Side by Side Ethics, Practicality or the Road to Hell?

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bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 11, 2008 - 11:26am PT
Ed...looking back it seems to me that the climbs were somewhat secondary to friendships earned and time spend with some pretty amazing people. I think we do take this all to serious at times and lose our perspective. Thankfully I have my wife, children and a few good friends to get me back on track when I derail!
Mimi

climber
May 11, 2008 - 11:37am PT
On the mark again, Ed.

Bob, it's not whether you're the best, it's whether you did your best. To believe the Valley locals 'set standards back 20 years' by not supporting hangdogging or rapbolting routes is a shortsighted attitude. Saying the Valley locals had a stagnant attitude is also ridiculous. Incidentally, maybe this reaction against the Valley ethic was due to many climbers getting their asses kicked with each visit.

The locals were doing their best without robbing future climbers or gridbolting the area simply because they wanted to compete against the Euros. I presume you believe that the 'museum' climbs are also robbing the future.

Pushing the standards using these tactics is a result of impatience and expediency. And ego, of course. Was it really that beneficial to climbing as a whole that 5.14 was attained sooner than later? The rock is still there, climbers, as have all athletes, continue to improve with each generation.

Did you support the bolting ban in the Gunks? Would the Gunks be better off today if you and your pals were allowed to drill away? If the 'future' had arrived there, would you be a happier man now?
jstan

climber
May 11, 2008 - 11:40am PT
"Ed...looking back it seems to me that the climbs were somewhat secondary to friendships earned and time spend with some pretty amazing people. I think we do take this all to serious at times and lose our perspective. Thankfully I have my wife, children and a few good friends to get me back on track when I derail! "

Bob:
I don't know what to do with the above.

Are you now saying,

" I really do value all of your friendships more than I thought and so will listen much more carefully to what you think we should do with the rock we share."

Or are you saying,

"It is the friendships that really count so it does not make any difference what I do to the rock we all share."

I'd kinda like to know.
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 11, 2008 - 11:58am PT
Mimi...nice...glad to see you are holding the torch for the Valley Boys. Funny how many other climbers don't share your perspective.

Mimi wrote: The locals were doing their best without robbing future climbers or gridbolting the area simply because they wanted to compete against the Euros. I presume you believe that the 'museum' climbs are also robbing the future.

Seems you presume wrong... it safe to say I done my fair share of museum climbs..so you don't want to go there! Get off the "future shit" in the valley. They just didn't like certain people and their style.

As to the Gunks...no I don't support a total bolting ban and the crew that was for bolting some routes...thier voices fell on deaf ears. The Gunks are private and so be it.

Your grid bolting remark is a typical response to instill fear. A overworked tactic in today world.

John... both. As to the rock part...a honest and responsible approach is the best way to get things done. My examples would be the San Luis Valley and Shelf Rd when it comes to land managers and users creating a medium that fits most and not a few.
Mimi

climber
May 11, 2008 - 12:05pm PT
Overworked tactics are the core of this discussion, Bob. Surely, you acknowledge that gridbolting exists. It's then merely a question of the grid spacing, isn't it?
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 11, 2008 - 12:13pm PT
Mimi wrote: Overworked tactics are the core of this discussion, Bob. Surely, you acknowledge that gridbolting exists. It's then merely a question of the grid spacing, isn't it?

Yes is does...so what is your point?? You think every area in going to be turns into a grid-bolting f*#k up?

Another fear tactic that I not buying.

The core of this discussion had so little to do with environmental concern as to dislike of personal climbing style.
jstan

climber
May 11, 2008 - 12:17pm PT
Thanks to the bolting ban in the Gunks there is an area presently in its natural state, at least as regards bolts. So I can pose the following:

When someone proposes to change the status quo the burden also falls on them to project any long term consequences of their change and show how deleterious result can be avoided. So let me ask:

Were you to propose new bolting in the Gunks or if you were to propose going into entirely new areas to develop routes using bolts, what is the proposal you have made as regards management of the activity?

If you see "grid bolting" as not being a problem then you do not owe us an answer. Otherwise, I believe you do. You must have thought about it.

EDIT:
You say " Areas do not necessarily become "grid bolted". So how do you propose the areas that do tend toward grid bolting be managed?

EDITEDIT ED:
In reality I think Grid bolting is a term a person uses whenever their personal sensitivity to the non-natural state has been exceeded. Bob also has such a threshold and I am sure it comes before the state wherein the rock is so tightly bolted it cannot be directly touched. Whatever his personal threshold, when he finds an area that exceeds his threshold he will begin posting on ST now to the other side.

Terminology aside when a person proposes to change the status quo they have the responsibility to contemplate downstream consequences. In this case those consequences are hard to estimate due to individual differences but that difficulty does not remove the responsibility. Indeed that difficulty, and not "style", may be an important reason many of us object to this practice. As it has been carried out it is irresponsible.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 11, 2008 - 12:18pm PT
specifics, please...

I've heard areas being "grid bolted" but I'm not sure I've climbed in any of them. The only sport area I think I've climbed in is Owens River Gorge, which is heavily bolted. I liked the climbing, and it did seem very popular, with lots and lots of people climbing a la an outdoor gym. Is ORG considered "grid bolted?"

There are some "gear routes" there, but I suspect few climb them. So side-by-side is a difficult comparison. And most routes do not go to the rim (actually do any routes?) and I believe most routes are essentially a half a rope length or shorter.

What other areas?
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 11, 2008 - 12:37pm PT
John..again...the Gunks are a trust and private. Use public lands as an example and then we can discuss it.

I don't blame grid-bolting for all the ills of the sport of climbing...word your question better and then I'll give you my response.
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 11, 2008 - 12:47pm PT
John wrote:Indeed that difficulty, and not "style", may be an important reason many of us object to this practice. As it has been carried out it is irresponsible.


John...listen to what I am writing...I helped developed two major climbing areas in Colorado, Shelf Rd and the San Luis Valley. From the start we were in contact with the land managers and created a working relationship that is healthy and exist to this day.

We installed trails, bathrooms and camping sites and the areas are considered multi-use. I was given volunteer of the year in Colorado by the BlM in 1993. I'm proud of the work I have done and the enjoyment that these areas have bought to climbers and other users in the past twenty years.

John....give me an example of a grid bolted area that you been too. You sound like GWB and the WMD thing...I know they are out there but I just can't prove it.
Mimi

climber
May 11, 2008 - 12:54pm PT
Bob, during your development at these two areas, how did you guys collectively, handle future route density and bolt spacing issues beyond your own work?
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 11, 2008 - 01:00pm PT
Mimi wrote:Bob, during your development at these two areas, how did you guys collectively, handle future route density and bolt spacing issues beyond your own work?

We tried to do our best...that is all anyone can do. I am not a control freak...I don't do climbs that are distasteful to me or go areas that are either.
csdude

Trad climber
colo springs CO
May 11, 2008 - 01:31pm PT
Bob...(re: san-louis) Penitene is not a great example, I know
it's not yours (or my) fault its an overbolted mess now,
but it is.
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 11, 2008 - 02:03pm PT
Tommy Caldwell is always getting his ass kick in the Valley...:)
Mimi

climber
May 11, 2008 - 02:45pm PT
Bob, you're missing the point. Everyone gets a spanking in Yosemite at one time or another.

Not wanting to seige and hangdog a route into submission is IMO, protecting an area's integrity, not stagnating in it. That the scene didn't stay in Yosemite and moved elsewhere as it always does, doesn't by itself invalidate the past standards and accomplishments in Yosemite. There was a point to it all.
jstan

climber
May 11, 2008 - 03:23pm PT
Bob:
Csdude writes the San Luis that you initially developed "is now an overbolted mess." This is exactly the point I was raising when discussing a developer's responsibility to look ahead. Are you or will you be looking ahead in your future activities?

In the same post where you gave as examples the two areas you developed while discussing some of my objections, out of left field you cited "GWB" and "WMB". In the old days ad hominem involved attacking an idea through attacking a person. In recent years we have added to this capability believing if we can merely associate someone's name with a sound byte like GWB or WMD we are freed from the need to address an issue. Remember "swiftboat?" It is even a verb now.

You know I am just one person. You can ignore my concerns. But all your customers are just people and when one of your customers has a problem you have to get right down in the dirt and deal with it. If you do not you will soon be out of business. I have to ask. You are not trying to deal with the issues I, and a whole lot of others are raising. Is it because no money is involved? That is the only thing that separates us from your customers, is it not?

At the time of the Gunks meetings one of the people very honestly and forthrightly stood up and said his climbing was not as much fun now that he was making it partly his livelihood. Since that time he has become a well-known professional and has conducted himself admirably IMO. It is a very tough job combining these things and doing it while treating everyone the way they have every right to be treated. It is many times harder than is this business of actually scrambling around on the rock, again IMO.

In these discussions we, myself included, need to do much much better than we have been doing. By two or three grades, at least.

Mimi

climber
May 11, 2008 - 03:57pm PT
Los contradiciones de la Weenie Way.
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 11, 2008 - 04:22pm PT
John wrote: Bob:
Csdude writes the San Luis that you initially developed "is now an overbolted mess." This is exactly the point I was raising when discussing a developer's responsibility to look ahead. Are you or will you be looking ahead in your future activities?


John...csdude is wrong. His statement is vague at best and does not address what the mess is!! There has only been a handful of new routes in Penitente in the last 10-15 years... Access areas have been limited and maintained trails now exist where hunters and four-wheelers use to romp through. Maintained campsites and bathrooms have been put in where people (not just climbers) used to camp and sh#t all over the place.

My using GWB & WMD was not an attack on you...you still haven't given me a example of grid-bolted area that you have been too.

Is your opinion base on hearsay or fact???

You are taking one person word because it supports your agenda.
Mimi

climber
May 11, 2008 - 04:31pm PT
D'Arth d'Antonio. How does it feel to have gone over to the Dark Side? LOL! The road to hell is paved with PortaPotties!
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
May 11, 2008 - 04:57pm PT
Mimi..it feels quite good...thanks for asking.
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