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How far from bolt is off route?
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hazcat


Aug 2, 2012, 3:51 PM
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How far from bolt is off route?
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For sport face climbs, curious how far to the side of a bolt do you consider to be fair play before you're going off route? I know sometimes the bolts don't go exactly centerline to the route, due to maybe a poor placement, but for the most part they seem to.

I see some climbing with their body three, four feet to one side at times then maybe coming back to a bit to clip. It seems pretty consistently harder to stay with body centered on the bolt line, than spit out to the sides.

Do route setters have any general rule of thumb when putting up routes, like okay this line with about 5 foot to either side pretty much goes at grade X now matter how you slice it?

cheers


shimanilami


Aug 2, 2012, 4:01 PM
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Re: [hazcat] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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There are a lot of variables at play here. Rock quality, clipping and bolting stances (especially if bolting on lead), rope path, etc.

You might want to ask yourself why the bolt is where it is. If you can't see any reason why the setter didn't place it way over to the side where you're climbing then there's a good chance you're off route (i.e. cheating).


healyje


Aug 2, 2012, 4:01 PM
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Just a 'side' note - "routesetting" only happens in gyms, not on rock.


marc801


Aug 2, 2012, 4:23 PM
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Re: [hazcat] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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hazcat wrote:
For sport face climbs, curious how far to the side of a bolt do you consider to be fair play before you're going off route? I know sometimes the bolts don't go exactly centerline to the route, due to maybe a poor placement, but for the most part they seem to.

I see some climbing with their body three, four feet to one side at times then maybe coming back to a bit to clip. It seems pretty consistently harder to stay with body centered on the bolt line, than spit out to the sides.

Do route setters have any general rule of thumb when putting up routes, like okay this line with about 5 foot to either side pretty much goes at grade X now matter how you slice it?
Just another side note: not all routes are climbed with the body centered on the bolt line. In fact it is usually easier to make a clip to your side instead of right in front of you. But as others have suggested, you shouldn't have to make moves to get back to where the bolts are.

And if you find yourself clipping bolts on the adjacent route, you're definitely off of your intended route. (I managed to do that at both Skaha and Maple Canyon.)


Geekstar


Aug 2, 2012, 5:41 PM
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Re: [hazcat] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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hazcat wrote:
For sport face climbs, curious how far to the side of a bolt do you consider to be fair play before you're going off route?

I see some climbing with their body three, four feet to one side at times then maybe coming back to a bit to clip.

Do route setters have any general rule of thumb when putting up routes, like okay this line with about 5 foot to either side pretty much goes at grade X now matter how you slice it?

In guide books or (more often) on mountain project people will specify this exact thing. "If you follow the bolt line, it's a sustained 5.10 but you can veer left of it for an easier 5.9 climb."

I climb mostly sandstone, which is very chossy and breakable, which can totally change a route. I can think of a few routes where a flake or hold came off or is coming off that forces you to be more creative than simply following the bolt line.


dagibbs


Aug 2, 2012, 9:25 PM
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Re: [hazcat] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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It depends on where you are and what the route is like.

If you're down in El Potrero Chico, climbing Yankee Clipper or Space Boyz, where the next route is 50 feet (or more) over, then if you're not in the cactus, you're (probably) on route -- and you can easily wander 10 feet off the direct line of the bolts.

If you're somewhere more grid-bolted, where the next bolt line is 5 feet over, then if you're more than a couple feet off the bolt line, you're off route.

But, generally if you can reach to clip the bolt without doing moves especially to clip the bolt, you're probably acceptably close to on route.


granite_grrl


Aug 3, 2012, 5:07 AM
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Sometimes people try to force a harder line which will put the bolts far away when the climber follows the natural line.

Sometimes the natural line wanders all over the place and to reduce rope drag the they try to place the bolts so they follow a relativly straight line.

Sometimes climbers are cockroaches and do all sorts of crazy things to avoid hard moves on the route and go off route because it.


J.Haze


Aug 3, 2012, 6:32 AM
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dagibbs wrote:
But, generally if you can reach to clip the bolt without doing moves especially to clip the bolt, you're probably acceptably close to on route.

+1


johnwesely


Aug 3, 2012, 7:11 AM
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Follow the line of least resistance. If it means the climb isn't a 5.xx then whatever.


roughster


Aug 3, 2012, 9:26 AM
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For sport routes, my general thought is if you can reach the bolt / or in line from bolt to bolt with your hands, you're on route. I have a friend who liberally traverses 10'+ to avoid cruxes. Too me, you don't send if you're doing that.

Commonly on cliffs where sport routes are developed, the lines often are arbitrary because climbable holds cover the entire wall. It is only the bolt line that really defines the route.

It is the "traversing" type of climbers who most commonly complains about choss because they venture off into uncleaned territory and then complain about rock quality!


(This post was edited by roughster on Aug 3, 2012, 9:28 AM)


6pacfershur


Aug 3, 2012, 11:12 AM
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Re: [hazcat] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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sometimes i sport climb with euro exchange students who will stick-clip, hang-dog and cobra-choke their way up hard routes to set a TR and work a line they cant lead; its very entertaining to watch! the concept of "cheating" or "off route" never crosses their minds....


USnavy


Aug 3, 2012, 6:52 PM
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Re: [johnwesely] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
Follow the line of least resistance. If it means the climb isn't a 5.xx then whatever.
It is true that one should follow the easiest path up a climb, but not if the easiest path is clearly off route. I have seen people put themselves in danger by going far to the side of the bolt line to try to skip the crux moves. I would rather climb a harder, but safe path than an easier but dangerous path. Plus, if you skip the crux you change the grade of the climb. Some might not care about that, but some do.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Aug 3, 2012, 6:54 PM)


majid_sabet


Aug 3, 2012, 9:56 PM
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Re: [hazcat] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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I'll say you also need to pay attention to rope drag as you set routes.


marc801


Aug 4, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
I'll say you also need to pay attention to rope drag as you set routes.
Good advice, but just for the relatively few climbers who actually put up routes. The vast majority of climbers climb established routes. And you only "set routes" in a gym.


climbingtrash


Aug 4, 2012, 7:16 PM
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Re: [marc801] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
I'll say you also need to pay attention to rope drag as you set routes.
Good advice, but just for the relatively few climbers who actually put up routes. The vast majority of climbers climb established routes. And you only "set routes" in a gym.

When I did some route setting in Maple, rope drag was my first consideration.


billcoe_


Aug 6, 2012, 1:52 PM
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climbingtrash wrote:
When I did some route setting in Maple, rope drag was my first consideration.


..and flippin the Willy stick upside down and Windshield wipering the knobs with yer forehead was next on the list? LOL


climbingtrash


Aug 7, 2012, 9:45 AM
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billcoe_ wrote:
climbingtrash wrote:
When I did some route setting in Maple, rope drag was my first consideration.


..and flippin the Willy stick upside down and Windshield wipering the knobs with yer forehead was next on the list? LOL

It was for a while but then sandbagging teh grades moved up on the list.


Partner cracklover


Aug 7, 2012, 11:57 AM
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Re: [hazcat] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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Like other folks have said, it varies from place to place.

I recently did a route that required you to often go five to eight feet off the bolt line to keep it at the grade. The bolts were placed where the good rock was, and in line with each other. While it might be possible to climb directly up the bolt line, no-one is expected to do so, and the climbing would be much harder than the grade.

Whereas I can think of other places where holds that are easily within reach from the bolt line are "off".

Climbing at the former type of place can feel very "sporty" for sport climbing, and climbing at the latter type of place always feels silly and contrived.

Keep in mind, too, that sometimes a route is simply poorly bolted, or was bolted for holds that have since broken off.

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on Aug 8, 2012, 1:55 PM)


dagibbs


Aug 8, 2012, 1:04 PM
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Re: [hazcat] How far from bolt is off route? [In reply to]
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hazcat wrote:

Do route setters have any general rule of thumb when putting up routes, like okay this line with about 5 foot to either side pretty much goes at grade X now matter how you slice it?

cheers

Generally route setters have a rule of thumb that if all the holds have the same colour tape, they're on route -- but if you touch an un-taped or different-colour taped hold, then you're off route.


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