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Jens

Pitons

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Regardless of the ensuing debate, here is another one for your list, Jens:

*leaving the pin will make your pack lighter.

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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?

 

On a purely technical basis pins and bolts are both fixed pro, both require maintenance. Beyond that it's a matter of working with the rock from my perspective. If a spot needs fixed pro and the rock is amenable to pins and will take a medium or long pin (Bugaboo, Lost Arrow, or Soft Spade) then I will fix a pin. If the rock is not amenable or it will not take a medium or long pin then I'd go with a bolt. Those are my ethics relative to working with the rock. Gear > fixed pins > bolts as an absolute last resort - but it's very rock-specific.

 

Outside of an alpine setting, pins should be fixed and not removed except possibly to be reset as a part of being maintained every 8-10 years or so. And I personally don't feel angles or short pins of any variety are appropriate for fixed pro and would say use pro in lieu of an angle and a bolt in lieu of a short pin.

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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?

 

At the risk of stating the obvious. They are different. You have to drill a hole for the bolt. The pin gets placed in the existing crack. With reasonable care, the pin can be removed and replaced with no damage to the rock.

 

The debate about ethics goes deeper still.

 

chris

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