First Ascents: to share or not to share

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The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Nov 27, 2012 - 11:56pm PT
That makes sense...

I know you climb around Sedona, and the Satellite images of that place boggle the mind.

San Diego, as far as multi pitch new climbing goes, has limited potential.
Heyzeus

climber
Hollywood,Ca
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:15am PT
I agree with Warbler 100%, sarcastic or not.I enjoy a certain experience of peacefulness when climbing that becomes scarce once it's on the meet-up.com group climbing radar. So I do not think that "choss vs. clean rock" should be the qualifier. For me, it's about how many people live nearby vs. amount of local rock. LA and SD has a lot of people and not many options.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:17am PT
nice boulders!


Vitaly, long live the fortress! I finally figured out what you were referencing at Pinns. I'm a little slow.


To Limping... only share with close friends. Eventually it will get out, might as well enjoy it as much as you can til then.

Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:19am PT

In Arizona, there is so much, I just got used to sharing the wealth...it also helps clean up the routes with more travel.

When I lived there, I felt like AZ was the land of the secret crag! There are so many cool crags there though. For cragging in remote and beautiful hangs, AZ is pretty bitchin'. I'm getting a little wistful here. I'll have to suck on the poor substitute of a nipple we have here in the Sierra Nevada ;).

Oh yeah, and I used to hang with Manny. How many FAs do you think that guy has in AZ?
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:24am PT
That Arizona climbing thread's one of my favorites.

It can be deeply rewarding to witness other climbers, especially complete strangers, getting stoked on routes or an area you've discovered and developed.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:31am PT
That Arizona climbing thread's one of my favorites.

Yeah, buddy! A dazzling array of stone and settings there. Sandstone, dacite, andesite, basalt, granite, limestone, mud.... Mountain top, aspen forest, river canyon, savannah, desert.... It's an overlooked climbing state for sure.
skywalker

climber
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:42am PT
Many years ago I lived in this place that so far has seen little spotlight despite some of the best damn bouldering for many, many miles. We made up names for areas and routes and it was fun. But it was never "published". I'm sure all those that went there and still go believe that they are doing an FA and are all stoked but aren't doing an FA. And I'm sure all my FA's aren't as well. But its fun thinking that way but ya know if it stays that way then there are so many FA's for the future.

My point is to what end is the reporting? Boulders get washed by nature and who knows if its been done before and that is the magic of a place like that.

If its a 40ft 10a rap bolted route who cares?

If its a 4000ft epic 20 day adventure; I'm all for stories and pictures!

Do it for the right reason and understand that all the "gardening" done in the precess may not be the best place for your name, or your FA.

My 2 cents

S...
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:47am PT
Does anyone remember the article Doug Robinson wrote way back in the early 70s or maybe even 1970 in which he reasoned that people should just keep their first ascents to themselves and end the reporting rampage that was going on? The idea, I recall, was to bring climbing motivations back to some level of purity. I often think of that when people wonder about the big historical gap in activity during the 70's. Maybe somebody could dig up the article. It may have been CLIMBING magazine that it was in.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:58am PT
Squeeze jobs, variations, move left then right then left....70m for this pitch, wire brush for that pitch.

I can't tell you where it is, cuz it's sooooooo classic!

Hahahahhah nothin left but choss.

Nowadays, the "Line" is only seen through the eye of the beholder.

FA'ist are twisted for sure.

skywalker

climber
Nov 28, 2012 - 01:05am PT
M.N.

I don't know of the article but that was what I was getting at. For us, boulders were all we really had but the nature of the environment and rock and the sheer quantity of problems (very unique rock and thousands!) who knew if it had been done. More often you'd never see a soul all day yet there were many climbers but you looked at the rock for awhile and a line suddenly appeared in your head and you'd try for minutes, hours, days, etc and if you got it...well its probably an FA. But a year later your chaulk is gone and its another FA ready to be had!

S...
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 28, 2012 - 02:06am PT
It kind of bums me out that people are doing FAs and not saying anything. I like the idea of being somewhere that nobody else has, and those people make it so you can never be sure.

I guess what you don't know can't hurt you. Unless you don't know you have malaria.

ec

climber
ca
Nov 28, 2012 - 02:32am PT
limpingcrab,

Hey, it's always been that way, anyway and still is. You just never know who's been there; just like being the first time for everyone. I did several 'natural' line FA's in Domeland Wilderness BITD on the stealth and then, 15 years later, I read about them in the 'new' guidebook done by someone else, 15 years after the fact. It was a good laugh, actually...they still don't know...

 ec
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Nov 28, 2012 - 02:45am PT
It kind of bums me out that people are doing FAs and not saying anything. I like the idea of being somewhere that nobody else has, and those people make it so you can never be sure.

Ah, but there is still some thrill in the hunt. Sometimes you can be sure, when you stumble across evidence. A tiny bit of old tat knotted on the ground, or a freshly drilled bolt. I've explored several completely undocumented crags, small to quite large, and came across new bolts. In almost all cases, with a bit of research or a friendly note I was able to find out the culprits. Then I was in on the secret and sometimes became part of the game.

Although public announcements may not be made, subtle inquiries via good old word of mouth can be revealing.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Nov 28, 2012 - 02:57am PT
It seems like In some areas, like our rainforest. FAs require serious work, scrubbing moss, peeling carpets, digging dirt & roots out of cracks. Even -gasp- cutting trees are often required to clean a route. If the FAist doesn't share with enough ppl & there's no traffic it's going turn green and the forest will reclaim. There's secret & low key areas for sure but usually after a season or 2 of plum picking & solitude the cat seems to get outta the bag which is a good thing if these routes are to stand the test of time. I'm sure things were different 35 years ago when the trees were a lot smaller & the moss thinner.

Edited-

In a place with rock that is naturally cleaner I could see things staying on the down low for a lot longer, especially places like California or Utah that have waaaaaaayy higher climber populations. Makes sense, if you want to climb new lines you gotta go look for them. Exploring is part of climbing, if your waiting for someone to print you out the instructions, it's time to get out there & see what's on the other side of the hill. I like Mucci's post:


Nowadays, the "Line" is only seen through the eye of the beholder.

FA'ist are twisted for sure.

Myself if I find something I'll try & climb as much as I can before letting any of the mutants know. Try & convince the wife to carry some pads or give me a catch :-) Once your satisfied it's nice to share the love.

Sick boulders above.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 28, 2012 - 03:02am PT
How about I never say anything but everyone else tells me what they do? :)


ec- I figured you'd been out there.



People have good points on both sides. I just posted this to see what people think...
ec

climber
ca
Nov 28, 2012 - 03:15am PT
How about I never say anything but everyone else tells me what they do? :)

I used this tactic for years...


 ec
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 28, 2012 - 04:14am PT
I climbed some with Dave Anderson (RIP) from Seattle. I think it was the Spring of '74 we did a hand full of FA in the Valley in the 5.10+/5.11 range (2-3+ pitches). I do recall discussing different possibilities of names for a few of them. At the time there was a notebook kept in c4 with all the new routes listed there as they got put up. It was a sort of strange time, and Dave (and a few of NW climbers in general) felt as though there was to much of a focus put on "getting your name in the guidebook" so they decided to not bother. I watched the guide closely, and everyone of the routes were eventually done by various climbers. A couple 'plumb' routes. The only name I can recall being associated with any of them was a Rick Sylvester FA! A fun route involving a roof that took a considerable amount of time to clean all the dirt out of. But there were many others. If I had it to do over with, I would have just went with one of the dumb names we first came up with and posted it myself, instead of bickering over it (probably initially had something to do with it).

And I started bouldering out at Mt. Woodson in '71 and spent a lot of time seeking out new routes, primarily cracks in the 5.10-5.11 range, from '71-'74! i left San Diego for the Valley and eastside in the Spring of '74 and when I returned to bouldering in dago around the mid 80's these routes we did all had new names and FA claims. Personally, I couldn't give a sh#t less. And the names peeps came up with are a lot better, anyway.

Three of the very popular offwidths (now) I/we named Power Shortage, Power Outage, and Energy Crisis, because the nation was experiencing one around that time!

1,000 years from now it won't mean shit! So get over it!
Josh Nash

Social climber
riverbank ca
Nov 28, 2012 - 05:07am PT
if I've learned anything from here is that you keep it a secret until someone else tries to claim it.......
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Nov 28, 2012 - 09:29am PT
This place was my little secret from 35 yrs ago (77/78). The place has seen alot of development since and I only recently became aware of thru
the Lassen/Plumas County thread below. Paul Bernard contacted me about his upcoming guidebook and we set history straight before the book was published. So since the time I climbed there the name of the crag was changed, names of my routes were changed by people thinking they had the FA's. Many routes now have bolted pro and belay/rap stations when my 1st ascents were done clean on lead or top roped.









Tom's Thumb,
so thats what they call it now!

I don't want to rain on anyones FA claims here, but I climbed many routes
there between 1976-78.

I was attending Lassen college at the time and met Joe Fitschen who said we should check the place out. When we (myself,Dane Scott, Paul Robbie) climbed there we didn't see any evidence of previous climbing activity.
and surely there were no bolts on it at the time for pro.

Since the place didn't have a name BITD we dubbed it "Cannabis Crags" and established many free routes on the west face, some on top rope others on
lead. We also put up a short aid route on the east side, a overhanging thin crack off the deck.

I kept a notebook of routes and dates but it has long since been lost.
I do still have some old faded photos of the rock and us climbing there.
I will have to take them to a store to be scanned to disc before I post them up.

Just sayin.
Tad

Cannabis Crags 77
west face Toms Thumb
west face Toms Thumb
Credit: T Hocking
Toms Thumb 2012
Tad and Mitch at Toms Thumb <br/>
Many FA's 76-78
Tad and Mitch at Toms Thumb
Many FA's 76-78
Credit: T Hocking
The Alpine

climber
Nov 28, 2012 - 10:44am PT
Its all ego driven. Ego to share, and ego to keep secret.

Whatever you do, make sure you at least document them in some form for yourself, lest ye forget. Then on your deathbed you can pass on the knowledge.

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