In reply to:
I myself have really stuggled with this topic over the years. I mean, if you "crave fear" like elcapadic, why not just lead the pitch on your gear and skip the bolts? Why not sabotage your gear for that matter? It will be scarier and harder.
I also realize that over-bolting is numbing aestetically, whether on sport or aid.
I think that we need to realize that climbing a rock invariably alters the rock. You chalk it, you break a hold, you bang it wider, you bolt it. I have often seen climbers succumbing to a school of thought much to prevalent in today's culture--the thought that "natural" is better. I have been told that eating milk is bad because it's unnatural (and I'm veggie!), and that bolting is wrong because it is unnatural. Well, news flash. Climbing is unnatural!
The real dilemma in my eyes is that we as climbers practice minimum impact. The question then arises: How much impact does a bolt cause? Anybody is free not to clip it. Of course, by the same logic, one could turn the right side of El Cap into Mt. Rushmore and tell people who don't like it "not to look at it."
I see things this way. Aid climbing is supposed to be sketch. No one expects safety on a big wall, and no one has a right to climb a wall. This means most wall bolts (such as those on Zodiac) can go.
Free climbing is the domain of the masses. Putting up a 2-bolt 5.7 seems silly to me. The people who could enjoy the route most are not going to enjoy it because it's too run-out. Putting up a 2-bolt 5.12 is equally silly because no one will ever do it. To establish a line and then claim a memoratoriam on it by precedent is ridiculous. No one owns the rock. The "trad ethic" in places like Whitesides, NC and Tuolumne has always confused me. Climbing doesn't matter when you are dead. Can we overcome fear without putting ourselves in life-threatening situations? I am not sure. As I see it now, big egos drive the numbers game more than big balls. What gives?
I'd have wandered far and wide, and I feel the need to sum things up. If Zodiac was cleaned from top to bottom, the route would be erased and everybody would be pissed. If Zodiac was bolted from top to bottom, the route would be a joke and everybody would be pissed. Nobody least of all Charlie Porter owns the Zodiac. It is a public resource, and should be managed as such--by consensus.
Dirk [ This Message was edited by: dirko on 2003-02-09 19:24 ] [ This Message was edited by: dirko on 2003-02-09 19:25 ]