Author Topic: The pussification of big wall climbing  (Read 7636 times)

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Offline johnmac

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2010, 11:27:53 am »
Well said Slakkey!

Offline Erik Sloan

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2010, 11:54:35 am »
......uugh, Hans never drilled any bolts on El Cap that I know of B, guess again ;) And no, there were almost no bolted belays on most El Cap first ascents, unless the FA team was bivying at that belay, so the 'replacing existing hardware(with 1/2"!)' argument is faulty. Those old Dads who put up those routes will still tell you till their blue in the face that those belays shouldn't be bolted, but the Tom/Ryan Frost Salathe ascent paints a different picture of how they feel when they're on the mountain.

 

Offline Baltoro

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2010, 02:31:35 pm »
My bad on the Hans answer. I figured he was the guy.

I guess my point was that adding hardware at the anchor is very different than adding hardware mid-pitch.

Slakkey
I haven't read the Fifi Buttress thread yet. I'll check it out though as I didn't realize it was related and I can only justify so much distraction from work a day.
Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I am too lazy to do either.
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Offline Habanero

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2010, 02:53:20 pm »
Slakkey,
You make some good points.

I believe what is missing in this discusion is the other side. We have heard from Kurt, Mike and others in clear logic that adding bolts to existing routes is not acceptable. To a certain extent they have communicated their ethical standpoint and we have to repect them for that. However, we have not heard (or at least I have not read)  from Erik on his rationale or his "justificatoin" for adding bolts to an existing route. I don't want to put words in his mouth but it appeared his rationale on GSR was one of convenience. I believe that until Erik articulates his ethics/rationale/justification that undergird his work then many folks are left attacking the man rather than his position.

Others have asked for the same thing but it does not appear that Erik is ready to let us know his position. The last post by Erik came close in that he is attempting to justy actions based on historcal precendent.

Erik - I appreciate your anchor retro work. Give us your side of the story, debate, hammer out the details, develop a defensible procedure for future actions, ...




Offline Mike.

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2010, 10:26:46 pm »
I appreciate the love fest aspect of this Web site. It's cool you guys are looking after that.

Harsh words, yes there are lots of them in this thread. That's the nature of calling someone out. Name calling and mud slinging? Hmm. I don't have anything against Erik the person (go ahead and laugh), just the inconsiderate way he treats some of the routes (and bases) we all own. I'm not here to have a theoretical discussion. I'm here to remind everyone that the guy peddling big wall topos is the same guy drilling his way up existing routes with no FA or community contact.

Where is the legion of huggers and supporters? Too afraid to get a little negativity on them? Dollars to donuts they don't want to be on record as supporting the pussification. Where is anybody with a logical argument why Erik should not stop the pussification technique? Or why we should be silent about it?

I don't blame Erik for, again, sidestepping the real issues here. I mean, how are you really going to defend drilling around cruxes on lead? It's indefensible. So we get Erik's spin on how these old classic routes are all drilled to the hilt and everyone loves the belay bolts (and other topics which have marginal relevance to the topic of this thread). And then from the yammering smoke screen this statement on topic appears:

"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)."

Just to make it clear to our viewership: This is the pussified Great Slab Route--a formerly stout and bold Layton Kor route from the mid-60s, disrespectfully brought down with a drill by Erik Sloan who wants you to have his topo of "the route." Aid and free climbing cruxes have been retro bolted for safety, convenience and minimizing commitment. Many bolts have been added to eliminate some of that nasty horizontal climbing that Layton did. When you support Sloan's topos, you support this destruction of history, and you support the lack of respect for bold climbing.



« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 10:43:26 pm by Mike. »
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline Burt

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2010, 11:57:47 pm »
WOW, lots of reading... Mike you hit the nail on the head. When someone PERSONALLY destroys something the finger pointing will have a PERSONAL tone to the message.

Erik, the idea that you throw out there that Frost clipped bolts, or that some mid 90's guy drilled hundreds of bolts is stupid. I have lead my fair share of routes, put up some decent first ascents, and lead some relatively hard aid. If I was 40 ft out on shit gear and a bolt was staring me in the face, I would clip it.  The nature of the beast. The idea that some one lead this before I did without the bolt is a testament to that persons desire to push the envelope and pursue a higher level of what is possible. The same thing with anchors, to throw in the argument that "just don't clip it" is completely retarded. I have clipped many bolts that used to not be there because I knew that someone else "dumbed down the route" and that is why I got on it. Again, look at many of the Kohl routes that have seen repeats. Those guys went out of there way not to drill anywhere and now many of those anchors have bolts. That is not right. IF you do not have the gumption to go with the gear at hand, then come down. More then likely the route to the right or left of you sports bomber bolts for anchors. Leave the "hard" stuff alone.  If the Bachar/Yerian was a sport route, but we painted the original hangers blue, "only clip the blue ones if you want the full experience" the route would prob never get done the original way again. Hell I would leave tonight to climb it. But I can't because I have not paid my dues, trained hard enough, grown balls that drag on the floor, and can think of a million reasons why I do not want to be there 40-60 ft out on TM 5.11 knobs. The same goes for the GSR. Layton is the man, and you shit on his route. That guy went up there in a swami, without modern gear and puled down a route THAT YOU COULD NOT DO! So instead of you being a man about it, and coming down humble about who went before you, maybe paying homage to Mr. Kor, you drilled around it like some spoiled rich kid that has to get his way. Like Mike has said prior, I have met you more then once face to face, you are a good guy, but your practices off the deck are way off the mark. But I am sure that you cannot justify why you did it, just give us this BS reply on why the flowers smell so good. 

To the others that thinks this is turning into a ST bitch fest, come on. This is a legitimate discussion on what is happening to the cliffs that many of us adore and dream about. No one is "mud slinging", no one is making threats, we are just trying to get answers and make others aware of what is happening out there. IF we all felt that we are entitled to climb these masterpieces before we paid our dues, every route would be a clip up, and the adventure that many of us crave would be lost. Much of it is gone sadly, so lets try and preserve the last remaining part of it. If you do not climb hard, or want every bolt to be bomber, every belay to be bolted, and every rivet to hold a truck, there are plenty of routes out there that are like that. Why does every route need to be like that? Collectively many of us are saying the same message, just others like myself want to see it enforced. This happens by publicly calling them out and letting the offending person know that no more will we accept this, no matter what others have done in the past, or what your mind is telling you that it is right. We are going to try and preserve history.

Kurt "Burt" Arend

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2010, 12:46:58 am »
In a couple posts folks have mentioned Erik adding bolts to existing belays where none existed before on GSR, however, I don't think that has been established that bolts were added to belays on existing GSR belay spots.  Can we clarify that before moving forward, if there is an argument to be made along those lines?

Aside from that, I never understood the A6 belay mentality. If a belay doesn't take gear, or is highly questionable gear, then I'm pretty sure an added bolt at a belay is not what this thread is essentially about for 99.99% of wallers. I could be wrong on the percents though.

Also, has it been clarified that a bolt was added to a free climbing pitch that wasn't there before Erik's ascent? Or was it a replacement of an existing retrobolt bolt before his ascent. Less of an issue in my mind, if the later.  Still, can we clarify before proceeding?

Last, is there a standard to appeal to when creating variant pitches that require a drill?  What could be called too short?  Crowding?  Unaesthetic? 

By analogy, I'm not sure there are many wallers out there that appreciate adding a free climbing bolt to an existing line, but in the immediate case the variant pitch at the top that obviates the need to down traverse and do two hard pitches, isn't on the existing line. It is nearby for sure, but that goes to the above question.  What standard is there to appeal to? 

thoughts?





Offline Burt

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2010, 01:29:19 am »
Quote
Aside from that, I never understood the A6 belay mentality. If a belay doesn't take gear, or is highly questionable gear, then I'm pretty sure an added bolt at a belay is not what this thread is essentially about for 99.99% of wallers. I could be wrong on the percents though.

In all the climbing that i have done, I have never seen the dreaded A6 belay thing, but I have seen very creative gear for the belay to avoid drilling. I do not believe in adding a bolt to a belay if the belay was put in on the FA w/ gear. You are dumbing the route to your level so you should rap to the ground and walk away. There is nothing to hang your head about, you just didn't have the jewels to keep commit like the FA team. Is that so bad? I don't think so, and lord knows I have bailed many times for less of a reason. Sometimes seeing what Bridwell, Kohl, and many others have done with anchors let alone the pitches is a work of art. Now I am sure some are going to write in with the "what if's" and the "why not's" but maybe we cans start by agreeing that drilling on someone elses route is not a good thing. I did it once. I drilled a rivet at the belay of the 3rd pitch of Saurons Eye (wall route on Rainbow Wall) trying to solo the second ascent. I used it to hang my ledge (more convenient) and I got my ass chewed for it by the first ascensionist. Now maybe I got it worse then others cause he is my friend and climbing partner, but I deserved it. "Cause well you know this is runout, or the rope isn't quite running straight, or this pitch is too long, this fell off (most common phrase when someone pulls out the drill)."... and the cycle has begun. It is always more convenient to have bolts there, but sometimes convenience needs to take a back seat to the ones who went before us. If you don't like it, go put up your own routes, drill wherever you want. I hope this is not coming off like I am some Self Righteous  prick, cause god if someone cared they could find enough dirt on me to fill the valley. I just feel that our desire to "push it" or climb is starting to be overshadowed by our unwillingness to push it and be dangerous. Climbing can be dangerous, and wall climbing at one time was the upper echelon of the "danger" game. The epitome of adventure, and now with the new safe this, and safe that the adventure sometimes gets lost. Not one of us is entitled to climb everything, many have made so many sacrifices to climb at a really high level and we should respect that. I mean Layton Kor for gods sake. Imagine for one second putting up the GSR with the gear that guy had. I am leaving for Zion to climb some short easy stuff and am scared out of my mind. I couldn't even imagine, and really don't want to, But I do have so much respect for the man who went before me that I would never desecrate his route that way even if it was never to be climbed again. I would hope that others would have some of that respect for some of my FA's not to drill.

I am really curious what Mr. Middendorf thinks about this. So John write something... this is your site... :) 

Kurt "Burt" Arend

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: The pussification of big wall climbing
« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2010, 02:04:04 am »
thx Burt.  The idea your drawing out is that even anchor bolts can be convenience bolts, and under a low impact ethic it requires not drilling (or potentially as a statement in some cases, merely using) them for convenience.