17 Down Under:
17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark $50.00
On 14/08/2012 davidn wrote:
>I did seriously consider coming for the amusement value (one way or another).
>But I'm sure someone will take a video, and meanwhile I'll be out climbing rather than gawking at a carcass.
Stugang told me that if you show up, he's going to give you an atomic wedgie. I bet that would make for a popular video!
No one's ever atomic wedgied me, but assuming he's grown quite a bit since the last photo I saw of him, I shall have to be ready to respond with a wet willie. Or perhaps just call him a 'poopoohead', that one always works ;)
Speaking of pieces of clothing though, perhaps you should consider eating your hat if you lose this bet? That would be a service to yourself and the country!
On 14/08/2012 davidn wrote:
>No one's ever atomic wedgied me, but assuming he's grown quite a bit since
>the last photo I saw of him, I shall have to be ready to respond with a
>wet willie. Or perhaps just call him a 'poopoohead', that one always works
>Speaking of pieces of clothing though, perhaps you should consider eating
>your hat if you lose this bet? That would be a service to yourself and
> I just don't understand that. I prefer to try to onsight safe routes, rather than dogging dangerous ones into submission................but I have a lot of respect for people who can execute difficult moves in a situation where failure will lead to serious injury. Despite the rehersal, they're still risking an awful lot more than someone with a bolt 1m below their feet.
At the risk of sensible discussion taking place... I hear what you say, but we are talking about different styles of tackling the same route.
If you look at another example, let me ask you which is the 'better' style of ascent? A 'not-too-bold but nevertheless a bit serious' route would be something like Satanic Majesty as Frog. Which is 'best', A or B?
A. Someone has given you important beta e.g. you that you need something like a 2 RP and a green alien (or whatever) is good for the crux. This immediately reduces your potential onsight attempt to a flash if you get it first time. (A bit of help analagous to having the first bolt clipped on TRtS.) You attempt to flash the route, but take a winger on the small gear on the crux. You get back on it and get through the crux this time. You carry on up the route placing gear as you go. You pull the rope and then climb the route clean next go.
B. You toprope the route. Naturally you get to check out the all the moves, all the potential gear placements, what run outs there are etc, etc. You work out how to do the moves and you know that you can do them. You haven't even committed to the route because you may only decide to lead it AFTER toproping it. You then get on the route, taking exactly what gear you need and do it clean.
Well, firstly let me say that I don't think Satanic Majesty is "a bit serious". I think "as long as you get the right gear in properly, it's perfectly safe" is a more accurate description.
Look, here's the thing Nick. I don't really care which way people approach their routes. As long as routes are left as they were found, does it really matter how anyone else climbs? My feeling is more and more that there are only two styles of ascent, onsight and dogging. People love to debate how their particular method of dogging is morally superior to someone else's, but I can't really be fuched splitting hairs.
The one thing I really find ridiculous is people saving good routes for the onsight.......which of course they never feel ready for. In my opinion, rap inspecting, pre placing, ticking footers, then dogging on toprope, and finally redpointing is still a far better style than sitting in the campground, talking shit about how you're "saving that one for the onsight"
Here's a couple of grey areas to test your highly developed moral compass.
1) A bunch of excellent crack routes which don't get much traffic, despite how good the climbing is (all the 23's and 24's on Windjammer Wall). The cracks go months without ascents, and are generally coated with sand transported by runoff.
Assuming your onsight limit was about 23/24, would it be smartest to;
a) rap the routes and brush them out so that the climbing is easier and actually pleasant?
b) go ground up, knowing that the climbing will be unnecessarily difficult and grotty, and an onsight is highly unlikely?
c) climb the routes ground up, hanging on gear as needed to clean the holds, then do another lap of leading to tick the route?
2) Down in the grampians, you stumble upon the most beautiful routes you've ever seen, with the coolest climbing on the planet. Unfortunately, these trad and mixed routes are beyond your capabilities via good style (and you ain't getting any younger). Do you;
a) accept that you aren't good enough and never will be, then go back to climbing chossy shit in the Blueys?
b) delude yourself that if you can just commit another 2 hours per week on the campus board, you'll be able to attempt the routes in good style at some undetermined point in the distant future?
c) decide to abandon your morals and attempt the routes right now, in a style which offers the best chances of success (full jiggery-pokery)?
On 14/08/2012 One Day Hero wrote:
>c) decide to abandon your morals and attempt the routes right now, in
>a style which offers the best chances of success (full jiggery-pokery)?
I'm not getting any younger and less injured - so this has become my style of ascent for some of the mega classics out there that I used to walk past. Worth it everytime - even if I get my ass handed to me on a platter most times.
Full-on jiggery pokery mode - try route, fall off route, abseil route, rebolt route, try route, fall off route, come back years later and wankpoint route (e.g. On Both Sides of the Glass at Narrowneck)
Cruisy day out just chilling and enjoying some fantastic locations (e.g. easy alpine routes in the Sierras, Margarine Ridge at Mt Hay, top roping days, etc. etc.)
I know this is probably going to blow your mind, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret - I had a friggin' blast on all of them!
Turns out that the "style" or "ethics" of a repeat ascent are waaaaay overemphasised - I'd much rather go and have a fun day out, which translates into almost any "style" of climbing depending on a whole plethora of factors (how I'm feeling, who I'm with, how much goon I had to drink the night before, how the weather is looking, what colour underpants I'm wearing, if any, etc. etc. etc.).
 Hypocritically, I basically agree with your black and white view that for repeat ascents there are "onsights" and then "everything else" (which I shall henceforth be referring to as a "wankpoint"). I might split hairs about top roping vs leading, but really it's just another form of wankpoint jiggery pokery. Doesn't change for one minute the fact that these styles are an artificial contrivance.
The question, ODH, wasn't which style is more 'sensible', it was which is better. Which, btw, you don't seem to be arguing with.
As it happens, I am familiar with Hungry Eyes - one of the cracks on Windjammer Wall. About 10 or 11 years ago, this was graded 22 (haha). 22 was about my onsight grade at the time, and having worked up through the 20s, 21s and 22s etc at the Point, I jumped on this to try and onsight it. Being tall I couldn't really contort myself to get a rest in that section under the crux, but I got a nut in and went for it. Naturally I fell off. And I took a load more falls before sketching through the crux and getting to the top.
I was buzzed at what a fantastic route it is (still am). I went back 2 weeks later to give it another lash. My plan was to take less gear on the basis of trying to go fast and light... and I duly took the winger off it. I also happened to scare myself a lot because I didn't take enough gear with me and it was one of those glorious spoodgy days at the Point when the rock itself was practically sweating.
After that I accepted it was too hard for me. I have always thought about going back and maybe still will do, as it would be more within the ambit of my ability now. It has never occurred to me to rap down and 'clean the holds' (because it's just SO sandy with runoff, right? *Bullshit*) or to top-rope it either. I would prefer not to climb it rather than use these tactics.
WIth regard to 2), the hypothetical route in the Gramps, I'll go for a) please Eddy.
And, like you, I couldn't care less how people climb routes.
Just don't tell me that top rope rehearsal trumps ground-up.
ODH wrote on 7/8/12;
>The Galileo, I have a pair, not as good as Aces.....but you won't believe me because you're fully into the marketing bullshit which the shoe companies pump out. Australian climbers don't buy them because australian climbers don't climb slabs and thin edging routes. Doesn't matter what shoes you wear on most of the blueys sport routes, just standing on jugs.
& 0n 8/8 wrote;
>Aces could edge like all fuch once you resoled them with Stealth rubber, I don't really care if you agree or not.....
~> I agree!
On 11/08/2012 hangdog wrote:
>On 11/08/2012 Cliff D wrote:
>>Peter, are you saying that you'll pay 50 to the Araps rescue fund if
>>onsights The Rage?
>Yep. Wont insist on the onsight though. Leading placing gear as he
>goes. $100 if he does it wearing Boreal Aces.
>The rescue fund could make a lot moreif you auctioned the belaying to
>all the people he has pissed off over the years.
I have an almost unused pair of Aces ODH can borrow in size US 8.5 / Euro 41.5 for this ascent if he wants...
Which reminds me, ... Hey duglash, post back my old Vasque Ascender boots I loaned you for the Henry Barber re-enactment ascents!
On 10/08/2012 Climboholic wrote:
>Holy snapping ducksh1t! Nearly 200 posts in a week! That's got to be some
>sort of record.
>M9: As the official chockstone statistician, can you confirm this???
Nah. Hexy generated some better controversy in early daze...
... and on the topic of stats; simey has achieved the 2000 post milestone with this one recently!
Heh, heh, heh.
On 12/08/2012 shortman wrote:
>On 12/08/2012 One Day Hero wrote:
>>Also, sounds like Shorty and Miguel might join in............should think
>>of some bastard stuff to make them do too :)
>And when did Miguel get involved? Somebody been getting a secret chockstone fix?
I'd bet money on that, though the user-ID is different... !
>After that I accepted it was too hard for me. I have always thought about
>going back and maybe still will do, as it would be more within the ambit
>of my ability now. It has never occurred to me to rap down and 'clean the
>holds' (because it's just SO sandy with run off, right? *Bullshit*) or to
>top-rope it either. I would prefer not to climb it rather than use these
Well, me and a bunch of my mates have cleaned it and climbed over the last couple of w/e's, so if you're thinking of doing it, now might be a good time :) The fact that you're doing it ground up is irrelevant, someone has done the work of cleaning it, the route is clean (probably still chalked). This makes it objectively easier (and way more pleasant) for everyone who tries it, until it rains a lot.
The error you're making is in assuming that the difficulty of a route is constant, therefore all ascents "in the same style" are equal. Nonsense! Conditions, state of cleanliness, and most importantly chalk/tickmarks can alter a routes grade dramatically.
Anyway, just cause I'm a nice guy........Dirty Dancing is also in very good condition, and is absolutely brilliant. Go get on it!
Firstly as I have said before it is best if you have engaged in some of 'this sort of climbing', and by that I mean something that has a hand or skull/croosbones type warning to it ( American R,X sort of thing), not just something that seems bold to you.
And knowing what gear is needed does not alter the onsight - if it did than no rungbolted climb could be onsighted as you know what gear is needed. Often it is just a courtesy to avoid putting people into an extremely dangerous situation, if they do not have the crucial piece of gear and no other near equivalent would work. On some routes I have decided to rap inspect to see if placements are going to be possible and their solidity etc.
Re Headpoint: See point 1. Best talked about by those 'doing it' . . . It can be many things to different people I think. It is not simply a case of 'dogging it' until you can do all the moves ala spurt mode. It is often a personal decision taken by the climber involved after they have weighed up their options. And for a bold/dangerous route the only person you need account to is yourself - oh and not retro-bolting them.
Putting this in route context - after weighing RTS up you may decide to attempt an absolute onsight, excellent, good luck hope it all goes well. Due to it's quite rare traffic this is pretty serious, catastrophic failure could be due to missing a hold or dirty holds etc. . . .
Or you organise to get in cleaned in some way, maybe you decide to do it yourself, because you have rethought the first option, a quick look is often all that is needed, maybe touch a hold or two, not even pull on, just convince yourself you are not crazy.
Etc etc to the point you are personally happy with.
So to my 'headpoint' attempt - which for me on this route was due to peer pressure for the visiting Hot Rock tour after we'd climbed EW. I was not prepared to lead it ground-up then and there for various reasons but figured I could excuse myself an attempt on top-rope, I think it was from EW's anchors. After a few bouldered attempts at the first moves I tied in and went for it ensuring there was reasonable slack in the system to keep the 'ultimate experience' in focus. Got a reasonable way up before coming off due to dirty and unseen holds - 'probably survivable with spotters and pads' I probably told myself. . . Had another shot and almost reached the first bolt, before coming off . . . lowered and left it.
Looked at it again earlier in the year and figured yeah I should get this back 'on the radar' and seriously consider how to approach it . . .
And then it got reto'd which pretty much totally changed the whole situation . . . .
If it was you who chopped it, then I also have respect for you doing something about something that you feel strongly about.
One thing we might agree on is that it is a fantastic route. My opinion though is that it is a shame that the position of the first bolt means this climb does not lend itself to onsight/ground-up efforts.
No worries Nick,
No it was not me, I did dream of chopping it on lead though . . .
No sense in believing something unless you are going to do something . . .
Also I think the 'adding/removing' of bolts should be contemporaneous, ie they have been there 30 years so you can't just add stuff; and if they are 'accepted' now then it is a far harder argument to chop them in 5 or 10 years etc and so on ...
I think it was meant as some kind of 'statement' at the time it was put up . . .
Yes it is a fantastic route and, for me the boldness and history of it is a major part of that. Maybe I should not complain, because all this controversy merely adds to its heritage and retains issues such as these in public discussion. But for me, it also now has a whole lot more extra different 'baggage' to deal with in order to do the climb. Should I step-up and commit? Can I control myself and divorce the retro/chop from my mind so that it does not affect the outcome? If I decide to 'headpoint' it from the lowest piece and only fall off once for some silly reason and lack of committed focus, does that mean I'm ready to give it go for real next shot? etc etc . . .