Bolting at Cragmont, Berkeley


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Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Aug 27, 2012 - 09:15pm PT
grabbed a jug on the overhanging, but easy, dihedral


Trad climber
Starlite, California
Aug 28, 2012 - 04:51pm PT

Ja, ist guntenpumpen!

Just joking - No Fall is a steep, glassy slab, pretty much on the due W exposure of IR. It's only about 15' high, rising above a good ledge, which is itself a couple few feet above grade. It's bounded to its right by a dihedral which overhangs a few degrees beyond vertical, which I guess is pretty easy on account of lots of incuts. Pretty athletic save, I'd say, to instantly rotate 90* right and latch a jug. As if in slo mo, I watched my latched fingers uncurl themselves from a catch that, were it baseball, would have landed me the MVP, had I stuck it. But I landed on the ledge instead.

Urban lore has it that a bounce from the landing ledge has dished out some spiral cervical fractures, hence the problem's name.

I'd guess, in retrospect, that the dihedral itself isn't very hard...I'd routinely downclimb it after summiting the W side problems.

And yet, when I first began, we used Goldline, first, then a 30' stretch of 8 mil perlon, replete with a single waist loop on a bowline, to TR the book. Which, apropos of this thread, is how a more experienced climber who was trolling for a nOOB, became my 1st, and possibly best, partner.

Tom was to show me yet another friction problem, about 150' right of No Fall - sketch 5.7, and committing.

I guess I forgot to draw any conclusion from my post: if sport climbers, or any climbers at all, wish to find the lead, I think they should leave the HDWR/ropes at home until they visit YOS or Pinns.

Before I got all technical and one thing and another, I used to go to IR thinking I was "practicing" for 3rd Sierra summits (which can actually involve bits and pieces of 5.9). I used to climb "Beginner's Crack" in waffle stompers - one day I pitched from quite near the top. (There used to be, and prolly still is, a vertical pounded in flush about 1/2 way up) No idea about PA's - aka "roller skates." Some guys, as I was to learn, were still in Kronhoffers, soled w/ "cat's paws."

BTW, I've met and known Dick Leonard and David Brower. But this ain't the '30s, guys. No bolts, for any reason, are needed at the Berkeley boulders, Mts Tam/Diablo. If any concerned wish to lead, I'd submit that the dues are payable when you do.

Trad climber
Northern California
Aug 28, 2012 - 05:08pm PT
On second though, leave the bolts. Whatever.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 28, 2012 - 05:09pm PT
This whole argument sounds so feckin weak. Someone bolted a few TR problems so that they can be lead.. BFD........ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Aug 28, 2012 - 06:10pm PT
Good context point Phyl about population density as a factor to access.

I don't think it matters who put the bolts in. Though people tend to shout less at folks they know about such things.

I don't think I've been there but twice, so I'd weigh my opinion accordingly, but if the route had been solo'd before, wouldn't the history of the style of the area be considered ground up (unless considered a strictly "Top Rope" area)? Did the bolts go in ground up?

If not, since it's not a designated top down area, I say add the bolts, just put them in ground up, by someone that knows how to drill, unless there is evidence of a population density issue about bolting and not just a theory that it wouldn't go well.

Some thoughts,

A pile of dirt.
Aug 28, 2012 - 06:47pm PT

Although bold it is leadable with natural pro. I'm sure it's been done many times over the years but regardless I know it's been done before. Apologize for retrobolting and remove your bolts so someone else doesn't have to come clean up after you.


Trad climber
Sep 22, 2012 - 10:14pm PT
I climbed at Cragmont today and was shocked to see this route bolted. The Berkeley rocks are known for bouldering & top roping. You definitely imposed your personal 'ethics' on the local climbing community.

For what it's worth I grew up, learned to climb and still live in Berkeley. I didn't hear anyone asking around if it was okay to start retro bolting routes...

Chop em & do a good job.


A shot I took of FTH pre-bolting

Social climber
Sep 23, 2012 - 08:59pm PT
I guess if lead climbing bolts get chopped the top rope bolts should be removed with them. There's natural pro for a top rope.

And why should a frikin top rope trump a lead climb, I vote leave them.

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Sep 23, 2012 - 10:36pm PT
Another take:

Cragmont Climbing Club - History

Leonard, by now the leader, used his piton hammer to knock "a series of nicks" on the knife edge. These manmade footholds allowed him to move upward about twenty feet without placing much outward strain on the Flake, and soon Leonard waved to his companions from the top of the pitch. The trio reached the top a few hours later.

The three men thought nothing of altering the rock to suit their needs. "Safety first" was their motto,

Trad climber
berkeley ca
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 13, 2012 - 09:20pm PT
Three new bolted routes.

Social climber
The Deli
Oct 14, 2012 - 08:36pm PT
I have no say in this bolting debate, however…

“I've also taught 100s of kids to climb there (Cal Adventures kids camps in the summer in the 80s for about five years). Lots of those kids are still climbing today, and yes, I'm proud of that.”

Yes, they are still climbing today. : )

(Well… tomorrow, actually…)

Thanks, Jim!
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