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Retrosaurus

Dan's Dreadful Direct restored

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"Rock restoration" is a long, time honored tradition. Cheers to you guys for stepping up.

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My favorite example of route restoration is that of Warren Hardings first ascent on the Porciline Wall. First he drilled the rock, then he chopped the rivets so no one else could repeat the route. God I love that guy!

Screw you guys; for making a somewhat usefull (although maybe wrong) peace of metal into a absolutely useless peice of trash. You've stepped up into discracing the rock again, after it has been discraced once. Ever hear the old saying "Two wrongs don't make a right?"

[This message has been edited by lambone (edited 07-25-2001).]

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Bone, chopping those rivits on the Porcelain wall just means the 2nd ascent party will have to place better pro in the holes so there won't be any 4-hour speed ascents of that one for a while. Mainly Warren did that to make fun of Royal Robbins wink.gif

"2 wrongs" - what Retro Cavey and Will did was not "wrong" anymore than it was "wrong' to remove the bolts added on Cocaine crack (if that was not just a myth...), it was "righting a wrong".

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Retro,

What post was it that announced your intention to chop DDD?

Cavey gave me one html, but it turned out to be a semi-announcement hidden in the second or third page of an Outer Space post.

Y'all have a good day... and do let us all know what I missed, you know, where that DDD post is. wink.gif

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Speaking of bolts on Castle Rock, I was wondering what folks out there think of the unnecessary bolts on the second pitch on Canary? There's some old mangled ones and now there's also some bright shiny ones right next to them as well. Since there's plenty of gear placements available, why aren't these bolts controversial--or are they?

~Uncle Tricky

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Those bolts are a lame attempt some bonehead with a power drill made to replace the old quarterinchers that had been weakened by weather and time. Instead of pulling the old bolts out drilling out the original holes to 3/8ths and installing new bolts, they just took the quick easy way and put new holes and new hardware in the rock. The intent was good but the results suck. As far as I know the old mangled ones were installed on the first ascent, so in theory replacing them is ok because is an attempt to maintain the climb in the spirit of the original ascent. But putting more holes in the rock is definitely unnecessary. And if there is actually plenty of gear placements available then there is no reason to upgrade them at all.

What about the addition of a bolted belay station to the Saber route? These bolts are inches from cracks. Should these bolts go away?

And the single bolt on the overhang at The Pearly Gates? Hmmmm??

 

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Retro -

I'm not sure where I stand on something like Canary and I'd like to hear more viewpoints. The "first ascensionist" theory, as I understand it, holds that we should not alter the character of a route by adding or removing bolts that were used on the first ascent. Because hand drills were used in the era of the routes that are now having their hardware replaced, and the result was that in most instances the routes were climbed with as few bolts as the first ascensionists could mentally handle, this principal as generally applied means that the person replacing old bolts is supposed to place fewer bolts than they might if they were establishing that route today. An example might be the Mary Jane Dihedral, or perhaps DDD itself. These routes would probably have additional bolts on them if they were put up today.

But what if the original hardware was simply placed badly, or if a route was by some objective standard OVERbolted. Should one who is putting the effort into replacing old hardware maintain the mistakes of the past, and does it really make a difference if they happen to be or to consult with the first ascensionist? Consider an example: there is a bolt on Shock Treatment at Static Point that was originally placed on lead, after the leader placed a rivet and stood on it. That pro bolt is 3' out of reach from the stance below and it was recently upgraded to stainless steel. Wouldn't it have been better to place the new bolt in that prior rivet hole, where it could have been reached from the holds from which it was originally placed? The person restoring the route adhered to the "first ascensionist" principal but I think the result is unfortunate (a desperate clip in the middle of the crux of the route rather than a comfortable clip just before that crux). But the route has been climbed in its current state (with older bolts) for twenty years.

Another example: at Index, there is an old aid bolt at the start of the second pitch of City Park which is now used as a pro bolt. That bolt directs the lead rope to run right where the leader must place their feet, and I believe that an improvement could be made by removing the old 1/4 inch bolt and replacing it with one a foot or two up and to the right, though I am hesitant to do this because I know that such a move would be controversial and because I am not confident that I could restore the rock at the old bolt hole. But I wonder: wouldn't modern climbers be better served by a bolt that offers the same degree of protection but which doesn't interfere with the climbing (this assuming that one could in fact erase the old hole)? This would alter the character of the climb slightly, because it would remove a bit of fumbling with a rope in the way, but do we think that fumbling with the rope is an asset on this climb?.

Example number three: what about those bolts on the second pitch of Canary? If there is good pro nearby, couldn't the bolts have simply been removed? Shouldn't they?

Example number four: there is an old quarter inch bolt in the dihedral on Midway, 120 feet above the pedestal. This is right next to perfect cracks that were probably too wide for the gear carried by early parties and, as far as I know, it is not shown on any topo. In today's world, that bolt might not have been placed, and probably nobody would object to its removal.

Example number five: the start of Slender Thread, at Peshastin. When originally established, the start was "sporty" but probably not dangerous. Then the ground eroded beneath the climb,and there was a leg-breaker root at the start for many years. Ten the tree and root disappeared but were replaced by a flake which would break one's leg. More recently, this flake has been removed so that, I think, the start is back more like how it was originally - runnout and scary but a fall may not mean a guaranteed broken leg. So one might say it is a good thing there has never been a bolt added in the interim. But the start is probably ten feet longer than it was originally, and some would say it is a classic that should be "restored" with the addition of a bolt. Others would be very upset by this.

For me, the first ascensionist principal is less useful when employed in the maintenance of modern bolts that were installed with a power drill. Now that it has become so easy to add a bolt anywhere for any reason, "spray bolts" are proliferating all over the place and I don't think we can assume that a bolt placed by the first ascensionist is necessarily something that should be maintained. And it doesn't seem to matter whether a route was put up on lead or rappel -- with the power drill there still end up being some misfires. The first ascensionist principal is useful in that it places some restraint on someone who comes along and thinks they know how to "improve" things, because it discourages their doing so without some discussion and (hopefully) careful consideration. But what if the first ascensionist was a butcher or simply in-artful? Or what if times have changed, as in the case of what I presume was that old belay bolt on Midway? Or what if the original route has been changed through the failure of an old flake or something? How do we decide?

As to the addition of belay stations, I have talked to many (mostly younger) climbers who feel that this is different from adding pro bolts - even if those belay stations are right next to clean cracks. I don't need or even desire bolts at every belay but the problem is, climbers who start in a gym and then go "outside" to sport crags have never learned how to set up their own retreat and they would be in substantial danger on a trad route without pre-set rappel stations. One could argue that the inexperienced climbers should stay off our crags, but I don't think that is realistic in today's world. I presume this is why a rappel station was added to Outer Space and I might be willing to accept such an alteration if there were some general concensus that rappel stations might be added on trad crags but sport climbs would not be installed on those same crags. In my view, this could be an appropriate compromise and it might be a principal that could be respected by all climbers.

Mattp

[This message has been edited by mattp (edited 07-28-2001).]

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Matt, You are good at angling in on the hard questions. Some ff my opinions: One of the obvious benefits/detractions of bolted belay stations is it makes them obvious. You don't have to think about where to set your belay you just blindly flail away till you reach or dyno for the chains. I would not have as large a rack if people didn't back off stuff when it got too hard, too late or whatever. I have had to leave a few things over the years too. One of the things that was neat about learning to climb at Castle Rock was that it was a serious place- you might have to set up your own anchor and trust your partner to do the same. Rapelling was taught to me as being the most dangerous option for getting down. Ever had a rope thrown down on you while leading Classic Crack? As far as grading the ability of FA'ers placements the guys I know that put up routes are always asking about the ones they're unsure of. I do believe they get moved sometimes. I don't know why not to if the rock can be patched to match. If we have to have bolts lets have as few as necessary and do what we can to put them in the right places.

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On mega-classic multipitch trad lines bolted belays help to quicken the shuffle of teams of gumbies; it's a good thing. Though, this increased efficiency for bumblers may not need to be incorporated for our local classic lines, since few receive back-to-back traffic from 6am through 6pm.

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Climbers have gotten along quite well without fixed belays on OuterSpace for over 40 years. Are modern climber's so lame as to need them now? You would expect that with modern gear belay bolts would be even less necessary or desireable.

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I know I'll probably take some shit for this one, but on short approaches, climbs like Outer Space, etc., my climbing partner and I take our own racks and use our own gear on our leads. That way, if I use a #2 and #3 and something else for an anchor, I'm not using the pieces he needs for the next pitch. As long as you don't mind carrying the extra weight, it works fine.

We only carry one rope, though.

And he usually carries it.

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A standard of conduct only has relevancy in a particular social context. For example the shunning of lepers was reasonable conduct before the operation of the Mycobacterium Leprae was know. Similarly rules regulating the operation of motor vehicle so as to minimize the “spooking” of draught animals also made sense at one time. My sense is that many of the traditions in climbing are as outdated as these two examples. While they may help to connect us with a romantic ideal their continued irrelevancy only contributes to ongoing conflict and controversy. Matt has brought up several good examples where the “FA rules” guide leads us to an obvious conflict with common sense. Even in Toulumne meadows, one of the last bastions of the traditional viewpoint, Bachar’s free solos of new routes were after a time ignored and the “accepted” FA using bolts for protection occurred after the real FA Simply put the traditions of the past do not automatically serve us well in the present. By limiting the retro bolt issue to specific routes and the arcane trivia associated with them it is easy to loose sight of the bigger picture and limits development of a new consensus. As far as rap routes on Snow Creek Wall, I climbed Iconoclast/Edge combination a couple of weeks ago and counted almost twenty rap stations to the left of the Iconoclast corner. The sum total of these anchors is without a doubt many times more of an eyesore than dozens of camouflaged chain anchors. Considering that many of these rap anchors are old pins, crappy flakes, or small trees they are also death traps waiting to be sprung. This said I must agree with retro that OS doesn’t really need a fixed rap installation but I wouldn’t be outraged if it was put in place.

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f

 

 

 

[This message has been edited by Cpt.Caveman (edited 07-31-2001).]

 

[ 09-19-2002, 11:11 AM: Message edited by: Cpt.Caveman ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Peter Puget:

My sense is that many of the traditions in climbing are as outdated as these two examples. While they may help to connect us with a romantic ideal their continued irrelevancy only contributes to ongoing conflict and controversy.

My sense is that Mr. Puget's sense is wrong. What I see having taken place in the last nearly 30 years is a "devolution" of ethics, so to speak. The concept of "clean-climbing" in the early 1970's was actively promoted as an environmentally superior alternative to the thoughtless banging of pins and drilling of bolts. I agree and I see nothing irrelevant about it even though it is now "old" and "traditional". The argument against sport-climbing and grid-bolting WILL continue.

- Dwayner, going out to his haul bag now to polish his hex's and stoppers and wash his white painter's pants.

 

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Dwayner - Let us say that at least for aurgument's sake I agree with you regarding clean climbing not being an irelevant tradition how does that affect what I have said? Logically it doesn't! And by the way in the early 70's one of the places I learned to lead was at Lover's Leap in CA. Virtually no bolts had been placed there at the time and the area was promoted as a place that should be boltless. Several years ago I returned to the area after an almost 20 year absense and was dismayed by the number of bolts and "sport" routes that covered the cliff. At least with regard to this cliff I share your dismay at what modern tactics have wrought. The clean climbing campaign was short in duration and was forgotten as soon as sport climbing appeared. As a tradition its existense is at best tenuous. (Otherwise why was it alsways so heavily promoted?) Why do we need it to be part of a climbing "tradition"? Shouldn't care for the enviroment exist outside of our climbing experience?

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"Shouldn't care for the enviroment exist outside of our climbing experience?"

Caring for the environment is an INHERENT part of our climbing experience...that's why we go out there to begin with. Adding more hardware on rock, simply because it's more popular nowadays, is not a good reason to do so. Allowing thoughtless retro-bolting and bolting lines that can be cleanly protected is comparable to laying down cement on your favorite trail. The ethics that will let us maintain our self-regulation are to keep impact to a minimum - and whether thats an old idea or a new one is neither here nor there.

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Given the controversy generated by many climbers it appears that it is indeed not an inherent part of the climbing experience, or if it is, it is of such a general meaning that it is meaningless. Any group intending to have along life (eg climbing) cannot disregard the general trends of society or of competing groups. Clearly many climbers do not find bolting distasteful at all - witness the many posts at this site - also just as clear many find bolting distasteful. The controversy generated by bolting is ALONE sufficient to cause a remedy to be sought without any appeal to spurious traditions or projections of ones personal climbing experience.

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Regardless of the direction which climbing is taking, there must remain those who advocate for the environment. Arguments against bolting will wear a number of different hats, whether its ethics, tradition or preserving the rock, but if any of them can make Joe Climber think twice about rapping down an established (or even unestablished) route with his Hilti, they still have their place. You can't ignore trends in society or of competing user groups, but you don't necessarily need to agree with them either. The debate continues.

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Two words for you, Mr.Puget:

Eschew obfuscation.

Nothing personal but your posts read like the contract I just signed. Maybe you're a fellow academician in which case you are excused because it is part of your culture.

aloha, Dwayner

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Much as I hate to see protection bolts added to an old climb, or placed on rappel in the name of creating a "lead", belay bolts seem a little different. On a long climb, if you've run out of gear and pull into the belay without the #0 TCU and Big Bro required to set the anchor, you're options are limited. Most people on a long climb will set up a shitty anchor and take their chances. Their partner might not even be aware of the fact that a real belay doesn't exist! That's bullshit. THE BELAY MUST NOT FAIL. These considerations, together with the fact that in a retreat, bolted stations make things practical (or in some cases, even possible), I'm not quite as offended by the addition of a sound belay anchor.

I've given this a lot of thought. On my last trip to J-Tree, I was impressed by how many of the short climbs have no top anchor. When you summit, you've got to set something up. If you can't find the right anchor, you can always haul it up. What's impressive is the way the climbers down there have respected the natural environment; you can get up on a climb and experience the rock from top to bottom the way it must have been thirty years ago, the way it still is fifteen miles from the road!

Outer Space...well, I'm not sure I want to see belay bolts up there when the belays are so easy to get. And most of the critical ones have some kind of bush or something for additional security.

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Two words for you, Mr.Puget:

Eschew obfuscation.

Ditto.

A couple of other salient points:

By adding fixed protection, we make mountains into something less than mountains.

Sport climbing, grid bolting, generalized proliferation of the sport is in the best interests of "the climbing industry" not the best interest of "the sport".

Organizations such as the access fund,and the climbing media (magazines), heavily supported by the climbing industry, are primarily concerned with the maintenance of access to climbing areas, and encouragement of large numbers of climbers so that the sport may proliferate. This is not in the best interest of the sport. This organization has done a very good job of entangling these two viewpoints to the point where the general climbing population cannot tell the difference.

By making the climbing "safe". Adding fixed protection to routes, larger numbers of climbers are encouraged to visit the mountains. The climbers that this encourages are the ones that lack the judgement/experience to provide their own anchors/safety. As the numbers increase, there are more accidents.

Do we really want the Cascades to become the Alps?

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More climbers = more partners.

More partners = more parties.

More parties = more beer!

 

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smile.gif Your are misinterpreting basic inability to articulate with a willfull obscurantism. But better an honest effort at communication than mere sloganeering.

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