The Peak district has been crying out for a bolt fund for a long time now. A lot of great routes have, and continue to become dangerous propositions due to the state of the often ancient in-situ gear. Hopefully the existence and promotion of an active bolt fund and re-bolting project should help to rectify this situation. In so doing not only will we maintain the popular routes we've all enjoyed, but help to re-vitalise routes and crags of undeniable quality which have slipped into disuse due to the state of the gear.

The success of this venture depends entirely on the generosity in time and money of the climbing community. As is so often the way, many of those with one to give are sorely short of the other. Hopefully the Peak Bolt Fund can join the dots by giving the time rich but money poor the tools, equipment and technical support needed to carry out some necessary work. If you have or do enjoy sport climbing in the peak please join the effort to keep the crags in good order.

Details of Re-equipping work and News can be found below:

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

2017 Round-up

The Peak Bolt Fund has seen a good year in terms of bolting and fundraising. We’ve had some new faces join the old guard and all are doing their best to get out there and update some of the lower quality bolts around The Peak. This means that many popular routes now have new bolts and improved lower-offs, often sporting maillon-ring combinations to reduce wear on the bolts. A number of neglected routes have also been brought back to life with new bolts and a good clean.

This work is important as there’s a real mixed bag of bolts in The Peak. Many are made with substandard materials which have rusted over the years. Homemade bolts have also been used in the past. Lots are as old as the routes they protect:
Some old metalwork extracted over the years by Kristian Clemlow. Steve the pro's Homemade hanger and chunky Rawl bolt from SHIBB at the Tor. Cadburys Flake from Dreadnought - Cornice. Mammut hanger from Hubble. Camp rings often found on Andy Pollitt routes. Aid thing high on Mecca and a Troll Lego. Photo: Kristian Clemlow
The Peak Bolt Fund exists to re-bolt existing routes. We do not retro-bolt trad routes or fund the bolting of new routes. However we do have a stock of bolts that can be purchased at cost for anyone wanting to bolt a new route. We use single piece 8mm stainless steel bolts glued-in with epoxy resin. Placed well and used properly these bolts should last for a long time.
New bolts Photo: Kristian Clemlow

To give an idea of the cost of re-bolting a route it is roughly £3 for a bolt, £4 for a belay bolt and £15 for a tube of glue which easily adds up to over £50 even for a short Peak route. Added to this is the hundreds of pounds worth of kit - drill, drill bits, glue-gun, brushes, angle-grinder, batteries, etc, etc - that needs purchasing, maintaining and replacing over time.

The Bolt Fund has taken a more active approach to fundraising this year. Spearheaded by Seb Grieve cajoling people at the crag and some active posting on our facebook page we’ve managed to raise over £1000. We’ve used this money to purchase £900 of new bolts, glue, a replacement battery for the angle-grinder and various bits that broke over the year (mainly drill bits). Without the money donated this year the fund would really be struggling, so thanks to everyone who has donated; you know who you are. We still need more donations to continue the re-bolting so please help if you can - Google The Peak Bolt Fund or empty your pockets next time you see Seb at the crag.

Moving on to some of the work that’s been done... 

Down Chee Dale some of the more popular routes at the Cornice have been re-equipped; 42, Love Amongst the Butterflies (done by the original bolter, Seb Grieve, who reportedly had to ab in as a high river made the normal approaches impossible for all but ducks!), Beelzebub, Armistice Day (where the awkward bolts have been repositioned) and Egyptian Bizarre, which has been brought out of retirement and has already become a neo-classic. 

If the queues at the Cornice are getting you down, why not head round the corner to Rhubarb Buttress which plays host to a trio of refreshed routes; Turbo Charged Monster Mouse, The Fat Ginger Cat and - the standout classic - Day of the Long Knives. A real #hiddengem!
Matt Ferrier on the glorious headwall of Day of the Long Knives Photo: Mark Rankine

Up river at Embankment, Beef it, Breamtime and Fishing without a License have new bolts and Beef It even has a new finish - Superbeef 7b+ (Jamie Edwards 2017). At the Nook there are new bolts on A Bit of Nookie and The Storm.

Crossing over the river and going further upstream one old and one new route; A Man Called Horse 7b+ and My Lovely Horse 7c (Mark Rankine 2017) at Moving Buttress have also received the treatment.
Jamie Edwards climbing Turbo Charged Monster Mouse Photo: Mark Rankine
Down Water-cum-Jolly, Moat Buttress continues to develop into a very good crag with an impressive list of routes being overhauled this year; Nude Moatorcycle Girl, Out of the Shadows, Drawbridge down, Over the Moorhens, Two Sheep to Leicester, Agent Provocateur and Lady of the Lake. The latter was originally bolted after the lake drained when the dam burst back in 1988. It now starts above the water and, for those without access to a rubber dingy, the start can be reached by a line of aid bolts. The aid line has been freed by Chris Plant creating a route at 7a+ called Watery Bint or Watery Tart depending on how accurate you want your Monty Python references to be.

On Central Buttress Belladona has been re-bolted, seems to have lost a hold, and now climbs at around 7b+.

Finally, Little Plum at Stoney - once the hardest route in The Peak - has new bolts and lower-offs.

The BMC has also done a great job crowdfunding and organising rebolting at Horseshoe Quarry. This was a task too daunting for anyone at the PBF and would have taken us years to complete, during which time the rest of The Peak would have been neglected.

Re-bolting routes is a tiring and thankless task, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say a BIG thanks for all the bolting done by the volunteers this year. In addition, I want to thank Dan Middleton for support from the BMC and for running bolting workshops. 

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