Type: Sport
FA: Scott Franklin
Page Views: 4,929 total · 23/month
Shared By: Pinklebear on Nov 5, 2001
Admins: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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This line defines the term "directissima," and were it vertical instead of 40 degrees overhanging, would be the proverbial, Comici-esque path which a drop of water would follow from the cliff's summit to the base of the wall.

Simply Read climbs out the center of the cave sector on the Project Wall directly above the parking area. It tackles an ultra-steep line on porcelain-hard white stone and can be recognized by a highly-chalked boulder problem start in the opening cave.

This line was originally equipped by Erik Fedor then freed about 5 years later by Scott Franklin. It basically consists of two powerful boulder problems separated by scads of sustained, overhanging climbing, and has shut more climbers down than some of the 5.14s at Rifle.

Simply Read ends at 80 feet for the time being, but were it extended to the top of the wall would surely take on another dimension in difficulty. Don't forget your kneepads.

Besides a little glue reinforcing a couple of holds below the upper crux, this line is entirely natural, making it one of the best hard routes at Rifle.


Though this route often has draws in place, you'll need 10-12 draws if it's not equipped.


Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
Looking at the Climbingboulder scale of chipping, I'd say this deserves a Chipped page. Anyone agree? Nov 5, 2001
I agree, Peter. According to the climbingboulder.com Spectrum of Chipping, glued holds are clearly Unacceptable. This route should be marked as chipped. At this point, why are chipped routes still even being added to the database?

I'll register my disappointment right now about how this whole chipping thing is being handled. I hope that Myke and Co. will reconsider. The thing that makes this site so valuable is that it is community oriented, and this new approach runs counter to that. In a couple emails to Myke, I supported marked routes as chipped, but this isn't what I had in mind. The solution has to involve the community, not one individual making sweeping pronouncements. If this is the best that can be done, then I say that chipped routes should NOT be excluded or treated any differently. They'll be exposed in the route comments, as they always have. Nov 5, 2001
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
Wow! I leave for a 2 hour meeting, and return to find this. Let's see, where to start, where to start... this decision has been described as "arrogant", "dictatorial","grandiose and self-serving", "individual making sweeping pronouncements"...ouch!

First things first: Matt Samet is not the evil controller of this situation. I wrote the code that classifies routes as chipped or not, Matt wrote the words based upon principles that Ben and I agreed upon, and Ben updated routes that he believed to be manufactured. So it's the trifecta of evil, perhaps.

Up until yesterday, routes on the site that were chipped, manufactured or modified had no distinction from routes without such modification. This type of activity is controversial, as evidenced by the sweeping emotions posted today, as well as the discussion on fiddler on the woof. They had no distinction, because, well, when the site started we never even considered the issue. Now the issue has come up, and it was time for us to consider it, and what we were going to do with it. Failure to do so, while easier on the self-esteem, is an abdication of responsibility.

So what did we do? We conducted polls. We asked the community questions, in person and over email. Mike Sofranko did indeed weigh in with several emails. We deliberated over these carefully, objectively, trying to reach a conclusion that felt represented our conscience and the available sentiments of the community. We heard from many people who wanted, retroactively, to remove any routes that are manufactured. We heard from others who didn't want the picture of Dyno Monkey off the front page. This issue came up in a very lively manner last year (see email list archives), and I ended up speaking with Crusher Bartlett (conducted the boulder canyon resource survey), getting into lively discussion with Steve Diekhoff over email, and listening to Mark Rolofson for a long time on the phone. Malcolm Daly grabbed our ear. I asked Alan Nelson for literature on the ethical defenses of manufacturing an undercling (never got a reply, I'd still like to read one). And a bunch of people just took time to throw their observations and thoughts to us. I would say absolutely YES, we did our best to solicit comments from the community.

A major point we identified through talking with locals is is that this issue is more of a continuum than black and white. Virtually nobody is in favor of taking hammer and chisel to blank rock. However, that is only the most extreme on the scale of human actions that modify the rock in sake of conveinence, safety, or personal ambition. Perhaps the most "pure" climber is the one climbing a bushy, dirty crack with loose blocks to his left and right on licheny holds using no chalk and using only slings for protection. And perhaps the most striking ethical lapse is someone who cuts holds up a blank face with bolts every 2 feet. Somewhere along this line, almost everyone's moral outrage alarm starts to ring. For Diekhoff, it's right away. For Alber, it's on permanant snooze.

And this seems to be the major beef with the setup. Not that people need to click one more link to see the route beta, rather where our gradient turns from blue to red. Part of the challenge, then, is to map a discrete variable (chipped yes/no) onto an analog domain. And when we make mistakes in classifying routes.

Peter, I want to apologize to you, since you are obviously deeply offended. If you truly desire it, I'll absolutely remove your contributions. However, I hope that you'd rather work with us on routes that we have made mistakes on in classification than walking away from the process. I didn't receive any personal correspondence from you regarding this issue. Perhaps we should have sent a list of prospective classified routes to the list to be vetted.

One comment is that reader comments will take care of this issue. Comments that ramble on about the "Boulder Cock Rub?" Or the other ones that I deleted, because they were even more virulent and juvenile? Or perhaps that's a self-serving and arrogant maneuver, by deleting comments from the community?

I fail to see the arguments that it's self-serving. Why is something that required technical work, careful contemplation, and exposure to personal attacks an action that is for my personal benefit? I will admit it is a reflection of Ben and I's personal convictions on the subject. And this site is as it is, in part because of the vision that Ben and I had for a climbing site almost 2 years ago. And in that leadership role, we have made some command decisions.

We have deleted posts that we felt were offensive and offered no benefit to the community. We have limited climbing routes to be inside of Colorado (except for Vedauwoo). We have made it a requirement that every rock, area, ice region, and valley be approved by us before it is added to the site. We have, ON EVERY PAGE, a link to our preferred climbing shop, our favorite coffee shop, manufacturer, guide service, and gps supplier(ha!). Every route that has a new first ascent has a YES! in bold on it. And every route that is classified as chipped makes you click one more link to see the beta. Is that a manifestation of our arrogant opinions, that we should not make judgements about these issues?

I'm going to stop here, because this is unbelievably long already. We have made a decision. Agree or disagree with us, but respect that your climbing site did more than just say "Laissez Faire" and refuse to make a judgement on the issue via the popular framework of relativsim and the moral impotence that it allows. Then, suggest how to refine this policy in such a way that you think it's more representative, and as it evolves over the next few weeks and months, we can hopefully reach a solution that bests represents the local climbing community's interests.

Myke Nov 5, 2001
Please change my previous comment to say "Three individuals making sweeping pronouncements." My apologies, Matt.

Just kidding... I of course meant my comments in a constructive sense, I apologize if I came off wrong.

This site is flat out the best climbing site I've seen on the web, major kudos to Myke and Ben. You guys have done pretty well (understatement) and exercised your executive powers far better than I could ever do. I'm sure the site will continue to evolve, for the better. Nov 5, 2001
I really don't think reinforcing holds should in any way be associated with chipping. Chipping is changing the rock, reinforcing is preventing the rock from being changed.

It's easy to sit on the Front Range and fail to see the need for glueing holds, because we don't really have any crags here that really need it. Try getting out of Boulder and climbing on limestone sometime. Half the routes in Rifle would be impossible, dangerous, or crap if glue was not used.

I'm sure I've climbed some of the routes Matt glued, and I appriciate what he did. Nov 5, 2001
It seems like in our rush to get the new "Modified Route" pages up before routes designated as such, we didn't think carefully enough on the impact of doing so.

We would like to make this a community effort, not a unilateral process. Routes in the gray area (ie: ones with glued holds as preventive or a fix) will NOT be added to this "black" list. Our stance may not cohere with all users of cb.com, but we know that the majority of climbers (in this community) oppose manufactured routes.

It is difficult (in some cases) to decide whether a route will be designated as "modified" so route comments are a valuable forum for users to voice their opinions. You will notice on the route addition form an additional checkbox that will designate the route as modified, so it may be better to leave this unchecked if you are not sure. If the community responds with comments that it should indeed be designated as modified, we can update it later. Better to be cautious, lest you piss someone off.

The current implementation of the "disclaimer" and stance before modified routes is not set in stone. It is simply a starting point in our effort to end manufactured routes. I realize that this should be a community effort and Myke and I are NOT trying to be dictatorial, but we have to start somewhere in addressing the problem.

We would appreciate everyone's continued input in this matter to make this approach effective in dissuading manufactured routes. Nov 5, 2001
Given that my first comment was from the position of devil's advocate:

The AC said it... I have never understood what the big deal is about using glue to reinforce holds. Here in Fort Collins, a pretty large percentage of the classic bouldering is held together by glue. That's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned. Can anyone explain why reinforcing holds is bad? If a hold breaks off, why is it wrong to glue it back on? What are the arguements against these two specific practices?

I also don't like the term "chipped". I think the term "manufactured" is more descriptive and inclusive.

This is a messy issue because you have to consider the motive of the person altering the rock. I disagree with the climbingboulder chipping spectrum - instead I would say:


Glue to reinforce holds Acceptable Glue to replace broken holds Cleaning loose rock gardening/lichen removal

comfortizing holdsQuestionable

bolting on new holds Unacceptable glueing on new holds enlarging existing holds creating new holds


In the unacceptable range, the motive of the person is that they can't climb the route as is. These are the manufactured routes, IMO. Nov 6, 2001
Oops, the formatting got messed up in my previous comment. Hopefully this is readable.

Acceptable: Glue to reinforce holds, Glue to replace broken holds, Cleaning loose rock, gardening/lichen removal

Questionable: comfortizing holds

Unacceptable: bolting on new holds, glueing on new holds, enlarging existing holds, creating new holds

-mike Nov 6, 2001
James Cranston
Boulder, CO
James Cranston   Boulder, CO