Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Letter Submitted To Gripped

Just submitted the following letter to Gripped Magazine. In the event that it's not published...

Dear Gripped, 

During the 1980's a wave of development and discovery hit the Welsford areas which saw many routes established on outstanding rock features in a traditional style. Bolts were often used as a last resort to unlock key passages between natural features. The hardware of the day was of mixed composition, and maritime climate has taken its toll. Many of these original bolts are now brittle with rust, and some have been reported to break under minimal effort. Reputation of sketchy bolts spreads quickly and otherwise approachable routes go unclimbed. In this part of the world, when classics go unclimbed the flora moves quickly to reclaim the land. 

Over the past 3 months a surge of energy has come forward to refresh the hardware on many of NB's classic lines. Lead by a small group of three local climbers, many classics have been rebolted and anchors upgraded with modern hardware. The quality in their work is top-notch and a visiting climber would be challenged to find the remnants of the original bolts. Best yet, they've spurred some momentum in the local community to the cause. Their lead has inspired others to contribute time, sweat, and hardware to the effort. At the time of writing, more than 40 routes have refreshed. 

First ascent parties often reap the glory with a classic line. Often unnoticed are the scrubbers and rebolters that keep these classics in shape. So.. in the event that future guidebook editions fail to mention this: thanks to Luc Gallant, Marty Thériault, and Dom Caron!
Chris Norfolk
Fredericton, N.B. 

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