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What is traditional free climbing?
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dingus


Sep 23, 2007, 9:50 AM
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What is traditional free climbing?
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bachar wrote:
Trad is on-sight, ground up (free, aid or mixed).....

S'what I done been telling you people for a long time.

For your viewing pleasure and historical perspective (if by historical I mean people who in their 50s and early 60s can free solo circles around us roped up gums)

http://www.supertopo.com/...c_id=454289&tn=0

Trad. Its not just a rack of widgets.

DMT


(This post was edited by dingus on Sep 23, 2007, 9:53 AM)


blueeyedclimber


Sep 24, 2007, 7:14 AM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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So, can you not redpoint a trad route? Is redpointing purely in the realm of the sport climber? Hey, I tried to onsight last year, wasn't strong enough. Got it clean this year. Was I not trad climbing? I'm so confused.

Josh


dingus


Sep 24, 2007, 7:38 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
So, can you not redpoint a trad route? Is redpointing purely in the realm of the sport climber? Hey, I tried to onsight last year, wasn't strong enough. Got it clean this year. Was I not trad climbing? I'm so confused.

Josh

Redpoint is a sport climbing term invented by Kurt Albert. What.... mid-80s or so? You know, the ole red dot at the base of the route thing (those whacky Germans!). Wolfy and others brought that concept to America though hang-dogging-to-victory certainly had been practiced for a long time before that.

It just wasn't respected.

Anyway, its not meant as a pissing match. I took all the pissing match words out of the OP. Its meant as a frame of reference. An awful lot of folks are ignorant when it comes to this topic.

Cheers
DMT


olderic


Sep 24, 2007, 7:46 AM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
So, can you not redpoint a trad route? Josh

Actually Josh by the strictist rules - no you can't. You get one chance to do a route. After that it is tainted. One of the strongest climbvers of the 70's Jim Erickson from CO - always played by those rules and did some incredible stuff - although he relaxed his standards when he was working to free the NW face of Half Dome. Most of us weren't quite that strict. If you sent a route that you had previously failed on you prided yourself as to "have gotten better" - it's human nature. But had you really gotten any better or just acquired some crucial knowledge? If you take climbing back to it's routes the goal was to get to the top of something and if the somethng was big then time was usually of the essence and there was not time for repeated attemtps. Now days of course climbing has split into many styles and most participants spout the new age mumble jumble about the journey being the core and the destination as not the goal - blah blah blah. Still the idea of on-sight still gets some recognition.

It's pretty well documented where the term "red point" came from - it certainly was not from what you kids all like to call "trad" climbing now.


blueeyedclimber


Sep 24, 2007, 8:17 AM
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I like when I get called a kid. I have all kinds of respect for the roots of climbing and agree that onsighting is the best possible way to send a climb. BUt... I am very happy when I can send something that previously shut me down. Is that a redpoint? I don't really care, but putting it in my book as one is easier than writing "a climb that I previously tried to onsight, but couldn't, but now I have sent."

As far as sending a climbing being attributed to being stronger or having newly gained knowledge of the climb, it could be either or a little of both.

I think arguing about labels and terms is a little silly. I know a little about climbing history, and I realize that some of the terms I use and are commonly used today are not necessarily the way they were intended or were used back in the day. OK, I get it. But, I don't think that "redpointing" a climb "taints" it. It is just a step down in style. How big that step is, is up for debate.

Josh


quiteatingmysteak


Sep 24, 2007, 8:26 AM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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Wait.... does it still count as tradding a route if i put it on my blog? What kind of cams do i need when the bolts are too far away?



There is this area in the gym where one of the quickdraws fell out, and I had to put it back in... can I put that as a 5.11a trad on the Black Route on my ascent log?


microbarn


Sep 24, 2007, 8:28 AM
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dingus wrote:
bachar wrote:
Trad is on-sight, ground up (free, aid or mixed).....

S'what I done been telling you people for a long time.

For your viewing pleasure and historical perspective (if by historical I mean people who in their 50s and early 60s can free solo circles around us roped up gums)

http://www.supertopo.com/...c_id=454289&tn=0

Trad. Its not just a rack of widgets.

DMT

language evolves...deal with it.


olderic


Sep 24, 2007, 9:21 AM
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microbarn wrote:
[
language evolves...deal with it.

Of course it does - and to be conversant you should be knowledgable of current lingo. But to throw out other cliches - those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. In an Orwellian sense revisionist language leads to revisionist history.


shockabuku


Sep 24, 2007, 10:12 AM
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olderic wrote:
microbarn wrote:
[
language evolves...deal with it.

Of course it does - and to be conversant you should be knowledgable of current lingo. But to throw out other cliches - those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. In an Orwellian sense revisionist language leads to revisionist history.

History never repeats itself, it's just conveniently similar (or not).


microbarn


Sep 24, 2007, 10:17 AM
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olderic wrote:
microbarn wrote:
[
language evolves...deal with it.

Of course it does - and to be conversant you should be knowledgable of current lingo. But to throw out other cliches - those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. In an Orwellian sense revisionist language leads to revisionist history.

Good point, but dingus seems to create a thread or post on this exact same topic more than is pertinent.


dingus


Sep 24, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
I think arguing about labels and terms is a little silly.

That's cool bro. Cheers to you!

DMT


olderic


Sep 24, 2007, 10:22 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
I like when I get called a kid. I have all kinds of respect for the roots of climbing and agree that onsighting is the best possible way to send a climb. BUt... I am very happy when I can send something that previously shut me down. Is that a redpoint? I don't really care, but putting it in my book as one is easier than writing "a climb that I previously tried to onsight, but couldn't, but now I have sent."

As far as sending a climbing being attributed to being stronger or having newly gained knowledge of the climb, it could be either or a little of both.

I think arguing about labels and terms is a little silly. I know a little about climbing history, and I realize that some of the terms I use and are commonly used today are not necessarily the way they were intended or were used back in the day. OK, I get it. But, I don't think that "redpointing" a climb "taints" it. It is just a step down in style. How big that step is, is up for debate.

Josh

Oh I agree I think redpoint is a wonderful way to describe getting up something cleanly that you failed to in the past. It should transcend to many things in real life - "I finally redpointed the bar exam". "Beta" certainly has.

For me - not onsighting/flashing a route DOES taint it for me - the longer and more alpine like the route the more I am dissapointed in myself for not getting it cleanly the first time. But I "get" the idea of the gym and sport climbing and do enjoy working and eventually redpointing a route. But at this stage I seriously doubt it's because I got any "better". I just learned what it takes to do this particular thing and all the variables lined up right thi sone time.


dingus


Sep 24, 2007, 10:22 AM
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microbarn wrote:
olderic wrote:
microbarn wrote:
[
language evolves...deal with it.

Of course it does - and to be conversant you should be knowledgable of current lingo. But to throw out other cliches - those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. In an Orwellian sense revisionist language leads to revisionist history.

Good point, but dingus seems to create a thread or post on this exact same topic more than is pertinent.

Deal with it.

DMT


olderic


Sep 24, 2007, 10:27 AM
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[quote "microbarnGood point, but dingus seems to create a thread or post on this exact same topic more than is pertinent.
DMT comments on just about ever topic with insightful (although prehaps not quite as profound as he would like to think) words of wisdome.


microbarn


Sep 24, 2007, 10:32 AM
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olderic wrote:
microbarn wrote:
Good point, but dingus seems to create a thread or post on this exact same topic more than is pertinent.

DMT comments on just about ever topic with insightful (although prehaps not quite as profound as he would like to think) words of wisdome.

Agreed, but that doesn't mean this topic is any less tired. Obviously the other times he ranted didn't bring the resolution he hopes. What will change this time?


dingus


Sep 24, 2007, 10:32 AM
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olderic wrote:
[quote "microbarnGood point, but dingus seems to create a thread or post on this exact same topic more than is pertinent.

DMT comments on just about ever topic with insightful (although prehaps not quite as profound as he would like to think) words of wisdome.
I love how people project their opinions of me, upon me.

haha.,

DMT


dingus


Sep 24, 2007, 10:34 AM
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microbarn wrote:
olderic wrote:
microbarn wrote:
Good point, but dingus seems to create a thread or post on this exact same topic more than is pertinent.

DMT comments on just about ever topic with insightful (although prehaps not quite as profound as he would like to think) words of wisdome.

Agreed, but that doesn't mean this topic is any less tired. Obviously the other times he ranted didn't bring the resolution he hopes. What will change this time?

Sometimes a troll is just a troll too. It doesn't matter if either of us can distinguish the two.

But chill dude. What I thought was actually pertinent in my OP were the words of bachar and the link to that thread. Do with it what you will!

Cheers and peace
DMT


microbarn


Sep 24, 2007, 10:40 AM
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and here I thought you were going to be happy I was bumping your thread onto the front page....

Cool


olderic


Sep 24, 2007, 10:43 AM
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dingus wrote:
microbarn wrote:
olderic wrote:
microbarn wrote:
Good point, but dingus seems to create a thread or post on this exact same topic more than is pertinent.

DMT comments on just about ever topic with insightful (although prehaps not quite as profound as he would like to think) words of wisdome.

Agreed, but that doesn't mean this topic is any less tired. Obviously the other times he ranted didn't bring the resolution he hopes. What will change this time?

Sometimes a troll is just a troll too. It doesn't matter if either of us can distinguish the two.

But chill dude. What I thought was actually pertinent in my OP were the words of bachar and the link to that thread. Do with it what you will!

Cheers and peace
DMT

OK - you got the quotes right this time - that's better. You know I agree with what you say 90%+ percent of the time. That still doesn't stop me thinking that that you are some what of an attention whore (note I preficed that staement with "I think" - so as not to confise things with projecting) - who craves a lot of stroking. I'm also am curious as to you real life given the incredible amount of time you spend on the various forums. I expect you will keep me guess though so I will just have to keep projecting.


blueeyedclimber


Sep 24, 2007, 10:59 AM
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olderic wrote:
Oh I agree I think redpoint is a wonderful way to describe getting up something cleanly that you failed to in the past. It should transcend to many things in real life - "I finally redpointed the bar exam". "Beta" certainly has.

Agreed. I like the term, because it's easy for me to go back and look at climbs that i have done and know how I sent them.

In reply to:
For me - not onsighting/flashing a route DOES taint it for me - the longer and more alpine like the route the more I am dissapointed in myself for not getting it cleanly the first time.

I guess I just have a problem with the word "taint". It is too absolute, like all of a sudden my experience is ruined becasue I fell. I guess I just don't see it that way.

In reply to:
But I "get" the idea of the gym and sport climbing and do enjoy working and eventually redpointing a route. But at this stage I seriously doubt it's because I got any "better". I just learned what it takes to do this particular thing and all the variables lined up right thi sone time.

But...isn't learning moves to a particular climb part of "getting better". I only got a "C" in Exercise Physiology, but the terms muscle memory and specificity of training are important concepts in climbing and are part of "How we get Better."

Josh


onceahardman


Sep 24, 2007, 11:23 AM
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i can remember when using chalk was considered "bad style", and old-timers considered it "aid". same with spring-loaded cams.

times change. terminology changes. style changes.

BUT-ethics should not change. if you tell someone that you on-sighted a climb, you should not be talking about a climb you actually redpointed.


best style? (to me) on sight free solo of a climb you have never seen before, and haven't read the guidebook description, and dont know how hard it is. (i've never actually done this.)

next? on sight free climb of the same route.


quiteatingmysteak


Sep 24, 2007, 12:59 PM
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There was a sweet route i saw one time, super fun looking. I want to sport it until i have it so i climb it safe than try for the trad red point.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos/Sport/Leah_Sandvoss_on_Wonderstuff_89811.html





10d finger and hand cracks are among the funnest size, magnified more so by the lack of gear needed! Time to make Five and Dime and Serenity the climbs they were meant to be!




If you don't know what Trad is, odds are, explaining it won't help. Kind of like Ice climbing. Pretty retardedly dangeroius, not by any means "fun", in the middle of Alaska in areas more known for oil spills and armageddon-esque earthquakes than good climbing, using weapons devised to kill trotsky to hack up a wall which in the glacial sense is about as permanent as a basket of mini muffins at a PTA meeting...

When is New Jack going to start cooling off...


paintrain


Sep 24, 2007, 1:45 PM
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Nah. I wouldn't say it is a good definition. It is all the time frame you want to define "traditional"

Lots of old school "trad" lines that took numerous tries so it negates the requirement for "onsight". Unless all those lines don't count since they weren't onsighted.

Some folks put up bolted lines "ground up onsite". Does that qualify? Slab routes in these parts put up on lead with a hand drill.

Then it just degrades into semantics and tactics.

I vote rack of widgets.

PT


blueeyedclimber


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quiteatingmysteak wrote:
There was a sweet route i saw one time, super fun looking. I want to sport it until i have it so i climb it safe than try for the trad red point.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos/Sport/Leah_Sandvoss_on_Wonderstuff_89811.html





10d finger and hand cracks are among the funnest size, magnified more so by the lack of gear needed! Time to make Five and Dime and Serenity the climbs they were meant to be!




If you don't know what Trad is, odds are, explaining it won't help. Kind of like Ice climbing. Pretty retardedly dangeroius, not by any means "fun", in the middle of Alaska in areas more known for oil spills and armageddon-esque earthquakes than good climbing, using weapons devised to kill trotsky to hack up a wall which in the glacial sense is about as permanent as a basket of mini muffins at a PTA meeting...

When is New Jack going to start cooling off...


Uhhhhh.....What?


onceahardman


Sep 24, 2007, 3:33 PM
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dingus asked:

In reply to:
What is traditional free climbing?

then quotes bachar:

In reply to:
bachar wrote:Trad is on-sight, ground up (free, aid or mixed).....

traditional FREE climbing, then, is starting at the bottom, and free climbing to the top. if bolts are necessary, they are placed on lead. otherwise, protection is placed by the leader and removed by the second. even if you used pitons (traditionally speaking)

subsequent free ascents of bolted routes do not add more bolts, except as replacements for old crap bolts/hangers.


trundlebum


Sep 24, 2007, 4:17 PM
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I am a trad climber that 'dropped out' for many years and now I am taking up climbing again. I had the term 'old trad guy' applied to me a little over a year ago and it was the first I had ever heard the use. I had to have it explained to me. I am exploring these terms in an effort to understand them better before I use them.
However so far this is what I get out of these new terms:
It's all a bunch of B.S.
IMO Rock climbers are a subset of traditional mountaineering, the ethics and styles have not really changed all that much in over 25 years. Sport climbing (under that term) did not even exist 25 years ago, let alone this phenomenon of 'seasoned, gym climbers, that have never climbed outdoors".
I say B.S we should stop using the term 'trad', trad "IS ROCK CLIMBING" I don't understand all this accommodation of sport lingo ? Let the sport climbers use the terms, but I don't understand the erosion of the simple premise of "free climbing". Free means free, no hangs, no falls and a fall is equated with a hang.
You never have a second chance to make an onsight.
I can recall getting and giving scoldings, for stopping on rap to try on a finger lock or two on route that you had not done yet. The scolding being, "hey hey hey, no preinspection or you can't ever did it onsight"

So in trying to understand all these new terms, for the most part I say bah to them. Not because they can't concisely communicate a situation but it puts the whole experience into a weird twist for me.
There is no such thing as "Trad" that is just plainly called "rock climbing".
Within rock climbing you either free climb or aid climb, no biggy, no rocket science, no gray or in between.
Basically 'sport climbing is a subset of rock climbing that has was termed decades ago:
"aid climbing". There is not much difference between a 'top down' sport climb that gets freed or a bottom to top, aid route bolt ladder that got freed. they both began as aid climbs and got freed later.
These discussions used to be so much easier when the questions were like: "if a route has a hanging belay can you still call it a free climb?"
IMO, in the years of my absence I think "rock climbers" have been accommodating and allowed the situation to become completely wishy washy and
muted. Rock climbers in general have allowed a subset of climbers to take the upper hand in evolving the overall lingo, seemingly because they just didn't want group sport with aid climbing.

All this banter, all these new terms, sure I agree with 'blueeyedclimber, it is lot more concise to say "redpoint' than a couple sentences to describe the style. But it can be so much easier than all that. If you say or it is assumed "free climbed" a route, either you lead or followed.
So if the accepted and assumed style is free climbing, then suffice it to say "I lead it" means no falls no hangs. If you lead it and took falls then you should feel obliged to mention.
I look at my notes in old guide books and see under the route names concise notes, the date I did it(noting subsequent or previous ascents), If no falls denoted then it was done all free. Simple.
On longer routes that had gone all free, where I climbed them with more free climbing than the early ascents but not all free I would append the rating in ink and brief note it, a good example:
Chouinard-Herbert, Sentinel Rock. The Guide book I have calls the route V .11c or 5.9 A2. My note:
9/16/83 with Ed Keller, 9 hrs camp to camp, couldn't free the cubans V 5.10d A1
(then usually a rack inventory that was used)
Simple.

So should we stop trying to accomadate sport as a subset of trad.
Whatever happened to the original term for sport, 'siege climbing'?
I know that term originally came from massive Himalayan expedition climbing, but we used to use it for 'sport climbing' before the term came to be. Remember 'siege tactics' ? A boom box playing Zappa or Jimmy, five guys all taking turns on burning off something totally extreme (for the group's standard). The oft used phrase as a new suitor ties on, "Here's your one piece, just get it at least 4' higher than the top piece and your a hero"

Siege tactics can be total fun. Once we had a Plymouth fury 3 parked as close as possible to the base of 'More Monkey Than Funky', speakers on the roof blaring away. Five of us attacked it with vigor, for hrs. We had a gas, however as we set the top rope and taped up, we all knew it meant a good route that could never be lead 'onsight'.

It's all so simple, no need for all these fancy terms you either lead it:
"flash/cruise/motor'd it" <-- no falls, hangs or bok's
"onsight clean" <-- no falls or hangs but perhaps some contemplation
"onsight with heavy sniveling" <-- no falls or hangs but... just barely
^ all the above implies:
a fall is a hang.

The rest just falls under:
"I couldn't get up it without having to get winched, or siege it"

Maybe others can help me with understanding the term "send" ?
doesn't that just mean "I finally got up it, after sieging the snot out of it" ?
Maybe not ? I have seen the phrase "he sent it on his first attempt" <-- what does that mean?
Does it mean we have longwindedly said "he flashed it" ? or does it mean he took multiple falls but got up it on the first 'siege' session?
What is an attempt ? I figure well your leaving me to assume that we are talking about free climbing, so either you onsighted the lead (cruise or snivel, either way) or you sieged it. That simple, no need for all this 'sport talk'
Let sport climbers talk however they like.
There is no 'Trad' that's simply called 'rock climbing'
Whatever the sub culture of 'sport/siege' may introduce for terms, whatevah's!
What goes around comes around.
I Remember when I was young and thought "Cross Roads" was an Eric clapton song and that my dad couldn't understand (My generation's) music. All the while he is trying to get me to listen to Robert Johnson. It took me 20 years to figure out that for Clapton 'Cross roads' is a cover tune.
Or how about my niece recently telling me that "to be cool these days you have to wear hip hugger bell bottoms." LOL
To the sport subculture, of what I have seen of it so far, I say tongue in cheek:
"we'll leave you alone and maybe one day you'll come home"
It's all pretty basic, "a rope a rack and the shirt on your back, you free climbed it or you didn't"

So all that said and I have merely reiterated what 'quiteatingmysteak's' basic message was:
"trad, you either get it, or you won't"


k.l.k


Sep 24, 2007, 4:22 PM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
bachar wrote:
Trad is on-sight, ground up (free, aid or mixed).....

S'what I done been telling you people for a long time.

For your viewing pleasure and historical perspective (if by historical I mean people who in their 50s and early 60s can free solo circles around us roped up gums)

http://www.supertopo.com/...c_id=454289&tn=0

Trad. Its not just a rack of widgets.

DMT

Sort of. Even in the seventies and eighties, what constituted "onsight" and 'ground up" varied considerably from place to place and year to year. "Ground up" in JTree, one of the key "trad" areas in the seventies and eighties, frequently meant that one started on the ground, then walked up the backside, hung a rope, and climbed "up" on a tr. (Hot Rocks, Beaver, Equinox, etc.) Since Bachar's goal on most of these things was to solo them, rather than lead them, it made perfect sense to do it that way. A tr is a lot better preparation for a free solo. And the use of hooks for aid placements for bolting free leads was condemned by quite a number of prominant climbers when the practice first appeared in the '80s. Today the B-Y is practically the definition of "trad." You may not like the general drift, but you can trace a line out into the future and imagine that it's going to change some more. . . .


onceahardman


Sep 24, 2007, 4:30 PM
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Re: [k.l.k] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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hanging on hooks to place bolts on lead IS trad...

but it's NOT free. and the OPs question was, "what is traditional free climbing."

free climbing=ropes and equipment is not used to rest or for upward progress, only to protect oneself in case of a fall.

like the guy above said, it's just "ROCK CLIMBING", not gym climbing.


k.l.k


Sep 24, 2007, 4:45 PM
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Re: [onceahardman] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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onceahardman wrote:
hanging on hooks to place bolts on lead IS trad...

but it's NOT free. and the OPs question was, "what is traditional free climbing."]

onceahardman-- your claim here is one that is now widely shared by other self-described "trad" climbers. but it was not universally shared at the time. jb's toproping and hooking were sore points with older "traditionalists," notably tom higgins. but their views were gradually ignored by most climbers of jb's age and younger. now, twenty years later, toproping at jtree and the hooks on b-y are seen as emblematic of "traditional."

i'm not saying it's good or bad, i'm simply pointing out that what counts as "trad" has in fact changed over time and has varied from place to place. the logical inference is that it is likely to change again in the future. at some point, barring the intervention of land mangers--and much to dmt's disgust--it probably will be mostly about the widgets.


el_layclimber


Sep 24, 2007, 5:09 PM
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   I think that the more meaningful term here is "clean." Like sport and trad, the term is only meaningful in relation to what came before it, namely banging in pitons and scarring the rock. Nuts meant that routes could be climbed without damaging the rock.
When I learned how to climb, no one told me anything about trad, sport or any colored points, but I was taught that clean climbing (minimizing impact) was to be valued highly.
A few bolts were chopped in local areas in those days, not because of possible hangdogging, but because they were ugly. We accepted that some routes would have to be toproped or imagined in order to stay pristine.

My name is El_lay, and I am a clean climber.


watchme


Sep 24, 2007, 5:40 PM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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I've given up arguing this. All of my friends, many who have been climbing for a long time and know what "trad" really means, use the term "trad" to mean requiring gear. That's it. Trad climbing means grab the rack; sport climbing means just grab some draws.

I guess I'm OK with this, as long as the tradition of areas like the Gunks, Tuolumne, etc. is preserved. If some dude wants to french free some crack and call it "trad" climbing, I don't care. I just hope that there continue to be areas where I can enjoy traditional free climbing.

I love sport climbing, but some of my fondest climbing memories are hunting for bolts among the golden knobs in Tuolumne. Those routes are amazing, and would be less so had they been put in top-down.


flamer


Sep 24, 2007, 5:42 PM
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Re: [quiteatingmysteak] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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quiteatingmysteak wrote:
tradding a route

Tradding is not a word!!

josh


onceahardman


Sep 24, 2007, 8:19 PM
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Re: [k.l.k] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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klk...i think we agree. bacher-yerian, etc, ARE TRAD. but they were not put up free. they can be subsequently on-sighted.


k.l.k


Sep 25, 2007, 8:34 AM
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Well, I think we sort of agree. Bachar-Yerian was NOT "trad" when it was put up. Indeed, it was one of the key routes that led Higgins to pen his famous critique of "tricksters." Bachar-Yerian BECAME "trad," and rather quickly, as most of the younger locals began to disregard the criticisms of Higgins and other (mostly older) climbers and embrace lead hooking as a "traditional" method of bolting.

In retrospect, the differences between, say, Higgins and Bachar seem rather petty when compared to the gulf separating both of them from the folks drilling pockets while rap-bolting. But the differences were fairly sharp at the time, and although both styles have now been assimilated to "trad," the experience should suggest that the same thing may happen again: In twenty years, "trad" may include practices that today make some of us queasy.


dingus


Sep 25, 2007, 8:40 AM
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onceahardman wrote:
best style? (to me) on sight free solo of a climb you have never seen before, and haven't read the guidebook description, and dont know how hard it is. (i've never actually done this.)

Bachar did this. Called it one of the hardest things he ever did. There are plenty on this board that would be ok with retrobolting that route so they too could 'climb it.'

This is an important topic... our collective past, our traditions, our stories. I don't want the Convenience Oriented 7-11 crowd to bolt over our history.

DMT


onceahardman


Sep 25, 2007, 9:56 AM
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In reply to:
Well, I think we sort of agree. Bachar-Yerian was NOT "trad" when it was put up.

see, klk, i disagree here. bolts have been placed on lead at least since the 1950s. (see warren harding's epic bolt ladder on the nose). if they are put in on lead, (whether free or aid) then its traditional style.

but bachar-yerian's first ascent was not "free".

if it was originally bolted on rappel, that would be "not trad", or SPORT. different ethic, different style.

traditional, but not free.

ps, as someone noted above, i don't really like the term "trad"...traditional is ok, but really, it's just "rock climbing", as opposed to climbing plastic in the gym.

don't get me wrong, i like sport climbing. but there is a distinction. doesn't mean one is better than the other, but a difference exists. the harder moves, and higher grades, will always be done on bolts. less weight to carry, less stress about safety.


k.l.k


Sep 25, 2007, 10:18 AM
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onceahardman wrote:
In reply to:
Well, I think we sort of agree. Bachar-Yerian was NOT "trad" when it was put up.

see, klk, i disagree here. bolts have been placed on lead at least since the 1950s. (see warren harding's epic bolt ladder on the nose). if they are put in on lead, (whether free or aid) then its traditional style.

Perhaps I am being unclear. Tense is everythinhg. B-Y "is" a "trad" climb. When first done, it "was" not, at least not in the eyes of the "trad" climbers who had established the boundaries of acceptable style in Tuolumne Meadows. B-Y was one of the paradigms of "trickster" practice noted by Higgins, and as best as I can tell, his formula of "tricksters" and "traditionalists" was the first to set out the term that we now know and love/hate. Many of us still have the older Meadows guide with Higgins's essay on ethics in which decried hooking along with bolting on rappel. B-Y "became" trad largely because a younger generation of climbers simply began to ignore the older generations strictures and adopt a new set of practices.

Changes in what counts as "tradition" have mostly been generational shifts. Ice-axes replacing alpenstocks; pitons replacing the Gentleman's Belay; pitons for aid; expansion bolts; friends; chalk; hooking on lead; each has gradually been assimilated into something retrospectively described as "trad" climbing which we then think of as an eternal heritage.

The only reason I belabor these familiar points is that we like to think that a sharper historical consciousness will somehow bring all those gymbies to jeebus. As much as I would love to see folks on this forum, and at the crags, develop a more historical understanding of themselves and their sport, I am skeptical that it will really do much to preserve the dominant practices of one moment in time--a slice of the middle 1980s--in cultural amber. As best I can tell, with the possible exception of certain Britsh areas, the places that have best reconciled user pressure with "traditional" climbing practices--Elbsandstein, Fontainebleau, Shawangunks--have done so through the direct intervention of land managers. Even in Yosemite, I suspect that the NPS ban on power drilling has done at least as much as the careful cultivation of a local "trad" sensibility to limit sportification. Sorry this post is so long-- I didn't have time to write a short one.


Partner j_ung


Sep 25, 2007, 10:44 AM
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olderic wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
So, can you not redpoint a trad route? Josh

Actually Josh by the strictist rules - no you can't. You get one chance to do a route. After that it is tainted. One of the strongest climbvers of the 70's Jim Erickson from CO - always played by those rules and did some incredible stuff - although he relaxed his standards when he was working to free the NW face of Half Dome. Most of us weren't quite that strict. If you sent a route that you had previously failed on you prided yourself as to "have gotten better" - it's human nature. But had you really gotten any better or just acquired some crucial knowledge? If you take climbing back to it's routes the goal was to get to the top of something and if the somethng was big then time was usually of the essence and there was not time for repeated attemtps. Now days of course climbing has split into many styles and most participants spout the new age mumble jumble about the journey being the core and the destination as not the goal - blah blah blah. Still the idea of on-sight still gets some recognition.

It's pretty well documented where the term "red point" came from - it certainly was not from what you kids all like to call "trad" climbing now.

I think it was drkodos who coined the term "sport tradding," to mean set-'em-up, knock-'em-down single-pitch climbing on routes that are commonly considered traditional. Seems that term probably works for the hybrid we're discussing here, too.


jt512


Sep 25, 2007, 10:50 AM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
onceahardman wrote:
best style? (to me) on sight free solo of a climb you have never seen before, and haven't read the guidebook description, and dont know how hard it is. (i've never actually done this.)

Bachar did this. Called it one of the hardest things he ever did. There are plenty on this board that would be ok with retrobolting that route so they too could 'climb it.'

This is an important topic... our collective past, our traditions, our stories. I don't want the Convenience Oriented 7-11 crowd to bolt over our history.

DMT

I'm curious as to how retrobolting a route that was once free-soloed changes the history of the route.

Jay


granite_grrl


Sep 25, 2007, 11:23 AM
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j_ung wrote:
olderic wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
So, can you not redpoint a trad route? Josh

Actually Josh by the strictist rules - no you can't. You get one chance to do a route. After that it is tainted. One of the strongest climbvers of the 70's Jim Erickson from CO - always played by those rules and did some incredible stuff - although he relaxed his standards when he was working to free the NW face of Half Dome. Most of us weren't quite that strict. If you sent a route that you had previously failed on you prided yourself as to "have gotten better" - it's human nature. But had you really gotten any better or just acquired some crucial knowledge? If you take climbing back to it's routes the goal was to get to the top of something and if the somethng was big then time was usually of the essence and there was not time for repeated attemtps. Now days of course climbing has split into many styles and most participants spout the new age mumble jumble about the journey being the core and the destination as not the goal - blah blah blah. Still the idea of on-sight still gets some recognition.

It's pretty well documented where the term "red point" came from - it certainly was not from what you kids all like to call "trad" climbing now.

I think it was drkodos who coined the term "sport tradding," to mean set-'em-up, knock-'em-down single-pitch climbing on routes that are commonly considered traditional. Seems that term probably works for the hybrid we're discussing here, too.

Yeah, its true. Especially when there's a bolted anchor at the top and you can give your second a sling-shot belay.

Most multipitch gets away from the sport-trad, but the Gunks is pretty darn sporty I find. I have also been on botled routes that I think was a stretch to call a sport climb. Felt way more sketchy and trad to me, despite there being bolts.

I find it best to say that you're climbing bolted climbs or gear climbs, sport and trad are more of a state of mind.


onceahardman


Sep 25, 2007, 11:26 AM
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well, klk, i havent read higgins essay in years.

my only point is, from a style standpoint, bolting from hooks or other aid, on lead, is "more traditional" than bolting on rappel.


onceahardman


Sep 25, 2007, 11:33 AM
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In reply to:
I'm curious as to how retrobolting a route that was once free-soloed changes the history of the route.

Jay

it doesn't change the history. but it does change the route. how would salathe wall change if someone bolt-laddered the whole thing, every 3 feet, bottom to top?

the history stays the same, so why not? if you don't want to clip the bolts, you don't have to.

that said, i'm not entirely against putting a couple bolts on a route to make it possible for others to enjoy the resource. but i also dont think it's wrong to leave some "monuments to boldness".

reinhold messner called it "carrying your courage in your rucksack". boldness and courage are positive attributes, and have been since the infancy of our sport.


k.l.k


Sep 25, 2007, 11:52 AM
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Retrobolting an onsight free solo won't change the fact that someone put it up on the 3rd, but it does change the route's history by changing the endpoint of that history. The route now will be part of a story of how climbing once was about danger and risk but evolved into a sport that emphasized pleasurable movement in aesthetic but low-risk contexts.

One of the cliches of historical writing is that changing the ending changes the entire history. That's a consensus in the discipline. Beyond that lies a seething abyss of civil wars over whether the facts themselves change, what counts as a 'fact," etc. and etc. and on.

and onceahardman-- i wasn't trying to pick a fight. as usual on this forum i was writing mostly for the presumed audience of lurkers and n00bs for whom "Bachar" and "Higgins" sound like characters from a video game.


rockprodigy


Sep 25, 2007, 12:34 PM
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My understainding is that "back in the day", there was no "trad climbing", just "climbing". Therefore, the term "trad" is a modern word used to describe a certain style used at a point in time and region in the past.

So there can't be a single definition, we can only describe how things were done in certain places at certain times. Several people have pointed out how Bachar's own exploits don't fit the term "trad" based on different possible variations of the definition.

I'm also amused that you quoted John Bachar. Clearly he is an amazing, pioneering climber, but he was and is a radical. His views don't represent a consensus.

What exactly would be the difference between a "mixed" ascent and hangdogging? Isn't that the same thing? Actually, I don't care about the answer to that question, I just want to point out that not all great climbers are great at formulating ideology, and it seems like that single shortcoming causes a lot of conflict in our sport. A case in point is the Delicate Arch fiasco.


Partner cracklover


Sep 25, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Dingus and others: There are plenty of good definitions out there to describe a traditional climb if you are looking at it from the perspective of how the FA team climbed it. And those definitions are excellent for as far as they go.

But what's harder to do is to say what a traditional climb is for those who come after the FA.

That's where folks get tangled up in trying to define it as "gear versus bolts". Of course this is an inadequate definition, but what is a non-FA to do?

I think to get the answer, first we must look at the climb from a novel perspective: ignore the way it was put up, and instead look at what's there today.

Trundlebum has some nice thoughts, and one in particular is relevant to my point. When he says...

trundlebum wrote:
Basically 'sport climbing is a subset of rock climbing that has was termed decades ago:
"aid climbing". There is not much difference between a 'top down' sport climb that gets freed or a bottom to top, aid route bolt ladder that got freed. they both began as aid climbs and got freed later.

... this is a helpful way of looking at things, since if something starts as an aid climb and is then freed, that strips out the issue of what the climb originally was meant to be, and lets us focus on what it is today.

Okay, so what is the difference between a bolt ladder which is later freed, and a seam that is later freed? To my mind there are two clear differences: 1 - the commitment it takes to lead the seam on potentially poor gear, and 2 - the sense of self-determination that comes with leading a climb that is not pre-equipped.

In other words, for those who come *after* the FA, the two elements of commitment and self-determination - meeting the rock on more or less it's own terms - are the *practical* differences that determine whether it's a sport or a trad route.

I think both the definition of trad that looks at the means the FA party used to put it up, and the definition that looks at what we see today, are important. Yes, they can sometimes be contradictory. That's why we need to acknowledge them both - if we don't we risk missing the truth.

GO


onceahardman


Sep 25, 2007, 12:59 PM
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klk...its all good...i never thought we were arguing either.

rockprodigy-hangdogging and "mixed" are both aid, not free, and off the original topic of traditional "free climbing"

they are matters of style-which only affects YOU. they become ethical matters only when they are reported as "free", when they are have not been climbed "free".

i am not in the same camp as erickson, etc. i think a climb can be done free 1000 times if you want. but the onsight free, that can only be done once.


dingus


Sep 25, 2007, 10:27 PM
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onceahardman wrote:
bolts have been placed on lead at least since the 1950s.

So far as I know David Brower of Sierra Club fame placed the first lead protection bolt in America in the 30s on the FA of Shiprock.

DMT


dingus


Sep 25, 2007, 10:31 PM
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cracklover wrote:
But what's harder to do is to say what a traditional climb is for those who come after the FA.

As long as subsequent parties don't retrobolt it, its quite irrelevant WHAT they call it I guess.

A tadding we will go. Hi ho.

DMT


Partner cracklover


Sep 26, 2007, 5:25 AM
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dingus wrote:
cracklover wrote:
But what's harder to do is to say what a traditional climb is for those who come after the FA.

As long as subsequent parties don't retrobolt it, its quite irrelevant WHAT they call it I guess.

A tadding we will go. Hi ho.

DMT

I dunno what tadding is.

And Dingus, you know perfectly well that there are sport climbs that were bolted from the bottom up. So you're simply choosing to bury your head in the sand and ignore half the meaning of the word.

Your choice, of course.

GO


chossmonkey


Sep 26, 2007, 7:10 AM
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dingus wrote:
Trad. Its not just a rack of widgets.

DMT
Its funny how people confuse gear climbing with trad climbing.

While I wouldn't be as strict with my definitions as some here. Working the piss out a route and then leading it with gear is certainly not "trad climbing". Its climbing on gear, or "gear climbing".


Partner cracklover


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chossmonkey wrote:
dingus wrote:
Trad. Its not just a rack of widgets.

DMT
Its funny how people confuse gear climbing with trad climbing.

While I wouldn't be as strict with my definitions as some here. Working the piss out a route and then leading it with gear is certainly not "trad climbing". Its climbing on gear, or "gear climbing".

Well it's not like it's some mysterious type of climbing with no name or category. How long has the term "Headpointing" been around?

GO


azrockclimber


Sep 26, 2007, 8:13 AM
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Re: [cracklover] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
chossmonkey wrote:
dingus wrote:
Trad. Its not just a rack of widgets.

DMT
Its funny how people confuse gear climbing with trad climbing.

While I wouldn't be as strict with my definitions as some here. Working the piss out a route and then leading it with gear is certainly not "trad climbing". Its climbing on gear, or "gear climbing".

Well it's not like it's some mysterious type of climbing with no name or category. How long has the term "Headpointing" been around?

GO

Headpointing.....what does that mean?

I think I need to hang out with trendy sport climbers more..... for the lingo

maybe it's a good thing i don't know what that means.Wink


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Re: [jt512] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
I'm curious as to how retrobolting a route that was once free-soloed changes the history of the route.

Jay


and I'm curious as to how Thomas Kincaid "touching up" the Mona Lisa changes the history of the Mona Lisa.

although, you have to admit that hard traditional climbing today (yes, even in the strictest sense of the definition) has improved drastically because of sport climbing fitness.



oh, and headpointing is simply toproping a route before leading it. Sometimes done once, sometimes done dozens of times, on well-protected or x-rated climbs; doesn't matter.


dingus


Sep 26, 2007, 8:45 AM
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Re: [cracklover] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
dingus wrote:
cracklover wrote:
But what's harder to do is to say what a traditional climb is for those who come after the FA.

As long as subsequent parties don't retrobolt it, its quite irrelevant WHAT they call it I guess.

A tadding we will go. Hi ho.

DMT

I dunno what tadding is.

And Dingus, you know perfectly well that there are sport climbs that were bolted from the bottom up. So you're simply choosing to bury your head in the sand and ignore half the meaning of the word.

Your choice, of course.

GO

I'm perfectly at peace with sport climbing.

But the essence of trad is ground up. You can cite any exception you care to... doesn't change that reality.

DMT


paintrain


Sep 26, 2007, 8:50 AM
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Re: [rockprodigy] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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rockprodigy wrote:
My understainding is that "back in the day", there was no "trad climbing", just "climbing". Therefore, the term "trad" is a modern word used to describe a certain style used at a point in time and region in the past.

So there can't be a single definition, we can only describe how things were done in certain places at certain times. Several people have pointed out how Bachar's own exploits don't fit the term "trad" based on different possible variations of the definition.

I'm also amused that you quoted John Bachar. Clearly he is an amazing, pioneering climber, but he was and is a radical. His views don't represent a consensus.

What exactly would be the difference between a "mixed" ascent and hangdogging? Isn't that the same thing? Actually, I don't care about the answer to that question, I just want to point out that not all great climbers are great at formulating ideology, and it seems like that single shortcoming causes a lot of conflict in our sport. A case in point is the Delicate Arch fiasco.

Well summed up.

So much is a time frame of reference. Then it turns into semantics about which tactic during which time frame is being used to define "trad".

To degrade into semantics (if we want to go off DMT's post) True "trad" is Onsight, ground up, First Ascent only. No prior knowledge and no preplaced gear from the First ascentionist.

But in the end it is just semantics. Astroman was put up in non "trad" style. How many attempts did the north face of the Eiger receive before it was climbed? Did Heckmair et al have any beta? Not a pure onsight?

It should just be redefined as gear climbing. Give up on the notion of "Trad" climbing.

PT


dingus


Sep 26, 2007, 9:11 AM
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Re: [paintrain] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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paintrain wrote:
Give up on the notion of "Trad" climbing.

PT

Ultimately I reckon I don't care what the children call it so long as they don't use their lazy word parsing to justify retrobolting.

But the first step to forgetting the past is to loose the language.

The essence of trad is ground up. That is the simple truth of the matter. Now the exceptions will continue to be cited by those insisting on specific definitions. Whatever.

DMT


k.l.k


Sep 26, 2007, 9:25 AM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
I'm perfectly at peace with sport climbing.

But the essence of trad is ground up. You can cite any exception you care to... doesn't change that reality.

DMT

Good luck with that word, "essence." It's even more slippery than "trad." The problem with making "ground-up" the "essence" of "trad" is that there are so very many counter-examples. Many of Bachar's most famous routes in JTree; tons of Gill routes all over the country; a random bolt ladder up any line so long as it begins on the ground. The use of expansion bolts on Shiprock-- and on many big walls in the Dolomites --in the 1930s was extremely controversial and widely denounced, especially by leading British climbers as a desecration of alpine tradition. Today those routes are part of the tradition.

So far as semantics are concerned, there is not too much any of us can do about the usage of the word. Due to the sheer numbers of gym and sport climbers, the use of "trad" as a synonym for "gear" climbing is almost certainly going to continue.

The one place where it's not "just semantics" is when it becomes an issue for land managers. An obvious example: The NPS ban on power drills in much of Yosemite. The Sierra Club and others pressed for the ban (my understanding is that Higgins was one of the actors). But hand-drilling of bolts, in certain contexts, was judged a "historic" use and thus allowed.

"When I use a word, it means exactly what I want it to mean, no more and no less."-- Humpty Dumpty


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Sep 26, 2007, 9:52 AM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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Has nothing to do with exceptions. Has to do with looking at it from another angle that helps shed more light. But s'okay, Dingus, you don't get it, and you don't wanna. That's cool.

GO


microbarn


Sep 26, 2007, 10:06 AM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
The essence of trad is ground up. That is the simple truth of the matter. Now the exceptions will continue to be cited by those insisting on specific definitions. Whatever.

DMT

All of the sudden you are tired of the same argument too? What exactly did you expect?


NSFW


Sep 26, 2007, 10:09 AM
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Re: [azrockclimber] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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azrockclimber wrote:
cracklover wrote:
chossmonkey wrote:
dingus wrote:
Trad. Its not just a rack of widgets.

DMT
Its funny how people confuse gear climbing with trad climbing.

While I wouldn't be as strict with my definitions as some here. Working the piss out a route and then leading it with gear is certainly not "trad climbing". Its climbing on gear, or "gear climbing".

Well it's not like it's some mysterious type of climbing with no name or category. How long has the term "Headpointing" been around?

GO

Headpointing.....what does that mean?

I think I need to hang out with trendy sport climbers more..... for the lingo

I don't think there's much headpointing going on in the sport climbing world. At least, I hope not.


caughtinside


Sep 26, 2007, 10:10 AM
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Re: [NSFW] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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NSFW wrote:
azrockclimber wrote:
cracklover wrote:
chossmonkey wrote:
dingus wrote:
Trad. Its not just a rack of widgets.

DMT
Its funny how people confuse gear climbing with trad climbing.

While I wouldn't be as strict with my definitions as some here. Working the piss out a route and then leading it with gear is certainly not "trad climbing". Its climbing on gear, or "gear climbing".

Well it's not like it's some mysterious type of climbing with no name or category. How long has the term "Headpointing" been around?

GO

Headpointing.....what does that mean?

I think I need to hang out with trendy sport climbers more..... for the lingo

I don't think there's much headpointing going on in the sport climbing world. At least, I hope not.

Not so much headpointing, but plenty of meatbombing.


dingus


Sep 26, 2007, 10:12 AM
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To me these things are analog. If folks get the feel for the essence of the matter it will be reflected in their language. Yall keep going digital on me, trying to nail down this precise rule book thing.

I sheet on your rule books!

And I know the entire ground up thing is a mystery to a lot of short crag climbers. I can understand eastern confusion. Its easier to appreciate trad at the base of a thousand foot unclimbed cliff. The mystery of the term is felt in the pit of the stomach then.

What made you think I'm tired of it mb?

I'll BE BACK. So parse on gentlemen!

DMT


NSFW


Sep 26, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Re: [caughtinside] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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caughtinside wrote:
NSFW wrote:
azrockclimber wrote:
cracklover wrote:
chossmonkey wrote:
dingus wrote:
Trad. Its not just a rack of widgets.

DMT
Its funny how people confuse gear climbing with trad climbing.

While I wouldn't be as strict with my definitions as some here. Working the piss out a route and then leading it with gear is certainly not "trad climbing". Its climbing on gear, or "gear climbing".

Well it's not like it's some mysterious type of climbing with no name or category. How long has the term "Headpointing" been around?

GO

Headpointing.....what does that mean?

I think I need to hang out with trendy sport climbers more..... for the lingo

I don't think there's much headpointing going on in the sport climbing world. At least, I hope not.

Not so much headpointing, but plenty of meatbombing.

I thought spurt clmbrz clip lotza bults to avoid teh meatbomb?


caughtinside


Sep 26, 2007, 10:19 AM
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Re: [NSFW] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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NSFW wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
NSFW wrote:
azrockclimber wrote:
cracklover wrote:
chossmonkey wrote:
dingus wrote:
Trad. Its not just a rack of widgets.

DMT
Its funny how people confuse gear climbing with trad climbing.

While I wouldn't be as strict with my definitions as some here. Working the piss out a route and then leading it with gear is certainly not "trad climbing". Its climbing on gear, or "gear climbing".

Well it's not like it's some mysterious type of climbing with no name or category. How long has the term "Headpointing" been around?

GO

Headpointing.....what does that mean?

I think I need to hang out with trendy sport climbers more..... for the lingo

I don't think there's much headpointing going on in the sport climbing world. At least, I hope not.

Not so much headpointing, but plenty of meatbombing.

I thought spurt clmbrz clip lotza bults to avoid teh meatbomb?

True, but sometimes the climb is inadequately ticked and redpoint sequences are botched, resulting in meatbomb.


microbarn


Sep 26, 2007, 10:55 AM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
What made you think I'm tired of it mb?

I quoted the sentences that give me the impression you are tired of it. Cutting down the quote from above:

In reply to:
Now the exceptions will continue to be cited by those insisting on specific definitions. Whatever.

"Whatever" is implying to me that you are tired of arguing one way or the other. If you aren't tired of arguing then you are tired of listening. I am failing to see another interpretation.

PS, for the record I don't care what you call it, and I usually try to fit my usage to the audience of people I am addressing. I don't make my audience conform to my definitions. If the audience is mixed, then I will try to make it clear by context. Rarely does it ever matter.


k.l.k


Sep 26, 2007, 11:14 AM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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Actually, Dingus, I believe that we've come to page three because you did propose a precise fixed definition of "trad" which then ran into the usual objections. In my case, that both the word and the practices have histories and that you will play hell trying to fix either of them in place.

The fixing that matters will be done by the land managers.

And the meatbombz have already begun which is never a good sign.


Partner cracklover


Sep 26, 2007, 11:19 AM
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dingus wrote:
To me these things are analog. If folks get the feel for the essence of the matter it will be reflected in their language. Yall keep going digital on me, trying to nail down this precise rule book thing.

Nonsense. You're the one with the rulebook. I'm trying to arrive at a more nuanced interpretation which you reject out of hand saying: "the master has spoken - all ye take heed."

Okay - fine, your master has spoken. Go ahead and keep master-bating Mr Bachar. Unless someone has something genuinely new to add to the topic, I'm done with this thread.

GO


blueeyedclimber


Sep 26, 2007, 11:20 AM
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Re: [k.l.k] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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k.l.k wrote:
"When I use a word, it means exactly what I want it to mean, no more and no less."-- Humpty Dumpty

Thread done. If a word isn't cemented into a dictionary, then it is open to interpretation by the user, and often misinterpreted by the listener based on their own understanding of the word. This thread has indeed "had a great fall."

Josh


rockprodigy


Sep 26, 2007, 11:35 AM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:

The essence of trad is ground up....

DMT

Dingus, you're cherry picking now. The definition you quoted from Bachar was "...groundup, onsight (free, aid or mixed)"

I don't disagree with your "essence", but I disagree with your tactics. If you want to debate the essence of "trad climbing", lets debate, but don't name drop a guy like Bachar, then cherry-pick out his definition.


onceahardman


Sep 26, 2007, 12:46 PM
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Re: [rockprodigy] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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Dare I try to tie this all together?

(apologies for those who know this history)

TRADITION has changed. originally, "gentlemen" would hire guides, who tied in their clients, and climbed in a style we would now call "4th class". (not to imply early climbers were not bold, or did not do climbs which were difficult)

in europe, and eventually in the USA, intermediate protection came into being, in the early 1900s Germany using jammed knots. later, in Great Britain, chockstones, (real stones), were used and tied off. Germany soon had cemented-in ring bolts (RINGEN), used as both belays, and intermediate protection points, always placed from free stances on lead.

as an aside, in germany, the use of a shoulder stand was not considered "aid". "two men are one attacking unit"-fritz weissner

USA pitoncraft may well have started in 1931, on the north ridge of grand teton.

intermediate protection, at this point, was considered controversial, and the ethic was "the leader does not fall". (NOT "must not fall").

during WW2, nylon ropes were invented, and the real possibility of catching a leader fall became evident. pitoncraft spread quickly, leading to destruction of the rock, and the subsequent change to chocks (etc) for protection.


so the definition of TRAD really has changed. but the ETHIC contains the following:

1) ground up
2) no pre-inspection from a rappel rope or top rope
3) no pre-placed protection
4) all protection placed on lead


in addition, the ETHIC of traditional FREE climbing contains the following:

1)no top rope inspection of holds or gear placement
2)no weighting the rope, you must then lower to the ground and pull the gear and try again, or its not "free".
3) no retro-placement of fixed gear, except to replace broken or otherwise inferior quality gear.
4)all protection placed free on lead, UNLESS freeing an old aid line with fixed protection.

now, dont get me wrong. i LIKE sport climbing, and i have had a blast sieging. but bad style is different from good style.

i'm sure others will add to my lists. have at it!


(This post was edited by onceahardman on Sep 26, 2007, 1:27 PM)


notapplicable


Sep 26, 2007, 8:29 PM
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Through a series of happy accidents last week I found my self climbing closer to a pure trad style than I ever have.

On a trip to Seneca Thur. - Sat. I forgot my quide book at home and after borrowing one from a friend I stopped to visit on the way out, I left that one sitting on his kitchen table. We climbed all day Thur. on 4 hours sleep, after which my partner was tired and wanted to take Fri. off. So I woke up late straped on the camel pack, grabbed the chalk bag and shoes and head out barefoot, sans guide. 2/3 of what I climbed was onsite and I just cruised along, resting on ledges when I wanted, backing down when needed and pretty much had the place to myself. I had no idea what I climbed untill Tue. when I had a chance to sit down and look it up.

At its most basic "trad" is ground up free climbing on gear but I think by and large "trad" is an intangible and I'm OK with that. As soon as you try and require that a certain style or gear be involved, you loose a little of what is so powerful about it.


paintrain


Sep 26, 2007, 9:25 PM
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It was a good summary. But it is a question of tactics, not ethics.

Ethics are a set of moral principles (and that, this is not). This is simply a choice of style. Who the arbiter of good vs bad style is one of personal choice not dictum.

Your examples were based on what was technically possible and feasible for the day. The tactics changed without too much stink because of the improved gear and techniques (were the piton drivers in 1931 referred to as "sport climbers" by the Traditional gentleman climbers?). Pushing into 5th class terrain required new tactics from the old gentleman's game, but we look on it now as "traditional".

"Trad" climbing is placing one's own gear while ascending a climb to protect oneself. That is the only real common thread I see. Ground up was out of necessity, not necessarily a choice of style for many of these ascents.

When did "free" climbing even become a term? Discreet tension on gear was an accepted ascent tactic at one time in this history. Seems we posthumously tack free onto old climbing tactics in general before there was even a distinction.


dingus


Sep 26, 2007, 10:39 PM
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rockprodigy wrote:
dingus wrote:

The essence of trad is ground up....

DMT

Dingus, you're cherry picking now. The definition you quoted from Bachar was "...groundup, onsight (free, aid or mixed)"

I don't disagree with your "essence", but I disagree with your tactics. If you want to debate the essence of "trad climbing", lets debate, but don't name drop a guy like Bachar, then cherry-pick out his definition.

I didn't say I agreed with bachar. I do put more faith in his reference of what trad meant back in the day, than my own.

DMT


dingus


Sep 26, 2007, 10:48 PM
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Re: [cracklover] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
I'm trying to arrive at a more nuanced interpretation

Good for you. Nuance away. Instead of picking my posts apart, how about writing those nuances down and stating your own... in one go. Lay it out there.

I'll post my opinions because they are my own. They're not bachar's, they're not yours. they're mine. I've thought about it alot.

I don't really need yours but I'll entertain them anyway, should you care to post them.

Cheers
DMT


dingus


Sep 27, 2007, 1:20 AM
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Re: [paintrain] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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paintrain wrote:
Ground up was out of necessity, not necessarily a choice of style for many of these ascents.

I don't agree. From Robbins and Kamps to Higgins and Clevenger, take to the extreme by Erickson, the ground up ethic was stout and purposeful. You're doing those dudes' styles a disservice to suggest they would have top-downed their great climbs had they only known how.

Cheers though
DMT


onceahardman


Sep 27, 2007, 5:10 AM
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In reply to:

It was a good summary. But it is a question of tactics, not ethics.
In reply to:

thanks.

it becomes "ethical" when a climb that was originally top roped or sieged is then climbed free, and reported as free at a certain grade. the first ascent style really was NOT free, and the rating is likely to be a bit lower than it should, since the cruxes were worked out on TR. for climbs with all fixed protection, its less of an issue, because that is the "ethic" of sport climbing. but if gear placement and cruxes are scoped on TR, well, it really hasn't been "freed", and someone could get dangerously sandbagged.


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Sep 27, 2007, 6:55 AM
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dingus wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm trying to arrive at a more nuanced interpretation

Good for you. Nuance away. Instead of picking my posts apart, how about writing those nuances down and stating your own... in one go. Lay it out there.

I did. If you're interested, feel free to read it, if not, cheers, that's fine.

GO


k.l.k


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paintrain wrote:
Your examples were based on what was technically possible and feasible for the day. The tactics changed without too much stink because of the improved gear and techniques (were the piton drivers in 1931 referred to as "sport climbers" by the Traditional gentleman climbers?).

They were called much worse. The use of pitons generated a huge controversy before WWI in German and Italian-speaking circles (called the Mauerhakenstreit). That conflict is a landmark of alpine history. Later, in the 1930s, many Brits, especially, identified pitoncraft with the rise of Fascism and Nazism.

In the U.S., pitoncraft divided the climbing community a bit as well. Ansel Adams, for instance, never really made peace with the new technology. Mostly, though, climbing in the US was such a marginal activity that it was easier for new methods to take hold. Other people and places either rejected the new methods (British gritstone) or adapted them in part (Elbsandsetein where pitons remain outlawed--to this day--but ring bolts were accepted for belay stances, often very closely spaced).


k.l.k


Sep 27, 2007, 8:11 AM
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dingus wrote:
paintrain wrote:
Ground up was out of necessity, not necessarily a choice of style for many of these ascents.

I don't agree. From Robbins and Kamps to Higgins and Clevenger, take to the extreme by Erickson, the ground up ethic was stout and purposeful. You're doing those dudes' styles a disservice to suggest they would have top-downed their great climbs had they only known how.

Cheers though
DMT

"Ground-Up" was originally out of neccessity. Early alpine ascents included lots of stuff that today we'd consider dodgy (grappling hooks, ladders, shoulder stands, etc.) A top-rope was used on the help pioneer a difficult section of a route on the Matterhorn later in the 19th c, but only after the Hoenrli had been established. By the end of the century, the Brits, especially, were taking a much more critical attitude toward the use of "artificial aids" including top-ropes. By 19oo, as crag climbing became more popular, "ground-up" had become a tradition.

And as Dingus points out, "ground-up" was a key part of the US tradition in climbing until about the fifties, when Gill (and some important other folks) began to use top-roping more systematically. Gill also did a lot of on-sight leading, soloing, and highballing, but many of his important classics were first done on a t.r. In the late seventies and early eighties, Bachar and others began to use top-ropes even more systematically and by the time I arrived in JTree (around 1980 or so), top-ropes were routinely thought of as valid ascents or even first ascents by many of the locals. Stacks of the classic JTree "trads" were established this way. Few of the ascentionists intended, as Bachar usually did, to employ the tr mostly as rehearsal for a later free solo. And even on grit, as climbing standards came under pressure from rising standards on the continent, rappel inspection and tr rehearsal ("headpointing") began to appear.

Making "ground up" the key to "trad" works pretty well for trying to explain to a gymbie why his or her proud send, via tr rehearsal, dogging, and ticking, of a forty-foot 5.11 crack at the roadside crag is not really traditional climbing. But it works considerably less well for defining "trad" in a strict way that will separate "trad" areas and practice from all others sorts of climbing. And the gymbies will just ignore it anyway. At this point, rock climbing has been so fully abstracted from its alpine origins that we have arrived at a ridiculous place in which we attempt to devise ever-more debatable criteria for differentiating one practice from another.

The only reason anyone should care is that, as some here and on the related ST threads worry, is that the reduction of "trad" to "gear" climbing makes retro-bolting more likely. A related and realistic concern is that gymbies who learn "trad" climbing by bringing gym technique (esp. dogging and multiple falls) to the roadside crag are much more likely to risk a catastrophic injury. Or worse, after a season working local 5.10s into submission, will head up into the high country without a clue of how to find a route, deal with weather, or manage a 3rd-class walk-off.


paintrain


Sep 27, 2007, 8:13 AM
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dingus wrote:
paintrain wrote:
Ground up was out of necessity, not necessarily a choice of style for many of these ascents.

I don't agree. From Robbins and Kamps to Higgins and Clevenger, take to the extreme by Erickson, the ground up ethic was stout and purposeful. You're doing those dudes' styles a disservice to suggest they would have top-downed their great climbs had they only known how.

Cheers though
DMT


I am mostly referring to farther back when the top of a peak hadn't been obtained.

Referencing Yoesemite's golden era, there was definitely a focus on ground up (I won't argue against that). Getting to the top of el cap had been achieved, so they were looking more for the dirretissima ala comici which dates quite a ways back. The tactics changed dramatically with technology. Clean is now more accepted than hammered, etc.

There are definitely more respected tactics for their embodiment of self containment, challenge, and inherent risk (alpine style). But by todays standards, siege tactics used by Robbins et al wouldn't be deemed as all that impressive, but during the time period, it was the only way to get up it.

PT


paintrain


Sep 27, 2007, 8:25 AM
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onceahardman wrote:
In reply to:

It was a good summary. But it is a question of tactics, not ethics.
In reply to:

thanks.

it becomes "ethical" when a climb that was originally top roped or sieged is then climbed free, and reported as free at a certain grade. the first ascent style really was NOT free, and the rating is likely to be a bit lower than it should, since the cruxes were worked out on TR. for climbs with all fixed protection, its less of an issue, because that is the "ethic" of sport climbing. but if gear placement and cruxes are scoped on TR, well, it really hasn't been "freed", and someone could get dangerously sandbagged.

I think your "ethic" is my "tactic". It is a question of style. I frankly don't much care until as a KlK I think mentioned it changes the nature of the climb - clean to bolted. Where then some argue, just don't clip the bolts (which I don't agree with).

As to grading based on TRing it first or not. It is a matter of understanding the history of the climb. I am leery of 5.9+ put up during certain time periods because didn't exist (like the 7th grade for Messner). Subsequently they are often much harder than 9+. No one goes to the gunks (unless you have had your eyes and ears sewn shut) thinking high exposure will be a walk in the park since its grade is 5.6.

Lynn Hill didn't get much criticism for sandbagging the Nose (13b now 14a).

m


paintrain


Sep 27, 2007, 8:35 AM
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k.l.k wrote:
The only reason anyone should care is that, as some here and on the related ST threads worry, is that the reduction of "trad" to "gear" climbing makes retro-bolting more likely. A related and realistic concern is that gymbies who learn "trad" climbing by bringing gym technique (esp. dogging and multiple falls) to the roadside crag are much more likely to risk a catastrophic injury. Or worse, after a season working local 5.10s into submission, will head up into the high country without a clue of how to find a route, deal with weather, or manage a 3rd-class walk-off.

I love the history. Keep it coming.

It is interesting how so much climbing history had a mentoring process that required time. Cutting of teeth and gaining of experience as part of the physical progression climbing outside. Objective hazards were part of the learning experience.

Now it is a lot of convenient physical progression without the other requisite experience related knowledge for climbing outdoors because of gyms.

I agree with you though. Don't bolt cracks, not necessary. Just as using pitons is generally not necessary anymore.

PT


dingus


Sep 27, 2007, 9:15 AM
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cracklover wrote:
dingus wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm trying to arrive at a more nuanced interpretation

Good for you. Nuance away. Instead of picking my posts apart, how about writing those nuances down and stating your own... in one go. Lay it out there.

I did. If you're interested, feel free to read it, if not, cheers, that's fine.

GO

Notice I didn't pick apart your posts. Notice I have never picked apart your posts. Notice I've never called you any names or called into question your character.

Cheers
DMT


onceahardman


Sep 27, 2007, 10:16 AM
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thanks for your input, paintrain and klk...this gets convoluted sometimes, and while there may be "consensus" on these issues, i doubt that EVERYONE will ever agree.

i suppose my main point is, remember the (5) in 5.1, 5.6, or 5.12.

it means 5th class. top rope is not 5th class. sieging is not 5th class. pre-placed protection or inspection is not 5th class.

a route should not be 5.ANYTHING until it has been climbed 5th class. call it a 9+, or a 10c, but the 5. has meaning.

originally, aid climbing was called 6th class, until it was realized that an easy aid climb was considerably easier than a hard free climb. then the A0-A5 scale came about.


microbarn


Sep 27, 2007, 10:29 AM
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onceahardman wrote:
thanks for your input, paintrain and klk...this gets convoluted sometimes, and while there may be "consensus" on these issues, i doubt that EVERYONE will ever agree.

i suppose my main point is, remember the (5) in 5.1, 5.6, or 5.12.

it means 5th class. top rope is not 5th class. sieging is not 5th class. pre-placed protection or inspection is not 5th class.

a route should not be 5.ANYTHING until it has been climbed 5th class. call it a 9+, or a 10c, but the 5. has meaning.

originally, aid climbing was called 6th class, until it was realized that an easy aid climb was considerably easier than a hard free climb. then the A0-A5 scale came about.

Your definition of that 5 is different from....everyone else I ever talked to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...emite_Decimal_System
In reply to:
Class 5 is considered true rock climbing, predominantly on vertical or near vertical rock, and requires skill and a rope to proceed safely. Un-roped falls would result in severe injury or death.


onceahardman


Sep 27, 2007, 10:30 AM
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In reply to:
I think your "ethic" is my "tactic".

maybe, maybe not.

Style affects only the individual. it is an artificial constaint climbers voluntarily place upon themselves. like if i placed a ladder on midnight lightning, and ascended it to the top of the boulder. it doesnt affect anybody but me (i just shouldn't report that i climbed midnight lightning)

Ethics affect everybody who climbs the route. fixing protection, reporting a climb as free, when it has not been done free, chipping holds, intentional sandbagging, etc, are examples.


onceahardman


Sep 27, 2007, 10:39 AM
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In reply to:
Your definition of that 5 is different from....everyone else I ever talked to.

i really used the term "5th class" without defining it. i thought everybody here would know what 5th class means.

roped climbing using intermediate protection points between leader and belayer is 5th class.

climbing roped with NO intermediate protection points is 4th class.

no rope is 3rd class. (or lower if you dont need your hands)

top roping is not 5th class. it is top roping. its fun, pretty safe, and good practice, and can be an end in itself for many climbers.

incidentally, what is the definition you've heard from "everybody else", and how is mine different?


microbarn


Sep 27, 2007, 10:49 AM
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onceahardman wrote:
In reply to:
Your definition of that 5 is different from....everyone else I ever talked to.

i really used the term "5th class" without defining it. i thought everybody here would know what 5th class means.

roped climbing using intermediate protection points between leader and belayer is 5th class.

climbing roped with NO intermediate protection points is 4th class.

no rope is 3rd class. (or lower if you dont need your hands)

top roping is not 5th class. it is top roping. its fun, pretty safe, and good practice, and can be an end in itself for many climbers.

incidentally, what is the definition you've heard from "everybody else", and how is mine different?

No, you defined it here:
In reply to:
it means 5th class. top rope is not 5th class. sieging is not 5th class. pre-placed protection or inspection is not 5th class.

and again, everything you just said above disagrees with everyone else I have heard giving definitions. If someone free solos a 5.14a, then the climb is not demoted to 3rd class. The climb is still 5th class. The class description is separate from the way a climber CHOOSES to ascend. Leading, top roping, free soloing are all independent of the class. Below I quote what I have heard as the standard definitions as written by wikipedia:

In reply to:
Class 1 is walking with a low chance of injury and a fall unlikely to be fatal.
Classes 2 and 3 are steeper scrambling with increased exposure and a greater chance of severe injury, but falls are not always fatal.
Class 4 can involve short steep sections where the use of a rope is recommended, and un-roped falls could be fatal.
Class 5 is considered true rock climbing, predominantly on vertical or near vertical rock, and requires skill and a rope to proceed safely. Un-roped falls would result in severe injury or death.


flamer


Sep 27, 2007, 11:03 AM
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j_ung wrote:
I think it was drkodos who coined the term "sport tradding," to mean set-'em-up, knock-'em-down single-pitch climbing on routes that are commonly considered traditional. Seems that term probably works for the hybrid we're discussing here, too.


I've always thought of Indian creek as a place for crack climbers to go sport climbing.....

josh


dingus


Sep 27, 2007, 11:04 AM
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flamer wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I think it was drkodos who coined the term "sport tradding," to mean set-'em-up, knock-'em-down single-pitch climbing on routes that are commonly considered traditional. Seems that term probably works for the hybrid we're discussing here, too.


I've always thought of Indian creek as a place for crack climbers to go sport climbing.....

josh

Sure lots O places like that. "Cragging." Its fun!

DMT


onceahardman


Sep 27, 2007, 11:33 AM
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In reply to:
No, you defined it here:

In reply to:it means 5th class. top rope is not 5th class. sieging is not 5th class. pre-placed protection or inspection is not 5th class.

that is not a definition. that is a list of things which don't fit the definition of 5th class.

In reply to:
and again, everything you just said above disagrees with everyone else I have heard giving definitions. If someone free solos a 5.14a, then the climb is not demoted to 3rd class. The climb is still 5th class

true. the soloist does the climb in the STYLE called "3rd class", however. just like if i aid a 5.8 crack, the grade doesn't go to A1. no dispute there.

the guidebook grade describes the most common style in which a route is done. if somebody hangdogs, the route doesn't change to A0, but the climber did the route in that STYLE.

incidentally, this is all completely consistent with the wiki definition.

if a route has not been climbed in the STYLE of 5th class, it should not have a (5.) rating.


paintrain


Sep 27, 2007, 12:27 PM
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Things that permanently effect others in an objective way (fixing gear, chipping). This falls in line of the ethic of leave no trace.

Intentionally misleading someone with malicious intent as to the difficulty of a climb is not honest. Honesty is the ethic being breached and that goes beyond the climbing arena. Giving an opinion of what you "thought" it was rated is just what it is, an opinion.

How you report a success on a climb as free or not doesn't affect me one bit. If someone puts a ladder on midnight lightning and ascends it, they have climbed midnight lightning - via a ladder - but nonetheless it was ascended. I won't lose a finger or have to call SAR because of it. It is just that person's perception. Now if they rate it V7 after that, then I would call BS.

There is inherent differences in perception and often a lack of consistency in people's memory. I don't completely trust guidebooks (bolt counts, rope lengths, etc). I weigh verbal beta with a grain of salt as the person giving it might have too much horsepower to understand what 5.6 anymnore, is tall or is good at fiddling widgets on that terrain. It is up to me to take the lion's share of responsibility for the climb I am doing.

PT.


(This post was edited by paintrain on Sep 27, 2007, 1:00 PM)


flamer


Sep 27, 2007, 12:37 PM
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dingus wrote:
flamer wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I think it was drkodos who coined the term "sport tradding," to mean set-'em-up, knock-'em-down single-pitch climbing on routes that are commonly considered traditional. Seems that term probably works for the hybrid we're discussing here, too.


I've always thought of Indian creek as a place for crack climbers to go sport climbing.....

josh

Sure lots O places like that. "Cragging." Its fun!

DMT

I agree cragging is fun!
Indian creek, however, takes it to a different level entirely.
Take all the thinking about gear out of the equation.
You look up(or in a guide book) realise that all you need is 8-10 #2 cams. Clip them on like quickdraws, and you're off! Need gear? Plug and go, no need to think!
I'm far from badmouthing the place. I think it's an excellent example of the lines between "sport" and "traditional" climbing being blurred.

josh


onceahardman


Sep 27, 2007, 12:57 PM
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In reply to:
Things that permanently effect others in an objective way (fixing gear, chipping). There is an ethic of leave no trace or as little a trace as possible.


yes. i agree completely.

In reply to:
If you never pick up a guidebook, look up a clean line and climb it, then go back to find out it was rate something different from what you thought where is the "ethical" breach.

there is no ethical breach in the situation you describe.

In reply to:
Misleading someone as to the difficulty of a climb is not honest, but the person climbing it has to take responsiblity for their actions as well.

i agree. personal responsibility is a big part of what climbing is all about. however, if you hangdog a route, and preplace protection, and finally make your way up a first ascent, and call it 5.10d, (for example)you are MISLEADING others regarding the grade. you never 5th classed it, yet you called it 5.10d. others SHOULD have a reasonable expectation of finding a 5.10d commensurate in difficulty with others in the area. but it might not be. who knows? maybe if it WAS done 5th class, it would be stiff 5.11c.

In reply to:
How you report a your success on a climb as free or not doesn't affect me one bit.

i agree, for established routes.

except when giving advice to other climbers.

if my buddy told me he did an established 5.11a, i might try to do the same route, and get defeated or worse, injured, when my "buddy" never freed the route at all. i know how he climbs, and i figure if he can do a certain 5.11, so can i. but are we talking about the same difficulty if the STYLE changes from 5.11a to 5.11a A0?

anyway, i hope you aren't getting angry or feeling argumentative. this all seems really straightforward to me. there is a reason these terms have clear definitions.


onceahardman


Sep 27, 2007, 1:28 PM
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AAARRRGGHHH! you edited after i replied! that's an ethical breach!Wink


In reply to:
Intentionally misleading someone with malicious intent as to the difficulty of a climb is not honest. Honesty is the ethic being breached and that goes beyond the climbing arena. Giving an opinion of what you "thought" it was rated is just what it is, an opinion.

true. but the STYLE (5th class vs. toprope/aid), is NOT AN OPINION. it is a statement of fact.

In reply to:
How you report a success on a climb as free or not doesn't affect me one bit. If someone puts a ladder on midnight lightning and ascends it, they have climbed midnight lightning - via a ladder - but nonetheless it was ascended. I won't lose a finger or have to call SAR because of it. It is just that person's perception. Now if they rate it V7 after that, then I would call BS.

perfect. agree completely.

In reply to:
There is inherent differences in perception and often a lack of consistency in people's memory. I don't completely trust guidebooks (bolt counts, rope lengths, etc). I weigh verbal beta with a grain of salt as the person giving it might have too much horsepower to understand what 5.6 anymnore, is tall or is good at fiddling widgets on that terrain. It is up to me to take the lion's share of responsibility for the climb I am doing.

i agree completely. the GRADE is subjective. but the STYLE is objective.

thanks. this was fun. you (or somebody) mentioned high ex at the gunks before. i'm a tall guy, and i hate that move to gain the upper face. but the face is great. the F.A. team (kraus/weissner) were both about 5 feet tall (ok maybe 5'4") so to them, it probably WAS 5.6. grades are subjective.


paintrain


Sep 27, 2007, 7:44 PM
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onceahardman wrote:

anyway, i hope you aren't getting angry or feeling argumentative. this all seems really straightforward to me. there is a reason these terms have clear definitions.

Hell no. I love discussing this stuff in a civil fashion. I love the history, I love to look at where its going with an eye on that history. I love "trad" climbing in general.

Sorry about the edit. I hit reply when I meant to hit preview.

On the flip side of misleading, a buddy and I love to yank the chain of a friend who is a relative noob to alpine climbing. We have on several occasions mentioned he needs a #5 camalot or way more gear than he needs on alpine climbs with long approaches (well below his ability) just to get him to drag it along. Hazing is trad climbing I would argue.

This thread was a valuable one. Thanks for everyone's time and thoughts. Thanks for starting it DMT.

PT


bizarrodrinker


Sep 28, 2007, 6:10 AM
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The real question is why people are intent on mucking up a sport as pure as climbing with a bunch of rules other than those that instill good safety practices?


dingus


Sep 28, 2007, 7:35 AM
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Because a good portion of people cannot function without a firm set of rules.

DMT


bizarrodrinker


Sep 28, 2007, 7:38 AM
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that's pathetic. Just my opinion, but I'm certain it doesn't make a difference here. and even if it did, I wouldn't care too much.


Partner camhead


Sep 28, 2007, 7:48 AM
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flamer wrote:
dingus wrote:
flamer wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I think it was drkodos who coined the term "sport tradding," to mean set-'em-up, knock-'em-down single-pitch climbing on routes that are commonly considered traditional. Seems that term probably works for the hybrid we're discussing here, too.


I've always thought of Indian creek as a place for crack climbers to go sport climbing.....

josh

Sure lots O places like that. "Cragging." Its fun!

DMT

I agree cragging is fun!
Indian creek, however, takes it to a different level entirely.
Take all the thinking about gear out of the equation.
You look up(or in a guide book) realise that all you need is 8-10 #2 cams. Clip them on like quickdraws, and you're off! Need gear? Plug and go, no need to think!
I'm far from badmouthing the place. I think it's an excellent example of the lines between "sport" and "traditional" climbing being blurred.

josh

I agree that the Creek is largely sport tradding, most importantly because many climbers approach the routes there with a hang-dog mentality (hell, I did precisely that yesterday).


However, a good trad head can come into play even at the creek. There are a few routes there with tricky gear. Placing a blind TCU of dubious quality from a sketchy layback is certainly NOT the same as plug-and-go.

Furthermore, many hard send at the Creek require committing to a runout; not because of a lack of gear, but to avoid the imminent pump. Getting twenty feet above a small piece in soft desert rock: again, not the same as sport.

But yeah, the siege tactics, the ticking, the toprope whoring, the big groups of dirty hippies with dogs and drum circles-- all very sporty.


dingus


Sep 28, 2007, 7:59 AM
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We have a sport area near here; Table Mtn. One of the crags is called the Grotto and a lot of NorCal climbers know this hole in the ground. It sports 50 foot tall cracks leading up to bolted rap stations, sport crack.

The place is an excellent training ground and outdoor gym and I've climbed those cracks countless times.

Anyway, I'd been trying to get one of my buddies to climb there (this was some time back now). When he finally agreed to go there, we had a great time.

I treated those routes as playthings and workouts, and testpieces really, however pitiful that may be. Many of them I had wired and knew each placement, memorized (to this day in fact), where to put my feet, the tricky parts. I'd offer unsolicited beta to my partners whenever I felt the urge.

That's sport.

So my friend starts up this 5.11 crack, thin fingers all the way. Thin fingers give those of us with the more, uh, Whillanseque physiques... a forearm challenge. We need popeye arms just to comsider them. So I had that thing wired eh? So I could get to the top before I burned out.

I'd led it first, lowered off and cleaned it, offering the ole 'do exactly as I do, right?' And 'put your feet where I put mine' bullshit.

My friend had led every pitch of Astroman and plenty of other routes so I'm sure he was rolling his eyes at me. I often gave him plenty of reason to do so, haha.

He sported a rack of a couple of Generation 1 aliens, 2 ancient friends and this weird sawed-in-half hex-on-a-sling he created for alpine climbing.

15 feet up he places and alien and smoothly steps into the business. He climbed like a surgeon, laser precise. Oh, other than belaying me he'd never laid eyes on this thing.

He runs it out till is feet are 10 feet above that sole alien then casually inspects the crack. Slowly, carefylly, he takes the sling off his shoulder and fits that weird sawed-in-half hex into the crack, gives the sling the gentlest of tugs, clips it and climbs on to the anchors.

On his last move he dislodged a small piece of moss which fell lazily and and landed in my open and dumbfounded mouth.

He gets to the anchor, clips it, looks down and quietly comments, "Nice route."

That's TRAD.

DMT


(This post was edited by dingus on Sep 28, 2007, 8:00 AM)


sticky_fingers


Sep 28, 2007, 8:41 AM
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Re: [dingus] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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Just a thought: Since there have been numerous discussions about the definitions of (seemingly ambiguous) climbing terms, why don't we make a little dictionary of definable terms. Below are, what I think are, the 5 most common types of non-aid, non-bouldering, roped climbing.
----------------------------------------
Climbing a route that doesn't have any pre-fixed/pre-placed gear/slings/bolts on the route =

Climbing a route that doesn't have bolts, but has some other type of fixed protection no matter how manky the protection maybe, i.e., rusty pitons, stucky wedges, slings, etc) AND you used any of it =

Climbing a route that doesn't have bolts, but has some other type of fixed protection no matter how manky the protection maybe, i.e., rusty pitons, stucky wedges, slings, etc) AND you DIDN'T use any of it =

Climbing a route that has bolts on it and YOU didn't need to use/place gear between the bolts =

Climbing a route that has bolts on it and YOU needed to use/place gear between the bolts =


Before you call me out for forgetting the belay stations, I purposely neglected to address them (already established or not) because I don't think that the "end" of a route/climb/pitch should be considered in its definition. Also chalk marks and rock scarring were not addressed because I think those relate more to "move knowledge" than route description.

Just my 2 cents, but I think if we can agree on these examples (using new terms or not) we can level the playing field as well as better appreciate the way a climb was done (onsight, flash, redpoint, etc).


edited the last sentence


(This post was edited by sticky_fingers on Sep 28, 2007, 8:44 AM)


dingus


Sep 28, 2007, 8:48 AM
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sticky_fingers wrote:
why don't we make a little dictionary

No thanks!

I think the term trad needs to stay analog.

Cheers though!
DMT


caughtinside


Sep 28, 2007, 9:55 AM
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camhead wrote:

But yeah, the siege tactics, the ticking, the toprope whoring, the big groups of dirty hippies with dogs and drum circles-- all very sporty.

I dunno camhead, the siege and ticking are sporty, but I think we have the trad dirtbag dream distopia to thank for the rest of that bullshit.

Big groups = not TRAD, dude! Not TRAD 'tall.


LostinMaine


Sep 28, 2007, 10:01 AM
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First off, this is a great stroll down history lane. I am well-versed in climbing history in the NE, but not as much elsewhere. It's nice to get some thoughts from other regions.

I'm a bit confused on your definitions of 5th, 4th, 3rd, etc. classes, though, hardman. I understand what you are saying (completely), I'm just not sure how you come to that conclusion. Regardless of the "style" that the route is climbed (TR vs trad vs solo), it seems that a route cannot be digressed to another grade. Climbing a 5th class route in 3rd class style (solo of a 5.x route) seems to make no sense to me. It seems one might be able to climb a 3rd class route in 5th class style (think Monty Python), but not vice versa. No matter what style one wishes to climb a 5th class route with, the route remains 5th class. Any route in which protection is required in the event of a fall (whether above from a TR or below from bolts or gear), regardless of current style of climbing, is how I have always heard a 5th class route defined.

cheers


onceahardman


Sep 28, 2007, 11:50 AM
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hi lostinmaine, nice to hear from a fellow yank!

In reply to:
Climbing a 5th class route in 3rd class style (solo of a 5.x route) seems to make no sense to me. It seems one might be able to climb a 3rd class route in 5th class style (think Monty Python), but not vice versa.

these terms are not things i have personally made up. "3rd classing" was a well-known and accepted term for free-soloing when i started out. the guidebook doesn't change. the route is most commonly climbed 5th, and no one is obliged to solo anything, to be considered in good style.

years ago, i climbed middle cathedral (east buttress? memory problems) the guidebook said IV, 5.9.A0...

the AO was a bolt ladder which was climbed "french-free", or it could be freed at around 5,10c or so. most just yank up the bolt ladder, though (as did i), and so the grade stays the same. you could make the stylistic choice of climbing it free, of course, but the guidebook didn't change. the "consensus" rating was IV, 5.9, A0.

style-wise, (as i'm sure you know) it has always been important to IMPROVE the style of a climb...that is, to free an aid line, or to solo a free line. a bouldering analogy occurs at falling ant slab in the tetons, where john gill opened several "no-hands" problems. he never called these "class 2" to my knowledge, but that would be an apt analogy.


quiteatingmysteak


Sep 28, 2007, 12:14 PM
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dingus wrote:
We have a sport area near here; Table Mtn. One of the crags is called the Grotto and a lot of NorCal climbers know this hole in the ground. It sports 50 foot tall cracks leading up to bolted rap stations, sport crack.

The place is an excellent training ground and outdoor gym and I've climbed those cracks countless times.

Anyway, I'd been trying to get one of my buddies to climb there (this was some time back now). When he finally agreed to go there, we had a great time.

I treated those routes as playthings and workouts, and testpieces really, however pitiful that may be. Many of them I had wired and knew each placement, memorized (to this day in fact), where to put my feet, the tricky parts. I'd offer unsolicited beta to my partners whenever I felt the urge.

That's sport.

So my friend starts up this 5.11 crack, thin fingers all the way. Thin fingers give those of us with the more, uh, Whillanseque physiques... a forearm challenge. We need popeye arms just to comsider them. So I had that thing wired eh? So I could get to the top before I burned out.

I'd led it first, lowered off and cleaned it, offering the ole 'do exactly as I do, right?' And 'put your feet where I put mine' bullshit.

My friend had led every pitch of Astroman and plenty of other routes so I'm sure he was rolling his eyes at me. I often gave him plenty of reason to do so, haha.

He sported a rack of a couple of Generation 1 aliens, 2 ancient friends and this weird sawed-in-half hex-on-a-sling he created for alpine climbing.

15 feet up he places and alien and smoothly steps into the business. He climbed like a surgeon, laser precise. Oh, other than belaying me he'd never laid eyes on this thing.

He runs it out till is feet are 10 feet above that sole alien then casually inspects the crack. Slowly, carefylly, he takes the sling off his shoulder and fits that weird sawed-in-half hex into the crack, gives the sling the gentlest of tugs, clips it and climbs on to the anchors.

On his last move he dislodged a small piece of moss which fell lazily and and landed in my open and dumbfounded mouth.

He gets to the anchor, clips it, looks down and quietly comments, "Nice route."

That's TRAD.

DMT


I climb with a few dudes like that... mostly old enough to be my pop. They've been doing SoCal routes for 30 years, so every once and awhile they will convene at Mt. Woodson and do some easy, after work bouldering and climb some routes.


The first time I ever saw someone lead a .12 on gear was a guy who was just under 55 float up the classic Bachar problem, don't rock the boat. I can't touch it, not with a 10 foot pole.


At JTree there are still new routes, to them, and the average observer can see what apears to be a jamboree of Sierra clubbers with Hexes and Swami's converging on the low angle dummy domes for some good ol' fashioned classics-clobbering. Take a second look, and you will see them on Illusion Dweller, Spider Line, Hobbit Roof, Big Pancake... all stout. I don't think I have seen them fall yet, and I know some of those were onsight.

Simple math shows that I have a whopping 33 years of climbing before I too am seen like these dogs, bright orange webbing hanging low in natty coils down to my ankles. Definitely gives some perspective, at least momentarily. Time goes by fast, but god damn there is a lot of it.


onceahardman


Sep 28, 2007, 12:51 PM
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one more story...

once i was climbing in boulder canyon, on cob rock, roping up for a 3 pitch 5.7....3 short pitches. the late famed soloist derek hersey walks up with two others. he asks if he can quickly go ahead of us. "sure", i said. anyway, he ropes up, starts climbing, and finally clipped his first piece, a fixed pin on the 3rd pitch, before topping out. i hadn't finished racking yet. his clients quickly followed. if he didn't clip the pin, the route wouldn't be re-graded at 4th class...it's a 5.7, and will stay that way. but others are free to improve the style.


LostinMaine


Sep 28, 2007, 1:44 PM
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Thanks for the ideas to chew on. I have just never heard a true 5th class climb, climbed in any style, referred to a 4th or 3rd class ascent. I suppose I need to leave my little corner of the world once in a while!

As a side note, it seems somewhat ironic that to improve the style of a climb results in a downgrade of the climb (not in guidebooks, but still...). When I solo a route, I don't want to go home and spray my wife about my sick 3rd class ascent of a wicked 5.2. Wink


(This post was edited by LostinMaine on Sep 28, 2007, 1:50 PM)


pwscottiv


Oct 2, 2007, 10:57 PM
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Re: [olderic] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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olderic wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
So, can you not redpoint a trad route? Josh

Actually Josh by the strictist rules - no you can't.

Hmm, well, like almost all other terms in the English language, I think the meaning of Traditional climbing probably isn't what it used to be... I've had so many people argue with me about other terms in the English language... Their argument is that if a term used to mean something then it always will... But honestly that's just not how things work... The meaning of words are constantly in flux and their meaning is reliant on what the majority of people at the time/region believe it to be... So as far as climbing terms go, this is the way I've come to understand the terms in question over my 22 years of climbing in California...

As far as Traditional climbing goes, it basically means that you aren't using fixed protection (i.e. bolts/hangers). This means the climber is using things like cams, chocks, slings, pitons, etc for protection. All of this gear is removed (except for the occasional jammed piece) when the climbers are done. Some people might argue that if the belay anchors are bolted/fixed then you're still doing traditional climbing... Some would argue that it's considered mixed climbing... At that point who really cares.

Sport climbing strictly uses fixed protection... If any trad gear is used, then it would be mixed climbing.

The terms red-point, on-sight, flash, and pink-point are independent of whether or not you're doing traditional, sport, or mixed climbing. They strictly have to with the time-frame and whether or not you placed pro ahead of time, and/or whether on not you fell or supported your weight with anything other than the rock (i.e. hanging on a cam). Yes, you can theoretically place pro ahead of time on a trad route to pink-point it.


jonoj


Oct 3, 2007, 2:13 AM
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How about:

Trad / Sport - refering to the route itself (dictated by how it was opened).

Gear / Sport / Toprope / Second/ Solo / Aid - refering to the climbing style of any subsequent ascent.

eg: I toproped a hard single pitch trad route
I lead an easy sport route on gear
I lead a trad route on gear
I seconded a trad route above my lead level.
I aided up a super hard sport route

My 0.2c


pwscottiv


Oct 3, 2007, 2:24 AM
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jonoj wrote:
How about:

Trad / Sport - refering to the route itself (dictated by how it was opened).

Gear / Sport / Toprope / Second/ Solo / Aid - refering to the climbing style of any subsequent ascent.

eg: I toproped a hard single pitch trad route
I lead an easy sport route on gear
I lead a trad route on gear
I seconded a trad route above my lead level.
I aided up a super hard sport route

My 0.2c
I don't see how the original methods used for climbing the route has much significance at all. And, for the most part (except aid-routes that are now free climbed) the same methods are used on every ascent... You don't really hear about trad routes getting bolted or vice versa.

jonoj wrote:
I lead an easy sport route on gear
I lead a trad route on gear
Hmm, now I'm really confused as to what exactly your reasoning is... How exactly is someone going to lead a sport route with cams and chocks? Do you know what a sport route is?

And how else are you supposed to lead a trad route? Are you going to pound bolts into the crack? Do you know what a trad route is?


jonoj


Oct 3, 2007, 3:01 AM
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pwscottiv wrote:
jonoj wrote:
How about:

Trad / Sport - refering to the route itself (dictated by how it was opened).

Gear / Sport / Toprope / Second/ Solo / Aid - refering to the climbing style of any subsequent ascent.

eg: I toproped a hard single pitch trad route
I lead an easy sport route on gear
I lead a trad route on gear
I seconded a trad route above my lead level.
I aided up a super hard sport route

My 0.2c
I don't see how the original methods used for climbing the route has much significance at all. And, for the most part (except aid-routes that are now free climbed) the same methods are used on every ascent... You don't really hear about trad routes getting bolted or vice versa.

jonoj wrote:
I lead an easy sport route on gear
I lead a trad route on gear
Hmm, now I'm really confused as to what exactly your reasoning is... How exactly is someone going to lead a sport route with cams and chocks? Do you know what a sport route is?

And how else are you supposed to lead a trad route? Are you going to pound bolts into the crack? Do you know what a trad route is?

I have absolutely no idea what a trad route is, nor sport route for matter ..... I'm from South Africa man.... far too busy running away from lions and carnivorous zebra's to bother to find out.

However... if my escape leads me to a boltless wall, and I have gear on me, I'll use gear to protect myself (provided the baboons don't rip my trinkets from my harness. If I encounter a bolted wall, I'll just use those sport climbing thingees (have forgotten the name, since my climbing manual is still tangled up in the last acacia tree I climbed to steal a rotting buck carcass from an unsuspecting leopard).

On a slightly more serious note:

You lead a sport route on gear, by utilizing whatever cracks or pockets you can find, and sticking some pro in 'em. If it is totally blank, you run it out, or aim for the nearest bolt (and lose your claim to an all gear ascent).

You lead a trad route on 'sport gear', when some idiot has bolted it subsequent to the opening ground-up gear ascent.


(This post was edited by jonoj on Oct 3, 2007, 3:03 AM)


pwscottiv


Oct 3, 2007, 3:12 AM
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jonoj wrote:

You lead a sport route on gear, by utilizing whatever cracks or pockets you can find, and sticking some pro in 'em. If it is totally blank, you run it out, or aim for the nearest bolt (and lose your claim to an all gear ascent).

You lead a trad route on 'sport gear', when some idiot has bolted it subsequent to the opening ground-up gear ascent.

Well, to me both of those routes would be "mixed" routes, which allow you to utilize both sport and trad pro. Once you use gear on a sport route, it's no longer just a sport route in my opinion... Especially if using the gear is required to make the route "safe". The same goes for a trad route... And crap, who the hell would eff-up a perfectly good trad route by bolting it? I'm not saying it doesn't happen... It was more of a rhetorical question.


jonoj


Oct 3, 2007, 3:28 AM
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pwscottiv wrote:
jonoj wrote:

You lead a sport route on gear, by utilizing whatever cracks or pockets you can find, and sticking some pro in 'em. If it is totally blank, you run it out, or aim for the nearest bolt (and lose your claim to an all gear ascent).

You lead a trad route on 'sport gear', when some idiot has bolted it subsequent to the opening ground-up gear ascent.

Well, to me both of those routes would be "mixed" routes, which allow you to utilize both sport and trad pro. Once you use gear on a sport route, it's no longer just a sport route in my opinion... Especially if using the gear is required to make the route "safe". The same goes for a trad route... And crap, who the hell would eff-up a perfectly good trad route by bolting it? I'm not saying it doesn't happen... It was more of a rhetorical question.

Guess this thread is a clear indication of the confusion caused by a rapidly evolving activity with a whole bunch of incidental sub-activities... where people are freeing old aid routes, and soloing hard sport routes, and bolting perfectly protectable cracks (it does still happen, but hopefully this practice is dwindling), etc etc.

S'pose there'll never be a true consensus. For us that aren't climbing in the limelight, the best is probably just to go out and have fun in whichever style suits us best.


pwscottiv


Oct 3, 2007, 12:23 PM
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jonoj wrote:
Guess this thread is a clear indication of the confusion caused by a rapidly evolving activity with a whole bunch of incidental sub-activities... where people are freeing old aid routes, and soloing hard sport routes, and bolting perfectly protectable cracks (it does still happen, but hopefully this practice is dwindling), etc etc.
I really didn't know there was so much confusion... Everyoen I've ever talked with agreed with my take on the terms as I described previously.

With respect to freeing aid routes, I think I did mention that I thought it was one of the exceptions... I don't think there's anything wrong at all with saying that a route can be freed and/or aided... What I did have a problem with is mixing up groups of words like red-pint and trad, as they have nothing at all to do with one another.

As far as soloing sport, trad, aid, or whatever sort of route what does it matter at that point? If you're not using any type of pro, then there's no point in mentioning what the route usually is protected by. Who is gonna say they soloed a trad route or soloed a sport route?

And as far as bolting trad routes, the ONLY time I could ever see that being ok is if, for one, the local climbing community agreed it was ok, and two, it was to protect a part of a route that has no other protection such that if the climber was to fall it surely would result in serious/fatal injury.

Like I said before, the meanings of words are constsantly in flux... It's just the way things work... However, that does not mean that it isn't possible to have a general concensus. And of course it too will probably shift over time.


tomhiggins


Oct 9, 2007, 3:14 PM
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Apologies if this Supertopo thread has been noted (I saw a different one noted), but if not and for the record:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=454492&tn=40

And, a copy of my post there:

I took a crack at the trad vs. sport issue on my website. I made a little table there which tries to summarize differences on key variables, but of course doesn't capture all the forever evolving shades of meaning and connotations:

http://www.tomhiggins.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=19

And for history buffs, here's where the term "traditional" was first used, I think, and what it meant way back then:

http://www.tomhiggins.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=19

Finally, Wikipedia has a bit on "traditional climbing" too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_climbing

Tom Higgins


curt


Oct 9, 2007, 6:35 PM
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tomhiggins wrote:
Apologies if this Supertopo thread has been noted (I saw a different one noted), but if not and for the record:

http://www.supertopo.com/..._id=454492&tn=40

And, a copy of my post there:

I took a crack at the trad vs. sport issue on my website. I made a little table there which tries to summarize differences on key variables, but of course doesn't capture all the forever evolving shades of meaning and connotations:

http://www.tomhiggins.net/...;id=32&Itemid=19

And for history buffs, here's where the term "traditional" was first used, I think, and what it meant way back then:

http://www.tomhiggins.net/...;id=13&Itemid=19

Finally, Wikipedia has a bit on "traditional climbing" too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...Traditional_climbing

Tom Higgins

I fixed the links for 'ya, Tom.

Curt


tomhiggins


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Re: [blueeyedclimber] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
...I realize that some of the terms I use and are commonly used today are not necessarily the way they were intended or were used back in the day...

Indeed. And for those interested in when/where the term "traditional" was first coined (1984 Ascent), what it meant then, and how the style first came into conflict with emerging sport styles, see:

http://www.tomhiggins.net/...;id=13&Itemid=19

And for a retrospective on how trad/sport style definitions and issues have since evolved, with over 20 references to climbing articles on styles through 2006, see:

http://www.tomhiggins.net/...;id=33&Itemid=19


tolman_paul


Feb 20, 2008, 3:33 PM
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Re: [tomhiggins] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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To me the way the trad term has been used seems to be a way for sport climbers to have a degrading term to refer to those that don't employ those means as old fashioned, which is what traditional denotes.

In a sense it's a shame that sport climbing wasn't more properly termed A0 or free aid climbing. Yes it is pitched as allowing one free physical expression on the rock, but in reality gear is used to remove the both the mental fear of a fall, as well as used to aid the ascent by allowing the route to be dogged out untila ascended. Many sport routes could simply be left as tr problems, but some folks just had to have the ego trip of the first "free" ascent.

Heh, I've climbed all style of routes, and put up several sport routes. But no matter how fun the line, the ultimate sense of accomplishment is walking up to a route and going from bottom to top w/o falling or using gear to aid the ascent of the route.

To me there is no such thing as trad climbing, it's just free climbing from the ground up and protecting the route with either clean pro, or the occasional bolt.


tomhiggins


Feb 22, 2008, 4:36 PM
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Re: [tolman_paul] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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Paul,

No question trad and sport have positive and negative connotations depending on user intent and context. As you probably saw from one or more of the links I gave, there's been heat around the terms and styles for a very long time.

FYI, Wikipedia is in the midst of trying to do a purely factual definition of both (search for sport and traditional climbing), which needs some work, but shows discussion of styles can be done in an objective way too.

I agree, no question for me the greatest satisfaction comes from doing a route all "free” with no pre pro set up, tension, falls, or if a fall, then going down to nearest stance, getting off the rope and starting again, then giving up for another day after a couple of rounds, if it comes to that. Yup, I too have enjoyed bolted sport routes, though I still try to keep the same as above climbing style on them and just stay off many I know would take sieging. No joy in that for me.

After wrangling around the trad/sport debate for so long, I can't agree there is no such thing as trad, of course, but it certainly resides in the mind of beholder, and is an area of some muddy thinking and ever changing meanings. Fun it its way, however, as with any discussion of meaning, intent, history, past and present, and the best and worst in us paltry characters so soon gone from the stage.

Regards,

Tom Higgins


tolman_paul


Feb 22, 2008, 6:01 PM
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Re: [tomhiggins] What is traditional free climbing? [In reply to]
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Tom,

I'm sure my post came across a bit strong, I just get sick and tired of folks making things more complicated than they need to be, and causing derision in the ranks. It's just climging and it's supposed to be fun.

When I think of traditional climbing, I picture guys in lederhosen with hemp ropes, pitons and hob nailed boots.

I just can't get over the thought todays kids look at me in that vein Blush


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Trad Climbing

 


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