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Raindawg

Sport vs Trad

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well certainly not sharing any trip reports is no measure of climbing prowess or knowledge. but it does make you wonder why that person is here in the first place. i suppose it is to take a turd on the contributions of others.

 

good job with that, you're awesome.

 

rudy, looks like you and me need to get together and go climb das toof and post the 914th trip report on cc.com about our adventure on what is clearly washington's most sought-after summit. then maybe we'll get some cred with jake porker et al.

:lmao: i suck...der toof would kick my arse these days...

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well certainly not sharing any trip reports is no measure of climbing prowess or knowledge. but it does make you wonder why that person is here in the first place. i suppose it is to take a turd on the contributions of others.

 

good job with that, you're awesome.

 

rudy, looks like you and me need to get together and go climb das toof and post the 914th trip report on cc.com about our adventure on what is clearly washington's most sought-after summit. then maybe we'll get some cred with jake porker et al.

 

i don't give a shit what you do. but why don't you shut the fuck up about people who do write trip reports mmmkay?

JP...he wasn't the one who started down the TR road...mmmkay?? :wave:

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Couple comments. I always tried to lead something before top-roping it because I thought it was really exciting and you only get one chance. Everything is new, nothing is certain, and your brain is working just as hard as your body, trying to read the route, find the gear, find the rests. I just love that shite. But I completely understand that other folks have different ideas about what's fun and safe and impressive.....or whatever motivates you. No problem. I don't think I've ever criticized somebody for top-roping a climb. My question is, for those who are developing routes, why would you then leave a trail of trashy bolts all over the rock? Seems like you've squeezed most of the fun out of it, so why not call it a day and leave it as a top-rope climb?

 

Also back in the '80s sport climbers would distinguish between several styles of leading a climb, based on the amount of previewing and also how the protection was rigged. There was the red point, the pink point, and the brown point. I'm sure some old fart like Bill or OW will log on later and educate us about the subtle distinctions between these designations.

 

This was a pretty interesting post, thanks Pope. I'll address a couple of your questions.

 

Why would someone bother putting in bolts after they've top roped something? Well, even if you've top roped a route, it feels different to lead it, that's one thing. The other is that when done right, what's left behind is a route that can offer a challenging onsite or redpoint to others, by which I mean other people can walk up and have that experience you love, just minus the "find the gear bit" if it's an otherwise unprotectable face. Finding the rests, working out sequences, moving up, backing down to a rest to recover, heading back out, it's still an engaging chess game even without a gear placement on the route. You're right, you can't have that if you've top roped a route beforehand, but others can. I don't know why others put up routes this way, because its a hell of a lot of hard work. I can tell you about why I do it sometimes.

 

I have a private climbing area that is just full of examples. The routes often exist as top ropes for awhile, a bunch of us discuss whether its worth setting up as a lead route, bolt location often happens by group conversation, taking into account things like where are the reasonable stances, what will you hit, and how to maintain an engaging route that merits repeat ascents yet someone can come up and onsight. Frankly, I think the first ascent process on this sort of thing is really fuzzy: who's the FA? The person who conceived of the line? The person who cleaned off anything loose? The person who first top roped it? The person who put in the bolts (often involves several people), the first person to redpoint it? It's all kind of silly and unimportant to me, because you're right, compared to walking up to a blank slate with no knowledge of what's there and climbing that unknown line successfully, the process I described is just playing around, no big deal. Out in Tenino anyway, I think the first climb of a route that has any significance is the first time (well, every time actually) someone walks up cold and onsights a route, and that always impresses the hell out of me.

 

The sort of climb you describe is analogous to a flash of artistic genius, a peak moment when skill, imagination, doubt, and experience combine for a truly memorable event. Its damned awesome to experience, no argument about that.

 

A sport route done well is something different, is an exercise in craftsmanship. Craft usually gets dissed by artists, but mastery and creation are present as well. The making of something durable and solid that others can appreciate for their own use is a different sort of reward. You've tried to explain it away as about ego and getting your name in the book, because you're viewing it from an artist's bias, which is a more selfish thing (note, it's okay to be selfish sometimes, I'm being descriptive not dismissive). Therefore, you think the FA on a sport route must be engaged in some pursuit of selfish pleasure, fame and glory, or whatever. You should consider that perhaps many are merely in pursuit of an interesting thing done well, they're craftsmen. Yeah, I know we can cherry pick some obvious contradictions to my hypothesis, but if I'm wrong, why are so many sport first ascensionists so damn shy? Where are they boasting about their glorious achievements? Guidebooks of yore were much more upfront about who did the FA, the brilliant artist wants full credit for their work of genius. Nowadays you're lucky to find a list in the back of the book, a move I believe was done to "diminish" ego as a motivation. It's kind of a pity too, because as in any craft, not all craftspeople are equal and some build inferior work. That is true of sport routes too, and with a little experience with workmanship, knowing who put up a route can tell you a bit about what to expect or watch out for.

 

Oh, and you had another question for the old farts about red, pink, and brown points. I'm sure you are fully cognizant of those distinctions, but I'll perform as invoked. Red we know is the climbing of a route without weighting the protection. Pink has been discarded by the elite as a designation these days, but it meant that all the draws were pre-installed on the bolts or the gear pre-placed, so all you had to do was clip your rope through the biner. I think it was a good bit of honesty about one's ascent, because if you're climbing at your limit, and a route is really hard for you, its definitely easier to just clip the draw or piece rather than place it yourself. People assert that the hardest routes today are much too hard today to clip the draw to the bolt and now call it a red point as well, but I think it just dumbs down the definition. Brown point is a derogatory term for just getting up a route by any means necessary, pulling gear, hanging, and generally pitching a fit. Used in a sentence, you would say, "I saw Ivan out at Beacon today and he made an ugly ugly brown point on Blownout."

great post off...Pope's point really boils down to JB's and that is if enough bolting occurs, you will remove opportunities for an onsight ground up lead protected with gear...what you described as a, pause for effect, "a flash of artistic genius, a peak moment when skill, imagination, doubt, and experience combine for a truly memorable event."

 

One perfect example is B-Y...there is a corresponding route near there that JB had started ground up, but hadn't finished, that Kauk finished by bolting it on rappel...footage of the route is spectacular, but, in the final analysis, its just another 13+ sport route and pretty rock, when, it could have been the B-Y of this generation...

 

I feel that pope has very very valid points, despite being a flaming/degrading asshole about presenting them...

 

there needs to be room for both sets of thought...honestly...

Edited by RuMR

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I absolutely agree Rudy, and I do understand Pope's point. I was just trying to answer the question "why would someone bolt something they had already top roped?"

 

In the end, we are pretty much talking about one or two people's experience here, the FA party. Once a route is established, but whichever means, its a known quantity with a grade and all. What remains is how will the route be for everyone who comes after.

 

The Bachar-Yerian in Tuolomne, oft cited as a prime example of the bold ground up ethic, is an interesting beast, but somewhat of a statistical outlier. Bachar chose to make a point with that route. He was drilling from hooks, so he could have chosen to protect it better. He was no Tom Gerughty on the Dike Route just down the road, who felt unable to stop and drill and was driven to continue just to escape the route. Bachar's creation is bold and remarkable, but it's not an example of how every route should be. Very very few climbers will ever attempt it, which is just fine, but its not an example of how everything should be. It's okay to play street basketball, not everyone has to play at an NBA level.

 

On the other hand, a bolt every five feet is a terrible standard too. Z clipping? What a horrible modern invention. There's a lot to be said for a 5.9 route for a 5.9 leader, and its okay to have some 5.9 routes for a 5.11 leader: they tend to develop a reputation (like the B-Y, a 5.11 route for a 5.13 leader). The 5.9 for a 5.7 leader? It just doesn't foster the kind of skill and judgment one needs to develop as a climber. As a potentially hazardous entertainment, ability is only one of the elements of being a climber, and probably not the most important one.

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but room needs to exist for something like the BY to come into existence...and i'd argue that its not just the FA that has an incredible experience on that route...

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Like I said, I agree Rudy.

 

Here's a great video of Hayden Kennedy, 18 year old son of Michael Kennedy, on the B-Y courtesy of Black Diamond: link

 

 

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Thanks OW, I thoroughly enjoyed that. That kid is a stud! Sounds like he's got his head on straight as well:

 

"John Bachar’s idea of ethics and style will forever be remembered and I hope that all climbers understand that climbing is simply starting on the ground and finishing at the top."

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all gym trained/sport climbing trained and then loosed upon the traditional world...yep...i'd say he's figured it out alright...

 

i didn't realized you endorsed such scandalous behaviour :rolleyes:

Edited by RuMR

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Some times you have to start in Pee Wee if you hope to end up in the NFL.

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Basically, it is unethical to attempt something unless you can onsight it, and if you toprope it first, you should never lead it because you've already inspected it?

 

It's not a matter of ethics but what aspect of climbing one choses to place emphasis on. It personally bothers me much less to hang, finish the climb (or not) and walk away than rehearsing/inspecting until I can lead something cleanly. Onsighting is always the goal but for me worrying too much about style gets in the way of enjoying moving on the rock and on to another pitch/peak. My guess is that climbing more different rocks will improve your onsighting ability more than red-pointing a smaller number of climbs.

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You ALMOST ALWAYS have to start in Pee Wee if you hope to end up in the NFL.
There...fixed your typo...

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and..in keeping with that theme, many many people stay in the rec leagues etc. and don't go to the NFL...maybe we should bulldoze all the neighborhood ball parks and only build NFL stadiums???

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"John Bachar’s idea of ethics and style will forever be remembered and I hope that all climbers understand that climbing is simply starting on the ground and finishing at the top."

 

Just like Harding!

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There is an enormously contemplative, nay, mystical feeling of peace created from the long process of meticulously gardening, preparing, working, rehearsing and finally redpointing a route that those who only climb onsight will never experience. Personally I prefer to climb onsight in the mountains because I'm too lazy to hike more than I have to, but for cragging FAs I much prefer the top-down approach when situations require it.

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See Pope, the kids are alright, and that one stands a fine chance to establish a B-Y for his generation, not to mention what may lie in Rudy's offspring's future. Coming up through a sport climbing world doesn't mean one can't appreciate the big game. The future is neither as black as you imagine nor as bright as I expect, but its likely to be better than most expect. Seems to have always worked out that way so far...

 

Hey Dru, for a guy who's trad as fuck, I'm really impressed by your appreciation for modern grungy crag craftsmanship. :tup:

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looking back at the past as a guide it is certainly safe to say the future will be different from how any of us imagine it will be.

 

also, "fuck" can be either trad or sport.

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"fuck" is simply a modern construct that serves as an underline emphasis, by which I mean Dru is no one's definition of a sport climber.

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Why would someone bother putting in bolts after they've top roped something? Well, even if you've top roped a route, it feels different to lead it, that's one thing. The other is that when done right, what's left behind is a route that can offer a challenging onsite or redpoint to others, by which I mean other people can walk up and have that experience you love, just minus the "find the gear bit" if it's an otherwise unprotectable face. Finding the rests, working out sequences, moving up, backing down to a rest to recover, heading back out, it's still an engaging chess game even without a gear placement on the route. You're right, you can't have that if you've top roped a route beforehand, but others can. I don't know why others put up routes this way, because its a hell of a lot of hard work. I can tell you about why I do it sometimes.

 

I have a private climbing area that is just full of examples. The routes often exist as top ropes for awhile, a bunch of us discuss whether its worth setting up as a lead route, bolt location often happens by group conversation, taking into account things like where are the reasonable stances, what will you hit, and how to maintain an engaging route that merits repeat ascents yet someone can come up and onsight. Frankly, I think the first ascent process on this sort of thing is really fuzzy: who's the FA? The person who conceived of the line? The person who cleaned off anything loose? The person who first top roped it? The person who put in the bolts (often involves several people), the first person to redpoint it? It's all kind of silly and unimportant to me, because you're right, compared to walking up to a blank slate with no knowledge of what's there and climbing that unknown line successfully, the process I described is just playing around, no big deal. Out in Tenino anyway, I think the first climb of a route that has any significance is the first time (well, every time actually) someone walks up cold and onsights a route, and that always impresses the hell out of me.

 

The sort of climb you describe is analogous to a flash of artistic genius, a peak moment when skill, imagination, doubt, and experience combine for a truly memorable event. Its damned awesome to experience, no argument about that.

 

A sport route done well is something different, is an exercise in craftsmanship. Craft usually gets dissed by artists, but mastery and creation are present as well. The making of something durable and solid that others can appreciate for their own use is a different sort of reward. You've tried to explain it away as about ego and getting your name in the book, because you're viewing it from an artist's bias, which is a more selfish thing (note, it's okay to be selfish sometimes, I'm being descriptive not dismissive). Therefore, you think the FA on a sport route must be engaged in some pursuit of selfish pleasure, fame and glory, or whatever. You should consider that perhaps many are merely in pursuit of an interesting thing done well, they're craftsmen. Yeah, I know we can cherry pick some obvious contradictions to my hypothesis, but if I'm wrong, why are so many sport first ascensionists so damn shy? Where are they boasting about their glorious achievements? Guidebooks of yore were much more upfront about who did the FA, the brilliant artist wants full credit for their work of genius. Nowadays you're lucky to find a list in the back of the book, a move I believe was done to "diminish" ego as a motivation. It's kind of a pity too, because as in any craft, not all craftspeople are equal and some build inferior work. That is true of sport routes too, and with a little experience with workmanship, knowing who put up a route can tell you a bit about what to expect or watch out for.......

 

I thought this was on the money Off. Perfect as Fuck as they say. Only adding that once I've either TR or led a route, for me, it's usually at least as enjoyable, perhaps even more as the rack and weight gets paired down, to go lead it again (as long as it wasn't a pants filling moment the first time). I love Young Warriors and SE Corner at Beacon as much now as ever, for instance. Sure, I know what pro to bring now...and still sort of forget...but it's all good.

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Only if I have a rope, unlike some:-) :cool:

watchu'talk'n'bout willis? i did the corner (w/ a 7 mm rope) w/ jim once - my pro was 3 slings he had, tied into knots here n' there :P

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Anybody who questions the current bolt density or blames it on rap bolting gets called "insane" by goofy guys like Kimmo.

 

 

i called you insane for very different reasons, bud.

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I was thinking of the time I was at the end of pitch 2 of Warriors and you free-soloed through via the Corner and you had a rope over your shoulder and a full rack in your backpack....I offered for you to join us but you declined.

 

Piles of dead kittens heh heh

Edited by billcoe

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