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Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:27 pm
by Warren G
I think removable bolts are the future, but before then we will have to teach ourselves this through the wanted desecration of our sanctuaries and the routes we love about the obvious truth known for so long before. I pity the future generations that climb Lotter’s with 6 scares about each protection point. Roger was saying he recently replaced a bolt for the 3rd time, he was the first ascentionist.

My guess is it is debates like these and concessions made here that brings about these sort of societal changes: If we say yes to saving this beautiful face we then encourage people to do the same on other beautiful crags. Are we humane enough to accept this or does the debate ignore this fantastic opportunity and continue on with its selfishness?

The other way that this sort of change could come about is from the Trad climbers themselves: it would be an extension of their sport and prove its place in the communities future in a viable way: Trads saving grace.

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:30 am
by Nic Le Maitre
Removable bolts are the future... for sport routes where bolts need to be replaced often (read anywhere close to the sea), unless we can get titanium ones again.

For protecting untradable sections of trad routes... ...maybe... ...only if it isn't possible to protect with preplaced gear?

Anyway, to get the topic back on topic:
IMHO Bolt free areas: Towerkop - no bolting ever
Areas that should have no new bolted lines: Wolfberg, Tafelberg, any other trad only Cedarberg areas (Krakadouw comes to mind) and TM - no new bolted routes, some (most) old bolts chopped (except TM rapp anchors etc)
Mixed areas: Yellowwood, Truitjieskraal, Rooiberg, etc - no new bolted routes that are tradable
Sport areas: Where ever, go mad...
New areas: Up to the developer and his peers?

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:55 pm
by Hector
Those removable bolts sound like a brilliant plan for those old trad routes with one or two bolts. They will keep the nature of the route intact, and will last forever. Nice, will investigate and seriously consider this instead of replacing the old manky bolts in the kloofs.
Anyone actually fallen on these things?
Sorry for the thread hijack...

Nic, I hear what you say about pre-placing long slings, but in some way it will really detract from the experience. The line between leading and toproping becomes a bit blurred then and if you do send the route there will always be a nagging doubt about it (at least there would be for me).
On harder routes it often feels like the FA made a challenge that subsequent people try and meet. If there's one bolt on the route, then thats what you have to work with. If you start fixing long slings then you define your comfort level instead of upping your game to meet the challenge. Also, its a frikken ballache to rap in before you start climbing...

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:14 pm
by Nic Le Maitre
Personally, I think bolts on trad lines detract from the experience...

And having seen the bolt on Red Rain, I think falling on it with a high chance of it failing would also detract from the experience... :shock:

Removable bolts

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:48 pm
by justin
See below comments regarding removable bolts from other threads on this forum.
Marshall1 wrote:We have some of those removable bolts. Very cool. Bomb proof. They will never become a big hit, but for sea cliffs they are the trick. A bit more tradish than sporty. Good for mixed run out trad routes.

They can be hard to remove. Take a thin flat screw driver to knock back the block. They cost about R380 including shiping from the US. Buy now before they pull out of Iraq and send the dollar soaring. Mine were sourced from Bentgate Mountaineering. Very reliable crowd to deal with. Its more tradish than sport. Mixed routes.
The above comes (edited slighlty) from the thread entitled Glue-ins VS Express Anchors Dated April 2005
Marshall it appears you were wrong about the US Dollar :D
SNORT wrote:I own removable bolts, they are pretty awesome!. You drill a 2cm deep 10mm hole and you have the perfect placement.
Firstly, problem is to find the hole!
Secondly, removable bolts are owned by no one else I know!
Thirdly, like bolts they can be placed anywhere and that messes with the character and commitment of the route.
The above comes from the thread entitled Chipping hand holds on TM!!!???

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:01 pm
by mokganjetsi
i kinda feel a drilled hole is more unsightly than a bolt - looks like a wound in the rock :?

from another forum:
"I've used these on maybe a half-dozen long climbs. They are a good tool for a temporary fix in blank rock or in remote areas where it's unlikely anyone will ever climb there again, but they are generally not good for routes where you're trying to create something for other people. Other climbers will need RBs, need to find the holes, not have a welded RB already stuck in the hole, etc. etc. They also tend to set pretty hard with an even moderately hard fall. Looks like RB makes a cleaning tool now, I carried a small flathead screwdriver to pound on the "ball" and get 'em loose after even just hanging on them. They do seem to hold and not blow out, but I wouldn't trust two of them at a belay, I'd whack in a good bolt.

I used them a lot while trying to sort out where I was going on lead on bad rock on a multipitch route and they worked OK for that, just had to be prepared to dick about getting them out. Now I just drill a shallow, steep hole and hang on a hook instead of a big hole for the RB, seems to work just as well and takes less time. "

seems like you can pick 'em up for around US$18.

Removable bolts = round slider nuts

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:08 pm
by SNORT
Removable bolts pics

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:47 pm
by MarkM
I would imagine that finding the drilled hole could be difficult.:scratch:
Perhaps we could spay paint an orange dot around the hole to allow the climber to find it easily?

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:51 pm
by ScottS
Or a little flag sticking out?

Seriously, these things are cool technology but would be an utter waste of time on a multi-pitch trad route in one of the areas being discussed. "Campus desperately leftward up the clean grey face to a small divot with number 2 removable bolt for protection..."

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:33 pm
by Hector
My proposal for the one-bolt-wonder in the kloofs would then be to drill a neat 10mm hole next to each existing manky bolt. That way you use the mank bolt to find the hole and can even clip it if you're feeling desperate/brave. Leave the old bolt there but at least we dont need any additional scars or chopping in the future...

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:59 pm
by XMod
the cat dragged me back in I swear...
These toys sound cool but check out the reviews Ive posted on Snort's thread about the RB's. Not great! These were used quite a bit in Red Rocks on back country routes, after a few falls the holes started to blow out at the rim of the hole eventually making the placement useless and leaving a nice fat scar. Our rock is a lot harder but the placements wouldnt last forever.

A properly painted hanger is often really hard to see and very inconspicuous. Painted glue-ins are even harder to spot. I think just trying to find the hole to wriggle the RB's into would be completely epic!

I think part of the problem is that the Traddies have never gotten on really hard sport routes and dont understand the vision behind the modern lines, nor appreciate the shear volume of falls it takes to finally piece together a desperate project. With hard sport its not a matter of if you fall just how many times. You need completely bomb-proof pro if you are going to really push your limits, the last thing you want is a nagging doubt about the security of the pro as this cripples your performance completely.

Ive been going through my photos of the Chesspieces and whilst its not a sport mecca by any means it does have some truly phenomenal faces scattered around where the rock is closed. There are some good lines there. I think it would be awesome to see some single and multipitch sport stuff developed up there.

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:07 pm
by Gustav
Hey MarkM, orange? I love orange!

Or how about chipping off a section of the surrounding rock to go get a true color match for each individual hanger?

And if it is so hard to find the hole, just drill a grid of holes, say 40cm apart, then you can choose where and how often to place 'em, just like on a trad route?

350 posts before Christmas ... ?

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:05 am
by MarkM
I bet you love orange Gus, you should try self-tan then. I've always said that some of the routes at Halucinagenic should just be replaced by a 10mm chain hung down the route from the anchors. That way climbers could easily use 15-20 quick draws per route :D
It would also save some of the bolters a lot of effort :twisted:
The only ball-ache would be hauling in the chain, but fortunately I've seen that a 4x4 vehicle can drive right to the edge so no problem at all. It's the way forward really!

Now guys, please lets get back to the topic.

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:44 am
by DiabolicDassie
Climbing isn't clipping.......

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:59 pm
by DouglasWard
Adam, I am not sure I like the idea of hand-drilled bolts only.

I have just returned from a weekend climbing in Catalunya - at Montserrat, and a place called Vilanova de Meia - further inland, fantastic. At Vilanova the stance at the top of the first pitch was a hanging belay on 2 ancient hand-drilled bolts. I would not have climbed the route if I had known that, but after 10 metres of climbing I was too committed.

I am not sure what the solution is. Having done the route, I feel satisfied, and my ego was nicely stroked. It was a great, wild experience with good friends. But with the alternative nowadays being two stonking glue-ins, I am not sure these old, crap bolts are justifiable - especially for middle-aged climbers with dependents. Technology has moved on.

At the other end of the scale is here in Switzerland, where many multi-pitch venues have been retro-bolted - at least to a large extent. Some retro-bolted to Waterval Boven levels - almost every metre. Do we want that? I think most people would say no.

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:59 pm
by XMod
No, good point Doug, I dont think anybody wants to see high and wild places here bolted to the extent of some German or Swiss areas. Bear in mind that a lot of those areas are bolted with sponsorship from local councils who have cottoned on to the fact that the climbs attract tourists. That isn't the case here (yet?!). It would just be cool to put some more big bolted routes. I think slamming the door shut on further sport route development at a place like Del A Bat ridge (Yellowwod area) is shortsighted. Any development should however be carefully thought through to preserve future trad challenges and the venues themselves. Wholesale willy nilly bolting is definitely NOT desirable, planned choice lines are.

Hell why should there not be a climb like (smaller version thereof) the Grosse Turm here? 900m of bolted grade 13! Wow thats cool (you need ice tools as well to cross a small snow field at two thirds height on this route for part of the year) what an amazing and accesible adventure* climbing that would be, especially as there is a very swanky restaurant for beers and dinner after (if you can afford it! :wink: ) as well a funicular back down right at the top the route, you literally top out at the door to the hotel! Cant wait to go do it some day! Gentlemans' (and ladys!) climbing in style!
* -Climbing a route that long to the top of a high mountain is an adventure even on bolts!

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:44 am
by DAcaveman
this is my last post to this topic...can't believe i'm going into it again...

xmod, you're 100% correct in your accessment of the situation.
PLEASE Jeremy, DO NOT GO AND CHOP THOSE NEWBORN(sic) BOLTS, PLEASE!!! There are many who agrees with me on this.(i'm waking up in sweat every night since this bloody post came up... :roll: )

eish, can't believe people are even considering removing those bolts.
How can going backwards be a good thing? Funny how we sometimes complain and say that we're 'living in a 3rd world country' but then insist in keeping it that way...

Common sense says we keep OBVIOUS trad areas trad, and mixed areas mixed, and sport...we'll sport areas are always open to trad options anyways - funny how the sport climbing guys never complain about trad being done anywhere.

To all who complain, I suggest imho go and DO those routes u say needs to be chopped, the 5 star climbs like the stuff in Cederberg, Yellowwood ect, see (with me) why they are rated 5 star by some of the best climbers SA has/had to offer, and then, lets talk/chop ect...

Forgive me, but how can one comment on routes that are 5-7 grades harder than anything you've done before? :eye:

I'm sure as hell not going to go up to Chris Sharma and tell him that eg his Clark Mountain grade 38 route needs to be chopped because theres sections that can be trad climbed in it... if I can't take the heat, I'll stay well out of the kitchen, hey?
:thumleft:
j

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:33 am
by Hilton
Man, some guys can write rubbish. And some guys can massively over-contribute to a debate in which they should play no more than a small role.

Children, to remind you, I raised this debate as "there is the risk that the pristine nature of some very special traditional climbing areas could be lost to bolting development". How can some people be so ignorant and selfish as to shout from the roof tops that there is no justification for this concern? That would be like telling the Constantia horsey-set that they mustn't have any concerns about a motocross track being developed in their midst. It's all about appropriateness. And I'm flying the flag for just a hangful of historic trad venues - not the whole damn countryside. Get a grip.

I've consistently said that this is not about Newborn. Can this be understood? I've never advocated that bolts on Newborn should be removed. Never. Just because there is some development on Antarctica doesn't mean that we abandon the cause of conserving the place does it? Newborn must stay. At least until the bolts rust out. Then some smart people can think about a longer-term strategy that considers conservation of the route and the venue.

Me, and a lot of other all-round climbers, have a deep belief that some special places should be maintained in their special state. Or realistically, at least not reduced to the level of shopping mall consumerism. And we understand that there are different circumstances. Which is why we're advocating appropriateness. Bolt-free, Trapibo, Sport Route-free. Horses for courses. It just blows me away that so many people can't see a need to conserve a handful of places.

I definitely don't decry sport climbing or multi-pitch sport routes. Heck, in two weeks time Snort goes on to Automatic For The People with Kevin Smith and I go on to Liquid Sky with Bruce. Yesterday was TM. Last week was Du Toits Kloof. We're guys who see a role for all sorts. I love sport climbing and have probably bolted 20 or 30 routes myself.

Guys who are thinking about Removable Bolts, hand-drilling, compromise, ethics for venues, etc are thinking. Good on ya. Climbing needs debate and thinking. Not screeching.

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:15 am
by XMod
Well there seems to be some vague convergence of ideas here, sort of.

Hilton may I propose that if a trad area becomes designated purely as such (ie no sport) that it be kept completely bolt free. No abseil chains, no trapibolshit, no bolts whatsoever (or any form of rock alteration for that matter!). If you want the area kept as pristine as possible then there are no half measures. You cannot condone bolting in one form but ban it another. That would just be hypocrisy and would defeat the very aims you are trying to achieve. Either take on Nature in her raw state and leave her as such, or embrace modern development in all its forms.

definition of pristine: Original and pure, not spoiled.

Ok, outta here again lest I 'overcontribute!'.

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:35 am
by adamr
@Doug. Howzit dude. Glad to hear that aching carapace you drag around is still capable of climbing! thought we'd lost you to the dogs of lethargy. I also climbed at villanova some years ago. A great place. In fact i seem to recall having done both multipitch sport and mixed routes there.

My initial feeling about hand drilled bolts was the same as yours. I think most hand drilled bolts are worthy of such worries. However go back to my post and read the camp 4 link - this is Chris Macnamara's site about replacing dodgy old bolts using a hand drill. All the retrobolting in the Valley with bomber bolts is to my understanding from this site done by hand. There is no reason why you cannot put chemical anchors in a hand drilled hole. In fact he has some lengthy detail on the best chemical anchors to use. It's just a royal pain in the arse to drill a hole by hand.

I'm not saying this is necessarily the way to go but the reasoning is perfectly summarised on the Yosemite website:

"The resulting rule allows climbers the unusual privilege of permanently altering Yosemite's granite cliffs by adding bolts in the location of their choosing, but inherently limits the number of those bolts by requiring that they be hand drilled."

We are always going to squabble about this topic. I just thought it worth throwing in here that it is possible to have a self-limiting protocol that uses the simple reality of something being too much trouble to maintain a certain level of wilderness/wildness/mountain feel. Let's not forget that one of the biggest bonuses of slogging up the various 2 - 5 hour walkins to the crags under discussion is that they are empty and wild when you get there. Reason? It's simply too much trouble for most people to do the slog.

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:45 am
by Stu
XMod wrote:Well there seems to be some vague convergence of ideas here, sort of.

Hilton may I propose that if a trad area becomes designated purely as such (ie no sport) that it be kept completely bolt free. No abseil chains, no trapibolshit, no bolts whatsoever (or any form of rock alteration for that matter!). If you want the area kept as pristine as possible then there are no half measures. You cannot condone bolting in one form but ban it another. That would just be hypocrisy and would defeat the very aims you are trying to achieve. Either take on Nature in her raw state and leave her as such, or embrace modern development in all its forms.
Come on XMod aren't you just being overly combative now. There is a huge difference between 200 bolts heading straight up a wall, and a well camouflaged stance or abseil point...
One will almost never be seen, while the other will more than likely always attract the eye, and ruin the picture of a pristine environment.

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:42 pm
by XMod
-X-

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:21 pm
by Hilton
XMod/Greg:
enough old chap.

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:44 pm
by Dark Horse
Shew Xmod I'd hate to meet you in a Dark alley.. you sound like one angry dude..

Neil Havenga

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:49 pm
by LCD
Ok, we've heard from the "Elitist Traddies", the Sport climbers, the boulderers and even the armchair wanabee whatevers.
How about us top ropers?. I am not a "Trad" climber or a "Sports" climber, I am a top rope purist.
My balls are peanut sized when it comes to leading (but thankfully that topic was dropped about 10 pages ago).
In other words I am the LCD (lowest common denominator) referred to above.
I have top roped in Du toits, silvermine, cederberg, the mine, klein witnerhoek, montague,Toverkop, TM, blah blah.
They are all fun in their own way, and they all seem to have their own evolving set of ethics to keep them fun.
I think the title of this thread, when it started, was "Bad things happen when good men do nothing". (sorry for quoting, that was also dissed a few pages back)
Hilton doesn't seem to be advocating "ethics police" (he's one of the biggest anarchists out there). Yes, everyone breaks the rules, but they tend not to publish the fact on some "hot flash" web page when they do so IF THEY KNOW THAT WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IS UNACCEPTABLE .
Hilton has also repeated that this is not about sport vs trad or chopping Newborn. Newborn is now part of the history of Yellow Wood. Sean wasn't aware of any consensus concerning bolts there, although i believe Jeremy "was a bit uneasy" about the route 10 years ago. I would love to do it if someone will give me a top rope and a set of jumars.
It is about CONSENSUS, or at least making people aware that at his point in time, most people don't really want things like "names and biographies painted on rocks" etc.
Most people tend to be subtle when they are breaking the "RULES". Yes I pull on every piece of gear on my way up, but I have fun and don't claim anything other than the fact that I am a crap climber .
I thought that sport/bolted climbing would evolve into multi pitch run out routes as a natural extension to the UPPER levels of climbing that i could admire from my armchair. Jeremy seems to be trying to find out what is presently acceptable, which is, I believe, the point of this topic.
For example: I now know to stand downwind from Guy when smoking before i get the "butt shoved up my crack". (Honestly, I've always carried my butts out, and your mates too)
From this it appears that there is a place for the SCORN whatever. It keeps things real without needing promulgated RULES and will change over time. (Riding an ice-cream cart along Carrols ledge while my mates and I are crawling along it is a form of scorn we can do without.)
No, I don't have any hard opinions on "pristine non bolted" areas. I do love them though, even if I spend more time at Muizenberg and sivermine than "earning my turns" slogging up to do country routes. Exposure in F major certainly stands out more than Sterling Silver in my mind, I'm just too lazy to get out there much.
Hilton seems to be encouraging solutions, I really like the idea of removable bolts, finger holes are much more user friendly to top rope on than bolts. (Hang on, didn't Microbe get scorned for doing that 15 years ago at Paarl Rocks?)
Lets get grey here. Don't see why TRAPIBO couldn't work, it does/will happen anyway. (Not sure if I got the acronym right but buggered if I'm paging back 20 pages to check)
So, Hilton, if you manage to get a consensus on acceptability, great, then i can be subtle when i break the rules and avoid the scorn.
This is my first web post/read as I am stuck at home bored out of my mind at the moment.
"Even if you top rope forever, it still beats golf"

"I am modest because I have a lot to be modest about"
Joe Soap

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:26 pm
by nicolaasdekker
Hi,

Excuse me if I say something that has been thrashed out already.
I am an avid outdoors person, I camp, hike, trail-run, orienteer, adventure race, and now I climb. My father solo climbed in the 70's making for heated debate when it comes to the ethics of bolting... I find myself defending the position of sport climbers, mainly because it is all I can afford at this time (barely). However, as lovers of nature who worry about the preservation of trails and indigenous plant life surely the permanent altering of a rock face with a power tool goes against the very core what we are doing out there? It most certainly goes against the common mountain ethics of only leaving ones foot prints and taking only ones memories when you leave. How can we complain about less permanent damage like litter and the erosion of walk in pathways, due to overcrowding of crags, when there are scores of holes drilled into the rock face, holes that will still be there long after the bolts themselves have corroded away.

Nic

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:58 am
by justin
Not wanting to stir up a hornets nest, give this report a read Dozens of Bolts Added to Compressor Route

In an interview with Redbull.com (translated by Google) on November 17, 2009—the day before he departed for Argentina—Lama compared the ethics of today with Maestri's: "Cesare Maestri", who made the first ascent in 1970, left an entire highway of bolts and pitons in the mountain's south-east face, which has nothing to do with today's climbing ethics... Back in the days of old school mountaineering only conquering the peak was important—not so much how this goal was reached." Lama added that he planned to make the first free ascent of the Compressor Route and return home without leaving any noticeable mark on the iconic peak. He stated that it was "not in our interest to leave any traces."

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:39 pm
by jgb
hows this for a take on trad vs sport: sporty is easy, trad is hard. Bottem line!!! How can you compare:15 draws, 5 sec clip to bomber bolt with: double nut set, 10 cams ,10 hexes, slings and god knows what else, taking minutes to figure out right placement etc etc. Not rocket science hey. (Oh ja those guys who say they climb the same grade trad and sport are lying/kidding themselves, yeah right whatever) Maybe the answer lies in there being more 'easy" trad lines. I am past my prime, can only climb max 4/5 times a month (on a good month). There is no way i'm gana climb 22+ on that time. (Hey I used to). If you go to the w. cracks there's a 14 trad, a 15, and then unless you can 20+ it thats it for you. Nothing to do with balls! But put some bolts in and i'll give it a go. Likewise yellowwoood, i can't get up 22 trad its to hard on my time, but put some bolts in and its alot easier and i'll give it ago. So maybe we need some more F2 climbs then we can all climb, seems all anyone wants to do these days is open the harest routes they can, we need more easy trad lines!! Why should yellowwoood be reserved for the select few that can climb trad at high grades? I believe trad is the way! Only people who have never led a good trad route could try to argue. But i don't hav the time to climb at that level anymore and if i hear there's a bolted line at yellowwood that makes it possible for me to be part of the fun then I'm in.

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:26 pm
by SNORT
Lama 19 years old with all the experience and wisdom in the world has got sucked into the world of sponsorship. Like the Germans at Yellowwood he has had to play the fiddle. I said it a few months ago - in essence sponsorship poisons everything in climbing.

http://snort-charlesedelstein.blogspot. ... rship.html

Re: Bad Things Happen When Good Men Do Nothing

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:32 am
by nicolaasdekker
SNORT wrote:- in essence sponsorship poisons everything in climbing.
Hi Snort,

I think this concept is very interesting, I am going to open a new thread for this, would you mind elucidating this idea a bit more?

Nic