Dear climbing community,
During 2021 and 2022 the CCT received a significant increase in the number of requests for better guidance on fixed anchor placement on the Organ Pipes. Accordingly the CCT held a community forum seeking input from climbers who have established new climbs (of any style) on the Organ Pipes in recent years to consider whether the community might benefit from publication of guidance statements for this particular cliff. The response rate was very high with only 1 among 19 climbers approaching expressing antagonism to the project. A robust forum was held in person with a broad array of views being discussed. A set of guidance statements were created and unanimously supported among those who participated. The working group, which included most of the Crag Stewards for the Organ Pipes, suggested that the statements will be published in the introductory/ethics section of Organ Pipes guidebooks.
Apologies for the slight delay in publication. It is timely to share the guidance statements here ("section 1"); inclusion in the guide will follow shortly. Note that section 2 details how the working group was formed and will be published separately on the CCT members page only.
I would like to thank the community members who gave significant time and thoughtful feedback to this project. I hope your efforts and leadership will help preserve the fantastic cliff character that you have participated in creating.
Hamish Jackson CCT president.
Organ pipes fixed anchor guidance statements.pdf
This is a step in the right direction, and desperately overdue state-wide. It seems to me however, that the only sensible approach to new route development on the Organ Pipes is a complete bolting moratorium. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been shocked and dismayed to come across yet another contrived, unnecessary or blatantly inappropriate new sport route on the mountain, routes which do nothing but dilute the climbing experience.
The Tasmanian climbing community seems to be lacking in any form of leadership in terms of setting and demanding standards for quality new route development which adheres to basic climbing ethics. I think it is vitally important to establish the precedent that individuals who bolt routes which fail to meet community standards (of which there are many on the pipes) will be called out for this behaviour, and the routes removed. Maybe some guidelines for effective bolt removal could be developed?
Just because Tasmania has a reputation for wilderness climbing and less issues with overcrowding than many mainland crags, does not make us immune from the potential impacts of rampant over-bolting. In my opinion, every worthwhile piece of sport climbing real estate on the Pipes has an established route on it, and the overwhelming majority of new bolted climbs are contrived gap-fillers which reduce the overall quality of the crag. A bolting moratorium would have no impact on 99% of the people who climb on the Pipes, and preserve the quality of a unique cliff.