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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 4 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 88
Author
Snow Flurries @ Asses Ear

nmonteith
4/01/2005
11:50:19 AM
It seems like Chris Baxter himself has waded into the controversy [editorial in latest Rock mag]... it is just another un-researched load of drivel in my opinion. He adds nothing new and just recycles the statements from the original anonymous source. It is hardly excellent journalism. He fails to refer to any points I made in my detailed letter in reply to 'JT'.

Has anyone else actually repeated this route and would like to give some feedback?

nmonteith
4/01/2005
12:31:23 PM
On 5/10/2004 "Justin Thyme" wrote:

>From the belay you amble up the wall with good protection to get you to
>another glued-in carrot bolt, after clipping this I spotted next to my
>left shoulder a bomber 3 RP. “What’s going on” I thought, don’t these first
>ascensionists inspect their project prior to going ballistic with the drill,
>or is it simply they don’t own any small wires?

I just ran this through the Petzel fall simulator. The 'bomber' RP#3 would snap/strip when you are only a few metres above it. I hardly call that ideal. At best an RP of that size can hold about 400kg if the placment is totally ideal.
climbingjac
5/01/2005
11:37:21 AM
Just had the opportunity to read through this thread. I just can't believe the ingratitude of some people.

As most of you will be aware, I recently returned from a climbing trip in Europe. What was screamingly obvious was that they have HEAPS of established stuff (trad and sport and bouldering) catering for ALL GRADES and ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE. In Australia, let's face it… when you're at the crag, other climbers are likely to be the young unmarried without children types. Why? A combination of things I imagine. Once you have commitments, do you have the time or energy to drag the kids on a 4 hour mission to the Grampians? Do you have the funds to invest in your rack? Is there enough safe-ish established stuff for you to climb, or will you regularly find yourself on some death-wise route that could leave your kids orphaned if it all went balls-up?

In Europe, all kinds of people are climbing – including Mums, Dads, young kids (pre-kindergarten), and even senior citizens (refer Neil's picture of a nanna in bright pink lycras belaying her man at a roadside crag in Chamonix).



In Australia, we have a small collection of people such as Neil and Kent, who are out there trying to establish more stuff to cater for a wider collection of people. Let's face it, up until about two years ago, then if you wanted to sport climb in the Grampians, then you best be climbing minimum grade 25. Everyone else could bugger off because they weren't catered for. All that is changing. A classic example is the Monteith creation of Red Rocks, sprouting a number of routes up to and including grade 23. Sounding more achievable? I thought so.

If I were blessed with the time to be putting up new routes, then I'd like to do so in such a fashion that I'd be making a contribution to the sport of climbing – not just my own selfish ego. So let's say I decided to put up a grade 14 called "Snow Flurries", for example. My target market would be grade 14 climbers, and pro would be offered accordingly. Pro would be designed to keep you off the ground and away from serious injury. There'd be none of this massive runout nonsense that keeps you off the ground but neglects to identify that you'd deck onto a ledge part way up the route anyhow, and all that sort of rubbish. Enjoyable accessible climbing. That's what I'm about. And if adding a bolt where necessary is what is required to achieve this, then so be it. If someone wanted to repeat the route in bold style, then they would be welcome to do so. They can skip gear or bolts or whatever they like. BYO disinfectant to clean up the mess you make on the ground that your poor belayer will have to contend with. But the very same route is still a safe route for those that prefer to use all the available gear. And thus, everyone is catered for.

Neil / Kent - perhaps it is time for you guys to start recording the time it takes to establish a new route, or rebolt an existing one. There is much reference to the fact that bolting takes ages… perhaps it's time to make it clear to people just how long "ages" actually is. People can then compare notes. Perhaps during the hours that you guys are diligently rebolting lines for them to climb, they are sitting on their backsides drinking caffe lattes in Halls Gap, concocting their next anonymous whinge session. Anyway, my point is, this really bugs me. It never changes. People put in their time – and hoards of it, for that matter – and all they get is whinging.

I think it is important for people to put their opinions forward about bolting issues and so forth, but for heavens sake, be constructive about it, and a little less rude, perhaps??!! If you don't like the bolts on Snow Flurries (or any other route for that matter), Justin Thyme, then don't clip them! If you were the first ascenscionist, or the person putting in the effort to maintain the route, then you'd have the primary input into how it gets done. But you're not doing that are you now???!!!!! Please stop whinging – be a bit more gracious about all the hard work others are putting in for your benefit - and let everyone else get on with the business of enjoying their climbing. If hard working people like Kent and Neil get sick of whinging from people like yourself, then maybe they'll cease to bother. Then we'd all be stuck with a land of ageing rusty bolts. No thanks!

nmonteith
5/01/2005
11:46:10 AM
On 5/01/2005 climbingjac wrote:
>Neil / Kent - perhaps it is time for you guys to start recording the time
>it takes to establish a new route, or rebolt an existing one. There is
>much reference to the fact that bolting takes ages… perhaps it's time to
>make it clear to people just how long "ages" actually is.

Kent spent a mammoth five hours in a row hanging off ropes the other day preparing his new route BMX Bandits (24) at The Tower. All up he spent 2.5 days jumaring, drilling and cleaning and then climbing the route. It was worth it!

rodw
Online Now
5/01/2005
12:42:35 PM
You always get someone having a whinge, over bolted/under bolted blah blah blah. One of the reasons I tend to stick to develop "secret" crags and only let people I know, who wont whinge, know the location know about it until Im finished, tends to keep the "anonymous" critics away.

Im always willing to get contsructive critisim, as your always going to learn something new, but people who fire off in a public forum/publication without even bothering to question the FA's dosn't help.

Keep up the awsome work Neil/Kent and may the blood finally reach your legs (and other vital parts of the lower body) again soon after 5 hours+ a day rope work hanging in a harness...ouch:)

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
5/01/2005
1:42:37 PM
What a mixed bag this thread is turning out to be!

My 2c worth;
I see validity in both Neil / Kent vs Justin Thymes points of view.
IMO Justin Thyme was wrong to be anonymous and unfortunately lost credibility IMO by degenerating to a personal attack level. Later in Neils considered response I found it hard to see that in the future most ascentionists of his route would necessarily have the same logic (as his) in their minds while doing it; specifically re;
>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

I don’t think that ‘just because it seems to be a trend elsewhere', that it should follow as the way we ought to do it here!
(*Leading on toprope??)

Climbingjac said 05/01/05:
(Paraphrased)
>Enjoyable accessible climbing. That's what I'm about.
(Snip)
>If someone wanted to repeat the route in bold style, then they would be welcome to do so. They can skip gear or bolts or whatever they like.

You have made some very salient points Climbingjac, and although I do not wholly subscribe to Justin Thymes article, nor do I see mum, dad & (the standard 2.4) kids climbing a consumer classic at a predominantly adventure area?

IMO what makes the issues more contentious here, (as touched on by both camps), is the grey area being addressed ie ‘safe’ climbing, specifically in the location that this climb is.
I appreciate the efforts of Neil, Kent et al, but believe certain locations lend themselves more to consumer classics, and others less so.

The heart of the matter really comes back to the grading system / route description; in that it should reflect what exists, and the consumer is then in a position to choose/not as the case may be.
Not every climb or area needs bolts, no matter how safe they make what is essentially a ridiculous past-time!

One can choose not to do a climb if it sounds unappealing in a guide (for whatever reason), but I personally find it more aggravating to choose an area/climb and then to find the adventure detracted by unexpected bolts. Without the bolts the grade becomes higher or the climb impossible for the individual, but stating to ‘ignore the bolts’ is a somewhat condescending attitude, as the fact that they are there at all is an affront to some people; …~> and so IMO not everyone is ‘catered for’.

I think Mikle & AKDancer have made some excellent points in this debate also.
The whole game is subjective and entails responsibilities, both by those who put up climbs and more pertinantly by those who choose to follow.

nmonteith
5/01/2005
2:02:30 PM
I understand and appreciate comments made by everyone. You may be suprised how much I listen to what others have to say in regards to bolting. When Kent and I first developed the Tower we took on board comments about visability of ringbolts and chains that Mick Hampton, Steve Monks and HB had made. We placed hangerless glue-in carrots rather than rings/U's on many of the routes and tried to make easy sections runout. Many of these routes have dangeorus sections in them (ie 6m runout at end of Terror of the Sea). Anchors were shared and camoflauged. I took the same attitude to the Asses Ear. Carrots were used on the easy sections as they were low-impact. The route would have twice as many bolts if I wanted to create a sport route. It is still a wildly exposed and potentially dangerous climb. Small natural gear fails and I would prefer that my routes didn't kill people. I don't consider RP's and small wires to be great gear - and i bolted accordingly.

What I really want is REAL people with NAMES emailing, ringing or personally talking to me about their problems with my bolts. I respect the fact that Chris Baxter actually used his own name on his editorial letter. It means a lot to me and gives me much food for thought. If he had done some personal research and added to the argument with real facts that would have been better. I won't be pulling any bolts on Snow Flurries but I doubt I will bolt anything else up there for the moment. The main wall is now officially 'climbed out' anyhow. The place was never going to be over-run with bolts from new routes. No guidebook mentions the 'bolt free adventure' aspect of Asses Ear. There have been bolts up there for years that are not mine. There are bolted routes with potential trad placments all over Victoria. (ie Body Count@VD Land, Boggie@Camels Hump, Redex@Werribie, Sport Crack@Mt Zero, Dial-a-Lama@Spurt Wall, Ogive@Bundaleer). Why the stink with this route?

Anyone else seem to feel a sense of Deja-vu - AKA The Sapphire Rose @ Fingal, Tasmania.???
deadpoint
5/01/2005
4:55:33 PM
Great work Neil, jumped on Dwarf Pumper and Stepping on Snakes the other night. Snakes is a classic.
Only suggestion would be to include a chain on DP ala SOS lower off.

Whingers Whinge
Doers Do
Keep up the good work.

Small RPs are great as long as you are not relying on a single 0 for your safety.
For those wingers, remove a finger for every unecessary bolt you have clipped in your life, do you have any fingers left, I think not.

Keep up the doin, leave the whinging to those who can't do anything else.


rhinckle
5/01/2005
5:41:15 PM
you don't have to clip a bolt if you don't want to.
you don't have to clip a bolt if you don't need to.
is there a difference between these two statements?

IMHO
the boldest trad person has a problem with bolts because
they want to clip them,
decide that they shouldn't,
then think that maybe there is a pro problem,
then decide that they might as well clip,
then find some dodgy pro
and
hate themselves for clipping.

GET OVER IT.

either clip when you can or NEVER EVER CLIP.
this is the philosophical difference.

if you have ever climbed something that required clipping a bolt then you are on one side of the arguement.
if you have NEVER EVER EVER clipped a bolt, you are on the other.

if you think that slabs need (runout) bolts
YOU ARE A CLIPPER.

if a piton or old sling is acceptable
YOU ARE A CLIPPER.

climbing (as in "chockstone forum: climbing discussion") is artificial.
as far as i can see
if you don't solo barefoot you don't have pure climbing ethics.

all the rest is a sport.

this is nothing to be ashamed of.

the only ethically pure person hasn't seem the guidebook, climbs, & is perhaps surprised at the bolts (if they see them), realises that someone else has been there.
(without the bolt you can maintain the pretence of virginity)

I will admit that I am grateful for bolts. (personally, i don't like fixed hangers, but that's just me)
and i will stop here.
'bye all




James
5/01/2005
9:52:17 PM
I agree with some of the general comments made (eg: Mikl et al) as pointed out by M8, but many other posts here that refer specifically to Snow Fluries have blatent flaws in them, have not been researched & lack basic credibility.

eg: AK Dancer (08.10.04 4:00pm)
>The Asses Ears was for a very long time been a cliff that had no bolts, and which still >offered lovely climbing in the grade range of your 14/16 “Arapiles climber” which go all >the way to the top of the cliff (not to mention other harder climbs, also done without >bolts). I would think that this “Arapiles climber” (who would be the person to give a fark >about the grade if it was +/- 2 grades) who has gone out to the remote area that is the >Asses ears is not after a sanitized climbing experience that only gets them one pitch >off the ground.

.... who has actually been up to the Asses Ear & done any of the classic grade 14 / 16 routes that are there?? They are barely within site of SF, & most certainly out site of any bolts on it. Has anyone been up there & tried to spy the bolts from the ground??

Le Petit Mort (19)** is the only route nearby that would be visually effected (IMO). The routes immediately right of SF have fixed gear also!! Die Young (17)* - "..rap off fixed slings..."; Euthanasia (17)**....fixed peg on p2.

Bold routes are great, safe routes are great. The Asses Ear has a mix of both styles that coexist in a healthy, un-obtrusive manner. Makes for a pretty damn cool crag. Debate is healthy, but uninformed bollocks is a waste of time. But at least *#%^ off & make your arguments credible (please!).

nmonteith
6/01/2005
9:09:17 AM
... James, you just reminded me of another piece of fixed pro. Euthanasia Direct Finish actually has a carrot bolt - placed by someone in the late 1980's I think. If you added up the routes that do have fixed gear they would be half the routes on the crag. Not exactly english gritstone I am afraid.

gordoste
6/01/2005
10:00:12 AM
Anonymous letters should not be printed. period.

The good Dr
19/04/2005
9:25:41 PM
Hi all,

have been looking around the site (and have done so before). One hell of a lot of effort guys!

Was particularly taken by the whole debate going on here regarding 'Snow Flurries'. Unlike most people here I have done the route and will offer my observations (I was going to say opinion, but they, as we all know are like...). I have visited the Asses Ears quite a few times nd have done a lot of the routes there.

Anyway, the following observations:

The climbing: It is excellent, The first pitch is about 14/15 and the second solid at 20 (steep particularly) though not that slow burn like you get on Le Petit Mort.

The bolting issue: Unfortunately I would have to say that the bolts on the first pitch are not needed as there is good protection on this pitch. One bolt is extremely close to a 3 Camelot placemet (within 1/2 m). The route finding is straightforward, The bolting on the second pitch is another matter. The upper section is well bolted, though the bolt next to the small wire is a surprise. As to the route finding, these bolts did not matter, as the obvious line is followed by the gear and climbing, and the first bolt where it steepens dramatically actually takes you away from the moves to surmount this section.

The belay: One work. Awkward.

As to the rapel situation. One must consider the following. Abseiling is very dangerous. One c--k up and goodbye. The situation of just reaching a rap station is an area where many people have come unstuck (how many absel death in The Valley?). I am wary abseiling, and have done a lot of it. Having to swing to one side to land is also fraught with danger. This is an area where one has to be extremely thoughtful.

Certainly there are many issues and points of view regarding the topic of bolting. It is difficult to get right (I have done some myself, some I am proud of, some not). As I do not know the characters involved, this is my honest opinion about the route. I hope this helps.

The other matter which has got me thinking is the anonimity question regarding 'Justin Thyme'. In this situation, the anonimity has become a major issue, not always the questions raised. Not knowing who JT is means that no-one can label that person (is JT male or female for example). If the letter had been signed 'Noddy' or 'Baxter' people could face off from a corner. In this case, maybe the emphasis should be taken away from anonimity and returned to the issues. The issues raised should give any concern their credibility.

Sorry for the post length, but I there you have it (by the way, I am certainly not JT).

Cheers

nmonteith
20/04/2005
9:00:27 AM
On 19/04/2005 The good Dr wrote:
>As to the route finding, these bolts did not matter,
>as the obvious line is followed by the gear and climbing, and the first
>bolt where it steepens dramatically actually takes you away from the moves
>to surmount this section.

I am un-sure what you mean about the first bolt placement. Can you explain further.


>The belay: One word. Awkward.

How could this belay have been improved? If we had placed it further back you would not have been able to pull the rope due to rock friction. I reccomend that people without a 60/70m rope belay from a rock bollard about 10m above the rap anchor. Then they can walk off or rap down the chimney.

>Certainly there are many issues and points of view regarding the topic
>of bolting. It is difficult to get right (I have done some myself, some
>I am proud of, some not). As I do not know the characters involved, this
>is my honest opinion about the route. I hope this helps.

All feedback is useful. Thanks again.
kp
20/04/2005
11:01:01 AM
hotmail accounts are a joke... this whole forum is full of crap trolls.

adski
20/04/2005
5:44:31 PM
bring in the australia card eh kent?
Dave C
20/04/2005
6:13:50 PM
On 20/04/2005 kp wrote:
>hotmail accounts are a joke... this whole forum is full of crap trolls.

I'm yet to see a forum that wasn't full of trolls. That's half the fun!
KP
20/04/2005
7:14:12 PM
the latest slew of trolls are an unimaginative, pale immitation of 'Heavy D'...

yo adam,
thecrag.com says you've done the route. Why so shy ?

Paulie
21/04/2005
2:28:41 AM
My ethic has always been, if the route will go safely on gear, then leave it that way. If it's worth putting up and it won't go safely on gear, then bolt it for safety. If there is any gear on the route that is definately bomber, then leave it that way. Only place bolts that are needed to prevent ground/ledge fall and serious injury or death.

Many of my routes would have gone (very boldly) on gear, however as Neil states, a small RP in a high load situation is quite likely to fail and a bolt is a far better option...we are after all talking about people's lives here and a good bolt is better than a "might hold" RP.

Ultimately is someone's life worth not drilling a small hole in a very large expanse of rock?

Paul


adski
21/04/2005
4:12:05 PM
KP wrote:
>yo adam,
>thecrag.com says you've done the route. Why so shy ?

Hi Kent. To answer your question: Because I don't have anything outstanding to add. But since you asked.. ;-)

Like most climbers I went to the crag star hungry and obviously la petit mort stands out. We launched up to the sling belay to have a look and decide then. After the common 1st pitch I was tempted to continue up the 22/3 that shares some bolts with snow flurries. Started up it but didn't commit to the crux so after my paralysis of analysis I downclimbed and continued up SF's big shinies to the top. On the headwall my arms were very warm from explorations and I had that sated, spent feeling.

I haven't paid much attention to all the attention the route has received as it seemed to be a storm in a teacup. It all reminds me of a local paper's Op-Ed piece, designed for controversy for people who enjoy vigorous discussions. As a route, I found it more than satisfactory but alas the cost-benefit analysis I did on VCC membership just for Argus returned negative as I'm interstate. So I haven't read the article and any outrage on my part hasn't been stimulated.

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