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Tom Randall & Pete Whitaker Onsight Kill Artist


Original Post
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210
https://www.instagram.com/tompaulrandall/p/Bw-PwdFHY_M/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=tadqxwmzuvpr

Dude is unreal.  Makes it sound pretty casual.

Edit: updated title to reflect that both members of party OS’d.
Ky Dame · · The West · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 145

Without bolts even! Great style. 

abandon moderation · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 204

Badass.

FA story here: youtube.com/watch?v=Z4zv894…

From the video, I don't think they thought it would ever be done without bolts as it's probably sketchy as all hell. I assume this is the second ascent?

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

Ohh the clap back. Cheeky as they say, bravo.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,450

This is at least the 3rd rout of Pam’s that’s been done w/o the bolts. 

Tom Sherman · · Bristol, RI · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 417
abandon moderation wrote: Badass.

FA story here: youtube.com/watch?v=Z4zv894…

From the video, I don't think they thought it would ever be done without bolts as it's probably sketchy as all hell. I assume this is the second ascent?

Thanks for the share

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

Sounds easy.  Go climb it.  Because, sure...all OW climbs are the same size and you totally don’t ever have to climb above gear.  TR the whole way up!

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 196
BillS wrote: Tthese OW climbers seem most often to be on TR, at best pushing the TR anchor ahead of them.

Uh, what are you talking about.

F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 366
Long Ranger wrote:

Uh, what are you talking about.

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 196
F loyd wrote:

So think about offwidth climbing. You're climbing up - your hands are in a butterfly and your knee is cammed into the crack itself. Sometimes you can't keep moving up, cause the gear you placed is in the way. So what do you do? You bump the gear you placed above you. Pamela also talks about not being able to place gear above you if you have to inverted - she does that even in that video on her FA of Kill Artist. The video you posted talks about talking a 30 foot fall onto your face. Seems there's risk involved.

If you would like to climb 5.13 offwidth in Vedauwoo a different way, no problem with me.
Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 196
BillS wrote: Duh - watch some videos, post some pix, maybe even take a road trip to Vedauwoo and give it a go yourself - fact - OW climbing is mostly top roping.  

My point is not an assesment of difficulty, just that I watched the linked video [edit - including the one just added as I typed!] and PP seems to have put some bolts in perfectly protectable locations - basically it appears to avoid lead climbing through the cruxes - then gives the route some 13++++ grade with death in the name - gets a guy’s attention - like is this for real or what?  I’m not the only one.  Love to hear more from Tom - and who knows what he’ll say?  Consensus.

I think she's heard it all before.
David Arredondo · · Austin, TX · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 15
caughtinside wrote: This is at least the 3rd rout of Pam’s that’s been done w/o the bolts. 

Super curious—what are the other two? 

F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 366
Long Ranger wrote: So think about offwidth climbing. You're climbing up - your hands are in a butterfly and your knee is cammed into the crack itself. Sometimes you can't keep moving up, cause the gear you placed is in the way. So what do you do? You bump the gear you placed above you. Pamela also talks about not being able to place gear above you if you have to inverted - she does that even in that video on her FA of Kill Artist. The video you posted talks about talking a 30 foot fall onto your face. Seems there's risk involved.

If you would like to climb 5.13 offwidth in Vedauwoo a different way, no problem with me.

I'm not criticizing. She's a beast. I know bumping cams is a necessity sometimes, but it still doesn't change the fact your not above pro at any time. Again, I know the method and reasoning but whoever mentioned the TR thing wasn't wholly wrong.

SethG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 250

Pete Whittaker in his fb post says that the bolts (including most of the belay stations on the route) were chopped, so they had no choice but to go without them. He also says the whole thing about the floating detached block was a bunch of hype and rated that pitch 5.11!

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 436

Was this the route that PP criticized a later repeater for *not* clipping the bolts on?

Auden Alsop · · Baltimore, MD · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 30
Pnelson wrote: Was this the route that PP criticized a later repeater for *not* clipping the bolts on?

Nah, this is the first repeat.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

Tom just posted this on his FB profile:

(F)log

To Bolt or Not to Bolt? To Hype, or Not to Hype?

The title itself is a question that’s raised its head a number of times over the last few years – and least not when Pete and I have been talking about some of our US crack climbing adventures whilst mid-trip. I don’t really get involved with opinion writing that much as generally it kicks up a load of shit and mostly I don’t have time to get into long internet discussions. This time though it’s a bit different, as for once, both me and Pete thought a recent experience in Utah warranted bring these somewhat sensitive subject matters to the point of open debate. Despite the obvious discomfort some of this might cause I think we have to be prepared to tackle the subject matter of bolting cracks in trad areas and the hyping of certain routes beyond the reality of their supposed danger.

What caused this? It was a fairly innocuous day of offwidth climbing just outside Moab to repeat the lauded routes of The Dark Passenger and The Kill Artist. The latter route has a pretty cool video covering the FA (easy to find on google) and both feature some spectacular looking wide climbing. In the morning we climbed DP and in the afternoon we climbed KA, both swinging leads and climbing onsight. I write this, not to pump up our ability but more to illustrate that we were happy to “have a look” from the bottom and see how we got on (especially as KA had a pretty big reputation …. Watch the film to see) without any kind of frigging or top roping.  

Ok, so what’s the big deal?

In my opinion (and yes, it’s my opinion…. So it’s not necessarily right…. But I am prepared to put it out there) the routes and the potential of the area are in danger of suffering from excessive bolting and over-hyping. Why do I say that? Does it even matter?

Over-bolting:

Bolting a wide crack (basically protectable in any section by a big friend) even if some of the rock isn’t totally bomber isn’t the way forward. It sets a standard by which climbers might as well just place bolts whenever they feel the rock is a little sketchy or when they’re not 100% protected. I don’t feel that Utah cracks need this. Sure, you might have to run it out 10-20ft (very rarely more) but really is that a massive deal considering we’ve all taken the choice to trad climb wide cracks?! 99% of the time, you can just walk a cam above your head if you’re freaked out at any point.

When we went on KA, the bolts had all been chopped (including nearly all the belays, which maybe wasn’t the most convenient thing) by an aggrieved local over something. We’d watched the video saying that they were totally necessary… but we beg to differ. We’re not even being bold here. We’re just being sensible. The Mental Block was a standard detached block that I’ve climbed on, around or over many times all over the world and placing cams behind it didn’t stress me out.

Over-hyping:

Both DP and KA have been reported to have big run outs on the wide sections and possible death/serious injury consequences. It does sound badass! But….. it’s just not true. DP has a whole “runout” section (see here mountainproject.com/route/1…) of 40-50ft which is just not true. You’ve got a bomber crack next to it and anything about not reaching the crack is simply not reality – my 7yr old daughter could reach between them. They’re about 4ft apart. Again, on KA there’s plenty of stuff going on about death blocks and the “Mental Block” at the crux with a 5.13 sequence. Myself and Pete just laybacked it and not in any way being harsh, suggested 5.11 (we could be mean and say less, but it’s not in our interest to sandbag, we’d rather just say it as it is). Sure, you could do some upside-down stuff, but it’s a bad choice as the chimney is 4ft wide and you just bridge at about 5.8 to reach into juggy laybacks. I would like to point out that getting sequences wrong is part of the game… so it’s not like we’re all immune to it… but multiple year projects with big statements of cruxes, death, crazy blocks should at least fit somewhat with reality. This is not the case.

Why do I care?

Exactly! Who cares….?! Just ignore the bolts, ignore the grades and ignore the hype. Well, I could (and I mostly do) but that would be ignoring what both of these issues do for the climbing development of the area and the up-and-coming youths. If stuff gets over-bolted then the challenge and adventure is massively reduced and if it’s over-hyped it scares everyone off and then sets a precedent that it’s sort of ok to fudge reality. If those routes were listed as safe and adventurous and at the true grades more people would get stuck in and see that they’re brilliant routes and they should be classics. The work that the FA put into those routes is currently not being realised because no one thinks it’s worth their life to take on a route like KA – the reality is that 100s of crack climbers around the world could all give it a good go and have great fun climbing a spectacular route. The same applies for DP – it’s an amazing route and deserves to become part of the wide circuit.  

Final reminders….

1. I wasn’t entirely sure about writing this, because of the potential backlash and upset that it may cause. But then I thought about it and came to the conclusion that despite it being uncomfortable, it’s good to get things out in the open in the crack climbing community. This is especially true for the offwidth scene as over the last 5 years or so, it’s become a bit of a problem with certain things. No one’s prepared to say anything as it all gets a bit out of hand, so I’m going to say something! If any of my UK friends think the scene there has gossip and weird goings on, well just head over to the USA Wide Scene! Carnage.
2. This is mostly all opinion – it might not suit everyone, but how else do we arrive at a consensus? Similar to the point above, people seem to have got fed up with having to deal with “shit storms” so they just don’t say anything any more. We should! We’re all adults and I’m sure we can deal with it. If someone thinks Century is problematic, just say it. If another party reckons Pete should have run it out more… just say!
3. Grades and bolts should be a rough consensus. They’re controversial, which means the creators of them (the first ascensionist) shouldn’t be nervous about debating them.
4. I have in the process of writing this piece contacted the first ascensionist, people who’ve climbed on either line and people involved with the filming. In essence, I’ve tried to get a reasonably balanced view.
5. Finally – don’t take my word on the bolts or loose rock as gospel. It might not be right! I’m just putting across my opinion based on a lot of crack climbing all over the world on multiple rock types. It’s a fairly broad view and I’m not being bold and macho about it…. I’m not a particularly bold climber and I don’t have a big love for loose rock :-)

Photos by: Catherine Eden & Big Beauty Pitches
Good climbing days with: Pete Whittaker, Pete Whittaker

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 436

Hey, wasn't someone talking a few weeks ago on here about how bold PP's routes were?  Haha!

Can't wait to see the fluffboys come out all like WE MUST PERTEKT OUR QUEEEEEEEEEN!

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

Lol yeah that was me.  I was wrong.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,450
David Arredondo wrote:

Super curious—what are the other two? 

Gabriel (bolts were placed by someone else) and the forever war. 

Josh Lipko · · Charlotte · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 10
Pnelson wrote: Hey, wasn't someone talking a few weeks ago on here about how bold PP's routes were?  Haha!

Can't wait to see the fluffboys come out all like WE MUST PERTEKT OUR QUEEEEEEEEEN!

I got lit into by some of her acolytes for saying that her “offwidth climbing hurts and is scary and awful” shtick was tired. Yeah we all know it’s hard and it hurts. Get over yourself.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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