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 Post subject: A bit Embarasing
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:09 am
Posts: 434
Sure... if you spot a seemingly perfect crack that has never been climbed & decide that it would be a cool sport line...it is yours to bolt. That is your decision....no worries. Publishing a picture of this boted crack in the only SA climbing mag, well....hmmm - embarasing. Republishing & enlarging the pic so that all the bolts are visible, embarasing for all in SA.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:40 am 
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I was hoping someone would bring this up. I agree with your sentiments, Derek. Perhaps a letter should be written to the editor of the said publication


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:33 am 
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Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 7:25 am
Posts: 235
Location: Durban
Real Name: Russell Warren
My first thought when I saw that route was \"Oh my god look what they have done to that beautiful tradable line!\" I think putting it in the SA mountain mag sends the wrong message and just adds fuel to the consumerism fire. That said, if ever I was in the area I would certainly climb the route as it looks great. I would join the masses and clip the bolts purely because it is bolted already. A point to consider is that they found the lines and did what they felt like doing and were bolting it for themselves and as you put in one of your other mails Derek, not really trying to please anybody else. Had they not published the routes in a mag nobody would know of there existense never mind the fact that the routes are bolted.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:31 pm 
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Hmmm... cant say I agree with Derek, If you see a nice looking crack then trad the thing, dont bolt it! Our rock isnt always that conducive to safe tradding so the line between what should be sport or trad can tend to get blurred. But looking at the topos it seems that a few pure straight cracks got the baseball bat treatment. Keith, Tony, Im surprised at you guys, youre both accomplished climbers with more than enough experience to tackle short cracks like that in clean style. Wot happened? Did you get lost on the way to Spitzkop? Anyway whatever, at least theres another climbing area in the country (sorry out the country!) to go to (or not) :wink: . Like we have a rock shortage within our own borders?

I also like the way Tony places himself as the only contact for bolting there, and at Sandrift. We have structures in place that are supposed to handle these matters, why are they not involved and listed as liasons with landowners? Do we really need the other outcrops around Sandrift crag bolted?? :? I cant remember seeing anything worth the effort! You are allowed to toprope things you know! Perhaps if more people were consulted then the development of places like Kings Throne Canyon would be a bit more eco-sensitive and reflective of the accepted norms in our sport, as well as the needs of all climbers (not just the bolt dependent). The article states: \"Remove all trace of your presence after climbing in the area\" - a pity you guys left all those bolts behind in such an out of the way \"landscape of unspeakable beauty\" \"untouched for a billion years\"! Keith youve been out in the wilderness of the Eastern Cape to long bra, come visit us in Cape Town so we can go up TM and teach you how to use those cam thingys again! :) . That is if I can remember where I put them now... :lol:

My feeling is people should be a lot stricter with themselves when chosing what to bolt. I feel certain criteria should be adhered to.
1. Is the line an absolute classic?
2. Are there lots of other worthwhile sportable lines in the vicinty?
3. Is it accesible to lots of climbers, near a road and near a major climber inhabited town or city? Short walk in? -If not then it had better be a really good crag! (like Oudtshoorn)
4. Is the rock totally closed and devoid of trad gear placements?
If the answer's no to any of these then maybe its best to just trad it or leave it. Its a bit of a dilemna, we dont have miles of perfect limestone, and our sandstone tends to form those nasty crack and rail things :lol: ... dang! Not the greatest country to be a sport climber in!! :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 9:06 am
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Location: Cape Town
Mr Marshall, for someone who manufactures bolts and hangers you are always going on about the evils of bolting. Little bit strange and hypocritcical. Even from a business point of view you are not exactly helping your cause. Perhaps you should start manufacturing trad gear?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:10 pm 
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Hey GriGri I'm with you, but: It is sort of an accepted ethic that the opener of a line can decide to bolt it or leave it trad. So it is Keith & Tony's choice.

The real embarasment is that photos were taken of this bolted crack and then publish... not once, but twice!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:35 pm 
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Mr Rastaman do you really want to see a photo of bolted crack. Even if you don't trad or support trad...

Yip I have a tool for hangers & have supplied a fair amount of hardware for bolting. But I do not support bolting of tradable lines.


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 Post subject: Bolts (from Hell)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:59 am
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Location: Pretoria / Johannesburg
Real Name: Andrew Blanche
Oh Boy, we are doing it again – bolting sacred rock… bolting for the masses or trading for the few. I have not read the article and will take this as a hint to empty my mail box and read my mag, but over and above all the other ethical questions of first come first bolt practices, I think the question of why bolt a route that might see only a few sport ascents in its life due to remoteness is a very valid point. Somehow remote areas equate to trad while inner city crags have become synonymous with sport. Just a thought …


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:57 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Port Elizabeth
I haven't seen the article, but maybe the local council payed for the bolting :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:12 am 
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Posts: 293
Agreed Derek, its the first ascensionists choice, if we take that away then we remove individuality from the sport. If they want to go and bolt some tottering tiny pile in the middle of nowhere thats their problem. Sure its an embarrassment to SAclimbing to have it splabbed across the pages of the local rag, but Im more concerned about the message that it puts across to newcomers and outsiders in SA. Thats its ok to do this? Its not!! More than individuality will be lost if this lack of ethics spreads, we will lose all of the traditions I grew up with, respect for the environment, null impact on nature, acceptance of a natural order and balance that shouldnt be disturbed for the sake of thrills. The sense of wilderness that must have been in that remote canyon is gone now, mans presence indelibly stamped in bright steel on the walls.

Too poetic? I dont think so. Certain areas can stand exploitation, and even thrive on it. Montagu is a prime example of where things go when they start rolling in that direction, but we walk past legoland trying not to grimace too hard and go and get our fix around the corner happy for all the convenience provided. Thats fine it works there, the rocks right, the location and town are right for that. But doorengonefontein? And on such tradable rock? Come on! If its the first ascenionists choice then that choice needs to be informed and correct for the situation. Both those guys know better. I love sport climbing, but bolting is a heartless activity that murders that air of mystery that makes these places inviolate and special. We all need to think a lot more carefully about where and when its appropriate to bolt. Let us (older guys especially) pass on the feeling of wonder and respect for natural beauty, we used to hold in such high esteem, to those coming into the sport. Otherwise these natural wonders will be machine gunned into artificial playgrounds.


Last edited by Grigri on Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:17 am 
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PS Embarrassing is spelt with twoR's and two S's! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:09 am
Posts: 434
I am a bad boy.... sorry teacher


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:56 pm 
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I had 2 look it up!! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 7:34 am
Posts: 192
Location: Stellenbosch
Real Name: Brenda Marx
All of you have valid points.
Just keep in mind these are single pitch routes, where 10 or less draws are needed, with only a 50m rope.
If these were multi-pitch routes, I'd understand your concern about bolting of these perfectly tradable lines, but I cannot imagine myself getting too excited over tradding single pitch lines - the whole experience is different!
I'm perfeclty sure that many sport climbers will now make an effort to go check out those routes.
Tradding single pitches is not very common, as far as I know.
You may disagree, but I see no problem with those bolted lines.
If you have a problem with them, just don't go there - you most likely never would have known the place even existed without this article being published!
We certainly have discussed checking those lines out if we'd ever find ourselves in that area...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:02 pm 
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Posts: 434
Its not really the bolting of the line. As the first acentionists, they are free to do as they wish...more the publishing of the pic twice that is so sad. It's an indication of the state of climbing in SA, by two very respected older climers.
\"Let us (older guys especially) pass on the feeling of wonder and respect for natural beauty, \" Grigri... these were the older guys... it is a real shame.

Climbing single pitch trad is very common. Never even though about it. I think its normal +-everywhere.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:19 pm 
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Ya hey! sad indeed! Especially as Juz's DWS article in the same mag shows how even higher faces can be tackled! And at extreme grades. Heroic, free (in all senses of the word) and totally eco friendly - pure inspiration! :D

The degradation of our once proud ethics is the reason Im jammering on about this so much. Ive also fallen prey to the bolt bug but, in retrospect, much of the development I have done has left me cold. So much steel sprouting from once beautiful faces of rock, its a bit depressing. Derek you may be happy to hear I have bought a trad rack! 8) Not got to use it yet but soon!


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 Post subject: Montagu!!!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:08 pm
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Location: cape town
All this BS going back and forth about ethics... I wonder what the reaction was when the first bolts were placed in Montagu?

I think that we should remember that these are the first bolts being placed in what has probably a lot of potential as a great sport climbing area. Does this mean that one obvious line should be left un-bolted because it can be climbed with natural gear? I agree it is an impressive looking crack, and my first thoughts were that it looked like a trad line, but one trad line, amongst a bunch of sport routes is silly! It would not get climbed!

I am going to Namibia to climb to climb on the Spitzkop, on the way back we intend to visit this awesome looking crag, we'll probably climb all the bolted routes, and if we see any unbolted cracks, we'll probably climb them too - because we will happen to have a rack with us!

Many thanks to Tony and to Keith for unselfishly putting up more good routes! Tony has an excellent track record of bolting good lines, unlike some other bolters i look forward to climbing these!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:58 pm 
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I supose \"All this BS going back and forth about ethics\" is because there are quite a number of people who do care. Why did you, like so many others, take time to share your view George?

For me its the publishing of the pictures of a bolted prominent crack being climbed ...that is so sad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:30 am
Posts: 11
Of course, there is definitely an ethical issue here. Would it not have been more inspiring/exciting to have seen the same photo's with the climbs being led traditionally? Perhaps there are simply not enough folks out there wanting to open naturally protected routes. I'm sure the editor would be happy to publish their photo's if they were submitted (or maybe trad climbers like to keep the venues secretive and avoid the mass hysteria/consumerism, whereas bolters are in favour of exactly that (bolters being unselfish and all 8) ). Anyone have any cool photo's of new trad lines they've opened recently? I'm sure SA Mountain Mag readers would love to see them - and nobody (hopefully) will be able to question your \"ethics\"!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:47 pm 
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Taking a trad rack George, good to hear. Please do open all the cracks you can! Dont forget to build cairns at the base of them tho so that someone doesnt come and bolt over your trad routes :wink: !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:25 pm 
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Tony, Keith, lay off the crack guys! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:13 pm
Posts: 565
Derek, this is a tough one. A new crag that has alot of sport routes. There are alot of crags where tradable lines are bolted. 50/50 really, probably would'nt have bolted it myself, but would have been nice if the bolts were camoufaged though. Even better would have been to use the existing anchors of a sport route to lower after tradding.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:32 pm 
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A last word; (Then I absolutely promise I will shutup!)
To paraphrase something Fred Nicole once said to a good friend of mine:
\"Pure natural lines are very rare and should be coveted and protected (from damage)\"
Said friend took down (chopped) Animal House (a manufactured route - his strongest sport achievement) soon after hearing these profound words.

The bottom line, something that should be considered an absolute rule, If a line is climbable in its natural state then do so. If you are not strong enough or brave enough for this then walk away and leave it for someone who is.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:08 pm 
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Sorry, Grigri, but I cant let that be your final word! The climabilty of a line is a highly subjective thing. Basically, by your criteria, almost every single sport route in the country should be chopped, because there are one or two people in the world strong enough to onsight-solo 30. We need a slightly broader definition of \"climable in its natural state\". At the end of the day, we'll never get a blanket rule that can be applied to all climbs. Each route should be considered on its merits, and I reckon at least 5 mins should be taken to really think about each and every bolt placement.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:00 pm 
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-forcibly ungagged: Agreed Hector, I was refering to trad lines specifically. However as just about anything can be tradded by the super strong...Whats emerged from other discussions is that our rock is often in a grey area between a desirable trad lead and a stonking sport route. Its going to be difficult to get consensus on this, most hard brits would say 90% of our lines are tradable, frenchies might say bolt them all!

We should make some efforts to come up with some acceptable criteria and standards. Another topic is in order! :idea: (Any excuse to write sh!t! :lol: )


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 2:21 pm 
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Look mommy no bolts..... i'm nearly a big girl now......
http://www.splittercamps.com/gallery.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:00 pm 
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Posts: 179
What is this I here about rules? F@$k rules!!!
I didn't start climbing to listen to rules but rather to get away from them!!
I've said this befrore and I'll say it again; People should use common sence when spying a line. Think about the finished route, will you be proud of it? Will it be aNn achievement that climbers look back on as a good job?
Or are you bolting it because it's there and it'll get your name in a mag?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:36 am 
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... or, even worse than bolting it to get your name in a mag: bolting it because you have a vested commercial interest to do so... now there's a thought! Of course, I don't mean to raise any suspicion about the motives of the individuals who bolt beautiful crack lines...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:56 am 
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Location: Cape Town
Is it really such a beautiful crack line?
An 8m crack does'nt seem like a beautiful trad line to me.
Place one friend 4m up and then top out?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:08 pm 
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mmm! One removable friend, and voila, clean crack! No dirty asswipe left for others to either clean or let grow slowly (c)rusty!

Aah well, all this posturing about ethics in reality is unlikely to go any further than cage rattling (and in cyberspace nogal! -Lord help us!)

Ive seen places in this country where dolerite walls 80-120m high of mostly perfect stone stretch into the distance as far as you can see! And thats just one canyon, the next is the same, and....... I still think it would be great if all climbers could learn trad at the start, just to instill some basic principles at grassroots level. Anyone up 4 a trip to the Eastern Cape?


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