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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 86
Author
First in best dressed?
rowan
8/04/2013
8:01:13 PM
This is a long winded post so bear with me. You can probably skip to the last 3 paragraphs and still participate in the discussion

2 octobers ago I discovered the new and currently trendy Elphinstone. I've bashed my way all over the mountains and this was what I had been looking for all those years.
I was so excited I wanted to share it with anyone interested. I told Lee Cossey who jumped on board straight away. Slowly more people got on board and everyone bolted new lines with the intention of the cliff being climbable on very quickly. Even my girlfriend bolted a route excited around the corner on another sector that I helped her with.
There was even 2 or 3 trad routes over there that I was super psyched to find. I took all kinds of people over there to show them the potential. Eventually a friend who had just moved to the area was super keen to get involved. I pointed out the trad lines and said bolt what you want just leave those 2 lines and maybe that 3rd one will go on gear.

I went overseas for 2 months. My friend had got excited about it and when a couple others saw him over there they joined him And bolted away.
When I returned from my trip I was extremely disappointed to see how heavy handed they had been removing vegetation including many trees that really need not be cut down. To quote Chris Coggil "It's great down there as it's not national park so you can cut down as many trees as you want." I was even more disappointed to see that the harder of the 2 trad lines had been bolted as a sport route. I was initially quite upset that this could happen after sharing such a place. I called the friend that bolted it and told him I was upset and that I thought it was absolute sacrilege to bolt trad lines. He said he believed it didn't go on gear and thought I wouldn't of been bothered. If he knew I would get upset he wouldn't have done it.

After this conversation I decided to head out there and remove the offending bolts. I did this and still need to neaten up my job. My friend was quite upset I hadn't told him I was going to do it. "Dr" Julian Saunders (not a real doctor) was even more upset with me though. He sent me a text saying "That is the most derisive and self righteous act I have seen. Pathetic." I sent back a series of texts just inciting Julian as the childish antagonist I am. I tried to call my friend that was upset but failed to get in contact with him.

A couple of days later I bumped into him out there. He was still somewhat upset. He made me a cup of coffee and we had a chat about the situation calmly at the base. There had been some confusion about which routes I had said would go on gear and not having climbed much trad in the area he didn't think the gear I thought was bomber was any good. We cleared the air and now I think we are friends again. If I had my time again I would have spoken to him beforehand. Purely out of respect for him as a person and I don't take any pleasure in upsetting him.I tried the route on gear but fell off and dogged my way up. All the gear was good. Amazing for the blue mountains some of it. I still haven't returned and climbed the route cleanly on gear.

I lost all respect for "Dr" Julian Saunders in this event and decided I didn't overly want to have anything to do with him anymore. So I chose to be civil but nothing further.
I was happy with where the situation stood now and so was my friend. Today I found that "Dr" Julian Saunders has rebolted the crack. He took the line ever so slightly different but its pretty much the same. Bolts next to bomber placements the whole way

I am taken aback. I am curious as to the general community outlook on trad lines now. There is, what I see for me, 2 issues with this scenario.The main issue being that a trad climb that can be fully climbed on trad gear has had a power drill taken to it and reduced the challenge that could be taken from this naturally occurring feature. At grade 25 there are very few trad lines of this difficulty found in the Blue mountains. For me having bolts as an escape route and a feature of the line reduce its quality as a trad line. To say to just clim around the bolts for me is the same as chipping new holds on a route and saying just don't use those chipped holds if you want to climb it the hard way.

The second lesser issue is that I found this area and this climb. Had I put bolts in it myself, it would be considered my route even if I hadn't got round to trying it yet. But wishing for it to stay a trad line has meant that it is an open line. I think it is then unfair for some one to drill it down to their level and then claim it as their own.

Is trad climbing considered a waste of time that should be bolted out of existence and is it first in best dressed. If the bolters find the line first do they just get to bolt the trad away?
If you miss out on climbing a trad line cleanly is it acceptable for someone to come in and bolt it first and make it a sport route before you get back to it or indeed get a chance to try it?

"Dr" Rowan Druce

IdratherbeclimbingM9
8/04/2013
8:28:44 PM
On 8/04/2013 rowan wrote:
>This is a long winded post so bear with me. You can probably skip to the
>last 3 paragraphs and still participate in the discussion
>
>2 octobers ago I discovered the new and currently trendy Elphinstone.
>I've bashed my way all over the mountains and this was what I had been
>looking for all those years.
>I was so excited I wanted to share it with anyone interested. I told Lee
>Cossey who jumped on board straight away. Slowly more people got on board
>and everyone bolted new lines with the intention of the cliff being climbable
>on very quickly. Even my girlfriend bolted a route excited around the corner
>on another sector that I helped her with.
>There was even 2 or 3 trad routes over there that I was super psyched
>to find. I took all kinds of people over there to show them the potential.
>Eventually a friend who had just moved to the area was super keen to get
>involved. I pointed out the trad lines and said bolt what you want just
>leave those 2 lines and maybe that 3rd one will go on gear.
>
>I went overseas for 2 months. My friend had got excited about it and when
>a couple others saw him over there they joined him And bolted away.
>When I returned from my trip I was extremely disappointed to see how heavy
>handed they had been removing vegetation including many trees that really
>need not be cut down. To quote Chris Coggil "It's great down there as it's
>not national park so you can cut down as many trees as you want." I was
>even more disappointed to see that the harder of the 2 trad lines had been
>bolted as a sport route. I was initially quite upset that this could happen
>after sharing such a place. I called the friend that bolted it and told
>him I was upset and that I thought it was absolute sacrilege to bolt trad
>lines. He said he believed it didn't go on gear and thought I wouldn't
>of been bothered. If he knew I would get upset he wouldn't have done it.
>
>After this conversation I decided to head out there and remove the offending
>bolts. I did this and still need to neaten up my job. My friend was quite
>upset I hadn't told him I was going to do it. "Dr" Julian Saunders (not
>a real doctor) was even more upset with me though. He sent me a text saying
>"That is the most derisive and self righteous act I have seen. Pathetic."
>I sent back a series of texts just inciting Julian as the childish antagonist
>I am. I tried to call my friend that was upset but failed to get in contact
>with him.
>
>A couple of days later I bumped into him out there. He was still somewhat
>upset. He made me a cup of coffee and we had a chat about the situation
>calmly at the base. There had been some confusion about which routes I
>had said would go on gear and not having climbed much trad in the area
>he didn't think the gear I thought was bomber was any good. We cleared
>the air and now I think we are friends again. If I had my time again I
>would have spoken to him beforehand. Purely out of respect for him as a
>person and I don't take any pleasure in upsetting him.I tried the route
>on gear but fell off and dogged my way up. All the gear was good. Amazing
>for the blue mountains some of it. I still haven't returned and climbed
>the route cleanly on gear.
>
>I lost all respect for "Dr" Julian Saunders in this event and decided
>I didn't overly want to have anything to do with him anymore. So I chose
>to be civil but nothing further.
>I was happy with where the situation stood now and so was my friend. Today
>I found that "Dr" Julian Saunders has rebolted the crack. He took the line
>ever so slightly different but its pretty much the same. Bolts next to
>bomber placements the whole way
>
>I am taken aback. I am curious as to the general community outlook on
>trad lines now. There is, what I see for me, 2 issues with this scenario.The
>main issue being that a trad climb that can be fully climbed on trad gear
>has had a power drill taken to it and reduced the challenge that could
>be taken from this naturally occurring feature. At grade 25 there are very
>few trad lines of this difficulty found in the Blue mountains. For me having
>bolts as an escape route and a feature of the line reduce its quality as
>a trad line. To say to just clim around the bolts for me is the same as
>chipping new holds on a route and saying just don't use those chipped holds
>if you want to climb it the hard way.
>
>The second lesser issue is that I found this area and this climb. Had
>I put bolts in it myself, it would be considered my route even if I hadn't
>got round to trying it yet. But wishing for it to stay a trad line has
>meant that it is an open line. I think it is then unfair for some one to
>drill it down to their level and then claim it as their own.
>
>Is trad climbing considered a waste of time that should be bolted out of existence


No.
... But unfortunately there seems to be a growing number who think that way.


>and is it first in best dressed. If the bolters find the line first do they just get to bolt the trad away?

No.
... But it doesn't seem to stop them trying to do so.

>If you miss out on climbing a trad line cleanly is it acceptable for someone to come in and bolt it first and make it a sport route before you get back to it or indeed get a chance to try it?

No.
... But it seems to be open slather on that one.

>
>"Dr" Rowan Druce
>

miguel75
8/04/2013
8:30:47 PM
To quote the late Chris Kyle;

"Despite what your momma told you, violence does solve problems!"

EDIT: ;-)

EDITED EDIT: Communication is the best way forward. Exhaust all avenues then resort to smelling what the rock is cooking:)

Macciza
8/04/2013
9:00:05 PM
Hey Rowan - I know how you feel . . .
It is happening to me even as we speak (write) . . .

Heres a little supporting info . . .
From Safer Cliffs Australias 'How To Bolt' page by Neil Monteith and Lee Cujes ...

"In Australia, routes that contain natural protection are left as such. Bolted cracks are extremely rare and are very much frowned upon. If you can place gear than leave the climb in its natural state. You may not be able to climb the line placing gear but other future climbers certainly will. Leave trad challenges for the future."

From QPWS RockClimbing policy

"• Fixed protection may only be used on new routes where there is no possibility of arranging protection by common traditional means.
"

VCC Bolting Policy
"1.3 Fixed protection is inappropriate on climbs that can be adequately protected by natural means. Fixed protection should be used as a last resort and only to enable a climb to be lead with minimum risk of serious injury (i.e. fixed protection should not be placed just to reduce the size of a fall where the fall can be considered ‘safe’)."

Etc etc etc Just about every 'Bolting Policy' worldwide has similar sections in them.

Chop them . . .

Macciza
8/04/2013
9:29:31 PM
And from the UIAA Mountain Code . .

Article 9 Style and Excellence
Maxim: If you do an ascent is less important than how you do it. In every form of climbing, “good style” means to reducing technical aids to a justifiable minimum. Rock climbers and alpinists, who are not capable of making an ascent according to the accepted good practice, should refrain from the attempt.

Article 10 First Ascents
Maxim: A first ascent should only be attempted if the climb can be done in an environmentally sound fashion, if it is compatible with local regulations and in no way affects justified claims of other climbers. The first ascent of a route or a mountain is a creative act that, in many cases, reflects the activists’ particular style.

2. All available “natural” protection with nuts, friends etc. should be used.

6. If a project is being attempted by a team without the use of bolts and it hasn’t been explicitly abandoned, candidates for the route with a lower standard of ethics must
uphold a three year moratorium from the first attempt of their predecessor.

simey
8/04/2013
9:35:45 PM
I think you have copped a raw deal Rowan. The fact that you discovered the crag and made it known you were keen for these lines to go on natural gear is particularly relevant.

Given the amount of hoo-hah generated when someone nabs the first ascent of someone else's bolted project, I would consider this particular act of bolting a naturally protected line you have discovered (and aspire to climb a certain way) a lot more offensive.

Out of interest if someone else had climbed the route before you (on natural gear) how would you have felt?
rowan
8/04/2013
9:44:07 PM
I would have felt absolutely fine.
I felt I made it quite known to those I spoke to that they should jump on it. The friend who bolted it jumped on the other trad line that I pointed outto him and he got the first accent of that one while I was away. I had tried it before too but failed due to moisture. I don't believe in closed trad lines. I have kept most of my sport lines closed but I even feel uneasy about this really. It is pretty petty of me. I bolted one gem that I gave away.
I would happily have all projects open if the community was willing to shift in that direction like the french.

E. Wells
8/04/2013
9:46:52 PM
Hey Rowan, don't really have much to say (already know the situation) but having never been to the crag I am wondering if the other two lines you mentioned have gone free on gear? I have respect for yourself and everyone else mentioned but we all know the answer to your specific concern......a trad line is a trad line, if, as you state, it is one.
simey
8/04/2013
9:49:46 PM
It sounds like a pretty clear-cut scenario to me. I wouldn't hesitate to remove any bolts that are easily clippable from your line.

If someone else can provide a different take on the matter, I would be curious to hear it.
rowan
8/04/2013
9:56:24 PM
Hey Even. One of the lines was done on gear and is a cool 21. wide boyz.
Thats kind of the strange part. It is acceptable for one trad line at the wall cause its easier.
The other line the first half is a crack and then it petters out to an unprotectable face. the same person bolted this line. I don't feel that half a trad line to a bolt is a clear cut line so it is fair it is bolted. I probably would have added less bolts but don't feel it matter either way.
anthonycuskelly
8/04/2013
9:56:24 PM
Sounds like it needs re-chopping? Ugly, but...

rodw
Online Now
8/04/2013
10:02:27 PM
Ignoring the fact re bolt crack, who is right or wrong..others seem to cover it anyway...I think the most valuable lesson is don't spread the word until you have done what you want to have done.......it doesn't take long for a couple degrees of separation to occur that this shit will happen...just keep the joint to yourself until your finished.. because its pretty much a guarantee that your vision will not align with other 'developers' as soon as the word spreads and friends of friends come in.

Note Im staying out of the bolt vs trad argument etc ..been enough of that crap being sprouted by both sides and its getting boring TBH.

nmonteith
8/04/2013
10:22:00 PM
As Rod said, the best protection (pun intended) is to climb the route in the style you want it done as quickly as possible! In the time it took for someone to bolt it you should have been able to polish it off on trad (being 5+ grades under your limit isn't it?). One of the 'problems' with modern climbers is the concept of the 'sport crag' - a place where everyone expects everything to be bolted regardless of what the climb looks like. Bolting splitter cracks seems a real shame to me. Having not seen this particular climb I can't comment on the merits of this chapter of the recent bolting war.

I also heard someone chopped a Chris Coghill roof project in the Bluies? Anyone know anything about that?
rowan
8/04/2013
10:28:03 PM
Yes. I chopped the bolts out of the crack that others had tried but chris coggil subsequently bolted. I did tell him first and his reply was "No probs, just drop my draws back-it's really a rubbish little route and I haven't been inspired to try it for the last 2 years'

Its a great roof crack that damian taylor first found. Short boulder problem.
rowan
8/04/2013
10:31:59 PM
I assume you brought this up because you think it is not fair. So i would assume your opinion Neil is that if a bolter gets to a crack first it is too bad trad climbers, too slow.
One Day Hero
8/04/2013
10:41:47 PM
The thing that surprises me the most is how common the misconception seems to be among bolt clippers that Blueys rock is "too soft for trad gear". WTF? Haven't these clowns ever climbed at Piddo or Shipley?

Anyway, good gr25 crack with bomber gear, found and called by crag discoverer..........no contest, choppity chop.

As for "Dr" Saunders, I've always liked the guy, maybe you could give him another chance? And I'd way rather go and see a bloke who treats lots of climbers, knows what climbing involves, and has probably done my injury to himself at some point, than a "real Dr." who read about it once in a book, at medical school, 25yrs ago.

Bolt wars don't have to get personal, you can remain on good terms with the person whose bolts you're chopping (I hope).

nmonteith
8/04/2013
10:45:13 PM
On 8/04/2013 rowan wrote:
>I assume you brought this up because you think it is not fair. So i would
>assume your opinion Neil is that if a bolter gets to a crack first it is
>too bad trad climbers, too slow.

Not really. I don't have a hard and fast rule for anything. There are many instances of routes that have been bolted or not bolted in ways that annoy others. I think a splitter crack is obviously a trad route though - no doubts about it. What usually stops the sport climbers from bothering is that fact they have to jam!

I was just interested in why the Pole 28 roof got chopped - i spent a few days giving Chris a catch on that roof, so was intrigued it got chopped. It didn't seem anyone else was interested for many years - it certainly didn't have any signs of previous chalk. He actually attempted it initially on trad - and started adding bolts when his cams started falling out! :-)

He was super enthused about it at one point.... obviously not anymore.

Macciza
8/04/2013
10:47:31 PM
No Rowan
As stated above from Safer Cliffs Australias 'How To Bolt' page by Neil Monteith and Lee Cujes ...

"In Australia, routes that contain natural protection are left as such. Bolted cracks are extremely rare and are very much frowned upon. If you can place gear than leave the climb in its natural state. You may not be able to climb the line placing gear but other future climbers certainly will. Leave trad challenges for the future."

So Neil ,
Why did you bolt the obvious trad line that I cleaned up left of the Thumb Roofs at Sublime then?? With Bundy, Matt Brooks and Paul Thompson . .
And were you involved in the bolting of my trad project Thumbs Out? That you knew was being attempted by me on trad?
And is this the reason that I got banned from SaferCliffs given that the timing seems to align?


And just for the record I went there recently and, placing all gear on lead, climbed up to and through the roof, then fell several times on the moves to get established on the headwall, being caught by gear back in the roof . . .

PS These bolts needs to removed or they will be chopped too !!

nmonteith
8/04/2013
10:47:45 PM
p.s. Without knowing the details I am more in your boat Rowan. If you found it, and made it known that you wanted it done as a trad route then I reckon you have a pretty strong claim.

Macciza
8/04/2013
11:03:33 PM
And if we are dredging up the past . .

Remember when you bolting the first pitch of Cynics United, and I looked at the easy trad line to the right of it with view to climbing it, but instead went to my other project . ..

Why did you climb it the next day with Coghill and decide it would be the first pitch (as trad) of your otherwise sport route, and decide that what you were bolting originally as it's first sport pitch would be a separate line . . . ???

What was your reasoning on all this?

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