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Bolting discussion.

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Wilderness power drillers are making the decisions for everyone. It is lopsided and short sighted and narrowly considered. Boaring a hole into solid granite is a radical decision. In many cases fine by me when done with hand tools and carefully placed but radical none the less.

Discuss.

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its not radical...not compared to sinking a well, or strip mining, or building a road or clear cutting half a mountain...

 

In fact its just a use of resources...

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There is no difference between a hole drilled with a power drill versus a hand drill. However, a wise insect once said, "power drills allow too much development too fast" whereas hand-placed bolts, due to the amount of work invested, "tend to be better thought out". Not verbatim.

 

Good points bug. thumbs_up.gif

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My definition of "radical" is not meant to imply "wrong". Democracy is radical historically speaking. Bolting is radical in that it is a permanent change.

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To answer a question (?) with a question.

 

Why does the choice of tool affect your decision?

 

I totally agree with the "carefully placed" part, but don't quite get why power drill makes it evil.

 

Often the ease of the power drill can remove "carefully placed" from the equation, and I can totally understand that reasoning. There's also the fact that power drilling is illegal someplaces, and GOD KNOWS I would not condone anything against the law!

 

But suppose we're talking about carefully placed bolts only? Are they bad or good depending upon the tool used?

 

In the eyes of the law, the answer is often yes! We could leave it at that I guess. But debating the ethical goodness beyond what our statutes tell us is often an interesting diversion.

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an insignificant, but permanent, change does not qualify as "radical" in my book...

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Wouldn't the main reason to designate a wilderness area be that we want to set aside a portion of land where generations to come can see and appreciate how things were without mechanized development? Why can't that include climbing?

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harding put up the nose sans hilti before you started climbing...so what was your point?

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rumr--

 

i think he made a good point. i may or may not agree with him but it's a fair point. just as many people champion for roadless areas, some people will go for areas with no change at all to the wilderness from the hand of humans. fair enough.

 

thanks for the post bug.

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Let us suppose that Infinite Bliss had been bolted ground up with a hand drill - not inconceivable due to the moderate grade of 10b and slabby angle.

 

Would it have caused the same controversy if created in this fashion?

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iazz...honestly, i was addressing whether i thought bolts (and power drills) were "radical"...not the legality of them...you can't argue that line as they are currently ILLEGAL, and i'm not arguing whether they are right or wrong...I just wouldn't call them radical...that's all...

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rumr--

 

i think he made a good point. i may or may not agree with him but it's a fair point. just as many people champion for roadless areas, some people will go for areas with no change at all to the wilderness from the hand of humans. fair enough.

 

thanks for the post bug.

 

i disagree w/ his point...

 

let me paraphrase what he said:

 

I would like to see how climbers climbed before bolts.

 

My counter was:

 

They used bolts, rivets and pins (both permanent soft and removeable hard steel)...if anything climbing in the wilderness has gotten (well it could) cleaner now...

 

 

 

For the record, i don't think there should be sport style climbing in the wilderness, whether its power or hand drilled

 

 

Thread Drift:

Caveman seemed to be going out of his way in his arguments to not be offensive and he used no name calling...banning him for this is not right

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rumr-

 

thanks for the clarification. i agree with you.

 

as for the caveman stuff. if you want a response to that there's a really good thread in spray for that question.

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Since "legal" is an objective term and "radical" is subjective, it is a little confusing where people stand at times. It's like arguing the "blueness" of the sky.

 

Personally I don't think bolts belong out there, except for the ones already placed as pieces of history. Dungeons in Europe continue to be tourist attractions but it would be an abomination to build new ones...

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You can't bolt Hood anyways, unless you get like a 30-foot long glue in bolt.

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Wilderness bolting shouldn't be done guerilla-style. You may be able to tell yourself "no-one will know" while doing it but if the route is worth climbing, it will be noticed. If you can get proper approval for power-drilling a route, go ahead, but good luck.

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Personally I don't think bolts belong out there, except for the ones already placed as pieces of history. Dungeons in Europe continue to be tourist attractions but it would be an abomination to build new ones...

 

What about replacing existing ones Iain?

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I'd say once one's there it seems reasonable to replace if it is dangerous and people are still using it. I'd hate to see new stuff though, there's so much land that is not under the wilderness act, where bolting can be legal, and in fact, welcomed. I have a great time climbing bolted routes.

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Well, I imagine (never been there) you can no longer climb the nose in the same condition as Harding found it. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, I am all for progress. I think setting aside a few fairly accessable areas where no development (mechanized or not) is allowed is a good idea. Of course I know there are plenty of spaces with little or no human trace, by accessable I mean near enough that future generations can reasonably get to, or climb it. Can we climb without leaving bolts, or pitons, or tat? We have sport crags and trad crags and alpine routes, lets designate a couple leave-no-trace routes or areas.

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The real problem is that climbers cannot, in fact, self-regulate. Its not new, Hardings routes were "erased" by Robbins who argued the same style and ethical issues we argue today. If we cannot self-regulate, we collectively have to adopt or adhere to *some* standard that defines what's "acceptable". (sorry, I mean this loosely: its really applied *to* us and other users by land managers). It seems that the Wilderness Act has become that standard? It does not necessarily prohibit bolting, only the use of motorized equipment to do so.

Edited by Alex

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Climbers can "self-regulate" as much as any other members of society. Write a letter, speak your piece, vote.

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Don Mellor's American Rock has a bit to say about climbers self regulating, albeit indirectly. His main point IMHO is that ethics (and probably lack of ethics) are local.

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