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By androo.daveass
From Portland
Jun 12, 2008
Working out the moves on Momma's Boy

check it out here:
www.mountainproject.com/v/california/yosemite_national_park/>>>

give it a go if you're around the valley and let me know what you think!

(hoping to post more photos soon)


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By Healyje
Jun 12, 2008
girl40

Well, that didn't take long to appear - so was it ground up or rap bolted?


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By androo.daveass
From Portland
Jun 12, 2008
Working out the moves on Momma's Boy

very funny...

all hand drilled on lead :)


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By Healyje
Jun 12, 2008
girl40

Glad to hear it, you should post it up on SuperTopo...


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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Jun 13, 2008
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.

I put some photos and a TR on the Hoofer website


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By Paul Hunnicutt
From Boulder, CO
Jun 13, 2008
Half Dome

This climb looks awesome! Thanks for putting it up. I can't wait to get up there and try it.

Are there any insane runouts? Obviously there isn't a bolt every 5 feet, but in general is it Bachar-Yerian style or something more tame.


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By androo.daveass
From Portland
Jun 13, 2008
Working out the moves on Momma's Boy

i wouldn't say any of the runouts FEEL insane. on the crux pitches (two and three) you'll definitely feel some air below you when you're doing the harder moves, but as the topo shows, you're never unprotected.

the last two pitches are pretty runout at 180 and 200 feet with no gear, but it's pretty low angle and easy terrain-- basically like the runouts at the top of snakedike, just a little longer. after climbing pitch three this terrain will feel so easy you won't notice the lack of bolts. just make sure your rope is actually 60 meters and don't let your belayer clovehitch into the belay anchor, pitch six is a FULL ropelength


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By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
Jun 13, 2008
!

androo.daveass wrote:
very funny... all hand drilled on lead :)


Actually, this conflicts with Doug's report on hoofermountaineering.org where he says, "As they were coming down in the evening, they realized that the run-out on pitch two was beyond anything they would want to do again, so they added one bolt on their way down." It appears that the route was retrobolted on rap before the FA was even complete!


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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Jun 14, 2008
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.

Hi, Larry! Isn't it great fun trying to fit square pegs in round holes? That's why we carry hammers ....

But you know me, I love a good debate, even if I have to make one up!

There is no question that one of the bolts was "rap-bolted". Does that mean we should call the WHOLE ROUTE "rap-bolted?" Depending on where you want to place the line between black and white, you might also characterize this route as "retro-bolted!" Do we qualify for black hats?

Although we did talk about "Growing Up" quite a bit as we were hiking and sitting around in camp, our route is NOT a statement written in stone, as far as I'm concerned. I think any of the three of us would be happy to rap-bolt a different route on a different rock in different circumstances. I'm pretty sure Andy has participated in rap bolting, and I definitely have. I have wielded a power drill in a least a couple of States.

We were just looking for some new terrain, some fun, and a challenge. We found all three. And the quality of the climbing is good enough that we thought others might enjoy it too.

Andy has mentioned the not-ground-up bolt elsewhere.

Trying to rap-bolt the ROUTE would have greatly complicated our logistics, and we never even considered the possibility. I don't think it would have saved us any time in the end, and it likely would have resulted in a slightly different (harder) line?


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By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
Jun 14, 2008
!

Doug-- I'm not trying to give you guys a hard time. It looks like a good route, climbed in good style. But this is an interesting issue. I guess the soul-searching question is, "Why put in the extra bolt? If the lead was too scary to repeat, why not just leave a fixed rope for the next day?"

Doug Hemken wrote:
... Although we did talk about "Growing Up" quite a bit as we were hiking and sitting around in camp, our route is NOT a statement written in stone, as far as I'm concerned.

On the contrary--ALL routes are some kind of statement, and when a drill is used, they are literally written in stone.


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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Jun 14, 2008
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.

I know you're not giving us hard time.

Yes, all routes can be read as statements, but not all routes are CLIMBED as statements.

Yet we did climb with other people in mind.

Why "add" a bolt before the climb was even finished? (We also "added" second bolts to most of the belays, but that's another topic I think.) In part because "no one would want to climb it without another bolt" (something we did discuss, and meaning we wouldn't usually want to climb a route that was so run-out), in part because we pulled our ropes after the first day and re-led the first few pitches the next, trading a couple of 11mm ropes for my 8.5 doubles.

So partly just pragmatic logistics for finishing the route, partly with an eye toward what we would tell our friends.


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By androo.daveass
From Portland
Jun 14, 2008
Working out the moves on Momma's Boy

my comment about the added bolt can be found here: www.mountainproject.com/v/california/yosemite_national_park/>>>

i love how quick (and easily (and frequently)) people are to jump all over someone's style and hard work on the safety of the internet-- especially when it is something that is way over their head. larry, i would love it if you hiked up to halfdome and onsighted our route, skipping bolt 4 on pitch two. but, chances are you won't (even if you could).

i added the bolt as a courtesy to anyone who would follow us. i want others to be able to enjoy the route and not worry about seriously injuring themselves. the added bolt protects a very sustained 5.11 section of the dike and a tenuous friction traverse to the next belay anchor. like i said, if you're up for doing 5.11 moves 45+ feet above your last bolt, go climb the route, skip the bolt, and then you have my permission jump online and spray about how bold you are. unless you've done that, find something else to argue about on the internet-- or just go climbing.

i for one saw no point in putting up a route that was 'too bold' for anyone else to want to do, let alone for me to want to ever lead again. i have no qualms about adding a bolt to our own route after the pitch had been led once (and likely never again without it).

if you think i'm in to over bolting and comfort for everyone, i had absolutely no problem running it out 180' and 200' on the last two pitches. have no doubt about the 200' funout on pitch 6-- rope stretch alone got me to the last belay stance. if that means our route has too many bolts for you, i am sorry. maybe next time i'll grow a pair and run out a full 70m rope...


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By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Jun 14, 2008
Courtright Reservoir, September 2013

Andrew, I think your reading a bit too much into Larry's post. Presently and historically, he is not the internet personality that you identify others with in your subsequent post. Amongst the 1000s of users to MP.com he is of but a few that understand the complexity and commitment to climbing/installing a new route, and I think he was just posing a question. Noone thinks your overbolting, or is questioning your climbing prowess. Sometimes we loose a bit of humanity in the whole internet thing, so try not to worry!


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By tooTALLtim
From Boulder, CO
Jun 14, 2008
Me on Land of Ra, Cadillac Crag, Eldorado. <br /> <br />Thanks for the picture Craig Muderlak!

Well then Larry shouldn't end his questions with exclamation points!

It's also unfortunate that the first reply they get questions their style. That's shitty.

But as a new climber, I must say it's very inspiring to see someone bolting on lead. I was on my way to do Snake Dike when I saw them putting the route up, and got to talk to them a bit the night after.

Great job guys!


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By JLP
From The Internet
Jun 15, 2008

Nice work on the route.

Too bad there seems to be a lot of leg humping in this thread.


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By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
Jun 15, 2008
!

Gee-- everybody (except Adam) is reading this the wrong way. Let me say it again so you guys are clear on this.

Larry DeAngelo wrote:
...It looks like a good route, climbed in good style....

I'm highly impressed with your style; that sounds like a dramatically bold lead. So much so that, even watered down to the existing 5.11R, the route is so far beyond me that I couldn't get up it with aid slings and a stick clip. I hope you will accept my apologies.

That being said, I still have reservations about the concept of avoiding the creation of "a route that was 'too bold' for anyone else." I recognize that this is a popular rationale these days, and I probably represent a minority view. A large part of climbing is about challenge; you guys faced it and prevailed. The challenge for followers is already less: they know the route goes, and the bolts are there so they have something to go for.

As a young climber I drew a lot of inspiration from standing on some granite ripple, searching for a hopelessly distant bolt, and realizing that Kamps or Higgins had launched into the blankness with no promise of an easy clip. I cherish those moments when I experienced a glimpse of their boldness and mastery. Sometimes I swallowed hard and retreated, but I am still glad they did not try to make their routes more "accessible" to me.

My own new route efforts pale in comparison with Kamps & Higgins, and Blond Ike. On one occasion I gave (tacit) approval to the adding of a bolt to one of my routes. I was seduced by the argument that it would make the route popular among those unwilling to deal with the route in its original state. But of course the route I climbed was not popular: it was gone.


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By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
Jun 15, 2008
!

Bob D'Antonio wrote:
... Everybody is critic after the fact...

I've got to disagree on this: I don't see any criticism of the route, not even from me. And as far as the conceptual discussion goes, I don't see it as "after the fact." It is before the NEXT fact.

These days you can't hardly turn around without tripping over some climber extolling the virtues of bolting. Many contemporary climbers are so inured to the things that they can't envision climbing without them. This is implicit in Andy's statement that he placed the bolt as a courtesy to other climbers and to enhance their enjoyment of the route. Fair enough, and as you say, even pretty reasonable.

"Public service" can be pretty tempting. Maybe I'm wrong, but I will guess that Andy and Randy placed that bolt without hearing any impassioned pleas to leave it as a testimonial to their boldness, skill, and coolness under pressure. So, in case it is worth anything, this is my plea.


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Jun 15, 2008
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

Interesting discussion. My question for Larry implies no criticism for his raising these issues. Larry, it's a climbable line--and looks like a very high quality one--on prize, limited real estate that the first ascentionists don't own. They're strong climbers, under control on enormous runouts on hard 5.11 climbing. Wouldn't your philosophy render the route not just a monument, but a fatally barbed wire fence, excluding the vast majority of climbers from some of the most admired rock on earth--in a National Park no less? Is the FA's prerogative so sweeping? Is that kind of consequence a legitimate consideration, as the FAers themselves decided it was?


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By 1Eric Rhicard
Jun 15, 2008
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo

These guys decided that one section was stupidly run out and added a bolt to make it more like the rest of a long climb. Sounds like they are pretty thoughtful about what they are creating.

Larry DeAngelo wrote:
I was seduced by the argument that it would make the route popular among those unwilling to deal with the route in its original state. But of course the route I climbed was not popular: it was gone.


The minute you did the FA the route you did was gone Larry. Just the knowledge it could be climbed makes it a less adventurous experience for the next party.

If those guys had done every pitch with a sick run out section and they wanted to play the courage card it looks like they could have but they didn't. Maybe next time they will.


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By androo.daveass
From Portland
Jun 15, 2008
Working out the moves on Momma's Boy

thanks for the support tim! i hope you had a great time on Snake Dike that day, and hopefully in the future you'll make the hike back up to Halfdome to give 'Blond Ike' a try.

as far as 'questionable' ethics go, i think whether we placed one bolt from a stance, from a hook, from a crappy piece of gear, or while hanging from the rope after successfully climbing the pitch is irrelevant.

the line wasn't scouted or bolted on rappel as one may do if he/she is uncomfortable climbing into the unknown. just like snakedike, we did the moves and decided that we didn't want to create a deathroute so ONE bolt was added. we simply corrected an initial error in judgement before it could become a mistake. i truly think that once some of you go out and try the route there will be no doubt that the bolt is necessary for a reasonable level of safety.

i do find the debate interesting however, as the consensus in Yosemite has always been that retro-bolting was permissible with the consensus/permission of the FA party. Randy and I had no trouble reaching a consensus that the bolt was needed-- we had both independently come to that conclusion before either of us spoke a word about it.

I am still in awe of the fact that after i placed bolt three on pitch two, Randy took over the lead (leaving the hammer behind) and ran it out as he did. It was some of the most amazing and daring climbing i have witnessed. you may wonder why he didn't take the bolt kit... the main reason was that i hadn't taught him how to bolt yet, but from bolt three i could see a crack with pods promising protection for pitch two's anchor.

now i'm sure i'll catch some guff for us putting in a bolted anchor when gear was available... well, there was gear, but it ranged from marginal to horrid. before i could climb up with the bolt kit up, Randy had to build and equalize a seven-piece anchor that would have left John Long with elvis leg.

i hope all of this can put people at ease about our ethics and realize that we climbed the route in the most pure style possible (for us mere mortals).


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By JLP
From The Internet
Jun 15, 2008

"The challenge for followers is already less: they know the route goes, and the bolts are there so they have something to go for."

There's a little something different about having a drill on your waist, knowing you can use it at any time. Followers are left just guessing about how bold the original leader was and whether they can rise to that (if need be), bolts or not. However, once they solve that little mystery, often on one of the crux pitches, the rest of the pitches are quickly seen a bit differently. Just my take.


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By androo.daveass
From Portland
Jun 15, 2008
Working out the moves on Momma's Boy

oh, and i hope that anyone considering the route isn't deterred by the runouts on pitches 5 and 6. after the crux pitches you'll be so at ease on the low-angle, easy terrain that you won't even notice you haven't been clipping any more bolts :)

thanks for all of the interest everybody-- any publicity is good publicity. i hope some of you are inspired to climb 'Blond Ike'


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By Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Jun 15, 2008

I think it is ridiculous to tell a first ascent party they should not add bolts to their own line after leading it ground up. Basically they are painting a picture for any future ascents and if they choose to add a brush stroke why is this less worthy? When going into the unknown there are plenty of times you have the decision to either bail or go for it, as bolting (especially with a hand drill) is not always an option. They went for it....risking their necks for their vision. Now the choice is to leave the route as is to have a second ascent in 10-20 years ( AKA Southern Belle) or add a bolt to make it sane for others to lead. When you look at the big picture is a single bolt going to change much? The line has been drawn, the climb done in an awesome style. Why should we deride their effort in any way.


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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Jun 18, 2008
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.

Andy has called this forum a “debate” in a couple of other places, and I said I looked forward to a “debate” above, but I’m a little surprised and dismayed at the personal tone that seems to have crept in here. I hope we all agree that “debate” should be pursued in the “debate team” sense? I mean, when Larry, someone I consider a personal friend, asks for some questions to be addressed, I take that as friendly discussion, not criticism of any sort.

To address Larry’s original question: why would someone add a bolt to a route they have already climbed? After reviewing Andy’s photos (on Facebook), I think I have to emphasize that he and Randy were climbing with a single rope (70m x 10.5mm, I think). The plan was to trade that rope for doubles the next day (60m x 8.5mm) and climb as a party of three. We hoped to send the fat rope down the hill with our friends who had just climbed “Snake Dike.” Perhaps Andy & Randy could have fixed the 70m at their high point and left the bold section bold, but that wasn’t the plan and it wasn’t totally clear that the rope would even reach the ground. The effort to climb that section had been pretty emotionally draining the first time, and they didn’t especially look forward to repeating that performance.

In addition, we hoped we would find a route worth recommending to our friends. I don’t mind taking risks for myself, but I try to draw the line at placing my partners at risk or sandbagging anyone. So whether or not anyone else would want to do the climb was a consideration. We are all social creatures, and in this instance being social meant sharing the fun.

Then there is the whole “making a statement” thing. Leaving a 45ft run-out says something. Does it say “these guys are bold and confident of themselves and their ability to read the rock?” Does it say “they were running short of hardware and energy?” Or does it say “these guys didn’t know how to find stances they could drill from?” (I think it says several things at once, in the case of p2.) Do you ever find yourself revising things you have written?

Our route, our decision, our values. Nothing implied about how everyone else should climb their new routes and make their decisions.

A big theme in climbing stories is persevering and prevailing in the face of adversity. But some of that adversity is due to our own misjudgments. If we insist on preserving every route in the state it was left in after it was climbed for the very first time, we will preserve artifacts of some heroic efforts, but also artifacts of many bad judgment calls. The very same artifact could signify both!

Shades of gray.

I guess I’m surprised that people place so much emphasis on climbs as performances and statements, somehow written in stone. I think I tend to separate the artifact – the rock and any alterations that have been made to it – from the performance.

Routes change. They may be gardened, or have rocks trundled. Fixed gear may be added. Webbing rots and metal rusts. Handholds break. Rocks wear smooth from passing hands and feet. Ropes and haul bags may wear grooves. Chalk comes and goes. The weather or the seasons may cause rocks to fall, or new moss to grow.

Our knowledge of any route may change. Routes are located, described, and re-described. They rise and fall in popularity, acquire reputations. People find new variations on individual moves, on sequences, and whole new pitches. The customary belay stations may move from ledge to ledge. Climbing a route for the fifth time feels considerably different than that first on-sight.

The gear we use changes. I learned to climb with a hip belay and hiking boots. Numerous other changes have been incremental, but they all add up.

And performances vary widely. My health has given me enough ups and downs over the years, that at times I have struggled to TR 5.8 and at other times I have roared up 5.11. I find the very same route may feel easy one year and hard the next. I see similar variation (usually less dramatic) in the ability of my climbing partners.

I guess I don’t feel that my performance on any given day makes all that much of a statement. I may take part in an FA on a good day or a bad day. Sometimes the performance itself is notable, like Andy & Randy’s effort on “Blond Ike,” or Ed Pearsall’s effort on “Excalibur” in the Red River Gorge in 1980. Sometimes the performance is nothing great, but the route itself is fun. I think of “Sinocranium” in City of Rocks or “Hung Jury” on Courthouse Rock in the RRG. And there are quite a few routes I’ve done out there where neither the performance nor the route was worth telling anyone about (including several lines I bolted in the RRG, ground up). I’ve generally left those undocumented, and if someone else should find the route or their effort worth talking about, I’m glad I left them the possibility.


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Jun 18, 2008
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

What an extraordinarily thoughtful post, Doug, with an open, charitable spirit and new information too; I guess you guys didn't want to re-lead the pitch in its hazardous state when you resumed climbing the next day. Thanks for the route and for advancing understanding and respect.

Shawn Mitchell


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By androo.daveass
From Portland
Jun 19, 2008
Working out the moves on Momma's Boy

now doug, i don't want to split hairs, but my rope is a 9.3 :) we did need to get rid of it so we could use your doubles and climb as a party of three though

shawn has basically hit upon the summary of why we added the bolt- we didn't want to lead the pitch again without it, so why would anyone else?


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