Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

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Flex
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Flex »

Jeremy, it seems no-one will give you a straight answer, so I will (for what it's worth). If you bolt that wall you're talking about, I would love to try it someday. If you open it on trad I am likely to never get on it. But then I am a softc*ck sport climber.
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DAcaveman
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by DAcaveman »

Softc*ck sportclimber :lol:
I agree with Flex. Though I'm by far not as good a climber as Jeremy or Flex, I'm sure I can squeeze through a decent 27-28 5 star route and would gladly and proudly add that to my very small list of achievements (compared to the seemingly incredible accents of the likes of Hilton and company ect).
If you bolt it, I'll try it.
To climb Newborn would be close to a lifetime achievement for me - and I mean redpoint(onsight would be out), not just hangdogging the thing!
On that note I would just like to honour and thank everyone who bolted sport routes all over the show since the 90's! Jeremy, Guy, Stuart, JohnT, Karl, Sean, mr Colenso, Prof Bradshaw, Jimbo, Jason, Beth, Tony, Echard and all the rest who donated probably hundreds of thousands of rands(effort and hardware included) to the sport so that the most of us can enjoy climbing.
Honourable mention: I still think Parklife is one of the best routes in the world, or then my world for sure, and it does take incredible vision (like XMod said) to see and bolt line like that.
Hats off to you okes - I know that I prob will climb my whole life and still not repeat most of your routes.
Restecp
:mrgreen:
j
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DAcaveman
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by DAcaveman »

BIG ps: And hats off to the bolters/visionaries up in Boven: Gustav, papa Behr, Pedley ectect and the guys in EC ectect - def include u in my thanx-rant !
I just live and climb in CT... hehe
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SNORT
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by SNORT »

The only way you are gonna stop the rot is to scorn individuals who deviate from the accepted practice of the day. This was exemplified when I so much as dared to think I could improve a trad placement on TM a year ago on TATTWOC using a hand drill. I was scorned for even just whacking a nut to make it stick in a placement.

I am not likely to do that again. The overwhelming response and even consensus on this forum was to scorn the act.

Now I believe that Yellowwood, in particular, is no different. It is just a question of time before it is bolted like Milner since the route Newborn. I hear some Germans recently developed a route there using at least some bolts. And by far the most likely place is where Prime Time Direct goes and where I am working on a trad line. I shall have no hesitation removing the bolts if they are on the line that can be trad climbed.

Trad lines by their very nature deviate substantially to follow natural features that take gear placements whereas bolts straighten lines. This is the case even on Newborn on one of the lower pitches - there are bolts on a short face just round the corner from a crack that leads up to a rail. You are forced to climb the harder face to clip the bolts. So a bolted line on Sandstone big walls with its rails on TM, Yellowwood, Krakadouw, Blouberg etc will necessarily cross existing or potential trad lines and as such they cannot co-exist together. Milner lower amphitheater is an exception and the only one I know of in SA.

So I vote no to bolting Sandstone big walls. I consider "TraPiBo" acceptable, as has been the practice in the past in the Cape and at Blouberg. And the reason is that using this method does not and certainly must not change the natural line which bolt ladders do!

This is not my idea but a very senior climber and one of the best trad and Alpinist climbers SA has ever produced (I may not mention his name on this forum) came up with the scorn committee. This is how ethics are kept in check in the UK. If you do an unethical ascent or dumb down a route in the UK you are scorned in the pub; to your face! So anyone who wants to bolt a route on a big wall must stand up at the pub and put it to his mates (at Forries in CT or wherever the local pub is). Before he does it!

Then we will see if he has the balls to thwart his mates and the scorn committee.......
Last edited by SNORT on Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
mokganjetsi
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by mokganjetsi »

jeremy's post got me thinking a bit...... i'm firmly behind the idea of not bolting in ESTABLISHED trad areas with MANY trad routes. but a vast sweep of rock that's not protectable with natural gear and NOT being criss crossed by trad routes - even if its somewhere near the likes of yellowwood - imho its okay to bolt a route or 5.

btw, where does the "brave cave" fall in all of this?
Jeremy Samson
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Jeremy Samson »

It's the big walls that are unclimbed that I care about.

Can I bolt Sunset Sweep the giant wall I am talking about with no routes on it yet ? Or do you want me to save this for the next generation ?

Who must I clear this with ? ( its on private land )

p.s. snort I tradded that crack you talk of, it is wet and dirty that's why the route heads up the wall. In fact consider it a TraPiBo alternative.
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by SNORT »

Jeremy, that particular crack may be as you say but it still doesn't detract from the reality of bolted lines deviating from the natural line. Although I have not done Newborn I am familiar with the conditions on Yellowwood and I would be most surprised if there are not several other instances that the bolts deviate from the natural line.

Virtually every major hard route on Blouberg has at least one pitch that follows a crack full of Swifts and their bird shit. It's part of the game. It does not justify putting a bolt ladder next to it.

The wall you speak of Sunset Sweep. If it is Cape Quartzite Sandstone then it surely lends itself to trad climbing. This rock like Blouberg is the most forgiving for trad climbing of any that I have climbed in the world. Fixed pro is minimally needed. With your experience, talent, strength, status in the climbing community and ability I find it hard to swallow that you choose to default to bolted lines rather than Trad. In the almost 13 years I have been in Cape Town the first ascents attributed to you that I know of have mostly been bolted. In fact I only know of Jeopardy as a route that you trad climbed and that has at least 3 fixed pitons that protects all the cruxes and a lower off on it. And given the nature of the route I think that's fine. It is still out there.....

If and old guy like me with half the talent, strength, status in the climbing community and ability (but perhaps as much experience) as you can do 3 new big wall routes at Blouberg, aspire to finish one at Yellowwood and do many new and exciting and challenging trad routes at the Ledge, Montague and Karbonaaitjieskraal over this period, then it worries me to see a talent like you not upping the ante and setting the standards on trad like you did 15 or more years ago.

Tell me where this wall is and if I can score enough house points I will go look at it with the view to doing trad lines with or without PiBo. If it is like Milner then fine. Go for it
Pea1nut
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Pea1nut »

Im in no real position to say this, but i'm going to anyway.So what you are implying SNORT is that every line that can accept trad gear, must stay un-bolted? In that case can I go and chop Daze of Thunder? I has a few placements, oh and while i'm at it, Mazzawatee as well :) We've all just gotta be tolerant of each other :)
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by SNORT »

Peanut: Nope I am not saying that at all. Both those routes are one pitch routes in what are now accepted as sport areas if I am not mistaken. They do not cross other lines or potential lines. They are not on a big wall. But don't be surprised if you find cigarette butts, toilet paper or even human shit at or near the base.....

And indeed you can go trad em if you want.

A few years ago Steve Meyers, a visiting Brit poured scorn on us locals, not by saying anything, but by on-sighting on trad gear Mischief And Thuggery at Oorlogskloof a trad route that had been retro-bolted.....

To me the message is clear. You will convert a route like Technicolor Darkness, one of the all time classic trad challenges into another moderate and mundane sport route if you bolt it and it does actually have a bolt low down on it to prevent you breaking your ankles. I have never been able to lead it but I have top-roped it a few times. The challenge on that route is having the cunning, where-with-all and the endurance to place the gear and it is quite safe!. But turning it into a Sport route will ruin it. FYI Lost World Crag has been closed to climbers because it somehow managed to attract a group of the "Lowest Common Denominators of the Human Species" who did not respect the environment. And it is a trad climbing area - not Sport...
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Tristan
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Tristan »

100 !!!

Sry lame and childish i am i am :afro:
Pea1nut
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Pea1nut »

So this is more about sport lines crossing trad lines...I see the point now. And yes I do agree that some lines NEED to stay trad only. But surley if there is a blank section of rock that looks sick, and does not interfear with other lines....why can't someone go bolt?

But there should be rules to that bolting e.g. NO BOLT LADDERS. It should have some wild lead outs :D and the climber attempting the route should have to the balls to take on the mental aspect of that.

I personally think that there must be some sought of compremise to be made :)
mokganjetsi
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by mokganjetsi »

i predict this thread will reach post nr 36965 in 2028....

pea1nut, the thread was started about bolting routes in (predominantly) unspoilt trad areas. we now managed to suss-out some big picture and small picture issues. we managed to highlight many many many concerns and pros and cons. some guys even manged to count the words in each other's posts and accurately dissected personality defects, conflicting statements, trad-elitism etc etc.

i guess we have agreement that some places re no-bolt (barr abseil or the odd-bolt) - blouberg, wolfberg, tafelberg & TM, krakadouw, some magalies kloofs.....

some big wall areas in big mountain rages seem to be the grey-and-contentious issues. these are vast mountains with vast rock faces and is it then fair to say it should remain trad / trapibo only? then we go to the next step of okay, if you bolt, can you cross over existing trad routes etc...

complicated no?
Hilton
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Hilton »

Jeremy and Stu:
You seemed to be shocked by my proposal because it is asking for so little! Great!

Jeremy back to my original post. I wrote:
"The problem lies in the desecration of multi-pitch trad areas by the appearance of sport routes."

So, I'm not making any claims on unclimbed areas as by definition they are not "multi-pitch trad areas". I don't know the new areas that you're looking at but if they are unclimbed and have way-out sport route potential like 'Automatic for the People' then I say awesome - go for it.

My concern is for our truly great historic multi-pitch trad areas - which are the ones in my list. This is because (back to my first post):
"these sport routes destroy the feeling of adventure and commitment".

With this clarification now, how do you feel about this story? (I mean my one, and not any of the other many variations).
adamr
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by adamr »

Amazing that a cold front can generate so much hot air.
I have been trying to understand the kernel of the debate. There are many facets that have become conflated here.
The original bolts/no-bolts debate
Sport vs trad one-upmanship
Wilderness vs non-wilderness experiences
The old brave-bolting debate (who decides when this single bolt is necessary?)
Regulation vs the cavalier attitude we need to push the borders of our endeavours

Hilton’s original seemingly simple proposal actually involved many of these issues and assumed a common stance on them.

I believe at the heart of this entire debate is one tenet: Don’t stuff up someone else’s experience.

Can we all fulfil our dreams/goals and not stuff up someone else’s experience? Maybe. Probably not.

The closest we can get to this is at least an understanding of the impact of our actions on the broader community. If nothing else at least this debate has engendered that and as a precedent for the future that is great and we owe Hilton for subjecting himself to slung stones. Some people will still act knowing that their actions will upset or anger many people. That attitude unfortunately will always exist.

I would like to present some ideas. They aren’t all workable. They aren’t all consistent. This is a debate. Jeremy and Hilton are busy with the mechanics of implementation of a protocol already - I don’t think we’re there yet.

We are extremely fortunate in this country to have true wilderness rock climbing venues. I have climbed all over the world (both trad and sport) and have never found anything that matches the best wilderness rock climbing that we have. If you take the word wilderness out of that sentence then it no longer holds.

Seeing a line of bolts next to you when out on a lonely trad climb in the wilderness definitively derogates from that experience.

Here’s an idea – let’s see how other climbing communities handle this – maybe ones who are already where we dread to be:
Yosemite – you can place bolts you can open routes. Catch? All bolts must be hand drilled. Read this http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bolting.htm 3 short paragraphs which sum up the spirit of our debate. Do they power drill when the old bolts die? Nope. http://www.camp4.com/news/index.php?newsid=448

“Beyond this simple rule, there is a strong community bolting ethic in Yosemite. If you plan to bolt a new route or alter an existing one, talk with local climbers who are familiar with Yosemite's route history and traditions before permanently altering the cliff face. No one wants to see the rock damaged by bolts being placed and chopped.


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 are thousands of established routes in Yosemite already--maybe try a few more of those before making a new mark on Yosemite's Wilderness.”

Joshua Tree has a similar rule - http://www.us-parks.com/joshua-tree-nat ... mbing.html

This may sound draconian or artificial or stupid but actually would this be such a bad idea? We are already artificially creating rules around our behaviour by agreeing that it’s a kak idea to say bolt all the great trad routes in the cederberg. One catch is that we have bullet hard sandstone and the areas in the States covered by this protocol are granite: I’ve hand placed bolts at paarl (+/-20mins) and on an attempted new route at klein winterhoek (+/- 2 hours).

In all honesty I’m not convinced this is a bad idea for Trapibo style routes. You’d only place the real essentials if it took 2 knackering hours per bolt.

This rule would however practically mean no multi-pitch sport routes in wilderness areas. Is it possible to take the principle of the Yosemite ethic and apply it to multi-pitch sport routes drilled with a bolt gun? Well maybe. The key element for me in their system is the notion of consultation with the climbing community. Historically new routing has been done under a veil of secrecy. If you plan on placing a line of bolts I think it’s fair to expect you to discuss it with the people who are going to have to live with what you leave behind – that’s us. ALL of us. Don’t just act assuming everyone will think your great idea is a great idea. Someone might give you a perspective that will change your mind. Or maybe just change your line, that will put it out of sight where it will be out of mind.


My personal opinions on specifics:
Millerton – wow. A pity the free state doesn’t have more rock like this. Imagine more places where the rock can’t be tradded but affords a multi-pitch sport experience in the wilderness.
Jeremy’s new route in Du Toit’s – we tried tradding up there about 20 yrs ago. Was blank crap and licheny. I don’t think there are any great trad lines up there. Remains to be seen whether there’s a worthwhile sport line. Knock yourself out.
Brave Cave – tried aiding it about 20yrs ago. Ran away horrified at the quality of the rock. Scratchy walk, unpleasant campsite. Knock yourselves out.
Your Mother… - How many blots would have been placed if hand drilling? Why bolts at belays? Painted Bolts? Sounds amazing.
Newborn – I’ve done a few of the lower pitches, rapped down a few more. As birkett said it looks un-bloody –believable. It does cross at least one trad route at least twice. Bolts are hard to spot. Maybe future lines if any can be entirely away from trad lines (open and unopened)
I know of one white elephant project on the grotty cliffs of the witteberg above the hotel in du toit’s kloof. I consider this a folly.
I know of another project to bolt a sport line in Duiwelskloof. Apparently away from all existing routes through untradable terrain. I think it crosses duiwels direct. I think this is a crap idea.
Private Universe – We had a go at this route in the nineties. Our high point was the rock spike on pitch 7. Our bolt drill was in the bottom of the haulbag – a hand drill. We went down because a/we were lilly-livered, and b/could not face hand drilling. How many bolts would have been placed if opened with a hand drill? Dunno, haven’t done the route.
Oceans – All bolts should be removed. You can’t hit anything if you tried. Bolts are there for convenience. Perfectly safe without them. An ongoing argument with ADK.

Cederberg – we should remove all bolts from the wilderness climbing areas of the cederberg. Some places are more valuable when left entirely inviolate.
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Stu
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Stu »

@Hilton: It's encouraging to hear that some traditional climbers are not including the entire Du Toits range off-limits to bolting, and this could make for a good compromise.
I still think the idea of coexistance is not a bad one, but would limit the number of sport routes (on the main wall) to around 4 or so? Like I've said, I was partially playing devils advocate and so would not kick up too much of a fuss if it remained trad only.
Let's also not encourage the reckless bolting of any and every kloof either though! - this in no way however refers to the Brave Cave, Jeremy or indeed my current actions.
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by darkest donkey »

thats why trad is so great, you tend to leave the place exactly as you found it so that other people might have that great experience of their own ... even future generations that might find things possible that we insist are impossible..

Ps Jeremy seeing as you are my climbing hero I will probably agree with anything you say.. seriously
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by stuboy »

Hilton you have my hand in friendship, I do not think that was ever in jeopardy anyway. To set the records straight though, the Stuart Brown method does not exist and I do not promote the senseless bolting of routes, and secondly I am still very allergic to the macho trad mind set, it has crept into the debate again by a certain contributor and goes totally off the topic and up my nose. Having said that I've buried the hatchet and would like to give my positive opinion.

Finding a solution to this debate is going to take a lot of care and thought. Why reinvent the wheel? S.A. lags behind the rest of the world by about ten to twenty years. This was not the case ten to twenty years ago. Adam has mentioned Joshua Tree and Yosemity, there is also the very strict British system and the very relaxed French system.

Having lived in Switzerland for 15 years and seeing this exact same problem happen with the extreme bolting by the super energetic Remy brothers and the exposure to the masses by the publication of Juerg von Kaenels guide books and retro bolting of old classics by Juerg him self. Yes there are a few bolt ladders, but most of the multi pitch routes are what you are calling trad piton bolt, although most of the pegs and slings have been replaced with bolts. Limestone is not the best tradable rock but some very good placements can be found and bolts are placed where they are needed. The character of the route and the level of commitment can be seen in the guide book and very often by the name of the first ascensionist. To avoid having to take a full rack along on a big route, the topo recommends the kind of rack to be taken for each route. So your hard core first ascensionist would have one star for safety, recommend a very big rack and maybe have a skull and cross bones in his RD. You know exactly what you are getting into and very often get it. Remy and Britschgi routes are known for their pleasure climbing, Kammerlander, Ochsner or Schwitter routes are out there and require some to huge amounts of commitment. Yes some routes do criss-cross, that will come with more traffic. The real wilderness areas get very little traffic and are not over climbed and in general there is a great atmosphere and respect amongst the climbers. There is lots of everything which makes it colorful and progressive.

With a super energetic Jeremy and some others and the publication of guide books, at last, South Africa can now look forward to a colorful, progressive rock climbing culture. The general consensus is in this direction. The main ohs should make a list where no further bolting may take place, with even the removal of existing bolts (to be discussed). My list would be T.M., Wolfberg, Tafelberg, Krakadouw, Du Toits Peak and the wall Apollo is on. I believe Yellowwood should be a mixed area along with Milner. Anyone planning on developing a new area should find out first if trad lines have been climbed, this can be difficult as some have never been written up. This process is not an easy one as we all have different likes and dislikes, interpretations and expectations as to what rock climbing should be. As long as the bolt ladders are kept to a minimum and respect is maintained I'm sure we can all get on just fine. I look forward to returning to S.A. in a few years time on holiday and having the time to climb some old classics with a full rack and some new Samson routes with a smaller rack. For the guy who needs his wilderness there will always be an area where you will find it, and in South Africa you do not need to look too far ,and when you find it don't tell the world, just keep it to yourself and it should stay the way you want it forever.

Maybe it's time for a proper climbers club? Based at Forries? Good luck.

Walk slowly through the crowd.
Be aware of what is happening around you.
Fell it,
Sense it,
Care for it.

Stuart Brown.
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Hilton »

Adam:
The crew plus Tarquin Holt climbed in Du Toits Kloof today so we were able to dispel some hot air! Opened a new route. Walked down in the rain...
Thanks for an excellent contribution.
I don't think that the hand-drilling style would work here. 1. The power-bolting bug is very strong; 2. there are not enough eyes and ears for surveillance; and 3. we don't have the hard Yosemite or British style of natural justice (delivered by tough guys). I think power-bolting is here to stay. And I confess, although we placed the first few bolts by hand on Private Universe, we resorted to power. All bolting done on lead, and its hard - and its just impossible if hand-drilling.
I know Duiwelskloof very well (Duiwels Direct x3 with Dave Cheesmond, Dave Davies and Chris Lomax; J**ker with Lomax, David and John; Fire Escape with David and something else). Personally I don't regard this as a high-value trad climbing venue. But brilliant for walking and I can't speak too highly of the Volstruiskloof mega-abseiling kloofing trip.

Stuart:
Thanks mate. Good stuff.

All:
1. are there other areas that we want to throw into the hat for debate? Towerkop locals what do you have to say? Blouberg guys? What else for thrashing out? It helps to talk about areas as issues come out.
2. four out of five senior climbers today were strongly of the opinion that Yellowwood should not have sport routes.

Adam said..
"Don’t stuff up someone else’s experience."
"Seeing a line of bolts next to you when out on a lonely trad climb in the wilderness definitively derogates from that experience."
- this really applies to the highest-value, historic multi-pitch trad areas.
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by XMod »

Bolting rules? Style councils?? You guys are losing it! Please get out and climb more so that you stop writing such unbelievable drivel here!!

I mean a scorn comittee?? Pray tell me thats the whisky talking! Charles arent you part of the party that placed anchors at all the stances of a potential new route on Yellowood recently. Again: in what way does this retain the 'wild nature' of the place, how does this retain the seriousness of routes in the vicinity?

There is fark all difference between heavily bolted mixed routes (trad and bolt) and sport routes.

Hilton with all due respect who are you to decide or put forward a set of rules for the rest of us to follow? Sorry but I dont need nor want anyone prescribing how I must climb. Theres so much BS and politics in this sport already and you want to complicate it further? - like Stuboy said - good luck enforcing your rules buddy!

To Sean, Nick and Jeremy, well done blokes you have made a real investment in the future of this sport, laid down a great challenge that others can aspire to. Jeremy please bolt your new line properly. You are opening up that wall and it is totally your call as to how to proceed. Let this be fair warning to everyone here. NEVER allow others to prescribe or dictate your actions!! If we all just meekly followed each other we would have been going around in circles long ago! To hell with these style council conventions! I seriously cannot believe what Ive just read here........speechless for once. Really appalled! So much for the F-ing freedom of the hills!! :puker: :thumbdown
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Stu »

@XMod: Wow explosive!
I do agree that a scorn committee is a step too far...
What points specifically don't you agree with:
- Any new sport routes shouldn't/should be allowed to cross over trad routes.
- A limited number of sport routes should be 'prescribed'.
- Any line is open to bolting even if it accepts gear.

I love multipitch sport as much as the next guy, but even I can see that a line of steel on an otherwise clean wall breaks that image. However camouflaging will go some way to prevent this.
We do however agree that a mixed route filled with bolts has little difference with a pure sport route.

Remember there are plenty of other walls out there to bolt, and the traddies seem particularly obsessed with Yellowwood, so maybe it should just be left alone?
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by SNORT »

X-mod, no, I have not bolted the stances on anything on Yellowwood. I have indeed made an Abseil descent (there are two at Blouberg and many on El Capitan, in Yosemite the Dolomites) and which I assure you are extremely valuable in that setting.

Scorn committees work. This mudslinging and character assassination on this website is mostly not constructive and leads to acrimony and alienation amongst good friends. If you come to the pub and put your ideas - of doing a route in particular style - up for scrutiny by your peers the matter will be handled in a fun and fulfilling way. You also then got the right go against your peers but then you have to have the balls to do so - and then risk being scorned.....It works well in the places it is practiced and also at the Wits University club in the '70's and '80's

"G" is the Rap route and the proposed new line is dotted in the pic
Proposed new line Yellowwood Black and White pic with Rappel route, direct start to Prime Time and Time warp and topos web size.JPG
Proposed new line Yellowwood Black and White pic with Rappel route, direct start to Prime Time and Time warp and topos web size.JPG (28.65 KiB) Viewed 3331 times
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by XMod »

SNORT: thanks for clarifying the nature of the descent route. However you cannot deny it alters the seriousness of the wall and hence changes its character, ie you have done exactly the same thing you are so anti the bolters doing at the place! Sorry, but from where Im standing that reads as double standards and hypocrisy!!

Stewart: What Im against is a prescribed modus operandi in the mountains. A party opening a route should be able to determine their own limits and style of ascent. If you place too many rules in the way you limit the possibilities of what might transpire and hence limit possible new developments in the sport. The whole point in walking that far from the car (for me) is to get away from societies' rules and confines for a while, thus putting a bunch of rules in place is (to me) abhorrent.

Lets just stick to the facts:
Yellowood already has a full height fully equipped sport route (has had for a long time already) as well as partly bolted routes, and a bolted escape route.
- To now try and label it as trad only adventure arena area is complete rubbish and totally ignores the facts. It is no longer a wild mountain-adventure arena, and part of the lowering of the committment levels at the venue has been done by the same ppl who now so loudly want to proclaim it 'trad only' and talk of 'scorn committees' to enforce that style. My reaction is justifiably strong as this is simply complete hypocritical crap!!

I am all for bolted routes at the venue, the entire middle upper half of the wall is prime sport terrain which will NEVER be tradded. There are numerous other opportunities for outrageous sport routes in the general area. I am however strongly against wholesale bolting and or bolting without communication between active FA's at the venue. A face to face forum where new lines could openly and safely be discussed (without the danger of being scorned!) would go a long way to arriving at a happy compromise of routes (yes some compromising would have to happen - especially later on as lines start to get close together).

I agree that Tafelberg and Krakadouw should be protected. TM is protected by law although it already has many bolts in it as well as abseil stations, Blouberg already has mixed routes and abseil stations, so there the situation seems blurred already.
Sticking to the simple facts of an areas history provides the best clues as to how to proceed in the future, even so, you cant write history in advance so please dont presume to prescribe other peoples actions!

PS One last point, hand drilling bolt placements often leads to inferior placements. They dont use power drills in Yosemite as it is in a wilderness zone and power tools are banned. This is not the case on Yellowood, please do the job properly and, yes, use whatever tools will produce the best result. Hand drilling isnt it!

PPS Thanks Snort for putting up the topo, but I notice New Born isnt on it?
SNORT
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by SNORT »

X-mod you are not the keeper of the ethic and the ethic in place at Yellowwood is completely consistent with that at Yosemite where there is not a single bolted sport route on the big walls. There is nothing like Newborn or Auto for the people in Yosemite. Even big routes on the Apron that necessarily are bolted will leave you skinned if you come off. Every major route on the big walls in Yos requires a comprehensive trad rack and oceans of commitment. And as I said there are many rap routes and most of the stances are bolted to allow for hauling and escape (which is not needed at Yellowwood or Blouberg.)

The descent rap route does nothing for the seriousness of the Wall. It won't help you get off any route till you are at the halfway ledge and then there is a rap route down Newborn that pre-exists this. It does decrease the time and trouble and may be safer than to walk off. In its present form you gotta know what you are doing if your rap down it. It does not change the character or commitment of doing any one route at Yellowwood.

If anything the ethic proposed for Yellowwood is purer than Yosemite because holds have not been manufactured through pin scars. To then label what has been acceptable practice as hypocrisy is arrogant. To label the process of vetting your actions with your peers prior to embarking on a project as "crap" is even more arrogant. This is a tried and tested format in all professional bodies.

I have extensive experience in Spine surgery and whenever I consider doing something alternative or difficult or new, I present the case to my colleagues at the Spine forums that take place every week at UCT and bi-annually at congresses. If you don't do so and you screw up you will be scorned (sanctioned in Professional speak) possibly sued and even lose your license to practice. We also have what are called Mortality and Morbidity meetings where F-ups are presented for all to see. And we all learn from it.

Your post is full of scorn and it is done, in my opinion, provocatively and thoughtlessly and has no use what-so-ever in adding value to the discussion. Stick to your opinion and leave out the scorn. Eye to eye with your peers and your mates in a pub takes much more balls and is certainly much more fun than this.
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XMod
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by XMod »

SNORT wrote:Your post is full of scorn.
Yes Charles, Im glad you noticed! Perhaps now you have an inkling (in a small way) of what it will feel like to be on the recieving end of these 'scorn comittess' you advocate! Not too pleasant ay?

Your rap route changed the nature of Yellowood whether you like to admit it or not! Personally I think bolted descent routes are cool and Im fully for it being there, but it has changed the situation up there, that even you concede. "It does decrease the time and trouble and may be safer than to walk off" - ie it lowers the comitment levels of being up there.

Forget using Yosemite as an example, the yanks have their heads up their bums when it comes to bolting ethics, especially in Yosemite. By your own admittance: "There is nothing like Newborn or Auto for the people in Yosemite" - so why bother trying to use it as a reference point? We dont need some overseas system being imposed on our walls, lets create our own system.

Let me clarify what Im saying as you seem to be missing the point: No-one should ever tell another person how to climb. It murders the possibility of cool things happening that may be outside of the norm. If you prescribe trad only then the sporty's will never experience that neck of the woods, If you prescribe bolts for runouts you preclude the possibility of someone putting up something truly desperate. Climbing needs to be a lot more anarchic and unpredictable for the sport to progress, otherwise we would all still be climbing in hobnailed boots and banging our way up cracks aiding on pitons!! There is space up there for a range of climbing styles to co-exist - as it should be.

I disagree that my invective does nothing to contribute to the discussion, If we left you guys alone you would simply ban sport climbing there (at least in your own minds!) and limit future possibilities. There needs to be counterpoint to the conservative (loooooong) rantings that are emitting from the old school camp, this is the only way to guarantee a full and balanced analysis of the situation. Even after such an analysis, I still believe that imposing a bunch of stupid rules will be counterproductive for the sport as a whole.

If you re-read my posts you will see I dont advocate a free for all at all, rather a care and share situation. I think Ive made some valid points, perhaps when you get over the sting of being scorned, you will see that. There is no valid reason for banning sport development there, indeed a sport route has been there for a loooong time already, let others enjoy the gems this wall has to offer in whatever style they chose, and stop crapping yourself that Prime TIme is going to be 'ruined' by an adjacent sport route!
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by MarkM »

SNORT wrote: I have indeed made an Abseil descent (there are two at Blouberg and many on El Capitan, in Yosemite the Dolomites) and which I assure you are extremely valuable in that setting.
Is there a 2nd bolted rap route on Blouberg? I only know of the one down 'Bushpig' which Cartwright bolted (did he face the scorn committee for doing that?), where is the 2nd one?

<edit to add> I do think the rap routes change the nature of a wall (they are bolts after all and you can't sit on the fence when it suites), I do also think they make the wall safer. Bolted rap routes are also a lot cleaner than natural rap lines which inevitably become a bundle of slings and tat (i.e. less visual impact), which IN GENERAL are not cleaned by passing parties.
Open hand, open mind...
Hilton
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Hilton »

Deleted this post.
Up to this point I had avoided responding to Greg Hart but he managed to pull me into the gutter there for a bit to trade blows. Thanks for pointing it out guys. Back to civil discussions.
Marshall1 won't you please change your words. Want to stay out of the gutter...
Last edited by Hilton on Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MarkM
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by MarkM »

Popcorn anyone?
:clown:
Open hand, open mind...
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lelikegogga
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by lelikegogga »

@MarkM
Don't know.
First time to a boxing match.
Is it considered ethical to eat popcorn at one?
:mrgreen:
Marshall1
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by Marshall1 »

This has become a wankathon

Any body for more lube?
mokganjetsi
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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Post by mokganjetsi »

ja sheet, its the problem with forums i guess - faceless discussion often cascades into insults and petty arguments......

please pass the salt
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