While I was Busy flying, Paradise was Ransacked and Ruined . . .

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Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 22, 2003 - 03:40am PT
I just got back from springbreak with my family from a favorite climbing/campsite of ours where we never ever ran into anyone else.
It was our own little heaven. I have not been back to this spot since I put up 6 first ascents on this formation with careful thought
and consideration 8 years ago---mostly leads, some TRs, but all valid. (I disagree with those who say TRs are not true 1st ascents.
Some people actually want to do more climbing with less impact). The last time we climbed/camped there Meatloaf
was filming his musicvideo "I'd Lie for You (And That's The Truth)." Now "The Pillar of Light" has been turned into a climbing gym
with 4 sets of cold shuts at the top and with bolts on my routes that I never placed. Nothing is ran-out now. You can practically aid from bolt to bolt. The
one lonely original split-shank buttonhead X rated run-out route that was there even before my time is virtually gone.
Some of my bolts have been pulled and I found one discarded lying on the ground. While we were there a couple quickly drives in
and parks right next to us and they have a new guide book. I didn't know about it. Turns out our favorite campsite has now been
designated a parking area according to the guide that has been published on this once quiet classic climbing region that I have
been visiting since 1973. One of the climbs that I put up graces the cover of the guidebook (by the way, the name of the climb is "Realm of Light"and I
have plenty of pre-dating velvia slides of the day and the formation), with an article about that experience and then names the formation and routes that I did.
The author was nice enough to say that the FAs are unknown. How does one go about naming a route that you know you didn't do first? I would never
cosider doing that. I'm not into chopping bolts or damaging the rock further. I don't play that mindless game. But it sure pisses me off.

I leave for a few years to paraglide and raise a family, knowing I would continue climbing after reaching and being able to maintain a competent
level in that sport. The climbing scene/community has changed so much since I have been gone, but I can see not necessarily for the better.

Bob Jones

Trad climber
san luis obispo
Apr 22, 2003 - 05:06am PT
when i was a kid, i surfed this spot by myself. perfect waves and no crowds. now when i surf there, i have to fight for waves...
welcome to the real world. tell people to stop having kids, then we can have the rocks to ourselves.
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
Apr 22, 2003 - 01:11pm PT
tell people to stop having kids
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Dave

Mountain climber
Fresno, CA
Apr 22, 2003 - 01:29pm PT
Klimmer said "it was our own little heaven" and "have not been back ... 8 years ago" ... Gee buddy. Maybe you should have climbed a little more at said crag and had a little say in the ethic that developed there. sorry if I don't sympathize much with your bereaved post, but if you drop out of the climbing community, don't expect a guidebook author to be able to hunt you down to credit you, or a FAist to be able to find you to ask if he can retrobolt anachronistic X-rated routes in an area that's become a sport climbing destination.

Anyway, you don't own the land, the campsite, or the rock, and don't expect things to be the same after 8 years of absence.
Michelle

Trad climber
Twain Harte, Ca
Apr 22, 2003 - 03:47pm PT
ZPG, baby
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
Apr 22, 2003 - 03:57pm PT
Zip-lock bag full of Pungent baby Guts.
Southern Man

climber
Apr 22, 2003 - 04:58pm PT
If you look at most (if not all) of the problems in the world today, the root of the problem can be distilled down to one thing: too many people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like Minerals said, stop having so many children!!!!!!!!!!
BrentA

Gym climber
estes park
Apr 22, 2003 - 05:29pm PT
Klimmer I feel for you. Dave you sound kind of like a knob, your probably the guy who claimed teh FA after you noticed old bolts.

If there is any amount of fixed hardware relics on a cliff, then you know you aren't the first one there. california must have some new school overcrowding ethic.

Whatever though, more people = more bullsh#t.

My favorite area in the world has for 45 years been the bastion of gnarly and proud ground-up assaults producing 2000 foot adventures. It is know on the cover of climbing, it features an article profiling people working and bolting. It is just new climbers not jiving with old ethics. Nothing can be done. I am glad I was in on some of the last seasons of the true adventure ambiance (sp) down there.

Enjoy heaven while it lasts, no sympathy from this crowd.
Michelle

Trad climber
Twain Harte, Ca
Apr 22, 2003 - 06:23pm PT
Zip-lock bag full of Pungent baby Guts.

sounds like I've got a new rap-bolt project.
NeverSurfaced

Trad climber
Soviet Monica, Ca.
Apr 22, 2003 - 08:16pm PT
I can sympathize. My advise, when you find your little piece of heaven, soak it up, live it to the fullest, leave and never come back. How many of us have returned to ‘the old swimming hole’ after a few years to find it trashed. If you truly love a place, and the memories of the good times had there, don’t go back. You’ll almost certainly be disappointed. Times change, places change. Relish your memories and seek out new secret spots that the masses haven’t destroyed yet.
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
Apr 22, 2003 - 10:48pm PT
"Like Minerals said..."

I believe Bob said it first and I merely copied it... and copied it...
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2003 - 12:56am PT
It isn't exactly about ZPG. It isn't about maintaining unsafe runout routes. The original X route put-in on the formation
I left in place after doing it two different times out of respect for the original ascent party. I used it as a means to put it my
additional sport routes that were very thoughtfully done---not overbolted or underbolted; just right. Kind of a hybred trad/sport route.The line of
bolts I put on/near the classic arete that is featured on the cover of the guide book allowed for 3 different variations
without the addition of more bolts. The other lead climbs used part of the bolts that diagnalled across the eastface
to do direct variations of the formation without the addition of more bolts. Like I said, do more with less. The lines were very
nice, the bolts were safe 5-piece rawl with metolious hangers, and several other climbs were easily TRed with the addition of 2 safe bolts at the top as opposed
to just the one ring bolt put in by the original ascent party. Now many more bolts have been added. Your grandparents could climb them
and not feel any sense of risk. I come from a tradition that if you don't pull-up and mantle to the top and step onto the summit (if it has a summit)
then you haven't finished the climb. How often have you done a route to be killed-off by the finishing mantel because your strenght is zapped.
Climbers using the 4 sets of cold-shuts now featured on the formation have not finished the climb---those ascents are incomplete. Neither
do these climbers learn or develope more rope work. I rapped-off using a very carefully set-up self untieing rappel sling, backed-up by
the weathered slings left by the original ascent party.

There was a climbing event at this famous area recently which I didn't attend. I think I was busy flossing or doing something more meaningful. It is sad that
very well known people so connected in the climbing community would do this to this area and do this to another climber. To never return to this area is
simply impossible and not an option.That would be like asking Muir to leave the Range of Light, or asking the late great Galen Rowell to refrain from taking images of the
Eastern Sierras. They could never do that. Nor can I stay away. It is a life source.

It is just so odd that the climb I put-up---"Realm of Light", and have taken many images of in many different lighting conditions would play soo big a part in this guidebook.
It is an incredible pillar with a very awesome backdrop. That was by definite choice. To top it off the same image from the cover of the guidebook you can buy as a postcard
throughout the region now. Well if justice and truth exist, then both products should be amended to record the true name and history. Well we will see . . .
Greg Barnes

climber
Apr 23, 2003 - 01:13am PT
The guidebook in question says in the intro something like "we respected first ascents and didn't add bolts."

Then the specific route descriptions mention multiple routes where they did just that.

And the associated website called for making a 5.6 with one bolt (which fell out) into a sport climb...

I replaced the bolt (which had fallen out), along with two 1/4" with Leepers on another unknown crack to face, and emailed the author to please respect the FA and NOT add bolts to the routes. I figure if the original 1/4" bolts are replaced with bomber modern bolts in the original hole, maybe they'll realize that some in the climbing community want to maintain the traditions while updating the existing bolts and NOT add bolts.

By the way, I assume the beautiful run-out 150' tall arete on the tallest rock in the area (to the left of the single-bolt Bartlett route on the same face) is yours from the descriptions you gave above. If so, thanks, it's an awesome line and well done.

Greg
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2003 - 02:46am PT
Sorry, that isn't my route that you are thinking of and its a different formation.
My routes are on the formation that the author is calling "The Shark Fin". I've
been calling this formation "The Pillar of Light." Anyway we both could be blowing
smoke when it turns out that the original ascentionist with 2 buttonhead bolts steps up and calls
it "". And then says, "And by the way I free-soloed everyline on the pillar already."
I'd say "Doh!" And then bow in recognition.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Bishop, Ca.
Apr 23, 2003 - 03:10am PT
This whole thing is so cryptic.... WTF... who are you, what is the area and who are the retrobolting chumps? Sheesh.... grow a hair and air it out. How can I or anyone else be outraged at some mythical area getting pussified when the combatants are unknown. If it P.O'd you enough to write about it, spill the beans or simmer down. Take a freakin' stand.....
Russ
Bob Jones

Trad climber
san luis obispo
Apr 23, 2003 - 05:45am PT
good point russ.
NeverSurfaced

Trad climber
Soviet Monica, Ca.
Apr 23, 2003 - 08:06am PT
"grow a hair", Ha Ha
Dave

Mountain climber
Fresno, CA
Apr 23, 2003 - 10:44am PT
BrentA, I don't even know what area he's talking about. I won't even stoop to respond to the rest of your personal attack.

Well said Russ.

Dave
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2003 - 11:58am PT
Russ,

I was trying to be a little criptic on purpose because I don't really want the area more exposed to abuse.
I have given plenty of clues to those who know. I do not know who has done all the retro-bolting, but I know of
the guidebook author. The area is in your backyard. Think famous Hollywood filming area. You probably know
the guidebook author since he doesn't live too far from you. I am not dialed into the climbing scene (I don't know
everyone personnally in the climbing industry as you may). I have been climbing and skiing for a long time with out any fanfare.
The way I would like to keep it. I would have preferred the area to stay quiet, relaxed, and awesome for those who know.
Now everyone will know. The change has been forced. And this is not good in my opinion.

Some people who know of me in your neck of the woods: I'm from San Diego and I have paraglided with Kari Castle, SP Parker, have talked with
Kevin Colder and Verne Clevenger a little about the Rowell plane accident last August. I am a part time (vacation time) resident of Bishop.

Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Apr 23, 2003 - 12:30pm PT
Yes, we put in a lot of bolts. Mostly for rap anchors.

There was only one bolt on the formation, that I know of, and that bolt was quite close to the ground. We assumed it was a bail bolt. How were we to know the crag was "yours," and off limits to development? Telepathy?

I'll be back there again this summer. If you have a beef with our development, meet us up there and we'll hash it out. Otherwise, quit it with the coy attacks. If there is a guidebook out, the cat's out of the bag anyways.

Oh, wait...

The area I'm thinking of isn't IN any guidebooks. Nevermind. But the rest of my issues apply, regardless.

Brutus
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