I attempted to put in 2 bolts and an anchor on top of this route today. This plan has been discussed and approved on many occasions with the first ascent party.
I was told, from the people behind the bushes across the valley, not to bolt it. AND, might I add, that the bolts would be chopped if I did. So therefore, I drilled it, pounded my bolts and took my hangers (I, frankly, cannot afford to have people chop my bolts).
I believe this route would be greatly enjoyed by everyone. While, still being enjoyed by those people who are indeed using the route as a "solo" route as stated by the people in the bushes. I have climbed this route, and I think everyone deserves to take part in the enjoyment. A link up of Yellow Pages, a Picto Crack and The Black Arete would be great, if not AWESOME.
I don't know about you (except the bush people), but I would love an afternoon stroll up The Black Arete. That is the least it deserves.
An afternoon stroll up the Black Arete is a beautiful thing... but you adding bolts to an existing route is NOT! And the people yelling at you were correct: if you bolt it, it will get chopped.
Furthermore, if you can't rise to the occasion, perhaps you should stick to something a little more pedestrian. Don't bring it down to your level.
And exactly how is your bolting it, "the least it deserves"? The arete "deserves" bolts so you can climb it? People have been climbing (and enjoying) that route for years.. but it "deserves" bolts now? Why?
Another thing that also doesn't make sense to me is you just pounding the bolts into the rock?? You didn't remove them and patch the holes? Are you planning to clean up your mess? Or is your litter/scars something the rock "deserves" as well?
I have talked to a lot of other people who agree with me. Two bolts on this route would make it more fun. As for bringing it down to my level, I have climbed it in its origanal state, and I think it would simply be more enjoyable with bolts.
One does not have to clip the bolts if they are so opposed.
As for the unfinished bolt job, as I stated before, I can not afford to have people take my bolts.
If you want to make it more fun, add a water-slide and a titty-bar. But adding bolts will only turn a classic East Animas head-space lead into yet another 30 ft long bolted 5.7... whoop-dee-do! It'll be like bringing a little bit of x-rock up to East A.... Are there not enough "fun" bolted routes within 50 ft of the arete for you?
Regarding not clipping the bolts if one's opposed...how many times has this been hashed out on this site...? Tell you what- how about I start using some of the ledges up there as my outhouse.... But it's cool if you don't like my feces-- you don't have to pick them up!
And finally- you're going to leave an unfinished bolt job up there without cleaning/patching it up? Really? Yet you talk about the Watch Crystal and the "least it deserves". You get a "Fail".
I personally think a couple of bolts on this line is fine. Just because the first ascent party "solo'ed" the thing over 20 years ago doesn't mean it should stay that way. I'm all about proving how big my nuts are, but when Kozak says bolt it, who am I to argue.
Edit: Found this quote from Kozak on the Contortionist discussion, "By the way, and this may not be a good time to bring this up, but I have also been thinking of retrofitting the Black Arete with two or three well-placed bolts." Nobody seemed to give a hoot in April.
Who the hell are you to decide what does or does not get retrobolted up there? Are you the Robin Hood of climbing? "I'm only thinking of the little people! I can climb it without bolts, but what if one of my gumby friends wants to lead it? What will they do? They will be scared!"
That climb is a mental testpiece. If you want to climb an easy, protected 5.7, stick to I need a Shower or Right Picto or Bird's classic, or End of the Road. There are plenty of other well-protected classic routes of the same grade. This route provides aspiring climbers a sense of what a real runout is.
As I sit here and puke onto my key board, all I can think is what a tool you are. If you were only protecting it for other climbers, why did you take the hangers? Do beginners need to bring their own hangers or should they use wires to loop over your studs? (This might be too advanced for you. If needed, I can show you a diagram.) You only bolted this to massage your ego. "Hey look at me, I'm a Durango climber, and I look out for the newbies! Hey, I'm hard core, I placed some bolts and made a route 'safe'. You should tell me how great I am!"
Well, you're not. You didn't do anyone any favors. You just robbed everyone else of the amazing feeling you get when you safely grab the lip at the top. This route is an easy climb, and with bolts it is nothing more than a few cool moves.
What's next on your 'safety' agenda? Are you going to bolt the traverse to Texas Sucks so your second isn't nervous? Maybe add a couple bolts to the top of Durangotang, that last pitch is a little airy. Maybe you should add some bolts to Green Puke while you’re at it, that rock is loose.
If I were still an East Animas regular I'd shove your hangers so far up your ass you'd never lose your precious hardware.
Now Go Home.
You are opening the door to anyone who wants to add comfort bolts up there as East A.
Well if Kozak says, "bolt it"... who cares? I heard that Dave Waggoner did that arete in the early '80s.... Did anyone ask him his opinion? Granted we can't now...but I seem to recall Dave being more towards the "clean climbing" side of the debate....
(Per your earlier suggestion Kevin, I've been trying to learn a bit more about Durango climbing history....)
As I did the first ascent of this route in the early '80s, I fully support Tyler in retrofitting the Black Arete. My reason for not bolting it back then was that I was too poor to buy bolts. I like the idea of opening up or democratizing access to this fun route. A three pitch 5.8 on the Watch Crystal is cool. PLEASE do not chop the bolts, and please put the hangers on the route.
Seems as if Mut didn't read Guideline #1 regarding posts on this forum. Please be respectful of others.
Several months ago, on the "Contortionist" debate, David Kozak posted that he was considering retrobolting The Black Arete. I read that as a stab at keeping the ridiculous debate interesting and funny. In my mind, it would never happen. Everyone else ignored the comment as well.
What with The Black Arete being probably the most classic runout pitch at East A and Dave not being the FA party(?), why and how could that happen?
I remember seeing the late Dave Wagonner do that pitch back in the early '80s, and later asked him about it and he confirmed that they had done the FA. I don't know. Many routes here have had more than one first ascent. Like so many boulder problems at Sailing Hawks that were done 20 years ago: "dude I did a new boulder problem, I named it and rated it V-somethinggay". Nope.
Like I said, I don't know. But people who have done this route have some pride attached and the bolts certainly take that away. The "you don't have to clip them" argument doesn't apply, ever.
I was one of the people yelling "from behind the bushes". What was surprising to us was when you mouthed off and drilled it anyway, knowing that there was some strong opposition and even the threat of removal. Bad for everyone. That route definitely doesn't "deserve" a round of drilling and chopping. That was really disappointing.
And who are these people you speak of that support this? People who have never done it? People you meet at Turtle Lake? The tool selling you the bolts? I realize there is a shortage of bolted 5.6 around here, but this route is the real thing. For real. I thought it was cool that you sought out comment for Contortionist.
Self righteous - filled with or showing a conviction of being morally superior, or more righteous than others, smugly virtuous.
Megalomania - a mental disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur, wealth power, etc. _ So, this is what I'm seeing and hearing here??? Tyler went about his bolting in a totally appropriate manner...i.e. consulting the first ascensionist, asking his opinion on placements of bolts, etc.... What exactly is the problem, and why does this piss so many people off? So you could can lead it without bolts? Congragulations, people can solo 5.13. Does that mean your less of a climber because you can't? Moot point. Everyone was a beginner once. Whether we admit or not we all struggle on climbs and improve. This may be one one of the myriad of reasons we all climb...maybe not. Point being to foster a climbing community there needs to be a diverse selection of safe routes and let me emphasize safe here. 2 BOLTS!!! He didn't go woody woodpecker on the thing. Two bolts. Period. We're not talking about grid bolting EAST A. We are talking about a moderate so people can enjoy a beautiful line. Oh but wait were talking about egos aren't we? IF you people are So damn bold, why didn't you say something to TYLERS face, you know, man to man, like the big, brass balled climber would instead of hiding in the bushes and yelling at him from the ground. It would seem time for another English lesson. Hypocrite-a person who pretends to be what he or she is not; one who pretends to be better than is really so, or to be pious, virtuous, etc, with out really being so. P.S. thank you, Tyler, for your efforts let me know when you need a hand.
Per Kozak: "As I did the first ascent of this route in the early '80s, I fully support Tyler in retrofitting the Black Arete. My reason for not bolting it back then was that I was too poor to buy bolts. I like the idea of opening up or democratizing access to this fun route. A three pitch 5.8 on the Watch Crystal is cool. PLEASE do not chop the bolts, and please put the hangers on the route."
Oh man. I was going to mention to T Ferrell that since he's all about giving out "English lessons", that he should at least know a little bit about grammar and punctuation.... But dammit, that Kevin guy has ended the discussion....
David, I read rule #1, then ignored it just like Tyler ignored the protests from Tim and others.
T Ferrel: Do you work and Back Country? As far as diverse selection of safe climbs...what about all the other moderate climbs at East A? (I need a Shower, 3 Open Books, Triple Tree Direct, End of the Road, Travels with Charlie, Apple Cider, Yellow Pages, Picto's....) Why is it more important that beginners have another 40 foot face to climb than it is for aspiring adventure climbers to experience real run outs on safe ground? Why can't run out climbs be part of a diverse climbing community? How many easy, spicy routes are at East A?
One more thing, T Ferrel, you're advocating for people to get in Tyler’s face which could easily end with him getting his ass kicked? Is that what you want? Does your buddy know you are advocating for people to get in his face? If so, cool.
Oh! Wait a minute! The discussion is still going... whew! That's good, because I just wanted to add that this will get chopped. Period. Sorry, Kozak -- whether it was you or Dave Waggoner who did the FA- this route has become a canon of the East A experience.... And comfort bolts put in 30 yrs after the FA will be rejected. Sorry.
How about a diverse selection of runout routes? Between me retrobolting "my" routes and others', unknown people retrobolting "mine" and others' routes, soon we will be left with only "safe" routes. Leading this route without bolts is an advancement for that level of climber. And yes, we do it for our ego, to make ourselves feel good about our accomplishments. That's exactly why people are pissed about it.
Retrobolting is a slippery slope, man.
You are right! I am a wuss for not soloing up there immediately, standing on the holds next to a guy hanging on a rope, and calling BS on an encroachment on what I thought to be a Dave Wagonner route. I was totally hiding in the bushes cowering, man. WTF?
I am totally less of a climber than a person who can solo 5.13. Or even a climber who can do it roped. For real. We all strive to attain the next "level". In my opinion, The Black Arete is one of a kind. It fits into a diverse selection of routes at East A just where it should.
Wow-what a sad day to call ourselves Durango climbers. Between blatant disregard for the FA's wishes, name-calling, and threats to chop bolts, I am sincerely embarrassed to call myself a climber in Durango today. Really, guys, how mature.
Oh my gosh, Laura (or Kevin hiding behind his wife's acct)-- my heart weeps along with you! This is such a sad, sad, sad day for Durango! We should be ashamed of ourselves to question retrobolting!! Boo-fucking-hoo!! If you want maturity, here's two hints: 1. Don't get involved in climbers' debates. 2. Bring something to the table other than a sophomoric attempt to make people feel guilty.
It's my sister, and what do I have to hide? I have been very forthcoming with my opinion, and that is all it is, an opinion. You have yours, I have mine. Thanks for sharing. I do agree with my sister though, when it comes to threats and name calling, that is pretty childish (sophomoric), especially if that is all you are going to "bring to the table". I especially like your post about feces, Bob, is that considered sophomoric??
Just having a discussion, boys...and backing up a friend. I understand both sides to this one but seriously. I have not behaved in a manner which would make me feel like a moron. An example of this would be telling people to go teabag one another or to shove foreign objects up there anal cavity to name a few. I have an idea instead of wearing our fingertips out on these stupid keyboards we all meet in person (MUTT, TIM, Me, ROB, Tyler, Kevin, whomever), and, this is crazy, WE GO CLIMBING, something we all can agree on. And then afterwards we can all go have a couple of oat sodas and hash it out, the old fashion way, human interaction, and no, Mutt, I don't want to fight...just climb and talk. I know what a stupid idea...just a thought. Don't bother editing this one, Rob, it's full of glaring, grammatical errors. Have a nice day, boys. See you in the sandbox.
Okay, time to play a little devil's advocate. At what point does a publicly owned piece of rock become the first ascentionist's? And why do they have the sole voice when it is on public land? Is it when he/she climbs it and chooses to install or not install hardware? When does the decision of retrobolting get passed on to the climbing population that is typically far more connected with that piece of rock than the first ascent party that did it 40 years ago?
My thought would be get a full consensus from the climbing public before any retro bolting happens whether you put the route up yesterday or it was established 40 years ago.
Damn it, Tim. You maybe an "opinionated azzole", but you're our (Durango's) "opinionated azzole"! More the merrier! This bickering is all the more reason that these topics should be discussed before action is taken. Great discussion!
When I bolted The Kong Route, I avoided bolting where Kong joins The Black Arete for a short distance. Yesterday I noticed Tyler drilling uncomfortably close to where you get the thin gear on both routes, so the location of the evil retrobolts may also be an issue. Would it be possible to step up and clip the new bolt on Black Arete to protect the moves before the clip on Kong? That would be cause for more insults and threats. For real.
Regardless of FA and second thinking by original party members later, there is one rule which has governed fixed protection since this became an issue in the '60s...once a route is climbed, it is a route. Any changes later (by anyone) desecrate that route and those who've climbed it since its inception.
Gee, I think if there were some more bolts in the Black Canyon I could climb a few more routes! Doesn't mean I'm going to go do that. I value the routes as entities unto themselves for the countless climbers that have climbed them since their inception. I cannot believe this topic is so mis-understood over 40 years after the classic arguments in Yosemite.
If you think you need some 5.7 routes with more bolts, go find a place to put up a new one. Existing routes are exactly that...existing. This means they are not to be changed by man.
Ok, so here it is, maybe I was wrong to do this. There must be rules to adding bolts to existing routes. BUT there also has to be rules for gatekeeping and improving an area for future generations. You are right I should've found my own new route to bolt. Although, I still do not think I am in the wrong putting 2 bolts on this route. The way I see it is that, whether you like it or not, East Animas is not that big of a deal. It's a BIG world out there, boys. I am suppose sorry for "ruining" or taking the sentimental value out of this route. If I did indeed ruin the historical value, well I will be forever known as the jackass who bolted the arete. But it is a 5.8 on 40 feet of rock on the edge of a sweet formation.
It is not like I was posting up a Via Ferratta. I don't think anyone has traversed the Watch Crystal yet. That would be cool. We could call it the Crytal Traverse!
Hey, Tim, you know those black hangers "that tool" sold you the same time I was in the shop talking about bolting this route? Those sure would look good up there!
Okay, everyone let's just relax look at the big picture and all get over ourselves this is not Yosemite, The Black, or some epic desert tower. I hope I am not shunned from the DTOWN climbing community forever. Let's go climb, drink a beer, and I will let you all have a stab at me then.
The following question and answer between Duane Raleigh and Henry Barber illustrate the problem at hand. Although I've only met Duane a few times, Henry and I have been friends for years and I think I can safely insert his comment here:
"A RECENT TREND IS TO RETRO-BOLT EXISTING ROUTES, ADDING BOLTS TO MAKE ROUTES SAFE FOR EVERYONE. SHOULD RETRO-BOLTS BE CHOPPED?
HB: I don't approve of retro-bolting. Routes should remain in the original style they were done. I don't believe in chopping, though, unless the community can come together and agree to remove bolts. Indiscriminate chopping leads to hold chipping and bolting wars, and the rock and future generations are the ones that suffer."
In other words, any changes to the rock are permanent. If bolted, or if bolted and chopped, the rock, the route and the experience are all degraded. Climb the route as it is, or don't. If you want to place a new route in a difficulty range that better suits your party, then go place one. There are plenty of areas in the county with new routes waiting to be climbed, many of them much longer than those at EA. Ask around. Become part of the community instead of trying to fracture it.
Tyler, thanks for the anger management website. But... I don't have an anger management problem. You pissed me off, and I told you. Your friend tried to come to your rescue by providing "English lessons", and I reminded him of a word he forgot to define and suggested a better use of his time.
Now to your last post: I agree that East Animas is not the most epic place to go climbing. It is not the Black Canyon or Yosemite or Red Rocks..., but it is a damn fine place to climb and an awesome local crag. Just because YOU can name a few better places to climb and YOU don't think it is "that big of a deal" doesn't mean you get free rein to do what you want. If it's not 'that big of a deal', don't go there. Why are you bothering to "improve the area for future generations" if it's "not that big of a deal"?
I understand that you believed you had the FA’s consent to retro bolt this route, but you also had actual protest from climbers who were at the crag that day. I think you agree you should have waited and reconciled those two contrary positions.
Now the real question is, are you going to pull those bolts and fill in the holes with epoxy/sand? Or are you going to put hangers on your bolts? Or are you going to leave the bolts there without hangers?
If in fact you feel that the bolts should come out (which it does not sound like you are there yet) and they do come out, you won't be known as the jackass who bolted the Black Arête. You might for a short time be known as the guy who thought he was doing the right thing when he bolted the Black Arête but then thought differently after hearing from some of the climbing community so he restored the route to its historic form. And after a few months, you'll be forgotten all together.
Man, I went up the Black Arete yesterday in hopes of getting a couple hangers, but all I found were two holes left in the rock (which I patched for you Tyler). I don't get it, Tyler. Before you even drilled that first hole, we asked you not to bolt it and told you we'd chop them, but you persisted and drilled two holes anyways. Then you realized we really were going to take your bolts, so instead of sticking by your guns and leaving them (and potentially having to go back up there again and again to rebolt) you pulled your bolts and left two holes. Why didn't you stop when the people hiding in the bushes clearly expressed their dislike for your actions?
I did overhear you talking about The Black Arete but didn't catch your intent. I thought maybe you were bolting something new near it or I would have said something. The tool comment was rhetorical and not directed at a specific person.
We all know you think this would be a contribution/improvement.
When you minimize the value of the East Animas Climbing Area, you display your vast inexperience. Perhaps when you gain another decade or two of climbing travel, you might learn to appreciate the experience that each area offers and that EA may be small, but it is unique in the world. You will not find a route like The Black Arete at Yosemite or The Black Canyon, but you might find a comparable (unbolted) experience, if you are lucky. If all the routes are made to be generic, you can find that at any boring sport climbing area. That's not what I'm looking for at my home area, where I consider you to be a visitor.
I want my daughter or "the future generations" to be able to get up Simians, see that arete and want to make the advancement to a route up that face with no fixed gear.
So, is it "no big deal" or is it "a sweet formation"?
I was with Tim and the guys in the bushes. I know you (Tyler) have good intentions for the route, but I was looking to send the route in its original condition. Not with two bolts for me to pansy out on. I'm not saying I agree with everyone aiming their anger at you, because it is unfair and you did get the ok from the as far as I know FA party, but dude, really? You drilled those holes after hearing our disagreement. Not cool, man. I also won't agree with you because of the disrespect you showed by pressing on and going ahead with putting in those bolts, then taking them too, to leave those scars.
What's done is done, and the holes are filled now, so let's move on with our lives and get out and climb rather than sit here on Mountain Project and b**ch at everyone else.
I don't usually do this but here is my two cents. I was in the alleged bushes when we asked you to stop. I was also part of the party that cleaned your mess. I have put up a lot of routes in my meager forty two years many in Durango. I have only one thing to say about this: "FIND YOUR OWN ROUTE AND DO WITH IT WHAT YOU WANT". That is simply how it is done.
Eggman, I've recently begun playing the lottery. If perchance I win, I would be more than happy to fund the creation of a titty bar on/around the Watch Crystal but on one condition. That being that there is a via feretta to it so that everyone feels welcome, even non climbers, because, as I understand it, they like boobies, too.
After talking with a friend, I would like to anonymously quote them "I think the Black Arete should have 5 HUNDRED bolts. That way it's super cruxy NOT touching the bolts which, as we all know, is unethical."
Wow, this is awesome. 863 VIEWS!!! The Black Arete. 5.8, fifty feet of fat, black love. Durango has one of sickest climbing communities on the planet. Oh, man. High fives to all of you mofos for holding it down. What a bunch of crazy, fucking bastards. I love you, guys! Those bolts were drilled 48 hours ago!!! Good luck, tyler88....
MOST epic...? I think The Black is a hair more epic the East A. But considering East A is 5 minutes from the center of a great town, it is way up there one the list of great climbing areas. It's also cool that if you are comfortable at East A it's hard to get sandbagged anywhere else.
And... it's hard to find a better group of shit talking climbers anywhere.
...and at least my fat ass didn't snap a quickdraw on Durangotang!!
At least we can all agree that East A is a pretty sweet place, and let's face it, the only reason we all got on here was because we all give a shit about the place. If we didn't care, then none of us would have spent the past three days wearing out our keyboards. You would be amazed at the amount of trash and beer cans I have picked up from the parking lot, and I'll bet you a six pack that none of it came from the local climbers. Good stories, too. Broken quickdraw, that's pretty sweet.
Yeah.... I'm kind of a fat ass.... Snapped some webbing. But I think it was more the length of the fall rather than the fatness of my ass...hehe. But it was the biggest fall I've taken.... Kuss saw it- he can verify that it was a big one... (the fall, not my ass).
In reference to the retro bolting.... As a non-local flatlander who has to drive several hours to reach stone of any quality, may I point one thing out! You live minutes from the rock! Good rock at that... and more than any of us could climb in a lifetime! So, may I suggest to anyone looking to retrobolt a 30 year old classic... please go find some new stone to develop, maybe a whole new area? While clipping new bolts on the classic will render some additional enjoyment, if you go clear a landing, clean a face, drill the bolts, and get the first ascent, name the route... that enjoyment will be exponentially higher. You've expanded the climbing universe by 1, where as retro bolting... you added one, and took one away. I see good points on both sides, just better reasons to not retro fit.
We never even considered the option of bolts anywhere in the East Animas Area back in the 1970s. Bolts were only to exist at the bolt ladder at X-Rock for the college to teach aid. That would be now known as the Gold Wall.