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Erasing the Past
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By Zappatista
Mar 28, 2012
Book me, officer.

I've been noticing that there's a sect of the community that's pretty vocal who insist that any bolt not deemed absolutely necessary by them on any classic climb has ABSOLUTELY GOT TO GO.

Anyone else find this kind of thing ridiculous? I understand that the occasional 3 quarter incher anchor station dropping the third bolt when it's replaced with 2 bomber SS 1/2 inchers on a free climb, and in the case of crap buttonheads 3 feet apart that were used way back when for a bolt ladder on what's now casual 5.9 or .10, maybe replace only the ones that are 6-10 feet apart or something of that nature.

I guess when I hear some New Jack shit-talking the bolts put in ground-up, hand-drilled on lead by some of my favorite oldschool madmen, it really makes me bummed about the lack of respect that we as a group sometimes have for our predecessors, both when we add retrobolts and chop part of the legacies of those that came before us and paved the way.

Getting philosophical here and maybe I should just be specific and call said persons out, but I'm not feeling like a dick today, just disappointed in the shortsightedness of the ever-raging Ego.


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Mar 28, 2012

Killis, starting an Internet bolting "discussion"? This should disintegrate quicky. And I think you know that!


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Mar 28, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

I'm certain I know exactly what/whom you're referring to. Although I tend to fall more in Killis' camp on this matter, I know the individual; he's a good guy and IMO his viewpoint is not ego-driven. He can do a better job than I at explaining his rationale so I won't put words in his mouth.

I will say that while I agree with Killis that I like to preserve the original history, be it "good" or "bad", the problem is that its not always evident which fixed gear is original. MANY routes have had hardware added after the FA or FFA. A common scenario is a pin added after the FA, then after a few years once the pin is rattly, it gets replaced. At many crags the ethic is to replace old fixed pins with bolts. So what once was a runout has slippery-sloped itself right down to a bomber glue-in, and attributed to the FA to boot.

From an aesthetic perspective, a rusty star drive seems to fit right in on a classic trad line, while a shiny SS Fixe hanger sticks out like a sore thumb. Not really an argument I know, but you can't blame the old guard for placing a star drive when all they had for clean pro was RPs, Hexes and rigid stem Friends. We have so many options now, from Ballnutz to Big Bros, I would prefer that in situations like this, where good clean gear is available, we just leave the museum pieces in place to preserve the history and let those inclined stuff whatever new-fangled gear is at hand in the adjacent, once-unprotectable-seam.


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By -sp
From East-Coast
Mar 28, 2012
Buenos Dias!

Killis, are you talking about Cerro Torre or Cat In The Hat? Context sort of matters in these discussions.


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By Josh Olson
From madison, wisconsin
Mar 28, 2012
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick

First ascent information and artifacts (mank bolts and pins) should be recorded in guidebooks. With advancements in gear, we can easily leave a smaller footprint behind. Pins and junky bolts are cool reminders, but if they come out, I don't believe they are worth crying over.

Campfires are great places to talk about the legends that made do with what they had. Hopefully in 30 years, they will talk about how amazing our era of climbing was with preservation of the resource in mind. As long as relics of the past are talked about and remembered, nobody is going to forget about the bold men that climbed with hemp ropes and hip belays.


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Mar 28, 2012
OTL

Saw this on Supertopo recently:




Ol'time-y fun.


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By Josh Janes
Mar 28, 2012

Killis is referring to me, and my post on the condition of the bolts on Cloud Tower (Here's the link: www.mountainproject.com/v/cloud-tower/105732386#a_107531584). He had the courtesy to email me privately about this, but obviously not without also commenting publicly as well as starting a brand new thread about it.

I don't really understand, Killis; I've asked you several times to go climbing, and you've expressed what I take to be sincere interest but have always come up with some reason why you can't... we've even talked about some major, and minor, rebolting public service work in Red Rocks, but you then just disappear out of communication... Only to reappear saying all sorts of nasty things publicly.

Killis, I don't mean any disrespect to anyone - certainly not the hardmen who put up Cloud Tower. I try to be helpful (to future hardware replacers) and I try to help (by replacing hardware myself and posting route beta - weren't you just praising me a couple weeks ago for posting some obscurities on mp.com?), but I also have my opinion. In this case it is that old 1/4" bolts right next to BOMBER gear placements aren't worthy of replacement (yes, I went so far as to suggest they should be chopped). I'm just trying to help - I really didn't want to create a big drama Killis. Though I suppose, whenever you start a thread people can't help but look to see what kind of train wreck will imminently ensue.

Perhaps I'll change my name to "Josh New Jack Past-Eraser Janes". Has a nice ring to it.


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Mar 28, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

I doubt a train wreck will ensue at this point. Both parties are present. Anyway, carry on.


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By Bryan Ferguson
From Castle Rock
Mar 28, 2012
Marvin and Greg scoping Crow's Heads Spires - snowed out on fall 1982 attempt

Simply stated - do not add bolts to routes, y'all.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Mar 29, 2012
modern man

Josh Janes wrote:
I don't really understand, Killis; I've asked you several times to go climbing, and you've expressed what I take to be sincere interest but have always come up with some reason why you can't... we've even talked about some major, and minor, rebolting public service work in Red Rocks, but you then just disappear out of communication... Only to reappear saying all sorts of nasty things publicly.


why is it this sounds just about right?


I wonder what Misty thinks?

And not to derail the thread but I prefer leaving the old gear in probably cause I'm lazy and dont need any extra work. I hope someone took some good photos of all the old rusty, pulled partially out and bent 1/4"ers on Prince of Darkness. That was half the fun of the route when I did it.


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By Coeus
From a botched genetics experiment
Mar 29, 2012
I am a neandertal.

Bryan Ferguson wrote:
Simply stated - do not add bolts to routes, y'all.

Simply stated this discussion is about removing bolts from routes, and replacing bad anchors.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Mar 29, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

When retroing the fixed gear on a route I sometimes leave old pins for the historical sense they give, but when replacing old bolts, I definitely think the old mank should be removed and patched (assuming you are not reusing the same hole). I will pull old manky pins if someone thinking they are safe to clip creates an unsafe situation.

For instance, on the Jim Dunn's historic Stewarts Crack at Green's Cliff, NH I left the original anchor pins while placing a safe two bolt anchor (permission from Jim) There is now a safe anchor that doesn't require the leaving of long chord or webbing to pull your rope, but seeing the pins makes you think back to the conditions and adventure he had first putting it up.


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By DexterRutecki
From Cincinnati, Ohio
Mar 29, 2012

Whats the big deal with having to leave an old rusted piece of metal in the wall? Do you guys really get that nostalgic over a rusted bolt?? Puhlease.

Its just a rusted old bolt, don't get attached so easily.


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By -sp
From East-Coast
Mar 29, 2012
Buenos Dias!

Josh Janes wrote:
Killis is referring to me, and my post on the condition of the bolts on Cloud Tower...


You guys are both locals and it seems you both are willing to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to doing work for the climbing community (props to you for that), so why not take it back off-line and see if you can't sort it out? I really think you stand a better chance of coming to terms face to face than through a war of words here.


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Mar 29, 2012
Cool snow formation at the base.

Since nobody can seem to grasp the topic here, I'll spell it out. They are talking about pulling (and not replacing)bolts that were put in next to good gear placements. When alot of these routes went in at Red Rock, Friends were just coming out and pitons weren't reliable in the soft sandstone so bolts were placed next to cracks. Now that technology and availability of gear is more prolific, the question is whether or not to replace the bolts on these routes once they've exceeded their useful life.

Personally I'd rather see the bolts pulled and not replaced, as long as the first ascensionist is ok with it.


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By JSH
Administrator
Mar 29, 2012
JSH @ home <br /> <br />photo courtesy of Gabe Ostriker

Killis, you mentioned in the route comments that the FAs are listed in the phone book. Have you called them to ask their opinion on the bolts?


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Mar 29, 2012

Strange opening post. Not sure exactly what you're talking about "shit talking the bolts put in ground up", all he did was recommend pulling them given their age/condition and adequate placements nearby. I was Josh's partner on the route in question a couple days ago, and I'd agree 100%. There were gear placements right next to them. It really has nothing to do with history, or not needing the bolts because you're bold or something, they are just old and likely unreliable.

Given that the community wouldn't support replacing the bolts since there are good gear placements nearby (and rightly so), it seems like more of a safety issue to me than anything to do with aesthetics or history. People probably still clip those junkers occasionally, and removing that temptation would make it safer IMO.

What I do find comical is Killis starting this thread after having posted this bad information in the route's entry comments:

Killis wrote:
Unless Spencer's ascent has happened since bolts sprouted left and right on the route and disappeared in other spots, the bolt counts he describes do not exist. There is one untrustworty bolt (the only pro bolt on the climb) at the start of the thin corner pitch, then two good bolts above-easy to rap from here, if you feel like missing the stellar upper handcrack pitches. The final belay (as installed by PVB etc back in the day) has three bolts by my memory, not five,


My memory isn't the best, but it's only been about 48hrs since we were up there so I'm pretty clear on this one. You are wrong about the pro bolts on the route, there are two on the crux pitch. You are wrong about the bolt count on the final belay, which had at least 4 that I counted.

Finally, the "raging ego" thing cracked me up. Soooo far off base. Enjoy your faux controversy though, I guess.


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By DexterRutecki
From Cincinnati, Ohio
Mar 29, 2012

Killis Howard wrote:
I guess when I hear some New Jack shit-talking the bolts put in ground-up, hand-drilled on lead by some of my favorite oldschool madmen, it really makes me bummed about the lack of respect that we as a group sometimes have for our predecessors.


So you ACTUALLY heard him talking shit on your "favorite old school madmen" or are you just posting rumors and conjecture?

It sounds like you and the guy in question have talked before, why the attempt to stir up shit by posting this in an online forum?


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Mar 29, 2012
Cool snow formation at the base.

DexterRutecki wrote:
It sounds like you and the guy in question have talked before, why the attempt to stir up shit by posting this in an online forum?


You must be new around here.


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By Zappatista
Mar 29, 2012
Book me, officer.

Disintegration in progress, FrankPS.

Mono, I feel what you're saying. I've been thumping the "talk to the FA party first" drum pretty loudly, the OP was a reaction to my perception that that wasn't happening.

Josh, I called you out on the page for the route and, as you pointed out, maybe grand ethical debates shouldn't go on for pages in the comments for that route. I didn't intend to rip you a new one on this page, but to me"I don't really understand, Killis; I've asked you several times to go climbing, and you've expressed what I take to be sincere interest but have always come up with some reason why you can't... we've even talked about some major, and minor, rebolting public service work in Red Rocks, but you then just disappear out of communication... Only to reappear saying all sorts of nasty things publicly. "
does exactly that.

If I need to publicly justify to you why I haven't climbed with you yet, I'll do so publicly, since that's how you're calling me out:

1 Up til 3 weeks ago I had two jobs, working 9 shifts a week.
2 I just had a near-paralyzing injury, which I emailed you about. I'm lucky to have gotten in the 2 pitches I've climbed in the last month, and more so to be alive, period.
3 I've been replacing bolts on classic Urioste climbs that rely heavily on bolts and are remote; you may have heard of Coltrane, Chicken Lips, Crimson Chrysalis, and some others?
4 I know that you publicly and privately hold some beliefs about replacing bolts that don't sit well with me.
5 Unlike many rock climbers who are solidly at the obsession level, I maintain social interaction with non-climbers and have other interests that help me keep a balanced perspective, like the gourmet dinner I'm about to make for a certain lady, the house party I'm scheduled to attend later with the UNLV women's tennis team being present, and so on. Not to belabor the point, but there is other shit happening in life on occasion if we stop and bother to notice it.
6 Most importantly, I've been lucky to be in a situation where I have so many quality partners that I have rarely needed to seek outside help except for total misery hauls such as Chicken Lips.

Since we're doing this in public (which I wasn't aware of when I emailed you back earlier), hope that covers us.

Got to get the rice cooker cracking, I'll be back on in a couple days (after I "disappear" to eat, work, get laid, socialize, sleep, and hopefully even get my semi-healed up carcass on some rock to read more.

But you really are my first priority.


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By Ed Wright
Mar 29, 2012
Magic Ed

Yeah, those bolts on Rosy Crucifixion have got to go. After all, we did the first free ascent without them.


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By Tradoholic
Mar 31, 2012

Cat fight!

But seriously folks, routes can evolve with modern gear and history will be remembered without relics to remind us, ala the Compressor Route.

Fascists think the less bolts the better!


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By DexterRutecki
From Cincinnati, Ohio
Mar 31, 2012

Killis Howard wrote:
Disintegration in progress, FrankPS. Mono, I feel what you're saying. I've been thumping the "talk to the FA party first" drum pretty loudly, the OP was a reaction to my perception that that wasn't happening. Josh, I called you out on the page for the route and, as you pointed out, maybe grand ethical debates shouldn't go on for pages in the comments for that route. I didn't intend to rip you a new one on this page, but to me"I don't really understand, Killis; I've asked you several times to go climbing, and you've expressed what I take to be sincere interest but have always come up with some reason why you can't... we've even talked about some major, and minor, rebolting public service work in Red Rocks, but you then just disappear out of communication... Only to reappear saying all sorts of nasty things publicly. " does exactly that. If I need to publicly justify to you why I haven't climbed with you yet, I'll do so publicly, since that's how you're calling me out: 1 Up til 3 weeks ago I had two jobs, working 9 shifts a week. 2 I just had a near-paralyzing injury, which I emailed you about. I'm lucky to have gotten in the 2 pitches I've climbed in the last month, and more so to be alive, period. 3 I've been replacing bolts on classic Urioste climbs that rely heavily on bolts and are remote; you may have heard of Coltrane, Chicken Lips, Crimson Chrysalis, and some others? 4 I know that you publicly and privately hold some beliefs about replacing bolts that don't sit well with me. 5 Unlike many rock climbers who are solidly at the obsession level, I maintain social interaction with non-climbers and have other interests that help me keep a balanced perspective, like the gourmet dinner I'm about to make for a certain lady, the house party I'm scheduled to attend later with the UNLV women's tennis team being present, and so on. Not to belabor the point, but there is other shit happening in life on occasion if we stop and bother to notice it. 6 Most importantly, I've been lucky to be in a situation where I have so many quality partners that I have rarely needed to seek outside help except for total misery hauls such as Chicken Lips. Since we're doing this in public (which I wasn't aware of when I emailed you back earlier), hope that covers us. Got to get the rice cooker cracking, I'll be back on in a couple days (after I "disappear" to eat, work, get laid, socialize, sleep, and hopefully even get my semi-healed up carcass on some rock to read more. But you really are my first priority.


Wow, holy crap are you full of yourself! That was an interesting read... You certainly hold a very high opinion of yourself!


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By Zappatista
Apr 2, 2012
Book me, officer.

I owe Josh an apology for kicking him in the dick in a public forum. Not nailing him to the cross by name is why I didn't get too specific in my OP, but I did jump all over him on the Cloud Tower page, which I regret. Ethical questions are one thing but being rude is being rude, and I regret the results of my hasty typing. Hindsight, 20/20.

Josh's argument that bolts beside good gear don't belong is a valid one in most cases. I submit that maintaining a classic route's essential character and respecting and actively involving the FA party in any and all nonstandard replacement activities are both good things, and would be helpful in this case and others.

It's a bummer that I managed to take Josh's up-to-date info and focus too much on one aspect. With all the retrobolting and chopping that has gone on here over the years, I know that I have felt anxiety about people down the road changing my routes to suit their tastes, as has happened to Richard, Paul, and many others on routes like Adventure Punks, Walker Spur, Lebanese Jojo, and so on. No one wants to feel like their routes are being altered by the next generation to suit their tastes, and I felt like speaking up might help keep Cloud Tower from being changed to fit the times. I didn't accomplish that, I just put my foot in my mouth.

It's easy to get dramatic and high-and-mighty about your own ethical leanings, especially when your ethics ACTUALLY MEAN SOMETHING in terms of how you live your life and practice your art (in this case, climbing). I wouldn't have a shred of pride if I had established any of my classics on rappel, because they would no longer be a statement of who I am, but a compromise to reach an end result. Josh I know has his own reservations about some tactics used in Red Rock, so it's not like he's a man without a plan on his own terms, though our ethics are necessarily different as our backgrounds and personalities (or lack thearof, in my case) dictate.

In the end, I've spoken to 2 out of 3 first ascentionists on Cloud Tower and am trying to contact the third before posting up what they have to say. What they have to say about Cloud Tower matters a lot more than what Josh or a New Jack like myself thinks, so their wishes should be respected and the replacement carried out in the spirit of community and respect, no matter who does the work, and how.

Hope that covers all bases. BTW the party was RAGING and I am waiting to have a funny photo emailed to me since my camera died right before we took it, hope to be able to post up soon. High opinion of myself or no, Dexter from Aspen Extreme, I screwed the pooch here and am man enough to admit it, for what it's worth. Fortunately, the scantily clad masses crammed in to my buddy's house helped soothe the savage beast. I doubt that if Josh and I discussed this subject between shots and dancing with the Eastern European Ladies Mafia there would ever have been a problem to start out with. C'est la vie..


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By Tradoholic
Apr 2, 2012

Killis Howard wrote:
I owe Josh an apology for kicking him in the dick in a public forum. Not nailing him to the cross by name is why I didn't get too specific in my OP, but I did jump all over him on the Cloud Tower page, which I regret. Ethical questions are one thing but being rude is being rude, and I regret the results of my hasty typing. Hindsight, 20/20. Josh's argument that bolts beside good gear don't belong is a valid one in most cases. I submit that maintaining a classic route's essential character and respecting and actively involving the FA party in any and all nonstandard replacement activities are both good things, and would be helpful in this case and others. It's a bummer that I managed to take Josh's up-to-date info and focus too much on one aspect. With all the retrobolting and chopping that has gone on here over the years, I know that I have felt anxiety about people down the road changing my routes to suit their tastes, as has happened to Richard, Paul, and many others on routes like Adventure Punks, Walker Spur, Lebanese Jojo, and so on. No one wants to feel like their routes are being altered by the next generation to suit their tastes, and I felt like speaking up might help keep Cloud Tower from being changed to fit the times. I didn't accomplish that, I just put my foot in my mouth. It's easy to get dramatic and high-and-mighty about your own ethical leanings, especially when your ethics ACTUALLY MEAN SOMETHING in terms of how you live your life and practice your art (in this case, climbing). I wouldn't have a shred of pride if I had established any of my classics on rappel, because they would no longer be a statement of who I am, but a compromise to reach an end result. Josh I know has his own reservations about some tactics used in Red Rock, so it's not like he's a man without a plan on his own terms, though our ethics are necessarily different as our backgrounds and personalities (or lack thearof, in my case) dictate. In the end, I've spoken to 2 out of 3 first ascentionists on Cloud Tower and am trying to contact the third before posting up what they have to say. What they have to say about Cloud Tower matters a lot more than what Josh or a New Jack like myself thinks, so their wishes should be respected and the replacement carried out in the spirit of community and respect, no matter who does the work, and how. Hope that covers all bases. BTW the party was RAGING and I am waiting to have a funny photo emailed to me since my camera died right before we took it, hope to be able to post up soon. High opinion of myself or no, Dexter from Aspen Extreme, I screwed the pooch here and am man enough to admit it, for what it's worth. Fortunately, the scantily clad masses crammed in to my buddy's house helped soothe the savage beast. I doubt that if Josh and I discussed this subject between shots and dancing with the Eastern European Ladies Mafia there would ever have been a problem to start out with. C'est la vie..


First rule of Mountain Project: Never, never, never, apologize. You will be seen as weak and then consumed for sustenance. Your reign is over Killis.

My wife and I were discussing a possible MP convention in Vegas for next year, with the main event being either Sumo matches or those huge jousting sticks to decide "winners" for the forums. Anyone got a big back yard we can use?


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By Dana Bartlett
From CT
Apr 2, 2012

Killis,

I hope the injury you suffered won't hinder your climbing, work, or other activities. Good luck, hope you heal quickly and completely.


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