Open Debate: Fixed gear on rock climbs in North Wales

Posted by Tony Ryan on 01/02/2021
The Cruise, one of a handful of Gogarth test-pieces to have recently had their aged, rotting ironmongery cleaned out and replaced by hi-tech, hybrid, stainless-steel peg-bolts.

If you are interested in playing your part in developing a common, sustainable approach to the use of fixed gear in North Wales, join our online debate on Tuesday 23 February 2021, starting at 6.30 pm.

North Wales is recognised as a world class venue for an amazing diversity of climbing including bold, multi-pitch adventures on natural mountain crags, coastal sport climbing in disused quarries, and every combination of climbing styles in between, but there is currently no North Wales-specific BMC advice or guidelines intending to ensure the preservation of this diversity for future generations of climbers. The BMC did publish a position statement on drilled equipment in 2014, but this statement doesn’t completely cover the issues arising in North Wales.

The topic of fixed gear* is both complex and contentious; recent attempts to establish a consensus position in North Wales have come to nothing.  In an attempt to achieve a more positive result, this debate will be quite tightly structured and will attempt to find common ground around some pre-prepared, generic statements.  Discussion about specific pieces of fixed gear on particular routes, crags or rock types will not be encouraged, although examples may well be used to illustrate individual principles and opinions.

Any outcome from the debate will be taken to the following BMC Cymru North Wales Area Meeting on Tuesday 2 March, to help inform the development of any agreed BMC statements which can be helpful to resident and visiting climbers when making 'best-practice' decisions about the suitability of fixed gear on rock climbs in North Wales.

* Fixed gear includes any equipment deliberately left in place as an anchor for access, for protection, for aid, or on stances.

How to attend virtually

BMC Cymru North Wales is hosting the debate, which is open to all (BMC members and non-members). 

REGISTER: To attend the meeting please register via Eventbrite

You will be emailed information about joining the Zoom meeting upon registration, and more details about the agenda nearer the meeting date.


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Anonymous User
03/02/2021
Anyone know what a peg-bolt is?
Anonymous User
03/02/2021
They mean a bolt disguised as a peg. Drilled and glued and always the same size. Just like a bolt. Unlike pegs.
Tony Ryan(author comment)
04/02/2021
The term 'peg-bolt' has been used in the photo caption to describe a new design of stainless-steel hardware, which some climbers insist is a type of peg, because of its use as a replacement for rusting pegs placed in natural cracks, but which other climbers insist is a bolt, because it is most effective when resined into a pre-drilled hole. The debate will start with a detailed look at the potential benefits and problems associated with the use of these peg-bolts, in the hope that best-practice recommendations can be developed for their use in the future.

Register for the event and find out more!

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