Well, there have been a lot of postings to this thread, with some thoughtful kernels amongst the chaff, the ad hominem remarks, and the over-generalizations.
It’s hard to know how to take anonymous postings, or at least postings that don’t provide any context. Who we are, our abilities and backgrounds, and our experience of climbing and the world, all are relevant. I wonder what response my postings would have elicited had I made them anonymously?
More routes at the Smoke Bluffs now have anchor bolts on top than was formerly the case. Perhaps convenience, top-roping and climbing schools and gyms have something to do with it. Many of those bolts are unnecessary, in the strict sense - there are good natural anchors available nearby. Some are commonly used for rappelling, although relatively simple walk-offs are usually available. (I agree that anchor bolts are generally appropriate on routes that must be rappelled, but most Smoke Bluffs routes aren’t in that category.)
When I began climbing in 1971, equipment and techniques may have been closer to what Vram’s grandfather used than what we have now. We tied in on a bowline on a coil (nylon rope), used pitons (hard steel), did body rappels, and had vibram soled Robbins shoes. Bolts weren’t very good, were a lot of effort to place, were generally discouraged, and had we known weren’t reliable anyway. Guidebooks were perfunctory compared to those now available. Pretty soon things changed - the clean climbing revolution, plus the introduction of the EB shoe, sit harnesses, etc etc. Then Friends, then sticky rubber, good guides, and so on.
My own ethos is that climbing always should involve multi-faceted challenge. It almost always implies some risk, sometimes a lot. (Mountaineering more so than rock climbing, of course - class 3 in the mountains often implies a multitude of frightening possibilities.) It is often not convenient, and sometimes involves considerable inconvenience if not hard work and suffering. Though it can bring great joy also. Most important, climbing involves respect for the environment (natural and human), oneself, and others.
There are some fundamental issues in all this, such as:
1. To what extent are adventure and risk part of our game? To what extent should they be part of our game? Is safe climbing an oxymoron?
2. Should conscious risk-taking in rock climbing be inherent or optional? (Bearing in mind that the actual risk often differs from the apparent risk.)
3. To what extent is it permissible to alter the natural or human environment we enjoy, and in what circumstances?
4. How can we resolve these questions in a mature manner, within our community?
5. How do we allow for evolution - in technique, environment, skills, our community? (Those who believe in intelligent design may ignore this question - not that the concept seems to apply to climbing anyway.)
I don’t own Penny Lane, nor does John Arts. You might say that the climbing community is its caretaker. So the question is how we should look after it, and how to decide. Has there been such change in the climbing community that there is now a consensus that there should be anchor bolts at the top of Penny Lane? That doesn’t appear to be the case, and would be determined by much more than postings to this forum. If there is such a consensus, is it in fact a good thing in terms of our community in the world - the majority isn’t always right. Vocal minorities are sometimes wrong, but do act as a conscience and corrective.
So, further intelligent and informed debate welcome. But please try to stay on topic.