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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:10 am 
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I would suggest the route be climbed by a few people, the bolts discussed and then a decision made (before any chopping is done).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:04 pm 
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I have no experience of Yellowwood, but the logic used in the argument this far dictates that Newborn should also be chopped considering that this is the one setting the unwanted precedent. I have no opinion either way it just seems logical to me and I will say once again I have not climbed anything at Yellowwood and would have to learn to climb first.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:30 pm 
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Quote:
Snort: so what if they are sponsored? what does that have to do with anything?


Anyone that is sponsored has a "perverse" incentive to deliver the goods so to speak. And that means doing sexy first ascents in exotic places at any cost. Go and read about the Red Bull sponsored debacle of David Lama on the compressor route on Cerro Torre.

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web10s/news ... ssor-bolts

My experience with many sponsored climbers is that they are on the take, feel entitled and have a drill in hand. That way you can aggrandize yourself with minimal effort.

Quote:
Snort, I think you can try your best, but you are just not going to be able to keep South Africa all for yourself.


That is nonsense. There is only one big wall in the country that is being debated here for now and that's Yellowwood. Blouberg has at least 3 world class routes that need on-sight ascents but watch this space. If this trend continues the drillers will go there next, won't even bother with doing a route there and will start bolting. (Hector keep em away please!!!!).

Would you take a drill to Germany? Or to the USA? Well if you did I can assure you that you will get into trouble....And possibly even be arrested.

There is unlimited rock in SA that is not contentious.....


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:04 pm 
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SNORT wrote:
Anyone that is sponsored has a "perverse" incentive to deliver the goods so to speak.


Being sponsored or not is not the issue at hand.

Nevertheless what you are saying is that all professional sportsmen have perverse incentives. Which would be similar to say all businessman (like yourself) has perverse incentives.

Also, this is talk from someone who has the means to "sponsor" his habit from his other vocations. Not All climbers have that luxury.

Sponsorship does not perverse, a climber is perverse or not from within.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:21 pm 
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HenkG at their age I had less than nothing..... And was never sponsored. Until age 24 while studying I ate pro-nutro for days at a time and I certainly could not afford the luxury of an overseas trip never mind a drill. Even after that I had to work my arse off until I was well in my 30's before I happened to make money enough to travel and it was only after the age of 40 where I could afford to climb regularly....

Remember assumption causes the mother of all F...ups.

I, like Hilton and a few others around my age are passionate about adventure climbing and being in the mountains. And if nobody puts a break on bolting in certain important places then all the adventure of climbing will be killed. And Yellowwood is important and it is important to keep it's character to any South African that has ever climbed there on trad.

Why on earth are people feeling compelled to bolt Yellowwood. There are literally hundreds of un-developed amphitheatres in the Western Cape with a bigger one just to the left that does not lend itself to trad climbing. The only reason I can glean is that it has been put on the map and is considered very sexy. So if you do a route there you are considered grand.

Did you read what happened on Cerro Torre? Go read the story, read the blog comments and then convince me that David Lama was not manipulated and perversely incentivized by Red Bull.

Go read the books of Ron Fawcett, Warren Harding, Jim Bridwell and hundreds of other climbers who are all now mostly has beens or dead and see how they had to live totally dirt-bag existences so they could climb.

It is so much easier to spend OPM (other people's money), than your own, especially if you don't have any. Note the pronunciation of OPM = Opium - It, like OPM is a powerful drug.

Anyway, if I find bolts on my routes I will chop them. The first lot of Germans placed a bolt on the first pitch of Prime Time direct, a pitch I onsighted - safely on trad gear. It is damn annoying to find a bolt on a route you opened. Even if it is a sport route -yes?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:22 pm 
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Justin wrote:
I would suggest the route be climbed by a few people, the bolts discussed and then a decision made (before any chopping is done).


Let me just sidetrack this a little, because I'm somewhat curious. Seriously, how many 7a+ trad climbers are there in South Africa? Can't be that many?

zb.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:25 pm 
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SNORT wrote:
Anyone that is sponsored has a "perverse" incentive to deliver the good
SNORT wrote:
Remember assumption causes the mother of all F...ups.


Ironic much?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:36 pm 
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SNORT wrote:
HenkG at their age I had less than nothing..... And was never sponsored. Until age 24 while studying I ate pro-nutro for days at a time and I certainly could not afford the luxury of an overseas trip never mind a drill. Even after that I had to work my arse off until I was well in my 30's before I happened to make money enough to travel and it was only after the age of 40 where I could afford to climb regularly....


Just think how much better you'd climb if you took that giant chip off your shoulder?

zb.

edit: P.S. Before anyone gets too bent out of shape. SNORTs climbing achievements are well established. If he got much better he'd be able to fly. ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:39 pm 
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@ zb: time we all toughened up, get a sponsor, grab the drill and start bo..... errr.. I mean crank harder on Trad

Seriously though, those who can should probably check out the route, see what the exact situation is and then take action.

Q to the everyone else out there: If there were a bolt or two up there would that make you more inclined to do the route?? :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:43 pm 
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Hey SNORT, let me colour it in here for you quick. I know you will not take this in any serious light, but hey, I still have to try reason for what its worth.

You're bitching about bolts on a face that you yourself have bolted on. This makes you a hypocrite. Go chop your bolts (you know the abseil ones that are more than 60m apart? WTF), come back, then bitch.

You bitch about people cllimbing routes and then writing a report to make them look sexy to their sponsors. Tell climbing.com to remove your story about Blouberg, shitting on rocks and throwing them off and rap bolting there http://www.climbing.com/exclusive/features/dogofthunder/ then come back and bitch about Germans doing that (vol 1 and 2)

I suspect that not many people give a damn about what you say when your actions directly contradict your words, so blatantly (and self-documented for the world to see nogal!). Akin to how educated people feel when gawwermunt tells them that corruption isn't a problem.

And before you write your usual response, let me start it off for you... "If you or anyone can onsight my routes without using the bolts then I'll chop them".

Same goes for Newborn then, same goes for the 1st German route.... oh no hold on, those bolts WERE chopped. By your rules, who onsighted it to give you the right to further scar rock that already (rightly or not) had bolts placed?

Hot air...so much.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:58 pm 
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Real Name: Leon Nel
Does it matter, the question rather is, would the Germans have been able to open the line were it not for the addition of these bolts. And if so, they should have openend the line in that style.

If not, the line should not exist (does not exist) based on the ethics as agreed upon a year ago. Who knows, if someone else had the "we need to put a few bolts in" attitude earlier, this "line" could have been "openend" much earlier.

by the way I'm a sports climber from Gauteng, have never been to yellow wood, and could only wish to climb 7a.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:03 pm 
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Justin wrote:
@ zb: time we all toughened up, get a sponsor, grab the drill and start bo..... errr.. I mean crank harder on Trad


Look....don't use my complete lack of ability to dodge the question. ;). Whether it was a 7a+ bolted route or 7a+ trad....I'm still out. I'm too kak.

Frankly I don't want to have an opinion and get drawn into this flame fest, but it might be worth asking who we're protecting this for? The 10, 20, 30 or is it 1000 people who can actually climb it? Hence my question.

Justin wrote:
Seriously though, those who can should probably check out the route, see what the exact situation is and then take action.


Totally agree....my question wasn't asked to try and suggest anyone doesn't do exactly what you are saying.

Justin wrote:
Q to the everyone else out there: If there were a bolt or two up there would that make you more inclined to do the route?? :roll:


Perhaps....but I think that was what SNORT was going on about regarding LCDs. Whether or not YW gets bolted SNORTs most valid point is that there are other areas that CAN be developed for multi-pitch sports. Frankly, how many people have done all the routes on Cogmans Buttress....probably a good place to start before complaining about lack of sports routes.

zb


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:49 pm 
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PierreJoubert, you clearly have not climbed at Blouberg or Yellowwood as you do not even begin to understand the context of this issue about these two places. If you have been to either then your argument is disingenuous if not down-right contrary and you still don't understand the context. Look how I got crucified when I tried to fashion a fixed piece on a route on TM. Can't say that I have tried that trick again.

At Blouberg odd bolts and fixed gear have been the norm for years and years, since the 70's and there is a happy balance between the two. The routes at Blouberg are all extremely adventurous and every major route has at least one "out there" R rated pitch. More than one of the bolted pitches is really scary and run out. And these were led on-sight bottom up with out bolts initially.

At Yellowwood not one of the classic trad routes has a bolted stance and I can think of only one (unnecessary) peg on Blood is Sweeter than honey. And all the trad routes have exciting, scary and adventurous pitches on them. Go try the 24 pitch the 22 pitch and the 23 pitch on Prime Time, or the 19, the 18 and the 20 pitch on Blood is Sweeter than Honey. Or even the 2nd pitch of Slack Time. Only grade 20 or so. Or even old Time Warp.

No fixed gear! And there are 4 other routes in the making that have still to top out that have no bolts and fixed gear. That is the character of the place. And why should it be changed when there is so much to do around there. If any of what I have done with fixed gear has changed the adventure or commitment required of climbing at Yellowwood or changed the character of the place then, if there is consensus on this, I shall remove it and that includes the rap route.

Bolted stances are not warranted at Yellowwood and that seems to be the consensus. There are some bolted stances at Blouberg that I think are warranted as retreat from there is a far more serious undertaking than most walls I have ever climbed on. Ask Andrew Pedly who bust his tibia on 8 Miles High.....

If I really wanted people to climb my routes at Blouberg I would have to put in a lot more bolts but that would kill the character of those routes. Meanwhile I shall watch with patience and interest until someone with enough character and balls will go and do them, hopefully in better style than I could. Or any style for that matter. They can all be done as grade 21 A1 or so which will still make them great adventures.

And finally, nobody has come forth cheque book in hand to sponsor my next adventure. Maybe if I put in more bolts?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:55 pm 
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Pierre.joubert that was about the most eloquent piece of writing I've read on this forum! Good investigative journalism! Careful though, the media tribunal might come after you for telling the truth!
:thumleft:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:12 pm 
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I love it... glad to see some of your opinions change over time

SNORT wrote:
"If you or anyone can onsight my routes without using the bolts then I'll chop them".
is now
SNORT wrote:
If any of what I have done with fixed gear has changed the adventure or commitment required of climbing at Yellowwood or changed the character of the place then, if there is consensus on this, I shall remove it and that includes the rap route.


So no fixed gear, unless you say so? Am I getting this right?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:24 pm 
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This is all SPAM table morality. Snort you consider what you experienced in your life and then wants to make it normative for all.

I am not for bolting tradable lines and venues, I have the greatest respect for first ascentionists especially bottom up on trad. But SNORT your illogical arguments, prescriptive behaviour and the way you come over on this forum is what I needs to be chopped.

Is it not ironic that the man who shouts the loudest every time there is an argument about ethics, directly influenced the Germans to bolt stances due to his bolting of the rap line?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:00 pm 
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Here's my take based on Blouberg (not saying Yellowwood is the same):

- The rap route on Blouberg is an unnecessary luxury. It makes the place less committing for newbies, and allows veterans to work on projects or do multiple routes in a day. It reduces the adventure. But we've all used it, its super convenient and while it hasn't saved any lives that I know of it has made a few rescues slightly less epic. If it wasn't there, there would still be a highway of tat in that general vicinity, so maybe the lesser of two evils.

- The long routes there that have bolts are brilliant (at least the one's I've climbed). I've place two bolts on a route which could no doubt be done by a very brave boy without them. But not by me. I think its a worthwhile addition to the wall and I can justify the bolts to myself. Other people might have a different opinion but no-one's complained so far.

- I think its fair to say that most of the bolts at Blouberg (before Dog of Thunder) were placed by one highly energetic individual who was an SA climbing stalwart, who had already opened death routes all over the show, who was involved in many of the FA's of the Blouberg classics (mostly without bolts), who wrote the route guide for the place, and who could pretty much climb harder than anyone else. So I guess the reasoning was that if he thought a bolt was necessary then fine and well. At a stage he also hatched a plan to bolt a full sport route there. Fortunately he only did a pitch or so before abandoning it. It would have set a precedent that others would find hard not to follow. Also, once there's one full sport route its much easier to access new territory for bolting.

- I don't know of any bolts placed by people who hadn't climbed at Blouberg many, many times before.

- The short routes with bolts are pretty mediocre and I think most of them were a mistake. But they don't bother me enough for me to actually do anything about it - I'd rather let them rust quietly while I go climbing.

- Unlike Yellowwood, you can't go to Blouberg unless its with someone who knows the place. You won't even make it to the base of the wall, no matter how hardcore you are. So the place is self-regulating.

- I would be highly skeptical if someone opened a new route at Blouberg with bolts if they haven't done the classics first. The chances are good they will end up placing bolts on an existing route.

- But, if you've done some of the benchmark routes, and you then find a new line (and you know for a fact its new) and it needs a couple of bolts to go, then be my guest.

- All the routes at Blouberg, including the new one's, are very well documented. There's not much room for confusion.

- Blouberg is a big and complex place and there is no black-and-white. Different parts of the wall have different characters and different ethics. There is no one-size-fits-all

Most climbers are pretty smart. Lets all just use our brains a bit. Lets consider the next guy, respect the previous guy, look for beautiful lines rather than any old line, pay our dues, use our ego's to fuel hard climbing rather than arguments, and finally, keep an open mind.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:55 pm 
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Oh gee, I shouldn't do this again. You guys who gave me such a rev last time please take pity on an old guy of 49 and go gently...

Today was another good normal day. Dark Horse (Neels Havenga), Bruce Daniel and I spent the day on Table Mountain working our new line. I was so pleased with pulling off an onsight opening ascent of the top pitch which stances at the top Atlantic Crag stance, starts the Atlantic rail, then rails madly out over oblivion to then get up a difficult overhanging recess. It was way scary, difficult to protect on lead and quite committing as these first ascents are. Bruce followed through well and an unfit Dark Horse fell off a couple of times. (In the end not particularly hard though.)

We then abbed to Africa Ledge to do the full redpoint. On a brutal second pitch (just left of Atlantic's third pitch) I took a horrible flyer over backwards and came to a stop nearly on top of the belayer. Higher up Dark Horse pulled a back muscle and is buggered. What a wonderful day. Good, hard, committing stuff. Now multiply that a number of times and you get the hard routes of Yellowwood. Yellowwood is very special and very unique. The rare spirit of the place really should not be lost. It should remain a goal for aspirant hard trad climbers and not be beaten into submission.

An aside:
Justin has commented to me about Alan Ross in emails and also on this thread. Alan is a low profile climber who David (brother) and I have abused for our climbing exploits since the mid-eighties. He is one of few guys I have known who could crank off multiple one-arm pull-ups off a rail. He's getting a bit slack now with the hard trad stuff and he's using his age (56) as an excuse. Very unacceptable.. He's a difficult bastard but he occupies a special place in my heart (and previously for David).

Closing:
really looking forward to Blouberg with Hector and Ian in December!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:23 am 
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Thanks Hector,

You have so completely put Blouberg in perspective, and I consider Yellowwood exactly in the same realm.

I and also Hilton and others have made a huge effort to put into perspective the character of YW and why what's happening there is in-appropriate. You have been there too. So you know.

As usual the forum commentators are shooting the messenger rather than sticking to dealing with the message. Maybe I am not the best messenger so thanks for your input re Blouberg. Will see what comments follow.

Yellowwood unlike Blouberg does indeed need regulation. It is so much more accessible to "athletes" (I see that is what sponsored climbers are called now). At least until someone tries to bolt a line at Blouberg.

FYI: I stand corrected on the detail, but 20 years ago Adam Roff and Duncan Elliot hitched to Blouberg from Cape Town! Had multiple epics but climbed at least 3 routes there on the main wall and possibly 5!!! How is that for commitment and an adventure!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:26 am 
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It is rather sad, but I think once again that Box and Chop is the solution to keeping the character of YW as is. Sad- since some rock will once again be damaged without having the protection that the initial scarring afforded. It is unfortunate to have a scar instead of no scar, but this should be seen as a sacrifice made but not to be repeated.

Box and chop, and make damn sure that anyone who goes there with a drill will be sure to have the same done to any bolts he places. If this is well known, even someone who just consults the wiki on where it is will not bother with bolts.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:34 am 
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Pierre are you including Newborn in the Box and Chop suggestion?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:55 am 
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Eish... that's the problem. Where do you draw the line? Have a line of bolt scars going up through those orange rooves?

Do you put up a sign saying "We know how many bolts are on this face, they'll stay, but you're not adding"?

Apply this retrospectively to this route (the same as happened to the previous route put up by ze Germans)?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:32 am 
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I'm afraid Snort as much as I think you are a great guy(you know I do) you made a fcuk up bolting the abseil as it does set a precedent and lessen the commitment, so does the bolting of New born(the guys that bolted and climbed that are my hero's and I look up to them) but it seems that now it's going to be very hard to tell people that no more bolting is allowed there? Or that if they think a bolt is necessary you have the final say on whether it is or not?

I think the way to solve this is to think of the future as progression and I think that when people can no longer climb any harder, perhaps grade 40? The only way to progress will be to trad climbs that people previously thought were impossible. I think of Clinton doing the first complete trad ascent of dream street rose now that is progression! Maybe not harder but in a better style. It's been happening overseas for a while, people have always looked to challenge themselves and improve on the style. Think of Lynn Hill free climbing the nose El Capitan Yosemite. She would never have climbed it if it hadn't first been aided but it still is an improvement on style surely. So we should be looking to build on the past and look to challenge ourselves mentally, physically and improve on things. Take only photographs leave only footprints, drive a smaller green efficient car, leave the drill at home, walk barefoot and care for nature.

Sorry the drugs(pain killers) made me ramble on a bit and none of this will make any sense when I read it tomorrow.... oh well...


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Leave Newborn as it is - chopping it would be ridiculous and just plain stupid.
Just make it absolutely clear that it was bolted back in the day.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:18 pm 
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Dark Horse I think I am gonna have to chop the rap route. Or lets put it this way. If anyone does any more bolting of stances or lessens the character of the place in any way by placing unnecessary bolts then I think it and all the other bolted stances and unneccessary bolts must be chopped. Problem it was hard work putting in that rap route and will be hard work taking it down.

Newborn should also be looked at with a view to making it a trad route and removing the bolts that are not needed and there are many that can be replaced with trad gear.

Eish, rather go climbing....


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:34 pm 
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Leaving to many variables open will always be contentious. Make it simple....

Moratorium on bolting at Yellowwood - NO BOLTING ALLOWED AS OF 2010.

Leave whatever is there already, as removing it will probably cause more damage than good

my 2 cents


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:40 pm 
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What if we could make a route out of the Rap Route !!??? Eeeeh, hows that for an idea :mrgreen: ??

Instead of banning bolting outright, how about saying only hand placed bolts may be placed? Bolt standard stays the same 10mm wide & 70mm deep (this means that the bolt really needs to be there).

I'm against chopping Newborn, I intend... no I will go climb it one day and will most likely need to aid past a few moves ;)

FYI -Little known fact: When the Huber brothers work their big wall routes, they place small bolts (rivets) to help whilst working the route and then remove them on the redpoint/photo shoot.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:50 pm 
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I will go with hand drilled. Done! That's the rule in Yosemite. But in the Supertopo for Yosemite guide McNamara makes the point that before you rock up and start drilling, consider just climbing the thousands of quality climbs first before you drill anything.

He basically implies that you have to be a bit of a jerk if you think you can up the ante, improve the area the quality of the routes and and do better things than your predecessors by drilling. To find this out you gotta climb the existing classic routes first and the you can put your ego on the line and start drilling.

Most if not all cases you will be so shot down.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:10 pm 
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I'm all for that, hand drilling if you really want to. This could result in only the MOST necessary bolts be placed.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:35 pm 
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That sounds like the most sensible plan so far. Leave all the routes as they are and ban drills. This will definitely be self limiting. Ask anybody that has ever hand drilled a bolt hole!


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