Poor ethics or not?


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Magic Ed

Trad climber
Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Jun 15, 2014 - 07:45pm PT
I have no problem with bolted cracks, as long as you respect the local ethic.

If someone wants to bolt the cracks in a new area on a first ascent so be it.

If you come along later and want to skip the bolts, more power to you.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 15, 2014 - 07:54pm PT
What if you come along later and skip the bolts and chop them on the way down.

Way to go spurs.

Social climber
So Cal
Jun 15, 2014 - 07:59pm PT
It's an abandoned quarry and the bolts are foot long glue-ins.

(read her post)

China's growing middle class not withstanding, a practice area that required an Indian Creek rack there would certainly be very exclusive.

Just keep your leg out from under that rope Yang.

At least the routes aren't artificially created by pounding the choss into submission.

I think we have a few of those in the states.
Mark Force

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
Jun 15, 2014 - 08:54pm PT
Aren't ethics the social rules that dictate the preferred style?

Ethics in outdoor recreation refer to our "rules of engagement" for using natural outdoor resources. Our ethics guide us to control the level of our impact on outdoor resources and to protect the resource for others (and us) to enjoy into the future. "Leave no trace" ethics are generally accepted to be the highest level of outdoor resource use ethics though implementing this ideal has various interpretations depending on who you ask about it.

Style has to do with any of the other choices you make about how you climb that doesn't (significantly) effect the natural outdoor resource.

Your ethics are communal in the sense that they effect the climbing community positively or negatively. Access problems are commonly an outcome of ethics that heavily impact the environment and incense other non-climber user groups.

Your style is personal. Make up any rules about style you want since the climbing game is completely arbitrary anyway.
Captain...or Skully

in the oil patch
Jun 15, 2014 - 09:10pm PT
Word. Nicely stated.

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jun 16, 2014 - 04:57pm PT
COT, thx for the example. Not one I had thought of in this context.

ED, don't give away the surprise at the end (wrt to the 'agree' without scare quotes and silence (lack of pulling) equal to acceptance, on the whole. :)

Thx donini for trying to summarise. Hard to rally the multiple arguments, even when we leave the abusive ad hominems off. :)

Great reminders about the style vs. ethics definitions.

Setting aside the soft sandstone argument (about which perhaps reasonable minds can differ on what is going to hold a cam vs. what will not).

Also, focusing in on the first ascent, not rebolting.

Also, setting aside the McGee thread.

Argument from 'leave no trace' principles is a principle of least interference. A sort of Kantian principle that if we universalize everyone's behavior to the same degree, does it permit some acceptable balance for the most user's to enjoy.

The above often begs the question of what is aesthetic vs. ugly. Often this appeals to a principle of the naturalistic fallacy. That which is natural is elevated in value. The converse can be argued as well. That which is man made or cultured has a higher value.

That often devolves into a subjective appreciation and we're trying to target an objective set of principles (i.e. no one single view can be right, but a view that still takes consensus into account).

There is also the argument from maximum utility. 'that most people will have the most fun from more bolts, rather than cams.' I think this draws from the view that bolts are generally safer than cams. There are lot of things to consider there. I guess the sandstone argument comes back. The use of specialized carabiners for ease of locking and unlocking to truly gain the value of a safer bolt. More training on how to bolt properly comes up.

Cams are expensive and are a barrier to entry. Argument from egalitarian principles, that everyone should have equality of opportunity. Some gear is required. Bouldering or soloing seems the only truly egalitarian form of climbing.

What are the additional arguments in either direction?


Ice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 16, 2014 - 08:58pm PT
It is a huge misunderstanding that Chinese climbers are poor and they can not afford cams. I am quite familiar with the climbing scene in China. You will be surprised to see their shiny cams and new arcteryx patagonia clothing. Most of these climbers and hikers have way better equipment than us in North America.

China is late to the climbing scene. In the 1950s and 1960s, climbing and mountaineering served the purpose of political propaganda. Only hand-picked few from blue-collar upbringing (aka, the "good" proletarian class) were allowed to join the teams that ascended Everest and Minya Konka in siege style. The news reels of their ascents were shown in the movie theaters nation-wide but it had nothing to do with average Chinese.

Since the late 1990s, a group of Chinese, mostly recent college graduates who can read English climbing news online started to climb on their own. Among them people, a group of them are based in Beijing. They started developing routes in Baihe, an area not far from Beijing. They even started a "Baihe climbing fund" 白河攀岩基金, a grass-root effort to solicit funds and to manage the development of routes in Baihe. This group, which I am actively involved, has started the establishment and debating of their own climbing ethics/style since the early 2000's. Mr. CHEN Hui's effort of chipping holds to create a route named "Wanmei xinqing" (Perfect Mood), has been criticized by this group of climbers. The trad climbers constantly discuss the climbing ethics/style at the website: bbs.rockbeer.org. It even has a thread to record and display the poor practices of chipping holds, bolting cracks, installing artificial holds on natural rocks not only in China, but also outside China, such as in France and Italy.

Climbers have made poor choices in the past, for instance, the infamous compressor route in Patagonia. The new players have the option to open a second compressor route in Sichuan or, NOT.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jun 16, 2014 - 10:33pm PT
Good grief ...


Zurich, Switzerland
Jun 17, 2014 - 02:16am PT
There are several references in this thread to some anti-bolting ethic in Europe - beginning with the OP.

Although true in the UK, I have found dozens of granite areas throughout the Alps with bolted cracks, flakes and corners which would be easily protectable with trad gear.

Areas with an anti-bolt ethic (such as the Orco valley in Italy) are rare exceptions.

So the majority of continental Europe is fine with bolts by cracks. Maybe the Chinese have decided to follow the same ethic.

Personally, I am not in favour of bolting cracks. But there are plenty of places in the world where it is well accepted.

Who made a couple of Supertopians the worldwide bolt police?
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Jun 17, 2014 - 03:45am PT
Why must you guys behave like children in front of them?

I second that motion.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jun 17, 2014 - 08:06am PT
Janeclimber wrote: Climbers have made poor choices in the past, for instance, the infamous compressor route in Patagonia. The new players have the option to open a second compressor route in Sichuan or, NOT.

Small world you live in.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jun 17, 2014 - 08:38am PT
I think it has to do with the context of the climb, the bolt placement, and whether that bolt was placed by the first climber to do the route.

Well said Warbler.
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jun 17, 2014 - 08:40am PT
All fixed gear is terrorism. The only way to change the climate is to ban all bolts. We need to join PETA (Poseurs for the Ethical Treatment of Absurdities) to bring back ideal climbing temps. Don't smack the Earth First!

Rock is dumb. Said it.

Trad climber
Jun 17, 2014 - 09:29am PT
It's an abandoned quarry and the bolts are foot long glue-ins.

(read her post)

China's growing middle class not withstanding, a practice area that required an Indian Creek rack there would certainly be very exclusive.


so much whining on st.

of the many, many, many problems china faces, environmental and otherwise, a bolted crack in a quarry (or almost anywhere else, for that matter) can't possibly be in the top million.

Jun 17, 2014 - 10:16am PT
It is a common practices in America and Europe that you do NOT bolt a crack route, if you can avoid doing so.
Read that and didnīt bother with the rest of a thread based on a false premise. Iīve bolted more cracks than most people have had Chinese takouts.

Trad climber
Jun 17, 2014 - 10:18am PT
Posting in a Chinese National Botnet spyware link honeypot thread.

Boulder climber
Jun 17, 2014 - 10:36am PT
Hello Yang Xiaohua, please remember that we Americans and Europeans Invented Rock Climbing and if you do not hold the same ethics and climb the way we do, you're evil. If you continue to Climb in a way that does not please our collective Egos, we shall do to you the same thing we do to all Brown People that question our beliefs, we shall invade your Country.

You have been warned, be like us, or we won't like, you. . .

Edit, I agree with you Jim, but I also feel that if rap bolting, hangdoging and aid climbing are acceptable, then why not bolted cracks? I've climbed a few bolted cracks in Europe, nobody complains.

Yet when some troll with their Petzel Gear gets all whinny about a bolted crack in a quarry in China, everyone goes all Ron Anderson. . .

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jun 17, 2014 - 10:52am PT
Okay Bullwinkle I'll get all Cali, new agey and say i'ts "one world." Which is pretty much true sbout climbing. In the sixties the British innovation of nuts transformed Yosemite and in the seventies visitng Euro climbers in Yosemite took home the concept that free climbing didn't include "french free."
Climbers travel internationally to a large degree and, to a great extent, form one large family. Various styles and ideas get exported and some become pretty much the normal, acceptable way of doing things. Sure, there are still differences but fewer every season.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Jun 17, 2014 - 01:16pm PT
Let's say we take it to the extreme of one bolt next to a bomber cam placement on a six pitch route that's otherwise all bolted. In principle, should bolts never be placed next to gear placements, even in such a situation, and if it's ok here, where do you draw the line?

What if you bolted a pitch on a traditional climb so you didn't have to bring a bunch of big cams just for one pitch?

My buddy Kyle on Perry's Lieback. 11a Grand Wall Squamish.
Photographer unknown

But let's put it into context now. There was already a bolt ladder there put in on the fa and Perry decided to move to bolts over to that feature so we could freeclimb that pitch rather than a bolt ladder.

I think it's a case by case basis. Do i approve of bolting cracks in the smoke bluffs? Fvck no....

But i'm willing to be reasonable!!

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 17, 2014 - 03:01pm PT
These guys think everyone needs to stop whining

Messages 61 - 80 of total 82 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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