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Chop the bolt ladder

Original Post
A L · · Ouray, CO · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 180

Astroman was looked at as an aid climb for years and now it never sees an intended aid ascent. Moonlight Buttress is that route for this generation.  The fact that this route continues to be graded 12+ is astounding, no single pitch would ever be given that rating in Indian creek. (And in today's world let's just face it, 512 finger cracks are not cutting edge). If you can climb Johnny Cat then just go free climbing. If you MUST aid MB, do it in a day to save wear from hauling and DON'T BOUNCE TEST THE CAMS!! There are better and more interesting aid routes in the park that are equally suitable to learn on. If you want to know what it's like to aid MB then just go aid any splitter in the desert until you've stood on cams for 800 feet. Talk about monotonous. Chop the bolt ladder (jk), call me an elitist, this is the safest and most approachable difficult free big wall in the country. Especially for ground up attempts. And anyone climbing at the upper 511 range in Indian Creek can climb it 90% free. Let's try and preserve it a little longer. You have your whole life to improve at climbing, let's try and rise to the challenge rather than bringing the mountain down to our level.

Kauait · · Sandy Utah · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Any ideas on accommodating the climbers using the bolts to gain the other high quality route on the buttress? 
You are an elitist right? I'm sure you could come up with a good plan! 

A L · · Ouray, CO · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 180

As far as aid climbing goes on the buttress, lunar X is way more intriguing. Prodigal son right next door is more interesting. Hell, the bolt ladder on touchstone takes more aid proficiency than moonlight buttress since it absolutely requires top stepping if you're under 6 foot 3. If you can place a cam in a splitter you already climbed moonlight buttress. 0 challenge to aid it.

A L · · Ouray, CO · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 180

And as I said before, go ahead and aid it. But reduce the impact! It is 100% unnecessary to wear the stone with hauling, it's an easy 1 day ascent. And people read how to aid climb online then head to MB and bounce test every perfect cam which is blowing the crack out. Bounce testing is a skill to ensure safety when using sketchy gear on serious aid routes. Perfect pieces do not need to be tested.

A L · · Ouray, CO · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 180

And it goes very reasonably at 511+ C0 with minimal French freeing. I onsighted 2 of the "12-" pitches when I had only redpointed 11+ in Indian Creek my first run up it. And I led every pitch, it's not elite level to free most of it.

Anonymous · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 13,360

Imho, chopping the ladder would erase the original route and deprive climbers of that experience. I don't think there's any precedence for doing such a thing.

I do agree there's no need to be bouncing on good gear in Zion in general- but that's more of an education thing than a need to prevent aid climbers from enjoying a classic line.

Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 2,424

Hey , Troll-Climb'rnazi, No Longer my circus, and there is no controlling Monkeys but this thread is a dangerous example of what JHealy is always ranting about, Leave things as they are,.  Maintain quality, make them safer with smart replacement and do not chop any bolt(s), Don't bolt cracks in areas where there is a history of mixed protection, And go pioneer your own routes, Bolt ladders are relics but thay are worthy.
You are a (young?) entitled elitist ! Really there are hundreds of bolts to replace, other than a classic establish historical climb, go chop those AND GIVE BACK to the climbing community
`

DON'T STRIP THE WALLS OF HISTORY,

RULE #1 DONT WRECK THE PLACE.

`

r m · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0
Aaron Livingston wrote:...let's try and rise to the challenge rather than bringing the mountain down to our level.

The mountain is what it is, right now. You wish to change that, to raise the level of the mountain to your level of challenge rather than mine. Seems philosophically similar to installing bolt ladders, changing a climb to be the challenge you want it to be.

So here we are, someone installed a bolt ladder, then a lot of someones let it be, and some even used it. And now you wish to undo it all?


Normally I'd avoid ad hominem style comments, but....We're both relatively young. I don't think we should be making such demands.
A L · · Ouray, CO · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 180
John Wilder wrote: Imho, chopping the ladder would erase the original route and deprive climbers of that experience. I don't think there's any precedence for doing such a thing.

I do agree there's no need to be bouncing on good gear in Zion in general- but that's more of an education thing than a need to prevent aid climbers from enjoying a classic line.

I totally disagree with chopping and I don't do it. Just an attention grabber. MB is a sweet line, but nothing to aspire to as far as aid climbing. Even spaceshot is more of a challenge to aid. I'm hoping to call attention to the careless way that this amazing line is treated due to its reputation as a route to "learn how to aid". 

Anonymous · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 13,360
Aaron Livingston wrote:

I totally disagree with chopping and I don't do it. Just an attention grabber. MB is a sweet line, but nothing to aspire to as far as aid climbing. Even spaceshot is more of a challenge to aid. I'm hoping to call attention to the careless way that this amazing line is treated due to its reputation as a route to "learn how to aid". 

Funny, Moonlight was my first wall and it was a pretty epic challenge for me at the time. 

EJN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2012 · Points: 233

The bolt ladder accesses other climbs too.

I would also like to see moonlight approached more as a free climb than an aid climb at this point, but chopping bolts isn't a great idea.

I think Prodigal Sun or Touchstone are way better routes to lean aid climbing.

r m · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0
Aaron Livingston wrote:

I totally disagree with chopping and I don't do it. Just an attention grabber....

Just for future reference, how does one discern between your actual position and what you're saying for attention? ;)   

Senor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

File under "humblebrag" and move on. 

Trad Princess · · Not That Into Climbing · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 1,175

So basically...you're saying "those are my rocks bro" and they shalt only be climbed and sprayed about henceforth in the manner that thou findeth pleasing, according to the set of rules most arbitrary indeed, laid out upon the masses by thee and thine and thus, it's basically "Poway" braj.

A L · · Ouray, CO · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 180

Dave Allfrey (who I'm positive has done as much or more aid climbing than any of you) called for a shift in thinking on this route as well. If we don't stop accepting the mindless destruction of this route then it will be destroyed for free climbing within the next generation. No question. When Dave Bloom free'd it less than 2 decades ago he needed many pieces in the green C3 size and it was still a proud 13. Now the smallest cam you really need is a red C3, and the route is onsighted regularly. When will people care more about the route than they do about their egos and the instagram posts of their first big wall bivy??

Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 2,424

DO NOT EVEN START TO TRY TO TELL OTHERS HOW TO CLIMB

 GET UP THERE AND SEND IT THEN TELL US ALL HOW FAST YOU CLIMBED IT

 MANY  GO FOR THE EXPERIENCE, IT IS THE JOURNEY NOT THE DESTINATION

 NOT THE NUMBER
 OR
THE SPEED OF THE ASCENT
SLOW DOWN AND SMELL THE PERFUME OF LIFE
INSTEAD OF SNIFFING DAVE ALFFREY'S & YOUR OWN...... YOU CAN FILL IN THE HOLE OF CHOICE

Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 2,424

Entropy, & the fact that the only constant is change,

yeah its all going to shit, go find your own line to climb

Climb it your way, don't tell anyone about it, so it lasts longer.

IJMayer · · Anacortes, WA · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 258
Aaron Livingston wrote: Dave Allfrey (who I'm positive has done as much or more aid climbing than any of you) called for a shift in thinking on this route as well. If we don't stop accepting the mindless destruction of this route then it will be destroyed for free climbing within the next generation. No question. When Dave Bloom free'd it less than 2 decades ago he needed many pieces in the green C3 size and it was still a proud 13. Now the smallest cam you really need is a red C3, and the route is onsighted regularly. When will people care more about the route than they do about their egos and the instagram posts of their first big wall bivy??

will the route be destroyed for free climbing? or will it turn into a different free climb? maybe it'll turn into rattly fingers, and become harder again?

A L · · Ouray, CO · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 180

Schneider, I was there for the experience. And it's going downhill every year. It's an incredible free climbing feature and a mediocre aid route. If somebody's  only aid experience is MB and they get on something where they'll need to place 2 lobe cams and navigate pin scars then they will be totally unprepared, go practice aiding in Indian Creek it's the same as aiding MB. I'm saying do it in a day to SAVE THE ROCK FROM HAULING DAMAGE. Not because I care how many hours it takes somebody. And I'm saying people should stop learning to aid on this route so we can save the crack from unnecessary bounce testing.

Go ahead and aid it, but consider the massive damage that your approach will cause and then try to minimize it.

A L · · Ouray, CO · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 180

I couldnt give a shit less about the number in my tickbook. There are 10's of thousands of 512's in the world. There's only 1 moonlight buttress and if i have children I want them be able to enjoy the route if they so desire. I don't want to drive by it and say to them "That used to be the best finger crack in the world, now it's a blown out, scarred piece of shit and the gear is way too dangerous to even consider a free ascent anymore. Yes I know the 6 year old down the street can climb 513 but in 2018 people thought that 512 was too hard to rise to to the challenge".

Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 2,424

No one has to go car to car in x number of hours. No on  has to do a climb in a day,
 Yes it is an easy aid climb, a great solo wall. A good 1st, wall to get you kit dialed in.
 Or a great safe way to find out that you do't like the work involved.

 as you note it makes for very recognizable pix & garners lots of 'likes' if thats your thing.

I learned to climb using Goldline, leading & following on pins., Cleaning pins. A lost art.  I'm proud to place pins, but know better than to talk about it

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Big Wall and Aid Climbing
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