What Is Trad ?????????

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wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Apr 27, 2013 - 12:58pm PT
Tar! So good to have you back.... knocking heads and getting us back on track!

There seemed to be a good point to move on in the thread when most agreed on the Warbler definition to one of climbing ethics and the environment current day with all the differing styles and how to preserve them. Reminded me of what Higgens said years ago about the need for group representation and a more democratic discourse among climbers to maintain and preserve lest it get done by others or chaos destroys it (i.e. grid bolting in trad areas, bringing trad ethics to sport areas, and general climber impacts on the environment in an ever more populated climbing world and Yosemite in particular).

So, hopefully with moving forward in mind, how do we proceed in preserving the trad legacy?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
Western Climber,
Thanks for the kudos, but I don't know if I deserve it as I feel I am just shaking a couple Bulldogs off my leg here.

Moving on in this thread is not only noble it's essential if it isn't going to just descend further into defensive, contentious noodling and habitual contrarian tactics disguised as counterpoint. In short I feel as if I'm having stances projected upon me which I don't even own. Yes dialectic serves understanding but it's not the only way.

(Not to say Warbler shouldn't get his answer from Patrick, but then we need to move on or simply stop)


To your point Western Climber, in italics below:
So, hopefully with moving forward in mind, how do we proceed in preserving the trad legacy?

Frankly I don't know that we can preserve anything. Times change and people do what they want with the histories which they may or may not seek to understand. As I said earlier: If modern climbers, through some slow accretion of various tactics want to change the face of trad and completely redefine the term, then of course we can't change that here.

Alpinist magazine seems to be the best repository for critical enhancement of these historical perspectives and their potential usefulness to current generations. So perhaps published pieces might achieve what you would like to see; but the question remains just who is reading them? Are they preaching to the choir of a bygone era or are young climbers, albeit in small numbers, absorbing this stuff?

To answer the latter I believe they are, albeit in very small numbers and I cited examples here. I run into young kids that are all about classic rock 'n roll. Renaissance happens; usually with a new twist as things are reinvented in a current vernacular. If there's anything which Patrick Compton is trying to hoist here it's this and frankly I don't disagree with him.

But how do we preserve valid historical distinctions, terms, focuses and the value they represent to the future? I would say through accurate histories and documentation, through elaborate exposition as I've tried to present here in many of my posts. People like Peter Haan are working diligently to represent the nature of the romantic conjecture as it envelops the notion that risk is of value.

I would submit that this creed, essentially the notion that adventure is worth dying for, is something that only perhaps 10% of any particular population of active people can possibly appeal to. Probably less! Those of us that hear the call simply must heed it. That's a paraphrase of Peter Haan. Evangelizing does not serve our inner purpose.

If you look at auto racing, the heroes of bygone eras and there particular struggles and tactics are revered. Plain and simple. Auto racing is blood sport: people burn to death in pursuit of that passion and they are revered by those who understand. The reason it is difficult for the climbing community is because much of what moves forward for us is simply expressed within the confines of the oral tradition and I don't believe that lasts much longer than 15 or 20 years when speaking of mainstream absorption.

Another reason it is difficult for us is that we went through this huge trad versus sport turmoil in the mid-1980s and people are still coming out of left field with preconceived notions of conflict based on all this old stuff. So never mind that young people don't even know upon whose shoulders they stand, there are still those among us who are defensive and reticent in regards to preserving the basic nature of what trad is and does.

So how's that for identifying the challenge and specifically stating that it's probably going to best be served in print media, also a dying breed by the way, but it is likely there where our hopes may lie in pursuit of preserving anything at all. I say this because of its inherent permanence. The blogosphere is throwaway, dynamic but throwaway.

In the end it's only in the hands of the members of any future generations who understand that studying the past is a vital component in understanding where they are, how they got there, and likewise in intelligently and creatively modeling their future trajectory. To paraphrase Brandon Pullan, Alpinist 42, Homage, "To learn to climb here, [Yamnuska ] I needed to turn to the elders History wasn't just a lesson about the past but a means to create the future."
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Apr 27, 2013 - 03:14pm PT
I saw elements of what could be called "trad" in play at the local outcrop/bouldering moss pile in Bellingham yesterday. Two locals, both recovering from snowboard injuries were getting their first rock time in for the season while top-roping. The were carefully avoiding the decades old chopped holds and repeatedly not topping out because they had chosen to make the climb harder. They are learning how to climb harder stuff but refused to compromise on what they had determined to be "good style."

Maintaining one's idea of style might fit into the trad matrix.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Apr 27, 2013 - 03:57pm PT
I'm remembering now that Patrick's definition of trad is something along the lines of climbing with gear at a high level of physicality, regardless of aid use, rehearsal, or preinspection, and the climbing style that was the product of traditional free climbing ethics, and was originally called trad, should now be termed adventure climbing.


I'm not trying to dispute Patrick's personal opinion, and his right to it. I just think his opinion is at odds with history, and needs more detailed justification from other experienced climbers for it to carry weight in the general climbing community.

goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Apr 27, 2013 - 04:59pm PT
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now

Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 07:34am PT
GotBoay said:
just go climbing and leave the emo semantics to the historians.

This statement is also clearly coming from someone who's not following, because a lot of what is being discussed are the merits pitted against the losses when common usage shifts radically over time.

I've been leading and following this topic for decades.
You're the one with the case to prove, counselor.
Show me the environmental damage done by backcountry skiing or surfing a wave then you can start making a case that high art trad climbing is superior of moving over the ground/wave/snow lightly.
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Apr 27, 2013 - 06:02pm PT
Warbler,

Yes, aside from some examples and details, that is about right. I never said I have THE definition, but that I have helped the defining as more than a troll, which Tar thinks I am at this point.
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Apr 27, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
Tar,
"Teach us to care and not to care"
Ofcourse we all have the option to climb how we see fit and this all could be meaningless fodder for the blogosphere. But that's just it. The human condition of caring.
Ethics, style, laws are all products the consensus of the times. Current trends may ofcourse render all this moot but history certainly helped to inform it. "Nothing new under the sun". And obviously the popularity of this thread shows there is something cared about and relevent enough to preserve.

Goatboy: You seem to be following along and I agree with your take on the environment but it was touched on and agreed, I believe that all climbing impacts the environment. But one of my edits went to the point thet trad was born of a time when grass roots environmentalism was at a high point, at least in this country's history. And that man has the right to trod as does any creature. What semed like a good point to move the thread ahead was on just how man might leave less impact without entering into style wars which seems to keep re-occuring, but still maintaining the integrity of the OP and it's place in further discussion. I think it's been discussed that trad is a one thing (as advocated by Tar and Warbler) and what Patrick is adocating is something different (perhaps "adventure climbing"). Any further discussion of style seems to be off point.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
Goat boy's perspective on my "position".
You're the one with the case to prove, counselor.
Show me the environmental damage done by backcountry skiing or surfing a wave then you can start making a case that high art trad climbing is superior of moving over the ground/wave/snow lightly.

I never said anything about high art trad being superior to those things or even other forms of climbing. You're projecting that onto me, I never proposed any such thing, and if you'd read what I've been saying it's all kinds of different things about trad climbing; to include responses in regard to what others have said on a variety of related sub topics but not that which you just asribed to me.

You've completely lost me here Goat Boy.

Yes Patrick, you're entitled to an opinion. But you keep working this angle about the current definition of trad and I don't really care, because I agree with Warbler that it's pretty hard to present a conclusive survey one way or the other about general usage the country over. I've said this many times: I don't have a hard and fast opinion about it.

Simply reading a title of a huge thread and hammering on some specific related to the title just doesn't get it in productive conversation. This is why it feels like trolling. It's circular.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
Thank you Western Climber for trying to make some sense of the mess this thread has become.
I'd say our little boat has run aground.

Thanks everyone for your efforts!
Lots of stimulating and fun stuff has come up, but once again, as I noted some couple hundred posts back, we are beginning to rehash ground which has already been covered and in great detail.
pocoloco1

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Apr 27, 2013 - 08:04pm PT

"What is Trad"????????

sans les boulons
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 08:08pm PT
Hahahahaha!
Nice.
sans les boulons = "a system featuring no bolt and no tool assembly"

In terms of basic vector, yes!
In divining the practical application, we could have a 1000 post thread on this.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Apr 27, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
I don't get why some climbers, goatboy and Patrick, read elitism, superiority or holier-than-thou-ness into a traditional definition of trad.

It is what it is and it is what it was - striving for high standards and challenge in the free climbing style department - that's it.

pocoloco1

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Apr 27, 2013 - 08:38pm PT
Picasso was an artist.. nest ce pas? Are people who copy his work artist?

An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts, and/or demonstrating an art.

Its an outlook..imho
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
Thank you PocoLoco!

And there need not be anything elitist about it; the seeker must heed the call and that's all there is to it.

Yes it's worth describing it and we've tried.
Apologies for any ruffled feathers but there it is.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 08:56pm PT
And GoatBoy,

If you have actually read all of what I have offered in this thread and your take away is as you've stated in the grouping of posts which you've made in the last several pages, then my communication skills are sorely remiss and I have failed you.

Furthermore, we've actually roped up!
This means you are a treasured climbing partner and you know intimately my approach out in the woods on rock. I'm very surprised that you see me as essentially an acerbic posturer.

I really do try to engender constructive and humorous interaction on the forum. You know I have started over 100 threads, 90% of which are climbing related? And few of which, until now frankly, have had any entrenched controversy on them whatsoever?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 27, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
Monsieur Tarbussier, fear not for your literary legacy - you have few equals, even if measured only by sincerity.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Apr 27, 2013 - 09:45pm PT
The concept that trad climbing has no bolts for protection is really ass backwards. The origin of the term had everything to do with how they're placed, and nothing to do with whether they're used or not.



Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
I would imagine he was going for poetic license there Kevin.
Which is why I signed off on it, on the spirit of the French phrase so quoted, by feeding a lot of rope in PocoLoco's direction as it were, in addressing the vector as opposed to the literal interpretation.

All one needs to do is go to Suicide Rock in Southern California and witness a healthy legacy of ground up bolting tradition.
I certainly agree with you and as well I think we both know it's about minimizing additional artifice as much as possible.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Apr 27, 2013 - 10:08pm PT
Understood, but the no bolt concept arises regularly in the name of trad, and only serves to muddy the waters.

Just thought I'd take another whack at it to keep things in their place.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 27, 2013 - 10:22pm PT
Cheers Kevin,
Not to be so proprietary about this overall effort; but I much appreciate your candor, experience, and wisdom and your diligent application of these well-hewn gifts toward the goal of this thread!

Beer 30 over here!
Rock on hard guys and gals.
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