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New ugly bolted routes at Indian Creek, Broken Tooth and Critics Choice
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Apr 18, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Hanging out on Tucupit occidentalis
I don't think this is the best place to discuss such matters but it needs to be confronted.

Silly, short and unworthy bolted routes are popping up at Indian Creek recently.

The line right of Unbelievable at Broken Tooth is too ridiculously short to even consider a worthwhile Indian Creek pitch (30 feet?). Bad isn't bad enough so leave it an ugly excessively chalked mess.

Critics Choice Wall has seen 20-some-odd bolts added - all in my, but not only my, opinion completely not worth drilling. A few of them retro-ed the r rated chimney directly right of the classic Critics Choice. It's not cool to retro and it's not cool to put bolts in next to such a classic. I saw the Memorial (I forget whom to) plaque there years ago, which has disappeared replaced with a new one. All this is made worse with neon green tat anchors.

All these routes are out of character with the ethics of the area. I ask the person who established these 'pitches' to please stop and think about drilling and what it contributes. I predict somebody will chop these routes sometime, but it won't be me.

I want to add that Let er Buck, I believe, is an excellent example of fully bolted Creek route, a provoking line and well thought out. Nothing wrong with sport routes at the Creek if they are good.
Brandon Gottung
From Moab, UT
Joined Dec 23, 2010
1,508 points
Apr 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: jah ... cluster
This topic needs to be seriously considered! There are fleeting lines with potential for bold ascents and I even beg to argue that compelling bolted faces can coexist, but the facts as presented by OP undermine our community. If this is you, your crew, or you know about this please reconsider your actions and rectify your disgrace of an established line. If you see someone in the process of more of these acts please speak up! justino
Joined Oct 14, 2008
120 points
Jun 1, 2016
Hey Brandon,

I bolted the route in question on Broken Tooth. I gave a huge amount of consideration, before I drilled any holes. I toperoped the route several times to make sure it was worth scaring the rock for, and checked with other locals for a second opion. I find the climbing on that route super fun and engaging, and personally think it adds a fun bit of variety to the crag. Mentioning this route in the same rant as retrobolting a established route is silly.
It is funny you call it ugly, because I think this varnished face is very attractive, but I guess it is good we all have different style preferences, or else my favorite climbs would be more crowded.
Let us be honest, Indian Creek is not the most traditional climbing area around, when was the last time you walked off a route in the creek? There is fixed hardware and excessive chalk/tickmarks all over the creek!

But I do agree, thoughtless drilling of holes is a poor and unsustainable practice, be it at a sport crag, in a canyon or on a big wall.
Jerome...
Joined May 2, 2015
63 points
Jun 2, 2016
Brandon Gottung wrote:
Nothing wrong with sport routes at the Creek if they are good.


If I was drilling at the creek, I would update this to "destination worthy". Is the route worth driving 4-8 hours or flying for? These are cliffs stacked with destination worthy classics, not to mention all the lesser natural lines. No need to squeeze in a sport line unless it is really that good.

If someone finds the next Namaste, or Amarillo Sunset, or Bullet the Blue Sky, then yeah, bolt it. The next 2-3* line that would fit right in at Potash? Maybe not.
Jeremy Kasmann
From Denver, CO
Joined Nov 21, 2007
5 points
Jun 2, 2016
Jeremy Kasmann wrote:
If I was drilling at the creek, I would update this to "destination worthy". Is the route worth driving 4-8 hours or flying for? These are cliffs stacked with destination worthy classics, not to mention all the lesser natural lines. No need to squeeze in a sport line unless it is really that good. If someone finds the next Namaste, or Amarillo Sunset, or Bullet the Blue Sky, then yeah, bolt it. The next 2-3* line that would fit right in at Potash? Maybe not.


Spot on. The cool thing about Indian Creek is that, more than about anywhere else, crags there are a virtual catalog of 5 star splitters and corners, quantity and quality. Yeah, there are some not-so-great cracks there, but overall the average quality of an Indian Creek line is a cut above the average quality of about any other crack.

Any bolted route should be carefully considered, and up to par with the beauty and position of the average crack line; Let'r'Buck as mentioned above is a great example. I've not seen the route you bolted, Jerome, but sorry, a 30-40 foot bolted line? Lame.

It's just sad that this has even become a discussion.
Pnelson
Joined Jan 1, 2015
58 points
General Admin
Jun 2, 2016
Pnelson wrote:
I've not seen the route...


...so maybe you should refrain from judgement?

Everyone loves a nice long pitch, but there are 30-40' lines that are amazing. While I agree with all of the premises put forth in these arguments against bolting crap routes at the Creek, I find it hard to form an opinion about specific cases without a little more information. I don't know Jerome but his post indicates a measured and thoughtful approach to establishing this route - I for one would be willing to suspend judgement until I actually saw it.
Josh Janes
Joined Jun 8, 2001
8,431 points
Jun 2, 2016
Bottom line: if you have to contemplate whether or not a route should be added (especially if you have to go so far as to ask for the advice of others), then don't bolt it.....simple. Everyone wants a first ascent....I get it.....but just because it goes, doesn't always mean it should get bolted. Dominic Weinstock
Joined Jun 24, 2012
248 points
Jun 2, 2016
"Bottom line: if you have to contemplate whether or not a route should be added (especially if you have to go so far as to ask for the advice of others), then don't bolt it...."


I strongly disagree with Dominic's statement above. I think we should contemplate every bolt we place, if we are just placing bolts with no second thought then we actually have a problem. Do you believe your moral compass is so strong you don't need a second opinion?

As for as destination worthy? I have driven to the creek a couple times from Moab with the intent of hoping on this bad boy. But I think driving 4-6 hours or taking a flight to climb any single pitch is crazy. Talk about not sustainable!

And then as far as judging a route's quality by its length. Some people devote thier whole climbing career to bouldering.

This route had nothing to do with me wanting to get a "First Ascent",it is purely the fact that I wanted to move over that lovely piece of stone, and I want my friends too also! I think it is a sweet route!

I agree, no bolting shit piles in the creek, but for me this is far from a shit pile.
Jerome...
Joined May 2, 2015
63 points
Jun 2, 2016
Jerome... wrote:
But I think driving 4-6 hours or taking a flight to climb any single pitch is crazy. Talk about not sustainable!


It is actually quite common. Sure, people climb more than one pitch in the area, but they make the trip for that one route. I know people who have flied international to finish a project.

Sustainable? Who said modern climbing is sustainable?
Jeremy Kasmann
From Denver, CO
Joined Nov 21, 2007
5 points
Jun 2, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Millennium Traverse, 5.10: Reimers' Ranch
Jerome,

If you could please move your route to Louisiana, we'd be happy to climb it. Sounds like you were conscientious enough to me..

Good luck with the other locals--the locals' locals,


N_
Nathan Self
From Louisiana
Joined Mar 5, 2012
100 points
Jun 7, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Hanging out on Tucupit occidentalis
Thanks for chiming in Jerome. Sorry for being so harsh about your route. If I hadn't been out to Critics Choice shortly after and seen the recent development there, I wouldn't have been so critical. Yeah, Indian Creek has plenty of lines with tickmarks and chalk monster handprints, but the classics Dentist Chair, Broken Tooth and Unbelievable all next door are quite clean. Your route being slathered in chalk appeared like a call out for attention. Sure, that could have easily been folks after you, but just explaining where I'm coming from. Truthfully, I have not climb your route so I should reserve judgement (it'd be cool getting on it w you this fall). I'm happy to hear you gave the route a strong consideration. No offense intended. I was more than a little soured by what I saw at Critics Choice and wanted to bring this topic to the attention of the community. Brandon Gottung
From Moab, UT
Joined Dec 23, 2010
1,508 points
Jun 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo:
Nathan Self wrote:
Jerome, If you could please move your route to Louisiana, we'd be happy to climb it. Sounds like you were conscientious enough to me.. Good luck with the other locals--the locals' locals, N_


I second this comment, We could use some more 30 foot sport routes down in the bayou.
Chase Bowman
From Baton Rouge
Joined Jan 27, 2014
476 points
Jun 20, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Chillin' at City of Rocks
Unnecessary bolting is of course always frowned upon but I must agree with Jerome and that specific route….. it is a fun and beautiful climb and not near as disturbing in appearance as all the chalk on Sweden Ringle, the tick marks on Ruby or the body scum marks on Incredible……

The reality ---- the creek is seeing a lot of traffic, and the popular routes/areas/trails are showing the impact, but there are thousands of routes there, most are still crisp and clean, so and a handful of bolted routes are ok with me……

IMHO
Princess Mia
From Vail
Joined May 22, 2006
505 points


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