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By Buff Johnson
Oct 16, 2006
smiley face
Tea wrote:
If everyone was jumping off bridges.


What if the Americans are the ones jumping off the bridges?

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By GhaMby
From Heaven
Nov 20, 2006
I believe trade routes are great for learning, once you have it dialed why get on c2 anyways???

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By GhaMby
From Heaven
Nov 20, 2006
Mike Anderson wrote:
(I would add, as an aside, that if you can't free climb 5.10, you probably don't have any business on a big wall, but someone will probably think that is "elitist".)


I lived in the valley for the last two summers and the majority of hard aid climbers I met in 4 couldn't free climb a steep ladder.

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By Brian Sadowsky
From salt lake city
Sep 12, 2009
Royal Arches
Bump, great thread, something to think about......

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By Nate Brown
From Wilson, Wy
Sep 16, 2009
mug shot
Before you go to Zion:

Get Bryan Bird's new book eh? There are tons of fine routes outside of the trades. Check out Shunes, or Plan B... Contrary to popular thinking, there are more than 5 routes (the trades) there.

If you are planning to do a new route, do a nice job. For an example of a nice job, try Joe's route "Made To Be Broken". Joe really set the standard there.

Plenty of great free climbing in the shade around the tunnel.

Be curteous on the trades. If someone is charging up behind you, accomodate a pass and maybe make some new friends.

Leave your ego at home and get ready for some great adventure!

Have fun, hope to see you all there.

Nate

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By jersey
From park city, utah
Sep 24, 2009
zion wall monkey
What kind of stone monkey fool would say that their fun was more enlightening, righteous, important, superior, entitled, or any less useless or contrived or retarded, than the next fool monkeys fun.

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By Bryan Gilmore
From Your Mama
Sep 24, 2009
Beagle
What the hell are you all talking about? You're not finding a cure for Aids or reversing global warming! We're talking about [mostly] men, rolling around in the sand and sleeping in skanky sleeping bags. Get over yourselves. Sorry for always being so negative, but these posts leave no other option.

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By Kurt Burt
Oct 12, 2009
Portaledge belay top of pitch 3
"As for the bolt in question, it might be necessary nowadays. So many people are using cam hooks and other destructive techniques in Zion (Thanks Chris Mac!)"

(I would add, as an aside, that if you can't free climb 5.10, you probably don't have any business on a big wall, but someone will probably think that is "elitist".)

Yeah Mike you kinda are coming off like a an elitist IMO. First off am I missing the message on the first post? Chris Mac is to blame for cam hook use and other destructive techniques?

5.10 a big, broad number as you well know. I am not the caliber free climber that you are Mike, but I have struggled up many "5.10" Zion pitches that have made me wonder why I even in this place to begin with, and that hell sounds better than this sandy, runout, crappy pitch...but then it's over and all is well. I am a big proprietor of the park's "secrets" being left to the imagination and for the adventure of individual who pursues it. With the publication of guidebooks, internet coverage of ones accomplishment, and endless press, the parks traffic is going to increase. With this increase, people with less experience will come to the park, not free when needed (as you are putting it), nail when not needed, haul when not supposed to, blah blah blah. So if you want people to be less of an impact, the way to do this is to LIMIT the people coming to the park. So instead of supporting guidebooks that give away much of the adventure that Zion holds, and having nice glossies spread about the mags and internet about ascents done, take Zion back underground where it was not that long ago. It left so much to the imagination, just a hand drawn topo if you were lucky, and a vague idea where the route went, and a song and a prayer with a little skill got you to the top. This kept most from venturing out, and the few that did either found the adventure they where looking for, or tucked their tales and ran (I have tucked and ran many times). I am super bias Mike, which I apologize for. I have put up routes throughout the park, helped free some lines with my friends, never attempting to do anything else but have a great time and an awesome adventure. I love the park, and seeing it used to promote ones ability, or to profit off somebody else's work just kinda hits a sore spot with me.

Before you go to Zion is the thread title... check your ego at the gate. Zion will humble you no matter how bad ass you are, and if your mouth is bigger than your ability Zion is an honest girl, she will remind you how good you are, just giver her a moment. The park is splendid, but fragile, try using the best techniques you can to climb the walls (but I have aided 5.8 cause I was scared to death sue me) and even the easiest routes here have a very big potential of biting you in the ass if you are not ready for it. Take your time and enjoy a very special place.

Kurt "Burt" Arend

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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Oct 13, 2009
Hi Kurt, thanks for offering your opinion, and you shouldn't apologize for it. First off, the grade of 5.10 hasn't been considered elite for about 50 years or so. At best, you could say I'm being "moderate-ist" by suggesting you be able to lead 5.10, but to harp on that one comment is missing the point of the conversation.

Oh, a few years ago, Chris authored a "Supertopo mini-guide" to Zion in which he recommended cam hooks as required gear on many of the trade routes, so yes, I think he's partly responsible (and he's a friend of mine).

I've heard the argument that Zion should be kept "underground", and that is a valid opinion that I happen to disagree with. Zion hasn't been a secret for at least 30 years or so...the cat is out of the bag. If you want to bitch about guidebooks, start with Jeff Lowe, Ron Olevsky, Dave Jones, Eric Bjornstadt, and John Middendorf in that order. All have published Zion guides in the past. So now that the cat is out of the bag, what's the best way to preserve it?

I think a guidebook by a knowldedgable local will help keep people in line. I don't think the anarchy method is working very well because 4 or 5 routes get abused, and people go around thinking they're doing an FA when they really aren't, and then feelings get hurt, etc. By the way, the new guide covers maybe 5% of Zion, all within an hour hike from the road...there is still a lot left to the imagination.

I feel strongly that a transition towards a free climbing ethic in Zion would do a lot to preserve the trade routes that are getting abused, and so I have done what I can to encourage free climbing. That does include magazine articles and such, but I assure you I'm not profitting...the IRS can back me up on that.

Furthermore, I think discouraging people in general from enjoying the outdoors is a terrible public policy for any wilderness lover to advocate. The more people that discover the transformative power of wilderness, the more will vote to protect it.

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By Kurt Burt
Oct 23, 2009
Portaledge belay top of pitch 3
Mike, just got back from the park, route a samll TR on a one day solo of Swoop Gimp on supertopo.com. I want to publicly apologize for my tone with the supertopo book. It's just a book, and can't climb the route for you. Also it might just disperse the crowds off the big 5 trade routes, doubt it but maybe. Mike again this is far from a personal attack, I don't know you personally, but the things you and Rob have done are very impressive in the park, keep up the good work. I just get sick of the politics behind the art of climbing. Like the pic of Britney G on the silverback in the supertopo book. Did she climb the route? Or just some sweet glossy cause she looks better that the first ascentionist? (sorry Flyn Brian but in my opinion she does look better than you) It just seems so fake. Also the "history" sections, great info, but every bit of history seemed to be written by you. Was their no movement to get others point of view? I understand you did some research, just would have liked to see other authors. Like I said, Mike you seem like a good guy, I just have a chip on my shoulder with Bird and company. I have been going to the park for many years, and my first run in with the "local" crew was that Zion is a place of secrecy. They wouldn't share topos, info, nothin. But when I showed up with a "famous" rock climber as my partner, boy the tables sure turned. They shared info, spied new lines, etc. So the selfishness of the crew which I totally respected, I thought it was cool that Zion was the last frontier for true adventure, no info, just a a rack and a vision got you up the cliffs. Then to here how they are now going to profit off of this info seems like bad form to me. I would have a totally different outlook if I hadn't bore witness to the ass kissing of the elite in the crowd. So again Mike please let me have it, I am running my mouth when maybe I should just be quite, it is a great book, I used it on Swoop Gimp. And I am not advocating total discouragement of the outdoors, just sometimes a road less traveled is where true adventure can be found. Adventure is when the outcome is unknown, as one of hero's Jim Bridwell would say. Hope to see you in the park Mike, the weather was great last weekend, and the climbing is crisp and good.
Burt

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By farm cracker
Jan 28, 2010
Well I plan on making my first climbing trip to Zion in 2 months and I am not a total beginner. I did D7 a few years ago and I didn't suck too bad. But I still think it would be better not to do a crowded route since I have a new partner and will be working things out.

Are there routes that go at C2 with no mandatory free over 10d that we would not be likely to get in another partie's way on?
Isn't that WHY the trade routes are crowded?

And as much as I admire what Mike A has done there it does sound elitist to say people should only free routes.

I don't want to stir things up but I do want to get some more wall climbing under my belt. Still, I am from Nebraska and after reading the start of this post don't want to see "team Nebraska" become a local saying.

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By MixmasterM10
Jan 28, 2010
Ouray 2006
Farmcracker

Go to Zion, spend a couple weeks and do the trade routes, they're amazing!!! Just deal with the crowds, stake your claim and do the routes. All the trade routes can be done with 100% aid, almost, maybe some 5.8 on approach pitches to Moonlight.

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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 28, 2010
Andrew Gram
Give Wigs in Space a try farm cracker. Hauling on it is not recommended, but it would be easy enough to fix and fire if you can't do it in a day.

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By YDPL8S
From Santa Monica, Ca.
Jan 28, 2010
Bouldering at right side of Sun Deck
"First off, the grade of 5.10 hasn't been considered elite for about 50 years or so. At best, you could say I'm being "moderate-ist" by suggesting you be able to lead 5.10"

Boy, do I have some "5.10's" I'd like to show you in the Black Canyon, if I thought I could.

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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jan 28, 2010
farm cracker wrote:
And as much as I admire what Mike A has done there it does sound elitist to say people should only free routes.


I didn't say that. Read carefully, and think before you call someone out.

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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jan 28, 2010
YDPL8S wrote:
Boy, do I have some "5.10's" I'd like to show you in the Black Canyon, if I thought I could.


Please elaborate. What 5.10 pitches that can be aided by the likes of the average Spaceshot ascenscionist require "elite" talent to free?

Please respond to the whole argument rather than cherry picking a single phrase that you consider low hanging fruit. It comes across as petty.

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By YDPL8S
From Santa Monica, Ca.
Jan 29, 2010
Bouldering at right side of Sun Deck
Mike, I understand your whole concept and even though I'm not up in that range, I'm sure you are probably right. I guess I was "cherry picking" because I thought that the statement about 5.10 not being elite for 50 years was a little bit of an over exaggeration on your part. Go back 30 to 35 years and look at the climbing mags and you will see that all of the elite of that era were putting up 5.10 routes that were considered the top of the game at that time, Jeff Lowe, Henry Barber, Pat Ament etc....

Although I'll give ya the fact that an awful lot of those 5.10's are now upgraded to higher numbers as us old timers are being relegated to "sandbagger" status.

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jan 29, 2010
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Are you sure about your math? 35 years ago = 1975. Yosemite, The Gunks, Eldo all had 5.12s in 1975. In fact, Supercrack, at the Gunks, was first freed in 1974, and given the grade 5.13 by you old-school sandbaggers (now considered 12c). John Long established "The Hangover" (5.13) in 1976 (34 years ago), Tony Yaniro established Grand Illusion (13b/c) in 1979 (31 years ago).

Maybe we have a different idea of what "elite" means.

dictionary.com says, as a noun: "the choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons."

...or as an adjective: "representing the most choice or select; best."

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By YDPL8S
From Santa Monica, Ca.
Jan 29, 2010
Bouldering at right side of Sun Deck
Well maybe you're right, but if I pull out my old "High over Boulder" from the early to mid 70's, I don't remember seeing any 5.12's in there. My apologies all the way around, must have just missed those pages,(or am missing those brain cells) I don't remember anything in the guidebooks being rated over 5.10+

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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jan 29, 2010
I see what you are saying, and I agree that in the 70's there were some badass climbers sending so-called 5.10s, but just because an "elite" climber climbs a pitch, that doesn't mean it requires elite talent to climb it. Every time Tommy frees a route on El Cap, he frees 5.10 pitches...that doesn't mean you or I can't free those same pitches. That is my entire point...free what you can, don't be lazy, aid the rest.

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By farm cracker
Jan 29, 2010
Wow Mike I thought you'd appreciate the compliment, so sorry.
Where'd I go wrong? Sheesh!
Just trying to get some good info for my trip.

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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jan 29, 2010
Sorry, I was in a bad mood last night. My reaction stems from the fact that people want to take my complex and well thought out comments and sum them up into "that guy is elitist". It's probably a bad reaction on my part to the same phenomenon in Cable news media.

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By farm cracker
Jan 30, 2010
Should have read you more carefully. This place is cool thanks for the email.


I wanted to add that though I don't want to clog a crowded route, but that as a family man I promised to do what I can to avoid rockfall.

But thanx everyone for the input.

FLAG


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