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Rules of Chopping


ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240
s.price wrote:

Once again right over your head. As I stated the bolt did nothing to make the route safer. The dick involved was the person who added the bolt instead of accepting the style in which it was bolted and stepping up to the challenge. Not removing the bolt would have set a precedent allowing anyone to change the spirit of the route anytime, anywhere.

That is not going to happen in my backyard. I realize that for a lot of folks it is easier to dumb down instead of stepping up to the challenge. Maybe this is your mentality but not mine. Didn't you recently bitch about how everything out west is bolted to closely in another thread? Which is it?

No clearly you can't read what you wrote. You said because the start is so easy we should not protect it because if you can't onsight a 5.9 you should not be attempting a 5.12 route. I have jumped on 5.14 routes and attempted them before. I will attempt anything out there that is safe whether or not I can complete it. When it comes to sport it is about trying not about completing... it isn't trad where I don't even attempt things I feel I don't have a chance to complete.

So you are just trying to keep someone who wants to just attempt it for the heck of it knowing they can't complete it from safely getting to the start of the hard part. I climb with people who are weaker than me all the time and I always get them to attempt anything I climb even if it is well over their level... however you should never attempt something that is well over your head if it is dangerous aka what you are trying to do with this route from the sound of it.

Let me reword what you originally wrote...

We figured since the crux of the route was 5.12 that we didn't want to protect the 5.9 section of the climb since anyone who can climb 5.12 should have no problem with the 5.9 section... hey I just got to run down the street to get something there is no reason to put on my motorcycle helmet or a seat belt on because there is no way I will ever get hurt.

s.price · · the deck of Rover · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

Stickclip. That is even suggested on the area page. 

Your view on sport routes is vastly different than mine. If you just want to try go to the gym. 

14 feet to the first bolt does not make it dangerous. Spicy to some but not dangerous.


ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240
s.price wrote:

Stickclip. That is even suggested on the area page. 

Your view on sport rpoutes is vastly different then mine. If you just want to try go to the gym. 

14 feet to the first bolt does not make it dangerous. Spicy to some but not dangerous.

I agree totally I don't have a problem with a 15ft runout to the first bolt. Have done plenty of climbs with worst runouts... my point was you were a dick for chopping a bolt that someone else put up because it isn't a bad thing to put the bolt in there (if I was bolting the route I would have bolted it like you with the first bolt after the easy start). 

Chopping a bolt to make a climb more dangerous is a dick move if the bolt isn't hurting anything. Just because I don't want to waste my time making it safe doesn't mean I should hurt other people who find the bolt helpful.

s.price · · the deck of Rover · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348
ViperScale . wrote:

I agree totally I don't have a problem with a 15ft runout to the first bolt. Have done plenty of climbs with worst runouts... my point was you were a dick for chopping a bolt that someone else put up because it isn't a bad thing to put the bolt in there (if I was bolting the route I would have bolted it like you with the first bolt after the easy start). 

Chopping a bolt to make a climb more dangerous is a dick move if the bolt isn't hurting anything. Just because I don't want to waste my time making it safe doesn't mean I should hurt other people who find the bolt helpful.

You should read what I wrote. The bolt in no way made the route safer. The bolt could have easily been hurtful as it was too low to the ground to stop someone from decking. That leads to a false sense of security IMO. Not putting a bolt lower had nothing to do with wasting my time or money. I have countless hours in that canyon and quite a bit of money to create something for the public but with my own vision. If you don't like my vision spend your time creating your own, not changing mine.

Let me put this in a different light. I do a lot of painting. Just because you don't like the way I paint does not give you the right to add a brushstroke or two so it pleases you more by doing so. I also play a lot of guitar and write quite a bit of my own music. Telling me I should do so in a fashion you find more appealing would just be stupid. It's called respect for another's vision.

Mark Says · · Aspen, CO · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 395
ViperScale . wrote:

I agree totally I don't have a problem with a 15ft runout to the first bolt. Have done plenty of climbs with worst runouts... my point was you were a dick for chopping a bolt that someone else put up because it isn't a bad thing to put the bolt in there (if I was bolting the route I would have bolted it like you with the first bolt after the easy start). 

Chopping a bolt to make a climb more dangerous is a dick move if the bolt isn't hurting anything. Just because I don't want to waste my time making it safe doesn't mean I should hurt other people who find the bolt helpful.

Did you intentionally overlook the part where he's the FA? Or are you implying that it's public property and anybody can alter a route if they feel they want to?

Steve Skarvinko · · SLC, UT · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 20
s.price · · the deck of Rover · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

Man I wish the person who installed the bolt I removed had busted me doing so. At least then we could have talked about it. This is a tiny climbing community here yet this person has still not come forward.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,355

I have met some strong climbers who completely unable to run it out on any difficulty.

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,500
ViperScale . wrote:

No clearly you can't read what you wrote. You said because the start is so easy we should not protect it because if you can't onsight a 5.9 you should not be attempting a 5.12 route. I have jumped on 5.14 routes and attempted them before. I will attempt anything out there that is safe whether or not I can complete it. When it comes to sport it is about trying not about completing... it isn't trad where I don't even attempt things I feel I don't have a chance to complete.

So you are just trying to keep someone who wants to just attempt it for the heck of it knowing they can't complete it from safely getting to the start of the hard part. I climb with people who are weaker than me all the time and I always get them to attempt anything I climb even if it is well over their level... however you should never attempt something that is well over your head if it is dangerous aka what you are trying to do with this route from the sound of it.

Let me reword what you originally wrote...

We figured since the crux of the route was 5.12 that we didn't want to protect the 5.9 section of the climb since anyone who can climb 5.12 should have no problem with the 5.9 section... hey I just got to run down the street to get something there is no reason to put on my motorcycle helmet or a seat belt on because there is no way I will ever get hurt.

A bolt that you can touch from the ground doesn’t protect from a grounder if the second bolt is 14’ off the ground and you blow it anywhere near the second bolt.  Hence the first bolt, the bolt added without the consent of the FA was useless.

That’s the reason relatively high first bolts exist.  So if you blow it in your way to the 2nd bolt, you’re protected.  On a 5.12 route, 14 feet of 5.9 to the first bolt isn’t a runout.  It’s not even a boulder problem.

Your last paragraph is a false equivalence because stick clips exist for that very reason.  Here’s a chopping rule:  If you put a route up in legit style with sound hardware and someone retros it and adds bolts, you’re well within your right to chop it- as s.price did.  As a matter of fact, I’d expect it.

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240
Jake Jones wrote:

A bolt that you can touch from the ground doesn’t protect from a grounder if the second bolt is 14’ off the ground and you blow it anywhere near the second bolt.  Hence the first bolt, the bolt added without the consent of the FA was useless.

That’s the reason relatively high first bolts exist.  So if you blow it in your way to the 2nd bolt, you’re protected.  On a 5.12 route, 14 feet of 5.9 to the first bolt isn’t a runout.  It’s not even a boulder problem.

Your last paragraph is a false equivalence because stick clips exist for that very reason.  Here’s a chopping rule:  If you put a route up in legit style with sound hardware and someone retros it and adds bolts, you’re well within your right to chop it- as s.price did.  As a matter of fact, I’d expect it.

And If I FA a free solo and people go back and bolt it I have my right to go back and cut every single bolt off right?

Doesn't matter whether you have the right or not, tons of legal things I can do that aren't very nice or pointless.

Where is this rule posted so I can go read it? Never seen a chopping rule anywhere, just people's options. I still love all the bolts I know that were cut after the FA retro added new bolts to make the climb safer. I get a laugh every time I think about it.

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

If the moves are hard right off the deck the 1st bolt should be a stick clip. any bolt that you can clip from the ground is useless.

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053
ViperScale . wrote:

And If I FA a free solo and people go back and bolt it I have my right to go back and cut every single bolt off right?

Yes, and if you're really badass you'll do it freesolo........

Hopefully someone would get permission from you before drilling. If they don't and you catch them solo up there and push them off........

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 453
Jake Jones wrote:

A bolt that you can touch from the ground...

Sigh...

Caleb Schwarz · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 115

So I've never chopped a bolt, and I'm not usually  a fan of chopped bolts when I see them, especially when the person chopping it leaves it ugly and mangled. I think that if you're going to chop a bolt (all ethics side) clean the damn thing up. Chop it close and fill the area with a well colored epoxy. The message you send with an ugly scar doesn't impress me. Here's the top of a classic Colorado Springs multipitch climb with no anchors at the top (you're supposed to belay off of a small, half-dead tree 20 feet past the climb).

While I personally err on the side of less bolts, it makes you wonder if a bolt or two at the slab anchor on the top of a multi-pitch sport route (that happens to have a bolted belay ledge on the top of the first pitch) would be the worst thing in the world. As is, you arrive at the top to find 3 chopped bolts and a hardwear nail (bottom left in the picture)

Just food for thought

Caleb Schwarz · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 115

That being said, if you bolt next to any of my turkey rocks splitters, it'll be gone the next day haha

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

I soloed 80ft up to have a chat with someone who was removeing  pins from one of our climbs. he was a bit chagrinned that he got busted by the FA.  He was solo top ropeing and  had concluded that the two blades that I had placed near the end of a traverse under a roof were not nessicary. thing was he had no clue that the route Autum Feaver went straight through the roof at 10+  ( more likly some kind of 11) and then gunned it in groundfall range to the next gear. so this chump is top ropeing and decides that our fixed gear is bogus and that a few manky micro wires are fine for the 5.8 that he is on. clueless that we actually went straight up through the roof with the mank wires and the pins all equalized.   I saw what was going down so I soloed the route next to him and had a seat at the top and waited for him to get up there to have our polite little chat. He gave me my pins back which I promptly placed on another fa...

The games we play...

Climb Soft Spray Hard · · Colorado Springs · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 149

Everyone knows you only get to chop if you send it on gear first (stoppers in bolt hangers count as gear)

kendallt · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 104
ViperScale . wrote:

And If I FA a free solo and people go back and bolt it I have my right to go back and cut every single bolt off right?

Doesn't matter whether you have the right or not, tons of legal things I can do that aren't very nice or pointless.

Where is this rule posted so I can go read it? Never seen a chopping rule anywhere, just people's options. I still love all the bolts I know that were cut after the FA retro added new bolts to make the climb safer. I get a laugh every time I think about it.

Actively supporting retro-bolting in a thread about chopping bolts?


Zach Holt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 60
Healyje wrote:

Be sure to sign up for Route Restoration Clinic! Topics include:

  • Chopping Ethics - Session E: Dishman, a case study in successful dispute resolution.

Eastern Washington? If so, I’d like to hear more. Here, or a message if you don’t mind. 


Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,355

Any other chopping stories?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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