Book Chapter

Adventure, Climbing Excellence and the Practice of 'Bolting'


Ebert P & Robertson S (2007) Adventure, Climbing Excellence and the Practice of 'Bolting'. In: McNamee MJ(J (ed.) Philosophy, risk, and adventure sports. London: Routledge, pp. 56-70.

In this paper we examine a recent version of an old controversy within climbing ethics. Our organising topic is the ‘bolting’ of climbing routes, in particular the increasing bolting of routes in those wilderness areas climbing traditionalists have customarily believed should remain bolt-free. The issues this raises extend beyond the ethical, however, encompassing a wider normative field that concerns individual ideals, the values and goals of different climbing practices and communities, as well as various aesthetic and environmental matters. This makes any assessment of the acceptability of bolting a complex affair, requiring not only the identification of relevant considerations and arguments but also some way to evaluate their comparative significance.

Risk; Climbing; Bolting Debate; Traditional Climbing

Publication date31/12/2007
Publisher URL…sbn9780415351850
Place of publicationLondon