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Messages 21 - 40 of total 1573 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Sep 10, 2013 - 03:33pm PT
Fact is the runout routes are a step above, not below, the run of the mill bolted lines.

Th Bachar-Yerian is famous for the runouts. The quality of the climbing is just a bonus. same route with bolts every 5 feet would be just another boring knob hop with no character and nothing famous left to it.
Cragar

Trad climber
MSLA - MT
Sep 10, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
Largo writes well...stating the obvious

I learned in a place with cracks and sport routes(TheGrotto) and had worked my way climbing what I could and there were some that were too hard, so should I have chipped them to my liking? I do not understand the make everything safe mentality. If that is your thinking, drive less and become a vegetarian for starters, both make for a safer living environment for all, not just climbers.

What attracted me the most to climbing was learning to physically and mentally bring myself up to a task. Knowing well I wouldn't get all I was after but after all, isn't it about the journey?

The magazine athletes of today want everything easy, fast, now and do not want to crinkle a nail in the process...you know like the models in their REI catalogs!! Plus, how do you blog on the internet about non-attempts?

Seriously, this is about an endeavor of bringing oneself up; not doing everything but, to just get up.

My opinion.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 10, 2013 - 04:19pm PT
Partick, routes like Twilight Zone and the DNB were done long before I ever arrived in the Valley and they will never be "museum climbs." Saying that people young or old should try and live up to the standards of the route reaches back to Chuck Wilts and the first free ascent of Piton Pooper, and before that even. When Sasha does her magic in the Dolomites, she's simply carrying on the flag Chuck and others first hoisted.

None of this is a knock on the younger generation. ANY generation or any climber, young or old, is doing climbing history a disservice by permanently imposing their owe standards on an existing route. The purpose of maintaining standards is not to glorify us old farts - who cares, really - but to keep the flame burning.

JL
surfstar

climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Sep 10, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
As a fairly new climber (just over 3 years), I love the tradition of the respect of the FA. While it may mean I won't be on a route without a rope-gun, I would rather it lead to inaccessible routes for some vs access for all (the general 'public' fvcks everything up eventually).

Related and relevant with the thread on Gerughty, at the end of this season I felt like I could finally handle the Dike Route on the sharp end - we didn't get on it, but I will save it for next summer and it will still take me a while to warm up to that thought. Yeah, its only 5.9, but it gives me something to strive for (and seems like a much better accomplishment than redpointing 5.12).

Anyways, its not like this is a new subject on Supertopo or like we're going to hear any new arguments. I really enjoyed the SuperChicken rebolt thread and even more so enjoyed leading the crack on it, looking up the next pitch and rapping the fvck off this summer!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Sep 10, 2013 - 04:46pm PT
GREAT attitude Surfstar.


As Largo points out, this isnt about new/old. It isnt about the guys in the 70s, the 60s , the 50s or the 40s. It goes back farther than that. If you think on it, its the oldest unwritten rule or observance of tradition in ANY sport there is. It is UNIQUE to climbing. And it was born when climbing was unique. I never in my time have given one second of consideration in altering an established route. Surely , i WISHED they had perhaps added a bolt or three, but then it wouldnt propel me to do better things as a prep for such. You CAN actually gain power ( mentally) through not doing a certain route, but thinking on it.

I did a very run out fa 10+ on middle spire with questionable pro once, and thought to myself at the crux,, "at least this aint TAPESTRY" ... I think it actually helped me finish the brutal mental finsih run out of the route. lol..
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Sep 10, 2013 - 05:28pm PT
SurfStar's pick of the Dike Route on Pywiack Dome in this discussion is telling.

For those who have not climbed the route, it is a low angle, glacier polished slab with micro edges, intersected by a small dike. It does not have many bolts for protection on the hard pitch, and as far as I remember, there is no natural protection. It was first climbed in 1966 by Tom Gerughty and was the first route on Pywiack.

The Dike Route is fine route and is about as classic as it gets. One of the elements of its classic status is that there are so few bolts, and the reason there are so few bolts is because Tom was too scared to stop and drill.

Here is Tom Higgis' take:

Tom Gerughty was perhaps the first to climb and protect a large, crackless expanse of Tuolumne rock. He demonstrated that bolts could be placed while free climbing, but not without difficulty. In 1966, Tom began climbing the lovely crystal dikes on the northwest face of Pywiack Dome. But Tom had an aversion to bolts and had little experience placing in them. Once in Yosemite, Tom stepped on a bolt in the presence of Sacherer. Frank yanked the rope so hard Tom nearly fell off the wall. Perhaps Tom learned the lesson too well. He trembled up and up on the dikes of Pywiack, unable or unwilling to stop, the drill dangling uselessly from his side. Dave Meeks and Roger Evja, his partners, waited for the 200 foot, slab splashing fall. Somehow, it never came. Tom captured the aesthetic plum, The Dike Route, on Pywiack, as well as the respect of numerous climbers who imagine leading the last pitch with two less bolts, since added with Tom's permission.


I cannot image the community of Tuolumne climbers ever agreeing to add any additional bolts--it would ruin the story of the first ascent.

I think this points out that the "law" of preserving the style of the first ascent is not enforced by the FA party; it is enforced by the local climbing community sometimes long after the FA.
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Sep 10, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
why is that? Where does that sort of logic come from?

It seems like the FA team gets special respect, and is bestowed ownership of a route, because they got off their asses and went out and did it. Climbers respect that.Anyone who does the route later has an easier time of it, and is therefore weaker in the eyes of the community. Maybe only a tiny bit, but still weaker.

To climb first is to climb without beta, without a trail, without bolts, without knowing that someone else did it once.

Plus, without some rules, the sport would have anarchy. How could anyone measure themselves against others without some sort of rule book?

Dave


Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 10, 2013 - 06:47pm PT
Despite what some say I have never tried to claim "ownership" of any route I've put up.
I do go with Royal on the FA Principle though.

In the long term, however, I think we all as a community would actually benefit by respecting a well made description of a route by its pioneer(s) as the intellectual property of that party.
It might put a crimp in the rape and run guidebook business, but is that really a bad thing in the end?
rnevius

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Sep 10, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
I think this points out that the "law" of preserving the style of the first ascent is not enforced by the FA party; it is enforced by the local climbing community sometimes long after the FA.

And if the the local community thinks the style is bullsh#t?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 10, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
^^^ People 3000 miles away will feel free to criticize you for it!

:-D

DMT
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Sep 10, 2013 - 07:40pm PT
And if the the local community thinks the style is bullsh#t?

I think that by definition, the local community can do what they want. And, pretty much only locals get a vote on style issues in their own area.

The other piece that is probably necessary to maintain a strong support for preserving the FA's style is that the FAs style has to be part of the community's style or be seen as a natural progression or at least an arguably acceptable step-out of the community's style.
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Sep 10, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
I follow the same line of reasoning every time I drive on the interstates. I travel at 30 mph and I refuse to wear a seat belt, for the experience.
Synchronicity

Trad climber
British Columbia, Canada
Sep 10, 2013 - 08:01pm PT
I'm not going to argue my point for either side but instead provide a brief anecdote to explain my opinion.

I'm a wuss for the most part when it comes to climbing, I prefer good gear when the going gets hard, and bolts where gear can't be found. I like to keep myself safe and off the deck at all costs.

I also have a huge respect for climbing history and greatly admire the stories that accompany the FA of a legendary testpiece.

Just this past weekend I was walking past an old slab testpiece, 3 bolts in 140' sort of thing, I really wanted to try my hand at it to gain some insight into that connection to the past when bold climbers would cast off into a sea of granite looking for a place to stop and drill.

I started up the slab about 30-40 feet before traversing into the first bolt, puckered at the idea of a groundfall, feeling safe to be protected, I quickly passed the next two bolts before staring up to see nothing between me and the anchor far above. I figured the crux was somewhere between me and it, I knew once I took off from this stance there was no place to stop and no turning back, pay the ticket and take the ride.

As I started out from the last bolt, I stared down every step and watched the bolt get further and further away, I looked up and the anchor seemed an eternity away... I wanted out... I wanted security and there was none. I reminded myself that someone did this with a hand drill on lead, and that gave me the confidence to keep moving. As the bolt faded further away, I was filled with an almost zenlike feeling, having already committed to the runout, I was free to focus on the climbing alone... I had to or else.

As the anchor grew near I had to compose myself... don't rush... don't blow it now... small steps... the anchor got closer... 12 feet ... 8 feet... 4 feet... as I spied a small hold below the 2 bolt anchor I made the final steps and reached out to grab it....



My hand smacked that hold and I tell ya, it doesn't matter how bad it could have been, you would have never pried it out of my grip for eternity.

As I clipped the anchors, I felt myself wondering if that was the same way it felt 38 years ago when a brave soul ventured onto that same spot and endured the same experience as me. That kind of a climb changes something inside you as a person, and I don't think those types of routes should ever be taken away. If you never venture out of your comfort zone, you will never know what you are capable of. It is a privilege to be able to feel that emotion and connection to history, more valuable than a million well-protected forgettable routes.

Much respect to the FA parties of such climbs the world over, for creating not only classic routes but an experience for those who make the pilgrimage to share.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 10, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
Community style....ho hum, often leads to stasis and mediocrity.
The Chief

climber
From the Land of the Mongols
Sep 10, 2013 - 09:00pm PT
I just go back periodically and chop the retro bolts that have been added to some of the FA's I was a part of.

Sad that there are those out there that need to add bolts to a route in order to bring it down to their level of ability.

Old Steve Petro's thoughts some 20 years ago surely apply here"


"If your shakey at the grade, stay off the route dude!"


Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 10, 2013 - 09:39pm PT
You can no more apply logic to climbing than you can apply dancing to agriculture. Climbing is illogical, requires risk management and courage and is potentially dangerous. For those who believe this criteria is foolish, and that they are needlessly risking their lives, then they can stick to the ten million of so sport climbs that are out there.

Demanding, in the name of sanity and sober judgement, that every climb be "safe" and that it conforms to your level of appropriate risk, is to retroactively void and totally disrespect the adventure in climbing because that's what you want. Expecting the entire climbing world to go along with what you want, regardless of your rational, is unlikely. But faulting boldness as rash is not a viable argument in adventure sports. They're not for everyone.

JL
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Sep 10, 2013 - 10:16pm PT
Community style....ho hum, often leads to stasis and mediocrity.

Maybe in some static and mediocre definition of a style, Jim. But I would say that the Valley and the Meadows both have had strong community styles that have evolved and created great styles for many years. Your climbing in the Valley was in great style and very much part of the 70s community style, even if 60s climbers thought we were way too fussy in all-free ascents.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 10, 2013 - 11:33pm PT
I don't know anybody that feels they own their FA's.

Only god owns them, and I use the term "god" loosely.

If you don't want to lead it, top rope it.

Don't let your inadequacy to lead bring the bold routes down to your level. The next guy or gal may appreciate the FA style and have what it takes to follow through.
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Sep 10, 2013 - 11:56pm PT
Climbing is a physical art form more than any other single description. A route is a work of art,some, more an expression of mastery than others. Those that alter a first ascent, are presumably better artists?
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Sep 11, 2013 - 12:04am PT
I go with Largo on most of this. It's not a "law" or even a "rule." It's partly, at least, about inspiring those who follow in the paths of the FA parties, to have a similar experience to those who first climbed the route. When asked how a FA party "proves' they did the route, I reply that they write up where they went and what equipment is needed and publish it in the AAJ and/or who's ever keeping track of routes in each area. But mostly I emphasize that we do it to share an experience with our friends. Inevitable, we will share it with strangers as well. But whether I know them or not, I do hope they enjoy the climbs as much as or more than I did. And I know that the enjoyment, ultimately, comes from the satisfaction at the top, of completing a climb with the least amount of mechanical support and the greatest amount of personal commitment, NOT from placing a check mark, back at camp, on a tick-list from which I try to convince myself that I am far better than I really am.

I wonder if an artistic metaphor works here: Artists who create unique and inspiring works of art, Da Vince, Michelangelo, Ansel Adams, etc. have a vision that others become inspired by. Someone who later comes and makes a copy cannot have the exact same inspiration, but he/she can very well appreciate the techniques and other qualities that were required of the original artist. So it may be with others who do second and later ascents of climbs.

Comments?

Edit: Seems like Rick S. and I are thinking along the same lines at the same time...
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