We have just made our second payments for the year 2017 to the various bolt funds and access projects that we support. It has been a record year and we are very pleased to have been able to offer significant support to the Portland Path Project, bolting in the Côte d’Azur, Mallorca and South Wales and a single one-off donation to the Horseshoe Heroes campaign run by the BMC.
Rockfax’s involvement with the Portland Path Project has now reached the target amount of £2000 and, thanks to the great work of Marti Hallett and other local volunteers, there is now an much improved access path to reach the climbing on the Battleship crags on Portland. Obviously this work will continue as will work on maintaining the bolting on the routes of Dorset and Rockfax/UKClimbing remains committed to supporting this via donations from sales made direct from our web site which will now be channelled through the Dorset Bolt Fund.
The bolting work done in the Côte d’Azur and Mallorca is carried out by locals and supported by sales of these new guidebooks. In South Wales we have directed funds towards the prolific Gary Gibson this time having already made some payments towards the local bolt fun.
Harrison’s Bridge Project
Our big book last year was the Southern Sandstone guidebook. At the time of publication we were aware of a local matter regarding the construction of a bridge to reach the top of the Isolated Pinnacle at Harrison’s Rocks. The old method of reaching the top involved using a huge block to cross the gap but this became unstable and was removed for safety reasons. This made the top quite difficult too reach so discussions were held locally about the idea of building a bridge. There are strong views either way on this. We understand fully the point of view that climbing is meant to be an activity where you deal with what nature presents to you – we shouldn’t make things easier just for convenience. Conversely there is also the point of view that we have an impact on the environment and a crags like Harrison’s already has belay bolts, steps and fences to help climbers carry out their activities and minimise impact as much as possible.
We didn’t want to get involved in this discussion so we didn’t mention it in the book. Local meetings have now taken place and the decision has been taken to build the bridge. In view of this, Rockfax is happy to pledge support for this bridge. This isn’t an endorsement of one point of view or another, it is more an acknowledgement of the fact that funds will be needed and we are happy to help the BMC ACT in this if required.