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When does trad become sport?
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By Peteoria
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.


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By slim
Administrator
Apr 3, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

I got 99 problems, but fixed gear ain't 1 of them...


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By Dr. Rocktopolus
From Chattanooga, TN
Apr 3, 2013
Whipping on the redpoint crux of " The Theater Of Pain " 5.13b Cooks Wall, NC

Worry less about this kind of jazz and more about climbing...


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By TWK
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.


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By Buff Johnson
Apr 3, 2013
smiley face

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.


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By Danger-Russ Gordon
From Tempe, AZ
Apr 3, 2013
Slope on a rope

Some times I place a nut on a sport route just to call it a trad route, makes you sound way more hardcore ;)


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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Apr 3, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

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.


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By Jay Eggleston
From Littleton
Apr 3, 2013
Berlin

The new Ascent magazine has a article about this


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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Apr 3, 2013

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.


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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Apr 3, 2013
Profile Icon

Note that most people think of "mixed" climbing as ice/rock, not sport/trad.


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By RacerXK1
From Redlands, CA
Apr 3, 2013
Joe on the FA of Grape Nuts.

Must be a slow day on MP...


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By ian watson
From Albuquerque, NM
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.


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By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
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


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By Ryan N
From San Louis Obispo
Apr 3, 2013
RJN

When your clipping more than placing. Fixed gear doesn't count at "bolts"


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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
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?


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By Jtorres
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^^


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By Ryan N
From San Louis Obispo
Apr 3, 2013
RJN

Brenden- Sport is sport, which is neither. And if your not placing then its sport.


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By Pete Hickman
From Tacoma, WA
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.


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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
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.


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By Eric Fjellanger
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.


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By EricSchmidt
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??


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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
Apr 3, 2013
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.

Indian Creek.

josh


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
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?


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By Bang
From Charlottesville, VA
Apr 3, 2013
Thanks Hank Caylor!

yawn


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By Charles Kinbote
From Brooklyn, NY
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.


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By bearbreeder
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 ;)


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