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Why runout bolting ?

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Postby ksolem » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:47 pm

knoback wrote:Why are sport climbs bolted? In Hyalite, why does Bulldog World have bolts, while Come and Get It doesn't?


Hmm. Maybe "Bulldog World" is a reference to the Bosch Bulldog cordless rotary hammer drill?

The name "Come and Get It" sounds a bit like "You asked For It" in Tulomne, an invitation to a death defying stunt.
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Postby hikerbrian » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:24 am

ksolem wrote:Yeah right. Then why build trails? If you can't bushwhack it don't go.

I'd like to see you get around in my local San Gabriel Mtns without a cut trail. It would take all day to go 100 feet.

I hear you dude. Why build trails? It's a great question. I've hiked in parts of AK where the spruce bark beetle has been at work and it has indeed taken all day to go less than a quarter mile. No joke. Trail building is a bit different from bolting though, right? I mean, chaparral grows back. Rock, not so much (at least not on the same time scale). I'm not trying to bust anyone's balls, I hardly have any business doing so, just looking for different opinions. I always hear people talking about sparsely bolted 5.8's and it's always followed with, "if you're not comfortable with the grade, climb something else." Kind of applies to all grades and all bolting, right? There's plenty of rock out there to be climbed, but not so many people who have the balls to run it waaaay out on "difficult" terrain. I don't see why that's a problem. Why alter the climb to fit your ability, whatever your ability might be?
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Postby rhyang » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:15 pm

Brad Young's summary of Pinnacles climbing history is pretty detailed - something like 14 pages worth. Near the end there is this note -

Disagreement led to anger as tempers flared. Threats to access compounded the problem. To their credit, instead of fighting, Pinnacles climbers tried to work it out. In 1989 a meeting was held in an effort to air grievances. The meeting included virtually every person who was actively establishing routes at Pinnacles. [...] Eventually a consensus was reached by all the climbers at the meeting. They agreed that all existing climbs would be left intact. No bolts would be chopped and none added to climbs that had already been established, no matter by what method. It was also agreed that climbers would consider Pinnacles a traditional climbing area where the ground-up first ascent ethic was confirmed and embraced.


He also has a couple of pages on local ethics where he recaps some climbing history, and basically states -

Although in some other places, misguided souls have placed extra bolts on routes created by other climbers, this form of selfishness has almost never occurred at Pinnacles. Do not add bolts to existing routes. [...] Better yourself so you can master climbs, rather than changing climbs to fit your ability.


I understand that other areas have somewhat different local ethics, but those at Pinnacles sound pretty well defined.
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Postby Guyzo » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:22 pm

Rob. I think the attitude at the Pinnacles is pretty universal in the USA.

Do you know of anyplace where the roots have had bolts added?????

I can not, but I don't get out of California to much.
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Postby lisae » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:46 pm

rhyang wrote:Brad Young's summary of Pinnacles climbing history is pretty detailed - something like 14 pages worth. Near the end there is this note -

Disagreement led to anger as tempers flared. Threats to access compounded the problem. To their credit, instead of fighting, Pinnacles climbers tried to work it out. In 1989 a meeting was held in an effort to air grievances. The meeting included virtually every person who was actively establishing routes at Pinnacles. [...] Eventually a consensus was reached by all the climbers at the meeting. They agreed that all existing climbs would be left intact. No bolts would be chopped and none added to climbs that had already been established, no matter by what method. It was also agreed that climbers would consider Pinnacles a traditional climbing area where the ground-up first ascent ethic was confirmed and embraced.


He also has a couple of pages on local ethics where he recaps some climbing history, and basically states -

Although in some other places, misguided souls have placed extra bolts on routes created by other climbers, this form of selfishness has almost never occurred at Pinnacles. Do not add bolts to existing routes. [...] Better yourself so you can master climbs, rather than changing climbs to fit your ability.


I understand that other areas have somewhat different local ethics, but those at Pinnacles sound pretty well defined.


Rob, there are a few routes at the Pinnacles that have had anchors added, to make the descent safer. The first sister is one example. After an anchor was added mid-slab, you can get off the route with one rope. An anchor was also added to the forth pitch of the Old Coastanoan on the Citadel. I also know a few routes where the FA went back and added a bolt to make it safer.
Last edited by lisae on Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby rhyang » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:07 pm

Lisa, were all these extra bolts placed by (or with consent) of the FA-ists ? Just wondering.

You might also recall Brad mentioning that he has added & upgraded bolts on his own climbs.

Guy, I have read about bolt wars elsewhere (like the Gunks, never climbed there) and just last summer climbed a route in Tuolumne that was established on rappel - Euro Trash.

I don't own the Reid guide to Tuolumne Meadows or any Gunks books .. curious to know if they go into such details.
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Postby ksolem » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:16 pm

Guyzo,

Cradle Will Rock, Trapper Dome, Courtright. 5 bolts added to old trad crack climb.
Esto Power, Power Dome, Courtright. New “chiken bolt” added at crux.
Phosporescent Flow, The Needles. Route was chopped and rebolted to “modern” standards. Then several bolts were removed, leaving one screwed up route.
The Prescription, The Needles. Several bolts added to trad route after boltless f/a. Bill Leventhal has led it without clipping the added bolts.
The Vampire, Tahquitz Rock. New rap anchor top of last pitch for convenience.

All in CA.

HikerBrian, You raise a good point, especially in areas where traditional climbing has been the established ethic. On my own routes I only place bolts if the following conditions are met: there is no alternative protection, just “going for it” would be too risky (I know this is subjective, and in many cases boldness is better than placing a bolt but sometimes it is not,) and the route is worthy of bolting. In other words, the route has to be a classic line which will be an enhancement to the rock and the climbing experience. This approach has cut down on the number of new routes I do, but I prefer quality over quantity. The basic question before the bolt goes in: “is this route really worth bolting?”

I also enjoy sport climbing, where there are lots of bolts, because it’s fun. I think setting sport climbs in back country and trad areas is usually a bad practice. There are sport areas like Owens Gorge and Clark Cyn where that style of protection seems to me to be aesthetically suited to the area, and there are areas where it is not.

Of course all of this is subjective and one could take the position, like Messner, that bolting is “The murder of the impossible,” or that hard unprotectable routes should be the exclusive domain of the free soloist. I tend to like the middle ground somewhere between the extremes. I have been offended many times by bolts, and also enjoyed thoroughly many well bolted climbs. The bolts which offended me might be fine with someone else. For example I am offended by the new sport bolted route just left of the old bold classic Hair Raiser Buttress in Granite Basin, and also by the newer well bolted line just left of Aplodontia on Power Dome. Both of these routes intrude on the character of their classic, more committing neighbors. The last time I did Aplodontia I had to listen to some guy 10 feet to my left whining about the runouts on the new over bolted route.
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Postby Guyzo » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:38 pm

Rob... euro trash was rap bolted? How come the bolts get sort of sparse at the end..... ?

Dead battery??


And good point Kris, all those were ruined by additions of bolts.

One of my climbs had about 35 bolts added to it. :wink: I always liked "clean climbing" :wink:

My be time to make a new poem: Along the line of Largo's " "I soloed ten feet left"

Looking up the line
I see no line, no line of bolts
They say it goes right here.... but it;s not true!
if no bolts than no line... oh those stupid dolts

So I will bolt 10 feet left.
Climbing climbing bolting bolting
this line is 10 feet left.
after we bolt this one
we will bolt 10 feet left.

gk
:wink:
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Postby lisae » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:14 pm

rhyang wrote:Lisa, were all these extra bolts placed by (or with consent) of the FA-ists ? Just wondering.

You might also recall Brad mentioning that he has added & upgraded bolts on his own climbs.

Guy, I have read about bolt wars elsewhere (like the Gunks, never climbed there) and just last summer climbed a route in Tuolumne that was established on rappel - Euro Trash.

I don't own the Reid guide to Tuolumne Meadows or any Gunks books .. curious to know if they go into such details.



Rob, I don't know about the routes where anchors were added. There has been some efforts made to improve anchors and replace bad bolts at the Pinns.

All the cases I know where additional bolts have been added to make a route safer the FA-ist has been involved. And now I do remember what Brad Young said about bolts. Darn, I still wish I had gotten him to sign the guide book.
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Postby Nate D » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:17 pm

Rob (and all),
There is an ongoing relevant thread (somewhat overlapping with this discussion) on Supertopo that you may or may not be following:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum ... _X_Post_up

Some additional keen insights to be gleaned, as always.

And yes, I don't own many guidebooks, but I agree that the Pinnacles guides have always had some of the most thorough and interesting history and ethics sections of which I am aware.
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Postby rhyang » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:12 pm

Guyzo wrote:Rob... euro trash was rap bolted? How come the bolts get sort of sparse at the end..... ?

Dead battery??


:lol: We thought that was pretty odd too .. but there is a bolt just below the crux, and then another right above. In fact, I had to aid on them to get up that pitch :oops:

Anyway, I remembered that the Reid guide to Tuolumne is on Google Books .. here's what it has to say -

Tuolumne is a free climbing area. Most of the first ascent parties used traditional methods, but depending on whom you talk to, traditional has different meanings. Some may have resorted to previewing, sieging, yo-yoing, or even using a hook or piton to drill pro off of. Some routes may have been roproped or pre-protected before being led through. Several routes have been rap bolted.


It goes on to say that Euro Trash's FA was in the 80's, but by "unknown". I don't know where the supertopo guide info came from -

A fun romp up easy slabs, Euro Trash is easily the most contrived route in Tuolumne. It is an example of a style of climb somewhat common in Europe but rarely seen in the U.S. Consistently avoiding easier climbing by finding the hardest way up easy slabs, the contrived routefinding is highlighted by the crux – a 5.10c bulge through the steepest rock around, when climbing 40 feet to either side is 5.8 or so. Established on rappel by a French guide, the most surprising thing about Euro Trash is that it wasn’t chopped in the aggressive bolt wars that were occurring around the same time.


Nate, that's an interesting thread over there on the Taco .. some hair-raising stories :shock:
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Postby ksolem » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:25 pm

Lisea, So folks have been adding convenience anchors to enable single rope raps at Pinnacles?

Hmm.

What would happen if someone installed rap stations halfway down the first and second pitches of Walk on The Wild Side in Joshua Tree just so you wouldn't have to carry two ropes out there or learn how to tie them together? Heck, even if Chris Wegener himself did it they'd get pulled in a quick minute.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to pick a bone with you. And I don't have any footprints at Pinnacles due mostly to geography. I'm just surprised that's going on unless I misunderstood you.

And besides, what good is a thread about bolting without someone getting their panties in a bunch? :wink:
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Postby lisae » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:18 pm

ksolem wrote:Lisea, So folks have been adding convenience anchors to enable single rope raps at Pinnacles?

Hmm.

What would happen if someone installed rap stations halfway down the first and second pitches of Walk on The Wild Side in Joshua Tree just so you wouldn't have to carry two ropes out there or learn how to tie them together? Heck, even if Chris Wegener himself did it they'd get pulled in a quick minute.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to pick a bone with you. And I don't have any footprints at Pinnacles due mostly to geography. I'm just surprised that's going on unless I misunderstood you.

And besides, what good is a thread about bolting without someone getting their panties in a bunch? :wink:


:-) In the case of the First Sister, the anchor is for convenience, as far as I can see. However, as the routes on that formation are 5.4 - 5.6, it sort of makes sense. And even with the anchor, the route is still run out.

The other anchor I mentioned, on the Old Coastanoan, have been added to make the descent safer, avoiding a 4th class walk off or a sketchy down climb to another anchor. I don't think the route is heavily climbed, even with the additional anchors. Also, it still takes 4 raps and two ropes to get down.

I talked to Tom Davis the other day, who has done a lot of FAs at the Pinnacles, regarding anchors on the High Peaks formations. He said by now most formation in the high peaks will have some sort of anchor on the top, to make getting off safer. He said folks used to do 'crazy things' and described a Pinnacles belay to me - ie one climber on each side of the formation, both rappeling at the same time.

All I know that before I climb on a new formation at the Pinns I want to if there is an anchor, if it is safe or if it is one manky bolt. I am glad to see good bolts added to some of the anchors.
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Postby Guyzo » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:53 pm

lisae wrote:
ksolem wrote:Lisea, So folks have been adding convenience anchors to enable single rope raps at Pinnacles?

Hmm.

What would happen if someone installed rap stations halfway down the first and second pitches of Walk on The Wild Side in Joshua Tree just so you wouldn't have to carry two ropes out there or learn how to tie them together? Heck, even if Chris Wegener himself did it they'd get pulled in a quick minute.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to pick a bone with you. And I don't have any footprints at Pinnacles due mostly to geography. I'm just surprised that's going on unless I misunderstood you.

And besides, what good is a thread about bolting without someone getting their panties in a bunch? :wink:


:-) In the case of the First Sister, the anchor is for convenience, as far as I can see. However, as the routes on that formation are 5.4 - 5.6, it sort of makes sense. And even with the anchor, the route is still run out.

The other anchor I mentioned, on the Old Coastanoan, have been added to make the descent safer, avoiding a 4th class walk off or a sketchy down climb to another anchor. I don't think the route is heavily climbed, even with the additional anchors. Also, it still takes 4 raps and two ropes to get down.

I talked to Tom Davis the other day, who has done a lot of FAs at the Pinnacles, regarding anchors on the High Peaks formations. He said by now most formation in the high peaks will have some sort of anchor on the top, to make getting off safer. He said folks used to do 'crazy things' and described a Pinnacles belay to me - ie one climber on each side of the formation, both rappeling at the same time.

All I know that before I climb on a new formation at the Pinns I want to if there is an anchor, if it is safe or if it is one manky bolt. I am glad to see good bolts added to some of the anchors.


Sounds pretty sensible to me. 8)

I have always felt that when a place gets popular some accommodations need to be made. Things like using trees as anchors and pro must stop for the sake of the trees. Common descent roots can funnel people down the best way etc.

I think things like convenience, bolted top rope anchors on previous traditional climbs are pretty bogus. :roll: :roll:

It sounds like Peace Prevails at the Pinnacles.

and Rob, thank for the info on Euro Trash. I didn't know.
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