There are a range of local bolt funds around the UK. Find out why you should forego that extra pint and instead slip a few quid into your local collection box.
What are bolt funds?
Bolt funds are set up by groups of committed climbers, with a passion for the climbing in their area. These volunteers raise funds for the purchase of bolts, and then do the hard and sometimes dirty work of using them to equip routes. Some funds have been involved in equipping new routes, while others exist solely to replace old bolts on existing routes.
Why should I contribute to a bolt fund?
Modern climbing is a broad church. There are some traditionalists, or hardcore boulderers, who will never clip a bolt in anger. Fair enough! But the majority of climbers today like to indulge in all the different aspects of our fantastic sport. So most of us, at some point, will clip a bolt. This may be on a proper 'sport' climb, or a very well spaced one on a slate scarefest! Do you want it to be a rusty museum piece, or a confidence-inspiring shiny little number? It’s a no brainer isn’t it? Make no mistake, without the work of active bolt funds, the classic bolted routes of today will become just a footnote in climbing history.
What will my money be spent on?
The kit list for bolting is a big one. High power drills that are portable are expensive, as are spare batteries. Drill bits need replacing frequently. Then there are the bolts themselves, plus resin and glue gun for glue-in bolts. Hanging in a sport harness while bolting is uncomfortable, so a work seat is a godsend. Then there is all the other gear, like an abseil rope. All this adds up to a fairly hefty price tag per route, especially as bolting can trash kit pretty quickly.
How can I make a donation?
Many funds have collection boxes at climbing walls and at outdoor retailers. Slideshows are a popular means of fundraising too. For some funds you can also send a cheque or pay by Paypal via their website.
How else can I help?
Many bolt funds struggle to get enough suitable volunteers to help. Bolting is a difficult and potentially dangerous activity, so unsurprisingly the number of people involved is small. Most bolters have work and family commitments, just like the rest of us. Finding time can be difficult, especially on those blue sky days when we’d all be happiest climbing. If you are an experienced climber, or have a background in rope access, you could be a real asset to your local fund. Getting involved is a great way of giving something back to climbing, with the added bonus that you may get to choose which routes get re-equiped first!
Dorset Bolt Fund
Over the last decade, the fund has equipped hundreds of routes in Portland and Swanage. The result has been the transformation of the area into probably the UK’s premier mid grade sport climbing area.
Paypal donations can be made using the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peak Bolt Fund
Established in response to the urgent need to re-equip a wide range of routes in the Peak. Concentrating mostly on the quality harder routes in the area, complementing Gary's work on the mid-grade routes.
North Wales Bolt Fund
After an immense effort to replace bolts on many routes in the slate quarries, this psyched group of activists is now planning on continuing the good work on the slate quarries, and also re-equiping the North Wales Coastal Limestone (including Pen Trwyn) and also the Clwyd Limestone. For latest news on re-equiped routes, check out the wikis: http://slate.wetpaint.com/ and http://northwaleslimestone.wetpaint.com/
Cheques payable to NWBF
NWBF, Llysfaen, Lon Brynteg, Llandegfan, Menai Bridge, LL59 5NU
You can also donate money via V12 in Llanberis and the Indi Wall
Yorkshire Bolt Fund
Sustained effort has made this long running group probably the most successful fund so far in terms of getting routes re-equiped. This fund has also established new routes especially in the lower grades.
Cheques to Yorkshire Bolt Fund
YBF, 11 Wynmore Avenue, Bramhope, Leeds LS16 9DD
Paypal donations via Leeds wall
Cumbria Bolt Fund
Recently re-established, with the aim of re-equiping various routes around the county, including the fabulous sandstone of St Bees, the slate quarries and the limestone. For more info check out the website www.cumbriaboltfund.com
The Man With The Smoking Drill is best known for his relentless new routing activity. What most people don't know is that Gary also spends vast amounts of time (and money) re-equiping routes, particularly in the Peak and SE Wales for all to enjoy. Most routes are in the accessible 6s.
Cheques to Gary Gibson
Gary Gibson, Keristone, Carr Bank, Oakamoor, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs ST10 3DG
South Wales Bolt Fund
This re-invigorated area now has an a team of local activists, ready to re-equip sport routes in the area. Check out their website for all the latest news, events and action.
Cheques to The S.Wales Bolt Fund
c/o Roy Thomas, 90 Robins Hill, Bridgend, CF31 2PJ
(State whether you want your donation only to go towards re-equiping, or not)
The BMC is also running a Better Bolts Campaign with the express aim of increasing the profile of Bolt Funds and to improve the quality of bolts in England and Wales.
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