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flamer


Jan 6, 2003, 6:09 PM
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Ok- I'm going to be the bad guy. I've noticed the -somewhat- negative comments towards PTPP's "betterway", mentality. So In an effort to keep threads on track, I figured I'd start this one to address the issue.
Here is the thing, PTPP's "better way" is only one way of doing things. He may think that it is the best way, but others will disagree. There are numerous proven methods that will get you up a wall. Some are simpler some are more complex(not many are more complex!).
There are ALOT of people on this site who are trying to pick up info to start wall climbing, personally I believe that *most* of pete's methods are too complex for these folks. When you are starting out it is critical to keep it simple! Learn the basic's, then pick up a bunch of "tricks".
Think of it like this- your brain is a tool box, you want to start filling it with basic tools. As your WORKING knowledge of these tools increase's, you will start to adding other tools that make your job easier- This is where PTPP's system's come into play.
You can and will make it up walls without doing it the "better way". The Traditional methods are not stupid- they work! Is there an easier way? SOMETIMES!
I would like to make something clear.
I AM NOT TRYING TO BASH PTPP!!!!!!
He is knowledgable, and obviously a very good climber.
So now that I've gotten my OPINION in...
it's your turn...
josh

[ This Message was edited by: flamer on 2003-01-06 19:53 ]

[ This Message was edited by: flamer on 2003-01-07 12:23 ]


milesdesbrie


Jan 6, 2003, 6:46 PM
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As an aid climbing gumby whose highest aspiration is just to get my ass up a wall or two, I appreciate the generosity and energy that Pete exhibits with his contributions here. I agree that many of his systems are probably too complex to use when concentrating on basics is called for. But even though I probably won't use the majority of setups that Pete documents, I feel that I still benefit from reading about them, just to get an idea of what's possible, especially in the realm of solo aid.

We're lucky at rc.com to have people like Pete, Ammon, Copperhead, Apollodorus, and Brutus to learn from.

(edited for spelling)


[ This Message was edited by: milesdesbrie on 2003-01-06 20:23 ]


epic_ed


Jan 6, 2003, 6:57 PM
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Ditto what Miles said. I greatly appreciate EVERYONE's effort to share as much of your hard-earned knowledge as possible. Take what applies for you and leave the rest. Pete has a wonderful thing started with his index and a HUGE thanks to him for leading the charge and taking the time. I don't think the "better way" is more complicated than BWT way at all. It's just difficult to understand all the stuff he is trying to explain in it's current format. Others have had the benefit of publishing a book (all be it 30 some years ago). Taking parts of the system, trying them, and then coming back for more is how the learning process works for everyone. I guess what I'm saying is, Pete is most effective when taken in small doses.

It's also very nice to see some other veteran aid climber check in with their thoughts. I have been reading stuff from Copperhead and Brutus for years in other forums and these guys know their s#!t. Thanks for taking the time to contribute in a forum where learning and sharing information is emphasized over flame wars and nut-kicking contests.

Ed

[ This Message was edited by: up2top on 2003-01-06 19:04 ]


timpanogos


Jan 6, 2003, 9:45 PM
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I'm thumbing through John Long and John Middendorf's "Big Walls" book and comparing the TOC to Pete's list. I'm wondering just which parts of Pete's systems might best be left for a later date and where things might differ from "BWT" concepts.

I made myself a condensed index from Pete's and added a few comments. In reviewing this, it seems that what Pete has shared with us is not that overly complex. I don't know, there are some areas that need clarification - but most of the topics covered here seem fairly Fundamental - as Pete would put it.

For those of you in the know, please comment on which areas are overly complex, and provide alternate solutions.

yep everything but the kitchen sink - but something to ponder!
Dr. Piton's
Ultimate Big Wall Checklist


This is basic - right? Weak on Russian aider use description
Ask
Dr. Piton ... about moving systems.


More basic moving stuff right?
Ask
Dr. Piton....about how to move up on aid without blowing it.


I read for interest - re-read for fine points later
how
to climb HARD AID and LIVE to tell the tale.


More basic moving stuff right? - ok, some don't use the adjustable fifi, but it
gave me a good idea of what was ahead as I needed to high step on the very first
bolt ladder that I got on.
Ask
Dr. Piton: What is the Better Way to topstep


Enough to get me to buy a pair - and at this point very glad I did.
Trango
Russian Aider system.


I'm going to have to haul - I have studied and practiced several of the zed-pulley concepts from the Falcon guides "Self Rescue" book, have to start somewhere - get the needed gear for a suggested system, and get out there and try it. I felt that it was important for me to understand self-rescue techniques for Trad climbing and so I have studied this book out several times.

Dr.
Piton's 1:1 Hauling Tips.


Once again, same principles as in Self-Rescue - I got the suggested best gear based on Pete's experience - now I need to get out, rig it and try it.
Ask
Dr. Piton....about Chongo's 2:1 Hauling Ratchet.


Once again, another Self-Rescue concept of load transfer - I'll likely try using the Mariner knot because I think it will be faster and easier to tie, and I have practiced escaping a belay with these techniques - better know how to do this, even if it is not on your pig!
Ask
Dr. Piton ... about attaching your haul load to the anchor - the LOAD RELEASE
KNOT.


I have not concentrated on camping yet
Dr.
Piton, my pig's not fat enough!


I have not concentrated on camping yet, I'm more prone to go light on this one also.
catch
onto Catch Lines!


I have not tried this yet, but will - it seems straight forward enough
Ask
Dr. Piton ... about how to rappel with a very heavy load.


Another self-rescue thing
Ask
Dr. Pee'd On...How to pass a knot on rappel?


Have not paid much attention to this yet.
how
to "flag" your portaledge.


I geared up for the frog system - I've only tried ascended on prusik and tibloc for self-rescue practive before this time. I don't know any different, but this system seems pretty ideal.
Ask
Dr. Piton ... about the Better Way to ascend a fixed rope.


yep, I got this too, hooked to the croll - it's work that upper ascender and go. I need to try this again with the Russian aiders now that I got them.
Petzl
Torse chest harness.


more of the same
how
to connect your Croll to your wall harness


If there is a safety issue with this, someone please speak up - after reading this I dropped my backup and got my croll screaming.
Ask
Dr. Piton ....... about using backup knots while jugging.


yea, you have to stop and think about this one and practice it - but it seems to make good sense. I have not had to clean anything over vertical yet - but I found an adjustable fifi and will give it a try.
Dr.
Piton, cleaning an aid pitch with two jugs is a pain. Is there a BETTER WAY?


seemed fairly straight forward - I'm very glad I read this before finding myself faced with cleaning one.
Dr.
Piton ... please explain 4:1 lower-out.


same as above
thoughts
on cleaning a traverse


Damn glad I read this one.
Dr.
Piton talks about Fixed Lines


Ok the harder stuff starts now - Is tagging to complex? Don't TBWT tag (only with a seperate tag line)?
Ask
Dr. Piton.....about the Solo Tag Rack


I started this one because the system was not explained very well, and the slippery knot and tag extension are still not clear to me. I seen bits and pieces about 3 rope systems - with hints to needing to rap/jug 8mm lines etc. Not having any real information on these other systems - I can not judge how complex Pete's 2 rope system compares with others. It's easy to see there will be some pro's and con's here. I hope others will post more on these systems for comparision.
Q
& A for Dr. Piton regarding Solo Rope Systems.


Don't miss this one if you use a grigri for solo - and even if you do not, a fantasic concept for saving your rope (and maybe your life) lies in here.
Rebelaying
your solo lead rope with prusiks


Here is another topic that it would be well to have other systems explained better - so we gumbies can make an educated decission on which and when to use.
Ask
Dr. Piton ... about Grigri soloing.


Hey, I'll give this a try - the damn swivel is $65 and a pro-traxion is another $85 - expensive, but not really a complex concept. The other parts of this system (basic and two pullies) can be used on the top haul ratchet. I'll set it up at the crag and give it a try.
Ask
Dr. Pins ... about Far End Hauling


Simple enough concept. (in practice the ground solo anchor can be tough enough to get setup, a midwall might be easier to setup - have not tried it yet)
some
ideas to introduce dynamism into your solo belay


This caught my eye as a very important thing as jugging is very shock loady in it's nature - It does not make total sense to me at this point, but I will be trying to figure out exactly what Pete is talking about here - I did get a personal mini-traxion and plan on always having it with me - it's the part about short cutting the pulley and jugging under the grigri that I'm not clear on.
The
Body Hoist


little out of order - jumps to a huge rack - but that's aid right? starter aid rack - I'm not sure there is such a thing - it really is kind of an all or nothing type of deal.
Dr.
Piton - I need advice on a starter aid rack.


Ask
Dr. Piton ... about a Typical Aid Rack.


I have not paid much attention to nailing yet.
Ask
Dr. Piton ... about how to make a sawed-off?


same
Ask
Dr. Piton ... about hero loops and tie-offs.


same
Ask
Dr. Dumped On ... How hard should you drive a piton?


Trying to build my rack - so I asked this question after my first time out realizing that indeed I did not have enough binners or nylon.
Ask
Dr. Piton ... about slings.


Seems straight forward enough
Ask
Dr. Piton ... is there a Better Way to use Screamers?


later - maybe! (c3+)
Ask
Dr. Piton How to Place Heads?


I found out on my first bolt ladder - I better get some and practice hooks.
how
to sling your hooks


interesting, maybe later (c3+).
climbing
expanding flakes


bounce testing is basic, more advanced c3+ stuff - later
how
to climb HARD AID and LIVE to tell the tale.


basic knowledge
Ask
Dr. Piton ... How would you open a stuck screwgate carabiner?


I better read this, have not yet - so don't know.
Ask
Dr. Piton ... what's up with rivets?


what you learn on - I like the nylon over the back on first try - need to adjust my from sub racks, they clusterf'ed a bit on me - but can see the wisdom, as the main racking on the harness is far to the sides, and out of sight - good starting information.
Ask
Dr. Piton... about modifying the big wall gear rack


what you learn and like, but it basically followed what I had already set up for trad (i.e. color coding, especially on cam biners)
Ask
Dr. Piton ... about how to rack your rack.


first time out will have you reading this one again.
Help
Dr. Piton - It's Eating Me Alive!


read it once, but don't remember - better double check this one if the topo says pendulum.
how
to protect yourself after the pendulum.


eyes rolled up in back of head for now - did not want to think it through
the
Better Way to climb in a team of three.


I'm interested in zipping now, as I hope to get out with someone soon - this is yet to be written
Ask
Dr. Piton.... about how to move gear efficiently between leader and second
(and/or third)


not worried about this yet - I'm one to go light in this area.
big
wall food.


no damn idea yet.
The
Wall Flower - the Better Way to big wall human waste management.



P.S.
pm me and I'll send you this post, which you can hit reply with qoute and copy into your own post and make comments.

Chad

[ This Message was edited by: timpanogos on 2003-01-06 22:06 ]


twrock


Jan 7, 2003, 12:56 AM
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Quote:I've noticed the -somewhat- negative comments towards PTPP's "betterway", mentality.

Yes, there obviously is some negativity. And certainly some of it has to do with what some people think is an overly complex system. But that doesn't account for all of the negativity.

Clearly there are some people who are also getting a little tired of the persona that Pete portrays on the site. (I have no idea how much the "Pass The Pitons Pete" persona and the real Pete Zabrok are alike, so I can only comment on the persona I see portrayed here.)

PTPP has told us many times that he does not claim "the best way." But he does claim "the better way" (emphasis mine). By implication all "previous" ways are inferior. He labels them "traditional" and equates that to "stupid." PTPP's way is not presented as "an alternate way" or even "a better way." Even a cursory reading of his posts will reveal this attitude. And I think it is this attitude of superiority at which people bristle.

If Pete is going to set himself up as the "Doctor", the "answer man" (requests for us to "Ask Dr. P"), as the man with "the better way", then he's going to catch some flak. And if he's going to keep taking shots at guys that have been around the block a few times themselves, then he's going to eventually "annoy" someone, even possibly a few friends.

I think anyone with with even half a brain would say that they appreciate the willingness of PTPP give out the full beta on his aiding systems. You can't fault him for trying to completely explain how it works, even if it comes across as overly complex. No one here is questioning his abilities as a climber either. I have definitely taken a few of his "better" ideas and implemented them into my system. And I may do so with even more. I am "willing" to put up with the the PTPP persona because I think it is worth it for the information that I have gathered (otherwise I'd simply leave). But I can not say that I like it, because I don't.

Now whether or not PTPP cares what I think is for him to decide. He's been around a lot longer than I have, and he sure has a whole lot more to offer than I ever will on the topic of aid climbing. And that is what this forum is about. But maybe he's got something to learn as well (and I'm not talking about climbing).

[ This Message was edited by: twrock on 2003-01-09 07:54 ]


timpanogos


Jan 7, 2003, 9:25 AM
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I’ve only been a member since last May – and mostly concentrated on the Trad forum and so I’m green as to the workings of this forum. I have read through most of the “rants” and gotten a feel for Pete’s history on this site from these threads.

I gather that Pete’s persona was boosted and somewhat developed as the site found it desirable to have such willing knowledge – enough so to promote a forum dedicated to Big Walling – Ask PTPP. Some ugliness evolved from this situation – and I believe that Pete was humbled by it. It did however; leave the “Ask PTPP” concept in a bit of a blur.

It is still a great service to have a forum dedicated to Big Wall and aid expertise. The concept of keeping an organized and pure set of threads dedicated to Fundamental concepts is very good. And the value of having someone willing to OWN the work of the thing cannot be understated. Maybe this concept can evolve? How about something like “Pass the Piton”?

Something that keys you to stay on topic. Where you might be asked by others to delete or modify information. Where you might be asked to change the title of a normal post to this key because it fills a hole in a concept etc. And yet will not discourage other experience from posting. When Pete asked in PM’s for people to do this sort of thing, it once again promoted the persona. This made some people angry and intimidated others – afraid to post until the Doctor had answered. And yet this concept (of organization) should continue.

Is there room for more than one Doctor in this office?

Chad


pbjosh


Jan 7, 2003, 9:53 AM
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Pete's ways are generally pretty good and usually better (big caveat here) if you're not moving too fast and are enjoying yourself. Personally I like to move faster and try to make do with easier, lighter if more strenuous / less optimal solutions.

I don't think he's ever said doing anything any other way is stupid.

And I agree that the most important part of starting wall climbing is not killing yourself and getting some pitches and miles under your belt so that everything starts to really make sense and you can find your own personal better way

josh


flamer


Jan 7, 2003, 12:21 PM
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HHMMMM, were the hell did I put that dictionary.....
josh


copperhead


Jan 7, 2003, 1:24 PM
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Or garrulous...



milesdesbrie


Jan 7, 2003, 1:29 PM
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Well regarding newbies reading Pete's tips, I'd say "caveat emptor" just as I would for *any* technical information gleaned from the 'net. As for Pete's schtick, for some it's a feature, for some it's a bug. Mileage varies, obviously. C'est la vie.


Partner holdplease2


Jan 9, 2003, 12:52 AM
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I am really new to aiding and I must say that PTPP is the BEST thing that I have found in terms of a wealth of information.

Even though I can't use ALL of his systems, I have already learned quite a few cool things. Reading his posts teaches you how to THINK about things relative to aiding, not just telling you what to do.

Even though some may disagree with methods, etc., this simply adds perspective and variety and CHOICE.

I hope that everyone here realizes how much WORK goes into this website and how LUCKY we are to have it as a resource, whether we all agree with what we find on it or not.

I hope that over time we develop other users who TRY AS HARD and CARE AS MUCH as PTPP, and others mentioned in earlier posts.


socalclimber


Jan 9, 2003, 4:48 AM
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Well, I agree PTPP has been very generous with information. The reason some people are getting tweaked with him is his attitude. He has been ranting on about the Traditional Way being stupid. I for one do not agree. His tone strikes me as down right insulting. Especially when we have the likes of Ammon and Bryan around. Are these two people Big Wall Theorists? I don't think so.

I am very glad to have them around here to offer some different perspectives. Their reputations speak for themselves.

Robert


iamthewallress


Jan 9, 2003, 12:19 PM
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Let share our feelings and talk about our needs...I'm feeling warm and fuzzy already.

If you have ceased to make a tangle out of every fix/haul/belay/haulagain interchange, then maybe you can honestly know if you are in need of a better way for that chore. For example, if you weigh under 100 lbs and plan to spend quite a few days up yonder on your own, maybe a hauling ratchet makes more sense than 3 seperate flake-snagging hauls. If you can already move one free-hanging pig with a leg haul, then why fuss? If you've been up there, you'll know what you need. Different points of view are good for adressing all of our different needs.

If you have never placed a head but are seriously thinking about making your own, then you either have an esoteric garage hobby or a death wish. This would be an example of getting caught up in the details without having the basics. It's fine as long as you just look at your handy work in the garage and think about how it might work, but you really put your arse on the line if you trust your life to your new craft.

It's all good though. And it's all talk till you try it out or trust your life to it.

I'm glad that you all post and that your views are different. Appreciating that Bryan and Ammon have a different take than Pete, doesn't mean that I don't appreciate Pete's contribution too. Though I have to admit that I don't have enough RAM to make sense of some of the fine points of the BETTER WAY.

Melissa (Keepin' it simple, but open to suggestions...)

Kum-ba-yah, ma loooord....


karlbaba


Jan 9, 2003, 8:01 PM
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I appreciate Pete's funny style and positive contributions. Some of his posts, like 1:1 hauling tips, are definitive and applicable across the board. Load releasing knots for haul bags are also a great improvement.

On the other hand, some of the "better way" stuff is really a "better way for the right side of El Cap" than for walls in general.

You won't be burning your wallflower on top of Half Dome or Trango Tower. If everybody did so on top of El Cap it would be a major problem. Pete carries so much crap up the stone that he has to use charm in overdrive to get sherpas to carry loads. That might work for Lunar Eclipse but won't work on Watkins or Half Dome or Longs Peak.

I think the service he provides is great. Get all the ideas out there and sort em out in practice and theory. Pete would admit as much,it's just more fun to rank on BWTs and rant about stuff

Peace

Karl


addiroids


Jan 9, 2003, 10:27 PM
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Okay, so twrock said Pete's attitude is a little much. Well, that's him. Don't fault a guy for having a fvcking personality. There are too many lame assed people in this world and it is nice to have a little spice to a plain vanilla planet.

Secondly, Pete was criticized for saying that there is only one way, "The better way". Okay follow me here:

Pete is a salesman.

An insurance salesman.

An insurance salesman who does so well that he doesn't have to work much and go solo El Cap for 2 months out of the year.

By saying that there is only one way, he is selling his method. If there were another way that were as good in his mind, he would mention is because he believes in it. He sells to us (for free) what he believes in. We can take it or leave it, but it works for him.

Also, although most of this stuff is good for the steep sice of El Cap, the reason Pete doesn't climb on HD, Watkins, or the Diamond is because of the approach. You see, Pete is a lazy bastard who doesn't like to wake before 10am on a wall, doesn't like to carry his own gear, and is convincing or smart enough to get other people to hump loads in exchange for a little lesson in wall climbing. But he gets to have fun doing what he loves. Climbing walls.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


danl


Mar 3, 2003, 8:03 PM
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If you think he cops an attitude you guys take life way to seriously.

Anyway so what if he is cocky he's usually right that his way is a better way.

I mean look at the wealth of information contained within his posts. It makes JL and JM Big Wall book look like a leaflet.

This is stuff everyone needs to at least read and think about. And not just the RC.com community. All aid climbers should be aware that there is a better way. I wish one of the major mags would do more than just write a profile like "Gripped" but really spread the gospel with a colomn or something.

Even if people didn't agree at least people would be forced to think.


apollodorus


Mar 3, 2003, 8:51 PM
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PTPP is a character that Pete Zabrok invented for a purpose of amusing his audience while he explains rather dry technical concepts and systems. Anyone who rants and raves about PTPP "having an attitude" probably also thinks that Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and that guy from the Sopranos should all "be in jail because they're mobsters/murderers." Or maybe that Homer Simpson should go on a diet. Personally, I think the characters that Steven Seagal plays are fake, cheesy, sadistic and self-absorbed. But, I'm not going to write to the Editor of the Los Angeles Times about what a jerk "Mason Storm" is.

And that business about, "The Better Way" is a perfect example of Pete's art. The phrases, "A Better Way" and "The Best Way" make grammatical sense. The phrase, "The Better Way" does not. Like dissonance in music, it's not supposed to be right, it's supposed to grab your attention.

And guess what? It works.


bigdan


Mar 3, 2003, 9:28 PM
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hmmm... [In reply to]
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what's funny is that pete nevr needs to defend himself - you all do that for him!


kalcario


Mar 3, 2003, 9:57 PM
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* Anyone who rants and raves about PTPP "having an attitude" probably also thinks that Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and that guy from the Sopranos should all "be in jail because they're mobsters/murderers."*

Yeah but most people realize that Pacino, Pesci and Gandolfini are only pretending to be the psychotic characters they portray, whereas with ptpp you seem to be in the presence of the genuine article, or maybe he's just doing the Andy Kaufman thing where the joke carries over into real life? Either way he is quite believable, either an Oscar or a straightjacket would seem to be in order...


apollodorus


Mar 3, 2003, 10:52 PM
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Really? You think that when you were in the real, physical presence of Pete, you thought he acted the same way he writes the PTPP stuff? You must have caught him on a weird day.

I've done two walls with him, and I NEVER saw him go into character, ever. In fact, when he does his little mini Big Wall Tutorial thing for people, in person, it's completely different from the PTPP writing.


kalcario


Mar 3, 2003, 11:01 PM
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So it's all an act. Good. Glad to hear it.


dingus


Mar 4, 2003, 8:27 AM
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I just can't get over all the bold fonts and endless sentences. I have yet to finish reading one of his posts. About halfway through my eyes glaze over and I look up from my computer monitor and say outloud, "Anyway...".

In a medium dedicated to the written word excessive license with punctuation is distracting at best and annoying as hell.

But its cool that others seem to like it.

Cheers
DMT

(edited for boldness)


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 4, 2003, 9:08 AM
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Pete's technical info is second to few... He knows his sh*t !!!
(At least give me credit for the above compliment, before you tear me a new one for sharing my opinion below, as I am giving him credit where it is due.)

However, in my opinion and that of many others, the way it is packaged is to promote himself more than any "better way" in an attempt to gain his long wished for icon status. This is easily seen in any of his threads, including his "Index To Dr Piton's Stuff"...
http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=22175
...in which he boasts about how the Aid Forum is business only, and "choss free". Read the 10,000 word preamble, or should I say pre-ramble, and the text, it is chock full of the very stuff that he wants pruned, but only when posted by someone other than himself. Only room for one in the limelight ???

He links his pictures to the comments of other users' popular pictures. Again, only room for one in the limelight ???

He rants about keeping Private Messages private(check his index for the link), but view his Profile... What do you think the "quotes" are ??? Most are PMs sent to him by other users... What is the word for that ??? :roll:

Hell, he even keeps track of how many views his threads get, and makes sure we are all aware.

I have spoke to many who state his standard introduction is, "Hi, I'm Dr Piton from the Internet, or maybe you have heard of Pass The Pitons Pete."




Seems like he claimed to see the light in this thread over a year ago:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4561

But that light has dimmed, as nothing has changed.

(NOTE-If you are considering reading this thread, be sure to get comfortable. But if you are experieneced in reading through PTPPs posts, you will have no problem.)


ubotch


Mar 4, 2003, 10:21 AM
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Well, as rrradam says, Pete knows what he is talking about. Thats why I'm glad he is around. I can definetely understand why some people are annoyed with the way Pete writes. It does sometimes sound arrogant. Maybe he is arrogant, personally I don't know, nor do i really care because when I read his posts I am entertained and educated. Of course I think that everyone needs to keep in mind that his way works for him but may not be the best way for everyone else, but I'm glad for his input.


iamthewallress


Mar 4, 2003, 10:44 AM
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I want to start an "Ask Dr. Gumby" section, or perhaps a "Pass the Cheater Stick Melissa" section where I expound upon all of the ways that over-complicating your system will leave you competely hosed.

Edit: If you saw the previous version, Pete apologyzed for the comment. Jose was his friend too.

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