Yosemite Bolt Wars


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Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Apr 26, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
Rising above the noise to catch Internet eyeballs must be getting harder and harder. Is bad attention really better than no attention?

I would personally have more respect for someone who spent the same amount of time going on a hike and picking up trash. Plus a lot more people would be supportive of that than tearing down a symbol to which a lot of people attach meaning. It obviously carries a lot of meaning for you too, or you wouldn't have focused your attention on removing it.

I had never spent the time to consider whether it was an eyesore or not, but common social graces would dictate that one considers group sentiment on a group resource before acting unilaterally. On the other hand, the same could be said that Bachar acted unilaterally to defile the rock without consulting the tribe. Who knows. Tempest in a tea pot. Better to just climb.

Boulder climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
james, I read your previous post about hueco and thought it was a wonderful narrative about the intractable access issues there. You really struck the right balance between hearing both sides of the argument.

In this case, I think you've misjudged the climbing communities' fondness for this bit of bachar's graffiti. Although it has proved an interesting experiment!

You say time has made it irrelevant. I disagree, time has done quite the opposite.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 26, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
Why did you need to remove it and spray about it on the internet?

For attention, duh.

It is either a great prank/troll, or a pretty foolish action. If Bachar himself drew the original and it became part of that boulder/problem, why f*#k with it? Aside from getting attention on internet of course....


Apr 26, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
Haha tough crowd.

Big Wall climber
The Bear State
Apr 26, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
That sucks. Its not like the Columbia Boulder is way out in the middle of the woods, it is smack dab in the middle of Camp 4. A trademark of Yosemite Bouldering. The "Bolt" looked way better than that polished stone bench sitting under the boulder.

Why just erase the Bolt? Why not clean the chalk off of all the other holds? It's the same stuff isn't it?


Boulder climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 05:28pm PT
But u just erased some history, that my boy JB did

Prolly not the first time this has happened...

Social climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 05:28pm PT
The bolt was redrawn. If you're upset about what James did, the best thing to do might be to pretend it never happened and deprive him of the attention.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Apr 26, 2013 - 05:32pm PT
Although this latest article might not be the best example, I think James is an excellent writer , and I really enjoy reading his blog . I also have a tremendous respect for the effort and dedication he put into his recovery after his crater in Jtree.

As for the bolt , who cares , seems like it is here to stay no matter what James does... get over it .

My twin brother's laundry room
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 26, 2013 - 05:38pm PT
Tough crowd.


.....in a single wide......
Apr 26, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
could be a troll..anybody gone looking to see if the bolt actually looks scrubbed and re-dubbed?
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 26, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
but you can never take back what u destroyed.


Dude, it was drawn by Bachar. Even though it can be chalked up again and again by whoever, WHY THE F*#K WOULD YOU ERASE A LINK TO A HISTORIC CLIMBER (that is by now dead)? Yes, it could be drawn again, but if it isn't by original author, it is irrelevant now. Might as well draw a big penis on it. How much do most people care about looking at a fake Mona Lisa?

Everyone have opinions, but actions are actions. You f*#ked something up for everyone else, in a way that can't be fixed. (if it isn't a troll, which I hope it is!)
adventurous one

Trad climber
Truckee Ca.
Apr 26, 2013 - 06:07pm PT
Sorry James, but that was a true lapse of judgement.

I'm sure your motives to remove this made sense to you, but in this case it was misguided imo. Maybe you have spent way to much time in Camp 4 getting jaded to "the scene" and the constant inflow of new climbers? Best if you had conferred with those that have been around Camp 4 much longer than you. Many of us, (Whom don't make it to The Valley as much any more) still smile when passing that lightning bolt, reflecting on the years and appreciating the historical symbol of what it meant for our era.

Rock climbing, as a sport, may not be around in a hundred or a thousand years. However, that lightning bolt hopefully will live on as a symbol of those who were exploring the envelope of what was possible, at the time, in our era.

Reading that blog reminded me of my feelings of hearing of the Taliban blowing up the monumental Buddas of Bamiyan in 2001; A piece of history needlessly destroyed.

Edit: Can anyone confirm that the original was removed, and not a troll from someone with nothing better to do?? Seems awfully strange that someone would bother to write an account of this.

pelut espania

Big Wall climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 06:17pm PT
Hola mi Americano Dogs! I too left my marko in the Nationals Park and you stupid Americanos erased my art! Eat my chorizo you American dogs and look to my art and A6 with art at base masterpieces are not the graffiti of my people but art. My art is big and your chalk art is on a boulder! Ha! You dogs! Viva Espania!

Jim Henson's Basement
Apr 26, 2013 - 06:23pm PT
Credit: justthemaid

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Apr 26, 2013 - 06:25pm PT
At a boy...

Ya goof.

Boulder climber
Apr 26, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
Callin' troll on the whole deal - blog and thread.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 26, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
James, you seem like a decent guy. That being said, I believe the bolt is one piece of street art that should have remained. I never did the thing, so I have no laurels to rest on, just my impression. I mean JB his-own-self drew the thing, and it's only chalk.

Really curious about the motivation here, to out trad the purists?

What other purist things have you done that warrant such an act on your part?

Good luck keeping it off there....

And on a lighter note: How did everything become a "rig" to be "sent?"

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Apr 26, 2013 - 07:08pm PT
Classic Coz! Thanks for making me smile. I'm sure James knew it would be put back and it will be there for the foreseeable future.

"Not sure why Dean, my friend is being nice to u, or sucking up...

But u just erased some history, that my boy JB did, I don't care who you think you are.

Basically you're a dork, and a fool, and should apologize to the world wide climbing community.

Your action seem attention grabbing... Maybe Mommy wasn't too nice to you, but you can never take back what u destroyed."


Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 26, 2013 - 07:44pm PT
I would think, at minimum, a person would want to be able to successfully do the problem before contemplating messing with the bolt image. Especially one that people obviously hold as a strong symbol of history in the Valley.

Sir loin of leisure...

Trad climber
I'm from Idaho..bitch
Apr 26, 2013 - 08:42pm PT
lucky for you i dont beat up retards...ive drawn a line there
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