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
Given the tragedy which has unfolded today this all seems incredibly uninportant. BUT, I want to reply to a couple of the points made by M9iswhereitsat.
M9, I don't believe ones climbing level has much to do with ego. I myself have been climbing for 17 years and I have never led anything harder than 23. These days I'd be lucky to lead a 21. It's not about, nor has it ever been about numbers. I was refering to your comments in the context that they seemed to be more about you and your 'bold ethic' than the subject which was on the table. If I misinterrpreted your meaning then I am not above apologizing for having a go at you.
You need not assume that I include you amongst the 'goons'. In fact from what you have written on this site, I would conclude the opposite about you. I am not referring to the amount of time one has been into a certain outdoor activity, it is the consumer mentality which has become a part of society at large which I have seen infiltrate climbing. Whilst I do not wish to inflame this debate, it is mostly the younger people getting into sport climbing via the gym 'scene' who I see as the main ticketholders to this mentality.
I think on the subject of wholesale cleaning of routes, that you might find we actually agree. Wholesale cleaning is obscene, as is the mentality that we can do what we like in the name of uncovering a new route. But let me ask you M9, will you climb a route which had to be scrubbed, no matter how long ago? Or do your ethics preclude you from going near such routes? Do you only climb 'dirty' routes? In your opinion is it ever justifiable to scrub down a new line? Just curious by the way, I'm not having a go.
I must say I am confused, I can't find anything I have written which points to me wanting to head up to the 'Ben' to sterelize the entire area, I was thinking of cleaning a couple of the easier routes like Jerrys big corner(I think I have the name right), and a couple of the easier routes to the right of Jerrys. All of a sudden I had people suggesting this and that. I may have been a little defensive in my replies because I felt people were making assumptions about my intentions. I agree with Neils well put comment about leaving the more obscure routes as they are. Hmm, there's two points on which we agree M9!
Finally, I happen to agree with Dalais comment, which by the way I don't think means that we near Melbourne run around helter skelter cleaning every little piece of rock we can find.
Hey andy, I will never climb that rock (the ben) again, but I aplaud your energy and comunity minded
spirit for not wanting to do this just for yourself ,but for the comunity at large, well done ,so many on this
forum pontificate from on high about what should and should not be done, but thats all they ever do!
there is so much blah blah and hot air that it's probably a greenhouse factor, know this for every one of
us that is prepared to go out and do somthing for the comunity at large,(time, effort, money) there is one
hundred that will yell from the side lines about how when and what should be done, with that comment
bieng the sum total of their contribution.
dont let them get you down, the others out there who think and act as you have done, thank you.
On 8/02/2007 andi nismo wrote:
>Umm, did that sound like Scarlet O'Hara line?
can't remember actress maybe vivian leigh but the character i think you are referring to is blanche dubois from streetcar named desire.
(must have woken up this morning feeling pedantic i mildly literary)
Up until my 1st post on this thread (that you seem to have focussed on); the general theme was cleaning of routes at Ben Cairn. Some contributors said certain routes needed cleaning and other routes didn’t. Your posts indicated (to me), that cleaning of route/s was a desirable thing inasmuch as people should do it for themselves and not rely upon others to do it for them, in which case the greater climbing community benefits.
I replied with the intention of suggesting another way; i.e. that climbing through the dirt/mank/etc,; rather than cleaning it off, is an acceptable alternative. In other words climbing climbs in their natural state is to climb a climb on the terms that it dictates to us.
From experience of doing this I recognise it adds difficulty to the task and can make for bold leads even on ‘easy’ ground. This is due to not only having spaced gear due to forgoing placements by leaving moss etc covering them (including bolts), but also because skank underfoot does not provide good smear or edging opportunities.
To me this is at the heart of traditional climbing.
[#see 'aside' below]
Indirectly by advocating climbing ‘cleanly’ on routes that require cleaning (pun intended), I was aware that I was also exhorting others to climb boldly (living with runouts etc), and that this ‘bold’ ethic is worth preserving … along with the moss! !
Certainly by default this applies to myself, as it is automatic that if I feel strongly enough about not cleaning the climb then if I am to go there at all, I must be prepared to accept whatever boldness the character of the climb dictates to me by leaving it in its natural state.
Yeah, I would be a mug to say I did not have a healthy ego but I was NOT as you wrote;
>or are they merely an opportunity to stroke ones ego?
and I replied confirming your alternative scenario.
>Are these comments offered up as part of a discussion on ethics and nature,
Having said all the above and seeing the photo wm posted on this thread, I would hesitate to 'clean-climb' (ie refrain from brushing), on a line as beautifully mossy as the one in the picture; because even the act of climbing it in this fashion (if possible), would be detrimental to the moss.
Not every bit of rock needs a climbing route on it.
~~~~ draws a breath while balancing on the soap-box :) ~~~~
>It's not about, nor has it ever been about numbers.
>I was refering to your comments in the context that they seemed to be more about you and your 'bold ethic' than the subject which was on the table. >If I misinterrpreted your meaning then I am not above apologizing for having a go at you.
Peace pipe accepted andi.
>But let me ask you M9, will you climb a route which had to be scrubbed, no matter how long ago?
My ethics, (like everyone else’s I suspect), are subject to evolution over time; ~> witness my subsequent post on this thread defending the right of flora to exist on climbs.
… but this is peripheral, so to answer your question/s cleanly …
~ Probably; particularly if I was unaware of it’s history.
>Or do your ethics preclude you from going near such routes?
Probably not; ... though I do not enjoy climbing on ‘manufactured routes’ as much as natural routes.
>Do you only climb 'dirty' routes?
Side comment: Buffalo has many clean routes as dalai pointed out. (Heh, heh, heh).
>In your opinion is it ever justifiable to scrub down a new line?
It may be under rare circumstances* but I am not an advocate of it.
(*Can’t readily think of any at the moment!).
The closest I come to it; is brushing with my fingers enough excess ‘ballbearing / leaf-litter type stuff’ off a hold (particularly if I anticipate it becoming a crucial foothold for that particular ascent), to be able to negotiate that section of rock in relative safety. Slippery/grey ethic here I know; but the amount of 'natural' that I have left between the odd minimalistically cleaned hold is testament to my trying to adhere to some kind of ethic.
As an aside [#referred to earlier], I put up a new line recently* that had some flora growing in a shallow scoop on the line. I tried to climb past the flora without damaging it, but due to difficulties placing protection in a flared crack ended up relying on the scoop as I back-stepped to avoid falling.
It (the flora clump) became detached and fell to the base of the climb. After consulting with my belayer, we agreed that the roots had lost sufficient soil that the flora was not likely to survive the exposed and harsh conditions it was now enduring, even though we replaced it in its original location. I made the decision to take it home and try to nurse it back to health.
It still died.
Higher on the same climb there is a small shrub that has all but died due to outgrowing its survival niche for lack of water / soil. This is still there as I managed to climb past it without disturbing it.
Anyone who repeats this climb will probably consider the line virgin due to its natural state.
They will also probably find the line reasonably bold due to the runout and less than reliable nature of the placements available in its present condition. I do not consider it your average Gd 17 which is all I would give it for the technical moves involved. I regard it as serious Gd 19 due to the jiggery pokery involved in finding and placing its runout protection.
Is it bold?
Some may consider it a death-route, while others may consider it a stroll in the park.
Ego … like art?, is in the eye of the beholder; … in this case subsequent ascentionists!
It's not about, nor has it ever been about numbers!! Heh, heh, heh.
(*New climb name is 'White Mans Dreaming') ~ yet to be written up.
>Just curious by the way, I'm not having a go.
I do not think anyone is accusing you of wholesale making an area sterile and I am glad we have common ground in our outlooks.
All I am asking you (and others), is to consider alternatives to cleaning. From my experience you may find the subsequent experience on the line richly rewarding and the natural climb will be better off for your consideration.
>M9, I offer you the pipe of peace!
In good traditional style I have puffed on it and now pass it back.