Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

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brolloks
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Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by brolloks »

heard a birdie sing that snort chipped and drilled his way up, or down a nice climbable face on Table Mountain recently...

now, is that allowed? to me its taboo, even worse than sh1t near a grag and stuff like that. if you can't climb it, why not just admit defeat and walk away, or climb somewhere else?

almost like a post i read on 8a.nu where some envious locals banged and busted up (with a hammer) all the holds on a boulder problem rendering it unclimbable, just because they can't climb it... just to diss the guy working it...sad really...to me, thats just the flipside of the same coin...

:puker:

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nosmo
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by nosmo »

Hey, so long it's not bolts it's ok hey?
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robertbreyer
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by robertbreyer »

the poor bastard turned 50 on saturday. at that age you need all the help you can get. bolts, extra holds, viagra, botox. so i vote that for one week we give him some proverbial extra slack. but next week, beware.
SNORT
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by SNORT »

Sad but true. I did turn 50 last Saturday. I did have botox in my arse yesterday to shrink a little muscle in my arse that goes into cramp and nails my sciatic nerve. And yes I did take a hand drill (5mm) to try and make a little existing hole more amenable to a nut placement so you don't make a very fast and intimate and orthopaedic contact with the ledge below on the 4th pitch.

Anyway, my attempts at improving the placement was futile and I ended up smashing a nut into the hole anyway and the hole is no bigger in width or height than it was before. But I left the nut in situ.

Chip a hold? Not! Where on earth would you get that from dude? At any age one has better things to do.

Anyway, did a clean ascent of this route TATWOC today with Adam Roff; having brought it down to my level of mediocrity by first cleaning and inspecting it and placing fixed 3 nuts on abseil I managed to free all the pitches.

It is a challenging test piece on TM (at least for me and other TATWOCians) and the on-sight grade needs to be confirmed. But the pitches go at about 23, 23, 21 and 25. These or on-sight grades and obviously are much more forgiving once you have beta or climbed it previously! The last pitch is extremely difficult to "read" so the on-sight grade is probably 2 or more grades harder than a repeat.

I bumped into Dave Burkett today and maybe he can give it a whirl and
some informed criticism.
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by XMod »

Snort, Im not looking for an argument here, but do feel bound to point out some hypocricy in your actions.

Its ok to drill holes in TM so long as you dont put a bolt in it??? You plead with others not to place any fixed gear up there and yet feel its necessary to artificially improve a placement and then hammer a nut into it? If you champion the cause of clean (ie drilless and hammerless) trad climbing you must be prepared to be bound by its rules!

From a logical perspective its way better than someone ending up on your operating table for sure, no arguments there, Im sure you know where I stand as regards safety. (Ive added bolts to peoples routes (much to their dislike!) before to enhance safety). But it seems you are preaching one thing and doing another.
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by SNORT »

X-mod, read my previous posts. There is no hypocrisy. It is merely your interpretation. The answer to your post is not short and not an argument or a debate because principles are not debatable or arguable. Having said that times and principles may change…..But for now:

My principles for trad climbing gear placements are simple:

1. Bolts on TM are inappropriate to say the least. For a variety of reasons that I am not going to rehash hear. See previous posts.
2. Pegs traditionally have been acceptable on TM. Unfortunately they have the same deteriorating qualities as bolts and I prefer not to use them where I can.
3. However, unlike bolts pegs tend to stick to the line of the route and there are major limitations on where one can place them or whether one can place them at all! One can place a bolt anywhere and thus completely change the character and more importantly the commitment required to do a particular route.
4. Pre-placed nuts also deteriorate but can be replaced and are therefore ideal.
5. I have mooted as being desirable permanent manufactured nut or cam placements on Climb.co.za. And this is what I tried to do in this instance. As it turns out I left a fixed piece that can be replaced fairly easily!

There are 3 nuts on TATWOC and only the "smashed" in one is critical for safety and I am coming to that. The last pre-placed nut is not at all necessary for safety but is placed so one can see where to go; it is a marker. The last pitch I find very demanding and no topo or written description can accurately describe where to go on the top "head-wall." So without it, the pitch becomes a sand-bag at 25. One wants to give others a realistic opportunity to on-sight the pitch. If anyone removes that nut (which is a 40 year old square clog size 1), then I won't replace it.

The first nut on TATWOC is also a marker. I have climbed the pitch without clipping it and, in any case, it is very hard to clip. There is a bomb-proof gear a meter below it and 25m of air below. Again, at grade 23 this pitch would be a complete and utter sand-bag if the nut is removed. One is under an overhang with no idea where to climb through. I wanted to remove it and Tony Dick said no way!

Now the middle nut. This is not Gritstone. I am not for one bit interested in the concept of "if you cannot climb the pitch then leave it for someone who can." What that means all too often is this: "If you cannot climb the pitch with the major potential for serious injury, then leave if for someone else to do" Or rather X-rated routes. Did you see the movie the sharp end where the guy takes a whipper onto an old blade peg in Eldorado canyon. Well the peg held. Lucky him! To me that is absolute bullshit!

Well I can climb the pitch but I and anyone else can fall off it too. And the fall is dangerous - period!

So how do you make it safe without a bolt or some long - and I mean long - tat hanging from the rail above off a nut? It is very thin and I am pretty good on crimps (short people have to be on Sandstone to get between rails).

So: I have always been a protagonist of removable gear even if the placement is manufactured!!!!and have discussed this before on Climb.co.za. And that is exactly what I tried to do here but as it turned out I did not do so. Read on.

By the way I own removable bolts that are pretty awesome!. You drill a 2cm deep 10mm hole and you have the perfect placement. Problem is to find the hole! Secondly, removable bolts are owned by no one else I know!. Thirdly, like bolts it can be placed anywhere that messes with the character and commitment of the route.

So on this pitch there was a natural hole and I tried to fashion a reasonable placement for a cam that would hold. This includes the tiniest Wild Country Zero 1 and 2 cams. I was merely trying to deepen the hole for a cam to bite. The shape of the hole is not changed. I then figured out that a nut could be slotted in side ways in the hole but it needs something to keep it from falling out. So I used a sharp blade peg and hit the body of the nut which expanded it slightly and stops it falling out. Will take a photo of it next time I am there.

I am good enough to lead that pitch. There are many people good enough to lead that pitch. "Nobody" is good enough not to fall off and connect the ledge below. And the nut might yet fail!

If you believe there is anyone in the world that would not ever fall off that pitch and hurt themselves, then you believe there are people in the world that have never stubbed a toe, caught a finger in a door or something like that.

The pitch has been brought to my level of mediocrity and that of many other climbers with minimal if any permanent damage - removing some of the slippery lichen on 2 of the pitches is arguably more harmful!

Finally the nut is very difficult to clip for me (something that would be avoided if one drilled a new hole.) It is a desperate clip off a tiny crimp. It can fall out eventually or even fail but once clipped you can reverse to the ledge easily and test it at least. I find the last move to the rail desperate and the nut is at my feet. And you still need a very sharp belayer! Especially if it fails on a fall.

I want Dave Birkett to on-sight it. Let him be the judge. He doesn't have to clip the nut. I heard he didn't find COCK and Bull a walk-over and that's with Tony shouting beta at him. And COCK and Bull is easier and safe!

I would lead the first pitch of Africa Arette (25) if the peg is removed but not this thing. This is much thinner and harder.

By the way, I have placed more bolts on Blouberg than everywhere else collectively. I would love to remove them and replace them with manufactured permanent placements. But that's about a month's work and another story.
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by XMod »

Thanks for the informative response. Personally I dont have a problem with fixed gear.
Congrats on the route, sounds gnarly! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :jocolor:
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by Dark Horse »

I know I'm nobody to make a comment but this sounds like a lot of crap to me. I don't remember reading that Tristian or Dave drilled or smashed/bashed a nut into Danger Mouse to make the fall safe. Now I shall probably never climb Danger Mouse but I'm ok with that as there are loads of protected climbs out there. I guess we all have our own ideas(which can change over time) and in terms of what we are doing to the planet (global warming etc) bashing in a nut, drilling a hole, grinding a crack, putting up a bolt ladder and bringing the mountain down to the level where I feel safe is probably not that serious in the grand scheme of things to come. 0825558551 Neil
mr Chabalala
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by mr Chabalala »

Neil, its a just a little nut
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by mokganjetsi »

mr chabalala why a u not werking?

btw, i'm with snort on this one. if (minor) changes to the rock enables one to make an otherwise un-protected route climbable plz go ahead. rock is there to be climbed! no use to be holier-than-though here (excuse the pun).
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by voytek »

I think Neil Has got a serious point!
Snort is an active veteran senior climber. Very respected in some circles. He has an attitude and flaire of doing things his own way - just like most of us. But here is a problem which is most probabily more serious due to its future implications.
I dont think that 4000 word boring posts about someone's climbing ethics justifies chipping or attempting to chip anything on TM.
thats just bollocks- its not a medical essay.
"Today its the cocroach you kill tommorow its going to be an atom bomb"-Said once M Gandhi
I think issue here has similar implications-- we are not concerned here with any old quarry here or some rotten hill... Snort's actions will lead to okes deciding that its cool to bring their hand operated grinders and
cut tiny cracks wider just to fit their fat fingers in.
If you are scared to fall and die don't do it then don't chip it dont instigate others to follow in your mediocre footsteps
People hate criticism but -i'm sorry- thats what my opinion is regarding Table Mountain.
Lousy work from Snort- at mediocre grade of 25/7a...
0824683723
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by SNORT »

Voytek, I don't ever recall seeing you climbing on TM. So from what pedestal are you shouting the odds. There are no 7a's on TM and hopefully never will be. I can accept British "E" grades. But, please don't come with any moral high ground with French bolted grades. You are criticizing without actually being there. Do the route - on a top rope at 7a or whatever if you like, and then start yelling from the peanut gallery.

I was up there yesterday with Tony D and Dave and Mary. Dave graded the 1st pitch E46a and the second pitch a grade harder. We initially graded the first 2 pitches 23 each. E4 6a is 24 so do the math.

Mary failed on the 2nd pitch, and that is with beta from me and she has consistently climbed a lot harder than 7a. These pitches are probably 2 grades harder to on-sight so the red-point grade which is irrelevant on TM might be 6c or 7a or 7b or whatever.

It was cold and late so we did not do the last pitch.

Tony refuses to lead the last pitch despite my assurances of the fixed nut and he is one of boldest climbers I know. Tony will jump onto any 7a!

So this prompted me to ask Dave and Mary: How many Brits can climb E5 or harder at any time. 100 or less they say. (There is one person in SA that consistently can climb E5 or harder and that's Clinton - there are may dudes in SA who climb 7a or harder.) This route is probably E6 or harder even with the nuts in place.

This route is right up there with the best in my opinion and is do-able for good mediocre climbers but very few climbers in the world are likely to ever on-sight it but if they try at least they are relatively safe. This is not grit where you can wander to the top and inspect it and watch other people and get the beta and where if you do fall it's still only 10 or 20m off the deck where you stand a chance at least!

Nobody is gonna start chipping away on TM to make mediocre routes. Get real. Your attitude smacks of elitism. The last pitch is still extremely intimidating even with the nut in place!

And you have not got the message. No hold or nut placement was actually chipped!

It seems transparency and honesty is worse than the act even though it was not committed.
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by SNORT »

By the way, Voytek, I certainly will never chip any hand hold or glue one back that brakes off. That's too bad. TM has a history of a glued hold on Tour De Force in the 80's; also a "mediocre" grade 25. In Leonard's guide book "The Ledge" there is a note:

"Warning: This climb has not yet had a continuous ascent as described above, nor have any of the crux pitches had on-sight leads".

Sound like mediocre 7a to you?. Have you done it? Am sure you can climb 7a. Tour de Force is well protected with fixed pegs and natural gear so no sweat.
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by Dark Horse »

SNORT wrote:I was up there yesterday with Tony D and Dave and Mary. Dave graded the 1st pitch E46a and the second pitch a grade harder. We initially graded the first 2 pitches 23 each. E4 6a is 24 so do the math.
SNORT wrote:Tony refuses to lead the last pitch despite my assurances of the fixed nut and ]he is one of boldest climbers I know. Tony will jump onto any 7a!
Mary failed on the 2nd pitch, and that is with beta from me and she has consistently climbed a lot harder than 7a. These pitches are probably 2 grades harder to on-sight so the red-point grade
SNORT wrote:Well I can climb the pitch
SNORT wrote:Anyway, did a clean ascent of this route
SNORT wrote:It is a challenging test piece on TM
Yes Snort you make your point very clear...
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by bigbatman »

I personally don't think anybody should be altering anything on the Table Mountain climbs. :afro:
CLIMBING ROCKS! --- /\/¯¯¯¯¯\/\
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Fixed gear on TM routes: an Audit:

Post by SNORT »

Last

Africa Arette: Peg on 1st pitch.
Africa Lunch and Out to Lunch: a Peg and nut lower off. 3 old fixed pegs on the routes
Dynamite: Fixed gear removed on 2nd pitch but lower offs have pegs at both pitches
Uber Huber: Peg and nut abseil point
Jeopardy: 3 or is it 4 pegs? Each crux is protected by a peg and there is/was? a 2 peg lower off.
TATWOC 3 fixed nuts on 1st, 2nd and 4th pitches. 2 are markers and nice to have but not essential for safety.
Synapse: fixed peg and lower off on pegs.


Old routes:
Cuckoos nest: first pitch peg and bolts, last pitch: fixed peg
Touch and Go: Peg
Captain Hook: Pegs on 2nd pitch (not essential)
Myrrh: Pegs
Tour de Force: Peg (s)?

Abseil points: 3 bolted abseil points. 2 on Africa, one on Fountain

Various sling and peg abseil points. 1 above Boltergeist, 1 above Captain Hook and Myrrh 1 atop COCK and Bull buttress.

Some old wooden chock and string on Roulette, and Hook

Any comments additions corrections welcomed.

Many old pegs are superfluous now with modern camming devices. But to remove them will, in my view, affect the character of the route and when we climb past them it reminds us of the history and another era when it was harder to go climbing and do these routes free. No chalk, no cams, no sticky rubber etc...
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by voytek »

Hey Snort!
Neither you are Mr. TM neither you are TM itself to be able to tell whose merits should be judged based upon the amount of times you have seen someone on the mountain. Only an a**h*le would say that.
I have a great climbing year and you dont have to demote me in order to assure your position in this so called debate-thanx!
We all know you are the most active climber in the region -all of a sudden after your trip to the states and now you are the one who calls all the the "tatwocc" shots on TM ...
this does not give you the right to mark your routes with chipped gear.
However - yes- I got the point - you didn't chip it in the end - thats great!
its nice to work a hard project and be proud of it. I understand that - where are we heading though- to the place where people draw with red paint on the rock to mark out route borders, place fixed gear to mark squeezed projects or simply drill bolts in places where they shouldn't.
Shure TM is not grit but thanx to such actions or intentions of chipping it will never have same status...
The routes with fixed gear are routes of the past- the old style - there is a new development in climbing happening out there - you should know -( its all on the videos in your shop)- there is a new generation of attitude out there - but not in here-
I am not speaking on behalf of no elite nor am I trying to be an elitist with my preaching. it rather seems to me that your own views reflect that you are considering yourself elite enough to be able to make decisions concerning the whole climbing community.
Thats great that you are so involved with development of new routes- we all appreciate it and see you as a well amped individual.Its not about fixed nuts and crap- I've also seen sh*t loads of that stuff everywhere so its silly to fight that. But lets be real- lets not chip and drill shit on TM -it is a natural wonder and a heritage site - ru grearter than that??? thats all- HOUK
Later dude!
Have a merry Xmas or festive season and ease up on the writing - we don't want to publish a book yo :thumleft:
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by brolloks »

in the original post, i wus talking about 'chipping', not old pegs and tats...how the heck did in 'evolve' into that? :scratch:

and talking about 'elitist' is quite uncalled for. :evil: (thats you, by the way, mr snork)

maybe ya had 2 much 'spiked up' eggnoggggg dis vestive seezun... :drunken: looks like it in most your posts anyways...

enuff said... i'm going climbing...

just 1 more thing (snorts probably going to essay my a$$...)
hows glueing on a broken off handhold 'not ok' to his highness? but drilling one ok? (if a nut can fit, why not fingers?, yeah, its a handhold now.) looks to me thou art covering up and explaining away thy greyish actions... i've climbed great, classic(not just in my book) 28, 29 and 30's with glued on holds like that? my point, i guess, is that TM is probably the last place someone should try any shady stufff at, seeing that everybody is kind of spyglassing us there... all these stories of handdrilling holes and chipping ect feels to me like someone going white rhino hunting in the kruger national park... we're just testing and testing and testing the boudaries until something gives way... how very human of us all... :alien:
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by mokganjetsi »

grrrrrrr it is sad & annoying to see how you guys are laying it into snort like a bunch of b-grade reporters – nit picking and stringing together unconnected quotes to make a point; what’s your point?????? btw, I do not know the man but I do know something about respect. yes yes you are entitled to an opinion but it’s the way you address the issue and make sure you know the what’s and why’s…..

snort did not drill a hole in TM; he did not chip or cut a hold; he did not make a notable change to the rock and he did not say he will kill for zuma. so back off!

changing rock will always be a grey area. it is accepted to brush off holds; remove loose rock and chock stones; clean out vegetation…..but hey, over time even your shoes polishes the rock. i guess when you start to drill or cut you have crossed the line, but then, if one should slightly enlarge a hole simply to allow it to accommodate a small nut to prevent somebody from spending the rest of their life in a wheelchair….. surely there are more important things to get hung-up on. i do not think anybody will take it as a cue to start drilling, chipping and painting at will. guys who do that will normally not give a damn what anybody else says or does. snort at least came into the open on the issue and explained why – he’s been climbing for many years and no dodgy practises have become accepted on his watch. respect the man.
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by SNORT »

Well put Mokganjetsi. You say
I do not know the man
. Well that means you are a little more objective in your statements. And all your comments in your last post are accurate and to the point.

And by the way, I am not naive. My posts are meant to be provocative - at least up to a point - even if it does bring out the worst in some people. But a lot of good stuff comes out too and gives food for thought. It also allows for people to air their views even if they do so reactively or in poor taste or style. One does get a sense of what people are thinking and that is very important! I think this is one of the healthier debates that I have been involved in even if people, as you say are
nit picking and stringing together unconnected quotes to make a point; what’s your point??????
The question is where to from here? I take heed of the opinions of others and what I intend to do in the future is modified by their opinions even if they seem disrespectful as you put it. Otherwise I would not bother posting this stuff here and it takes some courage and a helluva think skin don't you think?

My conclusions for TM at this stage are as follows and let's see what emanates from this post here on:

1. Careful selective occasional and discreet placement of replaceable fixed gear (nuts) other than drilled bolts with hangers is acceptable on a pitch to avoid a serious injury or worse. The quality of the route should justify the piece that should be in a position that works for anyone that climbs the pitch on-sight!!!!!. Not just the first ascentionist who would usually have red-pointed it.
2. Pegs should be avoided.
3. Lower offs, although making for less traffic over easy easy ground and thereby less damage to the environment, should be limited and I prefer threaded slings and nuts with lever biners to bolts even if they are a little unsightly. Bolts beget more bolts. Slings don't create quite the same problem in my experience and are easy to replace.
4. If you do place a fixed piece it is perhaps best to be discreet about it and not air it on this forum. It just creates a bun fight.

There is an irony regarding TM. It must be the most popular tourist spot in SA where it is frequented by tourists who could not care less just metres from where we climb. It has a Via Ferrata (chains) up parts of Kloof Corner. Yet the climbing "rules" regarding fixed gear placement is by far the most controversial and people seem to feel the strongest about it in the whole country. Even more so than the Magaliesberg where there are many bolted routes.

I have spent a lot of time on TM this year and over the years. It is a world class crag smack bang in the middle of the City. Most, if not all of the quality easy routes, and there are not many, under the grade 19 are potentially dangerous because of long traverses and choss on the scramble bits. Arrow final is basically un-protectable and a lead fall anywhere is likely to cause some injury even if only because of rope stretch. A friend of mine has died on Arrow.

The harder routes above grade 20 or so are plentiful and all are scary and committing but almost all are safe but here and there there are fixed pieces.

The net effect is that TM is frequented by very very very few climbers if one considers its position, what happens on top and quality of the climbing. I don't think select placement of any kind of fixed gear is ever going to increase traffic meaningfully. But, yes, fully bolted sport routes definitely will.

Even in the Cedarberg where bolting is generally banned, anyone that finds a crag, e.g.Milner, De Pakhuys and more recently Nuwerus feels free to bolt it. And anything goes ostensibly because it's private land. I don't buy that. Do you? And look at the access problems at Milner and Truitjieskraal now! This cannot be allowed to happen on TM or anywhere for that matter.
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by SNORT »

Happy New year to you all!. May climbing force us up to greater heights and improve our debating, literary and arguing skills. May your fore-arms bulge and cramp. May Hilti and Bosch and Fischer and all the other bolting manufacturers make less money out of you next year. And may you all please come for tea and cookies and a route on TM with me next year. Tea for only Three is getting a little boring and tedious. Tea for Ten or Twenty would be nicer. Yours. Snort.
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by Tristan »

If I were a humble sole whose world revolved around myself, I figure I could be forgiven for deluding myself that every time someone troll’s about bolts/chipping/drilling and all other manner of ethical transgressions (perceived or otherwise), said Troll is trying to get a reaction out of me.

But as I, too, have an imminent birthday (gifts welcome, particularly if delivered per hand by a pretty girl strong and bold enough to climb TATWOC, alternatively just deposit $$ so I can climb and ski longer), I’ll offer my 2 cents.

Snort, your numerous validations (self-professed anyway) and excuses, not to mention semantic discounts (5mm drill is not as bad as a 10mm drill) all detract from the underlying transgression: You went up there INTENT on drilling/manufacturing/altering. That’s un-cool and irresponsible. The sad truth is that while your underlying motivation is apparently generosity (in providing a new “safe” route), your actions are, IMHO, selfish.

Climbing is, as I’m sure you have considered at length, a very complex endeavor. Genre’s overlap and area’s become grey. However there should be little blur between the placement of a bolt or a peg and enhancing a placement on The Ledge. If you want to place bolts; go sport climbing; if you want to chip holds; go Via Ferrata-ing…if you’d like to enhance a placement, go to Castleton (one may not even need a hammer). As an aside, there are 5 routes on the Klein Winterhoek. Only one person has climbed all 5 (too my knowledge), and currently only a handful of others are in any position to. And drilling is an (vaguely) “acceptable” past time here. So enhancing things does not guarantee traffic…tho maybe a heli pad will.

Equally saddening is the fact that you are mistreating/misdiagnosing the cause of the apparent problem. To refresh, the problem is not that the route is dangerous (danger is a relative term, and an entirely different debate: you yourself skipped the “1st wire”, thus increasing supposed danger), the issue is that there are few ppl capable of climbing the route with a degree of safety. Now while rendering said route “safe(er)” - IYO – are you not, by default, encouraging the stagnation of developmental/progression amongst our climbers?

Now if we had 5 times more dirt-bag climbers, climbing 365, does it not stand to reason that the number of capable climbers would also increase? Perhaps ask yourself why it is that one of the few climbers that you punt as being able to climb TATWOC is away working 6 days a week? The problem is not that he can’t climb TATWOC, it’s just that he “can’t”. If you follow…

For anyone wanting to run a 9 second 100m, their goal should not be to shorten the distance in the face of failure, but to train harder. And if that does not work, then accept that they are not predisposed to run sub 9 100’s.
And b4 you jump up and advocate commercial intervention, let me just point out that with commercial interests (i.e. paid cyclists), come vested interests and as the Pro Cycling arena has proven time and again, ethics go out the window and purity is lost.

Lastly accept that, in our current gene-pool, there is nobody who WANTS to climb bold, hard routes. But that does NOT mean that there will never be a second messiah.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To address some other points:
- TM is seldom visited CURRENTLY. In its hayday it was probably visited by a select handful of regular climbers anyway…just more regularly.
- It’s the approach, and commitment/hassel (the modern climber, by and large, boulders or wants to climb single pitch. So chop the ledge in half and bring it down to Kloof Neck to increase traffic (why do we want to crowd our prime crag again anyway??)
- Traverses in Quartzite? Dude, that’s the nature of the beast. If u don’t want to traverse, go to the Creek…tho even there ppl nearly kill themselves on routes that eat gear. Ask Julia and Clinton (and Dave and Mary for that matter) who witnessed a terrible fall just recently there.
- The very fact that other areas are ‘open’ targets to bolting should calcify your resolve to preserve ‘hammerless’ ethics on the few crags which still are.

I apologize for the essay, but it’s snowing in Seattle – and I’m bored :) (global warming heh! Another debate again :) )

Finally, to reiterate: no, Snort did “not chip or cut a hold; he did not make a notable change to the rock and he did not say he will kill for zuma”…but the intent/willingness was there (tho maybe not the kill part :) )
Last edited by Tristan on Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tristan
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by Tristan »

On the subject of Semantics, I do believe that Adnan's route (on Africa Ledge) is E4 6a (ish), has NO fixed gear, no enhanced placements (even after he pulled the pro from the flaring crack, and landed on his back on the ledge as a result)...and has seen at least 2 ascents. Maybe you'd like to try it (it's too hard for me :) )??

When I was in North Wales I climbed something on the slate which was graded E4 6a, had ZERO gear until just after the crux 10+ meters up). It was stupid and dangerous, and not recommended. BUT it had as much influence on my climbing as your, Tinnie and Tony's encouragement on Touch and Go all those years ago. All I'm saying is that there is place for bold lines...someone will benefit, even if in a warped manner.

Oh, completely off topic, global warming has allowed me to climb ICE in Vegas...food for thought...

I forgot to wish the season! So merry merry...
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by MarkB »

I've been at the 'scene of crime' a while back and spotted Snort cleaning off some lichen on the top pitch. By the way, this new route is positioned between Magnetic Wall/Touch & Go and Farewell to Arms. Snort gave me some beta for the top pitch of Farewell to Arms, which is probably 19/20 for a tall person and 21 for a shortie. Thanks Snort!

Anyway, I briefly also witnessed the controversial nut being placed. At this point the pitch is very close to the top pitch of FTA (2-3 m to its left) and starts on the same ledge. Personally, if the gear is suspect on this section I would have avoided it by climbing the first 4 meters of FTA and then traverse in from the right. This slight variation should'nt detract from the new route since many routes on the Ledge criss-cross each other. This option should (in my opinion!) also make the route more attractive to others. If the blank section provides exhilarating climbing one can also consider placing protection from the side (from FTA), downclimb and then lead it (in a style similar to the first ascent of Cool Cat).

With the advances in gear technology one should only consider placing fixed gear (pegs and wires) if the line is ultra classic and all other options are exhausted.
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by fanta »

:puker: CHIPPING IS CHIPPING!!! I think its poor form :pukel:
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by SNORT »

Thanks for your comments and to the point comments Crag Rat. As you may remember we discussed the option of climbing up on the R on FTA and then doing the moves. I shall write it up with that option. However, in the context of the whole route I was personally still OK with placing the nut because it would detract from the commitment of doing the pitch if one does the easy option. After all that is what makes trad different. The commitment. And I agree that it matters if the route is an arbitrary eliminate pitch. Time will tell if this is a classic. All I know is there is no route on TM that compares: 4 pitches, almost straight line, exciting and varied climbing. Next best is triple indirect (which has my name on it in the book although it is not certain that Kevin Smith and I first thought of it) and that wanders all over the place borrowing existing pitches.

Fanta, at least you said "I think"!! and did not preek from a pedestal. That's fine. I disagree with chipping too. Chipping is an emotive word and in the past implies making hand holds, not enhancing critical placements.

I have made it quite clear that on a route I consider worthwhile I shall use the least damaging way of rendering it safe and not X rated. I will not write up an x-rated route! And on the Ledge that stops way short of a bolt. That does not mean to say that it cannot be run out. the 2nd pitch is R rated but still safe. the 3rd pitch grade 21 has two potential ledge falls but no X-rated. And no fixed gear other than a bolt can improve that so none has been placed.
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by SNORT »

By the way R rated means Run-out and not necessarily dangerous. The 2nd pitch of TATWOC has 25m of air belöw-
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by Tristan »

LOL
Snort, is that the

- "I can do what I want to TM, as long as I justify it to myself" (even if it is contrary to accepted practices, and sets a chipping-bad example for the more impressionable folk) pedestal

or the

- "I stand for ethically accepted MO" pedestal

???

BTW: your 2 400 word email does not change my opinion.

Also, BTW

- IMHO = in my honest/humble opinion
- IYO = in your opinion
- LOL = laugh out load (also used as short (hand) for "chuckle")
- BTW = By the way
- MO = Modus Operandi
- TROLL = to fish on a forum for contentious retorts/squabbles (as this post seemed to be a troll...treat it in the light-hearted manner it is usually intended)

Happy 09 to you, yours and all..

Tristan
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by fanta »

Fanta, at least you said "I think"!! and did not preek from a pedestal. That's fine. I disagree with chipping too. Chipping is an emotive word and in the past implies making hand holds, not enhancing critical placements.
The principle of chipping implies to modify a route to suite the needs of the individual doing the modification at that point in time. Or do you disagree Snort?

If you don’t like me using the word chipping when referring to your efforts of placing the said piece of gear may I suggest an alternative: "Bashing"

At the end of the day Snort you made a conscious decision to modify the said route to suite your needs. I too, (like Tristan) fail to see how a 2400 word essay justifies the modification.

PS don’t look at this as a troll. It's just that this is my sport too...
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Re: Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Post by SNORT »

OK Fanta, you made your point. Fine you don’t like it. Move on.

Tristan, I see you could not resist washing your laundry in an open forum from a private email. Your ego clearly cannot resist the temptation of thinking that the cyber voyeurs, the proxy climbers, the trolls and the wanna-be’s would be entertained by your repost to a private email that they do not have privy to. Have you noticed that there is not a single post on this forum (although I must admit that some of the contributors are anonymous and do not have the courage to identify themselves), that emanates from anyone that has a credit of a first ascent of a route on the Ledge?! And yet they, and especially you! are, not only the exponents, but also the guardians of accepted practices? i.e. ethics! Come on!

So here it is: Accepted practices comes from that which is practiced i.e. done! I am as privy to the practices of 1st ascents on the Ledge and TM in general as anyone.

In the 30 odd years that I frequented TM the following has been practiced: a Via Ferrata (chains) have been drilled into Kloof corner, the Cable Car has been upgraded, paths have been upgraded; and the plateau has been completely remodeled. It is the 2nd most popular tourist destination in the world just mm from where we climb! Abseil Africa sends more screaming Tourons down past some classic climbs than people climb routes on the Ledge. And if you can’t come up with the bucks and you are young, nubile and female you can go topless instead!! I witnessed it.

On the Ledge, during the years I have climbed there, bolts have been drilled, Quite a few! More than half of the few new routes opened in the last 10 years have fixed pitons. There are multiple fixed lower offs including no less than seven double bolted hangers with chains! One, route in particular has an easy an obvious cam placement adjacent to a fixed peg. A hold has been glued….

Are these the accepted practices you preach of? I don’t know of any new routes done by yourself on TM. I also do not know of routes with an X- rating ever on the Ledge. Eternity road is committing scary and intimidating yes! But not X or R rated.

I have embarked on the “practice” of opening new routes on the Ledge, no less than 7, in the past 2 years.

You state that it is your “humble opinion”…..and you use the word “semantics” And you also use the word “fact”???? As I said in my private mail, you will be eaten alive by Lawyers. You do not seem to know what “semantics” means and you don’t know what the “facts are”!

I have made it clear and repeat it here: I make no apology and no justification. My ethos is simple. I will do whatever it takes to do first ascents that I consider are exciting, relatively safe but scary and committing routes short of placing a bolt and hanger or chipping a hand hold on the Ledge. And time will be the Judge. I will not bother to write up an X-rated route or a poor quality one. By taking cognizance of the historical practices on the Ledge I consider the style of doing the first ascent of TATWOC well in keeping with what you call the “accepted practices” which you are clearly not au fait with.

In the 80’s long before “dogging” was a known word and red-pointing was accepted I opened two routes that were progressive at the time. They were called Hang-dog and Dogstyle. Very few if any harder routes were opened in better style thereafter and standards rocketed. That’s progress.

Meanwhile, when you read SAMM or is it SAMS now?; you will read that “climbers” are bolting the shit out of crags in the Cederberg, where it has been banned, with the spurious justification that it is private land! Perhaps you should remind them and the owners that beaches, rivers and vertical cliffs, and mountains are public property even if the land below and around it is privately owned! Is this now an accepted practice? I think not!

You accuse me of stifling development of young trad climbers? You were inspired once by me and others by our comments to you– you said so in this post. In 15 or even 20 years there has been no development of trad climbers that stick. (Clinton came before that). Where are the new routes? Andrew Pedley has succumbed to sport climbing and he is in his 30s, Leo has gone trail running. You?

Negative criticism is so SOUTHEFRICAN. So Tristan, get over it, get a life and go inspire the youth. And the only way you are going to do that is if you open new routes even if it takes the odd piece of fixed gear. It is your overly conservative and reactionary attitude that is generally reserved for people my age that stifle progress. There has be no progress on the youth front in trad climbing in 20 years and bolted routes and bouldering has hi-jacked it all. So if that’s what you want…

There is a very clear line between bolted sport routes and committing trad routes and that is what the accepted practice has been and should be on TM and what I subscribe too. If there is to be any progress then one has to occasionally carefully consider and implement unusual albeit not what I consider radical methods.

So that’s it, live with it even if you don’t like. You too Fanta and the rest of you, stop whinging and practice the skill and art of doing first ascents. Do what it takes to open new exciting committing trad routes. Keep it simple, keep it safe and keep the damage as low as possible and try find good routes easier than 22 cause the youth are so left behind few if any climb harder than that. And get the routes done before the bolters rape em.
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