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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 3 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 88
Author
Snow Flurries @ Asses Ear
mikl law
8/10/2004
11:43:41 PM
Climbing at Seneca rocks a lot I find that bolts are few and far between, and bad too. 98% of the mechanical ones are very rusty, and it seems to be unethical to read the directions before placing rings, they all stick out like those alarming ones at Arapiles (near Telemachus?).

At the same time people are still whacking in pegs, often on routes that never had them before. On easier routes there are up to 40 pegs per pitch, 70% have snapped off, and of the remainder, only about 10% look worth clipping anyway (more on steep rock where they stay dry, and you are more scared).

So last weekend ("Ah, the quirks of the trad world") I did a route yesterday at Seneca (Drop Zone, 5.11c R) that I had tried in baking sun 2 months ago and got up to the crux which had a piton in a horizontal to protect it, felt the holds and thought it looked a long way to the next gear and it was way too hot. I came back yesterday and got up to the crux in much cooler conditions and - no peg. As I'm on double ropes I organized a nest of RPs down and left, and a funky tricam at the peg and the hard bit was quite ok.

Wild clapping from below. I looked around and there were three guys there going crazy. It turns out they'd toproped it and then one of them had tried to lead it the day before and fallen and pulled the pin, pulled up on good cams 4m lower (it's a steep smooth wall). They said they were impressed that anyone would try it without, but I said I hadn't seen that it was missing. They rapped it and said my natural gear was indeed good, but banged in 2 pegs anyway. I was on it either a day early or a day late.

I pointed out they were fine now, but would probably fall out in 2 years again. So what!

tmarsh
9/10/2004
8:14:19 AM
Part of the problem might be the Seppo fondness for hard chrome-moly pitons.
Great for being able to be whacked in and out of cracks and re-used, but they
don't stay put as well as softer steel pins. I'm told - though have never
experienced it - that fixed pins in Europe, where the softer stee prevails, are
generally more reliable.

tim

IdratherbeclimbingM9
12/10/2004
12:30:48 PM
On 9/10/2004 tmarsh wrote:
>Part of the problem might be the Seppo fondness for hard chrome-moly pitons.
>Great for being able to be whacked in and out of cracks and re-used, but
>they don't stay put as well as softer steel pins. I'm told - though have never
>experienced it - that fixed pins in Europe, where the softer stee prevails,
>are generally more reliable.

The 'fixed' soft steel pitons that I have come across in places like the Warrumbungles and Buffalo have been about 50% crap, due to weathering/age loosening them.
In my experience its good to give them a tap to see how they sound, before clipping them.
The newer style (hard moly) pitons in similar locations are equally suspect in my opinion, though as a general comment I'd say they are easier to see/test if they are 'loose'.

Anything old (whether hard or soft steel), on the coast should be considered crap after 12 months! This also applies to the Glasshouse Mtns after as little as 18 months ...

Fe
12/10/2004
7:16:15 PM
On 5/10/2004 neats wrote:
>if you want to read about it, join the VCC.

here: http://www.vicclimb.org.au/pages/frame.html
or email me at info@vicclimb.org.au

Fe



nmonteith
9/11/2004
6:14:36 PM
On 8/10/2004 A.K. Dancer wrote:
>This is the kind of thing that cracks me up – people head out to grand
>old cliffs with bugger all history of being bolted (prior to the activities
>of Kent and Neil), put up what sounds like a poorly thought out line of
>bolts and rap stations and then can’t handle the flak they cop for doing
>it.
>

We were not the first people to place bolts at the Asses Ear. Here is a quick history lesson. The first bolt at Asses Ear was placed by 'Mr Ethics' himself aka Kieth Lockwood in the early 90's on the second pitch of Wiralda. At least five other bolts were placed by Tim Day in the late 90's on new routes right of Wirilda on the main face. Chris Shepard bolted several full sport routes on the Dead Ahead Cliff (just west of the main Asses Ear Cliff) in the late 90's as well. I established several routes with bolts more than four years ago on the main cliff. Snow Flurries bolts are not anything 'new'.

nmonteith
9/11/2004
6:30:51 PM
I was quite surprised with the heated debate about my route Snow Flurries on the Asses Ear. I found it quite odd that ‘Justin Thyme’ didn’t feel confident to put his name to his letter. I have been attacked in writing many times on the internet by various anonymous sources and I can only imagine that it could be the same person. Normally I wouldn’t bother with a reply but since this took up several pages in Argus I guess a reply is needed The letter raises some good points which I will try to answer.

nmonteith
9/11/2004
6:31:05 PM
Snow Flurries was ‘designed’ to be a route for the average climber. I wanted to create a steep and long route that the average grade 20 leader could climb. I did not want to create a runout and wandery climb in which it was easy to get off-route. In some ways I wanted the climber to be forced up the proudest section of the wall and to get the maximum exposure. When I prepare climbs I usually decide to make them as consumer friendly as possible. I want the climb to be repeated and enjoyed as much as possible. Wasted ‘death route’ real estate has no interest to me. In my opinion a Victorian ‘consumer route’ does not mean a totally bolted route. Consumer should mean popular. Much of our climbing population enjoys trad as well so I always try and leave obvious trad placements bolt free. I have been told several times by many sport climbers that I ‘ruin’ perfectly good potential sport routes by leaving single bits of trad on an otherwise bolted route. Interestingly enough these sport climbers have never hidden behind an alias and have been forth-right in giving me a name.

The first pitch was bolted for a beginner leader not for a grade 23 leader. I wanted it to be a good pitch for the weaker of the two climbing partners. This pitch was bolted and climbed in very wet winter weather so the grade is not fixed. I don’t climb enough easy routes to have a clear grasp of the differences between grades 14 and 16. It could be grade 12 for all I know. I would feedback about the first pitch grade from someone who climbs regularly in these lower grades.

I will not bother to go into a bolt by bolt analysis of why I put bolts where I did. I will say I placed bolts to not only protect the moves but to also guide a climber up the right line. The first bolt protects a balancy move and then a moderate runout to a very pumpy rooflet with fiddly gear. I would not want to have the blood on my hands if someone was to fall off from this rooflet whilst trying to find the correct cam and take the 4m whip onto the supposed ‘bomber 3 RP’. The first bolt not only guides the climber up the opening blank moves but it also protects the possibility of a fall a fair way above it. Bolts only protect about half of this route – you certainly still need the full trad rack. The style of the route is a face climb and thus there is the chance to rig some fiddly trad gear in some places. To keep the climb safe for the grade I choose to ignore the more fiddly placements and place bolts. If the whole climb could be done on easy trad gear then it would have been an even better route. Unfortunately the upper half is steep, sloppy and certainly not trad protect able. Several recent bad accidents (with people I know) involving stripped trad gear at my old local crag of Frog Buttress has given me a new perspective on what I expect people to trust. I would prefer that my climbs were not responsible for injuring others. If you want the scary climb experience then go ahead and climb Le Petit Mort that is 5m to the left of Snow Flurries. It has much more bomber trad gear than the opening 15m of Snow Flurries though. The anchors above pitch two were placed to enable an easy lower-off point for the leader. The leader can lower back to the belay ledge and belay the second in a standard top-rope fashion rather than from sitting on the top. More and more climbers expect this as it is the norm at crags in NSW and at most climbing areas in Europe and the USA. It is also handy for enabling several climbers to have a go at leading the classic second pitch of the route. In regards to the dangers of lowering off the 30m second pitch… The standard length for ropes in Australia is now 60m. In Europe the new standard is 70m and it is common to see climbers with single 80m ropes as well. I predict in 10 years time there will be no more 50m ropes on the market in Australia. Being able to easily lower-off with a single rope is a great feature of this climb. If the anchors were placed 5m back on the ledge then the rope would not be able to be pulled due to rope drag, you would need two ropes and the anchor would also be a ‘retro’ anchor for La Petit Mort. I didn’t want to tread anywhere near the already established trad climbs on this wall so I also did not place a bolt anchor at the end of pitch one. It is a shared belay with La Petit Mort and is an already established sling anchor instead.

It sounds like ‘Justin’ enjoys his runout thin face routes. Good for him. I have climbed many of them myself over the years but I don’t see why I need to make my own routes in that style. I invest my time finding new routes to do and others just repeat and bitch about them. If someone had bothered to do this route before me then maybe it would have less bolts. It was an obvious route that others chose to ignore. It is now a climb. Climb it if you wish or climb something else.

Neil Monteith

rhinckle
23/11/2004
10:01:12 PM
IMHO
if you don't think a bolt is necessary, then don't clip it.
in which case, what's the problem?

Robb
24/11/2004
12:30:53 PM
well said neil. there are plenty of other routes people can do if they dont want to do your routes. likewise if peole dont want to climb runout death routes, there are plenty of others to chose from. or they can toprope them. there will always be criticism from those with more "ethics" than brains or common sense.

Breezy
24/11/2004
12:50:32 PM
I agree with all you said about the route in question. I havent seen the route in question but judging by whats been written i think the "right" approach was taken.
However:
On 9/11/2004 nmonteith wrote:
> The standard length for ropes in Australia is now 60m.

Who decide this and since when ?

alrob
24/11/2004
12:59:42 PM
On 24/11/2004 Breezy wrote:
>However:
>On 9/11/2004 nmonteith wrote:
>> The standard length for ropes in Australia is now 60m.
>
>Who decide this and since when ?

i think the shops do, when they begin to sell 60 meter ropes, not as a specialty item anymore, but rather a more conveniant length over 50 meters. a few years ago, i remember hardly seeing 60 meter ropes at all. And when i did, it made no sense. now, when i bought m new rope, i didn't even think about getting a 50 meter. i just walked in and said 'i want a 60m 10.2', and they asked what colour? all the companies now are tending towards thinner, longer ropes it seems.

Breezy
24/11/2004
1:07:42 PM
I understand what your saying. But it would be my guess that most climbers own 50m ropes. I too noticed the 60m ropes becoming more available over the last few years.
I guess what im getting at is, i beleive routes can actually be contrived by length. Not the route in question at all, but there was some route put up in Spian ?? that was given 9a+ or maybe 9b cant remember, the point is the route was 82m long !!!! To me this is contrived, most people would climb 80m in 2-3 pitches not one pitch that you need a "special" rope for.
If 60m ropes are the norm now does that mean we can expect people to follow the example above ?? I hope not.
Goodvibes
24/11/2004
1:50:05 PM
Some lines are too good to have a belay set up at some arbitrary point on the route. The length of a route is often best determined by linking features like ledges etc, not by the supposed standard length of rope.

The example you gave is a pretty extreme case Breezy, and there are not all that many crags around that would warrant the use of ropes greater than 60 or 70m (that I know of in Australia anyway) so I don't think we will have to start lugging around 100m cords just yet.

60m+ ropes are definetely the go, I have trimmed the ends off my rope twice now and still have plenty left to do most of the sport routes around here.
fey
24/11/2004
2:00:44 PM
I seem to remember that you put up more undergraded, underbolted 18s than anyone else in Victoria, Mikl.

Rich
24/11/2004
3:03:50 PM
I just looked at this topic now and although I haven't climbed the route I do intend to (esp now with the controversy!) anyway well said neil.. I'm also a bit conused as to why the vcc printed a letter from anon.. almost makes me think that perhaps someone from the inside posted it?? anyway thats just voicing my thoughts.. absolutely no evidence..

On 24/11/2004 alrob wrote:
>On 24/11/2004 Breezy wrote:
>>However:
>>On 9/11/2004 nmonteith wrote:
>>> The standard length for ropes in Australia is now 60m.
>>
>>Who decide this and since when ?
>
>i think the shops do, when they begin to sell 60 meter ropes, not as a
>specialty item anymore, but rather a more conveniant length over 50 meters.
>a few years ago, i remember hardly seeing 60 meter ropes at all. And when
>i did, it made no sense. now, when i bought m new rope, i didn't even think
>about getting a 50 meter. i just walked in and said 'i want a 60m 10.2',
>and they asked what colour? all the companies now are tending towards thinner,
>longer ropes it seems.

I lashed out and bought a 10mm mammut 70m cord last year. i had actually intended to get a 60m and was told the longer was available for a lil more.. bought the 60m then went back and decided to swap it. although it is a bit heavier (the slightly smaller diameter partly makes up for this tho) this is outweighed by the advantages.. Why just last weekend we did Take Five 130m 20 in two pitches.. and i've done eurydice and dirge in 1 pitch.. so yeh bit of a novelty but I like it and when it comes time to hack the ends off it will still be long enough to not be thrown in the back of the ute as a tie down rope!

Breezy
24/11/2004
8:21:54 PM
Now i just feel old school , me and my 50m lifeline ;)
dalai
24/11/2004
8:26:56 PM
On 24/11/2004 Breezy wrote:
>Now i just feel old school , me and my 50m lifeline ;)

Even more old school worrying about ropes, as roped climbing is 'so yesterday'!!

60m+ is far better economically (as long as you don't drop a rock and damage the middle!) now as they become more available. Ends usually bear the brunt of vigorous climbing, so as long as the rest of the rope is still okay just trim 5 m of each end and you can get more climbing out of the one rope.

Rupert
24/11/2004
10:41:48 PM
On 24/11/2004 Rich wrote:

>I'm also a bit conused as to why the vcc printed a letter from anon.. almost
>makes me think that perhaps someone from the inside posted it??


Someone from the inside? What do you mean by that?

Rich
24/11/2004
11:46:45 PM
On 24/11/2004 Rupert wrote:
>On 24/11/2004 Rich wrote:
>
>>I'm also a bit conused as to why the vcc printed a letter from anon..
>almost
>>makes me think that perhaps someone from the inside posted it??
>
>
>Someone from the inside? What do you mean by that?

someone who works with argus.. but prob not. you just sometimes hear of that happening. you know, anon ed postings in mags (not necessarily climbing i mean)
maxdacat
25/11/2004
12:09:21 AM
On 9/11/2004 nmonteith wrote:
>Snow Flurries was ‘designed’ to be a route for the average climber. I wanted
>to create a steep and long route that the average grade 20 leader could
>climb.

Neil.....a well thought out response. Keep up the good work as the climbing world needs a good variety of options for the average joe chalkbag. Shame you end up copping flack for your efforts.

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There are 88 messages in this topic.

 

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