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La Mesa has been chopped. yes, the one from the April cover of Rock and Ice
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By jim.dangle
Mar 27, 2013

dbclt wrote:
I don't understand why we need top-rope only areas. You can top-rope a sport climb. Pilot Mountain, NC is a predominately top-rope area, but many lines are currently being bolted because there's no reason not to. I'm all for it.


Any climb that can be top-roped can still be led, on natural gear in places, and, in other places, with a calculated assumption of risk.

This is kind of the crux of this “discussion” though: those that are pro-retrobolting feel as if they are being deprived of something-- the ability to lead a climb (with bolts, in a safer, more comfortable situation). Those that are anti-bolting also feel as if they are being deprived of something-- the ability to lead a climb (without bolts, in a natural and historical situation).

So at that very least we share a common outrage.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Mar 27, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

One reason to keep some lines as TRs is to avoid the gridbolt look, especially important if other user groups use the place. Some rock has fun climbing on almost every square inch, like the schist of Rumney, so some restraint is needed. If it is feasible and not going to cause a clusterfuck, I'll sometimes bolt a line and set the anchor so it can be used to TR a nearby route. Maybe because, like Dangle suggested, I started climbing in southern New England in the 80s, I don't mind TRing sometimes. I do climb more for the movement than scaring myself most of the time. Been there, done that, and I get my adventure by exploring for new routes. Back in the old days I did hate all the hauling of slings and rope, then setting anchors for TRs off trees etc. at the top, which ends up wrecking the place over the years. I think adding a few bolts so a climb is reasonably leadable to a good set of anchors below the lip is less destructive. This can encourage more overall crag use, which beats on the base, but the upper cliff zones are more fragile, harder to bring back and more often have rare species. We just have to be sensible and not bolt every possible mediocre route. Stick to the best lines. A balance can be found. CT, under the terrorism of a few fanatics, has been too long out of whack to one side.

Personally, I am all for a range of cliffs with different ethics so we can all enjoy different aspects of climbing (which, incidentally, we may enjoy at different times in our climbing life). I am not for a whole state being forced into one style by a small majority though.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Mar 27, 2013
Stoked...

M Sprague wrote:
Personally, I am all for a range of cliffs with different ethics so we can all enjoy different aspects of climbing (which, incidentally, we may enjoy at different times in our climbing life). I am not for a whole state being forced into one style by a small majority though.



Couldn't agree more... it seems like some folks like Jim and others don't agree with that... or maybe they would here in theory but not in practice. I grew up TR'ing in CT and NH/ME and then learning to trad and eventually sport. I don't think anyone is saying we hate TR'ing (we all do it) it's more the being held of the cliffs hostage by one side when and terrorist style tactics are employed even with landowner permission. When anchors are installed for conservation at TR areas and folks smash them with sledge hammers... it just doesn't make sense. It's hating just to hate...


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By jim.dangle
Mar 27, 2013

M Sprague wrote:
Personally, I am all for a range of cliffs with different ethics so we can all enjoy different aspects of climbing (which, incidentally, we may enjoy at different times in our climbing life). I am not for a whole state being forced into one style by a small majority though.



CaptainMo wrote:
Couldn't agree more... it seems like some folks like Jim and others don't agree with that... or maybe they would here in theory but not in practice.


On the contrary, I've always tried to mention that I don't support bolt-chopping and that i have no problem with sport areas and bolted climbs. There are also a ton of climbs that I wish were bolted better. My problem specifically is with this cavalier attitude to retrobolting, and the accompanying belief that top-roping is not a real form of climbing and that the history of these little cliffs don't matter to anyone. Just because a climb sketches me out doesn't mean it should be bolted. Especially when it can easily be top-roped.

Jim


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By J Q
Mar 27, 2013
Me again!

Reginald McChufferton wrote:
SWING and a miss... www.mountainproject.com/v/park-service-plan-to-chop-200-bolt>>> Googles got tons more of this kind of thing if you care to stick your head out of the wet paper sack you're hiding in.



Well, this paper sack would be a lot less cantankerous without your blustery, hypothetical, hyperbolic, terrorism. I think the comment was wright on.

Think about it, if you shut up we wouldn't have to listen to you.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Mar 27, 2013
Stoked...

jim.dangle wrote:
On the contrary, I've always tried to mention that I don't support bolt-chopping and that i have no problem with sport areas and bolted climbs. There are also a ton of climbs that I wish were bolted better. My problem specifically is with this cavalier attitude to retrobolting, and the accompanying belief that top-roping is not a real form of climbing and that the history of these little cliffs don't matter to anyone. Just because a climb sketches me out doesn't mean it should be bolted. Especially when it can easily be top-roped. Jim



Almost all the stuff I've seen in CT bolted these days are new routes or retro'd with the FA's consent. The Ross stuff (I've never been) sounds to be all retro... So as long as it's a new route you don't have an issue with it even if it's next to a TR line? I notice you wrote you don't support bolt chopping but you didnt write you support bolting... The whole leading a 60ft cliff with 1 RP for protection or tied down hooks died long time ago in CT... right about the same time the word liability entered the climbing discourse.


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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Mar 27, 2013

CaptainMo wrote:
The whole leading a 60ft cliff with 1 RP for protection or tied down hooks died long time ago in CT... right about the same time the word liability entered the climbing discourse.


How about the rights of the first ascentionist and traditional ethics? These ideas are alive and well in the Black Hills, and most trad areas including the Valley, J-tree, etc.

If liability was really the issue, then everything would be bolted 6' apart.

While I personally agree with you that holding the cliff hostage with mandatory death falls is a disservice to the community, not respecting the FA and how they choose to go about protecting the route opens the door to the chaos of bolt wars.


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By CJC
Mar 27, 2013

what I got from the article in RnI and in threads here and there on the interwebs is that there is some kind of pro-bolting movement in CT (and at large) and a deliberate effort to claim old TRs and dangerous trad routes as their own new sport climbs.

Read the article. It's more a celebration of bolts than a useful guide.

Have to say that I really don't get this mentality any more than I get fighting against it by erasing these 'new' routes.

Something is going on with the newer generation of climbers and the increasingly cowardly aging generation that has colluded to denigrate traditional ethics and push sport climbing to the extent that conflicts like the ones in CT are becoming commonplace again. Arrogance, cowardice, ignorance, a combination of these or something else...what it comes down to is a lack of respect.

There are thousands of sport routes to do already and thousands more to be done in places that won't start or continue bolt wars. So enough already. If you know the route history of an area and you bolt it up anyway I hope you know what happens next, just like it always has. Guess you thought times had changed but looks like you were wrong.

There are still plenty of climbers around that care deeply and will fight for the ethics of this sport, people who have done so for decades and will never stop doing so.

What do you know, looks like we WILL end up having to go through all of this again, probably many times. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Mar 27, 2013
Stoked...

David and CJC - Let me repeat just since your last two posts didn't pick up on the first sentence of my last post.... Almost all the stuff I've seen in CT bolted these days are new routes or retro'd with the FA's consent. I think your perceptions are not in line with the reality on the ground. The article was written by a person who didn't even visit some of the crags he was writing about... How is it a denegration of ethics if I choose to bolt one of my FA's? Or for anyone else in the state to bolt one of their FA's with land owners permission. Who's not adhering to the rights of the first ascensionist? Trad ethics are alive and well in CT.

CJCT - this "what I got from the article in RnI and in threads here and there on the interwebs is that there is some kind of pro-bolting movement in CT (and at large) and a deliberate effort to claim old TRs and dangerous trad routes as their own new sport climbs. " is wrong sorry. It's just not true... there are two examples I can think of and one the FAist didn't have an issue with the bolts and the other was based on an error by the author as a result of not going to the cliff and thinking there were three if not four bolts that in reality don't exist...

The other thing that most of you don't know is that quite a number of these lines are mixed lines with gear and bolts. The majority of the bolted lines are NEW routes not TR's... there's a lot of talk about bolting TR's but it is not common place. What is most prevalent is adding bolts to unprotectable sections and leaving sections that take gear free. I suggest stopping by the Firewall after work one of these days so you can see for yourselves, oh right.


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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Mar 27, 2013

CaptainMo wrote:
I suggest stopping by the Firewall after work one of these days so you can see for yourselves, oh right.


Oh right, I don't live in the northeast so I shouldn't have an opinion,

CaptainMo wrote:
Lets work out solutions locally and not nationally in an internet forum. .


but you can thrown down what ever sort of vitol you want about issues in New Mexico?:

Wow ya that's fu*ck... I was referring to the 5 gallons of bucket and the hold sculpting with glue

...and you still haven't addressed how traditional ethics affect liability.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Mar 27, 2013
Stoked...

David Sahalie wrote:
Oh right, I don't live in the northeast so I shouldn't have an opinion, but you can thrown down what ever sort of vitol you want about issues in New Mexico?: Wow ya that's fu*ck... I was referring to the 5 gallons of bucket and the hold sculpting with glue ...and you still haven't addressed how traditional ethics affect liability.


Never said that David but your post are written as though you have and that you're writting from first hand knowledge... I'm trying to inform you guys based on facts but your posts seem to perpetuate a point not supported by the facts and just ignore what I'm saying. Now if there were photos of bolts next to cracks or buckets of glue that'd be different. So you don't think 5 gallon buckets of glue is outrageous? Yeah right... having fun trolling? Or do you really support 5 gallons of glue to build holds on your local crag?

And wounldn't the person who posted the photos and started the thread be the one doing the blowing up?

If you guys just want to post on and on rambling about a poorly written article with incorrect facts, that's cool I'll stop posting and let u two go at it... The article was never intended by the author to be a chop war article - The rock and Ice editors, un benounced to the author and photographer put their own spin on the article. Climbers in the state had been enjoying the new routes and the retro'd ones and they had been in place for several years now. It was only when the article came out that someone went wacko and chopped a cliff. Concerns were raised to R&I about the article before it when to print and what was going to be a page or two story in the mag was spun, put a controversial title on it, and made a cover story. None of which the author wanted...

as for your important question they don't but when liability started to become and issue here in CT with the growth of climbing, R/X one piece of gear death routes all but stopped being climbed entirely pretty much what i wrote verbatum - and for the record there are hundreds if not a thousand of them left for the willing and only a hand full of sport routes.

Here's one of my recent FA's - what do you notice about it?
Golden Age

Here's another - notice anything?
Mojo Risin'

One last one to change it up...
www.mountainproject.com/v/captain-moonlite/107372557

We don't hate TR and we're not out bolting old trad lines...


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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Mar 27, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3

the route that was chopped had very little protection to justify attempting a trad lead, and almost impossible to setup as a top rope, do to the fact is is on a rcok spire jutting out from the main cliff.

Take a look at the main photo in Rock & Ice. I highly doubt this route has ever even been led on trad gear... Its a cliff only popular with people who live in northeastern CT on the RI border. It rarely even got top roped when I used to live near Ross.

Hell Ross rarely even gets a lot of traffic.


If you want to complain about the environmental impact of placing bolts on the rocks at ross pond, maybe you should first care about the massive amounts of broken glass all over the cliff thrown by teenages partying, which are a much bigger eyesore and hazard to anyone climbing or hiking in the area.


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By jim.dangle
Mar 27, 2013

CaptainMo wrote:
Almost all the stuff I've seen in CT bolted these days are new routes or retro'd with the FA's consent. The Ross stuff (I've never been) sounds to be all retro... So as long as it's a new route you don't have an issue with it even if it's next to a TR line? I notice you wrote you don't support bolt chopping but you didnt write you support bolting... The whole leading a 60ft cliff with 1 RP for protection or tied down hooks died long time ago in CT... right about the same time the word liability entered the climbing discourse.


Mo,

Let me say I am not on the boards trying to police what you guys are doing in CT. I really know very little about climbing in CT, except that it is its own scene with its own poisonous dynamic largely due to undoubtedly malign influence of Ken Nichols. I responded to this thread-- after trying very hard not to (believe me!)-- because there were a lot wild general statements being made that were going unchecked and I felt like an important perspective was missing. I am not really trying to convince anyone on here of anything but I hope if anyone ever comes across this discussion they will see that this is complex issue with several sides. I also really don’t think my views are that radical. Trust me when I say I know a lot of way crustier types.

As far my own interpretation of crusty ethics goes I think a lot of leeway has to be given to the first ascent party. If you guys are really out there finding new routes then bolting them that is your prerogative. If a first ascent party gives you carte blanche to retrobolt the routes, then cool. Though I think in general most people would argue that even first ascent parties should follow the practices of their local climbing scene and keep the climb within the character of the crag. Respect for the first ascent parties is one of the reasons while I am wary of retrobolting. And the problem in many places-- especially in southern New England-- is that a lot of these first ascents are not really first ascents-- sometimes they are just simply ignorant retrobolting of old climbs, sometimes they are variations of old climbs (sometime quite contrived), and sometimes they are “new” routes elbowed in pretty awkwardly among other climbs as Mark described. Not accusing you of doing that. Just putting it out there. The distinction is important. Anyone who has climbed in southern New England knows that cliffs can get crowded out fast.

Also, as far as death routes go. . . I don’t really know how liability comes in to it. If people are climbing less bold routes these days I would say it is less because of legal issues surrounding the cliff and more because of testicular issues surrounding the climbing scene. In fact, it seems likely that by bolting up climbs some liability is being assumed by the bolters and the landowners. What if a landowner gives permission to bolt a climb and someone gets injured because of an improperly placed bolt (or simply gets hurt falling)-- I would assume it could be argued that because the landowner acknowledged safety concerns by specifically allowing bolting and thereby transforming the natural character of the rock, that the displayed prior knowledge of the dangers inherent in climbing, and thus assumed some liability. Same could be said for the bolter. I am not a lawyer but the prospect of that happening worrries me. I assume the Access Fund has dealt with these issues before so maybe you know better than I.

There is this idea that bolting automatically makes climbing safely, which I am not sure is true. In fact I think most climbing related deaths are gear related. The increasingly blind reliance on fixed gear is worrying in this regard.

Funny thing about death routes is so few people have died doing them.


Jim


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Mar 27, 2013
modern man

this is a funny thread.


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By micah richard
Mar 28, 2013

There really is no point trying to rationalize this with your opinion. There is no negotiation. It is useless. The only way this is going to stop is when the few begrudged egomaniacs finally die of old age. End of story.


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By Justin Sanford
From Broadalbin, New York
Apr 1, 2013
Push-5.12C at Good Luck Lake Cliffs

Auto-X Fil wrote:
"...but single-pitch sport that can be TR'd isn't "climbing" anymore than TRing is to me."


Statements like these are the ones that I have the hardest time understanding. In my personal climbing life, I boulder, top rope, sport climb, and trad climb. Preference is certianly given to some forms over others, but I do enjoy them all on some level because, well I enjoy rock climbing and I love pushing myself physically.

This summer I had a 16 week project that I climbed multiple times clean on top rope but fell consecutively, week after week on lead through the V7/V8 crux sequence. On top rope I didn't have to place gear or clip any bolts which saved me considerable amounts of energy on the 80' route. Although it was only 80' tall and not a "big wall" with multiple pitches, the climbing movement was temendous and on perfect rock. I could have walked away after the second week when i toproped it clean without any falls, but personally I knew that leading it was going to be much more difficult, both pysically and mentally. It was never about the "sketchy" factor or needing fear or a rush in my climbing life...I simple wanted to climb this stellar route from starting on the ground with my belayer and finishing at the top of the cliff without having to deal with a rope in my face (from the top rope setup).

The climber who first top roped this route back in 2000 strongly urged me to equip the route for future lead climbing because it was something he didn't get around to doing and knew that it would be worth the effort.

So the question remains...the climb was top roped years ago. I started frequenting the cliff years later with friends and we decided that we'd like to equip the route so that it could be led. I got in contact with the first ascentionist and got his approval to continue work. Now the cliff boasts an amazing 5.12c/d that can be lead by future climbing parties. Would it have been equally enjoyable if it were still a top rope climb? In my personal 16 week battle, I would have to argue that it wouldn't...the rush of emotions I experienced when I topped this route out are something that I hope other climbers can enjoy in the future.

Just my two cents.


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By Nick Votto
Apr 1, 2013
Bolton, VT

Nooooooo! I can't believe this made it back on the front page....though I do appreciate and agree with your story Justin, us CT climbers don't get to have that rush very often unless its trad.

This route being chopped is about the least surprising thing that's happened around here. An article was published focusing on the negatives of CT climbing instead of all the good stuff, my buddy (and 20 year CT climber) was called by the author and asked what he thought of the article before it came out, he basically told the guy it sucked and he should not at all be focused on the bolt war but.....things won't change I guess. Still see Ken nearly every week at the Ampitheater top roping the same climbs he's done 1000+ times, its his last stronghold, I figure we'll let him have it for now.....hopefully future generations will get the chance to see the full potential of the rock in CT.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Apr 1, 2013
Stoked...

die already... nice write-up Jim - thnx


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