Bolts needed on Etude, Suicide Rock, CA.


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Social climber
The Past
Oct 6, 2012 - 10:46pm PT
I agree with the no bolts/pins approach.

The climb has been done off and on since the dark ages (prior to small cams) without the pins since they would come and go. Obviously I would then also think that if something fixed just "had" to be there that anything more than a single pin/bolt would be complete overkill. Etude is somewhat similar to the first of the Cross. Used to be a fixed pin in it also, but with the likes of RPs and small cams there's no need for one. That pin wasn't replaced with a bolt because it kept disappearing, in fact, over time it has come to be expected that a pin won't be there because there are gear options.

Adding a single bolt may not stop pin damage. People see the "p" in the guide that's missing and figure the missing "p" needs to be put "back" in. How to stop that is another question. People need to quit bringing pins and hammer to Suicide, and quit taking guides as final word. Just because it used to have fixed pins doesn't mean it still needs them (or even worse, bolts). Gear technology has advanced. Bolts sound like a knee-jerk reaction to the symptoms instead of the disease.

In general I do feel fixed pins should be avoided by FA parties. They seem to go bad, people need a hammer to check them, etc... They just don't seem to be a good sustainable choice. Just my take. Bolts for pins becomes a more difficult question when it is an established route and there are no natural alternatives. Etude isn't one of those cases.

Now, if we're trying to restore the route to as much of a pristine state as possible, let's rip that convenience anchor out of there as well. Used to be a gear belay for many, many a year. The convenience anchor additions at Suicide have been out of control for a long time.

Leaving it like it is now is the best choice, for the rock as well as climber commitment. The trick is getting people to accept the change when the guide shows there should be fixed pins.

Trad climber
Aliso Viejo, CA
Oct 8, 2012 - 12:11am PT
I climbed Etude today (with a fall), and found the protection adequate with the single pin. I brought a purple c3 and purple tcu, but didn't place anything smaller than a blue tcu.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Nov 5, 2012 - 11:44am PT
This weekend I watched AJ Burch and Dr. Tom Michael both lead Etude w/only the one piton.....they did just fine with that...


Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 5, 2012 - 06:29pm PT
Todd.... Hi....

How long will the pin be good for???????

How long till some one plants 3-4 more, making larger pin scars?

10 years from now, it will "go" with one pin only, but with no hands!

And Todd I am calling fake, those fellas in your photo-shopped pics are not even wearing proper climbing pants!

You need to think these things out.... sharp eyes are watching you.


Trad climber
mountain view, ca
Nov 5, 2012 - 06:43pm PT
Will ballnuts remove the need in fixed gear? They often work great it thin pinscars.
Credit: vlani
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Nov 5, 2012 - 07:05pm PT
Someone mentioned The Vampire, and T&S are both being brought up. I have to throw in my two cents. I hope that no one ever replaces the bolt by the finger crack on The Vampire and it fades into obscurity. It is immediately next to a perfect finger crack, and unnecessary with modern gear and climbing standards. Does anyone know the history of why it is even there?

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