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Bolting a TR, would you do it and why?


Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100
King Tut wrote:

C'mon man, taking every argument to an extreme gets us nowhere.

We could just end every discussion of LNT with "just stay homeless and die" couldn't we?

There are some areas I have been active over the years that are just a little too short to justify bolting for leads (3-4 clips max) that are legit TR routes for a fine day's adventure and a little exercise.

What anyone else thinks about "legitimacy" or not they shouldn't bolt them and respect that others feel they should remain TRs.

@OP 

Its complicated, because if you build it (and the climbing is good) they will come. So, no congestion really gets relieved just more visits to the same location.

Usually people do this because they simply want to lead routes and consume as much climbing in a day as they can...but it very rarely leads to any lasting route that is a real asset.

It comes down to how legit it's independence of climbing, length and line and whether it really "fits" between other routes.

But someone will usually justify it because they simply want to do it for themselves....a decade or two from now they will realize that when its just some bolts in space no one bothers with.

We don't need more and more squeeze jobs, we need people to spread out.

These are aesthetic concerns and are not an LNT issue. I also agree with all of Nick's response to your post.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,230
kenr wrote:

Because there are two interpretations of "First Ascent", and of why we take it seriously.
a) contribution to the community
b) selfish ego

Orginally say like more than a hundred years ago, no one even knew what the summits of lots of peaks looked like in detail, or whether they were climbable by any route (because helicopters weren't invented and good aerial photos were rare. When Mont Blanc was first climbed most people _assumed_ the two guys would be killed trying. They brought scientific instruments with them. It was almost more of scientific exploration of the unknown, than a climbing achievement. Style was no issue, using Aid was just assumed.

Then around 50 years ago, most of the interesting peaks had been climbed, and we had lots of good aerial photographs, there wasn't so much real unknown adventure about the remaining routes, and the climbing community knew at least one route to the summit. So FAs of some remaining untried route shifted more toward individual ego.

And some Americans are still stuck on that interpretation of First Ascent.

But now there's only few long untried routes with much interest to the clinbing community. So most new routes now are bolted sport routes. Once the cleaning of the approach and the rock are done, and the bolting of the line, usually there are thousands of climbers capable of climbing it on lead, so it''s not a big ego boost for someone who climbs it on-sight. And most of the ciimbing community doesn't much care who climbed it in what style. instead we want to respect the people who did the _work_.

So now some modern French guidebooks and websites no longer list First Ascent names. Instead they give the "opener" (ouvreur) of the route.
. . . (and for older routes, often the names of the team who replaced the original hardware with modern-standard diameters and materials).

Ken

Nice history lesson. The route has been climbed, so it's been contributed to the community already. Why is bolting it an additional contribution?

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483
Tradiban wrote:

Isn't top roping the same as sport climbing? Just a means to the same end. 

Never done this on TR.

Bryce Adamson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 598
Tradiban wrote:

Nice history lesson. The route has been climbed, so it's been contributed to the community already. Why is bolting it an additional contribution?

How does TRing something contribute anything to the climbing community? Cleaning a route is a contribution. Publishing or sharing information can be a contribution. Bolting, if done in accordance with local ethics and landowner wishes is a contribution. Just going out and toproping something doesn't contribute anything. If you enjoy climbing it--great--go ahead and toprope it, but don't pretend your toprope is a contribution to the community.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,230
Bryce Adamson wrote:

How does TRing something contribute anything to the climbing community? Cleaning a route is a contribution. Publishing or sharing information can be a contribution. Bolting, if done in accordance with local ethics and landowner wishes is a contribution. Just going out and toproping something doesn't contribute anything. If you enjoy climbing it--great--go ahead and toprope it, but don't pretend your toprope is a contribution to the community.

Huh? A top rope is a route, "work" in involved, to say it's not a contribution is insane!

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 420
Bryce Adamson wrote:

How does TRing something contribute anything to the climbing community? Cleaning a route is a contribution. Publishing or sharing information can be a contribution. Bolting, if done in accordance with local ethics and landowner wishes is a contribution. Just going out and toproping something doesn't contribute anything. If you enjoy climbing it--great--go ahead and toprope it, but don't pretend your toprope is a contribution to the community.

Well yes, it very much depends on how much work that TR entails.

If you have to place anchors and clean it (both pretty likely) then it is a viable FA.

Someone should not feel free to come bolt it and claim it as their FA.

And like I posted previously, if it is not really worthy of bolting for a lead it should especially be left alone.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,230
Nick Drake wrote:

Never done this on TR.

So you are saying you're a "Faller" and not a "Climber"?

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 290
T Roper wrote:

I had to walk 5 miles through 10ft of snow just to get to school every day bitd . 

Seriously, you just gave everyone a great reason to bolt TR climbs!

Except it isn't an area where bolting is allowed so that's out.

Nick Goldsmith wrote:Top rope is never a legit FA.

Nonsense (and as if clipping bolts is much more of a challenge - oh, you can't hang your way up an overhanging TR, you're either climbing or flying).

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483
Tradiban wrote:

So you are saying you're a "Faller" and not a "Climber"?

I'm saying if you can't "fall" you're not "climbing"

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Nick Drake wrote:

I'm saying if you can't "fall" you're not "climbing"

That's just ego stroking.

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100
Healyje wrote:

Except it isn't an area where bolting is allowed so that's out.

Nonsense (and as if clipping bolts is much more of a challenge - oh, you can't hang your way up an overhanging TR, you're either climbing or flying).

It may not be harder but it's better style. I don't see anything wrong with drawing a line as to what is good enough style to be considered an FA (and therefore authoritative)

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483
Marc801 C wrote:

That's just ego stroking.

That depends on the motivation and reasoning. In the context of "valid FA" being discussed in this thread I would agree, that's ego stroking. 

In terms of *my* personal climbing I feel that the clarity and focus when leading does make for a different experience than leading. It doesn't matter if it's a well protected easy sport route or red pointing near the limit, climbing on TR is just not as rich of an experience. Personally I would consider top roping akin to mountaineering via siege tactics and leading to be climbing in alpine style. I wouldn't be nearly as satisfied using a bunch of fixed lines to climb a peak in a giant party as I would to set off with a light pack that forced my partner and I to commit. 

That's just my personal feeling though about what I want out of climbing. No one else has to subscribe to my standards nor care what they are, because what I want out of my own climbing experience should have no bearing on anyone else. 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,230
Nick Drake wrote:

That depends on the motivation and reasoning. In the context of "valid FA" being discussed in this thread I would agree, that's ego stroking. 

In terms of *my* personal climbing I feel that the clarity and focus when leading does make for a different experience than leading. It doesn't matter if it's a well protected easy sport route or red pointing near the limit, climbing on TR is just not as rich of an experience. Personally I would consider top roping akin to mountaineering via siege tactics and leading to be climbing in alpine style. I wouldn't be nearly as satisfied using a bunch of fixed lines to climb a peak in a giant party as I would to set off with a light pack that forced my partner and I to commit. 

That's just my personal feeling though about what I want out of climbing. No one else has to subscribe to my standards nor care what they are, because what I want out of my own climbing experience should have no bearing on anyone else. 

I get that, but it's all about YOU, when putting bolts on a TR has been argued that it's for the community.

The only reason to sport bolt it seems is because the route is overhanging or the top is inaccessable. There's plenty of that type of rock out there so it seems only natural to bolt something but does it serve a purpose besides for the personal?

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

If top ropes were Fa's what is the point.??? might was well just throw out all the rules and say whatever.. I was going to get up there and lead that but Fck it i will just claim the FA anyways...

ckersch · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 150

Most old routes in previously TR areas get labeled with something like "FA: Oldguy McHardnuts (TR), Gumby Boltsprayer (Lead)". What's wrong with that? One guy identified that the route was worth climbing and did it first, and maybe cleaned it, and another guy was the first to lead it. Both get credit for what they did.

I'd say, in general, that TRs are worth bolting unless there's a compelling reason not to. If it's a crappy route, or if bolting is banned, or if bolting will interfere with nearby trad climbs, or if it's small enough to be a reasonable highball, don't bolt it. If none of those apply? Go for it! Most people prefer lead to TR.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483
Tradiban wrote:

I get that, but it's all about YOU, when putting bolts on a TR has been argued that it's for the community.

The only reason to sport bolt it seems is because the route is overhanging or the top is inaccessable. There's plenty of that type of rock out there so it seems only natural to bolt something but does it serve a purpose besides for the personal?

I'm a member of the community, I prefer to be on lead whether it be plugging gear or clipping bolts. There are a great number of other climbers who feel the same. So yes when that TR route is bolted it is doing something for the community, as the portion who thinks similarly will get on a line they may have otherwise passed by.

Also in the PNW that is important because routes need a certain amount of traffic so they aren't simply overtaken with moss/lichen. If it's not climbed and fades into obscurity you're looking at a lot of work to get things back into any reasonable shape for climbing.

Bryce Adamson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 598
Tradiban wrote:

Huh? A top rope is a route, "work" in involved, to say it's not a contribution is insane!

Haha! I was thinking the same thing about you. Ckersh and Nick Drake get the logic right, though.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,230
Nick Drake wrote:

I'm a member of the community, I prefer to be on lead whether it be plugging gear or clipping bolts. There are a great number of other climbers who feel the same. So yes when that TR route is bolted it is doing something for the community, as the portion who thinks similarly will get on a line they may have otherwise passed by.

Also in the PNW that is important because routes need a certain amount of traffic so they aren't simply overtaken with moss/lichen. If it's not climbed and fades into obscurity you're looking at a lot of work to get things back into any reasonable shape for climbing.

Your preference is the same as your ego. Why is a TR not good enough for you? What do you have to prove and to whom?

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 290

Bryce Adamson wrote:

How does TRing something contribute anything to the climbing community? Cleaning a route is a contribution. Publishing or sharing information can be a contribution. Bolting, if done in accordance with local ethics and landowner wishes is a contribution. Just going out and toproping something doesn't contribute anything. If you enjoy climbing it--great--go ahead and toprope it, but don't pretend your toprope is a contribution to the community.

"Contribution to the community"??? Dude WTF? Fuck the 'community'. Climbing is not a social sport to me, I climb to get the fuck away from the 'community'. And all the FA's I've put up I've put up because I got absolutely obsessed about a line and nowhere in that did I have the slightest hint of a rumination about what it might mean for anyone else let alone the frigging 'community'. I don't climb for other people, don't care if anyone else climbs my routes, and in fact explicitly asked that they be left out of the guide. Did I already say fuck the community?

Nick Drake wrote:

I'm a member of the community... TR route is bolted it is doing something for the community....

A sport climbing 'community' I suppose - they do typically have a rapacious appetite for turning unbolted rock into the clip joints of the moment.

T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 860

And of course as Americans we have the freedom to just say fuck off if we dont agree right? Do what feels good, bolt that TR if you like. Of course you may have to worry about getting slammed all over the internet or have nails poured in your driveway(healy has heard this one I'm sure) but that could be the cost of fun.

Community= support, whether financially, emotionally or physically IMO. I sport climbed for close to 15 years before I gave back to the "community", it still feels good. I bet over half the lines I've bolted were previously TRed buy some old curmugeon and it always brightens my day to think about it.

Healyje wrote:

"Contribution to the community"??? Dude WTF? Fuck the 'community'. Climbing is not a social sport to me, I climb to get the fuck away from the 'community'. And all the FA's I've put up I've put up because I got absolutely obsessed about a line and nowhere in that did I have the slightest hint of a rumination about what it might mean for anyone else let alone the frigging 'community'. I don't climb for other people, don't care if anyone else climbs my routes, and in fact explicitly asked that they be left out of the guide. Did I already say fuck the community?"

Hey Joe, if your attitude if FUCK THE COMMUNITY than why do you participate in the online climbing community so much?


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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