Trad and sport can coexist?

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by PaulB » Thu May 14, 2009 4:44 pm

At first glance there is something kinda weird about insisting on leading sport climbs... Like, "do you wanna be safe or not for goodness sakes"?. Although I guess that's the point, a part our motivation, over and above enjoying moving over stone, is to feel a just a little 'on the sharp end'. And that's ok. Larry and Henrichs' point is the most important: We are all climbers. But we all have slightly different prefrences. Lets respect that... Anyway, for the sake of the argument to continue:

Trad climbers: Best motivation: Playing up on high, natural beauty, overcoming fear barriers.. Worst motivation: Big numbers, fame, adrenaline addiction, ...

Sport climbers: Best motivations: Playing up on high, climb for the beauty of unfettered movement and challenge of difficulty. Worst motivations: competitivenes and addiction to fame, big numbers.... etc

Boulderers: Best motivation: Getting in touch with the natural beast (!), refining movement. Worst motivation: Big numbers, fame, addiction to the 'score' i.e relative speed and ease of FA's, and toping out on something new ...

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by SNORT » Thu May 14, 2009 5:56 pm

Heinrich I have removable bolts and I use them. This has been debated before on The vast majority if not all, of sport climbers will not agree to use them as they are, in principle, the same as a trad placement and are often more difficult to place. They are scary compared to bolts and completely defies the easy option of "Clip and go". They have one advantage over other trad placements and that is you can drill them exactly where you want them.

I like em but I sure as hell won't tell anyone if I ever drilled a hole for using one of them. Can you imagine the furor on this web site?

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by andrew p » Thu May 14, 2009 9:42 pm

Wow, lots of great input and different viewpoints. I love developing new climbs but also respect peoples opinions and would rather steer clear of all that stress. It is worth pointing out that In Bed With Madonna, a 50 bolt sport climb dating back to 1991 ish, smack in the middle of Cedarberg kloof, doesnt bother anyone and has never led to an influx of sport routes... why? because there really isnt much potential for more than 1-2 really hard sport routes. Anyway, I will start to look for a new kloof in the Magaliesberg, maybe there's another gem somewhere there, another Wigwam, where there are no existing climbs. Go to Wigwam on a weekend nowadays and there's so much positive energy, it has really got locals motivated up here, everyone is busy buying fingerboards at the moment to train the strength needed for one of the most special of all holds - the Wigwam pocket! Anyway, if anyone sees anything inspiring whilst out skinny dipping in the kloofs, let me know. Thanks, Andrew

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by Hector » Fri May 15, 2009 2:31 am

Andrew, at the risk of getting serious flak from my climbing mates, my advice would be:
Get the buy-in of a guy like Neil on the MCSA committee. Approach the committee with a proposal to bolt routes, similar to how it is done on the Cape Peninsular. I.e. Photos of proposed line, expected grade (i.e try top rope it first), bolts to be used (or better yet - some kind of consensus standard) etc. etc. Maybe the committee would consider establishing a board who could decide if the line is worth it or not. After all, its club land, so they have the say. I agree, Madonna is a fine line and there are a few more like that. If I was on such a board, however, I would be really reluctant to allow bolting of anything easier than 28ish, and nowhere near an existing trad route. There are actually alot of bolted routes in the kloofs. Most of them are obscure, really unsafe, poorly bolted and not particularly inspiring. We dont want any more of those! A debate on the forum is all fine and good, but the MCSA must make the final decision.

As for new areas, whatever happened to hidden kloof? Snort, you've been around enough to tell us something about this place...

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by Flex » Fri May 15, 2009 8:55 am

This trad vs sport debate is sooo last season!

I think Hector said it right - if someone spies an amazing looking line in the Magaliesberg that can't be protected on trad gear then it should be possible to bolt it (with strict control via the MCSA). As Hector said, the person wishing to open the route should ab down the route on trad anchors, scope it out, take pictures and make a proposal to the MCSA.

I honestly don't think a handful of hard lines opened in this manner will jeopardise the kloofs just as the existing bolts in the kloofs and the 2 extra bolts (oh the humanity!) on Terminator have not made any difference either.

As far as legitimising top-roping goes, I put it on a par with training in the gym or on a hangboard - very useful and even fun at times but not the real thing!

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by tygereye » Fri May 15, 2009 12:06 pm

I was in Rocklands a couple of weekends ago, mainly for sport climbing. There is endless potential for thousands of more routes! These don't need to be bolted - with a bit of creative thinking they're all perfectly trad-able. Therefore I wouldn't even think of bolting those lines. But sure as hell, the next time I go there my full rack is going along!!

To sport climbers: Trad climbing is not only about multiple pitch day-long country climbs. It's about spotting a meaningful line and finding a way up (first ascent or not), leaving nothing permanent (even the chalk washes away after rain)

To trad climbers: If it weren't for sport climbing I would never have gotten into the sport. It was a friend of a friend who invited us along for a fun day out. After that I was hooked and sport climbing was all I knew. (Back then there weren't any climbing gyms like we have now.) Only 7 years later could I afford to buy trad gear and go exploring.....
Sport climbing is still fun and protecting is easy, so more focus can be placed on the moves. The setup is reasonably controlled and it's a good way to do as many climbs as possible in a short time, to improve fitness and also beneficial if one only has two days in an area....

Trad is purer and much friendlier to the rock & environment and you leave without a trace.
Bolting exists. It's never going to go away. May as well accept it.

Peace guys!

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by SNORT » Fri May 15, 2009 12:13 pm

In Bed with Madonna is not without controversy. At the time that I was opening routes like Doggle 25/26 and Agonizing Hands 23, I had already done the middle pitch of that route on trad. Perhaps not exactly where the bolts are as bolts can force the line where-as with trad you have to go where there is gear.

I had top-roped the top pitch and in my view it is tradable - perhaps with one or two fixed pieces here and there which was and still is standard practice when opening new trad routes.

I recall making it known in the climbing community that I was working on the route and heard at some stage that it had been bolted. And it was something I did not agree with at the time - at all!!! And I still don't. Anyway, it was before websites and forums so I let it go!

Hector I don't know Hidden Kloof and yes there are several crappy bolted routes in upper Tonqauni. Why do you think only the hard routes should be bolted? Why should only the climbers gifted with the desire and the ability to climb grade 28+ be allowed this exceptional privilege?

Finally, the MCSA is not some omnipotent ethereal body. We are the MCSA, you and I the members. It is for us to decide here through consensus. And Andrew p has taken heed and has decided that he needs to look elsewhere for now and that's OK. The same way I took heed when the nut on TATWOC was debated. By the way Tini went up there and decided he could not trust the nut and then put up a top-rope on that section as the lead was too dangerous. (sic!)

This was followed by him smashing his calcaneous when a hold broke on Saturday when trying an alternative finish to La Vida. He had surgery today. Please send him your wishes if you know him.

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by fanta » Sun May 17, 2009 10:42 pm

Flex wrote:I honestly don't think a handful of hard lines opened in this manner will jeopardise the kloofs just as the existing bolts in the kloofs and the 2 extra bolts (oh the humanity!) on Terminator have not made any difference either.
Of course YOU don’t think so...

Just for the record, the bolts on Madonna do bother a few people…

If there are: "so few" of: "these lines" why go to all the trouble of revving up the people who don’t want to see stainless steel in the kloofs???!!!!

I bet you a bottom dollar that you will still get the same amount respect if you open the route on toprope (whether its your favourite style or not). In actual fact if you do open it on toprope, I think you'll get even more respect for doing it that way. It would be a show of the respect you have for the kloofs and the delicate environment it is host too as well as the ethics for that area as it currently stands. It will also show that in your heart you want Sport and Trad to co-exist. Try calling the route: "Natus" (It’s Latin for: birth, arisen) Think of it as the setting of a president. A new way for sport climbers to be encouraged into climbing at the kloofs. You may even a find more people becoming interested in buying a rack once they get to see how fantastic and safe Trad can be.
It may be selfish to not want to see bolts in the kloofs, but it has been declared a no bolting area for fair reason. Instead of trying to change THAT to suit you why not find a way to work with it. Andrew, I can’t think of a better person to go forward with this sort of thinking than you.

If you want Trad and sport to co-exist then lets start within ourselves before we start changing the rock at our crags.

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by peanut » Mon May 18, 2009 5:49 pm

So what about 'headpointing",you know, those desperate gritstone trad routes in the UK.
Long routes with sparse gear and big falls.
I dont know too much about the progression of headpointing, but surely it is the cutting edge of tradding?
Surely it can be done in SA. Take the top rope idea one step further...
Rehearse the route on top rope, also working out where your gear is gonna go (even if it is run out), and when you are ready, lead it on trad for the redpoint.
Didnt Clinton do a really hard trad route on Table Mtn a little while ago (mary poppins or something 30 or 31)..
To me, thats pushing the boundaries. It also puts the cutting edge of climbing back inthe Kloofs, where it started.
And bold ascents like this are sure to grab the attention and respect of the entire climbing community, possibly the world.
Being able to do these type of routes makes a person more of a holistic climber
Isnt this the natural progression of trad and sport climbing?
Just gotta grow an extra large set of nuts, right...?

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by SNORT » Mon May 18, 2009 5:55 pm

Indeed Peanut

Sanitorium 25 has never been on-sighted as far as I know. Clinton tried to and was in some serious trouble with placing gear about 10 days ago. I gave him beta too. We then both went back and head-pointed it as did everyone else that has lead it.

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Re: Trad and sport can coexist?

Post by micky » Mon May 18, 2009 6:10 pm

Not to disrespect trad climbing but is it not limited by the fact that you need features to place gear. So where there are lines where there are no possible placements does that mean that the only option is top roping? How about the option of mixed sport/trad areas where lines that can be tradded all the way are left trad. lines with no gear are allowed to be bolted and some routes can be trad to a point until there is no more placements and then its bolted ...

I would not suggest this for all areas, eg i think TM should always and forever be trad but ... if the magaliesberg kloofs have many world class untapped lines where this is an option should we not consider this as an option? I havent seen these kloofs except fernkloof so i'm putting a question across ... i kinda think we can have trad areas, sport areas and sport/trad areas in SA.


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