Fixed Gear Guidance on North West Crags and Quarries

Posted by Tony Ryan on 08/09/2022
Rob Davies on Cameo (Wilton One). Photo: Paul Evans.
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Following a consultative process including discussion at Area Meetings, the BMC North West Area has agreed guidance reflecting the climbing ethics and views of the North West on the use of fixed gear.

The main points of the guidance are:

  • No new fixed gear on any of the Area’s natural grit crags;
  • The Merseyside & Cheshire areas are self-governing due to well-established and overwhelmingly agreed fixed gear ethics.
  • Any request by a landowner to make access conditional upon a specific approach to the use of fixed gear should be carefully considered;
  • No new fixed protection or lower-offs on existing routes without prior discussion and agreement at a BMC Area Meeting;
  • Wherever possible, first ascensionists should use leader-placed protection, and only use fixed protection where none is available;
  • Where shorter single pitch routes are done as boulder problems with mats, any fixed gear should not be replaced;
  • Fixed gear removals and replacements should go through discussion and agreement at a BMC Area Meeting;
  • Deteriorating or dangerous fixed gear should be removed, and only replaced if no suitable leader-placed protection could be used;
  • Where a peg of bolt is deteriorating and doing the route without fixed protection wouldresult in a significant increase in grade, the policy should generally be to replace the fixed gear with the new gear sited as close as possible to the existing placement to maintain the character of the route;
  • Before a peg is replaced by a bolt, this should be discussed and agreed by a BMC Area Meeting or delegated group;
  • Where fixed gear changes have been proposed, a quarantine period will follow, to enable discussion via online channels in advance of a vote at a BMC Area Meeting.
  • Replacement and installation of new bolts should be undertaken by a suitably trained or experienced person delegated by the BMC North West Area.

READ: Fixed Gear Guidance on North West Crags and Quarries


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