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Poll: Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174)
Spot on, aid is complete BS 10 / 17%
I'd like to stab the author through the jaw with a sky hook 10 / 17%
I don't see what all the arguing is about 10 / 17%
I'm going to get some popcorn, this is gonna be good 28 / 48%
58 total votes
 

Lazlo


Dec 4, 2008, 8:20 PM
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In the simplest sense: lets respect first ascentionists.


Lazlo


Dec 4, 2008, 8:26 PM
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Re: [krosbakken] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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krosbakken wrote:
jh_angel wrote:
So you think once a climb is done on aid it should stay that way forever and never be freed? For example: keeping something as A5 is better than having it be, for instance, 5.13 with the option of doing it as an A1?

Many aid routes have been freed over the years, and sometimes that requires putting in bolts. Sometimes in place of other drilled pro, sometimes not. So the main question to think over is: If an A5 can be freed, but it needs bolts, should it be bolted and freed or not? (Keep in mind many A5s have "enhanced" features that make them aid-able, they are not all natural)



I agree with this. Yes a climb may have to be aided at first but if it can be free climbed then make it free able. ( if that made any sense at all ).


Theres a video clip of tommy caldwell and beth rodden in the grand canyon wanting to free an aid climb but first chris mcnamara aided up there and made sure that all the pro was there and it was possible, and I think that is where aid climbing is great to have. With aid climbing your able to explore further, and then later free climb it (if possible, and aiding up it will help determine if it is possible or not).


just my 2 cents.


Bolt-hole cams exist...lets pull all the bolts and send sport routes with trad gear.

Lets bolt aid routes.

Lets make the Eiger Via Ferrata.

Lets bolt cracks.


(This post was edited by Lazlo on Dec 4, 2008, 8:55 PM)


krosbakken


Dec 4, 2008, 8:27 PM
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Re: [Lazlo] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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Lazlo wrote:


Bolt-hole cams exist...lets pull all the bolts and send sport routes with trad gear.



I don't know, that sounds to me like a lot of work.


thabadcharacter


Dec 4, 2008, 8:30 PM
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Re: [krosbakken] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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why have i read this far? hasn't this been discussed to death? rock climbing is stupid.


dingus


Dec 4, 2008, 8:48 PM
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Re: [thabadcharacter] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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My friends!!!!111111

I shall tell you the answer.

Ready?

It Depends.

Seriously?????

It depends on the route. It depends on the context. Hell in bad weather survival may be at stake. It depends on the FA. It depends on the local ethics or span of ethics. It may just depend on what gear happens to be along.

Some routes are prime for freeing. Others for clean aid and trade. Still others though, it seems to me, remain testpieces?

And not even that really - to me the real business of aid, hard or otherwise, is on a first ascent (or heading up some line in the park without knowledge), takes on a new context yet again.

SO some routes ya leave alone. Others...?

It depends.

DMT


potreroed


Dec 4, 2008, 8:50 PM
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A via ferrata on the Eiger would be cool as hell. Just don't have it interfere with any established routes.


Lazlo


Dec 4, 2008, 8:53 PM
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potreroed wrote:
A via ferrata on the Eiger would be cool as hell. Just don't have it interfere with any established routes.

Touche. I guess I'd have fun on it.


Guran


Dec 5, 2008, 3:39 AM
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Re: [potreroed] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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potreroed wrote:
A via ferrata on the Eiger would be cool as hell. Just don't have it interfere with any established routes.

There is one allready.

(No not all the way to the summit, of course)


moof


Dec 5, 2008, 8:30 AM
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Re: [jh_angel] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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One more reason I don't waste my money or time on Rap and Chisel.

Go climb something...


Lazlo


Dec 7, 2008, 9:08 PM
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I'd like to keep arguing about this, if you guys wouldn't mind...


Lazlo


Dec 7, 2008, 9:08 PM
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Please?


ncclimber


Dec 10, 2008, 5:25 PM
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Re: [Lazlo] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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I also have not read the article, But as an aid climber and a first ascentionist I would be pissed if someone added to a route I had put up without discussing it with me. Was this discussed with the person that put up the route or are they still available.
Be considerate of the FA party not all aid lines need to be freed.


hafilax


Dec 10, 2008, 6:10 PM
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Re: [Valarc] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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Valarc, altering the rock is always frowned upon. Just because it's aid doesn't make it OK. I'm not really sure where you got the idea that you can drill bat hooks and put in bolt ladders wherever you want. There are times when safety and survival come first and you do whatever you can to get out of that situation...

As far as I know, nobody has fallen on an aid climb and ripped all their gear plus the anchor. You can't prove something is A5 until that happens. It's all A4+ until you die. A5 would be the ultimate mistake.

The A grades don't really take into account the difficulty of the climb. You could have hooks for your anchor and hook features to the next anchor and the pitch would be A5 but it could be the easiest climbing imaginable.

Rating a climb based on how scared you were is pretty silly IMO.

So someone hops on your route and pulls the shitty rivet you placed. Are they obliged to put an equally shitty rivet next to it so that everyone else can 'enjoy' the route as the first ascensionist intended it? They might not have a rivet, might not be able to bat hook, might not be able to back off and might only have bolts to get by that spot. Are they obliged to step up to the route even though the first ascensionist didn't?

It


dj69


Dec 10, 2008, 6:14 PM
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Re: [Lazlo] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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Lazlo wrote:
jh_angel wrote:
rocks_good_hippies_bad wrote:
Haha. Try to follow my logic:

If there's no such thing as the A5 death fall...but he needed to retrobolt it...then...why? Two reasons:

1. Because there IS such thing as the A5 death fall
OR
2. Because he's too much of a euro-trash bolt-clipping nancy to take the big (and not so deadly) whip!

I say grab the hooks and duct tape not the bosch and bolts.

He put bolts where there were previously rivets, which also require drilling. Thus making an aid route free-able, which most would agree is a better style. That was one of his points; If you are going to drill, do it right the first time and put in a bolt which can be used by aid and free climbers alike.

As I understand it; a rivet will not hold a fall...so if he placed bolts where there were rivets; then he has ruined this A5, right? I think that's wrong. That's like chipping holds to me.

How about the hundreds of drilled hook placements, isn't that chipping, or the cracks that are full of pin scars. Don't these lower the grade of the free climb.


Valarc


Dec 10, 2008, 6:22 PM
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hafilax wrote:
Valarc, altering the rock is always frowned upon. Just because it's aid doesn't make it OK. I'm not really sure where you got the idea that you can drill bat hooks and put in bolt ladders wherever you want.

I got that idea from reading the ramblings of self-professed old school climbers. I see people ranting and raving constantly about the ethics violations of the upstart new climbers, but rarely see anyone but noobs like me questioning drilling hook holes or bolt ladders.

If it's really a question of simply surviving, and not stroking one's ego, wouldn't it make more sense to drill a rap anchor and bail off the climb, rather than a bolt ladder?


jeremy11


Dec 10, 2008, 6:32 PM
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Re: [ncclimber] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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Just read the article, and saw the video clip.
I am an aid climber, with some single pitch A2 nailing FA's

He's right on a lot of things - aid is easier than it looks, once you get your systems figured out. Unlike free climbing, anyone with the mind and will can learn it.

I agree aid standards should progress, the scale should be opened, and ratings should be based on difficulty as well as danger - for example, given a full pitch of textbook # 0 RP's (micronuts) in great constrictions, in great rock, mixed in with a few easy hook moves - would that be C5? Sure, every piece only holds 2 kN, but who would really fall on a string of easy micronut placements?

Compared to other aspects of adventure, aid is safe, for example - jumping off cliffs skiing or biking, free soloing near your limit, skiing solo to the North Pole,
Driving down the highway!
Many things in life are more dangerous than aid, it just feels dangerous sometimes.

Actually, when aiding a route I prefer to stay in the aiders rather than switch to free climbing for sections, unless necessary.

HOWEVER, what about hangdogging up a sport route? If that isn't aid, I don't know what is. So if you're a hangdogin' sport climber on a high horse about being superior to aid climbing, remember that the route is drilled and entirely safe, and that the are all covered in chalk.

Also, the progression of anything is left to the elite. I'll never win the Tour de France, or win the Hardrock 100 or get the speed record on the Nose or the Reticent Wall, but I sure have a lot of fun biking, running, and climbing.
For the rest of us in the middle, we just get out there and enjoy Creation however we want, without damaging the rock unnecessarily.

I would love to see aid difficulty get pushed, perhaps even cutting edge routes were multiple falls are taken in order to figure out the move.
The current danger based ratings lead to noone taking falls on hard routes, but if such pitches were protected only enough to make a fall reasonable (not getting hurt) even if it means adding bolts, then that could be good.
Where would free climbing be if noone ever fell?

Maybe aid ratings should go with A0-A5 for danger and come up with a new scale for placement and movement difficulty (a straight up pitch is much easier than a wandering pitch were many placements are partially blind)


hafilax


Dec 10, 2008, 6:58 PM
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Valarc wrote:
hafilax wrote:
Valarc, altering the rock is always frowned upon. Just because it's aid doesn't make it OK. I'm not really sure where you got the idea that you can drill bat hooks and put in bolt ladders wherever you want.

I got that idea from reading the ramblings of self-professed old school climbers. I see people ranting and raving constantly about the ethics violations of the upstart new climbers, but rarely see anyone but noobs like me questioning drilling hook holes or bolt ladders.

If it's really a question of simply surviving, and not stroking one's ego, wouldn't it make more sense to drill a rap anchor and bail off the climb, rather than a bolt ladder?
As Mark Twight says, sometimes you have to fall upwards. There are climbs where the safest retreat is up.

There was a time when getting to the top was all that mattered. There was no style. That changed. I don't know when but one of the most famous articles from that period was Reinhold Messner's The murder of the impossible in 1971. He accuses climbers of "...carrying their courage in their rucksacks..." whenever they place a bolt when they are scared. Clean climbing has been the goal for a long time now, aid or free.


dingus


Dec 11, 2008, 6:20 AM
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Re: [Valarc] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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Valarc wrote:
I got that idea from reading the ramblings of self-professed old school climbers. I see people ranting and raving constantly about the ethics violations of the upstart new climbers, but rarely see anyone but noobs like me questioning drilling hook holes or bolt ladders.

Maybe noobs like you should just head on up there and find out what the deal really is all about?

Seriously.

In reply to:
If it's really a question of simply surviving, and not stroking one's ego, wouldn't it make more sense to drill a rap anchor and bail off the climb, rather than a bolt ladder?

The trouble we run into is trying to apply our own limited experiences to a larger world. Bailing from 20 pitches up an overhanging and poorly equipped new route is sometimes not even an option.

Many of the criticisms in that vid are likely valid. Perhaps most of them. And yet, despite the assurance of the author to the contrary? Most of us... the vast majority, the super-majority if you will - WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CLIMB ONE OF THESE ROUTES drilled hook placements or no.

Its a different game of unending anxiety. Despite assurances of safety and all that shit? A big wall climber is in the legendary 'death zone' from the first pitch to the last. Often taking days instead of minutes or hours - the anxiety of the commitment is an animal all to itself. I've felt similar feelings when tackling (for me) big mountain projects, but even there its very different.

All I'm saying is this - be cautious about applying non-wall climbing judgements and thresholds until you've at least tried a wall yourself.

Cheers
DMT


ja1484


Dec 11, 2008, 6:40 AM
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People read climbing magazines? Why bother with that drivel?


Valarc


Dec 11, 2008, 7:39 AM
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dingus wrote:
Maybe noobs like you should just head on up there and find out what the deal really is all about?
...
All I'm saying is this - be cautious about applying non-wall climbing judgements and thresholds until you've at least tried a wall yourself.

This certainly makes sense to me - you're in a different environment, and when you've been up there for days, and you're in a world of hurt, I could see how "clean climbing" takes a backseat to "clean shorts" because you're about to shit yourself.

I just find it frustrating that there are different standards depending on how scared you are. If it's OK to fuck up the rock, it should be just as OK for a sport weenie as it is for a big wall'er. I understand the circumstances are different, and the level of commitment is different, but the rock doesn't care if you're in the "death zone" or not.

It would be one thing if the big wall community didn't also often seem to be the loudest community when it comes to telling everyone else what is and isn't proper ethics. I just don't like the attitude of "do as I say, not as as I do, unless you're so scared you're about to shit yourself". Or alternatively, the more ego-oriented "I'm a bigger man than you, because I climb scarier shit, and therefore its OK for me to destroy the rock if I feel its necessary, as long as I do it in a way that might kill someone."

I have no problem with drilling hook holes, and hammering pins doesn't really bother me. But neither does rap bolting, hangdogging, or pinkpointing. I guess what I'm saying is, if certain segments of the community wouldn't be so damn judgmental of the way others do things, I wouldn't be nearly as bothered by the whole discussion.


dingus


Dec 11, 2008, 7:57 AM
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Valarc wrote:
I just find it frustrating that there are different standards depending on how scared you are.

You want equivalence where none exists.

I would suggest this valarc my friend... don't lament the inconsistencies in the mad world of climbing. CELEBRATE THEM!

Consistency in climbing equates to a vanilla world. Given the least common denominator tendenancy, a consistent climbing world will be dull and predictable.

Climbing is an idiotic thing to do, on balance. It makes no sense. Yet we do it.

So don't start expecting to find consistent logic. This crap doesn't make sense BECAUSE it doesn't make sense - how could it????

In reply to:
If it's OK to fuck up the rock, it should be just as OK for a sport weenie as it is for a big wall'er.

OK, I see from whence you come - a society of rules and norms and shit. You want to fit in and the best way to do that is sto study and adhere to the rule book. I get that.

Well there ain't no rule book in climbing. There is YOU and there is everyone else. You have to find your own accomodation between the personal and the group and understand others will not agree.

I rebel against group-think in this sport. Group think suggests there is one correct way to belay, one correct way to climb a wall, blah blah blah.

In reply to:
I understand the circumstances are different, and the level of commitment is different, but the rock doesn't care if you're in the "death zone" or not.

Indeed the rock doesn't care if you do THIS to it:


Its a rock, dude. It has no feelings. It is not hallowed. It is not subject to worship. We humans bulldoze it, drill it, carve it, crush it, make things with it, toss it - well you get the drift. Its a rock. It has no intrinsic human qualities at all - NONE.

The only 'value' a rock has is that which we assign to it. And clearly not all humans assign the same value to a given rock.

In reply to:
It would be one thing if the big wall community didn't also often seem to be the loudest community when it comes to telling everyone else what is and isn't proper ethics.

There you go with the group think again. Forget about that shit dude, it is a misplaced emotion. Instead... I suggest you focus on YOU and in this case the commentator about big walling, and maybe the guy who did the FA of the route what got retroed - Eric Kohl. Forget about all that other tripe - its meaningless.

In reply to:
I just don't like the attitude of "do as I say, not as as I do,

So fucking what????

In reply to:
unless you're so scared you're about to shit yourself".

Ever grabbed a draw to prevent a fall?

In reply to:
Or alternatively, the more ego-oriented "I'm a bigger man than you, because I climb scarier shit, and therefore its OK for me to destroy the rock if I feel its necessary, as long as I do it in a way that might kill someone."

If the 'rock destruction' involved in hard aid is so concerning to you bro, feel free to skip those fixed bolts next time you climb bro.

In reply to:
I have no problem with drilling hook holes, and hammering pins doesn't really bother me. But neither does rap bolting, hangdogging, or pinkpointing.

Please consider: ALL (not one but ALL) of the aid climbers I know personally? Do ALL THOSE THINGS you just mentioned, me included. We don't seem to suffer this need for consistency and a vanilla world where all rules are the same and everyone plays the same fucking game.

In reply to:
I guess what I'm saying is, if certain segments of the community wouldn't be so damn judgmental

I find this statement the height of irony! I would caution you to beware - as noobs traverse the skills to journeyhood some of them develop a certain sense of entitlement and a very definite resentment toward those who preceeded them.

In reply to:
of the way others do things, I wouldn't be nearly as bothered by the whole discussion.

You think about what I said my friend. Go have a couple of beers and laugh it up with some close climber friends. Talk to them - you'll see yer old Uncle Dingus has it right.

DMT


(This post was edited by dingus on Dec 11, 2008, 8:00 AM)


dingus


Dec 11, 2008, 8:32 AM
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Valarc, if you truly want to get a glimpse of the solidarity of the big wall 'community' wade through this thread. Its monumentally long - but it holds a wealth of attitudes and views on the past and current norms and deviations of the Yosemite bog wall world.

You will quickly note - there is no solidarity and this so-called community is rather a very loose association of individualists, none of whom appreciate being told what to do.

http://www.supertopo.com/...html?topic_id=566859

This thread, coupled with the rather stunning pitonron thread here on rc.com, constitute imo the best big wall threads ever, on the internet.

At least that I've seen.

Both of these threads illustrate in spades the basic principles of western individualism. My climbing mentor Stu summed it up best:

"I basically don't like being told what to do, by anyone."

Salude Stu!

DMT


Valarc


Dec 11, 2008, 8:43 AM
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Re: [dingus] Aid climbing article in newest Rock & Ice (Issue 174) [In reply to]
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I have read some of that thread in the past, and I found it absolutely fascinating, to say the least. I guess it's been my experience that the "rap bolting is evil, sport climbers suck, now let me go drill this ladder" voice has been the one that has been loudest in my ears. Obviously there are more shades of gray than that, and I guess I'm expressing my frustration about those vocal few as a backlash against all aid climbers or old-school climbers or whatever, which is admittedly silly.

Then again, as you said above, this whole discussion is kind of silly - shit this whole climbing rocks thing is kind of silly, so I guess I'm in good company.


Valarc


Dec 11, 2008, 8:53 AM
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dingus wrote:
You will quickly note - there is no solidarity and this so-called community is rather a very loose association of individualists, none of whom appreciate being told what to do.

But so many of them seem to love telling everyone else what to do. That's the part that grinds my gears.


refugee


Dec 11, 2008, 8:54 AM
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It's a gross exaggeration to say "kalous retro-bolted an A5"

He placed one bolt at an anchor. AT AN ANCHOR.

Why should the first ascentionist have the safety and protection of their freshly drilled bolts, but if you replace a bolt that years later isn't good anymore, you are somehow a pussy ...?

What about tommy caldwell, alex huber, and many others who have retro-bolted aid climbs to protect free-climbing variations? Are they pussies too? I'd love to see anyone who thinks so say that to Alex's face.

Anyone who doesn't agree with Kalous' rant is probably old, fat and can't free climb very well and therefore enjoys this contrived activity that provides a way for out-of-shape losers to place themselves above other climbers. Kalous has led TONS of A5 pitches ... How many A5's have people on this forum done?

The reason the "big wall community" has such a strong presence online is because they're all old out-of-shape and out-of-touch climbers who don't climb anymore and just sit at home and spray their out-dated ethics and try to convince the new climbers who come online of their archaic system that still places them and what they do above anything else happening today.

It's such a farce. Warren Harding would have a field day with this ...

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Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Big Wall and Aid Climbing

 


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