Gower and South East Wales has a bolt policy agreed at a series of Open Meetings at WICC in 1999-2000, chaired by Wayne Gladwin (brave man) and minuted by Stuart Thompson.

In the Gower and South East Wales guidebook, the bolting policy is listed separately for each crag, except for the sandstone, where it is noted at the start of the section.

The following aspects of the policy are more general.

Please keep to the policy, which reflects the wishes of local climbers.

  1. Bolting will be defined as the placement of any ‘drilled gear’ assumed to be bolts.
  2. De-bolting/smashing/spoiling of bolts is totally condemned.
  3. New sports routes should avoid interfering with existing traditional routes.
  4. Where (3) might occur, the first ascensionist of the traditional route should be consulted. It is left to the conscience of the leader to consult with the others on the first ascent.
  5. Retro-bolting, where permissible, requires the permission of the first ascensionist. Retro-bolting for the purposes of this policy, means making a route into a clip up, rather than replacing worn placements with bolts.
  6. Replacement of worn placements with bolts should be on a ‘point for point’ basis and only at specified crags.
  7. Bolting at crags discovered in the future should assume the following:
    • Natural Sandstone – No Bolting
    • Gower – No Bolting
    • Quarried Sandstone – Sports routes allowed.
    • Quarried Limestone – Sports routes allowed.

Other rock types – Apply common sense, i.e. do not bolt up adequately protected cracks on natural limestone, for instance.

Bolts should be at least 8.8mm or staples and for sea-cliffs should always be BS316 stainless steel.

Those of you who have climbed on the fabulous South East Wales sandstone and other bolted crags will no doubt have thought about the time and expense that has gone into bolting and equipping. Put your hand in your pocket and make a donation the South East Wales Bolt Fund. Without it and your contributions, there will be no quality sports routes or quality bolts for you to fall on. Please send your vital contributions c/o, Roy Thomas, 90 Robins Hill, Brackla, BRIDGEND CF31 2PS.

It would be a good idea to bring any future problems to the attention of the correct forum of discussion, namely the BMC Committee of Wales area meetings. Your input is vital and welcomed.