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Messages 1 - 20 of total 38 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 21, 2019 - 10:20pm PT
The recent discussions about the appropriate content for this, and other, sites got me to thinking about a longstanding dispute involving retrobolting.

I have opposed the idea of most retrobolting on exiting free routes (other than replacement of bad bolts), because, to me, it changes the nature of the lead. Defenders of retrobolting often argue that if I don't like the retrobolts, I don't need to use them. My retort remains that the very existence of those bolts makes it impossible for me to ignore them, and adds a significant psychological impediment to those leads.

In contrast, my attitude on most internet forums, including ST, has been that I can ignore threads and posts I don't care for, so why bother trying to get rid of them. Now I'm wondering if I'm being inconsistent, or whether there's a difference.

Thoughts?

John
BruceHildenbrand

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Apr 22, 2019 - 12:35am PT
John,

the problem with all the political threads is that that is where the overwhelming amount of bad behavior existed. That means that a lot of time and resources had to be spent moderating those threads. My guess is that Chris and RJ didn't want to allocate their sparse resources in that area.
zBrown

Ice climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 12:41am PT
So as not to violate the "Terms" I'm just going to say six of one, half dozen of the other.

McGinnis

climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 01:43am PT
Apples and oranges.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 22, 2019 - 06:25am PT
Itís a grey area and there is no pat answer. When a very skilled climber does a moderate lead many levels below his/her pay grade and places scant protection bolts should lesser climbers be denied?

Edit...
I do believe there is merit in leads that were scantily bolted by climbers performing near their limits.
I have never felt that the fa party ďownsĒ the route regarding either the number of bolts placed or the rating assigned.
Hopelessly grey I say.
Todd Eastman

Social climber
Putney, VT
Apr 22, 2019 - 06:33am PT
Grey areas and differences in opinion make life interesting...

... constant agreement and group think is boring...

... rant on!!!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 22, 2019 - 06:42am PT
Donini nails it. If i put up a 5.7 in an area with limited climbing resources and deliberately make it extra dangerous simply to highlight how bad assed I am in my own mind I have denied all the less experienced and perhaps ageing climbers the opertunity to enjoy that route. In short I was a total dick. On the otherhand if i over bolted it I would have deprived that same user group the opertunity to think and push themselves passed what they thought they were capable of. The perfect route is safe where it needs to be yet exciting where exposure and clean fall potential allow. In short most people developing 5.10 and under should have their drills confiscated and let me fix their routes.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 22, 2019 - 06:43am PT
This is the type of poltical conversation that resonates with ST. There is even some expertise here regarding this issue unlike the other political threads.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 22, 2019 - 06:55am PT
A new Gu 3 pitch 5.9+ went in near us last year. Very experienced team. P1 and P3 are brilliant. P2 (different leader than 1 and 3) is an ankle breaker. Completely unnecessary and admittedly ego driven. "I'm a Tiger " The climb is 35 min from our place yet we will never do it again. Complete waste and travesty..
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 22, 2019 - 07:19am PT
Thank you tradman. Your last post helps distill the difference between the two situations for me. In your example, I can't do pitch 3 without someone leading "ankle-breaking" pitch 2. On an internet forum, I can get to the posts I want to read without having to read all the rants in between.


It's interesting that you used the "ankle-breaking" term, because the penultimate pitch on Coonyard Pinnacle (known in my day as "The Ankle Breaker") was the site of an early retrobolting event. The original lead had about 40 feet of unprotected 5.9 friction off a ledge. That section had a bolt added in the early 1960's, and almost immediately chopped because it changed the reputation of the pitch and climb. The argument that you could ignore the bolt didn't even seem to be considered.

John
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 22, 2019 - 07:46am PT
You can't ignore bolts. You can ignore posts. You can't ignore moderators chopping posts and censoring content.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 22, 2019 - 07:52am PT
Very interesting in that the often cited as being the ultimate purest Royal Robins did a fair bit of retro bolting on 2nd ascents. The dirt on that is layed bare in Joe Fitches book Going up.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 22, 2019 - 08:19am PT
Retrobolts donít disappear if their server goes down.
d-know

Trad climber
electric lady land
Apr 22, 2019 - 08:41am PT
This is ethics not politics.

Unless an agency gets involved
like the forest service or
Access fund or some such.
BruceHildenbrand

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Apr 22, 2019 - 08:42am PT
Tradmanclimbs wrote:

"The perfect route is safe where it needs to be yet exciting where exposure and clean fall potential allow."

That's a perfect description of Higgins' routes in the Meadows.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Apr 22, 2019 - 12:01pm PT
When it's possible I'd just ask whoever did the FA.

"You know, that second pitch kinda spoils your route for most people..."

If they're not available to ask, poll the community. For example, retrobolting runout routes like You Asked For It (TM) would probably not meet with the approval of most climbers. But adding a bolt to the big runout at the top of Gorge and Purge (ORG) would probably go over well.

I've added a bolt to two of my routes at the behest of friends and other climbers. I wasn't setting out to make dangerous climbs, but I was respecting the tradition of ground up FA's in the areas. In one case was going up without any preview, and I just couldn't stop and drill. The other goes up a standard rap route, so I'd seen it plenty of times but the same sh+t happened anyway. I had no problem with the business of going back, rapping down and adding the bolt. No one would do the routes otherwise.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 22, 2019 - 12:05pm PT
If you canít do the time donít do the crime.

How is a bolt any different than a mine or a clear cut? At least the clear cut will grow back.
Itís all environmental exploitation, if somewhat differentiated by scale.
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Apr 22, 2019 - 12:31pm PT
Retrobolts donít disappear if their server goes down.

True, but it is easier to keep the noobie trash off routes by cutting retrobolts than it is to keep the dicks off the internet.
Trump

climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 12:33pm PT
Sure Iíve got some thoughts about that. Thanks for asking.

I like the idea of external factors creating internal psychological effects for us. The problem IMO is that we psychologically evaluate those factors and those effects in our own favor - to confirm our own beliefs or our own righteousness etc.

Itís impossible for me to ignore the things I prefer not to ignore, but it is possible for me to ignore the things I prefer to ignore. Ok, if we say so. I guess weíre doing it right on both sides of the equation.

If you try to remain aware of your own unconscious psychological preference to interpret things in your own favor, maybe you can overcome that. In other words, you canít! Still, I admire that you try.

Donít feel bad about yourself for that - if pigs had wings they could fly. But they donít.

People like to say a lot of words about it, anyway. And here we are. If you ask like minded people or socially or tribally affiliated people whether they agree with you, and they do, you might need to wonder about the social/societal reasons they do, in the same way that you might need to wonder about the psychological reasons you do. All that fuss about climate science might not really be about climate science.

Weíve got a lot of expertise confirming the validity of a climber perspective here, for what thatís worth. We prolly like to think itís worth a lot. Everyone likes to think that about themselves. And weíre someones too.
ruppell

climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 02:29pm PT
Itís a grey area and there is no pat answer. When a very skilled climber does a moderate lead many levels below his/her pay grade and places scant protection bolts should lesser climbers be denied?

There's something that's left out in this over simplified example.

In this case we could debate for hours over a good campfire on a cold night who actually owns the rock. Does the FA have rights or should it be opened up for the masses. There's actually more than a few threads on the site that pose that exact question. All of them are worth the read.

The thing that's left out is simple. We cannot debate who owns this site. We either play by the new rules or GTFO. Some will leave by choice. Some will leave by the ax.

I don't post often here. I never felt the need to get into heated debates about retrobolting, politics, ethics, how to rack, or the value of a multi-meter. I haven't ever found a need to debate my climbing style or my personal ethics. I simply didn't care enough to be involved with reading walls of text from some members. I still don't.

What I do care about is my style. My ethics. My choices. All of those have been gained from historical perspectives that I have uses this site as a resource to gather. It's a shame to see that resource castrated.

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