Retrobolting and Internet Forums

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Messages 21 - 38 of total 38 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Apr 22, 2019 - 03:18pm PT
The OP is a false equivalency (‘apples and oranges’). They can only be related in a most distant sense.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Apr 22, 2019 - 03:23pm PT
Kahl Wall is a popular 1000 foot 10a on Yamnuska. It was first done in 1971 with a few points of aid from bolts.
It was freed in late 70's/early 80's.
The bad old bolts were replaced later with better bolts. Nothing added or moved.
Some new sport type climbers then complained to the boltee that he should have put the bolts in more convenient places!
I guess you can't win

tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 22, 2019 - 03:43pm PT
as I said earlier some people simply should not be allowed to drill. An aid climb that turns into a free climb is a prime example of bolts likely placed in the wrong places for good free climbing. I re bolted an old aid climb on Mt horrid. I modified the 3 bolt ladder into a 2 bolt free climbing sequence. Its not a great idea to get hung up on the original exact spot the bolt used to be if the person who placed it was a hack. For example the Beckey rt on east Gruesome had aid bolts on 5.6.... The 3 pitch 5.9 up the street from Isa's House The leader of P1 and 3 is stoked to add a bolt to pitch 2. the Tiger might allow it but won't rush out there and get it done and probably won't be at all pleased if I ask...
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 22, 2019 - 04:04pm PT
Just for the record, I didn't intend to start a retrobolting debate. We've had plenty of those. It's just that the issue of internet forum content got the effect of bolt placing and chopping back into my thoughts.

Tradman, I thought of a couple of Robbins retrobolts myself -- one on Boot Flake (that the third ascent gleefully chopped) and one on the Muir Wall. I should add that when I climbed In Cold Blood in 1973-- a bit less than three years after Robbins' solo FA -- there were at least six bolts added to the route already. Karma?


Anyway, I, too, thought of many of Tom Higgins' routes in the Meadows as examples of climbs where the original bolts were in perfect keeping with the overall nature of the route.

And Apogee, I'm glad you think it's a false equivalence. That way, my opposing positions aren't inconsistent. :)

John
d-know

Trad climber
electric lady land
Apr 22, 2019 - 04:22pm PT
Like I said. Ethics.

Nobody owns the rock,
the rock owns you.

How does one treat it
and oneself likewise or another?
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Apr 22, 2019 - 04:33pm PT
If we really respected the rock, we wouldn't place any bolts.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 22, 2019 - 04:40pm PT
now here come the religious wing nuts....
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Apr 22, 2019 - 04:45pm PT
When it comes to bolting and retro-bolting, sport climbing and traditional climbing are pretty close to polar opposites. For example, let's say we're down in the Owens Gorge for a day of pulling down. How often do we care who put up the route. I couldn't tell you for the life of me who put up Gorgeous, or most of the routes down there. A notable exception is Bachar's Pick Pocket. So except for a route like that, which has the personal stylistic stamp of JB on it, I don't see where FA party's have much claim on the rock.

I view traditional climbing through a different lens. For one thing it can really matter who did the FA. If you're in The Needles, and your planning to climb No More Mr. Nice Guy, it's good to know in advance that it's a Gilge/Lechlinsky rig, and know what that means.

In traditional climbs one has to accept that not every route is for everybody, and that climbers doing FA's are often making a statement. In most cases I think that statement should be respected. There are plenty of other climbs out there to do without bringing down a bold route.

In sport climbing every route should be relatively safe. The "every route is not for everybody" is about how well you climb, not so much about how skilled with protection or how bold you are.

d-know

Trad climber
electric lady land
Apr 22, 2019 - 04:53pm PT
Well said Ksolem.

Much more articulate
than my attempt.
Thanks.
WBraun

climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 04:55pm PT
Its not a great idea to get hung up on the original exact spot the bolt used to be


Exactly.

Sometimes the bolt is accidentally placed in the wrong place.

Then the next guy who replaces old bolts puts it in the same st00pid place.

No brain .....

ruppell

climber
Apr 22, 2019 - 05:10pm PT
If we really respected the rock, we wouldn't place any bolts.

Which I never have. I've also never reported any of my FA's. The reason for me is very simple. I'd like the guys behind me to have close to the exact feeling of discovery as I had when I went for it. I'd think that adventure won't be lost by the demise of ST or the readily available route beta on ST or newer guide books(looking at you ksolem).

Climbing is what it is. It is what you make it. For me, it's always been about pushing my own limits, my own strength, my own path. Not once in making it my own have I ever placed a bolt. I've never shunned those who decide to either. To each their own.

And that is what has, historically, made climbing so special.
mooch

Trad climber
Tribal Base Camp (Riverkern Annex)
Apr 23, 2019 - 03:21pm PT
In traditional climbs one has to accept that not every route is for everybody, and that climbers doing FA's are often making a statement. In most cases I think that statement should be respected. There are plenty of other climbs out there to do without bringing down a bold route

Well said, Kris. Been expressing that view to some guys who want to retro bolt a route on Moro Rock. Not that it's a 5-star trad climb but its bold for folks these days. They were vocal about it on the route page, even when asked to respect the FA (of course, who knows who did it.....thinking Mark Swain in the early 90's). The existing bolts do need to be replaced (SMC hangers) and 5/16 button heads. The way I see it, if you made the effort to create a route and personally invest the time and resources, its your 'piece of art' to own. Unless permission is given, leave the FAist route in its original style. As you said Kris, there plenty of virgin stone for folks to craft their own works of art.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 23, 2019 - 04:10pm PT
Retro bolting doesn’t really concern me that much. I was never drawn to the Apron or the Meadows during my Valley days. I much more enjoyed steeper trad routes that were conventionally protected...to each his own.

Bolting practices became more important to me when I saw fa’s put up in Patagonia where bolts were being placed when other gear would have worked just fine. Here the question wasn’t “should bolts be added”, the question became, “should bolts be removed.”

The “Compressor Route” was the most famous example but there are many more routes where this occurred. I guess the reason bolting has always drawn controversy is the fact that something permanent and alien is being added to the natural world of rock. Rock formations are often beautiful and not even proponents of bolting would argue that bolting doesn’t detract from that beauty.

There is also, in most climbers, the desire to climb in the most natural way possible with the most minimum impact on the climb. I have not brought bolts with me on an alpine fa since I climbed Torre Egger in 1976 and there we only placed four hand drilled bolts. It's funny how necessity can lead to creativity. We were able to engineer 85 rappels getting down Latok 1 with no bolts.

Many of the world’s iconic climbs (I am leaving sport climbing out of this discussion) would not exist without bolts but I think that there will always be a degree of ambivalence about using them.


tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Apr 23, 2019 - 04:47pm PT
Never said I don't or haven't placed bolts. I've never had an issue placing bolts on routes I've put up, or replacing rusted out bolts on routes put up by others. But when one wants to take their environmental ethos to the limit, it's the natural conclusion.

It seems for many who claim to care deeply about the environment, a little probing would lead to the conclusion that those deep convictions are only to the point of when it is convenient to their life style.

I especially find the hatred of hydrocarbons humorous. The vast majority of climbing gear and clothing is made from processed hydrocarbons. Add in the aluminum that takes massive quantities of energy to smelt. Ban oil, sure sounds good so long as one isn't willing to consider the real affect of doing so.
BruceHildenbrand

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Apr 23, 2019 - 08:37pm PT
In 1976 my partner and I were climbing in the Meadows and there was no official guidebook. We just went up and climbed what we thought might be routes we knew about from some article in Ascent such as Crescent Arch and the Dike Route.

It turns out in all our wandering around Stately Pleasure Dome(I always liked the name Polly Dome better) that May in 1976 we established a number of bold(read no bolts) face climbs. We were just having fun and had our face climbing psyche totally dialed mainly because my partner was fearless! John Bachar would later solo and claim the FAs which was fine with us because we never reported the routes to anyone and we weren't doing these routes as some ego thing. We just loved running it out and out and out and back then there was a lot of blankness on Polly Dome.

That's an interesting twist to this whole discussion. We didn't put in any bolts and neither did John. What sort of precedence does that set for future parties?
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Apr 23, 2019 - 08:54pm PT
Equivocating road building with retro bolting is an even more ridiculous false equivalence.
Degaine

climber
Apr 24, 2019 - 01:52am PT
Donini wrote:
We were able to engineer 85 rappels getting down Latok 1 with no bolts.

Perhaps the subject of another thread, but could describe in more detail some of the creative anchors you built? Some of the snow anchors (bollards and such) that actually worked?

If you have the time and inclination of course.

Thanks and cheers!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 24, 2019 - 03:26am PT
Hmm....

Donini wrote: Bolting practices became more important to me when...

(I am leaving sport climbing out of this discussion)...

Ahem...

sportmanclimbs wrote: now here come the religious wing nuts....
Messages 21 - 38 of total 38 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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