Guess you don't get the humor or maybe you're too close to the climb ? Personally, Pernell made me lmao with that statement.
He's saying, go lead it without the bolts (tough guys) and then...
Of course, bolts next to cracks is a departure from almost 50 years of Sedona ethics. But, things change, grades grow, ethics evolve (devolve some would say) and more importantly from my limited perspective, the gear in that crack looks like it might be pretty bad.
So, I'm with Pernell, if some Trotting stud wants to step up and lead it on all gear, then they deserve to rename it.
As the person who submitted this photo and route, and as the person in the photo actually climbing the route, I have a few things to say.
First, Paul made a comment about ethics "evolving/devolving" and I would most definitely take the vocal stance that placing bolts where good natural pro is available is shameful. That said, I don't agree with the people complaining about the presence of bolts in this particular case. I have done this pitch several times and I don't remember there being tons of bomber gear placements in that crack... if my memory serves me, that crack is discontinuous, soft, and flaring. I, like Mono, would like to know which of you critics have actually even been on this route (let alone led it with gear). If you go making a statement about how some climb is or should be based on some low-res photo on the internet, well, it's your credibility at stake not mine.
Second, I disagree with Rick's opinion that this climb would be prettier with pins. Both pins and bolts damage rock and reduce ("subdue") the natural feature to the ascentionist's level... and this is why I think these things should be used very conservatively and with great consideration. But at least bolt holes can be patched and reused. Pin scars, like herpes, are forever. When those pins loosen up and fall out the climb is permanently changed - you either have new gear placements, new handholds, or you hammer in even bigger pins. For this reason, I think if you have to damage the rock to protect it, a bolt is ultimately the best decision when considering the long-term impact.
And that leads to my third comment, which is a question... Rick, sure bolts are less discrete than a pins, so I understand why you would say the climb isn't as "pretty", but I don't really get what having draws hanging there has to do with the quality of the photo? Are the draws really ugly, or is my style of ascent, or maybe the weird thing my hair's doing, that makes the photo bad?
Michael, the way I interpreted Mono's statement about "tough guys" is that it is easy to talk sh*t about some photo with out having actually been on a route, they have no idea what the gear is like and untill they sack up and try it that is all it is is spray. Well you did sack up and I notice with out any of the previous spray, congradulations! and good job. Thanks for reporting back as well to say how it went.
You state in your TR that you never felt in danger of a bad fall, though looking at your list of gear, unless this is on something other than sandstone there are only 3 pieces of gear on your list that I would fully trust and maybe one or two others that I would be comfortable on. Though apparently there are a few more that are reliable, like the #0 BD's, which I would not put a lot of faith in.
I think that the route stays the same unless one of the FA's wants to change it. Even if everyone eventually does it on gear, the bolts act as a reminder of climbing history in a similar way to the runouts on something like the Bachar-Yerian but the opposite, I guess.
Josh, maybe rickd would give a "great" if the draws were not hung instead of in place which is a bit unusual to see on a multi pitch line.
Shangri-La is different from your "typical" Sedona route in that the rock is much higher quality and there is almost none of the obligatory choss. It's more like climbing at Indian Creek than Sedona. Yes the gear was generally small. The placements were deep and I was able to double up prior to where I perceived the cruxes were located. There was no gritstone type action with partial cam lobes engaged. There was only one section where placing the gear was strenuous (before the 2nd crux). If this was a granite route perhaps I would not have felt the need to double up in spots. Safety and scariness are subjective; what's safe and comfortable to me may be completely different for someone else and vise versa. Only time and ascents will pan this out on this route.
If this were put up as a mixed route with a few strategically-placed bolts, then there would be little issue here. In reality, it was bolted as a sport climb which is where I think the issue lies. It seems to me to be far beyond what is necessary to safely climb this pitch and detracts from the purity and style. I know that someone will respond to the the last sentence by saying that the only "pure" climbing is barefoot free-soloing.
When I seconded Mike, the gear was absolutely bomber and he could have whipped at any point and it would have been a-ok (even the grey 000 BD C3 was as bomber as a cam could ever get). On top of the gear he placed , if he would have carried a few more green (0) BD C3s he could have stitched it up oven better. IMHO the gear is about the same as it is on Shotgun and the rock is solid.
Michael, I believe it is barefoot soloing. . . . .without chalk :)
At the creek I'm not real psyced with anything smaller than a green alien or blue TCU though I've seen a blue alien hold a fall in a poor placement, so I can understand the desire to double up at hard spots.
By Monomaniac Administrator From: Morrison, CO Nov 18, 2009
Congratulations on the send! Lee's interpretation of my comment is spot on. My point was that, until the critic steps up to do it in better style, they should keep their mouth shut. I assume that Bloom, et al chose to bolt it because they felt they couldn't get solid gear. Considering C3s are new, I wonder if there was safe pro using 1997 technology. I don't know those guys, & I've never been on the route, so I don't have a dog in this fight, but I think its lame for people to critiscize something they know nothing about based on a photo. It seems courteous to give them the benefit of the doubt until somebody proves them wrong. Generally the type of climber that has enough strength & vision to "prove them wrong" has enough class to reserve judgement. You've certainly shown that to be true!
FYI, Smith Rock is stacked with sweet trad lines. Seriously, its the best kept secret in the west. Maybe next time I'm out there I'll take you up on your offer.
PS that rack would work pretty well on the East Face, but you'll need some more RPs for the second pitch:)
I'd been considering doing this for a few weeks before this thread got going. The comments just pushed it to the top of my ticklist. I wanted to jump in "well I think this route will go without gear and am planning on trying it", but until sent that is basically just spray. I held comment until after.
If you are in AZ you should give it a try. It's an amazing route in a pristine, beautiful setting.
I'm very exited to be closer to Smith for both the trad and sport. I love technical face routes which it seems like Smith has no shortage of. Let me know when you're in the area. It would be great to climb with you!
What East Face are you referring to? I've seen pics of the North Face of the Monkey Face which have made me salivate. Have you done that one? Have you been to Trout Creek?
Well, I'd just like to say that my impressions of the rock quality might be wrong on this one... I wasn't there, but heard second hand about this pitch apparently being zippered recently on an onsight attempt - certainly a good argument in favor of there being bolts =)
Hi Josh Hope things are well with you! I stand behind my 2-decades of climbing experience and many hard trad leads in saying that I lead that pitch safely on gear. I was by no means doing it onsight which I openly acknowledge. I can't comment on the circumstances or meaning of the ascent in question since I was not there. My sense after my gear ascent was that an onsight was possible and reasonable but would require a Caldwell or Honnold level climber.