Quotes

A few bolt related quotes from various people. If you wish to add some – just put them in as a comment.
“It takes away so much from what makes climbing what it is to me.Route finding is a great skill; it might even be a gift if you’re very good at it. And the ability to quickly sort and fix gear, and to be able to judge what you can do – when you put bolts in you remove all of that.”
Joe Brown

“Writing this last chapter has been difficult and painful. It involves do’s and don’ts, obligations and responsibilities. Most climbers are individuals who love freedom — they climb because it makes them feel free. We may expect then, that having others suggest how they ought to climb will rub wrong. There used to be so few climbers that it didn’t matter where one drove a piton, there wasn’t a worry about demolishing the rock. Now things are different. There are so many of us, and there will be more. A simple equation exists between freedom and numbers: the more people the less freedom. If we are to retain the beauties of the sport, the fine edge, the challenge, we must consider our style of climbing; and if we are not to mutilate and destroy the routes, we must eliminate the heavy handed use of pitons and bolts.”
Royal Robbins, Basic Rockcraft, 1971

“So if you’re gonna argue about bolts on crags, dump the elitist attitude. People who crag a lot, and care about what happens to their crags, are not going to listen (and should not listen!) to someone who considers their sport to be mere training for something bigger and better.”
Lord Slime

“Bolts are the murder of the impossible.”
Reinhold Messner

“Artificial aids have never been popular with us. If a climber does not feel safe in descending, he ought to practice on rock which he can climb, not spoil rock which he cannot with blacksmith’s leavings. Pegs should never be left as memorials. When fixed irons are placed with fixed ropes attached, as on the Matterhorn or the Dent du Geant, they spoil the climber and the climbing alike. They attract feckless folks on to the peaks, and torment them with the rock-barrages of pantechnicon parties or the stonier sharp-shooting of daft solitary scramblers.”
Geoffrey Winthrop Young, Mountain Craft, 1921


“The people who are climbing [now] do have that traditional knowledge and traditional values. Perhaps in ten years time when people know nothing of that because they’ve trained in a climbing wall, on a finger board in a cellar and they’ve climbed on this type of rock [bolted limestone], a fear of mine is that people do at that time forget about the traditional values.”
Paul Craven (Sport climber in the early days of bolting)

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One response to “Quotes

  1. Bolted climbing is analogous to H-O-R-S-E, it’s a fun game but it’s not the game of basketball. Likewise, route finding, protection, and risk mitigation are all just as important as climbing technique; in many ways it’s even more important. If climbing for fitness is the primary goal; stick to the gym.

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