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Thi-Ly Hayes sends Sculpture's Crack, 1991. See any changes in the crack?
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Apr 27, 2015
Thi-Ly Hayes sends Sculpture's Crack, 1991. See any changes in the crack?  
Tristan Burnham
La Crescenta, CA
Tristan Burnham   La Crescenta, CA
Does top roping even count as a send? May 11, 2015
Indeed, Tristan, if you climb anything without falling, then you "sent" the route. Sculpture's Crack is one of the all-time great Top Rope climbs at Stoney Point, and it gets sent all the time with the safety net of a TR.

This is perfectly legit, and it is legit for any climb, anywhere; however, one must be completely honest when describing any sort of a "send", because if you claim to have "sent" a route that is routinely led in traditional style, then the words "sent" need to be followed up with "on top rope". Sculpture's Crack is not considered a "lead" route because of the poor holding power the rock lends to any sort of gear placed in it. The impact forces generated by a leader who pitched has a very high potential of causing the rock supporting the placement to simply powder, and it has. Moreover, if you go to an sport area and claim a "send" but had actually pre-clipped half the bolts, then you are not being honest about what you actually did. Anyone who TR's Sculpture's Crack without falling has "sent" the route, because that is a locally agreed upon way to climb that route. And that goes for any of the big TR's in the back of Stoney Point: Vicious, Maggie's Farm, Mozart's Wall, The Edge, Sand Blast, and many more.

The point with climbing routes is to have fun. The way you did a route is meaningful, because climbing is an activity done in an arena where style, ethics and honesty all come to play. I was witness to this entire debate as it raged on from the late 1960's to the late 1980s, and in the end it came down to local values and honesty. If you go to the Gunks and whip out the bolt gun to start putting up routes on all the blank faces, you will not last very long, and your routes will be erased, and well as your welcome. If you go to Yosemite Valley and strut around Camp IV claiming to have "sent" Twilight Zone, when in fact you TR'd it with multiple hangs, the you will not do very well in that area also.

Climbing ground up, no falls IS a "SEND", now all you have to do is clarify:

Lead placing all gear?
Lead clipping all passive protection that was left in place...a lot easier!

Lead while placing all draws?
Lead with draws hanging (much easier)?
TR? The easiest and safest way to free climb...usually.
Free Solo?...easiest way to free climb, but Oh Man! The RISK involved!!

Many a crack climbing purist will not recognize a "send" if the leader was clipping pro left in place. Nope, to them the only valid send on any crack is to lead it ground up, placing every piece of gear from stances on that attempt...but this does not apply to a crack climb that is a designated "TR", like Sculpture's Crack.

There is an entire language dedicated to this sort of thing: On-Sight, Flash, Red Point, Pink Point, Brown Point. These each have very specific climbing behaviors attached, and they all deal with how one "sent" a route.

Just be honest, it's easy. And have fun, because that is why we all climb, right? Jul 13, 2015

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