A 'Surprise' bolt!


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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.

Social climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 08:48pm PT

Soul Cal
Oct 22, 2012 - 10:01pm PT
The added bolts are not in any published topo. There is gear available very near where the second bolt was. Please tell me who are these "LOCAlS" you are refering to and how often do they climb at Suicide?
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...
So what about all the bolts I have replaced and cleaning of less traveled routes? I have as much respect for Suicide and those that put up the routes than anyone. The bolt was removed and patched not on lead, but solo.

Soul Cal
Oct 23, 2012 - 11:07am PT
I also replaced one of the last 1/4" bolts on the Weeping wall about three months ago. It was the first bolt on the third pitch of ...... Clam Chowder. Obviously for notoriety. All you "LOCALS" can sit around the shop talking and posting BS. I'm done here. See you up at the crags, NOT.

Social climber
Oct 23, 2012 - 11:30am PT
(fast forward about 2 min in)
Damn this looks high

Trad climber
Temecula, CA
Oct 23, 2012 - 03:42pm PT
"No one owns the rock, we are all just stewards." Johannsolo.

Seems to me that you've appointed yourself as THE steward (I've been told you were also the person who removed the pins from Etude. Thanks. What an eyesore that was).

Watch out folks, there's a new sheriff in town.

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Oct 23, 2012 - 09:02pm PT
Brian From SLC makes a good point. What does the FA party of Suprise think? It's a tricky one and there was a good thread on adding bolts that may change the nature of a route it crosses. Most FA parties hope that the nature of their climb not be changed unless they OK it. The bolt in question does change the nature of the climb whether or not it is 5.2 or 5.12. As an older climber, the numbers mean less but to the beginner, it is an important tool. And although I by no means consider myself a local, I was fortunate enough to climb a lot there in my formitive years and learn from a "local" of many years (and who happens to be a good friend of Clark's) and remember Suprise as being an important stepping stone in that facet of climbing. Henny's initial regret of the bolt's placement seems right as well as both Clark and Johan's opposite poles. Both sides have merit. But I would side towards the removal of any reto bolt which changes the nature of another climb without the other climbs FA consent.

Mountain climber
somewhere near suicide rock
Oct 24, 2012 - 12:53pm PT
wow what a mess this is turning into

johannsolo-Dude, who made you in charge? And why are you so worried about one of the easiest routes when you climb at the opposite end of the scale? I did have some respect for you after hearing about your efforts on SYN, and recent attempts on trying to free TFC...Thats awesome you have replaced some of the last few old ' 1/4ers on weeping wall. If you want to help the crag in a positive way, there are plenty more bad bolts up there that need some replacing. Your actions on this surprise bolt can turn into a baby bolt war, or pissing contest. Either way, many do not want to see this go down here at suicide.

but who cares what I think. Im just another self described local that cares about bullshit going down at his favourite place to climb.


Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Oct 24, 2012 - 01:46pm PT
I say leave the bolt if clark wants it there...sometimes we have to trust the judgement of "our" valley giants...

Oct 24, 2012 - 02:14pm PT

Clark is a great guy. Personable, a font of information, and just an all around asset to the area.

That said, it doesn't give him license to retro bolt anything he wants. Surprise is not his route, and it was without that bolt for over 40 years. It isn't the first route Clark has added bolts to and its not the first of such bolts that was removed.

And somehow since Johannsolo climbs hard means he can't clean up a mess on a 5.8? He actually get props from me for caring enough about a route that is likely quite easy for him.

This isn't an issue. The ethics of the area are pretty well set. Don't add bolts to others lines, or to your own lines if they are shared with an preexisting route.

Johannsolo thanks for cleaning up the mess.


Social climber
Oct 24, 2012 - 04:35pm PT
That said, it doesn't give him license to retro bolt anything he wants.

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). "

Clark is incredibly honest about his actions, and I agree - he isn't the "servant" of Idyllwild.

I don't think anyone is.

Some people just need religion everywhere in their life...

Those bolts weren't necessary - none are. They likely won't be missed. However, those two things don't have to be true about all routes at Suicide.

Never fear, the sun will rise in the east and set in the west, and the world will go on largely unaware of the grumblings of mountain folk.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 24, 2012 - 04:39pm PT
Tempest in a teapot.

Social climber
Oct 24, 2012 - 04:43pm PT
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