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AR_Guy

First Ascent - How?

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First - Joesph H. Sweet.....You have a set dude to just get out there not knowing.....must be amazing. Perhaps one day....... I just see all these routes in the books and SOMEONE, as you said, had to just go for it. I see trip reports of folks on this site and the real epics are sweet - I guess it's cool to live vicariously (?sp) through reading about others experiences. Ditto on the FA questions. Also, I'm an engineer for a living and I'm always interested in the 'how'd they do that' for stuff I've never done or don't know how to do. I see all these routes out at 38 that are way over hung and...how'd they do that? I looked through the Tieton guide book, expecially those multi-pitch routes...again, I had the question of how'd they go about pioneering it. Thanks again for the reply Joseph H.

 

SOBO - The AR in AR_Guy is from how I backed into starting climbing - Adventure Racing. For the ropes sections in the longer races - usually a rappel, but sometimes a traverse and rarely an ascent, I had the harness, ATC, some biners, etc. Since I didn't want to be at the top of a 100' cliff, with possibly a section of free rappeling in there, and choke up due to lack of practice, I got a rope. OK - well, may as well be dynamic, then I could climb on it. I heard about the trestle out at 38, took some private instruction from one of the local gyms on how to build anchors (redundand, equalized, etc) and rappelling and headed out to practice. First time going over the side there....lets say the pucker factor was pretty high. By the 5th time over the edge, I was having fun. Last race I did with a rappel was off the top of a 9 story parking garage in downtown Portland - talk about a blast.

 

Snaggin few slings, extra biners and climbing shoes and I was set up to top rope out at exit 38 - sweet, this is fun. Hey, I got to try some of that lead climbing stuff....some draws and then I learned to lead. Regisetered here on CC and found a couple of folks to climb with in addition to the folks I AR with. I hope to get out to Tieton with one of the climbing partners here in the near future and climb some crack routes - I'm looking forward to giving that a try. The book shows plenty of lower grade routes - perfect for begineers I hope. I'll hold off on getting trad gear for a while though - If all goes well, I'll be hiking the PCT next year, so I won't have a chance to learn it proper until '07.

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Ah, Geek, [rap] bolting a "sport rig"...

 

Get a Hilti TE-6a with an extra battery and a battery pack belt extension, bolts and hangars of your choice (preferrably camo'd), a rubber tube to blow out the holes, a hammer, and a socket wrench. Suspend creativity and improvisation, neatly fold and lock risk management and technical skills "safely" away, assume the mantle of "community service", pretend you aren't permanently altering the rock, and then rap and drill while appearing to agonize in an inscrutable quandry over how far apart to put the bolts - close for pandering popularity, far apart for a shameless displays of ego, or "just right" to the topology and opportunities of the route in a masterful and Goldilockian exercise of competency that provides reasonable "safety" yet preserves some shred of "sportiness". Repeat this "drill" ad nausem - ding - next crag; life is good...

 

AR_Guy, it doesn't matter at this point how you got into climbing, but do yourself a favor and find someone to take you out trad climbing and check out the differences for yourself. The best way to learn to trad climb is by seconding as many good trad leaders as you can talk into taking you up routes. If you give a shout when you're in PDX I'd be willing...

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What a snide answer, Joseph. You'd think I was out there waving banners to promote sport climbing, or that I was the first one to discuss bolting on rappel.

 

People climb rap bolted routes. Deal with it - it's been going on for 20 years, and isn't going away. A guy should have the right to ask a how-to question on a Newbies forum without getting everyone's narcissistic fanaticism shoved in his face.

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It's amazing how, in twenty short years, the only form of rock climbing there was inexhorably became "trad" or "adventure" climbing. True, there is certainly an element of fanaticism in "trad" FA's and there has been no shortage of occasional narcissism in the mix over the years as well as FA's tend to be a mirror. But [sport] bolting has taken about the same amount of time and courage as it took to kill all the buffalo a hundred years earlier and I deal with that as well - I just don't consider either one to be a matter of sport so much as sprawl.

 

You're posts here are consistently pro-bolting and advocate "safe" climbing. That along with the cynical tone of your earlier post earned my response in like tone...

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I defend bolting to a reasonable extent in these discussions because no one else seems too eager to step up and do it. Even people on this board who I climb with and who really enjoy the occasionaly day of sport climbing seem very reluctant to admit it here. If everyone was trashing on trad climbing as crazy or passe or only for moldy has-beens, I would be defending its merits.

 

But it's silly, because there are obviously a huge number of people who enjoy bolted climbs, whether or not they care to talk about it here. If this board is to be at least somewhat relevant to the real world, it's pointless to ignore that reality, or try to wish it away. The ways and reasons people climb are obviously diverse. I think there's room for diversity, and think that more people climbing has made the sport/activity better, not worse (environmental impacts and occasionaly crowding notwithstanding). The world changes rapidly these days, folks. Don't expect climbing to be the same 20 years from now either.

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Why not? If everyone (with a few notable exceptions) is at least occasionally into sport climbing, but no one will admit it, what kind of wanker chestbeat discussion is this?

 

"Yeah, trad's totally the shit, man. Bolts are for total losers."

 

"But wait, didn't you go clip bolts at Vantage last weekend, and spray all about what a good time it was?"

 

"Uh, yeah, but, um, it was kind of wet on the westside. Whatever, man, I'm not into that stuff."

 

Hypocrisy is the root of all evil.

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You're right, Geek.

 

Somebody asks: So how do you experienced folks go about doing FA's? Specificially, I'm asking more about sport climbs ... and one guy says "I've never done it but there are lots of different ways to do it while the next poster assumes it is a troll, and the predictable cc.com dogpack follows with a whole slew of posts directly or tangentially suggesting that sport climbers suck or that trad climbing is so much better. They're right of course: sportclimbers are a bunch of total losers and they don't even deserve to kiss the feet of real climbers, but that's not the point. Those poor losers deserve some forum space, too, and the guy (AR) asked what I presume to have been a sincere question.

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Ok.

 

You see a lot of extra-long, fixed quickdraws and obligatory pinkpointing at places like exit 32 (Little Si). Witnessing this, your first question (indeed mine) is something like "why are all of these mutant strong dudes too wussy to place their own gear?" But then you realize that the bolts were not necessarily installed in the ideal place for clipping, rather they were placed specifically so that 'permanent' quickdraws hang down into the ideal clipping spot. Of course the ethical implications of this are a whole different argument. But I assume a lot of these bolts were not placed on lead. I'm sure someone like rumr would have more to say about that.

 

How's that for an OT post!

oh and come on, sticking up for whitey that's pretty funny.

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Aha! An admittance that you've been to X32, and thereby are a SPORT CLIMBER. (Don't even try to pretend you were there for the gear routes.) I have no doubt that all the bolts there were placed on rap, and it's very unfortunate that some of them were probably placed in stupid places. And of course, on most of those routes, you couldn't place gear if you wanted to, so it's not a matter of being wussy, it's a matter of wanting to climb a certain line (and not soloing it, thanks anyway).

 

Yes, the stark truth is that MOST BOLTS PLACED NOWADAYS ARE PLACED ON RAPPEL (ascenders, actually). Lord forgive us all.

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On overhanging terrain, you pretty much have to be hanging from aid pieces in order to place a bolt on lead (maybe some guy could stand at a kneebar rest and drill a hole). I haven't tried it on overhanging rock, but I have placed a bolt while hanging from a hook on rock that was less than vertical and you know what? The bolt ended up next to a nice hook placement but not exactly where subsequent free climbers might want it.

 

My guess is most of those routes at WW1 at Little Si were not bolted on lead and are the better for that fact. Some of the bolts may still have ended up in poor locations, but (hopefully) anybody who is engaged in this activity takes time to think about what they are doing and does the best they can.

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Enjoying sport climbing and wanting to put up sport routes yourself are entirely different things. I can climb something and be disgusted by the bolt job, and have. I might have enjoyed the moves, but shook my head at the bolts next to cracks. You've seen me skip bolts that I thought were unnecessary, Geek.

 

I'm not going to get all snobbish and refuse to climb ze route zat is not ze perfect example of ze High Holy Ethical Bolting Standard. What's the point? If I had any say, which I never do, I would simply encourage others not to establish grid-bolted, crack-bolted, dumbed-down routes, and wouldn't put up such routes myself.

 

The original poster's question was about establishing sport climbs, not climbing them. One action involves permanently changing the rock and surrounding area, the other is much less invasive and hardly establishes a precedent for anything.

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Aha! An admittance that you've been to X32, and thereby are a SPORT CLIMBER. (Don't even try to pretend you were there for the gear routes.)

 

Bah! I've climbed all the cracks at 32. All 3 of them. ooo.gif (no, Abo and that 5.9 at WWI do not count yellaf.gif).

 

But that's besides the point. I was just trying to say something remotely relevant to the dude's question. rolleyes.gif

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ok quick poll:

 

Placing a bolt on rap, well out of reach, with the intention of hanging a long fixed draw off it, leaving stuff hanging off the wall and requiring climbers to pinkpoint on the fixed draw.

 

Ethical?

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Bah! I've climbed all the cracks at 32. All 3 of them. ooo.gif (no, Abo and that 5.9 at WWI do not count yellaf.gif).

 

I know about Mambo Jambo. What are the other two?

 

Anybody here ever led the Vudu Guru corner on gear? I think it would go.

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I know about Mambo Jambo. What are the other two?

 

Anybody here ever led the Vudu Guru corner on gear? I think it would go.

 

well there's one next to Goddess, and then another further left around the corner. Pretty short though.

 

the first one is "E" here:

Stitched_Result.jpg

From deceptioncrags.com

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Next to Goddess... Ooh, the offwidth! Dirty.

 

The one around the corner is basically the left variation to a bolted 5.11 with a boulder problem crux. Up a few bolts to a ramp, then left. It is pretty short, like three moves.

 

Vudu Guru definitely looks like it could go just on gear.

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Placing a bolt on rap, well out of reach, with the intention of hanging a long fixed draw off it, leaving stuff hanging off the wall and requiring climbers to pinkpoint on the fixed draw.

 

Ethical?

 

Ethical? Unethical? Sloppy is more like it. I guess a long draw is fine as a temporary fix, but it's much better (IMO) if said bolt is eventually relocated to a better spot. (Do it quickly before the old one rusts and becomes 'historic'.) Yank the old one, put a little epoxy filler in the hole with some rock dust, no one knows the difference.

 

An entirely different issue is on routes that are being worked. Sometimes bolts can be clipped more than once for dogging on, so you might see a long draw and a short one (or a single biner, sans draw) on the same bolt. On redpoint attempts (ok, pinkpoints technically, but no one cares about the difference anymore), some of these draws or bolts don't even get clipped.

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I think there's room for diversity, and think that more people climbing has made the sport/activity better, not worse (environmental impacts and occasionaly crowding notwithstanding).

 

I would simply have to disagree, I can't think of any aspect of climbing that has benefited from crowds and a large population of less skilled and self-responsible climbers. What I have seen is an endless requirement for the continous "development" of bolted routes to sustain the [commercial] output of gyms. This is a dollar and entertainment driven machine the net effect of which has steadily corrupted what climbing was all about. Sure the folks that rise to the top are capable of great things and do come around to looking for more "adventurous" endeavors because they get bored senseless. But the achievements of the top few of a very large pyramid isn't the issue, it's the ongoing impact of the very large base of [gym-supported] novice and intermediate climbers. Bolted on holds, route directions scratched and painted on the rock, inappropriate bolting. Now, you can paint all such incidents as abberations, but I call them unavoidable and direct affects of a larger population - more people, cluelessness, vandalism, and bad choices. It's more a matter of statistics than judgment.

 

From a statistics perspective, the population base of climbers required to advance climbing from 5.10 to 5.12 was relatively small with a large percentage of that population able to climb at a high level with a relatively low toll on rock. The population base behind the push from 5.13 to 5.15 grew enormously with a very small percentage of that base able to climb at a high level. Again, it isn't about the impact of the small percentage of folks that climb at a high level today, it about the impact of the vast majority who need gyms and bolted routes to sustain their identities as climbers and toll it continues to take on rock.

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I think there's room for diversity, and think that more people climbing has made the sport/activity better, not worse (environmental impacts and occasionaly crowding notwithstanding).

 

I would simply have to disagree, I can't think of any aspect of climbing that has benefited from crowds and a large population of less skilled and self-responsible climbers. What I have seen is an endless requirement for the continous "development" of bolted routes to sustain the [commercial] output of gyms. This is a dollar and entertainment driven machine the net effect of which has steadily corrupted what climbing was all about. Sure the folks that rise to the top are capable of great things and do come around to looking for more "adventurous" endeavors because they get bored senseless. But the achievements of the top few of a very large pyramid isn't the issue, it's the ongoing impact of the very large base of [gym-supported] novice and intermediate climbers. Bolted on holds, route directions scratched and painted on the rock, inappropriate bolting. Now, you can paint all such incidents as abberations, but I call them unavoidable and direct affects of a larger population - more people, cluelessness, vandalism, and bad choices. It's more a matter of statistics than judgment.

 

From a statistics perspective, the population base of climbers required to advance climbing from 5.10 to 5.12 was relatively small with a large percentage of that population able to climb at a high level with a relatively low toll on rock. The population base behind the push from 5.13 to 5.15 grew enormously with a very small percentage of that base able to climb at a high level. Again, it isn't about the impact of the small percentage of folks that climb at a high level today, it about the impact of the vast majority who need gyms and bolted routes to sustain their identities as climbers and toll it continues to take on rock.

 

To lump together all beginners and novices, and say they have no respect for the rock they climb on (or aspire to climb), is absurd. You were a beginner once, right?

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I'd be interested to know what you think of bolted belay anchors on Beacon Rock. Ideally, would you have preferred no bolted anchors at all, perhaps making some lines more tedious to climb? Your very generous hardware additions to the crag make Beacon Rock a safer, more forgiving place. Is it simply a matter of replacing anchors that have "traditionally" been there?

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To lump together all beginners and novices, and say they have no respect for the rock they climb on (or aspire to climb), is absurd. You were a beginner once, right?

 

The issue is strictly one of a more or less complete dependence on bolted lines by the vast majority of today's climbers. They view bolts through a different lens as a desirable thing as opposed to a bad thing or even possibly a necessary evil. It is a view shaped by gyms and based on dependence and need. Yes, I was a beginner once, but in a very different era when there were no bolts and no gyms. I was also fortunate to learn to climb in an area basically with no climbing history so my experience was quite different even for the day compared to a Boulder, Gunks, or Valley experience. My views may well sound harsh, but they are based on watching the effects, impacts, and trends I speak of roll out over thirty years.

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I'd be interested to know what you think of bolted belay anchors on Beacon Rock. Ideally, would you have preferred no bolted anchors at all, perhaps making some lines more tedious to climb? Your very generous hardware additions to the crag make Beacon Rock a safer, more forgiving place. Is it simply a matter of replacing anchors that have "traditionally" been there?

 

Cobra,

 

Beacon is my adopted home, and it is a long established crag where I feel like I'm contributing more to a custodial role than anything else, and that more in honoring of the many, many great climbers that established all those great routes out there. I got involved because relationships had gone south among all the involved parties out there and I perceived there were multiple threats to climbing out there.

 

As for your specific question of anchors and anchor replacement. That is what the effort is all about. Most all of the anchors we've replaced (which will be most of them) were quite deteriorated or "spinners" when you looked at them close and it was far past time to replace them. I got involved with that project both for selfish reasons (lousy anchors) and because, as a "mature" crag, objective risks such as loose rock and bad anchors have accumulated over years to the point where collectively they represented a real danger. That danger threatened access in general if accidents started happening.

 

Given the body of routes out there aren't my FA's I don't feel it's my place to change the character or nature of climbing at Beacon by adding or removing anchors. The only new or planned anchor additions are strictly a result of discussions / decisions made with BRSP Staff with regards to getting anchors off various trees to protect them.

 

As for what I would do differently had I climbed there back when most of these anchors went in - no, there are many I wouldn't have put in - but anchored pitches are the tradition at Beacon. I also wouldn't have put nearly as many bolts on Young Warriors either - the first pitch in particular I lead on pro as often as I clip it. But that's me and I would have had to have been more actively involved out there long ago if I wanted any say in those decisions.

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To Bolt or not to bolt.

Beware of the polarity as you may well loose friends in the debate.

Here are the generalized ethics of bolting that I like. You are all welcome to your own opinion.

1. Bolting in a wilderness area should be limited to routes that need at most, intermittant bolts to safely connect otherwise traditional lines. My reasoning is the reasoning of the wilderness legislation. "To preserve some part of these lands in their pristine condition for the enjoyment of future generations." We do not know what methods for protecting routes will be developed in the future. Leave something boltless for the next generation just in case, just like we were left the wilderness by people who worked very hard to establish it.

2. Bolting outside the wilderness should be limited to otherwise unprotectable routes and those cases similar to my wilderness bolting assertion.

3. Established routes should be left alone. If an existing bolt "needs" to be replaced, this should be done by someone with considerable experience after discussing it with a wide range of local climbers. Safety vs. fun vs. ethical consideration of local traditions should be considered. Orbit is a good case study. I do not use existing bolts on Orbit. I feel very well protected using all traditional gear. Most or all of the bolts would probably not have been placed if modern gear were available to the first ascentionists and the later climbers who placed those manky old 1/4 inchers. I think there should be absolutely no more bolts on Orbit. This discussion was held in another thread. It just seems like a good example to cite here.

4. Dissing sport climbers or bolting in general is shooting yourself in the foot. The more climbers we have, the more likely it will be that our sport will be considered in public land use policies. The more people that participate, the more power we have and the more abuses we will see. As with most things, the really blatant trangressions are committed by very few. That said, I have no problem chopping bolts next to cracks or otherwise inappropriately placed (existing routes, especially my own 1st ascents, Rap placed bolts in lead bolting areas. Other cases may exist.)

Did I leave anything out?

Oh yeah, the original question.

Different areas have different ethical traditions. Some allow rap bolting some do not. Areas like Vantage seem to have very limited ethical standards. That area is as much of a free for all as I have ever seen. Where the masses go so does the garbage and the wider range of transgressions.

All this is to say that how you go about establishing a route varies by area if you go by tradition. Personally, I do not see the need to place a bolt on rap when there are so many lead routes left in the world. A bit of rain was always fodder for day of recon. But if that is what you fall into, I do not care, as long as you stay within the guidelines stated above. Your personal approach is permanently recorded in the rock (although a crowbar and a little epoxy can make it seem otherwise).

Whatever the case, everthing you need to know is pretty easy to find out by getting out and climbing with a wide range of climbers. Otherwise, kindergarden rules apply. Be considerate.

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