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 Post subject: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:55 am 
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Posts: 48
"I have a friend who has an embarrasing problem..."

He lives and climbs in a far away Kingdom and is currently developing a new crag. This crag had a handful of climbs - gearless bush bashes through gulleys from the 70's and clean trad lines from the 90's. For many years everyone lived in peace and harmony... Then the land owner started losing money. Big Time. He needed visitors - paying customers or the bank would foreclose. Fortunately a Fairy Boltmother came by and explained the linear relationship in this consumer age between the number of sport routes and the number of visiting (read $$$'s) climbers. The land owner announced: "Let there be bolts...lots of bolts"

Interestingly there already were some bolt at the crag as some of the trad routes ended partway up the rock face at chain anchors. Good trad lines they were but they stopped short of climbing the entire face/pitch as there was no further gear placements. Many fine and wonderful new sport climbs were opened. One day a keen young knight opened a grand new line. It climbed the first quarter (about two bolts worth) of an existing trad line (one that ends at chains, halfway up the face...) then headed left to climb the entire wall - with a further 8 bolts. It has seen many ascents and is a five star line.

Darkness surrounded the land and the glow from demon spawned forge fires could be seen - preparing for war...

War ? what war?

1) Two bolts are now placed 1m left of an existing trad route. They could be clipped by trad climbers
2) The first ascentionist of the trad line wants these two bolts removed.
3) The embarrassed young Knight wants to chop the whole line (Psst I am not the knight)
4) The Landowner says he owns the bolts! and will break anyones neck if they chop anything. He sees only the $$$ and has even asked the Bolt mother to bolt all the trad lines. (the Bolt mother said NO WAY - but he did pause for a couple of seconds...) The Landowner is unphased by the ethical issue..
5) Is the trad route a true trad route any way... It would not exist if not for the anchors as the first ascentionist was (quite reasonably) not keen to take the monster lead out to the top...
6) A couple of visiting trad climbers noticed the bolts but rather plugged the crack full of gear and climbed on - commenting that in their opinion it was not such a big deal...

So good Knights of the Round Table - your sage advice on this matter.......


Last edited by Nattrass on Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:25 am 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Vertical land like beaches and rivers cannot be owned by individuals. It is public land and land owners can be legally obliged to provide a servitude to the crag The use of vertical land falls under Parks and Recreation. The management of that use falls under the auspices of the users. So $$$ should not be an issue here.

The first users of the line(s) under discussion were the trad climbers. There must literally be millions of 5* sport routes but not as many 5*trad lines around the world. The trad lines must be respected. Leave em alone. There is more than enough rock to go around. The same thing is happening in the Cederberg where bolting is banned. So land owners are deviously solicited to have lines bolted nextto trad line and then one sees yellow-wood trees cut down and paths eroded and the fyn bos destroyed like at De Pakhuys.

The land owner really should have no say in this. He has a vested interest in degrading the crag and has not ethical or moral standing (if he is a non-climber). This is our sport - let's not lose ownership of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:48 am 
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I think that the land owner has the ultimate say, because, well it is his land, especially if the line already has anchors anyway.
bolting has been unbanned in the cederberg for while now...


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:00 am 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
So Toe jam, the landowner can allow 4 X 4's on the beach in front of his yard at the sea run his sewage in there and and and .... The land owner does not own the cliffs....

The same with a river. Because the river runs through his land he owns it? Not so dude. Legally he does not own it!


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:12 am 
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whatever


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:31 am 
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Posts: 10
Snort, that may be the case but in reality that means very little. Be realistic, if he wants to stop you crossing his land to get to the carg he can; telling him otherwise will only infuriate him and result in complete closure. Roger, I'd suggest sitting down with the guy and explaining the purity of trad and why the climbs must not be bolted. If that fails then follow your best ethical instincts; if the climbs are far better sport pitches that the half-height trad pitches ever were then maybe a sport conversion is the best option. However, if there are any local trad climbers protesting though, then they should get the say as Snort is right, 1 valid trad vote is worth 5 sport votes, as a minority group, that handicap should be respected. This debate can not be answered on this forum, it will require a balanced and reasoned decsion with all the facts at hand, by an experienced and respected climber.. such as yourself. Perhaps there's room for a comprimise of sorts, keeping the best trad lines free of bolts at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:37 am 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Nicely put Cloudburst. It is all about respect. If there was a shortage of rock then I would have a different view...


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:00 pm 
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Location: Montagu
Real Name: Justin Lawson
- Land owner started losing money. Big Time. Bank may foreclose on him
At present the land owner is keen on climbers visiting the area. If the property changes hands, the new owner might not be so keen on climbers (of any kind) - As is the case at Lost World in Montagu.

- Already bolts at the crag - Is the trad route a true trad route any way The route could not exist without the chains above. How often is this crag visited by Trad climbers?
How about leave all 5 star trad routes as is and bolt the rest?

- Visiting trad climbers noticed the bolts - their opinion it was not such a big deal... Can't we all just get along?

Agreed, landowners are legally obliged to provide a servitude... however they can make things difficult/unpleasant so that going there becomes not worthwhile anymore.
I agree that climbers need to sort this themselves and then explain it to the landowner.

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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:44 pm 
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Fairy Boltmother

My vote - BOLT IT! At a crag where there are many bolts on different lines, why should the trad climbers keep a line exclusively for themselves. Its selfish. As the visiting trad climbers have stated, its no big deal to chuck gear into the cracks and avoid the bolts. "Utilitarianism" - greatest good for greatest amount of people. In this case = more bolts.

If you label it, you own it. Claim Utilitarianism!!


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:06 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Lowry don't try that stunt on any of my routes. I will chop your bolts. Your attitude is subversive and not in the spirit of what is being discussed here. Bolting any route completely changes the character of the route and commitment required to do so. If you don't know that then you need some serious re-calibration. All minority sports and groups have their place and require respect. Our constitution demands it. That is what being civilized is all about.

Sport climbing did not start in a vacuum. Trad climbing has a long and revered history. The spin off of sport climbing from trad has resulted in consumerism of an unprecedented scale that has resulted in vast tracts of natural land being abused around the world and access is more and more a problem. Trad climbing simply has not resulted in this problem anywhere.

There is more than enough sport climbing for the masses around the world. Go do them all and leave the trad lines alone... If you don't respect that then like Lost world crag we will lose access everywhere. One thing leads to another....


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:35 pm 
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<trying...to...avoid...being...dragged...into...thissss...>

Too late, here's my take.

1. Lowry, please chill out (wooosaaaah!). This discussion isn't about retro-bolting trad lines - that would cause SNORT's head to explode. The discussion is about 2 bolts 1 metre left of a trad line (crack?) and how to resolve a gentlefolks disagreement between the bolter and the first ascentionist of the trad line.

2. The landowners opinion should not factor strongly in the discussion, he does not understand the age old debate.

3. Retro-bolting without the joyful consent of the first ascentionist is subversive, uncool and lame.

4. The question to answer is whether or not this case constitutes retro-bolting. If it does then the FA is justified in getting his knickers in a knotty about the bolts; if not then the bolter is behaving irrationally in wanting to chop the entire line in protest at his judgement being called into question.

IMO*, if the question above can be resolved amicably then all will be well in the land. I suspect this may be difficult.

* IMO - In My Opinion

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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:52 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Real Name: Derek Marshall
In SA the farmer has control of acsess to his land including the vertical pieces. Are there any right-of-ways that have been legally awarded for climbing in SA? Servitude is a diffrent matter. In most cases were are at the whim of a land owner. If the Lost World owner granted us acsess on the condition of bolting a certian number of lines including some trad lines(not all)...life is too short get started. Leave some good trad lines unbolted.

Flexability is the key. Diffrent places diffrent rules. The land owners wishes should feature strongly.


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:53 pm 
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1. Beaches below the high tide mark are public property and people owning adjacent land are obliged to provide access for the public to the beach. I dont recall ever hearing of a similar provision for mountain terrain. Rivers obviously flow through many properties and gain protection through that but the landowners are not obliged to allow public access to the river. So where this idea comes from that landowners are obliged by law to provide access comes from Im not sure.

2. Landowners may develop their property in any way they see fit within the restrictions of the bylaws.

3. Charging entrance is however more involved and the landowner may or may not be in contradiction of the law depending on the zoning of the property and other factors.

What this means is that this oke can get the routes bolted if he really wants to unless there is some applicable bylaw preventing this or the use of his property by paying recreational users. Rather you bolt the lines and make sure they are done properly than the job getting done by some paid monkey who doesnt know what he's doing but is just doing it for the money. The part of this that stinks to me is the idea that the landowner is going to charge access fees. Is he within his legal right to do this? (- zoning, insurance etc. NOT implied servitude! -this is a myth. In order to qualify for legally protected servititude the public would have to prove a long (25yrs?) history of free access). Note that if he choses to charge access he may be compelled to provide not only insirance cover but proper facilities (restrooms, water etc) and probably access to medical help in the case of an accident. If however there is no access charge he can get away with a simple waiver release form. Bolt kif lines but keep access free!

Lets look at the example of Lower Silvermine; this was a trad venue which after its heyday seldom saw many visitors, since its conversion to sport it has become the most utilised crag in Cape Town. A half height trad line doesnt really sound like a great route to me. If these diminutive trad lines have some of the most ecstatic moves on the planet then perhaps they should be preserved as such, but if a mediocre crack leads up to (hitherto unclimbed) brilliant and mindblowing moves then bolt the thing for sure! Toprope the top sections and make a judgement call. In truth its the trad climbers who have no shortage of unclimbed rock left to explore whereas sport climbing is rather underdeveloped in this country.

PS: From what I recall the access problems at Lost World originate from climbers flauting the curfew and disturbing the farmer when leaving late as well as arriving there without prior arangement. Nothing whatever to do with bolting lines.

PPS: The FA does not own the rock and has absolutely no legal standing in the issue whatsoever!! In fact he may be held liable for damage to property if he were to remove the bolts! So he can just take a big old chill pill and swallow his pride, coz thats all that is about. All the traddies in SA could disappear into the Eastern cape and climb a new crack every route for the rest of their lives without ever crossing each others paths. There is no shortage of tradable rock in SA. Crags near major urban settlements however should be given serious consideration for sport development.


Last edited by XMod on Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:09 pm 
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What area are we talking about here?
Seems popular enough to mention the name...


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:16 pm 
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Location: Durban
Real Name: Bruce Tomalin
Hi Roger.
As we are talking about a specific case and not the general (which has been debated to death before...):
Is it possible to reveal the name of the trad climb affected?
Perhaps the first two bolts of the sport line could be moved somewhat further from the trad line?

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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:43 pm 
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My 2 cents - in this instance the trad route needed bolts anyway so it wasnt a "free" trad route (Ie it wasnt pure) so adding extra bolts on a new extended route (ie different route) shouldnt be a problem - you can still climb without using the bolts.

(a simple stupid analogy) we started with bicycles we ended with cars. People still choose to use bicycles for the purity and enjoyment of the activity (they dont expect all cars to get off the road)

That said I believe if it is a pure top out trad route it should be left alone more for respect and history (dont go tar the cobbled streets of the tour de france)

All these beautiful analogies have brought a tear to my eye :puker:


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:02 pm 
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Paris-Roubaix


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Merci :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:22 pm 
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Location: Durban
Roger, I feel your sweet story is lacking some finer points.
A fair maiden (not I) climbed that trad route after the bolts had been placed and loudly proclaimed that clipping the bolts was off route of the trad climb and caused some unneccesary rope drag and was generally not a good idea.
Other locals on the scene have also proclaimed that if the bolts were to be chopped one of them would replace the bolts for this line is that beautiful.
May the war end and peace be restored to the land. The villagers who are so trad inclined cannot argue against bolts if there are two shiny bolts at the top of their route.
Many who have climbed the sport route find it to be of 5 star quality and have found much joy in climbing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:40 pm 
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The retro bolting debate is (very) old news. This particular problem was posted as it presented us with some novel issues that are worthy of debate. Rest assured that the citizens of this happy kingdom will resolve the issue amicably. To my knowledge this is the first time a Land owner swayed in on the side of preserving placed bolts - even if his ethics are not necessarily defendable. I am intrigued by how much credance one should give that Land owner in meddling with this issue. He has some clout though and will happily deny access to anyone he sees as a Maverick (read bolt chopper). Yes he is not a climber and after some careful explanation from Our Fairy Bolt Mother accepts that the trad lines should be preserved.

I also found it interesting that the trad route we are defending does not have a lineage that is as pure as the driven snow.... it climbs two-thirds of the face and ends at anchors when the crack dwindles out. The trad route is 18 and is superb! It has seen countless ascents so the argument that it is hardly climbed because it is "a forgotten trad line" most definitely does not apply. Would be interesting to decide what do do with the anchors if some brave soul opened the line all the way to the top... Not an impossibility as it would go at about 25 - without the prospect of a ground fall so certainly is within the realms of today's climbers. In my opinion it would be obvious that the existing anchors part way up the face should remain as so many people have enjoyed climbing the easier line......again its ethical "purity" gets further diluted as we would be tolerating some bolts on the line but not others.


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:24 pm 
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I am intrigued by the land owner claiming to own the bolts. Does that mean he will pay for all the bolting? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:05 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
If this is the route i am thinking about then i think its a lame argument. Firstly the area is fast becoming one of the best sport areas in the country with much more potential for world class sport lines than trad. Secondly whats the big deal?! nobody has bolted a trad line!

Then the route being mentioned here i have seen. On an awesome 30m wall to have a trad line which finishes on anchors 10meters up can hardly be classified as a world class classic. When i think of trad classics i think of routes on TM and in the Cederberg which i agree should never be bolted for any reason ever. But this is silly, its a 10 meter little crack on a 30meter killer sport wall! And it hasnt even been bolted, the first acsensionist is being precious about bolts next to his little route, get over it. And if he is going to be so holy about it then be a man an remove the bolted anchors and finish up at the top of the wall.

At the same time i was at this crag i saw someone putting up what looks like a great trad route which finishes at the top of the wall. Great dont bold this route, its a good trad line but i dont think we should therefore not allow any bolts near this just because there is a trad line here.

This crag has the possibilty of many awesome trad and sport lines, let it be like that and let it be enjoyed by all climbers. Maybe we can even have some mixed sport trad routes? why not?


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Roger, I have read all the stuff and it seems that the route, as a trad route, has its merits and let the bold top it out. You have thrown down the gauntlet and yet after some 21 posts you have not picked it up yourself. Although you are the paragon of sport routes, you nevertheless grew up and cut your teeth on trad. Take a stand dude!

So where are you at?


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:16 am 
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You're so funny! hehehehe


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:38 am 
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Leave the bolts as is, chopping would scar the rock further. Develop the crag in trad stylee...But we don't want people to write up X/R routes, so maybe take a chisel, or a drill, a hammer even...engineer some placements...bash some nuts in, a piton or two should do it, fixed gear on unprotectable sections is better, so long as you have ledge fall motivation below. Chop some rails, take one of those petrol-powered grinders they use to cut open cash vans.


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:12 pm 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Marvelously constructive nosmo. Go get a job that keeps you busy... leave the satire and the cynicism to Zapiro and Sax Appeal. They are better at it. Nobody needs this BS.


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:38 pm 
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Real Name: Greg Hart
Again I agree these trad lines sound like piffling half routes, hardly worth losing too much sleep over.
Illona- The bolts are now fixtures on the landowners property and as such are part of that property and therefore belong to him, and no - he is not obliged to pay for them as people have chosen to place them without aranging for compensation - so no luck there (I do get the humor tho :wink: ).
These ethical debates (debacles) whilst amusing are all just hot air. For the real issues look no further than the legalities of what is happening, as it is that which will hold sway, not some pathetic argument over the integrity of 'my route'. You cant own routes (unless you own the land) so get over it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:48 pm 
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Got that nerve dead-centre :thumright

Previous post was obviously satire, for readers other than SNORT - please don't do any of my sarcastically suggested options.

But seriously, don't let the bolts that have already been placed get chopped...that would be the most mindless proving of a point. Remember the abseil anchors Robert Breyer placed on TM?


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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:00 pm 
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Location: Durban
Real Name: Bruce Tomalin
Heish I'm confused:
Iliona seems to know which route it is,
Rogers says the trad line is a superb 18 - I then thought I was also in on the secret, BUT:
micky says its 10m up a 30m wall - so its not the one I thought it was...
This is not entirely academic to me so could some-one please put me out of my misery?
If its so sensitive you could PM me...
Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Ethical Mayhem
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:13 pm 
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Me'thinks it's that beautiful crack line just screaming to be used as a warm up (?) Unfortunately, I don't own any of those cumbersome jingly-jangly-expanding-camming thingies...


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