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fluxus


Oct 11, 2005, 9:50 AM
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So then you are saying that it's OK to drill extra pockets for 5.10, but not 5.7 because more people can do 5.7 than 5.10

The example under discussion is rather strange for two reasons: 1) I've never seen anyone who was a "5.5 climber" (if there is such a thing) going for a first ascent. and 2) I've never met anyone who couldn't climb 5.7 moves on their first day of climbing.

If you want to introduce the idea that climbers who are ok with chipping are biased toward harder grades you may have a point but this is a poor way of getting there.


jt512


Oct 11, 2005, 10:03 AM
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So then you are saying that it's OK to drill extra pockets for 5.10, but not 5.7 because more people can do 5.7 than 5.10 and/or that the spread between 5.5 and 5.7 is a lot less than V11-5.10?

Fracture spelled out precisely what I hoped you would figure out for yourself:
In reply to:
The difference between V11 and 5.10 is infinitely greater than the difference between 5.7 and 5.5. Not to mention that basically everyone can do a 5.7 move.

Basically, anyone who can climb 5.5 can climb 5.7, so it is pointless to alter a 5.7 route to make it "consistent 5.5" (whatever that means).

On the other hand, the distance between 5.10 and V11 is enormous. I'd estimate that 50% of active climbers can climb 5.10 sport, whereas V11 is the gateway to the elite class. Something on the order of 1 in 1000 climbers could climb a V11 crux on an otherwise 5.10 route. But that wasn't really the OP's point, because a 5.10 route with V11 crux would not be of interest to anyone: it's too hard for the 5.10 climber, and it's not sustained enough for the 5.14 climber; it's just lame. On the other hand, if you the chip the crux down to 5.10, then, according to the hypothetical presented, you'd have a stellar, continuous 5.10 route.

But the real question is why are you arguing against this practice after several prolific first ascentionists have informed you that it is almost always done? Get it? Several FAists have explained that the vast majority of worthwhile routes have been altererd. It's the rule, not the exception. The ethic that you champion is almost entirely theoretical. Few prominent first ascentionists, in spite of what they may have espoused publicly, have consistently followed it themselves. Chipping, cleaning, gluing are routine practices today, just as they have been for decades. And for good reason: most rock just doesn't make for good routes in its natural state.

-Jay


benpullin


Oct 11, 2005, 10:04 AM
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most of you folks have absolutely no idea about what goes on during an FA. aid, trad, sport, whatever..

Would you expect anthing else from a rc.com thread?


billcoe_


Oct 11, 2005, 12:15 PM
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Remember, we are not discussing cleaning routes, comforting holds, or glue reinforcing suspect features. We are simply considering cases where the rock presents free climbing difficulties that the route developer can not overcome.

The above is the OP's preface to the questions.


The question was #2, noted and also quoted above.

Your surprising answer was yes it is ok to drill to make the route easier. Given that 5.5 is a a poor and an exaggerated example, at what level then to you feel the cut off is. As in, sure its fine to drill pockets just to make a route easier (which is what you are both saying).

At what grade is the cut off for you? We have clarified that 5.5 is too low. You feel that is inappropriate. But that a V11 with multile pockets drilled so that it is a 5.10 is fine.

How about a 5.11 being drilled to be a 5.9? Or where is that number?

And btw: you are wrong with the comments that this kind of thing is common. It is not.


fluxus


Oct 11, 2005, 12:23 PM
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The ethic that you champion is almost entirely theoretical.

exactly, and isn't that the point of this entire thread that climbers not involved in first ascents appear to believe in a mythologized version of what a first ascent should be, a myth that is far removed from the reality of putting up climbs?

Its funny because this is the case in so many ways in climbing, the recreational climbers believe in a completely synthetic version of climbing history and ethics.


jbak


Oct 11, 2005, 12:24 PM
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But the real question is why are you arguing against this practice after several prolific first ascentionists have informed you that it is almost always done? Get it? Several FAists have explained that the vast majority of worthwhile routes have been altererd. It's the rule, not the exception. The ethic that you champion is almost entirely theoretical. Few prominent first ascentionists, in spite of what they may have espoused publicly, have consistently followed it themselves. Chipping, cleaning, gluing are routine practices today, just as they have been for decades. And for good reason: most rock just doesn't make for good routes in its natural state.

-Jay

Jay, I basically agree with you, but the tone of your post seems a bit more laizze-faire than I would have written. There are so many beginners on this site that I would urge them to do a LOT of thinking and gain a lot of experience before they go out and just start whacking away.


dingus


Oct 11, 2005, 12:29 PM
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Its funny because this is the case in so many ways in climbing, the recreational climbers believe in a completely synthetic version of climbing history and ethics.

Completely synthetic? The whole history of climbing?

How about some examples?

DMT


jt512


Oct 11, 2005, 12:32 PM
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There are so many beginners on this site that I would urge them to do a LOT of thinking and gain a lot of experience before they go out and just start whacking away.

Beginners shouldn't be putting up routes at all. Show me a crag where anyone other than the few most experienced climbers have put up routes and I'll show you a crag with some pretty awful routes.

-Jay


jbak


Oct 11, 2005, 12:40 PM
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How about a 5.11 being drilled to be a 5.9? Or where is that number?

And btw: you are wrong with the comments that this kind of thing is common. It is not.

If somebody chips a single hold to move a one-move-wonder down four number grades to make it a more consistent, good route, I'm not going to complain. Or three. Or even two. Less than that, I would argue that one-move-wonders DO have some value (sampling the next grade) and I really don't want to *encourage* wholesale chipping anyway. And I agree that non-gray-area alteration is not really that common.


jbak


Oct 11, 2005, 12:43 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
There are so many beginners on this site that I would urge them to do a LOT of thinking and gain a lot of experience before they go out and just start whacking away.

Beginners shouldn't be putting up routes at all. Show me a crag where anyone other than the few most experienced climbers have put up routes and I'll show you a crag with some pretty awful routes.

-Jay

For sure. There are so many new climbers these days that I can't predict what they might do. Hence the note of caution.


crshbrn84


Oct 11, 2005, 12:53 PM
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1. NO
2. NO - dont chip just put anchors below the v11 crux
3. NO
this thread is pretty pointless


arrow


Oct 11, 2005, 1:12 PM
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jt512 wrote:
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most rock just doesn't make for good routes in its natural state

I have to call bullshit on this statement jt


caughtinside


Oct 11, 2005, 1:32 PM
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this thread is pretty pointless

Actually it's pretty amusing. Even after numerous climbers with development experience attempt to explain what goes in to cleaning/developing routes, even more people with zero experience in this area chime in with the 'thou shalt not chip' mantra. It's so thick it's become a religious type dogma.

What I've always found interesting is how quickly newer climbers become engrained with their 'ethics.' How do you develop such passionate feelings about something you know little about, in a short amount of time? My guess is that it has something to do with what roughster talked about, fitting into the crowd.

It's as if climbers are looking to find fault as well. I'm pretty psyched on some of the local areas here, and always ask other local climbers if they've checked them out. And I always hear the same bullshit. "It's bolted too tight" a comment I heard from a 5.11 climber about a 5.8. Get on something harder chucklehead, then tell me what you think of bolt spacing! "I heard Bionic Bitch Slap was chipped." Are you kidding me? the complaints I've heard about "chipped holds" that weren't even touched far outnumber the complaints about holds that have actually seen varying degrees of cleaning. It's all such nonsense, I stopped listening to it. People just have no clue.

I could go on, but it would be futile. How many more uninformed

1)NO
2)NO
3)NO

responses does this thread need?


jt512


Oct 11, 2005, 1:55 PM
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In reply to:
jt512 wrote:
In reply to:
most rock just doesn't make for good routes in its natural state

I have to call s--- on this statement jt

Would you care to substantiate that in some way?

-Jay


fluxus


Oct 11, 2005, 2:11 PM
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Its funny because this is the case in so many ways in climbing, the recreational climbers believe in a completely synthetic version of climbing history and ethics.

Completely synthetic? The whole history of climbing?

How about some examples?

DMT

O.K. I realize that my last statement was more catagorical than it should have been. Its not as simple as the dichotomy that my post implies.

The history of climbing is murky at best. Since you asked for some, here are examples for you: The way recreational climbers lionize and overstate the achievement of the so called "vulgarians," a group of climbers who climbed in the gunks in the late 60 - 70s.

When a flurry of new route activity begain at Lost City in the late 1980's I was told straight out by more than one uninformed recreational climber that the new routes could not possibly be FA's because the vulgarians had already done all the routes at lost city! This statement is catagorically false yet even today I'm sure that you can find people who assume that this rag-tag group of climbers were regularly climbing all sorts of 5.12+ / 5.13 face climbs in 1974. (the truth is that only 1 maybe 2 climbers were climbing at the level in the Gunks at that time and it took them huge amounts of effort to climb 5.12a/b)

Another example is a little more broad but closer to the context of this thread. Here in California there have been a few famous climbers that have been outspoken about the superiority of their so called "climbing ethics", or in denouncing sport climbing for all sorts of reasons including its damage to the rock. Initials such as YC and RR among others come to mind. Many in the world of climbing take these statements at face value as the voices of great men whoes ideas should be respected and followed.

For me, (and others) these "great men" revealed their foolishness and egomania by asking us to buy into their ideas about "purity" without refrencing the tons of rock they trundled and cleaned, the trees they cut down, or damaged, the thousands upon thousands of feet of cracks they blugened to death with pins, the scars still visable today.

Where ever there is trad climbing there is a comunity of backwards looking climbers that mythologize some sort of "good old days" when climbing was somehow better, or more bold, or more adventerous. But I statred climbing at the end of those "good old days" and while there were a few standout climbers and achievements (there always are, in every age), for the most part the presumed glory of the past is greatly over stated.


billcoe_


Oct 11, 2005, 2:22 PM
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In reply to:
jt512 wrote:
In reply to:
most rock just doesn't make for good routes in its natural state

I have to call s--- on this statement jt



Frankly I'm surprised no one has called bull*shite on the rest of the statements as well.

When did power drilling holes become acceptable to bring a route down to your level. It's crap. I don't care if you are a begineer or a long time climber.

That is a hell of a lot different than knocking loose rocks off.


mbg


Oct 11, 2005, 2:49 PM
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At what grade is the cut off for you? We have clarified that 5.5 is too low. You feel that is inappropriate. But that a V11 with multile pockets drilled so that it is a 5.10 is fine.

How about a 5.11 being drilled to be a 5.9? Or where is that number?

Itís interesting that the pro-chip crowd are ignoring this question because it makes a hell of a point.

Publicity lends legitimacy. It's one thing to practice a certain style of ďethicsĒ at your home crag, but it's not doing anyone a favor to advise relative beginners to get with the times and embrace chipping everywhere because rock sucks without a little modification.


jt512


Oct 11, 2005, 3:01 PM
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In reply to:
How about a 5.11 being drilled to be a 5.9?

Itís interesting that the pro-chip crowd are ignoring this question because it makes a hell of a point.

The question is difficult to answer because it's a semi-stupid question. It is difficult to envision a route that would go from 5.11 to 5.9 by drilling a hold de novo. More common and realistic would be for the FAist to glue a loose hold, which if cleaned instead would produce a single 5.11 move on an otherwise 5.9 route. That sort of thing is done all the time. It is likely that you've climbed on many such routes yourself without having any idea as to what went into developing them.

A point that anti-chipping theorists consistently fail to grasp is that much so-called chipping is not done so that the FAist can climb the route. It's done so that the average recreational climbers out there can climb the route. Most FAists are 5.12 and up climbers, yet most FAists put up a myriad of moderate routes, which involve precisely the sort of alterations we are discussing. They aren't doing it so that they can climb the routes. They're doing it so that you can.

Happy now?

-Jay


thestingrea


Oct 11, 2005, 3:14 PM
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Somewhat straying from the path this poll is winding is a slightly different issue. Publicly owned land is just that, publicly owned land. Unless some sort of majority vote (community, state, even country wide) can be taken I don't see how anyone should have the right to decide for everyone else how their rock should be shaped. In other words its probably better to leave it for someone who today or fifty years from now will think it is just right. That said everyone have fun, get out there and find a sweet new route.


caughtinside


Oct 11, 2005, 3:21 PM
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Somewhat straying from the path this poll is winding is a slightly different issue. Publicly owned land is just that, publicly owned land. Unless some sort of majority vote (community, state, even country wide) can be taken I don't see how anyone should have the right to decide for everyone else how their rock should be shaped. In other words its probably better to leave it for someone who today or fifty years from now will think it is just right. That said everyone have fun, get out there and find a sweet new route.

Gotta love the 'increase regulation, please' faction! :lol:


fluxus


Oct 11, 2005, 4:05 PM
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I don't see how anyone should have the right to decide for everyone else how their rock should be shaped. In other words its probably better to leave it for someone who today or fifty years from now will think it is just right.

But that misses the point completely, there is no "just right" unless you mean," find the person who is willing to glue every inch of the climb in place." at least it means that in areas such as Maple etc. At some area every first ascent decides how the rock will be shaped, but this has nothing to do with "rights", nor should it really.

In reply to:
mbg wrote:
In reply to:
billcoe_ wrote:

How about a 5.11 being drilled to be a 5.9?


Itís interesting that the pro-chip crowd are ignoring this question because it makes a hell of a point.

who are you calling pro-chipping? For the chipping ambivalent such as myself, it only makes a so-so point. I've see routes chipped up and chipped down. What I hope for regardless of the style and "ethics" of the first ascent is a good route with interesting moves, that has an aesthetic quality to it.

The only real problem with chipping routes down is the issue of robbing the future. In some cases chippping may be done in a way that a high quality but far too hard by today's standards route gets reduced to 5.14 or 5.15. I'm not sure if I know of this happening, though, its a more theoritical point.


mbg


Oct 11, 2005, 4:06 PM
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Happy now?

-Jay

Not really.

I mostly agree with your gluing scenario but to say that it happens all the time (at least in the places I climb, major choss excluded) is a stretch. Most of the routes Iíve been involved with are on super soft sandstone and no gluing or chipping was needed to produce lines with a decent range of ratings.

The ďfor the good of allĒ development theory is credible too but it still doesnít address Billís question in relation to the original post.

I always thought that whoever named the California Ethics Pinnacle at Shelf was taking a cheap shot but now I'm not so sure! :wink:


jt512


Oct 11, 2005, 4:11 PM
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In reply to:
Happy now?

-Jay

Not really.

I mostly agree with your gluing scenario but to say that it happens all the time (at least in the places I climb, major choss excluded) is a stretch. Most of the routes Iíve been involved with are on super soft sandstone and no gluing or chipping was needed to produce lines with a wide range of ratings.

So, instead, what, the FAist just pulled off the "loose" holds? He/you still had to decide what constitutes "loose." The definition of loose has a wide enough gray area to give the FAist a huge degree of control over what the final route will be like. A jug in the middle of an otherwise 5.13 route is going to be a lot "looser" than one in the middle of a 5.9.

-Jay


hasbeen


Oct 11, 2005, 4:13 PM
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There should be some sort of rule where one cannot speak about how a route was established until one has established at least one route themselves. It's quite unbelievable that these folks will continue to banter back and forth with absolutely no ammunition but comments they've read countless times in magazines like 'bringing the rock down to their level.'

I've said it before and I'll say it again, until you're out there pioneering yourself, you have no idea what you're spraying about.

Again, without naming any names, I'll provide you with another story featuring the uninformed, this time one that may have had negative consequences.

I get a phone call one day from someone asking if I'd been to such and such a place. "Duuuude," this guy begins. "They totaly botched the job, man. Brought the cliff down to their own level. I went to the landowners and they're pissed. They're shutting the place down. Those assholes ruined it for everyone, bro."

"That seems a little strange," I reply. "Because I've spoken to the first ascentionists and they both told me the only thing that was too bad about the place was that there weren't any hard routes.

"No way, duuuude. They brought the cliff down to their level."

"But aren't the routes all 5.10?"

"Yeah, mainly."

"Well both these guys climb 5.13. Why would they chip a bunch of 5.10s?"

Really long silence on the other end of the line.

"Umm, duuude. I don't know, man. But they botched it."

"Look," I say. "If I were you I'd go back to the land owner and try and smooth this over. That's insane. There is no way those guys would spend the time to chip 5.10s. It's just too much work, if nothing else."

"I dunno, man. Well, okay. I'll look again. But I'm pretty sure..."


mbg


Oct 11, 2005, 4:25 PM
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So, instead, what, the FAist just pulled off the "loose" holds? He/you still had to decide what constitutes "loose." The definition of loose has a wide enough gray area to give the FAist a huge degree of control over what the final route will be like. A jug in the middle of an otherwise 5.13 route is going to be a lot "looser" than one in the middle of a 5.9.

-Jay

Read back through my posts on this topic; I can't argue with you on that.

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