Yosemite Big Walls - 3rd Edition - What do you want to see?

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Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Redlands
May 8, 2010 - 07:20pm PT
Wings of Steel topo.
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
May 8, 2010 - 10:10pm PT
Include in the topo any "free" variations to a wall that goes free W/variations. Like Freerider variations to the Salathe etc...

More history and special tidbits about the first accent. I bought the last bigwalls book just for that. I got the reid guide, which has almost everything... accept history!!!
Oxymoron

Big Wall climber
total Disarray
May 8, 2010 - 10:48pm PT
A lies & slander section might be entertaining.



Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 8, 2010 - 11:14pm PT
Yosemite Big Walls - 3rd Edition - What do you want to see?
Me on top.

Ammon McNeely makes a pendulum on Pitch 9 of Horse Chute on El Capitan. He is using the Five Ten Insight shoes and Yates Speed Wall Ladders.
Such product placements might quickly get annoying.
Brian

climber
California
May 8, 2010 - 11:39pm PT
Chris:

(1) More routes to spread people out (as Mark suggests).

(2) Include free ratings on all pitches that go free; include aid ratings (A or C) on all routes that have traditionally been aided.

As an aside, Mark says "bag the A rating if the pitch goes clean." I assume he means "goes free," but I still disagree. The "minimum skill level" to get yourself up El Cap is whatever skill level it takes to get you up El Cap without damaging the future experience of other climbers (e.g., adding bat hooks because you are too chickenshite to head). Mark is confusing ethics and style. Ethics--which has to do with impacting others' experience through the addition of bolts, chipping of holds, and so on--is everyone's business. Style--which has to do with your own experience (e.g., aid versus free, onsight versus redpoint, and so on)--is only your own business; it's personal. Mind your own business (yes, I realize that there is a grey area where person's chosen style can have an indirect ethical impact by clogging up a route). I mean, ultimately I agree with Mark, and I might get impatient with a party dragging its ass up a 5.8 hand crack on aid. But ultimately it's none of my business as long as they are not fecking up the route for future climbers. Everyone has a right to give the climb a go as long as they aren't ruining the rock. I'm much more concerned with people nailing routes that have gone clean than I am with people aiding routes that have gone free. And to clarify my own focus, I haven't gone up on a route with the intention of doing an aid climb for a decade or so. My focus is on free climbing (though I have resorted to aid when I've been shut down). I'm with you on the retrograde nature of aiding through certain routes and pitches.

(3) Following that comment, I'd like to see a pretty harsh indictment of nailing routes that go clean, just to make it a bit easier or safer. If an old head, rivit, or pin blows, replacing it may be justified. But nailing a crack because you are too scared to aid it clean is bad form. At the very least I'd like to see clean aid ratings for all pitches that go clean.

(4) Include all, or most, of the major bigwall free routes. This is a "big wall guidebook" not an "aid climbing guidebook." Certainly routes like Freerider ought to be included, no? I'd like to see more emphasis on free climbing--both free routes and free pitches on routes that otherwise go on aid.

(5) A good introductory essay on big wall ethics (not style, although that could be interesting as well). Lots of folks use your book as the go-to source and you should give them a stern talking-to about leave no trace wall ethics.

Brian

Good luck with the new edition.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 8, 2010 - 11:42pm PT
Perhaps the introductory essay could be on big wall behaviours - discussing the ways in which climbers have an adverse effect on the natural environment or the human environment, and the ways to minimize or eliminate those effects.

Ethics are abstract, and discussion of same may cause the average adolescent male's eyes to glaze over. Behaviours are concrete.
moronbros

Mountain climber
Seatte, North Cascades
May 9, 2010 - 12:21am PT
I just want you to make sure we never see someone sitting on a ledge reading the book on their kindle.

That is all.
JoeSimo

Trad climber
New York
May 9, 2010 - 07:20am PT
More explosions
Oxymoron

Big Wall climber
total Disarray
May 9, 2010 - 07:44am PT
And car chases(!?)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 9, 2010 - 08:45am PT
As an aside, Mark says "bag the A rating if the pitch goes clean." I assume he means "goes free,"

No, I meant what I wrote, if the aid can go clean then it's sole rating should be the clean rating.

Also, given that Chris' guides are responsible for the level of crowding on the routes, he has a responsibility to try to mitigate the problem. The problem is not people messing up the route for other people (i.e. placing a rivet) it's simply being on the route but not having the minimum skill level to actually climb the route and not create a cluster.
KevinQ

Big Wall climber
SLC
May 9, 2010 - 09:46am PT
I mean, ultimately I agree with Mark, and I might get impatient with a party dragging its ass up a 5.8 hand crack on aid. But ultimately it's none of my business as long as they are not fecking up the route for future climbers. Everyone has a right to give the climb a go as long as they aren't ruining the rock.

I disagree with this statement. If you're aiding the stovelegs, you ARE "fecking up the route for future climbers" - everyone else who's trying to get up it that day. And if someone's up there most days, "fecking up the route," I think it's fair to argue that the overall nature of the route has indeed been changed.

Check out the Nose on any good weather day, and as likely as not, you'll see this drama playing out. And with more and more climbers in the world, it'll only get worse.

Our walls are a limited resource, and the amount of people who want to use them is increasing. As this balance shifts, we need tighter and tighter ethics to keep the whole scene rolling merrily along. Over time, many practices that were once OK (tossing your sh!t off the wall, dropping your haulbags) have become taboo. I think it's time for another formal shift of ethics - on slow parties.

Everyone has a right to give the climb a go as long as they aren't ruining the rock.

I think this statement is past its expiration date. We need a higher bar. I'd suggest:

"Everyone has the right to give the climb a go, as long as they aren't ruining the route."

Can you ruin a route for a day by taking 4 hours to move one pitch up the stovelegs? Can you ruin a route for a day by bivying on p5 of Moonlight, and not letting people pass? You bet. Come back when you're ready to meet the route at its level, or at least the same level that the 3 parties behind you were planning.

So Chris, I think your book needs to include an opinion on this issue. Probably best as an essay from some well known but mortal climber. Who knows.

But I do know that it would have a big impact. We've all seen many wall gumbies who have little context for what they're doing, and how they're doing it. They've read How to Climb Big Walls by JL & JM and the Supertopo guide, and now they're going for it.

But here's the thing - a lot of em READ those books, and take what they've read to heart. Dill's "Staying Alive" essay has probably saved lives. Now we just need someone to write "It's Not Okay To Drag Ass."

Speed is less and less a question of style. It's becoming a question of ethics. A speed standard will help everyone get up the walls in peace, and make the resource more valuable for all of us.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 9, 2010 - 09:53am PT
Well put, Kevin.
Brian

climber
California
May 9, 2010 - 10:07am PT
As an aside, Mark says "bag the A rating if the pitch goes clean." I assume he means "goes free,"

No, I meant what I wrote, if the aid can go clean then it's sole rating should be the clean rating.

Sorry Mark, I misunderstood you and didn't get the transition from your point about clean/aid to your point about aid/free.

I mean, ultimately I agree with Mark, and I might get impatient with a party dragging its ass up a 5.8 hand crack on aid. But ultimately it's none of my business as long as they are not fecking up the route for future climbers. Everyone has a right to give the climb a go as long as they aren't ruining the rock.

I disagree with this statement. If you're aiding the stovelegs, you ARE "fecking up the route for future climbers" - everyone else who's trying to get up it that day. And if someone's up there most days, "fecking up the route," I think it's fair to argue that the overall nature of the route has indeed been changed.

This is why I said

I realize that there is a grey area where person's chosen style can have an indirect ethical impact by clogging up a route

I think we agree on this point, but that you and Mark feel it a bit more strongly than I do. I've been there, and had my NIAD attempt foiled by crowds of slow aid climbers. I guess I'm just not that burnt up about it. There are plenty of other climbs out there. As lots of people have pointed out, guidebooks bring the crowds to a very few climbs like moths to flames. I can always go and climb something else. Something harder or with a longer approach. In fact, those of us who can climb the NIAD might be told by those gumbys in the stovelegs to go find a route that is a proper challenge, instead of clogging up a beginner's route. Should I get pissed that there are beginners epicing on the Arches just because it's a warm up solo for me and lots of others?

Just food for thought here. Again, I do feel you impatience with the folks taking 4 hours for a pitch in the stovelegs. But pretty much every time this has come up on a route I've either been able to go climb something else or pass with relatively little trouble (well, relatively).

As a final point, no matter what Chris says in his guidebook beginners are going to get on the Nose, and they are going to be slow. Got to find a way to deal with it because it's not going away.

Brian
Peewee

Trad climber
Quebec
May 9, 2010 - 10:31am PT
PLEASE INCLUDE THE FREE CLIMBS!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 9, 2010 - 10:34am PT
Given the crowds, I think it's only fair and polite to raise the level of your game rather than lower the level of the climb. In this day and age, it is not only about your experience.
Wouldn't some of the Heros of ST, Coz, Bachar, Robbins advocate that also?
WBraun

climber
May 9, 2010 - 10:38am PT
On the nose especially, there should be an unwritten rule.

Let the fast parties go by .....

On the freeway you don't drive in the far left lane at 45 mph. :-)
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Green Cove slabbage BITD!
May 9, 2010 - 10:39am PT
Ya know what, Mark, those guys don't buy these books. Put yourself in Chris' shoes.

This consideration is going to dictate a lot of what goes into the book. People capable of climbing the Golden Gate already know where to get a topo, and there aren't very many of them.
Do I think the free routes should be in there anyway? Yes. It's the evolution of this game, at least at the elite level, and it's really cool. +1 for all free routes and ratings!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland: what's not to love?
May 9, 2010 - 10:40am PT
If you don't put a topo of the Girdle Traverse in, how's it going to see a second? :)

Is there any way that you can find someone who can write mean, mean, threatening and humiliating language letting people know that if they leave trash on route it's going to come back to them?

I think - iirc - that on the Nose topo you put a small note about keeping Camp 6 clean next to that belay. When I was in Camp 6 it was a shithouse, that probably goes for a lot of us. How about including a note on topo about the responsibility of every climber to clean up any trash they find, whether it's theirs or not?

These are probably futile ideas, but it's worth some thought: how to use the ST books to combat the higher impact that their publishing brings?
Brian

climber
California
May 9, 2010 - 10:50am PT
Mark I agree that it is "fair and polite" to raise your game. I also believe very strongly the people should be fair and polite, and not just when climbing. But other than suggesting this, how could it ever happen? No one wants a permit system for climbing El Cap. Would we submit climbing resumes and equipment lists as was once required on Mt. Katahdin?

Passing, which Werner brings up, is another issue. If a very slow party decided to get on the Nose (which, I still maintain is their prerogative), then they really ought to let faster parties pass. And, at a certain point (e.g., when real safety, not convenience, becomes an issue), faster parties might be justified in passing whether or not the slower party likes it.

On that above-mentioned sliding scale from style to ethics, letting others pass is further along toward ethics than just being slow.

OK. I'll try to refrain from further derailing Chris' query about his book with these stylistic and ethical questions. Maybe Mark and I can talk about it over a beer, especially if you are willing to give me Freerider beta after you go up!

Brian
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 9, 2010 - 10:53am PT
Ya know what, Mark, those guys don't buy these books.

Enough do. How many other big wall guide books are there out there?

Put yourself in Chris' shoes.

If I had written books about "The Road to the Nose" and "How to Aid Climb" and the "Yosemite Big Walls" guidebook I feel I would have a huge responsibility towards the climbing community to try to mitigate the crowding I have helped cause. You simply cannot deny that Chris is responsible for bringing more climbers to the walls of Yosemite.

I'm not saying to tell these climbers NOT go to up on the walls, I'm just saying that in the Guidebook, an article written by a respected climber about upping your game and climbing a route that is appropriate to your skill and speed has to be a consideration when you're climbing in Yosemite.

Brian, PM me, seems like you and me could get along.
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