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Bolting discussion.

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Power drills allow more bolts to be placed in a shorter amount of time. The amount of time they last is evidenced by the old bolts we all find in remote places. So the term "radical" is applied here as what futuer generations will find. Grid bolting on the North ridge of Stuart? After you have one bolt on a wall, what difference will one more make? After you have ten bolted routes on a wall, how much difference will one more route make? After one side of the mountain has been........ Where does it end? Who is to say? With roads in RAREII lands, the FS used this kind of logic. Once an area is cut by a road, it is no longer RAREII. Blast away. Radical is for future generations to decide. The future is when ever the last bolt you place today is still detectable. What will the cumulative results be? Wilderness was hard fought for. There are many other places to drill. Leave SOMETHING for future generations even if it only by virtue of the fact that hand drills are slower.

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Alex, that is not exactly true. Robbins set out to chop a heavily bolted Harding line (Wall of Early Morning Light if I recall correctly). After chopping a couple of pitches, he changed his mind and finished the climb leaving the bolts.

 

 

Here is a very interesting paper on the controversy of a rap bolted line on El Gigante (the Mexican version of El Cap). It is primarily a bunch of climbers from around the world weighing in on whether the route should have been estalished and whether it should be chopped.

 

READ THIS El Gigante Controversy

 

Notice Royal Robbins's reply on page 10.

Edited by willstrickland

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Just a few letters into the AAJ piece raised the question for DFA: Does the appearance of bolted (rap or otherwise, by whatever means) lines on big walls or in alpine settings automatically mean the end of development in other styles? And can these types of routes coexist with traditional & traditionally established routes?

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There is no arguing that it changes the character of the area if a sport route is introduced. No comment on bad or good...

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It's also important to consider that most sports climbers stick to sport areas and short (i.e. single pitch) routes. Even though this El Gigante rig is a sport line in the sense that it's fully bolted, it's still a wall route, and is quite committing relative to the usual sport experience, which would be a natural crowd deterrent.

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Leave SOMETHING for future generations even if it only by virtue of the fact that hand drills are slower.

 

agree wholeheartedly

 

..(Wall of Early Morning Light if I recall correctly). After chopping a couple of pitches, he changed his mind and finished the climb leaving the bolts.

 

yes, so the story goes. The interesting thing to me was that Robbins had made an armchair judgement from the ground about the legitimacy of the ascent and its style, and had set out to erase it based on his own personal ethics and style. At the time it wasnt even an issue as to whether such an ascent was "legal" or not (or what have you), it was just a purely ethical debate on what "fair means" really meant in Yosemite big wall climbing. Robbins changed his mind because once on the route he found the climbing was in fact difficult and interesting, classic even. But it took actual experience with the medium to change his mind.

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We were at Castle Mountain (Banff National Park, not a "designated wilderness area") over the week-end. The hut there is on the lip of a sheer cliff that now has one rap-bolted sport route (5.11 or so, we didn't do it) off the edge, called "rim job." It looks pretty cool, VERRY exposed! What the hell, why not put a line of bolts down the cliff between the hut and the outhouse. I wouldn't say that is outside the accepted local ethic. There is also one shiny bolt and hanger (3/8) at the base of the approach gully, and at the base of the start to Brewer's Buttress, which can serve no purpose except as indicators. Is that going too far? People do seem to have trouble at both these junctures (we started up the wrong gully, but didn't even notice the bolt til we were on the way out), and a bolt is a pretty neat little "this way" sign that is intelligible or even noticable only to climbers. Still seems a little frivolous to me, but it is an area with an established development ethic, so I'm trying to be open-minded. Anyway, having just returned from that, I have a hankering for some distinctly UNdeveloped climbing, and find myself highly in favor of setting some areas aside.

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It's also important to consider that most sports climbers stick to sport areas and short (i.e. single pitch) routes.

In the Bitterroots and Sawtooths there are long bolted routes going up. Some even have approaches of a couple miles and as much as 600 of vertical to the base. This will become "more common" or worse "accepted as the local style" as more get put up. I apposed them and lost friends. I would do it again since it served to slow down the process-not the individuals but the popularity of doing those kinds of routes. The same walls saw a couple earlier bolted routes in the seventies which is what inspired the bolters to go there in the first place. By going on record as apposing this kind of developement, I helped slow it down. I would still climb there but I would not call it a "classic Montana climbing area" when there are so many untouched cracks in the range.

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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.

Robbins used Harding's 125 bolts on the nose (it's what made possible his "Alpine" ascent). Robbins chopped the bolts on Wall of Early Morning light (at least the lower ones). It's safe to say style changed. No one would say this if Harding had a power drill "In the push to the summit, Harding, the Iron Man and iconoclast, drilled 28 bolts in an all-night 14 hour marathon up the route's final obstacle, the overhanging and mostly blank summit headwall. Harding pulled over the summit at 6 a.m. on November 12"

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rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif

 

but what do you wanna bet he'd have used one if it was available?

 

My grandpap hiked uphill both directions in freezing snow concurrent w/ scorching temps through arctic jungles just to get to the mailbox...yup...those were the days... rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif

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rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif

 

but what do you wanna bet he'd have used one if it was available?

 

My grandpap hiked uphill both directions in freezing snow concurrent w/ scorching temps through arctic jungles just to get to the mailbox...yup...those were the days...

 

rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif

WTF is your point? Not every piece of available technology has to be used, nor should it. i.e. Goran Kropp, Erden

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While I agree with Rumr's point, the delivery sucks. But that is something I miss about the bolting discussions of old. They had passion and the thoughts and feelings were right out there after being dipped in testosterone. It captivated the reader....No it compelled the reader to take up a position. Now we are just a bunch of tea party goers.

Bolting has it's place. That place is not everywhere. No one has the right to decide for EVERYONE else where bolts will go. They are too permanent. Bolting in the wilderness is questionable at best. Using a power drill in the wilderness is just plain assanine. If you do it, YOU SUCK!

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They had all the passions and feelings of a lynching party. Captivating perhaps, but encouraging discussion?

 

You say you want a discussion, but all you're really doing with this post is voting, by standing up on a big soapbox and flashing your ass.

 

"YOU SUCK"

"NO, YOU SUCK"

"I"M CHOPPING YOUR FUCKING ROUTE"

 

 

.....silence...

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Thanks for responding with some feeling. the_finger.gif

What I'm talking about is the real world. Whenever I have been involved or near a bolting discussion, it doesn't go according to the rules of engagement on this board. This board will not last if it continues to enforce a false reality. There must be a better way.

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Are you saying we should encourage (or at least not discourage) death threats? What about mere threats of vandalism of a project that one has put a lot of work into?

 

Remember that we are communicating in a virtual world, a discussion board. Threats and intimidation sadly may get things done in the real world, but on a discussion board they tend to limit the only use of a discussion, the exhange of ideas.

 

I understand that some may enjoy watching the spectacle of death threats and the like, and discouraging that will certainly step on some toes. But, whatever rolleyes.gif

 

I'm puzzled by this digression into whining about board policies. It seemed like your discussion about bolting was going pretty well.

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I missed the entire bit containing death threats. It's just always surprised me how the likes of Dwayner, who I doubt has ever threatened anyone, managed to get banned because they hold a strong opinion. If his opinion was 180 degrees in the other direction, would he have gotten banned just because he was persistent and 'annoying' with his message?

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What about mere threats of vandalism of a project that one has put a lot of work into?

 

In context, Chuck, the talk of bolt-chopping was on illegal bolts placed with a power drill in the Wilderness. I'm for it.

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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.

 

If everyone climbed 5.14 with relative ease then bolting would not be an issue.

 

People only bolt becuase they can't climb the grades safely -- bolting is not for development, it's becuase some climbers can't climb the grades safely or confidently.

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Are you saying we should encourage (or at least not discourage) death threats?

No. I have never advocated that. Are you saying that that is the only reason any of these people have been banned?

What about mere threats of vandalism of a project that one has put a lot of work into?

I full support chopping power drilled routes inside wilderness. That is the truth. Not a threat.

 

Remember that we are communicating in a virtual world, a discussion board. Threats and intimidation sadly may get things done in the real world, but on a discussion board they tend to limit the only use of a discussion, the exhange of ideas.

Leaving out of consideration any threats of personal bodily harm, Whose ideas? Are you saying that if someone illegally and against the popular consent and agency policy, power drills in the wilderness, they should be immune from real consequences (ie informing them that someone is into chopping the route)or protected?

 

I understand that some may enjoy watching the spectacle of death threats and the like, and discouraging that will certainly step on some toes. But, whatever rolleyes.gif

Try again. Your rhetoric is shallow. yellowsleep.gif

 

I'm puzzled by this digression into whining about board policies. It seemed like your discussion about bolting was going pretty well.

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People only bolt becuase they can't climb the grades safely -- bolting is not for development, it's becuase some climbers can't climb the grades safely or confidently.

And because some people don't like routes graded R or X rolleyes.gif

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G-Y-M

 

 

You don't like the dangers of the open ocean... you don't go into the open ocean. If you are not able to climb something don't do it. Manifest destiny in the verticle realm... if I can't climb it, I am gonna bolt it and hang dog up the thing.

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.

 

People only bolt becuase they can't climb the grades safely -- bolting is not for development, it's becuase some climbers can't climb the grades safely or confidently.

 

Disagree. On some routes, ability does not define safety. Take some of the new mixed ice routes in the rockies for example. And lets not forget that the only reason ANY of us can climb above 5.11 is because we were able to train in safe situations.

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