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Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:42 pm
by scottnoy
Granite sucks? That's a bold statement!!
Yosemite, Squamish, the Gunks, Patagonia, the Alps, all the bouldering, the list goes on forever...

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:37 am
by Stu
Grigri for sucn an experienced climber you certainly can talk crap.
Change your message to:
Granite sux for Grigri
Slabs suk for Grigri
and so do dangerous runouts for Grigri!
and Yosemite sucks for Grigri

Yes I have taken a nasty fall and took a big smack on my ankle putting me out for a long time. Does this change my attitude, no, my technique (approach to the climb) was all wrong and will not make the same mistake again. Diversity my friend, without it things would be pretty boring.
Yeah Mark and magnus, if we look outside our borders I think we will find that we in South Africa are quite narrow-minded in terms of bolting every older climb that looks a little run-out.
But whatever, everyone seems quite fixed on their views with no room for diverse climbing venues or different opinions.

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:30 pm
by Fool
Hey Stu
Sorry i've been out of touch.... I lost another phone: that makes 5 for the year, so far.
Just drop me an email with you numder.... shot

I Say leave the routes as they are :idea:

As with everything.... sooner or later it will all be commecialised :cry:
Lets try and keep it the way it is for a little longer :!:

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:58 am
by Grigri
Heh Heh :twisted: Thought that might provoke a response. Talking local granite Scottnoy, not all of us have the priviledge of travelling to all the exotic places you mention. Although when I eventually do get to the States my first calling would be Nevada limestone, then Kentucky sandstone, definitely later for all that Granite!!

Stu, I totally agree climbs should not be retrobolted for the masses. I also took a bad fall early on and spent 3months+ on crutches, it was lack of skill and knowledge that caused it. I have since run it out ten even twenty meters on trad but its definitely something I chose not to do too regularly. Cowardice? Yep totally! But then I enjoy walking around normally!!

Its all up to the individual, what do you want from the game? How far do you want to go up into those big mountains? Choose your routes accordingly. If youre a wimp like me then stay off the scary shit, leave it to those who enjoy the (huge amount of) extra adrenalin a scary climb affords. For me the fear ruins the climbing experience, sure I have the hugest grin when we top out, but did I enjoy doing the route? -No. I suppose dangerous routes are savoured in retrospect, I just prefer my pleasure to be more immediate and in the moment.

This is just the same old sport/boulderer vs traddy/mountaineer argument, dull and pointless. Lets just agree to differ, so enough, Im off climbing - smell ya later.

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:46 pm
by Stu
I agree Grigri, to be honest I'm getting tired of the subject (but I'm home seriously sick so my comments keep flowing). If some peoples logic is followed then all aid routes should be properly bolted to be safe - it's crazy. Surely it's not a trad vs sport thing but rather there should be ROOM FOR BOTH!!
I just feel that it would be nice (on the odd occasion) when the confidence is soaring and you're feeling good to get on one of those routes and push your limits.

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:49 pm
by crosswind
This climbing ethic debate is a bit boring, and climbers are such different character types that a middle ground will seldom be reached.

Just this weekend for example I had a whole lot of guys screaming at me at rocklands. Instead of jumping off the boulder problems when I got tired, (which really leaves you stuffed having to start the whole problem over), I drilled a few bolts just above the crux sequences to kind of hang-off and rest. man, it was driving everyone ape-shit, you'd swear it was the end of the world..

:lol: :wink:

Have a good week Y'all.


Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:57 pm
by Grigri
\"ROOM FOR BOTH\" -Im fully in agreement there, retrobolting is like chipping a route / problem after its been opened to drag it down to your level of mediocrity. You either rise to the occasion or not.

You sick at home? (sux) Im sick of being at home, maybe when Ive gotten out more and feel better about my climbing I'll also change my tune! Get well and back on the rock soon!

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:03 am
by scottnoy
Until recently South Africa has had a relatively small climbing community and therefore not a long history of confirmed of climbing ethics. The culture has formed in the day and age of antibacterial soups and not letting your kids play with matches, sad state of affairs if I do say so!

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:02 am
by Marshall
Why care if someone does not like the way you bolted a line? There will always be somebody with a moan. Did you open it because you wanted too, or to please, pleasure, entertain & cater for others? Or to hear them praise your line(you)?

Nobody is forcing anyone to climb...if you don't like the style of a route...just leave it.

Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:14 pm
by scottnoy
Marshall I completely agree with you!!
But I afraid that there are people out there that don't think LEAVING the route as is, is an option...

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:42 am
by JuriJ
What if someone opens a highball boulder problem, that has a jagged sloping landing and includes a double handed dyno at the very top and goes at grade 7b(and the first ascentionist is an 8b boulderer),without any spotters or bouldermats, should one repeat the problem in the same style just because it would be 'ethically' correct?

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:52 pm
by oOdball
Are spotter and pads fixed protection? :shock:

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:53 pm
by Grigri
not much relation between the two is there? Putting down mats isnt going to permanently alter the problem. If people are really desperate to do 'the moves' on INXS they could always fix a line down it and toprope the thing!! :shock: . Which sounds pretty ridiculous, but thats how the two translate across! Retrobolting's more like someone taking a fat chisel and bring that 7b down to a 5b! invasive and permanent.

Personally I dont really give a hoot about the route itself, but theres little point in the top guys pushing the boundaries of the sport and setting new standards (in any regard) if we just ignore their efforts and carry on being totally mediocre. Imagine if we all ignored Fred's accomplishments and just chipped all his problems so we could do them without having to train or put in too much effort! :(

Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:30 pm
by Hector
It might be slightly off the topic but theres another interesting ethical debate - When opening long routes (such as INXS) that will need some bolts, is it better to do a ground-up ascent, or should one use a hodge-podge approach, rap-bolting where necessary, working pitches on top rope etc. Obviously, good first ascent ethics dictate that a ground up is by far the better method. But usually ground-up results in an inferior route. Ground up routes usually wind about all over the place and have bolts in really funny places, and can often be unsafe. Rap-bolted routes can have optimally placed bolts and the best line can be taken.

I'm in two minds on this issue. My climbing buddy and I are close to finishing off a new line up Blouberg, and we started with noble ideas. We did about 4 pitches ground up and then started getting spanked. We whimpered and topped out by an established route and spied out some new pitches on top rope on the way. We realised some bolts would be necessary. We came back with a drill and rap placed two bolts on the key pitch. The result is a route thats four or five stars. If you come off one the crux you'll get some great airtime but its totally safe. I doubt we could have done it ground up due to lack of skills (and balls). Now the question is should we have done it ground up and possibly placed more bolts (cos its scary bolting on lead) or should we have left it for someone with more skill, or did we do the right thing?

I think the answer lies in the nature of the area a climb is being opened. When a wall is teeming with existing routes, its very difficult to open a new line and then I think rap bolting is ok. If a wall is virgin, then the first few routes should, ideally be ground up. Comments?

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:48 am
by Rastaman
I agree Hector. The line also deserves respect and should be developed to its full potential. Especially if it is a classic line.

The pioneers of handgliding threw themselves off cliffs with badly designed, weak handgliders, this developed the sport into the (relatively) safe sport it is today. Why go backwards or remain stagnent in SA climbing? Sure there are some hardened do or die climbers out there (or wannabes) but why should they dictate the style and safety of routes? Let them open new routes or push the limits, but to let them dicate how we manage our existing sport routes?

Maybe if some more bolts were added to IXS more people would climb it, surely this is a good thing :?:
When last was INXS climbed :?:

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:23 pm
by scottnoy
Rastaman, that's the worst argument I've ever heard... hanggliders ha ha you're a funny guy!!

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:40 pm
by Mark
Why dont we put an escalator on everest, then everyone can climb it and if anyone complains then let them find another mountain, and then when they find that new mountain we'll put an elevator on that one to! - WTF what are trying to achieve here? Retrobolting is dangerous, we have to be very careful that we dont bolt the way to mediocrity.

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:27 pm
by Stu
Rastaman, manage 'our' existing routes? That's right 'our', not a specific group of climbers.
Those 'hardened do or die climbers' are the very ones that opened the routes.
What percentage of sport routes are run-out? very little stop being so selfish.
You final comments are shameful, rethink your approach, its poor.
A question for you: Lets say you found a stunning line that inspired you to take the time and money to toprope bolt and redpoint the line. I come along and place an extra four bolts feeling that there are maybe too few bolts, would you mind?

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:20 am
by Rastaman
If I had placed too few to make the route safe then No.

Stu, you contradict yourself big time. Working a route on top rope? Talk about mediocrity and dragging the mountain down to your level! You should be working and opening these routes from the ground up.

There is basically an escalator up Everest, its works with Sherpas, Guides, oxygen and fixed ropes all the way to the summit. People even get short roped to the summit (basically dragged).

My point is not to create mediocrity but to state that perhaps not all retrobolting is bad and sometimes may actually improve routes and the style that they are climbed in.

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:24 am
by Grigri
Work routes ground up?? How the hell are you supposed to do this? You cant work moves ground up, working implies being able to reverse sequences (sometimes with the aid of tightrope) and hang around to sus out positions and figure out what works. Going ground up you either climb it or you fall, working doesnt come in to it! Routes developed ground up almost always are badly bolted. It goes like this: climber goes up feels ok for a bit, then hits a hard section, craps himself because he/she is now run out but cannot stop to drill or downclimb (ie committed), climber makes it through hard section and slaps a hook on the first decent edge and hauls the drill. Result scary routes with most of the bolts either above cruxes or far below them.

Not safe, not fun to repeat, BUT that does not mean that wimps should then come along and blot the crap out of the thing just to make it safe. It completely obliterates the character of the climb first experienced by the opening party. If you follow anothers lead you should be prepared to go through what they went through, at least you dont have to drill!!

Rapbolting usually produces a better climb with bolts where they need to be. Note: this does not, however, imply that the opening party has to make a super safe route, they might chose to make it a bit more exciting and, yes, dangerous. Thats their perogative. Again if you follow anothers lead you should be prepared to accept the challenge they set.

Rasta you are whining just for the sake of being a pain in the arse. There are several other routes ascending Spitzkoppe, chose another! Why are you so fixated on INXS?? Because you saw it in some dvd? This is a country route on a far away mountain, not some trade route at your local inner city sportcrag! Its always some jock like you, who has (in all likelyhood) never opened a route in their life, who feels they have to take issue with the way others chose to climb. In case you hadnt noticed this not a communal activity! There are only two in a parthnership! We climb because it is an expression of individuality, not to placate the masses or feed into some crowd mentality bullshit.

PS Everest is a total tragedy, a complete travesty of what climbing is supposed to stand for. A prime example of how nature gets trashed when we try and drag it down into the mire of consumerism and greed. Learn a little respect for the mountains and cliffs and the valuable life lessons that can be learned from the challenges they lay before us.

PPS Stu you do your thing Bru! Forget these idiots! [/u]

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:36 am
by Stu
Exactly, that's a personal thing, even if you have placed enough in your mind, others might not feel safe - I'm sure you would be very unhappy.

Jeez dude I hope you're joking, now who's going for the 'big balls' approach, I never claimed to open sport routes from ground up. personally I feel that certain sport routes are much better when opened top down. Trad is another issue.

Everest... hmm.

That's the problem, some one disagrees with someones opinion and they get defensive, I don't think you will find some of us made a blanket statement that ALL retro-bolting is bad. But it has to be thought through very carefully and most of the time is not a good idea.

So who's the man behind the mask hey Rastaman?

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:09 am
by douard
Here's an interesting thought(in my opinion anyway):

Why do we all know about INXS (and many haven't heard of Herero's Arch), Sorcery (but not that well bolted route next to it), Here be dragons (where's SE Arete?). I could go on.

Maybe it's because these routes have a reputation (positive and negative connotations) and they have become legend while the others mentioned, although well bolted or protected haven't gained the same rep.

Why do you want to climb INXS when there are so many excellent well protected lines in Spitzkoppe anyway?

Do we even know if these are good lines? Maybe that's not the point. These routes are there as test pieces, dreams, for people to say \"Maybe oneday I'll have the strength and the balls to rope up and climb that route.\" Until then it's a great inspiration. I know oneday i'd love to test my mind on that route, as it stands today. If it gets more bolts it won't be the same redpoint.

Leave other peoples dreams alone.

By the way, Clinton Martinengo pretty much onsighted the route last June. (I think he fell off one pitch, I stand to be corrected).

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:33 am
by Grigri
Good points Douard, Rasta (now that Ive calmed down!) sorry to lay into you so heavily hope you dont take it personally. The fact that I defend the runout bold approach should tell you something. I am a bit of a wimp sport (mostly) climber, Im into runouts only when they are safe (ie I like excitement but not fear) and often rat on Stu and co for their bolder more dangerous approach, but the option to express bravery must be kept open at all costs, without it our sport would be a non entity and I doubt that many of the great routes of the world would ever have been opened.

Its a sport full of very individualistic people with very different backgrounds and desires. We must allow space for everyone to do their thing (with certain exceptions- see below), it is this which lends climbing its character. This diversity is exactly whats makes it interesting.

The only time we should shut people down is when they do something dispicably (sp?) mediocre and drag the sport down with them. Like bolting tiny yet perfect trad cracks for example. If people do things that seem outrageous on the other end of the scale- (seemingly stupid) bold ventures- we need to praise that, because that is where the inspiration comes from, where the limits of human possibility are being pushed forward and defined.

There are literally millions of safe routes worldwide for you to spend the rest of your climbing years doing without ever having to risk your life. No decent climber is going to think worse of you if you never stick your neck out, its fine and sensible. But let others dream outrageous dreams, who knows? They might just teach us to fly!

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:49 am
by Hector
Well put, Douard! Lets leave the test pieces alone.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:41 am
by Rastaman
No sweat Grigri, its good to keep the debate going. I'm no jock though, yuppie maybe but definately no jock.
Douard unfortunately makes an excellent point and is probally 100% correct. Part of my fasicination with the route is because I'm on my way there next weekend for 10 days! Nice one. We are going to try the first pitch or two, just to get the feel of the route.
Stu, as you stated, you have the luxury of working the route when you bolt it and place bolts where you need them.
Just keep in mind that most climbers will go for the on-site from ground up on lead (obviously ) and without working the route. Extra long run outs can then be dangerous.
There is huge potential for more routes in Spitzkoppe, I wonder if there is any easier lines up the SW wall, maybe in the 18 to 20 range?
The other point to make is do test pieces have a shelf life?
Should they always be test pieces, or should new test pieces get opened and the old ones re-bolted so that wussies like me can climb them?
Just a thought, and most people on this forum will disagree.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:54 pm
by Stu
Rasta, Rasta... sport routes are sport routes. The debate is not about placements of bolts but whether run-out routes should be retro-bolted. When approaching a climb you will know whether the route is run-out and will apprioach it as such like you are doing with Inxs. We feel we have the right to climb all routes there are no rights here. If you can make it up the route then climb it, if not, stay away.
Take a drill with you and open a route on that wall- that's my plan.
Just think about your comments on test pieces, where will we be in years to come if there is no respect or thought for the older routes that have been established. Your comments are selfish and disrespectful. Try not to take the commets too personally.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:42 pm
by scottnoy
Rasta, YOU are a f&@king idiot!
Please don't take that personally :twisted:

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:31 pm
by Grigri
Easy guyz! Whle I totally support the idea of respect for the style of established climbs, some history on INXS may be in order (I had a conversation with a very respected climber who has done the route a couple of times about it today). The route was opened with bloody few bolts. It was then repeated (some twelve years ago) and at the suggestion of one of the opening party more bolts were added. When said climber repeated the route again (this time more recently, but prior to Jeremy/Juz and Clinton) he found that there were even more bolts on the climb. In other words the climb is no longer in its original state at all! So its probably not worth all the in depth ethical hoo ha.

Rasta do some of the other climbs, there are several that are safer, carrying on about how you'd like the place to be before you've even got there is dof. If you really dig the venue then consider opening a line yourself in your own style/grade. Just remember that a long route like this in your style will probably cost you a good few grand, hope youre feeling rich! (A ten pitch line we equipped recently with bolts about every three to four meters cost us about 4K and we managed to source the gear at rock bottom prices) Forget all this theoretical crap and go and rage in the desrert! Have a good trip. 8)

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:20 pm
by scottnoy
I'm just pissed at these people with their narrow minded attitudes towards climbing! I've been out of the country now for 4 months and have climbed at about 15 different venues throughout the US, England and France. All of them have some kind of concensis of what is cool and what's not acceptable!
SA is the same, every area has a history represented in the climbs that have been done. Do we really want all our climbing venues to be boring and monotonous? Yay, another clip-up...
I personally love the variety that our crags currently offer!!!
You'll be please to hear that I'm done with this topic... please think before you act!!

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:45 am
by Stu
Yeah Gri, I spoke to the guy that put in the bolts in Inxs (the first round) and they were encorouged by the first ascentionists to do so(ages ago) . If that is their wish then so be it. Scott the problem seems to be that all the new sport climbers seem to want a say and EVERYTHING to be 'climbable'for them.Anyway I'm also sick of the subject, I'm outa here.