/ Thai Boxing, Chamonix
Is it currently bolted? Could it be top roped easily? How long is it? I've seen pictures but only of bits of the route, it sounds ace.
From the search facility;
> Is it currently bolted?
I don't think so.
Could it be top roped easily?
roof crack, so I doubt it.
It's at a crag called le couteray, the best place to see it, as it is somewhat hidden, is from le buet train station where you can just see the crag in profile in woods very close(perhaps 400m distance) to le couteray housing area of le buet, pretty much opposite the train station on the other side of the main road, so looking up to the berard valley entrance, but before the actual valley.
It's actually a great steep little crag with from the right, a 6a+, 7a+, 7b+, 7c+, project, 8a+, Thai boxing, then a 7b+ crack to finish on the left. All underused but excellent. Good luck!
Are you sure?
The bolts are in my car!
Here they are: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=150800
If this is impossible, could chockstones be placed, or is there any other opertunities for placing gear other than large cams and big bros?
How long is the route?
What was the story about the route getting bolted, and have you met any opposition to your removal of them?
If you're strong enough to do this on the lead you're on the wrong route!
Firstly, I wasn't going to say anything on here as I didn't want to steal Tom and Pete's thunder, but as Neil left a little cryptic message, I thought I would too, for fun, but not giving any details! However, if you look at the comments under the photo of the bolts you'll see that I've managed too confuse Mick into thinking I had something to do with it... so:
The story of the FA and subsequent bolting I've detailed in a thread in Jan 2009 http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=337989&v=1#x4982534. Another thread cropped up about Greenspit (Orco, that Stevie H had a 'hand in') in December 2009, and Thai Boxing was mentioned and Stevie waded in http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=383553&v=1#x5548922 This is just to give background.
Back to the present... and again not wishing to give too many details away, Tom and Pete climbed the route after a few brief sessions to work it, using large friends. I believe Craig Luebben used Big Bros as a) he invented them and b) big Friends weren't available then. The bolts have been chopped ie half sawn and then snapped with a hammer - including the lower off - very neatly, so the route is now back in it's original state - exactly how it was when I discovered and bolted the rest of the crag and how it was when Craig climbed Thai Boxing. I asked the boys for the hangers so I could give them to Gilles Brunnot who set up the local Haute-Savoie website http://www.escalade-74.com/ - have a look at that and click on 'actu' to see the entry - to try to return them to their previous owner. He was in complete agreement with our standpoint, that as the route was originally done on gear, it should remain that way. A refreshing change from the bolt anything that moves (especially if it looks like a duck(!)... ) attitude that is prevalent in these parts! Perhaps, if Stevie is listening he could tell me who actually did the bolting (he says he knows...)
Calum, I think you'll need a few of the harder of widths under your bet before this one...
And to reply to Going Backwards:
You are not very acurate with your list of routes, so to put that right, from R-L:
1. H's route 6a+.
2. A RH start to the next route.
3. Souvenir 7a+.
4. Un-named 8a.
5. Walk this way 7b+.
7. Please Press Play 8a/a+
8. TB 5.12d/13a
9. Un-named crack 7b+.
Apologies to Pete and Tom...
I'll try and send a few pics to Jack if I can get a connection.
Overall we felt it was about as hard as Gobbler's Roof, so if anyone wants to know if they're ready for some "Boxing" then get Gobbling!
You must be inverted, with pretty good footjams to be able to type that Tom!
Hello all, excuse me for puttinga downer on this topic but.....
I'm actually quite annoyed that the bolts have been chopped. I was wanting to go and have a go at that route with a few mates. Now I can't. Who gave you guys the right to do that? I'm poor and can't afford to buy a rack of 5 big cams. That would take me a solid week to pay for! nor am I supported by a equipment manufacturer who became famous for there cams!
I would quite like you to put em back, or if you can't be bothered please bring the hangers to my chalet in Cham. Thank you.
Read the links in Jon's post. The route was retrobolted after the FA which was done without bolts. It's now been repeated in the style by which it was first climbed hence the bolts being chopped.
If you want to do it, borrow some big cams. They aren't that scarce.
You have got to be joking. If it helps, the bolts were placed well to the left of the crack so that it could be climbed by laybacking and not even touching the crack, which explains the chalk on tiny holds on the left of the crack. This is completely missing the point. The route was put up without bolts and that is how it is now. Tom's and Pete's ascent was the only one since the first ascent some 15 years ago, to climb it properly. What gives you the right to demand that they be put back? Go and find yourself a crack in the mountains or somewhere else and bolt it... but of course if you can afford a drill you can afford a few cams. Go and top rope it if you can't get the cams together.
Good grief! I had to step back from the keyboard for a moment....
What astonishes me is that if the crag was on private land (I am right on that?), someone had the effrontery to bolt it in the first place. And leave their c$%p hanging all over it. Pretty rude.
But I don't like chalk marks either.....
And I haven't been there....
In reply to jon:
Thanks Jon - both for the pics / news item and the nudge to join the dots. I knew about Craig Luebben - quite a loss by all accounts. Climbing can be a bit harsh sometimes.
But I'm still curious about the whole "bolting on private land" issue - as you know, the US (bolt heaven in many places) can also be very obsessive about not bolting - some National Parks practically needing an act of congress to allow bolts, in spite of the fact that they would reduce liability (one would think...). Having clipped bolts with enthusiasm, but hated doing it at the same time, I find myself in need of professional help on the issue! France's "if it's rock, stick a bolt in it" attitude is nevertheless astonishing.
So I heartily applaud the whole bolt chopping thing.
It was Jack Geldard who wrote the article, not me... The private land thing... well let me explain. I tripped over the crag in May 1992 while walking near our then new house. I'd seen a crag on the hillside and just took a bee-line towards it and about halfway there I found this one hidden in the trees. It'd got a couple of rotting wooden wedges in it, to show that it had been aid climbed on in the past, and an old 8mm bolt next to a thin crack at the left side of the crag. The crag looked just right for some sport routes... but there was no way I was going anywhere near the big offwidth! However, on the way to the crag there's a boulder with NO CLIMBING painted on it (in French, obviously). The land is private - as against being owned by the Commune of Vallorcine.
We went ahead and bolted a few sport routes on it - I've listed them somewhere above - and they were really great routes, especially Walk This Way, the 7b+ in the middle. I could never do the two harder ones, though I could appreciate their quality as I could link big sections of them... We told no-one about the crag as we didn't want to lose the access (which technically we didn't have!) and we made sure that we approached the crag a different way each time so no path would develop. Over the years a few people got to know about it and were just as discrete as us. I told Stevie about it some years later, when he was looking for somewhere to waste his muscles and the rest is history. There's still no path in the meadows, but as soon as you get into the trees there's a good climbers' path, witness to it's (still quite limited) popularity.
Thanks. Nice - always good to see history still happening.
Crags in the back garden - what a dream!
> If you're strong enough to do this on the lead you're on the wrong route!
Plan is to aid it on chockstones then place slings on them then lead it.
The only thing that leading it in trad style would add for me would be a £400 hole in my pocket.
The inside of the crack is very smooth and a lot of it is flared so I'd guess it wouldn't be easy to do that. The rocks you'd need would likely weigh several kilos each - so you'd have to hope they didn't rip when you fell off. This would mean you'd be safer wearing a helmet, which would get in the way and probably get stuck in the crack and you'd stand a chance of hanging yourself. Better than bolting it though...!
A better plan, if you really want to climb trad at le Couteray is to do the 7b+ crack and see how you get on. It's bolted and remains so as, unlike TB, that's the way it was done in the first place, but takes nuts and Friends very well. Tom flashed it placing gear on the lead in torrential - and I mean torrential - rain, wearing his Goretex jacket. If you manage that then maybe you'd get an idea of how hard TB is... I'll post a photo of him after his ascent of this route - it's a classic!
Here you go, Calum: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=150935
And then presumably remove the chockstones? Sounds like an almighty faff; why not just go climbing?
What a load of sanctimonious bollx! So, jon, you permit yourself to sika holds, add plastic bolt on holds to the crag (!?), chip holds, add bolts here there and anywhere (many of which are poorly placed and should be chopped for that reason), add cables and epoxied bits of rebar to (existing) easy scrambling approaches, yet you give a sh it about whether or not people do tai boxing by laybacking, jamming or frigging (which is the method of the first ascent with wooden wedges) and remove bolts that were placed by locals years ago, bolts which were used regularly by locals and visitors.
Your ethics are ethics that you have imported from elsewhere: they are foreign. The only reason the locals have allowed you to carry on is that they are not such a sanctimonious bunch to make a big deal out of what you're doing.
As for Piola, even he has retrobolted his own routes at the envers and elsewhere. You know the local ethic: every bolt added is considered a service to the climbing community. You have just outlined yourself as an english "donneur de leçons" to the detriment of the relationship between the locals and the expat community.
not sure if this has been posted before:
of a local guy doing a neighbouring route, also a bolted crack.
> What a load of sanctimonious bollx! So, jon, you permit yourself to sika holds, add plastic bolt on holds to the crag (!?)
No it wasn't
Where's that then?
> Your ethics are ethics that you have imported from elsewhere: they are foreign. The only reason the locals have allowed you to carry on is that they are not such a sanctimonious bunch to make a big deal out of what you're doing.
> As for Piola, even he has retrobolted his own routes at the envers and elsewhere
He's replaced his own old 8mm bolts and single rivets with glue ins.
Take a good long look at my name.
Frankly I'm amazed at these allegations. Please enlarge on them.
> What a load of sanctimonious bollx! So, jon, you permit yourself to sika holds, add plastic bolt on holds to the crag (!?), chip holds, add bolts here there and anywhere (many of which are poorly placed and should be chopped for that reason), add cables and epoxied bits of rebar to (existing) easy scrambling approaches, yet you give a sh it about whether or not people do tai boxing by laybacking, jamming or frigging (which is the method of the first ascent with wooden wedges) and remove bolts that were placed by locals years ago, bolts which were used regularly by locals and visitors.
> Your ethics are ethics that you have imported from elsewhere: they are foreign. The only reason the locals have allowed you to carry on is that they are not such a sanctimonious bunch to make a big deal out of what you're doing.
> As for Piola, even he has retrobolted his own routes at the envers and elsewhere. You know the local ethic: every bolt added is considered a service to the climbing community. You have just outlined yourself as an english "donneur de leçons" to the detriment of the relationship between the locals and the expat community.
Well Rich – congratulations!
That is the most vindictive, petty, inaccurate piece of drivel I think I have ever read on UKC. And believe me – that is saying something! I’ve read an awful lot of bile on here over the years…
Before I pass comment on the bits of your diatribe on which I feel qualified to respond, I would like to clarify something for you. My name is Neil Foster and I am a friend of Jon de Montjoye, having climbed regularly with him over the last 20+ years, both in the UK and on the crags around Vallorcine. I don’t live in the Alps, but I know the area well having done well over 100 rock routes around there.
What about you? You are apparently called Rich1111? What does that mean? Don’t you have a real name? Coming onto somewhere like UKC and posting lies such as you have just done, whilst hiding behind a pseudonym (or would you prefer to call it a nom de plume?) strikes me as cowardly at best. Perhaps if you are moved to reply to this, you might first grace us with your proper name.
Okay, having got that out of the way, lets see how much of your post stands up to scrutiny:-
Has Jon used sika to reinforce loose natural holds on his new routes? Undoubtedly he has, as is common practise on sport cliffs all over the world. He even named one of his routes Sika Path (I’ve done it! – have you?), so I don’t think he could be accused of hiding this practise. But crucially, he would only ever use Sika to secure existing natural holds. Many people use it in far more dubious ways (enhancing or even creating or adding holds).
Has Jon added plastic bolt-on holds to crags? Not to my knowledge, though I know of the odd instance where others have adopted this peculiar practise on their own new routes, on cliffs which Jon has largely developed (which may be what you are thinking of). In fact I’ve done at least one of them. Have you?
Chipping holds? You must be joking, man! Jon loathes chipping (and, as it happens, so do I).
Adding cables and epoxy rebar to existing easy scrambles? Well, I know Jon spent a lot of time, trouble and money constructing a short via ferrata to allow climbers (such as yourself?) access to The Zone at Gietroz, but that certainly wasn’t an existing easy scramble. Perhaps you can enlighten me further, as you obviously know the area so much better than me.
Adding bolts “here there and anywhere (many of which are poorly placed and should be chopped for that reason)”. Now I think you are really getting confused, and this utter nonsense needs to be addressed alongside your other completely contradictory comments “the only reason the locals have allowed you to carry on…” and “every bolt added it considered a service to the climbing community”.
Lets examine the truth for a moment. Jon has never added bolts “here there and everywhere.” What he has done is open a very significant number of new routes in the area (200 +), most of which are bolted. Most have been equipped from above, but recently he has opened several routes on Les Perrons ground up, bolting on lead. Given that these are 10 pitch routes, this is no mean feat.
The routes he has equipped on abseil are thoughtfully bolted and I have never known anyone (be they locals or expats) comment that Jon’s bolts are poorly placed. If you want to see crags with poorly placed bolts, come back to the UK. I could take you to several…
Your comment “the only reason the locals have allowed you to carry on…” is one of the most gross misrepresentations of reality I have ever read. Firstly Jon is a local, having lived in the area for over 20 years. Assuming you mean the local French climbers, the ones I have spoken to, or watched, have been universal in their appreciation of the selfless work which Jon has done opening up new climbs in that area. And don’t underestimate just how much goes into this. The time spent can’t be measured in man-days. You are talking man-years of effort, done not for money, but for the love of the sport.
Indeed, if you can think of any expat climber who has given more to the area in terms of opening up new climbs for all to enjoy, then name that person now. And whilst you are at it, you might like to confirm just how many new routes you have contributed to the area. And before you do, I’d like to predict it will be a very small number indeed (0).
As for the route in question, was it you who opened up that crag in the first instance, spent the time and effort cleaning it, and bolted the routes? No, I thought not. Actually, it was Jon again (and I repeated many of his routes when they were first done, before any other climbers had visited the crag).
But as you know, the wide crack wasn’t Jon’s forte, and it was an American, Craig Lubben, who was first to climb it. Craig was an expert on this sort of thing, and it is a matter of record that he was very upset to hear that the crack was bolted some time after he led it on natural (albeit slightly unconventional) protection. Tragically Craig was killed last year and several people were keen to repeat the route and re-establish it in its original state, in Craig’s memory.
As for why you should be so offended by this, frankly I’m at a complete loss (and don’t forget, it wasn’t Jon who took the bolts out – he was merely the messenger). There aren’t many equivalent naturally protected offwidths of this standard in the valley, yet there are dozens of bolted laybacks. Must every feature be reduced to that common denominator? The fact is that there are plenty of French climbers who would be more than capable of climbing Thai Boxing in its current state. Who knows, some of them may be planning to now. Are you going to deny them that challenge?
So Mr 1111, whoever you are. How about some answers, and whilst you’re at it, please don’t forget your name.
Nice perspective. Worth saying and a pretty good defense of bolts (in the right places and placed with pre-meditation or on lead).
It is astonishing that people hide behind one-time-use pseudonyms and I've always assumed that it's because they are embarrassed by who they are. But then if that's the case, why on earth do they bother posting? Some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder?
But I'm drifting off-topic....
I was just going to say that your post contained a lot of vague unsubstantiated allegations that sounded very improbable to me, but Neil's response is far more comprehensive!
Well said Neil.
I do await the answers with some interest, but not a lot of anticipation!
Mick, Jack and all at UKC: how about some ID requirements on the forums (see review policy at Amazon for example) to cut down on anonymous drivel?
That's a hot topic all across internet forums at the moment, World of Warcraft tried to force it on users, foolishly in my opinion, it has to be voluntary.
What we have been doing is where posts are critical of a named person (or a company/business) we are asking people to sign off with their real name, for the obvious reasons.
This has worked on the Cornish - Edwards thread. Critical posts have been deleted on that thread then the posters has been emailed and asked to re-post (we save the post and send it to them if they don't have a copy) but sign off using their real name.
It takes some work from our end but we believe that time is well invested as it reduces crass bad behaviour and increases the quality of forum posts.
It is cowardly to take a swipe at someone anonymously - anyone in their right mind knows that.
Many will complain that this approach diminishes free speech. That is rubbish, it increases free speech and people have to take responsibilty for what they write/say.
Alan is away at the moment, but we will discuss this at length and have some kind of policy in place in September.
Hope you are well.
Agreed. Couldn't believe the sheer nastiness of rich1111's post. Thank you for exposing it as a complete load of bollox.
I can't claim complete understanding of how this works, and it's probably blindingly obvious to everybody else, but the symbols that accompany your "name" and the profile to which they link suggest that you first registered under that name yesterday, presumably for the specific purpose of posting on this thread. This is not, therefore, a case of somebody with an existing profile and "identity" possibly forgetting that continued anonymity is no longer an option if what amounts to a personal attack is to be taken in any way seriously; rather, it looks as if when faced with the choice between saying something controversial and, to be honest, somewhat unpleasant about a named individual - "jon" may be a pseudonym but it's widely known who he is, which probably isn't the case with "rich1111" - from a position with your head above the parapet, or from one firmly below it, you chose the latter. As such, your contribution can, I think, be dismissed as the vindictive ramblings of an idiot, and a cowardly one as well. Should you have the decency to step up to the plate and properly identify yourself I will happily take back the last bit of that description; but from my knowledge of Jon's values, his long-standing contribution to climbing around Vallorcine, and the care and thought with which he has made that contribution, I, like many others, will take a lot of convincing that the rest no longer still applies.
Who on earth are you? Whe are you so angry? Why are you telling what appear to be blatant lies? If you want to make accusations against a fellow climber on this site I think you should declare who you are and get your facts straight. From what I can see from the replies from other climbers to your post you seem to be way out of line.
I'm wondering if rich1111 is actually an existing member of this forum, posting under another name. I think it's highly unlikely that rich is his/her really name, more that it's to be read as 'that's rich'. Whoever it is has access to a continental keyboard.
Hmm... at a guess, rich1111 is male, Brit, over 40, a competent climber, with significant experience in the area (expat?) Maybe an instructor/guide.
My guess is that he's been jealous of Jon quite for some time; a less successful climber/guide... or perhaps considers himself wounded in love??
Conjecture aside, honour and decency insist that he reveals his identity and attempts to substantiate his allegations - or has the grace to withdraw them and apologise.
Or understands Character Map and/or the relevant keystrokes (Alt + 0231 in this çase).
Ahh, I learn something new everyday!!
> Hmm... at a guess, rich1111 is male, Brit, over 40, a competent climber, with significant experience in the area (expat?) Maybe an instructor/guide.
> My guess is that he's been jealous of Jon quite for some time; a less successful climber/guide... or perhaps considers himself wounded in love??
> Conjecture aside, honour and decency insist that he reveals his identity and attempts to substantiate his allegations - or has the grace to withdraw them and apologise.
Astonished in Tampa.
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