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Connecticut sport climbing on the cover of Rock&Ice???
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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Feb 26, 2013
modern man
Brian wrote:
I stand by the claim tht the route Fresh Bag is the former trad route Forest Fire and that bolts are on the majority of Smoke Out. Just because there is no protection on a route doesen't mean that Nichols didn't lead it. He led just about every inch of that cliff, protection or not, as he did on many cliffs to claim that he climbed it first. I've seen him lead (i.e. solo) routes that no one in their right mind would lead. I personally think that Firewall is better off with bolts as it will be utilized much more. And who cares that a little crag like that is bolted? But just about that entire cliff was led trad. If you want to argue that the bolt is a foot away from the original line then yeah maybe in some cases.


Its hard to say since as we all can see Forest Fire is not even on the line drawing which is from a book that has not been published for what, 30 years? I cant figure out what Forest Fire is from Clint Cummins Mtn Proj descriptions( mountainproject.com/v/fire-wal... ), he most likely cant either since he has NEVER climbed the Fire Wall. Have you been on any of the three routes mentioned Brian?

To me a "trad" route means you can protect it, similar to a crack. I guess here in CT it means you could use aid hooks with duct tape and bunjy cords huh?

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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Feb 26, 2013
TRmasta wrote:
Its hard to say since as we all can see Forest Fire is not even on the line drawing which is from a book that has not been published for what, 30 years? I cant figure out what Forest Fire is from Clint Cummins Mtn Proj descriptions( mountainproject.com/v/fire-wal... ), he most likely cant either since he has NEVER climbed the Fire Wall. Have you been on any of the three routes mentioned Brian? To me a "trad" route means you can protect it, similar to a crack. I guess here in CT it means you could use aid hooks with duct tape and bunjy cords huh?


Mike,

I have been on those lines a long time ago. A few of them, like Fire Cracker I've climbed recently. The easier routes were "led" without hooks, etc. but were basically soloed. So if you define a trad route as something that "you can protect" then none of them are trad routes. Firecracker was led by placing the gear in the crack to the left but climbing the face to the right which is pretty darn close to where the bolted line is now. Like I said I could care less that any of it was bolted. The cliff isn't nearly as much fun or has as much potential as others like the one you are bolting.

Brian

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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Feb 26, 2013
CJC wrote:
anyway someone cared about it enough to write about it in rock and ice. and here as well.


Yeah...that would be me.

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By jim.dangle
Feb 26, 2013
CT is not my neck of New England, but I have to say I am sad to hear trad climbs are being bolted up there.

I say that as someone who regularly clips bolts.


Jim

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Feb 27, 2013
Stoked...
After reading Ken's book it sound like the bolted line is a comination of three climbs, Forest Fire, Flashback and Smoke Out, combining parts of all three routes. But then again Ken's book is pretty f'd up..., manifesto of a delusional climber.

If I solo a route with a rope and place one piece of gear at the top is that a rad trad climb? What if climb a route and use tied down hooks to protect it... is that a trad climb? If I climb every variation on the entire cliff in this manner is it then my place to tell everyone after me that it's TR or a death solo even if the landowner agrees to change things? The ethics become pretty muddy.

Jim - you would not be disappointed if you came down to climb at the Firewall.

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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Feb 27, 2013
modern man
Brian wrote:
Mike, I have been on those lines a long time ago. A few of them, like Fire Cracker I've climbed recently. The easier routes were "led" without hooks, etc. but were basically soloed. So if you define a trad route as something that "you can protect" then none of them are trad routes. Firecracker was led by placing the gear in the crack to the left but climbing the face to the right which is pretty darn close to where the bolted line is now. Like I said I could care less that any of it was bolted. The cliff isn't nearly as much fun or has as much potential as others like the one you are bolting. Brian


I figured you did not climb it. I probably would have climbed it myself before writing specifically about it an article but thats just me. I'm still confused as to how one new route is bolted over 2 existing lines, all I still see is that 2 routes share a start which is an accepted practice all over the world.

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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Feb 27, 2013
modern man
CaptainMo wrote:
After reading Ken's book it sound like the bolted line is a comination of three climbs, Forest Fire, Flashback and Smoke Out, combining parts of all three routes. But then again Ken's book is pretty f'd up...,


I dont know anyone besides the old bolt chopper who could come up with 40 routes on a cliff of that size. I guess he did it to make the Traprock book a bit bigger and possibly a way to claim the whole cliff as his.

the 12-15 routes that are ACTUALLY there are pretty darn good, that is if they are still there...

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Feb 27, 2013
Stoked...
TRmasta wrote:
I figured you did not climb it. I probably would have climbed it myself before writing specifically about it an article but thats just me. I'm still confused as to how one new route is bolted over 2 existing lines, all I still see is that 2 routes share a start which is an accepted practice all over the world.


grey baby! But ya I agree...

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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Feb 27, 2013
TRmasta wrote:
I figured you did not climb it. I probably would have climbed it myself before writing specifically about it an article but thats just me. I'm still confused as to how one new route is bolted over 2 existing lines, all I still see is that 2 routes share a start which is an accepted practice all over the world.


Mike,

The few of them I did climb recently are the (easier) climbs in question (Forest Fire, Smoke Out, Fire Cracker). So I have climbed them pre and post bolts. I started documenting the bolts there but never got around to finishing it. The are on the link I included in Rock and Ice.

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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Feb 27, 2013
CaptainMo wrote:
After reading Ken's book it sound like the bolted line is a comination of three climbs, Forest Fire, Flashback and Smoke Out, combining parts of all three routes. But then again Ken's book is pretty f'd up..., manifesto of a delusional climber. If I solo a route with a rope and place one piece of gear at the top is that a rad trad climb? What if climb a route and use tied down hooks to protect it... is that a trad climb? If I climb every variation on the entire cliff in this manner is it then my place to tell everyone after me that it's TR or a death solo even if the landowner agrees to change things? The ethics become pretty muddy. Jim - you would not be disappointed if you came down to climb at the Firewall.


Morgan,

The trad route Forest Fire is pretty much the same route as the bolted route Fresh Bag. Is it a foot or two off in places? Maybe. Only ethical purists will argue how appropriate it was to bolt it. I don't really care. IMHO it is better off bolted. You said, "if I solo a route with a rope and place one piece of gear at the top is that a trad climb?" I asked the exact same question in the article. And I mentioned that "this point is argued ad infinitum on climbing forums..." Probably will be. :-)

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Feb 27, 2013
Stoked...
Brian wrote:
Morgan, The trad route Forest Fire is pretty much the same route as the bolted route Fresh Bag. Is it a foot or two off in places? Maybe. Only ethical purists will argue how appropriate it was to bolt it. I don't really care. IMHO it is better off bolted. You said, "if I solo a route with a rope and place one piece of gear at the top is that a trad climb?" I asked the exact same question in the article. And I mentioned that "this point is argued ad infinitum on climbing forums..." Probably will be. :-)


Cool - glad you brought those types of questions up in the article. And your spot on with regards to the debating! Looks like you took down your sport climbing page... what happened?

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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Feb 27, 2013
CaptainMo wrote:
Cool - glad you brought those types of questions up in the article. And your spot on with regards to the debating! Looks like you took down your sport climbing page... what happened?


I just changed the link.
climbri.com/CT-Sport-Guide.htm

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Feb 27, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
nick manning wrote:
I'd bolt up whatever area he frequents and then some.


All climbers in CT are lucky you don't live there. It's attitudes like yours that perpetuate bolt wars. There's been a "bolt rebellion" going on in CT for decades. It's probably best you stay out if it you don't understand the history.

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By nick manning
From superior,az
Feb 27, 2013
Marc H wrote:
All climbers in CT are lucky you don't live there. It's attitudes like yours that perpetuate bolt wars. There's been a "bolt rebellion" going on in CT for decades. It's probably best you stay out if it you don't understand the history.

The history of one bully installing a trad dictatorship in CT? That one?
The history of one man going to other peoples areas and destroying hard work?

The history of one egomaniac guidebook author?

The only person perpetuating bolt wars is him.


Its wimpy apologists like you who have allowed this to perpetuate to the current level. Without negative consequences this guy has gone on for years.

Hes like a dog, it needs to be trained or it will keep shitting in the house.

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By nick manning
From superior,az
Feb 27, 2013
here is some history

"chopping the chopper
Online News Article
By: Jeff Squire, Western Mass Climbers Coalition

On July 16, 2007, Ken Nichols, a veteran rock climber and infamous bolt chopper from Connecticut, pled guilty to charges of violating a No Trespass Order and received a Continuation Without a Finding on willful destruction of property under $250 in Orange District Court, Orange, Massachusetts. The plea was the result of charges filed against Mr. Nichols for chopping bolts at Farley Ledge on April 27, 2007; an incident that had an eyewitness account. The charges and subsequent plea agreement were the result of a collaborative effort by the Western Massachusetts Climbers’ Coalition, landowners and the Town of Erving police department.

Originally, six Trespass Notices had been delivered to Mr. Nichols in June of 2005 prohibiting him from entering both Farley Ledge and Mormon Hollow properties, two popular crags in western Massachusetts managed in part by the WMCC. The initial charges against Mr. Nichols for the chopping incident at Farley Ledge included the trespass violation and a felony charge for destruction of personnel property valued at over $250.

Mr. Nichols plea agreement was the result of negotiations by members of the WMCC and Mr. Nichols attorney as well as the Northwestern DA Office. Conditions of his plea agreement included two years probation, a $250 fine, prohibition of him entering five western Massachusetts crags and the prohibition of him chopping or damaging any bolts or hangers on any climbing route.

This decision marks the end of a 3-year concerted effort by the WMCC to protect area crags from being repeatedly damaged. In addition, it demonstrates the effectiveness of a collaborative working group aiming to protect valuable climbing resources and makes a significant lawful statement about the actions and conduct of Mr. Nichols over the past 15-20 years."

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By nick manning
From superior,az
Feb 27, 2013
whoa he must have pissed these dudes off! more history...

see i'm educating myself on the history!

Feb 2001

A well-known rock route at East Peak - Dol Guldur - has been defaced by vandals. On Feb 3rd 2001, the author went to East Peak for a day of climbing with Connecticut climbing pioneer Ken Nichols. We found the crux topout hold had been battered with a hammer and the broken hammer had been left behind. The top of an anchor tree had been broken off. At the bottom, I saw that the right hand start holds had been smashed, as had been noted by Mr. Nichols a week before. Since that time, a week later, Mr. Nichols found that the top of the cliff had been further defaced by the carving of the letter K and holds along the length of the route had been battered or smashed, indicating that someone had rappelled the route to do the damage. The crux is now probably a half grade harder as a consequence. In addition, the vandals carved "Hi Ken" in the against Mr. Nichols in the vicinity of the top of Dol Guldur.

Not long before, there was a confrontation at East Peak, initiated by Bill Little and and David Indino against Mr. Nichols. Mr. Indino, who has a police record (including threatening, breach of peace, and third degree assault), made threats against Mr. Nichols, and was later arrested by the Meriden police, apparently on a warrant from Waterbury. It remains unknown whether these individuals are responsible for these acts.

In any event, these vandalous acts should not be tolerated. Anyone with information should contact the Meriden police.

Dol Guldur is one of the most frequently climbed routes in the state. Mr. Nichols holds a record of over five thousand ascents, and has climbed the route more than fifty times in one day.

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By CJC
Feb 27, 2013
nick manning wrote:
The only person perpetuating bolt wars is him.


delusional

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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Feb 27, 2013
modern man
CJC wrote:
delusional

as "theFish" RIP would say, who else? name them

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By jim.dangle
Feb 27, 2013
nick manning wrote:
The history of one bully installing a trad dictatorship in CT? That one? The history of one man going to other peoples areas and destroying hard work? The history of one egomaniac guidebook author? The only person perpetuating bolt wars is him. Its wimpy apologists like you who have allowed this to perpetuate to the current level. Without negative consequences this guy has gone on for years. Hes like a dog, it needs to be trained or it will keep shitting in the house.


I don't know anyone who would defend Ken Nichols but most people I know don't want to see trad climbs bolted over and would never knowingly bolt up a line someone else had freed. Certainly not without permission. And certainly a climb easily top-roped.

I think the point someone else made earlier was that most of us in New England don't want to see climbing driven by extremism of any kind (or from either side of the debate). Bolting is just like chipping: you can't take back. For that reason its good to proceed with a lot of caution and with respect for the past. New England isn't much of destination in the climbing world, but it has a history of bold first ascents. Younger climbers should try to emulate the past not deface it.

For the record, plenty of chopping has gone on without Ken Nichols involvement. Bolts were chopped as recently as last year in Gloucester MA (something I didn't agree with).

Jim



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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Feb 28, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
nick manning wrote:
Its wimpy apologists like you who have allowed this to perpetuate to the current level.


When did I apologize for KN? I think KN's behavior is atrocious. I think it's equally atrocious to bolt someone else's route out of revenge. Especially when it's terribly obvious to everyone (except maybe you) that he and his minions are going to chop the bolts, further damaging the rock. Doing so brings you down to their level. Just because he acted first doesn't make your behavior any better in my view. It might actually be worse.

Do you truly not understand that over-bolting some pieces of rock for the sake of revenge will just perpetuate the bolt war? You're incredibly ignorant and short-sighted if so. Not trying to be a jerk, just point out the obvious truth to the matter.

Make no mistake about it, I think that KN is a zealot who has damaged some of the rock in New England and New York permanently because he thinks that everyone should live by his rules even though his rules are far from consensus.

You talk about Dol Guldur being vandalized. I feel like it was someone with your same exact attitude that was responsible for the vandalization. I know that KN loved that route (I've climbed it with him in my early years before I knew his history) and I'm sure that's why that route was targeted. Now all climbers are suffering with vandalized rock because of someone like you--someone with a desire for revenge. It's stupid, fucked up, and makes everyone's climbing that much less enjoyable.

Nick Manning wrote:
The only person perpetuating bolt wars is him.


Perpetuating a bolt war is a two-way street. It simply can't be perpetuated with one person and one perspective on bolts. I find it incredibly difficult to believe you don't understand that. If you take even a second to think about it, I think it should be obvious to even the most obtuse climber.

"An eye for an eye just makes the world go blind."

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By nick manning
From superior,az
Feb 28, 2013
I found all that info doing a few google searches, it was very surprising to say the least. I don't condone outright vandalism however no one person should dictate what goes on in an entire state.

Thankfully I live in AZ. And don't worry i won't be visiting yuppy land CT EVER. CT is the place to use the bathroom between NY and Boston.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Feb 28, 2013
Bocan
nick manning wrote:
Thankfully I live in AZ. And don't worry i won't be visiting yuppy land CT EVER. CT is the place to use the bathroom between NY and Boston.


Sounds like you don't know much about CT.

What's AZ then? The best place to cross the border between Mexico and the rest of the US? Or the best place to start a meth lab?

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By guy bon
Feb 28, 2013
yup...
I think an over-looked part of this discussion is the existence of mixed routes in CT. I know that at Chatfield Hollow, Firewall, and West Rock there are at least a couple mixed routes. These are not contrived either. Bolts are only added where they are necessary. The people establishing these routes aren't out to create convenient sport crags. If people actually lead these routes they would understand that. The only fully bolted sport crags in CT are Bear Rock and Pine Ledge which are both complete choss.


I also think that this "grey area" would not be considered grey by 99.99% of logical human beings if they actually tied in and led Fresh Bag or any other of the bolted "trad routes". to even call some of these routes "trad routes" is ridiculous. They are top rope routes. This is how they would be listed in any guidebook in any popular climbing area in the country. There is no reason for Connectikooks to pretend that they are badass, cutting-edge, trad climbers. We aren't. The majority of CT climbers don't even lead.

Anyhow, CT is a beautiful state if you stay on the coast or visit the northern corners. I would hate to have people think of the entire state as a latrine.

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By Nick Barczak
Feb 28, 2013
...
"Thankfully I live in AZ. And don't worry i won't be visiting yuppy land CT EVER. CT is the place to use the bathroom between NY and Boston."

Hey! I resent that! I grew up in CT, and may actually be moving back there this year.

I could say a ton of equally distasteful things about AZ, but I'll refrain. I've learned in my short 31 years, that there is good and bad about ANY PLACE one might choose to live.

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Feb 28, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
nick manning wrote:
I found all that info doing a few google searches, it was very surprising to say the least.


It's interesting that you had an opinion of what to do about KN before you did some research. And it's funny that you presented it like you were the first person to have that idea.

Nick Manning wrote:
I'd bolt up whatever area he frequents and then some.

Nick Manning wrote:
I don't condone outright vandalism...


You don't see a discrepancy between those two statements? Methinks you will if given just a little bit of thought.

Nick Manning wrote:
..however no one person should dictate what goes on in an entire state.


I fully agree. Unfortunately your answer to someone that tries to dictate the rules is vandalism, which has proven over several decades to be ineffective. In fact, it's proven to backfire on those that have tried it. The result being that the rock and all climbers suffer with a less enjoyable rock climbing experience.

Nick Manning wrote:
Thankfully I live in AZ. And don't worry i won't be visiting yuppy land CT EVER. CT is the place to use the bathroom between NY and Boston.


I grew up in CT and lived in AZ for years. Given your shitty attitude, I think it's a great idea that you stay out of CT. Climbing in general doesn't need people with your attitude. I really don't think it's very much different than KN's.

FLAG


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