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Jens

Pitons

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Pitons make great anchors and protection points and are often the only protection available. Next time you are climbing a route in the mountains, consider leaving the piton you just placed in place for others to use after you.

It:

*Saves the rock from future placements

*Is standard practice through most of the rest of the world

*Makes the experience more enjoybale for when you come back to repeat the route.

* Is the kind and noble thing to do (good karma)- you'll send hard!

* Will allow you to climb faster (you won't have to waste your time cleaning)

* You won't risk dropping the piton

* You can really hammer it home

* Pitons don't cost much

* You can place them in three sided corners where if you were planning on taking it out you couldn't

* You'll get beers from freinds at cc pub clubs.

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

Roadcuts are great places to practice putting ptions on and building your skill level.

Have fun and be safe!

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By and large these days, pins should be considered fixed pro. That may not be the case in all alpine settings, but for rock climbing, they should definitely be left fixed if used.

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Yes- very good point. If you find piton in place, unlike a stuck cam, the piton was placed and intended to be left in place for others. It is considered very bad form to steal it.

If you have an older friend that tries to bark about pitons, know that they proabably are a fringe element. Learning and practicing pitoncraft is a very enjoyable thing to try if you are new to the sport.

Have fun and be safe.

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I should add a caveat, at least in NW basalt, that only med-long Bugaboos, Lost Arrows, and Soft Euro spades end up lasting for the long haul as fixed pro. Angles, knifeblades, and short pins are problematic - angles have too little surface area in contact with the rock, knifeblades corrode, and short pins work loose eaiser.

 

At least that was what was found in the course of checking/reset/replacing all the fix pins at Beacon. Small angles in particular should be treated as suspect. Knifeblades can look completely fine on the outside where you clip and be badly corroded inside the crack. But overall and on average, pins have stood the test of time out there much better than the bolts most of which were quite bad.

 

In alpine granite I'd likely tend to check any pins I came across and would probably carry a hammer/funkness if I thought I was going to...

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Yes- very good point. If you find piton in place, unlike a stuck cam, the piton was placed and intended to be left in place for others. It is considered very bad form to steal it.

 

This is a bunch of BS.

 

Town Crier, for example, has a number of fixed pins that are next to reasonable gear placements. This route should be cleaned of extraneous gear.

 

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I bootied 3 or 4 pins from Gunsight that Fred Beckey or Lloyd ANderson probably put there in the 30s or 40s. They came out with a few rock taps and certainly weren't needed for the climb. Should I feel bad about that? :noway:

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It's like those penny trays next to the cash register.

 

Got a piton? Leave a piton.

Need a piton? Take a piton.

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I think so. If you think they were put in by those folks than just leave them, they're part of the routes history. From a technical perspective there's probably no need for angles on routes anymore, but what makes you think you should just booty old fixed pins? I personally think that's kind of a dick thing to do to be honest.

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Couldn't one legitimately say that at this point it was just trash in the mountains, and wasn't doing anyone any good? When looked at objectively, they were just old litter.

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One could argue that we should leave all the rap tat that we find because one day it will be a historical artifact.

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One could argue that we should leave all the rap tat that we find because one day it will be a historical artifact.

 

no, it will get chewed up and blown away first.

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Dudes- Pins in-situ are to be left!

I leave ones I place all the time.

I guess if 50 thousand people read this site and only three of you post and say "BS-steal the piton!" I shouldn't worry to much. (not the mainstream view).

Dudes this is the newbies forum, what are you guys doing over here? :brew:

peace out.

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Jens, I wouldn't say placing a pin is an art for the newbie. Original pins from the FA should be left for historical value and yes they are garbage, much like bolts. Never understand how at a place like Smith Rock State Park you will see a sign that says "Pack it in, Pack it out" and then a bunch of climbers pack it in and leave it. Bullshit. And yet I clip. Pins should not be placed were gear can go. And yet I clip those as well.

 

 

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Yes- Pins should never be placed where natural gear is available or almost available- Remember someone may have more balls then you and you should save that experience for them-

Also if no natural gear is available(crag setting)a bolt does less long term damage then a pin- Once a pin is placed in the crack it is forever bigger- A bolt can be removed and patched leaving the crack in tact for future generations with better skill and gear.

 

Cheers,

 

Dale

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Couldn't one legitimately say that at this point it was just trash in the mountains, and wasn't doing anyone any good? When looked at objectively, they were just old litter.

 

 

What about at your home crag? Are they trash there as well.

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I'm with Jens here. Well-placed pins are bomber, and can stay that way for a long time. Last summer on NE Buttress of J'berg my buddy fell in that skanky loose chimney. (Should have taken the solid but ackward direct line.) His stopper pulled, and 30' later an old fixed pin held him. If it weren't for that peice, things would have turned ugly real fast. Thanks to Tom Miller or Roland Tabor, or whoever pounded it in.

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There are a number of pins out there on classic routes where the eye has rusted through and is now completely useless. Just another rusty nail to step on.

 

 

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Since this was in the newbies forum, I figured this would be the appropriate place to ask...

 

Anybody got any suggestions for places around Portland to practice placing pins? It seems for a lot of the "mixed" winter/spring routes that they really oughta be part of the standard rack (knifeblades and LAs, right?). Most of the climbing I do is at crags, and I've had no practice nailing. I'd like to practice before I'm 30' runout facing a tiny seam....

 

Any ideas? :wave:

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There are no shortage of road cuts and choss piles around that you allow you to practice nailing. Again, there's little point in leaving short pins, or knifeblades fixed unless you're going to damage the rock removing them. And that's where the practice comes in - if you're going to place them so your second can remove them you need to get picking the right piece down and not overdriving it (which you dont' want to do regardless). By and large in instances where I'm going thin and not going fix a piece I tend to lean more towards Beaks, Peckers, and old Crack 'N Ups rather than pins - they're faster to place and remove.

 

As far as pins rusting out on classic alpine routes, that's a bummer, but had they been bolts they'd be an equally worthless rusted stub given most were placed at a time when SS wasn't the norm. Bottom line is all fixed pro - bolts and pins alike - require maintenance and if they don't get it they end up trash.

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OK, I hate to throw this out because I don’t want to start a pissing contest, especially in the newbie forum, but I seem to detect anti-bolters suggesting leaving pitons in the wall, and I am just trying to get my mind around the logic.

 

If I am climbing a protectable crack, I should use removable gear. If there is a thin crack, ostensibly too thin to take pro, then I would use a piton. Q: Why not just place a bolt? Which bolt on a crack climb would no doubt raise the ire of the climbing community. I am making an assumption that on a pure ethical basis, leaving a piton and leaving a bolt are the same thing, but perhaps I am wrong. On a pure ethical basis, are bolts and pitons seen differently?

 

My comment on running across a Fred Becky Piton in the hills would be that I would probably take a photo, but leave the pin so others can also find a Fred Becky pin on a route. Just my thoughts.

 

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I completely agree. Finding rusty old pins brings to mind romantic pictures of hobnails, knickers and dulfersitz rappels. Leave 'em for the rest of us to chuckle at and move on.

I'm also OK with clipping and leaving the occasional recent pin. I don't buy the whiny, liberal, mamby pamby BS that fixed pins are so bad. If a fixed pin ruins your day then you have too much time to waste thinking about little things.

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