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
Most days I walk my dog around the local streets and tracks. I can always tell when school holidays have started and the holiday lets are full because suddenly dog turds appear all over the footpaths.
There seems to be a mentality that once you're out in (what you perceive as) the sticks, then the usual rules of civilized behaviour don't apply. You can misbehave, leave a mess and no-one cares.
I hate online bitch sessions, so rarely post to Chuckstone. But sometimes I make exceptions. Thanks Vanessa for pursuing this issue. It is very disappointing to hear of the ongoing misbehaviour and vandalism at Kaputar, especially when it seems to involve several perpetrators. One is easier to deal with. The time to take a stand is overdue.
Kaputar is in an unfortunate situation, lacking the continuity of a local climbing community that can take 'ownership' and maintain local standards. So it falls to the 'diaspora' of climbers that love Kaputar and its place in the climbosphere to act.
If the description of the Lindesay bolting is accurate, this amounts to an appropriation and desecration of a long-established crag. And I thought we got rid of that kind of antediluvian route-marking decades ago.
Some younger climbers might not realise that the NSW Bolt Wars go back at least to the Ewbank era of the late 60s (1960s that is). Ewbank removed many of his own bolts, and wholesale clean-ups probably started with the Echo Point Bolt Route. Retro-bolting too has a sad history, back at least to Hocus Pocus at Piddo, belted into tragedy by commercial interests and yet ultimately left that way.
So trad-dads and mid-grade-mummies, lets see what we can do about correcting the Kaputar situation, cleaning up the turds and sending a strong message to unwelcome renegades.
The regular, boring debate is happening on the ACAQ facebook group. Of interest though, is how fuching retarded some of the participants are. Now, I don't know if it's a reflection on Queensland as a whole, or something particluar to gym climbers up there.....but it is seriously painful to read.
Here are some of the highlights;
"No one is stopping you to continue climbing the route using trad gear or no gear at all for that matter. Having bolts in simply makes it available to sport climbers."
- Airie Sasha Juvan, teaching trad climbers about sharing.
"If someone can climb a red climb at a gym without being 'confused' by the green holds that are also on the climb, I'm sure a trad climber can ignore a few bolts. Maybe if this was more widely accepted, it could be specified that the trad a sport routes are two different routes! There is often more than one route in a given place. Can't be that hard to work out. Fact is, if we all continue standing firm on such opposite sides, it's going to be worse and more confusing for the community and the cliffs. A 'lynch mob' may not deter someone who is this enthusiastic, so I don't see this being the end of it. The purists are going to have to give a little too, or it will keep getting uglier."
-Djalinda Wallis explaining how trad routes and sport routes can coexist......on the same route?!
"I'm absolutely not saying that all climbs should be accessible to everyone. But I believe some climbs could be more accessible to more people and it could enhance the sport. I don't have a blanket view and believe each case should be considered based on safety, benefits & a number of factors. My concern is the view that no climbs should ever be retro bolted. I have previously discussed specific climbs having a bolt added and, even where I've been told that the FA'er doesn't care, I have still been told 'no' - yet no one could give me a reason why not! My concern is these extreme views with no room for compromise or discussion. I'm sure there are some climbs that have both sport and trad routes, so it can't completely ruin every line. :) Just trying to keep it balanced and keep climbing moving forward."
- Djalinda Wallis demonstrating her stunning intellect once more......and something, something, moving forward.
" For sure!! Agree with you there :) Yeah, I actually don't know how mixed climbs evolve... If they started out as mixed climbs or if bolts are put in after. Or maybe both..."
-Danni Katzer (who seems suspicious of "sharing") ponders the eternal question.
I was angling for the October long weekend, mainly because Dave and I will be in Canada for 3 months from June onwards. But there now seems to be enough impetus for the June long weekend with a back up for October if more work is needed. If you contact Ian ( choss dog), Scott camps, richard Curtis or Adrian Kladnig to get involved.
I will do my bit by going to meet Robin Barley while in Squamish
Scary stuff from Qld ODH...very scary. To suggest that bolting a route does not eliminate the trad option is ludicrous. And amazing that some people (climbers???) seem to be utterly ignorant of what trad climbing is about, the importance of aesthetics, skill and judgment, about what the sources of satisfaction are. Such people are clearly involved in a whooooole different activity (I might be mainly a trad climber, but at least I still understand what sport climbing is about...and not about).
Do they not realise the extent to which the trad tradition (is that a tautology?) has already been compromised? There are very few accessible crags that have been retained in a clean and sportless condition...let's doff our helmets to Ben Lomond! Most 'trad' crags are actually mixed, but in the case of Kaputar (and BL, the natural lines are often so close together that inserting a sport route between would be an aesthetic atrocity.
This is the same as any conservation argument: tell you what...we'll compromise, 50-50, but from the status quo with most of the wild places gone already. Then the next time there's a dispute, we'll compromise again. A one-way ratchet to oblivion...but its fair eh!