Pitons and free climbing

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 67 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Captain...or Skully

climber
Dec 15, 2012 - 12:31pm PT
It'll be AWHILE before the Triple Cracks are freed.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 15, 2012 - 01:04pm PT
Aren't you lucky, to have some nice historical pitons. Maybe you should save a few, for exactly that reason - perhaps some day they could be in a collection.

In the meantime, there aren't many routes at Squamish any more with fixed pins, but there are a few. Probably the pins in question have been there for 20 - 30 years, and are rusty and unreliable. Maybe a few of the bear's/your collection could be used to replace those units, where appropriate?

Thanks to Max for the interesting photos. I suspect that angles cause considerably more damage to cracks, per placement and removal.

Thin pins can be useful for cleaning out thin cracks.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Dec 15, 2012 - 01:21pm PT
You'll find part of the answer to your question just around the corner, and down by the sea. You'll probably have to wait for some dry weather, and be a bit clandestine about the whole operation, but you can find out for yourself, with your own fingers.

Go to the Malemute and climb Clean Crack. Feel for those few spots where you can get your tips in. Then think about why there should be such spots.

But really, as a few people have already said, it was not the pounding of pins that advanced free climbing, but the abandonment of pints -- that is, the availability of protection that could be placed easily with one hand.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Dec 15, 2012 - 01:38pm PT
"pints"?
We will abandon NO pints here, sir.......;-)

edit: The Horror...
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Dec 15, 2012 - 01:40pm PT
My god! What could I have been thinking?

Normally I'd go back in and edit a typo like that. But I think this one deserves to live on.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 15, 2012 - 01:41pm PT
A post that will live in infamy... Although I don't know that Clean Crack was ever nailed much.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 15, 2012 - 01:57pm PT
Maybe a few of the bear's/your collection could be used to replace those units, where appropriate?
thekidcormier

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 15, 2012 - 02:00pm PT
The pin on climb and punishment has already been appropriately yanked.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Dec 15, 2012 - 02:01pm PT
Hey Bruce, there ain't no fixed pin on climb and punishment anymore... Mark yanked it!

Rightly so. It takes excellent small gear.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Dec 15, 2012 - 02:38pm PT
Ok so this might be ugly...

Serenity Crack




But p2 is amazing!





P3 is awesome!


None of this would be free climbable at the current grade without pin scars.
jstan

climber
Dec 15, 2012 - 02:46pm PT
This is not the first time the OP's question has been asked. Around 1970 in the Gunks as we were entirely ceasing the use of pins a few people were trying to promote aid climbing with them. It was apparent making arguments based only upon preserving the rock would not work. Adequate sensitivity to our situation appeared to be lacking and any argument would be interpreted only as an attempt to limit personal freedom. The argument would be turned upon itself. There was an easier way.

There were 38 aid routes in the area. In the next two years 36 of those were climbed free. Later on the number of aid routes decreased further to 1. It was a brute force approach that in the end proved to be not needed, I think. People turned entirely against the use of pins far sooner than anyone would have believed possible. If we had not freed the routes in a push, climbers in the area would have had many fun routes to free over many years. Once more proving the rule that if you are breathing, it is safe to assume you are also making mistakes. But that's life.

Another part of life seems to be that of always pursuing the one thing that provides the most fun. The absolute most fun, regardless of any disadvantages. We all appear to have our gaze permanently affixed to our own navels. This, too, is perhaps the human condition.

The ultimate goal lying high above the navel in the spectrum is to return the most we can, as repayment for the life we have been given.

Edit:
Around 1970 I took a photo of Serenity that was published in a number of places by several people. For forty years I have wondered whether Serenity had, since then, suffered even more damage. This last Facelift I finally went back. It appeared pretty much the same as it appeared in 1970.

Great good news.
Paul Brennan

Trad climber
Ireland
Dec 15, 2012 - 02:49pm PT
I can attest to the fact that you need a hammer on some routes in Squamish, and can also attest to the fact that beaks kick ass. Out of the pieces I've hammered, probably 85% have been beaks. Anywhere an angle can go, an offset or camhook can usually go better (and faster). Aside from the odd exception (e.g. under a roof), medium and large beaks have made KBs and angles pretty redundant. Small beaks also seem to have entirely taken over from RURPs. Beaks kick ass. With the added bonus that if you stick to beaks over more destructive pieces then Tommy Caldwell probably won't come along and free your cool aid line!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 15, 2012 - 02:50pm PT
"...make sure your belayer has the rope around his waist, has a firm grip on the rope and is sort of awake."--Grampa

THE RIGHT STUFF, YEAH! ONLY AMERICA'S BEST & BRIGHTEST NEED APPLY!


"Why don't people get out and explore more?"--JD

Jim, I'm sendin' you a (sorry) figurative $64,000 if'n you answer that with fewer'n 25 legit reasons. I'm not stupid 'nuff t' b'lieve people're simply lazy. They ain't. Even tho we seem to be usin' a lot of apostrophes, it's actually harder. So why don't they go lookin' more?

1. Too hung on decimals and ego. (Dickhead.)
2. Not "ready" for prime time. (And make sure your rack is perfectly organized while you are waiting.)
3. No chicks out there. (No dudes out there.)
4. No wheels. (You got a thumb.)
5. It's all been done. (How will you know?)
6. I can't get anyone else interested. (John Muir never bothered with that one.)
7. It's winter, Butthead. (Even in winter things are still climbable, Beavis.)
8. I'm waiting for a check in the mail. (That's legitimate.)
9. Anything I might find is going to be a Clyde reject. (Even Clyde had his blind spots.)

I suppose I could go on, but I'm of the o-PIN-ion that there is a thread possible here on this subject of not exploring and settling for the mundane. So I'll cede the floor.

But the idea that so many climb Serenity seems to be explainable quite easily. The rating is low-end 5.11, which means you can claim a 5.11 if that's what your ego demands. This alone guarantees popularity, coupled with a piece-o-cake approach. And it's only a medium-long thin route.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Dec 15, 2012 - 02:59pm PT
GOD, GUNS & PITONS made America free

You can pry my pitons from my cold, dead fingers.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 15, 2012 - 03:13pm PT
the Rat's feisty this morning.
Don't tread on my rope!
Don't tread on my rope!
Credit: Pin Scar Willie
Merry Crustchove, Bugaboo-breath!
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Dec 15, 2012 - 04:08pm PT
I don't buy the premise that all fixed pins protecting free climbing should be replaced with bolts.
Thin pins straight down behind flakes that won't accept passive protection are an example.
Middle Cathedral has many such examples and the quality of my climbing experience would diminish if every pin that was painstakingly placed free on lead become a bolt.
I've done a number of FAs where I was able to place bomber pins free on lead where other protection wasn't available and the "piton craft" required was an integral part of the adventure.
The traverse from under the roof to the base of the Left Side is an example.
Certain individuals took it upon themselves to remove and break the heads off bomber pins and do a botch job of replacing them with bolts. I don't think the end result was an improvement.

Serenity Crack was the poster child for the Clean Climbing Revolution and placing and removing pins on free routes (other than long alpine) is no longer considered responsible. I've been around just long enough to have witnessed the last few examples of pins being carried on established free climbs and thankfully, we have the technology to move beyond those needs.

I'll continue to carry pins in the alpine.
I often carry a hammer on long free routes that have fixed pins to tighten them up if necessary.
I respect climbing areas that establish a no piton ethic but God forbid there should come a time when the skills and adventure of piton craft on long aid routes and alpine climbs become a cultural anathema.

The rationale for replacing fixed pins with bolts because the pins rust out, particularly here in Squamish is valid.
One of my current projects is researching the availability and efficacy of stainless steel or titanium pins for fixed protection where they're a reasonable alternative to bolts.
Given the option and context specific, I'd far rather see the responsible use of natural features for sustainable fixed protection than a carte blanche default to bolts.

PB
(Irrelevant Anachronism?)
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 15, 2012 - 04:18pm PT
I agree with Perry.

Bolts can too easily become a lowest common denominator "solution", for the unskilled or unimaginative.
m_jones

Trad climber
Carson City, NV
Dec 15, 2012 - 04:24pm PT
As can copperheads...
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Dec 15, 2012 - 04:26pm PT
True that!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Dec 15, 2012 - 04:30pm PT
Sweet....copperheads for free climbing protection. I always duct tape my hooks on when I'm looking at a long run out.
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