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spank_spank


Feb 1, 2002, 12:56 PM
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This is a serious question and I am not trying to be a dick. A couple of scenarios:

1. There is an established trad route and later on it get bolted. Is this OK? Knowing that other climbers who are not comfortable on trad would be able to enjoy the climb.

2. There is a line that can be protected by gear and there has been no FA. A person bolts the route and gets the FA. Do you respect the wishes of the person who did the FA and leave the bolts in?

Thanks for the input. I am not a trad climber by any means (I have done some in the past). But my answer for both is to respect the person who got the FA.


Partner camhead


Feb 1, 2002, 1:16 PM
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Hmmm...
I'll venture into this thread although, I'm sure it will piss some people off.
In response to #1, I'm sure most of us would agree that the FA should be respected.

Her's the deal with #2: If it is a naturally protectable climb that has not yet seen an ascent, chances are that it is in a pretty isolated, hard to get to area. I only say this because this is almost ALWAYS the case, at least where I am from. That said, if it is not in an area that is already established as a sport climbing place, YOU SHOULD NOT BOLT IT. If you are defacing virgin (possibly wilderness) rock, you should have MUCHOS scruples. It does not matter if you are the first ascentionist or not.

I say this as both an avid sport and trad climber.


Partner artm


Feb 1, 2002, 1:21 PM
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Taken from Alan Bartlett's introduction to his Joshua Tree guidebooks.

"ABOUT LOCAL ETHICS"
This is always a tough section to write in part because you run the risk of offending somebody, in part because ethics tend to change as time goes on. Basically Joshua Tree remains one of the last strongholds of 'traditional-style' climbing in America. In other words, tactics that have become commonplace in other areas are still considered taboo here. Usually (but not always) ethics relate to the means in which first ascents are accomplished and often concern the use of bolts.
1.)bolts should never be added to an established route
2.)bolts should only be placed on the Lead, never on Rappel. While this is common, even preferred in other areas, it is very much frowned upon here, and J-tree locals have a long history of removing bolts placed in this manner.
3.)bolts should never be placed when a natural piece of protection will suffice.
4.)chipping/chiseling of holds is one of the worst sins a climber can commit, and is probably illegal under Park Service regulations.


beyond_gravity


Feb 2, 2002, 3:48 PM
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As a Sport and Trad climber, I have nothing against a line thats been bolted. To tell the truth, i like it, seeing a sporto taking multi whippers, then going up and onsighting it on gear, it's kinnda funny really. Bolts give me a good scence of "chicken" too, and lets me push my limits more, knowing if I get too tired, i can just clip into the bolts. I have my respect, though. I'm not going to bolt a trad line, just so I can sport it. But there are plently of unclimbed walls here in the canadain rockies, so i'm ok if there's a few bolted trad climbs...I perfer to go out, and make a first accent.


bubbala


Feb 2, 2002, 3:57 PM
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It's very important to remember that what you do to the rock can't be redone. Using a bolt, or a piton for that matter, will change the rock forever. Holes can and are plugged, but it will never be the same.

If in doubt, don't bolt. Remember, if you just have to do a partcular route, you can place the gear on rappel and then climb it. There's a million bolted routes anyway, so I don't know why someone would be obsessed with one.

Brian


socialclimber


Feb 4, 2002, 3:51 AM
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  I think Sport and trad are very different animals with different ethics. My personal ethics for trad are:
>If it can be done naturally, it shouldn't be bolted.
>If a climber wants to do a trad line in the best possible style it should be an on-sight first ascent and if a bolt is required, it should be placed on ascent.
For sport:
>It is definatly not ok to retro bolt an established route unless you were the FA or you have the explist approval of the FA. By the same token, bolts shouldn't be removed if they were a sport first ascent unless they are unsafe.
>I have no problem with rap bolting at sport crags.


climber1


Feb 4, 2002, 1:01 PM
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as artm mentioned, a line that can be protected with natural gear, should NOT be bolted.


spank_spank


Feb 5, 2002, 5:31 AM
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I understand it SHOULD NOT be bolted. But if it is, do you respect the person who did the FA and leave the bolts in. Let both trad and sportclimbers be able to climb the route?


bubbala


Feb 7, 2002, 5:41 PM
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Some places won't let climbers bolt anymore because some younger sport climbers went nuts with a Bulldog. You need to be careful.

Joshua Tree has been on the brink of having all its bolts chopped by the Park Service because of this. Outdoor areas don't really like climbers in the first place because most of us are dirtbags who don't spend money. All they need to see is people drilling holes and putting bright shinny bolts all over their rock.

Also, most trad climbers do it because it does get a little hairy. Nothing like a 40' runnout! If you go by the thinking that sport clibers should be able to bolt it just because, you ruin it for trad climbers who value solitude and natural settings more than numbers and flash ascents. For a real purist, it's sort of like carving stairs into the rock (which has been done.)

Brian


beta


Feb 7, 2002, 5:57 PM
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Hmmmmmm....

1. No, Pipe it.

2. No, Pipe it.

Climb high, Swing hard.

beta


atg200


Feb 7, 2002, 7:29 PM
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beta is the man!

1. if a route is retrolbolted, this is easy. chop it.

2. if the route is easily protected by trad gear, chop it. just because it is a sport area is no excuse. north table mountain in colorado disgusts the hell out of me because of all the bomber trad gear right next to so many bolts. being a "sport area" is no excuse. routes should be done in the best style possible.

the only exception to 2 is possibly death routes in sport areas. in trad areas, most runout routes are historic and the rare few should be allowed to exist as monuments. in sport areas, bolts should be chopped next to good gear. however, also at sport areas, bolts chopped when good gear is not possible is nothing but ego, so those bolts should stay in. i hate bolted trad placements, but I don't mind sport climbing. just exercise some judgement.

chop chop


crackaddict


Feb 13, 2002, 5:02 PM
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I climb sport and trad and to me bolting a crack falls into the same category as chiping, glueing, drilling pockets, etc.
It's all ethics and it all sucks! Me personally don't respect this wussy act. And if anyone tried to retrobolt a crack that I made a FA on I would take those bolts and shove them up their *$$#@%#. Why would they even make clean gear for cracks if everyone bolts them? As a first asscentionist you have the right to do it how you want to. And I can respect that. But all this overbolting is going to bite us in the butt one day. There are some places in Northern AZ that have strong ethics against bolting on cracks. Guess what, nobody misses them. Ron Kauk can climb Magic Line 5.14 crack without bolts. I think he proves they are not needed and sets the standard. I think that bolting a crack only proves that you were not ready to make the first ascent. Get it wired on TR then lead it. Don't fall into this lame habbit.

[ This Message was edited by: crackaddict on 2002-02-13 17:09 ]


pirateclimber


Feb 13, 2002, 5:36 PM
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This makes sense to me:
If it can be climbed and protected cleanly then do so, if it can be climbed but not protected cleanly bolts are OK, if it can't be climbed then leave it alone.

There are routes I can't do in the honorable form of trad yet but maybe could if there were bolts. That tells me I need to be a better climber, not that I need to alter the climb to suit my suck.


fo_d


Feb 13, 2002, 5:41 PM
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1.) No.

2.) No, but I would never personally remove the bolts but I wouldnt blame whoever did. I'm not a big trad person (yet) but there is no excuse for bolting a protectable route, maybe maybe maybe in a sport crag but I'm not so sure i agree with that either.

Les


gunked


Feb 13, 2002, 7:32 PM
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I also believe that putting a bolt next to a crack is the equivalent of chipping or gluing a hold on a route. I firmly believe that bolts are there for "unprotectable" sections of rock in areas where the local athics allow. In areas that aren't currently "established", PLEASE use your best judgment when doing a first ascent.

My personal ethics will allow me to place a bolt on a traditional line only when it's a do or die situation and on lead. Serious fall or groundfall potential. Whenever one is altering rock (or any nature), it deserves the utmost care and respect in the decision on how to do so. Please, never take it lightly.

I do climb sport lines on occasion and, for the most part, am happy with what I've seen. Everybody has their own beliefs and therefore this issue will always lead to many varied opinions.

My final thought is this. Is it our intent to bring ourselves to the challenge of nature OR to bring nature's challenges down to our current level?


greatgarbanzo


Feb 13, 2002, 7:44 PM
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I DISAGREE WITH BOTH!!! TOTALLY!!!
if the line is bolted and it is FA the bolts should stay... if not TAKE THEM OUT!!!


spank_spank


Feb 15, 2002, 6:52 AM
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Good feedback. What do you think about mixed routes then? Part trad with some bolts are in place to protect parts that can't be with pro. Should bolts be placed or should you just nut up and move past the area until pro can be placed.

On my original question, I still think you must respect the person who did the FA, even if the line can be naturally protected. It may not be right, but it also not right to respect the person who did the FA by chopping bolts.

Personally I do not understand why trad climbers are so against bolts. You don't need to use them then don't.

I don't get pissed when a trad climber places pro on a sport route (which I have seen)


bubbala


Feb 21, 2002, 8:06 AM
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Trad climbers are really just climbers, and aren't against bolts. We're just against splapping bolts all over every piece of rock so that little kids can feel safe.

As for mixed routes, placing bolts between protection is common. Usually the bolts are in the spirit of the route and are done on the FA. I don't think many people have a problem with replacing those old nails and hangers cut out of tin cans for new 3/8"s, but the placement should be the same.

I personally hope I never see a line of bolts going up Astroman, because my head might explode.

Brian


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Feb 21, 2002, 11:07 AM
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#1... No, just as it would not be OK to bolt a high boulder problem just so someone not feeling "up to" high balling can be safe. If it's above one's ability, then one should not climb it, don't lower the rock to one's ability.

#2... Depends on the Area. i.e.#1 Cactus Cliffs in Shelf Road has many climbs that can be protected with Trad gear, and this Area is now open for climbing. Since it is a "Sport Area", it is OK to bolt them, even though I've already lead some there with Trad gear that haven't been bolted yet. i.e#2 The Gunks has several Trad routes still to be done that hard and runout, but since it is a Trad Area, bolting them is not OK.


~Adam


krustyklimber


Feb 24, 2002, 11:46 PM
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I think the FA should be respected regardless of that person's ethics, if it was illegal let them deal with the conseqeunces.

At my local crag, this very thing goes on all the time, I know of one route that has THREE SETS of chopped bolts (it's so UGLY!) next to the hangers and bolts which were finaly left up after the bolter and the chopper came to blows in the parking lot, the bolter was bigger and meaner.

I see it all as a respect issue, if one has no respect for other climber's visions or the rock maybe they should find another sport!

When bolting on rappel was first done people were horrified, look what visionaries those guys were!!! Imagine if someone had chopped REVELATIONS or JUST DO IT where would climbing be now?

If you don't want to clip the bolts on route DON'T, hell don't even use a rope if you don't want, but once a hole has been drilled it is a permanent feature of the rock and the bolt might as well be left, it somehow seem less insulting to the rock

Jeff

[ This Message was edited by: krustyklimber on 2002-02-24 23:52 ]


apollodorus


Feb 25, 2002, 12:46 AM
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Bolting on established routes is WAY HOMO!

Rapping to do a new line and bolting is generally OK, but your new line may be renamed the WAY HOMO LINE.

Extra bolts on a climb reduce the rating. C'mon, if a bolt was placed every eight feet up the hardest route in your area, would it still be hard? No.

Don't rebolt a climb (except for the belays).

Part of climbing is the adventure. Extra bolts kill this. You might as well strap an extention ladder to the face next to the crux, so the Gripped and Wussy guys can still do the route.



kolby


Mar 13, 2002, 12:13 PM
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Although I prefer trad climbing, I'm certainly not going to chop a bolt when I see it. Lets face it, the sport has evolved beyond trad climbing to where most climbers are sport climbers these days. To deny this is to deny reality. The FA party does not own the rock, it belongs to all climbers as public property. The theory of evolution points out that the majority usually rules.
-Kolby Jardine



Partner rrrADAM


Mar 14, 2002, 4:44 AM
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I think this is an appropriate analogy...

Bolting a climb that can be protected by traditional pro so a sport climber can climb it safely, is the same as bolting a high-ball boulder broblem so a sport climber can climb it safely.

The word safely, in this context, is synonomous with "confidently", as climbers inexperienced in trad are "scared" to climb far above traditional pro, just as a lot of people are scared to climb a high-ball, even though they may be capable of climbing that grade. Instead of admitting that they are "scared", they will say that it is "un-safe".


If you cannot climb it the way it has been done before you because you think it's "unsafe" (you're scared), then leave it alone. Do not bring the climb "down to your level", rise to the level of the climb.

Notice that there are no G, PG, R, or X ratings on sport climbs... This is because sport climbing is homogonized, as the only thing that changes is the difficulty. Where in Trad, there is difficulty and "commitment". Just because someone is unwilling to commit to the runout on a R rated climb, doesn't make it unsafe... It means that someone doesn't have the stones to climb it.


Don't get me wrong here, I sport climb, and at a much higher level than I lead Trad. But I enjoy the "chess game" that is Trad.




rrrADAM


theamish


Mar 14, 2002, 6:51 AM
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I'm sorry but that last anology was the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. As history evolves many safety measures take place which alter the way something was done in the first place, not because someone was scared, but to avoid needless injury.
So much rhetoric over what came first. The only thing constant in the universe is change.


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 14, 2002, 7:07 AM
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If you want to preach the safety thing, then be safe and top rope it. Otherwise, grow some stones and lead it the way the FA did.



rrrADAM

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