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New pitons on Watch Tower

6:01:10 PM
Richie, you should go back to arnold's and get beaten up by the Fonz! Aint never placed any RP's in this baby, and no time reqiored.

12:05:24 AM
Now to play devil's advocate....

>I would think there a re a fair number of novice climbers who do that
>route cause it's such a classic, I don't see what's so wrong with the *odd*
>extra bit of fixed pro....

It was a bit dastardly placing those pins, and yeah they should come out. Shaggy's right - if you can't stand the (air) time, don't do tthe climb. HOWEVER, perhaps something needs to be addressed if way too many people are questing up there and getting in over their heads. This is a little analogous to the 'Mt Aspiring fatalities' thread that's going on a the moment in 'accidents and injuries'.
Hopefully that 'something' isn't bolts or pegs in situ, nor a warning sign at the base of the route....

Maybe we could chip in and buy a case of beer for one of the permanent campers (who's there now?). In turn he/she is charged with searching cars and frisking new arrivals for pegs, hammers, drills and bolts. Only specially licenced cariers may have a bolt gun.
In fact, lets have a piton amnesty. Everyone in the Wimmera has got a month to drop their iron mongery off at Wendy's house, where she'll fold them in two (so they can't be used for the purposes of evil), and nothing more will be said. After that, being found in possesion of such high powered illegal weaponry will result in severe penalties.

ShinToe Warrior
1:12:11 AM
A permanent pines resident is more likely to want to frisk new arrivals for beer, buds, beans &

2:58:23 AM
I guess they can keep their spoils if it keeps them loyal.
I doubt loyalty to the cause will be much of an issue here though
2:03:12 PM
I've just read this thread and I am amazed to see that people have found this act so despicable. Firstly, I placed those fixed pins in the third belay of Watchtower Crack. Having done the route at least ten times, I feel the anchors in that belay are pretty average. Not only that, but you do some pretty insecure climbing straight off the belay before you clip the bolt. That means you are facing a factor two fall onto a very ordinary belay.

The reason I placed pitons and not bolts is purely to stay in keeping with the historic element of route. Pitons utilise natural features (unlike bolts) and when well-placed are very good anchors. The horizontal crack on that belay is tailor made for pitons, but not so accomodating for wires. Although you can place small RPs or equivalent, it is not the sort of gear that I would like to belaying from should the leader be whistling past me. Add a few more climbers perched on that belay and the whole situation starts to look even more unappealing. The piton placements don't affect the wire placements.

The situation would be different if the bolt on that final pitch was one move lower. But as Kieran pointed out, the bolts were placed on lead. Replacing bolts on this route is one thing, but repositioning them tampers signficantly with the history. I love doing Watchtower Crack and wondering what it must have been like for the first ascenionists to be drilling on lead in the places they did.

I feel my actions are very considered and don't alter the climb in any significant way. I would argue that the Arapiles Bolting Fairies and others have destroyed a lot more of the history and character inherent in many of the Arapiles classics. For example, Cassandra (18) could have had just a few bolts replaced and the old aid bolts left as testament to a bygone era. Have A Good Flight (25) should have been re-equipped with glue-in stainless carrots and become a heritage-listed route as a symbol of early Australian sport climbing! (Carrots are to Australian climbing what knot protection is to Eastern Europe).

I'm getting sidetracked. Back to the pegs on Watchtower Crack... Maybe think twice before removing them.

ShinToe Warrior
2:29:18 PM
a factor two fall onto a very ordinary or 'adequate' belay would definately suck major ass/arse......
(would Sir and Madam care for a medium or large crater?)

6:35:26 PM
Personally I always thought that you could get a decent anchor there, it just requires a little look around, and it's not necissary to use only that seam.

Anyway, so i put this question to you:
So, instead of adding 2 more pins, why not pull the old one, and replace it with one good new one? We both know, that a well placed piton is bomber, and I'm sure that both of us have hung around on single pins before. Take kachoong's pin for example, has as single pin ever taken as many falls as that one?
7:04:29 PM
Hey Simon, something finally got you to bother registering!

YOu're right, they are average anchors, but I figure loads of people have done it before on those anchors, there are other options like traversing out left for gear or carrying big gear. You can always bail off watchtower onto arachnus if you don't like the moves off the belay. Or invest in gear that will protect it. They do come in useful fairly often, big cams ... when you want one, you really really want one! I call them my sanity cams.

if we start backing up belays like this, where do we stop? Although, I also agree, other replacements made have changed routes. I remember doing Hot Flap when it had a single manky carrot belay - you could get a bodgy wire to back it up - I hear now it sports double rings. But I suppose there are no other options there. I'm not at all sure about the new bolts on snow blind - sure it's safer, but people should make their own judgement on what they should be leading. Do we bolt Ride Like the WInd? I've always hated the moves up to the bolt on Feral chicken - you could seriously hurt yourself off that, but I'm not advocating putting in another bolt to make it safe. I'm just refusing to ever lead it! I guess I believe people need to take responsibility for their own safety and have the skills to make good judgements. We can't protect eveybody from themselves and we can't make a route user friendly just becasue it's popular.

7:15:13 PM
Actually Wendy, In contrast to my writting above, I definately think that Feral Chicken should have another bolt, the moves up to it are some of the most commiting on the climb, I have never been as scared climbing, as I was on that. After all, that bolt was added anyway, so....
7:19:55 PM
Good on ya Simey, leave the pegs where they are, they don't alter the grade, just make it safer.

If someone decides to pull the new pegs, make sure you have the guts to notify everyone here of your name, so if an injury or death occurs due to belay failure on a dodgy rusty iron peg and dubious rps we will know who shares some of the blame.

Personally I would have trouble with my conscience if I was the one removing the pegs in that situation.

Is the historical purity of protection the climb that important, if so we better remove the stainless carrots and replace them with with mild steel hand drill jobs.

7:31:27 PM
I think your missing the point Deadpoint, there is a difference between adding placements, or upgrading with increase in technology, ie going from mild steel carrots, to glue in stainless bolts.

At the end of the day, everyone climbs at there own risk, no one else are ever responsible for YOUR climbing.
More so, if there are 3 pegs there, people will be more inclined to clip only those and not set up any other gear. Keep in mind, that ALL of these pegs are also in 1 seam.
If there was 1 Bomber Pin, people will still place gear in addition, and therefore they are also responsible for their own actions.
Thousands upon thousands of people have done it this way, are people just getting lazy?

Eduardo Slabofvic
11:31:29 AM
I'm with Simon and richard on this one. Leave the pegs, they suit the rout and don't change the character of the climbing. If you want to get hot under the collar about extra iron in the rock then go chop some of the bolts that are appearing around the place.
8:22:55 PM
On 5/02/2005 deadpoint wrote:
>Good on ya Simey, leave the pegs where they are, they don't alter the grade,
>just make it safer.

So should we go around the whole mount added fixed gear to climbs to make them safer? My housesitter broke his pelvis decking off Running on Empty last winter, maybe we should bolt the scoop at the start of that, cause the gear there is pretty average ... Lois Lane, now that's got crap gear, let's make it safe. I did that 18 up John's pinnacle for the first time the other week, and if you fall anywhere in the first 5m or so, you're cactus. Must need a bolt, it's not safe. The gear on finger prince and iron void leave a bit to be desired, let's rectify that. Take Five. Skink Connection. Stranger's Eliminate. Those directs up Tjuringa and Curtain Walls. Where do we draw the line?

There is gear in that belay other than an old pin and rps - take a 5 camalot! A big bro. Some home made tubes. Look left. I feel like a broken record ... Really, with the right rack, you don't need any fixed gear on Watchtower at all, but it'd be fun carrying it! Let's put some bolt's in Electra, cause if you don't carry big gear, it's not safe.

It's not our responsibility to make climbs safe for the masses. It is in fact impossible. Should we clean all the loose rock off for everyone? Shoot all the falcons so they don't swoop you? Keep everyone else off the cliff so they can't drop things on you? Throw the tourists off the look out so they don't throw rubbish and rocks on you? Actually, I don't mind that response to people throwing rubbish ...

People should climb things reasonable to their level of climbing and take gear appropriate to protect the climb. Beg and borrow it if you don't have it, take the risk knowing you don't have the right gear, that's your own call, or don't do it.

No one made you lead Feral Chicken Shaggy!. It's bloody dangerous. I'd almost call the bolt superfluous, because by the time you get there, you've done harder stuff than the next move without it, then there's gear anyway, so why bother ... how did it end up with the bolt in it? If we were to go and add a bolt, we'd be setting a precedent to doing it on a whole pile of other climbs. OK, so someone else appears to have already in this case, but still, we have to take a stand somewhere on the slippery slope down to retrobolting D minor because people just don't seem to be able to protect it for themselves.
10:26:43 PM
Wendy and Shaggy… I think your comparisons to my actions on Watchtower Crack are a little out of line (which is a pity because we probably share similar values).

Wendy… I understand that you carry No 5 Camalots and a selection of Big Bros as standard gear on your rack. That is commendable, but I don’t feel that I should invest in those items purely to rig the third belay on Watchtower Crack.

And Shaggy… your comments about the pin on Kachoong (I assume you mean the one at the roof)… well I back that up with at least two or three other stonker pieces anyway (unfortunately such quality protection isn’t available on the third belay of Watchtower Crack… unless you are carrying Wendy’s rack). As for your comments that all the pins are in the one seam… well I am happy to trust a seam that has the top-third of the Watchtower Faces on its upper side and the bottom two-thirds of the Watchtower Faces on its lower side.

Given the way the third belay is now equipped, someone can still blow the initial moves on the last pitch, collect their belayer on the way down and take the factor-two fall. I feel that is plenty of excitement. Do we really need a dodgy belay to add to that thrill?
11:07:23 PM
On 5/02/2005 shaggy wrote:
>At the end of the day, everyone climbs at there own risk, no one else
>are ever responsible for YOUR climbing.
That's why I said 'SOME' of the blame, the leader is responsible for the safety of themself as well as their belayer, more so on a dodgy belay.
Sometimes the second has to remind the leader who's attached to the other end of the belay plate.
Rip the pins, Is everybody happy?, you bet your life we are!

11:17:04 PM
On 1/02/2005 Mike wrote:
>Or just climb 2 more metres, clip the first bolt of P4 and lower back
>to the belay stance, which is what I've done the half dozen times I've
>lead up it with larger parties. Then incorporate this with the small cams/wires.

I have done this a few times, but it is a bit of a pain, particulary as you have to do the hard move to reach the bolt.

1:22:12 AM
how bout leaving a long clipping stick at the P3 belay

just kiddin shaggy, but gotta say i was pretty happy with those pitons a couple of weeks back when sticky was wobbling about whilst trying to clip the bolt on P4. and i found the climb was still a classic experience despite me not being quite trad enough to boycott the pitons and choose the RP placements etc (which by memory still looked useable).

richie cunningham
9:02:05 AM
On 5/02/2005 Wendy wrote:
> I'm not at all sure about the new bolts on snow blind - sure it's safer, but people should make their own judgement on what they should be leading.

so have you lead snowblind without the pin and bolt ?

12:51:05 PM
> so have you lead snowblind without the pin and bolt ?

WTF.....why is this always the big argument for pro retro bolters? Just because the person in question hasn't lead said scary trad route doesn't mean they can't respect the original style and feel strongly against the retrobolt.

how hard a person climbs should have nothing to do with the amount of wieght their argument holds
12:54:13 PM
On 7/02/2005 richie cunningham wrote:
>On 5/02/2005 Wendy wrote:
>> I'm not at all sure about the new bolts on snow blind - sure it's safer,
>but people should make their own judgement on what they should be leading.
>so have you lead snowblind without the pin and bolt ?
It doesn't have the pin anymore - this is what I have a problem with. It has a shiny new ring bolt positioned above the flake, not where the original piton was, or the other bodgy gear in the flake (crap small wires, flared cam). And no I didn't lead it on the original gear. I don't lead goey 23s. I'll trundle up the gully and lace Milk Blood or Not just a Pretty Face instead. That's called rational assessment of my abilities and a taste for continued existance (or at least for my ankles).

Simon, I think we do have similar standards. I was drawing the sliperey slope out a bit. But basically, I think adding (as opposed to replacing) fixed gear to an existing climb is in the same ball park. I'd hate to see people use these as examples to justify a whole pile of other additions to the mount.

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