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stonewall

Clip up on Concord Tower

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Why not a Via Ferrata style route?

I'm sure it would climbed frequently by climbers and hikers looking for a easy summit and safe route on such a spectacular peak.

Better yet, cable cars!! Yea that's it. Why even walk. Accessable to the masses. The American way. I can see it now. McDonalds!!.......

 

chris

[This message has been edited by chriss (edited 04-14-2001).]

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do i have to wear a hairshirt too?

[This message has been edited by scott (edited 04-16-2001).]

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wow... this is amazing.

maybe i missed something (but i read it all twice). it seems that of all those replying, only a very few of you have even seen the route or routes in question, let alone (god forbid) actually climb the f-ing thing. does the analogy of hens in coop come to anyone's mind.

so many climbers flapping their holes, so few climbers actually climbing.

and just to shut up any would-be protesters to this post--of course we shouldnt just sit back and let the wilderness be grid bolted. but that is NOT happening at wa pass and i AM talking from experience. get used to bolts, there here and here to stay, and the only thing worse than bolting a crack is chopping bolts. putting a bolt in an area protectable by gear is an act of ignorance but to chop someones route is the act of a spiteful ego with no consideration for the rock or the scars left. especially since the chopper is more often than not someone who claims to be smarter than the bolter.

at the very least... shut the f up unless you know what the subject is (and its not whether bolts should be allowed at wa pass)

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I'm not sure I understand why there is so much conflict between "trad" and "sport" climbers or why someone goes out of their way to identify themselves as one or the other. I enjoy climbing..period whether it's on a face or up a crack system. Being as face climbs are a little hard to protect I would think bolts would be a good idea eh?

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I certainly am not advocating the chopping of bolts, let me first make that clear.

Backcountry dog, I don't know how much of your post was directed at me, but I was attempting momentarily to depart from analyzing washington pass specifically, and look at the whole issue rather than one part. While it may appear that I am grossly anti-bolting, in fact that is not the case at all. I am merely suggesting, without targeting anyone in particular, that we all give some critical thought to bolting before running out with the bosch. Perhaps you are so enlightened about what's right and what's not but not everyone else is. Yeah, it might have gotten off the subject a bit but I think in all actions, bolting or whatever, that may have repercussions or long term effects be it public outrage, approval, or government intervention, we need to ensure that we are not acting impulsively. That's all; just a head check.

Bolts may be "here and here to stay", but without careful inquiry into our urges to go drill whatever looks nice- government fees, regs, anchor bans and monetary fines will also be here and here to stay.

 

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I know I am in the minority in this thread, chatroom, website.....

I do not agree with any type of bolting. My bolting opinion has nothing to do what the Forest Service says or what people refer to as "development of the sport".

I believe man does not have to touch every section of this earth. It is OKAY to leave places, or rocks faces, untouched. If you can not get up a section of rock on your own human ability and be able to remove the stuff you left behind, then you should not be there.

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true W, true...

my post was not directed at you and i agree with what you say. bolting a piece of rock is serious business and your suggestion of soul searching should be taken to heart by everyone.

but, it doesnt sound like very many of the opinionated climbers responding here have actually talked to the first (or soon to be first upon completion) ascentionest to know where they are coming from. maybe it is a line that has classic written all over it that nearly everyone who climbs it will enjoy. maybe the FA's have been scoping that line since they started climbing 15 yrs ago, and went a 'sacred, soul searching pilgramage' before one single bolt was put in. the fact is the most people who are assuming the worst case scenario (bolts every 3 feet) dont know. the are just running to their biggest fear (which inevitably creates it).

we cannot prevent every terrible act from happening in the climbing world. we can however, learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others to prevent us from screwing everything up. and my whole point being that learning involves being out in it, seeing the route, and actually climbing.

if it ends up being some shwag, over bolted, choss heap of a route, with chain links for bolts, well then, we all have a model to show what we dont want to happen and hopefully through that experience, wont keep happening.

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Wow, everyone seems to be avoiding the point of this forum topic. I'll accept the blame for not being more clear. Please think on these things and share your thoughts....

How, without the aid of a government agency, should we protect the integrity of the roadside climbing areas in the Cascades?

After all, If someone rap bolts a beautiful expanse of rock in a style less than par and the community makes no protest, it is the same as encouraging more over-bolted routes that can be climbed blindfolded.

Over-bolting a route is disgracefull and negates the quality of the area. Without pointing my finger at the people that are putting up these botched bosch clip-ups, I'd like to voice my oppinion:

First, If the community doesn't chop these kindigarten routes we'll have to live with more of them going up. Chopping a route is a mess and a pain in the ass! It takes a lot of work. But the chopping is done in the name of preserving the integrity of the area.

It clearly communicates that the community demands an ethic to be lived by.

If you want to rap-bolt go somewhere else. Why destroy the traditional quality of Wasington Pass?

I never suggested not using bolts at all; I'm suggesting doing your route from the ground up with a hand drill at Washington Pass. If you want to rap-bolt with power tools go somewhere with lower standards.

------------------

Stoney

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Stoney, i think it goes without saying that power drills should be off limits in wilderness and alpine areas. I think most everyone sees it that way. And I agree that overbolting routes is bad, and that a ground-up approach is far more ethical and honorable in the alpine zone.

But chopping routes you don't like is not the answer. This will only breed opposition. Nor is the collective "community" creating a set of rules the answer either. I pointed this out in an earlier post, but if I may say so, you are not listening.

You have a definite set of conclusions about what is a good style, what is right, what is a good route, what is overbolted. So do I, and so does the next guy, and so does the guy putting up the new route at S. early winters. So who is to decide the new rules, the actions to be taken on behalf of everyone? You? Me? Who will do it?

As I indicated earlier: if we really look into our own motives, as individuals, for our actions- again, I'm talking psychologically (no one wants to talk about or address this though)- we might discover that the truth of it has its own action, and a person will perhaps then see the true significance or insignificance of putting up yet another bolted route. This action is not relegated to climbing.

Even in finding the truth as an individual, to organize it and "convert" others to your way of thinking is to destroy the truth, distort it, use it for your own gain.

The best you can do is to live out that truth and by example point the way for others. This may not prevent a shitty overbolted route from being put up on your favorite mountain; on the other hand, all the anti-war protests and organized movements haven't stopped our governments from playing soldier year and year out either.

The collective attitude is changed one person at a time, and if you, who are that collective, have changed, then that in itself is sufficient.

 

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Many of us are looking at the bigger picture about stringing bolt lines up mountian faces. Debating that is very good and provides hours of chat.

My point is simply this: The WA climbing community doesn't need a rap-bolted, power drilled, top to bottom sport climbing, clp-up on the ESE face of south early winter spire-- And I love sport climbing and have done my share of rap bolting. I have studied this face in great detail and have scrambled around the base of the whole thing.

Here is why this route will not do a service to the community:

1. Granted, a cool free line on this face would require a few bolts. But if you look carefully enough cracks are found all over the place EVERYWHERE. Why not just use a few bolts to link protecable systems? The face is steep enough that you wouldn't get hurt if you took a big winger.

2. This is the mountains not the crags. I don't care that you park 30 minutes away, It is still the mountains. Just because we sport climbers won the bolt war of the 80's doesn't mean it is manifest destiny to bring our doctrine to the high mountains.

3. A rivet or a drilled bathook aid ladder is not done from top to bottom and rarely takes up more than 5 percent of the total veritcal feet gained. Even on the big stone.

Just because the route has been started doen't mean it has to be finished. Please let it rest in peace.

ps. as you ascend thin red line, who put all the bolts around it?

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Many of us are looking at the bigger picture about stringing bolt lines up mountian faces. Debating that is very good and provides hours of chat.

My point is simply this: The WA climbing community doesn't need a rap-bolted, power drilled, top to bottom sport climbing, clp-up on the ESE face of south early winter spire-- And I love sport climbing and have done my share of rap bolting. I have studied this face in great detail and have scrambled around the base of the whole thing.

Here is why this route will not do a service to the community:

1. Granted, a cool free line on this face would require a few bolts. But if you look carefully enough cracks are found all over the place EVERYWHERE. Why not just use a few bolts to link protecable systems? The face is steep enough that you wouldn't get hurt if you took a big winger.

2. This is the mountains not the crags. I don't care that you park 30 minutes away, It is still the mountains. Just because we sport climbers won the bolt war of the 80's doesn't mean it is manifest destiny to bring our doctrine to the high mountains.

3. A rivet or a drilled bathook aid ladder is not done from top to bottom and rarely takes up more than 5 percent of the total veritcal feet gained. Even on the big stone.

Just because the route has been started doen't mean it has to be finished. Please let it rest in peace.

ps. as you ascend thin red line, who put all the bolts around it?

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Jens, well put.

Funny you mention Thin Red Line. When I did the route in 1998, I arrived at the base prepared to lead what I had heard was a runout, ground fall potential first pitch, one in fact that had scored at least one 60 foot grounder by a friend of a friend. Instead, I found the pitch protected by about six or seven newish bolts leading to a newish anchor 10 feet left of the original anchor. Of course, I used them...now that they're there, may as well save yourself a potential broken bone. Yet, I would have led the pitch without them and was ready to do so, and in a way something was taken away from the experience. I later learned that these bolts may have been a very short distance left of the original line, yet it was close enough that looking up and seeing the anchor, and not knowing at the time, I assumed I was on route and that someone had done us all a "service".

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W,

Thanks for your comments. I'm listening; I see things a bit differently. I believe the community does need to collectivly set standards as to how new routes are developed at WA. pass. You say "The approach to the problem is all important, not the problem itself." What kind of approach do you recommend?

I'm not comfortable with the passive approach of just climbing true to my idea of ethical when someone comes along and decides they want to turn Washington's Roadside-Alpine-trad-area into a sport climbing area. what are you suggesting, that I take my trad ethics elsewhere? Do you really think "The best you can do is to live out that truth and by example point the way for others."

Aren't we pointing the way for others when we rip five hundred dollars worth of bolts out of a multi pitch route. I think the way is clearly defined:... East on SR20 Toward Frenchmans Coulee!

------------------

Stoney

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Jens,

Nice put!

I hear rumors of a name I will not mention that put the route up but I will not slander even if I knew for sure....

However the same guy (hearsay) supposedly put up another route in question was on this board.

I will sit in silence until I know for sure. However I have faith in my good resources... I would expose him but I will give him a chance to redeem himself..

-RB

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I just have four questions that may help to put this all in perspective:

1) how many bolts have been put in on this route?

2) how many pitches?

3) are the bolts absolutely necessary for the safety of a climber who can lead at the route's consensus grade?

4) will the route attain "classic" status, or is it something that will only be climbed by a handful of people in the next decade?

A good example of what's going on here is the route "Sisyphus Summits", on Chinaman's Peak, near Canmore, Alberta. (Canada fer all you rednecks) It is a "fully-equipped" 17 pitch 10d route, clearly visible from downtown Canmore. When it was put up in '94, there was a battle cry to "chop the bolts!", because it didn't fit the tradition of the area. The bolts remained, and it has gone on to be something of a classic (although incredibly risk-free) climb. I'm not advocating indiscriminant "bosching", because I'm kinda old-school, and believe the risk is directly related to the emotional reward, but it seems that a certain amount of different genres and styles are bound to come into existence, and that the climbing community needs to exhibit tolerance for one another. (Except where such styles are clearly not appropriate)

I geuss my position on the issue at hand is this: I don't approve of power drills in wilderness or alpine areas, because it makes it too easy (it should be HARD, dammit), and I like to hear nothing but the birds and wind when I venture into such a place. Rap-down ethics? I don't give a shit, as long as the route still demands respect (bolts ONLY where necessary), and placed well and with respect to future climbers.

Please respect the mountains, and those who will most certainly follow in your footsteps. PLEASE don't give the government, or any other enforcement agencies a reason to take away our access!

Keep it real.

PW

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Stoney,

Chopping a bolted route will end the route but it will not end the conflict between climbers. Do you think that this will teach that person a lesson? To use a more worldly example, is using violence and war a good means to create peace in the world? The means is the end. So by ripping out someone's route, you have solved an immediate problem, but the antagonism between you and others remains, hidden or exposed, and it will return again and again.

Why is it that we assume that lack of self-assertion of our beliefs will result in us being overrun and trampled by others? Is it because we do not know any other way of relating to others than by taking a stand clinging to a belief of some kind and using it to antagonize one other? If you are trying to solve a problem, trying to come up with something new, it seems to me that thinking from a conclusion is not thinking at all.

You ask about the approach I suggest, and I am showing you. Right now, we are approaching it as "trad" versus "sport", "bolter" versus "non-bolter". Can we approach the whole problem as human beings, as climbers, and be capable of having an honest dialogue- an inquiry- with each other without taking a stand from some platform? This may be difficult to see if you've never done it. But this is, as I stated above, something that hardly anyone in the world does. In other matters, we have sovereign nations wrapping themselves in their flags and their ideologies and trying to relate, to communicate with one another through the narrow scope of their views, and as we see this is not working. We continue to use our beliefs and conclusions about everything to provoke one another.

There is a different way, beginning with finding out what is right relationship. This is what community really is, and it has to start from there, from your immediate interactions around you; these have a greater spreading effect than you might realize.

We're not that far apart on this, Stoney. I love washington pass and think it is noisy enough already with the highway (that I use to get there...) right there. As an alpinist, I particularly enjoy climbing in places where man's mark is few and far between. I think the drill is better off down the road, as you say. I am not implying you should be silent; only that your actions are constructive rather than destructive. There is a way, but you have to find out yourself. No one else can convince you.

 

 

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Good points, bcdog. I totally understand what you are getting at. It is common for people to jump to conclusions and let fear breed more fear.

My point had nothing whatever to do with the guys on the S. Early Winters route, more that this thread had begun moving into a debate about bolting and how to "regulate" it or "what to do" about it.

I also can see some merit in Stefan's viewpoint above; in fact personally I have never drilled a bolt except practicing in some junk talus, and prefer crack climbing far more to bolt-protected face. On the other hand, I have clipped many existing bolts on big walls and even in the mountains, and have appreciated most if not all of them, so it would be hypocritical of me to totally agree with the notion that all bolting is bad. There are plenty of examples of classic crack lines which link up via blank, unclimbable 5.15-ish sections that would not get climbed were it not for bolts. I think that Stefan's view reflects an understandable, perhaps valid, feeling that bolted climbing is less natural and more artificial than trad because the rock has to be altered and artificial means of protection employed; however, if that thought is taken to an extreme then we might as well put away our cams, nuts, slings, and even our ropes. Some will assert that free solo is the only way to go. So you see there's no end to the possibilities to argue about this or that. So if we can quit identifying ourselves with one side or the other and just look at the whole problem as climbers, and as stewards of the resource, perhaps we will discover what's what without the bias of our platform as a trad or as a sport climber distorting our ability to see. The approach to the problem is all important, not the problem itself.

 

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I think it's cool we all have opinions. Part of being human. So here's one of mine. I have no problem with anyones opinion as long as their opinion does not escalate to actions affecting others adversely.. i.e. the Holocaust, the Crusades..ummm bolt chopping. Well perhaps they do not belong in the same category. I actually wanted to see how much shit I can stir up. <evil snicker>

There is obviously a big grey area here. If the majority of climbers hated bolting the resulting peer pressure would probably limit it. All ethics in climbing are just opinion..uh in my opinion. If anyone finds themselves thinking "I am in possesion of the only valid ethics set and I will smite those who disagree" you might want to perform a simple in home ego check. Or become an Amway zealot :-) Ok enough I'm starting to choke on my own spew. You'all have fun out there in them there mountains.

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I guess I fall on the more lenient side of this argument. As much as I don't like to see wild places cluttered with human garbage (trails, horse manure, chopped trees, bolts, etc.), I also clip *every* hanger I see in the alpine, regardless of the who, what, where, when, why, and how of it. And until I am will to bypass those "unnecessary" bolts (and slings and pins and other fixed gear), I don't think I have any right to complain about them.

But about that disgraceful mess on Lundin...

-CC

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W,

It sounds like most people who have responded to this forum are for preserving the natural quality of the climbs at WA. Pass. Am I taking a stand on a platform? I'm not voicing my oppinion and suggesting possible solutions as some kind of egotrip.

I'm assuming people agree that Wa. pass should be left out of the sport climbing circuit because it's nice to have a place set aside for natural climbing that is close to a road.

I agree with you; chopping bolts is a less than ideal solution. That is why I turn to this forum for ideas on other possible solutions to this complex problem. I'm not saying my ideal is the one that should be lived by. I'm saying the community as a whole needs to decide the fate of their favorite crags. If the majority wants it to be a sport climbing area then I guess it should be.

I would like to shine light on the fact that

diversity is a good thing. Not all road side areas should have contrived rap-bolted climbs.

Yes I agree, chopping someones route breeds animosity, but it is a wake up call for all involved: Hey! think before you rap down that spire and place bolts every six feet.

There are people around with the talent to actually climb the thing.

W, I think your on target with putting your energy toward right relationship and I'm listening for solution oriented ideas.

I'm convinced most climbers would like to keep Wa. Pass trad. So the question still remains; how do we make sure the resource is not abused by a few people that think the place should be a new sport area?

------------------

Francois

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We're doing it right now, Francois. By communicating openly, EXCHANGING ideas rather than asserting them. And there is a huge difference in that.

This may all sound idealistic but when you look at how people interact all over the world, in systems and such, it is much the same. A gross, extreme example is listening to those trashy talk shows where people just scream their viewpoints without really listening to anything at all.

We're here in a public forum, putting out our thoughts and, yes, opinions- opinions can have validity as long as a person doesn't identify with them in such a way that their actions in relation to other views are merely reactions. Do you understand what I mean by this? With ordinary people, most of these concepts would be totally lost on them. But I've noticied that many people who climb tend towards a higher capability for critical thought; perhaps this comes from the fact that climbing forces the individual repeatedly to be in the moment and be totally attentive to the workings of his or her mind.

I am diverging from the heart of the subject again, but I really think it is important to understand communication and such before considering the actual problem.

So, the problem is how to retain the natural resource at Washington pass. For all persons concerned, one way or the other, I would urge them to make their concerns known through all available channels; this website is one. Write editorials, and most importantly, encourage open dialogue among all climbers. Don't form opposition. Make it a goal to unite. I truly believe that by getting everyone involved in the discussion and communication, if the majority really does favor keeping Wash. pass by and large a trad area, and makes it known through the example of honest and sincere, not antagonistic and hard-line, efforts to reach out to one another, sport climbers and trad climbers will form a bond in which, in this case, sport climbers will wish to respect the preferences of others and will leave washington pass as is. They won't see it as a loss because the unity among the community, society will be of utmost importance. Again, this may sound idealistic but that is because people have never seen it. This is a foreign concept so people dismiss it as impossible because they are afraid to let go of their old ways of dealing with situations.

This may not stop some rogue dude from doing something anyway, but what are we to do about that? Form gangs to guard the crags? Again, the best we can do to save washington pass is to foster mature and open communication with all climbers.

 

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