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stonewall

Clip up on Concord Tower

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1. Seems like in many ways this thread can logically be joined up with “The Future” thread.

2. In any meaningful sense there is no “community.” There are a group of people who can be classified apart from others by an activity they engage in. The question is not “how can the community keep rap bolting out of WA Pass or develop rules of conduct that will prevent regulation of government?” Absent a real community the question expressed here is how can I prevent one of my favorite areas (WA Pass) from turning into something I don’t like. What if a community did develop and decided unequivocally that Wa Pass should be a Sport area? Would you be part of that community? Abide by its consensus? Appeal to the land manager directly?

3. The issues at Wa Pass are those faced all over the State (Country) and cannot be viewed in isolation. For example, the widespread use of chipping and overbolting (both frowned upon by land managers and a large percentage of climbers) institutionalized at Si is often discounted by 1) proclaiming that these activities are limited in area, 2) the area can only be developed by rap bolting and cleaning. 3) the routes are popular or 4) I don’t climb that hard how can I say anything. Yet due to their popularity these areas become models by which land manager judge climbers and models by which young climbers take their cue. These areas have been used explicitly to justify recent rebolting activity in the Country area at Index where new bolts were added to existing climbs as well as some routes that were protectable by non-fixed protection. Is the condor route merely an extension of these activities to the Icicle? The Concord Tower route to Wa Pass?

4 The “Yosemite” or “American Tradition” is not all it is cracked up to be. After all didn’t some of the first 5.10s in Yosemite have rap placed bolts. Didn’t the free ascent of the Nose use Jardine’s chipped holds? Americans are nothing but pragmatists and the American tradition has been extremely mutable over time and with the extreme changes in the climbing environment it can have little use but to remove any debate over current activities – esp. when the tradition being used is mythical.

5 The development of a “Community” is essential. How can this be done? By discussions such as this but also by all climbers discussing these issues and realizing that these discussion s do not have to be mean spirited and that they are in fact essential to the development of a community. I would go so far as to say that climbers have an obligation to discuss/debate these issues. Mark Twight by virtue of his being Mark Twight should have no more authority than any other member. All voices are important if they are willing to particpate in the debate constructively. The Access Fund and other groups cannot remove this obligation.

6 The development of a community will most probably result in a consensus that is often at conflict with the personal desires of some of the community. Members of the community subordinate their personal interests. Some won’t. Peer pressure can often work wonders on these rogues.

(Disclaimer: This was written quickly at work. Please forgive the poor construction)

 

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dan smith or anyone else,

you said that you know the guys well that are bolting the face. i have a feeling that you have talked to them about this little forum. i think in all fairness that they should respond to all this banter. so we can hear their side of the story. a witch hunt is a witch hunt, but are they witches? i/WE don't know.

i absolutly 110% think that they should not bolt the south early winter spire in a purely bolted line. and personally think that they should remove the bolts personally. but as of yet that is only an uneducated statement made my me. there is always two sides of the story. lets hear em' both.

now if the guys are posting under alias then forgot it. if you can't be proud for what you did and make your side heard then you are a problem and should have never done it. you have to stand up for yourself.

it really sounds like most poeple are saying the same thing, just in different contexts.

anyone!

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Everyone is making some great points here. Now, as Erik has pointed out, we seem to have done all we can short of actually hearing what is really happening. Until we get some actual facts to look at, there is no point in debating this any further.

I don't mean that we now have to form a tribunal for the s. early winters guys, mind you...but considering the concerns being voiced here I think it would be good to hear from the party involved to explain their side of the story. No crime has been committed as far as I know- but that's just it, we don't know.

bc dog- the analogy you use is perfect. Its like the israelis and the arabs- neither one is really interested in peace, they figure by fighting they can achieve peace some time in the future. Meanwhile the killing and destruction goes on and the issue of humans coexisting peacefully is forgotten.

So until we get some confirmed info we are merely speculating. Not to mention beating a dead horse.

Over and out.

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erik,

The principle person responsible for putting up these routes does not have access to a computer. I know the other fellow checks out this web site occasionally.

If I run into either or them, I will let them know about the buzz created by these routes.

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", I think that we need to both look at our impact, daily and in the future. We need to save our lands for us, not from us. I try to do my part to help educate and inform both sides, often getting alot of attitude back from fellow riders or climbers. I think that I feel compelled to tell some asshole to pick up his beer can or tell someone not to go into the ALWA(Ingalls Lake for instance) and then maybe ask a climbing party to not dig a ditch around thier tent or erect yet another rock wall, because next day/week/month/year we might not be allowed here anymore."

This is from the snowmobiles thread.

Do we really these routes right now? Has someone already done ALL the others?

Isn't there some validity to what Stefan said?

chris

 

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I did the route on Condor last fall. It's a beautiful line on beautiful rock. They did an amazing amount of work up there. I'll tell you all about it. The route is direct and 180 meters long. It is broken into seven pitches. My wife and I did it in three. The first pitch is about thirty meters and 5.6 and stops at a chain belay. The second pitch avoids a #4 size crack via bolts to the left. The third pitch is easy and would take gear in horizontal cracks. Infact, the entire route could be done with gear for belays. The fourth pitch, the crux, is protected with three bolts at foot, waist and head. the fifth pitch is casual with lots of bolts. The last two pitches are low fifth with lots of bolts. The rock is outstanding. Some of the finest found in Leavenworth for sure! It's a great route. I would encourage climbers to develop more of the area. It will be a great place for people to practice clipping bolts. More advanced climbers can skip more than half of the clips if their feeling spunky. It will also be great for climbers that want to learn to place pro. They can clip the bolt first then place the # 2 cam. I'm certain the Mountaineers will utilize the area for climbing classes. It's a good introduction to outdoor climbing.

 

 

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W-

your replies are well put and i wish the would-be choppers would take your ideas to heart. the fact is that climbers can be ignorant and climbers can act as if they are the star of the whole show and the rest of the climbing community is just the audience. stonewall might be one of those people as his replies show that he is NOT hearing what you're saying and is very excited about the thought of chopping a route that he hasn't climbed but has deemed over bolted. as long as this kind of ignorance has energy behind it, we run the risk of having wa pass turn into a boulder, co.

stonewall, maybe you would understand it this way. if someone with a bosch had the same attitude about bolting that you do about chopping, the both of you could spend the next 20 yrs turning every crag in wa. into shit. and dont even think that you saying "i'll just keep chopping until everyone does things my way" will put an end to the bolts going in. that has never worked and the more conflict you create the more negative attention you bring the rocks and those of us who climb them.

why dont we all just wait and see if a) the route is in fact over bolted (which NO ONE can confirm yet, and b) if it can even be called a sport route (which NO ONE can confirm, bolts alone dont make it so, (look at static point or the apron of yosemite, not exactly clip ups)). face climbing is as much a part of climbing as crack climbing and there IS room for both. there are too many climbers now that arent on the far right or the far left.

and STILL, no one can confirm that the bolts are being placed on rappel. so to the first ascentionest, if your not over bolting and you want to dodge the rap-bolt bullet, put the bolts in on lead and if it gets hairy, just use a favorite trad/aid technique and drill/chip a comfortable hook placement to bolt from wink.gif

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I still want to know. Why do people have to touch every section of this earth? Why can’t people climb rock under their own abilities—i.e. without bolting? Is there nothing sacred?

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You guys are laim!!!

Washington Pass is a future "alpine" sportclimbing Mecca...that is inevitable. It will be host to the many existing trad. routes along with the addition of many new sportclimbs. It is only a 45 minute hike for god sake. Snow Creek Wall would be the same if not for existing within the Alpine Lakes.

Hopefully new route activity will equal the increase of use so we don't have to wait in line like the gobs of people on Outer Space.

Bottom line is:

"Don't Bolt Cracks or other peoples routes."

"DON'T CHOP BOLTS unless placed next to good pro. or if YOU previously climbed the the route free with gear."

This is the law of land and has been since the advent of freeclimbing. No matter how complicated you make this issue it comes down to these simple rules. Love it or Leave it. There are much more important battles to fight out there...Let us not fight eachother.

 

jordanvalente@hotmail.com

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Stefan,

When I face climb I do climb at my own abilities. In other words I may fall or hang in the process of working for a redpoint but I am not aiding. The bolts are there to keep me from decking. Are you 1. suggest that nobody face climbs or 2. that we face climb but only on top rope or free solo? I love both trad and sport and understand the need for restraint but if I'm not mistaken you want to do away with a whole type of rock climbing. Please feel free to correct me if I have taken you out of context.

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Copy of e-mail I sent to Erik

Erik,

First of all as a fellow climber I think of you as a friend. I have no intention of arguing with you. I will post e-mail and I am done.

Your whole comment about a "witch hunt" is embarrassing to yourself and other climbers alike.

1. You have no rights concerning the described routes unless:

 

2. They are on your property,

3. Or there are bolts placed next to good pro.,

4. Or you lead the climb free with out the bolts.

What don't you get about that?

I am not a sportclimber.

I am not a trad. climber.

I love to climb.

Sure the bolt fest on Condor is absolutely insane. If it was next to the road I would probably chop most of it because of the visibility from tourists and the Forest Service. No one will give a shit though because it is far enough away from the mainstream that it will not jeopardize out relationship with the FS. The climb is enjoyed by many intermediate climbers......and that is great.

Since you have all this energy to debate issues why don't you help me with access issues up the Icicle?

If we fight amongst ourselves and the forest service or BLM witness's that along with the bolting, chopping, re-bolting, etc. we will be governed. We will be forced to follow guidelines and restrictions forced upon us by the government.

This would forever break the spirit of climbing as we know it.

Jordan Valente

Leavenworth, WA

 

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I take it that you have never done a face climb with traditional protection where nuts, cams and slings and your skill and creativity in their use along with your ability to keep your shit together when it gets hairy is what keeps you from decking. I would say you do not face climb at the level that the rock presents, you drill and install permanent fixtures until it is brought down to a level acceptable to you.

How selfish and shortsighted.

I suggest that you face climb on the rock's terms. It is only a matter of time until bolts are replaced with removeable protection capable of protecting blank expanses of stone; most likely in the form of super adhesives. When technology catches up with peoples' greed then today's bolt-ethic or lack of it will be seen for the blight that it is for permanently scarring an irreplaceable resource.

Mitch

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Soooo, when I was at Castle Rock on Monday 2 guys were retrobolting Dan's Dreadful Direct with a power drill. I didn't ask them whether they had the 1st, or 1st free ascencionist's permission. I note that they left the sections with good gear bolt free. So now there is about 6? bolts plus gear. You could even clip the 1st bolt from the Angel crack stance before the crux (maybe). What do you all think of that? It's not my area, I won't comment yea or nay.

Personally (referring to the Wa pass route mentioned above) I think you should focus less on how the route is established (top-down or bottom-up) and more on the resulting climb - are the bolts too close together, next to cracks or whatever, or in good places and well placed for clipping, not blocking holds or replacing gear or whatever? my own H.O. is that good climbs are good and bad climbs suck no matter how they were established. the only ones deprived of the adventure and terror by rap-bolting instead of lead-bolting are the first ascencionists.

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bolting is not a new source of controversy.

Suffice to say that everyone has their opinion, and no ones opinion can be taken for "the bottom line". Jordan's statement is just that; these are the rules that he observes when someone asks him the ethical question. Mitch observes different rules. I learned to climb at the Gunks, and bolt was a four letter word there, so when I moved West I REFUSED to climb as Smith for more than a year because bolts were unethincal. We all have our beliefs.

The real bottom line is that without consensus and (dare I say the word? dare I...?) REGULATION that reflects that consensus, the issue will never be resolved to everyones liking. Regulation does not necessarily equate to Park/Forest Service intervention: even now most backcountry use is self-regulation, acceptance of policy by the users of the backcountry. There will always be incidents of abuse or people who dont care and just do whatever they want.

Fact is, if you permit people to bolt indescriminately, they will, and people will climb their routes. If I put a hut at Asgaard Pass, you would use it! If I put a gondola into Cascade Pass and made it a ski area, you would ski there!

Its about keeping the "wild" in wilderness.

Alex

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The American Ethic (aka, Yosemite Ethic) is not a myth. For years it served as the perfect solution to the same problems/questions we seem to face on Highway 20. For those who feel compelled to tackle big faces on which bolt protection will be necessary, the American Ethic says to start from the bottom, placing all gear on the lead. A variation allows that one may hang from a hook to sink a bolt. It should probably be drilled by hand. Simple to state, simple to practice. This approach has allowed for some spectacular face climbs, and nobody is going to chop your project when you've demonstrated the guts, skill and determination to adopt this ethic. You can still get in 3/8" bolts if you're man enough, and the result will be something in which you may take pride, something which will bring you respect. The "community" then inherits a climb with history and character, and our limited supply of accessible yet virgin stone isn't so quickly and expediently consumed.

That Ray Jardine chipped a bucket ladder on the Nose....how do the actions of one maverick invalidate an entire tradition?

Also, when some greedy neophyte gets a Bosch for Christmas and decides to trash Washington Pass with top-down bolts, I agree that if many, many climbers object, there must be a reaction. Imagine this sort of "respect-diverse-interpretations" approach to recreation in Mount Rainier Naitonal Park. What if I thought MRNP was a great place to ride motocross or drive my jeep? Seems ridiculous, but without rules and consequences, this would undoubtably happen. Rock climbing has wilderness appeal to most of its participants, and to preserve this charater, we should discourage, with whatever means necessary, the trends of rap bolting and chipping at Washington Pass. I'm with Wallstein on this one.

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quote:

Originally posted by jblakley:

Where can I get me some o' them super sticky hangers?

Jim,

If you want some of them "sticky hangers" you can:

1)Wait until they show up

2)Invent them yourself

3)F**k off the whole idea and f**k up the stone for all future climbers.

Imagine climbing on Glacier Point Apron. rock that is sometimes so polished that your shoes squeak as if upon glass. Now imagine Foot-wide duct tape that is woven with kevlar ripstop fibers and in the center of this foot wide piece of adhesive fabric a runner is sewn.

This is technology that could work right now. You could take a long skidder on a slab onto a removeable piece like this. There are also more malleable adhesives such as "combiderm" used in the medical field that would conform to crystaline irrregularities in the rock.

It is really not that far fetched. It is just a matter of vision and time and money.

Mitch

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I usually try to stay out of the debates, but maybe it sounds like all voices should be heard on this on.

My humble opinion is that sport climbing should be kept to sport climbing crags, not alpine peaks. I don't care if the approach is 45 minutes or 45 days, if it has a 'summit' and is above treeline, that means it is an alpine peak. Closely bolted, safe clip-ups have their place and I enjoy climbing them, but my opinion is that WA pass is NOT one of those places. Please, if you are putting up a route that in any way resembles a sport climb at Washington Pass, don't complete it. This is a travesty to the ethics of the area and it sets a precedent that more routes of a similar caliber will be soon to come.

I question whether this is even the first "sport route" put up at WA pass. Maybe I have a cloudy mind, but isn't there a line of bolts just to the right of Liberty Crack?

Some have mentioned the route on Condor Buttress as a comparison, for good reason. I climbed this route a couple of weeks ago and it stands out in stark difference to other routes in the area. I won't claim to have climbed all the routes in Leavenworth, but I have yet to see a route of this fashion that skips an obvious 4" crack, has pitches that are 60 feet long, and places a bolt at your feet, waist and head in some places. The cruxes are bolted in a fashion EXACTLY like Vantage and Exit 38, not like most other routes in the Leavenworth area. This shows that the bolter did not consider or did not care what fashion or "ethics" had been used on other climbs of the area. No care seemed to be given to try to 'fit' the area. Again, I have no problem with Vantage or Exit 38, I don't really even have a problem with the route on Condor Buttress, it was a f***ing fun route in a gorgeous setting. I only have a problem with those styles bleeding over into areas that usually offer climbing of a different style.

Everybody knows Index has hard, steep cracks and that the ratings are tough. Static Point and 3 O'clock Rock are long, run-out slabby climbs (Bolted, but not "sport climbs"). Vantage has closely bolted sport climbs with the occasional decent crack in between. Do you want to throw all this diversity away? Make them all homogenous?

This is all very subjective obviously, and only my own opinion. But leave the sport routes to the sport areas. And to the guy who said that it is inevitable that WA pass will become the "alpine sport climbing mecca" . . . I pity that way of thinking.

(I am not bashing the Condorphamine Addiction guy, I am sorry if it comes off that way. I appreciate the work you have probably done in many areas, and the money you have invested in bolts. I only state my opinion for the sake of this forum.)

[This message has been edited by Andy Bourne (edited 04-18-2001).]

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blakely,

in the late 70's and early 80's in the valley epoxys and other adhesives were tried, so that "clean" climbing over blank faces could happen. mixed results and a stoners attention span killed it off. this is evident on the cololmbia boulder(the one with midnight lightning on it) so sarcasm is not at all called for(on this occasion). mitch is right, we can do all sorts of crazy techno things, though it comes down to money and time and money.......

it has been said over and over and over if you can't do it ground up you can't do it.

and agian i request that the other side shed light on their side of the story....so we may all make a more informed discussion....

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Some thoughtful contributions have been made here. The ground up ethic is the only hope for Washington pass. Otherwise it will inevitably become an Alpine sport climbing Disneyland. The topic starter asked us how we feel about all Washington's roadsied areas becoming sportclimbing areas. Do we value diversity? That is seems like the crucial issue here. no one is trying to slander the guys that are putting up the new routes. These guys are just climbers like all of us. Hopefully the "chopping" is taking place in this forum before the bolts even make it into the mountains. Someone said the style in which routes are put up reflects the style of the community. I would have to agree. Do we want that style to reflect domesticity or wildness? Can we have both? Maybe we can, by thinking hard about where rapbolting should take place and by all climbers being critical of the way the areas are developed. I too, want to reiterate the fact that I'm not bashing these guys for their work. I'm just voicing my oppinion; I would be disapointed to see a Condor style route go up on Early Winter Spire.

Keep it Real my friends.

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

Francois

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I agree with Andy Bourne. Having climbed the Condorphamine route this last weekend to see what the hubub was about, I would like to discourage the creation of similar routes in alpine areas like Washington Pass. While the route provided excellent climbing and was certainly convenient, its quality was diminished by the excessive number of bolts en route, many next to good cracks. Most people climbing at this grade (5.10) can comfortably climb sections of 5.8 without a bolt every ten feet and can place reliable gear. If they can’t, there are places where they can learn. Indeed, the mental challenges of runouts and gear placement are integral to the granite climbing experience.

First ascents should reflect the standard of the day. Putting up a route that is far below that standard insults both the climbing community and the rock. For instance, an earlier post used the bolt ladders on the East Buttress Direct as an excuse that bolting the shit out of a FA is acceptable. Keep in mind that when this route was put up, it represented the cutting edge of route development. Nowadays, however, most people are capable of free climbing at that standard and drilling a bolt ladder up it would be rather heavy-handed. Bolt it on rap if you need to, but do so in a manner that reflects contemporary routes on similar stone. On multi-pitch granite, this means no bolts next to gear and closely spaced bolts only on cruxes.

There is nothing new about rap-bolted routes at WA pass. While Bryan Burdo has put up heavily bolted routes at exit 38, he has the sense to maintain traditional qualities in his routes at WA pass. His routes use bolts to supplement natural gear. Though sometimes bolts are found next to good cracks, usually at cruxes, this is the exception rather than the rule. I fear that the creators of “Bolt Spray Buttress” will create a similar route at WA pass. Hopefully this forum will make it clear to them that this type of bolting is not acceptable beyond the sport crag.

 

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There has been a bit of mention about the condor route. Sounds like it is about 7 pitches and 5.10ish. Can someone post the

location/approach so those of us interested

can get a look?

 

One other thing, the route description for dan's dreadful direct in the leavenworth guide reads desperate climbing with marginal gear. Hopefully the guys retrobolting know what they are up to, and are not destroying someone elses legacy. In this case the FA by Dan Davis and Pat Callis in 1963, and FFA by Dan lepeska, and John Stoddard in 1985. Not finger pointing, just trying to add some information.

Cheers,

Doug

 

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Hi everybody,

This is all interesting. I think I am with Jordan's well thought out comments. Mitch, you might just have the balls of steel I may never grow shocked.gif heheh.

-RB

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To jblakley

I suggest people face climb only if they can do it on their own by any means except leaving markings behind. They can do it via top rope or free solo—whatever their choice is. The rope, bolts, biners, and slings are only there for safety—they are not there to enhance the experience. If people are putting up bolts just to protect themselves from a potential fall, then they should not be there. A wacky analogy: people shouldn’t be putting their heads in alligator jaws if the jaws were going to potentially shut on them.

In addition, there is something aesthetic about climbing a route and not seeing any sign of a previous person being there. I guess the compromise is to allow bolting in non—wilderness areas because people are going to bolt anyways. It would be the same thing with roads. People are going to build roads—but do we need to build roads everywhere? A bolt ladder could be seen as a road……

I will never understand the need to bolt anything anywhere. I see bolting the same as putting up a ladder on a route.

 

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Stefan,

I certainly respect your opinion. Even though we all enjoy climbing we all have different ideas on how it should be done. It would disturb me for instance to see a crack line bolted or to see bolts thrown up every 3 feet or with thoughtlessness or abandon. Chipping also bothers me. What also bothers me is when someone attempts to sell their opinion as THE opinion and takes it further with some sort of action (i.e. chopping bolts without a consensus from other climbers). I am by nature an irreverent person and that is why I identify with climbers well as a group. We all seem to shun authority in some form.

I don't follow the ladder analogy unless you are referring to a closely spaced bolt line in which one could etrier their way up. I enjoy pretty much all types of climbing. I love Index and I love Smith equally. So I'm assuming that you don't enjoy or understand sport climbing. Hey that's cool with me. There are enough different types of climbing to keep us all happy.

Take care and have a good one,

Jim

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