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More Tensleep Drama


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Cole Paiement · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 250

Recently a notice about chopped bolts appeared on @tensleepcanyon's Instagram story (an account run by Aaron Huey, an OG Ten Sleep developer). From the sound of it a bunch of the manufactured climbs that have been controversial lately were padlocked, "messed with", or completely stripped by an unknown group of climbers (not the FA).

From the reports I've heard, every climb at Funky Town now has a padlock on the first bolt. Two other areas were completely stripped.

I'm curious about the community's response to this, especially given the very active "Manufactured Routes at Tensleep" thread. Is our masked crusader going to reveal themselves or is this just a quiet act of "vigilante justice"?

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 90

I think it's coward. If you're gonna make such a stand... well make a stand.

Kevin DB · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 225

That's kind of funny. I went to funky town to check out what all the drama was about. It's hard to even describe what was done to that crag. Huge smooth hand shaped pockets were drilled up perfectly climbable rock. Cracks were sandblasted to make them smooth. Holds were drilled right next to natural holds. All of this was done on a crag that looks like it would of been awesome all on it's own.

The wtf factor was 11 out of 10. I have no idea what Louie Anderson was thinking while he was manufacting that crag. Personally I think people should go there and climb it just so they have an idea of what happened because it can't really adequately be described. Even when people told me about it in detail, when I went and climbed a route I literally said "what the fuck?" At every hold.

Funky town is already totally ruined. Someone chopping the bolts is nothing compared to what already happened there.

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 90
Kevin DB wrote: That's kind of funny. I went to funky town to check out what all the drama was about. It's hard to even describe what was done to that crag. Huge smooth hand shaped pockets were drilled up perfectly climbable rock. Cracks were sandblasted to make them smooth. Holds were drilled right next to natural holds. All of this was done on a crag that looks like it would of been awesome all on it's own.

The wtf factor was 11 out of 10. I have no idea what Louie Anderson was thinking while he was manufacting that crag. Personally I think people should go there and climb it just so they have an idea of what happened because it can't really adequately be described. Even when people told me about it in detail, when I went and climbed a route I literally said "what the fuck?" At every hold.

Funky town is already totally ruined. Someone chopping the bolts is nothing compared to what already happened there.

If things are as you describe (even if it's not that bad) I fully agree.... but that's not the point.

The point is this risks becoming an escalating war. Chopping bolts is pretty easy compared to bolting. Regardless of who's right or wrong, most people in a war feel like they are right, and thus will act believing they are doing the right thing. Why wouldn't Louis, or others who agree with his approach, go chop other stuff in retaliation? That's the danger. Or he could decide that if others can put their 2 cents into his approach, then he might as well do the same and go add random holds to classic climbs.

You double the danger if you decide to make a point of it (by chopping/paddlocking stuff), but act anonymously. First that's coward, but more importantly it makes it pretty easy for anyone disagreeing with what you're doing to act similarly and also anonymously. Things tend to go downhill from there....

Cole Paiement · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 250
Funky town is already totally ruined. Someone chopping the bolts is nothing compared to what already happened there.
Yeah but since it is already ruined it might as well stay up, right? With all the talk about this stuff and the large warnings in Huey's new guidebook, the community has already made their "no manufacturing" stance pretty clear.

If the bolts are chopped, someone will eventually go back up there and rebolt those lines. If the manufactured pockets are filled it is even more incentive because it means new FAs. It has happened before.
Cole Paiement · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 250

The point is this risks becoming an escalating war. Chopping bolts is pretty easy compared to bolting.

Not to mention that some of the older classics in the canyon have some manufactured holds (He Biggum for instance). What happens when routes like these get the same treatment as a statement or in retaliation.

This also dissuades developers from comfortizing and cleaning up holds. I have put up some routes in TS and while I don't use glue or manufacture holds I do gently comfortize them, breaking off the sharp edges and internal spikes of pockets so the climb isn't too painful to be fun. What happens when someone comes along and decides that these pockets are "too good to be true" and chops my bolts? I certainly wouldn't be putting in any work in Ten Sleep after that.
abandon moderation · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 204

If someone comes along and manufactures a bunch of climbs, and the routes stay up, what would prevent someone else do the same? Sure there's community outrage but I'd say maybe not enough.

If it's known that "anything manufactured will be chopped" no one will bother to waste effort manufacturing routes.

Otherwise... maybe it will never happen again? Or maybe it will, after all you can get away with it and the routes will stay up.

As far as a padlock, that seems like an expensive and not particularly good way to "mess with" a climb. Why not remove the hangar? Is this indicating someone will remove them, eventually?

EDIT:

Not to mention that some of the older classics in the canyon have some manufactured holds (He Biggum for instance). What happens when routes like these get the same treatment as a statement or in retaliation.
It seems to me, my above point is made that no one took a hard enough stance in the past against manufactured holds and here we are... This isn't my crag, but as an outsider it sounds like local "ethics" allow manufacturing (probably what Louie thought, too) 
Cole Paiement · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 250
abandon moderation wrote: 
It seems to me, my above point is made that no one took a hard enough stance in the past against manufactured holds and here we are... This isn't my crag, but as an outsider it sounds like local "ethics" allow manufacturing.

The local ethic seems to have always been "just don't make it obvious". The developer of He Biggum (which has multiple manufactured pockets though a blank section of rock) was given a ton of shit for manufacturing to the point where he stripped the bolts. However the climb was later rebolted and sent and is now one of the most highly rated hard climbs in the canyon.

The problem is that it's not black and white. If "all manufactured climbs are bad" then we lose some canyon classics. Basically, where do we draw the line? And what's to stop future climbers from rebolting the stripped lines and sending them?

Last summer I got the FA of a manufactured climb in TS. It had been obviously manufactured, stripped, rebolted, and left as an open project. Am I sending a bad message by getting the FA? Should I have just left the climb for someone else to do (which would be inevitable)? In this case, chopping the bolts would have been unacceptable as the equipper passed away. 
Hamish Malin · · Fredericksburg, VA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 15

Couldn’t you just clip draws to the padlocks?  Or thread slings/nuts through them for an epic quasi-trad send??

Fehim Hasecic · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 155
Kevin DB wrote: That's kind of funny. I went to funky town to check out what all the drama was about. It's hard to even describe what was done to that crag. Huge smooth hand shaped pockets were drilled up perfectly climbable rock. Cracks were sandblasted to make them smooth. Holds were drilled right next to natural holds. All of this was done on a crag that looks like it would of been awesome all on it's own.

The wtf factor was 11 out of 10. I have no idea what Louie Anderson was thinking while he was manufacting that crag. Personally I think people should go there and climb it just so they have an idea of what happened because it can't really adequately be described. Even when people told me about it in detail, when I went and climbed a route I literally said "what the fuck?" At every hold.

Funky town is already totally ruined. Someone chopping the bolts is nothing compared to what already happened there.

“Cracks were sandblasted “. Really?

Nathan Witt · · Roanoke, Va · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 2,470

I've been quietly following this ordeal since it unfolded on social media. I've only been to Ten Sleep a few times and am in no way a regular, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. The saddest part about this is the fact that the new generation of climbers is capable of slaying the 5.14+ grades with more frequency. Chipping holds just seems greedy and cheap. Anderson would rather drill/glue/chip holds to get his name on a route than allow someone who is actually capable of sending the true grade have at it. Know when to step aside to let others shine. From what I gather, he is a habitual offender when it comes to this behavior, stemming all the way back to his time in Cali. It's also upsetting to see that there is still a sizable group of climbers willing to condone this behavior and, in some cases, even praise him for it. Finally, given the outrage this has generated from the climbing community, it is kind of shocking to see that the guy's name is still on the So Ill site as a hold-designer. Ivan Greene was stripped of all of his sponsorships when exposed for chipping. How is this any different? Even if there are other routes with manufactured holds throughout the canyon, it's not on the same level as this guy. My vote would be to close the entirety of Funky Town to climbing as a reminder to follow ethics. Otherwise, people will start doing more of this with the same excuse as, "Well, it's already done, so let's just keep climbing it."

crag cat · · San Diego · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 16

Hi, I'm a person on the internet that is not a local but have very strong opinions about manufacturing. Here they are:
1. Do not chip holds into rock, just don't do it. If the route need to be 5.11 A0, rather than 5.11 with a chipped hold, so be it. I think it is massively insulting to future generation and the entire climbing community.
2. As far as chopping and rebolting and chopping and rebolting a manufactured climb. Thats gross. The padlock is a good idea, If someone really want to climb it they can go get some tat and do it. The padlock is a good form up public shaming. 

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 974

I can't speak to Tensleep at all, you locals will have to sort what should happen, but, there are other areas where this sort of thing is definitely a part of local history.
https://www.mountainproject.com/area/110165274/leslie-gulch

City of Rocks even had gym holds attached to rock (see Comp Wall) at one point.

This does/can have ramifications for access, it isn't just a "style" quibble.

Best of luck to you on sorting this out. Helen

Edit to add: Leslie Gulch is a day trip from Boise (and very beautiful). City, is a fun weekend. Table Rock...also closed to development, for many years now. It is visible out my front window. We don't operate in a vacuum.

abandon moderation · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 204
Cole Paiement wrote:

The local ethic seems to have always been "just don't make it obvious".

That's more or less what I've gathered, and at least one person in the know has hinted that the whole controversy was not really about ethics.

The problem is that it's not black and white. If "all manufactured climbs are bad" then we lose some canyon classics. Basically, where do we draw the line? And what's to stop future climbers from rebolting the stripped lines and sending them?
IMO it should be black and white, as the gray area is ever shifting. The thing that will keep people from rebolting them is knowing that the local community will chop them anyhow. As it is, it seems like the local community will perhaps wag a finger and let the whole thing blow over, especially if the route is good.

Each generation of climbers expands on climbing in some way; I don't know quite where the 'tensleep line of thought' is headed in 10-20 years, but I would not want it for my local crags.
Prikash Bista · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0

So we have hit the base of the issue.

Who are the “locals” of Tensleep?

Answer - It’s a bastard stepchild of an area. There are very few climbers that actually live and work “locally”.  There are maybe dozen real locals that live within a hour of the canyon and climb in TS canyon with any regularity.  The rest are tourists from Colorado or Casper.  Some those tourists care a lot and put a whole lot of work in to make it a nice place... matter of fact they put it on the map.

For those of you who feel the need to keep re hashing this issue from your home very far from TS please stop.  The heavy route manufacturing is old news it happened over the past 3 years and from my understanding is no longer happening.  Shame, alienation and very direct conversation has occurred.  Chopping, stripping hangers, and padlocking bolts are acts not done out of love of sport but out of hate for another person.  Be a better person that this, boycott the routes, don’t buy guidebooks that glorify them, let them shamefully sit there on the wall.

From here forward being part of the solution is important.  Attend roundtable meeting at the brewery when your in town, fix some that questionable/worn hardware, have the supplies/tools with you to do it, take a few minutes while your visiting to improve a section of trail it’s not hard, and don’t be afraid to buy some food/beer/gas locally the people who make a living there depend on patrons.

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 90
Prikash Bista wrote: So we have hit the base of the issue.

Who are the “locals” of Tensleep?

Answer - It’s a bastard stepchild of an area. There are very few climbers that actually live and work “locally”.  There are maybe dozen real locals that live within a hour of the canyon and climb in TS canyon with any regularity.  The rest are tourists from Colorado or Casper.  Some those tourists care a lot and put a whole lot of work in to make it a nice place... matter of fact they put it on the map.

For those of you who feel the need to keep re hashing this issue from your home very far from TS please stop.  The heavy route manufacturing is old news it happened over the past 3 years and from my understanding is no longer happening.  Shame, alienation and very direct conversation has occurred.  Chopping, stripping hangers, and padlocking bolts are acts not done out of love of sport but out of hate for another person.  Be a better person that this, boycott the routes, don’t buy guidebooks that glorify them, let them shamefully sit there on the wall.

From here forward being part of the solution is important.  Attend roundtable meeting at the brewery when your in town, fix some that questionable/worn hardware, have the supplies/tools with you to do it, take a few minutes while your visiting to improve a section of trail it’s not hard, and don’t be afraid to buy some food/beer/gas locally the people who make a living there depend on patrons.

There's truth in there. 

But going all the way with this reasoning, in general no one "owns" a crag. imo that's one thing that is incredibly awesome about climbing and I hope it stays that way - the rock is largely a common, managed by no one and everyone at the same time. Different people have different amount of influence on a crag, be it because of who they are or the sheer amount of time they spent putting it up. It feels like an increasingly unique thing in a world that's getting smaller and where rules & ownerships keeps creeping everywhere.

But then that does mean that it's not necessarily only up to the locals to care about the place, nor only to the people physically present. They do and should have more say/influence..  But more distant users should also have a say, be it only pixels on screens. One could argue it's bad, or counter-productive, or just doesn't add much to the debate. It may or not be so. 

For my part I like to think that forums such as MP do play a role in shaping what climbers can, can't, should and shouldn't do. Many people go online, including many new climbers coming of gyms with new shiny draws. What they thing of manufactured holds & others questions is likely to be at least partly shaped by what they read on social media, including here on MP, FB etc. I think their opinion on what climbing crags are or what they should be is still up in the air... yet one day whatever path they take may just matter a lot more than what current climbers think.

Ryan U. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 45

I wonder what Royal Robbins would say about this

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 316
Ryan U. wrote: I wonder what Royal Robbins would say about this
Get the shovel!
Braden Downey · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Feb 2007 · Points: 105
Prikash Bista wrote: So we have hit the base of the issue.

Who are the “locals” of Tensleep?

Answer - It’s a bastard stepchild of an area. There are very few climbers that actually live and work “locally”.  There are maybe dozen real locals that live within a hour of the canyon and climb in TS canyon with any regularity.  The rest are tourists from Colorado or Casper.  Some those tourists care a lot and put a whole lot of work in to make it a nice place... matter of fact they put it on the map.

For those of you who feel the need to keep re hashing this issue from your home very far from TS please stop.  The heavy route manufacturing is old news it happened over the past 3 years and from my understanding is no longer happening.  Shame, alienation and very direct conversation has occurred.  Chopping, stripping hangers, and padlocking bolts are acts not done out of love of sport but out of hate for another person.  Be a better person that this, boycott the routes, don’t buy guidebooks that glorify them, let them shamefully sit there on the wall.

From here forward being part of the solution is important.  Attend roundtable meeting at the brewery when your in town, fix some that questionable/worn hardware, have the supplies/tools with you to do it, take a few minutes while your visiting to improve a section of trail it’s not hard, and don’t be afraid to buy some food/beer/gas locally the people who make a living there depend on patrons.

I respectfully disagree from my home in Bellingham, WA. Recently in Squamish, someone chipped a hard boulder problem to enhance the crux hold. It was just one small hold though - It's not as bad as busting a chistel out on an entire crag like Funky Town.  -----------  If the following sentence seemed logical to you, you must not understand the problem here. Leaving these routes in-place ONLY encourages future climbers to chip and deface rock, while accomplishing nothing positive. Who cares if this hurts anyones feelings because a bit of hate might have been a contributing factor for chopping the routes.
Rob warden The space lizard · · Now...where? · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 0
Braden Downey wrote:
I respectfully disagree from my home in Bellingham, WA. Recently in Squamish, someone chipped a hard boulder problem to enhance the crux hold. It was just one small hold though - It's not as bad as busting a chistel out on an entire crag like Funky Town.  -----------  If the following sentence seemed logical to you, you must not understand the problem here. Leaving these routes in-place ONLY encourages future climbers to chip and deface rock, while accomplishing nothing positive. Who cares if this hurts anyones feelings because a bit of hate might have been a contributing factor for chopping the routes.

I bet you are real fun at parties...


Damage is done

It robbed no one ( people climbing 5.15 dont give a flying fuck about tensleep) (they also dont care about a single 3 move v13 in the middle of 50ft of 5.11)

Stripping the wall is sour grapes.

The reality is still crowding as there are more people climbing they will proportionally climb the same grades proportionally they always have IE under 5.11

They will climb closer to the road proportionally. Because proportionally people hate to walk.

Theres not a lot more rock right  off the road one state over from Colorado.

A hard boulder is the opposite of this situation. Proportionally, to be able to even understand or care about the minutiae, you must be intimately immersed in the mentiua of hard bouldering.

Sportz clippering 5.easy (IE under 5.11a) does not require buy in understanding or respect.

All those people gotta go somewhere and it better be far far the fuck away from where i want to climb.

Drill another funky town and lets get upset about somthing that fucking matters.

Any of you pedants who will continue to harp about damge to the rock,have

 1 Not really devolped shit
2 dont understand your own impacts over time in a finite area
3 are making it worse by not using your brains

I am being a dick. I dont care. I will not be in ten sleep putting up a new moderate crag. But i will tell the forrest of green license plates thats where they should go with their matching rei available everything.

So mothafucka who wants to dance
m Mobes · · MDI, ME · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 905
Rob warden The space lizard wrote:

I bet you are real fun at parties...


Damage is done

It robbed no one ( people climbing 5.15 dont give a flying fuck about tensleep) (they also dont care about a single 3 move v13 in the middle of 50ft of 5.11)

Stripping the wall is sour grapes.

The reality is still crowding as there are more people climbing they will proportionally climb the same grades proportionally they always have IE under 5.11

They will climb closer to the road proportionally. Because proportionally people hate to walk.

Theres not a lot more rock right  off the road one state over from Colorado.

A hard boulder is the opposite of this situation. Proportionally, to be able to even understand or care about the minutiae, you must be intimately immersed in the mentiua of hard bouldering.

Sportz clippering 5.easy (IE under 5.11a) does not require buy in understanding or respect.

All those people gotta go somewhere and it better be far far the fuck away from where i want to climb.

Drill another funky town and lets get upset about somthing that fucking matters.

Any of you pedants who will continue to harp about damge to the rock,have

 1 Not really devolped shit
2 dont understand your own impacts over time in a finite area
3 are making it worse by not using your brains

I am being a dick. I dont care. I will not be in ten sleep putting up a new moderate crag. But i will tell the forrest of green license plates thats where they should go with their matching rei available everything.

So mothafucka who wants to dance

Nice Rob, welcome to the "fuk all of you" club. Padlocks - sounds like some coward from CT may have visited. Too much money and time on their hands, wants to be the anonymous crag police. So much talk and so few pictures makes me feel that Louie must have done a pretty good job!

Does anyone know where I can park my 50k van for free in Tensleep? Im a dirtbag from CO and my rent is so high I have no money.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Wyoming, Montana, Dakotas
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