60 Bolts drilled on Compressor Route in Patagonia

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Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jul 21, 2010 - 01:55pm PT
Really Largo and ncrock,

I couldn't agree more with both of you! The gage is pegged. Does our advancing sport and art have to rototill everything it touches especially places like Cerro Torre?

But back to Jardine. This point of Largo's can't be overstated. Ray did get some great routes but we all eventually "found him out"; baffling was the adjective here for sure, it really was. Exactly what he was doing BESIDES chopping God steps into the Nose has been gone into here plenty in prior threads. Largo is absolutely right to claim that Rj's legacy is actually not highly valued today nor has it been for decades.

Regarding the Patagonia situation these characters were down there, way the hell and gone up on one of the wildest places on earth essentially rigging it up for commercial and dubious artist purposes, apparently left permanent messes and set precedent for further nonsense as well. It is really troubling.
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Jul 21, 2010 - 02:24pm PT
Peter and LArgo are on it!
Are there not a few places still worthy of some sort of ethical preservation and respect for tradition?
Do we need to bolt and free every AID line on the big stone? In 5 years time will it become the next "sport crag"?

In my 30 years i have seen how RJ style pushed the number, but not the respect for the challenge. As for retro bolting, cookie monster was an obscure bridwell aid line, then went trad and only lasted 2 years with no know trad repeats before it became the "most popular .12 sport route" in the valley..
should we do the same for crack a go go?

again it is sad to me that places like Cerro Torre can't escape the taint of the hype and commercialism...
bmacd

climber
Relic Hominid
Jul 21, 2010 - 02:34pm PT
David Lama = 21st century Ray Jardine
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 22, 2010 - 10:04am PT
Bump- somebody has to keep a climbing post or two up front.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 22, 2010 - 10:56am PT
Thanks Jim,

Some great stuff on here.

Sure would like to read DR's opinion on this. Be an interesting read to say the least.



Not likely....but we're getting plenty of Donini!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 22, 2010 - 12:30pm PT
Will Gadd's blog piece was good-- folks following this should read it.

Climbing is becoming a video culture, rather than a literary one. And climbers/viewers expect increasingly high production values. And high production values = industrial infrastructure for filming.

Gadd also makes a good point about how obscure this debate will appear to outsiders. We use ecological language to criticize excess bolting, but the simple carbon footprint costs of a flight to patagonia vastly outweigh anything most of us are likely to do on the actual rock, including the new lama/rb holes in the crag.

To folks outside the community (including corporate at RB and elsewhere), the outrage over the new bolts will feel pretty arbitrary.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 22, 2010 - 12:33pm PT
Agreed- from an ecological point of view the argument against excessive bolting makes little sense.
Regarding style the argument makes all the sense in the world. What is climbing without style.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 22, 2010 - 12:35pm PT
Whining about rudder design in the Americas Cup, don't mean shizzle to me either, but it's important to those folks......
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:05pm PT
Agreed- from an ecological point of view the argument against excessive bolting makes little sense.
Regarding style the argument makes all the sense in the world. What is climbing without style.


The difficulty is making that argument to an outside audience, especially when the climbing "community" itself is not entirely unified.

America's Cup-- racing generally --is easier for audiences to understand, even if that understanding comes from watching tv spectacles that involved much higher ecological costs than a couple dozen holes in alpine granite.

The Gadd piece was a bit murky, and you could sort of see him thinking things through as he went, but it also had a good constructive suggestion, namely that the community needs to develop a strong sense of style for video production, especially in sensitive environments like Patagonia.

We should press sponsors, climbers and consumers to understand the impacts of film production, and develop the Leo Dickenson model: one cameraman, minimal infrastructure.

I think that's the real issue Gadd highlights, that this debacle isn't about climbing style, but about the infrastructural support around climbing and climbers. And this isn't the first controversy driven by filming of sponsored athletes-- just remember Delicate Arch.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:08pm PT
When it comes to style you can't separate out the climbers from the support team/infrastructure- it's a package deal.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:15pm PT
especially in sensitive environments like Patagonia.

I don't see Patagonia being that much more "sensitive" than any other hunk of granite that we love.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:25pm PT
I don't see Patagonia being that much more "sensitive" than any other hunk of granite that we love.

really? you'd put the valley floor and compressor route on par as user experiences?

you must be really tweaked about all the film crew bouldering video getting shot in the valley, then.

heh.

all granite isn't equal, at least not anymore. as gadd points out, filming in parts of the french and swiss alps is already "industrial." locals have long since made their peace with rap-bolting and bolt-protected cracks. if you want to fire up a campaign to chop that metal and streamline film crews there, go ahead, but no one's going to listen.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:30pm PT
When it comes to style you can't separate out the climbers from the support team/infrastructure- it's a package deal.

What, you think Gadd's piece exculpates Lama? It didn't read that way to me. I thought it was pretty judicious. And it seemed to me that the upshot was that the climbers bore responsibility for pushing the Dickenson production model as part of sponsorship packages.

Indeed, I thought that Gadd's piece was good precisely because it did what it called for-- he's one of RB's athletes, and writing something public, accessible to the marketing teams and corporate, that tries to clarify the stakes and offer possible solutions, was commendable.

Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:34pm PT
Kerwin (and Will) have a good point. In some of the world, what the Red Bull people did in Patagonia is the norm. Environmental impacts, whether real (air travel, resources, abandoned gear...) or largely symbolic (bolts), aren't even on the radar. The point being that what may be tolerable in some places isn't necessarily tolerable in others - context is important. There seems to have been a lack of perspective in what happened on Cerro Torre.

Many of these developments do seem linked to commercial climbing - filming, 'professional' climbers, guides of varying levels of professionalism, riggers, developers of huts and teleferiques, etc. We all share some of the blame for that.

There's little point to getting all high and mighty about it, though. We all have high impacts, both as climbers and as citizens of developed countries. And we could all do a lot to reduce those impacts, without significant effect on our lifestyles.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:43pm PT
I didn't say that Gadd's piece exculpates RB. What I said was a general statement that, I believe, includes all climbers and their entourages, anytime, anywhere.
Fluoride

Trad climber
Hollywood, CA
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:44pm PT
I talked to someone up in Tuolumne who knew about the situation and said that when everyone heard that they left all their crap up there (including tents, stoves, etc) that there was a mass run on it. Ropes, gear, stuff, all cleaned up and taken away (or rather bootied). Not sure if the bolts have been chopped but the other evidence has been removed.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:48pm PT
The bolts have not been chopped. One would expect tents etc. to be removed. Do you leave your camping gear in the meadows?
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 22, 2010 - 01:56pm PT
really? you'd put the valley floor and compressor route on par as user experiences?


I think you're missing my point.

I didn't say that the film crew itself pissed me off, it's the 60 bolts.
So yes, if someone added 60 bolts to Tribal Rite for a film event, I'd be just as "tweaked".

you must be really tweaked about all the film crew bouldering video getting shot in the valley, then.

Have they added 60 bolts to any of the boulders they're filming?
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 22, 2010 - 03:12pm PT
I didn't say that the film crew itself pissed me off, it's the 60 bolts.
So yes, if someone added 60 bolts to Tribal Rite for a film event, I'd be just as "tweaked".


There's been a lot more than 60 bolts added to granite routes in the French and Swiss Alps. I can't speak to what's been done specifically for filming, but find Gadd's comments believable, given the stories I've heard.

I just don't see the point of pretending that a campaign to promote a Dickenson model for filming of sponsored climbers is going to be feasible for those ares in the Alps, the way it might be for Patagonia. So, yes, suggesting that climbers should get behind less intrusive film models for "sensitive" areas seems pretty sensible. If you have a better adjective, feel free to use it.

You could demand that the Fr/Swiss areas strip their bolts, fill in the Jungfraubahn tunnel, and return to a single-cameraman video tradition, but then you're just venting on the net. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, if you have the free time and find it therapeutic.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 25, 2010 - 10:51pm PT
Will Gadd's piece was instructive.

Lama is 19. A "prodigy" they say, but in what? Adventure routes, like the stuff you'd find in Patagonia? Not as chance. He's too young to have much experience in that arena. Lucky the kid didn't go get himself killed.

Per the adults: stitching this sacred peak with bolts, stringing sh#t on it bottom to top, abandoning all the junk, and then trying to pay off some locals to go clean up the mess all points to a crew vastly over-matched by a project seemingly "led" by a mere boy.

The fiction being perpetrated from the Lama camp is that they were a competent group who just made a few honest mistakes or slips in judgement. Nice try, but that's PR jive.

The facts incontrovertibly describe an incompetent group (in terms of handling that magnitude of a film project) who entirely lacked the judgement to know one way or the other the "right" mode of approach.

With a whole generation of gym-trained climber hitting middle age, I'd expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing in the near future.

JL
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