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marc_leclerc

Lead Bolting Ethics....

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So I found a real gem of a slab climb at my local crag. It's only 15 or 20 meters tall, but its a hell of a line, with tiny nubbins, shallow mono pockets, deperate smears and micro edges on a steep (75 degree-ish) slab. I want to bolt this route on lead to make it the purest route it can possibly be, as I don't like rap bolting sport climbs very much. I know I am going to have to drill mostly from hooks as there are almost no good stances most of the way.

 

But what is considered good or bad lead bolting ethics? I know this will be unbelievably hard to climb with an electric drill on me (guessed grade is mid 5.12) Is it totally cheating to use a hual line to pull the kit up to me when I am ready to drill and lower the kit down as I start climbing again? Just what is considered the norm for lead bolting ethics and what is considered a bad ethic? I've never bolted on lead before...

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How are other routes in that area put up?

Is it worth bolting - could it just be a toprope?

Why do you have to bolt it on lead - are you trying to onsite it :confused:?

If you were to rap bolt it, it doesn't mean the pro has to be ridiculous. Is this 20m route going to be a significant line, or setting a standard at the crag?

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I want to bolt this route on lead to make it the purest route it can possibly be

Pure? Try top roping it and no bolts. Or definitely do not use a power drill.

But what is considered good or bad lead bolting ethics?

Very much a personal choice. No person can tell you what is good or bad. I personally think ground up bolting is bold but can be irresponsible. Climbs left so run-out that very few will ever climbing it and you have just wasted a bunch of rock. Of course Raindawg and Pope will tear my last few sentences to shreds with their opinion on why my opinion is the downfall of rock climbing.

I know this will be unbelievably hard to climb with an electric drill on me (guessed grade is mid 5.12) Is it totally cheating to use a hual line to pull the kit up to me when I am ready to drill and lower the kit down as I start climbing again?

Nothing is cheating in climbing. NOTHING….IMO.

 

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if you fall with an electric drill you break it.... unless you put a new battery in that old drill, i gave you you are bolting with someone else's drill in which case you need to do whatever you can to protect it!

 

if it's your own, then anything is go. even bachar used to hang on hooks to drill on the steep stuff. the usual technique with a power drill is to leave the drill on a fifi hook on either the last bolt or the belay and haul it up to you once you're in place on the hook... unless you have it rigged up in a holster made out of an old milk jug

 

be careful of either burning your leg or melting the rope with the hot drill bit if you are hanging it off your harness on lead

 

given that this is something you already scrubbed on rappel though it's kinda contrived to bolt it on the lead now, the adventure aspect of starting from the ground into unknown terrain is irrevocably gone

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Yup, its pretty much whatever turns your crank. If you want the experience of bolting on the lead, just hand drill it. On a dodgy stance, its often more stable than using a drill anyway as once you've got a hole going you get some stability out of it, and it's easier to drill higher.

 

On the otherhand, if you come off (and hooks are often not all that secure) and ground out and wind up in a wheelchair for the rest of your life for the sake of being "pure" on a 50' route you've scrubbed and tr'd, you'll have a lot of self justification to help keep you busy.

 

Make no mistake, its all about the experience you want to have and how you'll feel about it afterwards. After the route is established, it won't matter how you put the bolts in with regards to how future parties will experience the route.

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try trad protection, a la hard grit climbing. sounds like the purest approach. taped-on hooks.

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make sure the hooks have long runners so they don't get pulled out by tension on the rope.

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drill a small pilot hole and then hook it with a bat hook, then drill your bolt hole right above your pilot hole so you can cover it up with your bolt hangar. i've seen this done in cochise stronghold by some pretty ethical climbers.

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I would say to make the best end product, set the top anchors, rap and TR it to find the best bolt placements, then bolt it on rappel and lead it from the ground for the FA.

Just make it cool and fun, do what works.

If you want to lead it from the ground with hooks and other jiggery pokery then go for it, I just think a solid end product would be the best...just sayin.

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solo it in your underwear sans chalk and barefoot, then it would be the "purest line possible". maybe add a blindfold to increase the sense of adventure?

 

 

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Ground up routes where the bolts are unreachable, or have no clipping stance, or don't protect the hard moves, or don't protect one from hitting ledges etc are seriously flawed IMHO. The needs of the many outweigh the ego needs of the one IMHO. Think about creating a high quality line you'd be proud to have your name associated with. Bolts should be placed deliberately and thoughtfully, not slapped in willy nilly. They are like tattoos; their marks can be hidden but can never be completely erased.

 

If you really don't want to rap bolt, maybe try a variation on Chirp's suggestion: rap and figure out where the clips should be, then lead ground up and find hooks near enough to get the bolts where you want them. Drilling by hand is going to seem more pure, but remember you're putting in bolts on a short slab at a crag with other routes, so you're best effort is going to be about as pure as "clean coal".

 

Good luck.

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What I have done in the past at Smith is toprope the line to check the clipping stances, mark where I want the bolts, and then climb, either with the drill on me, or pulling it up after I sit on the hooks. Most of the time though I found that I would rather have the drill on my harness. It is also pretty fun just going for it onsight though and trying to get the bolts in good places and do a good job placing good bolts. What are the ethics at the crag?

 

Top down usually makes for a better finished product. Ground up is good for your ego. Especially if you can keep the bolts widely spaced.

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Ground up routes where the bolts are unreachable, or have no clipping stance, or don't protect the hard moves, or don't protect one from hitting ledges etc are seriously flawed IMHO. The needs of the many outweigh the ego needs of the one IMHO. Think about creating a high quality line you'd be proud to have your name associated with. Bolts should be placed deliberately and thoughtfully, not slapped in willy nilly. They are like tattoos; their marks can be hidden but can never be completely erased.

 

If you really don't want to rap bolt, maybe try a variation on Chirp's suggestion: rap and figure out where the clips should be, then lead ground up and find hooks near enough to get the bolts where you want them. Drilling by hand is going to seem more pure, but remember you're putting in bolts on a short slab at a crag with other routes, so you're best effort is going to be about as pure as "clean coal".

 

 

:tup:

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Many other routes in the area were done ground up, and bolted on lead if neccesary. Its really a mix depending on who put it up. I want to do it on lead, and if I think that after I lead it, it needs another bolts somewhere or nobody will try it, or someone could die, I might put it in. But for me personally, I want to put up the route in a way I can be really proud of, not for bragging rights or anything, just so I can feel like I did something in the best style I could.

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Many other routes in the area were done ground up, and bolted on lead if neccesary. Its really a mix depending on who put it up. I want to do it on lead, and if I think that after I lead it, it needs another bolts somewhere or nobody will try it, or someone could die, I might put it in. But for me personally, I want to put up the route in a way I can be really proud of, not for bragging rights or anything, just so I can feel like I did something in the best style I could.

 

 

Top down is the best style. IMO.

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I would say to make the best end product, set the top anchors, rap and TR it to find the best bolt placements, then bolt it on rappel and lead it from the ground for the FA.

 

 

This is exactly what I would do given the situation you described.

 

 

Chad

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If you really don't want to rap bolt, maybe try a variation on Chirp's suggestion: rap and figure out where the clips should be, then lead ground up and find hooks near enough to get the bolts where you want them. Drilling by hand is going to seem more pure, but remember you're putting in bolts on a short slab at a crag with other routes, so you're best effort is going to be about as pure as "clean coal".

 

 

this has got to be the smartest thing ever posted on cc.com. thanks rad!

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Scrub it, TR it, pre-protect correctly it if you need to, and then invite a good friend to come out and onsight FA it while you belay and cheer them on because it's not about you, it's about the routes you leave behind.

 

 

 

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Scrub it, TR it, pre-protect it if you need to, and then invite a good friend to come out and onsight FA it while you belay and cheer them on because it's not about you, it's about the routes you leave behind.

Soo True

You can always tell a climber that has put up routes :tup: and appreciates a good route put up by someone else.

The style of the FA is nothing compared to what is left, that is if it’s not all about you and your ego.

 

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it's kinda funny that no one is even asking if there is natural pro available.

 

i'm the sporto here, but maybe pope and dwayner are right....

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So I found a real gem of a slab climb at my local crag.

It's only 15 or 20 meters tall, but its a hell of a line, with tiny nubbins, shallow mono pockets, deperate smears and micro edges

 

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