Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
AR_Guy

First Ascent - How?

Recommended Posts

So how do you experienced folks go about doing FA's? Specificially, I'm asking more about sport climbs (trad seems straight forward enough - find a crack and climb it - yes, I realize there's more to it that that). So what do you do, find a good spot to top rope a future sport route, climb it, mark where the bolts ought to go, then come back and set the bolts? What do you do if there's no good spot to protect either from above with a top rope, or cracks or other features to set pro in to lead a FA? Drill and bolt as you go?

 

 

If it's not too steep (less than 30 degrees), rapping down a static line anchored tightly at the bottom will keep you close enough to bolt. You can often find pin placements, hooks, or somesuch as temporary anchor points to hold you in enough to reach the rock.

 

Anything steeper seems to me simply a pain in the ass. Sometimes you'll reach as far as you can and drive a temporary 1/4" from which you can then reach the permanent placement. Or a pin, or a toe-hook(!). Hard steep routes'll often have bolts a bit closer together, just so you can work the cruxes without having to bump up 20' after each failure (us sportos are into ease and convenience).

 

I've heard of long horizontals (Maple Canyon) being bolted with the aid of a long 2 by 6; place your first bolt, attach 2 by 6, shimmy out 2 by 6, place next bolt, etc. pain in the ass still, from the sound of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After the completion of yet another adventure, It reminded me what you need around here, even more than bolts, are gloves and machetees to reach that special placs, devils club rips your flesh, and protects the top rope tree

Edited by cstemley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

god, you sound like an egotistical prick...jeezus, lighten up...

 

You know, some people like resort skiing, some like the backcountry...climbing's the same...deal with it, frickin' whiner...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

 

nothing at si was bolted on purpose like that...where the fuck did you hear that??????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Nicely put, bug... thumbs_up.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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...

 

Close ...

 

Putting Up Routes

 

For Bruce, who's 41 and describes himself as a "professional kid" (actually, he's a software developer who's worked for Boeing and Microsoft), route building is a three-step process. First, there's the crowbar. After he finds a suitable wall, Bruce rappels down it, stopping to remove any loose or unstable rocks that could tumble down the rock face while climbers are scaling the wall.

 

Then he scrubs the rock clean, removing dirt, moss and all debris so the rock is as grippy and sticky as it can be. Bruce employs everything from brooms to wire brushes the size of dinner plates to toothbrushes to even butter knives, to get at the smallest crevices.

 

"The goal is to get the rock as clean as possible," he says. "You should be able to lick the rock and not taste anything."

 

From there he's ready to set the actual route, climbing and reclimbing the route to determine the best places to set protection — bolts with hangers, which subsequent climbers will then clip their ropes into as they make their way up the wall. To drill holes for sinking bolts into the rock, Bruce uses a Roto Hammer, a high-powered machine usually used for drilling holes into concrete on construction sites.

 

"It used to take days to put up routes, but the drills have gotten so powerful that people can put up routes in minutes."

Edited by tomtom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"It used to take days to put up routes, but the drills have gotten so powerful that people can put up routes in minutes."

Remember, just because one can, doesn't mean one should. By this I mean some thought should be put into the route and the placement of the bolts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

 

nothing at si was bolted on purpose like that...where the fuck did you hear that??????

 

couple of routes in cheakamus where the bolt is placed in solid rock and then a fixed chain is extended so that you can clip the chain cause the bolt is 1 to 2 feet out of reach... doesn't look any different than a single point rap anchor except in the middle of a route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
god, you sound like an egotistical prick...jeezus, lighten up...

 

You know, some people like resort skiing, some like the backcountry...climbing's the same...deal with it, frickin' whiner...

 

Well the problem is they keep wanting to build ski resorts in the backcountry and climbings the same. And my point exactly is climbing is only that way now after 20 years of support of bolts and gyms. "Recreational" "climbers'" bolts keep encroaching and some of us do not care to see every line in the US grid bolted to entertain bored suburbanites. Or are you one of those types that whine when someone encroaches on your particular playpen. You obviously don't mind which is fine, but you'll have to deal with a few of us remnants of your obviously sad past. And folks wonder how the Ignorant Blisses happen - is it utter cluelessness or are you just too distracted entertaining yourself to be bothered?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

"Leave something boltless" - how kind and generous of you. How about keep it simple, don't bolt in the wilderness and especially don't "safely connect" lines. No doubt the initial rationale for Ignorant Bliss

 

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

 

Simple again, don't turn alpine climbing into "sport alpine" by creating alpine sport routes.

 

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.

 

Here we agree...

 

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.)

 

I could not disagree more, there are already too many "climbers" who are totally unself-reliant and wholly dependent on purely bolted lines. Bolting rock to sustain their consumption and the relentless transgressions of a small percentage of their very large numbers is the problem with land use policies. More climbers cause the problems, not solve them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
god, you sound like an egotistical prick...jeezus, lighten up...

 

You know, some people like resort skiing, some like the backcountry...climbing's the same...deal with it, frickin' whiner...

 

Well the problem is they keep wanting to build ski resorts in the backcountry and climbings the same. And my point exactly is climbing is only that way now after 20 years of support of bolts and gyms. "Recreational" "climbers'" bolts keep encroaching and some of us do not care to see every line in the US grid bolted to entertain bored suburbanites. Or are you one of those types that whine when someone encroaches on your particular playpen. You obviously don't mind which is fine, but you'll have to deal with a few of us remnants of your obviously sad past. And folks wonder how the Ignorant Blisses happen - is it utter cluelessness or are you just too distracted entertaining yourself to be bothered?

 

ok...so explain how sport climbing in europe and smith started BEFORE gym climbing even existed?????

 

oh, and obviously sad past? GO FUCK YOURSELF...you know nothing about me, tool...

 

Ripping your fucked existence on this lame board is enough of entertainment for me...i don't even climb these days...

 

So go fiddle w/ your ball nutz again, asswipe the_finger.gif

Edited by RuMR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ok...so explain how sport climbing in europe and smith started BEFORE gym climbing even existed?????

 

Sport climbing started a couple of years before gyms, but it is the product of gyms - climbers dependent on totally bolted lines - that are causing the access problems.

 

oh, and obviously sad past? GO FUCK YOURSELF...you know nothing about me, tool...

 

You're the one pissing on the history of climbing, sport. One can only assume you consider it a sad history and not to be regarded with much credence or respect. There are a lot of us who lived and climbed through about three decades or more of that history that still do and don't care much for the impact of climbers that view "safe" climbing and a bolt every six feet as an entitlement qualifying for a new amendment to the Bill of Rights.

 

"i don't even climb these days..."

 

No doubt...

 

So go fiddle w/ your ball nutz again, asswipe

 

Heading out to do just that, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
climbers dependent on totally bolted lines - that are causing the access problems.

 

That has sometimes been the case, but it has also happened that the climbers who react against sport climbing to wage the bolt wars and draw land owners or land managers into those conflicts actually cause the access problem, and trad climbing itself has also caused access problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
climbers dependent on totally bolted lines - that are causing the access problems.

 

That has sometimes been the case, but it has also happened that the climbers who react against sport climbing to wage the bolt wars and draw land owners or land managers into those conflicts actually cause the access problem, and trad climbing itself has also caused access problems.

 

If the community cannot, or more likely chooses not to police itself, then given the relentless march of bolting you can expect more Ken Nichols. But if were going to play politics, let's not play games - the bolters and bolts going in inapproptiately are the core problem with the odd Ken Nichols, bolts coming out, and those that "react" merely a symptom of a larger "consumer" consumption pattern and appetite.

 

Almost all access issues are related to the overall population growth of "climbers", 70% or so of whom can not "climb" without entirely bolted lines. Problems associtated with trad climbing and climbers barely register as a blip by comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gentlemen, you are losing sight of the reason for this post and a no longer benefitting new climbers or the original poster. You could tack your bolt war discussion onto any one of several existing threads and it wouldn't make a difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ok...so explain how sport climbing in europe and smith started BEFORE gym climbing even existed?????

 

Sport climbing started a couple of years before gyms, but it is the product of gyms - climbers dependent on totally bolted lines - that are causing the access problems.

 

oh, and obviously sad past? GO FUCK YOURSELF...you know nothing about me, tool...

 

You're the one pissing on the history of climbing, sport. One can only assume you consider it a sad history and not to be regarded with much credence or respect. There are a lot of us who lived and climbed through about three decades or more of that history that still do and don't care much for the impact of climbers that view "safe" climbing and a bolt every six feet as an entitlement qualifying for a new amendment to the Bill of Rights.

 

"i don't even climb these days..."

 

No doubt...

 

So go fiddle w/ your ball nutz again, asswipe

 

Heading out to do just that, thanks.

 

I thought you were talking about my personal history, as opposed to climbing's...My bad...

 

I've been climbing since before sport climbing started, so i'm well aware of the context we are speaking of...

 

I still can't get over your beachnazi, my wave mentality...it really seems that all of your bitching comes down to the fact that there are just too many climbers (whether you call team REI climbers, or not, is another discussion) for your tastes...

 

regarding my comment and your response about climbing anymore, i don't think you'll be climbing rings around me so to speak...

 

have fun scratching your 'nads...they must be brass or sumpin rolleyes.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, Catbird, there is a "relevant" point in Joseph's statement and my reply:

 

one who contemplates establishing a new route should think about the context -- that is, how it will fit into the area and whether it may cause access problems or stimulate bolting conflicts or cause other problems.

 

(Granted, this is only tangentially relevant to the initial question "how is is it done".)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joseph, you make it sound as though the perceived overcrowding problem will be solved if everyone would just become a trad climber. I don't follow your logic. Are you saying that bolts are an "attractive nuisance"? So, then getting rid of the bolts will get rid of the climbers? Is that what you are saying? Aren't you afraid that overcrowding on bolted lines will force more people into trad to compete with people like you who climb exclusively trad? I'm just trying to figure out where you are coming from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing that I don't get is that around here, there is ample evidence of crowding on trad routes, with the land use issues to match. Leavenworth, Index, Squamish - these aren't sport climbing areas, and yet all have plenty of crowding issues, land-use conflicts, environmental concerns etc. The biggest crowds I've ever seen have been from groups of top-ropers and classes (Mounties, etc.) at places like Bruce's Boulder (11worth) or in the Smoke Bluffs (Squish). These folks weren't sport climbing.

 

I don't know, man, I guess it depends on what you've seen. I learned to climb in Squamish, and have seen the transformation of cliffs like Burgers and Fries in a scant decade or so (trad toproping/beginner leading - all trees at the top killed from top-rope anchoring, trampling of thin soil, and housing development; garbage issues from local yahoos; conflicts with locals over noise, trespassing, etc.). I'm afraid these issues have to do with growth and development (of the town), and not with bolts.

 

I maintain that access is the biggest issue affecting crowding. Crowding sucks when you want to climb there and feel like you're surrounded by unsafe gumby morons, but it's a catch-22: without a strong community, climbers are a fringe group easily pushed aside by developers and private property folks. Part of how you get a strong community voice is by having significant numbers of interested people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rudy... I am so glad that you brought your drill to Indian Creak... I don't know how I would have climbed all of those scary cracks without bolts. I mean I am a product of the gym and I didn't start climbing generations ago so I must be a pussy and need grid bolts to get up anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do ya'll have day jobs or what, take a day off work and go climb on a week day,Hell take a whole week off than on Sat,when them croweds of city folks hit you'll be resting cause your so damn tired from climbing so much and you won't find nothen to bitch about. Generations ago ya had to make your own harness and 5.9 was hard, specialy with shoes that hurt. If you think you might die, It's ok to bang a bolt, other wise save it for later,slamming Bolts are not a garentee that you just did a first ascent, it just means you drove a bolt, and it will always be just a bolt, climers don't say what a great job of bolting any body did,(Except for that guy on Cerro torro in 1960+/-) I always think, to bad the rock diden't want to give up that line and offer up some pro. Thats it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, wouldn't those technically be a whole bunch of short "run-on paragraphs" that use commas instead of periods? Obviously so sort of high tech compression technology from South of the Mason-Dixon line at work here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

"Leave something boltless" - how kind and generous of you. How about keep it simple, don't bolt in the wilderness and especially don't "safely connect" lines. No doubt the initial rationale for Ignorant Bliss

 

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

 

Simple again, don't turn alpine climbing into "sport alpine" by creating alpine sport routes.

 

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.

 

Here we agree...

 

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.)

 

I could not disagree more, there are already too many "climbers" who are totally unself-reliant and wholly dependent on purely bolted lines. Bolting rock to sustain their consumption and the relentless transgressions of a small percentage of their very large numbers is the problem with land use policies. More climbers cause the problems, not solve them.

I like your extremism. I was once quoted as saying "There should be no bolts west of parkinglot wall." That would have closed off over fifty multi-pitch lines that each take one to five bolts. I placed three of them on a twelve pitch route. I put up or helped put up a couple dozen other lines that took all passive pro. But that splitter up the south face of Nez Pierce and the 15 foot roof crack 2300 ft above the creek were just too enticing to stand. There was one spate of rampant bolting in Blodget but for the most part, the "hand drilled bolts on lead" ethic stood,- even on Parkinglot Wall. I doubt that anyone would say even that is grid bolted though they are all sport routes.

Anyway, I respect your opinion. I don't totally share it but there is a need for a few of you around......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×