Retrobolting in Yosemite - By a Yosemite guidebook author


Original Post
Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,225

Since it seems to relevant, but is being discussed on another thread (the author's call for photos and advert for his upcoming book), I figured I'd point it out by name on this thread.

As you can see here:
Guidebook author adding mid-pitch anchors to existing free climbs and threatening to engage in a bolt war if they are chopped

The author of the next select guide has been pretty sanctified in adding anchors even in the middle of pitches of existing free climbs.

The ASCA will no longer associate with him, but I think a larger discussion needs to be had about what we expect of people who presume to engage in a "leadership" or "representative" position for the climbing community, which I argue taking on the authorship of a book does. Should an author undertake the re-writing of history?

BirminghamBen · · Birmingham, AL · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,635

I've been keeping up with this from Alabama.

This is a call to arms....

Why is no one chopping yet?

Yosemite is a zoo of tourists....but it still deserves more respect than this.

Seriously... WHY IS NO ONE CHOPPING!?

csproul · · Davis, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 330
UncleBen wrote:I've been keeping up with this from Alabama. This is a call to arms.... Why is no one chopping yet? Yosemite is a zoo of tourists....but it still deserves more respect than this. Seriously... WHY IS NO ONE CHOPPING!?
The bolts on BOR have been chopped.
BirminghamBen · · Birmingham, AL · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,635

Sorry for the diversion.

To Tony's main point, though.... My answer:

Rewriting of history, the "feel", of the route (as Ammon out it elsewhere), should NOT be changed. Anywhere, anytime. The only exception I see is if the FA comes back and adds pro, whatever. Even then, I feel a little awkward.

Climbing, YOSEMITE, has an obvious heritage. Yes, things are changing. Dude may actually be the "worst of the new left", or whatever. Erasing the history of noble pursuits is bad, no matter the medium.

Jeremy in Inyokern · · Inyokern · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 73
UncleBen wrote:...Erasing...history...is bad, no matter the medium.
fixed. but I hear ya.
J. Albers · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,793
UncleBen wrote: Erasing the history of noble pursuits is bad,.
Sigh. I'm not advocating new bolts or chopping them, but I gotta say, climbing isn't a "noble" pursuit, so perhaps predicating your arguments on this notion is a poor choice. Sorry, it just bugs me when our community tries to romanticize our hobby in this way. Carry on with the pitchforks...
Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,045

You don't get to decide what is "just a hobby" for anyone but yourself. I absolutely see the nobility in climbing. Sad for you that you can't.

Altered Ego · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 0

Or maybe sad that you do? What would this world look like if instead of climbing all these people put all this effort into something actually noble?

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,225

I Tend to agree with Albers on the point of Nobility, but stop there.

After all:
Noble (adjective)
1. belonging to a hereditary class with high social or political status; aristocratic.
2. having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.

Kinda opposite of dirtbag.
I think the sport has certain principles that can be lofty, but if there were inherent to the sport, we wouldn't be having conversations about shit at the crags, dogs eating your lunch, or retro-bolting existing freeclimbs.

So I wouldn't call it noble. But I'd call it history. And I think that is the more important part.

Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,045

This is a pretty narrow, Amerocentric way to view climbing. In other countries they are knighted or similarly honored . Climbing is way bigger than dirt bagging.

Bob Johnson · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined May 2014 · Points: 83

The original thread by Eric Sloan has been both entertaining and disturbing. But is bolt-chopping the answer? Is that just going to incite him further? I haven't climbed in Yosemite, but are there other avenues that haven't been explored? If retrobolting is illegal in the Valley, then why hasn't Sloan been reprimanded by the "authorities"? Who would the authorities be in this case and what power do they have? Several posts made the claim that the ASCA has already disowned Sloan. Why haven't other Yosemite organizations done the same?

csproul · · Davis, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 330
Bob Johnson wrote:The original thread by Eric Sloan has been both entertaining and disturbing. But is bolt-chopping the answer? Is that just going to incite him further? I haven't climbed in Yosemite, but are there other avenues that haven't been explored? If retrobolting is illegal in the Valley, then why hasn't Sloan been reprimanded by the "authorities"? Who would the authorities be in this case and what power do they have? Several posts made the claim that the ASCA has already disowned Sloan. Why haven't other Yosemite organizations done the same?
There's nothing inherently "illegal" about bolting in the Valley unless you use a power drill (something else ES has been accused of BTW). To the best of my knowledge, ES is not affiliated with any other Yosemite "organizations" - and as far as I know, there are none that have any official capacity to regulate route development or bolting. As has been pointed out by others, the last thing climbers want is to get the NPS involved, as that is just likely to end poorly for all climbers and not just the ones we deem offensive.
Bob Johnson · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined May 2014 · Points: 83
csproul wrote: There's nothing inherently "illegal" about bolting in the Valley unless you use a power drill (something else ES has been accused of BTW). To the best of my knowledge, ES is not affiliated with any other Yosemite "organizations" - and as far as I know, there are none that have any official capacity to regulate route development or bolting. As has been pointed out by others, the last thing climbers want is to get the NPS involved, as that is just likely to end poorly for all climbers and not just the ones we deem offensive.
Gotcha! Thanks for the clarification!
Kent Richards · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 83

I offer that the debate about nobility is a tangent, and that the primary issue is the apparently admitted, ongoing violation of retrobolting tradition / ethics in Yosemite.

J. Albers · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,793
Alicia Sokolowski wrote:This is a pretty narrow, Amerocentric way to view climbing. In other countries they are knighted or similarly honored . Climbing is way bigger than dirt bagging.
No its not. And kissing some big snowy hill climbing shmoe's ass -- or knighting them or whatever some dumb Queen does with her 13th century sword of monarchy-- is a waste of resources. Climbing only matters to the person doing it and the people they are doing it with. Ain't nothing ethical about. Feeding starving kids in *insert country*? Noble. Volunteering at the dog shelter? Sure, noble. Climbing? Proly not. In fact, sitting home on Saturday and watching reruns of Archer all day is probably more noble because at least then you are not shitting a carbon footprint all the way to the crag and back just so you could schred some gnar and feel righteous about your nobility compared to the rest of the football watching, beer swilling sub-human masses that inhabit the "lowlands".

....said the jagoff who hopes to shlep up to some pointless cliff this weekend and schred.
Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

I was in the Louvre the other day, and realized that the Original Artist didn't quite finish what she started, so i added the finishing touches. Much better now. If you don't like it, just ignore it.

Billy Danger · · Asheville, NC · Joined Mar 2005 · Points: 233
Muscrat wrote:I was in the Louvre the other day, and realized that the Original Artist didn't quite finish what she started, so i added the finishing touches. Much better now. If you don't like it, just ignore it.
I'm with Muscrat! I'm going to cast my vote for how history should be written with my wallet.
Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,225
Muscrat wrote:I was in the Louvre the other day, and realized that the Original Artist didn't quite finish what she started, so i added the finishing touches. Much better now. If you don't like it, just ignore it.
That's OK. They were probably high during the first painting of it! (a defense actually used by a person OTHER THAN the person in question)
ShireSmitty · · Boulda · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 70
Tony B wrote: That's OK. They were probably high during the first painting of it! (a defense actually used by the person in question)
No, he didn't. Those weren't the words of ES, they were the words of somebody else. It's not constructive to put words in someone's mouth, it only adds to the bashing. If I get motivated enough I will dig back through the other thread and grab the quote from the person who actually said it.
ShireSmitty · · Boulda · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 70
Be Esperanza wrote: I'm with Muscrat! I'm going to cast my vote for how history should be written with my wallet.
Kudos to you. Voting with our Dollar is the most powerful vote we have. It sends a clear and undeniable message. I vote this way quite often and i wish that more people would realize how powerful this concept is, and that more folks who do think about it give enough of a crap to actually do it.

Instead of bitching constantly about how we (society) don't agree with the practices of WalMart, Oil Companies, Pharmaceutical companies, etc. etc. but continuing to give them our money... why don't we put our money where our mouthes are? It's a much more effective practice than the bitching and hypocrisy.
Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,430

Wow, a thread with a pissing contest inside the thread about another pissing contest. It's like pissing contest-ception.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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