A 'Surprise' bolt!


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Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 9, 2012 - 12:36am PT
Yep, bolt is on Surprise. From yesterday...:

Surprise &#40;indeed!&#41; at Suicide 7 October 2012
Surprise (indeed!) at Suicide 7 October 2012
Credit: Brian in SLC

Jean shows her displeasure at the new addition.

Hadn't climbed the route in 25 or so years... Yeah, I clipped it (ha ha), mostly for clarity in the photo (I mean its barely 5th class there).

Great route.

Noticed the other bolt on Clam Chowder's first pitch, about 15 feet off the deck on that route.

Both nice stainless bolts. Powers. Spendy little rigs.

Easy enough to pull, but, bolt wars ain't no fun. And, that fine rock wouldn't be the winner for sure.

Mountain climber
Oct 9, 2012 - 02:17am PT
Call Nomad Ventures in Idyllwild if you want to talk to Clark Jacobs.
Or PM me and I'll send you his number.

Of course, how can you climb for long in Idyllwild without running into him...

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 9, 2012 - 04:33pm PT
First post, huh?


Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Oct 9, 2012 - 04:36pm PT
hahahahahaha.......popcorn anybody?
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Oct 9, 2012 - 04:45pm PT
dave goodwin

carson city, nv
Oct 9, 2012 - 04:50pm PT
That's more than Trolling, more like Drift Netting!
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 9, 2012 - 04:59pm PT

Really like your profile name!

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Oct 10, 2012 - 02:50am PT
"Driftnetting" ahhahahaha.....Meanwhile, what the F Johan? 3rd class that sucker with a pair of tuners and yank the thing!

Soul Cal
Oct 20, 2012 - 01:34am PT
The bolt Clark Jacobs added to Suprise(1966) three years ago is gone and the hole is patched. I stand by what was done. There is also a cam placement about six feet to the right and just below the "added" bolt so it is not even needed for protection. Most people will also be bringing gear for the initial 20 feet of crack climbing so this is not a "bolts" only route.

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 20, 2012 - 02:03am PT
"The bolt Clark Jacobs added to Suprise(1966)...."

Ummmm...that bolt he added was to 'Clam Chowder'.

It wasn't intended to be on 'Surprise'....it just wound up that way.

This has been clarified several times in this thread. Why are you persisting in describing it that way?

You mentioned earlier that you would do this with Clark's involvement...did that actually happen?

Soul Cal
Oct 20, 2012 - 02:19am PT
The second bolt added was on Suprise. I climbed up and down that first pitch many times and always passed the un-needed bolt. The first bolt added to Clam Chowder was left in place. There is no discussion needed. Gear can be placed very near where the added bolt was.

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2012 - 11:13am PT
(From upthread)

Nov 12, 2009 - 01:20pm PT

"Okay - something a little more concrete.

The bolt in question is not on Surprise but is instead on Clam Chowder. It is one of two bolts that were added to the first pitch of Clam Chowder about a month ago, and was put in by Clark Jacobs who was a member of the FA party (Clark Jacobs, Jay Smith, Jim Wood - 1973). After putting up the route they agreed bolts in the first pitch would have been good, and that eventually one of them could/would come back and do it at a later date. "

"The two new bolts on Clam Chowder were put in by a member of the FA party. So it would seem to merit consideration."

Nov 12, 2009 - 07:40pm PT

"I spoke to Clark this past weekend and he said he added the two bolts to the first pitch of Clam Chowder (not Surprise). "


So....was Clark involved in your removal effort, or not?

Gym climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 02:56pm PT
To put the above Nov. 12 quote from henny into the full context of this thread, take a look at what he wrote later:

Oct 6, 2012 - 11:25pm PT
Yeap, the second one really is on Surprise. That is the biggest shame of the whole thing.

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2012 - 03:12pm PT
As several stated upthread, Clark deserves some deference on this- he may very well agree that (in retrospect) this bolt wasn't needed or well-placed, but his decades of stewardship of Suicide & Tahquitz (not to mention FA status on CC) exceeds that of virtually anyone.

It's quite possible he'd agree that it should go (or be moved), but I'd much prefer seeing him make that call than some unilateral action from someone with an agenda. Every time that happens, the crag loses.

Trad climber
Idyllwild, CA
Oct 22, 2012 - 03:33pm PT
Good thing the "Overlord of Suicide Rock" was finally able to remove the bolt. It was clearly burning everybody up inside, which explains why it lasted a brief 3 years in the rock.

I guess the opinions of the FA party and LOCAL CLIMBERS don't matter as long as somebody gets to feel like a big man pulling bolts. We can all feel like bold manly men now because a bolt was removed on run-out 5.0 slab. Good thing nobody complains about the shitty gear anchors on Suicide and Tahquitz that were replaced with bolts so that we don't have to actually be bold when it matters.

I asked around and to my knowledge, no Idyllwild climbers cared enough to remove the bolt.

I sincerely hope this doesn't turn into a "bolt war". I know that Clark wants the bolt there and he may well decide to replace it. One insignificant bolt is not worth destroying the rock with repeated chopping and replacing.

Damn this looks high

Trad climber
Temecula, CA
Oct 22, 2012 - 04:18pm PT
Bolt choppers and climbers concerned with the ethics of climbing seem to think climbing is a game like 'Step on crack, break you mother's back.' It's not a GAME, Dipshits. It's life and death. Chopping a bolt, removing fixed pins that have been there for years--long enough for people to EXPECT them to be there, is irresponsible. I repeat--IT'S NOT A GAME.

Social climber
The Past
Oct 22, 2012 - 04:56pm PT
Ha. It sounds like I contradict myself!

Those who know the routes in question understand that due to the extremely easy nature of the terrain in the vicinity of the second bolt it is pretty much impossible for a bolt to be on Clam Chowder but not Surprise. Technically, the bolt was placed on Clam Chowder. But Surprise is so easy in that vicinity that the bolt also becomes part of it. The only way to differentiate routes in that area is to specify the exact line and holds, no deviations of more than a foot or two to the side allowed. So if you're using the Clam Chowder holds you can clip the bolt, otherwise not. That obviously isn't workable.

Not adding the second bolt at all in the first place would have been the best course of action. However, it is a time honored tradition that people can change their own routes, and Clark did the FA of Clam Chowder. Unfortunately, the pitch basically shares the same finish as Surprise so the can of worms was opened.

A question that comes out of this seems to be if there is a statue of limitations, so to speak, regarding route ownership. If there even is such a thing as ownership beyond a reasonable time. It is accepted, and needfully so, that bolts are not added other than by the FA party. But if the FA party owns the route and can alter it for an indefinate time, couldn't they just as well decide to remove bolts as opposed to adding them? If Bachar would have removed the bolts from the second on the B/Y because 15 years later he felt they weren't needed (by him) would people say it was cool because, after all, he did the FA? Once a route has been out there long enough for public consumption perhaps it isn't "owned" anymore and should be left as is (even by the FA party)?

I find the notion rather bothersome that being the most "local" means one is free to make whatever changes one wants. This is not directed specifically at Clark, rather as an observation in general since the term local seems to be coming up a bit. There are a lot of questions that come out of defining "local".

It would be nice to debate/discuss the underlying issues objectively. It's not all about any one person, or any one route.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 22, 2012 - 05:26pm PT
Its a conundrum...

We did Surprise and Clam Chowder a couple weeks back. IMHO, the bolt ended up being on Surprise. We TR'd clam chowder, but, I'm pretty ok at following easy terrain and I didn't come that close to the bolt in question. I ran right over the top of it on Surprise (see photo above).

Was Clark on point during the FA of Clam Chowder? I wonder if that makes any difference. I mean, I've held the rope for folks doing FA's, and, had the favor in return, but, as a second, especially for a ground up FA, I've never felt like it was my call to come back later and add pro. Ever.

Bit of a dust up here a year or two ago when bolts showed up on a long standing friction route. Feller came forward that did the deed, and, he was one of the FA guys, but, the second. Original FA guy had died, but, the second always felt like the guy who had led the route had given him permission to add a bolt to the route if he wanted to. Just waited a gob of years to do it. Stood up in front of the local community (was a huge turn out at one of the local gyms to discuss it) and gave his reasons, literally, with tears in his eyes as a local ER doc, he'd seen enough carnage in the sport. Said, go ahead and chop it, but, my conscious is clear, and, its on you, not me. Or something to that effect. Took a fair amount of courage to stand up and say it especially in front of a fairly hostile crowd with blood in the air. Bolt is still there, to my knowledge.

The Surprise/Clam Chowder bolt? I dunno. As a climber, IMHO, I wouldn't have supported its addition, but, I probably wouldn't have chopped it without talking to Clark first. He's accessible. My partner? Had we a wrench, the bolt would have been gone. She was pissed it was there.

FA has a right to do what they want, irregardless of the locally accepted style and ethics (ugh)? Maybe. Maybe not.

My bet is Clark didn't talk to Pat, and, maybe didn't think he needed to. Wonder what Pat would think if his partner for Surprise went back and added bolts to that route...hmmm...

Interesting stuff...

Trad climber
Idyllwild, CA
Oct 22, 2012 - 05:53pm PT
Henny you made some good points. I especially like the one about removing bolts from a route years after a first ascent. That would be pretty upsetting if you were cruxed out and an expected bolt wasn't there!

You are correct, I and others threw around the word "locals" without much definition. Obviously very few people can truly be called a local because so few people live on the mountain.

I think an appropriate definition for local would be somebody who can, on a whim, climb at Tahquitz or Suicide without much forethought or planning, and does so regularly. To me, this really limits locals to a 1 hour driving time and excludes weekend/holiday only climbers. Climbers from Idyllwild, Pine Cove, Mountain Center, Garner Valley, Anza, Hemet, etc. probably would fall into this category. If one is unable to climb here most days of the week because that person lives to far away (not due to laziness, bad weather, or darkness), then that person is effectively not a local.

Example: In spring 2012, I climbed at Joshua Tree practically every week from January-April, sometimes for many days at a time. However, I live in Idyllwild and it required forethought, planning, and over 2 hours of driving for me to get there. I am NOT at local at Joshua Tree, even though I climbed there frequently.

On the subject of ownership. I am on the fence here. I like to believe the FA has ownership of the route, to a limit. The bolt was placed way past that limit, in my opinion, whatever the limit may be. BUT, does somebody who, in every single way imaginable, has absolutely no connection with the route, other than having climbed it a time or two have the right to remove a bolt placed by the FA party? I adamantly say NO.

Clark specifically told the bolt remover, in person, that he DID NOT WANT IT REMOVED. The bolt was removed anyway. I'm going to side with somebody who at least can lay some claim to the route over somebody who really has no business removing it when the only FA person in contact says NO. If Pat Callis was upset and wanted it gone, I agree. But frankly, I doubt he cares.

As for Suicide being "dumbed down". Johann, get a grip dude. 2 bolts in 100 feet is hardly dumbed down. Besides, aren't you climbing 5.12s? It seems to me you removed the bolt to gain personal notoriety rather than return an area to pure-ness. I hope you at least removed it on lead, facing the fall...

Social climber
The Past
Oct 22, 2012 - 07:35pm PT
Fair enough, although I disagree with that narrow of a definition for a local. Most people have jobs that give them nothing more than weekends to climb. Just because they happen to be constrained by a job doesn't mean they aren't a major activist/mover/contributor where they climb - at every chance they get. Being a weekend warrior (whatever that means) does not exclude someone from being a local.

By such a strict definition of local as live within an hour, I was never a Suicide/Tahquitz local. I lived in Redlands and rarely made it up in under an hour. Yet I was there as much as people who lived in the mentioned towns. And I climbed there extensively for something like 25 years, some of those years including weekday trips. Maybe it's vanity, but I like to think that at one time I was a local based on how much I had climbed there and what I had done. Not living on the mountain didn't mean people weren't locals.

My point is, it seems to me that being a local can also be related to the quantity of climbing done in an area, as well as the amount of contributions made to the area (FAs for example), not just whether one lives within a small radius of the area or can get to the area during the week. Some areas don't even have a town near them, yet there are climbers who are considered "locals" for reasons other than residence proximity.

Just some of my take on the subject.
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