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Here's an article addressing the issue of bolts and rap stations on Ben Lomond, inspired by my recent visit to Fairhead in Northern Ireland. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks

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  1. 'Irish Solution' i feel like there is some king of joke that goes with those 2 words in the same sentence (wink)

    It's not really a solution it's just another option in an array of options.

    No one 1. has a 100m static and 2. wants to carry it uphill if they don't have to.

    I'll be continuing to access from the scree and rapping off tat in the absence of bolts.

    Tat just adds to the trady nature of the place (smile)

    Here's another question, what happens if there is an accident related rapping that could have been avoided by a couple of well placed bolts.

    I'm not opposed to the Ben being a bolt free zone but i do think a single rap route down the flutes would add not detract from the cliff.

    The current rap routes isn't ideal, ropes regularly get stuck when they're pulled.

    There must be a better solution.

  2. Thanks for your comment Jed. It is a solution because it eliminates all the problems: no tat, no trashing the gully, no bolts...easier walk than the scree. No-one wants to carry a big rope up the hill, but its a small price of inconvenience to pay for the benefits. Everyone does it at Fairhead..some parts of the cliff take 40 minutes to walk to. As far as accidents go, I was talking to Steve Findlay (Hazels dad) at Pembroke, and complaining about the borderline insanity belays you have to set up on some crags at Pembroke; loose rock, steep grass and gravel. His attitude is that if you lack the trad skills to set up belays like that, then you shouldn't be climbing there. I'm of the same opinion at the Flutes. It's a serious cliff...let's not dumb it down and make it safe and convenient for everyone. You've got to use your traditional skills to access it, climb it and get off it. Self reliance in the mountains..somethng marvellous and special about being able to do that and leave the cliff as you found it..a skill that is dying out.