Side by Side Ethics, Practicality or the Road to Hell?


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Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Topic Author's Original Post - May 4, 2008 - 12:32pm PT
The schism has become so pronounced that in addition to the tacos longest thread it has spawned spinoff arguments.

My feeling is that the trads undermine their own high point by so demonizing those who have a different view.
It could very well be that they create an incentive to lie about how routes are established as well.

I can think of numerous areas where routes of entirely different natures exist side by side. People recognize how they were established and credit is doled out on that basis.

Let us not dismiss the value of the candor in this arrangement.

It is becoming a more crowded world. We are going to have to reach an accommodation or see it all lost.

So my question is this;
is the "trad only" school of thought noble or merely selfish?

Gym climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 4, 2008 - 12:39pm PT
Up is up.

Down is down.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2008 - 12:48pm PT
I'd say that is a clear vote for "the Road to Hell".
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 4, 2008 - 01:11pm PT
Contrast can make it easier to see things more clearly.

A choice put the decision in the lap of the climber.

Enforced morality is just conformity, not a choice to define yourself and your own values and visions. Look at the "Morality by Law" in Sharia countries.

And different values and visions have varying virtues.

Guess I'm a moral relativist.



Gym climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 4, 2008 - 01:11pm PT
Beer isn't single malt whiskey either.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2008 - 01:14pm PT
OK, I've got you John.

15 days ago I saw you do both! LOL

Trad climber
colo springs CO
May 4, 2008 - 01:29pm PT
I guess it can depend on the motives for climbing.
Some of us climb for fun, and some are climbing for
"existential" reasons too; or that they are doing something
that will give fame and glory and live beyond themselves.

I can't complain too much about the later because it gives
climbers like me (rec) an almost infinite lifetime supply of
readily pre-placed routes to follow up, and I appretiate
their work.

As established areas require some regulation to keep things
in check, some will find this oppressive and has given birth
to what some refere to now as "The Secret Area" or TSA as I will
refere to it.

TSAs now abound amoung climbing groups as a way to
circumvent the "ethics commitee" and styles vary from trad
to hauling in heavy equipment such as compressors,
jackhammers, grooming, gardening equipment etc.., even so far as to constructing furniture out of natural materials for
the comfort of the climbers at the base.

The TSA will usually last a year or two until word finnaly
leaks out to the rest of the climbing world, but by then if
their ambitious, the good obvious lines (plumbs) are picked...
The bolts in, and is doubtful anyone is going to erase an
an etire area of bolts for "ethics".

I know of a few TSAs in progress right now in Colo, but I
was let in on some of them on the express condition that I
not tell anyone. I also know of several that havn't been
discovered but I have respect for the pristine nature of
the area and will reamin silent on both types unless offered money and will now take cash only bids on this beta if anyone is interested.:)

Here are a few former Colo TSAs that are now established.

Turkey rock (trad)
Shelf road (sport)
Penitente (sport)
Thunder ridge (both)
Boulder canyon (both)
Devils head (both)
Eleven mile canyon (both)
Rifle (sport)
Lots I have forgot (both)

Anyhow pristine rock still abounds, even in Boulder,
or even Yosemite. it just requires a bit more walking and exploring off the beaten path, a bit of discreetness and discretion, and ("good" or "bad"), you can do most anything you want.

Dave Brower

Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
May 4, 2008 - 01:59pm PT
If you are forcing us into an either or answer I'd have to say approaching climbing in a "trad only" style could be considered noble. Chopping someone elses route would be considered selfish.



Social climber
The West
May 4, 2008 - 01:59pm PT
They Do, seem to abide, side by side, in various places in the south east.

Where you want to be
May 4, 2008 - 02:12pm PT
I like your query Ron. I do think there is room for both. I DO value everything the extreme trad side has to say about why they believe what they believe. Before this whole thing happened, I considered myself to be pretty far into the unbending ethics side of things, but now I'm not so sure. There's a lot of shades of grey out there, and I guess I've become more of a realist than my previous idealist. One thing I can say though, is that it doesn't impress me when someone expects to be listened to, but does no listening of their own, and refuses to address valid points or questions about their own past, whilst criticizing others and catastrophizing with incredibly lame slippery slopes. Oh well, nobody is perfect. Well, there was that one perfect f*#ker, but we all know what happened to him. ;)

May 4, 2008 - 02:32pm PT
This particular schism in the thread seems not to come at a fortunate time. I would urge everyone to visit all the other branches so as to track the whole.

I will try to describe how this same discussion developed in a Climbers's meeting in the early 70's. Because of the realities it avoided what, to me, appears to be a weakness developing here. In that meeting called to decide the future of the Gunks everyone was physically present. Everyone thought through very carefully before they spoke what they would say and what they thought to be most important. Everyone was, physically, leaning forward in their chair anxious to hear everything. The thoughts collected this way were largely unaffected by what had been said before. Finally, each person was brief and knew they would probably get just one chance.

In that environment after less than an hour, we were moving out on the path forward. A path that led to success in a little over two years. When people have decided together how they want to move out, things go quickly.

Because of its structure a discussion over the net is different and we all are still learning its strengths and weaknesses. This is all new ground which actually makes it pretty exciting. We learn quickly so there is no reason to despair of our eventual success.

Carry on.

Early in the history of the Southeastern Climbers' Coalition I was invited down to the mountains to speak to their conference just north of Atlanta. That conference was conducted in a manner very similar to the Gunks climbers's meeting described above. I saw in that group the same energy and easy exchange between members that I saw in the Gunks and I see today at Facelift.

Trad climber
Chatham N.H.
May 4, 2008 - 03:28pm PT
As a trad climber for 30 years,when sport,and rap bolting,wholesale bolting if you will,came on the scene,I don't think anyone ever imagined we'd be discussing"sport cliffs",or people would be crying about the elitist aspect of owning a trad rack,or not being able to afford yada yada.I never imagined people would place bolts next to cracks,or grid bolt.

We were sold this crap as a way to utilize underused areas etc. etc..

Sportos promote the idea that bolting like this is essential to the developement of the sport.It's not.Cobra crack is 5.14,on gear.The so-called leading edge is barely a whisker ahead,with bolts every five feet and whaaa I can't even clip my own bolts so left my draws in place.Yer not even carrying a rack for Christsakes.

I wish we had nipped it in the bud.The Farley group got Ken Nichols dragged in to court.In the process a picture of the cliff was posted.It's plenty featured enough for trad,did not need to be bolted at all.No wonder the guy is mad.The courts think it should be safe,that surprise you?

Just heard a route I headpointed twenty five years ago was retrobolted by some well meaning dipsh#t.

Road to hell.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2008 - 04:21pm PT
you are confusing the issue.
I'm talking about side by side FA ethics, not the deplorable practice of retrobolting and thus superimposing an ethic.

Having had routes I established subsequently retrobolted is bad enough.
But then I get blamed for it too!
Jeremy Handren

May 4, 2008 - 05:00pm PT
The classic example being Prince of Darkness and Rock Warrior in Black Velvet Canyon in Red Rocks.
Two routes a few yards apart -different first ascent teams- different visions- one in no way detracting from the other.

There is plenty of room for different climbers to express themselves in different ways.

I would just echo your statement about respecting the vision and hard work of those who put the effort into establishing new routes.

Gym climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 4, 2008 - 07:52pm PT
Yeah, it's almost like these arrogant, self-centered, elitists are trying to create a new sport or something!

But what would they call it?


Hobart, Australia
May 4, 2008 - 08:06pm PT
Read an interesting article in the April 19 issue of the Economist. It was a study of testosterone in stock traders. Turns out the highest levels of testosterone are measured in the anticipatory stage of gaining (or losing), and not in the actual gaining.

I think when whoever-it-was wrote about holding other people down and punching them in the face for 5 minutes, all this discussion took a turn for the worst.

Social climber
The West
May 4, 2008 - 08:15pm PT
"With all due respect, which isn't much, you are little too full of yourself."
Geez, Jody maybe a little introspection before posing? just sayin'...

Or, maybe you wanted it to come out/troll that way?

Gym climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 4, 2008 - 08:18pm PT
Somebody should punch that Bachar dude in the neck!

That'll shut him up....

Gym climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 4, 2008 - 08:44pm PT
June 2nd eh?

Coz and I will show up with our badges!

Social climber
The West
May 4, 2008 - 08:50pm PT
They're just speaking their mind Jody, like you.
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