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pmyche


Dec 3, 2005, 10:10 AM
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caughtinside


Dec 3, 2005, 10:27 AM
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Re: "Clean" routes, rock preservation, style [In reply to]
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Maybe it's just a question of how good a climber you have to be to do it in that style. Those Zion routes are C1-C2, yeah? While some of the Yosemite routes you listed are C-harder?

I'm thinking in terms of free climbing, because as aid lines get free climbed on El Cap, they continue to be aid climbed. Because most climbers aren't advanced enough to follow in that style.


areuinclimber


Dec 3, 2005, 10:37 AM
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Re: "Clean" routes, rock preservation, style [In reply to]
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i think the reasons people do nail-ups clean is becuase they favor clean climbing, and in my opinion, that is better style. if a route goes clean at an easy grade (c2 or below) than that will eventually become the standard method of ascent. there will always be those few that will nail, mostly becuase of testicular fortitude (or lack there of). rock preservation is of little concern to most parties ascent of a route. i mean, how many people add chicken bolts to A4 A5 routes? routes that are harder and go clean at a hard grade like C4 or something arent going to see many clean ascents until the scars widen. its pretty well known that granite is harder than the stone in zion ( sandstone?) but that doesnt have anything to do with whether or not people nail. they nail to make it easier i think, not many people are willing to turn an A3 nail up into a c4 or c5 clean route just for the sake of rock preservation becuase they just want to bag the ascent (on el cap anyways).


crotch


Dec 3, 2005, 10:57 AM
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Re: "Clean" routes, rock preservation, style [In reply to]
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If an A2 route goes clean at C2, then the same crew that qued up for it before will still be able to climb it. If, on the other hand, a trade route that "belongs", for lack of a better word, to the A2 climbers of the world goes clean at C4, by keeping it clean, you've taken an A2 trade route away from the masses. Maybe sandstone pin scars make for better clean placements?


dangle


Dec 3, 2005, 4:27 PM
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Re: "Clean" routes, rock preservation, style [In reply to]
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If an A2 route goes clean at C2, then the same crew that qued up for it before will still be able to climb it. If, on the other hand, a trade route that "belongs", for lack of a better word, to the A2 climbers of the world goes clean at C4, by keeping it clean, you've taken an A2 trade route away from the masses. Maybe sandstone pin scars make for better clean placements?


This is precisely the myopic thinking that I refered to. Sorry crotch but who says the route "belongs" to the A2 climbers (who eventually will wear it out) and not to the C4 climbers (who can use it indefinitely)?

For example, if an aid route goes free is it fair to future climbers to keep nailing (and altering) the route?

Just because there is a precedent doesn't justify continuing to do so. We have to put preservation before our selfish desires. Tradition is not an acceptable excuse for unethical behavior.


Sandstone does NOT scar better. It scars faster. As a result it acts like the canary in the coal mine. What happens to IT will happen to harder stone.


crotch


Dec 3, 2005, 7:15 PM
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Re: "Clean" routes, rock preservation, style [In reply to]
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Just because there is a precedent doesn't justify continuing to do so. We have to put preservation before our selfish desires. Tradition is not an acceptable excuse for unethical behavior.

Ron, do you take issue with all nailing, or only nailing on routes that have gone clean? What's your current feeling on bolt ladders through blank sections of rock?

It seems to me that any reason you could offer to keep people from nailing on routes that have already gone clean is also a reason to keep people from nailing routes that haven't gone clean, or haven't even been climbed yet.

Is it OK to continue driving pins on nailing routes when the possibility exists that some day in the future technology or skill may advance to the point that the route would go clean in its current state?

As a hypothetical, let's say you came upon a 1000' swath of clean rock, split from top to bottom by a single, virgin knifeblade crack. Is it acceptable for an FA team to go up there with a rack of blades, knowing full well that one day that seam will be a bunch of boxed out red alien placements? Should we leave that virgin crack for future generations of clean climbers?

In the end, I agree with you that nailing on clean routes is myopic, I just wonder if it's any more myopic than other destructive forms of climbing. Interesting conversation. I look forward to hearing more opinions.


dangle


Dec 3, 2005, 9:24 PM
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Re: "Clean" routes, rock preservation, style [In reply to]
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I'm not against all nailing, just the selfish kind. Pins can open up new routes problematic to nut, but it should be with a plan to create a clean route.

When I first came up with the essay on constructive scarring eventually published (with a few unauthorized changes) in Mountain 95 I stressed that if pins HAD to be used then they should be used constructively rather than destructively. People have persisted in erroneously crediting me with ADVOCATING scarring.

Clean routes can evolve using care, especially in the removal process, though initial pin orientation is also important. Sometimes a few fixed anchors can make all the difference. As far as blank sections go bolts are very compatible with clean routes.

Now we get to the big rub. People (among them PTPP and Jones) say that if a hammer was used to put up the route then its not clean. Jones said that my 5/81 ascent of Touchstone wasn't the first hammerless desert wall because of this philosophical argument. (To make it even more confusing he claims to have accomplished this feat on another line even though he carried a hammer.)

This is foolishness. One should deal with the reality that exists. Would anybody actually claim that Lynn Hill didn't actually free the Nose because she relied on some features that were artificially created (albeit without intent) by past aid climbers with hammers?

As far as waiting for future technology; well if we all did that not much would get done. We don't know what gear will come, but we DO know what current gear does to the rock. So I just try to follow the path that seems to offer the potential for creating routes that will be durable.
Although this can mean rock alteration which, if "intentional", is a big no-no, if one uses less care and planning it just results in rock alteration that has less utility. So its a compromise which will leave climbers in the future with less degraded resources.


iamthewallress


Dec 3, 2005, 9:41 PM
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Re: "Clean" routes, rock preservation, style [In reply to]
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Yosemite is different. Routes like Mescalito, the Shield, Muir Wall, NA Wall, the Trip, et cetera, have gone "clean," but subsequent parties don't seem to place importance on emulating that way of climbing them. Is that b/c granite is less subject to damage?

What's your take?

I'm considering drilled angles analagous to bolts in Yosemite, not pins fixed in cracks.

Given that, don't you find that the "clean" routes in yosemite that get the most nailing action are ones that rely on vast amounts of fixed heads and pins in the cracks to go clean whereas apart from the drilled angle/bolt ladders on Moonlight, Spaceshot, Touchstone and Prodigal Son (the quartet of super high traffic clean Zion Routes), those routes go clean quite easily and using the gear that you put in and take out? Maybe people find keeping such 'unclean' routes hammerless is kind of contrived?

Are people as fastidious about the clean ethic on the harder routes that have gone clean in Zion?

I don't think that people tend to nail on the Yosemite routes with comparable difficulty (placement-wise) to the 'Zion quartet' unless the fixed pins and heads that were making it go clean take leave. (WFLT, SFWC, Nose, Salathe...etc.)


dangle


Dec 4, 2005, 12:04 AM
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Re: "Clean" routes, rock preservation, style [In reply to]
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I'm considering drilled angles analagous to bolts in Yosemite, not pins fixed in cracks.


Given that, don't you find that the "clean" routes in yosemite that get the most nailing action are ones that rely on vast amounts of fixed heads and pins in the cracks to go clean whereas apart from the drilled angle/bolt ladders on Moonlight, Spaceshot, Touchstone and Prodigal Son (the quartet of super high traffic clean Zion Routes), those routes go clean quite easily and using the gear that you put in and take out? Maybe people find keeping such 'unclean' routes hammerless is kind of contrived?

Are people as fastidious about the clean ethic on the harder routes that have gone clean in Zion?

I don't think that people tend to nail on the Yosemite routes with comparable difficulty (placement-wise) to the 'Zion quartet' unless the fixed pins and heads that were making it go clean take leave. (WFLT, SFWC, Nose, Salathe...etc.)



Drilled angles ARE bolts.

Actually the "clean" gear placements in Zion are wearing out too! More fixed gear, contrived or not, will be needed to make them last longer. It might not resemble the original experience but you still get to enjoy the firsthand look at and from the route.

As for heads, I'm with Porter. They're nothing more than malleable pitons. Thanks to the cables they are even more like time bombs than the more conventional fixed pins.


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