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Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Apr 18, 2008 - 10:47pm PT
hehe, I need clarification...about that Headstone, will it even be upright in 20k?
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 18, 2008 - 11:42pm PT
Here's how things really work.

We're not going to agree.

There is a general feeling of what a true abomination is, they get chopped.

Growing Up falls short of that so the FA folks get a load of grief from the traditionalists instead.

The reception of a load of grief is a deterrent from other's emulating the strategy.

It's either that or "Don't ask, don't tell" like when folks use power drills to fix old anchors. (not that I've seen that for awhile.

It's a social ecosystem of pride and prestige. It takes care of itself except for a few bumps on the road and sometimes tension between styles. We live with it and it beats bureaucracy.

Any time the government gets involved, they'll be regulating physical impacts like bolts or bivies, never style like ground up or rap (although fixed lines for more than 24 hours are technically illegal already)

In the world and in climbing, there's always going to be somebody doing something we don't like




Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Apr 19, 2008 - 01:29am PT
I want to address several posts.....

Karl Baba... as I recall your man Aaron has developed a number of routes at that quarry in Auburn and at New Jack City. I apologize if I am mistaken, but he has not done any FA's in Yosemite. There are lots of places across the US where rap bolting is rampant and people are not complaining in 1500+ posts. I think the key to this discussion is that the route in question is in Yosemite and it is also on Half Dome which has a history of bold, ground up ascents.

Since Aaron's statement applies to FA's outside the Valley, for me I don't think it is pertinent to this discussion.

Also, you assert that the "popularity" of a route justifies it's existence. I disagree. I have a lot of sport climbing friends and the routes that they like the most are the ones with bolts that are the most closely spaced. What I mean by that is that the climbing can still be "hard", but the bolts are so closely spaced that they are never scared that they are going to fall. If you go to a sport climbing crag the most popular routes are the moderates with the most closely spaced bolts.

For these reasons, I do not think that you can use popularity as the measure of the "worthiness" of the route. Maybe you can for trad routes where you have to place your own gear, but not for routes where bolts are the major source of protection.

Tom Higgins, well said. The only disagreement I would have is that I am willing to allow rampant rap bolting in insignificant climbing areas like the quarry in Auburn. As my pest control guys says, 'we let the termites attack the fences so that they don't go after the house'.

Sean Jones

Apr 19, 2008 - 01:53am PT
Hey George,

Are you awake ? Still reading all this ? Man, I should have payed more attention in school. Maybe even went to college instead of climbing full time for the last 20 years. I just can't write like these guys. Makes me realiize what a f#cking
hillbilly I am.

Not to far from now we'll be sitting on some porch somewhere.
Rocking in our rocking chairs. In overalls and probly holding shot guns in our laps. I can just see it. I'm glad you're a hillbilly too. At least I'm not all alone.

Big love man !!!
To you and your family.

to everyone !!!


Gym climber
Apr 19, 2008 - 01:58am PT
We're not going to agree.

Karl, I disagree, I think we do agree.

I think everybody will agree that starting at the bottom and climbing to the top is the best style. I don't think anybody argues against that. Even the FA team of Growing Up knows this--they deliberated the pros and cons carefully before taking action.

The disagreement is over tolerance.


For a surfing analogy, I think it's more like the first to surf a previously unsurfed break. Is there a line that can be drawn through the break? Once it's done, others know it can be done. It's the first one who breaks into the unknown. Rap surfing might be like wearing an aqua-lung. You're still out there catching the wave, but you have a safety valve.

Apr 19, 2008 - 02:00am PT

Rite bak at ya George.

Dis iz just like old times.

well not reali but ya no.

Ill tri the telee.

Social climber
Apr 19, 2008 - 02:14am PT

This kinda thread reminds me of this one time, which in fact reminds me of that other time, which reminds me of that final time, which reminds me of that great time, which reminds me of right now.

Shotguns on the porch talkin bout the good ole days ?

What are you people, a bunch a hicks?


Social climber
Apr 19, 2008 - 02:20am PT

You know what you need to do Sean?

Hire a limo, buy a bunch of tickets for your friends and family to a YES show in San Fransisco and forget about all this hogwashin, bachstabbin, shittalkin.....


Apr 19, 2008 - 02:25am PT
SPIT------TING!!!!! BOOOOOM!!!

Apr 19, 2008 - 02:27am PT
Grover is on the porch.

Sean Jones

Apr 19, 2008 - 02:31am PT

How the hell are you man ? Funny you mentioned the Yes show. They haven't played in 5 years but are doing a 40th anniversary tour this summer. 40th!!!!! Now that's proud. Not too long ago I was at Thayne's house and looking at pictures of all of us heading to Yes in a limo. Maybe we can hook up this summer and do it one more time. This could be the last chance to do that. Hope to see you soon man !!!

S Hole.

Social climber
Apr 19, 2008 - 02:36am PT

Yep on the porch with only one shell left in me 12 gauge.

After reading a bunch of this thread over a whack o days, all I gots to say is, alot of you need a tissue for this issue.


Social climber
Apr 19, 2008 - 02:47am PT
Fer real?

i'm there...

i could always be confused into a wee little trip like that.

When i saw yer post about the porch thang i just had to respond.

Tooo much.



Apr 19, 2008 - 02:52am PT
True that and don't worry we've got tissues and ammo. I wish this porch was actual reality like the moons before.

The snow is melting and I'm claiming we will see a 2nd Ascent soon enough. That's what this thread needs.



Apr 19, 2008 - 06:22am PT
Well, we have created something new. A thread that you get a to-do list from. I have to go and excerpt the major posts, and consider them side by side. Got to pull Tom's posts out for sure.

Karl's summary is pretty real world. But this really is not just more of the same, simply because now we have the internet(ST). In the past everyone just went off pissed and there were permanent hard feelings. "Rat's Ass" was a popular phrase. There is a difference now.

The future appearance of HD is a real trip that brings me to mention the NF of the Eiger. Have you looked at all the routes now on that face? Probably everyone here was affected in a seminal way by the story of the White Spider. If I were to encounter first a current map of the face and then the story of the White Spider, I would merely conclude the first guys just screwed up. No biggie. So here is the trade. We lose the story of a really heroic struggle, something close to the guts of climbing that affected us all, so that a hundred guys, most of them dead could, if still alive say, "Yeah. One of those lines on the face is my route." As for anyone needing thirty routes on that face, I ask you, Anyone planning to "do" the NF Eiger thirty times?

I would add to Karl's summary. In life we make trades every day. The trade I sketch above is pretty pathetic. Long ago I stopped looking at a guide when I went to a new area. Once you get past the noobie "tick list" mentality you just go, walk around, be amazed at the neat things, and explore.

Back in the day in the Gunks we had an outlying cliff that suddenly received more attention. A guide would have soon come along but we all thought about it and decided we would rather leave it as "our wilderness". Rather than have ten cliffs all covered up to the wing wang in lines, why not have some variety.

If we decide there is nothing we can or should do we all can see where we are going in this incremental process. Yosemite will have sixty or one hundred areas all grid bolted. I just don't know about you guys. I really don't.

All so a lot of dead people could, if they sudddenly came alive again, might say, "Yeah. that line was mine."

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 19, 2008 - 10:30am PT
Kman wrote

"We're not going to agree.

Karl, I disagree, I think we do agree.

I think everybody will agree that starting at the bottom and climbing to the top is the best style. I don't think anybody argues against that. Even the FA team of Growing Up knows this--they deliberated the pros and cons carefully before taking action.

The disagreement is over tolerance."

Hey Kman, we're already disagreeing about agreeing! Of course you're right but that wasn't my point. We're not going to agree about what style is acceptable (not to chop) Most folks know what is ideal.

and regarding popularity, can't we communicate without taking things to exaggerated levels? When a 5.13 climber does a 5.9+ face and uses one or no bolts, that route isn't going to get many ascents even if it's a fine line and personally, I think that's selfish to condemn the stone to disuse. If that climber took some money and time to think, "How can I put up this line so that a climber capable of doing it could have a fine, not safe, but not deadly adventure on it? That would be awesome. It doesn't need to be every 3 feet.

But still popularity means something because climbing isn't all about the top 10% of climbers who have plenty to climb and put up many of the new routes. Does everything have to be about them, them, them? Face it, these elite climbers have put up a lot of routes like that in TM and the Valley and guess what, elite climbers don't like to go back and repeat other elite climbers moderate R/X rated routes, they just like putting up up.

The little people may revolt! In Yosemite it's pretty dang common to have a line of three parties starting off some popular route while other moderate routes rot in X rated mode cause some elite guys went up there in a day and did it with no pro.

I posted Aaron's message for only one reason. I don't know him but he spoke to the motivation of putting up routes that others could enjoy.

Let's bring selfishness into this discussion.

People who want to do first ascents get selfish and sometimes don't consider the future of the route.

People who want to do first ascents get selfish and use the tactics they feel are required to do the route even if others object

People who have done first ascents selfishly like the glory of their proud contributions to remain intact and not diluted by the little people climbing next door.

Climbers selfishly want their areas to conform to their aesthetics and taste.

Climbers selfishly want routes to climb that don't involve stabbing their commitments to family in the back.

There has been a lot of concerns that some of these faces will wind up with lots more routes than they have now. Given enough years, that's actually relatively inevitable, not because of rap-bolting but because we're all selfish and climbers want to put up routes. Now, the difference may be that 50 years from now there will be some glue technology that lets us climb till we're gripped and rest on the glue while we drill, or rap bolting will be OKed by the gym climbers of the future, or that the elite hard guys will finally get around to putting more death routes up there. The point in, the routes will go in over time just like El Cap has 50 or so routes.

The GU party put up a route with real, substantial hardware that will last. Try to do that on lead. Southern Belle had Machine Bolts. Shultz rapped in many years later to fix the route for the future hardman. He rapped in. Folks could argue that they did the route ground up in the beginning. Hey that's nice, but that's their business how much adventure they could handle, that part is a game, They sieged it and jugged hard pitches on their summit day. That's still a form of cheating to me if the game is climbing from top to bottom. I could climb well above my grade if I just fixed a line every time I got pumped and jugged back up when rested. It's just that we've accepted one cheating and dissed another.

This discussion, in part, is about how we balance our selfishness with the selfishness of others




Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 19, 2008 - 01:16pm PT
If you printed this whole thread as one continuous line of text in Times New Roman 12 point, it would be way longer than the route in question. Anyone sent the whole thread in one continuous push?

Much respect to everyone for their thoughts.

I hope positive change comes from this rather than negative.

Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Apr 19, 2008 - 01:34pm PT
Anyone sent the whole thread in one continuous push?

Uh, hello?

What do you think?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 19, 2008 - 02:31pm PT

I agree with many of your points, such as

 5.12 climbers should be careful when putting up 5.9s; I feel they should be bolted relative to the grade of the people who will be climbing the route.

 people doing the FA can choose what level of adventure to have, hopefully conditional on establishing a route that can be enjoyed by others.

Here are 2 where I don't agree:

> The GU party put up a route with real, substantial hardware that will last. Try to do that on lead.

I have done it. So have Kelly and others. I doubt I could do it on that Half Dome slab, but there are definitely people who could. I challenge them to do a ground up FA above Sean's bolt ladder, left of the rap bolted line. Then we can have a basis for comparison. I think Klaus would have been up for it, if he hadn't been hit by that car....

> Southern Belle had Machine Bolts. Shultz rapped in many years later to fix the route for the future hardman.

I am not sure if you forgot, but they used machine bolts because they were short on cash. 1/4" were still popular on slabs at that time, also.

I'm a little surprised that you are with Joe Hedge on this point. It is really a backwards argument that says that bolt replacement is somehow unethical - that all hardware has to be placed on the first ascent and is somehow sacred and should never be touched afterwards. (my words, not yours or Joe's). Really this argument is an attempt to bond ground-up climbing with 1/4" bolts, with the hope that the general dislike of 1/4" bolts will make people dislike the concept of ground-up climbing. But most people who are tolerant of rap bolting will argue that it does not matter how the bolts got there, just where they were placed. This makes two of you like Joe's anti-replacement argument, unless you want to reconsider.

I know the currently used method of placing 1/4" bolts on lead, then immediately replacing them on rappel seems a little strange. But it has lower impact than one of the previously used method - drilling a 1/4" bathole, then hanging on it to place a 3/8" or whatever. Both have the ground-up ascent challenge. Using the bathole is a more obvious use of aid. Rapping down and replacing is also aid. But neither one is being promoted as a way to drill completely free. Just as a way to climb it from the ground up.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 19, 2008 - 03:03pm PT
Interestingly enough many of the old school thought have accused Gu of being an ego rout yet many of the newer generation feel that it is more of a contribution. Personaly I feel that most X rated routs are the ultimat ego routs. The X rated rout is most often just a statement that My dick is Bigger than your Dick.
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