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flamer


Nov 30, 2007, 11:59 AM
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Aid rant
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Ok this has been posted in other forum's but I don't think it's ever been posted here...thought you guys might like some perspective.

http://youtube.com/results?search_query=chris+kalous+aid+rant

The man knows his shit.....and he is right on the money. Plus he's funny as hell.

josh


lambone


Dec 1, 2007, 2:27 AM
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I think it's stupid fwiw, comparing aid to free is apples to oranges IMHO.

saying hard aid doesn't take skill is bs too...


chossmonkey


Dec 1, 2007, 4:45 AM
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flamer wrote:
Ok this has been posted in other forum's but I don't think it's ever been posted here...thought you guys might like some perspective.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=boQHYBhlOcs

The man knows his shit.....and he is right on the money. Plus he's funny as hell.

josh
Fixed your link.


coastal_climber


Dec 1, 2007, 1:11 PM
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Interesting perspective.

Thanks for posting that.

>Cam


flamer


Dec 1, 2007, 2:42 PM
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lambone wrote:
I think it's stupid fwiw, comparing aid to free is apples to oranges IMHO.

saying hard aid doesn't take skill is bs too...

Keep in mind that the guy doing the rant did the 2nd ascent of Reticent wall, Plastic surgery disaster, Worlds End, Intifada, and has climbed countless other HARD aid climbs...a lot of them solo.
HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT!

Hard aid doesn't take skill? That's far from what he's saying.

Do you need to be in shape?? Not really.


...thanks chossmonkey I'm no computer guy, I figured cutting and pasting would work!

josh


scottb


Dec 1, 2007, 3:58 PM
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It's funny and entertaining, but I don't think he really said anything that most people don't already think/asume. Like he said: "...it's not really a rant. It's just logical."
Sure people can come off the couch and climb hard aid. You could also be a fatass and paint a perfect replica of the Mona Lisa. Does that mean anyone can do it just because you don't have to be in good physical shape? I don't think so.
I think there haven't been a bunch of A5 deaths because most people know better than to try it.
The guy knows what he's talking about, but at that point it's just a drunk dude talking shit.
Just my take on things.


lambone


Dec 1, 2007, 11:37 PM
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Flamer,
I never questioned the guys proffeciency in aid climbing. Sure his tick list is impressive...but what does his resume have to do with the discussion?

In the 'rant' he does basically say that pretty much any hack can get up hard aid. I don't belive this is so true. While it may not tajke a high level of physical fitness, it sure does take a certain knowhow of the equipment. An dthat doesn't just come naturally, you have to work at it.

Sure free climbing big walls is a purer and more impressive style. But any druck climber could state that obvious fact regardless of their climbing resume. Big deal...


erick


Dec 2, 2007, 1:37 AM
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lambone wrote:
In the 'rant' he does basically say that pretty much any hack can get up hard aid. I don't belive this is so true. While it may not tajke a high level of physical fitness, it sure does take a certain knowhow of the equipment.

Along with that, I think also it requires way more guts to stick it out and not to back down. The mental stamina required to pull off hard aid would be huge. Not just anyone can just push themselves to lead with such high risks on the line...


Partner angry


Dec 2, 2007, 2:20 AM
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lambone wrote:
Sure his tick list is impressive...but what does his resume have to do with the discussion?

Umm, everything? Lets say that a doctor who'd successfully treated the worst of the worst diseases and illnesses said something contrary to most doctors. Would his ability have nothing to do with the discussion?

Or two prostitutes talking about sucking dick. Prostitute A (who has sucked 30 dicks) needs to listen intently as prostitute B gives her detailed intstructions about the game (she has sucked 900 dicks).

What do horrible diseases and dick sucking have to do with aid climbing? I'll let you draw your own conclusions.


madbolter1


Dec 2, 2007, 4:27 AM
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Well, the tick list is ambiguous. Is the claim that he did the second ascent of Intifada, or was Intifada just one in the list after the second ascent of Reticent Wall? I ask this because Mark Smith and I did the second ascent of Intifada, and we rated it A4 "old wave" (for part of one pitch, with the rest A3 or less), which means that calling it a HARD route, whenever he did it, is not exactly accurate.

Furthermore, any route where the hooking is drilled is not "hard" in the sense that you actually believe that you are going to fall from even the most run-out spree of hooking. So, by his own estimation and admission, Reticent Wall wasn't hard.

So, the question then becomes, given his own admissions, what tick list of "hard" routes has he actually done? He says that ALL of the "hard" aid routes on El Cap have drilled hooking. Not true. Wings of Steel does not have drilled hooking, and, unlike the other "hard" routes on El Cap, you WILL fall on WoS. If falling 50 to 100 feet down an 80-degree angle slab isn't "hard," then I'm not sure what is, especially when you KNOW you are going to take falls like that, and every little nub and ripple of that slab wants its piece of you as you slide past.

My point is that he speaks in generalities. And there are glaring exceptions. True, fat boys can climb off the couch and perhaps do some A3. But from experience I can tell you that standing in aiders, often in acrobatic positions, for 12+ hours, employing intense concentration so that you DON'T take the potential death-fall is NOT something that soft, fat boys do.

The reason why there have not been A5 deaths is BECAUSE those of us that do it DO spend years honing our craft and our minds so that we avoid the death-fall. Saying that because nobody has taken the A5 death fall, it's not A5 is as stupid as saying that because free-soloists almost never die while free soloing is because it is easier to free solo a pitch than do it with a rope! The fact that people don't often die at the extreme edges of the sport is testimony to their RESPECT for the extreme edge, NOT evidence that the edge is not extreme!

He even admits that he thinks he's gonna die on some of these climbs. The fact that he can get drunk later and convince himself that it wasn't that bad is evidence only of later hubris, not evidence that it wasn't IN FACT that bad when he did it.

I did the fifth ascent of the Sea of Dreams, back when it was still "hard," and it wasn't as hard as I expected... overall. But there we HARD sections, and there were spots where if you fall you die. Whenever you honestly and objectively have good reason to think that a fall will be fatal, that DOES take a mindset that a sport climber simply doesn't have as he or she "works" that "hard" move with a bolt at their navel!

It just strikes me as amazing arrogance to start calling certain parts of climbing (be it aid or sport climbing) "less" than other parts of climbing. I got into climbing because of the mental aspects of it, and risk strikes me as a critical aspect of getting into the mental space that matters to me. Does that fact, for me, mean that sport climbing is "less" because it is less risky? Ridiculous!

Let the man get up on WoS and THEN he can tell me all about how "all" the hard hooking routes on El Cap are drilled and about how there is really no risk, as he's looking down at the 80-foot fall he's about to take. Intifada was a pile, and there is no comparison between it and genuinely hard hooking. Dr. Pete called WoS at least two grades harder than anything he had done, and he's done Reticent. My point is NOT to hype WoS. My point is to say that no matter what anybody's experience has been, they are not safe to over-generalize as this man does, and it is certainly hubris to "rant" as he does.

We're all out there trying to push ourselves, and we all find the edges of the envelope in different places. I have just as much respect for somebody pushing themselves on their first A2 than somebody pushing themselves on their first A4. To claim that one way of pushing oneself is basically illegitimate because it is not another person's way of pushing themselves is pure hubris. His tick list does NOT give him the credibility to claim all he claims. That is for certain.


dingus


Dec 2, 2007, 5:52 AM
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Ironic but the folks who maintain it doesn't take a high degree of fitness to aid climb are usually VERY FIT.

In other words, they've never tried it. Getting fat and winded and out of shape.

Tkae the feller writing the article. Let's fatten him up 25, 35 lbs on donuts and joints, no running, no nothing, for a whole year.

Now head up your big wall son.

Good luck with that.

Its bullshit. Just big wall basics requires a level of core fitness that can't be discounted. Its bloody hard work and donut people don't have a chance.

I've never been and never will be a hard aid man. Too stressful, by far.

Cheers
DMT


flamer


Dec 2, 2007, 7:01 AM
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madbolter1 wrote:
Well, the tick list is ambiguous. Is the claim that he did the second ascent of Intifada, or was Intifada just one in the list after the second ascent of Reticent Wall? I ask this because Mark Smith and I did the second ascent of Intifada, and we rated it A4 "old wave" (for part of one pitch, with the rest A3 or less), which means that calling it a HARD route, whenever he did it, is not exactly accurate.

The Intifida claim was my fault.....I meant Death of american democracy....sorry i get those Beyer fisher routes confused sometimes....and any statements of his tick list were made purely by me...you'd have to pry them out of Chris...which I did.

So my bad.

josh


flamer


Dec 2, 2007, 7:22 AM
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madbolter1 wrote:

Let the man get up on WoS

If that's your criteria you might want to look into if he's done the route....

He doesn't discount climbing styles he just say's there is better style.

He also makes an excellent point about how aid climbing is "rated"...you fall you die is A5? How do you know you die?
Aid rating's should be more about the technical difficulties than the supposed death or injury factor.

As far as Reticent..there's a route that has changed dramatically as it's seen more and more ascents...because people other than the FA took a drill with them.

It's funny to see what people focus on...and how they take things out of context.

It's also funny that the "madbolter" says that the ranters resume' doesn't matter..then use's his to show why it doesn't.

The funniest thing? Someone saying you can't be fat and off the couch to climb "hard" aid....then mention's Pete!! The ultimate and self proclaimed off the couch and out of shape "hard" aid guy!

josh

P.S.
Just to avoid any further confusion...any statements made about Chris's resume' were made by me.
He wouldn't mention them, and the only reason I did is because I think people need to realise that his "rant" is based on his experience...which is considerable.


lambone


Dec 2, 2007, 9:33 AM
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good post madbolter

flamer, WOS has never been repeated


dan2see


Dec 2, 2007, 11:16 AM
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madbolter1 wrote:
...We're all out there trying to push ourselves, and we all find the edges of the envelope in different places. I have just as much respect for somebody pushing themselves on their first A2 than somebody pushing themselves on their first A4. To claim that one way of pushing oneself is basically illegitimate because it is not another person's way of pushing themselves is pure hubris....

Everybody has his own Everest.

You've got to respect that fact, and respect the other guy.
.


flamer


Dec 2, 2007, 11:37 AM
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lambone wrote:
WOS has never been repeated


...and a quick google reveals:

-Bridwell climbed it in 1997 without a cheater stick.
-Eric george, Russ Mitrovich, and sean leary climbed the route in 29hrs 31 seconds.
-sylvia vidal soloed it...which may ahve effected the "no enhanced hooks" status.

That's 3 repeats...there's surely more.

josh


Partner pbcowboy77


Dec 2, 2007, 1:07 PM
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flamer wrote:
madbolter1 wrote:

Let the man get up on WoS

If that's your criteria you might want to look into if he's done the route....

He doesn't discount climbing styles he just say's there is better style.

He also makes an excellent point about how aid climbing is "rated"...you fall you die is A5? How do you know you die?
Aid rating's should be more about the technical difficulties than the supposed death or injury factor.

As far as Reticent..there's a route that has changed dramatically as it's seen more and more ascents...because people other than the FA took a drill with them.

It's funny to see what people focus on...and how they take things out of context.

It's also funny that the "madbolter" says that the ranters resume' doesn't matter..then use's his to show why it doesn't.

The funniest thing? Someone saying you can't be fat and off the couch to climb "hard" aid....then mention's Pete!! The ultimate and self proclaimed off the couch and out of shape "hard" aid guy!

josh

P.S.
Just to avoid any further confusion...any statements made about Chris's resume' were made by me.
He wouldn't mention them, and the only reason I did is because I think people need to realize that his "rant" is based on his experience...which is considerable.

Well I'm sure Chris has not done WoS... It's never been repeated.


What Chris is not thinking about in his drunken banter is that "HARD" is all relative. Go to IC and get on a route with thin hands when you have large hands and it's harder for you then the 12 year old girl that is doing fist jams. Or let's see some one that's 5' tall get over the Kor Roof with no problems.

The greatest thing about climbing is that it's a personal journey trying to get to the top be it bouldering at Stoney Point or Climbing El Cap. Climbing. Chris may have his opinion, and it may make sense, and he may have a big tick list, but let's remember it's an OPINION, and opinions are like assholes everyone has one and they all stink.

If someone wants to go out and aid climb and they think it's hard, so be it, it's hard for them. Like I said in climbing hard is all relative, and that's the great thing about climbing.


Richard I have nothing but respect for you, not because you have climbed some of the hardest routes on El Cap (well that helps) but because you have respect for other people and their abilities, and you say things like "I have just as much respect for somebody pushing themselves on their first A2 than somebody pushing themselves on their first A4."


Partner pbcowboy77


Dec 2, 2007, 1:14 PM
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flamer wrote:
lambone wrote:
WOS has never been repeated


...and a quick google reveals:

-Bridwell climbed it in 1997 without a cheater stick.
-Eric george, Russ Mitrovich, and sean leary climbed the route in 29hrs 31 seconds.
-sylvia vidal soloed it...which may ahve effected the "no enhanced hooks" status.

That's 3 repeats...there's surely more.

josh


The internet isn't always right... It has not been repeated.


good luck reading through all this

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=72849


flamer


Dec 2, 2007, 2:36 PM
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pbcowboy77 wrote:
flamer wrote:
lambone wrote:
WOS has never been repeated


...and a quick google reveals:

-Bridwell climbed it in 1997 without a cheater stick.
-Eric george, Russ Mitrovich, and sean leary climbed the route in 29hrs 31 seconds.
-sylvia vidal soloed it...which may ahve effected the "no enhanced hooks" status.

That's 3 repeats...there's surely more.

josh


The internet isn't always right... It has not been repeated.


good luck reading through all this

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=72849

So I got the WoS abbreviation confused......I thought he was Talking about wyoming sheep ranch...WSR!....oops! My bad.
So every post above where I mentioned WoS...I was refering to Wyoming Sheep Ranch....and all the of poster's were talking about "Wings of Steel"(WoS).

Stupid.

I'd rather not see this turn into another long WoS thread.

But Richard....did you not use the drill EVER for upward movement on WoS? And could you not reach for the drill if you needed to?

I certainly apprieciate what you did on that climb. However the basic skim I did of the thread ...paying close attention to your post's... revealed that the points made in the "rant" are valid.

...I'm stilling laughing at myself skimming through the ST thread looking for discussion of WSR!

josh


madbolter1


Dec 2, 2007, 2:43 PM
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Josh, I've tried some "quick" Googles on "wings of steel" coupled with all of the names you mentioned and then trying just with "wings of steel" and the time you mentioned. No hits about WoS second ascents. Can you post your searches or, better yet, your results pages?

Needless to say, I'm curious, particularly since I have spoken with Bridwell since the supposed SA date, and he never mentioned it, which would be at least odd.

At any rate, no "quick" Google search is turning up anything, so let us know how you found what you found.

pbcowboy77, thank you for your vote of confidence. I really appreciate it. On the topic to which you spoke, I had a good friend decades back. He told me his rating system, and it has stuck with me ever since. There are three ratings: "hard," "really hard," and "I can't do it." He followed that by saying, "There are no easy climbs. If it's easy for you, then it's just hiking." I've been on everything from "hikes" to "I can't do it," and as the decades have passed I grow more impressed with the wisdom of his insight. The mental game is what makes it "climbing," and in that sense, we're on the same playing field. The fact that I can do "harder" hooking than most certainly doesn't make me "better" than they are, and climbing history reveals that "top" climbers were often not top human beings!

And, BTW, at least when I met him, Pete was not "fat" or "soft." Once someone has a core fitness, they really can get off the couch and do hard things on big walls, but this does not detract from the core fitness required. No doughboy has Pete's calves, I'll tell you that much (not hitting on you, Pete, hehe).

Regarding my "tick list," Josh you apparently missed the point. Sorry.


madbolter1


Dec 2, 2007, 2:57 PM
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Too funny, Josh. Two posts passing in the night. lol

Yeah "WSR" would explain the confusion.

I'm not sure what you mean by reaching for the drill when "[we] need to." We did take a drill up on leads, because the first nine pitches were mostly blank slab. But the whole point to any genuine "climbing" game is that you don't just drill to get up (unless you are making a Hardingesque point, which is great too). I won't repeat the "drilling" and "enhancing" arguments from the endless ST threads, but I think any rational person reading them through will end up admitting that we weren't just grabbing the drill to bring the slab down to our level. We paid the price in lost skin and destroyed joints, taking our falls as they happened, while always using usable flakes instead of drilling.

I am baffled what you mean that the WoS threads on ST reveal that the substance of the "rant" are valid. The relevant point of the "rant" seems to be that "hard" El Cap FAs are not really hard because the first-ascent team can always resort to the drill as "necessary." But that's a really odd definition of "hard," don't you think? All I can say is that it is mighty "hard" to be looking at an 80-foot fall down that slab, wishing you could slam in a bolt, but instead realizing that you have two micro-flakes from which to choose, and you have to attempt BOTH of them, peeling them BOTH off before the drill is the only resort left for upward progress. Having the drill at your side makes that decision all the harder, just because it IS a choice! And the truly necessary use of the drill is what enables you to get yourself into such a position in the first place, which IS, after all, the whole point to going up on big wall climbs.

Surely you are not suggesting that ANY use of the drill on a big wall makes the resulting route "easy." So, it seems to me that both the "rant" and your take on it are quite oversimplified.

I'd like to hear your clarification. Thanks in advance.


skiclimb


Dec 3, 2007, 1:26 AM
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God I love Aid climbing.. I like it when it's hiking..I like it when it has me sketched...I like it after 3 hrs with a filterless camel hanging out the corner of my dry mouth.. I learned long ago that hard is always easy for somebody cause I aint the best at anything. Easy is impossible for a lot of people.

I do like his definition of A5 in the rant though...dude rips the peices and dies..belayer says..ok we have a confirmed A5..NEXT!!

Did I mention that I love aid climbing... and bouldering is a dirty evil blight that has somehow managed to attach itself to the soft underbelly of the sport of climbing somewhere near the fecal orifice...hehe


flamer


Dec 3, 2007, 7:11 AM
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Well richard your route might be the exception.

But you did have a drill....and you did use it. Would the route have gone without the bolts and rivets(regardless of how few) you placed?

I'm not slagging on you here. What you did was hard and I think at this point someone would have to be crazy to not acknowledge that.

But the point Chris was making about having a drill was that it gurantee's success in Aid climbing...especially on first ascents.
Now did you use it in the same way others have on FA's? Not entirely.
But it was used for upward progress. Is it wrong to use it the way that you did? IMHO? NO!
But the drill does gurantee your success, other factors aside.

My reason's for posting the link are this; to encourage people to step outside the box and push.
Not to just maintain the status quo. To rattle the cage alittle, if you will.
The most interesting reaction on here is that people took chris's rant as an insult. Like he was trying to insult other climbers or types of climbers. ( I had a pretty good idea Lambone was going to be insulted!)
I think those, who are insulted are to hung up on ego.
I think people get very set in their ways, and their percieved notions of whats "hard" and "cool" and then want it to stay that way.
While those things might maintain a level of "hardness" or "coolness"...and most importantly stay fun.
I think that if they focused some of that energy pushing on 1 wall of that box, instead of sitting in the middle, they would find new levels of Hard, cool, and fun. Hopefully levels that would then motivate others to do the same.
And thus we have progression!

Richard, your route(WoS not WSR lol!) was progression. The motivation it stirred is just starting to take hold.

josh


madbolter1


Dec 3, 2007, 10:25 AM
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Re: [flamer] Aid rant [In reply to]
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Josh, I think I better understand now where you're coming from. Thanks for exerting the effort to clarify, and I do laud your motivations!

The only point where I continue to depart from your perspective is that of: having and using the drill assures success, particularly in FAs. While this might be generally thought true (which is perhaps the point of the "rant"), it need not be true. As I explain in my book, even after all we had invested in the route, after the blank, crumbling, heavily drilled third pitch of WoS, Mark and I almost decided to come down. We felt that if there was one more pitch of that nature (heavily drilled), we could not justify the route.

So, if one is conscious of one's "drilling ratio," in other words if one is aware that one's route is becoming too contrived or too much the "hike" (which is what a few continue to assert about WoS), then one might well be forced to retreat BECAUSE of the drill.

Finally, and this is my primary point, rock climbing has typically not adopted the "mountaineering" perspective that "the mountain might win" insofar as the mountain might keep one off of its summit. The point of rock climbing has traditionally been to establish routes, not to "bag summits." (This might seem a strange notion at first, so bear me out and see if I'm onto something here.)

I believe that rock climbing is a VERY different enterprise than mountaineering BECAUSE the mode of ascent is so much more important than getting to the summit. (This is not to say that mountaineers have NO thought for mode of ascent; this is a question of logical priority. This is only to say that in mountaineering, getting to the summit is the primary point, while getting to the summit is NOT the primary point in rock climbing.)

Thus we see many rock climbs that ascend portions of a cliff to end at belays part-way up, with anchors suitable for lower-offs. We do not see small patches of mountains being climbed as "mountaineering routes," where, for example, one climbs the lower part of the Eiger to the tunnel opening and then exits via the tunnel! Yet, in rock climbing, navigating the technical difficulties of small patches of rock IS the point to such "climbs," and the FA team drills, yes, to as much as possible "assure success," where "success" here means providing access to these small patches of rock.

Perhaps Robbins more than anybody (opposed by Harding more than anybody) fostered the notion that big walls should be treated like mountains. Robbins treated big walls as though they were about "summits." But Robbins had a deep internal tension because he also cared about "style" in a way that Harding did not (actually Harding did care about style more than most people realize; he just cared more about the style of a person than the style of a route). But Robbins' notion of "style" was very grounded in mountaineering lore, like, "giving the mountain a sporting chance."

In actual mountaineering, with its raft of objective dangers, the mountain usually has much more than merely a "sporting chance!" But in rock climbing, with its relatively few objective dangers, Robbins' notion of a "sporting chance" had to be created out of the vague and wholly subjective fabrications of "naturalness of line." THIS fabrication, based upon the mountaineering notion of "giving the mountain a sporting chance" is exactly what Harding rejected!

Robbins constantly struggled to reconcile this tension between his mountaineering perspective ("The lure of the first is strong") and his perspective that HOW you get up is perhaps even more important than getting up! But even Robbins found "a route worth drilling for" on Half Dome, indicating that he realized that rock climbing is NOT like mountaineering. There IS no clear, bright line indicating "success" in finding a "natural line" to the summit! In practice, Robbins repeatedly acknowledged that establishing a "worthwhile" route is THE point, not bagging a summit or finding a "natural" line to a summit; yet Robbins' own internal tension has become the internal tension of the entire rock climbing community (with rare exception).

I know that big walls necessitate actually REACHING summits, but my assertion is that reaching the summit is only so that there is an exit from the route, given that lower-offs are not really practicable on big walls. But the POINT to big wall climbing remains the CLIMBING not the summit. Thus, the assertion that the drill "assures success" is actually a red herring, since rock climbing is NOT about bagging summits to begin with. Whether or not the drill assures one of reaching a summit is immaterial! "Success" in rock climbing is far, far more subtle than whether or not one completes a route or reaches the top!

On the model I am attempting to demonstrate, rock climbing is much more about creating a "worthwhile" route than is mountaineering (I'm speaking generally here), where piecing sections of "worthwhile" climbing together with the drill is not only acceptable but is necessary to create the ROUTE linking that "worthwhile" climbing to some exit point (be that a rap station or a summit).

Again, it might be said that the drill "assures success," but that would be treating the point as though one were mountaineering and reaching the summit were the point, which is not what rock climbing is about. I think it is better to recognize that big wall rock climbing is not generally playing the mountaineering game, that reaching the summit is a purely secondary goal (as the endless connectors on El Cap indicate, where each is called a "route"), and where the drill does NOT assure "success" in the game of creating a "worthwhile" section of actual climbing!

ALL El Cap ascentionists have employed the drill. Even Salathe Wall had 13 bolts on the FA. But I think it is really stretching the bounds of credulity to assert that having and employing the drill "assures of success" insofar as the nature of "success" in big wall climbing is so very different from the nature of success in mountaineering.

When does a "big wall" become a "mountain?" I don't think there is a clear, bright line. Probably Cerro Torre is more a mountain than a rock climb insofar as reaching the summit has often been more the point than how one gets there. Yet, even on Cerro Torre, the bolting controversy rages, and that signifies that climbers don't respect reaching even THAT summit by ANY means. Thus, even on Cerro Torre, a climber might be turned back BY recognizing that the drill was required "too much" to make the CLIMBING worthwhile, even if the summit could be reached.

Has the drill be overused to bring climbing down to a "doable" level? Yes, perhaps. Does that mean that big walls are, in general, "easy" because of the drill? No, I deny that claim. And I further deny that "easy" or "hard" are terms that enable a person to evaluate "overuse" of the drill!

I think that people employ all sorts of "cheats" to make rock climbing routes "doable" (for them). While this "bringing it down to your level" is largely despised in principle, in fact this process has EVER been and will ever be the VERY process of rock climbing. If the vague principle of avoiding bringing a climb down to one's level were always studiously followed, there would be NO rock climbing routes! EVERY first ascent has employed the technology of the day to bring the FA into the range of doability for the FA team! That fact that later generations can navigate that same section of rock in "better" style (whatever that means) does not mean that the original FA team should have stayed away!

When we recognize that the entire purpose of rock climbing is to find ROUTES that get us into positions to test ourselves (at whatever level be that test), then suddenly the fact that a FA team has "brought the climb down to their level" is recognized AS the POINT of rock climbing. We are ALL bringing routes "down to our level," and that is BECAUSE rock climbing is not about bagging summits; rocking climbing is about doing sections of routes the CLIMBING of which itself is interesting and challenging to us. So one finds routes at ALL levels of difficulty, and ALL have been "brought down" to the level of difficulty the FA team could manage (hopefully just).

Rock climbers are not, in general, playing the same game as mountaineers, and we should not employ the same evaluation of "success" as mountaineers. We want new ROUTES, not new summits; and we are certainly NOT "assured of success" on these routes, either as FA teams or as subsequent ascent attempts.

The drill CAN "assure success" in route creation, but I mean that in the opposite way that this thread has meant it. I mean that the drill CAN assure that a wonderfully worthwhile route gets created, where that route would not exist without the drill. Such a route contains climbing worth doing, and the drill ensures that such a route comes into being. Conversely, the drill can be used in a "summit bagging" fashion, producing a route not really worth doing (although it stretches me to think of a route not worth doing... even bolt ladders are useful to beginners!). My point is that use of the drill cannot "assure success" when "success" is defined as the creation of a worthwhile route, even if the summit IS bagged!

We ALL debate what "worthwhile" means in rock climbing, which proves my point that THIS is what rock climbing is about. Nobody says of an El Cap route, "Well, the route is a pile of crap, but at least it does reach the summit, so it is a success." We CARE about whether the use of the drill "succeeded" in producing a route "worth doing," and there we will debate endlessly, which debate itself proves that NO use of the drill can "assure success" in the realm of rock climbing!

What has become very clear in the last few decades is that "naturalness of line" is impossible to quantify and is a bogus mode of evaluating "worthwhileness" in rock climbing. "Difficulty" seems to be an ongoing component of "worthwhileness," although even that is vague and subject to time and technology. So, we will endlessly debate what is "worthwhile" in rock climbing, and that is GOOD! And that very debate makes my point that the drill does not "assure success" in rock climbing (on any level).


flamer


Dec 3, 2007, 10:49 AM
Post #25 of 30 (5036 views)
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Re: [flamer] Aid rant [In reply to]
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flamer wrote:
But the drill does gurantee your success, other factors aside.

I'll quote myself and add....one of the other "factors" might just be ones own ethical choice to not put up a route, just for the sake of doing it.

To be willing to bail because there would be too much drilling or modifing to warrant doing the climb.

I can think of no reason to bail that is less selfish or proud.

josh

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