With the NCC pressing ahead on their climbing site closures the ugly thought of bolt chopping comes to mind. Why do I bring this up? Well, while climbing yesterday at Eastern Block a group made up of NCC and Access Coalition representative came by on a tour with a NCC hired biologist. It was cordial at first. Then a very heated debate started about chopping bolts in the Park. Of course, we stayed out of it.
The NCC point of view was that removing bolts would ensure no one would climb in the closed area. Clearly, this NCC representative has no idea that a large number of those bolts are top anchors on trad climbs so the climber does not have to top out and rap off trees. These anchors were in fact placed to comply with the first agreement to keep climbers off the cliff tops. Sure it will destroy the sport routes but how can they expect to stop a determined climber with gear?
The Access Coalition representative pointed out that the bolts pose no environmental impact on their own and should left for future access considerations. It was also pointed out that chopping bolts will not foster good will among the park climbers and just lead to "I'll do what I want" attitude.
This continued to get heated with the NCC refusing to admit that no good would come from chopping and in fact would most likely lead to more impact as climbers will walk away from the discussions. Unfortunately, I have already observed this. There was clear frustration on both sides. Anyway it put a bit of a damper on our climbing day.