The North Wales Bolt Fund have been steadily checking and repairing the lower-off bolts at Pen Trwyn over the past year.
Last week I went down to see how they are getting on, and to lend a hand. On arriving at the crag, I meet up with Chris Parkin. Chris is the chief ringleader of the local bolt fund, and today started off with Chris briefing a new volunteer on how to go about checking the BMC lower-offs at the crag. Access would have been completely lost just over 15 years ago if these lower-offs hadn't been placed.
As part of a new 3 year inspection plan Chris and his posse have been checking the lower offs. The original DMM Ecobolts have stood up amazingly well, and those that pass the inspection get fitted with nice new maillons and rings to help save them from the wear associated with top roping. Some of the lower off bolts need replacing, or the belay needs to be moved because of deteriorating rock. During the day, we check routes and replace bolts in the Mumbo Jumbo and Tomorrow People area. Whilst there, it makes sense to check any protection bolts on the route. These get replaced from the bolt fund supply if they look suspect.
As I get ready for the long drive home that evening from Llandudno to Sheffield, my back is aching from being suspended in a harness for much of the day. Bolting is a dirty and sometimes unpleasant task, and all day we've watched others getting their climbing fix in Parisella's and on the cliffs with envious glances. One of the locals comes over to say thanks for replacing the bolts on Tomorrow People - he's had his eye on it but didn't want to commit to the rusty old expansion bolts. I see Chris's face light up at this.
The next big project is to sort out Lower Pen Trwyn, which won't be easy. If you want to help Chris and his trusty band; if you want decent bolts and lower-offs on some of the finest limestone sport climbing around, then donate to the North Wales Bolt Fund. Check out the Limestone Wiki for bolt fund details, and info on which routes have been re-equiped.
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