Doug Robinson, Sean Jones, rap bolt South face of Half Dome!


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Apr 21, 2008 - 04:23pm PT
Coz did a good troll.

madbolter1? WTF is he talking about? hahahaha

State of Mine
Apr 21, 2008 - 05:04pm PT
madbolter is clearly mad at the style of ascent.

when someone rapp bolts there is no choice but to catapult the sh#t bags up at them as you caint drop em. reminds me of that monty python movie but that was with cows.

Where you want to be
Apr 21, 2008 - 05:14pm PT
At first, I was like WTF?! about madbolter's posts, but then I thought his troll was kind of funny.
Oh well.

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Apr 21, 2008 - 05:40pm PT
Ok, Matt, since you're claiming that I have tried to make this thread 'about me,' and that you have contributed nothing but joy and light to this thread, let's examine the facts. I quote from some of your almost countless posts on this thread.

Conveniently, you attempt to pretend to be neutral, to "rise above" the debate: "not taking one side or the other, just being a devil's advocate."

But your veiled criticisms of numerous routes, including endless "rhetorical questions," make it clear where your sentiments really lie. I am not the only one noticing this fact. An exchange between you and Bob is revealing:

Bob wrote, "Matt...that would be the FA party. [Who decides what is "reasonable" and so forth]." You respond: "that you don't forsee a problem, is itself the problem."

Bob then responded, echoing my take on your contributions to this thread to date: "No Matt...people like you who ask nothing but questions and only criticize and offer no solutions are problem."

Finally, you offer a rare moment of clarity when you summarize your thinking at one point in time: "i am particularly offended by 'needless' or unwarranted damage or impact upon the rock itself, and i see an unrepeated route, or an unrepeatable route, or a route nobody has any interest in repeating, as a whole lot of impact upon the rock for very little benefit overall, where as impacts like drilling huge anchor bolts or installing rappel routes in certain locations can be seen as impact which is spread out across all the use they get from the many climbers who will benefit from them over time." But this moment of "clarity" just is the basis of the Valley elitism that spawns all this BS.

Now let's examine the validity of your assertion that I tried to make this into a WoS thread. I'll begin with one of your passages that should be a rule you actually follow instead of merely pandering when it suits you: "i was saying that you cannot at this point make the argument that the slab pitchs are 'over-bolted', and that you would at least have to hear it from someone who'd been there, if not see it for yourself, in order to make that claim." Ok, let's keep that principle in mind as we proceed. To make claims about over-bolting, you have to have been there yourself or at least listen to those that have. Ok, we've got that principle well in hand... right? Ok, let's proceed with that principle.

Now, over the course of weeks, in this thread, you took pot shots at WoS and the "WoS crew" that I just let slide BECAUSE I didn't want this to turn into yet another WoS debate. But, YOU, Matt, are just unable to let that dog rest. Here is a sampling of SOME of the MANY shots:

"WoS PoS Jr." Hmmm... this one in context was pretty amazing, actually.

"f*#king thing hasn't seen sh#t for traffic in 20+ what years? i'd say let's find a way to get some use out of the fact that all those holes were drilled there. the aid climbers have voted w/ their feet on that one."

Well, if the "aid climbers have voted with their feet on that one," then I would have to call WoS a truly GREAT route, because literally dozens of teams (including some very well-known ones) have taken their shot at the route. The fact that they can't GET UP it isn't for lack of trying! Furthermore, the "all those holes" you refer to amount to less holes per foot of climbing than there was on the Sea of Dreams when it was put up. I guess by your logic the Sea was a POS because it had MUCH more impact on the sacred rock than WoS did, and that with MUCH less total traffic. And let's remember your own passage about having an opinion about overbolting when you haven't been on the route. Hard to actually ABIDE by your own principle, isn't it Matt? Oh, and you might try paying attention to those that HAVE been on the route, ALL of which (without exception) have stated that the route is not overbolted. So, just keep living in your own version of reality, but don't try to foist it off on the climbing community at this point, because the REAL reality (the one that almost all of the rest of us live in) is now known.

"(note: we are not talking about linking features w/ aid, but continuously chipping your way up a slab, just as the WoS crew were accused of doing. in such a case, how is patching the batholes anything but obscuring your dirty laundry?)" Interesting how you say HERE that we were merely "accused" of "chipping our way up," so you can claim that you aren't really saying that we did... it's just an accusation. But, in fact you just can't help yourself, so you have to make your point a bit clearer: "how about if i just applaud these guys for not having a chisel in the quiver?" Funny thing, though, we didn't have a "chisel in our quiver." So, if that's your base line for applause, then we should be getting our share from you. As we have stated, and as observation parties have found, we did not "chip our way up" the slab, and at NO point did we employ a chisel. In point of fact, the first ascent of the Sea did far more rock damage in one ten-foot section I can mention than there is on the entire WoS route. So, if rock damage is your great Satan, as you have stated repeatedly on this thread, then bash on the Sea and the "FA crew" of that route, and treat WoS with the respect it deserves for being an amazingly low-impact ascent.

"i say let's get a couple of guys w/out a single yosemite big wall under their belt to go up there and seige an unclimbed blank-ish section of this thing, following a line entirely absent in natural features, have them leave the deck with exactly the same hardware the WoS team had, and let's have them camp on the wall for a month, then we'll see how everyone (climbers, NPS, tourists, rope shitters, etc) reacts, then perhaps we can actually make some valid comparisons!" Ah, yes, here's the sh|t. Well, for one thing, we didn't "seige" the route. We committed to it, for however long it took. And, the line is not "entirely absent in natural features." In point of fact, the route follows a pretty apparent line of features. Perhaps because YOU can only follow a line that is "paint by the numbers," you know, the brown #3 goes in this little area, and the red #2 goes in this little areas, and be sure to not paint outside the lines... perhaps that makes it difficult for you to get it. But, perhaps this is a good time to remind you AGAIN of your overarching principle of not talking smack about a route until you have climbed it, or least of paying attention to those that have been there. But, again, it seems that you only give lip service to your loftiest principles as long as they suit your purposes, and abandon them immediately when that suits you better.

None of this sh|t I responded to. But, your approach in many threads has been to marginalize anything Mark and I have to say. Meanwhile you lose no chance to keep the "debacle" of WoS in people's faces, as you repeatedly did in this thread. You can't try to turn this into a WoS thread YOURSELF and then blame ME for it! lol... that dog won't hunt! My responses to you now are your own doing.

And, you can't even begin to hide your sorry elitist attitude when you talk sh|t about Pete.

"what kind of a shitty world is it when we cannot completely disagree with both dadisbad and PtHP at the same time?... it just feels dirty being near either one of you in any way."

You rip on Pete several times in this thread, although his account of HIS views was clear and reasonable (although, for the record, I don't share his opinion in this case). So, let me ask you, what have YOU done in and for climbing that can BEGIN to compare with Pete's record? He's far from perfect, but at least people KNOW where he stands, and at least he CLIMBS according to the principles he holds. I'm with Bob regarding your "contributions" to this thread: lots of questions and vague criticisms, and not a speck of actual insight to be found.

Finally, showing your true elitist colors, you put pedro in his place: "btw bouldering the shist around ontario counts for jack squat, nobody cares." Good job, Matt! Now pedro knows where he stands in the almighty climbing hierarchy. His opinions count for squat because he doesn't even climb worthwhile rock!.... What ridiculous elitist BS! It's that sort of comment that has rightly earned the Valley a reputation as a place with fabulous rock and sh|tty people! I could write multiple books of stories of the elitist crap I have seen against others, not counting what I have experienced myself. For all your supposed sensitivity toward the ROCK, you exhibit precious little toward other human beings.... wellll... at least the ones that disagree with you.

And THAT was my overarching point, that you mistook as an attempt to hijack this thread. We've devoted almost 2000 posts to discussing a route and its impact on the rock and on the sport, but in many posts the people engaged in the discussion seem to care very little for the people affected by this discussion. I could quote it, but people will remember the post from Doug where he expressed his deep and profound trauma at the criticism he was getting. Oh well, people will heal, right? Well, the fact is that it is far easier to patch a small hole in the rock and render it unseen forever after than it is to patch a hole you've ripped in someone's psyche and reputation.

Somehow, after all the years, the climbing "community" cannot figure out how to discuss "style" in an objective fashion without the herd syndrome causing people to rip and tear at the people doing the climbs worth talking about.

So far from lofting above the debate in non-commital and "objective" fashion, Matt, you are one of the worst elitists on the Taco. Show more respect for PEOPLE, even the ones you think have done "wrong" (what a ridiculous term in this context!). That is something anybody can applaud.

Now, finally, back to our regularly scheduled programming....

Trad climber
primordial soup
Apr 21, 2008 - 06:04pm PT

get a life pal.

where to begin:
1) my reading of the attempts for repeats on your route have been that pedro says it's too scary and the others seem say it's really not worthwhile (what did AM say? something more polite like "it's just not the type of climbing that interests me").

2) if you are using a drill bit as a chisel, that's a chisel. maybe it's the lack of a chisel that keeps turning back the 2nd ascents? either way, it's done, and if you want to think of your route as being a sought after 2nd ascent, you go right ahead and see it that way pal.

3) plenty of people are far more offended by this route than i am or ever was. i think the route sounds kinda cool, except that i'd hafta aid the 5.13 corner (at least).

4) i will say whatever the hell i want about your route. get over yourself already. why do you even care? am i the ONE who will judge you? ('i think knott', to respond in the ST vernacular)

5) yes, i think the example of your route is a GREAT argument in favor of the style in which this route was established, and yes, i think these gys showed more respect for the rock itself than you did (and obviously they have much more collective experience than you did).

6) as far as my discussion w/ bob, he seemed to think anyone at all ought to be free to place what ever bolts where ever they like, so long as they get there 1st, and guess i disagree, i think they ought to be used as a last resort. if that's elitist, so be it.

7) you got me on one thing richard- not much about pedro impresses me, climbing or otherwise

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Apr 21, 2008 - 06:09pm PT
lol... what a punt

[edit an hour later] Hilarious back edit, there, Matt. Typical tactics to add five discussion points long AFTER your original punt post and my post calling it a punt. Oh well, even with the five new points, nothing there of substance anyway.

Big Wall climber
San F*#kincisco
Apr 21, 2008 - 06:12pm PT
James wrote: "There's some A0 on the route right? If Sean rap bolted the rig why wasn't he able to free the whole thing? Is it one stopper move or a short tension traverse that will go free? Seems like if you're gonna rap the route, you should figure out a way to make sure it goes free."

My sentiments exactly.

Trad climber
Apr 21, 2008 - 06:13pm PT
It seems to me in all these bolting debates there are two sides:

1. We want to preserve the adventure aspect of the sport, as well as the rock itself and respect the true nature of these routes by not altering them.


2. Everyone should have a right to experience these routes without having to put their ass on the line.

As I see it there's an easy solution. Or at least, a viable solution. Leave the route itself unaltered. If you want the experience of the route without the danger. Drop 600 feet of static line down and toprope the damn thing. There. You have got what you wanted; you got to do the route, and the hardmen who want to do it ground up can do it ground up. Afterwards the hardmen and the topropers congregate at the campfire, drink beer, and exhange stories, and eveyone is friends forever.

Next week I will dispense of the Arab-Israeli conflict with a similar brilliant solution. Thank you.

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Apr 21, 2008 - 06:24pm PT
Matt, since you are the one having the most to say about the route in this thread, I would point you to your own advice. And, btw, you are the one not affecting perceptions about the route. That has already been done by those who have been on it. We're content about the outcome. Apparently you are not. Just follow your own advice about smack-talking routes you have not been on, and we will all find your ongoing silence to be golden.

Thank you in advance.

Gym climber
Apr 21, 2008 - 06:53pm PT
After three weeks, this thread is still goin' strong. Although there's now more chaff...

Long Ago, very thoughtful posts. Although it will be a sad day when Yosemite
climbing is degraded into something that councils needed to vote upon.

I also think it would be shameful if lesser climbers than the Growing Up
team used Growing Up as an excuse to support their shady FA tactics.
{Yes, I'm aware of the subjective points of view this entails.}

From my armchair, Growing Up appears to be one route in a thousand.
Still, I do not see it as an endorsement for rap bolting. I just
hope that others who view this route see the same.

Things are not always Black or White.


Sean, BIG energy goin' your way. Get better soon Bro.

:- Kelly
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 21, 2008 - 08:37pm PT
Since we're on the way to post 2000, a few short remarks.

1. A lot of people are thread drunk and post-holing so, if you want folks to read and comprehend your posts at this point, it's a good strategy to keep em short, concise or at least put a lot of paragraph spaces in.

2. While the WOS debacle may be worth talking about in light of these issues, I encourage you guys to keep it simple and on the topic and don't Lois it up by making it about personalities.

3. When you start making a list, why stop when you've run out of things to say.

I respect all the folks posting here. If we dig deep enough, each individual here disagrees with every other individual here about some point of climbing ethics, style, religion or politics. We seem to have discovered this doesn't prevent us from otherwise liking or at least tolerating each other and that's progress.



Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Apr 21, 2008 - 09:43pm PT
Edit - Oops! I called out the wrong Aaron (see jghedge's post below). I apologize to the real Aaron for doing so. My bad.


Apr 21, 2008 - 10:06pm PT
"I have been doing a bit of digging for background on this guy and it appears to be someone named Aaron Ross." need to keep digging. His name's not Ross, and Jailhouse is a manufactured sport crag, with hundreds of chipped holds, many of which were created by the same guy who FA' guessed it, Southern Belle!

Dig a little deeper and you'll find out that JR is not to be publicized as per an agreement with the landowners...ix-nay on the ailhouse-jay, s'il vous plait

Mountain climber
Apr 21, 2008 - 10:43pm PT
I'm trying to figure out how big powerful binoculars from a helicopter or glacier point would be any different than rapping down and checking out the best line to finish the route from. Or binoculars from the base of the Dome.

I am glad that there weren't dead-end bolt ladder 'fingers' placed on lead as they figured out the best line to the top.

Even if they finished the line at the top of their ground-up lead, someone eventually would have connected it to the top, right?

If the top gets chopped, can someone (maybe the chopper) re-lead from the remaining 'top of the climb', using possibly more bolts and finish the route in fine style using the path they found when it was chopped, from the topo, or ultimately, from the original rap? Or is that line ethically out of bounds for any future ascent. And if it isn't, why doesn't Sean just go up there, add a few bolts on lead to his original bolt line he dropped in there for the top.

I guess I'm trying to figure out if the line is considered ruined now that they looked at it from above on a rope instead of from another vantage point with binoculars. JB doesn't give them FA credit, but from my understanding of his reasoning, no one will ever get that credit for that line now.

I think it would have made everyone happier if they had used the rap line to scope out the line, then approached from the bottom and done it all on lead, right? Or is rapping to scope out the route so much different than using binoculars and should be shunned?


State of Mine
Apr 22, 2008 - 05:36am PT
if someone told you that they drilled a bolt ladder on rappel just how f***in lame would you think that was anyway?

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Apr 22, 2008 - 08:52am PT
"don't Lois it up "

LOL! Nice!

Do you think she does forum searches for her name when she logs in? Something like this might draw her out. I'd rather fight a Yetti, personally.

Apr 22, 2008 - 10:27am PT
A lot of the difficulties labored over here appear the moment one decides to change the rock. Suppose you do not decide to do this. Then the rock either provides you the weaknesses you need to climb it or it does not. If it does not then by definition the problem is that you are not good enough. Finding one's limit is after all why we climb. In either case the resource is left unchanged for others, still with only its natural weaknesses formed more than 100,000 years ago.

On the other hand if one wishes to change the experience available to others you might do it this way. Get a 2000' static line and top rope the whole face. With a top rope you can explore the whole area and piece together just the line you are seeking. Keep in mind you will still be criticized, and very rightly so, by the people who would have preferred a 5.13 climb instead of the 5.12 you created. But that is not a problem. Those other people can just go ahead and change the rock to suit themselves, just as you did.

No problem.

Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Apr 22, 2008 - 11:31am PT
Just curious: how much does 2000' of 9mm static line weigh?

Humping that up to the summit would probably be harder than climbing the route!

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
Apr 22, 2008 - 11:35am PT
9 mm sounds pretty thick for a static line that is only supposed to handle about 200 pounds. I am thnking 2mm kevlar could probably do quite handily.

Handling it might want a winch though! :-)

Then there is that little problem...

How do they get the rope down there?!
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Apr 22, 2008 - 11:41am PT
How would you solo-TR (knott to mention rapping) on anything much smaller than 9mm?
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