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rocknroll


Nov 28, 2004, 9:04 AM
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"No one will carry gear into the Gorge" trad sport
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"No one will ever carry trad gear into the Owens Gorge"

These were the words of the Owens River Gorge guidebook author to justify the bolting of cracks in the Gorge. As one of the original developers of the Gorge, my climbing ethics evolved from ground-up place-a-bolt only-where-necessary to on-rapppel grid bolting. It took a while to be swayed. On one route, More Than Just Mild, I used a couple of pieces between bolts. But the guidebook author fails to mention this; instead he derides it as another example of a sportclimb with built in run-outs. (Pathetic defense - No, it wasn't rehersed, it was ground up with Mr. B by my side - you want to add bolts and make it safe? go ahead. What ever is best for the area).

But bolting of cracks? Perfectly cleaved hands-sized beauties? Is this a local ethic that is acceptable? Yeah I'll clip 'em, but putting in the gear is part of the fun.

Perhaps there is a formula. If less than 50% of the climb is protectable by natural gear, bolt it. That could even be more than 50% if the gear is manky or wouldn't hold a large fall factor. Conversely, if it has a beautiful parallel-sided crack for less than 50% of the route, think about it before you drill. (Schmaltz - Alabama Hills -20% crack) The exception might be any crack you can't get your finger tips in and any crack larger than fist size. But, blanket "bolt everything" statements about an area that is predominantly a sport area doesn't work. Each climb is unique and should be treated as such. But you should also consider what climbing opportunities are offered in the immediate vincity

Now that I think about it, the same could be said for bolted run-outs. If you are not taking up prime real estate (no other clean sustained faces in the area) with your High Plains Whipper (a bolted run-out route I put up at Wild Iris) than why not give those weenies who don't know how to place gear a thrill. Your choice of line should be something that has easier sections between the run-outs and not another Bachar-Yerrian. But most of all it should have classic, well-bolted routes nearby to give the masses what they need.

The Bachar Yerrian now fits that formula. Steve Schneider made sure that there was enough classic, well-protected sport climbs near by on Medilicott. And not only to just make new sport climbs, but to make sure some ding-a-ling wouldn't retro bolt that historic route.


andy_reagan


Nov 28, 2004, 3:23 PM
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Personally I love the fact that here in NC we have a good many routes that require 1-2 peices of protection to supplement the bolts. I think there is a place for everything, except bolting a crack that can easily be protected with gear. There are usually so many faces that can't be, why not leave some purely trad, or mixed. There is something very fun about a mixed route. It feels very sportish, obviously, but you still get the trad flavor without having to haul up a huge rack. I say leave em mixed!


boltdude


Nov 28, 2004, 4:15 PM
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Interesting - disconnected - what's your point?

Tons of people bring trad gear to Owens, Marty has never been right on that call. Lots of the "old" face routes at Owens involve gear placement. New routes are still being done that aren't bolted. And the fact is that if you're a 5.9 leader with very good trad skills, you can double the number of available routes in the Gorge by bringing trad gear. Lots of quality crack lines at the Dihedrals and elsewhere.

OK - then let's see - Shipoopi's routes on Medlicott were done partly so no one would retro the B-Y? Kinda sounds like a stretch to me. My bet is that he just wanted to put up killer new routes.

And as far as this statement:
In reply to:
to make sure some ding-a-ling wouldn't retro bolt that historic route
OK, kind of weird sentiment considering that retrobolting has been going on at Alabama Hills, right? Or is retrobolting OK if the route is not historic? The intro to your guide says that the FAs of the new sport routes have NOT been retrobolting - even though that's exactly what happened on several routes there (even explicitly stated in your guide for the 5.7 on Tall Wall). And on your A.Hills website the Hoodgie N Face route - with one 1/4" bolt that fell out - you said that someone should make it into a sport climb. I replaced the missing bolt with a good one, and it makes a fine heady lead. By the way, that website is great, a bunch of the Southern Sierra Climbers Association folks and other friends of mine are wondering if you'll get it back up and running anytime soon?

I see no need to go retrobolting, even if the routes aren't "historic." I'd rather see that 5.7 on the Tall Wall with its original 3 bolts instead of the 9 it has now, since you could still have the 5.8 on the right and you could TR the 5.7 if you weren't into leading it. Besides, the (retro)bolting job on the 5.7 is crappy, and it's a bit of sandbag, so if anything now there's a higher chance of someone getting hurt on it.

In reply to:
But most of all it should have classic, well-bolted routes nearby to give the masses what they need.
OK, that's a weird sentiment, it sounds elitist and condescending at the same time. You have all these "hard-core" folks quivering when they are 5 feet above a bolt on a 5.12 (with nothing to hit if they fall), and then they decry the "over-bolted" 5.8 routes with bolts 20 or 30 feet apart (with tons to hit if you fall). But the condescending elite should "give the masses what they need" for what reason (in their train of thought)? Perhaps to sell more guidebooks?

Anyway, Mike, I'm just playing the devil's advocate here - what exactly is your point?


Partner j_ung


Nov 28, 2004, 4:21 PM
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In reply to:
Personally I love the fact that here in NC we have a good many routes that require 1-2 peices of protection to supplement the bolts. I think there is a place for everything, except bolting a crack that can easily be protected with gear. There are usually so many faces that can't be, why not leave some purely trad, or mixed. There is something very fun about a mixed route. It feels very sportish, obviously, but you still get the trad flavor without having to haul up a huge rack. I say leave em mixed!

Applause!

:D


rocknroll


Nov 28, 2004, 6:15 PM
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Basically, my point is this:

I saw a post from a little while ago on bolting in sport climbing areas and well, it had so many posts, I knew I'd never be heard. But look greg, you wrote a novel in reply!

Seriously, it seemed that in those posts there is a lot of gray area when it comes to bolting next to adequate protection, I tried to offer a formula to go by (percentage of crack or placements vs. percentage of bolts). I have heard the argument for bolting everything ("No one will carry gear in the Gorge") and I think it is wrong.

The Owens Gorge guidebook author's statement has rang loudly in my head as he literally (and I mean literally) trashed me for creating routes with gear placements or a little run-out on easy terrain. Maybe a bit of a personal sore spot, but I still maintain a little traditionalist soul in the routes i put up. Sport climbing doesn't have to be homogenized. Variety is the spice of life.

Quote:
"But the condescending elite should "give the masses what they need" for what reason (in their train of thought)? Perhaps to sell more guidebooks?

My view isn't elitist or condescending; quite the opposite. Give people a taste of everything. I put up routes for two reasons: 1) because I love discovery and exploration and 2) so that others may enjoy what I have experienced (sans the discovery and exploration part!). No ego "look at me tough guy", or "get your name in the guidebook " or even to sell more guidebooks. I still got a thousand books in my garage, want a couple? Selling a single guidebook is not really a business. I wrote the guidebook for reason number 2.

But creating climbs is a responsibility and the climbing community still hasn't comes to terms with what is appropriate. When I swing to the "who cares, bolt it" side or the opposite, runout "make the moves lad, do you want to live forever?" side, I do consider what is appropriate for the area, the local ethic, and look at the climbs around me and see what kind of experience they offer. The Gorge Guide author chose to swing so far to the sportclimbing side that he was absolved of any sins like bolting cracks. But have you ever done Flailsafe or Pumping The Slots? Thank the gods that there are no bolts on those routes. Of course people are going to carry gear in the Gorge.

Quote:
Or is retrobolting OK if the route is not historic?

Retro bolting is only OK if the bolts are bad (put them in the same place) or you have permission to add more bolts from the first ascentionist. The only route that I have retro-bolted is the first pitch of Ghostrider/Wonderwall. I got permission from the first acensionist. I may have bolted some lines that I didn't know had been climbed or had been soloed in the Alabamas, but I still don't know which ones they are. I rapped the Tall Wall and discovered the three bolts on it and walked away. Raliegh Collins did the dirty work on that and Marty Hornick's route on Alabama dome.

A case in point: Whitney Portal. Superb rock, but wandering run-out hand-dilled 5/16th buttonhead death routes. Those cliffs would serve the public excellently if those routes were straighter and well-bolted. No one climbs there. A lot of wasted real estate. But I'm not going to retro bolt them. That decision is up to Darrel Hensel, Kevin Powell, Gary Slate, Erret Allen, et al.

Quote:
OK - then let's see - Shipoopi's routes on Medlicott were done partly so no one would retro the B-Y? Kinda sounds like a stretch to me. My bet is that he just wanted to put up killer new routes.

Yes the Bachar Yerrian statement was a stretch, but I could see Shipoopi coming up with something like that. And it's true. You got killer sport climbs and a death route. Take your pick.

Quote:
Anyway, Mike, I'm just playing the devil's advocate here - what exactly is your point?


My point is before you drill, know the local ethics, take into consideration the climbs around you, and create something you'll be proud of and not slandered for. I think that grid bolting, retro-bolting and bolting cracks is not the only option. I get bored in the Gorge. I gotta get up into the mountains![


jbak


Nov 29, 2004, 10:50 AM
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In reply to:
"No one will ever carry trad gear into the Owens Gorge"

Perhaps there is a formula. If less than 50% of the climb is protectable by natural gear, bolt it.

Obviously a true formula will never be found. It's a judgement call and that's why there will always be debate. Part of the judgement depends upon the nature of the routes in the vicinity of the given route. If a 40% natural pro route is surrounded by trad stuff, then keep it natural. If it's surrounded by sport, and I mean pretty much exclusively sport, then drill. Done conservatively, that sounds about right to me.


cgailey


Nov 29, 2004, 11:06 AM
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However you look at it, when you bolt where gear can be placed, it is a travesty. Hatcher's pass is a great "Sprad" climbing area, and is that way because of the lack of continuous crack systems. You often find bolts somewhere on a climb, but never near protectable cracks (at least that I've seen). I just don't see the logic behind bolting near cracks, regardless of the flavor of the routes around it. Buy the gear and know how to use it, or stay at the sport crags (or on the sport routes). :x


asandh


Nov 29, 2004, 11:16 AM
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:idea:


boltdude


Nov 29, 2004, 11:21 AM
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Cool Mike, sounds like I'm on the same page with you. Respect the local ethics. Glad to hear it wasn't you retroing at the Hills (if you accidentally retro'd someone's solo that they never told anyone about, not exactly your fault - I did that to a friend of mine, and he has an open-ended offer from me to chop it if he ever feels like it should go - he currently thinks it might as well stay).

Think I've done something like 50-70 trad routes at the Gorge, and about half of the 15 or so routes I've put up there were trad (and still are). Pumping the Slots is in the top 10 of my favorite Owens routes.

Hopefully, people will respect the FA and not ever start adding bolts to trad routes at Owens - so far, so good.


slablizard


Nov 29, 2004, 11:35 AM
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well hold on a sec.

If it's a trad area you guys want everybody to respect "trad" ethics, and makes absolutely sense.
Now you're saying that you want "trad" ethics even in a recognized sport area? Why? As a sport climber I would love to be able to climb a crack in a sport area without having to buy a trad rack...After all if you're a trad climber in a sport area you should not be surprised to find bolts on a route, independently from the type of climb.

I don't want to stir the BTD topic of bolted cracks, but it's like being surprised of seeing some nude in a porn movie...You can't be surprised by bolts in Owens, it's a sport crag!


loren


Nov 29, 2004, 11:38 AM
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In reply to:
if it has a beautiful parallel-sided crack for less than 50% of the route, think about it before you drill. The exception might be any crack you can't get your finger tips in and any crack larger than fist size. .

So you think that all off-widths should be bolted? Does no one else think this would be a horrible precedence? Why am I the only one offended by this?!

If a crack takes gear, especially good gear, it shouldn't be bolted! Just because you don't like placing #5's or big bro's, or don't like climbing thin, dicey cracks, doesn't mean that you should bolt them. Find something that you can climb safely and come back to that crack when you are ready for it. There are plenty of cracks that I never would have considered attempting on lead a couple of years ago but now feel very comfortable leading on gear. Don't bring the route down to your level. Rather, try to push yourself up to the requirements of the routes that you want to climb.


asandh


Nov 29, 2004, 11:43 AM
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:idea:


salami


Nov 29, 2004, 12:42 PM
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"You can't be surprised by bolts in Owens, it's a sport crag!"

it was not origionally....... it was a crappy trad crag, My biggest gripe is that some of the climbs in the guidebook say you need gear, while others do not.

As far as a "sport climber" wanting to climb a crack either stay in a gym (most have cracks), Buy some gear, (if you want to climb sport you have to buy draws, if you want to climb crack then you have to buy the gear. bottom line is my f-ing cams don't fit into your bolts, so keep your chicken s-it draws out of the cracks), or you could grovel to the nearest trad god and beg of them to take you climbing on something taller than 40ft...........

My deal is that I don't think of Sport Climbing as climbing all you are doing is making the moves you have rehearsed time and time again, I have started a petition to change the name to Rock Gymnastics, climbs will no longer be called climbs, they will be called Crag Exercises.

So have a banana and grab you nuts sport monkeys, cause once you go crack you never go back* *(except when there is nothing to do, and you are really really really bored, and no one is watching, and you have gotten permission from your mom)


dingus


Nov 29, 2004, 12:54 PM
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In reply to:
If it's a trad area you guys want everybody to respect "trad" ethics, and makes absolutely sense.
Now you're saying that you want "trad" ethics even in a recognized sport area? Why?

That's not what I just read. They both essentially said 'respect local ethics.' And both said that local ethics as applied in the Gorge have resulted in a mix of trad and sport. Continuing respect for local Gorge ethics would seem to suggest that retrobolting those trad cracks is bad juju.

Are you saying Slablizard, that trad climbs that 'have the misfortune' of existing at a sport crag SHOULD BE retrobolted?

DMT


slablizard


Nov 29, 2004, 1:15 PM
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Not at all.
All I'm saying is that I would not be surprised to find bolts in a sport climbing area, far near or around cracks.
I've seen that around the world and I wasn't that shocked. But hey I see that people around here takes matters a bit too much personally. I don't . It's just climbing after all. Right?

Apologies if I touched the hard-core-heart of some trad climbers around here. Wasn't my intention.

Let me go back try that 12c one more time now, I have to get it, after all I'm just a sport monkey.




In reply to:
Are you saying Slablizard, that trad climbs that 'have the misfortune' of existing at a sport crag SHOULD BE retrobolted?

DMT


salami


Nov 29, 2004, 3:48 PM
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The only reason IMO that bolts are tolerated is because sometimes when they are put up right (ground up and prowd) they are less of an eyesore than mining out a pod in the rock to place a cam. A question for those out there that have bolted a crack. did you do it on lead or did you rap bolt it?????? props to the guide books that state weither a climb is ground up or sissy rap bolted.


Partner coldclimb


Nov 29, 2004, 3:55 PM
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In reply to:
However you look at it, when you bolt where gear can be placed, it is a travesty. Hatcher's pass is a great "Sprad" climbing area, and is that way because of the lack of continuous crack systems. You often find bolts somewhere on a climb, but never near protectable cracks (at least that I've seen). I just don't see the logic behind bolting near cracks, regardless of the flavor of the routes around it. Buy the gear and know how to use it, or stay at the sport crags (or on the sport routes). :x

Word. I have no problem at all with bolts, or sport routes, but when bolts are used where good trad placements are easily found, that is wrong. If there's no other protection to be found, then bolts should be used, but if there is, they should not, except one or two at anchors, just to make things easy and bomber.

I love the Hatchers mixed routes. They show that the hardmen who developed them had the same idea on ethics that I do.

Editted to prevent misunderstanding. :)


caughtinside


Nov 29, 2004, 4:01 PM
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In reply to:
sometimes when they are put up right (ground up and prowd) they are less of an eyesore than mining out a pod in the rock to place a cam.

Sounds like you know what you're talking about there, tough guy.

Trad god? Bwah ha ha!


boltdude


Nov 29, 2004, 4:17 PM
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Hey slablizard, we're saying respect the FA. Owens is not just a "sport area" - even aside from crack routes, some of the "fully bolted" face climbs (no trad gear options) are pretty "sporty" for a modern sport area (i.e. "runout").

Around half of all the routes at Owens were done ground-up, often on less-than-perfect quality rock. I've broken off some huge stuff on FAs there, and on one 2-pitch route I would have creamed my belayer if I'd touched a huge balanced flake (that he later pulled off with one finger!).

Anyway, the local ethic at Owens is basically to allow the FA to bolt a crack if they want, and not chop it - likewise, to allow the FA to use all trad gear and not retrobolt it. Still, we're generally not talking about perfect cracks in bomber rock.

Besides, I don't know of any major area that is 100% trad or sport, and even Yosemite Valley has a few bolted cracks for convenience (eg Great Escape - multipitch 5.11 sport route - has bolts next to a good finger crack).


slablizard


Nov 29, 2004, 4:23 PM
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Sure, I missunderstud then. I was referring at other areas ( outside of the US ) where you can also find bolted cracks and you can climb it (or not) without triggering a civil war.

Who puts up the route decides and ( again ) outside US I never heard of bolt chopping ( besides some extreme examples )

Bolt chopping is stupid.


In reply to:
Hey slablizard, we're saying respect the FA. Owens is not just a "sport area" - even aside from crack routes, some of the "fully bolted" face climbs (no trad gear options) are pretty "sporty" for a modern sport area (i.e. "runout").

Around half of all the routes at Owens were done ground-up, often on less-than-perfect quality rock. I've broken off some huge stuff on FAs there, and on one 2-pitch route I would have creamed my belayer if I'd touched a huge balanced flake (that he later pulled off with one finger!).

Anyway, the local ethic at Owens is basically to allow the FA to bolt a crack if they want, and not chop it - likewise, to allow the FA to use all trad gear and not retrobolt it. Still, we're generally not talking about perfect cracks in bomber rock.

Besides, I don't know of any major area that is 100% trad or sport, and even Yosemite Valley has a few bolted cracks for convenience (eg Great Escape - multipitch 5.11 sport route - has bolts next to a good finger crack).


caughtinside


Nov 29, 2004, 4:31 PM
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In reply to:
Routes could be grid bolted for all I care.

It's incomprehensible to me that you can think this, and also think that one silly cam placement is different.

I'm not saying that they are mutually exclusive, but it just doesn't make sense. A 50' ladder of bolts 5 feet apart to 15 feet of crack, unbolted? There's a stupid route for you.

As usual, it depends.


Partner coldclimb


Nov 29, 2004, 4:34 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Routes could be grid bolted for all I care.

It's incomprehensible to me that you can think this, and also think that one silly cam placement is different.

I'm not saying that they are mutually exclusive, but it just doesn't make sense. A 50' ladder of bolts 5 feet apart to 15 feet of crack, unbolted? There's a stupid route for you.

As usual, it depends.

True, I guess I should have phrased that differently. It does depend. If, for instance, there were several straight up face routes next to each other with no opporunity for trad placements, I would not mind that they were all bolted. Personally, I don't like bolts that close together (five feet), but that's the FA's prerogative. Sorry for the misunderstanding, I see how easily my post could be misread. I think I'll go edit it to make it more clear. :)


Partner wormly81


Nov 29, 2004, 5:23 PM
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In reply to:
(if you want to climb sport you have to buy draws, if you want to climb crack then you have to buy the gear. bottom line is my f-ing cams don't fit into your bolts, so keep your chicken s-it draws out of the cracks)

I cant think of a weaker argument to make. What does buying gear have to do with the decision to bolt around good placements.

In reply to:
sometimes when they are put up right (ground up and prowd) they are less of an eyesore than mining out a pod in the rock to place a cam.

I was wrong. You've outdone yourself. This is the weakest argument.

Jeff


salami


Nov 29, 2004, 7:52 PM
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Re: "No one will carry gear into the Gorge" trad s [In reply to]
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Trad god? Bwah ha ha!

I never said it was me..... dumba$$
bring it on sportmonkey..... I've got a #5 cam with your name on it. :twisted:


salami


Nov 29, 2004, 7:57 PM
Post #25 of 26 (5956 views)
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Registered: May 1, 2003
Posts: 128

Re: "No one will carry gear into the Gorge" trad s [In reply to]
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Are you high????? you make no sense..... obviously the ethics of rock climbing have been lost to nintendo playing sport monkeys.....

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(if you want to climb sport you have to buy draws, if you want to climb crack then you have to buy the gear. bottom line is my f-ing cams don't fit into your bolts, so keep your chicken s-it draws out of the cracks)

I cant think of a weaker argument to make. What does buying gear have to do with the decision to bolt around good placements.

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sometimes when they are put up right (ground up and prowd) they are less of an eyesore than mining out a pod in the rock to place a cam.

I was wrong. You've outdone yourself. This is the weakest argument.

Jeff

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