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Should Pitons Be Allowed?
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beyond_gravity


Jan 5, 2002, 4:46 PM
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Should Pitons Be Allowed?
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quite often i hear a Ping Ping Ping sound echoing thoughout the valley. Do you think pitons should be baned? i know people hate aid Climbs who dont climb clean in yosemite. I'm just wondering how Aid Climbers view this issue. Do you think it's Selfish for people who free climb to hate aiders that dont climb cleen? or do you think it's Selfish for Aid climbs to hammer in pitons and scar the rock?

[ This Message was edited by: beyond_gravity on 2002-01-06 21:04 ]


paintinhaler


Jan 5, 2002, 4:56 PM
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Thats kinda the way it is with sport and trad climbers. I aways felt if you use pitons
they should be left up there. If you keep hammering them in it jest causes scarring in the rock. I have no problem with aid. I also really dont know where im going with this so, this is all I have to say about that.


saltspringer


Jan 5, 2002, 7:17 PM
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pitons don't always pop up on aid climbs: I've used them on free climbs for first ascents when I'm unsure what kind of pro I may get on a given line. It's a lot easier to carry a few pins than a bolt gun on a FA so they're more practical that way...after the FA we may go back and bolt a section that will only take pins or we just leave them fixed for future ascents. I'd rather not use them but sometimes they're the only practical option on a route


bigwalling


Jan 5, 2002, 8:14 PM
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Well many free routes started out as aid climbs. If it weren't for pin scaring you wouldn't be able to free some of those cracks. It's likely that some routes would never be free climbed if it wasn't for this. Then there's aid climbs that will likly never go free. The cracks are so darn thin that nothing else would fit in there. I don't think it's selfish at all. Except some routes should never be nailed because they except other types of gear easily. When people do that it really pisses me off. Those people shouln't be climbing routes like that there just to hammer happy. Also free routes that have mostly fixed pins instead of bolt are more bold. And if that crack won't except gear well it's foolish to bolt it. The problem with fixed pins in the area I climb at is people steal them. This as the act of a total loser who can't afford any pins. Hell I have hardly any money yet I still buy mine instead of stealing them. The act of stealing fixed pins also puts others in danger. Say you come up to an area were the topo says theres a fixed pin but the darn things not there. This can make the route a killer if you fall and theres something to hit. Now look what that person did that stole that pin. So there are some cracks that pins make the thing possible to climb and others where pins have no right.


saltspringer


Jan 5, 2002, 8:34 PM
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a "fixed pin" is usually there because it couldn't be removed, otherwise, the second would have removed it! Each team that subsequently does that climb bashes in a new pin and then the second removes it & I think that this is where most people have a problem with pins: the placement will only get bigger with each hammering/removal so why not put in a bolt? Hooking I can understand but repeated nailing on a route I can't quite fathom since it inevitably leads to a scar on the rock and the need to use bigger gear (like cams) so why not save all the trouble & call it a bolt ladder instead of being hypocritical and leaving a scar that only climbers can recognize for what it is...


bigwalling


Jan 5, 2002, 8:49 PM
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Yeh saltspringers right a true "fixed pin" is fixed. Yet over time they can loosen. Alot of people also use really old pitons also for fixing. Over time routes began to be climbed hammerless. This can still at times involve pins but that involves placing them without a hammer. Instead you had place them. Hammerless climbing is much better. It can also hold a challenge in it that can be hard in a different way. To make you climb cleaner use cam hooks, hybrid aliens, and offset nuts. If you have to use a pin it's still possible it can be hand placed. Beaks work well for hand placements for thin cracks. Sawed off are good for hand placing also if the climb already has beat out cracks.


wigglestick


Jan 6, 2002, 1:44 PM
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Beyond_Gravity-
I posted a similar question awhile back about whether or not pitons were even necessary with all the modern equipment available today. I got some very informative responses. If you look down a ways in this forum you will see it. Basically there are times when pitons are your only option for protecting a certain part of the climb. I don't know anybody who would bang in pitons on a free route, other than replacing a fixed pin which has blown. But in that case they would probably just place a bolt. But in general it is considered very bad form to bang in pitons on a free climb which has been climbed for years with clean gear. It is also bad form to place pitons and an aid route that has been climbed clean.


Partner rrrADAM


Jan 6, 2002, 5:24 PM
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There is a trend toward Clean Aid climbing to better protect the rock from scaring. As responsible climbers, we must all climb with techniques that allow for as little impact as possible.

The "Leave No Trace" ethic.


rrrADAM


andy_lemon


Jan 7, 2002, 10:30 AM
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You should have PM'ed Pass The Piton Pete about this one... LMAO


atg200


Jan 7, 2002, 11:26 AM
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pitons should certainly be allowed. most aid climbers are pretty good at exercising restraint, and only using pins when absolutely necessary. banning pins is a slippery slope-bolts, fixed slings, and access trails are next. don't believe me? when canyonlands nat'l park banned nailing, they also banned the use of any new fixed gear whatsoever-including rap anchors or even leaver webbing.

there will always be contention between different types of climbers. some aid climbers aren't any happier about free climbers leaving fixed ropes on an entire el cap route for months while trying to free climb new lines. whatever-to each his own.


passthepitonspete


Jan 10, 2002, 11:50 PM
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Like I'm back, eh? Another well written post, lads. Beauty, eh?

I have been fortunate in establishing a number of first free ascents of trad climbs here in Ontario. Some of them are quite bold because they contain not a single bolt. As far as I remember, any of the free climbs that I put up contain no pitons, either, though John and Steve used the very occasional pin from time to time.

If you climb one of my routes, you had better know what you are doing! Plastic Warriors need not apply.

My ethical standards are so high that I did refuse and indeed still refuse to bolt or nail a free climb here in Ontario - I would either grow a longer neck, or leave it for someone else with larger forearms and gonads than me.

Unfortunately, some punk with a bolt gun and balls the size of barleycorns will probably come along and drill the hell out of it first.

That being said, like the man who opposes capital punishment yet stands in the village square to watch the hanging, I have drilled bolts in caves to rig drops or to climb blank rock in order to discover, explore and survey new passage.

Many miles of recent discoveries in Roppel Cave came as a result of passage found above a climb I drilled in Christmas of '98, now known as Zabrok Pit, which I think is a really stupid name, incidentally. While it is true that these discoveries could have been made through later connections that avoided the need to climb Zabrok Pit, there is no telling when that may have occured.

But when it comes to climbing, believe me - they don't call me "Pass the Pitons" Pete for nothin'! I nail the livin' bejeepers out of El Cap, and let me assure you there is nothing as satisfying as a well-driven pin. There just ain't no feelin' quite so good as when you sink your steel right to the eye.

Is nailing selfish?

Emphatically YES!

Every time I nail a crack, I permanently alter the precious non-renewable resource which is the rock. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to climb A4, or even A5 when I'm feeling particularly suicidal, and I can hop in an airplane and be to my crag, El Cap, only 24 hours after walking out my front door.

Today.

But what about a hundred years from now?

Do you think there will still be A4 and A5 routes left on El Cap then?

If you think so, take a look at The Shield. This Charlie Porter horror show, where on the first ascent he placed 35 rurps in a row at one point (!), is now so beat out from so much traffic you can stick in 1" cams or even hand place sawed-offs. The Shield, once one of the hardest walls in the world, has now sunk to nothing more than a mere Trade Route.

Fortunately, there are still plenty of PDH and DFU routes left on El Cap to satisfy my morbid death wish.

Selfish bastard that I am, I plan to climb these routes while they're still hard enough to be fun!




I am Dr. Pee'd On

And while I may be a hypocrite, at least I'm a consistent one!



P.S. While it is my intent to continue climbing nailing routes, I attempt to do so as inobtrusively as possible, using clean aid whenever reasonably possible in order to preserve the rock.

But the determining factor of when I nail may be less of a function of the lack of availability of a clean option, and more of a function of the shrivel factor in my gonads at the time said choice occurs.

[Translation: I'm a chickensh*t. When I'm scared, I nail.]


joemor


Jan 11, 2002, 8:42 PM
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any thing that scars the rock dramatically (i say this as even our fingers remove traces of rock) should be banned


bigwalling


Jan 11, 2002, 9:49 PM
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If I understand you right what your saying is we should ban crack climbing. That is pathetic. If we did that we should just stop climbing. And anyone who climbs most likely isn't up for that. What kind of climbing do you do. Every type of climbing does do something to the rock. I don't think they should ban nailing at all. But it is very important that we do take care of the rock and clean climb as much as we possibly can.


apollodorus


Feb 18, 2002, 8:37 PM
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The only way to protect the rock is to ban biners, pitons, chocks, friends, runners, bolts and chalk. That way, there would only be about a dozen climbers.

Pitons are a tool, as was Maestri'a air drill. Tools need to be used responsibly. It is part of the climbing community's responsibility to itself to curb the hedonistic excesses of a rabid few.

Sure.

If I thought I could get away with it, I would haul water, cactus whiskey, gasoline and a generator (no food) and powerdrill my way into the Big Book: record speed ascent of a new route on El Capitan: a 100% bolt, bathook, rivet and dowel route right up the middle of the Dawn Wall (the route W.H. REALLY wanted to do...) No chocks. No pins. No hooks, heads or handjams. Probably take me less than 12 hours. Get Hilti to sponsor me.

But, no. That would offend some people who would rather leave blank expanses of unclimbable rock "virgin" for the future generations. I'd spoil the whole scene for everybody, because somebody hammering copperheads up a rotten seam might be tempted (when no one was looking...) to reach over and clip one of THOSE rivets (DOH!)

In the same way, pitons belong to the crazed few; both are feared and loathed by the craven masses. Not only are piton users generally Hard Men, capable of serious injury to even solid rock, but they often carry sharp hooking and piercing implements. When that is not enough, blunt trauma adds an enhancement.

Do I think pitons should be banned? No. Do I think that the indiscriminate use of them in the past damaged some fine cracks? Yes. Do I think that Lynn Hill or the Huber brothers would have EVER been able to free climb El Cap, if not for the hammered out slots? Not in a MILLION YEARS.

Do I think it's a really fun way to climb in areas that NO sport or free-only climber is going to be found.

Ya bet ya adze, I do.


cantwinifyoudontplay2003


Mar 5, 2003, 1:49 AM
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Try and stop us ! I would love to see that one. Hey Pete they are after me again " I just fixxxxxxxxxxxxxed another pin ! "


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