Bolting is not (quite) the controversial activity it was thirty years ago. Ethics of bolting have stabilised and become generally accepted.
There have been many meetings at which bolting has been discussed. This has always been and still remains a controversial subject in Cumbria. The spread of bolts in countries around the world has been infectious and many locations are now entirely dominated by sport climbs.
Trad climbing is still alive and kicking in many places and especially in Britain, where it lives side by side with sport climbing. Trad climbing is a precious activity and must be preserved. It is important to control the use of bolts on the crags and existing climbs (including classic "scare" routes).
The bolt fund will only install and supply bolts for routes and crags agreed by the local climbing community at local BMC meets, along with the permission of the landowner.
The cliffs we climb on are a finite resource and it is up to us to preserve them for future generations.
The rusting remnants of previous bolting eras are a common and unsightly feature of many older cliffs. Many routes are on their fifth generation of bolts and while the widespread use nowadays of stainless steel bolts will slow down the pace of decay the problem of what to do years to come is a serious one. Poorly placed bolts, unsuitable materials, and misuse by climbers are all issues that have led to wholesale bolt replacement.
The use of stainless steel glue-in bolts, correctly treated to reduce corrosion and carefully glued in place will enormously extend the lifespan of the protection, while for lower-offs the issue of wear can only be addressed by making them replaceable or of thicker material, we do both.
But no matter how strong or thick bolts are made the issue of replacement will sooner or later arise and to avoid adding to the number of holes and "dead" bolts in the cliff the old bolts should be removed and the hole re-used, ideally, this will be then repeated indefinitely.
All Bolts we use are removable and the hole can be re-used. We have specifically designed our bolts to be removable at a later date, then simply drilling out the old glue allows a new bolt to be glued in. This is the only long term way to ensure the continued use of the rock.