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berkly


Oct 29, 2004, 12:57 PM
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Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK  (North_America: United_States: Oklahoma: Southwest: Baldy_Peak-Quartz_Mt)
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A discussion is currently taking place over on the WMCCs web forum about the addition of new bolts to routes such as bourbon street direct 5.8RX, Pizza face 5.8RX and the Snakeshead 5.5RX. Under the discussion board link http://www.wichitamountains.org/newsframeset.html

These slab climbs were put up as solo routes with no other means of protection available by original OK hardmen, such as Duane Raleigh, Jon Frank, Jimmy Ratzlaff etc... And until now, locals have honored the style of the first asenscionist by keeping bolts off these climbs.

I would like to start a poll to find out how many people on this website are familiar with the area and what they think about adding bolts.

If bolts are added,
Cons:
1) Degrades Oklahomas strict traditional ethic
2) Without these RX ratings, quartz will attract more inexperienced climbers
3) Degrades the route in terms of physical and mental prowess
4) These routes will no longer serve as "break through" climbs for those wanting to prove themselves on unprotectable terrain

However, If we are to respect the FA style, then we have to either free solo or top rope the route.

Pros:
1) Brings more climbers out to quartz, enlarging our community
2) Increases safety, ie No extreme deathfall from 150ft up snakeshead

If you are familiar to the area, please feel free to throw in your two cents.

I would also like to add a poll to tally votes for or against the addition of bolts


caughtinside


Oct 29, 2004, 1:00 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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There's no new lines at quartz mountain you could bolt instead?


berkly


Oct 29, 2004, 1:06 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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Quartz is a fairly small peak , and new lines are few and far between, if any. But thats not the dilema.

For the record Im against any retro bolting at Baldy.


cordata


Oct 29, 2004, 1:21 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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Berkly are you against the retro-bolting that's already happened at Quartz?

Several lines have been retro-bolted already. These were all solo routes with zero protection. The first ascent parties gave permission. The bolts were then put up on lead with a hammer.

The route which started the discussion, Bourbon Street Direct (5.8 X) has the consent of Duane Raleigh, who made the first ascent, to add bolts.

In my view there is space for more route development at Quartz, ableit off the main wall where the routes would be shorter. An example is "Have Gun Will Travel" a nice 5.8 in that area.

Dave


leinosaur


Oct 29, 2004, 1:34 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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Hey Berk -

Y'know, at first, I thought just a few bolts sounded cool, like on pizza face, and maybe one or two on Snake's Head, but I gotta say; there are so many routes there that I haven't been on yet, that I figger I got no biz even thinkin' about more. I like the R's, not so crazy 'bout the X's but I have done a solo or two and it IS different, to be sure.

I also think it'll be weird if a bunch of out-o'-staters go to the WMCC site and post their opinions . . . it's tense enough as it is!


superdiamonddave


Oct 29, 2004, 1:50 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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As I have previously stated on the Wichitamountains.org site, I would strongly prefer to leave the climbs at Old Baldy as is. In my opinion, there have been plenty of routes retro-bolted already and I just can't stomach the thought of the true classics being littered with bolts.

If I can make a list of the ones that shouldn't be screwed with, it would have to go something like this:

S-Wall
Last of the Good Guys
Snakes Head
Amazon Woman

There are others but you get the gist.

These are all ultra classics that should NEVER be changed. I had to "sack up" to lead them just like the original pioneers and the reward for doing so is spiritual indeed. Why deny future climbers the same joy that the rest of us experience and want to keep experiencing at Quartz?

Adding more bolts will make the climbing safer for sure, but the satisfaction of finding your zen will be forever lost. Should we go to Tolumne and slap in a dozen bolts on Bachar-Yerian? Hell no! Local ethics should, and I pray, will prevail in this case.

Future generations WILL thank us for it.


asandh


Oct 29, 2004, 2:33 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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:)


Partner xclimber


Oct 29, 2004, 3:08 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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Retrobolting is the first ascentionist's call... unless they're dead. Then you have to get permission from their progeny unless they're dead... Then you...

OR just leave 'em alone till you can climb it. Unless you want to chip it... Clip, Chip... sounds similar. Maybe you should pay you dues. Leave 'em be. Find something else to climb. Out. :P

x


alan_ellis


Oct 30, 2004, 7:03 AM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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In reply to:
If I can make a list of the ones that shouldn't be screwed with, it would have to go something like this:

S-Wall
Last of the Good Guys
Snakes Head
Amazon Woman

There are others but you get the gist.

These are all ultra classics that should NEVER be changed.

Agreed. Also, leinosaur is right about non-Quartz climbers going to the WMCC message board. It's gonna be a rather crazy around there enough as it is with the locals expressing their views without others chiming in who've never been there.


roughster


Oct 30, 2004, 7:08 AM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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If there is no protection opportunities and the person solo'd the route, it is still open for development. However, I would keep with the tradition of the area, as in if the bolts are a bit "spicy" (but safe) then keep to the tradition. Decking is not "safe" but clean 20 foot slab falls aren't that bad, well if you're wearing shirt that is, heheh :)


cordata


Oct 30, 2004, 7:29 AM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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just to recap for those out of the region:

Quartz is a great granite crag with many routes that have "spicy" protection.

Back in 1980 some lines were soloed by a famous climber. He placed zero bolts, there are no opportunities for traditional protection. Some of these lines are in the 5.8 range (Bourbon St. Direct, the route which started the discussion) A fall from the route would be a grounder of over 100 feet. A few years ago some hardmen of the era decided it wouldn't be a bad idea to retrobolt some of these solo lines. The famous soloist gave his permission to equip the lines with bolts. The local ethic being what it is, the lines have been or are planned to be bolted on lead with a hammer.

So does this practice "ruin" the solo line for the type of climber who wants to do it?

Does it open a "chamber of horrors" in which over the years more bolts will be added to non-solo lines, utlimately turning the area into a sport crag?

Or does it open up lines which would otherwise be unused but for a few hardmen, to the general climbing public?

Is the answer as simple and selfish as the level we can climb? Am I against bolting the 5.4 solo line becuase I think I have what it takes to lead it? Am I for the 5.8 bolts because I don't think I'll ever have what it takes to solo 5.8??

Remember this is not about adding more bolts to a runout slab route - it's about adding bolts to what are today solo lines with no protection.

Any other areas gone thru this type of discussion?

Dave


crankmarklar


Oct 30, 2004, 7:59 AM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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Quatrz Mountain is a special place and is an adventure type of climbing. We have already added bolts to routes that were once solo's for everyone to enjoy. BUT, that does not mean we have to add bolts to everything that is deemed runout or unsafe. When the bolts were installed on Super Slide, Accidents Will Happen, Who's Got the Juice, El-Tesoro, Romper Room, Field
Direct, Monkey on a Football (shouldn't have happened on that one!). I was glad that routes at this level would give people the experience of Quartz climbing but the only thing that is has done is get a few babies whining about how there are not enough moderate routes to climb. There are way more moderate routes with good pro and no runouts than there are 5.10's at Quartz, but I'm not bitchin' about wanting to add more bolts to them. Yeah I've been climbing at Quartz a while but that doesn't mean I feel like leading Jet Stream everytime I go! If I'm not up to it that day I'll TR it or climb something easier, it's as simple as that. Bolting B.S. Direct when you have Bourbon Street ten feet to the left to climb with good pro is the start of a never ending bolt fest. Bolting a 15' route is nonsense, enogh said on Pizza Face. Snakes Head is an icon like S Wall, adding bolts to a beautiful line that has seen many, many ascents and even in sneakers would be like a spike through the heart of Old Baldy. It's not an ego thing to climb runout routes it's a challenge to keep it cool under pressure that's what Quartz teaches you and I will defend the ethics and style of the existing routes there for as long as I live.!


cordata


Oct 30, 2004, 8:57 AM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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At the risk of beating a dead horse I just want to say I'm learning something thru this process.

I have definitely benefitted from the training I've gotten from Quartz climbing -- I've managed to have some confidence to climb some runouts in other parts of the country where my partners did not have that coolness developed at QM.

I'm something of a newbie climber and have done my best to understand ethics. Even the use of the word "ethics" in the climber sense took a while to truly understand.

Based on the previous retro-bolting at QM I thought that if there was consensus on a solo route and that the first ascent party gave permission and if the protection was added in good style then it would be OK.

Maybe that statement is true -- what's missing is the consensus which means that it shouldn't be done.

Part of why this discussion came up is that some of the WMCC leadership has proposed and encouraged that the routes in question be retro-bolted.

Part of the question to me is "what consitutes a climbing route?" For example, SnakesHead is clearly a climbing route -- people do this all the time. Not only that but you probably could not find a first ascent party to sanction adding pro. If you want an easy multi-pitch romp with a few bolts, you can go to Elk Slabs. If you want an easy multi-pitch length climb that is more serious in nature, Snakeshead is waiting for you.

But was "Last of the dead guys" a climbing route? Did anybody actually ever climb this ? It was even described by Duane himself as "a line destined for obscurity." (Maybe they did, I don't know) It's sort of the same thing for BSD. I was surprised that people actually climbed this route. Without this discussion I would have thought no one ever climbed it.

Before this discussion I would have supported bolting BSD and Geek Feet - now I'm not so sure.

Tony, I appreciate your love of the area and what you've done. I'm glad to hear that you're human and TR a route occiasionally. :-)

Dave


Partner okie_redneck


Oct 30, 2004, 10:00 AM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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I understand the whole "climbing is supposed to be dangerous" mentality, but 30' between bolts can be silly. I reinjured a sprained ankle on Who's Got the Juice last weekend. It is perfectly acceptable to skip a bolt if your ethics dictate.
I got chewed out for having a hammer there last weekend. The lady who complained didn't realize we were putting up an new a3 route and we only placed one bolt. She even had an issue with pitons. I say if you can barely fit a #1 pecker in a crack, it's fair game. She acted like I shot her dog or something.
I find the local ethic somewhat laughable. My partner is a notorious bolt chopper. We ended up retreating on an unprotectable 50' slab over 200' up. We put up the bolt bag earlier, so the route never got finished.
Maybe next time.


guunter


Oct 30, 2004, 1:39 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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I am a novice climber and Oklahoman that has climbed at Quartz Mountain a few times. I have some questions and concerns about retro-bolting these climbs at Quartz. I would like to address the “Pros” listed by Berkly.
First, the I don’t understand the advantage of increasing the climbing community at Quartz. I know several climbers and I have never heard any true climbers say “We need more climbers here at Quartz Mountain.” In fact, I believe most climbers would prefer less people at the crag. A large influx of climbers will only decrease the atmosphere of adventure I so much love about Quartz.



Second, Berkly says that additional bolts increase safety. I strongly disagree with this thought process. I firmly believe that safety is increased through every decision a climber makes. Adding additional bolts will not make climbs safer. Smarter decisions by climbers make climbs safer. I have led climbs that were run-out, sometimes prepared and sometimes not. I do agree that more bolts promote a false sense of security, but does not necessarily make the climbs safer.



I was also a part of the fight to maintain climbing within the Witchita Mountain Wildlife refuge. I remember that one of the main points was to preserve the environment and the rock. Doesn’t retro-bolting go away from this philosophy? I believe the climbing community’s legacy should be to ensure climbing is available for generations to come. You can never go back and undo a bolt placement. Though some would disagree, I do not believe that filling a hole is the same as never having drilled it. If in question, I believe one should always error on the side of not drilling a new hole.


All of these climbs have been up for years. What is the push now to change them? I have not heard a single opinion that is a valid argument for placing more bolts. Certainly safety is a concern for everyone, but more bolts in the rock is not going to promote safety. If this rationale was correct, then we should promote installing an elevator at Quartz. This would allow everyone to ascend the mountain safely. Just getting to the top of the climb is not the point; it is the sense of accomplishment. Regardless of the difficulty rating, every climb can be difficult.


Please leave the climbs as they exist. If the climb is too intimidating, please climb another climb.


themeanieokc


Oct 30, 2004, 3:49 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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I am gonna take the conservative angle on this also. Procede very slowly in retro-bolting anything. Like, why are there bolts on Monkey on a Football? It is such an easy line. But I do like the work on Who's Got the Juice and Super Slide, and Accidents. Haven't been on serious hard or high R or X. There are plenty of route that are well bolt, even if R, that someone can get their fill of Quartz, without futher bolting "classic" R and X. Whatever, take it slow with bolts.


slacker


Oct 30, 2004, 4:07 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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I voted no. Where does the retrobolting stop?

Work the "safe" lines or TR the desperates and improve your skills and your lead head. When you're ready (you'll know), sack up and go for it.

On a lot of the classics, the gear list consists of quick-draws and bawlls and I think it should stay that way. Pay your dues at quartz and it will pay off at other areas. It did for me anyway.

We've all been scared at Quartz. I know I have been many times. It's part of what makes the place special to me. Please don't add any more protection bolts to existing routes.

I love that place just the way it is...


healyje


Oct 30, 2004, 7:39 PM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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If these are shorter routes and can be top roped then they shouldn't be retro-bolted at all - if you don't like the risk TR it. If they can't be top roped and they are all essentially X rated solos then you folks probably have an honest dilemna.

But as some folks have commented, if you turn all these routes into bolt ladders simply so you can say you clipped them vs. TR'd them then you will be opening the gates to a flood of people.


matt_sizemore


Oct 31, 2004, 6:11 AM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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No more bolts. Check Rock& Ice issue 138, enough said.


cordata


Oct 31, 2004, 6:32 AM
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Re: Bolting at Quartz Mountain, OK [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I understand the whole "climbing is supposed to be dangerous" mentality, but 30' between bolts can be silly. I reinjured a sprained ankle on Who's Got the Juice last weekend. It is perfectly acceptable to skip a bolt if your ethics dictate.
I got chewed out for having a hammer there last weekend. The lady who complained didn't realize we were putting up an new a3 route and we only placed one bolt. She even had an issue with pitons. I say if you can barely fit a #1 pecker in a crack, it's fair game. She acted like I shot her dog or something.
I find the local ethic somewhat laughable. My partner is a notorious bolt chopper. We ended up retreating on an unprotectable 50' slab over 200' up. We put up the bolt bag earlier, so the route never got finished.
Maybe next time.
To okie_redneck: I would urge you to to learn more about Quartz and get to know some local climbers before installing a bolt ladder on your route. Your route may have been climbed before or it may be more appropriate as a free rather than an aid route. My understanding is that last weekend was your first time at Quartz, you didn't have a guidebook and you wind up doing a "first ascent." Please climb there some more before putting any more bolts in.

Dave


themeanieokc


Oct 31, 2004, 7:27 AM
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In reply to:
To okie_redneck: I would urge you to to learn more about Quartz and get to know some local climbers before installing a bolt ladder on your route. Your route may have been climbed before or it may be more appropriate as a free rather than an aid route. My understanding is that last weekend was your first time at Quartz, you didn't have a guidebook and you wind up doing a "first ascent." Please climb there some more before putting any more bolts in.

Dave


I second that!

Do a little research before you start putting up "new" routes.


g_forhan


Oct 31, 2004, 7:28 AM
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To okie_redneck:
The only thing laughable is that you have no style! First time to the area with no guidebook, and putting in a bolt on what you say is A3. Get real dude and learn the area before you attempt to put up a route. How about climbing some routes first, eh?


diesel___smoke


Oct 31, 2004, 9:08 AM
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Okie_Redneck didn't lead any pitches, he served as a second. I lead all the pitches. And a bolt was not placed - it was a 1/4" rivet w/o a hanger, placed with a old fashion hand-drill and hammer; how I think everyone should be forced to drill in an effort to reduce the hole count of any route. As for the summit, I didn't feel adding bolts was worth it to reach the summit. For anyone interested and whoever stated it earlier is correct; the summit is suited for free climbing, not aid. It looks stellar, but again - my ethics kept me from drilling to climb it just to reach the summit. It wasn't worth it to me.

As for this 'A3' rating, where the fu(k did that come from? I don't bother to rate any of my routes/variations. If I respect the person enough who is asking me about the route, I'll give him/her an example of the difficulty and danger, otherwise all you'll likely get, at most, is a rack list. My favorite rating is no rating.

I've told Okie_Redneck personally that he should get a lot more experience before he tries his hand at putting up routes in any style, making ethical decisions, and placing bolts, but I fear my advice may be falling upon deaf ears.

Should anyone wish to critique my experience, or my decisions and judgment about the route/variation - I've soloed grade V's and done them in a push, done huge nail-up grade VI's on El Cap and numerous other aid pitches and routes elsewhere, with many of those routes consisting of sustained, hard aid... however I will admit I do very little free climbing as it really doesn't do much to capture my interest.

As for my stance on the issue at hand, absolutely no bolts should be added to any existing route on Quartz Mountain, or elsewhere. Should any bolts be added, I'll do all in my effort to chop them, I assure you. New routes hole count should be kept to an absolute minimum also. All replacement of pre-existing drilled gear should always be done with the same or 'like' hardware, and never retro-bolted. Honor and respect the first ascensionist's brush.

Here is a vow to anyone who can show me the route/variation I climbed where the rivet was placed was already established - I'll leave tomorrow to chop and patch the single rivet I placed and post a public apology with my full name to take responsibility, and maybe an address where you can send me hate letters, death threats, and mail bombs :lol:. I'm 99% sure this section where the rivet was placed wasn't an established route, so I'm not concerned this will ever happen. However, it's possible that the mid section (2nd pitch) had been reached and climbed via a different route because of a ledge system - absolutely nothing was drilled on this section because I realized/acknowledged this [nor did I feel any need that anything should be drilled despite not having gear wide enough to protect it].


cordata


Oct 31, 2004, 3:27 PM
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Now that we've got everyone who was at the crag last weekend on this thread I'll say something positive:

Whoever led Snow White on Sunday afternoon -- beautiful job. I couldn't tell who you were from the parking area but it was super smooth.

And to whoever led that group of seven people up SABB I like your spirit of getting a gang of people up a multi-pitch climb like that...

Dave


matt_sizemore


Oct 31, 2004, 8:08 PM
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Hey diesel_smoke,

For starters who cares what you have climbed in Yosemite. There are several climbers who have been climbing at Quartz for a long, long time and have done El Cap multiple times.
We don't care about your resume' of aid climbs, you came to Quartz and thought you did something special by supposebly putting up an aid climb but didn't want to reach the summit?
What summit? What the hell are you talking about?
You have no guidebook, SO you have no idea what has been done!
Period!
Don't come to Quartz swingin' a hammer and putting in anything, save your hammer swinging for the Valley on an aid line that dicates it!
BTW your partner was the one spraying about an A3 rating.

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