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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 7 of 10. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 120 | 121 to 140 | 141 to 160 | 161 to 180 | 181 to 194
Author
Araps Rebolting / Kachoong Retrobolted!
uwhp510
13/01/2006
9:43:50 AM
>Must say I disagree. Why do we bother at all with pitons in this day
>and age.

Because they weren't placed in this day and age. They were placed 30 odd years ago by people that were interested in using the natural features of the rock to arrange protection. Sure its not clean climbing, but it is more clean that a bolt.

>With the advent of cams and micro wires then there may be a better
>natural option instead.....if not then a bolt is surely the answer. Why
>retain a rusty manky pin for historical reasons or so a leader can "evaluate"
>it just like a piece of natural pro......that doesn'e make much sense.
> Instead of evaluating, remove and replace with a better (safer) option

What exactly is wrong with evaluating gear, including pitons and bolts, which you always have to evaluate anyway? Arapiles is a TRAD crag, hence the skill of gear evaluation is important.

Safer and better are not synonyms.

If a pin is so shonk that it needs pulling, and people are still leading the route with that shonk pin (which is comparable to leading the route without the pin), then does there really need to be a bolt in its place? I would say that Kachoong falls into this category in that you don't need the bottom pin/bolt at all (though the pin was quite good I reckon).

nmonteith
13/01/2006
9:55:29 AM
On 13/01/2006 uwhp510 wrote:
>Sure its not clean climbing, but it
>is more clean that a bolt.

You obviously havn't climbed pin scar routes in the USA then!

white noise
13/01/2006
10:39:21 AM
some routes at araps are in dire need of being retro bolted yet they are being neglected because bolts are getting wasted on perfectly protectable easy routes.
both l'inconsiquence tranquil and nati dread are in need of being retro bolted, and as they are both sport routes anyway there are no controversial arguments to be had, why is it that l'inconsiquence has only 3 appalling bolt runners in 25 metres and a single bolt belay which could literally kill someone if it ripped yet some bright spark puts a quadruple bolt lower off on despatched, even if 2 are for the king swing they are completely unnecessary. also why is it that as soon as you get to grade 26 at araps bolts arrive, araps most serious routes are grades 24 or 25 (breezin,Ride like the wind, undertaker) yet classics of this calibre at higher grades get bolts, like deliciously deranged? so for a country who's policy on bolting is spray and pray its hardly getting to the heart of the issue arguing about whether a climb should have a bolt or peg in a bit of rock, people need to decide whether a route is trad or sport because mixed routes just confuse climbers and start deb(oring)ates and detract from the climb, see debutantes and centipedes to illustrate this, this is a brilliant climb but wrecked by being half bolted, sport climbers get annoyed with it as they have to fiddle with wigglies and trad heads get pissed because there is decent gear in the bottom section and bolts are a stupid historical quirk. what has happened to god save the queen? on starless buttress, it has trees growing over it due to crap bolting putting people off, yet crapper routes like pilot error are busier than a sale at trev's bargain emporium due to one bolt giving people idiotic ideas that this is a good route, this problem occurs in the gramps too with routes like contra arms pump always being rapped to put gear in as it is near impossible without prior knowledge for onsight ground up attempts to put the gear in, why does amnesty international have 1 bolt in a really well protected trad route when all the other routes to the left of it are sport? i appreciate people like neils efforts to sort this ever going problem out but there are too many idiots with drills bringing routes down to their levels, but doing half baked jobs of it, if the world needs easier sport routes then bolt some, but dont go round puking the odd bolt onto the odd easy route and look for a pat on the back, all it does is piss on the sauna. and ruin rock and ethics, retro bolting is justified if a route is hugely un popular yet would be a classic if it were safe, it also needs to be agreed to by the first ascentionist or guidebook writer etc. bolting's like owning a gun and people should be careful where they go shooting.

nmonteith
13/01/2006
10:48:53 AM
On 13/01/2006 white noise wrote:
> bolting's like owning a
>gun and people should be careful where they go shooting.

Good quote.

Mike Graham
13/01/2006
10:59:08 AM
Neil,

Iím glad you made the analogy earlier of the "ancient hunter". He would not have been my example of the ignorant hunter. Iím sure he only killed to feed and clothe himself with be it a stone knife or spear. Ancient fishermen may work better here as an example. Again spears and maybe nets but the key point being they managed their resources. They never over fished an area which was very thoughtful for the time. Even today modern researchers are learning a lot from these techniques. Would these ancients have been different with more advanced technology? Hard to say, man is inherently greedy and aggressive.

You seem like the main man here regarding this bolting. You have an impressive rťsumť, well traveled and all. What I donít understand is why you feel itís your responsibility to make the cliffs safer? Those are individual choices each climber should make on their own. Iíve said this in an earlier thread. Climbing is safe when you climb within your limits. Adding more bolts to existing routes will increase the traffic on them raising the odds of an accident. It will be that little extra courage thatís drilled into the rock that will make the unprepared one prematurely try something. Creating Absile stations will increase the odds for an accident. Especially these draped over the edge chain messes. Teaching people to walk off a route may be time better spent?

Speaking for myself and probably, say 50 of my friends that have used the ďancientĒ drilling method. I can say we did think quite a lot about where a bolt was placed. If I took a sampling from these same people for their permission to add bolts to their routes, I think youíll find quite a different response than you got. Why is that?

If this all started with making belays stronger all the power to you. I still remember terrifying stations on El Cap, middle cathedralÖand I applauded the effort of those here trying to rectify them. You sound proud of all the bolts you put in and you should be if they are within your original intentions of safety. If you are adding them to make a route more main stream, perhaps nothing to boast about. Your call

nmonteith
13/01/2006
11:40:45 AM
On 13/01/2006 Mike Graham wrote:
>Would these ancients have been
>different with more advanced technology?

Yes they would! History shows many examples of 'primitive' civilizations either destroying themsleves
or others around when they get too greedy and 'advance' technology. The Anastazi in the USA is a
good example. The Mesa Verde ruins in Colorado show a civilization that plundered the land until
nothing was left and they had to move away (or die out?)

>What I donít understand is why you feel
>itís your responsibility to make the cliffs safer?

Bolts age over time - or were placed by total incompetents who THOUGHT they were placing good
bolts at the time. I have removed hundreds of massivly rusted expansions, aralidited rings and carrots
only staying in the rock by a few grains of sand. These bolts were on classic or well travelled routes
OR on routes that should be classic but were being ignored by everyone because of the shocking
state of the fixed gear. Especially around Melbourne our rock is very limited. To have half crag off
limits because of bad bolts is just a waste of a valuable resource. I also started the rebolting work
because no one else was going to bother! I have put up hundreds of new routes over the last 10 years
so i guess i was probably the most qualified (and most importantly enthusiastic!) to do the job.

>Adding more
>bolts to existing routes will increase the traffic on them raising the
>odds of an accident. It will be that little extra courage thatís drilled
>into the rock that will make the unprepared one prematurely try something.
>Creating Absile stations will increase the odds for an accident. Especially
>these draped over the edge chain messes. Teaching people to walk off a
>route may be time better spent?

True unless you consider the top of the crag to be either choss or have a nasty eroded descent path.

>Speaking for myself and probably, say 50 of my friends that have used
>the ďancientĒ drilling method. I can say we did think quite a lot about
>where a bolt was placed. If I took a sampling from these same people for
>their permission to add bolts to their routes, I think youíll find quite
>a different response than you got. Why is that?

I have hand-drilled plenty of bolts (maybe 200 or so?) and I know that i have screwed up many routes
because i just got tired and couldn't be bothered finishing the job. I had rap inspected so i knew what
was a good hold, where the sneaky trad was etc. These routes will just be ignored by 90% of the
climbing population - and I personally wish they were enjoyed by 90% of the population instead. I don't
bolt routes to boost my ego.
uwhp510
13/01/2006
11:54:49 AM
On 13/01/2006 nmonteith wrote:
>On 13/01/2006 uwhp510 wrote:
>>Sure its not clean climbing, but it
>>is more clean that a bolt.
>
>You obviously havn't climbed pin scar routes in the USA then!

When one pin stays in I mean. I am comparing ONE in situ pin, with ONE in situ bolt, not twenty thousand pins bashed in and out of the same crack, which is not at all what we are talking about here.
jiminy cricket
13/01/2006
11:55:54 AM
On 13/01/2006 nmonteith wrote:
>The Anastazi in the USA is a good example.

A primitive form of the East German Secret Police perhaps?
simey
13/01/2006
12:17:00 PM
On 13/01/2006 Mike Graham wrote:
>Neil... You seem like the main man here regarding this bolting.

Neil isn't responsible for the latest bolting efforts at Arapiles. I would have to say most of Neil's efforts are pretty well thought-out, fairly conservative, and often done in consultation with the first ascentionist and/or others.

On 13/01/2006 uwhp510 wrote:
>What exactly is wrong with evaluating gear, including pitons and bolts, which you always have to evaluate anyway? Arapiles is a TRAD crag, hence the skill of gear evaluation is important.

Good call. Most of the old relics are easily backed up with modern protection, although ironically the pin at the start of Kachoong was a fairly crucial piece. However this potentially serious situation was offset with the pin being above your waist for the difficult move. Even if the pin did fail, the fall wouldn't be life-threatening providing your belayer belays in the correct spot (you would face a pretty exciting factor-two fall though). If you decided you didn't want to commit, it was easy to downclimb, walk off and come back another day.

A big part of climbing at Arapiles is learning how to stay safe after weighing up all your options. It took my five separate visits before I finally climbed Kachoong clean. Those early Arapiles experiences are probably why I am still alive today, twenty years later.

Rigging good belays and bringing up your second is another part of Arapiles climbing that doesn't wanted to be completely eliminated. I love lower-offs, but they don't suit every route. Kachoong is one of those routes they don't suit.

I'm not against rebolting and I'm not against the odd retro-bolt (particularly on some of the more forgotten routes), but it beats me why some of the most popular routes at Arapiles are being treated this way.



tmarsh
13/01/2006
12:17:59 PM
On 13/01/2006 uwhp510 wrote:
>On 13/01/2006 nmonteith wrote:
>>On 13/01/2006 uwhp510 wrote:
>>>Sure its not clean climbing, but it
>>>is more clean that a bolt.
>>
>>You obviously havn't climbed pin scar routes in the USA then!
>
>When one pin stays in I mean. I am comparing ONE in situ pin, with ONE
>in situ bolt, not twenty thousand pins bashed in and out of the same crack,
>which is not at all what we are talking about here.

This doesn't make sense, Nick. If a pin stays in the rock, it's fixed gear. If it's fixed, on what possible view of things could it be cleaner than a bolt? A well placed stainless bolt will be stronger, more durable, more resistant to the elements and require less maintenance over the years than a piton.

It's pointless to argue that a piton has the potential to be more easily and cleanly removed than a bolt. It's not only false, but if you never intend to remove something (it's fixed, remember) then what's the point arguing about the merits of its removal.

Climbing is here to stay. It's high time that people putting up routes do so with a view to how the fixed gear they put in is going to hold up in the long run. Every time fixed gear is replaced, be it pins or bolts, there is the potential for both damage to the rock and controversy. Better to avoid it by doing the job right in the first place.

tim

ps: I'm amazed that the placement of loweroffs on Kachoong has caused the stir it has. There are other far more significant examples of loweroffs radically changing the character of routes ar Araps that seem to go unnoticed. Go figure.

phil_nev
13/01/2006
12:25:22 PM
Id be interested to knwo which routes tim.
Cheers, phil

tmarsh
13/01/2006
12:37:50 PM
the lower-off on No Exit would be a good example. I think the bolts are technically part of Forced Enty, but you can reach them from No Exit. That said, after thrashing and wallowing on that wall, I was glad to see them.

Wall of the Afternoon Sun was another example, but one that was very much noticed and responded to.

Funny how placing lowerffs and belay bolts is often seen as a commuity service and therefore exempt from any ethical consideration. By and large I'm in favour of them, particularly when they eliminate dangerous downclimbing or more importantly the destabilisation of delicate gully ecosystems. But there are some people out there who think they can just fire them in without regard to the fact that they turn committing adventures into just another jaunt before lunch.
Dave J
13/01/2006
12:48:30 PM
how about the rings at the top of Common Knowledge an otherwise (from memory) totally naturally
protected route. I suspect these rings were more for the purpose of top-rope rehearsal than lowering off.

The Kachoong bolts are a shocker though...what were they thinking?
uwhp510
13/01/2006
12:51:14 PM
Hey Tim,

What I am trying to get at is that to put in a bolt, you get out your drill and put a hole wherever you want. To put in a pin you, look for a bit of crack/seam which wont take gear and bash away, potentially widening that crack a little bit, with less effect on the rock. I am not comparing bolts and pins based on the merits of their removal or durability, rather on the basis that while they are both invasive, at least pins work with the features of the rock, which bolts completely ignore. Thus despite there being fixed gear in Kachoong, it still definitely had the feel of a trad route, but it now feels like a "mixed" route.

While on the subject of loweroffs, why does any loweroff/belay need any more than two anchors? At the top of hornpiece there are three rings and a pair of fat stainless chains.

Mike Graham
13/01/2006
12:52:31 PM
Fair enough Neil, and thanks Simon for the input.

Food for thought - the gratification of doing a route in its original style should bring more of a feeling of accomplishment to your 10% of the climbing population than the other 90% just feeling like they checked it off not knowing what the FA experienced.

Rich
13/01/2006
12:57:01 PM
So, is someone in Nati with some spare time gonna run up there and chop those chains? It definitely would be appreciated by the community at large, even if it is to prevent further atrocities in the future. And like simey said, lower-offs are great, but in the right places! Kachoong couldn't be a worse spot for a lower-off, it's top access for f&$ks sake!! If you want to rap down there's plenty of gear for a fixed rope. And of course assuming you would want to lower off, it would happen after your second came up so it's not exactly a very easy spot to rap from.. crazy stuff.

nmonteith
13/01/2006
12:58:47 PM
On 13/01/2006 Mike Graham wrote:
>Food for thought - the gratification of doing a route in its original
>style should bring more of a feeling of accomplishment to your 10% of the
>climbing population than the other 90% just feeling like they checked it
>off not knowing what the FA experienced.

BUT the first ascent had the knowledge of prior rap insepction, testing of holds, cleaning and bolting! An
onsight ascent later on is a much better style of ascent! Repeat ascentists of bolted routes are usually
nothing like the first ascent...
Dave J
13/01/2006
1:24:45 PM
Chris,

I had meant to write earlier and offer you some support when you looked like you were needing it...this
retrobolting of arapiles is appalling. Arapiles does not need to be homogenised. There are at least 2 routes
of every grade (22-32) that are totally bolted up so people on a direct flight path for the top can work their
way up through the grades without ever having to think about placing a bit of gear. People looking for a bit
more variety in their climbing might then like to embrace such things as natural gear, rusting pitons and
the odd run out. Replacing bad bolts and adding thew odd anchor to prevent erosion is a good thing...using
the term "Re-Equipping" as an excuse to grid bolt arapiles is not.

Mike Graham,
Your routes are at the very top of my list of things I would hate to see retrobolted. Breezin' and Ride Like
the Wind in particular were some of the best days climbing I ever had at arapiles. Im sure if you had put
another 3 or 4 bolts in each of them, people would be out there climbing them every day of the week so
the routes have probably missed out on maybe ten thousand ascents since you did them (I'd be curious to
hear if have you had any regrets about the relative lack of attention that such good routes were
recieving?). Im glad to you did them the way you did anyway...it puts them those routes into an entirely
different league to the "Have a Good Flight"s and "Henry Bolte"s

Phil S
13/01/2006
1:27:54 PM
I'm concerned that we can't even seem to reach thorough concensus on Araps being a trad crag. Sure there are sport routes - some of the very first of their genre in this country, which is kind of trad in itself - but they are the exception. The place has over half a century of climbing history. It's already a musium, one that is completely open to be experienced however we like, and what an experience. Or it can be abused (read sanitised).

It seems that most of us on this forum are extremely experienced climbers. We have strong oppinions that we have developed over time and with input from countless people and experiences. I wonder whether the re/retrobolting proponents have the same depth of experience from which to draw justification for their actions and I'm concerned that if they don't, we might never be able to make ourselves understood. Our (assuming we come to agree that Araps is trad, that it's routes are monuments and that they must be preserved as they stand) arguement does not nessesarily corespond with what is increasingly considered best practice in these modern times. Just look at play-ground equipment these days - where are all the log pyramids?

>STOP RETROBOLTING ARAPS!!!!
simey
13/01/2006
1:43:34 PM
On 13/01/2006 nmonteith wrote:
>BUT the first ascent had the knowledge of prior rap insepction, testing of holds, cleaning and bolting! An onsight ascent later on is a much better style of ascent! Repeat ascentists of bolted routes are usually nothing like the first ascent...

Totally agree with you Neil. I've gotta say that one of the things I liked about the first ascent of Ride Like the Wind (and Mike, correct me here if I am wrong) is that Moorhead bolted the line and then Mike Graham climbed (and I assume without abseil inspection). That's so much better than claiming a supposedly bold first ascent where you have checked it out thoroughly on abseil or top-rope.

(Mike, let me know if my summary is wrong, cause I'll have to change it in the next version of the guidebook).



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