Author Topic: The pussification of big wall climbing  (Read 7642 times)

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Offline Mike.

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The pussification of big wall climbing
« on: July 29, 2010, 04:01:17 pm »
Go up on an existing route with a rucksack full of courage and drill around anything you encounter that looks necky. Or drill around anything you don't feel like climbing for whatever reason. This drill-around tactic might be questionable on a FA; on an exiting route it's inexcusable. It's the blatant dumbing down--the pussification--of big wall climbing.

It doesn't matter how many legit bolts you've replaced, bringing the difficulty level of someone's route without some sort of consent down to your lack of fortitude, sack and respect is the bottom. The absolute bottom.

Erik Sloan, you are the guy doing this. You simply could not resist bringing Layton Kor's bold climbing on Great Slab Route down to your level of skill and sack. You could not take your medicine and rap off something over your head or beyond your level of comfort and convenience. You had to place a bolt at a 5.6 R/X move when an A1 alternative plainly exists. And that's just the beginning. Then you create a topo of your "work" and call it the route, encouraging others to climb it. Is it a conflict of interest that you are launching a commercial site dedicated to Yo big wall climbing? I think the answer is a deafening yes.

I don't want to climb your pussified remnant of a proud route. I want to experience the route as it was created--created by someone with skill and bravado. Anchors which have substantially degraded with time, weather, abuse and shedding features--sure, replace them 1:1 or as close as reasonably possible. Most people rebolting do that. You, Erik, do not. You professed that you think contacting first ascensionists before retro drilling on their routes "won't work." But you never elaborated as to why. Having known you and embarked on rebolting missions with you, I propose it's because you are too lazy, unskilled and lacking in sack. And that stout routes aren't very good for the topo business.

Erik, if you want to drill new bolts, go do it in any of the millions of square feet of untouched rock around where you live. Stay away from routes put up by competent (read; bold) parties. It's not any wonder at all that climbing historian Steve Grossman would not liaison with you with a ten-foot pole. It's because of your retro drilling habit; your lack of respect of history, tradition, lack of skill and gumption. I have seen your "rebolting" efforts at close range, and that's precisely why I would never be a party to your pussification and lack of respect which you view as "rebolting."

If you are like Erik, shooting first and asking questions never, do everyone who has an eye on adventure and developing skills a huge favor: Think. Then act with forethought. Consider the shoulders upon which we stand in our adventure outings. Then act with that consideration. Anything less is not acceptable in the big wall realm. Go sport climbing if you can't handle the commitment.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

skully

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 05:34:33 pm »
Call it like you see it, Mike. I haven't seen the results of all that "retro" work, but I HAVE been hearing about it, through various sources....I'm not down with overbolting, chickenbolting, or moving belays around for conveniences sake.
One of the worst things one can do to a route is change the nature of the route. Overbolting is a flagrant way of doing just that. That was 1 reason that when we climbed New Dawn to Tribal, we filled like 20 holes. ChickenBolts & rivets, all.
Just put the drill down, maybe?
I agree with Mike....If you don't have the vision(and the sack) to do the route AS IT GOES, Then kindly stay the Hell off of it.
Don't wreck someone else's Dream.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 06:01:48 pm »
To the community generally, not specific to this variant...


Is this question of ethics a matter of the amount of bolts used to connect climbable features?

On El Cap aren't there "routes" that are merely a couple pitches that also have bolts on them? I think I recall that there are, but admittedly I can't name them. Maybe there is a minimim amount of distance, before bolting a Wall route, that we should apply before establishing variants that are mostly bolt ladders next to existing routes?  Somewhat pursue the minimum impact approach as a guiding idea.  

thoughts?

In a similar vein I posed a question related to free climbing. It may muddle the ethical arguments for the type of climbing on walls vs. small crags at relatively untravelled areas.

http://sonorapassclimbing.com/smf/index.php?topic=1702.0

I welcome feedback, even if you aren't local to SPH (especially since I don't live there, well full time anyways).




« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 06:06:51 pm by mungeclimber »

Offline Mike.

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 10:40:25 pm »
"Somewhat pursue the minimum impact approach as a guiding idea."

This would be ideal if it were happening, munge. Even if it were "somewhat." But sadly that's not the case. The same guy that blazes a chicken ladder of fatties when the going gets tough also brings a come-along up to the base to sculpt bivi sites where none existed. Loving it to death--just like Dano did at Cave Rock. I wonder what our land managers think of this. And yes, they know already. I'm running a bit astray from your ethics Q there.

Decent natural features are what generally constitute variants. Maybe some thin intermittent climbing. If there is good enough climbing on a variant on such ground, progress bolts could be justified. The only bolt ladder variant I can think of is on Zodiac, and Erik drilled that one as well. At least that one passes some ho-hum climbing which was also essentially a bolt ladder where a feature proved itself unusable. I can't think of instances where crux sections were blatantly bypassed by chicken ladders like we now have on Great Slab Route. It's a pretty blatant new low IMO. Very many variations have been done on EC without placing bolts at the original line. Same with complete lines where they cross existing older lines. Same with free climbing variations. Respect and skill, and last-resort reliance on drilling is what made all this climbing possible without major impact.

Say you're a journeyman wall rat and you give an honest try at something and it won't go for you. You try with good gear and your best technique and the placements are blown or a feature is somehow unusable or fallen off. Okay, call down for the kit and do your best not to fuck things up. I don't see this happening. I see complete reliance on the drill to bypass cruxes, like I've not seen in 25 years in Yo. If that's the best you can do, you have no business restoring routes or even climbing them. Go climb something easier, without a drill, or go put up your own pile of steel.

I think of Kor hanging his ass out there with no beaks, Peckers or cam hooks, no fat bolts and few bolts overall. That skill and effort should be respected for what it was, and for what it could be for climbers looking to test themselves. Doing what Erik did to Great Slab Route is an insult to Layton and his team. Sloper didn't even try to climb it. It's obvious he just drilled whenever the going got real, on both cruxes rated A4, and on 5.6 R/X. Jesus, the guy even coins one drill-around "EZ variation." This is a new low for YV wall climbing as I know it, which is why I'm compelled to point it out.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 12:29:41 am »
I think the real issue is that Erik has been going solo.  When you include a restoration effort, coupled with a few pitches with some consequence.....

How Many HAND DRILLED bolts are there on your variation? Seems like alot of work to bypass a few sketchy pitches to me.
 
Further, a ladder of BOLTS up and out of a roof in no way compares to leading the route proper.  So how can you write the topo accurately?

If there were features, and an obvious way to naturally protect the variation, I think a few bolts would be okay.  Provided I had talked to FA about my plans

Just don't see it your way eric,  and there are not many who care, but understand you drilled one of the most rude ladders on that side for a 1 pitch chicken exit.  No way you are ever gonna convince the few your actions were justified.  The rest of the folks who you are marketing this route to will surely enjoy the A0.

I just hope you post the ORIGINAL line on your topo, or at least the parts you climbed and an educated guess on what you skipped. That would be the first step in recovery.


WTF happend to HOLE COUNT management?  You have more holes in your variation than a 1/2 dozen 12+ pitch wall routes I can think of..

That is a shame, never even gave the route a chance to prove it's worth


Best REgards,

Mucci


Offline jake

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2010, 11:22:58 am »
Well one of the best big wall climbers I have ever known added his share to belays, where stuff fell off, or when he got lost.  He had lots of fun up there too!

Offline Garbonzo

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2010, 12:22:06 pm »
I'm still utterly perplexed as to how drilling around two whole pitches can be remotely acceptable, even in this day and age.

Perhaps a cleanup ascent, complete with a crowbar and epoxy is in order?

A bolt ladder bypass pitch is just a shame...

Offline alikb

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010, 03:12:43 pm »
I'm trying to understand your logic on the the GSR retro Erik, but I just don't see it.  I realize you climbed these variations with the public interest in mind.  You avoided cruxes to make the route approachable to a broader group of climbers not because you "lacked sack".  If you wanted to climb the original cruxes, you could have, you certainly have the necessary aid climbing skills/experience.  But by drilling all these extra bolts, you've broken one of the golden "rules" of yosemite bigwall climbing: to never drill when natural options exist.  This "rule" is in many ways the backbone of the yosemite bigwall ethic.  It is based on the fundamental idea of leave no trace, which is of course an imperative logic to follow in order to maintain the relatively unrestricted access we currently enjoy. 

Adding these bolt ladders does not improve the quality of the route, and it will not increase the popularity of the route any more than replacing existing hardware and a bit of cleaning would have. Yes, people climbing the route now will probably climb your variations in the interest of self preservation and expediency, but that doesn't make them better than the original line.  The original route was a cunning line seeking of natural features, whether or not they were conveniently located.  Didn't that seem at all impressive and worth preserving while you were up there?  Intricate natural lines are part of the classic yosemite bigwall experience. This is why routes like Mescalito or NA wall have always been favored over routes like T-trip or WOEML.  Would the NA wall be a better route if there were bolt ladders avoiding all those pesky traverses?  Of course not.  The route as it was followed the natural line of weaknesses and as such involved some sections that were difficult, or "inconvenient". But those factors would have made it a better route than it now is in the vast majority or big wall climbers' eyes.  So how is what you did a public service?

As one of, if not the, most active local yos bigwall climber currently, you have a huge responsibility as a community leader.  As a leader in anchor replacement and now with you spearheading the guidebook project, this responsibility has increased even more.  The massive thankless effort you've put into bolt replacement deserves the community's respect and support.  But every time you make a move as questionable as this one, you alienate yourself even more from the climbing community, and this in my opinion is a huge shame. 

Offline lambone

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2010, 12:28:24 am »
bolts next to solid head placements kinda suck too.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2010, 06:51:23 pm »
you mean like retro bolts where a head placement viable head placement exists?




at some point do heads get blown out that they require trenching or a rivet replacement?  makes me wonder how long a head placement can last? 

skully

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2010, 10:25:38 pm »
Real head places will actually last for quite some time.
It's all about removal. If it would hose the spot, in your opinion, leave it.
Hopefully, down the line, it'll be replaced as needed.
You've all stood on thin wired heads...old POS things with 3 wires left. I  try to replace all those I see.
If it's a true head placement. If something else works, I clean it & use THAT.
It's up to the next monkey to solve the riddle.
You know You're gonna die up there, man. It's true. Poor bastards.
hehehe. ;-)
Yer gonna DIE up there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                     Yer gonna DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!                                    YER gonna DIE up there, Man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                   Yer gonna DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline Mike.

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2010, 01:10:00 pm »
Bomberness of heads seems pretty subjective, and whether that ferrule is gonna stick or not can come down to the integrity of one crystal.

I don't think drilling to get past a head placement that used to be has much to do with the overt pussification I'm talking about in this thread. Not anything to do with it, really. Any self-respecting climber will do her best to make stuff work without drilling; cheat stick it or bail. It's the via ferrata mentality of Erik Sloan that has done a hundred-fold more pointless (or self serving) degradation to Yo wall routes than any other single wall climber in Yo history.

I don't even know the half of it. I heard from a community member close to the perp about retro drilled routes courtesy of Sloan that I was unaware of. You should be posting that info here, my friend.

Keep your drill and retro bolts away from routes put up by climbers with sack, ES. I know you'll blindly look the other way and act like this conversation isn't happening. Just like you've done in the past. Go back to Alaska or wherever you came from and leave proud routes alone. "Guide book author."...you make me sick.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 01:12:20 pm by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline jake

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 01:31:41 pm »
I wonder how many holes were drilled on the FA? Nanook seems to want user friendly routes, this is a concept I can't understand.  As time passes the valley will shed the disgrace.

I have felt like such an idiot on walls before for using a stiff QD to snag an out of reach belay(missing feature), opening a flake too much that it damaged it, avoiding bees nest by drilling ladder(FA), but I can't imagine going on a route and drilling shortcuts to skip "so-called" cruxes.  I remember the routes I worried about always had death blocks, I would look up there wondering how I would handle those sections.  I would never have thought... oh I will drill a ladder past them to create a variation. 

That said, I won't tell Nanook about what he should or shouldn't do.  I know what I would do and that's all that really matters.  I certainly wouldn't rape a Kor, Madsen, Schmitz route.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 01:48:58 pm by jake »

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 04:24:33 pm »
Quote
That said, I won't tell Nanook about what he should or shouldn't do.

It's kind of the crux issue that I think Mike is worried about. That is to say, us telling each other what to do.  Even though Nanook has a lot of experience and may decide that this is a worthy variant, what happens if 15 other guys out of the big wall community decide to start adding ladder work-arounds to various existing routes? 

Does it impact the way land managers see the big wall and the climbing community generally?

There is no absolute rule book to apply to climbing, but if we don't talk about it, certain habits are hard to promote, and certain habits are hard to abate.

skully

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2010, 04:32:10 pm »
Sorry about the drift.
I would like Erik to stand up & speak out. Defend your position, man. If you feel strongly about something, Step up!
well?

Offline Mike.

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2010, 09:28:00 am »
I appreciate your observations and suggestions, guys. You sound so...rational.


RE modifying someone's behavior: At close range a person might say I want someone to act as I want her to. The fact is I don't want to tell anyone how to climb.

One of the amazing beauties of Yosemite big wall climbing is how, without any written rules, a herd of individualistic cats has been able to stand by a few tenets with relative cohesion. Almost all of us has been
able to understand how our individual actions affect the game, and we stand by our tenets because of that understanding. "The game" means the experience of others. While I'm not an ardent advocate of following rules, I am an advocate of considering others' experience and considering one's own irreversible impacts.

Climbing styles vary widely and enable us to take on challenges with a variety of modus operandi. Clean, free, push, siege, homestead, one rope, blah blah...there's a lot of leeway there--without drilling unilaterally on an established route. A very, very tiny minority of climbers (actually, only one I can think of) seem to think drilling is one of these stylistic options. Sadly, that one climber had drilled a lot of retro holes on existing routes, upgraded chicken bolts with impunity, and turned low impact rivet ladders into steel freeways with no contact with FA parties.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 09:31:38 am by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline Erik Sloan

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2010, 11:36:22 am »
Yo Gang,

Cool discussion.

I appreciate any comments that people tell me/write me/or post up about my actions. I"m far from perfect, and love to ponder these discussions deeply. Thank you.

Of course, it's obvious that my opinions about fixed anchors on Yosemite's bigwalls are different from some of the members of this forum. Variety is the spice of life. Love it!

Since we'd all admit that we certainly haven't figured out a true 'no impact' solution to climbing bigwalls here, whether by piton, chisel, drill bit, ect. I'm glad that we continue to have these discussions. So we are continually reminded that we need to be open to new ideas.

Mike Ousley's tone in this thread is particularly ardent, and seems mostly a re-working of older ethical threads. If you are interested in endlessly arguing the pros and cons of the various Yosemite Valley climbing ethics, those earlier threads might be fun.

Fall season is here, really. Barely high 80s during the day and cold enough that Camp 4 is in fleece at night.

Look forward to seeing you guys down at the Bridge up on the Big Stone soon.

best,
erik

ps. Munge--this thread looks best next to the 'hand care' thread, seriously ;)


Offline Mike.

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2010, 09:19:37 pm »
"I appreciate any comments that people tell me/write me/or post up about my actions. I"m far from perfect, and love to ponder these discussions deeply. Thank you."

Spare the words. Thank all of us (read: the people other than you in this discussion and anyone who you will be robbing of a great adventure) by not toting your bolting gear on lead as if it were a rack of nuts, and by contacting FAs before you add holes and change out hardware.



"Of course, it's obvious that my opinions about fixed anchors on Yosemite's bigwalls are different from some of the members of this forum. Variety is the spice of life. Love it!"

Everyone who posted here doesn't agree with the way you have treated routes in YV. Yes, variety is the spice. Might as well eat some feces just for fun, as long as we have retro ladders around cruxes. They're equally appealing.



"Since we'd all admit that we certainly haven't figured out a true 'no impact' solution to climbing bigwalls here, whether by piton, chisel, drill bit, ect. I'm glad that we continue to have these discussions. So we are continually reminded that we need to be open to new ideas."

So as long as we leave ckalk, bolts and fixed heads/pins, why not blast in a couple dozen more fatties on, well, the harder routes that really need them. Is that the subtext here? You, Erik, have done nothing different in the 10+ years I've known you regarding the issues being discussed here. Trying to draw some link between the inevitable impact of being on a wall and it being okay for you to drill retro holes on routes, and to upgrade routes against the wishes of an FA is laughably transparent.



"Mike Ousley's tone in this thread is particularly ardent, and seems mostly a re-working of older ethical threads. If you are interested in endlessly arguing the pros and cons of the various Yosemite Valley climbing ethics, those earlier threads might be fun."

I don't want to debate abstract ideas, I want people to know what's really happening right now on the walls that can't be undone. There is a unified voice against what you, Erik, are doing. Can you not hear it? Of course you can. You choose to ignore it.



A big load of non-answer as I suspected. Just fluffy damage control.

Erik, your treatment of YV routes is an insult to future climbers, past climbers, and climbing history. Leading with a drill and lowering routes to your level is pathetic and leaves no room for debate. Everyone who patronizes your topo business needs to know exactly what she is supporting: One person on a mission to pussify YV wall climbing for his own gain.


« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 09:21:22 pm by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

skully

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2010, 09:54:25 pm »
Beat me to it, Mike. Serious non-answer.
I can only conclude that Nanook has no respect for those that came before, & did great routes in a bold style.
Can we put a stop to this? Will you cease robbing us of something that COULD be a grand adventure? Well?
I really think REAL answers need to be forthcoming. This is serious shit, here, man.
Bolt wars are bad stuff, and EVERYONE loses.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 10:06:49 pm by skully »

Offline Baltoro

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2010, 10:42:02 am »
I believe Messner called it the "Murder of the Impossible" and I think in this case that's close but not quite right. I think "Murder of the Imaginable" fits better.

By bolting first you're not killing the adventure of the FAist. They're not likely to return and many are long since out of the game. By bolting first you're killing the adventure of everyone who's ever going to do that route and probably worst of all killing the adventure of every arm-chair big waller who's pouring over topos and dreaming about what it's going to be like staring up at that thin crux pitch, knowing that the only thing that will get them through is skill, the right tools and immense balls. And when I say the right tools I don't mean a drill!Now instead they'll see the crux pitch, or they can always take the easy way and do the via ferrata variation. How you can believe you're not lowering the bar I do not understand and clearly neither do those around you.

I'll let you in on a little secret of mine Eric. I'd love to do the first clean ascent of Mideast Crisis. To my knowledge it has never been done but several parties on this site have come fairly close without really focusing on it in the last few years. I think that would be pretty cool. In fact I think it would be so cool I've avoided doing a Valley trip this fall to climb El Cap for the first time with a friend who's done it and another friend who's an AMGA guide and has done it several times. Why? Because I want my first "real" big wall to be special. And doing Mideast Crisis completely clean to me would be very special. My rack will be loaded with all sorts of extra crap and I know it would take me much longer and I'm sure I'll put a few pins in the bottom of the haul bag but the point is the adventure. I can't be the first to climb the Column. I can't do the FA of the route. But I can do something that pushes my limits and hopefully sets a higher standard that might inspire others to achieve something greater than they thought possible. And make no mistake, clean ascents are something greater. Drilling around cruxes is anything but.

Now imagine you picked Mideast Crisis instead of the Great Slab Route for your latest project. I've provbably spent more time looking at that topo, reading about that route and tossing gear around than you spent on the Great Slab Route or would've spent on Mideast Crisis. Now imagine I open up this website in an effort to stay connected to all the monkeys and aspiring monkeys and see what others are doing. Then I see a Mideast Crisis TR from you. Now instead of getting psyched and living vicariously through your adventure I am horrified. The 5.7 Astroman start would no doubt have a bolt or two because there's not good gear every 6ft. The second pitch would now be C1 because bolts are so much easier than messing with a sometimes seeping crack. All the "loose" pitches above would certainly have bolts "just in case" that flake pulls off. You'd be doing the community a service, afterall it'll fall off eventually right? I can only imagine where Mike wrote on his topo "steepest pitch yet" or "way steeper than steepest pitch yet" you'd have added a few choice bolts as afterall who likes to be inconvenienced by all that flopping around trying to pace cams when you can just clip bolts so easily. Heaven forbid if the route actually had a legit A4 crux pitch or something like that. Surely there'd be a nice bolted variation for the masses to do.

Hopefully you'd have got the point by now but I fear you haven't. This thread is not an open discussion to have a dialogue about what is right and what isn't. This thread is a clear message from those who love the activity that you love that what you are doing is wrong and you need to stop. Any arguement from you to justify your actions is wrong. The people have spoken and the message is clear.

Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I am too lazy to do either.
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Offline Burt

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2010, 11:30:00 am »
So what is the answer?....

EASY, do not allow Eric to come around. Shun him at the bridge, when he shows his face immediately show him that he is not welcomed around. Climbers have this way of talking tough, but when the time arises we back down. (mot picking on you Mike, major props for posting) We need to police ourselves, this is the only way this works. Write the ASCA, (I think he bolts for those guys right?) this shouldn't go on like this anymore. Do not allow it. The time is for action, if you see him, give him shit. Hassle the hell out him and tell him that he is not longer a voice of the climbing community. Write John Middendorf, tell him that we not longer want Nannoks crap sprayed on the net and please remove his crap. If Erik is sponsored, write his sponsors. Take action, lets stop this crap. There are many young guns up and coming that might see this as acceptable, then we are doomed. Lead by example and lets show the proper way to do this. If you need to replace a bolt, ONE FOR ONE. No "convenience bolts" if the rivet is a rivet, leave a rivet, if you think a feature fell off you are probably wrong don't drill, and if the anchor has only one bolt (from the FA) then build an anchor. If you can't then bail, you are not ready for the route.

Here is a link to something I wrote on ST about climbers graffiti, time to call these fuckers out that are destroying our routes.  http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1236319&msg=1236746#msg1236746

Kurt "Burt" Arend


Offline cclarke

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2010, 10:11:46 pm »
I have no dog in this fight but it seems to me that anybody who wants to repeat the Great Slab Route via the original line can do so.  Is that not true?

Offline Mike.

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2010, 08:39:19 am »
Actually, Chris, I think you do have a dog in this fight because you like climbing Yosemite big walls.

If all the climbers who look the other way continue to look the other way, what will we eventually have? C1 variations up Nightmare on CA St? I can't imagine a lover of adventure and challenge such as yourself would be fine when finding bolt ladders circumventing the crux sections of a route he's dreamt of stepping up to. Or being okay with waiting behind a clusterfuck of new rats as they negotiate a new, easy "climb."

The "just don't clip it" angles holds no water. The holes and shiny hardware are now there, forever changing the character of a route, pitch, move, etc.

The destruction has only been getting more brash and inconsiderate of future (and past) climbers. When Erik was part of ASCA he had to sort of keep it a little cool. Now that ASCA wants nothing to do with Erik Sloan (hmm, any obvious reasons?), he is unbound by its reason. And it shows.



Kurt, thanks for caring about this stuff. I and others have been looking for a solution to this problem for a long while. Since Erik apparently has no intentions of stopping the pillage of decent routes, where do we go from here? I could sort of pass it off at one point. But now that there is commercial interest in dumbing down the routes, I'm compelled to speak up. Commercial success will fuel Erik's m.o., so people need to know that when a person patronizes Sloan's topo biz--clicks on his web site, downloads and uses topos--she is enabling and promoting non-discretionary retro drilling on established routes with no FA or community contact. Yes, aiding the pussification.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 09:10:38 am by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline cclarke

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2010, 11:21:36 am »
Mike-

I went back and looked at the new topo.  I can see that my understanding that the variations were independent of the original line was incorrect.  Pitch 7, in particular, looks like a very different experience now.  So I agree that "just don't clip it" doesn't cut it.

Offline Garbonzo

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2010, 11:36:00 am »
Erik,

You would do politicians proud with your choice of words...

GSR:  I am very confused as to the justification to drill around 2 pitches?  Please explain your rationale, as it outwardly appears to be a flagrant defiance to Valley ethics.  My gut instinct is to go do the route with my crow bar in tow, which is a lousy motivation for doing a route.  Bolt wars are generally stupid, so I really want to hear your justification (beyond the flowery uninformative version in the other thread).  Adding a bolt ladder to a 42 year old route is pretty F'ing bold, so a wee bit of justification would go a long way towards having your handy work avoid being chopped.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 02:34:11 pm by Garbonzo »

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2010, 12:38:54 pm »
So, you take a route that may have seen 3 ascents in 40 years, and Drill on every pitch in one way or another.
All of that effort to create a "Milk Run" for your website?

I have seen an old hand drawn topo of the GSR,  there must be at least 20 new holes from the beginning to the end.

Eric, you are blinded by the spray.  YOu consistantly post TR's about your bolting exploits, only to get "HUSH HUSH"  When it is our turn to speak?
You would never post this shit on the Taco now would you?.....NOpe b/c you wouldn't want to tarnish your bread basket of new wall climbers.

I see you did not touch TORA BORA?  Why not ERIC?  OH that's right, it's a COILER route.... drill on that one?  No way would you touch that route, then you would have to deal with Brian. You prefer to destroy the routes that have fallen into obscurity.  The lines that have no voice.

Well, here is my voice:  I know you just sit back and laugh at all of this.  Probably think that most here are not getting wall time in, rather just spewing on your parade of bolts.  Well, there are a few of us who don't need to write up TR's about our climb.  Rather, enjoying a route is JUST GOOD ENOUGH. 
No TR's, No topos, no bolts, no drama.  Ever wondered what that feels like?  I bet it has been a while for you.

Look inside yourself eric, are you giving yosemite a chance? 

Words on deaf ears.

Josh Mucci

Offline Erik Sloan

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2010, 09:47:03 am »
Yo Gang,

I would like to share some thoughts that might deepen this discussion, as I'm receiving a fair amount of emails/hugs from folks that don't agree with what people are posting here, but who feel too put off by some of the negativity in these posts.

No doubt bolted belays on Yosemite bigwalls are often for convenience: The more traffic a bigwall route gets subsequent parties bivy(or just spend more time) at belays where the FA team just moved through and bolts are added to spread things out. It can be a fun exercise to mentally follow the path a route like Salathe or Muir, which had less than 20 original bolts between their combined 60 pitches of climbing, took from inception to trade route with 2 to 3 bolt belays on every pitch. The FA parties of those two routes vehemently spoke out against convenience bolting. Ryan Frost confided to me that his Dad still believes that belays on Salathe should not be bolted. But when the two climbed the route in the late 90s Ryan was happy to report that Tom, who led a bunch of the pitches, clipped each anchor bolt without hesitation.

Can anyone name the most prolific bolt replacer of the 80s/early 90s? A guy, who has climbed EC over 100 times, who will look you in the face and say, 'hell yeah I put 1/2" bolts at all the belays and for lead bolts on Lurking Fear/West Buttress in 1990(!). If you're going to go to all the trouble to replace bolts you should make em bomber for more than our lifetime.' Does anyone know what Yosemite bigwall fixed anchor project this climber has been working on lately?

Great Slab route is not squirreled away in the Karakoram. You don't have to have a permit to climb it. The approach is less than hour. Most competent El Cap climbers could do the route in 2-3 days right now (because most of the dirt fell out of the cracks when I climbed it).

Use the passion of this thread to celebrate the Big Stones.

best,
erik

Offline Slakkey

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2010, 11:09:19 am »
I think I have read enough to add my 2 cents here on this issue. First, I do believe that there is a time and a place to discuss and debate climbing ethics and that these issues should be brought out in the Open. However with that being said there also exist an ethical way to discuss and debate them and from what I am reading I am seeing what could be described as some rather negative personal attacks. It is one thing to state ones opinion on matters such as this but then it is a different situation altogether to continue that discussion or debate through personal threats or attacks. We all have a right to an opinion but with that comes the right for others to state theirs as well and even defend themselves if need be.

It s often difficult to engage or even take seriously a discussion or debate on issues such as this when it becomes overshadowed by personal threats. If any line has been crossed it was the moment that this discussion went from what could be defined as constructive to personal. The word slander and term Defamation of Character come to mind. I have seen all to often where people turn away from forums such as this based on the fact that discussions and debates often turn personal. You want to discuss and debate climbing ethics fine. You want to lodge a personal attack against someone  take it somewhere else. We do not all have to be subjected to that type of negative comment in this forum.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 11:40:51 am by Slakkey »

Offline Baltoro

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2010, 10:09:40 am »
Slakkey
I think you're right to remind everyone that this needs to be focused on the issue not on the person creating the issue. I don't recall any direct "personal" threats made towards Eric, at least not any ohysical threats. Maybe I'm wrong and should re-read it.

What someone did propose was to ignore him and no longer respond to his TRs/posts to show him we think what he's doing is wrong.

While all this is incredibly negative if Eric can't handle it then he should change his practices. And if Eric's "friends" support him then they should do what "friends" do and stick up for their friend. Somehow they should stomach all the negative energy and try and do something positive for their friend. My guess is they don't want to voice their support here (or anywhere beyond the campfire) because they know the community as a whole doesn't seem to approve of Eric's practices.

Thus far Eric hasn't really added anything relevant to the conversation other than saying he thinks criticism is great and open discussion is wonderful. His latest post about Hans and Salathe/Muir have nothing to do with this. Hans no doubt placed extra bolts but the key point is he was replacing old hardware with new. The actual belay bolts don't have anything to do with what Mike is talking about. Mike is talking about intentionally drilling new protection bolts, not anchors around the crux to make it easier. Please Eric tell us how bolts placed to go around a crux are good for walls, anywhere. And your comment about the hour approach and such should mean its even worse to do it here where the masses see it as an aceptable ethic and anyone can add a drill and hardware to their load.

Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I am too lazy to do either.
M. Twight

Offline Slakkey

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2010, 11:25:33 am »
Baltoro and Others

My main purpose of my post is for preservation of this forum as a whole. If one reads both this thread and the Fifi Buttress thread it is clear that what started out as a constructive discussion or debate has lead to more of a personal attack on one person. Now with that being said, If a person or persons credibility or ethics is being questioned I agree that this too should be brought out into the open but, we must do so in our own ethical manner. If the discussion and debate is to taken seriously we must maintain the credibility of that discussion it self and the forum for which it is presented in. If it turns into nothing more than a bunch of name calling and mud slinging then people are less likely to get involved or consider it to have any real credibility.

As someone posted they would hate to see this forum end up in a downward spiral much like we see over at ST in which IMO much of the debates and discussions going nowhere. Like I said I am al for bringing issues like this out into the Open. First state the issue then invite others to weigh their opinion even if that includes a person in question. Then hopefully the climbing community will use that information to possibly seek further action in a reasonable manner. Not only does it give the issue credibility but it also preserves the nature of this forum for which it is intended for.