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Everything posted by pope

  1. Sport vs Trad

    Henry Barber's ideals seem strange or even amusing to you. But tell me, when Henry coiled his rope and went home, what did he leave behind at the cliff that imposed those beliefs on you? That's right, nothing. You're free to decide whether cams and leg loops are aid or legitimate. But that's my point. So....can you say the same for Alan Watts?
  2. Sport vs Trad

    is this for real? if the great majority of climbers are okay with it, then it's okay. the fact that you feel it is an "imposition" on your experience is your deal, no one else's. your feelings are your responsibility. that's the way it works in the world. the rest of us aren't responsible for making your experience better. if the rest of the climbing community is okay with bolted routes then the fact that you consider it an "imposition" is something you need to come to terms with on your own. What we're talking about here is a shared natural resource. Key word here is "natural". Implicit in the idea of a shared natural resource is that generations of users will best enjoy, appreciate and respect the medium if and only if it is enjoyed in its natural state. Modifications to the natural state should be limited, carefully considered and implemented only when necessary for a broad range of users to gain access. Now take (what has become) a shit-hole like Vantage. Trails of bolts have been drilled on 50-foot pillars, on virtually every edge, face and corner. Ample climbing enjoyment can be derived via top-roping these routes, providing a thrill, a risk and an adventure similar to (or perhaps better than) clipping the bolts. The bolts aren't necessary. They are permanent modifications which do create an imposition to users who find them obnoxious (as do the crowds of color-coordinated sport climbers who are so fond of clipping bolts). And it doesn't matter that you and 45 of your best friends think the bolts are wonderful, you have wrecked what once was a unique natural resource. Which is a shame when one considers that the experience you desire can be found in a climbing gym or on the pinnacle next to the coffee shop at REI.
  3. Sport vs Trad

    Interesting observation, which in no way explains my objections to sport climbing since I started climbing shortly after the arrival of sport climbing, and since I have routinely welcomed new ideas and technologies, to the extent that they improve my experience but to not impact the experience of others. Rap bolting leaves a metalic trail of trash, creating an imposition on my experience. Using leg loops obviously does not.
  4. Watts Talks

    Grades. Big numbers. That's the bottom line. I get the impression proponents of sport climbing believe rock climbing is not a valid activity unless pioneers at the cutting edge are advancing the standards. Rap bolting advocates back in the 80's defended their activities by suggesting sport climbing was necessary for advancing free climbing standards. In reality, standards had increased through the previous decades and continued to increase through the 70's and early 80's. Not just YDS grades, but ethical and stylistic standards. Suddendly, in the mid 80's, perhaps motivated by fear that European climbers might be putting up bigger numbers, a minority of American climbers who fancied themselves as visionaries (one wrote a "manifesto"; another recently coined himself a rebel...just read the ACW interview), chose rap bolting and an entire arsenal of dubious tactics in order to push the envelope. The result? A few 5.13 climbs established in a way that removed all risk, adventure and commitment. Hardly a significant advancement when hard 5.12 climbs were being established on the lead in good style. Actually, the final result....25 years later....is an entirely new way of thinking about bolting. Rap bolting is currently practiced by anybody who can afford a Bosch and slide down a rope, and not just for establishing cutting-edge climbs, but basically anywhere and everywhere by just about everybody. Grid bolting, bolts on climbs which could be easily top-roped, bolts next to cracks too wide or too narrow for lazy climbers to protect with gear, crowds, social trails, chipping, glue, garbage. Basically, rap bolting equals unrestrained bolting. For Mr. Watts to suggest that this doesn't impact traditional climbing is nonsense. Here in Washington we've seen rap bolting on top-rope problems, well-established bold leads, in wilderness areas. And the younger climbers don't question it because they don't know another way, because they grew up with it. Sport climbing has an ugly side (as described above), especially to those who enjoy climbing as a wilderness experience. All of this was completely predicted by those who attempted to dissuade climbers like Mr. Watts, who I think should assume responsibility for where rock climbing has gone in the last 25 years. There's no doubt that Watts and others influenced this revolution (just read the interview if you believe otherwise); shouldn't he be credited with positive AND negative impacts? Just askin'. Grades. Big numbers. That's why rap bolting is necessary. And those numbers are so important, definitely worth the bolt trails, the stylistic devolution, the crowds, etc. From the 1960s through the mid 1980s, grades increased through 5.10, 5.11 and 5.12. Nearly 30 years later, and with dubious tactics, grades have increased through 5.13 and 5.14. For those who give a shit (I don't), hasn't sport climbing retarded this progression? Finally, I present a logical paradox for rap bolting enthusiasts. Is/was sport climbing (defined by rap bolting and poor style) necessary for increasing grades/standards? If the answer is no, then why tolerate all its impacts? If the answer is yes, then aren't the new sport climbing grades hollow victories, since they can only be achieved by allowing softer rules?
  5. Watts Talks

    But they have something in common. YOU can only experience them vicariously.
  6. Watts Talks

    I'm sure I'd like him too. Seems like a nice guy who means well. And I do give him credit for promoting the "sport scene" in the U.S., which is characterized by an insignificant increase in standards at the cost of a casual attitude to the application of bolts, an enormous decrease in the importance of style and adventure. Climbing used to mean ascending. It no longer does. Climbers used to attempt new ascents with minimal impact. They no longer give a shit. The fact is, nice people occasionally make poor choices with enormous impact. That's how I'd summarize Alan's contribution.
  7. Watts Talks

    Thanks for nothing Mr. Watts.
  8. we suck

    "...when the sun's right, you can actually see some chains from the road (barely) and the glint of metal hangers here and there." Pathetic.
  9. we suck

    Been a few years. They needed somebody in the building and asked me. With no football experience, I came to enjoy both the game and coaching and worked ten years before I knew it. Best job I ever had. I guess it could fly. Seems kind of boring to watch, but I can imagine kids getting hooked on it....I sure did. That's a part of climbing, no doubt. Especially in a gym or at the UW. Out at the cliffs it always feels more like mountaineering to me, where I'm less concerned about what the next party is doing and more into the beauty and challenge of climbing a given route. Everybody gets something different out of it and that's the way it should be. I can't help believing that an obsession with competition is what ultimately persuaded American rock climbers to embrace rap bolting.
  10. we suck

    We're still worried about whether some dork on that side of the pond can hangdog a 5.13 sooner than we. Meanwhile, we're still wrecking our cliffs with grid bolting and other dubious practices, all in the name of catching up with the Euros. We all just need to go climbing more.
  11. Don't Flash and Drive

    accidents are FUNNY!!! what the hell. Sometimes it ain't an accident. [video:youtube]
  12. Coffee!

    Here's where it's at: 'tis the season
  13. Don't Flash and Drive

    LMFAO! Nice find Fairweather.
  14. all the things being equal...

    Squamish is always there, right next door, available even for a weekend. With that much time, consider driving to City of Rocks for some high-altitude rock work. Then you're just a few hours from Jackson Hole. A trip up "The Big Tit" by any route can be rewarding. From there go out to Colorado (I never completed that segment of the trip because my parnter became distracted by a female which basically ended the trip).
  15. [TR] L-town - Classic Crack- Leavenworth 10/14/2009

    Say there little shaver, that event is still making you moist? Then learn to count. The correct number is four. Glory days well they'll pass you by Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye Glory days, glory days Quotin' from the troubadour of low-rent Americana.
  16. [TR] L-town - Classic Crack- Leavenworth 10/14/2009

    The one on the left is only 5.8 but is skeery to solo. Right, Pete H. Save that one for Pete Croft.
  17. My Book is FINALLY Published, Yay!

    Just send me a copy and I'll offer an honest opinion. If my review is favorable, you can use my name for promotional purposes.
  18. [TR] L-town - Classic Crack- Leavenworth 10/14/2009

    Say there little shaver, that event is still making you moist? Then learn to count. The correct number is four.
  19. My Book is FINALLY Published, Yay!

    Looks pretty good. Probably have to snag a copy so I can get up Chair Peak without biv gear. But seriously, why did you include info on bolting? Some kind of sales-boost strategy?
  20. Climbing Sucks!

    Too bad you couldn't post this in the new Mountain Bike Forum.
  21. Props to Fairweather for dreaming up excellent adventures in MRNP, and many thanks to him, his bro and Dwayner for sharing high times in a spectacular wilderness. Reflecting on our adventures, documented in these pristine photos, I'm pleased that Fairweather neglected to include images of the exhibitionist hiker babe.
  22. Who got a buck?

    Three days of hiking with a rifle and trackin' sign. But no buck luck in the White River GMU.
  23. You guys are stupid. This is where you wanna go in winter:
  24. Attn Pope

    Back to the future predicted by Pope and Dwayner. When this catches on with the kids, it will be interesting to hear the protests from grumpy old sport climbers on this site, with guys like Lucky and Kimmo organizing the reactionary response. Really classy for the guy to remove his own bolts. Let's hope that catches on too.