The condition of fixed equipment on many of our classic routes has reached a terrible state. On some routes the corroded or damaged bolts are over 20 years old. Some climbs are now unclimbable in the manner that the first ascentionist intended. So what are we doing about it?
Better Bolts Campaign
In response, in 2007 the BMC launched the Better Bolts Campaign. The aim is simple: to promote high quality, safe and sustainable re-equiping of existing bolt protection and belays. To achieve this, the campaign has:
Provided good quality bolts for donation to local Bolt Funds in England & Wales.
Published guidance documents for climbers and bolt activists.
Run knowledge-sharing workshops for bolt activists.
Begun long-term testing of bolt systems for safety, longevity and sustainability.
The BMC has been buying high quality bolts and donating them to bolt funds since 2007. Thes bolts are donated to groups who agree to the following principles:
BMC bolts are to be used for re-equiping existing sport routes only.
BMC bolts are not to be used for retrobolting existing trad routes.
BMC bolts are not to be used for new sport routes
Proposals are vetted by the local area, access reps and our Bolt Panel.
Bolters agree to follow good practice as outlined in our guidance documents.
Read the latest news on Bolt Donations here.
A Users guide and an Installers guide have been published by the Bolts Working Group. Find out more here.
A workshop for bolts activists was run in early 2008 at Horseshoe Quarry, followed by events in Cumbria and South Wales. Further events will be run in the future if they are requested at area meetings. More about workshops here.
A research testbed has been set up at Horseshoe Quarry. Several bolt types have been installed for long term tests, looking at safety, longevity, and ease of removal at the end of their lifetime. More about research here.
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