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it's obvious Pope and Raindawg don't climb much and are not involved in the sport to any great extent currently. We live in the great Northwest, which covers a immense span of mountains and rock. the amount of rock with bolts in it is about equal to less then a drop in the bucket. Ever heard of the Cascade Alpine Guide dudes? Pick one up and thumb thru it, then get volumne #2, and then volumne #3, and get a clue. If it is rad trad, ground up ascents, no crowds you want, there is all you can handle and a allot more. Grid bolting is not the norm, and even when sports routes are put up at some traditional trad place like the upper Town Wall sport area, I don't see anyone whining about it anymore as the routes were unprotectable before. But to get on this Forum and whine just shows you're completely out of touch. Bolts have been around in climbing for far longer then either of you two have been climbing, so they have been part of the trad arsenal. so you are referring more to esoteric "ethics" you bemoan have been breeched. Yeah, Tommy Caldwell freeing all the big El Cap routes is a regression in the sport, yeah sure whatever. Grow up, get off your ass, and go climbing. but don't disrepect Mr Watts, one of the most badass and prolific climbers of our generation.

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long and short of it is that one person in this thread had a profound impact on the sport of climbing. his impact was by deed, and not words. our discussion here will probably not impact the future of climbing, because they are out climbing and don't have time read what has-beens and never-weres are bitching about. now if you're out bumping elbows with people who influencing climbing by action, that would be different, but i don't think many of the people in this thread are doing so.

 

Its a pity that Pope and Raindawg can't argue their point of view without being so polemic. Since they do, they come off as detached from reality. I think most of us can agree there should be an ethical standard in our wild places, so in part we agree with them.

 

But by completely rejecting the notion of sport climbing (or at least appearing to do so in their arguments), they have turned the argument into a "Christains vs. Islam" situation where the middle ground might as well be the Gaza Strip.

 

And now I hear of this Valhalla where the world repents on its sport climbing ways. Is this some bizarre new sect?

 

 

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your contribution to climbing speaks for itself. anyone who has sampled some of your classic smith routes knows this. thanks for all you've done.

 

I have to agree with jefe, here.

 

And "climbing" is "climbing" - the movement over the medium isn't any different because the route is protected with a line of bolts... the moves still have to be made in a sequence... and lets not forget that "trad" is a style of climbing (ground-up), not a type of protection.

 

Welcome, Alan... glad you are here! :)

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the joke here is that ivan is famous for generating 2000 words of purple prose in his trip reports for every foot of upward travel. god help us all if he ever climbs anything big, we'll all need a lot more bandwidth!

aww, and i always thought of meself in the hemmingway-style - terse n' taciturn - i kept my valley prose poignant n' clipped, methinks, n' my denail t.r. was a fart in a stiff-breeze!

 

anyway, this thread isn't about me - its about bolting - and convincing a legend to stick aroudn for more than 5 minutes - priorities people!

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Rap bolting advocates back in the 80's defended their activities by suggesting sport climbing was necessary for advancing free climbing standards.

 

who cares about "standards"? i'm more interested in challenges than standards. and there would be a heck of a lot less of them without bolting. i kinda doubt watts was too concerned with "standards" either, although i don't know. i'd imagine he simply saw walls of potential climbing that would have been unclimbable without bolts. talk about a kid in a candy store!

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gotta agree with ivan, alan would be a great addition to this here on line community.

i hope he sticks around and links us to some of the smith history.

 

 

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So in Alan's interview he says there are as many trad as sport routes at Smith.

 

Is that only true if you include the Gorge? What's the trad/sport breakdown for the tuff?

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my guess is that he was including the gorge in that trad/sport ratio comment. there are a lot of really quality routes in the gorge.

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Smith Rock had a good twenty-five years or so of climbing history before Alan drilled his first bolt there, and those folks never bothered with the gorge - that area wasn't developed before the late '70s. Zebra with the Zion traverse to the Lions Chair finish would be a classic anywhere. And for those who'd like to climb harder than 5.10 and still use traditional style, Sunshine Dihedral (heard a rumor its been downgraded to 5.11d) still didn't have any bolts when I thrashed my way up it, long after better, more imaginative and courageous folks pushed it free. A climber of normal ability could spend a lifetime at Smith and never clip a bolt. A number of old-timers did precisely that... Some might argue that Jeff Thomas, before Alan Watts, really began the bolting revolution at Smith, just by the quantity of bolts he installed, even though, as far as I knew, Jeff's bolts were always installed on the lead.

 

 

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Smith Rock had a good twenty-five years or so of climbing history before Alan drilled his first bolt there, and those folks never bothered with the gorge - that area wasn't developed before the late '70s. Zebra with the Zion traverse to the Lions Chair finish would be a classic anywhere. And for those who'd like to climb harder than 5.10 and still use traditional style, Sunshine Dihedral (heard a rumor its been downgraded to 5.11d) still didn't have any bolts when I thrashed my way up it, long after better, more imaginative and courageous folks pushed it free. A climber of normal ability could spend a lifetime at Smith and never clip a bolt. A number of old-timers did precisely that... Some might argue that Jeff Thomas, before Alan Watts, really began the bolting revolution at Smith, just by the quantity of bolts he installed, even though, as far as I knew, Jeff's bolts were always installed on the lead.

 

interesting point, monty... with that argument one could almost say that the bolting revolution started elsewhere, since bolts were being used in other places long before they were used at smith in such numbers, huh?

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In response to mattp's question of where are we at in the (bolt) discussion.

 

... And the younger climbers don't question it (bolting) because they don't know another way, because they grew up with it.

 

Pope, you're correct - the younger climbers don't question bolting. Just like you don't question kernmantle ropes, crampons, nuts, etc...; because you grew up with them. Crampons were considered cheating at one time, by some. An old climber in England told me that when nuts were first used there some complained they were cheating, 'cause it took far less time and effort to place a nut than hammer a piton. Would you suggest we revert to pitons? Why draw your line at only what you know?

 

We are still having the bolt discssion beacuse some people are reactionaries and can't accept change. Some people cannot accept that others are not exactly like they are. Yes, I can buy into the argument that bolts can be unsightly; however a foot path to a pristine crag leaves far more of a trace than a bolt that is barely visable to a climber on a route that sits a stones throw from a major road. I find tat in the alpine to be more unsightly than a few barely visable bolts. If you are truely concerned about "leave no trace", stop driving you air conditioned Subie to the crag.

 

Two decades from now there will be those decrying yet unknown methods and advocating we go back to drilling bolts rather than gluing composite 'biners to the rock with solor powered tools.

 

Oh BTW, are rock shoes considered "dubious" or should we all be climbing in old mountaineering boots.

 

The only constant is change, get used to it.

 

 

 

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Hi Alan, welcome to CC. Haven't seen you in ages! Like you, I've scaled back my climbing as my body ages (60 this year!), and now I spend all my time free time sailing. Next time you're in town look me up, we'll get out on the river...

 

As to this whole sport vs trad, bolt/no bolt discussion, I've always been a trad climber, and more into alpine climbing that rock, but it seems to me there is room for all. I never liked the crowds around the sport climbing centers, but all it takes is an approach of longer than an hour or two to weed out the sport climbers and find plenty of trad lines with no fixed gear. In a decade of climbing in the Alaska Range, I never ran into a single bolt...

 

Jay Kerr

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as I said "as far as I knew" -- I witnessed Jeff placing bolts while leading new routes a number of times, in fact, that's how I met him, watching him drill from the "sharp end" and wondering who he was. I'm not familiar with Ozone - I moved from Corvallis to Tillamook, and then to Leavenworth in '79, and although I've gone back to Smith Rock a handful of times since then, I certainly haven't followed the climbing scene there. If Jeff rap-bolted a line or several at some point, I'm happy to be corrected... I don't climb barefoot with a natural-fiber rope threaded directly through natural-fiber runners on jammed natural pebbles. The nylon, metal, and rubber used by trad and sport climbers alike certainly impacts the environment more seriously than drilling holes in rock and filling them with bits of ateel. Among Frank Smythe's crowd, it was considered a duel-worthy insult to be called "the type of man who would drive a piton into British rock". (although it was fine for the Brits to use pegs in the Alps...) Witnessing the vitriol spewed by a few on this board makes me wonder whether some of these folks ever had a mother instruct them to "play nice". I will try to be more careful about where I play, and with whom.

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Hey Alan. Glad you found the cc.com shit show... Anyways the rap bolt revolution at Smith started with Sky Ridge in the 60's, a route that many trad climbers consider to be classic. 99% of the climbers on this board will never climb as hard as Alan or impact the sport as much as he did. Like he said this thread brings him back to 25 years ago. So shut up and deal with it, Alan was the best of the best. Sport is climbing here to stay and will never go away.

 

Tyler

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Okay, I locked this thread and purged out the generic anti-sportclimbing rehash of all the other Pope & Raindawg events, moving most of it to an ongoing spray thread and deleting other useless bits. If you want to argue pointlessly about the validity of sport climbing, go here. If you want to discuss the interview with Alan Watts, please continue in this thread.

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like trying to fashion a statue of david out of petrified pelican shit :)

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Brown is the color of your shirt.

 

Thanks to Watts and climbers like him that put up routes ,putting in the work and money to leave a legacy of classic for the rest of us to enjoy.

Edited by richard_noggin

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We just got our guides in the mail, we will have a review up shortly!

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