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Leading Sculptures Crack
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Tristan Burnham
Oct 1, 2009
Leading Sculptures Crack  
The single limiting factor for the type of climbing done at Stoney Point is the cement that holds the grains of sand in place: it is weak.

This means that cams will skate, nuts will blow and lead bolts will fail when SUBJECTED TO THE FORCES LEAD FREE CLIMBING ENTAILS.

These are not the same forces placed on gear used to rig Top Ropes.

Leading any of the cracks or big faces at Stoney Point is not smart, because the rock has a very high potential to fail, even if it looks sound. That is why all Rap Bolted Lead/free routes at Stoney Point have been chopped. They had to be.

Tristan is correct in noting that the current state of many of the cracks at Stoney Point is due to repeated piton placements...pitons placed back in the 50's, 60's and 70's when we'd scare ourselves to death aiding those overhanging back canyon walls.

However, Tristan fails to heed to sage words of those giving him good counsel: These same cracks should not be led. The pro will fail, and that will likely damage the rock...more...possibly even eliminating important holds needed for subsequent ascents.

This is no place to get defensive.

The bolt aid ladders on the front side have nothing in common with gear (poorly) placed on lead to hold a fall while free climbing. Those bolt ladders are specifically designed to learn and practice aid climbing...nothing falls to worry about.

With just a casual glance, an experienced traditional lead climber will see that the cam placed in the photo here is tipped out, which would render it useless in solid granite. But accepting this in the poor quality stone of this area in simply bad judgement (not ballsy).

Stoney Point is NOT a place to lead free routes. If you want to do that, then visit the many other places in the Los Angeles area where the rock is solid enough to support bolts and gear used in traditional free climbs, like Malibu State Park or Tick Rock.

Rather than trying to lead thee cracks Tristan, which as the high probability of landing you in a stokes litter,
try this:

How many lapse can you do in ten minutes? 20 minutes?

Then you will be savoring what Stoney Point is all about: Getting Strong!! Apr 27, 2015
Tristan Burnham
La Crescenta, CA
Tristan Burnham   La Crescenta, CA
Trad and aid are still alive at Stoney. The aid route on the Jesus Wall is freshly rebolted. And how are you suposed to set up most of the routes at Stoney? With Trad gear! I'm not bragging about breaking holds. When I fell I popped a little micro nut and it made the crack a milimeter wider, not a big deal, I'm not proud of it, but I don't regret it. And you're right cams and nuts do minimize the impact on the rock, if you didnt see this picture, you would have had no idea I did this. So have fun on a little 15 ft bolder problem while I'm 3,000 ft up on El Cap with my trad and aid gear. Jun 30, 2011
Rob Gordon
Hollywood, CA
Rob Gordon   Hollywood, CA
There was a time when practicing aid and trad techniques at Stoney may have made sense. However I believe that time has passed. One of the main reasons cams and stoppers were invented was to minimize the impact on the rock.

Stoney deserves respect. Don't let the graffiti and trash fool you into thinking it's just some crappy training crag in the valley. We are lucky to have so many awesome problems so close to home.

I'm perfectly okay with being called a jerk if it helps keep Stoney from changing any more quickly than is already certain to happen due to its fragile nature. If you want to brag about taking falls and breaking holds, go ahead. I'll be over at boulder one trying to climb to the top of three pigs without using the pin scars. Mar 17, 2010

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Tristan Burnham
La Crescenta, CA