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Thank you, Peter. But you've got the wrong "pope". I've borrowed my name from Clement Pope, one of my favorite characters in THE EIGER SANCTION. I ain't never exorcixed no demon out of an Italian woman (I've been known to put a demon in an Italian woman, however).

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D. Cramer:

I won't argue with you that I may be an asshole, in fact I probably am worse than that. As for the other "assholes" that's between you and them.

I don't honestly see how you can call the argument behind our actions to be "bs". You may not have liked the posturing, as many people did not, but what do you expect from people of action? Nobody is perfect, ya know? What part of "retro-bolting doesn't meet the challenge, but lowers it" is confusing? What part of "established methods at particular crags should be respected" is confusing? Those were my arguments. Hell, you want to climb that grade and aren't up to the runout, go get on ROTC or go to Smith or Exit 38 or wherever. I'm not trying to engage you in a shit-slinging contest, just kind of wondering why I should give a flying f$%*^ about what someone who bolts cracks thinks(not implying you DC). So the guy climbs hard trad routes, bully for him, but to me, that only makes it that much more confusing why he would want to eliminate an area testpiece. I don't feel in my heart that bolts "destroying" the rock is much of a concern. Grid bolting destroying aesthetics is another thing altogether. If I said putting a bolt in is destroying the environment, I'd be a big damn hypocrite because I've placed belay bolts, driven pins on aid climbs, etc. My view is to respect the traditions of the area and the climb, period. If the FA says add a bolt, or bolt the whole thing, great maybe they couldn't stop to, or ran out of bolts, or placed a now questionable fixed piece. Calling us assholes because you disagree with us is not exactly conducive to a productive discourse. I thought my views were pretty clear, if they weren't they should be now.

[ 02-19-2002: Message edited by: willstrickland ]

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One point of clarification I do not necessarily agree everyone who is against bolting is an asshole. In the context of my discussion with my friend I was playing devil’s advocate and suggesting that even if my friend was right and they all were all assholes their opinion still mattered. Sorry for the confusion. Alas, my associate was not the well respected climber of DDD fame. BTW I think that a survey wasn’t even needed for DDD it was simply a bad idea.

Pope: “but what bolting advocates are doing goes beyond discussion: “Does that mean you do not deign to even engage the other side in a discussion? I hope not. I never said I find the bitching about bolts annoying what I find annoying is that we make it a conflict. You appear to not even want to engage the otherside. I must admit however that I would be more engaged in the debate if I felt you were making an honest effort to persuade me or help others to empathize with your viewpoint. I would hazard that both you and your buddy Dwayner could be pretty persuasive if you chose.

As for my brilliant discourse let me start off by saying that climbing is such a broad category of activities that the goals and aspirations of some practitioners may be unrecognizable to those at other end of the spectrum. For example, for years the AAC refused to publish non-summit rock climbs because they weren’t considered “real” mountains. To expect all climbers to believe in and value the same things is not reasonable. Are those who see sport crags as just another “ski area” wrong? The real trick is to bring these disparate views together or at least expose them to the “other side.”


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Hey Mr. Pope:

Different topic - same thread. As I've said before I am with you when you with respect to keeping additional bolts off of existing routes and away from cracks, and limiting their use as much as possible in wilderness areas and strongholds of traditional climbing.

I've often heard you mention how upsetting it is to find new/additional bolts on routes in these areas and have wondered just how widespread this problem really is in areas where you climb. I've heard of a route or two that's been retrobolted out in the Platte and although I'm far from an authority on the matter or the area, as I can recall the bolts were removed in fairly short order and no one was especially upset or surprised when this happened. Most folks I climb with were in agreement with me when they concluded that the bolters should have known better - that sort of thing just doesn't fly out there. Hell - someone even chopped the freaking rap-anchors off of the first pitch of a popular climb at Turkey Rocks that virtually no one tops out on - 90% rap off after the first pitch, hence the rap anchors. Not something I'm a big fan of but hey - that's just the way things seem to work at Turkey so you either do without the fixed anchor or climb elsewhere.*

So anyway - an honest question - which wilderness routes/existing trad routes (other than DDD)have been bolted or retro-bolted lately and what has the response been? Are they still there? Have they been removed?

Just wondering...

*Side note - a few routes out there have rap anchors that consist of swaged, plastic-coated steel cables placed runner style around a big chockstone or horn, with chains and/or rap rings hung from the cables. Kind of a neat system as you can rap-off with out leaving gear or a cluster of slings behind, and establishing such an anchor does not involve placing bolts, which the local ethic seems to prohibit or at least strongly discourages. Might not work everywhere but seems like a functional compromise for that particular crag...

[ 02-19-2002: Message edited by: JayB ]

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Can't really respond to your question JayB at least with regard to wildness retrobolting but as far as non wilderness rock routes there has been some of what I consider over the top retro bolting. Especially at some somewhat popular TR locations. Some of these have been removed and some haven't. Overall I do not think it is that big of a problem

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That some climbers see a crag in the same way that they see a ski area, as you point out, is probably pretty close to reality, I'm sorry to say. Ultimately, the bolting practices at a particular cliff should probably be controlled by social norms, as you point out. Having said that, I feel it is important to try to sway the sentiments of climbers toward a more natural approach. It is difficult to convince others that the common practice of bolting is unaesthetic without being emotional about it. I am absolutely at fault for occasionally making absurd associations between sport climbers and the sexually confused. Yet every time I attempt to restrain myself from making such comparisons, I get this black-&-white image in my head of a guy shaving in the bath....

Believe it or not, a young man posted this morning to say that he'd given the bolting issue some thought, and that ideas elaborated on this bulletin board had caused him to become critical of bolt placements next to cracks in Boulder Canyon. If my words had anything to do with changing that guy's perspective, then it's been worth all of the abuse I get around here.

My comment that the actions of bolting advocates go beyond discussion should be interpreted literally: discussion is one thing, but when bolt advocates drill, or when bolt opponents chop, that is quite another thing.

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Originally posted by DCramer:

[QB]Can't really respond to your question JayB at least with regard to wildness retrobolting but as far as non-wilderness rock routes there has been some of what I consider over the top retro bolting. Especially at some somewhat popular TR locations. Some of these have been removed and some haven't. Overall I do not think it is that big of a problem. I think that TRs or those routes easily accessable for TRing think DDDare prime targets for such activity simply because of the ease of access. Since these routes are often so visible and have a tradition of not being bolted their "violation" becomes all the more noticeable.[QB]

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