Author Topic: Hole Ethics  (Read 4648 times)

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Offline Caz

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Hole Ethics
« on: October 02, 2009, 08:00:50 pm »
So what is your feeling about filling bat hook holes, removing rivets and bolts, or removing copperheads that were not on the FA?


Also how about if you come to a copperhead you can bypass with a hook that is blown, remove it or replace it? It's kinda hard to tell which copperheads were there on a FA on routes like the Prow. When I did The Prow a few years back, there were some blown heads on a few pitches that I bypassed with hooks, but like on P6 the topo says fixed heads and hook (which means to me one hook move), I only used 1 head the entire pitch. So if I went back should would you replace all the bad heads or just take them out. Oh some of the blown heads either had tie off webbing on them or the cable was tied in a knot (I hooked passed all that crap)


So what would you do in either case? Fill the holes? Remove any fixed gear not from the FA? Remove any heads that can be bypassed?


Zac
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Offline Mike.

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2009, 01:48:41 pm »
Routes change--both naturally and from climber impact. Sometimes adding a hole will be necessary to bring a route back to usability.

It often comes down to opinion about what is "usable." Ricardo added a rivet to the PO, presumably because he thought the hooking was impossible. Maybe he simply drew a line as to what he was willing to do to get through. I recall him stating he was "scared" at the time. Later, Kristoffer hooked through without using the rivet. No knock to Ricardo. He did what he had to do, he made it home without major issue. Better if we don't add avoidable holes to finish up, but I'm not losing sleep over that rivet (which has since been removed or rendered unusable as I recall).

Taking a topo verbatim seems questionable. Without making executive changes to a route, maybe just checking out a situation individually rather than operating on a sweeping m.o. is the way to go. Having a shitload of mileage behind you can better qualify you to assess situations and suggest or make changes. "Can" being an operative word there, and no elitism intended.

I doubt any heads were placed on the FA of the Prow. I don't believe Robbins embraced the tactic. Esp on a route like the Prow, I would leave the usable heads. If a head is blocking an obvious clean placement and was clearly placed unnecessarily, sure, removing it seems like a no-brainer. Appropriate head placements by their nature are often marginal and unable to take repeated removal/placement. Ultimately the stone might be spared when heads that are "supposed to" be there are not, and some well-meaning, less-experience rat goes Heading 101 on a clean trade route.

Short answer, Caz: It depends.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline Caz

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2009, 02:31:16 pm »
How about on the Route I'm heading up to do on Tuesday, Skull queen. When I attempted it a year ago there was a head on P6 where it says 5.7 mantle, obviously that head shouldn't be there. Also on my favorite wide pitch, P7, I've been told that there are bat hook holes on it to avoid the wide. Leave them alone and bypass them to make myself feel like I've done the intended route or remove and fill them? I know I don't have as much wall experience as others do, but if I were to do a route in JTree that I've done 20 times and there's a bolt on it I'd pull it and patch the hole.


Zac
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skully

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2009, 02:57:22 pm »
Hey, Zac, I did Skull Queen as my first solo, & the bat hook holes were there then.....That was Sept of '94. I found 'em when I was going back down to get my haul together.
Bathook holes can be easy to ignore or just miss, provided they're not all over Hell. I agree that those are cheater holes. Hell, I managed to heave up that infernal slot! It MUST go, or I'd have been stopped.

Offline Caz

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2009, 03:31:04 pm »
Skully,

So was there a head at the mantle on P6?


Sorry to ask you to stir up some brain cells and go way back to '94 again  ;)


Zac
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skully

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2009, 04:17:35 pm »
I saw no fixed heads on the whole route.
Hey, my brains cells need stirring, all 4 of 'em!

Offline Mike.

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2009, 04:59:51 pm »
Caz, I gotta say it, friend: Forget about doing stuff to the route. Just go do the route. It's not worth ruminating about some head that sprouted up on the Column. Climb in the best style you can and have fun. Just finish the route and forget community service. You know what I'm talking about.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline Caz

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2009, 05:22:52 pm »
Hey Mike, No plans on doing any of this next week. I was just curious about how other people feel about things like this snd what they would if they had the time on the route. I don't have any experience removing heads and I wouldn't try unless I had to at this point. Maybe after I get a few more walls under my belt I may do some "community service", but first I have to start getting up them. Thanks for the concern Mike, I guess it did sound like I wanted to head up there and be the ethical police, but as of now I just want to get to the top of this damn climb...


Zac
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skully

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2009, 07:26:18 pm »
Word, Bro. Just work it & the rest takes care of itself.
Sure, there are chicken holes. Nowadays, They're Everywhere.
Style still counts. I think that's Mike's point. Just climb your best wall.
Everytime. Gettin' inventive is a real cool headspace, too,  don't cha think?
It's Wall Climbin', Bro......You know?
Diggin' it.......

Offline Mike.

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2009, 07:51:21 am »
Right on, Zac (& skully). Way to keep your eye on the ball, man.




Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2009, 06:12:20 pm »
It's asking the question that shows you are already mindful about the impact. That alone will carry you/any waller a long ways to figuring out what is the right move for you/any waller.

For my 2 cents worth on your question...

Quote
So what is your feeling about filling bat hook holes, removing rivets and bolts, or removing copperheads that were not on the FA?

...

Maybe a general rule of approach is to try and retain the 'character' of the first ascent as much as possible at the time of the decision.   That then covers the basics like don't replace a machine head rivet with a full bolt if it is part of the leading.  Or don't replace a bat hook with a full bolt if it is part of the leading of the route.



Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2009, 06:20:23 pm »
Caz, that head on 6 was easily bypassed with a little free as you already know.

The bat hook holes are were not there as of august o8.

Pretty good heads up there.

I tend to replace really bad heads, provided they cannot be bypassed with some hooking.  Bad heads are an issue if you are doing a speed ascent, If your taking your time up there, may as well get rid of those time-bombs.




Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2009, 12:17:50 am »
I don't know if it was Brutus or what not, but on one of these discussions on the Taco, someone described "hole ethics" as "whore's ethics" - i.e. essentially already doing something wrong, but it's just a bit of finesse how it's done.

Offline hoipolloi

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2009, 06:06:50 pm »
if you actually plan on filling or changing anything.  Learn how to do right, make it invisible.  I would *almost* rather see a small bat hook hole than a really mega shitty white blob of a patch.  In some  ways (and sometimes) that is worse, in my experience. 

you just don't want to fuck things up worse than they are.......

Offline Mike.

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2009, 08:29:32 pm »
"The bat hook holes are were not there as of august o8."


Pussies will be pussies. Do THE ROUTE or keep the F away until you can.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2009, 03:17:46 pm »
Woops, meant to say that when I did the route in 08 there were NO bathook holes.

Mike did you fix those up a few years ago?

A big thanks for returning the Queen to her throne of rivets, she don't need no stinking holes!

Offline Mike.

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2009, 09:26:44 pm »
Mucci, I did the route pre-ASCA and it was a very different experience than later. I spoke with Clance about it. He was firm that all that new steel on the route was not an improvement. He wanted to go up with us but couldn't swing it. It was more of a recon than anything, but we did remove a few unnecessary fatties. We planned to fully restore the rivet ladders. I left it in the end. I tried to get some kind of consensus...are you kidding? Realistically, you've got to do it on your own terms, all be damned. Or not do it. Maybe just climb... Hopefully whatever is done, is done with some thought.

Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2009, 10:36:48 pm »
I asked chuck what the original hole count was, No clue.  I wanted to get an idea of what "Original was" before I climbed it.  Were those 2 rivets leading left to the second to last pitch there when you did it? 1/4 buttons.  Bosque, Clance, Altenburg were all about those Zmacs.

Sorry that effort spoiled the trip for you.  I understand your position and I know Clance and Bosque were not very pleased when they heard about the Big steel going in.

Cheers

Mucci

Offline Mike.

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2009, 08:20:46 am »
Yes, Mucc, the two Zamacs were there, those are original. That's what they used for (all?) holes on lead. (Now...if we could get these fools to stop hammering on cable rivet hangers...) Not sure about the occasional bolt/hanger when I first did it; some of those may have been retro'ed. The rivet ladder pitch was nearly invisible until you were up under it, and there were some very respectable stretches to even clip the rivets. To see that effort and ethic get erased was a shame. The Zamacs were not in bad shape. It wasn't like the Tower where they were giving up left and right under body weight. They were replaced just because someone could. Just not well planned or executed. Chuck would have told those guys No Fucking Way had he heard the plan to retro it (as you know). They never even bothered to ask him; he's not hard to get in touch with either. I'm well past truly being pissed or wanting to do something about it. I'd rather go climbing or do new restorations. Bolt wars don't serve any of us well. "Whore's ethic"...indeed, Munge.

I think we all learned and grew a little bit with that one. The guys who retroe'd the route have done so much more good, conscientious restoration (especially since then) than heavy-handed, and I think they deserve leeway. I learned to keep moving in a more positive direction.

Thanks, man, but no spoilage here. I did the route as Clance and Bosque had intended it. It was a better that way, but nothing remains the same. If a person likes a bit more adventure, one can always get off the trades and do something more obscure--while it's obscure.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 08:25:07 am by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2009, 02:00:06 pm »
I thought those 2 rivets were button heads but it was getting dark.  Those guys said they used a few button heads but mostly Z's.

Your right on the ladder, no exciting stretches anymore, same as Southern Man, I wish I could have gotten to those before the work was done.  Yet we don't climb routes for the ladder pitches so it's all the same in the end I guess.

Thanks for the word and I'll let clance and Bosque know to clear the record about the restoration.

Clance said to say hello,

Cheeers!

Mucci

Offline Jack Herer

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2009, 08:16:41 pm »
there was definatly a bat hook hole there in aug 08 on the wide pitch(mabey we did it in the spring but i think it was aug or sept). i think i used it and was surprised how easy that pitch was. i was short fixing and cruised the whole pitch before i could even get put on belay.

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2009, 11:35:31 pm »
Whoa Jack!

I looked for that thing for while but never found it.  I told chuck and steve I would fill it in, never saw it, so I told em it got patched!  Ha, Oh well Maybe on my next ride with the Queen.

Man you would remember if you did it in Aug of 08', It was over 100 Degrees almost all month.  We took 8 gallons up there and spent two nights on it due to the brutal, all day long sun exposure followed closely by the moon which was full the whole climb!  It never got dark, very strange. 

Cheers,

Mucci

Offline Jack Herer

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2009, 12:46:41 am »
Ya Mucci now I def think it was August cuz it was hot as shit. We did it in a little over 9hrs I think I remember bonking hard towards the end and handing the sharp end over so I could take a break and chug some water. With out it it would be like 3ft of 5.9 OW.


Offline Caz

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2009, 10:08:09 am »
The bat hook hole was there as of 2 days ago...
I do this for fun...

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2009, 11:39:22 pm »
WHOOOOP!!!

Way to get er Done!

cheers,
Mucci

Offline Caz

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2009, 06:28:17 pm »
Thanks Mucci.

It was a great route and felt great to finally get it done. It was a log 2nd day for us... I'll write a TR later.


Zac
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Offline lambone

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2009, 12:16:43 pm »
was nice meeting you at the bridge Zac, congrats on the S_Queen.

Offline Caz

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2009, 01:16:19 pm »
Thanks Bone...

Great job on the Trip...

It was great meeting you too. I didn't put it together that it was you until I read the El Cap report.
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Offline passthepitonspete

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2009, 09:26:31 pm »
I'm not trying to sound too smart-ass here, but this is almost one of those questions that suggests the answer, "if you really have to ask, you shouldn't do anything."

Before you start altering a route, you have to ask yourself the question, "do you really know what you're doing?"  Do you really have the experience to make a judgement call like this?  The easier and more popular the route you are climbing, the more you have to ask yourself this question! 

So my point is, before you do anything, make double-damn sure you know what the hell you're doing, and can justify it. 

Routes all change over time.  Features fall off, chicken bolts and rivets get added, anchor bolts get replaced and even added, heads get chiselled and put in, but heads have a finite lifespan and especially on popular routes become "deadheads" pretty quickly.  Bat hook holes get drilled, because someone who didn't know what they were doing either chickened out and drilled them, or thought they were a less destructive alternative to drilling a rivet. 

I've done 39 different El Cap routes, and I have drilled exactly ONCE on lead, when I added a rivet on Native Son after the small flake I was hooking blew off.  [Various detractors have accused me a few times of drilling on lead on other routes, but I have not done so]  I chose to add the rivet on Native Son, because the natural feature no longer existed, and there would be no other way to bypass the placement, except to use a cheat-stick on the fixed head which is the next move above.  There was no way to hook past the blown flake, nor was there any feature that could be reasonably "trenched" to accept a head, or "enhanced" to accept a hook. 

Conventional ethics dictate, "if you need to drill, then this is because there is no natural feature you can use, in which case, you might as well put in a rivet."  The most amazing and awesome example of this ethic put into practice was on the first ascent of Reticent Wall.  Steve Gerberding led the "new wave A4" pitch above Wino Tower, and placed a single rivet.  I asked him about it.  "Steve - that pitch was as hard as they come.  Were it not for that single rivet, you could have had a second legit A5 pitch. Why the hell did you drill it?"  Steve replied, "Well, I actually didn't have to drill it.  There was a feature right beside it that was loose, but I could have nailed it, and it would have held, at least for me.  But the feature was so loose, I was certain that the third or fourth person nailing it would have knocked it off, so I saved everyone the bother, and put in the rivet on the first ascent."  Now THERE is a guy who is SO bitchin', he really doesn't have an ego.  Hats off to Steve, the Master. 

My first ethical dilemma was on Sunkist, on the "A5 Arch".  This route was put up at a time when the Bird was also putting up A5 pitches, so everyone wanted an A5 on their route.  So the Sunkist boys had their A5 Arch, and the Pacemaker boys had their "A5 Traverse", which was rated A3.  [Bet you didn't know that, eh?]  So on the A5 Arch of Sunkist, I bounce-tested a fixed head too aggressively.  It pulled, and the smooth corner into which it had been placed simply would KNOTT accept another head.  What did I do?  I didn't know what to do!  It was only my sixth or seventh El Cap route, and I had no clue.  So I used a cheat-stick to clip the next head, and left the ethical dilemma to the next party. 

In retrospect and more experience, what I probably would have done was enhance=trench the head placement enough to accept a new head.  Either that, or I would use proper top-stepping technique - which I didn't have then but do have now - to bypass the placement.  I'm not sure the current state of affairs. 

Up on Bad Seed this spring, I blew out a fixed head on a traverse under the Devil's Brow.  The placement is toast, it will not accept another head, no how, no way.  I've placed hundreds of heads - it's my very best aid climbing discipline - and if a head can be placed, then PTPP can do it.  But knott this time.  Nor would any pin - sawed-off, pecker, whatever - work.  What did I do?  Cheated past with a cheat-stick.  Why?  Well, in my experience, it was down to two possible solutions - trench out the placement to accept another head, or place a rivet.  I don't think the first one would work, and I just didn't want to drill my second-ever rivet on lead.  So I left the Ethical Dilemma to the next poor bugger.  There is nothing wrong with this!  It would have been a nice public service to have placed the rivet, however. 

Now, as for fixed heads.  Do you own a butterknife?  If you don't, why are we even having this discussion?  It's like talking about replacing bolts when you don't have tuning forks.  So before you even think about replacing heads, fixed, dead or otherwise, get yourself a butterknife.  Then you have the right tool for the right job. 

As for heads, you can't go wrong taking out deadheads.  They are of no use to anyone, and most likely are in the best natural head placement anyway.  So get your butterknife, remove the deadhead, and place your own head.  Placing your own head takes about three or four minutes and is really quite easy once you get the hang of it - but removing a deadhead can be a fifteen- or twenty-minute strenuous ordeal. 

When you place a head, in most cases, "place it for keeps".  Weld the livin' bejeepers out of it!  If you are unfamiliar with my heading post = which you can find on this forum - please read it.  Can someone please find it and bump it?  Cheers.  While it is sometimes possible to remove a head you have placed by funking it out, if you "place it for keeps" the cable will probably break.  So don't even try, eh? 

The most fundamental thing to keep in mind is, "what did the guy before me do?"  Think about it!  You are faced with something you can't climb.  But if you are on a popular route like the Prow or the Trip or Zodiac, then you have to ask yourself this question:  "I'm making the 1000th ascent.  What did the other 999 guys do?"  So look around, and figure it out.  They didn't drill, so don't you dare drill either.  Most likely they used proper technique, got into their topsteps, and bypassed the crap that's scaring you to something decent just a couple feet higher.  Remember this, too:  "It ALWAYS looks better from the next step up!"  So quit yer whining, learn how to topstep, and "stand tall in the saddle".  If you just get higher, the solution will present itself. 

It's heartbreaking to find "enchanted" hook placements.  This is so lame!  You know the first ascensionist didn't do it.  If you are sick of enhanced hooks, get your asses off the boring trade routes, and go seek out some adventure.  Do you guys have ANY IDEA how many moderate A3 routes there are on El Cap that see barely any ascents at all?  Just cuz they're not in the McTopo?  Or they are, but they're not popular = easy?  Why do you waste your time on junk routes like the Trip or fixed mank lilke Mescalito and shit?  Go climb something a shade harder, get off the beaten path, and experience a bit of adventure!  [/rant]

Anyway, a few ideas.  If you have some specific situations and questions, maybe I can better comment. 

Now get off the bloody trade routes!  Geeeeez.......  Yous guys can do better than that!

 
Dr. Piton says, "There is always a Better Way!"

Offline Flaccid

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Re: Hole Ethics
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2009, 10:10:23 am »
Pete: When you place a head, in most cases, "place it for keeps".  Weld the livin' bejeepers out of it!  If you are unfamiliar with my heading post = which you can find on this forum - please read it.  Can someone please find it and bump it?  Cheers.  While it is sometimes possible to remove a head you have placed by funking it out, if you "place it for keeps" the cable will probably break.  So don't even try, eh? 


So what you are saying is all heads should be fixed and left.  Would that not mean you need to carry 200 heads on a hard route, and then remove all the adventure of placing their own pieces for subsequent parties?  That sounds hella stupid to me.  If everyone did this all the routes would just be lines of copper and wires.  Lame-0 method.