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Why chop these bolts?


Original Post
Luke Roberts · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

I recently did a climb that had about 3/4 of its bolts chopped. As it stands now, the climb is a (wondering) “12 pitch” mixed climb. My understanding is that the FA, who originally bolted the route and intended it to be a sport route, was pressured by the local climbing community to chop the bolts. So he did, but he left the shaft of the bolts in the rock. The local community calmed down. But I still couldn’t make sense of the reasoning behind the local climbing community’s want for the bolts to be chopped. The area has several multi pitch climbs, one of which is a well established sport route that didn’t get much flak for being put up. It is well know that the classic trad routes in the area are to be protected/cared for and remain trad.  There has since been at least one single pitch sport route added to the area. The area is secluded, on a weekend day it’s rare to see more than one other party at the wall, equally as rare to see another party there at all. And, imo, the route I did that was chopped is a one and done kind of climb (Climbing 300’ vertically and then traversing 150’ to only end up 90’ off the deck at one point made me tilt my head sideways a little bit). The reasons I could find, regaurding why the locals wanted the route chopped, were impacting the rock as little as possible and the route can be done on gear.

To me, these reasons don’t make sense. If the bolts are already in the rock why would chopping them and leaving the bolt shafts in the rock lessen the impact on the rock? Maybe decrease traffic on the route but then again the area isn’t very busy. Plus, more routes might keep people away from the two routes worth doing and repeating. If the other reason is you can do it on gear, good for you. But using that as a reason to chop the bolt in this case seems ego driven. 
Is there something I am missing here? I can understand chopping bolts that have been added to a well established trad route but my understanding is that the route I climbed was never an established trad route.  

Adrienne DiRosario · · Troy, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

Without knowing the area all we can do is speculate. You mentioned it could be done on gear.

My guess is- If it can be done on gear it stays a trad line. Forcing them to chop the bolts is a deterrent to anyone else who might want to bolt a trad line.

Luke Roberts · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0
Luke Roberts · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0
Adrienne DiRosario My guess is- If it can be done on gear it stays a trad line. Forcing them to chop the bolts is a deterrent to anyone else who might want to bolt a trad line.

I can understand those reasons, but they are almost entirely driven by someone’s ego, right?  (Not saying you are the one making that statement) statements like that also play into a bs climbing hierarchy too. To me if a trad climber uses that logic then he/she should never clip a bolt in their life. 

If it can be done on trad than it stays trad. Following that logic, If it can’t be done on trad than it should be free climbed with no pro or not climbed at all.  Seems like a rather strict line of thinking for a sport that is rather abstract and selfish if you were to look at it that objectively. (Once again, addressing the general “you”). 

Adrienne DiRosario · · Troy, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0
Luke Roberts wrote:

I can understand those reasons, but they are almost entirely driven by someone’s ego, right?  (Not saying you are the one making that statement) statements like that also play into a bs climbing hierarchy too. To me if a trad climber uses that logic then he/she should never clip a bolt in their life. 

If it can be done on trad than it stays trad. Following that logic, If it can’t be done on trad than it should be free climbed with no pro or not climbed at all.  Seems like a rather strict line of thinking for a sport that is rather abstract and selfish if you were to look at it that objectively. (Once again, addressing the general “you”). 

You’re getting into the bolt wars debate that has been brought up 100s of times. There is no answer and folks firmly in both camps that ensure this will never be settled. 

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 50

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Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,795
Adrienne DiRosario wrote: Without knowing the area all we can do is speculate. You mentioned it could be done on gear.

My guess is- If it can be done on gear it stays a trad line. Forcing them to chop the bolts is a deterrent to anyone else who might want to bolt a trad line.

And if it can be free soloed? Then no one should ever place gear on it, right? (Just giving one example of why bolt wars can never be resolved.)

Adrienne DiRosario · · Troy, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0
Gunkiemike wrote:

And if it can be free soloed? Then no one should ever place gear on it, right? (Just giving one example of why bolt wars can never be resolved.)

I’m with you Mike, I was only speculating about why they forced the chopping. See my second post “You’re getting into the bolt wars debate that has been brought up 100s of times. There is no answer and folks firmly in both camps that ensure this will never be settled.”

Everett · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 10

You'd be much better off discussing this with the local community, listening, and trying to see the argument from their set of assumptions and viewpoint (not from a stance of debate.)

Also, separating any strong stance in climbing from ego is going to be a trip.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 867
Luke Roberts wrote:

I can understand those reasons, but they are almost entirely driven by someone’s ego, right?  

What does this have to do with ego?  Please explain. 
It couldn’t be that this guy put up a route well out of character regarding the local style and ethics and realized his mistake. Sounds like he put his ego aside and did the right thing. Harvey Carter starting climbing there in the 60’s. It’s not a sport crag. 
Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 1,404
Gunkiemike wrote:

And if it can be free soloed? Then no one should ever place gear on it, right? (Just giving one example of why bolt wars can never be resolved.)

Hey, Gunkiemike, This falls to you. . . whats going on -  up ther -  y'all condoning bolting now ? I ask because of the Bolt at Dickie Barr


https://www.mountainproject.com/route/114266408/hardware-abouts-unknown#Comment-114266706

I know,  it is a brave new world n' all 

Everything is new& un -climbed,(who cares about  whats not been recorded by the cool people?...No One). . . .

Now it is - forget to ask if a cliff might have a history-

 but please stop allowing the desecration of the Gunks. 

please keep the bold history of climbing by fair means alive, not falling slowly down the slippery slope

The ghost of Bill Ravitch still prowls I tell ya. . . . 
David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 119
Gunkiemike wrote:

And if it can be free soloed? Then no one should ever place gear on it, right? (Just giving one example of why bolt wars can never be resolved.)

I get that you're just making this argument hypothetically, but I'm having trouble understanding the logic of this. Is the idea that people are somehow obligated to climb routes in the style of the boldest ascentionist?

That seems different to me from bolts versus gear--bolts versus gear isn't *just* about style, it's about the fact that bolts leave a lasting impact on the rock which gear (usually) doesn't. Gear and free soloing don't affect the rock differently in most cases. Besides a few folks like healyje, I don't think most people are concerned with how other people climb if those other people's climbing style doesn't have any lasting effect.
ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
Michael Schneider wrote:

Hey, Gunkiemike, This falls to you. . . whats going on -  up ther -  y'all condoning bolting now ? I ask because of the Bolt at Dickie Barr


https://www.mountainproject.com/route/114266408/hardware-abouts-unknown#Comment-114266706

I know,  it is a brave new world n' all 

Everything is new& un -climbed,(who cares about  whats not been recorded by the cool people?...No One). . . .

Now it is - forget to ask if a cliff might have a history-

 but please stop allowing the desecration of the Gunks. 

please keep the bold history of climbing by fair means alive, not falling slowly down the slippery slope

The ghost of Bill Ravitch still prowls I tell ya. . . . 

There's more than one bolt at Dickie Barr, which technically is not the 'Gunks, just as there are bolts at the 'Gunks where there's no possibility of avoiding an X rating on an otherwise trad route.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430
Luke Roberts wrote: https://www.mountainproject.com/v/109103703

That right there is an abortion of all that climbing is about....:(


Matt Franklin · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 500

Just curious... for clarification, they just pulled off the hangers and left exposed posts/shafts sticking out of the rock? 

Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 86

You need a rack to climb the best route on that face so bring your rack and climb on. 

OrganicChemistry · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 95
King Tut wrote:

That right there is an abortion of all that climbing is about....:(


Total disgrace. 

Mark Dalen · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 930

This is why we can't have nice things ...

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

But noone chopped these bolts. Why are you saying they chopped them. All you need is a hanger, nut, and a wrench and you could lead it sport and have your second clean the hanger on the way up.

Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,080
Michael Schneider wrote:

Hey, Gunkiemike, This falls to you. . . whats going on -  up ther -  y'all condoning bolting now ? I ask because of the Bolt at Dickie Barr


https://www.mountainproject.com/route/114266408/hardware-abouts-unknown#Comment-114266706

I know,  it is a brave new world n' all 

Everything is new& un -climbed,(who cares about  whats not been recorded by the cool people?...No One). . . .

Now it is - forget to ask if a cliff might have a history-

 but please stop allowing the desecration of the Gunks. 

please keep the bold history of climbing by fair means alive, not falling slowly down the slippery slope

The ghost of Bill Ravitch still prowls I tell ya. . . . 

There are quite a few bolts at the Gunks.  Nothing new here.

Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,080
ebmudder wrote:

There's more than one bolt at Dickie Barr, which technically is not the 'Gunks, just as there are bolts at the 'Gunks where there's no possibility of avoiding an X rating on an otherwise trad route.

Dickie Barr is most certainly in the Gunks.  The Gunks are larger than the Mohonk Preserve.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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