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Rockfellow Dome
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Abracadaver T 
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Unknown 

YDS: 5.12- French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

   
Type:  Sport, Chipped, 6 pitches, 500', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12- French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Scott Ayers
Page Views: 5,436
Submitted By: Geir on Nov 6, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (4)
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Closed from March 1 to June 30 MORE INFO >>>

Description 

A difficult bolted slab route which achieved amazing position on NW face of the Rockfellow group.

Unfortunately, when this route was repeated it was found that 20-30 consecutive chiseled holds were created on gorgeous Rockfellow slab in order to make it go free. As a result, the route was removed from the chiseled pitch upward. The first two pitches can still be climbed at 5.11 and 5.12a.

Bring a second rope for the rappels.

Location 

Approach using the End Pinnacle approach trail. Once you have arrived under Be All, End All, turn left and head uphill. Pass by the bottom of the End Pinnacle descent and follow the trail as it turns right and uphill. The trail brings you to the base of the right side of the North face of Rockfellow Dome. A deep slot in the face forms the start of Knead Me and Abracadaver. This route starts on the arete to the immediate right of Knead Me.

Protection 

20 quickdraws, 2 slings to tie off chickenheads, .5” cam.


Photos of Unknown Slideshow Add Photo
Looking down from the top of pitch 2
Looking down from the top of pitch 2
Andy getting warmed up on pitch one, harder than it looks.
Andy getting warmed up on pitch one, harder than i...
Brilliant lead.  Amazing pitch.  Andy with the ineffable send.
Brilliant lead. Amazing pitch. Andy with the ine...

Comments on Unknown Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 10, 2012
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 7, 2010

I agree that the style of this climb is completely different from the bold, traditional style of its neighboring climbs. I personally was struck even more by the large number of heavily bolted lines on the descent to climber's left.

My personal take is that it is ok to have one sport climb up a formation like this (provided it does not interfere with existing traditional lines and isn't manufactured), but multiple heavily bolted lines on the same formation (or right next to each other on a single face and criss-crossing) completely ruins the backcountry feel for me. Unfortunately this has happened on multiple domes in Cochise.

I feel this is a concern that should be discussed in the next Southern AZ ethics thread which is scheduled to address proliferation of sport routes.
By Luke Bertelsen
Nov 7, 2010

WOW! It is a sad state of affairs that something like this exists when the early development of Cochise had such a strong ethic and bold style to it. Unfortunately I doubt the person really cares, whoever it was. How do you rationalize something like this??
By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Nov 7, 2010

Are you shitting me? Flat out hold chipping? C'mon AZ rock police. Do what it takes to not only stop this activity but to end it pronto. WTF????? Why is this route still even in existence?
By Jimbo
Nov 8, 2010

The chipped pitch and those above it should be chopped. Let the route end where the climbing, should have ended.
Totally F'ed up deal.
I would be happy to go there with you Geir, with a cut off wheel on the bosche and remove that dog doo snow cone. I'll even give Scotty his hangers back when we're done.
By Steve Pulver
From: Williston, ND
Nov 8, 2010

I think it was at least 4 years ago that I first saw this route. Why all the fuss now?
By Luke Bertelsen
Nov 8, 2010

"Sport Wankers need to climb too." What an amazing rational. Lets bolt The Nose too. Who cares if its been done in better style. I would also be happy to get in on any removal effort. I think there are more than enough instances where talking has not worked so it would seem some policing may be in order.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 8, 2010

folks,

i appreciate your candor and desire to maintain the ethic in the stronghold at a certain standard. my intent here is to share the route information and present one possible issue.

before making any judgment about this route or the holds on pitch 4, check it out for yourself. two opinions on the bolt spacing and the nature of those holds do not justify any action.
By Dan M. Sealer
From: San Diego
Nov 8, 2010

JIMBO - The chipped pitch and those above it should be chopped. Let the route end where the climbing, should have ended.
Totally F'ed up deal.
I would be happy to go there with you Geir, with a cut off wheel on the bosche and remove that dog doo snow cone. I'll even give Scotty his hangers back when we're done.


But geez Jimbo IF you are going to chop this route in the Stronghold for having glued and chipped holds what are you going to do about all the routes on Mt Lemmon like that? Chop them too? Here a list for you to start chopping with that mentality:

- Orifice Wall (Glued Holds - also bolted on flakes) (8+ routes)
- Holly Molly (1 Route)
- Tons of routes at Middle Earth (8+ Routes)
- All the routes at the Beach in Milagrosa (5+ Routes)
- Routes at the Steep (8+ Routes)
- All routes at the Helmet (6+ Routes)
- Hebe on beaver wall (1 Route)
- Crankinstein (1 route)
- F-k Me Pumps (1 route)

Just with that short list it looks like your ethics are going to lead you to chop about 38 routes on Mount Lemon also. Good Luck on that.

LUKE BERTELSEN - "Sport Wankers need to climb too." What an amazing rational. Lets bolt The Nose too. Who cares if its been done in better style. I would also be happy to get in on any removal effort. I think there are more than enough instances where talking has not worked so it would seem some policing may be in order.

The above point to JIMBO also seem to apply to you also Luke. Just hop behind him and start chopping away. (Rolls eyes)

Well John Bachar was just in Milagrosa a year or so ago and soloed a few sport routes out there, is that in better style? If so we should also give JIMBO the names of those routes that he soloed so he can chop them too, due to they where climbed in 'better style' right?

Luke, your screaming "EWWW glued and manufactured holds! Lets chop it guys! Come on, ill help, I hate that!" But wait Luke, what about your posts on MP? Here are some route descriptions you posted:

Fireball
Description (BY Luke Bertelsen)
No type of manufacturing left undone on this one. Glue, drilled holds, and more glue oh my. This one is more like a roped boulder problem than anything, but it is fun. Don't fall after the last bolt before anchors or you'll get some nice air time.



F-K Me Pumps
Description (By Luke Bertelsen)
Not that I advocate chipping/drilling holds but this is a very fun climb. The climb trends left on overhanging terrain on decent holds that are a fairly far apart. There are several undercling sequences that are very tough. This route has not seen an ascent and does not get much traffic either. It is, however, fun to top rope even if you can not do all of the moves.



Weired that all these routes have tons of manufactured holds, but you still recommend them and give them at least 2 stars! So as long as LUKE likes the routes its then ok if the holds are glued or manufactured, but if LUKE does not like the route then CHOP IT! Its pathetic how big of a hypocrite you are and now with the example I provided everyone can see that.

EFR, Jbaker, and Joe S. I know I mentioned a few of your routes above and I mean no disrespect on that. It is only to prove a point to these hypocrites that complain about one "tampered" route and give the next one 4 stars. I have spent countless hours on your guys routes enjoying them, so again no disrespect.
By eMurdock
From: Tucson, Arizona
Nov 8, 2010

Whoah. Let me first say that I have climbed the route and I saw what the holds on pitch 4 look like. I wish Geir could post some pics, but the holds are questionable because they have a couple interesting features. One, there are no other holds like them to the left or right of the bolt line (ladder); two, they have distinctive, arcuate, chip patterns near the back of the holds and smooth, glued tops; and three, they are unlike the rest of the holds on the rest of climb and allow passage of a blank wall at a difficult, but reasonable grade.

It is possible that the holds were chipped and glued by the FA but improbable. A more likely explanation is the Rock-pecker bird (Clipus-wankerus) that is native to the Sky Islands of Southern Arizona. The Rock Pecker habitat is around 4000 feet above sea level and between 400 and 500 feet up a steep cliff. It usually hangs out on 5.13 or 14 terrain. It has a tendency to peck and move in a vertical line - usually pecking small ledges that climb at the doable 5.12 level. Pitty the little buggers don't stay on the holds longer to peck the holds down to 5.10. After the bird pecks a small ledge, it typically spews up mucous- that can be used for the rare Chinese dish 'birds nest soup'- that has similar qualities to epoxy glue (neither Geir nor David are ornithologists so their ignorance is understandable). Applying the rule of parsimony (least astonishment), this explanation should be the working hypothesis until proven incorrect. I am a PhD and I know.

Let me now answer Dan Sealer's inquiry into why people like Jimbo are so fired up. The first thing is that not all things are equal in life. 80 foot sport climbs on Mt. Lemmon choss piles or routes put up during the dubious beginnings of Sport climbing on Mt. Lemmon are tarnished but accepted by the community because it has been unofficially agreed that Mt. Lemmon ethics are of a lower standard than the revered Cochise Stronghold. Even in the Stronghold, levels of ethics vary a little depending on the location. For example, people have stood by and accepted the excessive lines of steel up the Sheepshead that preclude future first ascentionists from going ground up on clean slabs because those routes are not knowingly manufactured and are pretty darn fun. Those were put up in mediocre style and any one is allowed to put up routes in any style - until a point. However, the Rockfellow Dome is a real deal, world class cliff that is considered sacred by a lot of climbers who have climbed a lot and know how killer that formation is. This routes takes on an incredible line up a buttress and out a blank face with nothing but air (despite the weirdness of the route and that I didn't even feel like trying to free climb the manufactured pitch - I just climbed it as a bolt ladder- it was great fun being in that wild position with my jovial climbing partners). To taint that piece of stone boggles my mind. If the 4th pitch was similar in character to the stone adjacent to it, it would be really hard. That is great. It could have allowed future climbers to try to free the thing for real - with bolts more that 5 feet apart and without dubious holds. Peter Croft visits the Stronghold most years; perhaps he could do it. May be my kids could do it some day. I won't do it and nobody else will ever have a chance. That is why it was such a bummer to see one of the best cliffs in Arizona, perhaps the world, marred.

Dan, defender of the weird, the comments of Luke and Jimbo and others are not hypocritical. They are not attacks on a particular person, they are in defense of the Rockfellow Dome, the baddest motherf&@#*in cliff we got. This is bigger than a battle of personalities, this is about preserving incredible cliff faces in remote beautiful places.
By Dan M. Sealer
From: San Diego
Nov 8, 2010

EMurdock, you make interesting points with good insight.

Again, I am not for chipping holds or manufactured holds at all. That being said I am not ok with people just going around chopping things over a a few comment on MP either.

unfortunately, I find you point of view slightly narrow. As I am treating all rock with the same ethics across the board and you are going from formation to formation and creating different ethics for each, a little confusing.

If you really want to get into "Whats best for the rock" and "Whats best for the community and preservation of climbing area" you are opening a huge can of worms.

Does a bolted ladder up Rockfellow Dome make me frustrated, Yes. BUT does TONS of hanging chains in places like Orifice Wall, The Beach, and The Helmet (to name a few) make me equally as frustrated, YES! I don't understand why you are not looking out for whats best on Mt. Lemon, your own back yard too? I mean if the forest service saw those chains hanging like a slaughter house at those crags then we could have serious access issues on Mt Lemon, maybe even full time closures. Do you really think voicing your opinion of "Its only Mt Lemon, who cares?" will have a positive effect with the relationship between climbers and forest service and land conservationists for the future? Its possible 20 years from now your kids might not be able to enjoy climbing at all on Mt Lemon due to options like yours. What about your kids then Emurdock?

Hiding behind rationalizations like "Its only a 80ft sport crag," "Whats done is done," and "Its only Mt Lemon" is ridiculous.

This whole attitude of have climbing ethics when it suits you is irritating and the example you are setting is shameful.
By eMurdock
From: Tucson, Arizona
Nov 8, 2010

Dan,
You say that my points of view are narrow but they are actually far from narrow. Narrow is to think that all things are equal and the same ethics are to be applied everywhere. You say, "As I am treating all rock with the same ethics across the board and you are going from formation to formation and creating different ethics for each, a little confusing." Things may get a little confusing for you, but that does not mean simple is the way to be. Think harder. When we consider all the climbing resources in the country, or the world, we must first understand that there are differences in the rock resource, the history, the climbing populations etc... As climbing has evolved in this country, various styles of route development have also evolved. Certain types are acceptable in some places but not others. Certain areas are held to higher standards due to their unique attributes such as location, rock quality, position, route length, solitude, community ethics and others. Chipping and glueing are never good things but you are comparing apples and oranges. Things are complicated and you have to have your ideas well developed to make a logical and meaningful argument. Your ideas are strict and ethically sound but not realistic and not practical.
By Dan M. Sealer
From: San Diego
Nov 8, 2010

Emurdock,

Your right, our climbing community is growing in population and so that also means FA'ers are becoming more common now as well. Shouldn't ethics be more strict and predominant in local crag areas such as Mt lemon since new FA'ers normally start at their local crags putting up new routes and nurturing their skills in FA'ing there? If there are no ethics to hold FA'ers back at their local crags where they honed their skills what makes you have the silly notion that good ethics will be there when they start moving to other areas?

The possible real truth is that we as a community might also be to blame as well when it comes to routes like these. Reason being is that if we had more back bone and stood up to some local FA'ers at our local crags then maybe they would be less inclined to go mess with more appreciated areas like the Stronghold. But as we all know this may be hard since the FA'ers could be our climbing friends.



By eMurdock
From: Tucson, Arizona
Nov 8, 2010

Dan,
No. This has nothing to do with friends and we, as a community, are not to be blamed for a route like this. If you need to cast blame; the FA is to be blamed. My silly notion is based on the fact that I see no indication (and have personally done a lot of research on this very topic) that people are learning dubious FA behaviors and imposing them on areas with stricter ethics. Instead, anecdotal evidence shows the opposite; experienced FAs are becoming more lax with their ethics. I also do not believe your argument that ethics have to be consistent. I believe that a FA needs to have the integrity to honor an area for what it is. When you go to that place in Germany where they only use knots for pro, you use knots for pro. When you climb at the Stronghold, you don't put a chipped bolt ladder up the face of Rockfellow Dome. Ethics on Lemmon are fuzzy and poorly developed and it is another argument. Leave Lemmon out of this. You seem like a fine fellow so I would recommend that you just go climb the route and talk to your friend about it.
By Dan M. Sealer
From: San Diego
Nov 8, 2010

Rickd,

What about EFR? Tony Lusk (RIP), Jbaker, Joe S., Chris Craig, JIMBO, Mike Head, Mike Strassman, Dave Turner, Tony Horness, and MANY MANY more that have done local FA's. Have they done questionable and unethical things as well? Have none of the above chipped or glued hold? If they have why not mention their names to? or is this just another chance for you to single people you dont like out?

I am not advocating what SA has done and will do, but if you are going to hold him to a specific standard then I think you should do it across the board, even if those people are your friends.
By Dan M. Sealer
From: San Diego
Nov 8, 2010

Emurdock,

I climbed this route 4 years ago. Back then I could tell some holds where manufactured. You keep treating me as if I condone this route, which I have already said repeatedly that I disagree with manufactured holds on routes.

The only reason people use knots as protection in Germany is because it a law pushed by land conservationists. No metal in the rock or any fixed gear or chalk. Thats just a law that climbers have to fallow, not ethics.

The reason ethics change from location to location is 95% due to the climbing community/people changes from location to location. The people in New Jersey and different from the People in Arizona and thats why the ethics can fluctuate. But, the reason I closely comparing the ethics between the Stronghold and Mt Lemmon is because its the same climbers climbing at the Stronghold that are climbing on My Lemmon and also the FA'ers putting up routes in the Stronghold that are putting up routes on Mt Lemmon. We are not comparing Germany to Arizona we are comparing a single community loving one crag area even with its glued and chipped holds give things 3-4 stars and then in the same minute the VERY same community complain about the thing they just gave 4 stars.

Seems a little silly to me. But maybe we have to agree to disagree.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 8, 2010

dan,

it appears to me that you are simply posting up what scott ayers directs you to.

first, your arguments are identical to conversations i have had with scott, mentioning the same issues you are bringing up at exactly the same crags. i doubt this is due to chance.

what is even more convincing, however, is that on mountainproject you have posted in exactly two places:

1) on a thread starting on august 12th in which it was suggested that scott ayers added a bolt to a dave des champs route in order to make passage to his variation safer, and

2) here, where you are defending him again.

to this point you have popped up only when scott is being questioned. it's also worth noting that you joined on the same day that you posted in scott's defense the first time.

if scott ayers has something to say, let him speak for himself.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 8, 2010

ps Erik-

Thanks for the education about the Rock-pecker bird (Clipus-wankerus). I fell over laughing!!!


for the record, now four people have chimed in on this and have indicated they think the route has manufactured holds.
By Scott M. McNamara
From: Tucson, Arizona
Nov 8, 2010

My wife represented the first man exonerated by DNA in Arizona. He did ten and one half years in the wall for a crime he did not commit. She lost twice in the trial court, once in the state court of appeals, and once in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Tucson newspapers screamed for her head. Editorials claimed she should sit down and shut up.

It always makes me uneasy when we are so eager to lynch someone.

I never used to understand how Germany in the 1930's could have occurred.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Nov 8, 2010

My wife (not me) thinks that leaving it sends the message to future climbers that chiseling is okay in the Stronghold.



I also think it would be a good idea to talk to John Fowler as it was he and Scott that were originally working on this route. Perhaps you should contact Steve Grossman and have him talk to Scott too. Pretty sure he would be pretty upset with what Scott is doing to a place that he loved and respected so much.

I think it should be made clear to Scott Ayers, if it is the majority opinion, that this behavior will not be tolerated in the Stronghold just as most bolts are not tolerated at Paradise Forks.

I would like to point out that I listened to shit talking and a rant or two about guys like Ray, Mike, Dan and others were doing the chiseling in the 90s. HMMM. Seems a tad hypocritical doesn't it Dan. If you wonder why Scott Ayers seems like a lightening rod it is because those of us who have been around for the last 25 years have seen this (do as I say this week but I will do it next week if I get an FA) from him for a long time.

I agree with this comment.
Murdock wrote:
The first thing is that not all things are equal in life. 80 foot sport climbs on Mt. Lemmon choss piles or routes put up during the dubious beginnings of Sport climbing on Mt. Lemmon are tarnished but accepted by the community because it has been unofficially agreed that Mt. Lemmon ethics are of a lower standard than the revered Cochise Stronghold.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Nov 8, 2010

"It always makes me uneasy when we are so eager to lynch someone." Scott, comparing this to what your wife did and what happened to the defendant in her case is just absurd and I would be offended if I was your wife or the man she got released.

Secondly, perhaps it is time you quit being a defense attorney and understanding friend and take a public stand against the hypocrisy that you have witnessed for many years. This isn't a witch hunt by those with an axe to grind.

Russ Walling wrote: Are you shitting me? Flat out hold chipping? C'mon AZ rock police. Do what it takes to not only stop this activity but to end it pronto. WTF????? Why is this route still even in existence? Russ is his friend.

Guessing there are a few more out there that don't want to offend SA. Let's talk to Dave Baker and see how he feels about what SA did.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 8, 2010

Scott M-

Regardless of who did it, chipping cannot be tolerated in the Stronghold. If it is determined that is what happened here, the route should be removed. I detest the idea of having to chop a route. However, allowing it to remain in place sets an unacceptable precedent.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Nov 8, 2010

I am not in favor of chopping. I didn't like it when my routes were chopped and I don't think that chopping is the course to take. I hope that those that are upset will post up and talk to SA as well.
By Andy Bennett
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 9, 2010

Tarnation! Damnation! Fornication! Abomination!.....Desecration. Period.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Nov 9, 2010

Scott Mac, equating an online forum to what happened to an innocent man who did hard time, and the german jews in the 30s is absurd and disrespectful to the man who was wrongly accused and the millions of innocent jews who died thanks to hitler.

You could have asked if anyone new for sure if it was Scott Ayers who chiseled and glued this route. Instead you paint Scott Ayers as a victim of some lynch mob. No one is getting lynched we are posting on a forum. It looks like Scott chiseled a route down and we can be pretty sure it was him since past experience shows that he decides what gets done on routes he put up. He is not a victim. Scott is reaping what he has sown over the years. So don't gives us the "innocent man" crap.
By Scott M. McNamara
From: Tucson, Arizona
Nov 9, 2010

Eric thank you for your magnanimous response–not chopping. Geir thank you for not mentioning this bad behavior in your original route description. I admire both your restraint.

I agree manufacturing a route is unacceptable. I cannot imagine what Scott was thinking. I do not believe this route should be chopped. No mortal climber is likely to see this misdeed given the route’s difficulty and its location. If we chop it, then it will be forgotten and I worry about the access consequences of a new round of chopping and replacing.

I think this conduct should not be rewarded. I think, however, the punishment should fit the crime. Here is my proposal:

Let us give the route on MP/Rockclimbing (and in your topos Geir) the name David Merin thought up: “CHIP IT, CLIP IT AND RIP IT.” It is a brilliant name. It is funny. It is insulting. It is accurate. Geir can amend his route description to remind us why Scott did not get to name his own route—the disrespect he showed---earned him a disrespectful route name.

In addition, since it appears there are several other “unknowns” on Rockfellow. David gets to name one (1) more route of his choosing in similar fashion. It seems David has a talent for spot on names. This way---if the temptation arises again then David gets to think up more disrespectful names for “unknowns” on Rockfellow.

Would that be a fair resolution in your minds?
By Dan M. Sealer
From: San Diego
Nov 9, 2010

This again Geir? Wow, your paranoia about SA lurking around every corner and every MP post is pathetic. I remember telling you last time we don't know each other to call/email him and ask if he knows me. Since you refused to authenticate your statement of me knowing Scott last time by contacting him and actually asking a few questions, it would be ridiculous of me to think you would do it this time . You are probably going stay in your paranoia state of mind and just say "Even if I did contact SA and asking him if he knows you, he would just deny it anyways."

Your tactic of calling my authenticity into question is getting rather old now.

I just move to San Diego, CA two weeks ago. If you are ever in the area email me at dansealer@yahoo.com and we can meet in person about these issues. Or maybe you can give me your personal email address and when I come to Tucson, AZ sometime (maybe soon) I can contact you and we can meet over some coffee and talk face to face. This way you can focus on what I am saying and not on a conspiracy theory of identity.

EFR - I do not want to get into a big huge confrintation with you. But do really feel that you are the best person to be speaking out on matter of Manufactured holds? You have chipped holds on a few routes in your time as well. I think you are not the best person to be preaching on this matter.

I am not trying to disrespect you, I am only pointing out that you have done the same thing before.

Scott M. McNamara - You are not able to take the right of naming a route from the FA'er just because it has things on it you disapprove of. Whats even less your right is thinking to can then take a second route and name it what you want also in the name of "punishment." Some people disagree with how Warren Harding setup up routes of his back in the day, but they didn't get to then re-name the route for that reason, never mind then taking a second route and rename that one too! That just ludicrous. With your logic I vote to change Hebe's (on beaver wall) name to "POS" since it has manufactured holds and since you have the right to change 2 routes names then so do I right? So my second change would be Crab Legs (on the mean mistreater) to "Judge and Jury" since thats what you think you are.

I mean no disrespect to you either Scott M. I am sure you a nice person, but I am only trying to show you how insane your idea sounds.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 9, 2010

Dan, I simply pointed out facts about your posts. As for Scott, I could not care less about what he does. However, if I find something like this I am going to bring it to the attention of the community whether SA is responsible or not.

As for meeting directly for coffee I am happy to do so, simply drop me a PM the next time you are in the area.

Scott M, I think your idea is brilliant. Never in a thousand years would I have thought of it. It allows for an extremely effective and creative way to address this without chopping. I would add that chipping should be confirmed before any action is taken.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Nov 9, 2010

Nor I you Dan. I reread my posts and unless I missed something I really didn't say much about the chipping, chiseling or gluing. I simply mentioned what my wife said and pointed out, as I always do, the hypocrisy of Ayers actions and his words.
By A.P.T.
From: Truckee,Ca
Nov 9, 2010

All this won't have any meaning if you all would just eat this damn mushroom like I told you too.
All this won't have any meaning if you all would just eat this damn mushroom like I told you too.
By Dan M. Sealer
From: San Diego
Nov 9, 2010

EFR - I want to reach out to you personally about this "Name Changing" idea That Scott M and Geir are supporting. You and I might not see eye to eye on ethics and other climbing related issues, but that does not mean I don't respect you. I have spent hours climbing tons of your routes on Mt Lemmon with a great smile on my face. You have been a great contributor to the climbing community and I thank you for that.

BUT, lets just be super honest with each other. How would you feel if some just started changing names of routes on the Orifice Wall just because they disagreed with the ethics of hanging chains? How many countless hours and hundreds dollars have you spent putting up those enjoyable routes? Not only would they be changing the name of those routes among themselves, but actually publishing them on public sites with the new names they came up with! I think the answer would be that you would be pretty freaking mad if they were doing it to you!

A more direct question is how would you feel if Geir (your friend) just changed a name of one of your routes and published them with his new names and then on top of it just to show you how upset he was changed a second routes name? Would you still consider him your friend after something like that?

Eric Rhicard, I know that Geir and Scott M. are your friends, but you as a FA'er can see what an insane precedent Geir and Scott M. are going to be setting by doing this. If you, I, and the rest of the climbing community let Geir and Scott M. do this we are opening a door that can't be closed. Just think about it, next time some disagrees with any route for any reason and they just start changing names and publishing them that way. It can have a serious ripple effect.

EFR I am asking you to publicly take a stand as a prominent FA'er and one of the leaders in Southern Arizona and strongly protest this action that Geir and Scott M. are talking about doing. I know that these two people are your friends, but just because they are your friends you cant let them do what they want. You know what they are doing is wrong. I am not asking you to agree with the chipped route, I am only asking you to help keep some of these people in control and I am sure your voice can help do that.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 10, 2010

dan,

first, again you are insisting that we apply mount lemmon ethics in the stronghold. i don't agree with you and virtually everyone else here does not either.

also in your call to eric you are insisting that chain draws should be considered alongside MANUFACTURING HOLDS IN PERFECT SLAB ON THE ROCKFELLOW GROUP. these are two completely different issues.

you and i do agree on two things, though: chipping is wrong, and we ought to hold the same standards to everyone.

so for the record i will agressively pursue any signs of chipping in the stronghold. i will not allow this to go unchallenged regardless of who does it.

finally, if scott ayers did chip these holds, he should be the one "stepping up" and fixing this mess. how about if you call him out, dan?
By 1Eric Rhicard
Nov 10, 2010

Dan, I am glad you brought up the points you did. I love this stuff as it makes my brain smoke thinking critically about this. It makes me realize that others make much more cogent arguments than I do.

I think it is interesting that you want me to take a public stand. I might have missed it but have you ever once called on Scott Ayers to publicly answer any of the points brought up in these threads.

He will not do it because if it is printed he can be held accountable to his word. Instead he hides behind the excuse of persecution. If what he has done is defensible why doesn't he defend it himself. Instead you, and others in the past, come forward shifting the focus away from Scott's actions.

I think it is good you do as it makes all of us look at our own actions and if we are walking our walk. I don't claim to be perfect and I don't expect everyone to be perfect.

If the route doesn't exist it will not need a name. It may already be gone. As I said before and I will say it again I AM NOT IN FAVOR OF CHOPPING. But there are people out there that will not tolerate chiseling in the Stronghold and may have taken the matter into their own hands.

As far as changing names goes: I think it is one way of sending a message to someone who steps outside locally accepted practices.

Lots of routes have an AKA that the FAer didn't come up with.

You asked if I would be upset if folks changed names of routes I have been involved in. Yes I would. Despite this I have had them changed with and without my permission by my friends a number of times. I haven't lost any sleep. In the end my egos need to name is silly. If the holds are there and people can climb them then the route exists.

If Scott Mac is suggesting this then it appears to me that even he who is one of the most tolerant, empathetic, and good humans I know, has had enough of Scott Ayers hypocrisy to suggest this then Scott needs to step up publicly and answer the community. If the community wants his head (route name changed) then it might be changed.

Scott Mac and Geir will not do this on their own. Scott Mac is looking for a solution other than chopping. I think Geir is trying to create a big enough stick to keep this from happening in the future.

I am not the person who decides if the name gets changed. The guidebook author will have the final edit. But I think input from guys like Ray Ringle, John Steiger, Steve Grossman, Jim Waugh, Chip Chase, Dave Baker, and the other true Stronghold badasses should chime in. Then there is the whole cadre of neo trad climbers that are repeating or backing off the old scarefests. I am sure they will want to add their two cents.

Dan, If as you say you don't condone chiseling I would ask that you use your energy getting Scott Ayers and anyone else you know of that has chiseled to publicly promise not to do it. This way they can be held accountable in the future.
By Dan M. Sealer
From: San Diego
Nov 10, 2010

Geir - In my last message I am not insisting that we apply Mt Lemmon ethics to the Stronghold. I was purely giving an example of the president that your and Scott M actions are setting.

The message you are broadcasting is: If someone disagrees with a route(s) and its ethics FOR ANY REASON will now have the appointed right to publicly change that routes name and information. If they do change it and concerned climbers start to say "Whats going on here?" that person can just say if people can do it in the Stronghold then so can I!

Geir dont publicly have the attitude of "Hanging draw chains? Those are not as important as chipped holds!" Because that just makes you look like an idiot. Both chipping holds and hanging draw chains can both easily instigate a full time closure by land officials of any climbing area, no matter its location.

I have already said and I quote myself "I am not standing up for what Scott did and will do."

EFR - I am heavily disappointed to hear that you agree with Scott M. and Geir on this name changing idea. I really thought that you of all people could see that this is not the solution and you hiding behind the excuse of "its up to the guide book author," is even more disappointing.

Here is my solution:

Quite a few people have expressed their disapproval of the chipped holds on this route. My suggestion is to collect what what has been said on this forum and email it to Scott Ayres so he can read it. This way he can see that people are upset and see that it wont be tolerated in the future.

I think putting someones head on the chopping block and getting a huge mob together is unnecessary. I think there is enough people already that have expressed disapproval to get the point across. Even though Scott Ayres made a bad call on this route he is still, like EFR, one of Southern Arizona largest positive contributors to the climbing community. Lets try not to for get that.

I want to end off letting Geir and Scott M. know that I am not going to be sitting on the side lines if they decide to publicly change the name of this route and any other route. I make my living being a Published Information Analyst. I get contracted by publishing companies to authenticate writers and authors literature that has to do with factual based information. I have worked with over 140 publication companies throughout the united states in the last 25 years and I have an outstanding reputation in this business.

If any false information is purposely publicly posted on the route in question or any other routes I will make it my personal mission to put anyone who is responsible for the information on a National publication black list. The black list is for people who get caught trying to knowingly publish false information under the non-fictional/informative/historical/traveling or related genres. Anyone who is black listed that tires to get information published comes under extreme scrutiny and is most of the time not published since they are not worth the risk to most companies.

If I see false information purposely going up on Mountain Project in respects to the issue at hand I will personally contact the webmaster/owner to let them know that this websites can can also fall into the publication black list in regards to being a source for other publications. If any literature comes to be published with Mountain project as a source it will automatically be rejected. This could effect future revenue through publication for mountainproject.com and would be an unwise move to allow information to be posted that is purposefully falsified.

-Dan
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 10, 2010

quoted for posterity:

Dan M. Sealer wrote:

I want to end off letting Geir and Scott M. know that I am not going to be sitting on the side lines if they decide to publicly change the name of this route and any other route. I make my living being a Published Information Analyst. I get contracted by publishing companies to authenticate writers and authors literature that has to do with factual based information. I have worked with over 140 publication companies throughout the united states in the last 25 years and I have an outstanding reputation in this business.

If any false information is purposely publicly posted on the route in question or any other routes I will make it my personal mission to put anyone who is responsible for the information on a National publication black list. The black list is for people who get caught trying to knowingly publish false information under the non-fictional/informative/historical/traveling or related genres. Anyone who is black listed that tires to get information published comes under extreme scrutiny and is most of the time not published since they are not worth the risk to most companies.

If I see false information purposely going up on Mountain Project in respects to the issue at hand I will personally contact the webmaster/owner to let them know that this websites can can also fall into the publication black list in regards to being a source for other publications. If any literature comes to be published with Mountain project as a source it will automatically be rejected. This could effect future revenue through publication for mountainproject.com and would be an unwise move to allow information to be posted that is purposefully falsified.


-Dan

-----------------------------------------------------------------



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
By Dan M. Sealer
From: San Diego
Nov 10, 2010

Greg,

I mean every word of it. The information has been openly admitted as false.

You ether have enough income from MP or personally that future revenue from publication is trivial to you or your just a straight up incompetent business man. Whatever the reason is I don't really care.

You seem as interesting as a roll of toilet paper IMO.

It would be about time that you MP Admins get a back bone and start doing your jobs on here and not let people post up false information when you know its false.

This will be my last post on this topic and forum area. My actions will be in as accordance to my last post.

-Dan
By Scott M. McNamara
From: Tucson, Arizona
Nov 10, 2010

I am truly sorry and embarrassed we have come to this impasse.

1.) My idea of changing the route name was just a suggestion, an idea. It seemed to me a gentle way to end this awful dispute. I had hoped we could avoid the chopping/replacing cycle and its effect upon access. It did not seem to me that a route name could be so important.

2.) I am mindful that the domes are sacred to many of us. Manufacturing a route was probably not the best thing to do, especially there. On the other hand, I am mindful that there is a fine line between manufacturing and creatively cleaning. I have not climbed the route. It is beyond my abilities.

3.) I love both Scott and Eric. They are both my friends. Both have helped me be a better climber. Both have put up wonderful routes. Both have made mistakes. We all do. Mistakes are how we learn. Hopefully, we can all learn something from this thread.

4.) If Tony’s funeral taught me anything, it is this: Our time here is running out. Forgive me, but a lot of us are old guys----approaching the end of our climbing careers. Tony’s ended long before I thought it would. Do we really need to invest so much in negatives? It is the next generation that will ultimately decide the future of the Stronghold, not us.

So how do we get beyond this impasse? I do not know. I suppose this dispute just mirrors the larger world. Wars without end. Is that what we want? Is that all we can accomplish?

We are climbers, can we not lead rather than follow? Would it not be wonderful if we could find a way to solve this dispute? I know all the threats and anger will only make it worse.

What (we think) others might think of us--- must not be more important that what we think of ourselves.

I beg for tolerance and ideas.

Scott
By 1Eric Rhicard
Nov 10, 2010

Hey Dan, You seem to want me to say that Geir and Scott Mac should not change the name of the route. I really don't think they are going to do that.

"Scott Mac and Geir will not do this on their own. Scott Mac is looking for a solution other than chopping. I think Geir is trying to create a big enough stick to keep this from happening in the future."

Did you read what I wrote?
You asked if I would be upset if folks changed names of routes I have been involved in. Yes I would. Despite this I have had them changed with and without my permission by my friends a number of times. I haven't lost any sleep. In the end my egos need to name is silly. If the holds are there and people can climb them then the route exists. Guides and websites contain tons of misinformation. Just because a name is changed doesn't mean that isn't it's name. Names can change. Look at Super Crack of the Desert. Not it's original name. The fact that Geir and S,Mac want the name change in order to punish, shame, humiliate, change Ayers behavior, may be unacceptable to you but I find it better than chopping.

Sorry that you are going away Dan. Differing opinions and perspectives are a good thing. You made me look at things from another angle. If I am at my best I listen to the points made and try to objectively consider them. I doesn't always happen but I do try. Just because many of us don't agree or post up what you want to hear isn't a good reason to threaten the web site and go away.

The whole threat thing is a bit much. I trust when you cool down you will wish you hadn't posted that bit. I have a few of those posts. I give you credit for having the courage (I know one person who doesn't) to come on here and post your thoughts and opinions. If you do go away for good I will miss your comments.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 10, 2010

scott m,

i would suggest to you we are not at an impass.

here is a simple outline of how we can proceed:

1) get a couple of other folks to weigh in on those holds. scott m, i will be happy to show them to you and anyone else that would like to come along. we can climb to the top of rockfellows via an easier route and rap down. if nobody else gets photos prior to this, i will bring a high quality camera along.

2) contact some of the early stronghold FAs and ask them to weigh in on this.

3) if we arrive at a consensus that the route is indeed chipped, we approach scott with this information. unless he commits to make acceptable reparations, we choose among the options we have discussed above (or a new idea that has come up in the interim.)

i will be happy to help out with #1. Scott M, if you are interested in going to see this for yourself PM me and will set something up right away. anyone else who wants to come is welcome, simply PM me.

for #2, is anyone willing to track down folks such as grossman and asking them to chime in?

we'll get to #3 after the first two are wrapped up.
By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Nov 11, 2010

3) if we arrive at a consensus that the route is indeed chipped, we approach scott with this information. unless he commits to make acceptable reparations, we choose among the options we have discussed above (or a new idea that has come up in the interim.)

Reparations? Do any of you guys have a single hair on your sack? Fucking reparations? Chop the G'damn route and get on with your activities. Chipping is just flat out not acceptable, be it Scott or someone else. Let it be known that anyone chipping in the Stronghold will have their route chopped and the chisel shoved up their ass. Who are the big dogs out there that still have respect for the rock? This seems like an easy fix.

To add: If in fact Scott did the chipping, though I have seen no evidence in this thread that it was him.... C'mon Scott. Chipping routes in the Stronghold? What the fuck is wrong in your head on this one? If either you or your FA partner is thinking this is the new way forward or some new standard model of how FA's are to be done you are out of your fucking tree. Step back and think about what you are doing. It is total fucking bullshit.
By Scott M. McNamara
From: Tucson, Arizona
Nov 11, 2010

Hey Russ,

I notice I am losing hair on top pretty fast.

Do you think I am losing on the bottom, too?

Scott
By Steve Pulver
From: Williston, ND
Nov 11, 2010

The way I've read these comments is that there is still some doubt as to whether holds have been manufactured.

I'm curious about the excessive or grid bolting of routes Geir says is seen on the descent (sounds like another issue to get everyone upset).
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 11, 2010

Hey Russ,

Yes, reparations. You know, like removing the route with a pine cone stuck in the butt and pledging allegiance to Toofast. :)

Seriously - I want there to be zero chance of this ever happening again. Suppose we chop the route without getting the community on board. It would likely be put right back up. Then there will be another 70 bolt holes and the problem is still right there.

This route has been up for a long time. It won't hurt to make sure we get the facts straight and give the rest of the community a heads up.
By Jimbo
Nov 11, 2010

I have to agree with Russ on this one.
Go bolt and/or chip a route in the UK and see what happens. The next weekend when you bring your bros to your new route it will already be erased. End of story. No discussion, just gone.
You know the last time I was there I clipped zero bolts and latched onto zero chipped holds in three weeks of climbing. I guess the Brits solution has and still does work really well. You want to do something stupid the climbing community will erase your indiscretions in short order. No kum-by-ya, lets get together for a group hug and discuss it B.S. It's gone, period!

Dan those threats were laughable and sophomoric. Any credibility you had is now gone. Pretty sure if the FAist never actually published the name of his route, there isn't any re-naming to be done, or litigated against.

SA has finally gone way, way, way over the edge, even for him. The fact that the route is several years old is no excuse. It has been discovered now it needs to be erased. At least from the forth pitch on up.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 12, 2010

Hmmmm. You guys may very well be right. I am away for the weekend and will think about all of this (except Dan's threat).
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Nov 12, 2010

I'm not a local to cochise, only a visitor, on several occasions.
So I have no particular dog in this fight, other than the eventual consequence...

I DO believe in the slippery slope theory. After all, we've already seen in this thread itself where someone argues that since something was accepted at Mt Lemon, that it is not such a big deal here, and that's a few hours car drive away.

If indeed this is a chipped route and if indeed a pile of chipped holds or glue-ons is allowed to remain, where is the demotivation that will stop someone from doing it again? They'll get around to it. It's just like retrobolting- if all bolts get to stay, then a retro-bolter can rest assured that his efforts will be rewarded.

Do we really want to legitimatize chipping and gluing by allowing it to remain? I'd encourage the locals to erase the mistakes rather than send the virtual invite to do it again.
By Jimbo
Nov 13, 2010

Brian, how about I go up to your route on Table mountain and chip it down to 5.8 and bolt the crap out of it. Who would be crying then??
Or maybe go up the the cliff your developing in Pima Canyon and bolt every crack we find? We'll how fast you can "get over it".
It's easy to let it slide when it ain't in your back yard.
By Eric D
From: Gnarnia
Nov 13, 2010

Wow. Unbelievable. The bolt ladders all over the place are bad enough. Now this. Chop it.
By Albert Newman
Nov 13, 2010

I support a careful erasure of this mistake. It will be a lot of hard work, good luck.
By A.P.T.
From: Truckee,Ca
Nov 14, 2010

This thread is stoking the fire with Land Managers and I think it should be removed and discussed in private. The fire is getting too big!
By 1Eric Rhicard
Nov 14, 2010

This is not a thread Andy. And do you really think Land Managers have nothing better to do than scour all the climbing websites looking for reasons to limit access. All you fear mongers. Keep Fear Alive! Pretty soon you fearful ones will be telling us it is un-patriotic to discuss anything that gets people upset. Hell, the Coronado Natl. Forest has an info board at Windy Point that talks about how we are using bolts and pitons as permanent anchors. This is beyond personalities Andy, eat your mushrooms and relax you can and will be able to climb in the Stronghold for a long time to come. Or, you could just tell SA to answer any and all questions about what he is or has done in one paragraph then these things would end quickly.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Nov 14, 2010

Cry Babies Brian? I dare you to aid your way up this route on the Rockfellows, look at what was done and call people cry babies. You might be crying with the rest of them afterward. Pretty sure we will have photos by next week. Then from what I am hearing the tears will turn to chisels. It is funny how folks like to turn against the folks that are talking about this instead of the guy most likely responsible for the damage done.
By Albert Newman
Nov 15, 2010

It sounds like this route sucks and the persons responsible at a minimum should be banished from the climbing community.

Eric why do you aggressively demean any person who mentions access or the future of climbing? Lots of persons have studied access issues for decades and watched with concern as climbing area after climbing area is shut down or access limited. It seems if a person has a "right" to publish a guidebook, then others have a "right" to mention access worries on a stupid blog. I do not want to get into a pissing match with you Eric, as I am far from being a perfect man, but will encourage you to at least let others have equal time to express legitimate access concerns.

Keep fear alive is right (both on Rockfellow Dome routes and in our imaginations), because if we are not careful stewards of the rock resource we could lose the wonderful privileges we enjoy today. It has happened all over the country for years. A few regional examples with access and /or bolting limitations: Canyonlands, Glen Canyon, Oak Creek Overlook, Hueco Tanks, Red Rock, this list goes on and on and is growing.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Nov 16, 2010

Thanks Albert. I didn't really see it as demeaning. I will reread my posts. I just find it hard to believe that the FS has the time to go through all the Websites and find reasons to restrict access. I appreciate that you have made a list. The others could have responded with a list as well. I think of these things as a debate. If you say you think it is green and then I say you are wrong I expect that if you really believe what you have typed then you will back it up with a response. That is how I learn I am wrong. I should go to the Access Fund site and see how many areas have been closed because climbers were talking about this sort of thing on a website.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 16, 2010

Very well said, Eric.

Folks- there is a lot of email going on among some of the locals to try to resolve this issue. If you want to be a part of this PM me.
By Albert Newman
Nov 16, 2010

Aleix,

Your comment sums it perfectly for me even though I have never touched this formation. I suspect many of the people on this chat agree with your position.

Geir, great idea, PM sent.

Eric, I never thought of those areas as a list, just places I have enjoyed climbing in for a long time that have regulations that are above and beyond average. When the land managers rule for no new fixed anchors it is something I notice because it very much impacts my decisions as a climber. I have not heard of any areas ever being closed because of chat on a blog, though it doesn't seem unlikely to happen. I hope I am wrong on that last burp.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 16, 2010

Albert,

The idea of discussing this in private was not mine, credit for this is owed to Daryl Kling.
By Dan Cohen
Nov 17, 2010

Comment removed by myself, as the discussion has moved to private emails.
By John Steiger
Nov 19, 2010

"vandalizing another's route is a totally different matter altogether. if the first ascent party of the death route that was crossed has an opinion, then it would have some merit.

"all i'm saying is that life is too short and too precious to waste your time crying, baby.
i will not be headin out to do this route, i might be offended by the chipped hold, therefore i choose not to partake. if i did climb the route, i would form an opinion, and i would keep it to my-self, or i might discuss it with the persons responsible face to face, like a man, i would not trash anyone on-line. i have never chipped a hold, nor have i ever crossed an existing line. i do not condone these practices, but i'm also not mad that a 3 star line has crossed an x rated route, nor do i care that there may be some manufactured holds. i have better things do to, like climbing to have fun. i am not a religious conservative that feels they need to impose their morals on everybody else. are you?"


Let me get this straight – so the only person who has standing to object to a new route bolted over an existing one is the person who put up the old one? That seems a bit myopic. Lumpy was the boldest lead in Arizona when it was put up, and it likely still is – a monument to the strength and mind control of perhaps the best climber living in Arizona in the early 1980s (Jim Waugh). I was tempted to get on it back in the day, but I moved away before I could summon the courage, and I’m sure others have also considered it and some still may be. If the new bolts effectively destroy Lumpy’s headgame, it would be a real loss for the climbing community, past and future. Sure, a Lumpy ascensionist could just not clip the bolts (and maybe avoid the chipped/glued on holds), but the aesthetic of being a long way out, just you and the rock, as Jim had found it, would be destroyed. Russ and Jimbo have it right. Even if the newer line does not interfere with Lumpy, it should be erased, completely. Talking, or keeping your head in the sand because you have better things to do, does not appear to have had any deterrent effect. I guess I’m a religious conservative.

Postscript: I see the person that posted the comment that drew me out deleted it. Nothing personal, eh?
By Paul Davidson
Nov 19, 2010

Twas going to be my question, Isn't that the area where Lumpy goes ?

As JS points out, that was probably the boldest line in all of Az for many years (still perhaps?) Waugh also did the second ascent of Che Disa Tsay and due to no beta, ended going straight up the imposing headwall in a lead probably very similar to LU.

The only possible justification for adding bolts to the line would be a nod from Waugh. From what I understand from his partner, Jim wanted to place bolts, there were just no stances and by the time he realized what he was into it was better to continue up than try to down climb. What scrotum shrinking stuff.

If it truly is chipped, the abomination has to be chopped, but done right. You don't want to leave a worse scar. Somehow though I would be very surprised if Fowler had anything to do with a manuever like that.
By John Fowler
Nov 19, 2010

Since the old dogs have barked, I better let everyone known my part in this route. I did put in the first two bolts (with Scott) on the first pitch (I think, it was done in the early 90's). The route was over my/our heads at the time. I have not been climbing in Tucson for about 18 years, therfore I could not have had anything to do with the rest of the route. I do not consider my minor contribution to such long route consideration as one of the first ascentionist. I am sure there were others that deserve to be listed with Scott as first ascentionist. The Scott Ayers that I have climbed with would not have chipped holds, but would have place plenty of bolts (sport route versus bold (R/X)) and cleaned the route well.

John Fowler
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 19, 2010

John,

My sincere apologies for the mistake on the FA info. I have updated the the route.

Paul & John,

Thanks so much for your comments. It is my understanding that Scott does not browse MP any longer. I suggest sending a PM if you would like to discuss this with him.
By roxclamantis
Dec 5, 2010

A friend suggested I log on and take a look.

It seems this discussion has devolved into agendas and personalities, and that is too bad. In my view, it should be about what climbing is, was, and where it is headed.

For starters, as a good libertarian, I believe that what anyone does that causes no harm to anyone or anything else should be no one else's business. Dave Deschamps' (who I greatly admire) ascents of a bizillion routes in the Stronghold without leaving hardly a mark, is a good example. Ironically, his approach has drawn criticism for his lack of publishing. Frankly, it is his life and his business and if someone has a big problem with that the problem is theirs and not Dave's. Why? Because Dave has passed without a trace and, as such, he doesn't 'owe' anyone anything. More power to him.

On the other extreme we have sport bolting and line manufacturing. As a geologist I would point out that the rock doesn't have an opinion on the matter, most of which will end up as sand grains in the Sea of Cortez some day. Humans, however, do have an opinion on the matter, and it is their perspective and aesthetic that matters to.........other humans. So we humans establish norms and laws to protect (or not) that which we cherish.

The U.S. Federal Government, in a globally unmatched fit of brilliance, established National preserves, forest, parks, etc., as part of the public domain, these for both enjoyment and as well for multiple use as watershed, forests, grazing, and mining. Subsequent laws were overlayed to further protect that which a significant number of people held dear: water, plants, animals, aesthetics, etc.

So here we are. Most of us climbers climb on public lands. These are owned by the public, not climbers, and I am constantly amused at how parochial climbers become arguing that climbing is somehow so sacred as to rise above the rest of the 'plebian' public. It doesn't. We're not that important. Get over it. The tourist with a belly and binoculars has just as much right to weigh in on the public trust as anyone else, whether 'we' think so or not. It is hubris to think otherwise.

So, while on public trust lands, climbers need to realize that they don't have free reign over what they wish to do (nor should they). In the 'old days' of trad dominant and bolt-shunning climbing, this was never an issue. Sport climbing has made it one.

Warren Harding long ago made a prescient comment (I paraphrase) that the difference between only a few bolts and many bolts was like the difference between a $5 hooker and a $100 one. The fact is, the placement of a bolt anywhere is a tacit admission that we couldn't (or chose not to) climb/descend a route as it was encountered in its natural state. In earlier days of climbing the 'pure' goal was, of course, zero bolts. Climbers generally accepted that a sparse number of bolts to prevent death and/or permit descent was 'OK'. Sport climbing changed all of this.

Though I enjoy sport climbing, I see the endless proliferation of bolted lines being largely analogous to dogs pissing on-the-fire-hydrant. Further, bolts represent a much more tangible stamp, over the mere posting of a topo, of the person who put them up. Enter the conceit.

This type of thinking has led to the absurd position that somehow a route is the 'property' or under the 'caretaking' of the FA'ist. Aside from John Hayes' deeded right to Mean Mistreater, I'm not aware that anyone/anywhere has any 'rights' to a route. The only arguable right I can see (based on the public trust) is that the overarching principle should be to NOT muck it up.

Meanwhile, climbing has severely degenerated into the mode of getting a Bosch for Xmas and immediately scouring some 100 square meters of rock that hadn't yet been bolted. Quality of routes has plunged. I heard a friend, a protagonist in this drama, remark that he would train his partner how to bolt because this person was anxious to do so and continue marking the fire hydrants. Would it ever occur to this person to focus on putting up trad routes? Apparently not.

This is a long way around to the chipping issue, which is directly related to bolt proliferation. Putting up 100 bolts on a route is, inarguably, permanently altering it. It is no great logical leap to then say 'well, what are a few chipped holds; I mean, a few chipped holds is less than the impact of 100 bolts'. Quite true. To the tourist standing on Windy Point, from a public trust perspective, there is no difference.

My point is thus: there is an inextricable link between overbolting, retrobolting, and the degredation to hold chipping. The comments as to the slippery slope in this thread are correct, but the slope was slipped on a long, long, long time before this issue. Just two days ago I was on Sheepshead at a belay ledge. From a small ledge there were 3 (count em) options of bolted lines, this within a lateral width of 50 feet, and I could see one more to the far left. At least two of these lines were obviously not just adequately but well-protected by trad gear. More pissing on fire hydrants.

The climbing community has significantly degraded a public resource, whether we like it or not, whether we feel it is justified or not, whether it 'matters' or not. The degree to which we deny this is proportional to our delusion as climbers as to the importance or significance of what we are doing. This doesn't mean all sport climbing, and its derivative chip holding, is bad, but it does mean that it has gotten way, way out of control and there is no end in site until U.S. climbing areas take on the feel of European slag heap climbing areas.

So, if we care, we need to police ourselves, and the 'getting over it' attitude is the ultimate nihilistic point of view that simply encourages more degredation. Climbing in a world of 'anything goes' ceases to be a disciplined diversion and instead morphs into merely self-indulgent expression and egotism. Maybe that's OK to a lot of people (and they have their right to their opinions) but it makes me feel embarassed by association.

Dave Jones
By Jimbo
Dec 6, 2010

Great comments Dave but I still don't know what you think should be done. Chop the bolts and fill the chips, er what??

By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Dec 9, 2010

Great pics! That is beyond fucking sad. Any word from the Star Chamber yet on the future of this "route"?
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 22, 2010

Breaking news!
Breaking news!
By FletcherB
From: Tucson
Dec 29, 2010

I'm curious who was belaying SA when he was doing the chipping, and why didn't the belayer say something?
By Steve Pulver
From: Williston, ND
Feb 1, 2011

So I take it just the chiseled pitch had bolts removed from it, since there still appears to be bolts on the rib to the right of Knead Me?
By Larry
From: SoAZ
Feb 1, 2011

Hasn't this route been in existence for 12 years or so? Doesn't murder of the impossible have a statute of limitations?
By Neill Prohaska
From: Tucson, AZ
May 1, 2011

This is pretty pathetic; as a Tucson native and as someone who has been climbing in S. Arizona since his teenage years, I'm pretty ashamed to see my local climbing 'elders' writing and acting like self-righteous surly adolescents. The weirdest thing is, almost all the commentary/actions associated with this route completely ignore MP Guideline #1 for posting: "don't be a jerk." We might also do well to consider this guideline as a basic rule to being functional, mature members of the climbing community. And to preempt some possible responses: no, someone else being a jerk doesn't make being one in response okay.

The forum thread related to the route and associated incidents ( mountainproject.com/v/arizona_... ) are frighteningly revealing in this respect. Irrespective of the route, we are a pretty sad climbing community if folks can't understand the importance of really taking seriously that simple idea: don't be a jerk. This is especially important on issues of chipping/chopping, since BOTH (IMO) represent the lowest of the low for a climber's relationship to the rock and the rest of the climbing community.

And that the choppers should make their actions a theatrical affair by dressing up in what they deemed 'jihad' garb, making a mock newspaper article/photo, posting it here, and actually thinking that was acceptable and 'funny' ("Jeez, can't you take a joke?" seems to be their excuse, which is in itself pretty inexcusable)...well, it simply turns my stomach. And no, not for religious reasons. (I'm another atheist, and staunchly so, but again, I try to follow that lovely, simple doctrine: don't be a jerk.)

I agree with Scott M. that issues of chipping/chopping need to be discussed/figured out, but folks really need to be a bit (no, sorry, correction: A LOT...A WHOLE, WHOLE LOT!!!) more mature/objective before we can make any headway at all as a climbing community...
By MattB
Oct 10, 2012

There is NO statute of limitations on murder (of the impossible).