Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 4, 2012 - 08:48pm PT
I hate cragging. (should be in all caps). For those that know me I have glass legs. I made the decision post-accident (sept '86) that I would harden my mind and got more into mentally challenging climbing while saving my tendons. I really enjoy placing gear (especially hard won gear) and climbing above it (or hell standing on it). For more than 20 years I have worked on my skill set to climb this way. I also enjoy first ascents where I have no idea where to go and if I will need to place a hole (bolt) or not.
I had a route on Mt Lemmon that I climbed entirely on clean gear bolted over, then I chopped it, then it was bolted over again. The route now makes me nauseous when I see it. But oh well, it is mt lemmon and a lost cause. I still have two photos of me on the FA, that is all that is left.
So in 1991 I went up to a dome in the stronghold and completed a series of FA’s. The dome then was an easy approach and had a bunch of moderates to do on a 300’ rock (now a house sits on the old road and takes an extra 10 minutes to walk around the private land to access the dome). I find maybe the last line to do on the dome and I wander up a crack and when it ends I set off for the unknown. I find a camalot hole and bust a couple 5.10 moves above it then hit a dike and life gets easier. I pass another traversing route’s bolt and continue higher to a gear belay. I lead the second pitch to the summit and descend the first route I did on the dome. I tell my buds Dave and John to repeat it which they did (with another start still going for the camalot hole.
Five years later I am living out of state and Dave calls to tell me a phoenix “5.12 climber” has just bolted over the route ,including drilling a bolt standing on the camalot. Dave has access to the “equalizer”, a set of 30 degree offset bolt cutters we have used for correcting others bolting mistakes over the years. He chops the route and fills the holes. Done.
Fast forward to this past week. Looking over another climbing site I see someone else has done it again. In the name of the almighty first ascent (and the courage of the bosch) they drilled the line.
Climbers don’t even try to climb anymore. Haul the drill, place 20 holes without farting. I tried to save the Stronghold by making it a wilderness for the one simple rule that fixed anchors and especially electric drills would be banned (as I witnessed FIRST HAND in the supes). Alas, I lost and the stronghold has seen thousands of bolts sunk in the past 18 years-99 44/100ths of them by the cordless drill.
Fuk it, I am going to those 4th string areas and do my thing.
Did people know? There's all sorts who don't want to publish their climbs and draw the masses. Well, when the masses "discover" and start drilling your FAs, how were they supposed to know? You can't have your cake and protect it from drilling too.