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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Bolting at Piddo 13-May-2011 At 7:47:36 AM Wendy
On 12/05/2011 cogsy wrote:
>Wendy's argument is that easy sport routes are usually too crap to be bolted.....come
>on... are you really saying that EVERY easy trad route at arapiles and
>the gramps is quality?
>Go for a little walk around Mt York .... there are enough absolutely rubbish
>easy old trad routes to last a lifetime! Good old Chris Baxter and his
>crew must have put up enough complete rubbish to fill half a dozen guidebooks
>(though there were obviously some classics too), and some of Ewbanks routes
>are embarrassingly crap!
>Even Frog Buttress has some tiny thrutching vegetated mank, and Yosemite
>has miles of it!
>Surely bumbly sport climbers have just as much right to climb completely
>rotten piles of rubbish, just like trad climbers do? ;))

Go on, everything hero and eduardo have put up is classic! But really, if people want to put up mank on gear, it doesn't really effect anyone. Once you start lobbing bolts in mank, it's made a permanent impact. Although, there's been plenty of pox bolted at other grades too, i think the potential for nonpox easy sport is especially limited.

Am i the only person seeing the massive slippery slope here? Bolting started as a way to protect things that couldn't be protected by gear. This did tend to be rather hard stuff. Somewhere along the line, a few people decided this was way easier than dealing with all that wiggly stuff and bolted the whole route. This still tended to be on harder, non protectable stuff. Then the odd european went bugger the odd gear placement and started lobbing bolts in the whole route regardless. And because most people don't climb desperately hard, a reasonable number of 18-24 sort of stuff got bolted. People started taking up climbing in greater numbers and deciding that all that trad stuff was silly and dangerous. Still, overall, sport routes and sport crags in Australia tend to be on steepish faces that are otherwise unprotected. And not being a massive anti bolting nazi, I'm really quite ok with that. A few routes have appear that are easier, but they aren't abundant for the myriad reasons discussed earlier.

I do see a sequence of conveniencing climbing in this. And when people say, I choose not to place gear, and I think there should be more routes that i can climb, i have to wonder, where does this come from? I don't wander up to a crag and expect there to be exactly what I want to climb. I accept that there are only so many overhanging offwidths in the world. I'm not bitching that people aren't creating them for me. There may be a market for easy sport climbs, but we don't need to meet it. These people aren't prevented from climbing, they have options, they have made their choices, and there are just not the perfect routes for them everywhere. That's quite normal.

Some people would like ski lifts to get them to the crag. Rap anchors on the top of every route. Being able to belay out of the car. All the mozzies to be DDTed. Beer stalls at the crag. Where do we stop? When there are plenty of good quality trad routes available, people are simply choosing not to do them because they don't want to learn trad, their choices are limiting them. You can search high and low for decent easy sport things, but it's just not going to compare to the number and quality of easy trad available, so do we really need to do it? I can't justify it in my head.

Neil and Joe have both been community minded crag developers for a long time now. They have produced a lot of easyish sport routes between them, but they still haven't found this mythical really bloody easy sport crag. And the grey slab at Shipley was develop eons ago, yet more easy peasy stuff is just not appearing. No one's even saying, hey, you could put all these grade 12s up here, i just couldn't be bothered because I climb 10 grades harder then that.

It's just not that hard to learn trad either. I was up at Kitten Wall the other day and some young boy just out of sport climbing asked me how I became confident to climb hard trad. It's just not an issue. Placing and trusting gear was what you did when i learnt to climb. How did it become such an issue that people won't even lead easy trad?

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