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Eldo sucks AKA the crag blasphemer's thread
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By John Shultz
From Osaka, Japan
Oct 30, 2012
Above the beautifully positioned routes at Makapuu. Oahu, HI.

+1 for the sentiment that looking at Eldo outside of its phenomenal nearby rock contexts is misunderstood.

I have climbed only Keiners on Longs, but isn't the Diamond considered world class?


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By John Shultz
From Osaka, Japan
Oct 30, 2012
Above the beautifully positioned routes at Makapuu. Oahu, HI.

Oh, one final thought. If the rain at the New bothers you, you need to discover the overhanging areas and the killer boating that goes with the climbing like peas and carrots.


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By JohnWesely
From Red River Gorge
Oct 30, 2012
Gunking

Alex Quitiquit wrote:
also +1 for granite ruining your perspective on everything. once you've flavored some unbelievable granite routes, including alpine exposure and perfect friction filled splitters, you lose relative understanding


I disagree with this.I thought the quality of the climbing in yosemite to be pretty underwhelming. The length and convenience more than makes up for it, but it was rare that I did a pitch I would bother to do if it were on the ground at a local sandstone crag.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Oct 30, 2012
El Chorro

jmeizis wrote:
I don't like that definition. Maybe it's because I'm poor but I can't think of any rock climbing destination outside of North America that I'm willing to fly to. I would for example try to get the money together to make a trip to SA to go to Patagonia and the Cordillera Blanca but even having a friend who lives down there I can't convince myself to spend the money to go down there and just go to say Cochamo. Same for Europe. I'd go for the Alps and if I did some cragging awesome but I'm not making a special trip out there to go to say Ceuse. You could say i'm being alpinecentric but even for alpine I'm more willing to go to places that are closer to me. Classic is a rough defenition. I'd argue it's somewhere you're willing to save up time and money just to go to. In which case I don't know that I'd put any Colorado areas in that category except maybe The Black and RMNP. It also depends on what kind of climbing you're into. The two areas I just named don't mean crap to a sport climber.


The definition works - you just don't seem interested in seeing other parts of the world. If you were, then you'd be willing to spend money to see the best areas of the world (the ones that aren't in N. America).

I think to travel outside of North America you have to be going for more than just climbing. Sure there are a lot of world class areas in SA, Europe, etc (world class no matter what your definition). But you could spend your whole life in NA and not see it all. So to leave that continent you must be motivated by the need to travel and see different things. If you are into that, then you'll spend a lot to travel.

I'm no alpinist but Chamonix and the Western Swiss Alps are just two of many areas that I'd guess any alpine climber would want to see - even if just for their historical significance and amazingly different cultures. If you don't care about history and culture, you'll probably end up saving your money for longer trips to RMNP, Tetons, Bugs, etc.

As far as Ceuse, you don't just go there. You combine a trip to Ceuse with a trip to Verdon. If you're a sport climber and don't have those two areas on your "world class" list then something is wrong with you.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Oct 30, 2012
El Chorro

JohnWesely wrote:
I disagree with this.I thought the quality of the climbing in yosemite to be pretty underwhelming. The length and convenience more than makes up for it, but it was rare that I did a pitch I would bother to do if it were on the ground at a local sandstone crag.


I haven't climbed in the Valley but I can think of a few dozen pitches that I'd absolutely LOVE to climb. Maybe you missed them? Who knows - I guess there is a reason I spent so much time in the High Sierra and the Needles last summer instead of joining the shit show in the Valley.

PS, if you had climbed at the Needles you'd understand the granite thing.


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By R.Walters
Oct 30, 2012

willeslinger wrote:
Very true. Gorgeous routes. Basalt corner cracks are quite awesome.


Sorry to be pedantic, but Devils Tower is not basalt but rather it is composed of phonolite. However, the rest of what you say is spot on.


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By Drew Spaulding
From Boulder, CO
Oct 30, 2012
Lowering out on the Mescalito... '94

Eldo is the best "purple granite" any one's ever seen...


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By Tits McGee
From Boulder, CO
Oct 30, 2012
How I Send

Eldo only sucks to some folks because it's ridiculously hard climbing. I have climbed some great routes that I would consider 5.7 to 5.8 only to discover that it's an Eldo 5.6.

Hence the obnoxious comment, "that would be 6 in Eldo."


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By Ed Wright
Oct 30, 2012
Magic Ed

Alex Quitiquit wrote:
also +1 for granite ruining your perspective on everything. once you've flavored some unbelievable granite routes, including alpine exposure and perfect friction filled splitters, you lose relative understanding


Why is it, then, that most of the world's best climbers prefer limestone???


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Oct 30, 2012

jmeizis wrote:
I don't like that definition. Maybe it's because I'm poor but I can't think of any rock climbing destination outside of North America that I'm willing to fly to.


So your definition of "world class" necessitates that it only occur on one continent (out of 7 possible), and in only one country?

Admittedly, I haven't climbed over seas, but a critical (if implicit) part of any definition is that it be comparable to the very best on other continents. Otherwise, its not world class. The definition is meaningless if you're not in principle willing to check out the climbing on other continents.


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Oct 30, 2012

Ed Wright wrote:
Why is it, then, that most of the world's best climbers prefer limestone???


Because most granites don't form the good holds in steep sections like limestone does. Limestone is terrifically featured for face climbing, so the sky is the limit for steep, gymnastic, face climbing.

For crack climbing or alpine climbing, granite is where its at. I think a great many people who dislike Eldo dislike gear-protected face climbing. I know that if I'm going to climb a face, I'd prefer it be bolt protected, and if I'm going to climb a crack, it should be as singular as possible.


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By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
Oct 30, 2012
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.

Reggie Walters wrote:
Sorry to be pedantic, but Devils Tower is not basalt but rather it is composed of phonolite. However, the rest of what you say is spot on.


Not pedantic, that's really interesting. I always found similarities in the featured corners at Trout Creek and Frenchman's Coulee similar to Devil's Tower, assumed it was the same rock. What other climbing areas are formed from phonolite that you know of? Similar corner crack features?


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By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
Oct 30, 2012
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.

I think y'all are inferring things from jmeizis' statement that he didn't mean. Admittedly what I'm about to say is the same thing. But I don't think dude is averse to exploring another nation, nor is he saying that N America is the only continent worth climbing in. Overseas travel is expensive, you could really do two, three N America trips for the price of one trip overseas. So it's hard to find fault in the sentiment that, if you're spending that money, you should spend it on some epic shit that you're really psyched on. IE, climbing a historic mountain.


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By R.Walters
Oct 30, 2012

willeslinger wrote:
Not pedantic, that's really interesting. I always found similarities in the featured corners at Trout Creek and Frenchman's Coulee similar to Devil's Tower, assumed it was the same rock. What other climbing areas are formed from phonolite that you know of? Similar corner crack features?


I agree. The jointing is similar to the hexagonal columns at basalt areas, but the rock composition and texture are closer to granite but without the silica (quartz).

Apparently this place, Boren, in the Czech Republic is also phonolite. Don't bother booking a flight though, it looks like a world class choss pile!


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By Ben Dover
Oct 30, 2012

Ben Dover wrote:
is there an area with more deaths in the last 20 yrs. than eldo?

Bump cuz Im genuinely curios about this


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By Steve Sangdahl
From eldo sprngs,co
Oct 30, 2012

As for deaths over last 20years ,I would think that Yosemite would be on top, but you might have to consider that more climbers go to Yosemite because it is a WORLD CLASS climbing area. Steve S.


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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
Oct 30, 2012
downclimb off the First Flatiron <br />photo by TooTallTim

I couldn't find specific data for Eldo so I estimated based on the # of victims, % of fatalities, % Eldo incidents. I get an average of 3.2 deaths per year for the period between 1998 and 2011.

John Dill reports 2.5 deaths per year for Yosemite for the period between 1970 and 1990.

The RMR report notes 5.5% of Boulder Co climbing victims died versus 6% in Yosemite (1988 Yosemite paper).

Caveats
- The % of fatalities may be higher or lower in Eldo (study for Boulder Co as a whole).
- Time periods are very different.
- There aren't good stats to normalize the deaths by the level of the activity. Dill estimates 25-50K climber-days per year.

REFERENCES
2012. Daniel A. Lack, Alison L. Sheets, Jacob M Entin; David C Christenson (Rocky Mt Rescue). Rock Climbing Rescues in Boulder County, Colorado and Eldorado Canyon State Park, Colorado, 19982011

John Dill. Staying Alive


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By CJC
Oct 30, 2012

so climbing deaths increase or decrease a crag's world class status?

weird angle you're taking here


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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 30, 2012
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater Cliffs in Adirondack Park NY.

Will is right, I'm not saying I'm averse to travelling outside of my own country (only been to Mexico and Canada though...) but how am I supposed to classify a place I can't afford to go to? It's not equal comparisons because the place I can afford to go to has more use to me than the place that I can only dream about and therefore will always come out on top. Does that mean you can only have an opinion on what qualifies as world class if you can afford to travel? How can you even make a comparison of areas you haven't been to?

Aside from that how do we know how people in France feel about Eldo? That's glossing over a bunch of differences in just climbing culture. Not to mention the other differences in lifestyle just because of growing up somewhere besides the US.

I'm not saying the definition is crap I just think that "you have to be willing to travel to another continent" is kind of arbitrary. You did say "working defintion", correct? Needs some more work. I think there's gotta be more teeth than just will and principle. In principle I'm willing to travel to England to go climb gritstone and drink pints at the local pub but in reality I'm not spending a whole months income to go basically pebble wrestle in the rain with out a lot of other stuff happening on the same trip.

I'm just a poor bastard who hasn't climbed outside the US though so...


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By Phil Persson
From Denver, Colorado
Oct 31, 2012
summit of Brenta Spire after climbing SE Shoulder variation, Bugaboos August 2010

Northern Norway... terrible weather, hard to get to, epic amounts of choss, moss, and bird poo.... BUT, when it's good, it's unbelievably good (see: South Pillar on Stetind (14 pitches of Yosemite-quality granite to a Bugaboos-esque summit over the sea... or 'Vestpillaren', 1500 feet of splitter cracks/corners on an island that looks like something out of a storybook). You might see another party or two if it's a sunny day and you're on a super classic route, but more likely it will just be you and the rock and the fjord across the valley with 1000+ meter walls waiting for first ascents.


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By Ben Walburn
Oct 31, 2012
"This definitely beats lying in a pile of saw dust all day"

I'm psyched so many of you hate Eldo!!! Keep telling everyone that will listen to you that it sucks.


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By EMT
Oct 31, 2012
me bouldering in MT

Ryan Williams wrote:
That's a pretty good definition. So let's see, I live in London and can be at a half dozen or more "world class" areas in less than 8 hours for a lot less than $1500. So if I were going to fly to N. America to climb, it would be at one of the following areas: - Yosemite (or anywhere in the High Sierra) - Southern Utah (not just IC but Castle Valley, etc). - Wind River Range (was gonna last year but bailed - never been) - Bugaboos - Sqamish? - Cochise Stronghold (great winter weather and no bullshit) - New River Gorge (including the Red if the weather sucks) - Gunks and Dacks because it is only a 7 hour flight and only about $600 - NC because it's my home and the flight is same as for NY


Take the (?) out from behind Squamish;-) ! It's as world class as it gets.


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By mozeman
Oct 31, 2012

Ed Wright wrote:
I said that and I stand by my belief. Have you ever experienced the amazing quartzite at Devil's Lake? If not, you need to stop laughing and go check it out.



I have not for good, reason, that reason being it is NOT world class. For a climbing crag to be considered World class , in many people's eyes it has to first be considered a destination. I honestly do not think very many climbers plan a trip AROUND or TO devils lake. the climbing may be phenomenal but it is not world class I can guarantee you that. Sure they may be a few climbs that would be 5-star at any crag but that still doesn't make it world class. People from the midwest travel there sure, but that is because it is the closest crag to them. There is a reason the best climbers in the world flock to other areas such as Spain, France, the valley, RRG, etc. And no it is not just because these places also offer hard climbs.

I'm sure that you love devils lake and the climbing is fabulous, but to say a place like that is world class is just silly. The location and short climbing season alone eliminate it as an ideal climbing destination in America alone, let alone the WORLD.

world class: no; mid-west class(?): yes




But enough about crappy midwest climbing, we are talking about how much eldo blows!!!!!!


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By mozeman
Oct 31, 2012

Ed Wright wrote:
Why is it, then, that most of the world's best climbers prefer limestone???

because the hardest routes tend to be on limestone, while the most fun alpine routes (and about half the best trad route [the other half being sandstone])tend to be on granite


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By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Oct 31, 2012

mozeman wrote:
I have not for good, reason, that reason being it is NOT world class. For a climbing crag to be considered World class , in many people's eyes it has to first be considered a destination. I honestly do not think very many climbers plan a trip AROUND or TO devils lake. the climbing may be phenomenal but it is not world class I can guarantee you that. Sure they may be a few climbs that would be 5-star at any crag but that still doesn't make it world class. People from the midwest travel there sure, but that is because it is the closest crag to them. There is a reason the best climbers in the world flock to other areas such as Spain, France, the valley, RRG, etc. And no it is not just because these places also offer hard climbs. I'm sure that you love devils lake and the climbing is fabulous, but to say a place like that is world class is just silly. The location and short climbing season alone eliminate it as an ideal climbing destination in America alone, let alone the WORLD. world class: no; mid-west class(?): yes But enough about crappy midwest climbing, we are talking about how much eldo blows!!!!!!


It should be noted that Ed didn't claim that Devil's Lake is world class; his claim was about the rock quality. He claim that it is the climbing area with the best rock, not that it is the best rock climbing area.

This is a really important distinction. Rock quality is just one factor in climbing quality, and it usually is not the most imporant factor in assessing the quality of an area. For me, it is probably 5th or 6th on the list, provided some minimum level of adequate rock quality. I'll take steep, physical, interesting movement on choss (Rifle, Maple, etc) any day over slabby, less interesting (to me) movement on the best rock around (Idyllwild slab climbig, etc).

So, depending on your criteria, Devil's Lake may have the best rock quality around, but that doesn't make it w aworld class climbing area.


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