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Devil's Head guidebook poaching
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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Sep 20, 2011
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
Tony B wrote:
... Not Upset about the book including Devil's Head: ...Crag Dweller...


I didn't say that I was or wasn't upset...just commented on the 'poaching' claim.

It doesn't really matter what I think about the book including DH but it does seem like a personal issue couldn't be resolved and, as a result, they both missed out on an opportunity to help the climbing community in a small, but nice way.

There isn't much need for DH in another guidebook. A very good guide for the area was just recently published. But, it was included in the new guide, increasing publication cost of the new guide. And, I can only assume that cost will be passed onto the consumer - me and others on here.

But, since the rest of the new guide is new and/or improved, those of us who want that info will have to pay again for info we already have.

What would've been really cool is if the two authors had gotten over whatever the issue was, promoted each other's book within their own, and passed along the savings to the climbing community.

Not to mention the fact that they'd collectively be saving trees in their production of books covering an area was ravaged by wildfire.

FWIW, I don't personally know either of the parties involved and I have no bias. And, I don't really care who stole whose lunch money.

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By JPVallone
Sep 20, 2011
Wombat wrote:
We wouldn't have these sorts of issues if the incredibly motivated people that make these guidebooks spent their time contributing to open websites (like Mountain Project) rather than making guides they don't make enough money from anyway. With a little web-site improvement Mountain Project could be a full on guidebook resource without the glossy cover. We would also have FREE access to route information... Or would we?


-1 Two Thumbs Down!

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By JPVallone
Sep 20, 2011
clackmon wrote:
this thread smells like pee pee


+1

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By Tom R
From Denver, CO
Sep 20, 2011
self portrait
Jason Haas wrote:
So those here worrying about plagiarism and accuracy can rest assured that we have done our own independent research.

I apologize for using the word plagiarism in my earlier post. I jumped the gun a bit, since I have not seen your upcoming guide.
I do have to ask what exactly led you to the crags and routes on the Lower West Side, though. It certainly was not the first ascentionists, who have mostly commented on this thread and have not been interviewed by you for descriptions or route/crag names. And none of those crags or routes are mentioned in magazine articles since they did not exist until very recently. The only known written source of information on approaches, route names, descritions and crag names in the Lower West Side of Devil's Head is Tod's book. So I hope you can see how I would jump to that conclusion.

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By percious
From Bear Creek, CO
Sep 20, 2011
Hanging out with some scooter trash.
Tom R wrote:
It certainly was not the first ascentionists, who have mostly commented on this thread and have not been interviewed by you for descriptions or route/crag names. And none of those crags or routes are mentioned in magazine articles since they did not exist until very recently.


I can back this up by saying I was the FA on most of the TRAD lines indicated in Tod's book for the LWS. I did not publish that data to MP other than in the form of pictures of the ascent. I was not interviewed.

However, I think it is difficult to make a claim of plagiarism if you use someone's guide book to find a climb and describe it yourself. It would seem non-sensicle from a standpoint to "patent" climbs in this way. This is happening in the food industry and it is a travesty. I don't think we want the same ethics brought to our sport.

What do I know? I'm just a hippie who cut off his pony tail and who tries to climb whenever he can. I realize people put effort into developing areas (me too!) and it's great to give back to those developers. Maybe it's more appropriate to ask for a donation for the guide book like they do for Horsetooth and Poudre. I know that donating my time and some bolts to the cause of creating safe, classic sport climbs has been well worth the effort, and I would hate to see disagreements between various climbing factions ruin that.

I choose not to decide, and I hope that makes neither friend nor foe of my good climbing friends, including those whom I have utmost respect as a mentor and also the gentle hearted climber that gave me a ride one time for my lead test.

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By Peter L K
From Cincinnati, OH
Sep 20, 2011
rrg
This thread is ridiculous. If Jason didn't plagiarize, more power to him.

No one writes guidebooks for the money. I personally think that donating any proceeds is very commendable, but I wouldn't expect it, and I don't mind if authors take all profits to the bank. You work hard at your job, and they probably work harder at theirs.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Sep 21, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.
I'd like to make sure I understand this correctly, and I simply don't know the answer:
Tod, do you donate the money from your books somewhere or is it a matter of you using the cash you get from them to pay for bolts you install? It's not a huge deal to me if it is the latter, but all this talk about donating makes me think maybe I'm missing out on something here?!?!?

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By Bobby Flowers
From Tacoma, Wa
Sep 21, 2011
Breakfast of Champions
AlKing for president!

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By Lee Smith
Sep 21, 2011
You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE" your rope! <br />(Back by Popular Demand.  There you are Mom) <br /> <br />
Genius! Jason and Tod are getting a ton of free publicity for their guidebooks. They are probably in cahoots and high-fiving each other at this very moment. Well played Sirs!

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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Sep 22, 2011
There was a question about where the $$ from the guidebook goes. The majority of the money goes to hardware for new routes and increasingly to upgrade & improve old routes, including quite a few at Table Mountain and Clear Creek Canyon, in addition to DH.

The total net proceeds, after printing and distribution costs for the 3 versions of the book is about $8000 to date.

The net expenses so far are well over $20,000 for:

bolts
hangers
anchor hardware
drills (3)
bits
wire brushes - dozens
batteries
miscellaneous tools like funkness devices to remove old bolts
pruning shears
tool repair cost
crowbars
chopped & damaged ropes
and whatever else I forgot


I suspect that this is a similar scenario for the crews from Shelf Road, Tensleep, Spearfish Canyon, Penitente, Red River Gorge, etc., so that's why I like to see the major contributors to an area also do the guidebook.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Sep 22, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.
Tod,
Thanks for addressing that directly.

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By Ben Schneider
From Westminster, CO
Sep 22, 2011
Ben Schneider
So, I've been sitting on the sidelines reading this thread for the last few days, but I'd like to make one key point that has been missed so far. Jason is not the only author involved with this book. If you have criticisms of our upcoming book, they should be directed not just at Jason but also at myself and our co-author, Craig. Yes, Jason took the lead on the project, but our decisions have been collaborative, and we all stand behind them.

That said, the idea that we've poached anything is preposterous. We've all spent many days bushwhacking uphill to climb the crap routes as well as the stellar ones. We've all dropped countless dollars on gas, have sacrificed ski days (Craig and Jason more than me!), have had the screaming barfies at least once a season, and have cursed old, manky hardware way more than once. 99.9% of the routes in this book have been climbed or belayed by one of us (or a friend with whom we were climbing that day). The other .1% (or less, maybe) were too scary for any of us to tackle (The Naked Face at Top of the World, for example). And yes, DH is included in that 99.9%.

Our intent has always been to provide the community with an excellent guidebook for an area (the entire area) that desperately needs one. The Platte is amazing; more people should climb there. That's all we want with this book. If you like it, buy it. If you don't, spend your money on Ĺ a cam or something. I hear Aliens are coming back.

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By Alais 1
Sep 22, 2011
Who the fuck cares, with all the grammatical and spelling errors in tdzillas book who in their right mind would trust a bolt he placed? Yes I have met him and yes he has heard my disagreements but why trust you're life to a bolter that cant even get his book edited corectly? FUCK DEVIL'S HEAD, GO JASON. And if it really matters go to tensleep tdzilla is just copying that format anyway.

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By slim
Administrator
Sep 23, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
i guess i am having a hard time drawing a parallel between one's grammatical ability and their ability to place a bolt. by the way, you spelled 'alias' wrong (your MP name), which seems kind of ironic.

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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Sep 23, 2011
Perhaps Mr. Alais 1 has Devil's HEAD confused with Devil's TOWER. The Devil's Tower book is somewhat of a knock off of Huey's style.

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By sstrauss
From Denver
Sep 23, 2011
Dream Weaver in it's death throws
johnL wrote:
... the Devils Head book came out and I've not seen it, is it true that it's similar to the TenSleep book? That alone might be more slanderous, insulting, and downright hurtful than anything else in this thread. I hope that's not true.


I, in no way want any part of this argument, but just for posterity...
I bought the newest version of Tzilla's book, I don't believe it resembles the Ten Sleep book at all, except maybe in size/dimensions. The humor is not there that the Ten Sleep book has, but nonetheless Tod's book is a worthwhile piece of beta for the area. I have not picked up Jason's book, so can't comment there, but my climbing partners know the Splatte fairly well, so...

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By slim
Administrator
Sep 23, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
agreed. the orenzak books are abortions. the DT book is basically worthless and seems to be just an attempt at junior high art or something.

i like tod's DH book, and peruse through it (and other guidebooks) on my bus commute. DH has been pretty handy, as it has enough good quality climbs and variety that you can go with folks who have different interests and still find routes to suit everybody.

if he writes a new one in a few years, i'll probably buy it too.

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By Dave J
Sep 23, 2011
AIKingís post was right on. It reminds me of the climate change ďdebateĒ. Ignorant people all worked up into a frenzy will not listen to reason, or more simply put, fact does not overcome emotion. Climate change is based on scientific fact, yet people donít ďbelieveĒ in it as if it was a religion. The issue was first around plagiarism, when that was proven incorrect, the Tod supporters raged on for their anger could not be subdued.

Furthermore, why is this hatred only pointed at Jason? His book isnít even out yet. No one has mentioned that Stewart Green published information to the Headstone in his Rock Climbing Colorado book, which came out over a year ago. Let me guess youíre arguments Ė 1. Devilís Head is only a small part of Greenís book. Counterpoint, Devilís Head is only a small part of the Platte. 2. Itís not a comprehensive guide to Devilís Head, it only contains a small part of it. Counter question, whereís the line? If Jasonís book included only 10% would that be ok? What about 20%, 50% still acceptable? 90% too much? Just the trad? Well thatís about 25%. Include a little bit of sport and bam, now weíre looking at something close to 50% of the total routes. Again, whereís your line?

Tom R wrote:
It will be interesting to pick out informational errors that transferred from Rampart Range Rocks to the new guide.


The issue on plagiarism. Tom are you saying Tod did that intentionally to try and ďgetĒ Jason? I hope not because that would suck for anyone using his guide (like me, who is annoyed with the errors). What if Jason never included Devilís Head in the Platte book? Those informational errors would still exist and probably never be corrected. However, for anyone who has ever actually taken a close look at Tod's book will know it is completely screwed up when it comes to bolt counts. Todís ban wagon Ė have you ever noticed this? If so, why do you defend it so? If not, how can you be so passionate about something you arenít really all that familiar with? For example, the second pitch to Rampart Rage (the bolted dihedral pitch) has 15 bolts on it, not 10 as described in Todís book. I have climbed at quite a few areas at Devilís Head and I donít think there is a single crag mentioned in Todís book that is not without inaccurate bolt counts. Heck, probably 80% of the routes have wrong bolt counts in his book. I mentioned this before and people jumped down my throat. (I took that post down because I didnít want a flame war like this one Ė but like climate change, facts are facts.) The grammar/spelling thing I can overlook and Iím not sure what Alais 1 was trying to make about the bolting, but the bolt counts are wrong more than not. This could be an easy way to say Jason was plagiarizing, if the same wrong bolt counts appeared in his book. After all, thatís fact, right? We can all argue how hard something is, or how many stars it gets, but we all count the same way so bolt counts should not be open to debate or interpretation. Now look back at the Green book and youíll see the same inaccurate bolt counting. For example, I climbed Rock Nazi at the Headstone and it has 14 bolts, not 15 as listed in Todís book. Green also says 15 bolts. Did he climb the route? I donít know, but itís curious to see the wrong information posted in both guidebooks, yet not one of you Tod supporters are jumping on Green about it (not that you should, Iím just saying). Did Tod or any of his "crew" contact Green and say "don't print anything about Devil's Head - that crag in public National Forest is ours!"? The real funny part is you have no idea if Jason will do a good book or a bad one nor do you know if the same wrong information will appear in his book. However, it is very easy to see the same wrong information appearing in an already existing book Ė Rock Climbing Colorado.

Tzilla Rapdrilla wrote:
There was a question about where the $$ from the guidebook goes. The majority of the money goes to hardware for new routes and increasingly to upgrade & improve old routes, including quite a few at Table Mountain and Clear Creek Canyon, in addition to DH. The total net proceeds, after printing and distribution costs for the 3 versions of the book is about $8000 to date. The net expenses so far are well over $20,000 for: bolts hangers anchor hardware drills (3) bits wire brushes - dozens batteries miscellaneous tools like funkness devices to remove old bolts pruning shears tool repair cost crowbars chopped & damaged ropes and whatever else I forgot I suspect that this is a similar scenario for the crews from Shelf Road, Tensleep, Spearfish Canyon, Penitente, Red River Gorge, etc., so that's why I like to see the major contributors to an area also do the guidebook.


A: this is not true for the Red River Gorge as almost all of Ray Ellingtonís routes are trad. Porter Jarard would have that claim if anybody and his guidebook was deemed obsolete years ago. I canít speak for the other areas.

B: Your premise that the bolter should be the one making money off the guidebook is absurd. Really man? Iíll give it to you, Iíve climbed your routes and enjoyed them, but I do not enjoy the misinformation in your guidebook, nor your writing ability. Just because you can wield a drill does not mean you can wield a pen. Also I feel you have a gross over-representation of your contributions to the area. You did a lot, sure, but $20,000 of your own money? Looking at your own guidebook reveals 275 sport routes (the table in your intro) and doing a search on mountainproject reveals little, but some FA info. Letís take the Training ground for example. Many of those bolts are Perciousí or Mike Lane's - according to what's posted online. And in your book you mention other people that bolted (like Matt Samet at Wipeyur Buttress). I can't say for certain how many routes you bolted because your book omitts that. But letís be conservative and say you had your hand in 200 of the 275. I think thatís a generous ballpark, but letís use that number anyway. Again on mountainproject, routes with FA info says ďHead CrewĒ. Did you give all the ďcrewĒ the bolts or did some of them contribute hardware as well? The point is that if $20,000 went into the place, why do you get it all from guidebook sales? And by the way, compensation for the routes you already bolted is not a "donation" as you like to say all over the devil's head main page and the rest of this website. Look at the following route on mountainproject: Practice Run
mountainproject.com/v/practice...
The anchor bolts are yours but the other 5 bolts (says 6 in your book by the way) are Mike Laneís. Does Mike get the money for the 5 bolts back? Jason said he replaced anchors. I know heís done it other places too like the Flatirons (it's on mountainproject). But regardless, since when did the bolter get paid? This isn't Europe nor private property selling climbing like Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas.

Basically I see Jason's arguement as Devil's Head is part of the Platte. If so, then why shouldn't it be in a comprehensive guide where Devil's Head only comprises a small area? Flip the situation for a second - should SuperTopo not have come out with their Yosemite books because Reid already had a comprehensive book out? Didn't MacNamara "poach" his beta? Well one could argue that no, MacNamara didn't because all the routes in the Big Walls book he climbed, thus cleaning up some of the errors in Reid's book. It sounds like Jason has climbed all the routes as well, thus cleaning up any errors in Tod's book. Climate change is real people. Facts are facts.

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By The Hippy
From Boulder, Co
Sep 23, 2011
I don't know Todd, but I find his argument that he should be able to recover some of the money he spent on bolts by writing a guidebook a little silly. My guess is he put those routes up because he enjoys it. When did the climbing community start to owe a first ascentionist anything except a six pack - which I would gladly buy Todd a couple. And, if you are so worried about the cost of bolts stop bolting all the cracks at Devil's Head! Carrying a set of cams up the hill could have saved a whole bunch of coin.

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By mountainhick
From Black Hawk, CO
Sep 23, 2011
Wow, I get a headache reading this, and the more recent posts turned it into a migraine!!!

just one comment,

I prefer one AND the other to one against the other.

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By percious
From Bear Creek, CO
Sep 28, 2011
Hanging out with some scooter trash.
I wanted to correct a few pieces of mis-information as indicated by Dave J and others.

Tod has purchased the vast majority of the bolts I have seen placed in DH. That includes those bolts placed by others who are first ascentionists. If you do the math, it costs roughly $100 per route to put bolts in (don't forget cost of drill bits that wear out, batteries, and the drill itself). With your estimate of 200 routes, $20k would just about cover the costs of the bolts, but not the cost of creating copies of the book. It is true that others have contributed bolts, hangers, bits and drills.

Tod's not in it for the money guys. It's easy to understand why he want's to make a little money back on the bolts. It's so he can continue to make accessible more areas within DH.

I think the argument is one of ethics here. Tod's not out to make a buck off a DH guide. I am not sure that can be said for someone who spends their time climbing routes and describing them rather than developing them. It's not a terrible way to make a buck, but I'm not sure it's ethical to step on someone as hard working as Tod to do it.

As to your argument on the Headstone being included. The Headstone is simply one area in DH, and is quite a haul to get to at that. If someone visits that crag and wants more, Tod benefit's from it because that person may buy one of his guides. I think the issue is that Jason is providing a comprehensive guide, when he could have selected an area or two and therefore leave the climber to find more within a guide detailed for the area. This would be mutually beneficial as is the Colorado Climbs guide.

To those who commented on the quality of the guide book. I consider his book to be in the same class as other "modern" guidebooks that have been put forth by Fixed Pin and other recent publishers. Full color pictures, overhead maps, and graphical representation of climb difficulties make it easy to find what crags to visit.

As for bolted cracks. I'd like to know which climbs in particular you speak of. I've done quite a few crack climbs in DH and left the bolts off them. I've bolted climbs that could be considered "mixed" to make them consistent. So, blame me, or blame the FAs. In my experience Tod leaves HARD trad climbs alone and so if you want a 5.12 crack to hammer out the second ascent please, by all means PM me (i am not the FA). Tod's been respectful of my requests to leave climbs unbolted, and asked permission to bolt a route that I had climbed traditionally even though he had put in the last pitch of bolts before my FA.

cheers.
-chris

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By Bill Ballace
From Pullman,WA
Sep 28, 2011
If my arguments were unclear I apologies, but let me make the following points clear. I have never said that Tod's bolting entitles him to reap the guidebook benefits. What I have said is that the cost of equipping these routes comes at a not insignificant sum. I have made a point of saying things along the lines of people should buy RRR if they want to climb at DH and support future development. Most of the DH climbers who know and love it want to see money from book sales go to Tod for his hard work and dedication developing an area.

All guidebooks have mistakes. Jason's will no doubt have a mistake or two and will hopefully be a big improvement over the Hubbel guide. I like to count bolts before jumping on something and usually bring a few extra just in case.

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By Dave Meyers
From Golden, CO
Sep 28, 2011
Dave J wrote:
AIKingís post was right on. It reminds me of the climate change ďdebateĒ. Ignorant people all worked up into a frenzy will not listen to reason, or more simply put, fact does not overcome emotion. Climate change is based on scientific fact, yet people donít ďbelieveĒ in it as if it was a religion. The issue was first around plagiarism, when that was proven incorrect, the Tod supporters raged on for their anger could not be subdued. Facts are facts.


When Jason's article got published for Climbing and mentioned areas and routes at Devil's Head without proper citation of the source (book or author) in the beta section or within the text of the article; he was plagiarizing (not to mention the Hubbel, and Trout books as well). If he was a student of mine and did the same thing the issue would be brought to the Dean for academic misconduct. So actually, proven correct. Facts are facts after all.
The reason why I brought it up and called him on it the first place was because this was not an oversight, but deliberate, which makes it worse in my opinion.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Sep 28, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.
Dave Meyers wrote:
When Jason's article got published for Climbing and mentioned areas and routes at Devil's Head without proper citation of the source (book or author) in the beta section or within the text of the article; he was plagiarizing (not to mention the Hubbel, and Trout books as well). If he was a student of mine and did the same thing the issue would be brought to the Dean for academic misconduct. So actually, proven correct. Facts are facts after all. The reason why I brought it up and called him on it the first place was because this was not an oversight, but deliberate, which makes it worse in my opinion.

Glad you know what is going on in the editorial process, who actually writes what, and what their personal motivations are.
For that matter, if you were a psych student, you'd be challenged on your statements pretty harshly, and 'watched' for the rest of your years. If you were a law student or an English student, either, then people at the dean's office would ask you if you really understood what plagiarism is. The dean might have to ask you that, given your hypothetical situation.

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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Sep 28, 2011
Dave Meyers wrote:
When Jason's article got published for Climbing and mentioned areas and routes at Devil's Head without proper citation of the source (book or author) in the beta section or within the text of the article; he was plagiarizing (not to mention the Hubbel, and Trout books as well). If he was a student of mine and did the same thing the issue would be brought to the Dean for academic misconduct. So actually, proven correct. Facts are facts after all. The reason why I brought it up and called him on it the first place was because this was not an oversight, but deliberate, which makes it worse in my opinion.

I think I'm agreeing with Mr. Bubb when I say nonsense. It sounds like the article perhaps would have been more complete had it mentioned the major developer in the area, but plagiarism? No.

This whole thread is pretty entertaining. My take on it is that some bad decisions were made, but nothing illegal or even unethical has taken place. And the notion that someone with an expensive hobby that happens to be beneficial to others is somehow bestowed with the moral authority to monopolize a particular market related to said hobby is absurd.

This is America dammit!

FLAG


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