Bolting on stance - ground up - leading

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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 5, 2006 - 01:48am PT
Just came back from the Valley, we ended up bolting an obscure line that ablegable had scoped out. Mostly out to have fun.

The question here - when developing a new route where bolting is necessary for protection, the drilling seems to be a lot harder than the climbing. Drilling from stance on a ground up effort, leading, zowie... my calves are reminding me that I don't use them that way very often.

Climbers who whine about bolt spacing should be invited up to fix the situation, bolting on stance and leading.

Any stories? there must be a ton...

I couldn't wait to get that sucker in so I could start moving again. On particularly scary placements, I seemed to drill faster than when I had a more secure purchase.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Feb 5, 2006 - 02:12am PT

pimp4crimps doing it no matter what.


mungeclimber, yours truly, having the time of his life.


Feral Rat- another day at the pinns


Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Feb 5, 2006 - 02:15am PT
another hooker shot


Operation Pinnacles Freedom 5.9 * right next to Trafalger Tower.

todd-gordon

climber
Feb 5, 2006 - 02:15am PT
Nobody drills on the lead anymore....I bet for every bolt drilled on the lead, there are 500 bolts rapped in by some machine-welding sport-climber wearing flowered lycra. I know the sore calf feeling, for just today I drilled 11 bolts myself....(2 were anchor bolts....).... the other 9 were drilled all on the lead, of course..(Hooks, stances, sketchy pieces or standing on a bolt)......(Rap bolters are weak....)......bolting on the lead aint' for everyone, but those who put up new routes should try it every now and then... just to keep honest and see how the "old guys" climb.
WBraun

climber
Feb 5, 2006 - 02:22am PT
Hey hey looky here your heel came out of your shoe (last photo above).

Ground up leading with bolts? Yikes! are you crazy :-)
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Feb 5, 2006 - 02:23am PT
I'm of the opinion, that if you can get a partner, everyone should drill on lead. It's just that much more fun.

However, on shitty rock, that's not at Pinnacles, I'll top down that shiz in a heart beat. Though for this one, I was too scared to be on top of the thing longer than it took to reach up and touch the top. So no bolts on the top pitch. but it did go in ground up.



Like Mike Tupper said in one of the MOS vids, "we've all chipped our teeth" putting in some route or the other.

CanuckClimber

climber
Calgary, Ab
Feb 5, 2006 - 02:29am PT
Up here in the Bow Valley the only really excepted way to bolt a route is on lead, unless it is some sport climb in the canyons. No hand drilling and no hooks, just a hilti and like you said a whole lot of calf burn.


http://www.calgarymountainclub.com/photos/Brad_tdbrad.jpg
Ouch!

climber
Feb 5, 2006 - 02:56am PT
Munge, looks like you damn near needed crampons on that mossy rock.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Feb 5, 2006 - 03:19am PT
December 23, 2003 a 6.5 earthquake rumbles through central California leaving two dead in it's wake. Clint Cummins and I are at the Pinnacles in the High Peaks putting up a new route. Now the Pinnacles are smack dab on the San Andreas Fault and when the quake hits, Clint is about 35 feet up trying to place our second bolt while hanging off a single hook placement. The whole pinnacle we are on starts swaying back and forth and things get pretty weird for about 30 seconds. Clint was a pro. He just kept drilling.

Needless to say, when I was drilling the next bolt while hanging from a thumbnail sized knob on a dead vertical wall, I was trying not to think about aftershocks.

Bruce
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Feb 5, 2006 - 04:30pm PT
Here's a stance story with a twist - Jay Smith invited me to a new route with him at Calaveras which looked really good. He had already established the first two pitches which I led at 11a. They were high quality slab affairs with big bolts that I assumed were stanced as there were no edges or features to hook ect. Power drills were just hitting the scene and Jay had one which was great - big bolts and on lead powerstancing opened up new potential for hard stanced routes. At this point the wall steepened dramatically and I drew the crux lead. After a few powerstanced bolts the climbing got steep and wingus and I found myself well above my last bolt on 5.12 micro features. Incredibly I managed to arrange a marginal stance but way to precarious to haul up the Bosch. Jay suggested I break out the hand kit and drill a quarter incher ( I had carried it on the lead just for such a scenario) After considerable hardship I finally managed a meager 1/2 inch hole but felt I had it in the bag when Jay yelled up that he was sending up the bat hook. " Whaaat? I'm almost done with one of the hardest stances in my life and you want me to bathook?" I fumed. " That's right" he said, " It's my route and I want all big bolts ,- I don't care about stancing,just the final result!" Turns out he had bathooked the lower pitches as well in order to hang on them while he hauled up the Bosch with impunity. I was appalled and we had words but I finally gave in. We put up four more pitches that day up to 11.c but didn't speak a word to each other. We decided that the route should be called " Bad Company " and that was the last time I climbed with Jay! Looking back now it seems less important because although it could have been a proud stanced 5.12, it is still one of the best routes I've ever done!!
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Feb 5, 2006 - 06:01pm PT
I got involved in an "ethical altercation" over P1 of a route called Pizza Face on Lumpy Ridge. Read this thread from climbingboulder.com:
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/colorado/lumpy_ridge/the_book/105751048

I got involved in an "ethical altercation" over P1 of the route. You can see it all re-hashed here...mostly by people who don't know a thing about it. That's why I wrote the long post. It's about half way down the thread. Germaine to this thread, however, was my ascent of P3. Check it out. It's certainly the most memorable pitch I've ever done.
Mal
Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Feb 5, 2006 - 07:14pm PT
"Turns out he had bathooked the lower pitches as well in order to hang on them while he hauled up the Bosch with impunity."

That is SO 15 minutes ago.

Thin trail line through a pulley at your waist. Second hauls the Bosch for you. Return of the proud stancers.

Brutus
Norman Clydesdale

climber
Mule capitol of the world
Feb 5, 2006 - 09:16pm PT
What Brutus said.

Power drills/rotary hammers=well drilled holes and quality bolts.

Arguably easier to drill from hard stances with inventive drill hauling technique than to fiddle f*#k around with bathooks, hooking, and /or marginal slung pro.

Hand drilling on lead from poor and mediocre stances often result in poor holes and poorly placed bolts that end up with rap replacement later.

Drilling on lead is more of a trade than an art form.

Many "proud" lead bolted lines at the higher grades suffer from bad drilling. Hand drilling is best done on new routes in the backcountry and in areas with bans on power drills. Well drilled bolts last a long time. Fewer and fewer people posess the abilty to place a good bolt on lead with a hand drill.

Power is good, whether on the lead or on rappel.


bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Feb 5, 2006 - 09:43pm PT
Power is no good in National Parks (Yosemite, Zion, RMNP, etc.) and National Monuments(Pinnacle, etc.) since they are prohibited. Hey, but you already knew that.

Bruce

ps - the trick isn't drilling with power or by hand, it is in knowing the quality of the hole you have drilled. I have seen poorly drilled holes with a power drill.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 5, 2006 - 10:10pm PT
Ed, on stance or just on lead?
Do hook stories count?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 5, 2006 - 10:52pm PT
So far I have done it mixed, both on a stance and "just" on lead.

The whole hook thing freaks me out, but I haven't done many that way (yet). I'm sure I'll be fine with it eventually. However, "back in the day" I suspect that hanging from anything was suspect ethics. But I don't really know.

The last bolt on The Vision appears in a logical place for it to be stance bolted on lead. I remember that and the one before appear in the only place you could probably get a bolt in standing. That would have been a very wild lead. Perhaps Tom remembers, I think that the bolts that are there are mostly the originals.

But if you've got any stories, tell'em here!

Norman... perhaps Brutus was being a bit sarcastic? Since I'm drilling in Yosemite no power tools, though I am sure we would get away with almost anything, obscurity is a good cloak (but we wouldn't power drill!)
billygoat

climber
3hrs to El Cap Meadow, 1.25hrs Pinns, 42min Castle
Feb 6, 2006 - 12:38am PT
"Thin trail line through a pulley at your waist. Second hauls the Bosch for you."

Funny! I was just having a conversation with Tom Davis about this method today. Doesn't this put a two to one on the climbers waist? Meaning, if the drill weighs 12 pounds, then the climber feels 24 pounds. Better to hang the drill from the last bolt on a fifi and a 25 foot or so cord. Hand of hand it up, when you need it.

I guess this would only work if the stances or hook placements are good, but still seems better than hanging off of micro crimps while your partner essentially tries to pull you off the cliff.
Norman Clydesdale

climber
Mule capitol of the world
Feb 6, 2006 - 12:09pm PT
Drilling on lead is hard work. Whether it is with a hand drill or a power drill, you need to experience it and put your time in to appreciate the work and effort involved.

Hand drilling in granite can be epic. There is a reason why there are/were so many buttonheads and 1/4 inchers around.

There have been several times when I have climbed a new route and found many of the bolts to be drilled poorly. Replacement of bolts and anchors is often called for the first season after the route went up. The FA knows what a good bolt is in a well drilled hole, but wasn't about to hang around for a half hour to sink a fat 3/8 Rawl. So, we end up with one offs and assorted mank.

Conversely, I understand when I and others have caught flack for the bolts placed on a new route. "Why didn't you place 3/8 bolts? You have a responsibilty to the community. 3/8 are the standard, you drilled 1/4 inchers" My answer, "actually they are 5/16 and if you knew the work involved to put those things into granite, you wouldn't be asking the question."

Power is awesome when you can employ it. It allows for big bolts in a timely manner. Whether the drill holes are good or not is dependent on the craftsman doing the work.

I started drilling ground up by hand in sandstone. I thought I was bad ass. Then I tried hand drilling ground up on granite and got schooled. I gained a huge amount of respect for anybody putting up bolted lines on lead.

All the trickery and systems that can be employed seem to get you to the same place. You will push your limits on drilling the same way you push yourself on lead. Once something becomes a bit more manageable it allows you to approach a new level of difficulty. I dont think it ever get's easier. You get more efficient and can work quickly on easier routes, but when you are putting up something new and difficult, even though you have a system dialed, the work is still grueling.

As to stories I have a few. The unifying theme is me hanging from a hand drill or dangling from a partially driven bolt after my calfs crumbled. Then there was they time I pulled half a rap anchor on an a repeat ascent of a new route. The bolts were hand drilled 3/8 buttonheads in what appeared to be solid rock. Turns out the person who drilled them totally cratered the holes and the buttonheads had no bite. I became really suspect of buttonheads after that.

bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Feb 6, 2006 - 12:47pm PT
I don't know anybody bolting on lead these days who are using 1/4" or 5/16" bolts for permanent anchors because it is too hard to drill 3/8". Some people place the smaller diameter bolts on lead and then come back the next day and replace them with good stuff on rappel.

The problem I see, especially at Pinnacles National Monument, is people drilling 3/8" but, using short length bolts where longer bolts are recommended. For example, 3" or 3.5" are the best for the soft rock. But, in my rebolting efforts there, I have pulled a number of 2.25" Rawls! And, the problem is that you can't tell the length just by looking at them. That's bad.

Yes, whether bolting on lead or on rappel there is a huge responsibility to do it right!

Bruce
Norman Clydesdale

climber
Mule capitol of the world
Feb 6, 2006 - 01:10pm PT
BHilden,

The southern Sierra is full of "newer" routes that sport small diameter bolts. Many of them went up in the nineties on lead. For a while 5/16 was really hard to come by and you were lucky if you had a good stash. This shortage of good skinny bolts forced many old school FAers to commit to 3/8 for at least a while.

I agree you won't see them at the crags. But, there is arguably still a place for them on backcountry granite face routes. A well drilled 5/16 in granite inspires confidence.

Your point about people putting up a route on lead and then rapping down soon after for bolt replacement cracks me up. I know it happens. Pinnacles is a different world.

In the early nineties people were psyched to see 3/8 going in at Pinnacles. Problem was, a lot of those fattys were mank. There was/is some popular 10 or 11ish sport climb on Discovery wall that had the newer bolts and those things flexed from the get go. There were fracture circles around the bolts higher up on the route. The route might have been called "Verdict", does that sound right? I don't think it was 3/8 Rawl at the time, but 3/8 hardware store specials instead. Last time I was on that thing was 93 or 94 and I can remeber people heading to it because it was one of a handful of routes that sported "good" bolts. I guess anything 3/8 was thought of as good at that time because bad was thought of as 1/4 buttonheads or star drives.

Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Feb 6, 2006 - 01:22pm PT
One of the major shortcomings of gyms is that they don't train/build the calves for stance drilling. (Where are the indoor slabs?) Anyone have any good training techniques?

Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Feb 6, 2006 - 01:54pm PT
"...Better to hang the drill from the last bolt on a fifi and a 25 foot or so cord. Hand of hand it up, when you need it. ..."

A fifi is a pretty dicey way to leave your drill hanging from the last pro. As you climb above and the rope moves things around, well your drill will probably get launched. I made up a good hook for this use by bending a 12" welding rod 180 deg. around a 1" bar, just short of it's middle, then made an eye at the longer end to tie the drill to. Girth hitch a runner at the top of the hook (in the bend) and attach your light haul cord there. This is a nice deep hook which will not come off except when you pull it up. Also, I like the thin haul line to come up through a 'biner on my harness and then then all the way back down to the belayer, so if I have pulled the drill partway up and need a moment to regroup on my stance, I can let go of the cord and the belayer can hold it there.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Feb 6, 2006 - 02:25pm PT
Some of the on-lead bolts drilled at Suicide Rock, over 30 years ago, have to be seen (climbed) to be believed. Sacking it up to go for those tough placements is considerable adventure. That's what 70s climbing on Middle Cath. was all about. Routes like Stoner's Highway and Black Primo were all about trying to get those bolts in without taking an epic whistler. Half the time you didn't even know if you were on route. You prayed that when you went for the big run out that "big knob" was indeed good enough. When it wasn't (at least half the time), things got exciting very quickly. The most horrendous on lead bolts I have ever seen were on a route called "Greasy but Groovy" on Royal Arches. Rock Accomazzo was the best I ever saw at this work.

JL
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Feb 6, 2006 - 03:15pm PT
Ouch!,

Good times. There's no choss that a little Old E can't fix.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Feb 6, 2006 - 03:23pm PT
As many have pointed out, it is the end result that is important (solid bolts). Depending on the route, the location, etc., you may decide to rap, lead, hook, power or hand drill the suckers.

Hand drilling on the lead is a lot of work and often dictates that fewer (rather than more) bolts get placed. Power drilling in wilderness areas or most National Parks is not permitted. Rapping on longer climbs isn't often an alternative either.

Nowdays, people seem to place 3/8 inch bolts, no matter if drilled on the lead by hand or not.
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Feb 6, 2006 - 03:37pm PT
Munge,
You belong in Hawaii doing FAs on this stuff:


Actually, does anyone climb these cliffs?


Kris,
Did the Gold Standard possibly go ground-up?


More stories please...
Greg Barnes

climber
Feb 6, 2006 - 03:43pm PT
All I can say is that I'm glad we have SDS bits these days - they pretty much never break off in the hole. I can't even count the number of holes with broken drill bits that I've seen next to old bolts, usually from horrendous stances!
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Feb 6, 2006 - 03:52pm PT
Nate - The Gold Standard was done ground up, drilling from hooks. Actually, I made a special hook for the job, milled out of t6 aluminum. It was a triangular affair with two feet, and a beak at 90 degrees so it would just sit on a thin edge. A slot in the base accepted a thin stopper - to clip the thing.

Just for the record, I really enjoy the whole process of ground-up fa's, so on the rare occasion you come across one of my routes you can assume it was done in that manner.

BTW, I just want to mention that Herb Laeger is a real master of "stancing." And he's still at it with a vengeance at 60+!

Edit: The Gold Standard has hand drilled 5/16 bolts. They are well placed and should be fine for many years to come.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 6, 2006 - 03:56pm PT
I worked in Maui for a winter filming and recording Humpbacks and always looked at the cliffs on the island thinking ice climbing gear was in order and some old fashion warthog screws.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Feb 6, 2006 - 04:28pm PT
It was July 1978 in the Meadows. There were a bunch of routes on the left side of PennyRoyal Arches but not much on the right side. I convinced Tom Sisson to go up there with me and do a route.

The first pitch was a 5.6 crack, above that the face steepened and got blanker. Tom went up and put in the first bolt of the second pitch and then tried to climb higher to get in bolt #2. Next thing I know, he is pitching over backwards and sliding back to the belay. Blood everywhere but, Tom is a tough dude and the injury looks superficial.

I take over the lead and go up and get bolt #2 in. Next there is about 25-30 feet of climbing up to a small roof which turns out to be 5.10 and is the crux of the climb. There is a golf ball-sized knob at the lip of the roof but, since I am looking at a 50+ fall and then having to reclimb the crux, if I survive, I am desperate to get something in. No chance to drill so I try for about 10 minutes to bash a short lost arrow into a seam at the base of the roof.

No go so I have to commit to the mantel and I suck at mantels. The move is probably only 5.8/5.9 and I somehow make it. Standing on the knob I place bolt #3 and things seem to be looking brighter.

I run it out 25-30 feet to a couple of nickel sized knobs and decide its time to put in a belay. As I start drilling the first belay bolt my calves start to scream from being on lead for so long and drilling the bolts. My feet are really beginning to ache and I am looking at a long ride and a launch over the roof if I loose it and I am starting to get impatient, scared and just plain disgusted all at the same time.

I finally get the hole deep enough for a bolt and decide to give the drill one more tap just to be sure. I hear this "klunk" sound and then I quickly realize what has happened. The drill bit has broken and even worse, it is flush with the hole so I can't even tie it off for pro.

Now, I have to get out the drift pin, knock out the old bit and put a new one in. I considered just jumping but, I guess my preservation instinct was just too great that day. Needless to say, I got the new bit in, drilled both holes and Tom recovered to drill the bolts on pitch #3.

I named the route "Mypoia" because Higgins had "The Vision" on the left side. Somehow, the route ended up in the Tuolumne guide as "UFR".

Bruce
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Feb 6, 2006 - 04:32pm PT
Here is another stance twister : In the early eighties in Tuolumne style was everything. Bolting on stance was the M.O. for all new face routes (except B&Y). Bachar had the first Bosch I had ever seen and was experimenting with powerstancing. Acknowledging the difference between a stanced route on which the bolts were never weighted and the common practice of taking turns drilling and then lowering, John suggested we try a route over near East Cottage Dome and attempt the former. Dave Sessions and I belayed as John would climb up with the Bosch clipped to a sling around his shoulder,set up,drill one handed then down climb. On the third and last bolt he continued to the top only to find a 2 bolt anchor near the topout - a top rope anchor we surmised. Dave and I followed on this knobfest confiming the 11.c grade and we christened the route One Armed Bandit. Next day Roland walks up to us in the TM lot and hands John the bolts and hangers saying he chopped em because a) He had already TRed the route and b) It was too short (60ft). We stared at each other in disbelief - we never knew it was a TR because we started from the ground. This was the beginning of the Bolt Wars and the cliff in question is now called the Peanut Gallery. There are routes on either side of OAB sporting 6 bolts - except Dan McDevitt ,the author of these routes, has inexplicably stripped the hangers! Strange Days?!?"+
The user formerly known as stzzo

Trad climber
Berkeley
Feb 6, 2006 - 05:01pm PT
One of the major shortcomings of gyms is that they don't train/build the calves for stance drilling. (Where are the indoor slabs?) Anyone have any good training techniques?

Well, I've never drilled a bolt, but I do work my legs at the gym by getting in a corner up on the bouldering wall and just standing there, smearing just on the wall when I can, resorting to minimal toe contact with holds if necessary. Maybe that would help your calf strength. Planet Granite in Belmont also has more realistic 'natural features' on the walls than MC - a little better for smearing.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Feb 6, 2006 - 05:09pm PT
Bolting on lead sucks... best to get your buddy to do it, overall.

DMT
E.C. Joe

climber
Lafayette
Feb 6, 2006 - 05:50pm PT
Dingus, I agree!
 ec
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 6, 2006 - 06:04pm PT
I think you can pretty much generalize that clipping bolts inside or out isn't quite the same calf workout associated with placing gear.
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Feb 6, 2006 - 06:22pm PT
Stories. I recall one time climbing with Laeger up at Courtright. I was actually a replacement on this project, the first 4 bolts or so were in and his partner lost interest. Anyway we get there and Herb says to me "Go ahead and climb what we did already and go for the next bolt. The hooking is good, so just pull up the drill from the ground."

So the climbing past the first few bolts was about .12a. I was psyched, and got well above the last bolt and on a hook which, to me, was dicey. There I am, afraid to breathe, let alone move, and i have to pull the drill, hammer, bolts and all up from the ground. I got the stuff up there and drilled about 1/2 inch hole before the hook came off. I remember hanging there, holding onto the drill which was sticking out of the hole with a bent bit, and Herb was yelling at me something about busting his bosch, and the next thing I knew I was falling with that drill at arms length. We finished the route next day, it's called "Face of a Blue Eyed Dog."
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Feb 7, 2006 - 10:29am PT
I had visited Smith Rocks for a period of about 6 weeks back in the late eighties with Kurt Smith. Kurt and I coming from the valley (Kurt being Bachar's protoge') were determined to show those rap bolting pussies at Smith, how you are supposed to put UP routes. Our style was kind of funny to me now (I have since put routes in on rappel, sorry to let you down aldude) but here is how it went. One of us would would climb to where a bolt was needed (because it was to steep to stance we used hooks) drill, lower then pull the rope. Then the next guy would lead up clip, find the next needed bolt location, hook, drill, then lower out and pull the rope. This went on until we were finished the pitch. The locals would give us much grief about our style and were confident that our routes were to be garbage and never to see a repeat. Eventually a boulder based climber Colin Lantz was kind to us and lent us his Boshe for one of the routes. I am told 20 years later that a couple of the routes are clasics and regularly done.



Hooking and drilling on lead, in the land of rappel!
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Ca
Feb 7, 2006 - 02:50pm PT
My least favorite is those slopey little smedges at JT where the rock is all grainy and there isn't a solid hand hold anywhere. Standing there long enough to get even a quarter inch bolt in was hell on the mind as much as the calves. EBGBs was particularly perverse in this way. And Loose Lady wasn't called Loose for nothing.
Apocalypsenow

Trad climber
Cali
Feb 7, 2006 - 02:56pm PT
I was always curious if "Loose Lady," required "aggressive cleaning?"
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Feb 7, 2006 - 03:57pm PT
Or just "accidental cleaning".
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 7, 2006 - 04:04pm PT
Are we at the point where you only drill on lead when you 'have to?'

Interesting.
Disclaimer, I've gone both ways. (Given a third choice, I go -roto.)

Bolting on lead though, whatever you carry or pull up, is a discipline of it's own. An aid climbing subgroup, unless you get a really good stance. Always full of adventure.


A few Bolting on lead tales.

Zonerland, AZ, on a first ascent attempt a leader pops a hook, while getting ready to drill, decks, rolls on the ground into a bush, that perforates his cheek. Thus the route name 'Scarface.'

Later, in the Land of nod (over the hill from zonerland)I was drilling via a solo belay setup, when a leeper pointy hook at my waist ripped through a pocket causing me to fall aproximatley one foot, however as I fell I grabbed an aider on another hook and jammed the little finger of my left hand into the sling. causing me to flip around and get a cmpd fracture, complete with floating bone fragments in said finger.

Surgery, two months with two pins and a cast, left me with a permentently hooked finger, but I was able to finally lead the route around a year after the accident. The acident inspired the name; 'Distal digit Dysfunction.' Alliterative, if anatomically inaccurate.


Before that (same general area),two friends of mine, Ironfist and Ziegfried, put up a route (notable as the first use of camoflaged [painted] hangers in Az) along a major trail ground up on hooks. A group of boy scouts passed on the trail, and the adult leader was heard to say. "If that guy's hooks pull, he's a goner."
The name of that route refers to the 'leave no trace™' look of the finished climb and the ascentionists previous employment, and not the climb itself; "Agent 44.'
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Ca
Feb 7, 2006 - 04:35pm PT
ApocolypseNow, pretty much every route I have ever put up has needed SOME cleaning. Loose Lady needed a wee bit more than some others. I think of the older routes I helped put up, An Eye for an Eye and A Route for a Route probably needed the least cleaning.

Having said that, when Kris and I put up Hang Em High on Future Games, I don't remember needing to clean at all. But then Kris bolted the top part so I may be wrong.
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Feb 7, 2006 - 04:40pm PT
" Where's the Stance?" - hooks blow!
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Feb 7, 2006 - 04:45pm PT
Hey Shorttimer,

Has Loose Lady changed much since you put it up?

Fun route, but I thought the first move was harder than .9
Russ Walling

Social climber
Feb 7, 2006 - 04:54pm PT
My last dozen or so episodes for new routes was onsight, on lead, no hooks, Bosch on a 50ft extension cord that I hauled along with me. Climb like normal to a good stance. Bosch is clipped to your waist but is light as there is no battery attached.... drill one handed, put in bolt, haul up battery pack and cord rig... hang this from the new bolt on a hook.... repeat.

Works pretty damn good and keeps the runouts under the length of your extension cord (50ft) so the GymPrancers™™™ won't shat their Liz Clairbornes.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Feb 7, 2006 - 05:20pm PT
While drilling on granite was tough, it was nothing compared to quartzite. The quartzite of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah is particularly hard stuff. I placed one bolt on a route there on lead. This is an excerpt of a story I wrote about the one bolt I placed there back in 1984.

Minimum Security scared the crap out of me. I made it up quite a ways and decided I needed something better than all of those RP’s. I think in the 100 feet of climbing the biggest piece was a #1 Wild Country Rock. At about the half-way point I pounded in a knifeblade. The sucker stuck halfway out but I clipped it.

It was definitely time for some better pro. I started to drill. I have drilled bolts on lead in granite that seemed like a piece of cake compared to quartzite. In those days we used ¼” bolts, the kind that are considered deathtraps today. The quartzite kept binding with the bit. It was getting late in the day so we bailed after I had the hole half way drilled.

I will never forget the angst that I had over this one climb. Style was very important. My partner wanted to drill the bolt on rappel, and since I had started it, I felt like I should finish the sucker on lead, but he knew I was also scared shitless. It sure seemed like drilling that bolt on rappel would be the answer. At the U of U we ran into Brian Smoot and we asked him about what we should do. He and Les had just completed, Wasatch RockClimbs. In that book Les had written something like, “Who can judge the boldness of future climbers?” This was a call to protect the ground up traditions of first ascents. Brian quoted us this line, and I blame him for giving me the impetus to go back up and finish the sucker. Bret and I returned.

Those ¼” bolts are split and when you hammer them in they compress into the hole. Only on that bolt, the rock chipped behind the bolt. It sucked. (I think that same bolt is there and should be replaced by a beefy one.) It was time to go. I climbed through the crux and finished the route. Minimum Security is a good route to practice difficult protection, and is quite long for that area, except we did hold the dihedral to the right and the edge to the left off limits artificially, so that the route is a little contrived and that is why it gets two stars in the book.

I had other scares drilling on lead. A route in LCC I did about 23 years ago was damn scary. Granite friction, loose flakes and a traverse to the only chickenhead with the ground dropping below put me in deathfall territory in trying to reach the only feasible place to stand and get a bolt in. The crux to that point was getting to the chickenhead, and maybe it was only 5.9 but I was not going to be able to reverse those moves. On my first attempt at this route, I made it to the chickenhead, a poor excuse of a stance for one leg as it was sloping to boot. As I started drilling it started to sprinkle, not enough to be slippery but definitely enough to scare the sh&& out of me. Bailed after getting the bolt in and came back the next day. My partners and I were lucky in those days, sometimes setting out up granite slabs with only 1 drill bit? A potential Darwin candidate that got lucky…

G_Gnome

Trad climber
Ca
Feb 7, 2006 - 07:27pm PT
When we put Loose Lady up we rated it 10a. I think that is still a fair rating but Randy decided it wasn't that hard. I think at this point it is still 10a. That route really hasn't changed much. There are a few that really have though. EBGBs has gotten much harder to do the mantle start but the whole middle of the climb has gotten casual in comparison. All the little smedges are nice big scoops now. The top out is about the same though, so that kind of keeps the route honest. The Old Soft Shoe at Belle Campground is quite a bit harder now. We rated it 10b and I think 10d would be a fair rating today. I think Good to the Last Drop has also become easier as all the scoops have grown with age. It is interesting to watch a route change over 30 years. I am just glad I was around back when there were so many choice lines to put up.
Mark

climber
bend, oregon
Feb 7, 2006 - 07:34pm PT
t2-
do you remember the name of the route you and kurt smith put up at smith rock?

the one route that i know kurt smith fa'ed is on the red wall and is called "soul survivor." is this the route you guys drilled on lead?

mark d
bend, oregon
psychadelic

Social climber
sea of mushrooms
Feb 7, 2006 - 07:46pm PT
There is some 11d on Picnic Lunch Wall by Kurt that I think was ground up. Looked kinda good, but I wasn't up for it that day.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Feb 7, 2006 - 08:10pm PT
Nate,

Werd to the Hawaii munge.

I'm going this summer.

Maybe I should pack the ice gear?

BUAHAAHhahha

bouldering only, and mosty drinking myself silly
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Feb 7, 2006 - 08:31pm PT
Mark,
Yes one of the routes was "Sole Survivor" I want to say it was rated like 11b. The above photo is on the Picnic lunch wall "Suicidal Tendencies" 11d.


LOWERme

Trad climber
Santa Fe N.M.
Feb 8, 2006 - 12:09am PT
Todd G. How's the mayor these days? Drilling like a man possessed from a 5.9 one toe smear in the Sierra, out a respectable 15', when the head flies off the handle. Luckily, I was in about a 1/2" just enough to thread the bit through a wired and lower off the drill to the previous placement. My partner had insisted that I break-in his new hammer!

Still practice a little 1/4" dentistry here in N.M., but carry hooks now.

Kris, I only had the honor of putting up one route with Herb, Vernon was there, that was enough for me.

jack herer

climber
chico, ca
Feb 8, 2006 - 06:47am PT
two of the routes at smith we where next to psycadelic where...

suicidal tendencies 11d and touch 11c both on the picnic lunch wall inbetween journey to ixtlan and the picnic lunch wall aid route. lots of good little pockets to hook.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 8, 2006 - 08:22am PT


If you can name the Climber AND the route you're doing better than me, and I took the picture


OT, below same climber, name boulder problem?

Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Feb 8, 2006 - 01:16pm PT
golsen,
Is the route of which you speak in LCC "Cornerstone"?

I always wanted to do Minimum Security. That's a good area with some nice rock.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Feb 8, 2006 - 01:56pm PT
nate,
yes that was cornerstone, too bad I could not free the moves up high. But two bolts, 1 pin and a nut in 150 feet. Kind of runout. A variation was freed later.

Minimum Security does have some amazing rock. Those slabs are the best in the canyon, if you like slabs...
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Feb 9, 2006 - 01:36am PT
Jay - The physique in the 2nd shot reminds me of Cilley, but the 1st pic looks like someone else altogether. What's up with that? And drilling left handed. Is he a lefty? Hmm.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 9, 2006 - 03:36am PT
It's Chris Raypole, of Phoenix.
He Is hammering left. Hmm?
Leroy

climber
Feb 10, 2006 - 06:17am PT
The second shot does look like me but I have more impressive calves.
Leroy

climber
Feb 10, 2006 - 06:19am PT
I think its an old Gill problem in Vedawou.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 10, 2006 - 06:34am PT
It looks like a nasty old Gill problem...
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 10, 2006 - 07:38am PT
Yup, Gill prob Vedauwoo
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Feb 10, 2006 - 09:10pm PT
One more story......

Back in 1977 I actually had to go to college for a while. There was a dam about 25 miles west of the University. The face of the dam was not vertical and they had used wood forms to construct the concrete structure. Because of this, there were some edges and pockets and slab/face climbing was possible.

Of course, we needed to protect ourselves and bolts were the only real alternative. Since this is an thread about drilling from stance I will skip all the details about all the laws we broke and the well-intentioned people who tried to enforce said laws.

At one point, I ran it out about 15 feet and decided that I needed a bolt. Unfortunately, the only foothold was a very small edge for my right foot. As you may or may not know, concrete can be very smooth and slippery so any type of friction for my other foot was out, I just let it hang uselessly on the concrete slab. There, in the middle of a 5.9 move, I had to try to figure out how to be able to let go with both hands so I could drill.

After about 5 minutes I had enough worked out so I could let go with both hands and start pounding away so now it was a race with fear and the strength in my right foot. Unfortunately, about a 1/8 of the way into the drilling, I got a severe case of sewing machine leg in my right foot and before I could steady meyself I was off on a 30-footer.

As happens many times after a long fall, the adrenaline rush powered me back up to the miniscule stance and I wacked the bolt in in no time.

Bruce
Chris W

Social climber
Eldo
Feb 10, 2006 - 11:13pm PT
Jaybro, In that first pic the rock looks like it could almost be Eldo sandstone but the tree in the pic looks like an aspen? Where are there aspens so close to the wall in eldo? Are there aspens in Eldo? I am always so busy looking at the walls, so sad. South Face of the Wind Tower? It doesn't look like any rock over there? And there's not many aspens on any of the steep slopes near the walls. Maybe up on peanuts wall somewhere?

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Feb 11, 2006 - 12:42am PT
Nice Bruce!!

way to stick to it
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 11, 2006 - 01:06am PT
Chris, nah it's some obscure place in Az, I really am trying to remember where, near Crown KIng? Yarnell? I'll figure it out.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2006 - 12:28am PT
Here is ablegable bolting on the second pitch of Waiting for the Sun 5.9 3 pitches, "Sunshine Bluffs", Yosemite Valley, CA...

...we finished this up sometime in January this year. There are a whole lot of climbs over there now... I think the topos got sent in to Donny Reid (hope he's doing better now).

noshoesnoshirt

climber
deskville
Feb 16, 2006 - 01:09am PT
Put up a groovy OW in South Nuttall at the New some years ago. The first pitch was a 40' bombay squeeze about 30' above the deck that I led on cams (and a #4 Big Bro) on the FA. The squeeze turned into a vertical OW. When I came out of the chimney and started up the OW I looked down and the rope had turned my cams upside-down. Ground fall potential.
I came back a couple of weeks later and re-led the pitch with a hand drill. At the point where the chimney turned into OW I hand drilled a bolt to keep the cams in place.
The detail that makes it interesting is the width of the chimney at the change-up. I had to turn my hammer sideways to acheive even a modicum of a swing. Forty-five minutes and about 3000 swings later I had a 1 1/2" x 3/8" wedge.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Feb 16, 2006 - 01:41am PT
Ed, nice pic. Where's this at?






noshoes, huh? bolting to hold the cams in place? I don't get it. bolt to bolt
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 16, 2006 - 01:43am PT
Nosh--- why do you taunt us so? When I come your way I'm stopping at your house for approach beta on that one.

Ed-thanks for putting another long neglected classic into the I-pod of my mind. May have to look up the full lyrics.

Have you climbed Sunfighter, @ Devil's Tower?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2006 - 09:13am PT
"...
Can't you feel it, now that spring has come;
That it's time to live in the scattered sun
Waiting for the sun, waiting for the sun,
Waiting for the sun, waiting for the sun
..."


Munge - right now we're in the "development mode" so I have been asked to wait until the new guide is out before revealing the exact location. It is in a slightly inconvenient location with a wee-downhill approach through a lovely oak forest. The picture was taken noonish or early afternoon... ablegable explored it and put a handful of climbs up with me and a number of others. But there are climbs put up by others in the vicinity.
1096

Social climber
hell
Feb 18, 2006 - 05:40pm PT
This has to be on the north side and since it is downhill through oaks how about the slab cliff west of the Cookie?
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Feb 18, 2006 - 10:45pm PT
Three Brothers - West Face?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Feb 19, 2006 - 02:07am PT
Ed,

not a worry.

more power to ya.

here's to wrists staying in one piece for hand drillin.

M
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2006 - 02:16am PT
Munge - this is ablegable's project area, I've been helping him out in the development. You know how it goes, ablegable just asked me to keep it quiet while we worked it...

...the cliff you mentioned has coiler routes on it, as well as some other obscure things.

ablegabel

Trad climber
Livermore,Ca.
Feb 19, 2006 - 02:33pm PT
If your want new route info,you can always try E-mailing me. -Eric Gabel.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Feb 19, 2006 - 05:27pm PT
Thx E.

Not hitting the Valley for free climbs anytime soon. Catch ya later.

Now if you got a perfect A1 baby angles seam you newly uncovered?

Pink Pussycat, here I come.

ciao,
M
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2006 - 06:46pm PT
Cool thing about going to undeveloped areas is that you eye wanders over everything seeing the lines.. free, aid, whatever...

...there is so much out there, and no way we could touch most of it. But it is fun. If we find a cool aid line it will be remote, and unlikely to warrant getting your kit out there.

Remote is also a state-of-mind. The Valley has the wonderful climbs less than 5 minutes from your parked car. But if you don't mind hiking an hour or so, there are unlimited possibilities. If you don't mind hiking two hours, well you get to choose whatever, a few old lines but miles of virgin rock. My guess is that all this could be "advertised" and no one would venture out there.

Being an obscurista is one form of dis-ease, intentionally putting up obscure routes is quite another. And that is where we're at these days.
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Feb 20, 2006 - 07:02pm PT
Viva obscurity! have fun out there in your own private mungeaho.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Feb 20, 2006 - 07:07pm PT
Viva ablegabel! (And his excellent routes!)
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2006 - 11:34pm PT
Ablegable - email me, your earthlink account bounced... I have the information you require.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:52am PT


Rhodo, I think you meant... mungeaslut

Though, come to think of it, I haven't got out much in 2006.

ablegabel

Trad climber
Livermore,Ca.
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:17pm PT
Thanks for the support Melissa.I'll keep putting them up if you'll keep climbing them - Eric
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Apr 24, 2010 - 08:26pm PT
WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!

More Grounded up.
R.B.

climber
..
Apr 24, 2010 - 10:04pm PT
Old thread bump story.

I have placed many bolts on routes that I have established on lead. Not only did I lead from the ground up, but I drilled 3/8" rawl self drives in way hard granite. Sometimes it took over an hour to drill a hole.

The gig with the '80's ethics was at the time, to place a bolt along the natural line, from the ground up. Sometimes while standing on slopy or greasy holds, one would have to use a hook and an aider or sling to "augment" the foot while it smeared on the dish or dime thin edge.

Then ... Euro-Style ethics came vogue, and people were rap bolting everything with bosches and the routes often were plumb lines of 5-10 foot spaced bolted routes.

After reflecting on the whole process, it is important to have the vision of the finished project in mind when doing a route.

Doing a route on lead, ground up, stance or hook, what is important is that the route flows the natural line ... not the forced line.

I have climbed routes where I climbed 20-30 feet up 5.12 thin face-smears ... got so damn scared, that I couldn't stand or hook, and had to then "DOWNCLIMB" the same 5.12 to catch a rest on the bolt below. Then climb back up and try again, then downclimb again. It is a drag when you hit a brick wall.

Bolting with (power)drills illegal in National Parks and Wilderness areas ... so what you have left is hand drilling.

Nothing more fun than having your feet burn from standing on a dime thin edge stance while hand drilling for over an hour! Yipee!
ß Î Ø T Ç H

climber
Sep 13, 2010 - 03:42am PT
"Bolting on stance - ground up - leading" (rope-soLo)
Was wondering how they establish ground up routes solo. Charles Cole might know, tho not much bolting used on http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/417097/Queen-of-Spades-FA-Mountain-106
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Sep 3, 2012 - 05:28am PT
yup
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 3, 2012 - 07:34am PT
Hand drilled many a hole on the sharp end. All of them 3/8ths x 2 1/4 or 2 3/4 depending on which bolts I had. I hand drilled a bunch of 3 1/2 anchors.. haND drilling sucks!!
Last week on The FA of Mad Man 5.10 A0
Last week on The FA of Mad Man 5.10 A0
Credit: tradmanclimbs
the weight of the bosch makes it harder to free climb but damn is it nice to fire in that big fatty when you need it!
gf

climber
Sep 3, 2012 - 10:31am PT
[youtube=https://vimeo.com/47592057]

A bolted on lead classic
ec

climber
ca
Sep 3, 2012 - 11:41am PT
tradmanclimbs,
Damn, dude! I'd never climb with the drill like that. 'Much prefer to pull it up on the tag line. Use a fifi to hang it on the bolts enroute...
 ec
froodish

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Sep 3, 2012 - 01:16pm PT
Damn, dude! I'd never climb with the drill like that. 'Much prefer to pull it up on the tag line. Use a fifi to hang it on the bolts enroute...

No kidding. The bits on power drills are scary. The thought of getting speared by one gives me the willies. I've led with one, but always with it well below me.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Sep 3, 2012 - 01:24pm PT
X3^^^^ hang that heavy sucker then tag it up to ya!


Credit: Ron Anderson

"stancing" on some stuff looks like this^^^but it went in "ground up"!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Sep 3, 2012 - 01:38pm PT
DANO stancin on 5.12 holds g/u on the thin face- "Book of red"..
DANO stancin on 5.12 holds g/u on the thin face- "Book of red"..
Credit: Ron Anderson

Dano "stancing" on 5.12 holds.. The bosch was fifi hooked and tagged from a biner on his harness- pulled up by the belayer. It was ALL the belayer could do to get to the anchors after this went in/up..;-)
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Sep 3, 2012 - 02:05pm PT
killer shot Ron! thx!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Sep 3, 2012 - 02:11pm PT
Credit: Ron Anderson

hows this "stance" Munge!. Nearly HORIZONTAL on the face! i belayed,, slack jawed, as USUAL! ;-)

i was BLESSED to have that guy for a friend.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Sep 3, 2012 - 02:16pm PT
holy leg power batman!
locker

Gym climber
DUH!!!...
Sep 3, 2012 - 02:23pm PT

^^^

That's a hell of a shot above...

Sideways bolt placements...

LOL!!!...

Now that's fuking COOL!!!...



bob

climber
Sep 3, 2012 - 02:24pm PT
How the f%@ck!?!?!?!?!? That's the whackiest stance I've seen.

Dan looks like he's that monkey guy from India who climbs that stone wall and inverts himself and all sorts of other stuff.

Thanks Ron
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Sep 3, 2012 - 02:29pm PT
yeah,, hes on the "crux" moves there. All in all he clung to that face close to 45 minutes, not one aid move or rest had he...5.12 ground up -stanced- no aid.. four stars for style.


edit : yur Welcome guys!;-)
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2012 - 03:56pm PT
the OP was in reference to the route: Old Hippy Buttress 5.10a at Knob Hill in Yosemite Valley... I forget which bolt it was, could have been the 4th, the one after the crux...

this route is above the normal p1 tree belay for all those routes below, and on the same ledge that Knob Hill Ropist and Deception Gully start on, over to climber's left.

Can't believe that was more than 6 years ago
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Sep 3, 2012 - 06:09pm PT
^^^
Myself, Kev and some dude from Colorado reapeated that rig a few years ago...

Kev sandbagged the Visitor with tales of *** climbing and fat bolts.

BWHAAHAhAHHA!!!

Later on that day, as Kev and I were doing reps of 12oz curls at the generator, Homey sent the wyde, Onsight, on Lead with a #6 he did not use.

I just dropped the belay on the floor, grabbed another brew and watched him send.



Rudbud

Gym climber
CA
Sep 3, 2012 - 07:17pm PT
Is there anyone out there that would like to do a slab route ground up hand drilled at courtright? No one I know has the time or the balls to do such a thing. Ive eyed a few lines up there that would be fun.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 3, 2012 - 07:32pm PT
I did tag it up to there and had just fired one in. I get sick of all the shenagins and end up hanging it on my arse sooner or later. i did take a pretty good whip with the drill a few min after that shot was taken.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Sep 3, 2012 - 07:35pm PT
Those Dano shots are so cool. Thanks for sharing Ron, seems that guy could do it all.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Sep 3, 2012 - 07:50pm PT
Rudbud, when?
Rudbud

Gym climber
CA
Sep 3, 2012 - 08:22pm PT
This Sat and Sun Munge, The good one I eyed is going to be about 3 pitches, the first 2 look like crack, the last one will be slab, and its a little hike to get there.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 4, 2012 - 08:26am PT
"and it is a little hike to get there" Sweet! I take this to mean a 3 hr bushwhack ;)
Tfish

Trad climber
La Crescenta, CA
Mar 12, 2013 - 12:33am PT
Ground up bolting
Ground up bolting
Credit: Tfish
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Mar 12, 2013 - 01:03am PT
Highly reputable post right there!
Red Wing

climber
California
Mar 15, 2013 - 02:06pm PT


The story:

I had come off of a heinous injury that shut me down for nearly 2 years. During that time, I didn't expect to ever climb again. With the help of a awesome doc and a small miracle, I healed. I was ravenous.

I climbed this rock route ground up, solo, on a remote unclimbed dome in the beautiful Sierra Nevada. "Steel Pulse" has 17 bolts in 1000' including anchor stations. I originally rated the climb 5.9. After repeating the climb several times to access the huge walls that lay above, 5.10b R/X seems to be less of a dangerous sandbag and more in line with Yosemite/Tuolumne ratings. On subsequent ascents, both my partners declined to lead any of the pitches which leads me to believe it may be harder. Only one quarter incher was drilled using a hook on a microscopic edge. The hook was so tenuous, I had one foot barely weighting the aider, one smearing on pure gold polish. In the photo, my haul bag is visible below. I've also hung unnecessary items from my last quarter incher.

Heads up, I accidentally misquoted the amount of time I spent up there to some folks. It was a three day effort, 2 nights on the wall, not 2 days total.

Since I started climbing, I had great respect for the Ground Up School of thinking. I always thought that establishing a climb in this style was the ultimate connection of, for lack of better words, brain to rock. Hmm, maybe rockfall or cratering is the "ultimate" connection. Nonetheless, I had to slake my thirst for adventure and off I went.

The path on this ever-cresting dome was not clear, and the difference between 5.11 and 5.9 was a microscopic edge on crazy slick polish. Several times I launched off into terrain that did not go and was forced to retreat. Some pitches were so delicate it took me 4-5 hours on the sharp end. One pitch above where this photo was taken, I had broken one of my quarter inch bits, and found that I only had a three eighths, but no bolts to match. Whoops. My stomach dropped and it took a while to mentally prepare for the huge down climb.

On that trip, tapping those few bolts was my steel pulse.


Not a commie or Republican, yet always sunburned,

Yours Truly,

Red Wing
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 15, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
Stance drilling without even a partner!

You must have been hungry for it lad!

I have been through the fire drilling 3/8" holes many, many times and have never resorted to rapping to make the job easier unless I am adding a bolt or two after the FA. Keeps the game simple and satisfying to have a clear position, IMO.

Six 3/8" holes in one day is my record for hard, on stance drilling with Paul Davidson on Let's Make a Deal on What's My Line Dome in the Stronghold.
Big ledge to start the crux pitch on that route and every stance was looking at kissing it if things went wrong!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Mar 15, 2013 - 03:04pm PT
Hmmm... Who is this red wing doing awesome stuff in the hills and where does he live? Also, look me up if you're short a partner, unless you solo projects by choice
-Daniel
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 15, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
Great work Redwing! You even named it after one of my all time favorite bands.

mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Mar 15, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
Redwing...

Hmmmm....

Larger wall above....

Hmmmm...

Backcountry....

Red Wing

climber
California
Mar 29, 2013 - 12:05pm PT

Adelaide III 5.11+

A much foreshortened zoom/crop of Kevin yoyo'ed through a beak protected mantel. This guy is the MAN, and I feel that still underrates him.

Why is he so stoked? Look right, the vertical quartz dike is barely visible.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Mar 29, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
QUARTZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Do it!!


Where is it?


Who are these heroic figures?


Are they nutz?


o/~ I wear my old dad's clothes, I look incredible
I'm on this big ass hook from that mountain shop down the road
I wear my old dad's clothes, I look incredible
I'm on this big ass hook from that mountain shop down the road
Stance is fuking awesome! o/~
Branscomb

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Mar 29, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
In the 70s and 80s we put up a lot of routes in Cosumnes and Crystal Basin in CA bolting in the lead, 1/4" and then 5/8". We were young and strong but still was sketchy and scary and exhausting, no way around it.

A few years ago a good friend of mine and I did a lot of new routes on the Moonstone in Sweetwater Rocks as well as Rancher Rock out there (near Lander), from the ground up, no previewing.. They were lower angle friction, small hold face routes up to 10b. We put in 3/8" stainless steel (do it right). How we did it, because the pitches were 60m and up to 12 bolts a pitch was had a set of hooks on me belt and a Bosch 24volt and the bolts and extra drills in a small haul bag. I'd hook the bag to the last bolt with a fifi hook and about 25-30 feet of slack line to me. Carefully arrange the rope so I could pull the fifi off the bolt when I got to a position to bolt from. I had a hand drill with a 1/4" bit in it to drill a hole for a pointed Leeper hook if I couldn't stand on anything substantial enough to haul from and couldn't get a bigger hook on an edge. When I got to some sort of stance, I'd set up, haul the bag up and drill that baby home with the Bosch. Worked good for me, but my friend had never done any hooking before (I'd done A3 and A4 hooking in years gone past so I was pretty comfortable with it), so he would defer any pitches that looked like they would need that action to me.

Hand drilling 3/8" and 1/2" holes in granite would be pretty brutal.

Even at that, it's a lot of work. We were putting out two 60m pitches a day and that was good enough.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Mar 29, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
RedWing.... way to drink the strong stuff.

So you gona tell where these/this climb may be found??

For the last 20 years,Kris S., Rob Brown, Mike Flood, Jeff Lieberman, Erik Ericksson and myself have developed the Rincon. Its only a 2,000 elevation gain in 1.5 miles of hiking with some 4th and 5th class sections to keep the hike interesting.

All of it bolted on lead.... the only way to do it right, if the stone is quality.

But latley... I have sucumed to some rap-bolting. We have this sort of choss pile we have been playing on the last few seasons. Rap bolted the first pitch, cause we needed to clean off large/larger blocks and because we had the cord already hanging, we just TR'ed it till we knew just where the line needed to go then we drilled... pitch two... on good rock so we bolted it from the p2 anchors.

I did grow some hair on the palms of my hands, but Im not blind.... yet.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 29, 2013 - 06:04pm PT
So that shot of me with the bosch hanging off my butt on Mad Man we went back the following week and I replaced a bad pin with a bolt on lead. the pin blew when I hung on it to drill so I had to climb back up and drill from a stance. I pulled the rope and free climbed it for the redpoint. Mad Man 11a with ed esmonds. Isa led it for the 2nd ascent and i got some cool photos.
Mad Man 5.11a
Mad Man 5.11a
Credit: tradmanclimbs
Isa on 2nd ascent of Mad Man 5.10c
Isa on 2nd ascent of Mad Man 5.10c
Credit: tradmanclimbs
Isa on the 2nd ascent of Mad Man 5.11a
Isa on the 2nd ascent of Mad Man 5.11a
Credit: tradmanclimbs
Mad Man 5.11a
Mad Man 5.11a
Credit: tradmanclimbs
This shot was taken of me hand drilling a 3/8th X3" stainless on Isabella 5.10a Bird mtn VT
Credit: tradmanclimbs

The piece by my knee is a real shallow KB that I cleaned as soon as the bolt went in.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Mar 29, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
right on guyman, that means you've done it both ways and can speak intelligently and from experience about the values of both approaches.


Now if only the top downers would do more ground up, the speed at which routes go in would balance out.

guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
Munge...

When we, rap bolted, it took a while. WE eached climbed the route 4 times and spent some time debating just where the bolts need to go. Then when we all agreed, the bolts got drilled... we red pointed and called it a day.

The problem I have with rap bolting is how fast some of these climbs get "DONE". I have heard 2nd hand stories, from eye whitness, about how the rapping and drilling gets done at nite! Just drop down placing bolts every 10 feet or so ... dosen't matter if they are in the rights spots or not. This makes for some pretty crappy climbs that soon are forgotten.

Great stone is a precious resource, grid bolting it is a waste of that stone.

And ill toss some gasolene on the fire.... chipping into that stone, so YOU can do the root... is stealing from all climbers.

slabbo

Trad climber
fort garland, colo
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:12pm PT
There is no substitute for experience when doing f/a's,,, Ya screw up sometimes,, BUT

ground up..! new routes or no routes
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:35pm PT
You guys who think rap bolting is faster than GU have no effin clue. I took Six days to bolt Mo Pleasure top down I bolted Mad Man Gu in one day. same cliff, simeler length of pitch and dificulty. I have dozens of examples of this on both methods. Most of the time A top down route takes a lot of work and planning to get it done correctly where as a GU rout you simply step up to the stone and climb it. If anyone is simply rapping a line and fireing in bolts without top ropeing and planning precisly where the route goes and where each clip is they need a swift kick in the nutts and have their drill confiscated. Rap bolting done correctly usually results in a much better route than many of the GU efforts unless the GU party goes back after the FA and fixes all their mistakes. Again if you simply drop a line and fire in bolts every 10 ft you have no clue and no right to be drilling.

Typically when i am doing gu route I am thinking of the final product so i take my time and put my belayer in a coma while i ponder the best path yet it is generaly faster than my top down routes. I refuse to drill on the first take of bolt marks. it needs to be TRed several more times to make certain that the marks are in the right place before setting drill to stone. this usually results in changes to the first plan, more cleaning, broken holds whose weakness was not noted on the first run. then you run out of gas if the climb is hard so maybe you get in 2 or three bolts that you are certain of and call it a day. then you come back again for more tr work and planning. maybe you get it finished on the 2nd day, maybe not.. GU the decisions are made much faster. the bolt goes in and you keep going up. there have been times when i drilled GU only to do one more move and find a hidden gear placement. Other times i simply did not go where i should have and had to move the bolt later to make a better route. Sometimes I did moves with gear that sucked and was yanked under body weight when bounce tester after the fa. If you do it GU PLEASE go back and fix it cause otherwise we are stuck with a hackjob for the rest of your misreble life...... If you do hack jobs TD PLEASE give your drill away to someone who has a clue!
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
I'm a ground up climber (in more ways than one!)

I get it that there are certain crags and situations where the best approach is just to get the bolts in anyway you can, and then after that task is done you get to climb.

I've never been quite willing to pop my cherry in that way, so I have never rap bolted except for maintenance work.

I like doing routes which suit themselves well to ground up ascents, and I do think that rap bolting such climbs deprives the first ascent of a great adventure and challenge.

I have done a number of bolted routes by drilling from hooks, which can be exciting. Some of these routes were quite challenging. Of course a red point is mandatory to call it done. A basic rule though: Do not use the hooks to make progress. I've seen more than one bolt placement get screwed up this way (hard or impossible to clip.) Free climb and figure out where you need a bolt and be sure you can clip it. Odds are that if you can make a clip you can either get a stance or a hook on something right there.



tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
If you are worried about about someone depriveing you of the FA get out there and git er done. Don't cry about someone getting to it before you in a different style. In my experience the TD climb takes just as long and more often longer to put up that the GU climb. The more relevent factor in my experience has been how much time I have spent thinking about getting up there someday and doing a route VS going up there today and putting up that route. BTW I have far more GU FA's than TD. i just really embraced the idea of TD last season..
There are still a few i would like to do GU if I can get a belayer. GU is so much easier with a belayer VS rope solo. most of the climbs that i want to do GU Vs TD is because they will be EASIER and less scary to do GU than TD ... rapping over big sharp roofs scares the crapola out of me! Hummping all my gear to the top of a cliff six times is horrendously more work than humping it to the base of the cliff once or twice.
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
I don't see a huge difference between bolting on hooks or on rappel - they're both aid climbing. Sure, using hooks and going ground up is far more adventurous for the first ascentionist, but one is more likely to put the bolts in the right places on rappel. In the end the quality of the route - and the bolting - are more important than the style of the FA.

Of course I'm not demeaning the important quality of the experience for the first ascentionist. Climbing would not be the great sport it is, if just getting the job done was of primary importance for everyone. Style is very important, and is after all central to why we do this stuff in the first place.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:57pm PT
I have done a number of bolted routes by drilling from hooks, which can be exciting. Some of these routes were quite challenging. Of course a red point is mandatory to call it done. A basic rule though: Do not use the hooks to make progress. I've seen more than one bolt placement get screwed up this way (hard or impossible to clip.) Free climb and figure out where you need a bolt and be sure you can clip it. Odds are that if you can make a clip you can either get a stance or a hook on something right there.

Yep!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
Well ive been on both sides of the coin. But in rehearsals of one particular climb, we had marked the bolt placements on rappel and they felt logical and good. We then re-top roped the route -making new marks where the bolts actually needed to go, we had learned. We were quite a bit off on the natural progression and clips.. That doenst happen all the time,, but it certainly can- especially the harder the route in general.. Least thats what we got out of it. So mostly we tended to ground up even on aid.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 29, 2013 - 08:59pm PT
URMAS, If you have ever had a hook pop on you, you would know the difference;)
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Mar 29, 2013 - 09:05pm PT
In the end the quality of the route - and the bolting - are more important than the style of the FA.

Different people see it differently I guess. If I had a choice I would bolt ground up from stances/hooks. TRing, than rapping and drilling kills the adventure factor. I don't even think there is a need to bolt if you can do that. Fun in climbing (for me)is in adventure of it. Climb up a system you never done and try to do it clean if it's at your limit. If I climb on a TR, it is not to get the route dialed but to learn some new technique/work out.

I see why some people feel the need to rap bolt on 5.12s etc (when there are no rest stances), or if they are just trying to create the best route possible. It's whatever gives you the fix you need/personal preference. Climbing is fun because you can have different approach for different routes/goals...

PS: opinion of a dude who never placed any bolts ever...
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 29, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
the simple fact is that by our rules the FA owns the route for eternity. that is a Huge fcking responsibility if you have a decent concience. Whatever you do make it the best route possible and please fix your mistakes before calling it finished.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 29, 2013 - 10:03pm PT
I don't see a huge difference between bolting on hooks or on rappel - they're both aid climbing...

The point which I tried to make above is that if you are going to do a good job setting a free climb on lead, whether from stances or hooks but on lead, it's a bad idea to use the hooks to make upward progress. This is when the leader loses track of the best clipping oportunities etc. Best to free climb, and use the hooks as stopping points to place a bolt in the right place. Or arrive at a stance. Of course the hook is a point of aid, but this can be serious and challenging work.

I see why some people feel the need to rap bolt on 5.12s etc...

I don't think the number grade defines what is the right way to go. I've done 5.12s (maybe a .13 depending who you ask) all on lead, but they are all routes where the ground up option was feasable and great fun ("like fun only different...")

Whatever you do make it the best route possible and please fix your mistakes before calling it finished...
Yep. Been there done that. My route Seamstress up at Courtright was a death defying stunt on the first ascent. The next year I went back for a repeat with several very good climbers. We all agreed on the spot to add two bolts to the upper section to avoid decking from 5.11+ climbing. While my friends watched I rapped in and placed the bolts. I had already led the thing twice and had nothing to prove - but it was obviously the right thing to do.


that is a Huge fcking responsibility if you have a decent concience
You raise an interesting question. So, is the B&Y not responsible? I think the responsibility lies with the climber who decides to do the route, FA or repeat. How about Southern Belle, testpiece or reckless endangerment? And if the FA really owns the route for eternity then there's a bunch of bolted anchors which need to come off of Astroman... Its all situational really.
Scott Thelen

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
Mar 29, 2013 - 10:11pm PT
last weekend
last weekend
Credit: Scott Thelen
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 29, 2013 - 10:17pm PT
I can't comment on the BY. never even seen it. a good rule of thumb is to make climbs that are fun and that YOU want to repete. If you don't even like your own climb enough to repete it then maybe its a bit effed up. Not a big deal in places with thousands of climbs but maybe a real shame in a place with limited resorces.
shakin' man

Trad climber
california
Mar 30, 2013 - 12:08am PT
Kris, we headed over to Voyager last July to hike to the top. Eve, Herb and I wondered how hard it was now. Got in a couple of ground-ups on the backside of Power Dome sans Eve, I would say Herb has done a few over the years.

Herb and eve showing us the route
Herb and eve showing us the route
Credit: shakin' man

I think this is it:

The "Seamstress" Voyager Dome, Courtright Res. CA
The "Seamstress" Voyager Dome, Courtright Res. CA
Credit: shakin' man

Fun hike, especially all the erratic boulders at the base.

Boulder field on way to Voyager Dome, Courtright Res. CA
Boulder field on way to Voyager Dome, Courtright Res. CA
Credit: shakin' man






Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Mar 30, 2013 - 12:57am PT
You know what's funny about this. It's just us. The same ole 7 or 8 of us saying mostly the same thing. LOL


I'm officially a curmudgeon. LOL


Well, we can always hope some new climber will stumble upon this thread and maybe post up that they learned something new about the perspective of ethics (and style) from the last few posts here.



Urmas, I learned recently about a few more folks that would only use the hook AFTER they free climbed the move. Showing that the move was free, but the addition of the protection via a hook did not taint the idea that no upward progress be made by the artificial use of aid.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2013 - 01:53am PT
I hate using hooks....
...but I might sling the drill bit if I'm feeling insecure.
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Mar 30, 2013 - 10:53am PT
ksolem and mungeclimber, Points taken, but it's still an aid ascent until it's redpointed.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 30, 2013 - 12:00pm PT
Urmas I said that in my first post. Gotta red point...

Shakin' Man, that's seamstress. Prolly 12b realistically. Here I'm drilling the 4th (and last on the fa) bolt from a hook in 1989. Anyone who thinks that free climbing 5.12, setting that marginal hook and drilling is the same as rapping in is, well, I've met Urmas and I don't want to be snarky but...

Seamstress/Courtright Reservoir/1989.
Seamstress/Courtright Reservoir/1989.
Credit: Julie Lazar

I'm gonna die.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 30, 2013 - 12:24pm PT
Nothing like having some sport climber tell you that your effort on the FA doesn't matter! LOL

You take away from the climbing experience what you put into it.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Mar 30, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
Bingo Steve. Rapping in routes is a memorable as a morning fart really. Counter that with some hairball lead with hair ball hooking to get bolts in and youve a memory to last the life.
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Mar 30, 2013 - 04:21pm PT
I'm really not trying to pick a fight here. But I would like to point out that in MY first post, I said that hooking is more adventurous for the first ascentionist than rappelling. It seems you are deliberately overlooking that comment. My point was not in any way intended to compare the relative experiences of the FA team, Rapping vs hooking. I was just making the obvious (to me)observation that viewed from ten years down the line, a route that was done top down, or ground up using hooks will be viewed about the same, in terms of ethics - not style. I have done, and continue to do routes both ways, as well as ground up trad, and stance bolted. I know the differences.

Take the Bachar-Yerian for example. It was done in a very bold style. That's admirable, in fact that's largely why it's the test piece it is. Ethically, though, some bolts were installed using direct aid. Whether it's dicey aid, as in hooking, or bomber aid, as in rappelling, it's still aid. I'm not suggesting it could have been done any other way.

My point is simply that I see a greater distinction between a ground up onsight free ascent and an aid ascent, than I do among various styles of aid ascents (rapping vs hooking).

Steve, I wonder if your irony went over some heads!




Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 30, 2013 - 04:34pm PT
I'm really not trying to pick a fight here...

Me neither. Fighting over climbing style and ethics is so 35 years ago...

I'm just having an OT chat with climbers about climbing on a political forum.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Mar 30, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
I believe we are speaking STYLE here, so Yes there is a HUGE diff between g/u hooking 50 to 100' out praying things hold till the hanger goes on vs casually rapping and drilling.. As much diff as clipping bolts every ten feet to wandering up some slab in search of the next bolt 50' above..
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Mar 30, 2013 - 05:09pm PT
No argument there, Ron!

And ksolem, I fully respect your experience, and can only imagine 5.12 climbing leading to a marginal hook placement!
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 30, 2013 - 06:00pm PT
Sorry I'm going OT for a minute... Urmas, I'll never forget the last time we crossed paths. I'm sure the day was less memorable for you. It was late summer 2004 at the Dike Wall. I did that 11a thing that goes up kind of a rib/dike right of the nose, you said something complimentary to me when i came down. But here's why I remember this day. The next thing I did was get on that 11b rig that goes up to a big undercling flake. I've always liked this climb but on this day it didn't like me, and somehow I ended up tearing my right shoulder badly which led to surgery and many months of rehab (it's fine now.)

I remember that some people on the ground heard the crunch when that shoulder blew. Someone said "What was that!?" Yuck.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Mar 30, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
Ksolem, do you think you could have done something differently to avoid this injury? Like did you forget to stretch that day, or did some weird motion on the climb, or had any other trigger? Injuries suck.

After my first summer of hiking/mountaineering (in 2010) I developed a knee problem. Probably due to boulder hopping with a heavy pack, or doing full 'Sierra Challenge' that year. Not sure. Had to stop running completely. Still could hike, but couldn't run more than half a mile or so. So about 4 month ago I tried to resume running little by little. Worked my way up to running 8+ miles finally. Feels good. Getting better running shoes might of helped too..
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 30, 2013 - 07:11pm PT
Ksolem, do you think you could have done something differently to avoid this injury?

Nothing against Yoga per se, but leading up to this I was led toward shoulder hyper-mobility by a particular teacher. After the injury I began a regular Pilates practice first for rehab, now as a profession. It became apparent to me during and after rehab that I had made a bad trade of mobility for stability. Of course natural range of motion is good but I went too far. If I knew then what I know now it would never have happened.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Mar 30, 2013 - 07:40pm PT
Tradman;
"URMAS, If you have ever had a hook pop on you, you would know the difference;)"

I was belaying Urmas on the first pitch of Mescalito. He had to do a couple of hook moves and left the first one for pro or hadn't grabbed it yet, when the hook he was on blew. The hook he left caught his fall, albeit the hook got straightened out to 45 degrees. I guess he does know what it feels like.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 30, 2013 - 07:55pm PT
Well then he must have some peculer rappeling habbits if he thinks rapping is the same as hooking;)
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Mar 30, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
It became apparent to me during and after rehab that I had made a bad trade of mobility for stability.

Are you saying too much stretching in the upper extremities is not always smart? Any particular exercises you would recommend that could help with stability in that region?
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Mar 30, 2013 - 11:25pm PT
To go back to the OP...."drilling seems to be a lot harder then climbing"....the partners I put up climbs with rate the stances your drilling from on a scale of 1 to 10 rather then moves on the climb. But I've put it to the Warbler who knows a thing or two about bolting from stances that it may be harder to on-site very run out face climbs because you don't have a bolt kit with you and can't ethically add a bolt to a route which you can do when putting up the FA. He agreed that some routes may be harder on site but bolting from stances Is certainly hard and scary...
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Mar 31, 2013 - 12:16am PT
The situations where on sighting a face route w/o bolt kit is harder than the FA are rare - really only if there's a choice of routes and the bolts are so far apart as to be hard to see and go for on the lead.

Usually a new lead has some loose holds, which often leave dirt when pulled off, lichen, loose grain, multiple route choices - all that stuff makes moving upward on new ground more challenging than it will be for those who follow. Picking the right stance in consideration with the rhythm of the protection and the line of the route are all to be dealt with before the hammer comes out. Sometimes, when the drilling begins it really gets intense.

It's a beautiful thing, and no other adventure in climbing really compares to the simple act of moving out onto virgin territory with a bolt kit and a destination. That said, some routes are just best when top roped and drilled however, usually on rappel, with an emphasis put on the very best bolt locations and quality, and careful consideration of rope drag and avoiding dangerous falls.

My opinion is that once a route is cleaned on rappel, or even just observed from a rappel, the pure adventure of a true ground up on sight is lost. The first ascensionist, I believe, is then obligated to bolt the route in a way that doesn't take advantage of the knowledge he has about the route's details which were gained by inspection from rappel. To me, that pretty much means the route should be toproped by two climbers, bolt positions carefully deliberated and chosen, with the drilling done however, the best climb possible as the goal.

One man's best climb might not be another's, but therein lies the character of the route and its reflection of the character of the climber(s) who imagined and bolted it. The "adventure" might be lost for one climber, once, but the moves and the rock can be enjoyed by other climbers forever if the job's done well.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 31, 2013 - 08:09am PT
Nice post warbler. I find the thought of GU bolting something that i have allready TRd or inspected to be pretty silly unless it is heniously difficult to get to the top of the cliff to rapell.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 31, 2013 - 09:00am PT
Whatever it takes to satisfy the rock police.. Our stupid rulze......

Personaly I like Alpine rules.. Anything goes to keep us moveing up and getting home alive;)

Gritstone is pretty darn silly. TR it to death and pre place the gear is fine but god forbid if you onsight lead bolt the the thing.....
Fckin rulze..............
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Mar 31, 2013 - 11:03am PT
Yes, good posts by Warbler and Hedge!

Joe, your example illustrates the absurdity of a strict ground up style - strict in the letter, if not the spirit of the style. I'm so glad the childish wars over these issues are mostly behind us now. I remember a Las Vegas local relating the story to me about how he had dumped a bucket of sheep pellets on a party below who were using a top down style of which he did not approve!
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Mar 31, 2013 - 11:05am PT
Ksolem, thanks for telling me about your unfortunate incident at the Dike Wall. You're right I don't remember it. I'm glad you've recovered!
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Mar 31, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
Nice Warbler......As has been said in other posts, rules are only in the eye of the beholder/s of that time and place. I recall you saying in another thread that back in the day, and I paraphrase and you'll correct me if I'm wrong, that there were few of you playing a new game whose rules you were the authors of. And the game you were playing seemed to have faded for a time but is still alive for a few. I have always been drawn to the adventure of the style of those few. Yours, Kamps, Higgens et.al. are the climbs I'm drawn to and whose style I try to keep alive on FA. Virgin territory as you say, but more the mental challenge which seems also to have faded with those climbs. I recall you also mentioning that those climbs and that style represent the true last bastion of climbing. Where gear advancements don't have much impact and the whole game, mental as well as physical come into play.

Largo wondered on another thread if rebolting these lines would bring climbers back to them. Many have been replaced over the last few years but I still see all the aprons empty, which is just the way I like it.
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Mar 31, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
I'm just loving this thread, finally something worth blabbering about.

I don't think the number of climbers playing by the rules of "yesterday" have faded away. More like just sunk into the shadows being totally obscured by the vast hordes of climbers we have today who are overwhelmingly not willing or capable of committing to such rules. They're still out there though, just doing their thing.

Couple of points to consider too. The learning curve in many aspects today is also much higher than it was even 25 years ago. It's pretty difficult to just go out and climb (ground up, on stance) a 5.11 as your first route. You have to work up to that. And people have been working up to that at every major and even obscure crag for more than 50 years now. So in alot of places what are you left with? Difficult routes, sparsely protectable or stanceless routes, rock quality that is beyond questionable, contrivance, extremely remote and difficult to get to crags etc... Long gone are the days where you just waltz up to your local crag and just "put up" a new route and I think that has alot to do with the falling out of "gud" style. Convenience in alot of ways has become necessity.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Mar 31, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
The thing about the concept of "Bolting on stance - ground up - leading" is that it demands purity to be anything special. No preinspection, no aid whatsoever. We never even slung the drill bit for security when drilling. Using a hook, or standing on a hanger to drill were more than poor style - they were aid climbing, and the route was no longer a free climb. Period. Simple.

As the moves got harder, and the holds smaller, little by little a little help from a hook or a bolt hanger under foot became employed by some, covertly at first.

When compromises of aid to drill on lead were introduced openly as a profoundly superior method to rapping, and the debate heated up to the point of boiling over, the inspiration and purity of what was, got pushed aside by the conflict over what should be. The slippery slope consumed face climbing - the clear water became murky.

Of course what was, still can be, with a little hiking and some imagination, but the pure flow seems to have slowed to a trickle.

All I can say is it has been fascinating to watch climbing evolve over nearly 50 years...



wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Mar 31, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
Salmanizer... I would, for the sake of conversation, say that as the style of on site ground up face climbing faded, that it left plenty of rock still within shouting distance. And, as Warbler says, with a little hiking...I was, and am, so happy to be finding like minded climbers out there willing to share the rope and the style. It reminds me of when I used to surf uncrowded waves where I grew up....I just recently climbed Parkline Slabs for the first time. Just me, my new found partner in arms, and the Golden Eagles overhead. A perfect, uncrowded wave...
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Mar 31, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
No - I agree, it's just that it's not so obvious and you usually do have to walk a fair distance. Nothing staring you right in the face sorta thing.

The learning curve may be just a bit steeper to approach but no doubt, for any of you young bucks who are thinking they might want to play the game and garnish its full value. Theres still plenty of rock out there. I've been putting up routes ground up, hand drilling at free stances for almost 10 years now and I've still got so many new routes I want to take a stab at it makes my head spin, and I'm mostly just climbing in the Tahoe area.

The Crusade 5.10c
The Crusade 5.10c
Credit: Salamanizer

Valkyrie 5.9, 4 pitches.
Valkyrie 5.9, 4 pitches.
Credit: Salamanizer

Sun Tzu 5.10c/d, 3 pitches.
Sun Tzu 5.10c/d, 3 pitches.
Credit: Salamanizer

Evolution 5.10c
Evolution 5.10c
Credit: Salamanizer


Scott Thelen

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
Mar 31, 2013 - 03:44pm PT
sure looks like Bear Res.
Tfish

Trad climber
La Crescenta, CA
Apr 1, 2013 - 08:11pm PT
I've bolted on lead and rap bolted. I really regret being a pussy and rap bolting.
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
Apr 1, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
Chad, where is that last one? That rock looks gnarly.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 1, 2013 - 08:36pm PT
Ho man.

Don't bring this up. I still have bad dreams.
JohnnyG

climber
Apr 1, 2013 - 09:57pm PT
This photo deserves a spot on this thread. I poached the photo from mtn proj.

Sounds like Kelly Bell was the real deal. See link.

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/106252871

Kelly Bell Drilling The Stand on the Bovine Wall...Rick Percival
Kelly Bell Drilling The Stand on the Bovine Wall...Rick Percival
Credit: JohnnyG
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Apr 1, 2013 - 11:05pm PT
If ground-up bolting tradsters looked like her, I'd be in.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Apr 2, 2013 - 01:31am PT
Ground up free FAs are very rewarding, but that style just doesn't work when it comes to very difficult overhanging limestone/pocket routes. People realized that to break into climbs like overhanging 5.14s you just aren't going to ground up, free climb the FA.

I'm proud of the ground up free FAs I've done for the style of the FA, but the routes I've done with aid are just better routes and what I'm proud of for those routes is the vision, the problem solving to get the bolts in, the eventual redpoint, and hopefully leaving a quality route that others will enjoy. It's a different game and there are many games in climbing to enjoy and/or challenge yourself with. You may prefer one aspect of climbing (e.g. free, aid, slab, offwidth) or doing an FA (e.g. ground up free granite/crack 5.12 or rap/hooking an overhanging limestone/pocketed 5.14), but that doesn't make it universally better than another style.

Watch this video of Sharma from about 2:30 to the end and tell me he didn't have a great experience putting this climb in on aid.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Apr 2, 2013 - 02:24am PT
Fet! Thank you for that vid!!!
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Apr 2, 2013 - 02:43am PT
What is interesting to me is that the new generation of climbers, who are almost exclusively learning to climb in gyms and then venturing outside, don't really care how the bolts got there. The overwhelming majority of this next generation of climbers will never put up a first ascent. They are just looking to have a good day outside at the crags doing some routes.

BITD, I think more climbers aspired to doing first ascents. They understood that, as Warbler pointed out in this thread, heading up a blank slab into virgin territory with just a hammer and drill is a very legitimate form of climbing experience even if only the FA party gets to experience it.

Hopefully, there is enough virgin rock that hasn't been rap-bolted into submission that some climbers can experience that oh-so-special ground up first ascent.

Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Apr 2, 2013 - 02:52am PT
^^^^^
And that is the reason why this long standing issue still holds precedence in the climbing world today.

How many "Developers" and how much time do you think it would take to virtually eliminate or severely scarcify (is that a word??? sounds good;) the opportunity for youth to have the opportunity to forge their own expressions on the stone?

Developing (not putting up a route or two) is as often as not, no service to the community.
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Apr 2, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
Developing, with an aesthetic and thoughtfully considered vision, in a manner consistent with local and regional values, is a community service. Bolting squeeze jobs, with the goal of maximizing the number of routes in a given space, certainly is not.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 2, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
Id just like to say that for some routes, albeit no bolting, still maintain MUCH of the flavor of the FA..Yu know,, those slabs with like sixty feet twixt da bolts! :-)
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 2, 2013 - 07:04pm PT
I have a very special place in my heart for many of my GU FA's but a few of the harder TD climbs I did last summer are just as special. All the thought that went into them and the attention to detail to get the climb just right feels like creating a masterpiece to me. I did this sport climb (Mad Woman 11a) top down. Its 30m and it took me 5 days of solo TR to finally feel that everything was perfect enough to fire in the last 3 bolts and redpoint. I feel that it is one of the best climbs I have ever put up despite the fact that I rap bolted it. My French friend Slyvain does not speak much english but he onsite flashed it and called it 7a I think it is a bit easier than that maybe 11a?
Sylvain Barriere on  Mad Woman 10c
Sylvain Barriere on Mad Woman 10c
Credit: tradmanclimbs

This climb Mad Man10d/11a?
Isa on the 2nd ascent of Mad Man 5.11a
Isa on the 2nd ascent of Mad Man 5.11a
Credit: tradmanclimbs
is just climbers left of Mad Woman. It is a mix of bolts and gear. It had some cracks and the line was obvious so I talked Ed into belaying me for a GU ascent. This was not an easy sell as ED feels pretty strongly that top down results in a better route. Anyways I told him it would be quick and easy and only take about an hour;) The lead ended up takeing about 3 hours with all the cleaning and pondering. I blew a beak and took a pretty decent ride giveing Ed a few thrills:) Ed declared me a Mad Man hence the name of the climb. We bounced arround a bit trying to free it but neither of us quite got it. We came back the next weekend and I replaced a bad pin with a bolt on lead and then got the redpoint.Two climbing sessions for the GU pitch. 5 or 6 for the TD pitch. Both are stellar climbs. Mad Man is special to me because I did it GU but Mad Woman is a masterpiece INMOP because of all the work I put into it, all the time I spent contemplating before committing to the drill. I think Mad Woman is a bit more special. A year ago I Never would have been able to say that I felt more for a TD climb than a GU climb.....
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Apr 2, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
Developing, with an aesthetic and thoughtfully considered vision, in a manner consistent with local and regional values, is a community service. Bolting squeeze jobs, with the goal of maximizing the number of routes in a given space, certainly is not.

So true, which is why I stated "as often as not".
I can certainly see the value in both and it is ture as Tradman nicely points out how a well reasearched and carefuly thought out TD route can be as good or even better than if done GU.

I think we're all kinda argueing more or less around the same point as everyone here posting seems to have a well rounded and level head. However, it's the potential for abuse by those without thoughtful vision, concideration of local values and an "agenda" based on quantity and self importance when developing that puts the rap bolting issue into the foreground. Ground Up certainly holds less potential for abuse.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Apr 3, 2013 - 01:47am PT
This thread is way too reasonable!


How do we get more folks to see that excessive td gridding is not a service to the community?

This thread needs more pics too. 👌

💃💃💃💃💃💃
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 3, 2013 - 10:53am PT
This thread needs chiseling. lol
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 3, 2013 - 11:51am PT
Hanging on the Tiny Hook and hammering like mad. <br/>
 <br/>
The Gold standar...
Hanging on the Tiny Hook and hammering like mad.

The Gold standard 5.12+
Voyager
Credit: guyman

This is a climb at Courtwright Reservour, The Gold Standard 5.12+.

Kris, Jan and I did it back in the mid 90's ....

We didn't even consider rap bolting it because it wasn't our style. And the top is way way upthere.

After trying to hook it with normal hooks and failing, Kris came up with the idea of the "thin hook" its not really a hook but rather a squaire edge. If you found the right "dime" edge and you put your weight on it sowley it would hold!

We took many sliders before we got the bolts in and we had a climb that was a huge challenge for all of us - an adventure for sure.

I don't know if it has ever had a second ascent.


I do get upset when I show up at a local climbing place (im thinking texas canyon) and find a brand new 5.10 located right between my favorate two 5.10s that were very close together to begin with, now there are 3 climbs, with the same characteristics within 30 feet.

A public service was performed by shelfless climbers who promptly REMOVED the offending climb.
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Apr 3, 2013 - 01:57pm PT

A public service was performed by shelfless climbers who promptly REMOVED the offending climb.

So a public service is removing something that offends you personally?

Sweet! I'll blow up the local church.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 3, 2013 - 02:07pm PT
Patrick... in short. YES

But seriously... I can't fathom just why somebody would step up to a chunk of stone. Look 6 feet right at climb A, and 6 feet left to climb B and think "I have found my purpose in life - this unique line must GO"

Lame.... IMHO.

It's not a climb you did, right?

but heck lets not derail this climbing topic
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Apr 3, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
Somebody did that for the same reason you put up a climb, then looked 12' left and decided to put in another.

The fact that 'somebody' else decided to chop the line the middle because it was in between their two lines is compeltely arbitrary. If there were no lines, and the middle one went in first, is it then ok to chop the one to either side?

This isn't hijacking the thread at all. Bolting on lead does require skill and balls, but you are still drilling holes and pounding in metal. The impact on the rock is the same.

'You are not a special flower' - Fight Club

... the line you bolted isn't either.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 3, 2013 - 03:51pm PT
patrick.... First there was a first.

second there was a second

third there was a turd.... right in the middle.

I understand your troll... 100%

But is there room for esthetics????

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Apr 3, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
if those bolts are within an arms reach of each of either line. pull and patch, why not?


guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 3, 2013 - 04:41pm PT
Munge... you "get it"

tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 3, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
Squeeze jobs suck. if a bolt is close enough to an existing climb to tempt the leader of the existing climb to clip the new bolt that is very poor location for a climb. There is however no majick pass that makes a GU bolt less offensive than a TD bolt if either is poorly placed. A hack job is a hack job regardless of TD or GU. the most common mess that the GU climber creates is the dead end into a bolt ladder to nowhere.. the climbing gets too hard and the great aspirations for a free climb degenerate into an AO bolt ladder. that is ok if the climb eventually goes somwhere interesting but i have seen a few of these that simply petered out and gave up.
Myles Moser

climber
Lone Pine, Ca
Apr 3, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
Wandering on the Central Tower
Wandering on the Central Tower
Credit: Myles Moser


Some times you just gotta' get lost!
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Apr 3, 2013 - 10:19pm PT
How to fail utterly at bolting on stance---ground up---leading (and be schooled by a master): http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1616302/An-afternoon-with-Kamps
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 3, 2013 - 11:29pm PT
Credit: Todd Gordon
ghostfromthepast

Social climber
oakhurst ca
Apr 24, 2013 - 02:07pm PT
your post explains why I consider the dispute over whether I freed Hall of Mirrors utterly absurd. Thanks,Chris Cantwell
larryhorton

Trad climber
NM
Apr 24, 2013 - 08:23pm PT
This post and all the talk of hooks reminds me of the time Pratt told me about a bat hook route he had done on the Mount Davidson cross. This is just a ho hum concrete cross on a hilltop in San Francisco — nothing but 90˚ angles, smooth surface, probably 100 feet high.

The idea of climbing it had immense appeal to a young freak in the late sixties, so I set about creating a couple of bat hooks for the job. As I recall, I started with a Chouinard product — I forget what it was called. A cliffhanger? Something like that…

My metallurgical skills were even more meager than my good sense. I hammered and ground until I had a right angle piece that would fit in a small bolt hole. Looked good to me. And I talked Jeff, a climbing friend of mine, into joining me for the excursion.

My memory of the ‘route’ is that it had four empty bolt holes between bolts. And standing in the top loop of my homespun slings was required to reach each hole. I was always impressed at the notion of drilling a hole from such a stance. But most disconcerting was realizing, at forty feet off the deck, that my bat hooks were bending as I ascended. I had not successfully tempered the steel.

My memory isn’t entirely clear if we finished then or not (more than forty years ago). We definitely got to the top of the arm. I seem to have some recollection of trying it in the dark, also. I do recall that the local constabulary arrived and demanded that we come down, but no arrests or tickets were issued, and that was in broad daylight.

That was my last excursion with hooks. Pratt listened to the story in typical, understated amusement.

All respect to those who place bolts from questionable stances!
Tfish

Trad climber
La Crescenta, CA
Jun 16, 2013 - 10:13pm PT
I just bolted a fun 10a ground up and put all 5 bolts in from stances. So rewarding.
Bolting on lead
Bolting on lead
Credit: Tfish
Tfish

Trad climber
La Crescenta, CA
Jun 21, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
2 more routes!

Bolting from a pumpy undercling
Bolting from a pumpy undercling
Credit: Tfish

I forgot my blow tube
I forgot my blow tube
Credit: Tfish
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jun 21, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
the most common mess that the GU climber creates is the dead end into a bolt ladder to nowhere..

Got some examples?

When I arrived in Ca in the early 1980's the SoCal areas like Josh, Idyllwild, The Needles, etc., were meccas of ground up climbing, and bolting from stances on lead. I cannot think of one such "mess" as you describe in any of these areas. There are a couple of bolt ladders in Josh but they were not the result of an attempted free climb.

Bolting on lead does require skill and balls, but you are still drilling holes and pounding in metal. The impact on the rock is the same.

Bolting on lead means less impact both in terms of the typical # of bolts on a route and the # of routes which get done.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jun 21, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
the most common mess that the GU climber creates is the dead end into a bolt ladder to nowhere..

Never happened to me, or anybody I climb with that goes strictly ground up.

I see this as when a climber attempts to bolt beyond his/her capabilities (physical ability, technical ability, and bolting ability). OR did not do a good job scoping the line, and being able to decipher the stone before the first bolt is sunk.

Stay within your limits, master the art of GU.


Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jun 21, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
Tfish! Looks steep and sik!

Nice job
sac

Trad climber
Sun Coast B.C.
Jun 21, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
g/u adventure @ Khartoum <br/>
g/u adventure @ Khartoum

Credit: sac
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Jun 21, 2013 - 08:46pm PT
the most common mess that the GU climber creates is the dead end into a bolt ladder to nowhere..


Got some examples?



I've been stopped dead in my tracks a couple of times on routes I was working on. Hit a tough spot and didn't have the balls or ability to climb through. I left them as open projects and would work on them when I got an inspiration. Eventually I was able to complete every single one. The most recent of which was a project sitting idle for 5 years which had a runnout on difficult terrain I was always unwilling to commit to. Over the years I realized I've developed an ability to drill from increasingly poor stances and found I could actually make use of a particularly bad one. Though it took about 4 hours spread between two days and several dozen falls, I was able to place a bolt where needed to commit to the moves above.

Point is, it may be a blank dead end for now, but eventually you or someone will come along and finish even the most bleak of routes.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 22, 2013 - 11:03am PT
Two pitchs, GU, drilled on lead...fun!

Somewhere in western Utah...photo by EH.
Somewhere in western Utah...photo by EH.
Credit: Brian in SLC
Tfish

Trad climber
La Crescenta, CA
Aug 26, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
When the crack ends the drill begins.

Ground up FA up Angeles Crest
Ground up FA up Angeles Crest
Credit: Tfish
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 26, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=149476&msg=2106130#msg2106130
the most common mess that the GU climber creates is the dead end into a bolt ladder to nowhere

in my experience, the consequences of "uncertainty" is to avoid putting bolts in and just running out the pitch into "X" territory, if the route is worth reporting, you've left a "death route."

the FA is open to all sorts of criticism, failed attempts, trashing up the cliff with dead end lines aka "projects," too much runout, too many bolts... on and on.

the alternatives aren't too good either, such as not reporting routes... which might be best if you can take the criticism when you report that that new n-teenth bolt sport climb saw a previous ascent with no bolts... once you get through the incredulity that it had been done, you get criticized for being reckless...

fact is that few climbers put up FAs and the vast majority that don't fancy themselves credible judges of what constitutes a good climb...



Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Aug 26, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
^^^^^^^^^

Uhhhhhhh.....
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
WHAT!!!???
afcb

Social climber
UK , UT
Aug 26, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
New routing with the kitchen sink.
New routing with the kitchen sink.
Credit: afcb
thebird

Big Wall climber
palm desert, ca.
Aug 26, 2013 - 11:35pm PT
I believe it depends upon certain variable such as steepness; a human cannot stand in balance at more than 82 degree angle, what percentage of the route requires bolts, the skill level the leader and the type of route desired. In the final analysis, does the end justify the means?
Personally I would rather do a route where bolts are in the correct location as apposed to how the bolts are placed. After all subsequent assents don't give a damn how the bolts were placed. There is a fine line between boldness and stupidity as there is between prudence and cowardice.
When sport climbing is the aim, rappel bolting is the game. The other variables being whether power drills are permitted and the quality of the rock.
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Sep 6, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
bump...the bird has spoken.
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