‘It’s just not ‘proper’ climbing’
What is the point in saying this? It only agitates and offends and, when the real issue is not the experience individuals have on a climb but the damage many years of bolting does. This particular argument only goes to create a bigger divide, heals dug in deeper and nice people getting upset. (And lets face it, almost all climbers are nice people)
This attitude also ensures that those who are against bolting are seen as an ‘elitist’ arrogant bunch which undermines the logical arguments that they have.
‘Sport climbing is rubbish’
It obviously is not or people wouldn’t do it in such large numbers.
‘It’s not a sport and it’s not climbing’
Ah yes, the good old rhetoric – but it is a sport and it is climbing, the big shame is the extent of the irreversible damage it does to the rock. See first point.
‘Bolts are murdering the impossible’
Although a true point it is not for us to criticise a quote from one of the worlds most impressive and accomplished climbers.
However, for the majority of people, use this phrase they forget that its not just the impossible that suffers – but also the ‘quite easy to do’, the ‘moderate’, the ‘tricky’, the ‘hard’.. and so on. It also takes away the opportunity for many people in many places to learn climbing in a way that does not damage the rock, involves more mental aspects, can be more rewarding and gives them the skills to be able to go climbing anywhere in the world.
Part of the problem with this argument is that when taken in context; an elite climber talking to the climbing community, an audience mainly made up of lower level climbers, the first thing they are going to think is ‘well that’s ok to say if you’re one of the worlds best climbers’ and voil; the entire point is dismissed by the majority of the climbing community.