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ricardol


Jul 16, 2004, 11:37 AM
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Clean aid climbing ..
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i did a search in the forums, but couldn't find a post regarding where people draw the line on clean aid ..

i realize that people have differign opinions .. but i was curious ..

.. where is the line in clean vs. non-clean aid ..

.. the part where i'm curious is when it comes to placing heads? -- is replacing a dead-head considered nailing? -- (i feel this is the grey area in clean climbing -- since some routes will only go clean if a certain number of heads are already fixed) ..

.. what about peckers? -- i'm guessing as long as you didn't tap them in with a hammer, it would still be clean climbing ..

-- ricardo


atg200


Jul 16, 2004, 11:43 AM
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i consider replacing a dead head nailing. but i also don't consider a fixed head a clean placement - i consider it a hammerless placement.

handplaced pins and beaks are clean climbing. fixed pins and beaks are hammerless climbing.

the only fixed pieces i consider to be part of a clean ascent are bolts or fixed pieces for penduluming.

but its all just semantics really. fun to argue about over a beer, but it doesn't make much difference in real life.


Partner coylec


Jul 16, 2004, 11:48 PM
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I think atg's got it -- its a fuzzy line.

i disagree in that there can be fixed pieces in a "clean" climb .. its just the difference between C3 and C3F.

If your on a route that is a "clean" route because of fixed gear, and you are replacing the fixed gear, you're doing the same thing as changing out bad bolts for good. you are repeating the climb in the manner in which it should be climbed, merely doing maintainence work as well.

handplaced pieces are clean ... its basically a hook move.

those are my thoughts, though they aren't worth the power that put them on your screen.

coylec


tedc


Jul 19, 2004, 2:18 PM
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Clean = the hammer never comes out of the haulbag (or better yet, off the ground).


megableem


Jul 19, 2004, 2:45 PM
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I agree with Ted, climbing cleanly means not using a hammer. You say you need to replace fixed gear? Well that just means you can't climb the route cleanly in its present condition. That's all. Realizing that the amount of fixed gear and other factors change on a route over time, one fixed-gear-clipping clean ascent will not be the same feat as another. So claiming a clean ascent where you clip (nevermind add/replace) fixed gear has a nebulous meaning. And since most routes include fixed gear, pin scars, bolts, and other modifications, indisputedly pure clean ascents are rare to non-existant.

So don't worry yourself over it. Just climb the route as cleanly as you can for your own enjoyment and sense of accomplishment as well as to help preserve the route for others.


texplorer


Jul 23, 2004, 9:43 AM
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diddo with Ted,

No hammer = clean


yosemite


Jul 26, 2004, 5:52 PM
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Not that it matters,

but if I funk out a nut, am I no longer clean climbing?

Reset a fixed pin on an obscure route that hasn't been done in 10 years?
Clean or not?

IMO, it's all semantics and who really cares? Clean to me means not changing the rock.

YMMV


megableem


Jul 26, 2004, 6:17 PM
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.


Partner holdplease2


Jul 26, 2004, 6:38 PM
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I know of a particular climber who placed a beak with a hammer but still accepts credit for a clean ascent.

What of this?

Not that it matters tremendously, but its relevant to this discussion, at least.

Any with views on when to nail/drill/hole on FA, feel free to visit the Baffin Island thread.

-Kate.


ricardol


Jul 26, 2004, 9:29 PM
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the more i read and find out about clean climbing -- the more i realize that its a pretty imaginary concept .. (IMHO) ..

.. the idea of a hammerless ascent seems easier to define though ..

thanks for the points of view folks ..

-- ricardo


Partner holdplease2


Jul 26, 2004, 9:55 PM
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Maybe the idea is to "strive for as clean as possible" in situations where fixed gear is being used.

For example...if the route had 10 fixed pins and the average climber could get up just clipping these and using clean gear, then bravo. If someone (who maybe has less skill with clean gear) goes up and drives 9 more...then less clean and not so bravo.

Hammering on climbs with no fixed gear or maybe just one or two peices that normally go clean (like several in zion) is pretty much not cool.

So maybe the concept of "clean climbing" is a concept to push us toward less damage to the rock...trying to do better than the average climber might in terms of less damage to the rock.

-Kate.


ricardol


Jul 26, 2004, 11:51 PM
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i agree with you kate ..

-- ricardo


lambone


Jul 27, 2004, 9:23 AM
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I don't know....I think you reach a poiunt where the whole climb clean etic sort of loses water, like when the preservation of life ethic takes precedence.

let me put it into context....

Take the Black tower pitch on Zodiac for example. Yes it has gone clean many times, the difficulty varies depending on the presence of fixed gear.

This pas spring some poor bastard fell off this pitch and broke his pelvis on the ledge.

At what point is it not worth it to risk you health/life to say that you did it clean to impress your friends or boost your ego?

I drew the line on that pitch this summer. I was soloing, alone on the entire wall (yes, the only stuipd bastard on El Cap in 90 degree August heat, as far as I could tell)....climbing that pitch I evaluated my gear and fall potential very carefully and determined that if I did pop a piece I would definately hit the ledge. It didn't take long to convince myself that it was time for a solid pin, or two.

So whats my point...is the question I guess. I don't know, I guess that it is purely situational. the first time I climbed Zodiac we were total newbies and pulled it off hamerless no problem, the second time my experince told me that if I fell I was looking at a world of shit, not only endangering myself, but the poor bastards who would have to come up the wall in that heat to save my ass if I was severly hurt. At tht point wheteher the route goes 100% clean or not loses it's importnace, and I just do the best I can.


lambone


Jul 27, 2004, 9:26 AM
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I don't know....I think you reach a point where the whole climb clean ethic sort of loses water, like when the preservation of life ethic takes precedence.

let me put it into context....

Take the Black tower pitch on Zodiac for example. Yes, it has gone clean many times, the difficulty varies depending on the presence of fixed gear.

This past spring some poor bastard fell off this pitch and broke his pelvis on the ledge. Lucky for him his artner/girlfriend was capable of lowering him off the route.

At what point is it not worth it to risk you health/life to say that you did it clean to impress your friends or boost your ego?

I drew the line on that pitch this summer. I was soloing, alone on the entire wall (yes, the only stuipd bastard on El Cap in 90 degree August heat, as far as I could tell)....climbing that pitch I evaluated my gear and fall potential very carefully and determined that if I did pop a piece I would definately hit the ledge. It didn't take long to convince myself that it was time for a solid pin, or two.

So whats my point...is the question I guess? I don't know, I guess that the whole value of doing a route clean is purely situational. The first time I climbed Zodiac we were total newbies and pulled it off hamerless no problem...it was a "clip and go" fest...sport aiding, the second time it was like a different route because someone (Hubers) had gone through and scrubbed amost of the fixed gear (thankyou!)... my experince told me that if I fell I was looking at a world of shit, not only endangering myself, but the poor bastards who would have to come up the wall in that heat to save my ass if I was severly hurt. At tht point wheteher the route goes 100% clean or not loses it's importance, and I just do the best I can.


dingus


Jul 27, 2004, 9:32 AM
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In reply to:
the more i read and find out about clean climbing -- the more i realize that its a pretty imaginary concept .. (IMHO) ..

.. the idea of a hammerless ascent seems easier to define though ..

thanks for the points of view folks ..

-- ricardo

Like a prostitute that finds god and repents, it is most difficult to regain one's virginity.

Are there any truely clean aid wall routes in the Valley? No. They've all been hammered into submission. Subsequent clean ascents are valid, but certainly pretty insignificant in the scheme of aid climbing. Totally insignificant in current context, clean aid climbing is a misnomer.

Cleaner, Cleaner Aid Climbing.

You don't get your virginity back. And a pin scar is forever a pin scar. And how could a clean ascent make use of fixed pro? That is a leap of logic I am quite incapable of following!

But its not my world and it is not my perogitive to set the bar for everyone else. It is whatever you want it to be.

DMT


megableem


Jul 27, 2004, 10:22 AM
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Partner coylec


Jul 29, 2004, 12:04 PM
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This thread intrigues me, so I'm going to repost with some longer thoughts on the matter, incorporating quotes from the various participants thus far (if you think I am mischaracterizing your arguments, let me know).

In reply to:
but its all just semantics really. fun to argue about over a beer, but it doesn't make much difference in real life.

This discussion is just semantics, of course, but I would disagree in that it does have an impact in real life. How people relate to the idea of clean climbing and apply it within their climbing does have an impact.

In reply to:
clean aid climbing is a misnomer.

"Clean aid climbing" is definately a misnomer, especially if you interpret "clean" to mean not altering the rock in any way. However, I would argue that this interpretation is fallacious - this means that most if anot all ascents are not "clean". As per Dingus' arguments, you can't have a clean ascent with fixed pro, but isn't a bolt just another piece of fixed pro? It's fixed, right? It's protection, right? So, sport climbs aren't clean, multi-pitch trad climbs aren't clean (except those with only use gear anchors. If your route has rappel rings on it, it's not a clean ascent. So, if we evaluate "clean" in these terms, no climbing is clean. On a sidenote, this is an important fact to realize -- climbing, even when done in a manner in which you minimize your impact on the rock, you are still having an impact on the rock. However, this delineation says that regardless of whether you climb a pitch and clip a bolt (or any other piece of fixed pro) or you nail in 20 pitons, you haven't done the pitch clean.

I would go so far as to say that clean climbing is a misnomer as well. Placing nuts and cams also alter the rock (though not so radically as a piton). Check your nut placements -- there is going to be more "loose" material ... setting the nut causes friction between the metal and rock and the rock is scraped away and metal is deposited on the rock (scratches in your gear, eh?). When the standard is set this high, the term becomes meaningless and useless.

In reply to:
You don't get your virginity back. [..] And how could a clean ascent make use of fixed pro? That is a leap of logic I am quite incapable of following!

Now, no offense meant, but I think this is a dangerous proposition. Just because a line was climbing utilizing hammered aid, it does not mean that all subsequent lines must utilize hammered aid. In fact, my opinion is that doing these lines using as little hammered aid as possible is a better way of doing it. In fact, if you can repeat the climb without adding to the damage already done, your ascent has been clean, hasn't it? Prior ascents weren't clean (and future ascent may not be), but your ascent has been clean ... it has left no trace upon the rock (besides, of course, your sweat and blood, but those wash away fairly easily :) ). I must respectfully disagree that you can make clean ascent using fixed pro -- however, it is only your ascent that is clean.

This is why I believe that the aid rating system used by Supertopo and others is so useful. You have the traditional A0-A5 scale for hammered aid. You can have the C0-C5 scale for "clean" clean aid. Finally, you have the C0F-C5F scale for clean aid, but using fixed protection. Each of these rates should give you an idea as to what approach you should take to a pitch.

This leads to the idea of "clean" climbing not being a fixed concept, but rather a theory (insert favorite term here) of climbing. This is exactly what Kate(holdplease2) has suggested below.

In reply to:
Clean to me means not changing the rock.
In reply to:
It's clean as in not adding to the problem.
In reply to:
Maybe the idea is to "strive for as clean as possible" in situations where fixed gear is being used.

So maybe the concept of "clean climbing" is a concept to push us toward less damage to the rock...trying to do better than the average climber might in terms of less damage to the rock.

Ah! Now, we have something interesting. Clean climbing as an approach to the rock in which the climber strives to damage as little as possible. However, you accept the possiblity that it may be advantageous to use hammered aid. I use the term 'advantageous' loosely, in leui of terms such as necessary or prudient. In making the decision to climb clean, you must manage other factors. In some situations, using clean aid makes a pitch more difficult (and more dangerous in some situations) and you must come up with your own personal level of risk that you are willing to expose yourself to in order to climb clean. For example, the Black Tower pitch on Zodiac goes at C3RF or A2. That level will differ person to person.

In reply to:
I don't know....I think you reach a poiunt where the whole climb clean etic sort of loses water, like when the preservation of life ethic takes precedence.

Here comes the problem that faces all ethicists and like-minded thinkers: how to evaluate multiple ethics in relation to each other. I like to think that I am a very strong advocate of leave no trace methods, however, I can imagine circumstances where I would leave a trace (in fact, much more) if it was necessary to fulfill other ethical requirements (for example, I would have no problem leaving a campsite completely trashed if it were required to evacuate a person to safety). This same ethical dilemna applies to clean climbing as well.

When asking what clean climbing means, I think it becomes a question of personal style and ethics. That's why threads like this are important ... you develop your own ethical framework through interaction. This kind of interaction is particularly useful, especially if it leads one to think about what they would do in these situations, especially such as the situation that Matt (lambone) brings up. And, since you've reached the end of this diatribe, I leave you with a quote from Speed: "What do you do? What do you do?" Shooting the hostage isn't the right answer here.

coylec


lambone


Jul 29, 2004, 4:47 PM
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ok, you had something going there....until you quoted "Speed." Then you lost all credibility... :twisted:


ricardol


Jul 29, 2004, 11:40 PM
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coylec:

.. you proved what i stated at the top of this thread

"everyone has their own opinions on what clean climbing means"

... i tend to agree with dingus, and others that have stated that clean climbing (clean aid) is a misnomer .. and that clipping fixed gear is not clean climbing ... (thats just my thoughts on it) ..

.. i also dont consider bolts to be fixed gear ..

.. i think what dingus meant by saying that you can't get your virginity back, is that once a line has been hammered on, any ascent up that line, even one that does not use a hammer is sort of "tainted" by the hammer ... since you'll take advantage of larger placements due to previous hammering...

.. i agree with atg when he said that thinking about what IS clean climbing and what IS NOT clean climbing, is all a very philosophical and academic , but in the end it wont help you get up the stone.

.. at least thats what i got out of those posts.

-- ricardo


Partner coylec


Jul 30, 2004, 12:05 AM
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Ricardo - your definately right - everyone does have thier own opinion ... however, i was having a beer and figured i'd talk about it.

however, your statement that bolts aren't fixed gear intrigues me -- what do you consider bolts if not fixed gear. i ask only for my own edification.

by extension, does that make a bolt ladder preferable to a string of fixed pins, fixed heads or rivets (in relation to a 'clean climbing' ethic)?

coylec


megableem


Jul 30, 2004, 8:24 AM
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