Chipping culprit filmed in NY

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bamboo

Trad climber
pike co
Feb 22, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
100% assumed--as you said
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2013 - 08:34pm PT


Start at :40.

Chisler. Don't call him a Chisler.
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:05am PT
Well, I'd have to say I only climbed at the Gunk's, maybe a hand full of times and really enjoyed it.

I thought the grades were quite soft, however, since I on sighted a 13, that probably would have been 12b in JT.

Well, of course the Gunks are renown for their soft grades...

Curt
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:13am PT
I wonder how many climber slamming him would ever even attempt a climb of this difficulty.

Of what difficulty? How do we know he's even finished building it yet?

Curt
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:19am PT
I hear Ivans next, PROJECT, is to chip a Via Ferrata route up
the side of El Cap.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Feb 23, 2013 - 04:17pm PT
Bill Ramsey:
Because I have actually written in defense of a limited form of chipping, many people have asked me what I think about this video. So here are my thoughts.
One of the main points I tried to make in my earlier essay is this: most climbers think there is a morally significant difference between the removal of loose rock/vegetation to make something climbable, and the removable of solid rock to make something climbable. And my main point was that I don’t see a sound justification for treating these two things as ethically different. There are not different from the standpoint of ecology or environmental concerns. A principled environmentalism would make no distinction between, on the one hand, scrubbing off lichen, weeds, flaky or crumbly rock, prying off a loose block with a crowbar, or removing rocks or bushes or even trees to improve a landing on the one hand, and chipping a hold to make something climbable on the other hand. If anything, a serious environmentalist might frown more on the former because it includes the killing of a living part of nature. So I find it bizarre that many climbers strongly condemn the latter activity and yet often actually praise the former activity, all the while insisting on a strong commitment to environmentalism.

Now since climbing is akin to a sport, climbers can make up whatever ethical rules they want. The can decree that it is unethical to do a FA on a Tuesday, but OK to do one on a Wednesday. They can stipulate that it is wrong to scrub off bat guano, bur acceptable to scrub off pigeon guano. And they can stipulate that it is wrong it chip a hold, but OK to significantly modify the natural terrain in a lot of other ways to make something go. That is up to us. My point was simply that the last case is similar to the former cases in that there does not seem to be a sound reason for making such a normative distinction.

Having said that, I think there are a whole bunch of legitimate reasons to think that what is going on in the video may be quite wrong. For example, if an area has rules put in place by land managers that stipulate rocks, vegetation and other aspects of the natural terrain should not be altered, then those rules should be followed. But notice that adherence to such rules would preclude scrubbing off lichen and loose rock. There was also somewhere the suggestion that some of the chipping involved altering established problems. If something is an established climb, there are a lot of very good reasons to leave it exactly as it is, and not modify it in any way. Also, in my earlier essay I argued that a natural climb is generally far superior to a manufactured climb, and so I restricted my defense of chipping to sections of rock that are literally impossible in their current form (no matter how good future climbers are). Now if what is being chipped in the video is doable (even if doable in the V-19 range) then I think it should be left alone for that future climber.

Suppose that what was in fact being chipped was not possible, ever. Then what may result from the chipping is a (probably) crappy little boulder problem. But there are lots of crappy little boulder problems around the country that people nonetheless get some enjoyment out of doing. What is odd is the following: Suppose the video showed someone doing a lot of the “legitimate” work that often goes into establishing a problem – someone scrubbing lichen, prying off loose blocks with a crowbar, scraping off dirt and flaky rock, excavating underlying boulders to make a better landing and so on. And suppose the video was presented as a tribute to all the hard work that sometimes goes into a making a quality boulder problem. Then people would actually be celebrating the person in the video, thanking him for his diligence in “doing what it takes” to make a great boulder problem others can enjoy. What is interesting is that such a video might actually depict a much greater modification of the natural terrain than what is shown in the DPM video. If it makes sense to treat that acceptable sort of alteration as praiseworthy and wonderful, then it really doesn’t make sense to treat the chipping as absolutely monstrous. It certainly doesn’t make sense to do so on purely environmental grounds, which is what seems to driving a lot of the anger.

No, no, no!

I recall reading Bill Ramsey’s essay in Climbing: Philosophy for Everyone, defending, on much the same grounds, "limited" chipping.

It annoyed me then and it annoys me now to see this cleverly argued opinion (but maybe he's playing devil’s advocate, trolling, if so, you got me pretty good there, Bill!).

What the argument is missing is the motivation of the person wielding a hammer.

1. When a climber is removing lichen or loose flakes on a new route then that climber is trying to get at the “climb” that is there, to reveal it, find it, expose it. By “climb” in this sense I mean the natural challenge of the rock face. A climber “cleaning” is creating a path, a route, up the rock face that will be unencumbered by unpleasant and possibly dangerous hazards and impediments. This is a creative act.

2. An aid climber hammering pitons is doing the same, creating a new (or following an existing) route. Again, this is taking on the natural challenge of the rock face. The style (pitons) may be flawed, but still, damage to the rock is accidental, incidental, much as hiker’s feet cannot help but trample vegetation and soil.

3. Someone “chipping” is deliberately altering the rock face itself. The rock face is there; either climbable, not currently climbable, always cool to see, to admire, the product of eons of erosion, history, a connection with nature. Chipping destroys the challenge of the rock face. It destroys the esthetic value of the rock face. It steals from all of us. The “unclimbable, ever” problem of today might be tomorrow's V17. It’s a destructive act, much like vandalism or graffiti, denying our connection with the natural world.

This is grossly simplified. There's all kinds of shades of gray. There are places where cleaning any vegetation or pounding any pins would be totally inappropriate. There are even places where chipping IS appropriate.

But this ain’t one of them.
OR

Trad climber
Feb 23, 2013 - 06:25pm PT
Bumpity bump for the biggest tool in NY
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 23, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
Bill Ramsey: Having said that, I think there are a whole bunch of legitimate reasons to think that what is going on in the video may be quite wrong. For example, if an area has rules put in place by land managers...

Aside from his essay being just a fundamentally tepid and weak overall defense of chipping, this excerpt is especially troubling. Why? Because this kind of manufacturing and altering of rock has been very much on the rise as the climbing demographic has grown over the years and if climbers can't police themselves, and instead require "rules put in place by land managers", then we are more or less doomed by outliers like Greene and Fairfield who will continue to cause the imposition of more and more rules on the sport over time.

It only takes a few guys like these and incidents like Delicate Arch to cause serious access issues, use constraints, and tighter oversight of the sport. Because of that, I see the recording and widespread condemnation of Ivan's activities as a very good thing indeed.
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Feb 24, 2013 - 09:31am PT
Crunch,

Your counter points are entirely from a climber's perspective, and therefore don't counter Ramsey's points at all. His points are mainly about the perspective of non-climbers.

Look a the other 'ethical' thread of cleaning massive amounts of greenery off cliffs in Squamish. The OP is pointing out that this is questionable from the non-climbing community perspective. You can look up from your mimi-van at the rock and see the difference from a long way away. Chipped rock under a roof, not so much.

The 'ethics' against chipping are entirely something generated by climbers themselves to police our ranks on the slippery-slope idea to protect ourselves from having our own routes and grades altered after they have been established, protect the future of blank sections for harder ascents, etc. This has nothing to do with a broader concept of environmentalism.
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Laramie
Feb 24, 2013 - 09:44am PT
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Laramie

Feb 24, 2013 - 05:38am PT
There are no ethics in climbing.


Some climbers use the wording Ethical in an attempt to control others by calling their actions unethical.


Ethics is an unresolved topic in philosophy. Yet some climbers are foolish enough to suggest their behavior is ethical.

When will we start saying what we mean? "Removing lichen hurts my feelings because we are destroying life?"
crunch

Social climber
CO
Feb 24, 2013 - 11:39am PT
patrick compton:

“Crunch, Your counter points are entirely from a climber's perspective, and therefore don't counter Ramsey's points at all. His points are mainly about the perspective of non-climbers.”

In the case of the alleged chipping shown in the video and referred to in posts on this thread, few or no non-climbers will notice. Nor, if if the damage is pointed out to them, will they care. The "climbers' perspective" is the only one that is relevant in this particular case.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Feb 24, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
Does any climber anywhere know of a case where altering of holds specifically has created adverse effects on climbing access by land managers?

I repeatedly hear this come up in arguments against chipping, but know of no examples of it.
Rock!...oopsie.

Trad climber
the pitch above you
Feb 24, 2013 - 02:07pm PT
repeatedly hear this come up in arguments against chipping, but know of no examples of it.

We should ALL work together as a community to keep it that way. Shaming within the community may be the only way with some of the perps.
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
Feb 24, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
Hey Scott,

This jogged my memory of those days.....which isn't an easy thing to do considering the excessive amounts of high grade marijuana I was burning through at the time.

I remember I freed a line in the Valley and Bachar could not do the move, he beat on the grainy pocket with the end of his tooth brush till he could get the hold to work.

I believe it was on a route at Reeds if I'm not mistaken. i never was on the route so I can only say what I remember hearing, but wasn't the hold you speak of more of a pain tolerance thing? One pad splitting Pirahna tooth crystal in the interior of the pocket. I'm not saying that this makes what John did acceptable, (especially if it changed the grade) because even comfortizing can be a slippery slope, but if what John did with his toothbrush was chipping, then what Ivan is doing in the video is chipping times a hundred.


mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Feb 24, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
So obviously it wasn't anything like what Ivan is accused of.

Dude, wake up! Accused of?!?! Stop obfuscating the issue... watch the fuqin video again. It don't matter who done it or when, it is blatant chipping and not even close to "cleaning."
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Feb 24, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
If I'm banging a rock with a hammer and chisel to create holds so I can climb a boulder... feel free to judge the sh#t out of me.
Guernica

climber
right there, right then
Feb 24, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
Dingus:

"Some climbers use the wording Ethical in an attempt to control others by calling their actions unethical.


Ethics is an unresolved topic in philosophy. Yet some climbers are foolish enough to suggest their behavior is ethical."

Off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure that ethics isn't quite as ambiguous as you say. It refers to the *ethos* governing the behavior of a particular community. Which makes this pretty cut-and-dried. If chipping, or whatever, is contrary to the prevailing spirit of the community it is by definition unethical.

Morality is a trickier concept, but not what we're talking about here.

So yes, this is unethical.

edit: how do you make the little box-thing to indicate someone else's quote?
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Laramie
Feb 24, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
Guernica,

Oh yes, people have their systems of ethics or religions if you Will and you can study them. But should you study some philosophy on ethics you will find two things:

1. None of them are consistent.

2. There are no ethical "oughts" or said in another way "...from purely a priori grounds" i.e. you have to choose as to how you want to the world to act.

For an easy but long winded take on this CF: Questions of Value Patrick Grimm, The Teaching Company.

Yes, superficially the one system you like seems good to you but all have serious failings. And this allows you to say that those not doing things the way you think is ethical is unethical. Ethics is CRAP.

To edit in quotes use an item (tool) from the blue line above the text entering box.

mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Feb 24, 2013 - 05:36pm PT
None of them are consistent.

Maybe you can set me straight... teach me something...

But I'm pretty sure killing others for personal benefit is universally considered immoral.

As is damaging/stealing the property of others for personal benefit.


Funny because I remember a party where I jokingly said "there is no wrong, there is no right... only pleasure and pain" quoting Jane's Addiction... which set Prof. Ramsey into a 30+ min lecture that included female genital mutilation and rape. I was pretty drunk and my dad was busy kicking the bucket 5 hours away, but I'm pretty sure he was arguing that there is in fact a distinction between wrong and right.
ruppell

climber
Feb 24, 2013 - 07:22pm PT
I'm pretty sure he was arguing that there is in fact a distinction between wrong and right.

There is. Society creates them. We climbers create our values. As climbers we think chipping is wrong(at least most of us). So there is a wrong and there is a right. In this case Ivan is plain wrong. If it was even close to a 40/60 percent way of thinking then you could use other arguements to bolster that it might have been right. Fact is that in most climbers eyes it's not right. So the debating that needs to be done here isn't whether it's acceptable or unacceptable. We just need to figure out the punishment for said crime. I'm pretty sure the public humiliation will suffice is this case. I wonder if his lawyer is gonna release that statement this year? LOL
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