Manufactured climbs....what to think? A dialogue.

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donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 1, 2017 - 10:34am PT
There has been a bit of a controversy in Ouray about manufactured climbs at the Rotary Park. Some climbs have had holds drilled or chipped and on a couple of climbs holds have been bolted on. The architect, a respected and accomplished climber, has argued that he has creatively enhanced the wall and brought out it’s full potential. He referred to the Riverside Quarry in Southern California as an example of an area where enhancing and chipping holds on natural rock increased the number of climbs and added to the overall quality of the area.

I looked up the Riverside Quarry on Mountain Project and they mention that a number of the climbs have been chipped but did not offer any judgement, i can recall a climb at Arch Rock and one at the Cookie that had holds chipped in the early 70’s and, of course, there is the Jardine Traverse on the Nose but nobody today would think of doing that in Yosemite.

Route creation, in the age of sport climbing, has involved the scaling off of loose rock and occasionally the reinforcing of existing natural holds with glue or cement and, of course, the way routes are bolted has become a grey area for many.

Climbers who manufacture climbs argue that they would only do it in areas where the quality or nature of the rock does not lend it to truly natural climbs and that they would never do it in “classic” or “qualiity” areas. They refer to places like the Riverside Quarry as an example of where much has been made from little.

It is my opinion that manufactured climbs should be a “gym only” affair and that natural rock should never have holds enhanced, chipped, drilled or added regardless of the quality or nature of the rock.

I can understand peeling of loose, dangerous rock and perhaps even reinforcing existing natural holds but that is as far as it goes for me.

Comments please.
locker

climber
Oct 1, 2017 - 10:43am PT


Manufactured climbs should be manufactured on manufactured walls...

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 1, 2017 - 10:47am PT
To quote a famous Democrat climber economist...

"It's the economy, stoopid!"
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
Wilds of New Mexico
Oct 1, 2017 - 10:51am PT
Hard to know where to draw lines. Cleaning, glueing and smoothing out pockets have been around for a long time. Chain draws are now the norm at many places. Still, actually manufacturing climbs feels a step too far, though that's based on a totally arbitrary standard.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Oct 1, 2017 - 11:20am PT
"Natural Rock" as a starting point means unaltered by man/woman.

In the case of a quarry. It's already been altered irrevocably, and not by the climbing community. To then chip, chisel, manufacture holds there, is trivial and not an ethical concern.

Likewise, private property, is trivial for the owner or with owner consent and not an ethical concern.

But on shared resources, a bright line is easily drawn and those that suggest otherwise are equivocating the cart before the horse.

cleaning loose dirt and rock, or flakes that present a danger (e.g. key holds that would fool the leader into thinking the move secure on a run out climb) should be cleared, or at least climbers should be made aware that the climb is otherwise filthy. cleaning loose rock and dirt from a cliff is straight forward.

Its when a series of holds present the only path forward that aggressive cleaning becomes remotely close to 'manufacturing' and worthy of discussion. But even then the safety of a clean line when going top down is obvious. Knock the loose stuff off. Be judicious in the amount of force if a flake is already friable at the edge but solid down low.

We've all seen what manufacturing in NY looks like. That's horsesh#t.

neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Oct 1, 2017 - 11:23am PT
hey there say, donini...

i love rocks, the way they are, but-- i am not a climber...

however, you DID trigger me to think of this...

when climbs, or, areas, parts of nature, all over the world are CHANGED
in any LARGE way-- they become a:

thoroughfare: (ˈθʌrəˌfɛə)
n
1. a road from one place to another, esp a main road
2. way through or access: no thoroughfare.


*not meaning anything bad to ANYONE etc...

i just noticed this:

all those bridges through areas, and paths through areas,
where humans just simply NEEDED a way to 'get from spot to spot'


well, they HAD to enhance what was there, to do it, to
accomplish things, travel, visit, get food etc...



now, of course, climbing, is more the experience and adventure,
so, it seems like one may DO it when they want to get to a new spot,
safely but, mainly would not NEED? to change
the WHOLE thing???

is that right, the right idea?




NOW ON A NON-CLIMBER NOT, BUT, as to enhancement
just to get somewhere... here--
it made me think of these place, :))

THEY REALLY had to 'manufacture', here, :))


from inter net...
from inter net...
Credit: neebee


from internet...
from internet...
Credit: neebee



from internet...
from internet...
Credit: neebee


from internet...
from internet...
Credit: neebee


from internet...
from internet...
Credit: neebee


from internet...
from internet...
Credit: neebee


from internet...
from internet...
Credit: neebee



well, very interesting...

i know it is more of a CLIMBING situation that you mean...
but, human sure do KNOW how to GET somewhere, when they
really want or need to...


those ol' mt goats, of course, never have to
change a thing...

we've all seen their pics, :))

from internet...
from internet...
Credit: neebee




okay, back to your more serious, share, here, donini...
you just got me a tad sidetracked, :)




*and, we've seen that 'climb' of the chinese kids, path, as well,
as to 'needing to get somewhere'... :O
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Oct 1, 2017 - 11:28am PT
Just yesterday I 1st saw the Ivan Green saga thread
that had devolved into a religious scree . . . it was a thread hy-jacked by
Donald Perry,and others.

the link(s)
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2084335/Has-Ivan-Greene-responded-publicly-to-the-chipping-vid

the whole magilha, the reelin' mcCoy
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2076203/Chipping-culprit-filmed-in-NY

I knew Ivan well. A supremely talented person on many levels. his actions from a-far were unfairly judged. a number of the ivan chipped routes stole easy climbs from less capable climbers. I in no way am exonerating or approving of the practice but it is a long part of the whole canvas.

Often it is the "Jardines'" the independent thinkers wwhos' bordom with the norm and mis-guided belief that the end excuses all the means needed to achieve, Im thinking back to the -"FRENCHED" Connection- a pry'd out slot, that led to a 1st free ascent of the 'Twilight Zone' a climb that would see a cleaner ,more natural version climbed within or at the very end of a generation.

There are a few well documented cases of excepted chipping, or what those that rejected the practice, but let it pass, called "'Comfert-tizing'": using the drill to remove crystals and scale in lime stone slots & pockets . . .

Mnt Charleston?

then a few quarries ;
one being a 20 minute drive from the white quartzite of the Gunks.
They Call the squalid pit "Kingston" it is drilled mono and bye-duaws, slick lime stone
it was a super popular zone for getting very hard, before the influx of indoor climbing.


edit
State College in PA Belfonte quarry, but that's probably closed now?
Belfonte, in central Pennsylvania : The home to one long "crack" that was made with a circular saw'

El Crak-it-can, or Manufractured
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Oct 1, 2017 - 11:33am PT
I had to look up the definition of the word, "manufacture."

There doesn't seem to be much common ground with, 'creative enhancement.'


In my early climbing days I had a horror of any alteration to an existing route, including removing loose rock. Lately, though, I have pried and tossed large blocks and still am troubled that the next person might get hurt.

I will take this on a case-by-case basis and try not to lay down rules.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2017 - 11:36am PT
I see the point about quarried rock. Has all of Riverside Quarry been quarried and what about Quincy Quarry in Boston...have the routes there been manufactured?

I went to an area near Palm Springs with Bridwell years ago. It was steep to overhanging pretty featureless granite. Jim had chipped and drilled holds there to create what he referred to as an outdoor climbing gym. The granite, while feature poor, was solid and had never been quarried....what’s the take on that?
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Oct 1, 2017 - 11:41am PT
hey there, say, MH2

as to this quote:
I will take this on a case-by-case basis and try not to lay down rules.


that is a good solid thought...


donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2017 - 11:47am PT
In rock climbing rules aren’t written down but are inscribed by climber consensus. There are grey areas, quarried rock being one, but I think that there is a worldwide general agreement that holds should not be chipped, drilled, or added to “natural” or (previously unaltered) rock.
Ben909

Sport climber
toronto
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:04pm PT
no one wants to think about how the sausages are made. most are content to think they come from happy pigs that self pulverized. its all shades of grey though. i'd rather see the practice kept to a minimum, done only by hand in small batches by artisinal developers.

case in point, i bolted a route at one of my local crags in 2011. stellar 12b to an all points off dyno to catch a sloper that you could only ever hope to stick if you go static. the only person to send the sequence is 6'4 and climbs 14b. he did it static. another friend of mine (pictured below) is also 6'4 but climbs 13b and can't go static. its called "short man's dream" and goes at 13a, as if a grade could apply to a problem so subjective. if i ever send it will require sticky temps and an 80mph tail wind. the route would be much better with a chipped hold. even though i can recognize this, the dogma runs deep, so instead it is my personal lifetime supply of bail biners.

Credit: Ben909
locker

climber
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:25pm PT

THREAD DRIFT:


Potential route name...


"Dude's got a Manbun"...
Splater

climber
Grey Matter
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:29pm PT
Riverside quarry is all manmade.
Here's a typical picture. https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106824380/the-slide-zone-area
Those vertical lines are 4 inch boreholes that were drilled from above,
then filled with dynamite to break off big sections of rock at once. It was not a granite quarry so they used massive explosions that fractured the rock. Some of it is still unstable. Routes take a lot of fixing & reinforcement to develop.
The Riverside Cement Company was mostly after limestone in the Crestmore area.
http://www.minsocam.org/msa/collectors_corner/arc/crestmoreca2.htm
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:45pm PT
the route would be much better with a chipped hold.

My opinion is, No, it wouldn't. The cool experience some people would have who are able to do this long move as is would be much diminished, so that somebody else can do it too. There's not really much difference between that and starting to chip holds everywhere so all the 13s and 14s are doable by 5.10 climbers. Someone might say, it's just one hold, the 6'4" 14b climbers can just not grab it, but that's a load of BS. Same would go for 20 chipped holds on some other route: the 5.13 climbers can just not use them. There will always be some routes that hardly anyone can do. What's wrong with that?

There's a practical issue too, akin to that of bolt wars. Once somebody chips a hold, someday somebody else who's opposed and doesn't care about impact goes and chips that chipped hold off. Then the people who climbed it with the chipped hold think that guy is an A-hole and chip a new hold, and pretty soon you have a real mess. It's a cleaner climbing world if none of us ever even starts down that path.

I can see the point in quarries, where they're already industrially chipped in a gargantuan way to make the exposed faces. Otherwise, my urging would be, just don't do it.
D2R2

Sport climber
Earth
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:49pm PT
Graham Doe did a bunch of it out at Shuteye Ridge, theres lots of threads here on ST. Supposedly he repented for his sins years ago, good for him! Such a great area.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:49pm PT
Just wanna say I deeply appreciate neebee's post.

WBraun

climber
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:52pm PT
there is the Jardine Traverse on the Nose


Is that all you know?

Jardine was a maniac.

He chipped a lot of different climbs.

Then there was this one guy who power drilled a huge pocket while we watching.

We yelled up will it go now? sarcastically laughing.

He yelled down It'll go It'll go .... LOL ... so st000pid ....
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2017 - 12:55pm PT
I knew about more routes Werner...wanted to keep my post brief.
ec

climber
ca
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:57pm PT
“...he has creatively enhanced the wall and brought out it’s full potential.”

Sounds like a God complex; he should find another activity where his talents are better utilized...

they would only do it in areas where the quality or nature of the rock does not lend it to truly natural climbs

IMO, if it won’t lend to natural climbs, move on...

EDIT :
“...lest a climber be guilty of destroying a line for the future's capable climbers to satisfy his impatient ego in the present -- by waiting he might become one of the future capables. Waiting is also necessary; every climb has its time, which need not be today.” The Whole Natural Art of Protection, Doug Robison

‘possibly out of the original context, however this speaks to the potential of the climber...


 ec
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:58pm PT
Manufactured clean and free routes galore.

Credit: clinker
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:59pm PT
Skaha has over 1300 routes( mostly sport) in one heavily topographied but not very large area. There are a number of routes with some chipped holds. There were two opinions when both style exponents were actively putting up routes:
One that thought adding a few holds was worth it for a good route
The other thought it was blasphemy
Both sides debated but both viewpoints were generally accepted as pretty much OK even though radically different.
There were no wars or violence because Canadians would rather smoke produce than fight.
"Sorry I chipped that hold"
DanaB

climber
CT
Oct 1, 2017 - 01:04pm PT
Two different activities.
Someone looks at a cliff or a mountain and thinks: I am going to try and climb that.
Someone else has the same view and says: I can change that, and then I can climb it.
ec

climber
ca
Oct 1, 2017 - 01:21pm PT
For the ‘changers’: they must have waaay too much time on their hands.

 ec
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Oct 1, 2017 - 02:16pm PT
Consensus was what forged the rules of the game in the 60's and 70's, as there was surely no mechanism for enforcing rules. As climbing has diversified and the climber base has expanded, the ability to achieve consensus has declined, and at this point alternate perspectives compete with little expectation of resolution.

As climbers have embraced new approaches that would have been almost universally rejected by previous generations, there has been a powerful desensitization to all forms of unnatural modification of nature, with the result that nothing is either all that surprising or, for many people, all that consequential.

The way desensitization works is that first something occurs only in special settings, but ultimately makes its way more general contexts. If chipping is the latest example, then it gains legitimacy in special situations involving crappy rock, but the effect of desensitization is that chipping will inevitably become far more mainstream, and the arguments used now for quarries will find plenty of application elsewhere.

I wouldn't be surprised if a new occupation, that of the chipper, akin to the present concept of hold-setters, develops first in the quarries and then spreads.

The UK has quite a few quarries that are extensively climbed. I wonder how chipping in those quarries would be viewed.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 1, 2017 - 02:21pm PT
Locally here a great little pitch variation was destroyed when it wasn't just chipped, but wholesale chiseled for a good part of the length of the pitch. It's straight up a totally f*#ked thing to be doing as far as I'm concerned.
norm larson

climber
wilson, wyoming
Oct 1, 2017 - 03:20pm PT
It's obviously wrong. Climbers used to be caring of the landscape. Now it might boost your instagram views for a day or two so it's deemed necessary to stay out front. It's all about ego.
Ben909

Sport climber
toronto
Oct 1, 2017 - 03:45pm PT
locker. lmfao.


mongrel, everyone is entitled to their opinion, i would guess that your definition of quality relies more heavily on perceived purity than my own. mine would prioritize interesting movement, consistency, and to a lesser degree ergonomics since i've spent too much time nursing injuries. i tend to think that one move wonder routes are lame and are even less compelling if you have to be 6'4. it's just too specific for too small a segment of climbers. 6' would be a different story, albeit less restrictive. accessibility shouldn't be a primary characteristic of quality. but that doesn't mean that we cannot consider it at all or make the case that a route that you just need to be 6'4 for isn't as good as one that you can train for.

your slippery slope argument is facile, but i get it. generally this practice should continue to be frowned upon because even tacit approval gives licence to everybody and then where does it stop. i'd suggest that it would stop way before people started reaming out 5.13s to make 5.10s and that people are capable of appreciating the difference between a single hold vs manufacturing a route. the only fully manufactured route i've been on was total crap, an ego route from the 90s with contrived sequences designed to match the FAs strengths and proportions. the other instances that i have encountered were single holds designed to allow passage between good climbing instead of a dead end.

i agree that not every route needs to be good, and not every route needs to be climbed by everybody. that's precisely why I haven't ever chipped a hold. my development is more about curiosity than conquest.


AP: have you climbed Cytotoxic at Skaha? I know that is a route with a chipped slot controversy. that route was 5 stars of fun!!! nothing faces the right way, so techy!

originalpmac

Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
Oct 1, 2017 - 03:50pm PT
Weren't some of the old Ice Fest Comp routes drilled and enchanced?
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Oct 1, 2017 - 04:07pm PT
You chippy, no climby! Period.
Cragar

climber
MSLA - MT
Oct 1, 2017 - 05:12pm PT
Bring yourself up to it, admirable.
Bring it down to you, abomination.

Not in others eyes but your own. If you are ok with it, you are probably a narcissist. Pretty simple in my mind. If your recreational ethics are that bad I wonder.what your social ethics are like?
Jolly Roger

Trad climber
here and there
Oct 1, 2017 - 06:05pm PT
Having climbed at this a few times here are my thoughts. The area has a very short band of moderate, which regardless of the route required some cleaning for sure. The rest goes up some kitty litterish stone. Here you encounter fun moves on, yes some chipped/drilled holes. Without these the climbing would stop at about 20ft(at least on the left side). The area is literally a rotary park off the 550, that for the most part was just a picnic stop, or the ice rink in winter. The initial development capitalized on what was the best of the rock, with certainly some cleaning. It created a good spot for a family to easily climb, or anyone driving through. The subsequent expansion required manufacturing/chipping and personally this did not bother me at this particular area.

What does not make sense is the use of glued/bolted holds. At this point I would prefer the drilled/chipped holds. the holds at a minimum should go.
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Oct 1, 2017 - 06:21pm PT
I'm against any rock modifications. Would it be chipping or bolting or nailing. If you can't find your way up, well, too bad. I wouldn't use any of those while establishing a new route.

But, I am happy to use any of those that are already there.

Hmm

Moose
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Oct 1, 2017 - 06:34pm PT
Has every free ascent of the Nose used the Jardine Traverse?
drF

Trad climber
usa
Oct 1, 2017 - 06:47pm PT
Given a local choss pile that no-one would ever climb at or care about.

Like a quarry.

Someone comes and cleans/bolts-up some routes. The general public is not offended. Safe and fun.

Sounds like a free outdoor gym to me.

I'd prefer drilling/chizz to artificial holds if I really had an opinion.

My only concern would be the few(clueless) that would adopt this practice...ANYWHERE. Yikes!!

Hard Rock

Trad climber
Montana
Oct 1, 2017 - 06:54pm PT
One part of this would be supply and demand. I once made up a number like 19,343 (I use to write fiction) and said that was the number of routes we had left in the Bitterroot to be down. Kevin and I once described an area near the Beaverhead River that had 400 routes (again estimate) of routes needing to be done. It took climbers 12 years to get the first routes put in (after the 2 "test" routes that we did). Saw 30 climbers there about a month ago. The first climbs on the wall are a 5 minute walk from the road.

We also don't have a ton of rope climbers up here.

So I would say - if you have plenty of routes to be put in there is no reason to chip or glue. But then I'm in a nice situation.
Ojai Alex

Trad climber
Alex Bury
Oct 1, 2017 - 07:52pm PT
I think climbing has entered a 'post-modern' era. Views are changing rapidly, without a central core to refer to. As Rgold points out, things have expanded so far and with so many arms, that 'consensus' is perhaps not possible in the way it was. This means the task of education falls on the shoulders of mentors, guides, and FA'ists.

Part of the problem, I believe, extends from the culture associated with younger people like myself. We were raised to think our opinions MATTER. That you have a different opinion is irrelevant. Because my mom and my school told me I am important.

jaysmith

Trad climber
Castle Valley, UT
Oct 1, 2017 - 09:35pm PT
I have never commented on Super Topo before, but I feel so strongly about this issue, that I could no hold back. I, in fact, was the one that removerd the glued-on/bolted holds at the Rotary Park, Ouray, CO. The route of mention is not the only manufactured route at the RP. There are numerous, all created by a couple people. One of them, I believe, was influenced by the "older, more experienced" climber.

Anyway, I felt something had to be done to retain traditional climbing as we know it: that is, climbing on natural rock with natural holds that the first ascensionist found while climbing the route. Yes, I do believe that loose rock, that is sure to fall or break off, should be removed to have a worthy route. Few people want to climb a route with dangerous loose blocks or crumbly holds. I'm OK with re-inforcing key holds with epoxy, but those holds should be limited and carefully analyze as to whether they would simply be better to be removed or glued. An experienced climber should be able to make that call. After all, you will be judged on your actions. Do your best and don't make a mess. If you knock off the key hold and now it won't go for you, well, too bad, leave it for a better climber. None of us can say "we're the best and no one will ever be able to climb this". Every year we see the standards rise. I can not even conceive of 5.15c climbs, but they exist. What about in 5 or 10 years? We should leave climbs that we can't do for the future and better climbers. Nobody should have the right to alter the rock and bring it down to their standard, simply because they can't do it.

The Rotary Park, an easily accessable city park that is visited by young climbers, often with their parents and perhaps their first experience at climbing outdoors. It is just that, not a "Climbing Gym" but another crag and all routes should be climbed on "natural holds", not drilled pockets, glued on rocks or plastic, nor chipped or chiseled holds.

In my 48 years of climbing, I have only chopped one route. It was at Lover's Leap, a bolted face climb, 5' to the right of a super classic TM Herbert route (East Corner 5.10) and 10 feet left of another route, "Out to Lunge 5.10). What a ham!!! Using holds from both right and left routes, that were independent. The climb at the RP had some natuural climbing down low and shold have been ended, when the 1st ascentionist could not continue. The future climbers with more ability could have continued it some day, using the natural features. I totally believe that.

What I saw at the RP, I have never seen anywhere, ever. The route that I removed the 5 glued-on holds from, is the most atrocious/manufactured route I have ever seen, anywhere, beyond belief, with huge gouged in, chiseled holds etc. I'd say there were at least 35 manufactured holds in 110'. Don't bring climbs down to your standard, just because you can't climb them. Someday, someone will be able to hike that same terrain, maybe even without a rope. These climbs can never be returned to their original state and I left the bolts in, for better or for worse. Enough said.

Jay Smith
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2017 - 09:59pm PT
I just received a message from Jay Smith which succinctly summarized my feelings in this matter. Jay said...”routes were designed by nature, not man. Man only climbs them.”
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Oct 1, 2017 - 10:10pm PT
hey there say, donini... wow, sounds neat... you know, it matches this, too:

the ol' critters of these landscapes, they FIND those routes, all through-out all kinds of terrain, as well, too...

then, after the deer, etc, FIND a good trail, AND use it enough, well, we-all kind of 'fall into place' following them, too... :))

(this of course, is more for fields, and in the woods, meadows, etc,
but CAN up rock-face mt-hill, as well)

:)
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Oct 1, 2017 - 11:11pm PT
Obviously it makes sense to remove loose rocks and flakes. That's a no-brainer. If you can't climb it after that, then leave it for someone who can. That may be next week, 20 years from now, or never. We don't have to climb every square inch of rock on the continent. What about giving the rock a chance? There's more important things than getting your name in the book. If you want a manufactured climb, go to Europe and do some via-ferrattas. Or just stay in the gym.
originalpmac

Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
Oct 1, 2017 - 11:41pm PT
Hey Jay! Hope you are well.

-Pierce, old bartender from O'Briens.
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Oct 2, 2017 - 12:00am PT
I want full value to any climb I attempt. I come armed with my skills. And I don't want anything changed.

S....
Robert L

climber
Oct 2, 2017 - 01:33am PT
What I saw at the RP, I have never seen anywhere, ever. The route that I removed the 5 glued-on holds from, is the most atrocious/manufactured route I have ever seen, anywhere, beyond belief,

You gotta check-out the Dru's unfinished blue route.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Oct 2, 2017 - 03:16am PT
Gym mentality....
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Oct 2, 2017 - 06:49am PT
Munge on P1 put down my thoughts more succinctly that I can.

"Natural Rock" as a starting point means unaltered by man/woman.

In the case of a quarry. It's already been altered irrevocably, and not by the climbing community. To then chip, chisel, manufacture holds there, is trivial and not an ethical concern.

Likewise, private property, is trivial for the owner or with owner consent and not an ethical concern.

But on shared resources, a bright line is easily drawn and those that suggest otherwise are equivocating the cart before the horse.


As people have stated - riverside Quarry is an exception... since the entire cliff is an artificial construct created by blasting . There are no natural features or lines.


”routes were designed by nature, not man. Man only climbs them.”

Great quote. ^

Of course there are all the "grey areas" in the realm of cleaning new routes where local ethics vary and we can debate endlessly.
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
Oct 2, 2017 - 07:52am PT
What an interesting thread. Being an old (literally) traditionalist I tend towards Jim's thoughts, just climb natural stone with what you got under the hood. There is so much natural stone in the world that if you are just willing to put in the effort to get there you can find what ever you need without chipping.

About quarries; As they are totally man-made constructs anyway what is a little more chipping and whacking anyway. However, often these are on private property so might have access issues. Also, due to the initial blasting there might be issues with rock stability.

Speaking of rock stability, I do understand the desire to knock down loose blocks and flakes. However, I have climbed so much choss in my life that I rather like the mental challenge of getting up something without knocking a bunch of stuff off. Also, I really dislike squashing living things below me.

About via ferata; These are the most manufactured routes in the world. That being said, usually they make for really cool hikes and I personally rather like them.

Finally, an argument could be made that every ice climb in the world is manufactures after the first person of the season has climbed them. I recall obscure frozen drools back in the day that were really quite challenging to get up, and today are ladders of pockets ideal for Captain Hook to make a free solo out of. That, however, is just the nature of ice climbing today now that it is popular in ways that could not have been imagined back in the '70's.

In the end it is probably a matter of degrees and personal honor/ambition. Maybe I'm just lazy, but I would rather walk a little further and climb something that I only have to throw a nut or cam into to protect. If I can't get up it that way, so be it.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 2, 2017 - 08:41am PT
Given Ouray's history of violence against rocks this is just a continuation of that.

Credit: Reilly
Credit: Reilly
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2017 - 08:56am PT
Indeed Reilly....rocks have been drilled, chisled and dynamited here since the 1880's.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 2, 2017 - 09:20am PT
"Manufactured climbs" is an interesting question that answers itself for the most part, but for the various meanings of "manufactured."

Gluing on a hold or chipping the rock are two obvious ways of manufacturing, that is, providing holds that weren't there in the first place.

But cleaning out a crack also manufactures holds, and is generally acceptable as is cleaning off loose rock to make the holds "safe."

Wire brushing the lichen and moss off of a route manufactures holds.

Placing bolts where there is no other means of protecting the route is also manufacturing, if we expand the idea to include protection.

And finally, the identification of the route in some form: a written description, a topo, a photo-overlay are required so that the manufactured route is known to the route "consumers."

Given that climbing is largely an artificial activity whose guiding principles are completely arbitrary, it would seem to be difficult, if not impossible, to justify any set of principles as "right."

Doug Robinson wrote a more nuanced description:

Technology is imposed on the land, but technique means conforming to the landscape. They work in opposite ways, one forcing a passage while the other discovers it. The goal of developing technique is to conform to the most improbable landscape by means of the greatest degree of skill and boldness supported by the least equipment.

Great Pacific Iron Works 1975 catalog

This provides at least some guidance without resorting to dogmatic statements.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Oct 2, 2017 - 10:30am PT
Nice post, Ed.

DMT
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Oct 2, 2017 - 10:49am PT
The cool experience some people would have who are able to do this long move as is would be much diminished, so that somebody else can do it too. There's not really much difference between that and starting to chip holds everywhere so all the 13s and 14s are doable by 5.10 climbers.

Ed mostly just beat me to it, but...

So if you have a climb that is 800 feet of nice 5.10 but has a short section of 5.14, it is so much better to put it a bolt ladder than chip a few holds?

Or skip the bolt ladder and have a beautiful 5.10 climb that almost never gets climbed...
DanaB

climber
CT
Oct 2, 2017 - 11:05am PT
Given that climbing is largely an artificial activity whose guiding principles are completely arbitrary, it would seem to be difficult, if not impossible, to justify any set of principles as "right."

That's true, Ed. But taking a position doesn't necessarily mean thinking that you (the collective, you) are right, and strong beliefs don't have to be accompanied by everyone's agreement in action or thought. Deciding how we use the rock should be a process of discussion, and understanding that climbing is an artificial activity with arbitrary principles should be the starting point of that discussion, not the conclusion.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Oct 2, 2017 - 11:25am PT
I'm certainly not a proponent of manufacturing on natural walls. And what happened in Ouray sounds pretty awful.

But there's a pretty grey line. A lot of the free climbing on El Cap and other places in Yos is on pin-scarred cracks, so technically manufactured. Similar with what was mentioned above relative to bolt ladders...no small number of aid climbs in Yos don't go without those. And some fairly significant cleaning goes on at many crags to make them climbable (Smith and Maple).
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Oct 2, 2017 - 11:33am PT
A short section of A0 never hurt anyone.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 2, 2017 - 11:48am PT
If done on real choss.... I just say whatever, "can I go and chip your rad 13B into a better 10A?"

ON Gods own Granite or some other solid stone. No-Way... I think it is like Stealing from people who can climb better than you.

That example of a long 10 with a 14 crux.... Leave it alone, someday a better climber than you will cruz it.

Up at Shuteye.... I guess Doe and Co had some killer 5.12 something with just one or two moves they couldn't do.... so they rationalized chopping in a few "holds" so it would go at 12 and be a killer long climb....

I call BS.

AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Oct 2, 2017 - 11:53am PT
If a 5.13 climber feels it is OK to chip on a 5.13 route what stops a 5.8 climber from feeling justified to chip a 5.8 route?
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Oct 2, 2017 - 11:59am PT
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/105737231

Owl Tor

Every single route is manufactured.

Every single route is also too hard for me.
kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
Oct 2, 2017 - 01:27pm PT
I don't think anyone should chip holds....

Does this include Bolt Ladders and Pins? Copperheading?

Cuz every time the hammer comes out you are de facto chipping holds.

El Cap does not go free w/o chipped holds (one way or the other).

There is damn little climbing if you take bolts completely out of the equation....

There is virtually zero climbing if you take away blasting for roads and quarrying the stone for road construction or mining for the ores to make our gear...

That Sprinter Van was made by raping a mountainside somewhere...That cam by removing a mountain of earth for aluminum ore (Bauxite).

In reality, we all are in favor of chipping holds (destruction of stone for our own ends...).

We just don't like it when it is done badly by other people without our "artistic vision"...
D2R2

Sport climber
Earth
Oct 2, 2017 - 01:45pm PT
And some fairly significant cleaning goes on at many crags to make them climbable (Smith and Maple).

And Pine Creek, CA.

I, for one, and many others here seem to agree that 'chipping, glueing on of holds and manufacturing' is sacrelige. And I bet you most of these folks completely understand the old argument about pin scars, and copper heading. But we are talking about creating routes for free climbing so that argument gets old and too nuanced for the simplicity that is chipping and purposefully manufacturing of free climbs. I believe that was the OP's intention, to directly discuss manufacturing of 'free climbs'?

I would like to hear a 'chippers' perspective. Reformed (Doe?) or not. Lets hear why they do it, did it and believe it was/is ok.



clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Oct 2, 2017 - 01:48pm PT
What walls were FA'd clean with no hammering(manufacturing)?

What are some of the longer rock climb where the FA was clean(hammer-less) that are 5.9 or harder?

The only thing a free climber should be chipping is teeth in a leader fall or on a frozen protein bar.
DanaB

climber
CT
Oct 2, 2017 - 01:50pm PT
It took a while, but it was inevitable.
The "What's the difference between" argument.
Shortly followed, I'm sure, by the "We've all done it" point of view.
kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
Oct 2, 2017 - 01:59pm PT
It took a while, but it was inevitable.
The "What's the difference between" argument.
Shortly followed, I'm sure, by the "We've all done it" point of view.

Personally I am just utterly conflicted by the whole thing.

I've nailed El Cap from top to bottom (Shield via Magic Mushroom, 1979 TYVM) and drilled hundreds of bolts.

And I recognize that puts me in a weird place to criticize the Jardine Traverse on The Nose.

What's worse: A one time chipping of the Jardine Traverse or the hundreds of blown out pin scars created by hundreds of guys/gals on the Dihedral Wall???

I don't know.

This is an image of a Bauxite mine (Aluminum Ore):

Bauxite Mine. If you use Aluminum you are guilty.
Bauxite Mine. If you use Aluminum you are guilty.
Credit: kingtut

Purty sure that is a hell of a lot worse than anything Jardine ever did...its just us climbers that think our rocks are more precious.

Chipping holds?

Wawona Tunnel. These holds are so good you can drive a bus on them...
Wawona Tunnel. These holds are so good you can drive a bus on them...
Credit: kingtut

Pretty sure every scar every climber ever made is less than the stone destroyed to make a road for us into Yosemite.

I STILL don't think people should chip holds, especially because it usually is a botched job. I have, however, cleaned maybe 10 or so pitches of routes on Dolomite...and there is no such thing as a Dolomite route that doesn't tread a fine line between chipping and cleaning when the pockets are all filled with razors and stalactites/stalagmites that make that stone un-climbable till the chisels come out...That's just reality for some of the best and most fun routes in the world.

If you don't think it is "necessary" then you have never put up new lines on Dolomite, its just that simple. If you think you are so pure that such cleaning should never be done and the routes unclimbed...then I suggest you look at that mine photo above again and never use another Aluminum product ever again or be a hypocrite of the first order.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Oct 2, 2017 - 02:35pm PT
bolting on gym holds is completly weird. the rest of it is just different shades of gray with a lot of funny arbitrary rules governing them. pin scars are good but deliberate chiseling is bad. sometimes bolts are good, sometimes they are bad. etc. etc. It usually depends more on who commits the act than the actual act....
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 2, 2017 - 04:06pm PT
"I went to an area near Palm Springs with Bridwell years ago. It was steep to overhanging pretty featureless granite. Jim had chipped and drilled holds there to create what he referred to as an outdoor climbing gym. The granite, while feature poor, was solid and had never been quarried....what’s the take on that?"

For someone who really helped instill good climbing ethics and standards to a whole new generation of climbers, it's hard to fault what he did in that instance.

It all depends upon the route, the context and the history of the area. If someone added lots of bolts to Bachar Yerian, it would change the entire experience. But then, suppose you were up there and a hold broke; then you quietly chipped a hold that was like the one that broke? I dunno, maybe climbing needs its own Pope.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Oct 2, 2017 - 04:41pm PT
I see that as a fairly typical case of a big shot local imposing the rulze on everyone except for himself and his crew..... Do as I say not as I do.......
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2017 - 05:09pm PT
Over the years a lot of climbs have been altered, often by well meaning people. Placing and removing pins on former aid routes left ugly pin holes now used for free ascents. Climbing went thru a period where the emphasis to get up a climb by any means was followed by the importance in the style (or means) by which a route was climbed.

Royal Robbins likely placed as many pins as anyone else during the “Golden Age” of Yosemite big wall climbing. Royal was also the major proponent of “clean climbing” when nuts became availble.

I know some will say that rap bolting altered the nature of the rock. Very true in a sense but the bolts don’t change the cracks and features the rock presents to us as a challenge to our skill. A grey area here...the Bacher/Yerian at 11+ presents more of an overall challenge (the mental factor) than a much harder sport climb...but the intrinsic nature of the climb, the holds, cracks and other feature have not been altered. When sport climbing came on the scene it was derided by many but it led to the opening up of vast new areas of rock previously thought to be unclimbable and ushured in an era of rapidly rising free climbing standards.

The segmentation of climbing and the proliferation of climbing gyms have all occurred in the last few decades. The only thing that never changes is the fact that there will be change.

I am an old climber who still tries to answer the bell. I, for the most part, have embraced change. Sport climbing has sharpened my skills and the gear I use is the latest and lightest on the market. Most of all, I enjoy climbing with people young enough to be my grandchildren....their unbridled enthusiasim gives me a little extra steam. I try not to be too dogmatic about this activity that has been the salient part of my adult years....although I am not always successful in this regard.

Thru it all, thru all the changes that I have seen and often embraced, I stand steady in my belief that the forces of nature, not man, creates climbs...man only climbs them. There is a vast amount of rock that has not yet been climbed, hopefully we will use our skill and commitment to climb what is presented to us rather than altering it in an unnatural way to bring it within our scope. Remember, just because you can’t climb it as it stands doesn’t mean that someone else can’t. And if no one ever can....well that just shows where human limitations are.

jeff constine

Trad climber
Ao Namao
Oct 2, 2017 - 06:14pm PT
MR E not chiming in on this, I dislike MAN U Fractured and glued routes, no gray area here, bad news.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Oct 2, 2017 - 07:43pm PT
Man, you need a new hobby Jeff.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 2, 2017 - 07:59pm PT
While I strive not to be an absolutist of any stripe, I also try to keep relativist arguments from incapacitating my better judgment.

Ed Hartouni said:
Given that climbing is largely an artificial activity whose guiding principles are completely arbitrary, it would seem to be difficult, if not impossible, to justify any set of principles as "right."

^ True, any absolutist risks being a hypocrite.


Then, Dana B responded to Ed:
Deciding how we use the rock should be a process of discussion, and understanding that climbing is an artificial activity with arbitrary principles should be the starting point of that discussion, not the conclusion.

^ Also true, we still have to set standards for ourselves, at some point.


Yes, lots of limestone routes have required tinkering. Yes, the Jardine traverse on The Nose is a travesty. Yes we all drive through tunnels, and so forth and so on. (See: King T, and others.)


 So, casting my perspective into the dialogue, I'll say, in general, manufactured routes on natural rock should be heavily discouraged. It's an art form and thus, a continuum applies: the higher-quality the rock, the less manufacturing should be tolerated, if ever. And generally, even on crap rock, chipping and chiseling should be discouraged .

.................................


But I also have to say, as an ardent realist, RGold’s observation holds plenty of water:

Consensus was what forged the rules of the game in the 60's and 70's, as there was surely no mechanism for enforcing rules. As climbing has diversified and the climber base has expanded, the ability to achieve consensus has declined, and at this point alternate perspectives compete with little expectation of resolution.


Out with the old guard, in with the new. There's not that much precedent for regard of historical perspectives in climbing, not say, much after 15 or 20 years. Just an observation on my part.

And the kids are going to do pretty much whatever they want. Probably most of the stance drilled routes I was involved with will be retro bolted. So it goes. Hopefully, they won't also be chipped or chiseled. But my guess is, the latter won't happen, because they will be found to be too easy to be brought down to anyone's level!

.................................

 Off White! Dude, you clearly need some serious reeducation! (Heh). We're coming for you ... Torches in hand ... Canes rasping and scratching at the air ... Except when you scoot up the slope toward the base of your routes, when the cane comes into more serious play for the approach ... And then we'll also need a slurp from your water bottle, prior to an uptick in the hollerin'!!!

And then, thirst satiated, all will be well again.
WBraun

climber
Oct 2, 2017 - 08:04pm PT
How many of you free climbed with pitons only?

Way harder than using cams and nuts.

Aid climbing with pitons was the way back then and nobody was pounding pins in on aid routes with premeditated ideas to force it free.

Chipping and manufacturing a hold/s on natural outdoor rock is just plain forced climbing.

What Jardine did was criminal, an insane selfish idealism and spit in the face of all those before him that risked their skin to free climb without forcing a line.

Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Oct 2, 2017 - 08:11pm PT
Turn it back into a competition. That's one of the primary drivers of nut>pin ideology. First ascent good, First clean ascent better, first free clean ascent best.

But the competition is not set by the old guard. Its set by youth, that pisses on authority from great height. Our youth became authority and would enforce clean climbing standards from the Bench, as it were.

Nyet. That never works. Youth today pisses on our heads like we in turn pissed on our elders. Its ironic boomers complain subsequent generations aren't following our self-imposed rules. Like we followed our elders' rules! Haha, laughable.

In the laws of opposites, the next purist generation is probably just being born now. Gotta give the next Big Ideologue Generation time to grow up, and then it will come full circle again, back to hippy hair, mother earth and preaching morals at everyone, all the time.

DMT

ps. The whole public land different from private land is irrelevant when it comes to chipping. At the end of a career, you either chipped, or you did not. Its not a matter of % of pregnancy.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 2, 2017 - 08:20pm PT
For tunnels and aluminum mines vs. climbs that's really apples and oranges. The main reason we have ethics on what you can do to the rock for a climb is to preserve the rock for future climbers, it's not about the environmental impact in the ecological sense.

I stand steady in my belief that the forces of nature, not man, creates climbs...man only climbs them.

This really hits the nail on the head IMO. That's why there's a big difference between manufacturing climbs in a quarry vs. rock in it's natural state.

What you can ethically do in terms of manufacturing a climb could be considered on a case by case basis, but it is a slippery slope once you start saying it's okay (plenty of impossible climbs in the past have now been done and those climbs could've been chipped and brought down to a lower level). So I think "you just don't manufacture climbs" on public natural rock is a good rule/guideline. It's like the don't change a climb without the first ascensionist's blessing rule/guideline. It might not be perfect in all circumstances, but once it's broken where do you draw the line?

P.S. for public land vs. private land: I wish I had a photo of the private boulder near stateline in North Lake Tahoe. There's a 30' or so high blank overhanging boulder with tons of holds installed on it. I'd never dream of doing that to a public rock, but if it was in my yard I sure as hell would have done the same thing.
justing

climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Oct 2, 2017 - 09:39pm PT
There are more non-chipped climbs in California alone than I could climb in a lifetime, even at my modest grade. Why make more?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 2, 2017 - 09:47pm PT
How many of you free climbed with pitons only?

I did!

Way harder than using cams and nuts.

word!
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Oct 3, 2017 - 12:12am PT
I never "free climbed with pitons only." I always carried a hammer and a few biners as well! :) Way harder than slotting a nut or a cam.
nopantsben

climber
europe
Oct 3, 2017 - 12:26am PT
I agree with Jay Smith.
It is interesting to note that most 5.15a and harder climbs in Spain and Italy (Lapsus (15b), First Round First Minute (15b) and Golpe d'Estado (15b), to name but a few) are manufactured.
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Oct 3, 2017 - 12:37am PT
In my humble opinion,

What is the goal? Personally I want a fair shot at anything I thought possible. Even if its a tree. A chipped hold would piss me off. Yes many classics are pinned out but not generally the intention and I climb them with that in mind. If I had to do a 13 ft "dyno" and wanted it I'd train.

S...
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Oct 3, 2017 - 04:45am PT
Hey not to highjack the thread...just wanted to welcome JaySmith to the taco stand.
Been reading about you and your adventures for years.

Great first post!
Jon Clark

climber
philadelphia
Oct 3, 2017 - 05:21am PT
It is interesting to note that most 5.15a and harder climbs in Spain and Italy (Lapsus (15b), First Round First Minute (15b) and Golpe d'Estado (15b), to name but a few) are manufactured.

Any idea to what degree? From the standpoint of cleaning loose rock, or something more aggressive?
crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
Oct 3, 2017 - 06:34am PT
If you own a rock in your back yard, chip away. Otherwise, let nature take its course and leave the rock alone.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2017 - 06:58am PT
Some of the best examples of chipping and sculpting rock are in Florence, Italy. Go there and check it out...just don’t go in August.
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Oct 3, 2017 - 07:01am PT
In the laws of opposites, the next purist generation is probably just being born now. Gotta give the next Big Ideologue Generation time to grow up, and then it will come full circle again, back to hippy hair, mother earth and preaching morals at everyone, all the time.

It is interesting to note that most 5.15a and harder climbs in Spain and Italy (Lapsus (15b), First Round First Minute (15b) and Golpe d'Estado (15b), to name but a few) are manufactured.

DMT is right about the purists to come. Our ideologies will pale in comparison with theirs. Routes such as Burning Down the House will be emulated and celebrated while chipped sport routes will be excluded from relevance.

I recommend that other than for training, cutting edge sport climbers save the time invested on breakthrough grades for natural routes.

Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Oct 3, 2017 - 07:04am PT
And there in lies the debate Which zone ?

Finale' or where? Sicily?
or where would Donini climb in the summer months along the Mediterranean?

All sorts of routes of lesser quality regardless the grade, can benefit from a change to what the 1st up the route experiences. all the back & forth about the removal of creaky rock, because climbing is dangerous seems weak when I think of the tenants that I climbed by and that taught

if your rope is safe. .
and can, climb past loose rock as the most dangerous thing is to stop. . .
always to pull down not out . .
tread lightly over un-climbed stone . .
If you don't need to, don't touch it
if you strip off every plate and flake, the block that in its very presence defies nature, your taking away the teaching moments that may someday keep some one safe.

I certainly clean and wire brush, appropriately for the region,
And feel that the priority, (given that to -who's stone- aside,)
(Those that would strip mountains, quarry climbing areas)
it is must include the consideration that the stone is not only sacred to the passer-by that touches it
nopantsben

climber
europe
Oct 3, 2017 - 07:58am PT
Lapsus - Italy's first 15b, is chipped - drilled pockets etc.
Golpe d'estado and FRFM: Not sure.
WBraun

climber
Oct 3, 2017 - 08:01am PT
Lapsus - Italy's first 15b, is chipped - drilled pockets etc.

So lame.

Modern people want everything artificial because they themselves have become,

Artificial
kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
Oct 3, 2017 - 12:15pm PT
Chipping and manufacturing a hold/s on natural outdoor rock is just plain forced climbing.

What Jardine did was criminal, an insane selfish idealism and spit in the face of all those before him that risked their skin to free climb without forcing a line.

I agree....but...

What about nailing and copperheading?

The chipping for this is criminal?:

Jardine Traverse.
Jardine Traverse.
Credit: kingtut

What about the hundreds of guys that nailed this till it could go free?

Ms. Hill on the Great Roof. Free due to pin scars.
Ms. Hill on the Great Roof. Free due to pin scars.
Credit: kingtut

Or duh?

But my pins didn't chip holds....?
But my pins didn't chip holds....?
Credit: kingtut


I am trying to say it is "grey" just because someone "knew not what they did" does not mean there weren't chipping holds for themselves to get up something (driving a piton is chipping a hold of sorts).

But we say that is ok until someone frees the route or climbs it "clean" on the pin scars?

I have never seen the chipped scars at the base of the Cringe or Phoenix...so if those sections would have gone free without them then yes, I totally agree it is wrong. Jardine had no vision there, only selfishness.

But a Free Nose required lots and lots of chipped holds that are a lot uglier than the Jardine Traverse...so I am conflicted about the whole damn thing! In the context of the Nose the whole damn thing is manufactured, one way or the other...And Ms. Hill is complicit to claim the FFA climbing the Jardine traverse too, imo.

I have been meaning to call out Johnny Woodward for the same on Repo Man in Josh...he believes (rightly or wrongly, idk...) that the route was chipped, it gets chopped, then he goes and re-establishes the route as his own proud rock climb...which makes him complicit in manufacturing holds if he maintains it was chipped etc...the only way to be pure about it is to not climb the route, or certainly not claim it as your own proud FA.

My own route Sons of Yesterday wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the scars on Serenity...so I am complicit too.

But Ser Flint has it right: Manufacturing Holds is to be condemned because as we all are well aware cracks like the Crimson Cringe are incredibly rare. Their nature has to be respected...better to be handled like Tips with a few moves of aid fixed for the punters like me, rather than whaling pins in the crack to bring it down to the level of selfish climbers.





chapter IV

Big Wall climber
kinda fluid
Oct 3, 2017 - 12:24pm PT
these climbers can only cast
a small vision.

their dream is like, 20-70.

they are masters of the mundane.
because extra-ordinary required courage.

which is difficult to come by.

they may strive, in their journey, for heroics
but they fall grossly short and
in the evening they've nothing inspiring to
share around the pub table, or perhaps to their
spouse.

so in frustration, they dumb-down reality with
tools and gut the mountain until it's venerable
and then they strike: beating their hollow, heartless chest.

they are everywhere, jim.

fear is easy.
though it is not admirable.
so it's purveyors attempt to distract their audience
with sparks and clamor.

though we all really know that they are nothing
but special-needs suitors of our realm.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Oct 3, 2017 - 02:04pm PT
Anyone who has ever pounded iron knows damn well they are chipping the hell out of the rock.
thirsty

climber
Oct 3, 2017 - 03:20pm PT
Manufacturing holds is offensive, and I am not advocating the following yet, but rather sharing the gist of a conversation we have been having recently in my little circle. Manufacturing/enhancing gear placements might be, in some situations, a necessary compromise to help preserve access. One of the issues being raised (again) by some is that bolts as gear left behind and as permanent installations are more than just deminimus violations of the regulations for different areas including wilderness areas and some state land trust areas. As hikers follow what used to be faint climber trails which have become well worn and inviting paths there has been an increase in complaints about the offensive look of bolts (and chains and fixed draws) in what are supposed to be shared natural areas. Enhancing seams and pockets to create solid removable protection placements can be one way to reduce that conflict and can be especially effective on the portions of routes that are more visible from the ground or those big view points that everyone enjoys. Hikers and land managers don't notice a slightly enhanced crack or pocket the way they do a bolt and hanger. Using such techniques doesn't mean forgoing all bolts, it just means limiting them to crux sections. Fewer bolts means fewer bolts to replace in the future and less onerous work to keep hangers camouflaged. Perhaps if more people start to appreciate the access value of minimizing bolt use generally we might see fewer bolts placed where there are pre-existing removable gear options and reject the idea that calling something a “sport” climb justifies bolts where you can place solid gear with relative ease in relation to the overall rating of the route.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Oct 3, 2017 - 03:40pm PT
Limestone?
locker

climber
Oct 3, 2017 - 03:41pm PT


THREAD DRIFT:


Positive proof that Bigfoot exists...
































































...


Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Oct 3, 2017 - 05:43pm PT
Curious that some of those who sit the highest horses use a whole different ethic when they aid climb.

Why didn't people get as angry when, after Charlie Fowler did the Shield hammerless, people continued to alter it by hammering pins???????
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Oct 3, 2017 - 07:30pm PT
Jay, welcome to the Taco!

About glue and holds. I know a sport route 5.12- that a hold broke off. It became 5.impossible+. It was KennyT's route. He just glued the hold back in place!

Btw, any of you climbed the Epoxy Wall at Woodfords? Made by Dan O.

Moose
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Oct 3, 2017 - 08:27pm PT
Didn't bother reading the thread...just another Donini troll.
Reinforcing with glue? Jim's ok with it but that's where it stops.
lol jim.
The second you clean a route, it's been manufactured for climbing.
Every sport climb is essentially manufactured.
Have fun creating climbs on your lame ass choss.
I'm sure it really "adds to the area".
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 4, 2017 - 07:07am PT
Ouray is a big chiseled dry tooling gym anyway.
My take is if you don't want to climb on chiseled rock, don't go to that particular crag. And everyone can decide for themselthemselves.

Anyone who has ever pounded iron knows damn well they are chipping the hell out of the rock.

+1.
bootysatva

Trad climber
Idyllwild / Joshua Tree Ca.
Oct 4, 2017 - 07:48am PT
Any drilling or altering of the rock can diminish
the natural quality of an area for non climbers, and for climbers with a certain kind of reverence for the planet.

Drilling on lead from stances ( when top roping is not practical ) is the only form of bolting or altering that I personally can get behind. It's really the only form of bolting that I see as art.

Any mongrel can rap down and operate a drill along the way. I'm so glad that was not the case when Vallhalla was put up at Suicide rock.

We are starting to see 20 ft cliffs getting bolted at smith rocks, Joshua Tree etc...
In my not so humble opinion, this is ugly on a number of fronts.
The result of ever descending standards.
I realize this thread is about chipping and glueing etc... But I believe those practices stem from a belief that we climbers should be allowed free rein upon all cliffs.

I prefer to leave the rock as I found it, meet the terrain on its own terms, do what I can with what I have and not dumb things down to my low level of ability.

In my 43 years of climbing I have drilled a handfull of routes. None of those bolts have done much for humanity but it helped me with some of my feelings of inadequcy.

I put up a route, on lead, drilling two bolts from stances,at suicide Rock in the 70's that got chopped imidiatly because it had been soloed by the Congo Brothers. Now it's been rap bolted and in some spots you can stand on the epoxy that oozes from the holes where my two bolts had previously resided.

At Pine Creek trees and shrubs are being removed so first ascents can happen. Who knows what habitats and micro climates have been executed for our pleasure.

I like Bridwell and I would buy him a beer right now if I saw him- he really took some blows to his reputation after that "outdoor Climbing Gym " debacle.

One day, all this debate will be talus on the ground.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 4, 2017 - 08:05am PT
Vitaliy......Ouray is a big, chiseled dry tooling gym eh.....I guess you haven’t climbed at the Pool Wall, Jimmy Cliff, Overlook, Technicolor Crag, Waterfall Wall etc. if those walls were within easy driving distance of the Bay Area they would be absolutely mobbed. They are far better than the close in offerings out there.
Interesting that people can visit the Ice Park in winter and be sudden experts on the local rock climbing
I posted this thread because of some manufactured routes on one of Ouray’s lesser crags the Rotary Park. My point was that just because a crag doesn’t offer up stellar natural lines it doesn’t mean that routes should be manufactured on it.
And no Vitaliy I don’t think it’s a cliff by cliff issue.
WBraun

climber
Oct 4, 2017 - 08:20am PT
bootysatva

Yeah ...... I agree

And .... there is so much st00pid herd mentality in climbing now.

There's very little "according to time and circumstance" instead you have consciousness of everyone/everything the same (Herd Mentality).

Just a lot of brainwashed mentality towards everything .....
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Oct 4, 2017 - 08:31am PT
I don't get the public is different than private property argument at all. Sorry.

On the public side some folks go on to describe how manufacturing climbs is an anathema for a variety of reasons. And then some of those same folks say or imply 'but on private property you can do what you want." Huh?

Don't they get that by conceding anything-goes on private property they've reduced the public property argument to one plank - 'follow the rules.' All the hippy-dippy harming-the-earth, all-natural, ground-up is the only way, etc... falls to the wayside, if that same person dumps all that philosophy and manufactures her routes on her uncle's property, or quarry or what have you.

That's it.

That means if there are no rules against it there is no distinction to be made at all, and if its good on private land then its also good on public land where ever its allowed, right?

Conflicted. I've done some 'light manufacturing' in my time, rap bolting, knocking off potential rope cutting edges at a rap station, loose flakes, etc. Never chipped a hold and certainly wouldn't bolt one of those ugly ass manufactured holds to a cliff. Public, private, makes no difference to me. I wouldn't do it.

Now I get that some guys who were pertty big proponents of natural lines and ground-up only first ascents, did indulge in route manufacturing on private property. Hypocrisy? Sure it is but that's no crime. ;)

DMT

originalpmac

Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
Oct 4, 2017 - 08:49am PT
Technicolor Wall. Now THAT'S a quality crag. Thos Mike Pennings routes up there are bitchin.
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Oct 4, 2017 - 08:59am PT
I'm a self taught climber from rural W.V. and a high school student at the time. The rock was sh&t. But I would try time and again to "send" my project and it was about 30 ft tall. To go "chip" that climb which I believe has not seen a second ascent (for good reason) would go against the whole point. Quarry, private land, public land. What is the goal? Community service?
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 4, 2017 - 09:26am PT
All the hippy-dippy harming-the-earth, all-natural, ground-up is the only way, etc... falls to the wayside, if that same person dumps all that philosophy and manufactures her routes on her uncle's property

IMO it's not about harming the earth; all the rock removed for every bolt hole and manufactured hold in the world is nothing compared to one highway tunnel. The rock doesn't care what you do to it. It's about respecting your fellow climbers.

On public land everyone "owns" and can climb on the rock and you should leave the challenge that nature created as intact as possible for future climbers. On private land the only people who climb there (generally) are people with permission from the land owner.
Darryl Cramer

Social climber
Oct 4, 2017 - 10:05am PT
Without regard to anyone’s personal taste or preference it seems clear to me that the most compelling reason chipped or artificial holds should be frowned upon is because climbing is relatively high impact sport and as a user group we will increasingly come into conflict with land managers and other more conservative land users/advocates. Once we move away from the mainline narrative (finding the natural line & minimal impact) we are doomed to have our activities regulated and controlled to a much greater extent than they would otherwise be even if the difference in actual impact is very minimal. We will lose support of the greater public who may actually never even see an climbing crag in real life.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 4, 2017 - 02:53pm PT
I guess you haven’t climbed at the Pool Wall, Jimmy Cliff, Overlook, Technicolor Crag, Waterfall Wall etc. if those walls were within easy driving distance of the Bay Area they would be absolutely mobbed. They are far better than the close in offerings out there.

Yes, I don't know sh#t about Ouray rock climbing, I have not gone there to rock climb. People from all over the US/world go there for easily top ropable ice and to dry tool, in a gym like environment, not usually to rock climb, my comment is focused on those tourony places that bring most of the winter business to the town of Ouray. And general chiseling.

Dry tooling anywhere chisels the sh#t out of rock creating bomber pick placements. Hammering while aiding chisels the sh#t out of rock too. Trundeling changes and damages rock. Placing bolts damages rock. Stepping on lichen and cleaning cracks changes the natural flora of the wall. Walking through brush and stepping on grass leaves impact.

Everywhere I dry tooled (aside from Birdbrain and Rusty Cage which are long routes) in Ouray is a load of manufacturing that has happened. But my comment is more general as I see things. I have never chiseled a single hold on purpose to make the route doable for me, but have climbed with people who have and don't care what they do or anyone else really. Climbing is a personal practice. Chisel, f*#k finger cracks with your dick, take victory whoppers from fixed heads, rap bolt 20 ft hand cracks. As long as you are not damaging an existing climb I don't really care what other people do...there are more important things to care about. That's just my view and I don't think it is right or wrong. :) When it comes to big mountains I don't think chiseling or rap bolting will be in general practice on giant faces. Although in the Alpinist I read an article about Conrad Anker and one of the Hubers piwerdrilling on their Latok climb. So maybe...i don't know. In the future drones will find the first Ascent lines and then film the REEL rock movie about the supermen visionary athletes climbing 5.14 routes up them. The future is bright. Get psyched!
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Oct 4, 2017 - 03:38pm PT

My drone will chop your drone's route.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 4, 2017 - 03:52pm PT
Vitaliy, we are going to have to agree to disagree. When you say anything goes when you put up a route, just don’t screw around with existing routes, did you stop to consider that a route, once It’s put up becomes an existing route?
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 4, 2017 - 04:30pm PT
Yes. And different cliffs have different ethics and different people enjoying the routes, or not climbing at all. No one will be you to climb something you don't want. Some routes are too run out for some, some routes have too many bolts or too many spots for pro and some are manufactured. Lol
kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
Oct 4, 2017 - 05:10pm PT
Yes. And different cliffs have different ethics and different people enjoying the routes, or not climbing at all. No one will be you to climb something you don't want. Some routes are too run out for some, some routes have too many bolts or too many spots for pro and some are manufactured. Lol

What I ask you to consider is that this Earth is not about what you can consume for your own pleasure with no regard for future generations. Its not about people doing w/e the hell they want with public resources.

Even the Stone is limited in the sense of practical access and anything with ready access should be particularly respected.

If people want to go drill pockets, chip and glue up a storm then maybe they should respect the public resource and go do it somewhere the route will return to dirt and rust long before anyone else comes across their vandalism?
dave Sparrows

Trad climber
AZ
Oct 4, 2017 - 05:23pm PT
Credit: dave Sparrows
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Oct 4, 2017 - 05:43pm PT
^^^
Ho man,
that looks kind of like this.

Credit: T Hocking



AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Oct 4, 2017 - 06:03pm PT
There is a Mountain Mag issue from the 80's by Mike Law on the Sydney sea cliffs.
Lots of manufactured holds but an interesting perspective. Maybe someone can post this as I don't have it at home.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 4, 2017 - 06:05pm PT
If people want to go drill pockets, chip and glue up a storm then maybe they should respect the public resource and go do it somewhere the route will return to dirt and rust long before anyone else comes across their vandalism?

But it's cool to drill stairs into the side of half dome. I put up 3 5.11 grade V routes on Whitney's East Face last year, free, in a day, with no bolts. But someone in the past decided to manufacture two giant trails with stairs to the top of it and build a house on top. Oohhhh nooooonoo. It totally changed our climbs....not.

All those people that do drill pockets in sh#t rock do not give a f*#k about what you think. Climbing anything is a selfish personal pursuit that carries no purpose to the rest of the world. Climb 5.15+ R X M18 on the North face of the Cerro Uguwhogivesaf*#k with a few nuts, it is as relevant to the world as little Susie climbing her first v3 in the gym. Really. Climbing is not some noble pursuit of Zen, unlike Instagram would suggest. Sending the gnar doesn't make you a knight.

Anyway, my opinion for this "DIALOGUE" is that I really don't give two shits about how other people climb. I enjoy my personal practice. And hope others do the same. Animals don't die every time someone chips a route at some random choss wall. Humans do a lot more relevant destruction when they dump fuel in the ocean, cut down forests, expand towns etc. Hell, mother nature destroys full towns at times. Chipped holds are first world problems. :)
kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
Oct 4, 2017 - 06:43pm PT
^^^ Indeed they are "First World" problems, that doesn't make problems of vandalism and selfish use of finite resources that degrade the environment not a "Problem" that we should not caution against.

Point is Vitaliy, is that regardless of your recent to the scene perspective, others actually have more experience over decades and have seen what the consequences of turning a blind eye towards environmental destruction have wrought...

Sure, some dude drilling pockets at his choss pile (ie Rifle, CO) doesn't care what some old geezer cranks on St00pid Topo have to say, but that is precisely the problem. Relevance in a discussion of environmental issues is not based on how hard you climb, but on actual knowledge and experience of where it is taking our sport we love.

Any wholesale endorsement of altering the rock so people can climb their "project" spell the doom of climbing, sooner or later. Precisely how Serenity Crack foretold of the Doom of continued piton use.
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Oct 4, 2017 - 06:53pm PT
THocking: one word. turgid.

anywhoo:
if it trundles easy, let'er go. if it trundles too too easy, sometimes no touch. if it takes more than hands to clean, well, let it sit.


and if there is glue involved, that is fine if'n I can't tell, postfacto.

and if it is all bolts, then sh#t yeah, let 'em drill, smash, wrench the route free of the stone. the more bolted routes to focus the fixation, the better. let 'em climb mangreased holds.
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Oct 4, 2017 - 07:14pm PT
Animals don't die every time someone chips a route at some random choss wall. Humans do a lot more relevant destruction when they dump fuel in the ocean, cut down forests, expand towns etc. Hell, mother nature destroys full towns at times. Chipped holds are first world problems. :)


Sometimes they are old world problems.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 4, 2017 - 08:33pm PT
precisely the problem.

That's YOUR problem. And problem for anyone else who decides to go on online forums and birch about some other person's style instead of climbing. As i said i just dont give a sh#t and my opinion is irrelevant as much as yours or some 5.1x cranker from rifle. Climbing is whatever you choose it to be for you. The true END is when you as an individual do more yapping than cranking.

Nothing wrong with yapping too. But the wild beast of climbing is and always will be as wild as you wanna make it. There will always will be remote, dangerous peaks that can kill you no matter if you bring a chisel, power drill, 2000 meters if rope to fix and whatever else to bring them down to your level. Namaste brah.
kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
Oct 4, 2017 - 09:29pm PT
^^^

w/e dude, you'll get it in time I hope.

I mean, I get it with all of this recent Alpinism kick you are on that it seems pedestrian to actually care and all.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 4, 2017 - 10:17pm PT
What difference would it make if me as an individual had a raging hate for chiseled routes? Donini asked for a dialogue about the subject. I simply said that I don't care what people do because when people develop climbs or hiking trails there is a certain level of manufacturing that is happening. At times minor at times major. Again, I haven't chipped, but if I lived near one of those, may be I would. Although seems like a lot of work.

When I worked on the first and first free ascent of the emperor(https://www.mountainproject.com/v/the-emperor/110776954);, I really wished some holds were bigger and some more existed, but I didn't chip. But what if I have? How would anyone in the world be effected . The impact of hundreds of cars driving into the kings canyon daily and dozens of people hiking the Rae Lakes loop is much greater than if there is some extra hold on a route that now is climbed like once a year. Don't see why you care about me not caring either. Does it bother you I like rough sex and metal music? Or that I don't go to church every Sunday? Am I going to hell?
Ojai Alex

Trad climber
Alex Bury
Oct 4, 2017 - 10:37pm PT
Don't they get that by conceding anything-goes on private property they've reduced the public property argument to one plank - 'follow the rules.' All the hippy-dippy harming-the-earth, all-natural, ground-up is the only way, etc... falls to the wayside, if that same person dumps all that philosophy and manufactures her routes on her uncle's property, or quarry or what have you.

This.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Oct 4, 2017 - 10:51pm PT
Does it bother you I like rough sex and metal music? Or that I don't go to church every Sunday? Am I going to hell?

Cool, a quiz.

My answers;
1, no
1a, no, throw the horns!
2, no, you'd rather climb on Sunday.
3, no, but yer gunna die. ;)


Blaze your own path,
keep gettin after it V!


skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Oct 4, 2017 - 10:57pm PT
Are we back to Ouray? Just checking in.

S...
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Oct 5, 2017 - 04:54am PT
Don't see why you care about me not caring either. Does it bother you I like rough sex and metal music? Or that I don't go to church every Sunday? Am I going to hell?

How are others ever going to build monuments to themselves when V has an attitude like this?

Also, I don't want to ever share a prison cell with you, especially because of your misdefinition of music.

Hell may be for those who can't both be just and just be.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Oct 5, 2017 - 07:45am PT
Rough Sex, 11b, fists to elbows, San Francisco buildering route somewhere deep in the Mission.

DMT
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 5, 2017 - 08:11am PT
Climbing, generally speaking, attracts individualists who value their freedom of expression who weren’t heavily invoved with team sports. Team sports have written, codified rules...climbing has none. Climbing does have generally accepted, but not codified, rules of behavior that can sometimes vary region to region. These “rules” are consensus driven and usually respected by the climbing community.
I started this thread to get input, possibly consensus, on one particular aspect of climbing.
Hopefully people will continue to provide input in a collegial way without resorting to ad hominen arguments. We all belong to the same tribe.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 5, 2017 - 11:25am PT
There is a Mountain Mag issue from the 80's by Mike Law on the Sydney sea cliffs.
Lots of manufactured holds but an interesting perspective. Maybe someone can post this as I don't have it at home.

AP I remember that article... Reading about the climbing in Sidney, how its sort of a junk show with dead cars at the base of the cliffs, big trash etc. made me think of Stoney Point.

IIRC the chopped holds were on the part of the stone that gets sea water on it and once one got above the Hi-tide point the sandstone gets really good.

So they would chop giant holds and paint them with road paint so they would not dissolve so quickly, this was only at the base of a climb an no chipping higher up was allowed.

To me this seems like a sensible way to have a local option.

the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 6, 2017 - 04:46pm PT
When I worked on the first and first free ascent of the emperor;, I really wished some holds were bigger and some more existed, but I didn't chip. But what if I have? How would anyone in the world be effected . The impact of hundreds of cars driving into the kings canyon daily and dozens of people hiking the Rae Lakes loop is much greater than if there is some extra hold on a route that now is climbed like once a year. Don't see why you care about me not caring either.

V you are a leading climber now so people will look up to you. You do have a responsibility to understand the issues involved and hopefully communicate them to younger climbers.

First of all there is style and ethics. style is personal and you are right we shouldn't condemn others for their style choices. But what we are talking about here is ethics. Actions that impact other people, such as chipping or placing bolts is ethics.

In your example above the person that would have been affected if you had chipped would be the next guy/gal who would have attempted to free that line who is perhaps stronger than you and would have forever lost that opportunity to do the climb in its natural state. Just affecting the climb for one person is all that it takes to have poor ethics. But imagine a more popular climb. What if someone decided Midnight Lightning was too hard and they had chipped it. Bringing the natural line down to their level and effecting everyone who later tried the climb?

It's not about the ecological environmental impact. It's about the environmental impact to other climbers.

I don't know about Jim but I care because I had to learn why this was important too. I didn't get it when I first started climbing. Luckily I read a lot by people like Yvon and Royal and talked to my mentors. So I want to make sure people younger than me get it too so routes are preserved as much as possible. Like I said people will look up to you. It would be great if you were a steward for climbing resources.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 6, 2017 - 05:03pm PT
Right-onsky The Fet!
WBraun

climber
Oct 6, 2017 - 05:21pm PT
V you are a leading climber now so people will look up to you.
You do have a responsibility to understand the issues involved and hopefully communicate them to younger climbers.


No he doesn't.

You're making a religion out of this and telling him what to do.

There's plenty of so-called high climbing Priests already spewing all over the place where you don't need him if he doesn't want to.

Leave him the f_k alone.

His climbing alone is already his voice.

And we're supposed to listen to you while you lame save the rock hypocrites slaughter everything in sight.

Meh ......
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 6, 2017 - 06:01pm PT
He posting here engaging in the conversation. Of course he can do what he feels is right, I'm explaining things I've learned and appreciated, and perhaps a new way of thinking about things.

Why are you so often insulting other people?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 6, 2017 - 09:15pm PT
JUGS IN SPACE
by Mike Law

Why should there be more to life than what you can hold in two hands - food, flesh or rock? - anything more requires fairly complicated social devices. Three simple reasons for me to return to Sydney. I'd wasted too much time doing complicated things to my body on crags that were just so much vertical rock and not really cliffs at all, of any character at least. Sydney's seacliffs have character and a wildness I've always been drawn to despite any quantity of abject technicality, bolts or funny pants I might affect.

All the emotions we lump together and call climbing seem quite thick on the seacliffs. The void beneath calling, the icy heat of a technical move, pumping till your eyes bulge, jugs and forearms screaming for each other. Just like climbing but more so.

The first element fell into place some time back in the dark ages -'78? '79? I saw a wall which looked too much and thought. "Gee, if I chicken out, rap down and bolt it senseless it could be fun." And it was. I also discovered that if you're following natural protection. you're not following the best climbing (yuk, it might even be a crack). It's easy to muse on the virtues of run-out "real" climbs - character building, days of blood and iron, triumph of the will - but people only really enjoy them if they survive them and they're rarely put up on sight these days. Prior inspection is just substituting one form of protection for another.

Before the big days of bolting, most routes were simply complete epics. The Fear, the most celebrated 17 in the civilised world (which still ends 100 miles from the Harbour Bridge despite most persuasive trips to exotic areas), took a mammoth three hour lead on the first ascent. Consigning blocks to the howling winds, tunnelling through savagely honeycombed roofs, rope drag you play "God Save the Queen" on and even a 40 minute pause to (gasp) place a bolt. Since then eight or nine bolts have appeared and most parties whip up the 45 degree overhung arete in half an hour in a chalk-storm with glimpses of lycra and gritted teeth.

Once lines of stainless steel bolts became a regular feature, all sorts of nice things began insinuating themselves into guide books. The next modern ethical advance occurred at Diamond Bay. a smooth wall that was nearly boring (holdless) but not quite. Detailed inspection work dotted out one route that would "wander about like a drunk and be about as attractive", using up a wall that could really support three or four nice little routes. I now know they have been chipping themselves senseless in Britain and Arapiles for years, but people were a bit shy about the good works. These routes were chipped and-widely broadcast and all became fairly popular. The most savagely chipped, Ordeal by Fur (25), even made it as a checsecake shot on the front of the Chouinard catalogue last year. What an ethical triumph for the forces of fun. Spare the chisel and spoil the climb.

Spare the chisel indeed! Never! Sandstone really is the perfect rock for sculpture, and I know people will hate me for saying this, but it really does need improving upon sometimes. Occasionally there's just a big sandy hold, then it's a case of either paint or chisel, depending upon the bag of trix. There are great lines of features up walls with really boring 12 foot bands of holdless rock that can often run across an entire cliffline. Chipping ranges from the odd "courtesy" hold, which is commonly added after a first ascent (Slap and Tickle, 21 with chip,23 and disgusting without; not really what's known as a choice) through to entire climbs (Watch This Space, 26) or cliffs (Coogee).

Coogee, a sheet of boring, orange rock, the few natural features skilfully utilised by dedicated craftsmen using century-old techniques to produce objects of rare beauty and delight. Animal was the first one to 'paint with a full brush' here and early routes proved that someone 5'4" shouldn't try to create reach problems. It defies imagination as to how Get A Rat Up You (22) could be done by someone whose arms barely reach their genitals. Gash Rash (543) - that's 17 times harder than anything else in Australia - was a better try with a crux that involved small layaways, underclings and a nasty rope burn.

Further left the crag steepens and the holds become bigger and closer together (I guess if anything looked really hard they'd be big enuff and so close together as to form a chimney). A few climbs exist which are basically series of lunges connected by dynos and bolts. On the steepest section Wop Bop A Loo Bop (26) is the chronic pump (it was going to be the classic 17 but I got lazy) and SKP (28) is a direct on it. A drawn roof/face unit topped with a dreamy dyno, sheer delight. Beef and Chips (27) is probably the best of these pumps - it actually ends up delicate, presenting a problem that can't be easily solved by mere tips and tendons.

Actually the most exciting route here is all natural - Come on Aussies (it's an old joke that starts something like "What's worse than grease on Poms?") a big jump across the yawning for a sloping something, then onwards bolted and uppish. This and Mark Colyvan's two climbs, Head High Tackle and All in Brawl (all three climbs are graded 23, the prime grade for humorists these days) caused consternation at first when natural holds were discovered all the way up them - but locals have avoided crassing them so far.

One that the council nearly erased is at Diamond Bay. Back in the before times it was a huge roof (about 20ft thick) with a crackline through it and a park on top. Schoolboys Kim and I assembled nerves. etriers and a vocabulary to assault it. We were within a bee's dick of trying it when one day we rounded the arete and BLAM! The council had obviously decided to avoid any "strollers in shark-nude-drug-torso-shock- horror collapse" and blasted the place to smithers.

At least a decade later I rapped the corner system that had been created by one act of fortuitous vandalism and commenced on another. Blocks the size of beds dropped out of the corner with no warning and by the time I'd fully cleaned it, it was unclimbable. Actually, one natural hold is used, but you'd be hard-pressed to know which one it is. The only thing that holds Spurting Wildly back from-mega-classic status is the lack of a good paint job on the holds. It gets sandy unless oft-climbed. It's been graded variously 21, 23 or 25 but grading can only indicate some techno-weeny index and how likely you are to cream yourself doing same. On the crumbling edges of civilization the waves and the seagulls are crying for you and mere overprotection won't help you stem the evil tide. (Serious contenders for the big horrors, such as Housemaids Knee, with its grade 24 "crawl pitch", should take along a cross, a corkscrew and possibly a Bat-a-rang or a head full of drugs.)

Sydney's favourite suicide venue is The Gap, and it's impossible to climb on the main wall without police, priests and the newspapers trying -to rescue you ("two young men are stuck on the precipice lashed together, trying to jump"). Reality isn't a big thing with some people. Because of this most energy has been poured onto the walls south. Bladder Control (22), Hey Sucker (13) (13 bolts and a hanging belay - welcome to the home of discount grading) and the exposed OS (24) are all little gems perched on the top of a big wall of necrotic pox. But closer to the gap Duelling Biceps (22) was an instant hit with the locals, we even get the odd American onto it these days. But further right in the big zawn the roofs are calling.

The "easy" right arete was an eight hour two pitch bolting epic. We were each to lead the pitch we'd bolted (it's the only way to ensure it's properly done). So I set off on the walls leading up to roofs, hanging on with last week's arms on the "slab". I rapidly decided I'd picked the soft option. After more bolts and shameful epics I finally succeeded. Giles started his pitch with a wee roof, a short crux and a long hand traverse. After a cramped rest he launched out over a bigger roof - I'm not sure pitches like this one are only ever led so someone has to second them. We graded Why Me? 24 back in the days when 24 was big talk.

A diversion from these relentless upward forces was the mighty traverse line of Boyzone (23). A 70ft traverse along an 8ft vertical wall with big roofs above and below is a wonderful setting for this jug-a-thon with no real footholds. Fish Fingers (26) follows a line of cruxes up the wall below this, culminating in a 15ft unprotected roof then a hanging belay on Boyzone's traverse. The 35ft roof above is Giles's pitch once again, but this has a big flake and an intermittent crack line for a progressive body pump. (If you haven't been sandbagged lately that is a stomach pump that affects the brain.)

It took us a year or so till the memory of bolting those had become something that happened in the good old days. Then it was back down again for more of the same. But this time Giles picked something with a few vertical sections amongst the roofs and I picked the one that leant like a sausage, one in two overhung (except where it is a roof). They share a common start and 30ft up, his Siamese monster Let's Get Married cranks out a 30ft hand traverse to a 'rest'. Above this, nasty moves, roofs and ill-formed holds lead to a few knee-knocking moves on the only slab within (literally) seven miles.

Talk about creating a monster. My route Doggit (Till Your Eyes Bulge) could easily drive me to drink, distraction and the gym. The jugs are vast but so are the reaches. The rush is what I love, cranking on steep rock breathless with dying arms.

These are this winter's problems; it's too cold to climb anywhere else easily while it's warm and dry down there. Giles and I aren't up them yet but by spring we'll be trying to say they're only 25, without letting a smile escape. Practice makes perfect but this undergrading is no easy task.

There really is just too much unclimbed rock to ever contemplate spending my sunset years here. I'd just pull myself to pieces high above the ocean one evening or literally explode in the middle of some king pump. No, I think when a cranky adolescence is over at 15, 30 or 75, I'll settle back to the golden glow of retirement in the mighty Blue Mountains nearby. How could anything nearly vertical ever be hard?

Summary:
A personal review of hard climbing development on the sea cliffs of Sydney, Australia, by leading activist Mike Law.

Mountain
117
September/October 1987

Credit: Mountain

Credit: Glenn Robbins

Credit: Mountain

Credit: Glenn Robbins

Credit: Glenn Robbins

Credit: Mountain
originalpmac

Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
Oct 6, 2017 - 09:30pm PT
I agree with Werner up there. Telling people how they ought to behave cause other people may look up to them? Meh.
Don't know Vitaly, but he climbs with Garrett, who is a friend of mine. Enjoy his posts here.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 6, 2017 - 09:41pm PT
Mike Law 2013 interview:

http://www.verticallifemag.com.au/2013/09/interview-mikl-law/

"If punk infected the ethic of climbing in the late ’70s and ’80s what is the dominant aesthetic and philosophy of the modern climbing fraternity? Is there one?


Convenience and conservatism, but for every movement there is a counter movement. There are less lifestyling dirt baggers and lifers, more weekend heroes and sport tickers. The commoditisation of climbing has led to it being marketed as a safe consumer sport, through gyms and sport climbing, so it’s a slick experience, like a fantasy f*#k. No wonder people get upset when it all goes wrong and they die. I like getting scared; I just don’t like dying."
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Oct 7, 2017 - 12:34am PT
Bastardization.

Please, don't do it. But, if you have to, do it at your local crag.

Climbing a natural line versus a manufactured one is like hiking in wilderness versus hiking the Vernal Fall.

Some of us just like the nature unaltered. Don't be selfish in your pursuit.

Moose
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 7, 2017 - 05:23am PT
I guess my choice of words was poor. Not the first time. It wasn't my intention to tell anyone how to behave. He asked (paraphrasing) why we should care if he cared and I was attempting to address that. From what I've read he climbs with good style and ethics already. My main point is that climbing with minimal impact is not about impacts to the natural environment. It's about respecting future climbers (including yourself). If someone chipped a hold for a free climb 2000' up el cap, no one but other climbers on that climb would be affected by it, no animals or even plants would be harmed. It would just change the challenge that nature presented for future climbers on that climb. possibly including the climber considering chipping, who may come back year after year to finally free that move.

I'm not totally against chipping, for example in the example above about removing sharp crystals from pockets to make a climb possible. But personally I'm am against chipping to make a move go at an easier rating when someone could do that move later.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Oct 7, 2017 - 07:03am PT
I think Vitaliy takes a live and let live approach, from what I've seen over the years. I totally appreciate that perspective. He reminds me of the Czech character in Eiger Sanction.

Good weather bad weather its all climbing weather :)

DMT
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 7, 2017 - 08:31am PT
Hartouni!
Thanks for making this thread fun again. (Was it ever?)

Mike Law, a.k.a. The Claw! What a shock jock. Irreverent, anarchistic, brilliant. One of the more interesting people I've met in my time.

To read Jugs in Space you would think we Yanks were and are simply a bunch of church ladies, holding ourselves back with our styles and ethics. That's pretty much what he told us when he visited Josh! He gave off the air of being preternaturally bored. I think he has the curiosity and abandon required by the painters of Abstract Expressionism.

Whatever you think of his stance, and his oeuvre, he's provocative and funny as hell:

Why should there be more to life than what you can hold in two hands - food, flesh or rock? - anything more requires fairly complicated social devices.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 7, 2017 - 10:33am PT
a complete aside, but the Mike Law interview I posted a link to has interesting comments, another:

Do you have any climbing heroes?

John Stannard (USA), Peter Croft, Lee Cossey, Zac Vertrees. The guys who put up
Wings of Steel and Hall of Mirrors in Yosemite, they were reviled but their routes were the hardest aid and free big walls for many years.


Wings of Steel: FA Richard Jensen, Mark Smith, 7/81
Hall of Mirrors: FA Chris Cantwell, Bruce Morris, Scott Burke, Dave Austin, et al., 1978-1980, 'dry variation,' Jonny Woodward, Darrell Hensel, 5/1992

Stannard would produce a big guffaw over this, then deny he ever did anything to warrant the comment...

Credit: Ed Hartouni

hmmm, look at The Claw on Doggit above (and nearly twenty years later?)...at the time this FOOPS image was made, 1967, I was reading in the climbing instruction literature that one must have three points of contact on the rock at all time...

(look at the comments made by the Rezucha bros and Stannard)
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 7, 2017 - 05:48pm PT
V you are a leading climber now so people will look up to you. You do have a responsibility to understand the issues involved and hopefully communicate them to younger climbers. 

Thank you for the follow up comment after that one. Wanted to respond to the first though...im not a "leading" climber by any means, I'm just a 40 hour work week, climb on the free time and one-two 2-3 weeks off for vacations guy. If in the recent years I was able to get a few cool things done it doesn't make me a great climber, nor should it make one listen to my opinion and respect it more than another person. One of the reasons I personally like climbing is for the freedom it offers, so it would be going against that belief if I tried to yell how to climb to anyone else. I'm a big believer in leading by example, not my moth. Other people can loom at things I do (usually long backcountry climbs) and either want to try stuff in remote parts of the mountains or not. Everyone should make their own choices and I don't want to brainwash anyone or belittle anyone because supposedly they are somehow inferior based on the type of climning they do. At times I climb with people who are new to climbing and I try to show them that there are many ways to enjoy being outside...and that's about it. Hope it kind of makes sense. Like Werner said, plenty people to preach climbing, I like climbing for climbing, not arguing...unless it is supertopo :)
Heyzeus

climber
Hollywood,Ca
Oct 7, 2017 - 08:43pm PT
Great article and photos, thanks for posting. Irreverent.

They have the best route names!
gruzzy

Social climber
socal
Oct 7, 2017 - 09:43pm PT
Artisanal types=lame a@* mofos
m_jones

Trad climber
Carson City, NV
Oct 7, 2017 - 10:02pm PT
If someone decides they can do a manufactured route with fewer holds, is it ok for them to chop some holds to bring it up to their level?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 7, 2017 - 10:08pm PT
interesting idea Max,

the debate over routes with scant protection (think Tuolumne Meadows) in which it is endlessly proposed that more protection be placed (so as to make them "safe") is a corollary

m_jones

Trad climber
Carson City, NV
Oct 7, 2017 - 10:30pm PT
Yeah, I’ve recently thought that it would be nice to have more moderate, better protected routes in the meadows to spread people out a bit.
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Oct 8, 2017 - 05:45am PT
^^^ Just like voter redistricting.
cavemonkey

Ice climber
ak
Oct 8, 2017 - 08:30am PT
Any thoughts on "Insomnia"?
Didn't some famous climber pry off a jug to make it more rad?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 8, 2017 - 10:33am PT
That was Tony Yaniro.
For that Insomnia knob removal, and various other infractions, we used to call him The Rock Doctor.

It's all fun and games when going on way Down Under at some massively overhung sea cliffs, and written up with stellar wit by a provocateur.

But when it happens at home on pristine (mostly, except for all those hand drilled bolts) granite, whether to make something easier or harder, it just feels ... funky, if not wrong.
There's always context and continuum to contend with when forming an opinion on these things.
MMCC

climber
New Zealand
Oct 8, 2017 - 09:47pm PT
Mike Law's writing is full value: hilarious, irreverent and fast. "Never belay from grass trees, they'll land on your head just after you hit the ground". Always worth reading.
zardoz

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 9, 2017 - 05:39am PT
I can see enhancing one or two holds to make a line go that gets ridiculously hard, although I haven't stooped to that yet. That wouldn't bother me all that much. But drilling holds on a blank face the whole way it just dumb. Just skip it and go find something you can climb. If a crag only has a few good lines and the rest are blank, just do those and call it good. There's no reason to force it so that you can fill in the blanks. Sh#t, plenty of rock out there to discover that does have holds and will produce good routes. Don't waste your time developing poor lines.
Jolly Roger

Trad climber
here and there
Oct 9, 2017 - 06:29am PT
I have to admit as a young lad maybe 15, me and my buddy chipped a crimp on a traversing boulder problem on the Bolus Wall at Camelback Mountain so we could connect the low traverse. When we came back someone had melted wax on the hold rendering it useless. It was at that time we realized we did something wrong. And guess what, eventually we could do it sans the hold. The lesson was learned. Granted this was an established area.
Nuglet

Trad climber
Orange Murica!
Oct 9, 2017 - 07:59am PT
It is up to the First Ascentionist

If they want to modify the route, it is their decision because they are the FA
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 9, 2017 - 08:28am PT
I absolutely disagree with the idea that the FA team somehow owns the route and can do whatever they want. Nobody “owns” a route. Climbs are there for everyone to experience.
The FA can rate the routes difficulty but that should be an interim rating that can be changed with consensus.
The FA should never be given the green light to manufacture (chipping, drilling, adding holds) a route to his/her own taste....the rock dictates that.
The only place where the FA should be given precedence concerns fixed protection.....and even this can sometimes be open to question.
Manufacturing routes is the height of arrogance, in doing so you are saying that if you don’t manufacture a hold neither you or anyone else can do the climb....guess what!
WBraun

climber
Oct 9, 2017 - 08:53am PT
If they want to modify the route, it is their decision because they are the FA

So .... you like to take a beautiful virgin and debauch her according to your whims?

Did she say it's OK? Did she agree with you?

Huh ...... ?
thirsty

climber
Oct 9, 2017 - 10:01am PT
Just want to second that. The idea that the first one to do a climb on shared public lands has some sort of ownership right to the route that allows them to decide everything affecting the route is antithetical to the possibility of climbing community self regulation. If we can't self regulate, we can't expect to continue to enjoy the freedoms we would all like to preserve. Furthermore, even the idea that local communities are entitled to adopt standards for either the creation or usage of routes that contradict what should be general community standards based on principles of maintaining access and minimizing impact that detracts from the experience of other users (including non-climbers) reflects a misconception of what is required for effective climber self regulation. The work and expense of putting up routes can be huge and the contribution that new routes make to the climbing community is appreciated by everyone. However, that doesn't mean that the actions of those who create routes are not subject to those reasonable constraints necessary to maintain access.
A chipped hold may detract from many other climber's current and future experience, but has little immediate effect on access, ecological impact or the public's perception of climbers. However, if acceptance of any chipping for the purpose of making a particular route climbable for a particular set of current climbers represents an erosion of the communities general commitment to minimizing overall impact, perhaps it can lead to despair about the possibility of self regulation and a collapse of the communities willingness to speak out against practices that do have a direct bearing on access. On the other hand, a dogmatic insistence on specific rules that experience has demonstrated will be bent or broken by reasonable members of the community can also erode the communities' commitment to self regulation. When some people obsess over a particular rule while others sometimes break that rule with outcomes that most people accept, the people obsessing over the rule seem like cranks and the idea of rule based self regulation hypocritical. Some routes have been created which connect large sections of excellent, natural features with a chipped hold or two through a section of blank wall. The community would probably be better off accepting that while such manufacturing is less than ideal, it is a practice that can't be condemned out of hand. It is a practice that has no real negative impact on access. In contrast, leaving chains and other types of draws on routes permanently or for entire seasons bothers many climbers as well as many non-climbers and is a more serious issue. The argument that chains are a less permanent affront to the shared natural environment than a drilled finger pocket is certainly true, but that truth is less relevant than the reality that the impact on the way in which the natural environment is actually shared by actual living people whose opinions have bearing on access is more negatively affected by the chains than the pocket.
susu

climber
East Bay, CA
Oct 9, 2017 - 10:20am PT
Manufacturing routes is the height of arrogance, in doing so you are saying that if you don’t manufacture a hold neither you or anyone else can do the climb....guess what!

Reminds me of the jilted cry, "if I can't have her, nobody can," in this case, the fallen climber who can't make it through the crux of the climb after all the investment of putting anchors above it and bolts in it. All the money, time, effort, hope... invested into a sudden dead-end where someone else may end up with FA credit. Seems better to be humble, move on, let others take a stab at it than to chip.

What a slippery slope the concept of chipping is. It's against the rules in some places, right? JTree? But it's a good ethic not to in general as there is no stopping it from happening more and more especially with as much acceptance of it as appears in this thread.



jeff constine

Trad climber
Ao Namao
Oct 9, 2017 - 10:38am PT
Malibu has turned into a dripping glue, drilled pockets, unusable faces scraped off till somthing that looks like real a climb appears, plus ton of trees being cut down to do this.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Oct 9, 2017 - 10:42am PT
Reminds me of the jilted cry, "if I can't have her, nobody can," in this case, the fallen climber who can't make it through the crux of the climb after all the investment of putting anchors above it and bolts in it. All the money, time, effort, hope... invested into a sudden dead-end where someone else may end up with FA credit. Seems better to be humble, move on, let others take a stab at it than to chip.

What a slippery slope the concept of chipping is. It's against the rules in some places right? JTree? But it's a good ethic not to in general as there is no stopping it from happening more and more especially with as much acceptance of it as appears in this thread.

Well said susu. Your post reminds me of some of the many reasons why we pick the people we do to climb with, and where we choose to climb :)

Over-crowding and limited resources seem to be the biggest driver of ethical compromise, coupled with the ego's need for recognition. Its so wonderful in this place and time we can still find ways to expand our minds and our hearts and still avoid trammeling others.

Cheers my friend
DMT
susu

climber
East Bay, CA
Oct 9, 2017 - 11:07am PT
Thanks DMT - Cheers! Hope to see you guys soon again...
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Oct 9, 2017 - 12:11pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2076203/Chipping-culprit-filmed-in-NY
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 9, 2017 - 12:29pm PT
I absolutely disagree with the idea that the FA team somehow owns the route and can do whatever they want. Nobody “owns” a route. Climbs are there for everyone to experience. 
The FA can rate the routes difficulty but that should be an interim rating that can be changed with consensus.
The FA should never be given the green light to manufacture (chipping, drilling, adding holds) a route to his/her own taste....the rock dictates that.
The only place where the FA should be given precedence concerns fixed protection.....and even this can sometimes be open to question.
Manufacturing routes is the height of arrogance, in doing so you are saying that if you don’t manufacture a hold neither you or anyone else can do the climb....guess what!

100% agree. The only exception for manufacturing that I see as ok is on chossy cliffs where people manufacture a training facility out of nothing. In most CA granite crags there is no need to cut holds, the rock is great and needs no work. If you cant do it, find a route you can, or train harder and come back stronger. :) Never rock climbed in a place with manufactured routes but heard there are several places where a lot of good puppy training and climbing can be had (great article thank you for posting). It is a matter of personal preference if you want to climb in a place like this, but they exist.
https://www.mountainproject.com/v/owl-tor/105737231

AKDOG

Mountain climber
Anchorage, AK
Oct 9, 2017 - 12:37pm PT
That was Tony Yaniro.
For that Insomnia knob removal, and various other infractions, we used to call him The Rock Doctor.

Yaniro was always ahead of his time.
He was involved in manufacturing climbs for one of the early climbing comps (1989?) At the time Climbing magazine declined to publish the results because of the manufactured and bolt on holds. Who knows now days, times change.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/857386/The-Comp-Wall-history-whats-up-with-it

kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
Oct 9, 2017 - 12:44pm PT

There is nothing in the National Park or Wilderness Act legislation that guarantees our ability to climb and effectively alter the rock by our use of it (creating our own trails up a rock face, in some areas place permanent anchors and with attendant erosion and flora and fauna displacement).

So unless we self regulate how we interact with the resource and counsel others to minimize their impact and techniques it all can be taken away by fiat at any time by a regional administrator...

That is the exception I take with Vitaliy's post...we simply cannot take a "not my place to tell others not to chip holds" attitude because that sort of hands off approach (while in some ways admirable) can endanger our continued access to stone.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Sacramento, CA
Oct 9, 2017 - 12:46pm PT
This is exactly why I only climb in sustainably mined quarries.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Oct 9, 2017 - 01:24pm PT
I am way to lazy to look it up, from the thread i linked:

Chipping-culprit-filmed-in-NY

There is other excellent banter, Like what my good friend Cosmic Opined in one of his posts, (between #401-420 I think?)
it went something along the Lines of: - Maybe the chipping was to Increase, make harder, the climb . . . BINGO, THat and to add a V10, where no climb exsited


then there in the 1st 20 posts, from the MIA:
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO

Feb 20, 2013 - 06:19pm PT
Never met the guy. But haven't heard anything good.

One question that comes to mind is is that a natural boulder or an overgrown old quarry.

I know that there is a quarry near Kingston NY, that the locals actually replicated the route Chouca

by going to France, topoing the holds and then returning home to do the drilling. Crazy perhaps, but this is climbing.

Over on MP they're calling it at the Gunks. If so then the rangers there should handle it.

In the vid there's a reference to Kingston and text that reads "on public land".

If that's the case, well I just don't know. The beatings being recommended over on the other site probably isn't the answer.

Edit ....?
oh ? ok Jebus, I was responding to your comment.
your comment,
Jebus H Bomz

climber?? Suckyeramento, CA Oct 9, 2017 - 12:46pm PT

This is exactly why I only climb in sustainably mined quarries.
as to only climbing in quarries led me to remember that in the -Culprit filmed chipping- thread there was a long and entertaining back and forth, that in the most ironic twist drew in the one and only DONALD PERRY, bitching about the inconsistencies in enforcement, & public scorn being directed at others by the 'cool kids' who then went on to gain more glory than he did for similar antics. Or that was my take on the hard to follow rants of DJP, who's long history of antics and fine climbing make it a worthy read.

theres' also this good bit of comentary, that acts like chipping was a newr not older phenomena :

http://rockcricketgbma.blogspot.com/2013/02/notes-from-choss-pile.html
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Sacramento, CA
Oct 9, 2017 - 01:32pm PT
Dafuq?
Dafuq?
Credit: Jebus H Bomz
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 9, 2017 - 02:49pm PT
That is the exception I take with Vitaliy's post...we simply cannot take a "not my place to tell others not to chip holds" attitude because that sort of hands off approach (while in some ways admirable) can endanger our continued access to stone.

In my experience climbers lose access to some cliffs when instead of figuring their sh#t out within the community they bitch to the Forrest service endlessly or post dumb sh#t (like "need money to replace the rope on the alcove swing") on the internet.
So when any of us feel strong about something, contact people that chip in person. Much more productive to have face to face conversations to figure out the differences.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 9, 2017 - 02:58pm PT
That is the exception I take with Vitaliy's post...we simply cannot take a "not my place to tell others not to chip holds" attitude because that sort of hands off approach (while in some ways admirable) can endanger our continued access to stone.

What I was trying to say a few pages back was that after I realized why I personally was against chipping (because it changes the challenge for future climbers, not because of an impact to the ecology. Which BTW is the same way I feel about retro-bolting) I felt a responsibility to communicate that to others. And I hope than once other people realize that too (if they agree with it, which they may not) then they to would want to also communicate that as well.

I totally respect that someone may not want to tell others what to do. But personally I feel a responsibility to make others understand it's about respecting other climbers, not about protecting the rock which is an inanimate object, and I would hope others would too.

I have studied Environmental Management so I probably put way more thought and analysis into this than most sane people would think is reasonable.

Edit after readings V's post above: I agree that in person discussions are the best thing to do. However I believe that online discussions, sections in the beginnings of guide books, etc. are all good to get the word out, because I think many people won't understand why we should have limits on chipping and bolts.

When I first started climbing I didn't get it. My first exposure was that someone chopped some TR bolts off a trad climb and I was disappointed I couldn't top rope it anymore. My climbing partner/mentor said it was because the trad climbers didn't want the TR climbers on their climb and I thought that was bogus. But later I realized it was about more than that.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2017 - 11:45pm PT
Climbing 128, p8
December 1991/January 1992

Editorial
Truth or consequences

Climbers are children at heart. After all, climbing is play - in turns sophisticated and elemental, selfish and giving, innocent and dangerous, but always essentially useless to anyone but ourselves.

As children, one of the primary ways we learn about the world is by making our own mistakes and bad decisions, and suffering the consequences. After a while (usually by the time we're teenagers) we get a pretty good idea of what's acceptable and what's not. We develop a set of moral standards that helps steer us away from behavior that can get us into trouble.

One of the problems that climbers as a group are struggling with right now is that we've reached adolescence without learning the lessons of childhood. We're spoiled. We've been happily playing in the living room, and not caring much about what's going on over in the kitchen. But lately we've been making too much noise. Worse yet, we've started to scribble on the walls and tear up the furniture. And those most directly affected by our actions - administrators of public lands and other people who use those lands - are beginning to think we're too big and too unruly to ignore.

We're going to learn some hard lessons as these groups continue to scrutinize the actions of an increasing population of climbers. They have valid concerns about trail erosion, sanitation, trash, overcrowding, and other impacts on the land that we all share. As unpleasant and unfair as it may sometimes seem to climbers (who are used to doing as they please), land managers and other public land users are going to take us to task when we go too far.

Idaho climber Dave Bingham found that out in September when he was hauled into court, fined, and given a suspended jail sentence and a year's probation for chipping and gluing holds on a route at City of Rocks National Reserve. To my knowledge, it's the first time a climber has been prosecuted for such actions. I don't think it's going to be the last.

Climbers can't expect any sympathy when we choose to step beyond the boundaries of commonly-accepted behavior. Despite the tacit acceptance of chipping, gluing, painting names at the bottom of routes, and other forms of rock alteration by some segments of the climbing community, these practices are rightly viewed as vandalism by land managers, environmental groups, hikers, and, I believe, the vast majority of climbers. As such, _they should be discouraged both by peer pressure and by vigorous, enforcement of existing laws.

I'm not suggesting that we go on a witch hunt, or that we encourage new restrictions on climbers' activities. Indeed, much of what I've heard proposed in recent months, such as banning bolts or otherwise restricting new-route activity in national parks, won't solve the core problem of more people wanting to enjoy a limited resource. Such solutions would also be difficult if not impossible to enforce.

I would submit, however, that it's time we all slowed down and thought a bit more about the consequences of our actions. Route manufacturing may be the wave of the future for some, but it will only bring about more stringent regulation of all forms of climbing. And who among us wants to be told to stay in his room?

 Michael Kennedy
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Oct 11, 2017 - 03:39am PT
I am with DMT on this one. Either you do or you don't. the private VS Public land has no bearing. Vitaly is correct. the absolute shurest way to get a climbing area closed is to have a fight within the climbing community.
most of us are hypocritical in our dealings with the subject of chipping and bolting. Most of the anti bolt folks that I know are ice climbers who have no qualms about scratching the piss out of the rock with their crampons and killing the trees at the tops of ice climbs by standing on them with crampons. anyone who has pounded a pin has chipped the rock. Anyone who has cleaned a new route and trundeled has altered the rock.. There are no real purests. they are all mostly full of sh#t one way or annother.
All that being said I am 100% against bolt on holds and any obvious manufactured holds. A little heavy handed cleaning on the other hand is a common part of the new route process.... Dulling a sharp rope cutting edge is not a crime it is a responsibility. there is too much gray area to get too worked up over every little infraction of someones supposed rules....
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Oct 11, 2017 - 03:49am PT
anyone who has pounded a pin has chipped the rock. Anyone who has cleaned a new route and trundeled has altered the rock.. There are no real purests.
"
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2017 - 07:11am PT
Gnome.....I agree that there are very few purists but that should not be used as an argument that anything goes. Climbers are, for the most part, intelligent enough to deal with nuanced situations where things are not black and white. There is an easily recognizable difference between cleaning off a loose flake and bolting on a hold where none existed.
kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
Oct 11, 2017 - 08:23am PT
So when any of us feel strong about something, contact people that chip in person. Much more productive to have face to face conversations to figure out the differences.

Absolutely right, V. And I don't mean to call you out as doing anything "wrong" as certainly "preaching" on the internet has only so much utility and one can also appreciate skepticism that it is effective.

But Climbing is fundamentally a peer and community policed/regulated sport. If people using bolt guns in Yose or chipping holds are not called out by the community then there is no recourse. The NPS or other managers can have their rules, but there is no enforcement without climbers willing to point out offenders (like Dave Bingham likely was...).

I also always keep in mind that many hundreds of people read these threads that we will never interact with in any way (lurkers). I think getting a strong message out to them in this media is worthwhile that we have to respect a public resource and limit our impacts.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Oct 11, 2017 - 03:49pm PT
Keep them in the gym where they belong. It is their natural environment.
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Oct 11, 2017 - 04:08pm PT
Does trundling count as manufacturing?

I turned a loose boulder into a belay ledge using a bottle jack, a scissors jack, a 5 foot prybar, and some wooden wedges.
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Oct 11, 2017 - 04:12pm PT
Credit: Oplopanax
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Oct 11, 2017 - 04:46pm PT
Mechanical trundling is aid. If you can pull it off manually, fair game. Just make sure the landing zone is clear.

That being said, I have done climbs that depend on questionable holds. It is your call how you treat them.
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Oct 11, 2017 - 05:07pm PT
I just want to add that climbing is dangerous. Bolt it, nail it, and chop it!

Moose
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 11, 2017 - 05:07pm PT
Yaniro was always ahead of his time. 
He was involved in manufacturing climbs

So when Yaniro removes knobs to make rock routes harder he gets praised for doing so? This is weird.
kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
Oct 11, 2017 - 05:35pm PT
So when Yaniro removes knobs to make rock routes harder he gets praised for doing so? This is weird.

Not remotely. Tony was slandered mercilessly through most of his career even when he was putting up the hardest routes in the world like Grand Illusion.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Oct 11, 2017 - 06:20pm PT
1st of all,
The choss that Ive been climbing, retains it wild nature.
Im kind of a ground up by (hammer and tong) Rock Climber. or I was.
That Iron You guy lugged up to make it go is my romanticized ideal.
I think I was 6 or 7 when I was told of the stove Legs, while sitting in a log cabin looking at a stove, listening to Fritz and Hans,who cleaned some,
but left a ton of loose stuff.

I certainly do not chop holds to make a climb . . . anything
easier, harder, going this way or that, contrived ...

and regularly, just 2 years ago I left a (only100Lbs) see-saw death block on a ledge, 'Stress Test'Climbs toward it.

but I LIVE BY IF YOU DONT NEED TO TOUCH IT - DONT touch it!.








Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Oct 11, 2017 - 10:12pm PT
wow, opla, that's looking might big.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Oct 11, 2017 - 10:16pm PT
oh, and anyone telling me not to chip my own rock in my own backyard, can go suck my left elbow. If it ain't subject to the law of the commons, then tragedy of the commons doesn't apply, just first in time as first in right.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 12, 2017 - 10:09pm PT
Euro-Chips in Alberta
from Dave Morgan

Dear Mountain,
In the light of recent developments here in Alberta, Canada, your article by Stefan Glowacz (Mountain 121) was timely. We also are at the cutting edge of climbing development. Literally. Not only do we drill bolts on rappel but we drill holds as well. Some of us, that is.

Last year Bruce Howatt climbed Tropicana; at 5.12c it is the hardest route we have. Unfortunately, he found it necessary to create a hold to get by a blank section (which incidentally had already been toproped, though not without a fall, by another aspiring ascensionist). His philosophy seems to be that new routes belong to those who put in the time, not to those who can climb. Widely censured for this behaviour, it was hoped that he had learnt his lesson.

Not so. This spring Howatt, Shep Steiner and Mark Dubé decided that we really need some 5.13s. Can't argue with that. But instead of looking around for suitable rock (and, believe me, we have miles of it up here in the Rockies) they dragged a Honda generator and a drill into our most popular climbing area (Grotto Canyon) and drilled sequences of finger and hand pockets up a 60 feet high overhanging wall. They are now busily trying to free these 'climbs'. They claim that this is how routes are done in France, Smith Rocks and Squamish, and is the way of the future for Alberta.

This has most of us angry but they will neither listen to reason, nor abide by consensus. They deride our Neanderthal ethics. (You see, we believe that if something is too hard we shouldn't bring it down to our level; we should try harder, or longer, or leave it for someone better.) They claim that the wall could never be climbed without drilling, but Gordale graduates could climb over this face at will. Anyway, history has repeatedly shown that the difference between the impossible and a cherished classic is, at most, a few years.

Most of all, though, they complain that they need somewhere to train for France. Howatt, a few 5.12s under his belt and a legend in his own mind, wants to climb The Rose and the Vampire and is willing to jeopardise our sport for his personal ambition.

Already, it is catching on. A local climber of moderate ability has started cleaning a line up a wall between two of our more classic climbs. Unable to do the route, he has refrained from chipping only on advice from friends. It is unclear how long he will heed this advice. What is clear, though, is that without the Howatt-Steiner-Dubé brand of selfish vandalism we wouldn't have the problem of others attempting shortcuts to fame with a chisel instead of with talent and application.

So we're very worried and could use some outside help. There are many beautiful routes to be climbed here, routes that we locals are not yet capable of. It would be a terrible shame for any more of them to fall prey to an incompetent with chisel or drill. How can we impress on our young and ambitious climbers that chipping has no place in climbing, that chipping is cheating?

Dave Morgan

Mountain 123, p49
September/October 1988
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 12, 2017 - 10:21pm PT
Bolters, Chippers - Believing Their Own Lies?
from Paul Mitchell

Sir,
I tend to agree with Ken Wilson that bolts haven't done much for British climbing. I have placed bolts on a few of my own routes, but find that the exhiliration is almost non-existent when I complete such a route. This is probably because I have made the route too easy for myself. I don't respect tradition in climbing for its own sake, but I can look at history and the ethics of the past, and measure myself against climbers of twenty and thirty years ago. Because I use modern equipment and because I expect to climb 5b and 6c, I don't find it any big deal to climb at these grades, unless of course they are poorly protected. Using bolts has not made me a better climber than climbers of the '50s and '60s. Bolt climbing is essentially about having fun, trying hard and getting pumped in a safe situation, hopefully overhanging. Some people have the materialistic view that because they have spent a lot of time, effort and money to equip a bolt-protected route, they must chip holds to ensure that they can climb the route. It doesn't occur to them to get fitter and climb the route ethically, or to leave the route as impossible and for future or better climbers.

Recently I abandoned a new route I'd been working on in Cheedale, as it had been chipped and ruined by another 'climber'. He knew I'd been working on it. He'd bolted a line which was a direct start to the finish of my intended route. I'd managed all the moves except one, which would have been hard 6c. It is now 6a/b. It is not a matter of who the section of rock 'belongs' to, it is a matter of not chipping holds. Removal of loose rock is sensible on new routes, however the new hold was neatly sculpted out of solid rock to enhance an already existing poor layback. This person had denied himself the opportunity to push himself really hard, and he'd ruined several weeks of effort that I'd put in to hand-drive bolts and work on the route. He doesn't realise that he'll be more respected for climbing ethically. People who chip routes try and kid themselves that people can't detect chipped holds. It is this dishonesty that is the most annoying thing. Some of my own routes are not 100% ethical. It is a fine line between removing loose rock with a few taps of the hammer and prising off stuff that could probably have withstood fifty ascents. I once blatantly chipped a hold on a prospective route at Windy Ledge. I'd removed a loose hold with the hammer to find l'd left a move of 7a, where it had been 6c before, so I chipped a hold to replace the one I'd removed. The next week I returned and smashed off the new hold, returning the route to 7a. I knew that I'd been dishonest with myself. I don't think that people who chip new routes really enjoy them very much, as they can't really believe their own lies.

Yours sincerely,
Paul Mitchell
Sheffield

Mountain 131, p50
January/February 1990
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 12, 2017 - 10:29pm PT
Chipping is Cheating
from Keith Lockwood

Sir,
Years ago Reinhold Messner said bolt-happy climbers carried their courage in their rucksack. Now, some fools are also carrying their climbing ability in their rucksack, in the form of a hammer and chisel.

It is time people stood up and abused rock chippers for what they are: cheats.

The whole concept of climbing is that a person tries to climb a lump of rock as it stands. It is a challenge. But chiselling and glueing holds onto that lump of rock destroys the inherent challenge of climbing. It chops the rock down to that person's ability in the assumption that:
(a) the route is unclimbable to anyone without cheating; or
(b) the rock, which might otherwise be unclimbable, must have a route up it.

Both suggestions are ludicrous. Firstly, it's a foolish person who says a route or a mountain won't go. Better climbers have proved time and time again that what was regarded as impossible last year is this year's trade route. The unsaid assumption behind chipping is that either the climber has reached the limit of human ability, or he has reached the limit of his own ability and that's as hard as that lump of rock is going to be allowed to be. In other words, a particular climb is not allowed to be harder than, say, 7b. Why not gouge it out a bit more and allow it to be 6b, or perhaps another nick here and a new jug there, and we have a 'classic' 5c manufactured for the masses.

When chalk came in, it was regarded as a tool for the élite to help them push through the barriers. Now, of course, every Tom, Dick and Harry uses the stuff to push through the barriers on Dream of White Horses or Coronation Street. Exactly the same thing will happen with chipping holds and manufacturing routes. Who is going to tell tomorrow's beginner that chipping is just for the hot-shots, and they are not allowed to chip a jug on the crux of Cenotaph Corner or a foothold or two on White Slab?

Second, insisting that a climb must go up each and every piece of rock is the same as Brazil saying: The Amazon rainforest exists, therefore it must be burnt. Mother Nature doesn't stand a chance against human ego, greed and exploitation.

Why are chippers cheats? Because, like Ben Johnson, they load the dice in their favour, they destroy the challenge of climbing, and they murder the impossible.

Let's keep climbing as a challenge of human skill, not as a challenge of mechanical engineering.

Yours sincerely,
Keith Lockwood
Natimuk, Australia

P.S. If anyone vandalises our cliffs - Mt. Arapiles, the Grampians, Mt. Buffalo etc. - we'll rip their bloody arms off.
Yours very sincerely, K.L.

Mountain 132, pp47-48
March/April 1990
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