Museum climbs?


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Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 11, 2007 - 07:28pm PT
I am getting my money together to install an escalator up "You Asked For It" so that Werner can go do it. He's been gaining even more weight than I have by sitting in that museum of his....

Joking aside, I gotta agree with Gnome when he stated,
" I think the routes got neglected because tastes in routes changed and those of us that kept climbing 'trad' didn't bother to go do maintenance. Now that there are actually new people that would like to do some of these routes, they are in such bad shape that they aren't doable."

I personally can't wait to go to Elbsandstein and experience their crazy bold lines that were put up decades ago and I also hope they preserve them as they are for the future.
We have some beautifully bold climbs here in the US and Canada and we should be proud of them. We should just do faithful maintenance on them and let them be as they are - climbers of the future will appreciate it!


Trad climber
mt. hood /baja
Sep 11, 2007 - 07:44pm PT
It seems simple....Replace any anchor that has become unsafe, original protection bolt if unsafe, leave the runouts( that is part of the character of a climb), do not add any bolts unless those that did the fa

Topic Author's Reply - Sep 11, 2007 - 07:55pm PT
Is "You Asked For It" that route with that one bolt where Don Hardner stuck his finger in the hanger and then fell pulling all his skin off??

I remember leading that pitch and it was scary, but forgot the name.

Still the escalator will work too.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 11, 2007 - 08:02pm PT
The problem with Joe's argument, as with all arguments supporting the "advance in difficulty as a result of sportclimbing" (approximate quote) is that it only focuses on the technical difficulty of the moves. There are other "difficulties" in climbing. The biggest difficulty, and the one that gives climbing its greatest beauty, is the mental control and focus of making difficult move when the climbing is runout, the pro is poor, etc. By saying that runout routes are contrived ignores and/or devalues that very real aspect of climbing. Advances in numbers are not necessarily advances in style. Style is all, numbers are of secondary importance.

If you talk to a Spaniard, they'll tell you that bullfighting is a beautiful sport because the matador is not fighting the bull. He's fighting his urge to runaway and to control his fear. I'm not a bullfighting fan, but the analogy is apt.

Climbers of yore did not "contrive" to make routes runout. Most runout climbs are that way because of the difficulty or limitations of placing gear, not because of the purposeful decision to make the climb runout just because. Realization may be a monument to technical difficulty (no disrespect to Sharma because is a pure, awesome climber) but Bachar-Yerian is a monument to respect for the rock (JB only placed bolts when he could find a knob big enough to hold a hook) and mental control.

Not that people talk about it anymore, but climbers like Jim Erickson and others used to aspire to climb with the minimum amount of "aid" possible, whether it be a rope, chalk, shoes, to make the experience more pure. That is a worthy goal, not one to be sniffed at because it means that you can't climb bigger numbers. If you don't get or appreciate that you shouldn't be participating in this discussion.
Wild Bill

Sep 11, 2007 - 08:03pm PT
"The direction of the sport also changed, away from the artificial difficulty of contrived runouts and towards actual difficulty."

Haha, I nearly spewed my coffee when I read that one.

Runout = artificial difficulty, while gymnastic sport moves = actual difficulty?

Soooooooooooooooo, climbing is physical, but not mental? Methinks you'd best start a new thread on that topic, and be sure to address your query to LEB to ensure you get the most complete answser.

YUP edit: Yeah, what Fat Dad said.

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Sep 11, 2007 - 08:14pm PT
There are, quite obviously, different aspects of 'difficulty'. Sport climbs lie flat along the danger axis, but spike upwards in technical difficulty. Easy but runout is the mirror image of this kind of thing. Climbs that redline the technical difficulty as well as relative risk are deserving of great respect.

There are zillions of dime-a-dozen, 'safe' crags around. Those who want to do hard moves without sticking their necks out should climb on these. On another day, one might choose to engage the fortitude muscles a bit more and run things out a bit. There is a place for each of these in my life as a climber, and I for one am glad that both options (and ones in between)exist.


somewhere between Monitor and the Black

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 11, 2007 - 08:27pm PT
Hell, runouts are just plain fun - check out how much fun this guy is having!


Sep 11, 2007 - 08:31pm PT
So John, have you gone up and done that thing again? Was just curious because you ahve showed a bit of interest in a thread you started. If no, can I watch when you do????? Camera and all.
Bob J.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Sep 11, 2007 - 08:32pm PT
Hell, runouts are just plain fun - check out how much fun this guy is having!

Bwhahahaha! Too right JB, too right!

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 11, 2007 - 08:38pm PT
I knew that would please Russ...heh heh

If these sport climbers are so good, how come they aren't waltzing up these "museum climbs" ? (Joe?)....

bob - no problem - bring a tripod so the photo isn't blurred when I take the super fun artificial whipper on the artificial runout....
seamus mcshane

Sep 11, 2007 - 08:41pm PT
Trad=ground up.
Joe doesn't get that.

Topic Author's Reply - Sep 11, 2007 - 08:55pm PT

After all you bad ass climbers get old and can't get out of your chairs anymore, then what?

Do you make signs that your routes are now museum pieces?

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 11, 2007 - 08:59pm PT

We build escalators Werner!


Sep 11, 2007 - 09:02pm PT
Nice John, thanks! Just need to know when. Also, last post is absolutely hilarious!!
Bob J
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 11, 2007 - 09:04pm PT
I've wondered about a climb getting the reputation of a "death runout" when, in fact, no one has ever died doing it... fact, there seems to be a rather healthy inhibition among American climbers regarding pushing things into the death zone. They tend to back off.

In my way of thinking, that is the correct thing to do on those climbs which the FA feels were protected appropriately. Some climbs are scary, and require a level of accomplishment and commitment to climb. They should be left alone for future climbers, the hardware should be maintained by the community, but not modified.

There are a class of climbs which Roger refered to which are not test pieces, but were incompletely equipped, a legacy of FA's which may be difficult for people who don't do FA's to understand (the majority of climbers these days have never done a Trad FA). An example is Snake Dike which Roper tells us received additional bolts after the FA since it was such an obviously great, moderately easy line... There are probably other climbs out there where the FA team would be happy to have additional bolts added... they should be asked when possible. If Kauk and TM and Roger all agree that Black Bart would be ok with additional bolts, then maybe that's fine.

I say maybe because at some point a climb becomes so a part of the community that it is beyond the authority of the FA to alter it...

There is no answer to the question posed by Werner. This topic will and should always require a lot of discussion in the community. It's entirely appropriate to have it often and expansively, the FA team is mortal, and after their time is up, their ideas of what to do with their climbs will be lost except for the discussions.

But if I am a climber, I believe that it matters, that the ideas of the FA were important, and that I have to be careful when I contemplate altering a climb permanently. Certainly no climb is like the FA of that climb, the gifts of the FA are a one time deal, unless the history is lost. In that case, we have lost something important from our community.

But it also says something about ourselves if we assume our own ideas about a climb over ride what the local ideas, often based on long tradition, of a climb should be. I imagine a line climbed by some early climbers who left no trace, and did not report the climb so someone else would have the experience of an FA. How horrible would it be for me to find I bolted it up because I thought I was the FA, that I did not do it in the style of the true FA, who might have never known even earlier FAs.

On known climbs which are "dangerous," it can only be ego to assert that it is my right to be able to climb it on my own terms, therefore it should be protected to satisfy my own standards of "safety." Maybe if I'm insisting on that I am climbing for the wrong reasons.

Topic Author's Reply - Sep 11, 2007 - 09:04pm PT
Hahahaha ...

It's not going to go away John.

Everything will fall apart in the end ..... and then!

There will be a rebirth.

You and Kauk will be there in the next life.

Maybe ........... as sport climbers, hahahaha

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 11, 2007 - 09:12pm PT
Werner- and Kauk are going to go to Joe Hedge's University of Technical Sport Climbing Difficulty and get our Diplomas. Then we will proceed to float all "museum cimbs" in existence. Tah dah!

Hartouni wrote:
"On known climbs which are "dangerous," it can only be ego to assert that it is my right to be able to climb it on my own terms, therefore it should be protected to satisfy my own standards of "safety." Maybe if I'm insisting on that I am climbing for the wrong reasons."

Well said Ed!

Joe - there are surprisingly less "hook-able" knobs up there than you would think. That's why those "artificial" run outs are there!


Trad climber
Sep 11, 2007 - 10:46pm PT
Bump for it's quality!
Great thread...

Happy and Healthy climber
the Gunks end of the country
Sep 11, 2007 - 10:47pm PT
Expanding on the graffiti analogy.

All you macho guys saying that the climb should stay the way the FA did it.

You sound like the gang thug threatening anybody who dares to overpaint your "work of art". And everybody in the gang will respect the thug's graffiti, or at least won't paint over it. So here we are. A bunch of old climber gangsters deciding how others should behave.

At least a couple of artists have admitted here that their work was not that great. Original, but...

I think Werner has raised an interesting issue. Should these climbs be put in the museum for people to look at? Nope. The first ascender did not own the canvas. They by sheer serendipity were simply there first.

I'll climb my way, thank you very much. I invite everyone else to do the same, assuming that they are climbing according to the owner of the land's rules.

Sep 11, 2007 - 11:05pm PT
Say, for example, if you want to do a classic like Bachar-Yerian and you feel the bolts aren't like you would have them, then would you see it ok for you to put more bolts in for your ascent?
I'm not being a critic here, I'm just curious about what you just wrote. That's all.
Bob J.
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