• 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

  • 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

  • Rockfax Access and Bolt Fund Donations in 2017


    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.

    IB Above
    Isolated Buttress at Harrison’s Rocks

    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.

  • UKClimbing/Rockfax give boost to BMC Horseshoe Heroes Crowdfunding

    We announced on UKC in August that the BMC had started a crowd-funding campaign to rebolt Horseshoe Quarry in the Peak District. Up to Tuesday 19 September just over £9,000 had been pledged towards the desired target of £15,000 – you can visit the Crowd Funding page here.


    UKClimbing/Rockfax have just made a big single donation of £1000 to nudge it over the £10,000 mark. This money is in addition to the regular payments made from the sale proceeds of Rockfax guidebooks towards bolting.

    The ‘Horseshoe Heroes’ campaign money is going to be used to re-equip the routes in Horseshoe Quarry on BMC land to make the crag as safe and amenable a place to climb as is reasonably possible for all experience levels. High quality stainless steel glue-in bolts will be used, giving great strength and longevity and all lower-offs will be standardised. (It is worth noting that this doesn’t mean that every route in Horseshoe will be rebolted since the walls on the far west end aren’t on BMC land).


    The money raised will go towards the cost of materials (bolts, resin, Maillons, rings) and the rope access team who will install the bolts. The work has already started and the campaign isn’t dependent on reaching the £15K target (as some crowd-funding campaigns are) so keep donating since every pound will be put to good use!

    Visit the Crowdfunder page.