Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
g orton

BOLTS!!!!

Recommended Posts

thanks Bill, don't have a cast on, the plate means as long as I don't do anything really stupid (climb) I don't need one.

4 weeks today since the break, another week or so and maybe I'll try some .10's at Ozone to see how it feels. Any longer than that and I'll go crazy. So you have another week or so to outclimb me :-)

This is Oregon and loose rock is the norm - sadly.

re the bolts, I just expect the ones I clip to be in the right place, put in there correctly. If I think they're too far apart I don't do the route or sack-up and don't fall off.

---------------------dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is a thought:

 

Continuum40.jpg

This is exactly why we need diversity in bolting styles, perhaps some peeps like to have the exact same level of adventure in their climbing experience every time but I don't. Some times I'm feeling strong and want to push myself and other times I just want to do some moves with no or little commitment. Every climb is different, some may need many bolts to maximize enjoyment, some may need just a few or none. I'd rather see fewer bolts in good places than evenly spaced ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That graphic sums up the continuum pretty well Greg.

 

I do worry that it oversimplifies the process of bolting. Developing should be more than rolling a tape measure down a section of rock. Well bolted routes rarely have regular bolt spacing. It's all about bolting intelligently. Really agonizing about where the bolts should be going before they get placed since once they go in there is no going back.

 

Good and classic routes seem to share some common characteristics. Here are a couple that I've thought of, other folks probably have more ideas.

 

 

1: Follows the natural line.

 

Maybe the natural line goes at a grade easier than you wanted, but man you really wanted to put up that harder line. Don't let your ego wreck what could have been a classic. Years down the road your ego will thank you, because people will remember that classic and seek you out and praise you. You get nothing for putting up another forced soon forgotten line.

 

 

2: Bolt position makes sense.

 

Are you planning the bolt positions for places that protect the cruxes adequately? How about the clips? Is the crux of the route going to be making awkward clips, or do the clips make sense in the sequence of moves?

 

 

3. Makes you say "Wow, that was fun"

 

The fun factor can't be overstated. What makes your potential route special? Does it visit a fantastic place? Maybe the moves are really great. Point is, why put all that effort into developing if the route isn't going to be memorable?

 

 

 

Until you find that/those special line/s, there is always tons of trail maintenance and anchor replacement to do. Both are great ways to make friends with everybody, no matter their bolting ethics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've updated the list below to include your comments, JoeR. Great comments! Keep them coming.

 

BOLTING

Pressure from route development into sensitive areas and more visible locations has raised the level of national concern from State and Federal land managers. These concerns have the potential for initiating a regulatory response unless climbers can find common understanding at the national level to lobby and self-manage our activities. The following is a draft summary of potential guidelines for route development, maintenance, and corrective actions. Obviously with more discussion each item could be greatly expanded.

 

“No one climber at any time has been more than his group or more than his generation.” – Geoffrey Winthrop Young

 

Route setting is deeply rooted in tradition and mentoring, yet each generation views the rock with new eyes finding possibilities of technique, style, or form that eluded those before. To that end climbing ethics are historically rooted in maintaining the climbing environment and essential elements of the climb while allowing for change.

 

“Change is inevitable. It is what tradition in climbing is all about.” – Allan Watts, 1980s

 

Rock climbing is a self-regulated sport with a history of ethics by which we climb. Open forum and debate are essential elements to self-managing our activities. Debate brings needed reflection on our past to help guide our future. The practice of adding bolts to existing routes, over protecting, under protecting, over development, altering the rock, ratings, and first ascent styles are historic debates that continue today.

 

“A climbing party pools its ability and its confidence. The longer and closer its association, the less are its individuals conscious of how much they contribute and how much they draw from the collective power.” – Geoffrey Winthrop Young

 

Recognize that climbing styles are on a continuum (figure 1) and not a dualistic activity. There is more to climbing styles than “Sport” or “Trad”. Perceptions of what will be acceptable route and area development is often influenced by the experience, preconceived expectations, and exposure to the climbing continuum of the climbers visiting the area.

 

Continuum40.jpg

Figure 1: The climbing style continuum.

 

 

In established crags:

 

Become knowledgeable of local history and the ethics under which an area has been established.

 

Order of decision making at established crags:

a) Local history and the ethics under which an area has been established.

b) Original Area Developer Consensus.

c) Original Route Developer.

d) Consensus of route developers with area knowledge.

e) Consensus of non-development lead climbers with area knowledge.

 

 

When modifying an existing route:

 

1. Gain approval from the original route or area developers.

2. Modifications of a route shall not detract from the inherent qualities of the climb.

3. Priority shall be provided to modifications that increase climber safety, while weighing the original style and nature of the climb.

 

“…One more bolt would make it accessible to many more climbers. One more bolt would rob it of a tremendous amount of atmosphere, excitement and challenge, of its spirit and so of its quality. It would become just another route…” – Peter Gulyash.

 

 

When taking corrective actions:

 

1. Gain approval from the original route or area developers.

2. Corrective actions shall not detract from the inherent qualities of the climb.

3. Make every effort to restore the rock to its original condition.

4. Evaluating, upgrading and/or replacing lower quality or damaged existing anchors with ones of equal or higher quality is the personal decision and responsibility of every climber who uses the route, without exception.

5. Generally adding new belay anchors, rappel anchors, and chain is a personal decision and responsibility of every climber who uses the route, unless restricted by the ethics of the area.

6. Use camouflage or other means to reduce the visibility of anchors where appearance is or may become a concern.

 

 

In new crags or unclimbed rock in established crags:

 

"If I meet the impossible. I'm not going to be killing any dragons, but if anyone wants to come with me, we'll go to the top together on the routes we can do without branding ourselves murderers." - Reinhold Messner

 

Become knowledgeable of local history and the ethics under which climbing has evolved in your region.

1. Your actives should not detract from the inherent qualities of the climbing environment.

For example:

• Do not alter the rock by chipping.

• Identify, manage to limit climber impacts to sensitive plants and animals in the area.

• Keep the number of trails to a minimum.

2. Remain open to constructive criticism, strive for consensus.

 

 

Guidelines for route development

 

“Maybe the natural line goes at a grade easier than you wanted, but man you really wanted to put up that harder line. Don't let your ego wreck what could have been a classic.” – JoeR, Cascadeclimbers.com

 

• Follow the natural line, learn to read the rock and don’t force your lines.

• Plan bolt positions for places that protect the cruxes adequately, avoiding awkward clips, and make sense in the sequence of moves.

* Give passive protection priority over fixed anchor placement.

• Aspire to place the minimum number of fixed anchors required to protect the lead climber.

• Consider both Risk and Consequence of a fall before placing a fixed anchor. For example, a 5.7 section on a 5.11a route may carry a high consequence but low risk for a leader fall and may not warrant the same level of protection required through a crux move.

• The use of motor operated drills is prohibited within congressionally designated wilderness.

• Remain up-to-date on materials and methods for placing fixed protection.

 

 

===============================================================

COMMENTS:

 

Luveshaker –

It's important for someone who develops sport routes to be aware of what other climbers think. Problem is most people won't say much on what they really think because they have been taught that in order to do that you have to bash an individual’s effort and/or style.

I've noticed other climbers will usually respect someone's development if they don't have a f'off-I'm doing it my way-attitude, even if their style is different than the norm. Of course tolerance disappears when a climber pushes the boundaries when considering their environmental impact(s), and jeopardizes land use opportunities.

 

JoeR –

Maybe the answers lie in challenging my ethics to be acceptable to the community rather than challenging the community to roll over so I can do it my way.

Good and classic routes seem to share some common characteristics. Here are a couple that I've thought of, other folks probably have more ideas.

1: Follows the natural line.

Maybe the natural line goes at a grade easier than you wanted, but man you really wanted to put up that harder line. Don't let your ego wreck what could have been a classic. Years down the road your ego will thank you, because people will remember that classic and seek you out and praise you. You get nothing for putting up another forced soon forgotten line.

2: Bolt position makes sense.

Are you planning the bolt positions for places that protect the cruxes adequately? How about the clips? Is the crux of the route going to be making awkward clips, or do the clips make sense in the sequence of moves?

3. Makes you say "Wow, that was fun"

The fun factor can't be overstated. What makes your potential route special? Does it visit a fantastic place? Maybe the moves are really great. Point is, why put all that effort into developing if the route isn't going to be memorable?

 

Plaidman –

I have never chopped a bolt. The only ones that I would chop are the ones that the first acentionist would sanction

 

JoeR –

The person(s) then can feel that their bolting ethic is fine and dandy, however grudgingly the community accepted the route. Throw in some hubris and a cult of personality and good luck having a frank discussion about a route someone has bolted.

I haven't and won't chop the bolts on Toybox for a few reasons, chief among them is that it was retro bolted with permission of the FA team. None of the 3 in the FA team chopped them. Why should I impose my ethics if Corvington, Modrell, and Cornell could deal with the bolts?

 

The route not only escaped the chop from the FA team, but other route developers. There were a lot of routes getting put up in the past decade. Their decision making process is more well informed than mine, and I don't chop as an extension of my respect for them.

Sure, I complain about bolting practices. It has become somewhat of a dark joke whenever it comes up, which is rarely. Point is, I would rather spend energy on getting better so I can climb the proud routes than worry about another bolt-sprayed slab that has nothing to do with me.

 

Chetcat - Maybe it’s better to have one bad example, that developers can point to and use as a cautionary tale, rather than a series of poorly bolted crags?

Buckaroo - ""2) when is it ok to add to an existing route? Never

 

""3) when is it appropriate to chop bolts on a route?"" Any established trad area. Any time permission was not asked or granted from first ascencionists. Any time bolts are near natural protection, cracks etc. Any time a trad climber with big balls is in the mood.

 

Bolting New Routes

 

Checat - Appropriate bolt spacing is subjective - but most climbers worth their salt can identify when a bolts been placed a. at a stance reasonable to clip, b. prudent give the last piece of protection below said bolt.

Bolts placed on lead. The bolts are where there are stances practical for bolting (also practical for clipping) and there isn't excess because excess would mean a ridiculous day bolting for the FAist.

(greg: just because a route is bolted on lead does not mean you should not go back and assess the placements. My biggest runouts tend to be when I’m bolting on lead)

If a route is bolted on rappel - have the creativity and awareness to understand where a bolt would have been potentially placed on lead, where a stance would have occured because that same stance will work for route-leaders. Climb the route a couple of times on tr if your rap-bolting make sure you have the best places for bolts where the leader is assuming the amount of risk you have in mind for the route, but are avoiding R or X situations.

(Question greg: when is a R really and R? Some climbers seem to complain about a route being run out once there feet are above the last clip.)

Bolt as little as you need to. (greg: needs more.What is “as little as you need?” Does this mean that if you are bolting a 5.10a route you will bolt closer through the .10a sections and run out easier sections?)

 

Chetcat - Look at the situation at Castle Rock near City of Rocks - there they have a climbing ranger with eons of experience with route development. New route goes thru a formal process on paper with images and proposed bolts. He reviews, he climbs the route, makes edits changes theoretical placements of bolts based on whats practical - he then hands back edited and approved route paperwork. Its then on the developer to bolt the route within these terms.

(greg: my greatest fear is that this is where climbing is headed. Is this really what we want? Nationally there is also discussion that local climbing clubs would require a review and approval before new routes are established on lands they’ll manage.)

 

Chetcat - What you may think of as "run-out" or "over-bolted" may be completely different from what the next person thinks, but if you pull from multiple opinions and get a range of values BEFORE you bolt, you'll probably get that spacing worked out better.

(greg – Do you feel many climbers are stuck on the expectation that a route is either a “Trad” route with natural pro or a “Sport route” where they will be able to clip before their toes have left the last bolt, just like they’ve learned in the gym. I have read comments that many of the routes in Western Oregon “are not very sporty”. I like that. I think there is room for the third definition to take some of the sterility out of the discussion.)

 

Billcoe - It's always been local (crag) ethics and tradition, with a nod to the dude or dudette who climbed it first, trump all. This can clearly be seen as differentiated at Yosemite (attempt to climb with as little bolts as the FA can get away with) and Smith Rocks (which has runout routes and closely bolted face climbs depending on who FA'ed it mixed in with some sweet gear only cracks).

 

Plaidman - Good word – “differentiated”

 

Billcoe - In 1999 (at age six) at Rovinj in Croatia Adam climbed 6a/5.9 routes with bolts every half meter.

 

Luvshaker - I personally think it's very cool to have different styles (i.e. bolt spacing) even at the the same crag, even lines right next to each other. Sometimes I just aint in the mood to run it out, so the more bolts the better-no shame in that. But, when I start up a difficult route with less bolts it's game time! I love having to focus on movement, and not rely on grabbing a quickdraw if things don't feel just right. There is a reason I have walked by Dreamin so many times. But when I do that route, it's gonna be WAY sweeter!I don't care where you climb in the world, or grade you climb. More commitment is going to equal a different (I believe richer) experience for most climbers. Those are the routes you want to hear someone talk about around the campfire. (greg: good point, but how do we describe and accept variety?)

 

Eldiente - I do understand, on clean, steep rock it makes sense for the bolts to be widely spaced. Yay for airy whippers into space! On blocky terrain I'd rather see the bolts close together. However, there is a precedent all over Oregon for dirty, lose routes with widely spaced bolts. (Smith has tons of dirty routes with widely spaced bolts as does Wolf rock etc)

 

JoeR - He is the only person so far in this discussion who has developed at both ends of the bolt spectrum(Moolack+Flagstone) AFAIK. The other interesting thing, is that I've never heard anyone bag on his ethics or attitude, or claim that he puts his ego ahead of the community.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/566859/Doug-Robinson-Sean-Jones-rap-bolt-South-face-of-Half-Dome

 

 

 

Edited by g orton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chetcat - Look at the situation at Castle Rock near City of Rocks - there they have a climbing ranger with eons of experience with route development. New route goes thru a formal process on paper with images and proposed bolts. He reviews, he climbs the route, makes edits changes theoretical placements of bolts based on whats practical - he then hands back edited and approved route paperwork. Its then on the developer to bolt the route within these terms.

(greg: my greatest fear is that this is where climbing is headed. Is this really what we want? Nationally there is also discussion that local climbing clubs would require a review and approval before new routes are established on lands they’ll manage.)

 

Not offended,upset, etc... - Just wanted to clarify Mr.Orton, because when your cutting and pasting sometimes context is lost -

 

I wasn't advocating we have "climbing rangers" everywhere like they do at COR and Castle Rock - What I was implying was that as a would-be route developer and potential bolter - Be as thoughtful with your own Bolting projects as they are in ranger situations. Be your own editor and advocate for quality bolting. The point I was trying to make was that just because we don't have climbing rangers making these approvals doesn't mean that local climbers shouldn't have the same standard of excellence when it comes to the process. Lean on your fellow climbers. I don't think it would be good for there to be climbing rangers everywhere, and I don't think that will ever happen because whether the government cares about bolting practices or not - they don't have the resources to put a ranger at a every bolted crag.

 

But, that doesn't our development standards should suffer. We should be our own climbing rangers, bolting with the same informed process on bolting as at COR and Castle - IN HOUSE, handling it by climbers for climbers.

 

Just wanted to clarify that that was what I meant in comparing the COR situation with bolting.

 

I agree with you Mr.Orton that if it came down to having park rangers at every crag because we as climbers prove ourselves un-self manageable - that would a be travesty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, that doesn't our development standards should suffer. We should be our own climbing rangers, bolting with the same informed process on bolting as at COR and Castle - IN HOUSE, handling it by climbers for climbers.

 

 

I agree with you Mr.Orton that if it came down to having park rangers at every crag because we as climbers prove ourselves un-self manageable - that would a be travesty.

 

^^^^^^Hear Hear. Totally agree.^^^^^^

 

Manage ourselves? What a novel idea!

 

We should and most of us do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Route setting is...

Just that folks have started adopting this notion of routes being 'set' outdoors and the attending shift from rock to climber speaks volumes about the generational changes in thinking and perception underway after thirty years of gyms and sport climbing. It again speaks to the change from gyms having been born of a desire to have at least a poor emulation of real climbing indoors to a reversal where now folks basically just want a good emulation of their gym experience outdoors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manage ourselves? What a novel idea!

 

We should and most of us do.

It would be if climbers did and most decidedly do not. The only places currently protected from climber 'self-management' (bolting) are crags on private lands like the Gunks or those under active collaborative management like Eldo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
born of a desire to have at least a poor emulation of real climbing indoors to a reversal where now folks basically just want a good emulation of their gym experience outdoors.

didn't the porn industry do the same thing to society? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have anything to contribute to the bolting discussion, but am curious about the Sport-Adventure-Trad spectrum. Summarizing what you've got:

Sport=minimal/no gear and bolts every 6'

Adventure=average gear and bolts every 15' (presuming this figure based on your word 'average being equidistant between 10' and 20')

Trad=ample gear and no bolts.

 

What's missing here is minimal gear opportunities with minimal bolting. (20-40' runouts common) I would define that as adventure climbing and what you call adventure I would usually refer to as a mixed pitch (a route that safely protects with a blend of bolts and gear)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't see free-soloing on that diagram.

that would explain the missing nut-sack? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread is just getting weirder by the minute. I like this trend.

 

 

On topic, I liked the triangle better without the dude in it.

 

I'm guessing you brought this topic up for guidebook related porpoises?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×