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fishbait


Mar 26, 2002, 2:32 PM
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Based on the "Placing Gear On Rappel" discussion, I'm curious... For those who oppose rap-bolting and support a ground-up-only style, why? I mean, it seems arbitrary to me to hold the first ascent party to such a higher standard than every other person that will ever do the route. Don't ground-up routes usually end up being poorly bolted and dangerous? And if you can hang from hooks while drilling than what's the point of ground-up anyway? Doesn't it then become an aid route if you drilled a bolt hanging from hooks? I don't really want to hear that, "those are the ethics for such and such crag" either. Why do YOU believe that ground-up is the way to go?


crackaddict


Mar 26, 2002, 3:01 PM
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I have more respect for someone that put a route up from the ground up. Because it is a bold style and not just anyone can do or is willing to do it. Plus there is more adventure involved instead of it being a manufactured route. I climb both. And I have put a couple of routes up in both styles. It sure does take alot more commitment to do it from the ground up. Read the book camp 4 by Steve Roper some time. Its a good read and will give you some insight of why Royal Robbins chose this style over seige. And why it is a more respected style.
Thats all I have to say at this time.


joemor


Mar 26, 2002, 3:04 PM
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sometimes it has to be that way, multi pitch, no anchors above/ no top access ect, but i do see where you are comming from,



joe


gripped


Mar 26, 2002, 3:25 PM
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Quote:For those who oppose rap-bolting and support a ground-up-only style, why? I mean, it seems arbitrary to me to hold the first ascent party to such a higher standard than every other person that will ever do the route. Don't ground-up routes usually end up being poorly bolted and dangerous?

1) Any bolted route can be poorly bolted and dangerous. The experience of the bolter has the most to do with the quality of the bolt placements and the quality of the "clipping" positions.

2) A first ascensionist who puts up a route ground up will (we hope) add bolts where necessary.

3) Ground up is a bold style.

4) As has been noted previously, sometimes it just isn't practical to rap-bolt.


radistrad


Mar 26, 2002, 3:45 PM
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You know it really depends on the area you are climbing.
I know its not the topic, but never bolt a crack when natural gear can be placed, this is bad any where.

If you were to rap bolt a line in Yosemite, the locals will chop it as quick as you put it up, they have high standards. Almost all of the climbs in Yosemite went ground up. This poses other problem for the less experienced climbers. The 5.12 leader will probably run out a whole ptich of 5.7, where if a 5.9 leader put up a 5.7 it will probably be reasonably protected. The idea is if you cant handle what pro is there, you dont belong on that climb until you have the proper experience.

In a sport climbing area it may be the norm to rap bolt and that is totally cool. Lots of sport climber work the rout and they place their gear closely, this makes it safe for every one, not just the elite.

To go and add bolts to a climb is considered bad, and the typical thing to do is try and conctact the person who did the FA, talk to him. If you go and just add bolts, some local, weather it the guy who did the FA or just a motivated local will probably pull the bolts.

This is a touch subject, climber A does not care about the rock and thrashes it, fillin it full on permenant holes. Climber B respects the rock, places only the necessary bolts, cleans his trash, etc.

I hope my useless spray help.


beyond_gravity


Mar 26, 2002, 6:32 PM
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Theres a climb here called Wicked Gravity, and the first bolt is like 20 feet up, I want to add another lower bolt but I have no clue who made the FA cuz it's been there for like 15 years! Bah Humbug.

Bolt On,
Jeremy


joemor


Mar 26, 2002, 7:46 PM
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can u place pro before the first bolt?


milesdesbrie


Mar 26, 2002, 8:39 PM
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So having the first bolt 20 feet off the deck is an integral part of that route. Assess the objective dangers, along with your climbing ability, and then choose either to climb it as it is or come back when you're equal to the challenge.


jmlangford


Mar 26, 2002, 9:37 PM
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  Let me get this straight...Most climbing areas are public. Hypothetically speaking now-there is a great 5.7 climb at a public area. The FA'er is a 5.12+ climber and climbs the 5.7 route with the bare minimum of bolts-essentially giving it an R/X rating. The 5.7 expert comes along, wanting to enjoy the climb, and he can't because he doesn't want to kill himself? The 5.12 climber essentially making the climb off-limits for those of lesser skill? Doesn't seem fair to me. Why doesn't the 5.12 climber just skip the bolts he doesn't want to use? Just curious?


fishbait


Mar 26, 2002, 9:41 PM
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When I began climbing, we climbed with a famous, older climber who had put up a route in the Needles of South Dakota. The route was done ground-up, is 5.11X, has a single bolt in 70ft, and has seen only a couple repeat ascents in over 30 years. It’s a beautiful face on a fantastic pinnacle of rock and meets all of the most stringent ground-up ethical standards. It was even done without the aid of hooks.

I can climb 5.11 and well enough beyond (sorry about the spray) , but I will never do this route due to the extreme danger involved. Many climbers I know will not attempt it either for the same reasons. From what I can understand, many ground-up gurus feel as though this route is a huge success and something to be savored by only those skilled enough to pull it off (only 3 or 4 in 30 years).

I feel as though this route is a complete failure and that the climbing community is far too easy with those that make first ascents. It seems common today to assume that anyone interested in repeating the route must now live up to the ridiculous requirements set fourth by the first ascent party. Why don’t we require the first ascentionists to have the skill to put up a route that others would want to do, something that a reasonable climber might find acceptable? I’m not suggesting over bolting or anything, but if you’re looking at a first ascent and only think you might be able to squeak in 1 or 2 bolts than maybe you’re not ready. Perhaps the route should remain untouched until someone with the skill and determination to put forward a full effort puts up a route that everyone wants to do. That, I think, would be a successful first ascent.

Anyone with a bit and hammer can place a bolt, but few who do understand the responsibility involved. If you think that ground-up is the way to go than do it right and put up a great route. If you’re only good enough to create an R/X route and want to seal the fate of a cliff with a worthless single bolt, than leave it to someone better, they’ll come along eventually.

Peace!
Matt


addiroids


Mar 26, 2002, 9:51 PM
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Sure, death routes are not the greatest for us fledgling 5.9 leaders, but they are the exeption not the rule. FA'ists will get a bad reputation if they just solo everything under their level and take out all the great lines because they got there first. Most FA'ists do reasonably protect things. And it is done ground up, from stances or hooks.

Sure, I don't live in france or anywhere else in Europe where rap bolting is the norm and respected, but rap bolting is totally foolish. You get the "first descent" of the climb by doing that. You therefore climb on outside rock as you would in the gym, forcing routes to go where they don't naturally go. The exception to this is if you worked the route on TR and found the good clipping stances, and bolted it there, but if you can TR it, don't bolt it.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


milesdesbrie


Mar 26, 2002, 10:23 PM
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jmlangford: which would you rather do, develop your skills to the level of a climb you'd like to do, or bring the climb down to your level by adding bolts? Which would give the greater sense of accomplishment?

My feeling, one that's shared by virtually all of the experienced trad climbers I know, is that a first ascent is like creating a piece of art, where the artist's hand is evident through such things as protection and/or runouts. To add bolts after a route is established is like spray painting graffiti over the original work.

I really don't care how the first ascensionist puts up a route. I respect ground up more than the others because that's my bias, I think boldness and dealing with danger is a big part of climbing. But regardless of how the route was set...ground up, on rap, or whatever...it should remain unmolested.

And just because a route is rated 5.7 doesn't mean that every 5.7 climber can climb it. Runouts up the ante. You in?

My $.02


maculated


Mar 26, 2002, 10:36 PM
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I concur. I was at Mt. Diablo this weekend (in the Bay Area of CA) and there are three overprotected .10 & .11 climbs. I am talking a bolt every 5 feet, if that, on top ropable routes.

Basically, this makes this route accessible to ANYONE to lead, because there's little-to-no risk involved, you fall a max of 10 feet. On a route like that, when you have the option of TR, there's NO excuse for placing 10 bolts on a 50 foot route.

Bolts DO mar a rock. Not having the judgement or skill to place them well is a major problem. Rapping down to place is just forcing a route and certainly not taking into consideration good bolt placement (before a difficult move or crux, for example, or just in keeping with the math of leader falls).

Feh!


apollodorus


Mar 26, 2002, 10:38 PM
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The reason they're called trad routes is that they're done in traditional fashion. Rock climbing evolved as a separate branch of mountaineering, which requires a ground-up style. It is also considered better style to do a climb from the ground up, rather than rap bolt it. For the same reason, power drills and unnecessary bolting is seen as bad form.


jmlangford


Mar 26, 2002, 10:45 PM
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Miles...I like your way of explaining this...the "Art" angle. Kind of makes sense when put that way. Maculated made some good points about overprotected routes too-I've seen that too. Let me ask you this, if I see a good sport route that I don't feel comfortable leading...would I be violating the spirit of the FAer if I top rope it?


milesdesbrie


Mar 26, 2002, 11:01 PM
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Gawd, I hope not. I'm going to be toproping a Jim Bridwell route in the Valley on Thursday and I wouldn't want to piss off the Bird.


saltspringer


Mar 26, 2002, 11:23 PM
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ground-up ascents represent a climbing ideal that is not realistic or possible for all climbers to achieve so it would seem that by bolting a route in an outrageously dangerous fashion the FA'er is acting irresponsibly for their own glorification. A route that only sees 3-4 ascents in 30 years is a route that wasn't necessarily well thought out: one bolt in 70 feet cannot really be considered anything more than psychological protection so why bother placing it in the first place? There comes a point where bolts are mere decorations and provide little or no real protection on a route. If the FA'ist needed to wait for a good stance to place the bolt then that infers an inability to find safe ground earlier which would, in turn, infer climbing unprotected across the most difficult part of a route. Hmmm, does that sound sensible? Does that sound as though the FA'ist was concerned about safety or just getting to the top? Bear in mind, once you place a single bolt on a route whether it's on rappel or on lead, you're admitting that the route needs protecting (other than gear) to be climbed safely so that once that bolt is in you've made a concious decision to artificially protect the climb with a permanent anchor. So, why one bolt in 70 feet? How can that possibly be justified other than the fact that it took a hell of a lot of time and effort to place the bolt in days gone by...one bolt=taking responsibility for safeguarding a climb so that any FA'ist that leaves up a poorly protected route is really not doing the climbing community any favours, they're just indulging their own egos to leave behind a route that only the elite few, or stupid few, will choose to try.


jmlangford


Mar 26, 2002, 11:33 PM
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    Thank you Salt...for saying what I didn't have the gonads to say in the first place! I must be getting soft! I'm glad I waited-you said it WAAAAY better than I could have.


pbjosh


Mar 26, 2002, 11:51 PM
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To the people upset about runout routes they can't climb - that's total bullshit. The vast majority of ground up bolted routes are decently protected. Either grow balls, get better (preferably both), or shut up about climbing routes that you're scared to climb.

Don't deny that you want to climb harder, that you push yourself, that you chase numbers - every climber (myself definitely included) does. The pursuit of difficulty is a huge part of this sport. Difficulty is not defined by a number grade. Difficulty is not just endurance and crimp strength or ability to read the rock. Difficulty is the ability to remain calm under pressure, to deal with inadequate protection and climb confidently, to deal with less than ideal conditions.

In a first ascent, placing all protection on lead (including drilling if necessary), onsight is a greater challenge than rap bolting. Some people have the vision to see challenge in doing things a different way than finding the easiest way to do the thing with the highest number in the guideboook.

Look at wall climbing - people put up A5 horror shows with sincere death fall potential as a testament to their skill in climbing cooly and under control and keeping it together. It could be bolted but who really wants to climb 35 pitches of bolt ladders to get up El Cap. Look at ice routes where people lead, onsight, the hardest pitches of their lives with s--- for pro. It's more than a tick, it can be a life altering experience. You don't read about people dying on A5 walls or putting up the hardest ice climbs in the world - these people are masters of their sports and they're climbing things that they can. If you can't repeat Scorched Earth or Gulf Stream or the Reticent Wall, or Sea of Vapours or M16 or the like, then don't add bolts so that you can. Climb the Nose or Lurking Fear or a classic WI3 that's within your ability.

Sport climbing and the gym-bred environment of overbolting and wanting to climb safely and flail and risk falling on stuff that's over your head are fine in sport venues, but just as sport climbers have their sport climbing crags there are trad climbing areas where trad ethics are the way things are. Sport climbing focuses on pushing the difficulty of the moves and athletic nature of the sport. Trad climbing focuses on more, it includes pushing the mental challenge, seeking the greatest aesthetic objectives, and on doing things in the best style possible.

..josh


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 27, 2002, 3:00 AM
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One word...

Courage !!!
noun - The quality or state of mind or spirit enabling one to face danger or hardship with confidence and resolution. (syn: BRAVERY)

This was something that was required to climb years ago, as it was a major part of the Ethic used to climb and establish routes. Similar to a "Warrior's Code of Honor".




rrrADAM

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-03-27 03:09 ]


kelownaclimber


Mar 27, 2002, 6:33 AM
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hmmmmm....lots of opinions here.It's not surprising since there are so many styles of climbing.Let me throw my 2 cents in here too.
First off Adam I'm impressed,considering you and I have had some good debates regarding toprope!!(just kiddin)
There are plenty of people out there still putting routes up in a very traditional style which is great!!!We need those kind of routes,there is nothing like climbing a scary runout and possibly deadly route to get your head in the game.In my experience though there are too many people trying to cross this over into sport climbing.One of our local climbers has set some of these routes...let me explain a little.Here's an example,He set a route called Dr.Dave...10d I think next to 3 other sport climbs.He thought it would be great to run it out a bit,no problem you say,however the way he spaced the bolts exposed you to ground fall potential for the first 45ft. of the route.Now considering that he RAP bolted it you would think that he would have made the route a little safer for those trying to onsight at that level.There are plenty of other good scary trad routes at this crag and a couple of sport routes with some healthy runouts(which are safe rounouts mind you cuz your not gonna hit anything)but in his mind it made him more of a "hardman".Personally I think it just made him a bad routesetter,as there was no reason other than his ego to create this dangerous "sport" route.After recieving much flak for it he finally made the climb safe for others to do as well by re-bolting it.Bottom line you owe it to others to set a route in the style which that route dictates,if it is a sport area and you are setting a 10a DON'T make it dangerous for others,there is a fine line between spacing bolts enough to keep peoples heads in the game and creating dangerous routes.If however it is an area that dictates that death defying style then PLEASE DO NOT place bolts every 5ft.,some of us are not scared of a lil air.Setting routes is not an easy task,as you can never please everyone however you must think of the majority of the community as it isn't YOUR rock.Okay I've rambled enough here!!
Cheers,
Mike

P.S. if you can ground up is by far the BEST style you could set a route in,but if you are gonna rap bolt please clean the loose rock and make a SAFE climb.That would mean no ground fall potential 40ft. up a 5.8.Big air on harder climbs is good though....keeps you on your toes and shittin your pants

[ This Message was edited by: kelownaclimber on 2002-03-27 06:39 ]


jmlangford


Mar 27, 2002, 8:27 AM
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Geez pbjosh...you didn't have to resort to namecalling These are all honest opinions that deserve to be heard...Adam...at what point does COURAGE become STUPIDITY?


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 27, 2002, 8:40 AM
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When one is climbing beyond their abilities.

Isn't it funny how some people's balls get a lot larger when climbing with low risk ??? Do you think their skills get better with low risk ???

Nope... They just have more courage when the risks are low. If the risks are high, they have no less ability, only less courage.


This can be seen in people who "free solo". If someone has a climb so wired, they can RP it effortlessly, why can they not do the climb unroped ??? Free soloists have so much confidence in their abilities that the perceived risk to them is low. Climbers with less confidence in their abilities perceive more risk, even if their abilities match those that free climb.




rrrADAM

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-03-27 09:00 ]


jackmguirk


Mar 27, 2002, 9:14 AM
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This topic poses another question, Why does everything have to be safe? Personally i like getting scared, i remember routes if i get scared on them, after doing sport routes i never remember them, its just climbing, clip and go with no thought. Personally i prefer routes with a little danger. Climbing is a dangerous activity, to take that away is, in my opinion wrong just because some newbie climber wants everything to be safe so that they can lead it. if you have bolts every 5 feet you might as well be toproping.
If all routes were safe climbing would not be what it is, and everyone would do it. Respect first ascenionists and when you have to the balls to do it in the style they did, then go do it, until then stay sport climbing, were you are safe.
jay


theamish


Mar 27, 2002, 9:42 AM
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Jody ....
COURAGE is when you survive
STUPIDITY is when you don't.

If you're going to emulate most of the classic FA's get those sticky rubber soles off your feet and whip out the boots, oh and don't forget to take your saw with you if you climb Devil's Tower's FA so you can cut your own protection.

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