A 'Surprise' bolt!

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toadgas

Trad climber
los angeles
Oct 3, 2012 - 03:21pm PT
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the bolts (there are two newish ones on the first pitch of Surprise/Clam Chowder) were surely added to prevent ground falls; Surprise must appeal to many who are new to leading moderate trad.

I'm sure Jacobs was aware of epics on this first pitch; I recall a few decades ago a tale about a guy fatally decking right there.


Noobs should not be leading that pitch, sans bolts, imo


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mountainlion

Trad climber
California
Oct 3, 2012 - 03:27pm PT
I never thought the first pitch was a big deal. For me the "surprise" was climbing up and right on the rail then seeing a bolt 15 feet above the rail. I dug the pine needles out of the piton scars placed 2 pieces equalized and climbed the shiny crystal dike found it to be SPICY for 5.8 the whole second pitch was a SURPRISE! I guess that is why we climb (at least it's why I climb for the spice and the adventure!).
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 03:34pm PT
For the record, the name Suprise came about when Callis wandered up there, expecting to see a blank slab, only to reach up and grab a jug. Surprise.

I have to agree with everyone in favor of chopping the new bolts. The climb has been done safely thousands of times. The only hard part of the pitch (if you can even call it that) is low to the ground, where you can get a stopper in. After that, it's all of, what, 5.4 to the belay. It requires such a basic level of competence that extra bolts really aren't needed, at least if you have any business on the route. Rather than dumbing down routes, we should strive to build technique so we can climb a given route safely. There are routes on Suicide I'll never do because of the runouts, protection, etc., and I'm OK with that.

What's next? Putting extra bolts on Mickey Mantle? It's only 5.8 and we don't want noobs getting hurt on that either, right?
toadgas

Trad climber
los angeles
Oct 3, 2012 - 03:43pm PT
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yeah, those bolts are gonna get chopped, as they probably should be


did Jacobs (or whoever the retro-bolter was) offer a specific reason for adding them?


(likely they carried some climbers down in the Stokes litter, I'm guessing, but I'm sure the guide/topo indicates "70ft runout, easy fifth-class")


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BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Oct 3, 2012 - 03:54pm PT
We had a big to do here about a 5.2 slab with no pro. You could walk up it with your hands in your pockets, but that was kind of dicey.

Eventually it was decided no bolt, but slabs are notorious for runouts and it is too bad that today's climbers don't do them. So we all agreed on retrobolting a few, and they are insanely popular.

So if you sit down and be logical a certain amount of retrobolting can be agreed upon. With the FA's permission of course, which was no big deal.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 3, 2012 - 03:59pm PT

Those bolts will probably not be there after this weekend. The FA team does not "own" a route. I know Clark quite well and will discuss this with him but he does not have the last word. Suicide routes will not get "dumbed" down or "safer" by adding bolts while I'm still breathing.

I think sometimes people see too many issues as black and white. Clark replaces and adjusts a few routes for the betterment of the community - Sword of Damoclese and The Flakes are great examples.

Sometimes these issues are less about the reality of the offense and more about the principle. If you don't climb there regularly, I don't think you have much say. Clark is one of the few, if not the most active, local climber. Has been for a long time. I know a lot of locals who live there, who don't get out too much anymore - that's all good, life has it's changes. I just think it is odd where the pitchforks get got.


There is no slippery slope - deal with each issue. if he asked me in the shop how I felt, I would have agreed (along with Lucas, AKA "the_kid"). Nobody owns Suicide - Clark would be the first to say so. If you add a bolt on Valhalla, that will be a problem.

Again, look at the route and the action, not extrapolate it to El Cap... my .02$. what do I know though, lol
Epic E

Big Wall climber
CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 04:41pm PT
I put the bolt on surprise and if it gets chopped im going to chisel steps into it.
Johannsolo

climber
Soul Cal
Oct 3, 2012 - 05:13pm PT
I am as local as it gets and have been replacing many of the old 1/4" bolts that Clark missed. I actually just replaced one of the last ones on the top pitch of Clam Chowder two months ago. It was the first piece of pro 25' above the last belay anchor protecting the opening moves to get into the crack. As far as the two added bolts on the first pitch: it is unprotected 5.7 for the first 20 feet or so then gets noticably easier for another 10' where the first bolt is. The second bolt (somewhat shared with Suprise) is another 25' up after very easy climbing, that just gets easier the closer you get to the belay. As said, done hundreds or thousands of times. Someone recently told me the same thing about Mickey Mantle stated earlier. They said ground fall potential getting to the second bolt (which may be true with an unattentive belayer). Know your abilities and be able to down climb if you get in over your head and be an attentive belayer (you may need to take a couple steps back to take in some slack). That is what is going on up there and if you don't like it, stay in the gym or go to a "sport" area. Suicide will not be turned into this.
toadgas

Trad climber
los angeles
Oct 3, 2012 - 05:48pm PT
^^^^^

+1

I applaud Johannsolo for not letting the gymrats and gumbys mess with Suicide Rock's proud heritage


hopefully all the locals up there are likeminded and do things per consensus


I hate to think what will happen when there are no purists left.


-
Johannsolo

climber
Soul Cal
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:03pm PT
"In Germany, they first came for the communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the homosexuals, and I didn't speak up
because I wasn't a homosexual.
Then they came for the catholics, and I didn't speak up
because I was a protestant.
Then they came for me --
but by that time there was no one left to speak up."

--Pastor Martin Neimoller

I am speaking up now before any more "retro" bolting is done up at Suicide to make the routes "safer". There seems to be some talk of this. There is no discussion here. Come talk to me personally any weekend up there.

John Weinberg
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:47pm PT
I think it is important to avoid the US vs THEM discussion, because it has more to do with establishing ourselves than coming together whatsoever as a community.

I understand you feel the way about stopping it before it gets rampant.



No one is saying to turn Suicide into a sport climbing location. This one bolt could be useful, could be a bad idea. But Suicide (not tahquitz) is museum climbing, it will never be popular with the gym crowd. No one can put in enough bolts to turn it into a Holcomb.

There is a thing called "logical fallacies," like the hell-in-a-handbasket idea, which are usually thrown out too often. Super useful conversation some times, but again, I'm not saying the WHOLE weeping wall. I'm talking about one route, climbed mostly because it is the easiest thing there. I know a lot of gym climbers who frequently climb the hardest things out there. I love adventure, I love excitement, I love runout routes that challenge me and that I can look up to.


I know the arguments about bolts gets.... annoying. People will punch eachother out, end freindships, cause HUGE rifts in the community.

It's great to have guys like John and Apogee - people who can keep us centered and remind us where we came from. Absolutely I appreciate your insights, and I think collectively we have to balance history and adventure with convenience. As a climber who frequents these areas, who drives on a paved road past huge pieces of infrastructure and giant blotches of chalk, I just don't see how one bolt on a 5.7 that is pretty popular solely for its difficulty will make a difference. People aren't there for adventure, they are setting topropes up for their buddies or dragging up their mom (me!).


In the end, really, I think you are absolutely in the right in pulling it, because I think returning to roots is always a good idea. My feelings are more centered around the other stuff - read these comments and really understand that we are talking about perhaps 3 ounces of Stainless in a rock. Not ones to come, but this one instance. Seems a bit silly how worked up we get, and how much of a sh#t we can seem to give about it.


Not valhalla. Not Rebolting. Sh#t, not even a route like The Hernia. This is generally considered THE EASIEST bolted route at Suicide. Weird to get overly precious about it.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:48pm PT
John


You used a quote created to describe the murdering of millions of Jews for placing a bolt on a 5.7 slab.



I'm gonna let that sink in for a minute ;D



I put the bolt on surprise and if it gets chopped im going to chisel steps into it.

FINALLY someone gets it!


GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:53pm PT

Eventually it was decided no bolt, but slabs are notorious for runouts and it is too bad that today's climbers don't do them. So we all agreed on retrobolting a few, and they are insanely popular.

So if you sit down and be logical a certain amount of retrobolting can be agreed upon. With the FA's permission of course, which was no big deal.

This is a much more eloquent way to say what I think. Just kind of interesting, its one of the few times after I abandoned organized religion I feel like I'm in church again.
toadgas

Trad climber
los angeles
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:53pm PT
The issue is also that Surprise has historical significance.

Pretty sure it was the first route put up on the WW...FA dudes did it in vibram soles!

.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:58pm PT
So three years after the offending bolts were placed, are they still there?

You would think the "local climbing Community" would have resolved the issue by now.
Maybe it has?
ya better check 1st John

BTW,I put boot to those weeping wall routes a few times(72-75) and was around when some of them were put up.

Tad
toadgas

Trad climber
los angeles
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:00pm PT
^^^^^^

The bolts were still there about a month ago


.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:08pm PT
Y'all in California digress constantly into discussions about this bolt or that bolt on this overclimbed route or that....are there only six or seven routes in the State...I thought there were more.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:24pm PT
Y'all in California digress constantly into discussions about this bolt or that bolt on this overclimbed route or that....are there only six or seven routes in the State...I thought there were more.


It can sometimes be a type of 'settling,' like complaining about the garden or the neighbors lawn.
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:49pm PT
Johan.....Shouldn't of said anything and removed them...Would the reaction have been the same as the placement of said bolt? I think not. Suprise was one of my first run slabs....Climbed a lot down there and learned a lot. GDavis..... No difference then adding a bolt to Valhala or any other route. It's been said many times on many other bolt threads that the general consensus is the FA has the say. The argument against or the 'no one owns the rock" argument so far is in the minority. There are plenty of well protected routes in the world. You had a goal called "The Vampire". I'm sure you would have been disappointed if you found a new bolt on that(good job on reaching your goal bye the way!). You can't decide which climbs are sacred or not. For many, Suprise has been a stepping stone on the path of runout slab which many call the true Bastion of climbing as noted on other threads. And there are few better training grounds then Tahquitz and Suicide.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:55pm PT
No difference then adding a bolt to Valhala or any other route

Yup exactly the same.
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