Serenity Crack p1 bolt is back

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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 28, 2008 - 04:22pm PT
My friends Cory and Laura did Serenity Crack on 4/26/08 and told me there is a bolt on pitch 1 again. Cory said it seems to be a little lower than it was previously. It was not there on March 3, the most recent time I did Serenity p1.

Personally, I don't really care if it is there or not; I think it was probably originally placed because it was pretty runout there on nuts. Once less-wide cams (such as the green .75 Camalot) were in common use which fit the placement at that point in the crack, the bolt was no longer really needed. It was a little scarier to climb p1 when it was wet, knowing you had to hang on and put the cam in carefully. Nobody was hurt there as far as I know. I did see a guy take a long leader fall from 20' above the (missing) bolt once; he wasn't placing good gear and almost decked. A cam above the (missing) bolt held his fall.

Here is my recap on the history of this:

10/1961: First Ascent - Glen Denny and Les Wilson
Climbed with pitons; no bolt used on p1.

1967: FFA - Tom Higgins and Chris Jones
Climbed with pitons; no bolt used on p1.

1972: "Preserving the Cracks!" lead article in the 1972 American Alpine Journal, compiled by Tom Frost. Lead photo is of Serenity Crack, by John Stannard. Bolt not visible (to me at least).
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Preserving-The-Cracks-Tom-Frost-Makes-His-Case-AAJ-1972/t145n.html

early 70s: Doug Robinson proposes a "nuts and bolts" style, using bolts instead of pitons so that climbs can be done without piton scarring. The idea is controversial.

1974: people free climbing it with nuts; bolt in place on p1. This according to a post on supertopo, in one of the threads linked below.

1977(or 1976?): First edition George Meyers topo guide to Yosemite; bolt is shown on the topo.

80s/90s: 1/4" bolt replaced with 3/8"


Photo posted by "Dingus" 7/06 (photo taken at some date prior to 10/22/2005)

10/22/2005: Bolt removed, apparently by Zach. Discussion ensues on supertopo. A good cam (green camalot, red alien, or #1.5 Friend) can be placed at the same level as the bolt.

3/2008: Bolt not in place.

4/2008: Bolt back in place, apparently 2-3 feet lower than before.

[2011 edit:]
11/2008, 5/2009: Bolt gone again.

Supertopo discussions on 10/05:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=111072

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=113083

Bolt was removed by Zach, according to secondhand conversation posted by Karl.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=142035
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 28, 2008 - 04:25pm PT
Nice job of putting all the info out there for discussion Clint.

Peace

Karl
scuffy b

climber
up the coast from Woodson
Apr 28, 2008 - 04:29pm PT
Friends of mine tell me that a friend of theirs decked last year
and sprained an ankle.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Apr 28, 2008 - 04:31pm PT
superfluous bolt that i predict won't last the season


on the flip side, if you ae gonna retro-bolt this fun but manufactured line, i guess the chicken bolt ought to be in the area where the pro is poor, rather than right next to a bomber .75 placement.
(now the line up on weekend mornings will include all of those who were too sketchy to lead it w/out the bolt, what are the odds those folks are going to be 'moving right along'?)
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2008 - 04:46pm PT
scuffy b,

Did you happen to get enough details from your friends to know if the person who decked had climbed up to the level of where the bolt used to be? Of course, even if they fell below the old bolt location, maybe they were waffling about downclimbing, and if the bolt had been there, they might have been able to make it to the bolt....

I'm tempted to favor a decision rule like "if the climb existed for 10 years in a given state and was getting traffic, it should be left as is". But in this case there were 2 different states in place for a long time (without bolt 1961-~1973, with bolt ~1973-2006), so the rule is not very helpful. And commonly used gear has changed, so the usefulness of the bolt has varied as well. I don't expect any consensus on adding/removing bolts on a climb.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 28, 2008 - 04:49pm PT
The bolt was very much there in autumn 1976, when I climbed the route - I may even have a slide showing it. Having only hexes and stoppers, I was quite happy to get to it.

The bottom of the route is something of a watercourse, and fairly polished naturally. I suspect it's gradually becoming more polished, perhaps even cancelling out the advantage of sticky rubber.

Tout ca change, tout c'est la meme chose.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Apr 28, 2008 - 04:54pm PT
Man choppin that bolt is like showing up to a porn-shoot with a 2-inch pecker.

DMT
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2008 - 05:03pm PT
Anders,

The main line of pin scars is not polished; the nature if the rock is rather grainy there (which contributed to the scarring). The first 10' is barely scarred, and pretty polished. I think it is mostly a case of the ground/soil level receding there. It's a long reach for me to the first small scar (from atop the highest little boulder), and I doubt it was aided that way.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 28, 2008 - 05:04pm PT
Just shows you how crazy climbers are... worrying about a single bolt on a totaly manufactuered climb........ How anal can you get???? maby go up there and fill the sucker with cement and paint it to match the surrounding cliff.......
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Apr 28, 2008 - 05:07pm PT
the highest boulder?
dood- the climbing starts at the ground, you wipe the sand away from your toes and climb the edges for a couple of feet, it ain't hard at all.



say now, that one bolt is still kinda high, maybe there ought to be a few there, just so it's safe, for everyone... ?
martygarrison

Trad climber
Modesto
Apr 28, 2008 - 05:11pm PT
I for one don't believe the route needs a bolt there, but hey maybe we can have another 2000 post controversial (or please not) thread.
James

climber
in between climbs
Apr 28, 2008 - 05:12pm PT
Zach- aka "Georgia Ice" aka "Georgia Zach" aka "Best Bet Subman" aka "The next Way"
That Zach?
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Apr 28, 2008 - 05:16pm PT
I did that route a couple of times betwixt 1973 and 2006 and don't recall a bolt?? The first part is not that hard or steep, but I remember being happy when I got that first cam in.
jewedlaw

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 28, 2008 - 05:37pm PT
Can we leave the bolt till I've climbed it? I lost my .75 a bit ago.
Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Apr 28, 2008 - 05:37pm PT
I am undecided if having the bolts back is good. I used to focus on that bolt for my first clip. I think I've lead that pitch 4 times since the bolt was removed and I never really missed it, there is pro and the climbing is fairly solid, especially when my feet are shoved into the pods.

about 4 years ago, my friend Brett was leading the pitch (with bolt), he clipped the bolt and moved about ten feet above it. He placed a cam in the slimy crack and then decided to rest on his cam. As soon as he weighted his cam it blew out and he tumbled down the rock. The bolt was all that he had and he stopped about 5 feet off of the ground.

BTW, I am Karl's bro and so is the Brett mentioned above.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Apr 28, 2008 - 05:42pm PT
Dingus Milktoast wrote:

Man choppin that bolt is like showing up to a porn-shoot with a 2-inch pecker.


Man replacing that retrobolt is like showing up to a porn-shoot with a vagina...
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Apr 28, 2008 - 06:28pm PT
I suppose another benefit of having that bolt there is it de-zippers the marginal placements above it. I've never done the route but the placements sound potentially marginal in the pinscars.

It's always nice to get a bomber piece in early on a pitch. A multidirectional one at that. I say leave it.

(i've wanted to do this route for a while too, I'd prefer to have the bolt when I do it).

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 28, 2008 - 06:40pm PT
I think being uptight about the bolt is, well, uptight, since it was there over 20 years.

But heh, I've got the route wired ruthlessly so I can do it soaking wet and the lack of a bolt seems to have reduced traffic a tiny bit so I win either way.

I'd hate to see somebody hurt on a classic route where the first pitch is mostly manufactured anyway. I've known more than one person to nearly deck and be saved by the bolt.

The .75 placement seems pretty bomber but both placing it and trusting it when you're standing in wet slimy pin scars is another issue.

In this case, I guess it just boil down to who has the most energy to wage bolt wars

Peace

karl
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 28, 2008 - 06:44pm PT
I can't believe that no one so far has asked whether it was placed on lead, or a rap bolt. :-)
cmclean

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 28, 2008 - 07:49pm PT
The new bolt is about 2-3 feet lower than the old one. There's no doubt that the bolt will increase traffic on the route--when we noticed it on Saturday we were fifth in line, with one party trailing their friends' lead line and pre-clipping the bolt for them.
klaus

Big Wall climber
San F*#kincisco
Apr 28, 2008 - 07:51pm PT
I think the crack should be filled in with concrete, restoring the route to the thin nailing it was for the first ascent.

Oh, yeah, and the bolt has to go as well.

time to fire up the American Chopper, Vroom Vroom!
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Apr 28, 2008 - 07:53pm PT
if they're gonna bolt up trade routes so the unqualified won't get hurt, wouldn't the nutcracker mantle be ahead of this in line?
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Apr 28, 2008 - 07:55pm PT
Aw come on klaus that dinky bolt is 'neath the American Chopper. Save the BIG GUNS for the BIG LINES.

Why any old 2 incher could chop that thing, might even manage to unscrew the damn thing on lead haha, swell it up to 3!

American Mini Bike!

Cheers dude
DMT
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 28, 2008 - 08:10pm PT
2-3 feet loweer? Bolt no bolt, no big deal in my opinion, but there is a bomber #4 BD (maybe a 5 I don't remember) stopper placement probably right next to the new bolt.

You stick the stopper in sideways. there a 3/4 inch slot that tapers but it's shallow. It also has a lip on it so the stopper does not fall out.

I'm serious, you should check it out. I'd love a second opinion.

The placement was about 2-3 feet below the old bolt, so you didn't need it, but I'd stop to place it any way to keep my gear creativity skills sharp.

Tom
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Apr 28, 2008 - 08:11pm PT
As I recall, a #0 tcu works fine for protecting the nucracker mantle, and I also fail to see how that move gets the reputation it does.
cmclean

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 28, 2008 - 08:15pm PT
Tom that's funny. Twice I've looked at that spot and thought "some small stopper HAS to fit there," tinkered around with my #5 and never gotten it to stick, and finally left it there thinking "that's purely psychological pro." I brought my #4 HB offset on Saturday to test it out (I bet it would have worked perfectly) but didn't bother trying since the bolt was just a couple moves further up.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Apr 28, 2008 - 08:19pm PT
paul-
i think peeps pul the mantle just fine but screw up the traverse step into the final slab, and since the last piece you get was back at the mantle, it fails to keep people from the slab below.

and i think it gets the reputation from the double compound fractures, but i could be wrong about that...
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 28, 2008 - 08:23pm PT
the stopper is sideways, the number faces the rock and the curved side faces out toward the climber. It's sweet.

If they moved the bolt there, maybe the argument changes.

Tom
Kindredlion

Big Wall climber
4hrs too far from YNP
Apr 28, 2008 - 08:24pm PT
the bolt was not there last mth... it was wet.. and that pitch was still bomber..

why chop it if you can flatten it?... so much less work..



seriusly.. i put it there... its for a new wave aid line i was trying to free... i'm above that now... it goes...

choppin brocolley?

why not just install a dozen crash pads? mark the bolt with orange spray paint? tick it with chalk? sheesh.. or u could just clip it, or not... stfu and climb.. pass me a kobra on your way ..
punjab

Gym climber
oregon
Apr 28, 2008 - 08:24pm PT
i agree with tom, have done the route numerous times and place a nut first. don't remember the size but probably an offset. oh, and that BOLT SHOULD GO, part of the fun of the climb is the run-out pin-scar pinching...and if one is not confident on that terain they have no buisness with being on it, go climb superslide...
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Apr 28, 2008 - 09:59pm PT
"restoring the route to the thin nailing it was for the first ascent."

klaus, you figure that one out and you're a hero.






ION, I heard it was Zach who drilled the new bolt...



PS. It's so ironic that the crack is called Serenity. First the scaring, then the ugly chop, and now this.
crazyfingers

climber
CA
Apr 28, 2008 - 10:05pm PT
Are people climbing just the first pitch and then coming down?

I agree that there are options for bomber pro at the same level as where the bolt is and that section of rock is not the crux of the route, or even the pitch.

Placing the bolt there is obviously dumbing down the route and seems to only make things safer for the folks who maybe shouldn't be there at all.

Making climbing safer is a tricky matter. I don't want to see anyone get hurt, but making climbing safe is lame.

I'm sure I am now doomed to deck on the first pitch of Serenity...



nx

climber
Apr 29, 2008 - 01:31pm PT
I'm not sure why the bolder, stronger climbers have more right to climb Serenity. You're not really going to impress good climbers with that lead. I thought that bolt was there to get you past the junk at the bottom. I don't see special appeal about that runout.

Here's how a guy I know broke his back on a different climb: Place bad pro at 15 ft, fall at 20 ft, gear tugs, inverts you and pulls out. I thought the low pro on Serenity was crap - but I have no confidence.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Apr 29, 2008 - 01:40pm PT
Just curious about this... I posted it elsewhere and got no response.

So, are there ethics to chopping? I think there should be. For instance in the threads talking about this Zach character, it's mentioned that's he's planning on chopping routes he can't climb. What kinda sh#t is that? I, for one, feel that if you can't do the route legitimately, you have no business even thinking about chopping.

Basically, I think rap chopping is as bad as rap bolting. Anyone else have an opinion on this? Oh yeah, I don't recall the bolt being there late last season either.
Forest

Trad climber
Tucson, AZ
Apr 29, 2008 - 01:49pm PT
Here's how a guy I know broke his back on a different climb: Place bad pro at 15 ft, fall at 20 ft, gear tugs, inverts you and pulls out.

If anything, momentary pro should pull you upright, not invert you. Unless you've got your leg on the wrong side of the rope.

What am I missing?
nx

climber
Apr 29, 2008 - 02:36pm PT
If you hang from your harness you end up more or less horizontal, so the tug from gear will also usually take you off your feet. Also tripping happens (there are good trips and bad trips).
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Apr 29, 2008 - 02:45pm PT
why not just take a chisel and create a perfect handcrack?
that mo-fo would be 5.7
































of course some 5.6 climber would want to see a bolt there anyway
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Apr 29, 2008 - 02:49pm PT
Up to the bolt isn't much harder than 5.7... Low angle, good feet, etc...
Mr_T

Trad climber
Somewhere, CA
Apr 29, 2008 - 08:09pm PT
A true stone master spends their 10d days running it out on Greasy But Groovy, and can't be bothered with the Serenity traffic jam. There are so many awesome intermediate and hard routes in Yos with crap pro, why does some jerk have to go bashing one of the trade lines (that keep all those crowds occupied)? They have all of Tuolumne to keep them busy with poorly pro'd 10d's. Perhaps the chopper isn't strong enough for all those R's and X's and feels they have to cut down a 10a pitch to feel tough?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Apr 29, 2008 - 09:15pm PT
Does that mean that the latest new bolt on Double Cross (J-Tree) should stay?
crazyfingers

climber
CA
Apr 29, 2008 - 11:19pm PT
The difficulty rating of the route is immaterial.

What should matter most is that the bolt is in a spot where good protection can easily be placed and it's a section of the route that is easy climbing compared to the rest.

Even sport routes get run-out in the sections of climbing where the difficulty drops off.
climbrunride

Trad climber
Durango, CO
Apr 30, 2008 - 01:52am PT
Once again, I don't get it. Why are all these people speaking up so strongly now, saying that the bolt should not be there. Just because it was briefly missing? Where were they for the last 20 years? And why did it not matter to them until now?

Here's another thing which makes no sense to me about this whole thing: The third pitch has a string of thin pin scars with much harder climbing through them. You have to climb a little ways between really thin protection and really poor protection. But no one is up in arms about THAT pitch! Is complaining just a matter of convenience?
AllezAllez510

Trad climber
PDX, OR
Apr 30, 2008 - 09:04am PT
There's a bolt on Double Cross? Where? Why? Wasn't there three months ago...If true that's f-n lame.

If I recall, the bolt on Serenity was welcome less because of the difficulty of the moves and more because of the green slime in the pin scars I was climbing.

I thought the pro on the third pitch was pretty bomber. It was good enough to catch me. Twice. Ugh.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Apr 30, 2008 - 10:18am PT
Chopping that bolt would be like beating up a 2nd grader to teach her how to be tough.

DMT
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Apr 30, 2008 - 10:51am PT
Placing that bolt is more disgraceful than getting beat up by that 2nd grader...
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Apr 30, 2008 - 10:54am PT
On that beat out abortion of a crack?

I don't understand this Old School Purity thing, not at all.

Its one giant pin scar, the whole first pitch. Its like bitching about bolts in a f*#king rock quarry.

I can't stand fundamentalism.

DMT
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Apr 30, 2008 - 10:56am PT
Well, then why knott just bolt on some gym holds?

They have some really cool ones these days...
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Apr 30, 2008 - 11:24am PT
Whatever. The slippery slope argument doesn't appeal to me. I just don't see how chopping that one bolt on that particular route is anything other than short-dick-waving. The previous bolt was there for a couple of decades it seems. Chopping it was a dickheaded thing to do.

DMT
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Apr 30, 2008 - 11:33am PT
I agree than chopping it after decades was a dick-headed thing to do.

But placing the new bolt was a vagina-headed thing to do.
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Apr 30, 2008 - 11:35am PT
In the spirit of how the climb was originally climbed: I think the bolt should be chopped and fixed pins should be pounded into all the pin scars.

Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Apr 30, 2008 - 11:36am PT
Maybe paint the hanger with pink nail polish!

DMT
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Apr 30, 2008 - 12:36pm PT
"I agree than chopping it after decades was a dick-headed thing to do.

But placing the new bolt was a vagina-headed thing to do."

My new *favorite* quote, dude! hahahaha LOVE it! It pretty much sums up the whole thing into two concise sentences.

jstan

climber
Apr 30, 2008 - 01:26pm PT
Hey guys. Anybody can get up there to see what has been done.

Think about it.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Apr 30, 2008 - 01:29pm PT
"Maybe paint the hanger with pink nail polish!"

now that's funny!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 30, 2008 - 02:10pm PT
Another example of the Yosemitecentric nature of ST is the number of posts about a bolt on a mediocre route marred by pin scars.
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Apr 30, 2008 - 02:32pm PT
It's funny that the other thread on the Texas Flake retro-bolt people aren't calling for a chopping. But a bolt that helps the riff-raff on a crowded climb needs chopping!

I don't see the need for the bolt, but I haven't done it while it's slimey.
Mr_T

Trad climber
Somewhere, CA
Apr 30, 2008 - 02:47pm PT
Here's a different take on Sirenity - keep the status quo. There has always been a notion that a route stays the way it went on the first ascent. Ignore what happened 30-40 years ago with pitons - that was a different era. Look at Serenity now - it's a free route with a bolt that might not be necessary. Fine. I have no problem sticking an alien in next to it. But for an intro to moderate routes, that bolt probably has saved a few folks from shattered ankles. At least accept that there's an argument and a counter argument to the bolt, and I'm not arguing either. But the fact is, the bolt is there and has been there for 30 years.

Once you go chopping/flattening bolts, you shatter the belief that a route stays the way it went. Making changes to a route is a taboo until people start changing them willy nilly. If you start removing bolts, someone else might start adding them back. Something like the Nose could really suffer if folks start removing/adding back unnecessary bolts. Or perhaps Wheat Thin?

If you leave routes as they are and accept their state as sacred (even if they have too many bolts for your personal needs and something happened 30 years ago), then you're going have a lot less to deal with down the road. You're also going to keep that crew of would-be-retro-bolters restrained by the belief that a route stays as is. If you don't touch existing bolts, they'll have a lot more trouble putting new ones in.

Keep that bolt on Serenity in place and you'll preserve the belief that every other route is un-touchable.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:02pm PT
donini: "Another example of the Yosemitecentric nature of ST is the number of posts about a bolt on a mediocre route marred by pin scars."

SuperTopo? Yosemite-centric? Who'd a thunk it?

Of course, an article about the mediocre route marred by pin scars featured prominently in the journal published by Mr. Donini's organization in about 1972. Could be that has something to do with it. :-)
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:11pm PT
"Another example of the Yosemitecentric nature of ST"

well duh...
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:11pm PT
Mighty Hiker, thanks for showing me the error of my ways- Yosemite-centric is not one word. Question- an article in 1972 has something to do with what? Do you think that Serenity Crack is worth discussing because it is in some way historic or do you think it's a quality climb?
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:15pm PT
""donini: "Another example of the Yosemitecentric nature of ST is the number of posts about a bolt on a mediocre route marred by pin scars."

SuperTopo? Yosemite-centric? Who'd a thunk it?

Of course, an article about the mediocre route marred by pin scars featured prominently in the journal published by Mr. Donini's organization in about 1972. Could be that has something to do with it.""

Nice!

Imagine a group of folks, mainly Yos climbers, all debating a climb in Yos, on a site centered around Yos climbing. Concept!

I think the quoted quote really comes off as just some egocentric, rather than Yosemite-centric, drivel. The mediocrity of the route is neither here nor there. Since it's so "beneath" you, maybe folks should be able to whatever they choose, as far as bolting?

And this "pin-scarring makes it a stupid argument" whining BS is really silly. Half the climbs in the valley started as aid routes and are free-climbable today because of scarring. Maybe folks should be able to bolt those as they see fit too, right?
jstan

climber
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:21pm PT
After I took that picture, whenever that was, Steve W took one look at it and said, "That's obscene." I took another look at it and saw that to which he was referring.

What we need to do is to put perfect replicas of Serenity in every climbing area and in every rock gym.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:24pm PT
Nefarius hit the nail on the head. I apologize for my original quote- there must not have been any caffeine in my coffee this morning. Over and out.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:25pm PT
Serenity to Sons is one of my favorite climbs and has been repeated mentioned in threads regarding "best 5.10 multi-pitch climbs"

Personally, I don't think Pamela Anderson is very hot but others seem to. In the eyes of the beholder I suppose

Peace

karl
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:31pm PT
Serenity Crack was claimed as one of the first 5.11 climbs in the U.S., when it was freed by Tom Higgins and Chris Jones. Tom Higgins as in LongAgo, who often contributes to our debates here. The route was featured conspicuously in an article in the 1972 (?) American Alpine Journal, promoting clean climbing - an article that included photos. (I don't have a copy, but believe the article was by Royal Robbins [Edit: by Tom Frost], and the photos of the pin scarring at the bottom were by jstan.) Serenity was the poster-climb to show why we needed to do things very differently.

In other words, even though it's not a particularly notable route in and of itself, it has history, and to some extent symbolizes the debate around bolts and climbing styles. No one has yet said why the bolt was placed to begin with, but my guess is that when people started to free the route, especially the first pitch, the existing clean protection (hexes and stoppers) wasn't of much use there. To deter further pin scarring of the soft rock, a bolt was placed at about the point where people would otherwise be reaching for a hammer. Having the bolt there then may have been thought the lesser of evils. There was a school of thought then (DR?) that believed nuts + a minimum of bolts [Edit: and/or fixed pins] was better than nuts + pitons.

Of course, back in the good old days, p'terodactyls still nested on Half Dome, and ate rap bolters. #46 was still in training.
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:32pm PT
I think Pamela has had some retro-work done. And come to think of it, they were chopped and replaced too!
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:33pm PT
Good post Mighty Hiker.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:36pm PT
"Personally, I don't think Pamela Anderson is very hot but others seem to. In the eyes of the beholder I suppose"

haha! I agree there, Karl!

Wow! DIdn't know all of that, MH! There's a lot of irony there!
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Apr 30, 2008 - 03:39pm PT
Anyone getting worked up either way about a single bolt on that of all routes is the picture of myopic pettyness.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2008 - 04:00pm PT
Anders,

There is a link to the AAJ article (by Tom Frost) in my initial post in this thread.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 30, 2008 - 04:25pm PT
Thanks, Clint. I trawled through the AAC website in an attempt to find the article, overlooking that it was right under my nose!

It is important to note that the article was on page 1 of that year's journal - the American Alpine Club (or at least its editor) showed considerable leadership in pushing the debate. In retrospect perhaps the advocates were leaning on a partly-open door, in that nuts very often were easier and faster to use than pitons, and overall as reliable. Also that nuts had slowly been getting better and more common. Nonetheless it was quite a sea change.

Serenity is really just a microcosm of the larger debate about climbers' impacts on the natural and human environments, both as climbers and simply as humans who are often citizens of developed countries. Also about what impacts are acceptable, and how they can be minimized or mitigated.
jstan

climber
Apr 30, 2008 - 04:34pm PT
Those photos had appeared in The Eastern Trade and Summit Magazine prior to appearing in the AACJ. They have almost as much exposure as the Bachar Yerian, which is quite a bit.

Edit:
Just a play on the two meanings of "exposure" here. The pictures were in print several times so I asked myself what climb involves risk of a big drop. The BY came to mind right away.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
May 1, 2008 - 09:08am PT
Just curious, but is there a route that continues on from Sons of Yesterday to the rim?
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