A new policy has been proposed by the National Park Service for fixed climbing anchors in wilderness areas. (If it’s a wilderness area, why are humans allowed into it?) They haven’t decided yet, but it appears they will still allow anchors to be used on climbs.
“This proposed policy recognizes that the occasional placement of a fixed anchor for belay, rappel, or protection purposes does not necessarily impair wilderness, but it requires prior authorization for the placement of new fixed anchors (replacements or removals may also require park approval).”
Quite a lively discussion in the comments section. I understand why many people object to bolts and anchors. I also have been to many bolted areas where I have had trouble finding the bolts that supposedly ruined the rock.
Here’re two comments from the article linked above, that I liked:
“Anonymous @ 1/14/2011 8:39:38 AM I think hand drilling will deter "first ascents" of pure sport climbs ,which usually takes place on crags within easy walking distance of parking areas.However on more wilderness crags the impact of bolts is well out of sight not only of the general public ,but is often difficult to spot even when a climber is looking for them.Also the noise of hand drilling a bolt can take up to 20 mins ,where a bolt gun takes but a few seconds..I think if a survey was taken VERY few climbers are involved in first ascents of what we now call Trad/Sport climbs, that involve the occasional use of bolts on multi pitch climbs for belays and odd blank sections.”