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Dry Tooling at the sport park
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By SAL
From broomdigiddy
Oct 4, 2007
good times. <br />

Just to get some more insight from the community.
What is the consensus on dry tooling at a place such as the Sport Park in Boulder Canyon?
Is this wrong?


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By Steven N
From CO
Oct 4, 2007

I'd say find somewhere else to 'tool.
Just find some chosspile or roadcut somewhere and set up a TR. Its not too cool to use tools at a free climbing area.


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By SAL
From broomdigiddy
Oct 4, 2007
good times. <br />

Steven Nedorolik wrote:
I'd say find somewhere else to 'tool. Just find some chosspile or roadcut somewhere and set up a TR. Its not too cool to use tools at a free climbing area.


I thought the sport park was a chipped out over bolted outdoor gym.
Ethics were not held true devloping this area so I here.
Thanks for the input. I will continue the search for more info.


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By KCP
From Eldorado Springs, CO
Oct 4, 2007

SAL wrote:
I thought the sport park was a chipped out over bolted outdoor gym. Ethics were not held true devloping this area so I here. Thanks for the input. I will continue the search for more info.


I agree that it can seem like a tough call on places like the Sport Park, but, for better or worse, most of those routes are now established and have their fans, so I think dry tooling on them would be inappropriate.

There is plenty of undeveloped rock in Boulder Canyon, on which you could practice your dry tooling on a toprope - most of it right on the roadsides.


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By Dave-o
From Boulder,CO
Oct 4, 2007

Don't Do It!


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By Buff Johnson
Oct 4, 2007
smiley face

I wouldn't, but being Boulder -- hey, if it feels good..


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By Eric Goltz
From Boulder, CO
Oct 4, 2007
Dark Shadows, the best 5.8 evar.

As much as I hate the installation of Sport Park, established rock climbing areas should never be used to practice dry-tooling. I think this is the consensus throughout the climbing community, at least in the US.


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By Daniel Crescenzo
Oct 4, 2007
Crux?

I am buying an asphalt saw so I can cut a perfect(for me at least) handcrack @ the sport park. Don't worry though I will bolt it. You will need 30 draws for the first pitch.


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By SAL
From broomdigiddy
Oct 4, 2007
good times. <br />

Daniel Crescenzo wrote:
I am buying an asphalt saw so I can cut a perfect(for me at least) handcrack @ the sport park. Don't worry though I will bolt it. You will need 30 draws for the first pitch.


HaHaHa,
Well done!
Can I dry tool your route when your done? Make sure you saw some nice horizontal holds so no one will ever have to hand jam. I will even skip clips to make it more aesthetic.
Cheerios!


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By Rick Shull
Administrator
From Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Oct 4, 2007
Grip strength training, Nevada style.

SAL, I like the picture of the bolted crack on your personal page!


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By Umph!
Oct 4, 2007

I'd say hell yes, tool it. . . but wear your crampons too, and if you need any pro, pound in an ill-fitting angle - better yet, smash in an ice-screw!
SAL, if it's at the Sport Park, you can pick whatever fashion of ascent you'd like.


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By alpinglow
From city, state
Oct 4, 2007

Nuke the gay whales!


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By Jason Himick
From Boulder, CO
Oct 5, 2007
Future Goal

It seems to me the 'established routes' argument doesn't hold weight. From what information I can gather, the 'Sport Park' is a crag that was never treated with any respect or developed with good climbing ethics. In which case, why does anyone have the right to bolt and chip but not dry tool? I would like to hear stronger arguments as to why dry tooling is any more of an impact to a crag that has been desecrated with drills and hammers. There are plenty of established natural routes in Boulder canyon and the surrounding area such that dry tooling does not need to be relegated to potentially dangerous roadside rock cuts or untouched crags without established routes. Why damage untouched rock when you can just dry tool on a crag that's already beat to shit?


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By KCP
From Eldorado Springs, CO
Oct 5, 2007

Jason Himick wrote:
It seems to me the 'established routes' argument doesn't hold weight. From what information I can gather, the 'Sport Park' is a crag that was never treated with any respect or developed with good climbing ethics. In which case, why does anyone have the right to bolt and chip but not dry tool? I would like to hear stronger arguments as to why dry tooling is any more of an impact to a crag that has been desecrated with drills and hammers. There are plenty of established natural routes in Boulder canyon and the surrounding area such that dry tooling does not need to be relegated to potentially dangerous roadside rock cuts or untouched crags without established routes. Why damage untouched rock when you can just dry tool on a crag that's already beat to shit?


More wrongs don't make a right. First of all, there has been far less chipping at SP, at least in my experience, than is being portrayed here. I went there and did all of the routes up to and including what were called 5.10, and none of them appeared to be chipped. The only noticeable example of rock alteration was on the 12a with the baseball-size pocket in it. I know about that one because I photographed that route for a Climbing Magazine article. As far as I am concerned, it was an egregious breach of a universally accepted ethic, at least in this country. My problem is that it is now an established part of the route, so I feel uncomfortable about filling it in at this point. However, I believe that the people who did it should be made aware that almost everyone in the community disagrees with the practice.

I agree that many of the routes were poorly thought out and bolted, but that is the case in other areas, as well. However, these routes are established - too many bolts or not - and potentially messing them up with ice tools would be selfish and inconsiderate.

More importantly, this argument isn't so much about potential damage as it is about common consideration. All types of climbing cause a certain amount of damage to the rock. People constantly piss and moan about the impact of bolts, but camming devices do far more damage. A peek inside any desert crack will quickly corroborate that.

Is it someone's right to dry-tool at SP or any other unregulated area? It is just as much someone's right to do so as it is someone else's right to place bolts or gear at any one of those areas. The question is: Is it socially good form or, more importantly, considerate of the others who share the rock? My answer is that it isn't, and, in most cases, we abide by that. What I am hearing here sounds like an attempt at justification, because some don't agree with the style in which SP was developed. That is personal taste, and it shouldn't supersede common consideration for all of the people who regularly enjoy those established routes. Say what you want about the place - I certainly have - but it is always crowded with climbers who enjoy it.

Going out on virgin rock eliminates the entire question of consideration. There is plenty of untapped terrain that would work well for dry-tooling, and you could even bolt it for that reason. Establish an entire area for that purpose, if you like. You have just as much right to do so as anyone has to develop in their own style.

What we don't want to do is constantly come off as a bunch of selfish, self-serving pricks in public forums like these. Some of you think that only climbers read these things, but you are sadly mistaken. Public officials, lawyers, and real estate developers all have access to these debates and could potentially use our lack of unity against us if it served their purposes. What we need to do is become a united front for the preservation of our sport. Forget the petty issues of style. Do you think any judge gives a flying f--k about climbing style and ethics when it comes to determining whether a rich developer wins our land? If you think that I'm reaching here, all I can say is that you live in a very small reality.

The Access Fund understands this, because they are out there, daily, negotiating with these people, fighting to preserve access for us. It's time that we stop pissing and moaning about the small stuff, and start working together as a recreational community.

I have a question for you: Would you gear up to dry-tool an established trad route if you knew that locals like Roger Briggs, Steve Levin, Hank Caylor, Matt Samet, and the like were against it? If your answer is no, because you respect their style, then you need to have the same consideration for all the other Boulder tax payers who climb at the sport areas in Boulder Canyon. These people have every bit as much right to enjoy the areas that fit their style of climbing. There is no room for the game of elitism when it comes to access. It serves no one in the long run - neither legally nor ethically.

As far as dry-tooling, per se, is concerned, I think the more important question has to do with the type of potential damage that the practice could cause to established free-climbing routes. Maybe that topic would make a more productive and educational discussion.


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By SAL
From broomdigiddy
Oct 5, 2007
good times. <br />

So when I go out a stake a claim this weekend of my own in boulder canyon and call it a "dry tool " area. Maybe even bolt some of the lines. A rock climber comes up and sends a line and decides that it should not be dry tooled on cuase its a great line and is now going to be "his" established rock climb. Does he then have the right to tell me I should not dry tool the route for fear of damage? Do I have the right to tell him to get the F of my route cuase it was established as a dry tooling route and I dont want stupid ass white chalk all over it. Just thinking outside the box here and exposing the discussion a little further. It seems that two wrongs don't make a right but I guarantee you that if I blew a hold off a route at the sport park no one would ask they would just chip or drill another right next to it. Cuase thats how that place rolls. Oh by the way.
Who's roger briggs ?
:)


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By Cor
Oct 5, 2007
black nasty

this is intresting...

i would say go drytool @ sp, only on climbs with chipped holds.

to add some other thoughts, is it ok to ice/mixed climb on the flatirons when the rare ice/mixed route forms on the 1st? this mixed climb ascends an already existing rockclimb. should we not do that?

ice tools will eventually create a divit in a hold (faster on sandstone than granite.)

what about aiding(black canyon) with tools on a hook pitch??


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By Jason Himick
From Boulder, CO
Oct 5, 2007
Future Goal

Ken - Thanks for providing a well thought-out and articulate response. I think for the most part I agree with your thoughts, ideas, and concerns. I'm certainly not an advocate of dry tooling established routes, but I do advocate places for practicing and participating in all facets of climbing. As you noted, it's important to find a place to do this that is respectful and acceptable to the climbing community as a whole... not to mention environmentally responsible.

Perhaps there are places at the Sport Park where one can set up a TR and not dry tool on the established lines and this is the question we should answer with this thread. I think the larger discussion of the impacts of dry tooling and how to establish dry tooling lines is important dialogue that should be had in another thread.


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By KCP
From Eldorado Springs, CO
Oct 5, 2007

cory wrote:
is it ok to ice/mixed climb on the flatirons when the rare ice/mixed route forms on the 1st? this mixed climb ascends an already existing rockclimb. should we not do that? ice tools will eventually create a divit in a hold (faster on sandstone than granite.) what about aiding(black canyon) with tools on a hook pitch??


I think this is a great question. It made me remember where I learned to climb. Free routes on Cathedral Ledge have regularly been tooled for many years. Most of the four-season routes, like Thin Air, are more verglas climbing than dry-tooling, although the latter does exist.

In thinking about that, I am inclined to say that whether or not to dry-tool on free routes should maybe be a matter of serious discretion. Take Thin Air, for instance. The rock is solid, so there is little chance of prying off a key flake. The route is also only 5.6, so I seriously doubt that the small pits caused by axe tips would enhance any given hold to the extent of changing the difficulty or nature of the route in any way.

On the other hand, difficult routes on slabs, where the holds are so small and specifically oriented, such that small alterations would change the character and difficulty of the climb, should not be dry-tooled. It all seems like a matter of common sense to me.

It is an interesting discussion, and, as I said earlier, I believe that the bigger picture lies in working together as a community, so that we are prepared and unified when issues of access confront us.


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By Jeff Barnow
From Boulder Co
Oct 5, 2007
What goes up must come down

cory wrote:
to add some other thoughts, is it OK to ice/mixed climb on the flatirons when the rare ice/mixed route forms on the 1st? this mixed climb ascends an already existing rockclimb. should we not do that? ice tools will eventually create a divot in a hold (faster on sandstone than granite.) what about aiding(black canyon) with tools on a hook pitch??


I started to wonder about this last winter when those routes on the flatirons were shaping up and I think that it boils down to do what you want to do and expect someone to cry about it no matter what. A great example would be this Beverly Potter psycho lady that lives in North West Boulder. She gets pissed that people are parking in front of her house on a public street in public parking areas.
www.dailycamera.com/news/2007/jul/18/before-spat-with-city-a>>>
This is quite funny.

People who moved into the Valmont Trailer Park 1/2 to 3/4 a century after the airport was built bitch about airplane noise.

Sport climbers bitch about trad climbers who bitch about sport climbers who bitch about boulderers.

My point is that no matter how hard you try to appease the public someone is going to have a problem with what your doing regardless. If you want to mix climb the flatirons in the winter then you will most likely be scrutinized for damaging rock on what many consider to be a strict classic rock climb. On the other hand a large group of people will give you praise for accomplishing a climb that gets little traffic in those rare conditions.


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By Chris Sheridan
From Boulder, CO
Oct 5, 2007
Chris setting up the rappel in the Southeast Gully of Arrowhead.  If anyone cleans that stopper and pin, I'd be glad to have it back.

As a habit from when I once led kids on climbing trips at a summer camp, I often evaluate my actions with the idea that if I do something, 11 other people will do the same thing, and ask myself how I feel about the impacts of 12 people doing what I had done.

If I take a shit in the woods without bothering to dig a cat hole, not that big of a deal. But if the 11 kids on my trip see what I do and do the same, its a different story. Though I no longer have a pack of kids following me around, the actions of each of us effect the choices others make.

Rock is a very different medium. Twelve piles of shit in the woods will eventually biodegrade. The cumulative scaring of twelve drytooling ascents leaves a lasting scar. With the growing popularity of mixed climbing, its time to give this topic some serious thought.

This past winter, I seized the opportunity to climb "The Silk Road" on The First Flatiron, something I had wanted to do since I moved here years ago. Now when I climb The First, I see crampon marks in a few spots and wonder if they are mine. Part of me regrets the winter ascent I made. If more people had the opportunity to climb The Silk Road that season, Iím sure I would have regretted it even more.

I donít like the sport park and donít climb there, but some people out there do. I choose not to drytool there so that they can continue enjoying their favorite routes and to prevent others from following a poor example.

In the mean time, I get plenty of summer practice at the Hessie Chimney, Loch Vale Gorge and my home training wall.


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By alpinglow
From city, state
Oct 5, 2007

A pleasant discussion is such a welcome change.

Silk Road would be hard to leave alone.
Drooling is the most destructive activity I have seen on the walls. Frigid Inseminator is just as bad as Zenyatta Entrada, or the P.O.
I've not been to Canada, but I would suspect folks that have would have some thoughts on scratching at mountains, or how about the Scots and Chamonix crowd???


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Oct 6, 2007
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

SAL, you need to ask if it's OK to dry tool Castle Rock instead of the Sport Park. That should land you many more fish. And the Roger Briggs line obviously isn't catching much either, since some here don't know the name. Now go to the Hesse Chimney and dry tool that.


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By jack roberts
Oct 6, 2007

Just chiming in here to give my two cents worth on dry-tooling.
For several years now I've been going to just one cliff at the Sport Park (don't know the name of the cliff) to practice. I've been going only to this one cliff because from the very start it has had chipped and glued holds and so I felt that any contribution I might make in leaving scratches on existing routes would be negligable compared to what had already been done. I still feel that way and I've left very few if any marks on the rock. However, lately I've been going there and have noticed more trash at the foot of the crag than ever before which and the sight of all that trash has bummed me out.
I don't feel any remorse for my actions BUT, with all the use BLDR CYN is receiving from increasing numbers of users I'm not sure that practising drytooling on this manufactored cliff is the best use of a resource.

My skill level is pretty well-developed for drytooling so I know my limits and can pretty easily discern what climbs to drytool on and what serve no purpose so I don't go on them 'cause I know I'll mark them up. Not eveyone who practises this style of climbing can determine that. I am concerned about whatever example I might be setting and whether or not those less-skilled will go up and with sloppy technique mark up the rock surface unnecessarily. Many climbers do not distinguish the difference between what routes to drytool on and what not to drytool on. To not send the wrong message I may stop going to the Sport Park to practise. There are other palaces that are actually better for working out on and they aren't dedicated rock crags. They are further removed from the medling crowd.

As to the question of should drytooling be allowed in the winter on rock climbs when the routes are covered in snow/ice/verglas. The communal ethic in the U.K. is that drytooling should only be allowed when rock climbs are covered in ice or hoar frost (unique to Scotland. Many of the climbs in Scotland depend on a type of frozen turf for their ascent and when conditions don't come in for this turf to freeze or when the ice is "too thin" (not sure when this limit is reached) then these routes are considered out of condition and left alone. It seems that drytooling rock routes in winter is done only when certain conditions allow for this. This ethic is in effect to minimalize the damage that might occur through mixed climbing.

Last winter when many Flatirons features were covered in verglas and snow my friends and I went out and climbed them for as long as conditions allowed for minimal impact. We even climbed two sport routes in Clear Creek by Tunnel Two that offered fun climbing protected by bolts. When the ice melted and left the rock dry we moved on to other areas. Like Vail.

I think there is real value in allowing all types of climbing styles in the Boulder area. So long as they don't infringe on each other. I do think it is best to have seperation of styles and having a cliff where only drytooling is allowed has real value to the climbing community. The Fang Amphitheatre in Vail has probably over 14 routes on the rock and the successful ascent of any of these routes does not require any ice.
It's a useful place to practise and there aren't any illusions that this is anything other than a drytooling cliff. That's how ist has developed and people who rock climb these routes realize this. We could do the same thing here in Boulder.

The important consideration in deciding where to drytool is would the practise change any existing features on an established rock route. If so move on to another location where the impact isn't felt. What is it you are trying to accomplish? Getting a forearm pump is best accomplished on overhanging, chossy routes where there is dirt and moss for adhesion. Drytooling on clean rock that is less than vertical has never seemed very productive to me.

I suppose the main thing to consider whenever the urge to drytool a route comes up is whether or not it would set the wrong example to other less skilled climbers and whether or not you would leave any trace of your passing behind. Maybe it is time to seriously consider some of the deserted quarries in the Flatirons as a place to drytool.
How about the Rotwand in Eldorado Canyon?
As both Ken and Jason have noted, it is most important to be socially and environmentally responsible when considering where to practise.
Otherwise we just have another conflict to deal with. And as we all know there are enough of those here.


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By Umph!
Oct 6, 2007

Environmentally responsible at the Sport Park? A bit of an oxymoron, no?.
Look, if you are afraid of a few pits or scratches destroying the aesthetics of a highly over-used, chalk-smeared cluster of bolts on 30' of igneous. . . .

If this is an actual issue, and some are afraid to offend the anti-eco-warrior crowd, then buy some plastic blades and use them instead of the hardened steel - yes, they're available, I've used them in the past - contact your manufacturer.

Say what you want, but there sure-in-hell ain't no environmental justification here. Or is there?
Enlighten me.


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By Avery N
From Boulder, CO
Oct 6, 2007
Canadian Rockies Ice 2008.

cameron wrote:
buy some plastic blades and use them instead of the hardened steel


IMO, tools aren't the real issue. You'd need to address crampons, which I believe are the more significant contributor of damage.

Go look at Vail, and you will better understand the concerns of even the seasoned ice/mixed climbers.


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By jack roberts
Oct 7, 2007

I agree with Avery. Most marks that I've seen on the rock are from crampon points sliding across the rock. Picks may gorge out thin cracks but usually they don't skid across the rock. Not all companies make plastic blades. In fact I think only Grivel make those. Charlet, BD, Trango, DMM etc have yet to offer alternatives to metal.

I don't think that the concern of where to drytool has so much to do with concern that the aesthetics of the Sport Park will be further diminished by a few random scratches created by metal skid marks. I think the concern is that if climbers do it here will they be able to hold themselves back from going to other crags in this area (Cob Rock, Castle Rock etc) where to drytool rock routes would be environmentally irresponsible. In my experience it seems that many climbers need guidelines on how to behave otherwise it becomes a free-for-all.
I still think it's better to travel to Vail where the workout is more beneficial or hit one of the roadcuts in BLDR CYN.


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