Mountain - Online Only Mountaineering and Climbing Magazine; Everything you'd expect in a magazine, but the paper: Feature articles on climbing & mountaineering, profiles of climbers and mountaineers, interviews with climbers and mountaineers, updates on expeditions, contests, classifieds
Volume 1, No. 2
July 1996


You're right, Ken! Editorials should stir emotions...

I fell in love with rocks when I was about 6 years old. I loved the textures, the colours, the feel, the hues, the shades! Gazed at the clouds painting pictures of dogs and bunnies and monsters, as they gathered above imposing buttresses. Admired tiny plants peeping out of paper-thin cracks, eagle-high, up in the sky. Dozed off on rock-ledges warmed by the rays of the sun, as peaceful as if I was ensconced in a womb. For me, the mountains are "thy holy places!"

That was even before it became fashionable to endorse "Neon-light evironmental causes" - invariably endorsed by some publicity hungry celebrity, donating money to a "worthy" cause, and saving thousands on advertising, and taxes in the process. Rainforests, deserts, elephants, rhinos.... And, we, the o'nary folk, enthusiastically associate ourselves with these causes. Buy t-shirts, books, calendars, Christmas cards.... And we pat ourselves on the shoulder, and say "Hey! Look what we're doing for the environment!" While back at home, piece by piece, we destroy the rest of our world! Buying a condom, doesn't mean you're pacticing safe sex. Neither does buying a t-shirt make you an environmentalist.

Mountaineering organisations are in all probability the longest standing organisations, that, through their constitutions, have committed themselves to protection of the environment. A few years ago, the mountaineering community wisely rid itself of pitons because of the long-term damage caused by its placement and subsequent removal. Today, the same community is waging a word battle about the pros and cons of placing bolts - instead of taking action!

"Safety," the main reason cited for placing bolts, has never been part of the climbing game. Calculated risk, Yes! Confidence in one's ability, Yes! Overcoming fear, Yes! These are the factors that sorts the men from the boys, and lead to safe climbing practices. "Leading" a bolt-riddled route requires a commitment no greater than leading a climb (without pre-placed protection), three or even four grades lower! But it does leave the "leader" with a false sense of security. ([False sense of security and confidence] is not equal [to safe climbing practices])

In taking action, I propose that we follow Jerry Moffat's example, in the stand that he took against the climbers who helped to cut down trees at Newbury bypass - an act of destruction against nature. Ban the bolters. Publish their names! If they can't handle the risk and commitment it requires to lead an unbolted route, they should stick to climbing walls in gyms. They can still boast about the "grades" they push, without destroying the foundation of our climbing sport. Frankly, the mountaineering community need bolters, about as much as they need Newbury bypass tree-fellers!

       Joe Simpson interviewed
       "  Jon Doran provides us with rare insights into the person

       Solitude Strategies
       "  Inveterate "crag-bagger" Ilana Stern, explains how to secure the crag

       The CragRat
       "  is unable to resist gossip...

    The "genuine" Environmentally Friendly Mountaineering Magazine!
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" This issue released on 6 July 1996