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Are sport climbs of a more moderate grade desirable?
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Nov 13, 2007
sounds like a route you might be able to redpoint killis alpinglow
From city, state
Joined Mar 12, 2001
77 points
Dec 29, 2007
I am a beginner with a couple of kids who are interested in climbing too and I have been dreaming of a small sport crag with real easy and bolted routes. I definitely get more satisfaction leading than TR'ing.

I am probably taking it to the extreme though because I would like a place with like 5.0 to 5.5 and maybe 50 Ft or so high max. It seems that new leaders would benefit because they don't have to worry about the placement of pro as in an ez trad route and you get a chance to start acquiring lead skills as you are coming up from the low grades. Then you could make the jump to trad.

I am on the lookout for a place to develop like this in either the Phoenix area or Tucson that won't bring a rash of "noobs" into a popular area. Maybe someday.
JmH
From Arizona
Joined Sep 21, 2007
7 points
Dec 29, 2007
JmH wrote:
I am a beginner with a couple of kids who are interested in climbing too and I have been dreaming of a small sport crag with real easy and bolted routes.


sport crag with bolted routes...redundant
JmH
From Arizona
Joined Sep 21, 2007
7 points
Dec 29, 2007
Stabby
A year later, I still have reservations about sport climbs that are too easy specifically due to the fact that inexperienced climbers will have to eventually perform the untie/set up rap or lower/re-tie manuever.

That said, this time a year from now the Denver area will have a new batch of killer, long moderate sport and trad routes.
Mike Lane
From Centennial, CO
Joined Jan 21, 2006
839 points
Dec 29, 2007
Yes, with a host of aging climbers and new climbers entering the ranks, moderate to easy (5.0-5.6) sport climbs and top ropes are highly desirable, and yet conspicuously absent from many climbing areas.

We had just posted this note about needing more safe and easy climbs in Red Rock(s) before we noticed others had come to the same conclusion in this thread.
mountainproject.com/v/nevada/e...

We need more safe and easy climbing routes.
Forest Starr
Joined Nov 24, 2007
145 points
Dec 29, 2007
...
Because I am not interested in doing the research, someone remind me of the drilling/bolt placing laws at Red Rocks these days.

It is probably still a mess. While there is wonderful potential at RR for the type of climbing you are describing, I don't think it's going to happen.
John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Aug 28, 2002
1,303 points
Dec 29, 2007
It seems that bolting is allowed in the Calico Hills of Red Rock (which is where we envisioned new easy and safe routes). The situation in the wilderness areas of Red Rock seems more complex.

From the BLM website.
blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo/blm_p...

"Bolting along the main escarpment, which is a wilderness study area, is illegal and should not be done... Bolting is legal along Calico 1 & 2 but should be done only after consulting the climbing staff, a local climbing shop, or the Las Vegas Climber's Liason Council."


From the Access Fund website.
accessfund.org/display/page/AA...

"The preliminary Wilderness Plan for Red Rock has been released. Among other things, it contains a significant and somewhat complex plan for allowing bolting within the Wilderness Areas in the park."
Forest Starr
Joined Nov 24, 2007
145 points
Dec 29, 2007
...
Forest Starr wrote:
Bolting is legal along Calico 1 & 2 but should be done only after consulting the climbing staff, a local climbing shop, or the Las Vegas Climber's Liason Council."


Or what? If it is legal and you are a bolter, why would you ask permission if you don't need permission?
John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Aug 28, 2002
1,303 points
Jan 2, 2008
Leading at RR
Please stop calling climbing "safe"!!!

There are lots of routes like the ones you seek just buy some traditional gear and go climb them. Most climbs in that range have lots of features and don't warrant bolts. These are really basic climbing philosophy's
Francis Baker (fran)
From Las Vegas,NV
Joined Dec 12, 2004
533 points
Jan 2, 2008
I agree with Richard. The quality of the line is more important than the grade.

Also anyone that needs a line of bolts on a 5.4 should not be 1500 ft. off the deck in the first place. Your just asking for trouble. The rescue on Sheepshead in Cochise Stronghold this weekend bears this out.
This was on a 5.10a not a 5.4!

There's nothing wrong with paying your dues before you tackle the big stuff.

All us old duffers had to do it, why the need to skip from gym to long routes with none of the requisite training and experience.
Jimbo
Joined Feb 24, 2006
1,814 points
Jan 10, 2008
Skiing around.
When I first started climbing sport climbing started at 5.10 and even those were really considered warm ups for the "real" sport climbs.
I have a hard time thinking of anything less as sport climbing.
Darren in Vegas
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Feb 13, 2006
2,213 points
Jan 10, 2008
...
For the sake of argument, aren't you guys just being elitest?

I don't like multi pitch climbs with bolts every 5 feet either, buy who am I to say that they shouldn't exist?
John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Aug 28, 2002
1,303 points
Jan 10, 2008
Self Portrait from the Pika Glacier in Alaska (Lit...
For the sake of argument (elitists) ... I'll take you up on that.

I'm freaking ancient, decently in aerobic condition, but way out of strength-to-weight ratio condition, spent a great deal of my early years in landscaping and construction jobs that resulted in my breaking almost every bone in both hands and one wrist at one time or another over a 20 year period, including chip fractures with separated ligaments and tendons. In fact, the last doctor who viewed my xrays said "did you get your hand stuck in a lawn mower or what?". I honestly said "yes".

I took up climbing late in life, and over the course of a year realized I may never ever do anything over a 5.10a. Ever. .... Ever ....

That pretty much limits me to the dozen or so under-5.10 routes at the local gym, like 2 routes in AF canyon, and dozens of trad lines.

I would totally love the convenience of clipping bolts the whole way up, and while 5.4 might be okay if it were a pretty view or something, a ten-pitch 5.7 sport route would be totally rad --- to me.

Normally when I mention my various injuries, weaknesses, and willingness to forever climb < 5.12 routes to climbers they suggest I take up golf or some other non-sport, since there is no future in climbing at that level.

So there is some element of elitism in an answer like that. Very non-supportive. Very "join my secret 5.12 club or you can just go somewhere else". I've never gotten any other answer from any climber I've talked to.

No support of me as an individual or my accessibility requirements:

"Dude, you redpointed that 5.9 in only a day!"
"Hey, you wanna put in a new 3-pitch 5.7? That's a decent line, and Lowes has a sale on bolts."

Anyway, you get the idea.

Not trying to slam anyone, and I would normally not bother with posting to the board, but this thread has been so interesting, and I hate golf.
Rick Miske
From Orem, UT
Joined Oct 24, 2007
95 points
Jan 10, 2008
...
Great example Rick.

I assume that you know about all of the easy bolted multi pitch lines at the City of Rocks?
John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Aug 28, 2002
1,303 points
Jan 10, 2008
I think that the term "Sport Climb" is supposed to define a climb that has no real danger from a fall allowable; except getting to the first bolt. Possible fall distance is mostly held to a minimum, while overall fall potential increases. Therein lies the difference between "Sport Climbs" and "bolted routes". Any climb less than 5.8 will probably be bolted as a bolted route not a Sport Climb because most climbers (even newbies) don't fall on moves easier than that. With the above standard, such as in Red Rock Canyon, Colo. Spgs. I think more moderates are always a welcome thing! Afterall, not only are some of us getting old but high end sport climbs sometimes seem to hang out in mid-air with nobody ever on them. I've never seen anyone on Solar Panel (12c) ? at North Table, but that is just one example. The 5.8's are always busy!! Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Joined Jul 7, 2004
47 points
Jan 10, 2008
Climber Drawing
Jim,
Yes, you have hit my original point on the very head.
I've always noticed that the most moderate (lowest rated route) sport line at every area I've been to has a queue of people standing in line to do it.
Historically, I, and most of the folks I know with a drill, have bolted lines that are challenges for us at the time, and these are usually at the higher grades.
Most climbers who are into the sport enough to invest the hundreds of dollars and hours of work necessary to equip a sport route, are climbing at a higher grade, so subsequently, the sport climbs they equip tend to be in the higher grades.
There has been a lot of feedback on this post where people think that sport routes of a lower grade of difficulty are not needed.
I think that this may be an elitist reaction, rather than fact, as the popularity of "warmup" routes indicate.
Tom Hanson
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,125 points
Jan 10, 2008
There are some good points here, but essentially it's not the climbers that will decide who has/hasn't is/isn't worthy of climbing certain grades -- it will be up to the land mgr/owner as to the impact they want on their land.

If you go with only high/expert grades, you will weed out potential access & conservation participants; though if you go with also moderate grades you will increase impact. Also to consider, if you don't go with putting fixed pro routes in, quality routes that are still moderate grades could very well still be impacted from popularity & participants will use other means of protection & anchoring, along with social trailing if the option of fixed protection is not available.

The solution is gonna be what is the best balance for a given area, which will ultimately be a decision for the land mgr/owner based on more than climber-only input. I think a balance of fixed protection serves a given area by reducing repeated impacts away from the rock faces.
Buff Johnson
Joined Dec 19, 2005
1,499 points
Jan 10, 2008
...
For those who want long bolted easy slab climbs. The routes on the San Rafael Reef within view of I-70 are really wonderful. John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Aug 28, 2002
1,303 points
Jan 10, 2008
Mark,

The land owners usually are not the ones with the drill. Therefore it's a bit late to say they make decisions, other than open or closed!! And to infer that only high end sport routes are better because they recieve less traffic is elitist! But I may have missed your point! I hope that I have missed Shumin Wu's point, wow!
Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Joined Jul 7, 2004
47 points
Jan 10, 2008
Self Portrait from the Pika Glacier in Alaska (Lit...
Shumin Wu wrote:
The bar for learning to lead on gear is higher, but so is learning to climb harder on bolts. Lacking the commitment to do either is starting to sound like whining in my book.


Um, no amount of "learning" or "commitment" is going to fix my hands.

Depending on my feet, of course, I can hang on one hand for a few seconds (long enough to clip) but unless the route is really easy (standing on a freaking shelf) placing gear can get tiring real quick (I've done it).

Of course, sounds to me like that's just whining, and you'd probably recommend I just learn, commit, or take up golf...
Rick Miske
From Orem, UT
Joined Oct 24, 2007
95 points
Jan 10, 2008
Sorry Rick, but I have to take issue with the use of 'accessibility requirements' when applied to climbing. Not sure where the right to this stems from. Climbing is fun because it is hard.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, and I'm sorry the condition of your hands adds more difficulty to climbing, but I don't think it is reasonable to have the personal circumstances of a few people dictate that we have some sort of universal accessibility.

It's good to hear you enjoy climbing. You don't have to do something at a top level to enjoy it. You should hear me sing. Oh wait, no you shouldn't.
caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Joined Nov 21, 2006
1,896 points
Jan 10, 2008
...
caughtinside wrote:
Climbing is fun because it is hard.


For you maybe, but not for everyone.
John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Aug 28, 2002
1,303 points
Jan 10, 2008
Self Portrait from the Pika Glacier in Alaska (Lit...
Shumin Wu wrote:
if you are a "lifer" (ie you call yourself a climber), you'll find a way. Speaking of elitism, I think what a lot of people conveniently forget is how much the elite sacrifice for what they love to do. Sure, some are much more talented climbers than others, but out of the ones I know, I've never heard the ones who dedicate to climbing complain about it.


True, thanks.

My way = enjoy the lower level climbs I do - whether for the simple accomplishment of it, or the beautiful approach, or the view, or the thrill of exposure, companionship or whatever.

IMHO:

Elite = climb at an exemplary level, in whatever your chosen means of climbing is - ice, rock (sport/trad/aid), alpine, whatever.

Elitist = telling others what they can and can't climb (or do) simply because you feel that in some way or other you are better than them (climb higher grade, make more money, more miles on the treadmill, drive a new subaru, whatever...)

There may be some crossover between the two, but it isn't necessarily so.

I've met a few really great sponsored climbers (elite?) who are totally open minded to just having fun climbing with me.
I've met a few gym rats (elitists) who wouldn't even want me belaying them.
Rick Miske
From Orem, UT
Joined Oct 24, 2007
95 points
Jan 10, 2008
1j1 wrote:
So, following your logic Caughtinside, its not cool to provide ramps or elevators for people who are unable to walk, because it is unreasonable to have the personal circumstances of a few, dictate that we have some sort of universal accessibility!! Wow, you are a true humanitarian! This sport and this life are not exclusive to you, and every person has a right to enjoy these gifts. Pray you and your loved ones never have to feel excluded from an activity because someone tells you they don't feel like it should be accessible to you. As far as not trying to be a jerk, you failed miserably! Try harder next time.. Because its only fun when its hard.. right?


Well that is a pretty amusing extrapolation of what I said, and it isn't how I feel at all. Climbing is still accessible, it's called toproping. YOu don't even have to have hands to toprope slab. All I'm saying is that we don't need to change every activity so that people have a chance to enjoy it. There are ways to enjoy it without changing it. No need to bring the ADA into this.

A couple people really seem to take issue with my 'climbing is fun becuse it's hard' bit. Well, hard is relative, although I probably shouldn't have put that in there at all, due to the inevitable cries of 'elitism' that were sure to follow.

I eagerly await another emotion laden tirade!
caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Joined Nov 21, 2006
1,896 points
Jan 10, 2008
Hey "Caughtinside"

I recently got to climb with Joe Kinder and Chris Linder. While it is true that they had a special route in hell (5.14) on their minds, they did enjoy the 5.7 I was working. I asked Joe if he thought these "easy" routes were lame or dumb or NOT FUN etc because they weren't hard and he said no. He talked about the beauty of climbing and how it shouldn't matter the rating or how "hard" something is--climbing isn't about being hard.
I also got to climb with Whitney Boland, who also enjoyed helping me up a 5.6. Surely being a sponsored pro climber and hanging out at a crag of nothing harder then 5.10 must have sucked. NOT! These three climbers enjoy climbing--any level, any area. They mentioned how pretty the area was.

IF climbing for you is fun because its hard--thats pretty sad. Climbing for other people is fun because they get to be outside, with friends, pushing their bodies to do new things, learning, growing. Climbing is NOT just about sending a 5.13, but its also about sending a V0 on the third try, or having lunch mid pitch on a 5.6 while watching the birds fly.

IF climbing for you is fun because its hard-- then why the crap should YOU care what is done to a 5.4 route...you surely wouldn't be caught dead climbing THAT, would you?

Get off your elitist high horse buddy and let others enjoy the sport too.
katja
Joined Jan 10, 2008
0 points


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