Monday, May 04, 2009

Bolted Cracks at Stonehill

Some of the bolted cracks at Stonehill really annoy me. We were climbing at the Pit Stop area on the westside of the lake and there were tremendous gear placements with bolts just off to the side. I have climbed quite a few routes around stonehill like this. With out a doubt they ruin a climb as much as a complete R or X runout. Fixed protection that doesn't fit with a route's character is just bad form.

With that said, anyone is welcome to start a good debate about some of the bolt placements on the upper routes at Expert's choice, or the bolt near the overhang flaring crack on Midsummer's night scream at drywood.

8 Comments:

At 5/07/2009 01:36:00 AM , Blogger TF said...

In my opinion if there is natural protection available a bolt should not be placed. Even if it is a 45m single pitch of face climbing and there is one gear placement; bring the nut or cam. Bolting for convenience is just as offending as bolting cracks.

 
At 5/11/2009 09:28:00 PM , Blogger sigob said...

Well - if bolts are to be placed the question is always going to involve a slippery slope - there will never be any clear solutions.

I think what you are saying - is if there is 45m of bolts and there is one gear placement, leave the gear placement and don't add a bolt to it. I have to agree with that.

In the nice rock of stonehill I think that seems reasonable. You still run into the question of what is a safe runout - especially when factoring in rope stretch, some slack, belayer dynamics, etc.

But TF, I guess any bolt is for convenience as anything could conceivably be free soloed. So in that regard, I think we get back to the slippery slope cases.

One line that is easy to draw is if there is a bolt immediately adjacent to a protectable spot. That stands out much more than similar questions about acceptable runouts.

 
At 5/11/2009 09:31:00 PM , Blogger sigob said...

One thing I wonder about my actions are some of the bolts near what I considered to be questionable placements that if they blew would result in guarenteed ground falls.

For instance, some crazy people could place tricams in the heucos of grassi lake and do those routes on gear. It doesn't mean the pro would be very good or even hold. Similarly I wonder if 2 of the bolts at Expert's choice are in a similar category.

I don't like being hypocritical so, I figure I better fess up before I even comment on Stonehill's bolted cracks.

 
At 5/18/2009 05:34:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When someone puts the time, energy and money into developing a route, it is the individuals call on whether a bolt is placed or not. For another climber to come along after the hard work is done and whine about ethics and bolting is both boring and contrived. It doesnt matter what anyone else thinks about the climb except for the author of the route. There's plenty of crumbly rock around here, the more routes the better.

 
At 5/21/2009 06:51:00 PM , Blogger sigob said...

>When someone puts the time, energy and money into developing a route, it is the individuals call on whether a bolt is placed or not.

The person out there does make the call, but we can never escape the fact we are always part of some type of community. Criticism is bad, awareness is good.


>For another climber to come along after the hard work is done and whine about ethics and bolting is both boring and contrived.

Whining is never good. Not all routes take much time or effort. Setting some routes may only take 10-20min and less effort than racking up. Bolt wars are boring and contrived. Awareness is hard and introspective.

>It doesnt matter what anyone else thinks about the climb except for the author of the route.

Why?

>There's plenty of crumbly rock around here,

-Lots of crumbly stuff, little good stuff.

>the more routes the better.

Yep.

 
At 5/21/2009 06:57:00 PM , Blogger sigob said...

Oh, and the routes I singled out, are my own. Like anon said, couch side criticism is easy and unproductive. Decisions always fall on both sides of the line. A little introspection just helps the hard process of coming to a larger awareness.

 
At 7/20/2010 09:28:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you want to bolt it - bolt it

if you don't like bolted cracks - climb somewhere else

 
At 7/21/2010 08:06:00 AM , Blogger sigob said...

I think the issue around Southern Alberta is that there are few to no other places to climb. It is sort of like saying "if you don't like clear cutting" go someplace else. That argument works if what you are talking about isn't a finite resource. It quickly fails beyond that.

Another good analogy for Southern Alberta is the gravel yard phenomenon. It is an individual's right to do whatever they want, but let's not stick our head in the sand and say a neighbour gravelling their yard has no effect on the people nearby, the neighbourhood and those who happen to walk by. It certainly isn't traumatic, but I think the drop in house prices is akin to the drop in the aesthetic value undue/inappropriate bolting may have at an area.

 

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