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When does trad become sport?
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Apr 3, 2013
In light of many hard trad mixed lines going up recently, at what point does too much fixed gear (pitons and so on) make it essentially a sport climb? Seems like if you do a 4 pitch mixed route and bring 10 QDs and only one or two cams you're pushing the physical "sport" aspect of climbing and not really doing a trad ascent. Is there a name for this? Fixed gear usually leaves a more visible trace than bolts as well.

Aside from the rare upward driven 20 year old piton, if every piece of fixed gear is essentially going to catch you just like a bolt, is it really a trad route?

This problem also occurs on crux pitches of easier classic alpine rock routes where there is so much fixed gear it's not even necessary to place more than a few 'backup' pieces while essentially clipping and forgetting like you would do once you clip a bolt.
Peteoria
Joined Jun 6, 2010
62 points
Administrator
Apr 3, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
I got 99 problems, but fixed gear ain't 1 of them... slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,070 points
Apr 3, 2013
Whipping on the redpoint crux of " The Theate...
Worry less about this kind of jazz and more about climbing... Dr. Rocktopolus
From Chattanooga, TN
Joined Mar 29, 2012
39 points
Apr 3, 2013
Don't clip it if it bothers you. If you don't like seeing old fixed gear, pioneer some FAs somewhere--but don't leave any pro behind. TWK
Joined Sep 15, 2012
164 points
Apr 3, 2013
Is a crack where essentially every placement goes pre-determined, whether placed on lead or pink-pointed, still a trad climb?

Is an ice climb where I already know the 5 screws and where they go still an ice climb?

Is it still protected climbing if I just run it out for a 150 or more feet?


At some point, it's all sport climbing, and neither, but at the same time, I really don't give a fuck and I'll climb it just the same.

The triple point of climbing where all exist at the same time in perfect equilibrium.
Buff Johnson
Joined Dec 19, 2005
1,499 points
Apr 3, 2013
Russ Just off the block
Some times I place a nut on a sport route just to call it a trad route, makes you sound way more hardcore ;) Danger-Russ Gordon
From Tempe, AZ
Joined Nov 30, 2011
217 points
Administrator
Apr 3, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
In the traditional distinction of the two, "traditional" vs. "sport" refers to how the line was established. There are "traditional" lines with entire pitches protected by nothing but bolts that were put in on lead, from the ground up. "Sport" routes are generally not established that way.

I don't know that I've ever considered clipping a piton or a fixed nut the same as clipping a shiny stainless bolt. I certainly would never say that disregarding pitons, every piece of fixed gear will catch you like a bolt.

I think anyone that relies solely upon fixed gear, unless there is absolutely no other choice, is gambling. A lot of that "fixed" gear is just gear that was irretrievable, not gear that was left on purpose for subsequent parties.

In the end, just do what makes you tick. I think Rob has it exactly right.
Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Joined Jul 30, 2011
1,004 points
Apr 3, 2013
Berlin
The new Ascent magazine has a article about this Jay Eggleston
From Denver
Joined Feb 5, 2003
13,109 points
Apr 3, 2013
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Note that most people think of "mixed" climbing as ice/rock, not sport/trad. Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Joined Nov 23, 2012
10 points
Apr 3, 2013
Joe on the FA of Grape Nuts.
Must be a slow day on MP... RacerXK1
From Redlands, CA
Joined Aug 1, 2011
5 points
Apr 3, 2013
Danger-Russ Gordon wrote:
Some times I place a nut on a sport route just to call it a trad route, makes you sound way more hardcore ;)



And here I was thinking I was a wuss when I did that.
ian watson
From Albuquerque, NM
Joined Apr 27, 2010
275 points
Apr 3, 2013
Friends big puppy
David Sahalie wrote:
Do whatever gets you the most sponsors. If you kinda suck by today's high standards in bouldering and sport, then do a 13c 'sprad' lead to get some shwag.


nice
Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Joined May 27, 2011
20 points
Apr 3, 2013
RJN
When your clipping more than placing. Fixed gear doesn't count at "bolts" Ryan N
From Bellingham, WA
Joined May 21, 2009
183 points
Apr 3, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH
Ryan N wrote:
When your clipping more than placing. Fixed gear doesn't count at "bolts"


Is it a sport route if it has 3 bolts for 70 feet and the crux fall is a 25 footer?
Brendan Blanchard
From Boulder, CO
Joined Oct 18, 2010
310 points
Apr 3, 2013
Start of Liposuction
Buff Johnson wrote:
At some point, it's all sport climbing, and neither, but at the same time, I really don't give a fuck and I'll climb it just the same. The triple point of climbing where all exist at the same time in perfect equilibrium.



this^^
Jtorres
Joined Feb 27, 2012
98 points
Apr 3, 2013
RJN
Brenden- Sport is sport, which is neither. And if your not placing then its sport. Ryan N
From Bellingham, WA
Joined May 21, 2009
183 points
Apr 3, 2013
the crocoduck
Well, technically the ratio is .14298623 pieces of fixed gear per foot. Anything greater than this is a sport climb under international law. Pete Hickman
From Tacoma, WA
Joined Sep 4, 2007
516 points
Apr 3, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH
Ryan N wrote:
Brenden- Sport is sport, which is neither. And if your not placing then its sport.


(Not a serious qeuestion) Also, "Brenden" refers to someone else, "Brendan" on the other hand, well that's me.
Brendan Blanchard
From Boulder, CO
Joined Oct 18, 2010
310 points
Apr 3, 2013
Me on top of Chianti Spire
Peteoria wrote:
In light of many hard trad mixed lines going up recently, at what point does too much fixed gear (pitons and so on) make it essentially a sport climb? Seems like if you do a 4 pitch mixed route and bring 10 QDs and only one or two cams you're pushing the physical "sport" aspect of climbing and not really doing a trad ascent. Is there a name for this? Fixed gear usually leaves a more visible trace than bolts as well. Aside from the rare upward driven 20 year old piton, if every piece of fixed gear is essentially going to catch you just like a bolt, is it really a trad route? This problem also occurs on crux pitches of easier classic alpine rock routes where there is so much fixed gear it's not even necessary to place more than a few 'backup' pieces while essentially clipping and forgetting like you would do once you clip a bolt.


I don't grant your premise. Can you give some examples of trad routes with so much fixed gear, you don't have to place any of your own?


Bolts != sport. There are plenty of scary runout bolted slabs out there that are not sport climbs. Sport means low-risk.
Eric Fjellanger
Joined May 8, 2008
774 points
Apr 3, 2013
Jake Jones wrote:
In the traditional distinction of the two, "traditional" vs. "sport" refers to how the line was established. There are "traditional" lines with entire pitches protected by nothing but bolts that were put in on lead, from the ground up. "Sport" routes are generally not established that way. I don't know that I've ever considered clipping a piton or a fixed nut the same as clipping a shiny stainless bolt. I certainly would never say that disregarding pitons, every piece of fixed gear will catch you like a bolt. I think anyone that relies solely upon fixed gear, unless there is absolutely no other choice, is gambling. A lot of that "fixed" gear is just gear that was irretrievable, not gear that was left on purpose for subsequent parties. In the end, just do what makes you tick. I think Rob has it exactly right.


Why are you such a know it all about EVERYTHING... It really is annoying to read and I cant believe I am the only one who feels this way. You lead 5.8 trad yet are the expert on everything??
EricSchmidt
Joined Feb 3, 2013
5 points
Apr 3, 2013
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.
Indian Creek.

josh
J. Thompson
From denver, co
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,739 points
Apr 3, 2013
...
"Is it a sport route if it has 3 bolts for 70 feet and the crux fall is a 25 footer?"


Too much "Sport"/ "Trad" bullshit. GEAR or BOLTED...

Fuck the "SPORT"/"Trad" BS!!!...


I give it a big, WHAT THE FUCK?
Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Joined Oct 13, 2002
2,394 points
Apr 3, 2013
Thanks Hank Caylor!
yawn Bang
From Charlottesville, VA
Joined Dec 12, 2010
43 points
Apr 3, 2013
On Waimea, 5.10d
"Sport" and "trad" kinda suck as descriptive terms, for style of ascent and protection purposes. We should just abandon them, and describe routes more objectively. Charles Kinbote
From Brooklyn, NY
Joined Jan 30, 2012
6 points
Apr 3, 2013
if yr scared shitless its trad ....

if yr willing to whip all day and think youll walk away its sport ...

thats my definition ;)
bearbreeder
Joined Mar 1, 2009
2,078 points
Apr 3, 2013
This thread has gone on a long time without someone mentioning the Bachar-Yerian... Eric Engberg
Joined Apr 28, 2009
2 points


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