Old Pitons

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Old Pitons

Postby marley » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:14 am

Do pitons ever get replaced on country routes and if so, who is responsible for this? Is there any kind of ethic for replacing pitons, like needing to get permission from someone? Seeing that most of these routes were opened last century, who would you ask permission from? As they have become part of the route, and route description over the years, I suppose you can’t just take them out and leave it like that without replacing them.

I have climbed many trad routes where the pitons are very old and rusty and I would certainly not want to take a whipper on them. I must also add that there have been times where I was just too happy to find anything to clip, even if it was old and rusty.

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Postby DaveD » Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:52 am

I believe that if a piton is old and manky, feel free to replace it with a new one, your self, in about the same place. if you can remove the old one without causing too much dammage to the rock, that would be nice as well. The idea would be to restor the route to the form it was first climber in.

I would like to pose another question. Should old pitons be replaced with bolts? They are after all the newer, safer form of fixed protection.
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Postby Justin » Fri Apr 13, 2007 10:15 am

I agree with Dave on replacing the old piton and restoring the route to its original condition unless there is an obvious gear placement availabe (camming devices probably weren't around when many pitons where placed).

However I reckon old pitons should not be replaced with bolts. At least you can see the overall condition that the piton is in (I would trust a well placed piton over a bolt anyday) and if the piton cant be trusted then at least I know.
It would also be a helluva job lugging a drill up some the old country routes :) and then replacing the bad bolt every decade and a half
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Postby scottnoy » Fri Apr 13, 2007 10:51 am

Replacing old pitons would be quite a noble task if you ask me!
First of all, they cost an arm and a leg;
and secondly, climbing country routes is a mission without having to stop to re-place pitons;
As far as replacing them with bolts... hell no!!!
This might ONLY apply if someone was going to free climb an old aid route and then ONLY in very special cases, i.e. there is a concensis with-in the climbing community to do so.

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Postby Marshall » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:02 pm

What about gaffing pitons off a route? We gaffed some of Keith James' redundent pitions off Mary some years back. We though we were clearing up. He was not amused. Unfortunatly we had re-used many of them by the time he requested their return...so he got new ones.

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