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General Climbing Discussion

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7:16:15 PM
On 12/08/2004 A5iswhereitsat wrote:
>(This is a fitting post to celebrate my 600th)!

Nice one A5! One of the finest forum posts I’ve ever read…
MatD put it beautifully too. In fact, lots of great posts here…
7:17:25 PM
Having already made my thoughts on this issue pretty clear earlier in the year I wasn’t going to get involved in this one… but then my fingers just started hitting the keys and once I started, well, I just couldn’t stop em, and before I knew it I had a completely manufactured post!

But seriously, what changed is that another week has gone by and I’ve heard of not one, but two, instances of “manufacturing” up here in the Blue Mtns (one subtle from months ago, the other blatant and recent). Why o why??? It’s pretty clearly not generally accepted elsewhere, so what is it that makes a climber think it might be OK up here in the Bluies? Robbo/Rohan, was this the very reason for your troll – perhaps to help educate your mate?

Mikl, many thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter. My own opinion on this has also changed considerably over the years and it was interesting to hear why your opinion has changed too, “Many of the reasons to manufacture have gone now that there are gyms…”. I do hope some will find that instructive.

What’s past is past, but we can learn from it. IMO, chipping (holds on or off), drilling, enhancing, bolting on holds, gluing on holds, or gluing over holds to make them unusable, is all part of the same “manufacturing mindset” and I believe these are all potentially very destructive practices. Any “good outcome” can just as easily turn out to be a “bad outcome”, or short-sighted, or a “bad example” to others at the very least. And what exactly is a “good outcome” anyway? Seems highly subjective to me. We do have to draw the line somewhere - so let’s get it right. No manufacturing thanks.

Dalai, thanks for pointing out that attitudes have changed in Europe – as indeed they have. When I was over there recently I asked Italian climber Cristian Brenna about this very issue and he said attitudes in Europe have changed enormously since the mid 90’s, he said that was because climbers realised it was a “dead end” for the sport.

Rod, thanks for the great contribution and particularly for pointing out that “just because it was done in the past, or elsewhere, doesn't make it right”.
On 11/08/2004 rodw wrote:
>How come everybody got so upset about cossy's 34 then. he was first ascentionist
>and modified the route to suit, which is what chipping does.
Actually, just for the record, the chipping was only one of the issues at play there (the fact you are referring to it as 34 hints at another issue).

On 12/08/2004 robbo wrote:
>Is >it true you don't even climb outside damietta neverlone bolt routes yourself.
>If this is true your opinion counts towards about two fifths of f--- all.
I know what it’s like be totally psyched to put up new routes, but if someone isn’t actually establishing new routes then it certainly doesn’t mean their opinion in this matter isn’t every bit as valid.
7:18:46 PM
It’s time for us climbers to evolve a twinsy bit. I think there has been enough “Trial and Error” these last few decades for us to know the answers by now. It’s important that we now get on with looking after the long term interests of the “sport” (of rock climbing) AND the environment where it takes place. I believe the #1 issue we all face is ACCESS and looking after the present climbing areas that we’ve got. If we can’t do that then I really don’t see the point trying to put up new routes, or trying to find new areas, anyway. That’s kinda avoiding the issue.

I think NPWS (and BMCC) officers would actually be plenty astute enough to see this as an entirely separate issue to bolting. We have to be very careful.

And of course we DO have to leave something for the Garth Millers and Chris Webbs of the future. NONE of us know what that future will be capable of yet. History has indeed shown us that time and time again.

Anyway, sometimes you just have to walk away. It’s part of the game. If we can’t do that then we really (will) have problems. It’s not imperative for everyone to put up routes, or every last bit of cliffs to have routes. If you can't do it right then don’t do it! You can always just repeat routes, help contribute something in other ways, or climb in a gym.

And finally, please think for a bit about what these things do to the generally good community spirit that’s usually found in climbing.
On 11/08/2004 A5iswhereitsat wrote:
>It was a famous, unpleasant chapter in Yosemite climbing for both Harding
>and Royal, and one person was likely as damaged as the other, (due to polarisation
>of attitudes within the climbing community).
>Grow up robbo, and show some respect. Do some research on attitudes and
>ethics so you can; >>understand where their coming from…
As A5 has touched on here, these ethical arguments have the ability to seriously fracture the climbing community. None of us want this, and we can ill afford this again, particularly right now. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then maybe do some research on what happened to the Blue Mtns climbing community around the time of the Glen clean-up and the formation of Cliffcare back in the mid 90’s. This is a pretty major point and has a lot to do with why my attitude has hardened on this issue (I always thought the excuse some climbers used for not helping with Cliffcare was always pretty lame – the “removal” of certain routes was inevitable, and Cliffcare had a far higher purpose anyway).

Quite simply, this IS a significant issue for climbers. Sure, it’s not the only issue we face, but it’s an important one, if not because of the actual physical impact but for what it says about our ATTITUDES as climbers (our attitudes to ethics, the environment, and to each other).

Robbo/Rohan, if your posts were indeed a troll in a serious attempt to sound out the others opinions on the matter then I respect that, especially if you are intending to pass on some of the thoughts/arguments to your mate. Let’s hope he “reconsiders”.
7:19:04 PM
Damietta. Just for the record, re the Belfry, you’ll find that the chipper and the painter are actually two different people… (One was stirring the establishment perhaps, the other, I believe, was expressing his displeasure re the chipping in his own anarchistic way – and the painting mainly just filled in the chips).

7:44:04 PM
On 24/08/2004 Onsight wrote:
>Damietta. Just for the record, re the Belfry, you’ll find that the chipper
>and the painter are actually two different people… (One was stirring the
>establishment perhaps, the other, I believe, was expressing his displeasure
>re the chipping in his own anarchistic way – and the painting mainly just
>filled in the chips).

Cheers Onsight, and thanks for your thoughts on this thread (yeh I saw that post too, but it seemed to vanish before my eyes..stage fright on Chockstone?)
9:30:41 PM
Jeez, I must be drunk... posts seem to be appearing then disappearing before my eyes...

I'm looking forward to doing some of these new routes in the Bluies, some for the recent ones I've seen look good.

New routes are generally good, manufacturing isn't. It isn't an unlimited resource. I think it's irresponsible to encourage manufacturing, or even say it's OK. Where will that lead us in 10, 20, 50 years time?

A few climbers might want to educate themselves a bit more on the issue so that they don’t run into problems later on, or create problems for the rest of us, or the future of the "sport".

9:45:02 PM
On 24/08/2004 Onsight wrote:

>What’s past is past, but we can learn from it. IMO, chipping (holds on
>or off), drilling, enhancing, bolting on holds, gluing on holds, or gluing
>over holds to make them unusable, is all part of the same “manufacturing
>mindset” and I believe these are all potentially very destructive practices.
What's the differance with these practices and reinforcing.

9:51:06 PM
For instance Bowens creek along with aliens domain has many reinforced holds so much so that some of the reinforced holds have grown. Where do you draw the line? The hardest accent by an australian woman was done on a manufactured route if this is the case. She personally had no hand in the operation but with her choice to climb the route does it not show her acceptance of such practices. I think its a blury line and to draw up a set of rules as if you were the chairman of the board is completly uncalled for. Is this country not a democracy.

10:51:13 PM
while its still considered sketchy, reinforcing is preservation not manufacture
im not sure about down vic way, but up here many routes require reinforcing because if you put bolts in it and then all the key features break off you're screwed. at least you
can sit back and watch you score skyrocket.....
however IMHO reinforcing should never be done in a way that enhances the hold, though ive never come across such a hold (well if i have i didnt realise)
mikl law
11:08:33 PM
Reinforcement is not manufacturing.

I think that (like most ethics) attitudes to reinforcement depend a lot on where you climb. Most of the world (and araps) is blessed with good rock and lots of (little) holds, so the loss of a hold isn't "curtains". In these areas reinforcement is sometimes used as an excuse to make a route easier, and is often lumped in with manufacturing and looked down on.

In the Blue Mountains (dare i say it?) the rock isn't very good, there aren't that many holds anyway, and most of these holds on harder routes are in the process of detaching themselves from the cliff. Reinforcement is a fact of life, and is generally done well and discretely.
mikl law
11:37:38 PM
Listening to new-routers about ethics is like getting the word on drugs from dealers:- we are sometimes a little ego-involved. You can be someone worth listening to without ever doing a new route. And Simon has done new routes, he just found that photography offered a better workout.
9:13:38 PM
Chipping is wrong and is a completely worse case than reinforcing.

Chipping is like saying "the middle of that river is the perfect place for my house, so I will divert the river!". Reinforcing is like "after the flood the river has started running through my house, so I will put it back to the original course".

This may seem a bit extreme, but apart from the size of the issue the morals are exactly the same.

There is no excuse for chipping in this world where anyone can go down to the climbing gym and climb manufactured holds to their hearts content, or build their own gym and manufacture their own.

Do not try to bring the gyms outdoors, when I go climbing outdoors I treasure it for the opportunity to do something I love in a natural environment, not to climb someone elses drill holes!
3:07:21 PM
I was looking for new crags over the back of Muline crag when i stumbled across a wall
relitivly similer to Muline exept in length(maybe 2 3rds the length).
on closer inspection i notice some absolutely blatant chips and thought apart from how horrible it looked that perhaps this is the crag youve been "developing" (raping).
Its about 45 mins walk behind and left a little of Muline itself.
If this is your crag then it is one of the most horrendous things i've seen in my climbing life,
if its not then we have more people willing to chip a route into submission then we first thought.
A truly grotesque sight.

3:15:08 PM
Thanks for that BENjo...

3:19:01 PM
Yep he's gone for all money. Mad as a hatter...

3:27:55 PM
No thats not the one benjo,not even close in fact.
another visonary seems to be on the prowel.

3:32:37 PM
Thanks for that, TEL ...

9:47:48 PM
the crag in question is way up past gilhams crags. Up past a new area of ramone's found after the fire revealed them. You will know it if you see it. I will post a toppo sooner or later. Once everything is done. Then everyone can go play spot the chips (only three of them by the way). i doubt they will be noticed. It's actually really f**king awsome. the robbo double thumbs up.
12:40:14 AM
what a great thread this was.

Theoretical question.

THE most perfect arete exists.. Square cut and gritty... pulling onto it is a sequence of bouldery moves 28/29 (too hard for me) .. the rest of the route is amazing 24/25. One discrete well placed 2 finger pocket would make it doable and sustained, one of the better routes around melbourne. Is it that much of a crime ?

1:25:56 AM
well.... yes
key concept: 'too hard for ME'
why cheatand make the problem a 'great climb' at YOUR levl,whn you could leave it for someone else to solve as a great climb at the natural level.

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There are 239 messages in this topic.


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