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Sublime Climbs - A Guide to the best rock climbing venues in Victoria, Australia.By Kevin Lindorff, Josef Goding & Jarrod Hodgson. Over 700 climbs, 158 phototopos, 36 maps, and 380 pages covering the best of Mt Arapiles, Mt Buffalo and the Grampians $45.00
On 1/03/2013 rolsen1 wrote:
>There is no evidence to suggest that this is the first step towards a retro-bolting spree.
I don't think the majority of posters to this thread are suggesting that, however I do think that the recently highlighted action happening there is indicative of 'incremental creep', which is equally worrying to many.
Thanks nm & mikl for your feedback to my question on the last page.
On 28/02/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>I'm just mystified that you have spent at least 4 days climbing on a windjammer
>since the new routes got done and you still haven't tried any of them?
>They don't bite. You might even enjoy them.
See, I'm mystified that you've spent lots of days climbing on windjammer since the old routes got put up 20 years ago (including establishing your own routes), and still haven't tried any of the harder trad lines??? :) But yes, I am keen to try a bunch of the new routes, and have mostly been waiting for good enough conditions down there to pull on small holds (Matt has set the bar by onsighting the 25 thing, looks like a great route)
> I'm happy to see some pruning with
>direct person to person consultation with the original equippers.
Yeah, the talking has already been done. Rick agreed to rejig his routes as mixed routes where appropriate (obviously that'll have to wait until bionic Rick is unleashed upon the crags).
>Apart from a couple of retrobolts
>(which I disagreed with) the argument is really over route style - and
>that style has been historically set by the first ascentist. What seems
>to be happening is that this is no longer the case.
I disagree strongly with this. Route style is one consideration, crag style is another. How do you think you'd go if you tried to bolt a new sport route between Tannin and The Wraith? The existing style at Point Perp is trad and mixed routes which go to the top of the cliff, and no bolts next to good gear placements for protection or belays! Yes, there are a couple of exceptions, this doesn't mean that the exceptions are the new rule. If people want to develop new routes at the crag without generating friction, they ought to stick to the existing style.
You are correct that the idea of sovereignty for first ascentionists has been abandoned, this is a conscious decision. I don't really care to go into it in too much detail here, but the actions of a handful of mad bolters has tipped a bunch of us over to a different approach. You've said yourself that some bolting is out of control (e.g. Mt. Alex, Mt. Kiera, and a lot of Joe Goding's stuff), however I don't really see you doing anything about it. Dangerouser Cliffs Australia is doing something about it. I doubt that you'll agree with our tactics, but we're not asking for permission nor seeking consensus.
>Personally, I believe that all Victorian and Tasmanian climbers (the only
>two places I've climbed extensively) act in the best interests of both
>the environment and rock climbing in general.
Can't work out whether hopelessly naive or just plain stoopid :/ ????
On 26/02/2013 Andrew Davis wrote:>
>Wendy, Ive been away camping for a week so i will do my best to explain
>a few things that you have raised here publicly, which you could have misunderstood
>or even made a few assumptions which it seems is easy to do here.
>Firstly there is the issue of which particular cliff user has the greater
I don't think it's actually a matter of who has greater rights to a cliff - I have defended that rights of guides and school groups to use cliffs on here before against some fairly common anti guiding ideas. I do think, however, it's a matter of everyone using the cliffs considerately. And the nature of groups and guiding does effect the way in which we impact upon cliffs and other users. in this case, it seems like it has clashed with other users values and perceptions of the area and possibly on public or parks perceptions. However, I have also argued elsewhere on here that Buffalo is perhaps the only place I can think of where it is a reasonable proposition to create easy sport routes (in the context of arguments about whether there was a "need" for easy sport routes). Buffalo does have lots of low angle slab that hasn't been developed because it's too easy or too short for most people to be interested in. As you say, there's a lot of rock there. Going out and developing a little beginner area that's discrete and suitable to withstand groups tramping around it is not such a bad idea. I'd just think that it was better done somewhere else than a visible and popular area to minimise the impact on other users and concern by PV. Kinda like Dreamworld. It's a few pseudo-sport routes on a little boulder out of sight. Nothing classic about it, but nice enough and serves a purpose for a few people.
> Hence the fundamentalist slurs about me not being a real climber, take
>my mother climbing, or go back to my little welfare kids just proves how
>narrow and intolerant some people can be.
Did I right something like that? I don't think I did.
>Secondly you address comments to me about learning to climb at Buffalo
>as if you have heard a little but not much about the UNI/TAFE climbing
>program in AlburyWodonga. Let me give you a little more information to
>base your opinion on but not necessarily change it, and while its not perfect
>I think over 13 years it has gradually developed to be a thorough learning
>program with ratios usually 1:4 which gives plenty of instructor tuition.
> The program goes for 3 years and starts the first year with top roping,
>seconding, vertical rescue: 1 day at Buffalo, 8 days Summerday/Arapiles,
>2 days The Rock, 2 days Mt Pilot, then they loan out gear and need to do
>their own self-guided trips at the five crags they have been introduced
>to. Second year they head to Buffalo for 6 days (and yes most do lead
>grade 16, 17ís), then work and train at the local climbing centre while
>they log up min 500 metres of leading, (usually vics head to Araps, while
>nsw will head to Blueys/Nowra). Come November its back to Buffalo to organise
>and guide 2 outdoor ed climbing programs. In their third year they continue
>climbing and gain industry experience working for tourist and outdoor ed
>operators before graduating end of year.
Actually, i was talking about the possibility of learning to lead at Buffalo in general - I'm glad you take your groups to more suitable places to learn as well. My point was that a few easy sport routes at Buffalo will not replace going somewhere that is really suitable for learning to lead at. An 8m bolted grade 9 doesn't teach about gear selection, routefinding, rope management, belays, developing good judgement and risk management etcetc. I firmly believe that nothing can replace the benefits of a few years regular climbing across a range of styles and rock types for developing skills necessary to be a good guide, and those graduates of outdoor ed courses that go out and do that are also those who end up being the most employable guides. And in terms of one-off experiences, toproping on unestablished routes will still be a massive thrill to those without preconceived notions of what is "real" climbing.
The only thing I had actually heard about your course sounded a little like teaching beginner's headpointing, but I didn't even mention that - I'm not out to criticise your course (that I don't really know enough about), but questioning how beneficial the couple of short easy sport routes really are in the greater scheme of things. Incidently, did your course survive the govt funding cutbacks? It seems a lot of outdoor ed courses have been discontinued.
And CJ, some, but not very many, guides, have been placing bolts for their convenience disguised as environmental concern, and many, many guides have not been! It is nice to maintain some context that a lot of guides take people out climbing with no more impact on the rock and other users than other private groups have. And that many non-guides have placed bolts for their own convenience as well. And it is possible to have bolts that are both convenient and environmentally justifiable.
Kind of an aside, by my other thought about guiding in general at Buffalo, is that it needs to be taken with it's limited opportunities. Things like "crevassing" groups down Burston's Crevasse in order to sell another trip at Buffalo have an environmental impact well beyond any argument about the benefits of doing it for the people. Actually, that's really about guiding anywhere - if you are going to turn something into a high traffic area, make sure it is able to withstand it.
>And CJ, some, but not very many, guides, have been placing bolts for their
>convenience disguised as environmental concern, and many, many guides have
>not been! It is nice to maintain some context that a lot of guides take
>people out climbing with no more impact on the rock and other users than
>other private groups have. And that many non-guides have placed bolts for
>their own convenience as well. And it is possible to have bolts that are
>both convenient and environmentally justifiable.
Well yes, I am quite aware of this. I said as much several times. I think it is important to make the distinction between convenience bolts for everyone (like the bolts on Dribble) and convenience bolts for guiding.
Andrew has openly stated that he thinks commercial guides have more right to the cliff (and I presume he means more right to bolt) than recreational users. I think this is contrary to most climbers in Australia and the rest of the world. In fact, it is pretty 'F'ing out there. I know there is a big grey area with bolts and like to think Im pretty relaxed about it. But when a guide like Andrew, who is actively bolting and not just spouting hypotheticals, comes out and says paid guides have more right to bolt than the rest of us, it seems to me the dude has flipped his wig. Its guys like this that make a continuing mockery of Certified Climbing Instructors. He is going to spread his crappy ethic, screw up trad cliffs, and get paid for it.
I think you have suggested the (what should be dead obvious) thing for Andrew to do; Find an out of the way crag to bolt(if he absolutely must) to take his paying clients. I dont think he cares.His comments already demonstrate that he thinks he is totally justified in bolting anything he wants (as an "educator") and everyone who disagrees are fundamentalists with "their face too close to the mirror".
I think you have been reading different posts to the ones I have John.
In the ones I read Andrew never said he bolted anything (in fact he implied otherwise, though possibly knows the person that did) and his comments about 'face to the mirror' which you've quoted quite a few times seemed to be about the tendency for traditional climbers to be inward-looking - as in, unwilling to accept any feedback or legitimacy from anyone but their own.
Which, let's be really honest, you reinforced with your comment about trad climbers allowing people to climb on their cliffs ;)
If this is going to continue for eons, perhaps it's worth knowing who *actually* bolted these lines so that the discussion is appropriately held with the person responsible...
Buffalo seems to be more a target for this issue than most places. Aren't there also bolts at Catani Crags that have been added by and for the use of guided groups? In this particular case, effectively a belay station in the middle of the route (which I would agree is an improvement, as the top 10m didn't appeal).
I also note the usually-padlocked bolts at the top of Turkey Chute were available for use last time I was there (November). I welcome that. If you're going to add bolts to the shared resource of our cliffs you have no right to restrict their usage.
On 1/03/2013 One Day Hero wrote:
>On 1/03/2013 rolsen1 wrote:
>>Personally, I believe that all Victorian and Tasmanian climbers (the
>>two places I've climbed extensively) act in the best interests of both
>>the environment and rock climbing in general.
>Can't work out whether hopelessly naive or just plain stoopid :/ ????
You need to realise that only a tiny percentage of climbers post on chockstone.
On 1/03/2013 rolsen1 wrote:
>>>Personally, I believe that ALL Victorian and Tasmanian climbers act in the best interests of both
>>>the environment and rock climbing in general.
You need to realise how stupid your statement is! Care to enlighten me as to how you arrived at this utter bollocks?
>You need to realise that only a tiny percentage of climbers post on chockstone.
I'm sitting on the flake on Pintle LHV right now. At first I couldn't even find the bolt and figured someone else had already chopped it. That's because it's 50cm below your feet; you know, next to that crack you put all the gear in. Humble opinion=travesty.
On 2/03/2013 Singersmith wrote:
>I'm sitting on the flake on Pintle LHV right now. At first I couldn't even
>find the bolt and figured someone else had already chopped it. That's because
>it's 50cm below your feet; you know, next to that crack you put all the
>gear in. Humble opinion=travesty.
On 2/03/2013 Wendy wrote:
>Far more importantly, CJ, did you get The Ogive?
Probably not as important but yes I did get the Ogive. I put the gear on the first day then slept in the cave and got it in the morning. There was a very active bee hive at the tat anchor so after turning the roof I crept up, real quiet like, tapped the anchor and then down climbed to the last piece. I only placed 5 of my own bits of gear and just clipped some of the hundreds of old carrots. I back cleaned and whipped on all the old bolts. They are fine! The bees and carrots will still be there waiting for your shoulder to get better...
On 1/03/2013 ratherbeclimbinv9 wrote:
>I think you have been reading different posts to the ones I have John.
>In the ones I read Andrew never said he bolted anything (in fact he implied
>otherwise, though possibly knows the person that did) and his comments
>about 'face to the mirror' which you've quoted quite a few times seemed
>to be about the tendency for traditional climbers to be inward-looking
>- as in, unwilling to accept any feedback or legitimacy from anyone but
>Which, let's be really honest, you reinforced with your comment about
>trad climbers allowing people to climb on their cliffs ;)
Well it certainly is not the other way around that guides "allow" trad climbers to climb. Here is a brief history of climbing and Andrew's take on it;
1. Recreational climbers invent rock climbing.
2. Recreational climbers establish a cliff as a trad area..
3. Paid guides come into existence.
4. Because of the commercial value to the cliffs, guides now have more right to access than recreational climbers.
5. Andrew is full of it.
Trad climbers actually do have a large decision in how a guide operates. If a guide retrobolts a trad route, trad climbers can chop it. End of discussion. Its not the other way around. Andrew's attitude is outrageous. I think it is pointing out the obvious that the people who started climbing for fun and adventure and carried forward the same tradition for decades have more of a say about a cliff than someone looking to make money. This is not inward thinking. It seems to me a self-evident truism.
>If this is going to continue for eons, perhaps it's worth knowing who
>*actually* bolted these lines so that the discussion is appropriately held
>with the person responsible...
He "implies" he didnt bolt, but he doesnt deny it. And his comments imply that he supports bolting if it furthers paid guiding activity. Regardless, for being such a big shot climbing instructor, his opinions are waaaay out there and need to be challenged if not corrected.
I'm not fundamentally disagreeing with your *position* cj, just the facts...
Bolting and removing bolts are equal and opposite actions.
Anyone can do either. So really, the battle of bolts (and sport climbers) vs trad is a numbers game... And on that basis, I don't think anyone climbs at the allowance of trad climbers. It's probably more accurate to say that without trad climbers, no one would be climbing anything at all, but that's really a historical view rather than a current reality.
On 3/03/2013 ratherbeclimbinv9 wrote:
>I'm not fundamentally disagreeing with your *position* cj, just the facts...
>Bolting and removing bolts are equal and opposite actions.
>Anyone can do either. So really, the battle of bolts (and sport climbers)
>vs trad is a numbers game... And on that basis, I don't think anyone climbs
>at the allowance of trad climbers. It's probably more accurate to say
>that without trad climbers, no one would be climbing anything at all, but
>that's really a historical view rather than a current reality.
Well if you are not disagreeing with my position then it seems you are playing devils advocate for some hypothetical academic style argument and Im not interested in playing... ;)
But just quickly anyway; Adding and removing bolts may somehow be opposites in a very contrived sense. However, I dont exist in some fanciful post-modern subjective limbo. In the real world a person with a consistent ethic can still add or remove bolts.
It is a sort of numbers game. Thats why I am getting so loud about it. Probably the same reason beard strokers the world over have have always kicked up a stink about pussy types moving in and Fing up crags. I think there is plenty of room to share. I even think theres plenty of space for bolts (not on established routes) to facilitate guiding. But when Andrew asserts that guides should have MORE access to a cliff than recreational climbers, I find it offensive.
An observation about bolting and/or retro-bolting:
Bolts are part of climbing in Australia. Unless one has no bolts whatsoever (the only consistent position and where there can be no argument), there are always going to be arguments about what is a 'good' bolt and what is a 'bad' bolt.
One of the factors strongly influencing what makes a bolt 'good' or otherwise is WHO put it in.
If you take the example of The Point, this is a trad area - and a rare and precious one at that. Natural lines abound on vertical rock. You could spend (and many people have spent) a long time climbing there without utilising any bolts at all as there is a large number of wholly natural lines, most of which are of great quality. The aretes and other lines of strength have been climbed (as ODH says), for the most part, in 'mixed' style.
Various people have put up new climbs at The Point, including Rob and Ivan. I use them as an example because:
1) they have both climbed at the Point for years and years. They have done their time and paid their respects to the place;
2) they have bolted routes in the style of the crag, relying on trad gear where it exists and carrots. Indeed, some of their routes are unclimbed cracks going on trad gear;
3) they have added routes spaced out all over the crag where there are worthwhile climbs, NOT just in one concentrated area.
No-one (to the best of my knowledge) has ever complained about Rob and Ivan's bolts/routes.
When you have a problem (and I would suggest this applies to ALL bolting/retro-bolting, including that at The Horn) is when the wannabes turn up.
The wannabes haven't done their time or paid their respects to the crag. Their judgement about the style of routes and whether they will be worthwhile is compromised by their lack of taste/experience and their feverish desire to whack the bolts in and get their names in a guidebook. They typically exercise no discrimination about where and how many bolts they put in. For some reason they seem to travel in packs, generating a sort of schoolboy machismo associated with this drilling and bolting. Finally, many of the wannabes don't even climb on trad gear.
Windjammer Wall is (or was) the jewel of The Point. I support ODH and anyone else who is going to tidy up the mess, both at The Point and The Horn.