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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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Area Location Sub Location Crag Links
VIC Buffalo The Horn Environs (General) The Horn [ Horn Guide ] 

Author
Bolting at The Horn, Mount Buffalo
Marky
6/02/2013
10:33:28 AM
If the route was climbed on natural gear then that's how it must remain.. If people feel intimidated by a particular route which climbs free on natural gear and feel the need to bolt it to make it "safer" in there own minds then that's just bullshit and they should take up stamp collecting or somthing. You NEVER bring the climb down to your standards or lack of by placing bolts or whatnot. If it went on gear it stays on gear!
kieranl
6/02/2013
11:34:11 AM
The suggestion by M9 that the top of flake on The Pintle might have been deliberately chopped off is fairly disturbing. I hope it's not correct. I have been surprised in the past at how some people break off large chunks of the cliff by yarding thoughtlessly on them and hope this is what happened here.
I haven't done Profanities. The idea of the knots in the fixed rope never appealed, it's neither leading or top-roping, somewhere between the 2. But that was only for the first 20 metres. The second pitch was supposed to be jugs, no mention of gear - was there any? Now 11 bolts all up?
Bolting next to good gear placements at Buffalo is also a bit distressing.
While in isolation I'm not too fussed at the Pintle bolt, taken as a whole it looks to be pretty out-of-hand.

Andrew, I find some of your comments odd.
The reason Arapiles is recommended over Buffalo for beginners is that Buffalo has far fewer climbs suitable for beginners. That you're trying to add to those is laudable, but hopefully you're not doing it at the expense of climbing norms such as don't bolt where there's good natural gear and don't trash existing climbs.
I can't think of many famous people on this forum, some of us are known for being known which is not at all the same thing. It is better to remain obscure than to be known for the wrong reasons.
I can't say that I've ever bolted a route for the approval of the local TAFE college or high school and hope that I never do. That's probably not strictly what you meant but it comes across somewhat like that.
hero
6/02/2013
12:12:05 PM
On 6/02/2013 Marky wrote:
>If the route was climbed on natural gear then that's how it must remain.. If people feel intimidated by a particular route which climbs free on natural gear and feel the need to bolt it to make it "safer" in there own minds then that's just bullshit and they should take up stamp collecting or somthing. You NEVER bring the climb down to your standards or lack of by placing bolts or whatnot. If it went on gear it stays on gear!

True that!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
6/02/2013
12:36:54 PM
On 4/02/2013 Cam McKenzie wrote:
>On 4/02/2013 ajfclark wrote:
>
>>1 BR on The Pintle LHV where the flake used to be
>
>When did the flake fall off? I haven't climbed up at the horn for years.
>Is the LHV still any good? Was a bit of a classic prior to the flake falling
>off.

Having recently redone the route, I feel it greatly reduces the 'sting in the tail' of that climb, and felt it a shame to see it go that way, as the topout of the second pitch is heaps less memorable now.

The broken off flake ironically makes for better natural pro opportunities now, which to my mind increases the redundancy of that relatively newly placed bolt!

Where that new bolt was located was discreet, but meant clipping it at your feet from the best available stance. Now that the flake is broken off, one can clip the bolt at knee height from a massive stance, which makes me think it is a convenience thing contrived for the new generation climber...

On 5/02/2013 kieranl wrote:
>I have a vague feeling that someone mentioned putting a bolt on the Pintle
>LHV some time ago to me. Probably not a bad thing at the top of that flake,
>if something goes wrong you're going for a very long way.

It rings similar memory bells for me too, but I have not been able to find specific post/s regarding it in respect of the flake portion of the climb.

As an aside, the first and second pitches can easily be run together at 52 m on a 60 m rope, and if the good pro options are utilised on the '2nd pitch' portion of the climb, then the catch would be quite soft compared to splitting it into 2 pitches.

I think it has not seen any falls (accidents?), despite the mentally run-out section that finishes that pitch off, because the lower portion of that pitch sorts out the contenders. Anyone who can get up the start of the original 2nd pitch finds the eased off angle above the flake easily done physically, even if it tests them mentally.

Superstu
6/02/2013
2:35:15 PM
On 6/02/2013 anthonycuskelly wrote:
>- Are the bolted cracks protectable with gear? If so, what is your reasoning
>for bolting them? In a 'traditional' area like Buffalo (ie, it's not Nowra),
>I would consider this unethical.

I don't subscribe to this being an 'ethical' debate; ethics are so maleable to one's situation, and its just side-stepping the real underlying issues.

I think there are two problems with the actions here and the defence of them.

The first is this thinking that beginners need bolts. I've been hearing this a lot recently and its fundamentally flawed thinking. Beginners will go and do dangerous and ignorant things on rock whatever the style of protection. Witness the spate of stupid incidents at crags like York-Mezzaluna recently. I've definitely seen more accidents at so-called "sport crags" than trad crags in my 20 years of climbing. The reason is that beginners are still learning the physics of climbing, the logistics of hanging around on ledges, on lead, falling, belaying and so on. If beginners want a soft entry to the sport, follow other people up climbs, or go top roping. When you've been climbing enough and you're itching to try the sharp end, you'll have the enthusiasm to go figure out placing protection. If that's not for you, then probably lead climbing is not for you, because the reality is you are at risk of accidents whether you climb on someone else's bolts or your own placed protection. The only thing you are doing by climbing on bolts is shifting the responsibility of the position of the protection to some stranger - and that person's decisions may or may not be the best for you.

The second issue is far more fundamental and applies to all climbers and their antics. When you are heading off to go play in a landscape with significant natural values, such as the beautiful and unique Mt. Buffalo National Park, you undertake an obligation to go about your business in a way that has minimal impact on that landscape. This isn't some tree hugging hippy crap, it's a reality, because if you treat the place as merely a resource for commercial exploitation or a canvas for stoking your own ego, then you will inevitably destroy the very values that brings you there in the first place.

Grid bolting every shitty little rock or putting a line of closely-spaced hangers up a low angled slab creates wholly unsatisfying experiences and detracts from the mountain adventure we all came for. If you want to dangle off holds in a sanitised environment, stay at the indoor climbing wall, or at least top-rope. Don't degrade the whole place down to your comfort zone and so delude yourself as to what you're out doing.


shiltz
6/02/2013
2:58:52 PM
Spot on Stu
Nick Clow
6/02/2013
3:58:45 PM
Kieran
Why are GoUp?'s comments OT? By CS standards they are actually quite germane to the bolting/retro-bolting being discussed. It's also an interesting argument.

GoUp?
Maybe you should start a new thread anyway. It looks like we need one on the general subject of 'indiscriminate bolting/retro-bolting is ruining climbing'.
kieranl
6/02/2013
4:27:45 PM
On 6/02/2013 Nick Clow wrote:
>Kieran
>Why are GoUp?'s comments OT? By CS standards they are actually quite germane
>to the bolting/retro-bolting being discussed. It's also an interesting
>argument.
>
GoUp's initial remark acknowledged that these could sidetrack the thread. I concur.
It would be good to see it raised in another thread.

Big G
6/02/2013
4:49:14 PM

>Maybe you should start a new thread anyway. It looks like we need yet another thread on the general subject of 'indiscriminate bolting/retro-bolting is ruining
>climbing'.

fixed that for you
anthonycuskelly
6/02/2013
5:34:12 PM
On 6/02/2013 Superstu wrote:
>stuff that I mostly agree with.

Ok Stu, I was trying to be lazy. Maybe "Bolting cracks with available gear options is unnecessarily high impact on the environment, degrades available resources (both rock and visual), has the potential to cause access issues, and is incompatible with the style of climb previously established in the area" works better as a statement.

White Trash
6/02/2013
8:31:50 PM
On 6/02/2013 Superstu wrote:
>On 6/02/2013 anthonycuskelly wrote:
>>- Are the bolted cracks protectable with gear? If so, what is your reasoning
>>for bolting them? In a 'traditional' area like Buffalo (ie, it's not
>Nowra),
>>I would consider this unethical.
>
>I don't subscribe to this being an 'ethical' debate; ethics are so maleable
>to one's situation, and its just side-stepping the real underlying issues.
>
>I think there are two problems with the actions here and the defence of
>them.
>
>The first is this thinking that beginners need bolts. I've been hearing
>this a lot recently and its fundamentally flawed thinking. Beginners will
>go and do dangerous and ignorant things on rock whatever the style of protection.
>Witness the spate of stupid incidents at crags like York-Mezzaluna recently.
>I've definitely seen more accidents at so-called "sport crags" than trad
>crags in my 20 years of climbing. The reason is that beginners are still
>learning the physics of climbing, the logistics of hanging around on ledges,
>on lead, falling, belaying and so on. If beginners want a soft entry to
>the sport, follow other people up climbs, or go top roping. When you've
>been climbing enough and you're itching to try the sharp end, you'll have
>the enthusiasm to go figure out placing protection. If that's not for you,
>then probably lead climbing is not for you, because the reality is you
>are at risk of accidents whether you climb on someone else's bolts or your
>own placed protection. The only thing you are doing by climbing on bolts
>is shifting the responsibility of the position of the protection to some
>stranger - and that person's decisions may or may not be the best for you.
>
>The second issue is far more fundamental and applies to all climbers and
>their antics. When you are heading off to go play in a landscape with significant
>natural values, such as the beautiful and unique Mt. Buffalo National Park,
>you undertake an obligation to go about your business in a way that has
>minimal impact on that landscape. This isn't some tree hugging hippy crap,
>it's a reality, because if you treat the place as merely a resource for
>commercial exploitation or a canvas for stoking your own ego, then you
>will inevitably destroy the very values that brings you there in the first
>place.
>
>Grid bolting every shitty little rock or putting a line of closely-spaced
>hangers up a low angled slab creates wholly unsatisfying experiences and
>detracts from the mountain adventure we all came for. If you want to dangle
>off holds in a sanitised environment, stay at the indoor climbing wall,
>or at least top-rope. Don't degrade the whole place down to your comfort
>zone and so delude yourself as to what you're out doing.
>
you got it nailed superstu. well said.

hey andrew davis, i hope u and ur mates arnt feeling outnumbered, as id like to see your answers to the fairly pointed questions put your way.
Andrew Davis
7/02/2013
3:58:03 PM
Hi Stu I have no idea who you are, how you were introduced to climbing, who you climb with, and what your experience has been, but you eplain your points well so i do get some sense of your values and probably share many of them, certainly your respect for the stunning natural environments where climbing can take you. My journey into climbing, and my reasons and motivations for it probably come from a very different paradigm than your own, but i hope you dont think your views are the only right ones, although a couple of your buddies priase you for them. Try to imagine what your experience and motivation would be if you had worked 10 years of your life on residential and recreation programs with high risk difficult and disengaged teenagers. Maybe you would see the values in some things a little differently

Having said that and having read your comments it still sounds like this topic has wading into the long running war in the climbing world between trad and sport. I enjoy both forms but agree there is nothing better than climbing a good natural trad line. Some climbers seem to have a fundamentalist type disdain for bolts regardless, but I think most climbers would say sport certainly has its place. Im not a fan of every bolt at the Horn but I think there has been restraint shown and its hardly going to become a grid of bolts. Buffalo is know for its discrete carrots and not sure why they were changed to FH on Parrot or the changing nature of things in Dreamworld, but i do think a climb youíre suppose to protect by somehow getting up there and throwing a knotted rope down was surely only a temporary measure. Therefore I cannot understand why anyone would object to Profanities being bolted and when someone said they wanted to do it i was all in favour and even bought them some ss bolts. A nut, sling, and cam are still used in the second half. I have contacted and chatted with Andrew at VCC since seeing this thread and will keep in touch with them so I can avoid a repeat of offending others. Nothing in the area being discussed was put there in an impulsive manner but was rationally discussed and though about for a least 2 summers.

It takes a lot more effort and cost to establish something than it does to remove it, so I hope those who decide something needs removing show logic and restraint, and donít just think out of self interests or personal disdain for bolts. And if a few vocal people here think they are in the majority and have outnumbered everyone else then they should consider maybe the majority is usually the quieter group who would be in favour of whatís there.

Apologies for only visiting this blog a handful of times in the last 12 years, but I don't find it an inviting community I want to be part of, but that is another topic which i just might start in another thread.

White Trash
7/02/2013
4:22:01 PM
On 7/02/2013 Andrew Davis wrote:
>Hi Stu I have no idea who you are, how you were introduced to climbing,
>who you climb with, and what your experience has been, but you eplain your
>points well so i do get some sense of your values and probably share many
>of them, certainly your respect for the stunning natural environments where
>climbing can take you. My journey into climbing, and my reasons and motivations
>for it probably come from a very different paradigm than your own, but
>i hope you dont think your views are the only right ones, although a couple
>of your buddies priase you for them. Try to imagine what your experience
>and motivation would be if you had worked 10 years of your life on residential
>and recreation programs with high risk difficult and disengaged teenagers.
> Maybe you would see the values in some things a little differently
>
>Having said that and having read your comments it still sounds like this
>topic has wading into the long running war in the climbing world between
>trad and sport. I enjoy both forms but agree there is nothing better than
>climbing a good natural trad line. Some climbers seem to have a fundamentalist
>type disdain for bolts regardless, but I think most climbers would say
>sport certainly has its place. Im not a fan of every bolt at the Horn
>but I think there has been restraint shown and its hardly going to become
>a grid of bolts. Buffalo is know for its discrete carrots and not sure
>why they were changed to FH on Parrot or the changing nature of things
>in Dreamworld, but i do think a climb youíre suppose to protect by somehow
>getting up there and throwing a knotted rope down was surely only a temporary
>measure. Therefore I cannot understand why anyone would object to Profanities
>being bolted and when someone said they wanted to do it i was all in favour
>and even bought them some ss bolts. A nut, sling, and cam are still used
>in the second half. I have contacted and chatted with Andrew at VCC since
>seeing this thread and will keep in touch with them so I can avoid a repeat
>of offending others. Nothing in the area being discussed was put there
>in an impulsive manner but was rationally discussed and though about for
>a least 2 summers.
>
>It takes a lot more effort and cost to establish something than it does
>to remove it, so I hope those who decide something needs removing show
>logic and restraint, and donít just think out of self interests or personal
>disdain for bolts. And if a few vocal people here think they are in the
>majority and have outnumbered everyone else then they should consider maybe
>the majority is usually the quieter group who would be in favour of whatís
>there.
>
>Apologies for only visiting this blog a handful of times in the last 12
>years, but I don't find it an inviting community I want to be part of,
>but that is another topic which i just might start in another thread.
>

i am not a buddy of superstu as I have never met him.
you wouldn't be a politician by any chance would you andrew?, given that you seem to have not answered any specific questions asked of you.

in the above post you say
> Im not a fan of every bolt at the Horn
>but I think there has been restraint shown and its hardly going to become
>a grid of bolts. Buffalo is know for its discrete carrots and not sure
>why they were changed to FH on Parrot or the changing nature of things
>in Dreamworld

do you really think the recent bolts in this area show restraint?
are you aware of the controversy that j goding stirred up with his bolting at dreamworld and other places at mt buffalo?
kieranl
7/02/2013
5:09:08 PM
On 7/02/2013 Andrew Davis wrote:
>a grid of bolts. Buffalo is know for its discrete carrots and not sure
>why they were changed to FH on Parrot
Carrots (I assume we're talking glue-in machine bolts rather than traditional drive-in carrots) are good for low-visibility in public areas but apart from that I don't see any advantage to using them over expansion bolts with fixed hangers. I don't really see carrots as being a great Buffalo tradition it's just what was cheap and realtively quick. Let's just acknowledge that there's is an area of disagreement over carrots v fixed hangers(of any type) and leave it at that.
Parrot on a stick must be getting towards 25 years old now and was hand-drilled. Hand-drilling 12mm holes at Buffalo was not fun. At the time I'd never even heard of glue-in bolts so it was a choice between expansions or traditional carrot. The carrots would have been less work but I opted for the better anchor.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
7/02/2013
5:21:33 PM
On 7/02/2013 kieranl wrote:
>On 7/02/2013 Andrew Davis wrote:
>>a grid of bolts. Buffalo is know for its discrete carrots and not sure
>>why they were changed to FH on Parrot
>Carrots (I assume we're talking glue-in machine bolts rather than traditional
>drive-in carrots) are good for low-visibility in public areas but apart
>from that I don't see any advantage to using them over expansion bolts
>with fixed hangers. I don't really see carrots as being a great Buffalo
>tradition it's just what was cheap and realtively quick. Let's just acknowledge
>that there's is an area of disagreement over carrots v fixed hangers(of
>any type) and leave it at that.
>Parrot on a stick must be getting towards 25 years old now and was hand-drilled.
>Hand-drilling 12mm holes at Buffalo was not fun. At the time I'd never
>even heard of glue-in bolts so it was a choice between expansions or traditional
>carrot. The carrots would have been less work but I opted for the better
>anchor.
>
Expansions?
When I did that route again last Aust. Day w/end, the bolts appear to be glue-in(?) with fixed hangers.

By the way, did you know that the boulder on top of that route 'rocks when weighted' when abseiled off, when a rope* is looped high around it? It seems to have a couple of chockstones under it's leading edge, but they obviously did not stop it rocking when I abseiled off it as an anchor the other day according to my partner...

*PS rope drag/bind makes it difficult retrieving same at end of the process too.

Superstu
7/02/2013
6:01:55 PM
Hi Andrew,

I wouldn't get so uptight about usernames and avatars. The aussie climbing scene is pretty small and I would say most people know each other behind the names. People hide their real names and email addresses to prevent spam.

I can't see why the guiding can't be done within the parameters of the established climbing, rather than modifying a popular climbing area to meet the needs of your guiding to the detriment of everyone else who climbs there (including bolting next to cracks, breaking flakes, retrobolting old classic trad lines, etc). This stuff could also endanger the relationship with park managers that has been built up over the years by climbers showing restraint.

Stu

JMK
Online Now
7/02/2013
6:31:20 PM
Adding bolts next to cracks is a no IMO but Profanity had none and is now an excellent route . As to bolting the poxy little boulder near pintle who honestly cares. I saw someone climb it at chrissie but what a waste of time. IMO bolt ahead on one proviso - do not risk access to the crag. Re the bolts next to the wide crack - probably protectable on trad but then a very spicy finish. I know as I did it on trad. If someone wants to use the bolts instead go for it. People need to lighten up, it is only climbing.

And please no one speak for the whole community cos I am tired of people telling me what I think. Keep your anti bolting or your pro bolting attitudes to yourself cos that is all you are representing.

Enough is said on this forum by those defending the ethics in this sport that simultaneously threaten access so chill with the hypocrisy.
paul
7/02/2013
6:46:27 PM
Bolting existing climbs so teaching can easily be done may have some merrit, just make the bolting pointless crap that is not on established climbs. It seems more like lazy guides who can not be bothered with long walks in. Guides who go bolting in national parks may be risking their organisations licenced tour operator status by doing so.
simey
7/02/2013
6:57:35 PM
I always find it hard to form an opinion on a lot of bolting debates unless I have first hand experience of the particular climbs and a good understanding of the area and its climbing history. I believe that well considered retro-bolting does occasionally have its place and I'm generally not a fan of overly dangerous easier to moderate grade routes.

I climbed The Pintle LHV (16) early last year for the first time. It is an excellent climb. I clipped the bolt near the top of the flake, although I must admit that the climbing at this point seemed relatively straightforward given the difficulty of the lower section. I thought the start of this pitch was quite demanding for the grade and a serious lead given the ledge lurking just below you. I don't think the bolt up high made a big difference either way to the experience of the climb, but I was probably a bit surprised it was there given the climbing seemed to ease off a lot and the flake seemed like it could have still taken protection. However you do run it out a bit from there to the belay and I am assuming this was why the bolt was placed.

What I am curious about were the bolts on the little tiny slabs of low-angled rock beneath The Pintle. These blobs of rock were so insignificant that I thought it was some sort of joke, or someone had been practicing placing bolts. I am not sure whether these blobs are some of the climbs in question, but if they are, they are a very odd addition to Buffalo climbing and don't seem to be particularly worthwhile, but then again they don't mar the established routes.

Although Andrew seems to have given some thought to this actions (and I'm guessing some of his bolts make total sense), I do agree with Stu's sentiments on bolting climbs for beginners. There is good reason that all the beginner crags at Arapiles aren't festooned with bolts. Bolting beginner routes which already offer natural protection does seem counter-productive to people learning the skills of climbing.

Retro-bolting (or any bolting) can be a fine balance. I actually think these online debates are pretty useful for hearing all sides of the argument and determining which bolts should stay and which bolts should go.

simey
7/02/2013
7:14:27 PM
Regarding the bolt in The Pintle...

On 6/02/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:

>Having recently redone the route, I feel it greatly reduces the 'sting
>in the tail' of that climb, and felt it a shame to see it go that way,
>as the topout of the second pitch is heaps less memorable now.
>
>The broken off flake ironically makes for better natural pro opportunities
>now, which to my mind increases the redundancy of that relatively newly
>placed bolt!

I never climbed The Pintle before the bolt was placed, but M9s comments do make sense and the bolt is probably superfluous and detract slightly from the finish of this pitch.

Here is the naughty little bolt next to the flake in question...





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