Respecting local ethics...thinking Internationally


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Trad climber
Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine
Oct 5, 2012 - 07:15pm PT
Hi all,
my name is Yuri Kruglov. I am keen traditional climber like many others in our area who enjoy and preserve multi-pitch traditional climbs in the area.

We never do any harm to sport or gym climbing routes. Luckily, there are no sport climbing routes or gyms on Morcheka - too scary for them ))). Our ethics on Morcheka mountain has few simple rules such as:

 Yes for rebolting when neсessary
 No for retrobolting
 No for rap bolted routes

These and the other principles of Morcheka climbing community could be found on the page 45 of the first climbing guidebook to Morcheka which was published in Sevastopol in 1999 and is available in Ukraine and Russia. One of the copies of the guidebook is always kept together with climbing logbook which is stored in the camp-site at the base of the mountain.

Anyone who ever been ещ the bottom of the face and climbed this iconic mountain is familiar with climbing ethics of Morcheka.

Ethics declaration is also available online at together with the list of Morcheka FA who are top climbers of Ukraine and Russia.


P.S. I wish we had any climbing organisations backed by government )))

Oct 6, 2012 - 01:14pm PT

My name is Alexey Ivanov. I want to say few words about traditions which kindly mentioned Mr Kruglov.

>>Anyone who ever been ещ the bottom of the face and climbed this iconic mountain is familiar with climbing ethics of Morcheka.

That's a lie. Big lie. I've been many times in there and never heard about this "rules". Mr Kruglov is highly egoistic person. Some years ago he was a strong technical climber. One of the best in that times. Now he represents local bureaucratic sport organization and by any means spoils anything what contradicts his personal believes and bias. Unfortunately this happens to some of best sportsmen. At some point of their life they are best. And then they get older and youth become better. And some of such sportsmen become acrimonious with an irritable nature.

>>Ethics declaration is also available online at together with the list of Morcheka FA who are top climbers of Ukraine and Russia.

This declaration is posted on the 4th of October, 2012. Few days ago. Never published before. The list is really questionable.

>>P.S. I wish we had any climbing organisations backed by government )))

That's really showing Mr Kruglov attitude to climbing. He wants to be dictator in Crimea climbing.

My message is in that all these is not about respecting local ethics - all these about ego of Mr. Kruglov who is intentionally deceiving climbing society.

Thank you.

Mountain climber
Oct 12, 2012 - 07:03pm PT
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 12, 2012 - 07:09pm PT
"Locals" aren't always right, wrong, or informed when it comes to access, conservation and stylistic matters, and neither are "Outsiders". (Bearing in mind that the lines can get blurry.)

Whatever, better talk talk than war war, preferably before war war.

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Oct 13, 2012 - 01:19am PT
Just read Andrew's Rock and Ice piece on the subject.

The proposal that 'some climbers maintain coming top down is actually a way to minimize fixed protection' is a bunch of tripe.

Minimization comes from selective placement, and tired arms, not counting holes. The choice to selectively place bolts comes after the decision to go ground up or top down.

However, in as much as the ethic of ground up is to preserve the sense of adventure and keep the "murder of the impossible" at bay for as long as we can, then deliberately making run out routes top down is anathema.

Conflating ethical approaches with the goal of minimizing bolt counts is completely inapposite. By the way, bolt counts is a decidely aid climbing issue, not a free issue. So to use bolt counts as justification for a top down route to remain, just does not pass the sniff test.

Keeping traditional areas as ground up is really quite difficult in today's age where the collective group's safety and lowest common denominator seem to drive the 'fun' factor toward clip ups.

Many of us have cut our teeth on GU stuff and later decided to do some top down routes too, but there is an entire generation that has yet to be born that will never get the opportunity to try ground up efforts if we unnecessarily bolt everything we can via rappell in the next mere 20 years.


Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 13, 2012 - 02:25am PT
Sure there are some people, whose opinion was violated in some way, but it is still quite not obvious if the personal opinion is the "local climbing ethic"!
Sure there are plenty of climbers having quite different opinion and supporting Sergey Nefedov position
It seems the conflict is not about "ethic violation" but rather between "fathers" and new generation of climbers different view to what climbing in Crimea is (or perhaps even what the climbing is at all)

Yeah, f*#k all those people who established the lines ground up, and set the standard. Since new generation can pull harder, it is for sure OK for them to rap bolt and retro bolt existing lines to free climb them. If you pull harder than the dinosaurs from the past you can do whatever you want.

Trad climber
Sydney, Australia
Oct 13, 2012 - 05:11am PT
Excellent and balanced article from R&I.

Always make sure your "local" is local, I guess...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 13, 2012 - 06:23am PT
Jim, absolutely no sarcasm intended. It might creep in, it's Friday.

Have you ever read Talk To the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life (or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door)?

It's a recent endeavor by Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.

Of course, she's a hero of mine, since she, like myself, I feel, has very good things to say about topics which ordinary people don't give a damn about.

It isn't my place to elaborate. Others, including the darling of dots and dashes herself, are better equipped, since I HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK. Don't you hate it when some jerk starts telling you about some book he hasn't read? I do.

One thing I will do is to put up a link so you can familiarize yourself. It's polite elephantism to the middle rank. You're welcome.

I want you to know I enjoyed her words in that link immensely. "Forensic polemic" (Here is where I tell you you heared it hear first) is a description of what Lynne wirtes. I got to luv this Great Brit, she's got true grit. A reg'lar little Mattie Ross. The rest of her words about her other efforts are hilarious.

For example,
Making the Cat Laugh, first published in 1995, is a collection of columns from The Listener, The Times and Woman’s Journal. By contrast with Eats, Shoots & Leaves, this book had quite abysmal timing. They now deny this, but my publishers did argue with me when I suggested, in 1995, that there might be quite a big market for funny books about single women in their thirties. Oh well. Making the Cat Laugh was published in a low-key way, sold out quickly and that was that. And a year or so later, along came the wonderful Bridget Jones, with the result that, for the next ten years, any funny book by a woman that wasn’t about a single woman in her thirties (such as my own Going Loco) was seen to be insanely out of step, and was marketed as chick-lit regardless.

Back on topic.
Remember that time that turd told the story about the Spanish guys having the American on about the turd in his pocket? And he reached in to check it out? And the turd yelled out "I'm still in here!?" And the Spanish guys yelled out, "Viva la mierda!?"

That was awesome.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 13, 2012 - 10:32am PT
We may be in the Circus Room Bar making a mountain out of a molehill, one of Batso's proclivities.

Long live Low Sierra Proclivities!!!

And High Sierra declivities!!!!

And funky funded foreign climbing activities?

(Best I can muster, without aid. All-nighter, Jim.)

Oakland, CA
Nov 2, 2012 - 03:33pm PT
Looks like a wave of apologies coming from TNF crew:

Rap and retro bolted. Ouch.

Hard to swallow the "it's our interpreter's fault" excuse. Rap bolted a line AND retro'd over long-established traditional lines?

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2012 - 04:26pm PT
Sport climbing is now nicely settling in with the same sort of maturity as Chlamydia.

Big Wall climber
Barcelona, Spain
May 13, 2013 - 04:33am PT
There is a strong discussion here in Spain going on with last Sharma route project in Montrebei (Catalunya-Spain). He is opening one of the most difficult wall lines in the world, or maybe the most...which is amazing, but bolting the whole 300 meters line in an area where bolts are restricted to exceptional cases.

Personally I am fine with his initiative but some people believe there is a wall ethic that must be preserved.
Comments are written in Spanish or Catalan, sorry about this.
Todd Eastman

Bellingham, WA
May 13, 2013 - 09:17am PT
When climbers were re-branded as athletes by the sponsors and paraded around in cute little teams this crap was soon to follow.

Climbing had long been the realm of the anti-athlete; a far more fit and adaptable specimen than the athlete!

Long live the climber!

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 13, 2013 - 09:36am PT
This is a topic that applies to mountains as well as rock faces. Many of the same arguments have appeared on the Fisticuffs on Everest thread. The visiting outsiders with more skills and attitude offended the locals. In that case, the locals banded together to stop it and then most in the international community cried foul, because of the threat of violence. Individual visitor's rights in that case versus the livelihoods of thousands.
Mark Force

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
May 13, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
As the planet shrinks we must celebrate those who climb clean.

Do great things, leave no trace.

How bad do we need a V8 boulder problem on the side of El Cap? ...or anywhere?

If the local ethic is to rap bolt clean crack, that ethic is still idiotic, no matter what location

What Spider Savage said! Well, at least strive to leave no (or as little as possible) trace of your passage. Yes, leave no trace is an impossibility, but an ideal we could all strive for.

solution: hand drill.

I've seen Jim Waugh put a 3/8" x 2 1/4" in under 3 minutes during an August electrical storm on Babo. Deuce put an unknown size in 1 minute flat on flat ground. It can be done.

It is because you are weak and your skirt is blowing up in you face if it takes longer than that.

If you go to an area (that accepts bolts in the first place), you drill by hand, and go from the ground up there are far less chances to screw a route up and piss people off.

Better yet, 'shoes, shirt, and rack on your back' and do the damn thing without a single hole in a day and you gain respect from climbing peers anywhere in the world.

And, what rick d said!

Boulder climber
May 13, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
I agree with Todd proud to be a climber...not an fact i started due to my lack of athleticism...

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 13, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
I was totally down with the local ethic in Sweden - Climbing Cat's Cradles.


Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
May 13, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
Magic Ed

Trad climber
Nuevo Leon, Mexico
May 13, 2013 - 02:03pm PT
This is why I love Mexico so much. We have miles and miles of big unclimbed walls and anything goes. You want to climb it trad? OK! You want to place bolts? OK! Ground up? OK! Top down? OK! No need to go through a committee!

The only "rule" we have here is we don't mess with other people's routes.

Hobart, Australia
May 17, 2013 - 03:53pm PT
Regarding my timed bolt placements, it was 47 seconds to place a 1/4" by 1 1/4" Rawl buttonhead (drill the hole and place the bolt) in Cochise Stronghold granite. That was in prime position everything laid out on a flat stone in the campground. It was pretty much the same in Yosemite granite. On route, I could generally place a bolt in a few minutes given a good stance. In sandstone, 3/8" bolts x 3" deep took about 2-3 minutes. The Waugh record of 3 minutes for a 3/8" in granite sounds amazing--don't think I could have drilled a 3/8" that fast in granite.

On route, it's all a matter of stance. Even with a pretty wired drilling technique, I recall spending about a very painful and tedious 1/2 hour placing a 1/4" Rawl on a ridiculously difficult stance on the Autobahn crux pitch (one foot on the tiniest smear, the other foot dangling, no handholds) because I could only get a few hits before having to readjust my stance (over the roof).
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