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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 4 of 7. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 120 | 121 to 126
Author
New pitons on Watch Tower

shaggy
8/02/2005
10:59:32 AM
Firstly, simey and I do share most of our opinions, our climbing ethics are pretty much the same, my only issue is with this one particular situation. My point being, why have tree pitons? Agreed, the belay is not bomber without the pin, I would never be able to tow the cliff home, but it was adequate, even without big gear. But, like simey suggests, I like things to be safe, where death is not an a possibility, therefore my suggestion was, instead of adding two more pins, why not pull the old shitty one out, and replace it with 1 bomber pin (yes pins can be bomber). That way people will still set up natural gear in addition (rather than rely on just the pins), and have a backup should all there natural gear fail.

It is an intresting point to see how many people either changed their views or sat on the fence until they found out 'who' placed the gear. Should it matter who placed it?
simey
8/02/2005
11:40:43 AM
Shaggy, the old pin isn't that shitty, that's why I left it in... plus it's got character. I was originally going to place just one extra piton, but ended up placing two. You could argue that I should have stopped at the one extra piton, but I ended up placing two because...

The belay is situated quite low and to one side. If you have other people postioned along that ledge, the anchors are already in an awkward spot. The loading on the pieces can come from a few directions if people start shuffling around. Likewise if the belayer was to shift their position due to the consequences of a lead climber falling, the anchors might also be loaded in a less than ideal way.

As for the argument that the new pins are eventually going to deteriorate, well I think that particular seam is not going to be subject to expanding and contracting (it's not part of a flake system). And if the pins did ever need replacing, then tap them out carefully and replace them. There are plenty of cases of bolts having a very short life span. Bolts aren't the solution to every situation.

Tel
8/02/2005
11:42:39 AM
...........must learn to read better

IdratherbeclimbingM9
8/02/2005
1:08:40 PM
On 8/02/2005 simey wrote:
>And if the pins did ever need replacing, then tap them out carefully and replace them. There are plenty of cases of bolts having a very short life span. Bolts aren't the solution to every situation.

I agree.
IMO pitons can have a useful life longer than some bolts in certain applications, and are easy to remove/replace, if/when required.

As far as earlier comments go about the pitons tending to subjugate the options/thinking of repeat ascentionists, I expect that 99 out of 100 would be glad to have the safe belay. This does not detract from the fact that ANY placement/s (fixed or otherwise), should be inspected/tested for integrity, (includes bolts!!), every time they are used.

Tongue in cheek now; ...Don't have a hammer?; ... then tap on the pins with a hex or a cam!

A grey area indeed!, (the whole thread)!
Time tends to consolidate or change not only physical pro (no matter the sort), but attitudes as well.
To stir the pot; ... 'constructive scarring*' is still an option when/if the pitons are ever deemed necessary to remove, (*so that natural placements are enhanced for future use).

Richard
8/02/2005
1:26:43 PM
Do people think that it would have been a better solution than rather adding two new pitons, to move the bolt on pitch 4 down a bit to where it is an easy clip, such that if you do fall at the harder move that is currently required to clip this bolt in it's current position, then it won't be a factor two fall any more?

Hence, rather than adding two new pieces of gear to a classic climb, you are retaining the same type and amount of gear, and just optimisng the location of one piece of gear by a small amount?

Ok, some people will claim that moving a bolt is "changing histroy". There are surely many cases where the FA got it wrong, and would be happy to have the gear type/location improved?

It seems to me that moving the bolt would solve a lot of the problems that people have with the pitons: adding more fixed gear at a trad area such as Araps, not being a long term solution, damaging the rock, making people blind to natural gear placements, covering the natural gear placements. etc

So what are the ethical views on moving bolts, or is a choice between moving a bolt or adding a piton (or something else) made simply from a consideration of the respective amount of work involved?

Cheers

nmonteith
8/02/2005
1:42:54 PM
Personally I am not touching this issue with a 10 ft pole! I respect that Simon put his name to his actions - and backed them up with well thought out opinions. It is a brave man indeed that will start tinkering with the fixed gear on the classics at Arapiles.

Mike
8/02/2005
1:50:46 PM
On 8/02/2005 Richard wrote:
>... move the bolt on pitch 4 down a bit to where it is
>an easy clip, such that if you do fall at the harder move that is currently
>required to clip this bolt in it's current position, then it won't be a
>factor two fall any more?

The FF2 can be avoided by clipping said bolt on lead at the conclusion of P3, lowering to the stance, then luxurating in the temporary TR for the commencement of P4. I've never felt comfortable with the trad options alone at this belay, so incorporating the bolt has always been my practice. If the new pitons are there next time I lead it, I'm sure I'll clip them too. I like solid belays, but will leave the issues of fixed gear to the locals / better climbers than me.
simey
8/02/2005
1:57:29 PM
Richard,
I would argue that the bolt is in the wrong spot, but due to the way the route was established (ground-up, bolts placed on lead) it is worth preserving that element of the climb.

Facing a factor two fall isn't an unacceptable risk. Taking your belayer with you and riding 70m into the deck is.

Mike's solution is certainly a way around the problem (and one that I have adopted in the past) but it always felt messy and not my preferred approach.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
8/02/2005
2:17:55 PM
On 8/02/2005 nmonteith wrote:
>Personally I am not touching this issue with a 10 ft pole!
Shouldn't that be 10' clip-stick?
;-))
simey
8/02/2005
2:49:53 PM
On 8/02/2005 nmonteith wrote:
>It is a brave man indeed that will start tinkering with the fixed gear on the classics at Arapiles.

I agree. And that is why I feel the Arapiles Bolting Fairies were stepping into the deep end by starting to re-equip the mega-classics at the Mount without due thought to the rich history of those climbs. On the whole those boys have done a commendable job, but sometimes they have been a little overzealous.

I should add that I have re-equipped or retro-bolted a number of climbs at Arapiles, but have usually chosen less popular climbs.

A couple of examples... I added one bolt to Bygone (11) a great easier route which was always avoided by climbers at that grade because it was considered too dangerous. And I added one bolt to Taste Sensation (24) because you could never work out where you should be climbing up the sparse headwall.

There are plenty of other examples but I won't list them all here. My decisions are based on 18 years of climbing at Arapiles with a wide range of people at all grades and a fairly indepth knowledge of the first ascent and repeat ascent history of many of the climbs.

climbau
8/02/2005
4:13:40 PM
On 8/02/2005 runnit wrote:
>On 8/02/2005 climbau wrote:
>Out of curiosity and not trying to shit stir, if you are going to add
>fixed gear to a route, wouldn't it be worth doing it with something that's
>more long term and reliable like a couple bolts?
Keeping with the flavor of the belay (i.e piton already there) is reason enough, perhaps bolts will be out of character and for those who value the "heritage" the addition of a couple of pitons may well serve to improve safety, yet maintain the "heritage value". Hopefully everyone knows to test/inspect fixed gear before using it, be it bolts, pins or wires.

climbau
8/02/2005
4:19:06 PM
On 8/02/2005 Tel wrote:
I do question though whether there is a need for for pieces
>in situ to remind us of how it was done back in the day, and if they are
>there does that change or have an impact on how someone feels about the
>climb.
Yes, for me climbing isn't just about climbing in itself it is also about the history of our climbing. Maybe I don't know all the historical data, but I do appreciate coming across "artefacts"(albeit copies in some cases) and even using them on occasion as a source of nostalgia.
kieranl
8/02/2005
5:07:20 PM
I would guess the pegs are staying.
Coincidentally it is about 30 years to the day since I first grovelled up Watchtower crack as an abject bumbly (some things don't change) on my first lead (and climb) above grade 13. We were a party of 3 and there was a grand total of 5 people at Arapiles over the weekend.

Fixed gear was :
Pitch 3, bolt in chimney (still there), channel peg at roof, bolt in corner (still there), peg belay.
Pitch 4: bolt where it currently is, peg in the horizontal a couple of metres above.
simey
8/02/2005
5:50:53 PM
Gee Kieran, I imagine that was a pretty full-on lead.

Obviously with your level of experience back then and your knowledge of factor two falls and your appreciation of the precarious moves just off the belay and the No 5 Camalot that you were carrying, you obviously made that ascent a very safe experience.

It's a good thing that inexperienced climbers never do silly things nowadays.
One Day Hero
8/02/2005
6:25:31 PM
Wow, this "debate" sounds too fun not to add my two cents worth. It amazes me how Victorians seem to loathe good new bolts, yet treasure old crappy ones! I don't understand how ugly, rusting, useless bits of metal sticking out of a beautiful bit of rock add to the experience in any way. I also don't see how these bolts have become "history"! Record who did the route, tell a good yarn in the guidebook(that's history), then pull the ugly crap out of the rock and patch the holes.

The Blond Gecko
8/02/2005
7:03:52 PM
My 2 cents:

All safety issues aside, I have to admit that I find old, manky, rusty carrots and pitons much more visually appealing than shiny SS bolts. Of course, I shudder at the thought of clipping many of them (such as those amazing bolts at the top of Dazed and Confused) but they definitely have a kind of rustic charm.
bradc
8/02/2005
7:57:43 PM
Simon,
With the benefit of hindsight do you think next time you would consult more widely before replacing gear? Although consensus is near impossible on these issues, it seems to me that people at least like to have their say heard beforehand. Seems as though Chockstone is a good place to get instant discussion as well!
SteveH
8/02/2005
8:27:31 PM
Brad (and others),

Chockstone (as for any internet forum), although a great tool/toy does not (in my opinion) reach a diverse enough audience to make decisions based on a general consensus. Do you ask all your friends to post? How long do you wait before acting?

Internet forums, with anonymous people and lurkers do not seem to me, the ideal place to put important decisions forward to. Although if looking for a general vibe and/or constructive critisism from one group, great, just not decision making.

If one was to use a forum for decision making, the chance of getting a true consensus would be minimal.

It is my belief that if people (like Simon), are experienced, keep educated in the latest issues etc. and believe they are acting for the climbing community as a whole, to a greater good (not just convienience) then they have every right to get in and get things done.

Being experience and respected means they can back themselves and their decisions, and put their name to these task (which will always be controversial). It is sometimes better these climbers take things into their own hands than let everyone have a say (which would take forever) and hope that the wider community just enjoy climbing and leave bolting, new-routing, re-bolting etc. to the experienced and the passionate.
kieranl
8/02/2005
8:39:39 PM
On 8/02/2005 simey wrote:
>Obviously with your level of experience back then and your knowledge of
>factor two falls and your appreciation of the precarious moves just off
>the belay and the No 5 Camalot that you were carrying, you obviously made
>that ascent a very safe experience.

Strangely enough we did know how to read back in those days and collectively had a few years of university physics and climbing literature under our belts including the information brochures that came with our ropes.

cheesehead
8/02/2005
9:03:22 PM
Hey you know what guys, I was just trawling the 'net, and look what I discovered:


"There must be some way out of here," said the joker to the thief,
"There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief.
Businessmen, they sink pitons, plowmen dig my perch,
None of them upon the line know what any of it is worth."

"No reason to get excited," the thief, he kindly spoke,
"There are too many here among us who feel this pro is but a joke.
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate,
So let us stop talking falsely now, the hour is getting late."

All along the Watchtower, locals kept the view
While all the tourists came and went, barefoot seconds, too.

Outside in the cold distance a wildcat did growl,
Two bolters were approaching, the wind began to howl

 Page 4 of 7. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 120 | 121 to 126
There are 126 messages in this topic.

 

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