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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 8 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!
Dave J
13/01/2006
1:52:52 PM
On 13/01/2006 simey wrote:
> 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).
>

Simey,

I hope you're not using the "impressive but contrived" line from Kim or Louise's guide. Mike's Ride Like
the Wind blasts straight up the middle of the wall and Kim did a couple of tricky pulls off left just past the
second bolt to escape the route and then went and wrote it up in the guide book like that was the propper
route. Ive done it both ways and really if you're going to do the kimbo variant you might as well just go and
trot out another lap on have a good flight.
Nottobetaken
13/01/2006
2:50:14 PM
On 13/01/2006 white noise wrote:
>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

Unfortunately that’s just a fact of climbing life in Australia – and as a visitor it’s something you just have to accept. It’s just like us Aussies travelling to your home country and respecting the ethics surrounding climbing on grit. Mixed gear routes come from an ethic of ‘place a bolt where deemed necessary – and leave trad placements as trad placements’. Of course this ethic is highly suspect – as it all comes down to one’s own personal perception of what is deemed ‘safe’ (and therefore where a bolt should be installed) – some routes are clearly 'safer' than others.

There’s never going to be a black and white perspective regarding the equipping of routes at Arapiles – because a long time ago those two colours mixed to form grey – and that’s the exact problem being faced at present. Where do you draw the line for the placement of bolts at Arapiles? Saying that Arapiles is a TRAD crag (to quote uwhp510) is incorrect – it is a MIXED crag – and that’s that grey colour that I’m talking about. It’s a mutated form of a trad crag. Sure, if there were no bolts at all – and people respected that fact and left it that way - then obviously this discussion wouldn’t be taking place – we’d simply go and rip the bloody things out. But given that this crag is the way it is – and there clearly isn’t a line that all climbers abide to – then it begs the question: Who has the right to say ‘Yes or No?’ I think the only answer can be: the first ascentionist – and by that I don’t mean having to phone the person up asking permission to retrobolt their route – I mean the route should be left in its original state – BUT the REPLACEMENT of FIXED pieces at Arapiles should be accepted WHERE REQUIRED. Certainly retrobolting should not.

With regards to the pins on Kachoong and Mind Arthritis (for two examples) – these could clearly have been left as is.

>retro bolting is justified if a route is hugely un popular
>yet would be a classic if it were safe
A nice idea – but ridiculous all the same at a place like Arapiles. Sure – at a 90% grid-bolted sport cliff, but Arapiles is not (and never will be) one of these. And it is up to the climbers that use this cliff to keep it that way. See Dave’s comments:
>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.
I totally agree with you regarding the re-equipping of sport routes like Nati Dread/L’Inconsequence – but if you want more than that – best to visit some of the Grampians crags instead.
dalai
13/01/2006
4:31:20 PM
On 13/01/2006 Mike Graham wrote:
>Those photos above are pretty disgusting! I can only hope the REAL climbers
>at Araps can get a handle on this.
>
>You can’t hide this sort of behavior behind the guise of improving a route
>or making the cliffs safer. This “new school” is taking leaps backwards.
>“Clean climbing” should still be paramount, the gear abounds to do this.
>You guys with power drills are like ignorant hunters, you go around shooting
>at anything, and then you leave the carcasses to rot.
>
>Arapiles has never been behind Europe. If some YoYo mentioned above thinks
>this will bring it in line with the rest of the world he doesn’t have a
>clue. It’s more like spreading cancer or maybe Aids. Retrobolters tend
>to be people that can’t climb at the standard of the first ascent party.
>They either don’t have the ability or the head to lead the route or have
>not yet developed the experience needed to do it.
>
>Plain and simple,
>
>Mike Graham

Mike,

Obviously you are a passionate person, and for the most part appear level headed. But when discussing the bolting issue, please don’t use such gross generalizations when it comes to bolts and bolters. A little more thought and restraint overall when relaying your message will help get your point across. Condescending comments such as “I can only hope the REAL climbers at Araps can get a handle on this.” does nothing but continue the disharmony between climbers, and will only create a divided front when needing to deal with bureaucracy.

I personally have placed over the year’s bolts both by hand and by power drill. But in overall number of bolts, I placed more when I hand drilled! Given that it is easier to drill the hole with the power tool, I actually gave more thought about the necessity of the placements and the value of the route before starting up the drill.

One major negative of hand drilling (which you seem to hold in such high regard) is that due to the effort, shortcuts such as the length of the carrot bolts and hole depth were common. Check some of the shocking ironmongery removed from local cliffs – photos. http://www.safercliffs.org/code/photos.html To say that the old gear should remain rather than replaced with best practices of today will only be the cause of more accidents and the more likely position that governments will ban climbing completely!

Also using the argument that abseil anchors are being placed only with safety in mind is flawed. As in many instances they are not placed for safety, but more so to protect the often-fragile gully ecosystems.

I am not for 'sanitizing’ cliffs either and for the most part the rebolters aren’t doing that (clear distinction is that Safercliffs etc are rebolting NOT retrobolting). Most of the hard work that is done by the rebolters should be commended. They are just replacing weaker 1960’s technology (pitons, mild steel carrots) with the latest equipment.

In regards to the Kachoong anchors, I too am dismayed in lower offs being added to this climb and hoped this were merely a troll. For the same reasons already discussed such such as it’s a walk in route and has plenty of natural gear for anchors available. These I hope can be removed soon with the least amount of additional damage. The lowest piton I am not so much concerned about, as if this were to fail it would put a factor 2 fall on the belay - though if you fell here you shouldn’t really be on the route anyway!

Hopefully the people that did this retro bolting of anchors on Kachoong will see how much derision this has caused amongst all the climbing fraternity and will maybe think twice before doing the same again.



Mike Graham
13/01/2006
5:37:05 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...

Neil,

I will try to casually respond to your comment. I am suddenly concerned that previewing routes has become common place enough for you to assume this is how a bold route must have been done. Knowing that you have been to a few areas in the US, I can’t quite understand how you could of missed this. There are still quite a few people that believe, myself included previewing a route destroys the adventure of even doing it. You will find me at the extreme. For example, I have never topped roped a route I didn’t lead first. I have never hung on a piece to work moves out. I would down climb a route to find a rest first…anything else isn’t what climbing is meant to be, IMO. I don’t regret the few routes I couldn’t do because I was so strict on myself. If I had done them in the method of the previous accents I would have only been cheating myself. I still today find it hilarious how people will rationalize the oddest things defending or justifying their style on their quest for the highest grade. It should be an awakening for those who draw ridicule for their actions. Chasing the numbers can leave you blind to the sprit of the climb and the community. In the end there is no respect given for trickery and friging. I’ve heard all the arguments, people likening themselves to visionaries of the new style of climbing. The “old school” sour grapes ploy. Bottom line is you can’t do a cleaner ascent than walking up to a route tying in and ending up on top first try. (If you soloed it on sight that would be the ultimate but not if you top roped it first, although still bold). Sure I have been caught up in the lust and greed of new routes, that’s when a bolt gets put in. but if you must stoop so low as to place one you should be proud of your end result. If it pisses off your peers you are on the wrong tract. You think?



Dave,

I am really glad you enjoyed RLTW and you did it the original way. I did hear through the grape vine there was some variant done, never quite understood what that meant until now. I felt there was adequate small wire placements (I was happy to find on the lead) above the last bolt not to warrant another bolt even though I had the security of a bolt kit with me. Mark had started the route and by the time I come for my second visit I was lucky he hadn’t done it (greed rears it face) when we did it I gave him first shot at it. Even though I bagged it from under him he was quite stoked and followed it quite beautifully . He really loved the whole just being there, Very talented and focused being and a good friend. His contributions there should never be forgotten or bolted over.

Simon, I hope from this rant you can conclude there was no inspection.


Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Mark and myself finding some shade to climb in

nmonteith
13/01/2006
5:51:58 PM
On 13/01/2006 Mike Graham wrote:
>You will find
>me at the extreme.

Mike, my comments are regarding new routes with bolts place on abseil. Obviously the pinnacle of
new routing is to do ground up trad onsights. More power to you and you efforts - but i don't think us
mere mortals will ever be up to your standard. I enjoy climbing the way i do it now - it can involve
dogging, falling, absiel inspection etc. By using these techniques I feel I can place less bolts on my
routes. Thats just the way i climb. I do also enjoy onsighting trad - but my usual upper limit is at least
4 grades lower than my sport redpointing limit. I enjoy climbing in its many forms and don't take it that
seriously i guess. I have climbed with several notable Australian trad legends - thery are inspirational
but I will never be that good.

Mike Graham
13/01/2006
5:54:13 PM
On 13/01/2006 dalai wrote:
>Mike,
>
>Obviously you are a passionate person, and for the most part appear level
>headed. But when discussing the bolting issue, please don’t use such gross
>generalizations when it comes to bolts and bolters. A little more thought
>and restraint overall when relaying your message will help get your point
>across. Condescending comments such as “I can only hope the REAL climbers
>at Araps can get a handle on this.” does nothing but continue the disharmony
>between climbers, and will only create a divided front when needing to
>deal with bureaucracy.

Well said for keeping me in line.

The fragile gully ecosystems is a strong case.


nmonteith
13/01/2006
5:55:20 PM
p.s. I preview very bold routes so I don't get injured or die. I am willing to take a calcuated risk in leading
these routes after this inspection - but am not willing to roll a dice with my life by finding out that the
route is total death and beyond my techincal limit. I don't care how others climb - I am not a bold climber
and this is the way I climb.

Eduardo Slabofvic
Online Now
13/01/2006
5:57:14 PM
How come when I suggest chopping some bolts, I get the bejesus deconstructed out of me?

Safer Cliffs Vic
13/01/2006
5:57:53 PM
You can view the SCV forums now Mike!
simey
13/01/2006
6:27:06 PM
On 13/01/2006 Dave J wrote:
>I hope you're not using the "impressive but contrived" line from Kim or Louise's guide. Mike's Ride Like the Wind blasts straight up the middle of the wall and Kim did a couple of tricky pulls off left just past the second bolt to escape the route and then went and wrote it up in the guide book like that was the propper route. Ive done it both ways and really if you're going to do the kimbo variant you might as well just go and trot out another lap on have a good flight.

Well Dave, a quick flick of the guide would have told you the answer. I actually wrote them up as two separate routes. It has been suggested I downgrade Kim's variant to 24 (any feedback is welcome).

Mike, thanks for that bit of history regarding the first ascent. Does that mean that Mark had been attempting the wall ground-up as well? (I always assumed he had placed the bolts on abseil). I've gotta say though, had you managed to hang around on lead up there and place a bolt... I would have been even more impressed!

maxdacat
13/01/2006
8:19:14 PM
On 13/01/2006 uwhp510 wrote:
>
>>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.

Nothing wrong with evaluating gear at all but i think that evaluation of natural placements should be made as you do the route while evaluation of fixed pro should be made based on the knowledge that they conform to a certain standard eg they will hold a fall....this seems reasonable no? This could easily apply to Araps and wouldn't stop it being a trad crag.

>
>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).

I tend to agree with you here.....if the pin is basically redundant then why bother replacing it.
One Day Hero
13/01/2006
8:21:45 PM
Sorry if I sullied Neils' name by having two issues in one post. I actully think Neil is doing good work in the Gramps (just can't handle it when people bag out carrots, grrr). I hope no one took it as an implication that he had done the job on kachoong.

Now, it sounds like at least one person on this thread does know who put the bolts in. Perhaps you can whisper their name in my ear?
Uwhp and I will make them an, err, offer they can't refuse!

Rock Weasel
13/01/2006
10:02:52 PM
I think that the points made regarding the nature of Araps (ie. a mixed climbing area) are useful, but need greater emphasis. There is a difference between sport bolting and trad bolting, the major one being that sport routes are designed for the friging around that Mike speaks of, whereas a fall onto a trad bolt can be long or uncomfortable or dangerous. Whilst we may not all be able to agree on a singular standard for bolting in general, we can say that an area like Araps is a trad bolting area because that is how most routes there are bolted, and any new routes ought to be bolted in a similar manner. Within these principles there is flexibility (there can be suicidal, bold and soft trad routes), but there should be no sport bolting in such areas. It seems that this ethic is tacitly existing already in some areas...What do others think of this as a potential way forward?
Jonesy
13/01/2006
10:57:26 PM
Hi Mike G
I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for your valuable contribution to this debate. It's great to hear your perspective as someone who was around when these routes were going up and also as someone who's obviously seen this sort of thing happening in other places before. It would be great if some more "Elder Statesmen" (no disrespect) could wade on in to offer some further insights gained from a life spent clinging to bits of rock. Claw? Greg Child? Monksy?

Also, while I've got your attention (and just as Dave J mentioned) - I've had some of the best experiences of my clmbing life on some of your routes - they're flippin stonkers! Cheers.

Eduardo Slabofvic
Online Now
13/01/2006
11:23:03 PM
Did pitons become the same as bolts at about the same time that 0 RP's became the same as No.11 Cassin Stoppers?
Jonesy
13/01/2006
11:25:19 PM
On 13/01/2006 Dave J wrote:
> 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.

Dave J,
I couldn't agree with you more. Just out of intrest do you (or Simey or anyone else) know of any bolts (or indeed pegs) at araps that have actually failed? I know of one (Weeksy on Fortress -but that was a contrived situation). It might be important to place it into perspective that bolts aren't exactly leaping out of the rock al la thailand. How many of the hundred odd accidents that have occurred at Araps over the years have been due to bolt failure? I know of two accident's in Oz (Rob Le Breton & Martin Pircher) that occured due to bolt failure (not counting your arse puckering near miss Dave J). Any one else --> some objective measure of the risk could shed more light.

All,
Dave mentioned in his previous post the Common Knowledge bolts...

I suspect those bolts were placed so that a person (who's name I can guess at but not confirm so I won't say) could top rope the route into submission before redpointing it in contrived fashion and probably on pre-placed gear. Oh what fun.

The sad thing is that aside from alteration of a well established route (not to mention landscape etc), they've robbed themselves of an awesome onsight whilst simultaneously destroying the experience for the next person. The existing natural belay was more than sufficient - my second dogged the hell out of it and had to hang to retrieve a piece - and I remember quite enjoying scratching around on a short/tight rope rigging it together in a nice evening light.

To quote Chopper Reed "Not angry, just disappointed".
maxdacat
14/01/2006
2:59:54 AM
On 13/01/2006 Rock Weasel wrote:
>There is a difference
>between sport bolting and trad bolting, the major one being that sport
>routes are designed for the friging around that Mike speaks of, whereas
>a fall onto a trad bolt can be long or uncomfortable or dangerous. Whilst
>we may not all be able to agree on a singular standard for bolting in general,
>we can say that an area like Araps is a trad bolting area because that
>is how most routes there are bolted, and any new routes ought to be bolted
>in a similar manner. Within these principles there is flexibility (there
>can be suicidal, bold and soft trad routes), but there should be no sport
>bolting in such areas. It seems that this ethic is tacitly existing already
>in some areas...What do others think of this as a potential way forward?

i think this is a confusing way of looking at it....what is a "trad bolt" and why is one different to a sport bolt.....surely they are the same thing they are just used in different quantities.....with possibledifferent areas between them.....why should a fall on a "trad bolt" be any different than one on a "sport bolt"....they should both hopefully hold a fall.....and lots more over the years to come.

Mike Graham
14/01/2006
3:11:43 AM
Neil, that’s cool this should all be just plain fun, don’t know if I ever risked death but early on took a few long falls, they’re never pleasant. The skeletons in my closet keep me far from residing at Mt Zeus and I didn’t mean to come off high and mighty. Today’s standards are far greater than I humbly accomplished. In the end I can only try and give perspectives to perhaps help people maintain some vanishing ideas.

Simon, More insight into RLTW which should be well known already. Mark had a very strong ground up ethic as do I. that era was a turning point on how to manage placing bolts in a no holds situation yet maintain an on-sight approach. Our concept here was a blindfolded abseil for the second bolt (not that hard to actually pull off with a spot from below). Mark placed the first bolt on the lead. I know there are photos of this side show floating around. In hind sight a “bat hook” could have been used but that technique hadn’t been thought of yet. It’s the approved method in the US for a “ground up ascent “Although I have issues with the crutch of being able to fall back on it at any point. Neil, in your scenario above the second ascent may be the finer effort. So here is my skeleton but still proud of the end result and standing by a non previewed route.

Jonesy, it thrills me to hear the enthusiasm both you and Dave share on doing the route. I was asked if I regret not having more people to have done it. My answer would be no, it gets done when your ready to do it. If it were a clip up you wouldn’t get the same result.
No disrespect taken from the elder statesmen. Really the only thing that feels elderly are my joints, wish I took better care of them when I could… I’m actually trying to get Henry Barber on this site, I hope he makes it he has good things to share.

Sorry this thread has drifted off topic some what.

Cheers
simey
14/01/2006
2:29:56 PM
Mike,
Wow, I had never heard of blind-folded abseils for placing bolts. It is certainly an interesting approach for keeping first ascents honest.

Although Jim Erikson once said "Ultimate climbs are always done by dubious methods", it it is great to hear about bold routes established in a really stylish way. I would never have given Ride Like the Wind the same amount of respect if you had rap-inspected the line before climbing it.

I was also interested in your comments about Moorhead having a very strong ground-up ethic. My impression of Mark is that of a genius and visionary climber, but dodgy as hell (similar to Mike Law). It sounds like Mark not only relaxed his ground-up approach in later years but also toyed with every other indiscretion in climbing (dodgy pre-placed gear, reachy bolts, dogging, chipping, under-grading, multi-day seiges). I'm sure his humorous introduction in Carrigan's Arapiles guide had quite a few self-truths throughout it.

At least there were some characters climbing in the 80s. Climbing seems to have become a little more sterile in recent years, with a few of the re-bolting efforts another step towards that sterilisation.






tastybigmac
14/01/2006
6:28:19 PM
A guy called tim pulled the pin on pilot error and broke his hand.

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