• Sustainable Bolt Donation for Mallorca

    We are very pleased to have been able to send some superb Titanium bolts to climbers in Mallorca. The bolts are made by Sheffield company Titan Climbing run by Martin Roberts. They are designed for long-lasting sustainable bolting particularly on sea-cliff areas.

    To arrange this donation we have been working with local climbers. Their intention is to use the bolts in conjunction with their own supplies on various routes where there is a significant problem with erosion.

  • More Rebolting in El Chorro


    Good news from El Chorro where Nico Rando has told about some rebolting work they just completed on one of the major routes on Frontales using bolts funded by Rockfax.

    Judging from the photo below of the old bolts they removed, this was much needed.


  • New Drill for El Chorro

    We have just bought a new drill for construction company bolting in El Chorro. Chris Miller has been doing some great work in the area and suggested that he bought a drill which will be available to all local climbers. Under our normal donations system we would wait until the end of year to tally up what we owe from Spain : El Chorro book sales, however Black Friday gave us a chance to get something at an extra discount so we got in early.

    If you wish to contact Chris for use of the drill then please contact him through the El Chorro Bolting Team Facebook page.

    Si desea ponerse en contacto con Chris para utilizar el simulacro, comuníquese con él a través de la página de Facebook de El Chorro Bolting Team.

  • El Chorro Bolting Team

    Great news from El Chorro where we received this message today.

    “We have the new materials purchased with a donation from Rockfax. 480 bolts and hangers! We want to thank Rockfax again for their help and donation to the El Chorro Bolting Team!”

    Thanks to everyone who has supported the bolt funding by buying the book, or making an online donation.

  • Rockfax and Bolt Funds

    We recently made a couple of donations to bolt funds – article here – which promoted some discussion on UKClimbing.

    Just to clarify, Rockfax have made donations to local bolt funds for many years and you can find out news about our major donations through this news item compilation link.

    A question was asked on a UKClimbing forum thread by Will Hunt and I gave him an extensive reply which I thought it might be worth reproducing and slightly expanding here.

    Back in 2010 Adrian Berry made some creative suggestions for ways which Rockfax could start helping local bolt funds in sport climbing areas covered by our guidebooks. Up to that point we had made donations but they had been sporadic and unstructured.

    We initially adopted a method of paying around £1 from each copy of a book sold for the initial sales of new books. This was capped at the first 2000 copies for all sales, although we are now reviewing that. After that point had been reached we then dropped back to online sales only. The result was good initial payments that then drop back as the guidebook ages.

    This has worked well in the UK where areas have organised bolt funds with PayPal pages. We created the web site to bring the various funds together into one place and allow climbers to easily find bolt funds in areas they visit. So far we have given a lot in North Wales, Dorset, South Wales, Yorkshire, Cumbria and also a fair amount towards Gary Gibson’s bolt fund page.

    The success has led us to target environmental projects from non-sport books like the paths around Portland from Dorset Bouldering, and now hopefully the bridge at Harrisons Rocks by working with the BMC ACT from the sales of Southern Sandstone.

    In Spain and France contributing is much more difficult to arrange. Most of the areas don’t have public bolt funds, and the concept of climbers donating to bolting is fairly alien to them. I never really understood why they make a thing about guidebooks funding bolts in these areas but seemed to not put much effort into creating guidebooks that sell well, appeal to the masses and are easy to get hold of. There are few initiatives directed at getting the climbing public to actually contribute – PayPal funds don’t really exist, there are few rattle tins, and little text or explanation in guidebooks about how bolting is funded and how readers can help.

    I recently had a very revealing conversation with Pedro Pons and Nuria (refuge owners at Chullila) where he explained to me that the system of public donation just doesn’t seem to get traction in Spain (and France I suspect). He told me the story of the rattle tin they had at their refuge for 6 months and, in the end, it had €23.50 and 20 of that was a single donation he witnessed from an American climber.

    I don’t think that bolt funding systems in France and Spain are inferior, they are just different. The systems clearly work in most places since there are lots of well bolted routes. I have my reservations about the quality and availability of local guidebooks these systems lead to but I also don’t think that better produced international guidebooks have much effect on the system.

    In order to actually contribute in Spain and France we have had to take a different approach. In Mallorca, working with ex-pat Derek Watson, we arranged for around £1500 bolting materials to be bought but the whole process to around 18 months and lots of emails (not Derek’s fault). In the Cote d’Azur, Mike Owen has put us in touch with some locals and we have made a few decent donations of around £1200 so far and Mike has donated his own commission as a small contributor to the book. This is ongoing and we will keep it through the life of that guidebook (ie. not capped at 2000 copies). This does indicate a problem though since the donations there are only going to one of the areas covered in that book. In El Chorro we are in contact with two groups of active bolters. Donations are around £1800 so far and ongoing for the life of that book. We have also helped establish a PayPal system in conjunction with the Olive Branch. In Kalymnos we have donated £1500 to the Glaros Bar bolt fund in a one-off payment, £500 of which was a personal contribution from author Chris Craggs.

    So far we haven’t linked anything to the digital sales since those haven’t been significant enough until we went to subscription last month, so it does need looking at.

    However it hasn’t all been a success. I have been in touch with bolters in two areas in Haute Provence – St. Leger and Dentelles de Montmirail – and offered them money and help with communicating the bolting message. They have been friendly and cooperative but have so far not accepted any money despite at least two years of trying.

    The main thing I take away from my struggles to actually contribute financially to the bolt funding in some areas is just confirmation of my theory that this debate has never really been about actually funding bolts. It is about localism and who has the right to document information in their own areas – climbers resent outsiders covering their climbs. It is understandable but it isn’t going to stop us producing our books since I think that the climbing community itself is better off for the things our more professional approach allows us to develop.

    So that is the picture in  September 2019. It is still all a bit ad hoc and there are areas like the Costa Blanca where we certainly need to put some work in, but I think we do our bit now. Hats off to Adrian Berry who was the driving force in getting our system going.

    Alan James

  • El Chorro and North Wales Bolt Fund Donations

    We have just been able to make a couple of decent donations to bolting in a couple of the areas covered by Rockfax. Money from the sales of the North Wales Slate guide have been channeled towards the North Wales Bolt Fund and we have been able to do a similar thing in El Chorro to two active groups of bolters there, from the proceeds of the Spain : El Chorro guide.

    Ex-pat Chris Miller sent some photos of his bolting work. We also gave a similar amount to Asociación Andaluza de Escaladores to support their work.

    Thanks to all who donated direct via the Point of Sale facility on the Rockfax online ordering.

  • New El Chorro Bolt Fund Up and Running

    Paul Cox climbing on Cocina Caliente – a small crag developed by climbers staying at the Olive Branch.

    We are very pleased to announce that a new bolt fund has been set up in El Chorro to help support the local bolting activities.

    This is a joint project between Rockfax and the Olive Branch in El Chorro. Funds from the sales of the Rockfax El Chorro book, and other donations from the Rockfax and Olive Branch web sites, will be directed towards this fund, as well as any money from donation tins in the Olive Branch.

    The money will go to the Federación Andaluza de Montañismo who are a local organisation who look after bolting in the El Chorro area. Their work is mainly in maintaining fixed gear on routes but also for establishing some new routes.

    If you have climbed, or planned to climb, in El Chorro please give generously.

    You can reach the fund direct here, or through, or from the Olive Branch site.

    We are kicking off this project with a donation of £580 based on early sales of the book.

  • Rockfax make Donation to Kalymnos Bolt Fund


    The Rockfax guide to Kalymnos have been out for the last 8 months and been well received. There is no formal bolt fund on the island but we have made a donation of £1500 to the fund run by the Glaros Bar. This donation was part funded by Rockfax proceeds and a personal donation from the author Chris Craggs.

    Screenshot 2019-09-18 at 11.50.05