Saturday, 10 August 2013


Recently the Edinburgh climbing scene has been up in turmoil after some inconsiderate soul desecrated one of our great dolerite crags....
Edinburgh crag gets new lease of life after climber invests their own money bolting forgotten climbs....
Bolting mayhem
These two sentences sum up either side of an argument which has been raging on UKC and in other groups. The cause of this argument is the recent bolting of 4 previously traditional climbs and the equipping of 4 other lines. The new routes are, as far as I can tell, thought to be fair game, but the retro bolting isn't so universally agreed upon. The routes in question are Pettifers Wall (E4), Slow Strain (E2) and Wally 2 and 3 (both E4).
Tom on Slow Strain
If all of these were popular trad routes I would agree with the anti bolting crowd. I have looked at UKC and Pettifers Wall has logged once on lead pre-bolts, but since the bolts have been added it has been climbed at least 10 times. Slow Strain like wise has seen a big increase in number of ticks since bolting. Wally 2 and 3 I don't agree with so much. They are on the more popular trad part of the crag so maybe they weren't to be bolted.
Sinclair on Pettifers Wall
Ratho Quarry isn't just a rock climbing venue. Half of the quarry is taken up by the massive EICA Ratho, the largest climbing wall in Europe. Thanks to EICA I feel the rock climbing should be treated differently. Having a lot of mid grade sport routes next to the center may make more people climb outside, which can only really be a good thing. Why let a perfectly good crag become unused because a group of climbers that shout loud convince everyone that bolts are not needed. If these particular climbers actually visited the crag stopping it from becoming an overgrown mess then maybe they would have a point, but they don't. If it was my decision I would bolt the entire crag so that people would use it!
Myself on Pettifers Wall
Anyway, today I went to try the new sport routes with Sinclair Cooper and Tom Stork. We climbed Slow Strain (6b), Pettifers Wall (6c) and the new route of Kamikaze (6c+). Kamikaze was by far the best route out of the three, and felt very stiff for 6c+. I would go as far as saying it felt like the hardest sport route I have on sighted, despite apparently doing a 7a+ at Robs Reed last month. It was also nice to see other climbers at the crag!

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