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  • Writer's pictureJak

To bolt, or not to bolt?

We try to leave our canyons unchanged by our passing. However, in order to descend safely, and retrieve our ropes from the bottom, we require good anchors a the top. Sometimes we can use trees or thread the rope around rocks. Then, a canyoneer is faced with a decision; how to build their anchor around these natural features. We must consider the wear to our ropes and the chance of entanglements or snagging on retrieval; but we should also consider how the rope pull can damage the environment. Sometimes, placing a permanent metal bolt into a rock can actually do more to save the environment. Bolts can be placed in positions that are discreet and do nothing to spoil the appearance of the waterfalls or gorges.

For some, the placement of bolts also takes away from the challenge of canyoning.

As we are in our canyons fairly regularly, we want something easy to use that minimises our impact on the environment. We use slings around trees for our fixed anchors. At the end of the season, we will go through the canyon and remove these anchors.

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