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Checat

A nonbolting thesis

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Thesis, diatribe, philosophy - Call it what you will, has anyone else checked out this website? It links from Wikipedia's definition of trad climbing (which does a decent job of tackling that one without tripping over itself).

 

http://climbingbolts.wordpress.com/

 

While I may be a fan I don't know if this guy will get much of a following behind his movement.

 

Seems like, even with all the pooh-slinging, people tend to enjoy bolting debates around here...

Edited by Checat

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The majority of bolts are on relatively easy climbs; perhaps not so much in the UK, but certainly in countries which have adopted wide spread bolting.

 

On these routes it is almost always possible to use natural protection instead, often ‘bolt-only’ climbers think the routes are ‘unprotectable’ when it is far from the truth. This often stems from the fact that they have not had the opportunity to learn how to place gear and therefore do not know when it is good – coupled with the fact that they are never looking for it

I think he's going to have a pretty tough go of it with those wing-nut assertions...

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I'm not huge on clipping bolts and I agree with you JosephH, it is going to be tough to stick with this all or nothing attitude.

 

However, I was giving his ideas a thought a couple months ago and would have contributed this concept to his site if it was a little more interactive:

 

When I lived in Southern Oregon I would visit larger coast formations where bolts would have to be replaced year to 1/2 yearly because of the effects of the ocean. Most routes at some point would lose their bolts and hangers, leaving simply the holes to plug in one of those removable bolts

 

http://www.rockclimbing.com/gear/Detailed/449.html

(liberty mountain, i don't believe is the only people making these)

 

So few people carry 1 or 2 of these, let alone a rack of 12+ to fill the void for normal hangers.

 

 

Replacing all present bolts and hangars with the hole that they have already made and using a rack of this combined with a rack of draws at all sport crags is right in line with what this guy wants though, and would definitely make strides towards bring back an aesthetic quality.

Edited by Checat

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i bet that guy has never bolted a route on lead from a stance. he is jealous of all the bad ass climbers that could out climb his wanker ass any day. what a joke, wikipedia and the internet at its finest again.

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LOL... Has that guy ever climbed? He must live in the land-o-plenty-of-cracks.

 

There are climbs that bolts are the only option. Clean slabs, routes that have long run outs between gear, poor gear placements. I like to climb. Not the greatest climber. But I like to be able to go home at the end of the day rather than the hospital or worse.

 

Checat, maybe the discussion should be along the lines of "is bolding near the ocean worth it." Seems your problem with bolting is specific to that.

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not necessarily specific to the ocean> it has been implemented there, I was saying "what if you applied this ethic to all bolted areas", drank the kool-aid with this guy and pulled all hangers and bolts:

 

imagine a rack with 10+ (however many the route requires whatever you need) removable bolts, concurrent rack of quickdraws, your still sport climbing, your still just clipping bolts; you just bring the bolts to the party.

 

I propose this because the guy presenting this website seems to be more on an environmental aesthetic focus. a hole with nothing around (other than maybe other older holes like at smith) without the hanger is much less unsightly than bright shiny bolts.

 

More of an investment into the sport financially, not much more of an investment to actually apply the removable bolt physically during the climb. Its not like picking between cams on steepness or pulling out a set of nuts, the RB's are a simple extra step, but an extra step nevertheless in the leading process.

 

Edited by Checat

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corvallisclimb i don't think this guy's(hansen something) would care to develop a bolted line in any way shape or form. His website is completely abject to all bolts.

 

but i don't think he is invalidating the difficulty of bolt on lead, bolt on hooks etc... this guy's purely focused on the base argument of visual aesthetic to the rock.

 

His stuff doesn't come from the "bolt-less" is that much more elitist (i.e. difficult) attitude. I think he simply views climbing as something that shouldn't have bolts at all. He wouldn't care to even understand the differences in bolting styles and bolting ethics. He throws the whole idea out from the onset...

 

Who knows if he's even a climber. He would have to make the argument that he's freaky solo like a champ if he believes that there shouldn't be bolts at all.

 

Edited by Checat

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"It ruins potential for new clean lines and therefore having a destructive nature on the traditional aspect of climbing. It is worth mentioning that no other protection practice has such a destructive effect on the enjoyment of other aspects of the sport."

 

This is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. What about placing pins? That physically destroys part of the crack system (which may or may not make it more climbable or more protectable).

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I think that guy's claims have some glaring holes, but at least he's polite about it. His position is pretty congruent with Raindawg's rants, but he expressly doesn't engage in the "that's not real climbing" BS that raises everyone's hackles when the Dawg & Pope show do it here.

 

The only problem with those removable bolts is finding the hole could be pretty difficult unless you spray painted a big red ring around the hole. It's hard enough to spot a stainless hanger far away on granite, my recent trip to the Valley actually had me missing the dark rusting beacons of old leeper hangers on the Apron. I think a crew should outfit those bolts with helium balloon markers every couple days so one can know just where one is casting off to.

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i guess i have to agree with you, off white. checat shares the raindawg bolt phobia/psychosis, but isn't a dick about it.

 

the removable bolts deal just sounds silly.

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I was actually referring to the link in the original post about it, but I'd agree Checat is not a dick about it either. I think pressure towards more consideration in bolt placement and questioning whether a route is worth it is a good thing, it's just a drag when someone has to start off making fun of someone and being a pompous ass. I don't buy into bolt phobia, but we've all seen some egregious examples of overbolted routes and sandwiched lines that don't merit the metal. Reflection, cooperation, and consideration all make for a better climbing area.

 

I'd say the removable bolts seem unworkable in many situations, but cI ould imagine an area where they'd be the norm: fairly short lines that are tightly bolted. Route finding is not always complex, and any sport route that is carefully put up makes use of logical clipping stances. The notion that they may be worthwhile in a corrosive sea cliff environment is not bad either.

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I think a crew should outfit those bolts with helium balloon markers every couple days so one can know just where one is casting off to.

I keep meaning to start that solar-powered strobe hanger company that works off an active RFID badge you wear. As you clip one hanger, the next one starts strobing to insure you don't get lost. The premium version strobes faster and in red the more runout the next clip is and also has a badge control that will strobe the entire route at the push of a button. Never seem to quite get around to it though, maybe I should ask the dawg if he's interested in some startup action: "Remember, at the StrobeBolt Company, we're blinded by your stardom..."

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No phobias. Time and place for everything.

 

You say silly, fair enough, it is kind of an interesting experience though. Come to Norcal, you gotta find a local who's actually made the investment in those suckers cause there not cheap and there are multiple sizes of holes (keep it clean), so you not only just have to rack up with a set of these suckers, but you have to have a fair number of different sized Removable Bolts.

 

If it meant more non-climbers who have to sign off on our activities and the impact we have seeing us as reasonably unobtrusive I don't think its that much more of an expense both financially and physically.

 

It only seems "silly" to you because of the proliferation of bolts and the instant mental linkage "most" climbers associate to climbing. Climbing = Bolts is the common gym model, for those who came into climbing through the gym experience, this is the tantamount attitude...

 

Thanks for saying I'm not a "dick about it" considering how many people on this sight are "dicks" about their attitudes concerning the benign act of climbing on rocks. If I ever take an extreme attitude against bolts and towards clean climbing it is because the one place that I've come upon in career is always at threat to bolting.

 

P.S. Sorry for large post, just got back from cleaning routes there so I'm amped.

Edited by Checat

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I keep meaning to start that solar-powered strobe hanger company that works off an active RFID badge you wear. As you clip one hanger, the next one starts strobing to insure you don't get lost. The premium version strobes faster and in red the more runout the next clip is and also has a badge control that will strobe the entire route at the push of a button. Never seem to quite get around to it though, maybe I should ask the dawg if he's interested in some startup action: "Remember, at the StrobeBolt Company, we're blinded by your stardom..."

 

:lmao: That is a quality response. If you could keep the hanger cost down to around $5 I bet it would sell too!

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just my 2 cents on the re-bolts, a damn good idea but like offwhite says it can be hard as hell to find the next hole, same crap as bat hooking. also the worst thing about em, ever tryed removing a re-bolt that was hung on or fallen on? its damn near impossible, no wonder ive seen more fixed re-bolts than ones hanging on peoples racks. but im going to stay with porter here, if your drillen your still harming the rock so might as well fill the hole with something that will serve its purpose.

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Now I remember, the AEC was about to issue an operating permit for our tritium betavoltaic anchor wedge batteries when some fool mentioned that sport climbers hang on bolts for extended periods of time. The upshot? After a rigorous timing survey by the AEC's adjunct TVA staff at the T-Wall they determined that, given sport climbers' extended times-on-bolt, the ionizing radiation exposure levels over the average sport career would be unacceptable. After that we then turned to the solar option, but the technology price-point just hasn't come in yet. Our least favorable option would be you'd need to plug an 18v Bosch lithium battery into a socket at the base to power the route - nothing new there, but more weight to pack in than just a badge.

 

But we've learned our lesson and we'll be going green if we get back to it. Probably look into using natural radium decay in granite and moss / algae power for basalt. "StrobeBolt: if you drill it, green-fill™ it ."

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While camoflauge(sp.) colored hangers came and went in their popularity (late 80's early 90's), with all the new technologies in metals, paints etc... I'm curious why bolt and hangar companies are pretty content with the flashy stain-steel look and you don't see the kind of off tan, basalt grey and light granite hangars you saw at some crags back in the day.

 

I imagine that, as these weren't that popular then, and haven't really been popular for awhile, that with weather factors and upgraded rebolting efforts - there aren't a ton of those things out on the rock anymore? I think a noticed a few at smiff the last time I was out there but most people are pretty stoked on the glinting steel

 

Any paint will eventually weather away so Joseph, start changing your entreuprenureal(sp.) efforts away from strobe lighting hangers, to those where the metal itself has been tempered to match the color of the rock!

 

Oh yeah and corvallisclimb, you are right about the current Removable Bolt technology getting stuck when a decent fall is taken. My only experiences climbing on them were in "no falls", moderate difficulty (.10 and under) scenarios because the rock I was placing RB's in was heavily weathered sandstone that saw as much weatherization as the bolt and hangars that had been removed couldn't handle over a few seasons (the ocean is nasty after all). You could open up the Removable Bolt experience to more difficult terrain and comfortably take falls (maybe getting them out lol) on better rock, but you guys are right about not being able to see a simple hole.

 

The point of this effort for the sake of non-climbers would make for a problem for climbers: low visibility.

Edited by Checat

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It's funny, I break my leg going ground up with a drill strapped to my back and neither my doctor or my wife told me not to do it again. In fact it seems as though they are encouraging me to get back at it.

 

I plan to always carry a compresser bolt gun like in "cliffhanger" with me at all times. Probably would be pretty handy in NoPo.

 

Aesthetically, bolts are obnoxious and I think people should always camoflage their hangers and bolt heads, not that I always do it, but I should. I like the sign at Smith that says "Pack it in, Pack it out" unless your a climber with a sick project and a handful of bolts.

 

Also, why is it that people don't use tan chalk at smith? Before I started climbing I was offended at what the climbers had done to the "peanut gallery" at smith. Don't get me wrong, I love a little bump of the white powder to get me up, but the white dots visible from the highway is a disgrace. I don't know how the State park still allows it or why climbers don't demand it from chalk companies.

 

Done

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Do I know you. Did we cruise around bend drinkin and such? Do you aid? Do you know him? Do you like Ford? Have any route's gone down at Cougar this summer? Have you done "harvest moon" at Cougar?

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Speaking of camo'd hangers - if a certain crew of PDX cave dwellers were smart, they'd camo all their hangers and chains; they'd also swap out all the colored tat for gray and black webbing only. Otherwise I suspect, sooner or later, the commish is going to be down on them in a big way as it's just too visible and accessible to the public. Not like it would be that tough a job either - hell, so easy even a caveman could do it.

 

P.S. I'd recommend http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=31 (the dark gray / black, third from the left) used with a cardboard cutout mask during spraying

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if a certain crew of PDX cave dwellers were smart

 

What location are you referring too Joseph? Rat cave? PS, the strobe light RFID chip had me cracking up the other day....classic!!!

 

To all: let me add that I know of someone who added 3 drilled holes next to a 40 year old well traveled crack. He drilled next to a line that beginners aid up 100% with gear, just so that he could use Removable Bolts. His explanation to me was that the gear didn't work there.

 

Drilling needless holes next to a crack that's been climbed for many years is bullshit even if you don't fill them, but once I got over my burn and finished a short tongue lashing discourse to the lad, I've interestingly noticed that I don't see the holes every time I do the route. On those few occasions where I do, it still makes me shake my head and grit my teeth a bit. Removable bolts aren't really the solution. Education and restraint are pretty much the best tools in our quivers.

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Yeah, the Rat collective. It isn't over the edge of a road like Ozone, it's instead right there in plain sight and a tad too public in a busy, heavy-use area. Sooner or later it will likely draw some attention from the commission and it will go way better if they've made some attempt to 'fit in' and be 'good faith' user segment relative to the way the Act is interpreted and enforced. If folks are done there it's one thing, but if the idea is they plan on continuing to climb there and develop it further they should give some serious consideration to lowering their visual impact as I've seen how this sort of thing can go down at windsurfing sites over the years. 'Fuck off' might feel good, but likely won't play well if and when it hits the radar.

 

With you on the boltless hole thing. Don't do it near protectable rock and if you're going to put a hole in the rock then might as well put something solid and camo'd in it.

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