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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:53 am 
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"Wusel" and co are fine climbers. I am 99% certain that the Dark Side route which is supposedly 29ish is not the 22 opened many years ago. These guys have a staunch track record and don't give away grades easily.

Again lots of summations based on a few forum threads. I think someone should head out , do the route and then comment.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:34 am 
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Real Name: Scott Miller
I know the Germans very well and also feel that before we string them up and chop their route we need to make certain what where how etc. I know they did research the area and existing routes and they came down with the intention of opening new lines. They have very high ethics. Yes if you happen to own a full set of MCSA journals and know a majority of the local trad climbers you may be able to find exactly where the existing routes are. But then it still is a maybe.
In the past we have had some Euros come down and bolt in wolfberg/rocklands etc but Daniel Wusel Max and co do not fall into this category.

Thanks
Scott Miller


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:18 am 
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Shot 4 that input Jem and Scott, good to hear the guys are sound and that this is maybe just a false alarm. All the more reason to try and get a very accurate topo drawn up, that way we wont have confusion like this, I must say tho that the top half of the line does take the only obvious break as would have Second Coming. Id be interested to see a break-down of pitches of the new route for comparison. Some better photos would also help. Whatever the case, Not's point of it being vital to have accurate info readily available to the general (climbing)n public stiil stands.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:54 am 
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Hilton wrote:
Tony Dick and Dave Davies established Second Coming as a free onsight opening ascent about 15 years ago. It has now recently been opened again and had 8 bolts put in it via toprope by the young Germans who called it Fighting the Dark Side of Gravity.

So is Hilton's info incorrect then?

No ones questioning their ethics or intentions, lets not get silly and centre this around personalities. They might have just f***** up.
What's with all the secrecy though - has anyone actually been up there and seen what they have bolted, and if indeed it does follow Second Coming.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:37 pm 
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FYI:
When the German guys went up they had a topo which had 4 routes listed on it (Blood is..., Prime Time, Armageddon Time and Newborn)
They didn´t know about any other existing routes.

The Germans did chat with Tony and Hilton, so I suspect Hilton is correct!?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:04 pm 
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The grades do differ by like 5 #'s. Perhaps theirs is a variation? So perhaps heading out to crucify them and chop the route isnt quite called for. I hope to sit down with some of the FA's who have done routes at Yellowwood and thrash out a proper topo soon, that and shoot better photos. Maybe then what exactly transpired will come to light. You may notice Ive changed the topo in the gallery, removing the reference to retrobolting. I will update wiki likewise soon.

Anyway there always seem to be problems when visitors go prospecting, so better communication needed from us in SA re: local status quo (something we can fix). I hope it does turn out that their route is a significant variation and not just a minor deviation with serious encroachment onto Second Coming. Its would be silly to celebrate such an ascent on a high profile site like Climbing.com.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:05 am 
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I have just read the postings on this forum topic ... don't come around here much! I feel that it is totally unacceptable to retro-bolt an existing trad route, and really hope that the Germans haven't done that with Second Coming. Who's volunteering to go and climb their new route and verify whether or not it takes the same line as SC? This needs to be established before any follow up actions happen. I don't have either the climbing ability nor the time right now to offer to do this, but the sooner some guys can get up there to check, the better. Jeremy S? Jimbo? Douw? Please climb the 'new' route and report back. If needs be I'll join you Adam in the chopping of the bolts!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:22 am 
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"The next evolution is that someone will climb this route ground up, placing gear, and they’ll do it without much trouble, like it’s no big deal, because that’s what all this crap is about, climbing is supposed to evolve, it’s an art form, gear improves, gyms improve, rubber improves, it’s exciting to see where climbing can go."

Sonnie Trotter


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:32 am 
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Yesterday Bruce and I climbed Fighting the Dark Side of Gravity (Episode 1). We didn't know much other than that it was in the Second Coming area, that it had 5 pitches covering 180m, and had an overall grade of 7c/28. We didn't have an RD but we had the photo topo that is on this website. Here's the story.

In the Yellowwood Amphitheatre the route Second Coming starts in the extreme upper right part of the bowl where there is a large clump of old Yellowwood trees. Ten metres to the left is a solitary Yellowwood. Another five metres left a ledge begins and goes out horizontally left towards Armageddon Times while the land drops away. Five metres along this ledge is the start of Fighting.

The start of the route did not have a beacon. We built a small one. It does however have a piton, one metre off the ledge, presumably for the belay. There is good natural gear.

The first pitch heads up a steep crack in a shallow break. At 10m there's a piton. The natural gear is good. The pitch then breaks through overlaps up to the right to reach easier vertical ground. Its then easily up and left to a standing-room ledge with good natural gear. There are two bolts. The pitch goes at grade 22

The second pitch heads up right to a big obvious crack, up this crack then right and up to a big ledge more than a metre wide and very long. The stance has one bolt and one piton about 75cm apart. They are joined together by cord. There is a clip-gate biner on the bolt. There is good natural gear. The pitch goes at grade 19.

The third pitch is a doozy. It heads up a steep white-grey face then into a very thin orange crack. Ten metres up a one-finger, single-digit tenuous crank with trick footwork gets a long reach beyond a pinched out section of crack to tips-only into the tiny opening of the crack. A piton is a huge relief. Its then up another metre to an overlap. At this point we tried to continue up but it blanks out higher up. Some desperate retreating got back to the overlap and then railing out right for 3 or 4 metres then some tricky work getting up. At this point the route converges with Second Coming and shares the next 10 metres to the original end of the Second Coming 2nd pitch. At the stance there are two bolts close togther and joined by black rope. There is a locking biner with a brass screwgate on one bolt. There is good natural gear.

The fourth pitch shares the first 3 or 4 metres with Second Coming before that route traverses out right while Fighting continues straight up. The pitch starts with a pull through a small roof. Before committing to the crank you reach through and clip a piton. When hanging out you reach 30 cm higher and clip a bolt. The way David and Tony had done this was very brave. It's then straight up on edges where hammers have been used to knock flalky stuff off and to create small edges like you find on Mercury at Silvermine. There is no natural protection. Four metres above the bolt is another one. Thankfully. I had a small edge break off on me that sent me flying off. Its then crack jamming and cranking to get onto easier ground with some tenuous but easy climbing on minimal protection. The route converges with Second Coming. The stance is on easy ground with good natural protection. Pitch grade 26.

The fifth pitch is the same as for Second Coming. Its easy up to the jumbo ledge and ends directly at the start of the immaculate steep white face of Armageddon Direct. A bolt has been placed a metre off the ground on Armageddon Direct, presumably as a belay. There is good natural protection.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:05 am 
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Sounds like these guys don't trust natural pro for a belay stance.
What's with the biners and tat on the bolts?
Or is this there descend also?

Do I understand right that the hardest pitch (4th )is 26 or is the hardest part where you had to retreat (pitch 3) and go right and up?

If the stances are chopped and some of the other bolts and pitons (sounds like you where thankful for some), what is your overall opinion of the route? Worth the effort, or not at all?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:39 am 
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Rad account Hilton, stout effort guys. The climbing sounds wild.

To me it seems like the guys opened the route in the style they were used to. Bolts or pitons at belays and en route where necessary. The stances may have been used for abseiling off judging by the way they were rigged, maybe its worth leaving it as descent route? The first two pitons perhaps dont need to be there, but remember that it is also customary to place a pin / fixed gear a short way up to indicate where the line goes, similar to our custom of placing a cairn. Then, Hilton, you mention two other bolts where there was gear. So certainly no 'rape of the mountain' took place in my opinion, but some unnecessary fixed gear placed. What was your assessment of the route Hilton? Did you enjoy it? Is it a significant addition to the crag? What of the use of bolts / pins?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:35 am 
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I'm sure that they could trust natural gear for stances. It's likely more of a convenience thing and the route was probably opened top down. In its current form it is not a good descent. The first abb off the jumbo ledge is off a single bolt. You then go down at at an angle through roofs to reach the next station ,placing gear to keep you in. If you are not wys you will end your day walking down the scree on your knees.

The hardest pitch is the 4th.

Its a two star route...some good climbing but the short grade 26 section is inconsistent with the rest of the grade. I would have prefered not to have seen the belay bolts ,particulary the one up at the jumbo ledge. But I did enjoy the climbing and good on the germans for getting out there and getting stuff done. I hope that they are a little more restrained with their drill if they come back.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:36 pm 
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Real Name: Adam Roff
Thanks hilton bruce for clarifying.
my 10c worth follows.
hate to keep quoting from it but sure does seem apposite. From the Yosemite bolting policy: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bolting.htm
New Routes:
The damage caused establishing a new route is far greater than that caused by each subsequent party. If you are considering establishing a new route ask yourself, "Is this route worth the damage it will cause?" "Is it a classic line that others will enjoy climbing, or I am simply interested in putting up my own route?" "What will climbers fifty years from now think of this route or this bolt?"

There seem to be 3 pieces of fixed gear that are really necessary to do this route. 1 pin and 2 bolts. Is it a classic line? is it worth the damage caused? sorry but it sounds a whole lot more like 'I am simply interested in putting up my own route'.

It would appear to have wanton over-bolting. I'm aware that trad routes in europe almost always have bolts at belays. Why? often to assist guides. And more cynically to assist the first ascentionists get down the face with a drill.
This is not europe, nor (consensus?) do we want our wilderness trad routes to become like european trad routes. I don't think it's appropriate here. I believe if you are using trad gear then you should be stepping as lightly as possible and leaving the rock in as original a state as possible. that's why the hand-job idea is a good one. you only then place what is ABSOLUTELY necessary.

This route sounds like a half baked direct version of second coming, that is not that great, that has come at the price (and precedent?) of a ton of unnecessary fixed gear. It remains to be seen how good the Mother route is, and how many of the bolts casually blammed into the face were absolutely necessary. I see all the belays have bolts and i'd be prepared to wager none (of the belay bolts) are necessary, even if it meant moving the belay up or down a little. Surely on a trad route in our mountains it's more important to belay where there's natural gear and a natural belay than belay HERE regardless of the gear.

It seems that Second Coming has not been retro-bolted which is a shame because i would then feel completely fine in immediately without consultation removing the bolts.

this has always amazed me. placing a bolt is the damaging act. removing it and (to the best that is possible) repairing the hole with coloured cement is the clean-up and restoration act. Yet whenever removal of bolts is suggested there's a sharp intake of breath in the room and everyone gets fidgety, like you're destroying something, someone's creation. Actually the reality is the other way round. This is why we need to be very careful about precedent. Because once these things are done they are very very hard to undo.

I really think the e cape crowd have found a great balance in this. In pinnacle and other gorges there are sport and trad routes. The Trad feels like trad. the sport feels like sport. In exceptional circumstances the odd single bolt or 2 has been added to pitches where a fall would otherwise certainly result in a trip to someone like SNORT (he is an orthopod if you don't know) or the duminy in a box (maybe preferable). Where trad routes top out on formations from which there is no easy descent a drilled abseil anchor has been placed. These are invariably out of sight from below and do not impact on the trad experience. They are better than slings which are unsightly and unsafe as you don't know how old they are. multipitch trad routes that have an occasional bolt do not then automatically sprout bolts at every belay.

not sure how they have achieved it. likely some combination of Keith James's sagacity and even handedness, and the threat of marshall's pistola if you step out of line.

Basically they have achieved some kind of balance. This issue is never going to be solved in a black and white all or nothing fashion. It will always be a balance and it will always be subjective. This balance will be informed by the legacy of routes that we leave behind creating precedent for future generations of climbers.

Jury's out on the mother route but the gravity route strikes me as a disappointing chapter in the history of climbing at yellowwood.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:56 pm 
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FYI The Germans did climb and place all fixed gear/bolts from the ground up.

cheers
Scott


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:19 pm 
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How do you know this? There is no metion of how the bolts were placed in any of the articles, regardless of how they put the pins in, many of the bolts seem unnecessary and should be chopped. The Bavarians should also be contacted and stopped from placing anymore bolts in this style, they say they want to return and do 'Episode2' of FTDSOG. Lets not have another episode like this!

Scott it sounds like you got to know these guys in Rocklands, why did you not steer them to someone like Charles who has an intimate knowledge of the Yellowwood, its history and how a new route should therefore be approached.

Anyway someone better have a word with the Bavarians before they do more damage!!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:07 am 
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@ Xmod, are you bi-polar?
Just to get this straight, you and Stu were screaming for 'trust' and 'right' to bolt what the phk you like, where the phk you like in a previous thread, yet now claim moral / ethical high ground?

You wanted unrestricted access and bolting rights (for the climbing masses) - along the same lines of solving world overpopulation by removing a few million people - yet now advocate Darwain natural selection. Hell, if you can't make up your minds, how are visiting climbers supposed to know? Maybe they just speak to you two on the right day??

Is it 'the Germans looking for a peice of wall to sign their FA names, or you guys looking to sit in your armchairs and attatch half-baked and speculative rhetoric on subjects you would like to appear informed on?

FYI:
- I supplied the opening ascencionists (sp?) with beta I could muster with 12 hrs notice. If they part-bolted a 7b version of an old 6b (not recorded in any of the material i could source easily), part of the blame lies with me.
- NONE of the in-situe (sp?) gear was place 'top-down'
- I suspect that the rap-cord was relics of rap-based photography
- they brought 200 bolts with them on a trip where little beta was available. A dinner with myself and well-respected ex-stalwart set the record straighter WRT bolts in mountainous arena's. The remaining 170-odd bolts were donated to Mpumalanga and Swaziland for development of schools-based climbing in the regions.
- their interest to the area was piqued from online articles reporting NEWBORN -
to this end drilling is, seemingly, condoned

In 4 weeks they opened 1 and a half routes in Yellowood, a route in Montague and two routes in 'boven (tho they may as well have just brought 2 new chin-up-boards). There are very few 'contributors' (in most cases an oxymoron) to these threads as active, so if you are not out there dictating and exampling the style YOU wish to see then get off your swivel-chair and do something pro-active rather.

I mentioned this in a different thread, but I believe that there is - in my humble opinion - room for:
- trad only crags
- sport crags
- mixed crags

Jeremy (a practitioner if ever their was one) points out that their is phenomenal rock / direct routes in our naturally wandering Quartzite. Straightening them with in-situe (sp?) kit is an option, and it MAY get more people out into the bigger stuff, open their eyes and breed a new generation. Likewise rap anchors in mixed crags will stimulate climbing in the bigger hills.

I was recently in Tafelberg and the Kleinwinterhoek with people who are stronger (certainly wrt number of years climbing), and looking at walls with new eyes, this is the future. It might not be entirely palatable in every sense, but it is a product of current - accepted - practices in emerging climbing (sport). Now unless 'we' come up with a workable set of guidelines many of you will suffer the fate of finding yourselves in one of three categories:
- those who naively talk about the past and the future
- those who change the present to the future
- those who wake up one day and ask wtf just happened

So rather than bickering about what happened / is happening, why don't 'we' be progressive and
- get more beta out there
- set a (revised) guideline (I'll expand if there is interest)

What is happening in Yellowood is a prime example of what will happen elsewhere if 'natural progression' is not channeled. It's the way it is.

If the revised guideline does not provide scope for those who feel the need to straighten things out with a bolt or peg (since when were pegs considered invasive in the same vein as bolts? - an honest question) then those of that ilk will apply their own rules / style to all and every crag rather than designated crags.

Now before you sharpen your typing-tips to nit-pick individual statements out of my rhetoric, accept that this is not my chosen style. I have, to date, climbed everything I've done (not much I accept) CLEANLY - yet I understand and accept that there are others out there who can contribute, in their own way and that they may have cause for 'modern' means. This is not my stance, its my opinion of the status quo, and the near future status quo. Use it, don't use it.

PS: While I have climbed 'cleanly', many of the routes I've climbed were not opened cleanly, and would not exist otherwise.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:18 am 
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Tristan, it seems you are yelling as loud as you can at the rest of us (well two of us it seems) because you are somehow involved. Don't try shifting the blame onto the rest of us. Please dont twist my words to suit your argument either, as bolting a new route on virgin rock is not the f***** same as slamming bolts into an existing trad route.

You make alot of noise about what we have/haven't done with regards to new routes - so according to your logic a certain amount of new-routing then gives one the right to retro-bolt/encroach onto existing routes with bolts?

The only thing I am calling for/saying is that it is unacceptable to retro-bolt existing routes without good reason, a point you have vehemently stressed on many occasion, including your Weighting the Dice article.
And I suggest you change your tone lest this thread degenerates even further. :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:58 am 
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Hey X, Didnt get to know them at Rocklands, I know them from work in Germany. I spoke to Wusel at length the other day about it to make sure The facts were straight. All ground up placed on lead, including bolts. This is also when I clarified where the routes go etc.
I did point them in the direction of info and they were definitely not keen whatsoever to retrobolt a trad line. In my opinion from Hilton and Bruces account they maybe put in belay stance bolts where some locals wouldnt have but they didnt retrobolt a a trad route. It does encroach on a trad route in question but not the whole thing it seems, from Hiltons account.
Im glad that yo are putting up more info on the wiki about Yellowwood as knowledge is power and will help keep the trad lines trad lines. I also think we need to continue to get the MCSA journal info out of the library and on the WWW, kudos for the work you have done thus far.
Myself and many locals climbers feel the style that they used is perfectly acceptable. Obviously there are those that think it wasnt. Oh well..... I dont want to argue as I dont see the point. I just wanted you all to know the facts as it had been leaning towards not being true IE Nobody likes East German rap bolters! So I wanted to make sure you guys knew they weren't. Im not here to defend how or what they did but I will defend there honor as I consider them good friends that I have known for years, not just some funny speaking folks I met at Rocklands.
Cheers
Scott


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Tristan:- At least when you spray its poetic. There's obviously a big difference between opening a sport route (in a carefully chosen location) on virgin rock and placing fixed gear where it encroachs on existing clean trad routes. I would also say that in trad climbing (as I understand it) generally you dont place fixed gear where there are good options for natural or removable gear, additionally you try and keep the amount of fixed gear to a minimum - especially bolts. I only suggest removing the unnecessary gear. I dont have any issues with the use of fixed gear on trad routes, provided its essential to the route. Rap stations for photogs are obviously not cool in this context.
Anway - look, nobodys blaming anyone, shit happens. The route hasn't been opened in a style thats generally accepted here - boohoo. Time will tell if the bolts remain. PS yes I am bipolar.

So what good off all this spin off from their ascent?
We've identified the need to make information on climbing standards and practices here more available. So maybe we need to draft a document (in the wiki?) where these things are detailed, a list of what is allowed where (code of ethics). A swivel chair would be agood place to sit while you write.

Scott:- Shot for the follow up, its good to have things clarified. I think the wiki is right now.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:12 pm 
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Personally I don't have issues with having a bolt at the stance, as it provides extra security and speeds up the climb. The problem in this instance was the encroachment onto Second Comings territory.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:20 pm 
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@ Xmod, so I don't 'write beautifully', but 'spray poetically'?
Damn, i actually like your description :jocolor:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:21 pm 
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Tristan wrote:
...write beautifully / spray poetically? :jocolor:

same difference! :wink:
Stu wrote:
The problem in this instance was the encroachment onto Second Comings territory.

Yes Hilton has done FTDSOG but there are still the upper pitches of YMF (their other route). It will be interesting to see what has happened there as there appears to be only one obvious natural break, its hard to tell from the photo.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:19 pm 
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I think I can clear things up. Fighting Gravity is the route on the right that ends at the jumbo ledge i.e. halfway, which is why it is episode 1 and needs another episode to get to the top. This is the one Bruce and I did. Your Mother is the route on the left that gets to the ledge then starts again further to the right on the jumbo ledge and finishes at the top of the wall with Prime Time. This route hasn't had a repeat.

I am pretty sure of this. The Germans put up photos with Reini doing some thin face stuff on Your Mother which is a nine pitch route i.e. gets to the top of the amphitheatre. Reini was not on the first ascent of Fighting Gravity. There are several other clues including the description of the opening ascent of Fighting Gravity.

Some other things:

I've figured that the route was opened ground-up. There are little clues. To my mind there isn't a debate on first ascent style here. The route was almost certainly manufactured using aid then redpointed later. As is the case with most very hard routes. Two pointers: 1. at the start of the fourth pitch just over the small roof there is a piton with a bolt 30cm higher. The driller sat on the peg; 2. the bolt in the "steep red platter" could not have been placed while the driller hung on to almost nothing.

There has never been any reason to be ugly to the Germans - they are really nice people who made unintentional mistakes.

When I can harness the assistance of one of my children I will post some pictures of the bolting on Fighting Gravity.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:18 pm 
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In response to Stu's latest comment: It is not part of South African trad climbing tradition and ethics to bolt belay stances. This approach is used in other parts of the world, but generally does not belong here, so I think we should think hard about this before we embrace the idea and accept/ set it as a precedent. If there is a chance to place natural gear (including pegs/ pitons, if necessary) at the stances, this should be what is used as the belay anchors. If not, then the stance should be moved to where one can find natural gear placements. Only if neither of the above two solutions are going to work, should there be any thought of placing fixing anchors (bolt/s), and then the means of placement should be, ethically, hand-drilling. This does not necessarily apply to a mixed route, where the protection is both natural and bolted. In such circumstances, I think it is acceptable to (machine) drill the bolts, including at the stances, if needed.
Having said all of this, just in case it is sounding like I'm taking the high-ground standpoint exclusively, I have helped place single chemical-bolt belays on top of many of the routes, trad and mixed, at Hellfire Crags in Du Toitskloof. This was to mostly to avoid dodgy belays off potentially loose blocks and small bushes, but we went further to even bolt-protect the top belays of some routes where there was reasonable anchorage on top. I don't feel too bad about this, as the venue has trad, mixed and sport routes blended together fairly randomly. I do feel that I must remove (finish removing) the bolt I put in on Burnout's crux after having opened it without it, as it is not needed and detrimentally changes the nature of what is regarded to be a classic trad route ...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:16 pm 
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See photos of first stance and of last stance (fifth) on Fighting the Dark Side of Gravity. The second and third stances are similarly bolted where there is an abundance of good natural gear placements. The last stance is on the midway jumbo ledge where there is a lot of natural gear to be had. The single bolt is placed one metre off the ground directly into the first pitch of Armagedden Times Direct.

The fourth stance is not bolted.


Attachments:
File comment: Single bolt placed one metre up Armageddon Times Direct off the jumbo ledge
FTDSOG bolt in A.T.Direct.JPG
FTDSOG bolt in A.T.Direct.JPG [ 219.31 KiB | Viewed 1229 times ]
File comment: First stance on Fighting the Dark Side of Gravity. Lots of good natural gear around
FTDSOG first stance.JPG
FTDSOG first stance.JPG [ 246.14 KiB | Viewed 1229 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:59 am 
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Real Name: Greg Hart
Well, I must say that, although I love sport climbing and feel well placed sport climbs can add a desirable dimension to the cliffs (ie routes that would not exist otherwise), Im against bolting on a Trad line where there is such obvious bomb-proof natural pro so close at hand. If the belay bolts (and unnecessary running belays bolts / pegs) are no use as a descent route then they should be removed and the rock repaired. This and the publication of a locallly acceptable code of practice would help to set the precedent for future FA's.

The lower bolt in pic1 also looks like it is not placed deep enough, most of the bolt failures we have experienced locally involved bolts that were placed (like this) in holes that were not deep enough. Whilst I laud the Bavarians for getting out there and actually doing something, its a great pity they were not better informed as to the acceptable style of trad climbing in this counrty as practiced by local climbers. Anyway thats just my swivel chair opinion.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:10 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Cape Town
I second your response Xmod. In my opinion, these belay bolts should be chopped. There is really no excuse for having placed them at all! If one is able to safely protect oneself with protection/ running belays on trad leads, then there is no reason whatsoever to place bolts on stances that offer bomber trad gear. We need to steer away from this 'alien' approach, and uphold our longstanding and ethically sound and logical approach and style to the opening of new trad routes, especially in the Cape and other areas where the rock is sound and trad gear placements abound. Do you guys, Hilton and Bruce, agree that these belay bolts should be chopped?!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 3:06 pm
Posts: 72
Real Name: Scott Miller
just because I dislike the word chopped, Ill point out that in the photo both bolts are actively being used as anchors. They are there now, maybe we should educate on what is the current ethic and not chop. Its my opinion that chopping bolts will only agitate the situation and cause further destruction.
We do have a long standing ethical approach but we also need to look forward at progress. One could argue that this alien approach to opening mixed routes is progress. We have several good examples of South African standards that at the time seems ethical to locals but by looking at European and others standards elicit change or progress.
Yellowwood has a long history of being a testing ground for new standards and ethics maybe it should stay that way.
The effort it would take to go chop the bolts should be used to open new trad lines and publish the RDs in the wiki or spending a day with ARF chopping old bolts and replacing with new.
cheers
Scott


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:22 pm
Posts: 37
Real Name: Adam Roff
Hi All. Scott I must completely disagree with your view. By leaving indiscriminately placed bolts we tacitly support the practice. Bolts beget bolts and it's not like everyone (anyone?) who comes climbing in our mountains spends hours trawling this website to gauge the prevailing sentiment before they head for the hills. Our mountains and routes must be self evident examples of our climbing ethics. Others will take their cue from the way we treat our crags. Why should they not?

I spent a large part of this weekend pulling bolts out of one of the trad routes retro-bolted by foreigners at wolfberg a few years ago. I don't consider this time and energy wasted. Quite the opposite. Left there they not only ruin the trad route, but provide a precedent and invitation to any trigger happy person who can't be bothered to find out what the prevailing ethic is at the crag.

I'm not against bolts or sport climbing at all. Quite the opposite. Contrary to snort's mate jed i believe we have some fantastic sport routes in this country, and capacity for many more. Our problem as i see it is achieving some consensus on what the prevailing ethic should be at different venues, for this ultimately defines the type of experience that one has. When we have some reasonable consensus on this we need to ensure that the different venues embody their appropriate ethic.

Bar one or two exceptions I'm not aware that the practice of gratuitously bolting belays is evident on long trad routes in south africa. It's one of the great things about our long trad routes. By and large there is nothing there before or after your ascent. This is rare by world standards and i believe it is something worth protecting. I don't see bolts as an evolutionary step in trad climbing. quite the opposite. As gear improves we should be leaving less hardware in the hills not more.

_________________
Adam Roff


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:04 am 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 2:10 pm
Posts: 133
Location: cape town
I've got to say fantastic Adam you actually spent time and effort this weekend doing something. Where I just want to climb and whine, hopefully I can change my lazy ways and shut my mouth...


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