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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 2 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 88
Author
The Irish Solution to The Ben Lomond Problem
Wendy
18-Sep-2017
1:45:48 PM
On 16-Sep-2017 johny wrote:

>
>Some good points Wendy. I agree with Gerry. I also agree with Rowan. Fairhead
>access is different but the ethic is similar enough. Gay marriage and bolting?
>wtf?

The connection with gay marriage is in the illogical extrapolation. the catastrophising that gay marriage ruin the very fabric of society and that one rap station will ruin the very essence of ben lomond.
>
>Wendy, I think you are a bit harsh calling the chain rap station ridiculous.
>It's an effort at compromise.

I think it's a silly exercise at compromise. If i'm reading gerry correctly, he doesn't like the tat or the chain for the same reasons as a bolt anchor - they mean there is something fixed on the cliff and people are not topping out and having that full experience that he is rather fond of. I actually wonder if a fixed rap line is that different - it's an escape route. If I was going for the full traditional experience, I wouldn't want to start at the top and have a potential escape route. I'd want to start at the bottom, top out, find my way down. Now, I'm not really that fussed about that experience, but that would be the "traditional" experience. So this having a fixed line, or a chain sounds like silly ways to avoid the full experience whilst somehow trying to use it to justify them.

I actually don't mind the idea of rapping in to ben lomond from the top, and i'll give it a go next time i'm there. The walk across the scree and the grotty scrambles to the routes aren't any fun either. But I don't think it changes that for those people who are coming in from the bottom, and that will be most because that's what the guide says to do, a rap anchor is a good thing. Hell, I'd vote for several to cover the main areas people climb. I do think it's hazardous to say a 70 will do it on rope stretch from a non-fixed anchor, because if you set a slightly different anchor in a slightly different spot, you'll probably end up slightly short of the ground.

A rap anchor doesn't lead to wholescale bolting, chipping, glueing on holds, a cable car and hanging restaurant. It just leads to a safe descent that doesn't trash the gully for the most popular areas. How does that ruin the intrinsic nature of the crag? Just like same sex marriage doesn't ruin the fabric of society. It just means that those gay people who like having the state regulate their relationships according to an oppressive historico-legal institution can choose to do so and whilst it's not my cup of tea, it's a non discriminatory cup of tea (well, except against non-marriage relationships, but that's getting into further tangents).

I also think you are understating the traditional
>climbing ethic of Ben Lomond. I agree that Gerry's argument about National
>Parks is weak. He is using anything he thinks will keep the place bolt
>free. Picking against the weakest links in his argument does not make your
>case. He is not out to win an points in a debate. He wants the spirit of
>the place respected.
>
>Ben Lomond is a special place that needs to be kept bolt free. I like
>this idea. It suits the Tasmanian ethic in general.

I think the bolt free thing has become a catch call and all the reasoning is trying to justify it. That's also not dissimilar to the SSM debate.
>
>Gerrys Irish solution seems to have been implemented so its working.

Implemented by a local or 2 . Obviously not by the one's who put in the chain or the many who left the tat.

Doug
18-Sep-2017
6:29:49 PM
You're too logical for this forum Wendy.
mikllaw
19-Sep-2017
4:33:00 AM
fixed 80m ropes, lots of them, tied to natural anchor.

ChuckNorris
19-Sep-2017
8:15:35 AM
Good idea but to preserve the traditional adventure ethic the occasional rope should be cut to 50, 60 or 70 metres

BTW Wendy is not logical. FFS she wants to marry a toaster.
uwhp510
19-Sep-2017
8:17:25 AM
On 18-Sep-2017 Wendy wrote:
>(strawman)

In the spirit of drawing analogies between our own personal points of view and overwhelmingly popular (though entirely unrelated) political movements, thereby aiming to tar our opponents with associations that we've just created out of thin air...

Adding bolted rap stations to Ben Lomond is exactly equivalent to building the Adani coal mine. You don't REALLY want to destroy the barrier reef do you?!? Just so that you don't need to bring a static to rap down on at Ben Lomond? Gee, you must be a horrible person!

\end strawman

Honestly though, the stupidity of the slippery slope argument trotted our by opponents of SSM doesn't invalidate slippery slope arguments in general.
Wendy
19-Sep-2017
11:29:00 AM
On 19-Sep-2017 uwhp510 wrote:
>On 18-Sep-2017 Wendy wrote:
>>(strawman)
>
>In the spirit of drawing analogies between our own personal points of
>view and overwhelmingly popular (though entirely unrelated) political movements,
>thereby aiming to tar our opponents with associations that we've just created
>out of thin air...
>
Not quite thin air, just the most topical slippery slope I could think of.

>Adding bolted rap stations to Ben Lomond is exactly equivalent to building
>the Adani coal mine. You don't REALLY want to destroy the barrier reef
>do you?!? Just so that you don't need to bring a static to rap down on
>at Ben Lomond? Gee, you must be a horrible person!
>
>\end strawman

I don't know that your straw man really works, simply because there is a direct and logical connection - the coal mine needs the port expanded, port expansion requires dredging, dredging creates silt, silt damages reef. Then there's the climate change line of arguement that is still reasonable, although not as direct. What's the direct connection between the rap anchors and the end of ben lomond as we know it?
>
>Honestly though, the stupidity of the slippery slope argument trotted
>our by opponents of SSM doesn't invalidate slippery slope arguments in
>general.

Slippery slope arguments are dodgy, lazy arguments, because they are not based on any inevitable sequence of events. No one uses a slippery slope to argue about climate change because there is a direct and evidenced connection between rising green house gases and climate change.

I have another pet slippery slope example about the manipulation of women's bodies. In the modern western world, we generally agree that FGM is unnacceptable. However, high heels, body hair removal, make up and many forms of cosmetic surgery are totally acceptable to most people. They are on the same slippery slope. Where is the outcry that we should not sell high heels and make up or outlaw brazilian's because they will lead to FGM? With the rise in cosmetic labiaplasty, we are getting pretty close to that end of the slope. Society as a whole sets some boundaries as to where the slippery slope will stop. I'd set the boundaries a lot further up than most people, but still, we haven't descended into compulsory clitoridectomies.
Wendy
19-Sep-2017
11:37:52 AM
Actually, I've got it - the direct and evidenced connection. In order to have a safe anchor, you need 2 bolts, and when 2 bolts love each other very much, they have little baby bolts. Without the introduction of new bolts to add genetic diversity to the population, we will end up with inbred mutant bolts that will take over any surface without cracks in the rock until the cliff is so heavy with bolts that it all falls down. The End.
Timbigot
19-Sep-2017
5:54:09 PM
OK, i think i have "the" solution. It has everything, tradition ethics, ropes that are long enough no bolts and bulk convienience.

It works like this, most of the people posting here don't climb regularly at The Ben, but Gerry does and it's hard to find the routes from the top, but not for him, you don't own a long static, but he does.
So you get to Launeston airport, ring up Gerry, he comes out with his long static and drops it down at the appropriate spot for you to flail up Barbe and Rajah, relise you don't have enough cams, tape or arm power. The guide book is kind of confusing, so Gerry can explain directly how good the other routes are and you can tell yourself that next time you come back you'll defo do Ramadan.

If you feel like bolting something, you'll save the hassle as Gerry is already up there to chop it and if you can't find the slippery slope Gerry can point you down the correct gully.
Tastrad
19-Sep-2017
10:56:32 PM
On 16-Sep-2017 johny wrote:
>Gerrys Irish solution seems to have been implemented so its working. Hey no nutz. Yeah when Gerry gives up the ghost there will be a bunch more stubborn angle-grinding safety-last dicks to pick up the torch.

Hi, John, thanks for supporting the ideal of a bolt free Ben Lomond. But did you really infer that I was a safety-last dick? The only safety last dick on Ben Lomond was the one between your legs when you tried to solo Barbe di Vendetta naked and drunk
Jayford4321
20-Sep-2017
10:05:42 AM
On 19-Sep-2017 Tastrad wrote:
>Hi, John, thanks for supporting the ideal of a bolt free Ben Lomond. But
>did you really infer that I was a safety-last dick? The only safety last
>dick on Ben Lomond was the one between your legs when you tried to solo
>Barbe di Vendetta naked and drunk

Wow, thatz prety ballzy action 4 disconectD nutz , drunk or knot.
uwhp510
21-Sep-2017
4:22:55 PM
So the Adani coal mine/barrier reef destruction were supposed to be one and the same, and together constitute the unrelated strawman position that is completely easy to argue against... but whatever.

Concern about the slippery slope of bolt proliferation (since that's what we're actually talking about here) has been borne out as being well founded in almost every single case. I'm mystified that you would think that "once we add these couple of anchors, that'll be it and no-one will ever want to add any more ever". Has that ever happened at any crag anywhere?
Wendy
21-Sep-2017
4:49:33 PM
On 21-Sep-2017 uwhp510 wrote:

>
>Concern about the slippery slope of bolt proliferation (since that's what
>we're actually talking about here) has been borne out as being well founded
>in almost every single case. I'm mystified that you would think that "once
>we add these couple of anchors, that'll be it and no-one will ever want
>to add any more ever". Has that ever happened at any crag anywhere?

I can't think of anywhere that was bolt free that suddenly became a mess of bolt after the addition of a set of anchors. The Pt perp stuff came decades after the anchors in and bolts already existed. The odd old qlder moans about replacing the stupid tree ancors at Frog with bolts, but the bloody ugly bolts of elven king and others even older have existed for yonks. Bolts existed at araps 40 years before anchors became more common. I've a vague recollection about people wanting to keep rosea bolt free when it was suggested some tree achors that had burnt be replaced by bolts. Except that it had bolted routes dating back to the 80s .... Maybe you can point me in the direction of a bolting controversy at an actually bolt free crag that actually started from a single rap anchor put in with the intention of it being just a single rap anchor?

Keenas
21-Sep-2017
5:29:40 PM
This isn't really an example of bolt proliferation, or bolts appearing on a previously bolt free crag, but I think there is a link between some, and then more, bolts appearing in places they shouldn't be.
Mount Piddington has always had some bolts, especially for anchors, but recently had ring bolts added here and there for easy lowering off. Since then, more rings have been added to routes where trad protection has been used, without drama, for 40+ years.
Of course the Ben is a different situation entirely, but bolt free crags are a rare beauty that ought to be preserved.

Eduardo Slabofvic
Online Now
21-Sep-2017
5:50:44 PM
There can never be less bolts
Jayford4321
21-Sep-2017
6:32:39 PM
On 21-Sep-2017 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>There can never be less bolts

Uv not herd of choppin?

ChuckNorris
21-Sep-2017
9:25:41 PM
Getting back to the original point the "Irish solution" was meant to resolve the so called tatt problem and the strict no bolt policy. Suggestions were made for a compromise but rejected and I won't lose sleep over that.

At the end of the day all that's been established is you can't have your cake and eat it. FFS if you locals are diligent in rewriting the guide, chopping tatt whenever it appears, reappears and rereappears etc ad infinitum, and getting everyone educated over the next 10 years about leaving a rap rope then go for it - whatever floats your boat - you might even succeed in the end.

Besides if you are that het up about the ugliness of tatt I totally disagree. Tatt reminds me of my youth when in spring I was full of virginal testosterone, the girls wore ribbons in their hair and the flickering sun shone through their light floral dresses.

I think of the girls every time I feel that self righteous anger welling up inside me. Maybe you should too.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9wxI4KK9ZYo
johny
23-Sep-2017
11:17:20 AM

>I can't think of anywhere that was bolt free that suddenly became a mess
>of bolt after the addition of a set of anchors. The Pt perp stuff came
>decades after the anchors in and bolts already existed. The odd old qlder
>moans about replacing the stupid tree ancors at Frog with bolts, but the
>bloody ugly bolts of elven king and others even older have existed for
>yonks. Bolts existed at araps 40 years before anchors became more common.
>I've a vague recollection about people wanting to keep rosea bolt free
>when it was suggested some tree achors that had burnt be replaced by bolts.
>Except that it had bolted routes dating back to the 80s .... Maybe you
>can point me in the direction of a bolting controversy at an actually bolt
>free crag that actually started from a single rap anchor put in with the
>intention of it being just a single rap anchor?

Hey Wendy, I really get the feeling that you are out to win a debate with generalized sometimes irrelevant arguments more than recognizing the specifics around Ben Lomond. You previously used a straw man reductio ad adsurdum with the gay marriage argument to dismiss all slippery slope arguments. Now you are asserting that there never was a bolt free crag so therefore there is no precedent of a bolt free crag that slid into a sport crag so therefore it is irrational to think it will happen at Ben Lomond. Both might get points in a high school debate but they don't work well with climbing!

I think it is idiotic to justify sport routes because of the existence of bolted abseils. I also think that there are enough idiots that it is possible it could happen. I don't think having several bolted rap stations at Ben Lomond would ruin the place. I do like the romantic notion of a bolt free crag. Also I want to point out that I don't think it is idiotic to want sport climbs at Ben Lomond. I don't want sport climbs at the Ben but respect peoples opinion who do. I think simply wanting sport climbs at Ben Lomond is a pretty damn good reason for bolts by itself so you don't need to make up weird justifications. All of the areas you listed have controversial bolts. You personally have had bolts chopped. So thanks for proving the point for Gerry.

I think its awesome that the Ben is bolt free. Sure it's contrived. Of course bolts are traditionally part of climbing. But using mostly historical precedents to make your case as if its a legal briefing really is a little off. Climbers realized early that any summit could be obtained with enough bolts and time. Aid became free climbing. Bolts gave way to nuts and clean aid climbing. Its about style. Traditional climbing was not invented on a certain date with a constitution itemized by bullet pointed rules people could invoke to win arguments online. Its a spirit of adventure about bringing your own skills to meet the challenges in the hills. I am more for a bolt free Ben because of this than because of the slippery slope argument which I totally agree is weak.

Hey Wendy you have a really good sense of humor and I agree with most of your comments. And also I don't think its wrong to have a good shot at presenting your side in a debate. I was just pointing out that i think you missed what I think is the most compelling part of Gerry's position in that it is a romantic ideal to keep the place bolt free.

This summer there will be a whole bunch more new bolt free routes at Ben Lomond. I hope everyone gets down there and gets amongst it!
Wendy
23-Sep-2017
11:30:21 AM
On 23-Sep-2017 johny wrote:

>Hey Wendy you have a really good sense of humor and I agree with most
>of your comments. And also I don't think its wrong to have a good shot
>at presenting your side in a debate. I was just pointing out that i think
>you missed what I think is the most compelling part of Gerry's position
>in that it is a romantic ideal to keep the place bolt free.
>

You know, I think we actually agree that this is in fact the argument. All the other stuff that has been presented to justify keeping ben lomond bolt free is just a way of justifying what the advocates really believe - a romantic idea of a bolt free crag. That's fine if that's then the line they then argue. But I think you might be the only person admitting that that is the argument.

Doug
23-Sep-2017
2:50:42 PM
On 23-Sep-2017 Wendy wrote:
>On 23-Sep-2017 johny wrote:
>
>>Hey Wendy you have a really good sense of humor and I agree with most
>>of your comments. And also I don't think its wrong to have a good shot
>>at presenting your side in a debate. I was just pointing out that i think
>>you missed what I think is the most compelling part of Gerry's position
>>in that it is a romantic ideal to keep the place bolt free.
>>
>
>You know, I think we actually agree that this is in fact the argument.
>All the other stuff that has been presented to justify keeping ben lomond
>bolt free is just a way of justifying what the advocates really believe
>- a romantic idea of a bolt free crag. That's fine if that's then the line
>they then argue. But I think you might be the only person admitting that
>that is the argument.

Wow! This thread is getting somewhere! Totally get the romantic argument of a bolt-free crag. And of course what that is all about is keeping the carry-your-own-pro climbing ethic and experience unadulterated with fixed gear (we can overlook for the moment the fixed pro that John Fantini inserted so many decades ago I guess). Re keeping the crag tat-free and beautiful, hanging fixed lines off the crag for a day or a week or a season ... isn't that just as unsightly? Of all options for descent, which one has the least impact, visually and environmentally?
Tastrad
24-Sep-2017
1:10:28 AM
Hi, John, thanks for supporting both the ideal and romantic notion of a bolt free Ben Lomond. It is an ideal because it is a pure standard of traditional ethics. It is also a romantic idea because in Australia it has become so rare, that it is no longer the norm. It is an appeal to retain something of the way climbing used to be, with self reliance and adventure in an untainted landscape being a high motivating factor.

Bob McMahon never got involved in ethical debates. He was a very pragmatic climber; whatever it takes was his attitude. So when he appealed for a bolt free Ben Lomond, including removal of the bolted rap stations, it was to the romantic notion. “Wouldn’t it be bloody marvelous to have one last bolt free crag left in Tasmania,” he used to say. He spent 40 years walking the scree slopes, camped by the tarns, enduring the storms, discovering the cliffs, climbing whatever took his fancy in ground up style, and enjoying the freedom of the mountain. The Ben was a special and spiritual place for Bob, and there is something bloody marvelous about leaving no trace and fending for yourself in the mountains. People can still go to Ben Lomond and experience something of the golden age of discovery from the 70’s. Sure they’ve got a guidebook now, but they still have to do it all themselves, which includes getting off the crag safely.

Now to address some of the practical issues brought up by this thread. The issue has nothing to do with safety. Climbers since 1970 safely negotiated the access and descent from crags on Ben Lomond without bolted rap stations. Bob took a screamer or two, but no-one came to grief accessing or descending the cliffs..and there was no tat on the Flutes either. We climbed to the top and walked down.

The rap stations went in for convenience..not safety..and also to protect the descent gully. But this is a nonsense reason, as the descent gully is primarily on scree slope. People also seem to forget about the access gully which was doubly trashed when the bolts were in place..accessing and descending from the crag via the same gully.

As for Wendy's contribution. Seriously, are you on the same drugs as the yes campaign for same-sex marriage? Just because alot of people agree with it, doesn't mean that it's right. I chuckle when I hear people say that the majority want bolted rap stations on Ben Lomond. Their majority is the peer group they talk to at the pub or around campfires. But what about the majority I talk to; the dozens of people who pioneered the new routes on the mountain over the last 47 years, who hate the idea of any bolts on the mountain whatsoever, including rap stations. Their opinion has the most value and weight because of the time, effort and emotional investment in the mountain over many years.

Tat only appeared since the bolts were removed in 2008, and now a well meaning person has installed a chain to replace it. The tat is the convenience mentality again, littering the cliff, too lazy to walk down, bringing a sport climbing attitude to a big alpine cliff and not willing to embrace the whole trad ethic. The weetbix is not an issue on the established classics. I've done Defender, Rigaudon, Ramadan, Barbe di Vendetta, Rajah, many times and never broken a hold on the upper pitches. If you don't top out, you haven't done the climb.

The slippery slope is real. The first bolts went in on the Organ Pipes in the early 90's to the dismay of many old timers, and now the place is completely festooned with bolts. I used the abseil bolts on Ben Lomond for the 8 years or so they were in place. But when a couple of people were seriously considering bolting climbs, I argued that the mountain should be bolt free. But the would be bolter came back with the argument that it wasn't bolt free, because of the abseil bolts; that a precedent, grey area was established. To have a bolt free mountain, there had to be no ambiguity and the rap bolts had to go.

Future generations who don't understand the background or historical progression and angst that the introduction of bolts brought to climbing, might not see the difference or have the respect to distinguish between a rap station and a bolted climb..a bolt is a bolt. Sooner or later, rap stations would appear on every buttress on the mountain, because there is no logical reason to restrict it just to the Flutes, and then how about that lovely arete?

And unless they learn self reliance in the mountains, they will always be bolt dependent. But then how can we climb safely on Ben Lomond?..learn the traditional skills. UK climbers are accustomed to it because the community upholds the ethic, and beginners have to learn to build anchors on dodgy cliff tops, and walk down from most of their crags.

If you want convenience without trashing the place, the Irish solution is the way to go. Everyone does it at Fairhead, and out of the 300 climbers at the festival, everyone seemed to have access to long static ropes. Buy one, borrow one, tie two ropes together and bypass the knot at a ledge. Its very doable and finding the routes should not be an issue on Robins Buttress..the cliff is only 50m wide at that point, so scramble around to your chosen route, with the excellent topo in Climb Tasmania.

Which reminds me Wendy, the guidebook does describe the top down access via the plateau. So for your summer holiday in Tassie, check out the guide at climbtasmania.com.au , get your static rope and come on down.









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There are 88 messages in this topic.

 

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