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Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Mar 29, 2008 - 10:35pm PT
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

A abhor political commentary on this forum, but Karl, I gotta ask, would you condone a rap-established route next to the Nose (for example) that was glued plastic from toe to summit? A "climber" in the future might argue this was the best way to do a FA free-solo route on the Captain. As you said, "Something for every taste."
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 29, 2008 - 10:43pm PT
Would that be The Hole unNatural Art of Protection?

Har har.

Got to see some of the pic's of that route. Whew. Looks pretty neat. Then we shared some beta on rap bolted routes.

Cheers, Doug!

-Brian in SLC

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 29, 2008 - 10:52pm PT
5.13 slab???? I don't really like the idea of rap bolting anything, but I just don't have the danglers for 5.13 slab or much of any other kind of 5.13, so...I guess it only bothers me in a dislocated kind of way. But then, the whole WOS thing didn't really bug me that much either. It's all just blowin' til somebody goes up there, does it, and then says it sucks. Probably wouldn't change much anyway...
Climb on brothers, climb on.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 29, 2008 - 10:55pm PT
Does the NPS have regs against hand bolting on rap?

Nah, but they might be bummed if you used a power drill, on El Cap, for instance.

Where's Dingus?

Ha ha.

-Brian in SLC
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Mar 29, 2008 - 10:57pm PT
"A abhor political commentary on this forum, but Karl, I gotta ask, would you condone a rap-established route next to the Nose (for example) that was glued plastic from toe to summit? "

There's obviously a limit to everything and extreme examples merely make obvious what is a judgement call...Where is the line?

I'll tell you this much: The retro bolts that all those who freeclimbed the Nose have clipped, I doubt very much that they were placed from stances or even hooks.



Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Mar 29, 2008 - 11:26pm PT
A dozen postcards says this thread will quickly pass 100 posts.

I have always (just ask my kids) said I don't care what someone believes in or practices (bestiality, bathhouse glory holes, veganism, smoking a pipe, Jehovah's Witness, chewing tobacco, Branch Davidian, Republican, etc.) just as long as they don't push it in my face and tell me I am wrong for not being a believer. Do whatever you want, whenever you want, but please remember that there are others who do not go with your flow.

Devil's advocate for a moment...

1. New bolts are placed on old aid routes to make them safer and doable. This seems an accepted practice. So would it be wrong to place bolts on an established free route so it can be done as a practice aid route? The bolts would not change the holds of the free route. Free climbers do not need to clip them.

2. Has anyone ever led Nabisco on aid? Would we allow them to do that or laugh them out of the Park?

3. If bolts are placed on an old aid route to make it a free route would it be wrong to chop the new bolts to return the route to its original state?

4. Is FREE higher on the climbing structure than AID? Yes, I think most would say so. But are free climbers allowed more freedoms than aid climbers? When will we close the Salathe to people who cannot do it all free?

5. Very few people "enjoy" a long runout. But what is an acceptable runout? If the runout was 35 feet on the FA and the second ascent determines the route would see more ascents if it had five foot runouts would they be wrong to add the bolts on rap? Sport climbers have shown us that bolts placed at one-meter intervals are acceptable since they produce hard routes that advance technique. Those short runouts seem to help the popularity of the routes.

Again, everyone is free to do what they feel is in their own best interest. Who am I to say, "she's right. You're wrong. That route stays as is. That one needs to be chopped." The community (climbing, religious, political, sexual, etc.) will establish and modify the acceptable guidelines as times change. Hopefully in climbing, the end result will be routes many people can enjoy in a safe way without death leads and without hand-holding arrows painted on the rock showing the direction to the next clip for many eons to come.

Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Mar 30, 2008 - 12:22am PT
How many Pin_Bolts™™™ were used???

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Mar 30, 2008 - 12:43am PT
This thread has asked the wrong question.

What is a sufficient level of adventure to justify any climbing action?

If we could answer that, then we could determine much.

but to say there is no adventure in those routes is probably mistaken, but also to not try more adventure (as a principle) is mistaken. The real story is somewhere in between, and we sure don't have it here.

ok, i'm outta this one. done posted too much in WOS anyways.

cheers, all, see you at the crags.


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 30, 2008 - 12:43am PT
Now this is what us outsiders sign up for - new lines, big names, old controversies rekindled, and sparks flying. And yes, where is Mimi, et al. with their enduring outrage? How many micro-flakes were sacrificed? Or, is this the case that finally proves once and for all that WOS was really about the climbers and not the climb?

And who knows, maybe it really was a desert up there on those slabs, where quality routes can only be found through a process of diligent 'rap discovery' - a term we clearly need to add to the climbing lexicon given the dawn of what promises to be a new era of hidden Valley gems.

Mar 30, 2008 - 01:06am PT
".... the end result will be routes many people can enjoy in a safe....."

Not all routes are meant to be safe or enjoyed by many people.

They are are "there" whether one enjoys or not, if it's safe or not.

Routes have soul ......

You can cover that soul, with ignorance, passion, and goodness.

And, .... you can come face to face with that soul when you transcend those 3 modes and come to pure goodness.

The best and most beautiful pearls lie in the deepest ocean.

Half way ground up, and the second half top down, how ironic on one of the most beautiful faces in America.

It faces east were the suns first rays illuminate to reveal the truths ......

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 30, 2008 - 01:26am PT
"Half way ground up, and the second half top down, how ironic..."

Are you implying the route was ground down to achieve success?
KP Ariza

Mar 30, 2008 - 01:48am PT
If I remember correctly, The R&I article states that the upper headwall was mostly 11+ climbing. These guys were obviously capable of climbing well past that level, especially after pre inspection. Once the continuous line was discovered, might it not have been worth at least an attempt to do it on the lead? You can always ad bolts to your route after the fact, in order to make it safe for the "masses" if that's what you'd like. They did a kick ass job on the lower part of the route, so whats wrong with a 6 or 7 pitch classic that you have to rap from?


Mar 30, 2008 - 03:46am PT
"I'm a Texan living in Boulder"

this HAS to be the name of some route somewhere
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Mar 30, 2008 - 08:02am PT
Please give to the grid bolting association.

Trad climber
Kayenta, Arizona
Mar 30, 2008 - 10:27am PT
This is a good discussion. I would much rather see climbers arguing among themselves than have some government agency telling us what is an acceptable method of first ascent.

I will say, as a first ascentionist, that I have personally botched some of the routes I've established on lead. The end result, in some cases, would have been better if I had rap bolted.

The route in question is unique, and it does set a bit of a precedent in Yosemite, which despite a few rap bolted lines, remains a ground up area (IMHO).

So, keep hashing it out, it is worth careful consideration.

What will the future of climbing in Yosemite be. And, who will make the rules, climbers or the government???

Trad climber
Mar 30, 2008 - 11:04am PT
I wonder if others have scoped that route but decided to pass or hold off on it until they could do it in good style?


Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Mar 30, 2008 - 11:37am PT
Most of this boils down to what people consider to be an adavance or improvement in climbing standards and practices. That, in turn, is informed by your particular values. If adventure, risk and all that other stuff are th key aspects in your experience, you'll look to go bolder than those who came before. If security and knowing outcomes beforehand is important to you, tradition becoms meaningless and you do whatever is necessary. I don't think either camp is a fixed thing and I've climbed routes by both means.

One of the things I most regret is not jumping onto the South Face of the Dome back when I was climbing all the time. We planed for it once and intended on putting a team together of Suicide dime masters but for whatever reason we never did . . .

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Mar 30, 2008 - 11:44am PT
Anybody have an example of a 5.13 slab climb of over a dozen pitches that's been done ground up?

Does anybody have the routefinding skill to see, without previewing, if a section of slab would be 5.13 or impossible? If not, would establishing a (sparsely) bolted line to nowhere be admirable or a blight on the stone.

Seems to me that it's one thing to shame a route for what it leaves for others versus to blame it for the perceived lack of risk the first ascensionists took.

Some routes are established with a public service mentality. There are pros and cons to that. Many climbers put up routes that are below their limits. Once bolt protection is required by a route, the FA party has to decide for all who follow, how accessible their route will be.

Personally, I'm glad there are routes like Galactic Hitchiker (39 pitches on the Apron) that are designed to be climbed by those who lead that same grade.

Southern Belle certainly has admirable qualities but it could also be said to occupy a beautiful piece of stone in a way that's reserved for very few. There are pros and cons to that too.

I think there's room for both and certainly room on the South Face of Half Dome.

To me, this is pretty evocative of the whole "Robbin's-Dawn Wall controversy", where Royal prejudged a route based on his perceptions of what "should" exist in that location based on tradition.

Many of the folks who railed against sport climbing, hangdogging, and the rest have gone on to do plenty of it.

There are those who have the skills to repeat the route and make a real judgement of it's merits or demerits. I'd applaud that.




Trad climber
Quartz Hill, California
Mar 30, 2008 - 11:46am PT
Before I get all worked up about this I would like to hear from Doug Robinson and anybody else who has actually climbed this aleged autrocity. Then again, it is Sunday so feel free to continue with the sermons.


right here, right now
Mar 30, 2008 - 11:49am PT
I say live and let live.

Let's hope the protagonist's of these opposing styles do an honorable and quality job, whatever the project.
We still see an adversarial/combative mentality from both camps, which sometimes borders on the absurd.

For example, a buddy of mine from Boulder, seeking to justify his rap route designs, said to me:
"Ground up? Nobody does that anymore!".
That's just an untenable statement: you get stuff like that from both sides.
Realistically, all he had to say was, "this is how I am going to do it."

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