a debate about which climbing areas bolting should be allowed in, and which not. We were pretty thorough - consulting climbers from all backgrounds, and taking everybody's opinion into consideration. But we made one HUGE mistake - we didn't consult the landowners.

So let's not make that mistake again: rather just talk to the CNC before we take any decisions for ourselves. I'd venture to suggest that chopping the bolts WITHOUT first consulting the CNC falls into the same criminal category as placing them - the CNC is the authority at Rocklands, and either they, or their appointed representatives, should be consulted: simple.


Cape Nature on Swiss Bolting

Post by AndyDavies » Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:34 pm

I don't have time to read all the submissions to hopefully I will address most of your concerns:

We did inform Cape Nature of the bolts as part of our process of self-regulation. Cape Nature were not happy, but I think realised that it was one individual's actions. Informing them about this sort of thing adds credibility to local climbers and the process we have proposed to manage climbing at Rocklands. I think they are happy with our proposed management plan but are ill-equipped to police climbing effectively and will never view bolting in a good light (climbers are positively biased towards bolting). We are close to signing the management plan so PLEASE be patient.

My personal opinion is that I'm livid that a foreigner has the arrogance to come here and bolt stuff without checking properly. I personally think we should ban all foreign bolting. Chopping the bolts will achieve nothing and only make climbers look stupid. I think we should give the FA credit for these routes to the 5 most beautiful SA climbing girls.


What's our stand

Post by Richard » Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:53 pm

My first reaction was chop them but obviously this creates more of a mess. I am still unhappy with the fact that we are effectively, albeit hesitantly, giving approval to the bolts. Maybe proper action needs to be taken oneday to send a CLEAR message to all would be transgressors.
Also, no-one asked me or Andrew Forsyth if we minded the bolting of one our trad routes, led onsight with trad gear back in the days when First Impressions, Pumping Heat and Ceder Rouge were the only sport routes there ! The superb little 22/23 in the middle.

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Post by Stu » Sat Jun 11, 2005 10:01 am

Hey Douglas, I think I was more refering to the fact that all the previous seven or so posts were made by people who have been climbing for ages and yet still no one seems to have been updated on issues, ie. the Bastille routes. I do understand however that the finishing touches are still being put on the management plan.

Post by » Mon Jun 13, 2005 4:58 pm

I say, \"Hear Hear\", to Andy's response!

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Post by JonoJ » Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:00 pm

Oh,...wasn't logged on.

again I say, \"Hear Hear\", to Andy's response!

Derek Marshall

Post by Derek Marshall » Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:27 pm

I was just wondering.

What right would CNC have in closing climbing acess to Rocklands? Is it theirs to do as they please? To restrict climbing acess, but allow a 4x4 trail through the area.
It seems amazing that they have no chance ever of winning the war against alien plants, but have some sort of stance against bolting routes. The alien plants being a much more destructive & agressive factor.


Post by » Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:09 am

Derek Marshall wrote: It seems amazing that they have no chance ever of winning the war against alien plants, but have some sort of stance against bolting routes. The alien plants being a much more destructive & agressive factor.
But they can, and have a right to, restrict bolting. It's pretty difficult to tell alien plants to stop growing (and have them listen to you, I suppose).

In terms of closing access, I'm sure that they could, at least theoretically, shut the entire place down, although I don't know what point that would serve..

And I don't think they want to do that, to be honest. We're one of the main users of the area, we bring in a fair amount of cash to Clanwilliam (especially the pubs and bottle stores) and we've maintained a good relationship with most of the stakeholders. The point is that there are still idiots who could screw that up, and access needs to be secured in such a way so that when the next tard comes along and illegally bolts some routes, we don't have to hold our breath for a month until we know that they're not going to restrict access...

Osama bin Laden

No foreigner bolting!!!!

Post by Osama bin Laden » Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:11 pm

I agree with Andy that no foreigners should be allowed to bolt in South Africa unless accompanied by a well known South African who is willing to accept reponsibilty for any transgressions! However, there does seem to be quite alot of confusion as to whether bolting is allowed or not, that needs to be cleared up and a notice put up at all CNC climbing areas!
As for the 5 most beautiful climbing girls... no point in charming them Andy they're probably not interested... in men, period!
:twisted: Just kidding ladies, we love you?!?!

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