/ Dry toolers at Millstone today
I came across 2 'climbers' at Millstone this afternoon top roping embankment 2 and 3, they were attempting to dry tool up the cracks with little success and much scraping of crampons. To say that I was angry was an understatement, my wife said I handled the situation very camly despite me seething.
I and later another passing bloke spoke to the pair about what they were doing and very very strongly suggested that they stop immediately. Neither seemed particularly concerned about the fact that they were dry tooling grit and the climber (Callum from London) had the following reasons to counter my strong arguements:
Well its not like its stanage
Millstone has a history of pegs and aid climbing , without that none of these routes would be climbable
Its not dry tooling, its winter climbing
All rock climbing damages the rock
There is ice in the cracks
Obviously I countered these with some very strong opinions, the pair seemed to think they were following in the foot steps of winter climbing pioneers whereas what they were actually doing was scratching (badly with crampons) two 3 star grit routes. After a while the belayer seemed to concede and suggested to his mate Callum that they call it a day.
The climber seemed totally unconvinced and I suggested to him that the next person passing by would be far less likely to be so reasonable and polite. I checked on the pair from the top of the crag 10 mins later and they were no longer climbing, they seemed to have taken our advice. Unfortunately we spotted them 3 hours later leaving the crag heading for the car park, who knows what further damage they caused.
I have provided links to the photos I took, someone must know these two and they both need to realise that their behaviour is totally unacceptable. I mentioned that I would post the photos on UKC, the belayer unconcerned replied to his mate 'smile for the camera'
I'm a proud Peak local and have never witnessed such a blatant disregard for local and national ethics, I'm sure many others will feel similarly enraged by this.
I wish people would realise that dry tooling is just aid climbing with ice axes - Axes are for ice - fingers are for rock.
Frigging Southerners ! Obviously couldnt be arsed to travel all the way to scotland.. Well done mate for being "reserved", cant say i would have been too happy myself....
They need to be named and shamed !
> They need to be named and shamed !
Is a name and a photo not good enough?
> Is a name and a photo not good enough?
What a pair of tools! Well done for saying something!
I have to agree - what a bunch of tools - I guess they will come to regret this. I bet this thread lasts a week and breaks 500 posts.
Whooooooooooooooo - wierd!
I bet he doesnt show his face in this thread, put it that way.
Bloody hell i thought it was a wind up ,
I forgot to add that I said 'so if right wall had a sprinkling of snow on it would it be fair game?' to which he replied yes. He was a real obnoxious prat and I would like to say that his deft axe placements wouldn't result in any damage, however sadly this was not the case.
The issue was raised of people drytooling or 'winter' climbing grit at a BMC Peak Area Meeting this time last year. I said I didn't think it was a big enough problem to merit any need for guidelines. But having seen this. and other threads since the meeting, I was probably wrong.
It's amazing what complete and utter morons there are about.
What makes it even more annoying is that there is actually excellent winter climbing to be had in the Peak today. We were on Back Tor at 2am and it was fantastic and many other have been playing on it and Mam Tor today. Grrr....
I reckon it's a troll. Good one if it is though. Bon effort and obviously some time went into it (although that chap does seem to have deleted his profile...)
If it's not I don't really see a massive problem. The main one being that they were top roping, which i'd have a problem with if they were in rock boots. The UKC pictures show millstone to be in condition, so as long as care is taken, fair enough really.
> I wish people would realise that dry tooling is just aid climbing with ice axes - Axes are for ice - fingers are for rock.
I completely agree dry tooling really messes up the rock even on the mountains but to dry tool on God's rock is a sin. These characters need sorting out!!!
Well done for tackling these idiots.
Dry tooling is a questionable activity in the mountains yet alone on God's rock.
It's not dry tooling. You may be opposed to winter climbing, and that's a perfectly understandable position, but you are incorrect to refer to climbing at millstone at the moment as drytooling.
I blame Mick Ryan!
But it seems this Callum chap isn't the only one guilty...
Top roping with axes at Millstone! What a tosser that Proctor chap was!
(please read post with a heavy dose of irony).
Would anyone waste such a nice day to do something so ridiculous?
He looks like he's about to mess his pants in the third pic, and he's only a foot off the ground!!
So Callum, what do you reckon, VIII,9 with one rest?
I should have had a closer look at the rock and seen what kind of damage will have been done, powder snow or even a tiny amount of ice does little or nothing to protect gritstone or any rock.
1. Don't get caught
2. Don't touch Gods own rock
I've heard that there were people dry tooling on Bowfull Buttress today! And what's worse they were doing it when snow was on the holds, so they were scratching around all over the shop because they couldn't see where the placements were.
This is an outrageous thing to do to a "Classic Rock" route. I'm going to the next Lakes Area meeting to complain!
Looking from a neutral standpoint, both rock climbers and winter climbers can be blamed for damaging rock. Rock climbers can also be blamed for damaging mixed routes through turf removal, which is often essential to climb a route in winter. Mixed climbers don't make routes impossible for rock climbers, but merely affect aesthetics. Please don't cast your own judgements about 'what is on' as if they are facts.
I'd rather this didn't happen. But it does in the mountains now (on better routes than those) and seems to be accepted. If the cracks were well iced, it's a rare opportunity (if they weren't, it's just stupid) and to be honest, if we continue to have very cold winters for the next few years I can see it becoming accepted in the quarries.
Having said all that, there are many more suitable (read chossy) quarries in the peak.
these guys were wrong to attempt to climb here using tools, full stop.
I'm yet to hear an argument against winter climbing that can not also be applied to summer climbing. And many of the routes up on gable are better winter routes than summer routes!
First of all. Al's photo shows that winter climbing has occurred here for years.
Secondly, the absence of winter climbing is no reason to stop the introduction of it. If we worked on a purely 'first come, first served' basis, we'd have no scottish or lakes mixed, sport climbing or indeed trad routes replacing aid routes. A weak argument.
Wow, what a bummer to hear about this. I wonder if it would be useful to try and put out a statement about proper practice, such as from the BMC, to help raise a little awareness - some people clearly aren't well informed...
Although only a theory, I would say you'll see a lot more of this over the coming years with the advent of indoor dry tooling and the increasing popularity of climbing making for a more dispersed (and less informed) community (at times)... if that makes sense?
Tossers. They should feel nothing but shame.
I am not against winter climbing as I am a winter climber too but what I do disagree with is the fact that people think its acceptable to drytool a grit quarry because its a quarry.
Sadly, I think you're right.
The ice screw tells the story. Losers.
whats all this about gods own rock ? has somebody checked with him ? what would the devil choose ? if somebody can have a qucik word with either can they ask what happened to that callum chappie ? would have been intresting to hear his thought. then he got vapourised.
Don't be a wally Franco. Very few get bothered about mixed climbing on mountain crags because they are mountain crags. A quarry a minute from the car park is not a mountain crag. I'm sure there is some snow on most crags around the UK currently, it doesn't mean they are "in condition" for mixed climbing. Actually they are just out of condition for normal climbing.
If folk find an ice fall down a crag, I don't think anyone is going to get het up about folk taking the chance to climb it. But trying to climb millstone routes with axes is just sad.
> The ice screw tells the story. Losers.
Just the one screw and not even a BD turbo. What a total loooooser!
I wish I'd caught the little shits you did well to stay calm. People joke about this kind of thing I can't believe that prick actually went ahead with it. If you can't see the difference between tooling on a snowy millstone and a frozen bowfell then you are a f*cking moron. And you franco, why don't you just grow up or are you still not getting enough attention at home?
Totally agree. I will be keeping an eye out for that mug on the crags, though he'd be a fool to show his face round here any time soon.
I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling that!
> I wish I'd caught the little shits you did well to stay calm. If you can't see the difference between tooling on a snowy millstone and a frozen bowfell then you are a f*cking moron.
I'm naming and shaming this tosser for dry tooling on snowy rock...
Go on Bomb, you beat him up!
> First of all. Al's photo shows that winter climbing has occurred here for years.
No Franco, winter climbing has not occured here for years. That picture was taken about 35 years ago, (I was there).
Since that picture was taken, those conditions have returned once I recall, about 10 years ago, and those conditions have not returned since.
So twice in 35 years not make Peak Grit a Winter climbing venue.
The reason it is such a famous picture, and it got into into Crags was because winter climbing doesn't happen on grit. Green Death happened to be coated with a good 3 inches of ice, and Tom would not have touched it if there was a possibility of his tools damaging the rock. The conditions were so rare as to be newsworthy. On that day we were all looking for similar lines to climb, but there were none that were completely covered in ice. We all knew that all the other routes were out.
To say that winter climbing has been done on Peak Grit for years, is at worst arrogant, and at best ignorant.
You actually have no idea do you?
What a couple of divs.
Was it a certain UKC poster of the same name who's always banging on about bolting mountain routes and generally being ignored by everyone? He certainly seems to fit the type.
Ugly and stupid
Being hugely pissed off at some moron trashing a nationally important rock climbing venue because it has some snow on it is arrogant and ignorant? Am i missing the bigger picture then?
hugely pissed off
nationally important rock climbing venue
I reckon there are bigger pictures, yeah.
> You actually have no idea do you?
Maybe you could help me out by explaining?
I know you enjoy the wind up, but what you have to take into account is how easily grit and other soft rocks are damaged by tools and poons.
Eric9points has a photo of the wear and tear caused by winter gear at Newtyle Quarry. I've seen it first hand too, and been DT'ing there a good few times.
Newtyle Quarry (or Birnam as it otherwise known) is slate. The difference in hardness between grit and slate is massive. A handful of cack handed ascents of anything on grit and you will see GOUGES not light scratches down the rock.
And another thing, DT'ing at Birnam is accepted by the vast majority of climbers. It's a chossy crag and no loss to rock climbing.
Millstone? I've never been, but looking at pics it looks a nice venue.
Millstone not a nationally important venue then mate?
Masters Edge, London Wall, Edge Lane, Bond Street, Great North Road, Great Portland Street, Regent Street to name but a few. Heard of them? I think there's enough there to get worked up about.
Theres a trend. The more walls and media coverage, the more people climb. The more people climb, the more dickheads get involved. The more dickheads get involved, the more shit like this happens. The more shit like this happens the more wankers start backing it up and saying its ok. It is not ok. Dry tooling at Millstone is not ok. It never has been ok. Green death was not dry tooling. Great slab was not dry tooling. Crowds of people crawling around a soggy mam tor dropping rocks on each other and belaying off snowboards is not ok, people climbing fingers ridge with tools when it is bare of snow just because it is a winter route is not ok. I'm not going to apologise for being angry because I love climbing, i love winter climbing, I love grit, and I can't stand the way things are going, and if you're happy sitting on the fence devoid of any kind of backbone one way or another then thats fine, but don't expect people who actually really care about it to keep quiet.
I'm not in favour of the 'dry tooling' type climbing that happens nowadays, however, this aside....even if i was Millstone is certainly not the place to be doing it. I agree with the arguements that this is out of order.
Franco....your points that times change is fair enough but this is a step too far on this one.
Are scratches in a quarry...bad?
Bowfell Butress is also a classic ice route. I climbed bowfell butress direct and there was no tool damage. So I suggest that if you have an issue with winter climbing on said butress, you take the direct rock route.
Gritstone has a hard outer skin, and can be quite soft and fraible underneath it. After southern sandstone, I think it's perhaps the least suitable rock in the UK to dry tool or winter climb on, or it's amongst the least suitable.
It's in reply to you, but more in reply to the thread in general really.
Ain't no hoofs on that bitch!
and in 1986
I'm calling troll, wind up or whatever.
A very good one though to hook a poster into threatening violence.
The photos all look too posed, there are no photos of a climber established on a route, only "starting" and you have not provided evidence of any damage done.
An elaborate but imperfect hoax. 8/10
Next time lower the climber from the top of the crag to the upper half of the route to pose, then scratch some stones and take close up photo's
Please form an orderly queue... http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=159042
Anyone familiar with Fishy's posts will know he's well capable of having done it.
What a tosser.
> What a couple of divs.
> Was it a certain UKC poster of the same name who's always banging on about bolting mountain routes and generally being ignored by everyone? He certainly seems to fit the type.
Yes - two people spotted this early on when this thread started - unfortunately links to his profile have been moderated. It was the same chap.
I did something similar the other day. I bought my first cam in shops and was so busting to try it out, I needed to go for poo quickly when I got home. Then i put my cam in brick joint and all afternoon was pulling on it and tied and leaning out on it.
Re read my post matey. I suggested ways to set up really convincing photos. At no point did I suggest "destroying a route"
Keep your hair on mate! There are some nice routes there yeah, I'm just amazed (impressed!) at how angry you're managing to get about it. If you're this close to giving yourself a haemorrhage of some kind over people hitting a (nationally important) rock with the wrong shaped bit of metal, what are you like when something that's actually important happens?!
Dry tooling. Masturbation for people who can't get any real climbing.
> and in 1986
Aye, nice photo. A different thing compared to the OP's pics
wrong bit of metal, wrong sort of rock, that kind of thing can get you in real trouble!
C'mon, this has to be a troll.
> I'm calling troll, wind up or whatever.
> A very good one though to hook a poster into threatening violence.
I would not make up some rubbish to stir up negative feelings against someone I don't know. Its up to you if you believe it, I was there, as were my wife, sister in law and another couple who by their reaction were climbers. 4 friends later saw them walking back from the crag with axes and crampons.
If you don't believe me thats your choice, I won't be losing sleep over it. The matter in question is that 2 plonkers are obviously ill educated enough to consider that dry tooling a quality gritstone crag is acceptable.
Some posters obviously weren't taught how to argue very well were they.
You resort to insults, you have lost
You get personal, you have lost
You threaten or carry out violence, you have lost
One day you will thank me for that
Check out the horn on that mother f****er!
> Aye, nice photo. A different thing compared to the OP's pics
wonder how long it will stay a 5 star photo
> Are scratches in a quarry...bad?
It isn't a quarry anymore
Are you on drugs?
Fishy is the old user name of THE tosser this thread is about. My point was that anyone who ever read HIS posts will know this is not a troll.
I didn't call you a tosser before, i didn't get personal either, nor did i threaten to carry out violence (WTF???).
Mind you, i now think you are either an A class idiot or someone with a paranoid disorder.
Perhaps it's not lazyness, it might just not have just occured to them, people don't always think along the same lines.
> Re read my post matey. I suggested ways to set up really convincing photos. At no point did I suggest "destroying a route"
ok my bad,tw*t tag retracted :o(
Calm down pal, I misinterpretted your post, I was unsure who the insult was aimed at.
You misinterpretted my post, the threats comment was aimed at the keyboard warrior above, the personal at those critcising the aesthetic appeal of the young gent in question.
Good Day to you too
There are always threads popping up regarding winter climbing in the Lakes and Scotland, where people have placed an emphasis on ensuring routes in these areas are in condition before climbing them to prevent scratch marks, so naturally it would be fair to assume this would have a greater importance if people were considering winter climbing on gritstone. Of course, if the crag was covered in 3 inches of ice that makes a big difference! But these conditions aren't really observed anymore in the Peak, like is evident in the picture shown of Tom Proctor back in the 1970's, which is why it's not acceptable for those 2 to climb at millstone currently.
However, it would be cool if people could suggest some quarries in the Peak that might make some good winter climbing that don't see much attention in the summer, and might be considered acceptable to climb in winter... for a new thread maybe... :)
I thank you, most noble of you sir
Ok, sorry for that. It just seemed you threw a mouthful at me for no apparent reason...
We were the "other couple" - it's no troll I'm afraid. And the state of Millstone today was nothing like the picture from 1986.
Disused quarry, whatever.
Ha ha - I was watching your spat and wondering how all 3 of of you managed to get the wrong end of the stick - glad you sorted it.
OK, I'm convinced. And to be fair it's been very well prepared, since as several have pointed out the gentleman in question has been very assiduous in establishing himself as a knob over a long period of time. So if it is a troll one does have to salute the workmanship.
Please keep your inane, north of the border comments to yourself.
You obviously know nothing about the place.
Though nobody should threaten violence especially if they look like theyve been turfed out of their wheelchair.
What has living north of the border got to do with it? There are quarries in Scotland as well you know.
You never know. Violence can never be condoned but have you ever heard of being 'battered good looking'?
Agree - I'm hoping the violence stuff is a little bit exagerated.
Anyway - You'll get banned for mentioning his name pal.
> You never know. Violence can never be condoned but have you ever heard of being 'battered good looking'?
Set on fire and put out with a cricket bat?
Not very original mate, seen that one long ago I'm afraid.
Its not liek its a picture of my dick (again)
> Disused quarry, whatever.
Millstone is a special crag, because of the steepness of the rock and the cracks which continute all the way up from the ground, it could be the only gritstone crag like it, a lot of the routes are very technical and some of them have been ground breaking in thier difficulty.
People have climbed winter routes in grit quarries for years. The old Chew valley guide which came out in the 80s - Dovestones quarry etc.
Wouldnt do it myself like, as I wouldnt want to piss people off, but Millstone is a quarry.
> Though nobody should threaten violence especially if they look like theyve been turfed out of their wheelchair.
hahaha! You are absolutely correct. As i said i am not a violent person, only the photo brought out an uncharacteristic urge to enter Bash Mode..
Oh I thought that link had been deleted by the mods - it was earlier on. soz mate.
Just in case it is the world's best troll (and you and Heleno are involved)
I'm just going to say It's a belter.
Come on think about it. That old "its a quarry" line is absolutely absurd. Its a superb crag, forget whether its quarried or not. Surely a crag should be judged on how good it is, not its creation?! Great slab at froggatt is quarried, would you dry tool that? There is a difference between a tottering heap of shit in summer that forms reasonable winter routes, and Millstone.
Wouldn't it be great if the two people in the photos came on here, held up their hands and said "Sorry. We have made a big mistake, we are young and inexperienced, and we have learned a lot from the reaction to our deeds. We won't make the same mistake again".
Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to draw the line, end all this (understandable) anger, and all go to bed with a warm glow instead?
I actually think that dry tooling should be banned on all crags except those where it is specifically permitted. ie Banned by default and permitted by specific exception agreed by the BMC.
I retract all my comments as it seems this http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=434867&v=1#x6139191
is the guy involved, and he actually seems like a really nice chap, and not at all like a complete clown.
Oi! I do the irony round here thankyou!
> What has living north of the border got to do with it? There are quarries in Scotland as well you know.
Why on earth is a young kid such as yourself, living a considerable distance away north of the border, commenting on one of our classic English quarries in such a derogatory manner.
Or are you intending coming down south to try top-roped dry-tooling yourself ?
You have to differentiate between ice climbing and rock climbing under snow. Very occasionally, ice forms down green death at millstone, and it was on one such occasion that Tom Proctor TRd the route using ice climbing gear.
Rock routes, particularly in the peak should be left to the rock climbers. Mountaineers have plenty of mountains and large vegetated crags to go at.
Wear and tear on established rock routes is already bad enough without ignorant dry toolers adding to the erosion.
If you are rock climbing under snow, I fail to see why you need to use axes anyway. It's just like taping sky hooks to your finger. If the holds are to small, then accept that you ain't good enough to do the route.
That was sarcasm. I think.
> Come on think about it. That old "its a quarry" line is absolutely absurd. Its a superb crag, forget whether its quarried or not. Surely a crag should be judged on how good it is, not its creation?! Great slab at froggatt is quarried, would you dry tool that? There is a difference between a tottering heap of shit in summer that forms reasonable winter routes, and Millstone.
I wouldnt do it, no. But what I meant was that what is the difference between one quarry and another? And people were arguing with Franco that there is no history of doing winter grit quarry routes, which just isn't true.
If you like quarries that's fine. I don't particularly, even though I have climbed in them. It's all subjective really. I dislike Froggatt too, well over-rated. Give me the Chew any day of the week.
I believe it is a selfish act by those not concerned about damaging something others passionately care about - even after they were told (if they didn't already know). Unfortunately their level of maturity didn't enable them to agree and pack up - they carried on regardless. For me this is the biggest problem after being asked not to by more than one group, simply bad attitude and no consideration. No excuses really. I wonder if they would have the courage to either admit they were wrong or give reasons why they think it's fair game to attempt a gritstone classic on a top rope in full winter gear (carrying an ice screw)? I doubt it.
What disturbs me most is how fat and soft the climber looks. Like a giant toddler in a Scholler romper suit.
Blimey. The difference between one quarry and another is that one may be of no value to rock climbing but pretty good for winter, whilst another might be invaluable to rock climbing, pointless in winter, and anyone trying to tool up it risks breaking holds and gear placements, and ruining amazing routes. High Tor and Mam Tor are both natural crags, if you see where i'm coming from. Just because something is a quarry, does not mean its open to tooling. Try going to Pex and saying otherwise.
I may have been that passing climber. I too met Callum and his friend today as I walked along the bottom of Millstone this pm. I offered some choice opinions on their toproping of routes on Embankment, and seethed for the rest of our walk this afternoon. If anyone doubts the authenticity of this - please see my linked picture below.
As I said, who decides what is of value? - its subjective. I thought Millstone was crap (partly cos I'm too crap to get up most routes!).
I wouldn't bother myself. Would much rather go the mountains. I am playing devils advocate in a way.
>And people were arguing with Franco that there is no history of doing winter grit quarry routes, which just isn't true.
What's the matter with you? Do you really not understand the difference between winter climbing and dry tooling?
>No matter what the ins and outs of it, it's your tough luck they can (and obviously have) do what they like.
Oh for goodness' sake grow up. By that token I can just chip holds on any route I like.
> I retract all my comments as it seems this http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=434867&v=1#x6139191
> is the guy involved, and he actually seems like a really nice chap, and not at all like a complete clown.
This callum nicoll seems to be active on this forum ,so maybe he will be along soon to put his side forward.he must be aware of this thread by now
> I thank you, most noble of you sir
not at all,if im wrong i dont mind saying so :o)
Assuming he does, I'd like to assume he'd like an explanation as to why people are getting all hot and bothered.
Calum, it goes like this:
Gritstone has a hard "crust", but is generally very soft underneath. Once that soft centre is exposed (say, by scratches from an ice axe), it erodes due to weather very, very quickly. "Disintegrates" is not too harsh a term. Pop along to Baildon Bank and see what happens to Grit when the crust goes - essentially it falls apart.
Millstone is a nationally important venue, and particularly the bit you were on is a unique bit of rock with a nature which is not replicated anywhere I know of in the UK. We've not got a vast amount of rock in the UK - not compared with the likes of Spain, US, etc - and hence taking care of what we have an preserving it for both ourselves and future climbers is something most climbers are concerned about.
So basically you were, for your own enjoyment, selfishly risking trashing a nationally important and unique bit of rock.
Which is why the comments on the forum are as they are.
Please take care and try to think about what you are doing, and try and learn a bit about the nature of the rock and the ethics generally held by climbers before you start swinging an ice axe around. Gritstone is, although rock, quite fragile in some ways, and has to be handled with care to avoid damage. You were not taking care.
Wow, in your photo, is that their tent? Did they camp out overnight and then go toprope dry tooling? If they did then that's amazing! Adventures like that just don't happen anymore in this country..........
The new rad tool for this winter is........ homo sapiens.
I look forward to an article in Trail, about making the transition to the 'real thing'. Why live in the dirt with the sheep when you could fly with eagles like these two? Perhaps a sympathetic interview by Franco is in order. I'd read it ;-).
Presumably by the way this is a reason not to post articles with pictures like the ones at the bottom of this one?
It does look in that like it would be properly iced up in the cracks, but that was the day before - on saturday things were melting. (Whether that would have made it any more acceptable, I'm not sure.)
q. What is a bloke from Inverness doing in the Peak when conditions in Scotland are so good?
> Gritstone has a hard "crust", but is generally very soft underneath. Once that soft centre is exposed (say, by scratches from an ice axe), it erodes due to weather very, very quickly. "Disintegrates" is not too harsh a term. Pop along to Baildon Bank and see what happens to Grit when the crust goes - essentially it falls apart.
The route in Gareth's photo is a crack produced by by pegging, on a slab produced by quarrying.
> The route in Gareth's photo is a crack produced by by pegging, on a slab produced by quarrying.
And by that bit of perverse logic, murder is only snuffing out an egg and a bit of sperm
> And by that bit of perverse logic, murder is only snuffing out an egg and a bit of sperm
My point related to the mythical "gritstone crust".
> My point related to the mythical "gritstone crust".
> The route in Gareth's photo is a crack produced by by pegging, on a slab produced by quarrying.
It wouldn't matter if the whole thing was installed by the council in the 70's. What matters is that it has a lot of interest and importance to a lot of people now and for the foreseeable future, and to permenantly jeopardize that so that you can tit around with axes without being bothered to get to one of the large number of places where they can legitimately do the same thing without upsetting anyone is, to put it mildly, a bit antisocial.
> It wouldn't matter if the whole thing was installed by the council
My point related to the mythical "gritstone crust".
> I wouldnt do it, no. But what I meant was that what is the difference between one quarry and another? And people were arguing with Franco that there is no history of doing winter grit quarry routes, which just isn't true.
Firstly, just because it used to be done, doesn't mean its ok now. Otherwise Millstone would be full of people pegging their way up London Wall. Times change and what matters is consensus; if we had a vote, I think you'd lose. Heavily.
Secondly, define 'Quarry'. Most of the Eastern edges have been quarried. Ever heard of Stanage?
> The route in Gareth's photo is a crack produced by by pegging, on a slab produced by quarrying.
And? What's your point?
This has a sharp point...
But Oceanic has a point - Why hasn't the whole of Millstone disintegrated if the 'crust' has been taken off it by quarrying?
Either way, swinging an axe at rock doesn't sound like it's going to do it a whole lot of good.
> And? What's your point?
That there shouldn't be a hard outer crust on Millstone as it stands.
> This has a sharp point...
> That there shouldn't be a hard outer crust on Millstone as it stands.
Mate the whole narwhal thing was very funny when whoever did it first did it, but its not funny now. Sorry.
I very much doubt he has the balls, though reading some of his previous posts shows he definitely has the arrogance.
I wouldn't encourage climbing the Embankment routes with axes, but it's not 6 foot high graffiti along the bottom of Froggatt is it?
The real point to me is that climbing ethics are by their very nature ridiculous. Several people don't seem to have grasped the irony behind my comments about Bowfell Buttress, Anubis and Green Death, so how can they complain that two young lads can't see why it's okay to use axes at Dovestones Quarry but not at Millstone?
This thread is incredibly self righteous, it reminds me of another infamously self righteous thread which sparked a non-serious reaction.
Seriously if you don't get it, then you're not very smart. If you do get it and are just trying to play devil's advocate, then piss off and do it somewhere else. This thread is not self righteous, its about people getting angry about a couple of arrogant little shits trashing one of the best climbing spots in the Peak. If you really can't understand that, then you can't really be a climber. Can you?
> I came across 2 'climbers' at Millstone this afternoon top roping embankment 2 and 3, they were attempting to dry tool up the cracks with little success and much scraping of crampons. To say that I was angry was an understatement, my wife said I handled the situation very camly despite me seething.
Its not uncommon, year upon year - but as a BMC Access Rep I agree with you about the disregard that selfish people will stick two fingers up to those who want to protect the landscape, ethics & heritage...
Those who choose tho ruin & degrade the landscape where I live & play deserve all they get from the voicing masses.
> Those who choose tho ruin & degrade the landscape where I live & play deserve all they get from the voicing masses.
So polishing trad climbers diserve abuse?
Surely to feck you're not still arguing this pair of ****s are doing no harm?
> I wouldn't encourage climbing the Embankment routes with axes, but it's not 6 foot high graffiti along the bottom of Froggatt is it?
Whats graffiti got to do with it. Its wrong, plain and simple.
So you'd rather have no ethics? No consensus? Anarchy?
Bowfell Buttress - an established summer and winter venue.
Anubis - ditto, and its Granite!
Green Death - people have done it in the past in full winter conditions.
You don't seem to have grasped that dry-tooling the Embankment cracks is not comparable to any of these.
Why is it? Its about as straightforward as right and wrong gets in British climbing. Its not complicated - you cant dry-tool mega classic grit cracks, end of. Whats self righteous about that? If you want to stick up for dry-tooling at Millstone, then try proposing it at the next BMC peak meet and we'll see how much support you get.
> So polishing trad climbers diserve abuse?
I'm not sure I understand? Its not the first time.
If your point is that people can behave like total arses and that no-one can stop them by posting on a computer, then I can only congratulate you on your wisdom. If you had any other point to make, then I'm afraid I haven't understood it.
And you think this is the same as winter climbing at Dovestones Quarry? Seriously? Have you ever been to Dovestones?! Or Millstone indeed.
> I'm not sure I understand? Its not the first time.
I think his point is that all human activity causes erosion and therefore no human activity which causes erosion can be criticised.
Aren't you at university, Franco? Fair to say you're not studying logic, I would suggest.
You can't go to someone else's turf and start taking the piss.Anyway,why were they using tool's anyway?
Millstone should no less have a hard crust (patina) than any other crag. The patina forms once the surface is exposed to air, since it is an oxide layer. This layer (think of it as rust) would form, naturally and constantly for crags that are eroded, or over some considerable period (I don't know exactly how long, but we're probably talking tens of years), for crags that were quarried.
The point is, that if you bash away at it with something sharp (saaaaaay, an ice tool, for example) and then come and climb on it, with fingers and feet, soon after, the damaged areas will erode and grow. These areas of erosion are very obvious in places where there has been recent damage or chipping, there was a thread about it on here or UKB a while back.
Anybody that has a "feel" for grit understands how soft it is. On reflection, that is probably what made it such an ideal grinding stone. The coarser fragments of parent rock which are harder, are cemented in a softer matrix of finer rock, which erodes faster, leaving the harder fragments exposed, much like a diamond impregnated rock drill bit works.
The bottom line is there is a significant difference using metal things on grit, to harder rocks or rocks that nobody cares about, and it should be avoided.
Yes, I've been to both. Neither rank highly in my estimation. But like I said, if you read my posts...
This website is like a religious cult with people who say things like "It says it in the bible, therefore it must be true..."
One commits heresy by daring to suggest that climbing ethics often displays contradictions and hypocracies that would seem strange to the outside (larger) community.
For the benefit of those who can't read - I do not condone dry-tooling on gritstone (or bolts), even in crap quarries. However, some of the arguments used here to argue are based on the logic of ethics that are quite illogical in many ways. That is, if you are able to take a step backwards and think abut it.
And I am glad that someone took them to task in a reasonable way.
I wonder is he will dare show his face on here?
Last winter i'm pretty sure there were pictures floating around of "moors first winter ascents" on sandstone crags in the north of england.
Franco has an agenda.
I suspected this might happen with all the 'Peak in winter nick' hysteria.
It took years for the crampon marks to fade at the start of Green Death, if this becomes popular these routes will be ruined in no time. Where next, Froggatt, Stanage, Bamford?
Thanks Matt, thought that might be the case. Nice to know it heals itself if left alone for long enough!
How have they set up the anchors for the top rope, I`ve done those routes but climbed right to the top, can you in snow and ice walk, scramble to that point to set an anchor?
>One commits heresy by daring to suggest that climbing ethics often displays contradictions and hypocracies that would seem strange to the outside (larger) community.
I wouldn't call it heresy, exactly. Tired truisms I grant you, certainly.
>My point is that two lads can behave like arsholes at millstone and no one can stop them either by whining on the computer or actually being there at Millstone.
I'm not sure about the latter. I think simply removing their anchors would have the desired effect. They don't look like the types to be actually, y'know, leading. Bit too crazee.
Still, your general point that typing on the computer won't stop something that happened yesterday is quite right, no doubt about it. Good spot.
Ive mailed the guy (politely) via his profile, making him aware of this thread and inviting him to respond.
Who decides on where its ok to dry tool/bolt/rock climb/aid/winter climb? Like I said, I am NOT condoning what has happened, so please no abuse, I'm just asking who decides? Group consensus? And what if you want to do something different, or push the boundaries?
Hasn't climbing always been at progression (both personal progession in ability and experience) and methods of climbing? I'm sure that 60 years ago there would have been similar debates about these young upstarts using belay devices, rubber soled shoes and nuts.
Things change, climbing boundaries move. Get over it. Routes get trashed or polished with every climb.
Have you ever been to Traprain Law? Trad rock climbers have ruined the place. Its a lovely crag, and one of my favourites, but I wish I'd got there 30 years ago before the routes got so polished. It can be a slippery nightmare now. Maybe its time to start tooling some of the routes there? (this is not a serious suggestion btw).
Things move on though, and if more people start to climb, then who has the right to say that they can or can't climb in a style that they want?
Why do I have to go to Spain for decent low to mid grade multipitch bolted routes? Why can't it be done in Scotland?
Who decides on the ethics?
What did I say that was derogatory? Is Millstone a disused quarry or isn't it?
> their breaking no laws they are simply being idiots.
Why doesn't it surprise me that to you acceptable public conduct is only a matter of law? [Oh, and it's "they're"]
Dry tooling gritstone is totally wrong, and dry tooling on a gritstone crag where many of the routes are complete classics is particularly horrible.
drytoolings not wrong. kids dont get killed, it doesnt give people HIV, stalin (probably) wasnt into it.
in the right place (europe somewhere) and with a happy disposition (how about stoned?) its all good.
BUT changing the nature of fragile climbs then being a dick about it is very uncool. both elements are shit alone, together is really poor form.
im pro-drytooling, but not when it makes a scene, damages good summer routes and then has assholes mouthing off.
i dont like the witch-hunting mobs that hate drytooling for ethical reasons theyve never considered and call evil a part of climbing that has its place, but i like wankers who give drytooling the bad name it has even less.
no doubt someone will find something in this to get upset about.
Not sure what is progressive about top roping a VS with tools that has been led by thousands of punters for 40 or 50 years.
Can like the likes of Franco and Oceanic and others on this thread please shut the fcuk up?
There are some possible uncomfortably grey areas when it comes to winter ascents in the mountains on snowed up rock routes etc. I grant you.
However tooled up ascents of Millstone in the Peak is NOT one of them. It's tantamount to chipping and outright vandalism.
Most reasonable comment on here
> drytoolings not wrong. kids dont get killed, it doesnt give people HIV, stalin (probably) wasnt into it.
Trotsky wasn't either! He was heard to say Bloody ice tools, they'll be the death of me!
In this case you are right, I am not disagreeing with you. However would it be progression if Ueli Steck did a X 10 lead in very thin conditions at Millstone (assuming there was one to be done). Is progression only something that elite climbers do? Surely as dry tooling becomes more popular (and it will), that is progression for the sport/activity of climbing.
In general at the moment the thought of dry tooling upsets a lot of people. I was wanting to know who decides where only one style of climbing is acceptable at a crag, classic lines or not?
> Surely to feck you're not still arguing this pair of ****s are doing no harm?
Actually i'm probably against mixed climbing at millstone as it's a soft rock, prone to damaging.
This thread is a prime example of in what my eyes is a negitive side of the UK scene. How many people have come on here and been very abuse about people mixed climbing at Millstone without offering any reasons?
Those who do offer reasons tend to offer reasons that can easily be flipped towards banning rock climbing.
The high level of damage cause by tools on gritstone, compared to using your hands is the only argument against this kind of activity.
To those of you who say I have an agenda as i've been winter climbing on moors sandstone (at a recognised winter venue), this is true. I enjoy winter climbing equally with trad climbing and would not want any voice from rock climbers to lessen my enjoyment of winter climbing, in the same way that I wouldn't want winter climbers to make my days out on the rock worse.
This activity is only just into the catagory of 'wrong' and isn't very different to mixed climbing on mountain crags. Gritstone being soft the only reason to stop winter climbing there in my opinion.
No it isn't. Anything that erodes or damages rock to a greater extent than more ethical alternatives is not progression.
Out of interest does the BMC have a stance on Dry Tooling in Wilton 1. At Millstone there is didley squat that the "climbing community" can do about it, other than peer pressure and prevailing ethics, however Wilton 1 is a different matter, so is the BMC prepared to ban or allow, Dry Tooling in Wilton 1.
> without offering any reasons?
Perhaps that's because the reasons are too obvious to need stating.
> the only argument against this kind of activity.
Only argument? OK, yes, it's the only argument. It's also a fully conclusive argument on its own.
I think we already have a consensus on dry tooling at gritstone crags. Unfortunately some folks are using this incident to air their grievances about other issues.
Kind of, but rock climbing damages rock. It just ends up being an assessment of what erodes rock faster (a grey area).
A really bad idea. The BMC exists by climbers, for climbers. It should not have a dictatorial role, this action would cause factions to develop; DTC anyone? Judean peoples front?
If you are saying that anything that erodes or damages rock is not appropriate, then that kind of rules out using axes/crampons at virtually every trad crag/quarry. Bit of a draconian ethic that one.
I'm playing devils advocate here...
can open.... worms everywhere! ;)
Oh god, not another one.
First of all, wtf has UKC got to do with anything? I see climbers enraged at vandalism, communicating on the internet. What do you see? Something you love to hate no doubt.
The fact you have to ask that completely negates anything you have to say.
So they're bold pioneers now, ushering in a brave new dawn?
Vive la revolution.
Top roping in single pitch quarry next to a road or mountaineering on high lake district cliff that needs a couple of hours of hiking to get to? They seem relatively different to me.
I don't know about the moors cliffs where you have climbed, or the history of winter climbing on them - but perhaps it would have been advisable not to climb there (or at least not stick loads of pics up on your blog, UKC etc.) because that's the sort of thing that might make these chaps think what they were doing was acceptable. If icefalls form in novel places then I see the excitement in climbing them - but mixed routes on single pitch crags seem a bit silly. If a crag like Millstone is 99.5% of time not "in condition" for winter climbing, that would seem a pretty good reason for saying don't winter climb on it.
The crags high in Wales and the Lakes might be in winter nick for 10% of the year - a month or so - that and the fact they 'mountaineering' days out then make them seem much more fairly crags for both winter and summer climbing.
It's not all that "grey", dry-tooling will cause orders of magnitude more damage per ascent than trad rock climbing. Weighted, sharpened metal axes are going to go through gritsone's crust vastly faster than fingers and shoe rubber.
More or less anywhere that is "mostly" a trad rock climbing venue. (Yes, there will be some grey areas of crags that are traditionally both summer and winter venues, such as Gable Crag on Great Gable.)
> of rules out using axes/crampons at virtually every trad crag/quarry.
No it isn't. Any more than it is "draconian" to say that chipping is also banned at all crags. Why the heck would it be regarded as acceptable to use metal spikes for aid at established rock venues??
In the mountains, where it is winter.
On little low level, single pitch crags.
I'm glad you are playing devils advocate because otherwise that seems like an incredibly obvious question.
*For the vast majority of British climbers dry-tooling isn't really acceptable anywhere. The couple of obvious good exceptions are quarries where nobody has climbed in past in normal style, that are steep enough to be good practice for really steeped M-style mixed, and where the landowners don't object - i.e. Newtyle and White Goods.
Exactly. Do we need more than one reason? Gritstone, as a rock type, cannot withstand the repeated use of ice tools. Therefore, dry-tooling (as it is pretty clear from one of the later photos that this is what we are talking about) is not acceptable on established gritstone climbs.
> Kind of, but rock climbing damages rock. It just ends up being an assessment of what erodes rock faster (a grey area).
So you've established tooling damages rock faster than trad. What's grey about that? If tooling is in, can I carpet bomb it too? They're all just 'damaging rock' aren't they?
Burn their houses down and banish them.
I'll try and stay calm as a lot of what you say seems very silly to me. If you start grading acceptability by length of walk-in then surely you must see the massive grey area then. Is Pavey acceptable? gimmer? Kinder? froggatt? Top roping isn't acceptable anywhere really.
I don't relate to your idea of it has to be in often to be acceptable. If it's in condition, it's in condition! This also seems to contradict your statement about understanding the appeal of climbing things which dn't come in very often.
The moors routes are single pitch routes with a longish walk in in an exposed position. They have been winter climbed on for years and any climbing I decide to do, is what I warrant exceptable and would not hide away and pretend I didn't do it like you suggest I should.
I find myself agreeing with you, Franco. As someone who doesn't do a huge amount of actual climbing these days, but still keeps a toe in the water as it were, I'm increasingly starting to see climbing 'ethics' as ridiculous and arbitrary.
I wonder how many of us are aware that, to non-climbers, we look like a weird religious cult? The similarities are striking.
A mixed climber with good technique will damage gritstone less than a poor rock climber.
I eagerly anticipate Calum Nicoll's reaction to this thread.
> A mixed climber with good technique will damage gritstone less than a poor rock climber.
Where did that come from? Sounds like a strawman Franco. Have you conducted tests then? Send me a link to your paper.
Having actually been to millstone on wednesday when embankment was much whiter than that I can categorically state from first hand experience that none of millstone was in any condition for winter climbing at all.
There was no ice anywhere, in cracks or otherwise, apart from some 2 cm long icicles on keyhole cave. Certainly nothing that could prevent damage to a susceptible rock underneath it from wielding of ice tools!
All it was is powder snow sticking to some bits of rock. The white crack in the embankment photo is not ice at all, not even neve, just powdery snow.
Citing the old green death photo is daft as when it was climbed it was onpure ice, which is what would be needed as there are no footholds for crampons. There is no ice on any of these routes at all.
Whilst I am sympathetic to some of your views, that is just silly
> Kind of, but rock climbing damages rock. It just ends up being an assessment of what erodes rock faster (a grey area).
Walkers cause erosion. So do 4x4s. So by your argument the difference between a walker going up a footpath, and a 4x4 going up it, is merely a grey area.
You are right to acknowledge that all climbers cause some level of erosion. But the point is to ensure our tactics keep that to a minimum, an dnot completely trash the crags for the next generation.
Dry Tooling/Ice climbing in lean conditions on crags like these is simply not acceptable to the vast majority of climbers in the UK. However, the only power we have is to publicly condemn them, and try and educate those responsible about how selfish their actions are. Splitting hairs doesn't help.
> A mixed climber with good technique will damage gritstone less than a poor rock climber.
What!!! How can that ever be true???
From your profile you're not really a rock climber, more a scrambler and winter mountaineer. Nothing wrong with that, except that you're probably not in the best position to discuss the ethics of trad rock venues.
Please explain what you mean by "What do you see? Something you love to hate no doubt." I don't understand what you mean.
I don't think that asking who decides where it is ok to tool etc negates anything else I say. If you say that, I want you to explain to me why. Don't just fob me off with a crap answer like that.
Of course the two guys at Millstone are not bold pioneers. They should have thought a bit harder about where they tooled at. But yes, they are part of changing climbing scene.
> From your profile you're not really a rock climber, more a scrambler and winter mountaineer. Nothing wrong with that, except that you're probably not in the best position to discuss the ethics of trad rock venues.
Without a doubt--but my point is that modern climbing culture looks completely ridiculous from an outside point of view.
Just in case this hasn't been adequately answered:
The gritstone crust forms through weathering. It is over 100 years since the Millstone faces were quarried, sufficient time to regenerate the crust. But that takes decades. If the wear process through climbing is faster than the weathering timescale then the crust is worn through and the softer rock then wears much more rapidly. That is easily seen at many crags.
Clearly we have a responsibility to try to keep the wear rate less than the weathering timescale. By that standard dry tooling is utterly selfish and totally unacceptable.
That's not true. Even good mixed climbers will damage rock. It's not an argument.
Franco, I'm not British and I don't climb much on grit, but it doesn't take much common sense to realize what's acceptable and what's not. The whole thing at Millstone is TOTALLY out of order, and you and a couple of other guys arguing the "grey areas" of winter climbing is really pissing people off about drytooling, only helping to demonizing it.
> from an outside point of view.
Not really, all sports and pastimes have customs and rules. And where the customs are about preserving a non-renewable asset then they are not arbitrary.
I will accept that, for example, distinctions about an "onsight" are fairly arbitrary, but that's up to the individual. No-one will object if someone seconds a route before trying to lead it. But where damage and wear to the rocks are concerned it is not just a matter of personal style, it is about obligation to others.
It's silly that people go mountaineering in the mountains but they don't go mountaineering where there aren't any mountains?
Nobody objects to people climbing icefalls because it is ICE they are climbing, not rock. Surely that is a pretty obvious distinction that most can grasp?
I thought you were all about the headpoint these days? And stop being childish, you are a young adult now Franco - the whole iconoclastic attitude is very teenage you know.
It's really just a issue of personal selfishness. Thousands of people get pleasure from free climbing at Millstone. These two have decided that they are prepared to risk damaging the rock and thus ruining the pleasure of the others simply for their own pleasure.
It's the equivalent of turning on loud rock music in a quiet beauty spot (there's nothing wrong with loud rock music in the appropriate venue) except that the effects are long lasting.
> Please explain what you mean by "What do you see? Something you love to hate no doubt." I don't understand what you mean.
What do you see in UKC and this topic? Well, I'm speculating here, but there's no shortage of kilted warriors who would love to sack Sheffield / grit / English climbing and by extension, UKC. Its like a lifestyle choice for many jocks to hate English stuff, usually the ones who haven't travelled much. For the record, I love Scotland, in fact I travelled up for the NZ game last month and visited a few Army mates.
Usually through local consensus. They don't usually make 'law', but the majority of climbers in England and Wales accept them as the governing body.
No more so, and perhaps less so, than Victorian/Edwardian climbing culture that you seem to fetishize. I would have thought your knowledge of climbing history would make you sensitive to these sorts of arguments.
So, still playing devils advocate, there is a low level, single pitch crag near to me that has had a couple of trad lines on it but gets almost no traffic these days. At the moment it has 1m+ of snow on it, and I'm waiting for a thaw freeze to put in it decent winter nick. When I put get my tools into the crag, I am claiming it as a dry tooling/winter crag, and we can all say, "yep, its I a dry tooling/winter crag". I might even put some bolts on it too :-)
Yeah, I am playing devils advocate. Partly because its fun to see the ridiculous reactions some posters reply with, and partly because so many questions don't get answered in all of the pompous bluster and counter-bluster.
Maybe its time that this view was challenged. When does somewhere like Traprain Law for example - AND I AM NOT ADVOCATING TOOLING THERE - become too polished to trad climb at the grades currently listed in the guide book? When will it become acceptable to change the style of climbing?
Good effort on Sunday - I was "the other passing bloke"
We arrived at the scene of your "ethical discussion" just as it was "warming up" and hopefully managed to provide a bit of support to get the right outcome; though you seemed to be handling things pretty well (...and calmly:-))
I have pictures of the route (and the altrication) but don't have the means to post on here. I'll email them to you if you want to add to your Flickr account.
Following another poster - I really feel we need a BMC guideline on this. The climbing mags are full of "Dry Tooling" stories and it is only going to become more of an issue. We need a distinction made as to where / when this is appropriate adventure and where it is vandalism. (I don't envy anyone the task, though...)
> has had a couple of trad lines on it but gets almost no traffic these days.
Look, it's easy to find grey areas. But established and popular non-high-mountain rock-climbing venues are not a grey area -- it is not acceptable to dry tool them, to do so is utterly and totally selfish and irresponsible.
The general consensus was then that just because a low level crag gets snowed up once in a blue moon, that is not justification to go and climb it with tools and crampons.
It's a long time since I've been to Trapain Law, but I doubt it will ever be 'too polished', at most perhaps the grades will go up a notch. There are some horribly polished limestone routes around the world, but you can still climb them. This seems very much a straw man argument with little to do with whether it is wise or not to climb on single pitch crags with some snow on them.
Ah...the penny dropped. The guy climbing at Millstone is Scottish, and he's come down and trashed a classic English crag. And I am Scottish, and live in Scotland. And you thought that I was defending a Scotsman because all Scots hate the English. Mate, talk about paranoia. I was coming to this thread from a toolin POV, you from some weird xenophobic slant.
I didn't realise that UKC actually meant englishclimbing.com. But I guess that this will lead to another tangent altogether.
I presume that you are trying to be funny?
> Usually through local consensus. They don't usually make 'law', but the majority of climbers in England and Wales accept them as the governing body.
And the Scots are a law unto themselves.
With most things agreed by consensus, it is usually the people who shout loudest and most often that force agreement on others. Doesn't mean that their views are the only way; just that they push harder to put their view across.
I thought that there was and that it ran along the lines of no dry tooling on crags that are listed in guidebooks or words to that affect.
It's all a bit academic however as the BMC cannot make rules and in any case it is difficult to legislate against stupidity and selfishness.
> No more so, and perhaps less so, than Victorian/Edwardian climbing culture that you seem to fetishize. I would have thought your knowledge of climbing history would make you sensitive to these sorts of arguments.
Rubbish! Firstly I do not 'fetishise' any period of history and frankly find it a bit offensive to be accused of such a thing, as someone who dislikes chronocentrism. My views on mountaineering happen to coincide with many of the views that were popular at the end of the 19th century. I also have a mild interest in, and working knowledge of, the techniques and equipment of the period. Perhaps you've read more into it than actually exists?
Secondly, the climbing culture of the late Victorian period was straightforward. You turn up at your mountain and you climb it via an interesting route. There was no obsession with grades or style (until the last five years of the century, at any rate), the ridiculous emphasis on technical gear did not exist, and perhaps most importantly of all, climbers didn't take themselves seriously. It was just a pastime, not a religion. Of course there were exceptions to these broad rules, but my opinion--based on my knowledge of climbing history, not despite it--is that modern climbing culture is completely batty. Obviously this is going to be an unpopular point of view (and apologies for going a bit off-topic).
> Ah...the penny dropped. The guy climbing at Millstone is Scottish, and he's come down and trashed a classic English crag. And I am Scottish, and live in Scotland. And you thought that I was defending a Scotsman because all Scots hate the English. Mate, talk about paranoia. I was coming to this thread from a toolin POV, you from some weird xenophobic slant.
Not quite - I didn't know he was Scottish.
> I presume that you are trying to be funny?
> With most things agreed by consensus, it is usually the people who shout loudest and most often that force agreement on others. Doesn't mean that their views are the only way; just that they push harder to put their view across.
Actually the scots have their own governing body and it works the same as here. No more or less shouty. Ever been to an MCoS meet?
What makes you think he's at a London University?
If you look at the belayer - you can see he is wearing a personal locator beacon.
In a similar vein, I am professional member of the dry stone walling association. I used to sit on their management committee. I've taken part and listened to debates of walling ethics/practices etc etc. There are, however, many hundreds of professional wallers who are not members of the DSWA, but that doesn't stop them following their craft.
Professional associations and groups are all well and good, but you do tend to find that the people who like to organise and have their voices heard tend to join and run them. The real majority can't be arsed with that, and just want to get out and do their chosen activity.
I couldn't agree more. All this spray about scratching bits of rock, we should clearly be debating the prevalent social malaise of chronocentrism.
And with that, I am reverting to ignoring you as you clearly are a space cadet. Bore off.
> The gritstone crust forms through weathering. It is over 100 years since the Millstone faces were quarried, sufficient time to regenerate the crust. But that takes decades. If the wear process through climbing is faster than the weathering timescale then the crust is worn through and the softer rock then wears much more rapidly. That is easily seen at many crags.
Nothing to do with the thread, but the quarryment were drilling and cutting solid hard gritstone for millstones and building materials, not mining sand and letting it form a crust! It is rock all the way through!
Why are people comparing this to mixed or winter ascents?
Its dry tooling.
Yes, but slightly soft rock with a somewhat harder weathered crust. One of the reasons gritstone was used for millstones was exactly because being fairly soft rock it would wear "to shape", ensuring good contact between the milling surfaces, whereas harder rocks would not. And when used for building, it would again form the weathered crust.
he said scratch 'some rocks' and take a close up picture. there is a difference.
> Yes, but slightly soft rock with a somewhat harder weathered crust.
Joe's Slab at Froggat was sand blasted to remove some 6 foot high graffiti in the 90's. It doesn't look any softer than the rest of the crag to me.
> Dry tooling. Masturbation for people who can't get any real climbing.
becoming abusive because some people like to participate in a different genre of climbing to yourself? at 57 should know better than that.
what are your thoughts on gay people?
your a muppet.
The BMC do have the Local Area meetings, you don’t have to be a member of the BMC to attend, you just can’t vote if the meeting require a vote.
If this is an issue, and it clearly is, then surely some sort of local area stance and look ways of communicating what is acceptable, much in the same way as the BMC produce things like the crag code and the bouldering 10 commandments.
Most of it is common sense, but to the ill informed and as was pointed out, walls are producing more climbers that are not as much in tune with ethics, seeing good photos of Dave Mac mixed climbing can be inspiring and to those that have no understanding of where and when it is acceptable to climb with tools could lead to forum bashings taking place.
It may be about time some common guidelines (bouldering 10 commandment style) were put out there on this subject.
> becoming abusive because ...
hmmmm pot/kettle etc
Not me, the lynch mob will have to look elsewhere!
So far on this thread I've been accused of being pro dry tooling at Millstone, and anti the climbing of snowed up rock routes on mountain crags!
I'm not either of those things. I do like taking the piss out of sanctimonius types though.
> I actually think that dry tooling should be banned on all crags except those where it is specifically permitted. ie Banned by default and permitted by specific exception agreed by the BMC
reverse that. would you be able to ban rock climbers from a dry tooling crag?
places like newtyle have dry tooling, sport climbing and trad all on the same rock so i feel this is a very short sighted comment. newtyle is proof that all forms of climbing can co-exist.
Well whether a venue is a suitable winter/dry tooling venue should be fairly obvious Jacob, shouldn't it? Just give it a bit of thought for a minute will you.
For homework can I suggest you think about a quarry you know about, Ratho.
There are parts of Ratho that would be suitable for dry tooling and parts that wouldn't. Once you've figured which is which you'll see why dry tooling at Millstone is inappropriate.
sorry mate, it seems i owe you an apology.
However, you really should climb air on a bowstring, fantastic route!
also, anyone up for bolted mixed on great slab at froggat?
I hear what you're saying but the 'alleged' perpetrator of this incident has been on UKC for a good while and he has consistently argued against the majority viewpoints on issues such as-
- dry tooling (he feels he can do it anywhere he likes)
- bolting (same story)
- chip shops on Ben Nevis (good luck to him)
I'm not sure what good guidelines do for people like this?
More to the point, what are they doing at Millstone when there are loads of real winter venues in the Peak that are rarely in condition, but are currently in perfect nick?
> I'm not either of those things. I do like taking the piss out of sanctimonius types though.
No, you like to encourage the next dim witted tool gimps to fill their boots. If you agree that its objectionable, how would you suggest people object?
This thread is a message and people like you are weakening that message. You're part of the problem, not part of the solution.
I mean there are Drytooler’s of which I am one* and then there are just Knobheads
These chaps are supposed to be our future, a physicist no less, he should at least have a little awareness of his chosen sport or failing that a modicum of commonsense
*I use a dedicated shit hole that not even the most enthusiastic of trad men would want to climb for my winter training.
So that is where Ben Fong went...
Sadly you are always going to have the minority that seem to believe they can operate outside of the norm, it would at least give people a starting point about what is acceptable and where it is acceptable.
Just a thought…
I use an old railway bridge :-)
I know, and I reckon it is a good idea what you're saying.
> becoming abusive because some people like to participate in a different genre of climbing to yourself? at 57 should know better than that.
> what are your thoughts on gay people?
> your a muppet.
Hmm. Quite a revealing post. I didn't think I was being abusive. What is wrong with masturbation?
And how do you get from dry-toolers to gay people?
> I find myself agreeing with you, Franco. As someone who doesn't do a huge amount of actual climbing these days, but still keeps a toe in the water as it were, I'm increasingly starting to see climbing 'ethics' as ridiculous and arbitrary.
> I wonder how many of us are aware that, to non-climbers, we look like a weird religious cult? The similarities are striking.
mate, if I was you I would avoid getting involved in this debate and stick to romanticising about the past. Climbing is absolutely nothing without ethics, and has moved on greatly since the so called golden years bollocks where widespread 'cheating' was acceptable
now stick that in yer clay pipe and smoke it :)
I'm really bored of this. I'll call ur bluff. It wasn't me drytooling but i fancy a fight. Name the place CP and you can feel the power of The Devonshire Arms.....
Quality post, perfectly put.
Maybe it's just my personal 'ethics', but I reckon 'kicking the sh1t out of' someone because you disagree with the way they're climbing, might make you a little bit more of a d1ckhead than the guys you disagree with. Let's keep things in proportion eh?
No need to be patronising, Erik! I know as well as any one that there is no such thing as a 'golden age' in climbing, and that the Victorian pioneers were not perfect. I'm just saying that their culture was a lot more straightforward than ours, and that they didn't take themselves quite so seriously.
I'm eagerly anticipating tonight's "gotcha"
When the op posts photos of all those who made the journey to millstone to survey the damage.
I suspect this is one of those pieces of performance art that are occasionally trotted out. However unlike "cake" and "the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide" this one has a very limitted audience and questions will not be asked in the house.
If so then the party posing in the photos is an artist. That spoiled-child expression is perfect. Someone higher up wanted to punch it; in me it had the opposite effect - I wanted to frame it and keep it for ever. Those moments where grown men - well, manchildren - reveal their inner spoiled child so graphically are always hugely comical, and really need to be preserved rather than ruined by punching them.
If the chap can pull that off so admirably then he has a future on the boards, or wherever it is performance artists operate.
>do I get a prize ?
Assuming the KGB are watching I think you may well!
It's not simply a matter of law it's their right to do it if they want to. Even if no one else agrees with them (and i certainly don't agree with their actions) they can still fire on and do it and we can't stop them other than by trying to persuade them it's not a good idea.
It's your right to be an abusive idiot when there's no need for it and whilst most people find it unsavoury and unpleasant and think your a bit of a tool no one can stop you doing it.
anyway, rose tinted specs on but Im glad I was fortunate to have started when the climbing culture was still in but nearing the end of the real golden era, and experienced a good few years of it, its all fast food, instant hit and beta bollocks now..
Please try and refrain from turning this into an insult-fest. Discuss the issue by all means but don't just come on here and slag off the people involved.
Define "right" as used in that sentence. It doesn't surprise me that you have a warped view of morals. Are you also going to argue that they have a "right" to bolt Scritto's Republic or chip extra holds in Elm Street?
> - dry tooling (he feels he can do it anywhere he likes)
> - bolting (same story)
> - chip shops on Ben Nevis (good luck to him)
> I'm not sure what good guidelines do for people like this?
he also claimed to never use chalk, so not totally devoid of scruples;)
Who says there aren't folk who don't take themselves seriously? Most people seem to forget that climbing is mainly about having an ace time clambering about on rocks and going to cool places. Not everyone does though, it's just that most fun people don't waste their time getting pissed off about stuff on web forums.
> we would defend our 'right' to climb as would all other countryside users who's actions impact the environment
No tatty, we would *not* defend an unlimited right to climb. For example we accept restrictions regarding nesting birds and rare plants and SSSIs. In other words we *consider* the consequences of our actions and our duties to others when assessing whether it is reasonable to climb, and we are happy to negotiate with other interests. You seem to be totally oblivious to ethical considerations and to be addressing this in a very narrow legalistic sense. Fortunately most people are much more responsible and civically minded than that.
> A mixed climber with good technique will damage gritstone less than a poor rock climber.
Silly billy Franco ... now you know thats not true
>It's not simply a matter of law it's their right to do it if they want to.
This sentence makes no sense. Rights *are* a matter of law, and moreover, as several people have said before, by this token there's nothing to stop people chipping.
I wish you'd either shut up or else think about whatever it is you're trying to say.
Oh get a grip, Alan. There's not much point in having internet forums if people who go and drytool on grit aren't going to get insulted as they deserve on them.
> It's not simply a matter of law it's their right to do it if they want to.
Is it you position that it is therefore absolutely fine to do anything not specifically not defined as illegal?
What would the Park Authority's view be on this? I'm presuming they'd be none too pleased? If so would the dafties concerned not be in danger of bringing more restrictive access down on your heads.
> >It's not simply a matter of law it's their right to do it if they want to.
> This sentence makes no sense. Rights *are* a matter of law, and moreover, as several people have said before, by this token there's nothing to stop people chipping.
> I wish you'd either shut up or else think about whatever it is you're trying to say.
Ummm- it is a question of 'rights' as access is granted, and is not, like you say, a right.
So, 'vandalism' would be precluded, should the landowner decide so.
this is very important in National Parks, as they have a duty to protect and preserve, as well as ensure fair and open access.
Yeah, the guys who top-roped a 3 star VS classic route were wrong to do what they did. But for some of the posters on here to flatly say no dry tooling anywhere except really crappy rock are going to find themselves pissing in the wind. More people are going to start using tools because its just a part of a growing climbing scene.
> Yeah, the guys who top-roped a 3 star VS classic route were wrong to do what they did. But for some of the posters on here to flatly say no dry tooling anywhere except really crappy rock are going to find themselves pissing in the wind. More people are going to start using tools because its just a part of a growing climbing scene.
Or a possibly shrinking climbing scene as more and more classic rock climbs on softer rocks become systematically wrecked by this new fad.
Hoping that dry toolers will go away is not going to happen. Nor is it any use saying that no trad crag is open for tooling. Make agreement on where can be climbed (as in Newtyle where tooling, trad and bolts co-exist) and maybe that'll stop decent trad routes getting trashed.
>But for some of the posters on here to flatly say no dry tooling anywhere except really crappy rock are going to find themselves pissing in the wind. More people are going to start using tools because its just a part of a growing climbing scene.
You're not about to start eulogising like whatshisface with his 'brotherhood of the tool' bollocks?
As Mux says above, those who are actually into the sport take the ethics of not practising it in unsuitable venues seriously. Dry tooling is not a massively popular part of the sport yet.
What you're seeing here is a thread that will repeat itself ad infinitum if people are found to be damaging crags in this fashion or by chipping, scrubbing, bolting etc etc.
> Hoping that dry toolers will go away is not going to happen.
Why not? Chipping is a no no, as is bolting certain crags. Problem with dry tooling or whatever they want to call it, is it's been tolerated and promoted... I can't help but think commercial interests are behind this.
It's basically aid climbing with the potential for chipping.
> Oh get a grip, Alan. There's not much point in having internet forums if people who go and drytool on grit aren't going to get insulted as they deserve on them.
It's just tedious. People won't listen to you if you don't give them reasons. All this self-righteous crap about 'god's own rock needing to be protected at all cost' isn't going to persuade winter climbers not to winter climb. What has stopped me from attempting a long-term aim I had to do london wall under mixed conditions is that the rock is softer than other places and hence it's unsustainable. Other parts of Gritstone are hard enough to put up with it.
> If it's not I don't really see a massive problem. The main one being that they were top roping,[...] The UKC pictures show millstone to be in condition, so as long as care is taken, fair enough really.
For Goodness sake, Franco. If you want to climb grade VIII just do as everyone else has before and get climbing on real winterlines on real winter crags (and tell off anyone that doesn't).
What those lads were doing is not winter climbing. Winter climbing is a challenging day in the "hills". If they want to practice their skills for the big day...why don't they go scractching on a bridge or stone wall alongside a rail bridge.
Gritstone is sandstone and gets damaged by rockclimbers (and you and they are right) with rubber...imagine the damage with metal spikes!!!
When the cliff is the size of beinn bhan who really cares about some scraches 100m from the ground...we're talking about Millstone here.
But I forget that I'm just an elitist person.
Gareth did the right thing tell them off, the belayer was doing, presumably, the right thing by suggesting they drop it.
Are you doing the right thing yourself F?
Franco, you're questioning the establishment which is good when it is needed. But then people have told you and others many times what "winter climbing" is. You should know better now. You are no longer questioning now you are plain wrong asking those questions encouraging less informed people to think alike.
BTW, I do think you would make an awesome "winter climber", so get your arse onto those winter venues and tick established classics.
Feel free the email me personal abuse Franco (or anyone thinking what those lads were up to was ok), I shall endeavour to explain and tell you better. Not because I'm better, but because I was explained better and now know better.
Anyone thinking that it was a quality winterclimbing day is seriously deluded.
Crampons and axes have sharpened metal points a couple of mm across. Thus their contact area will be about 0.05 cm^2. With fingers and shoes it is nearer a few cm^2. Therefore the pressure on the rock (force/area) will be roughly a hundred times higher when dry tooling, meaning a hundred times more likely to dent or scratch it.
Further, skin and shoe rubber is softer than rock, so that when you rub them on rock it is primarily the skin and rubber that rubs away. When you rub hardened steel on rock (and, again, with 100 times the pressure of fingers/shoes) then it is primarily the rock that rubs away.
Can you really not see a problem here for any climbs that are usually enjoyed as trad rock routes? I don't accept that we just have to accept it because it's going to happen whether we like it or not. For the above entirely sensible arguments it is entirely reasonable to expect it not to occur on non-mountain crags that are widely used for rock climbs.
There many be a few non-mountain bits of rock where it is accepted that dry tooling can occur; these should very much be the exception.
On what basis are you asserting that Franco? I would totally disagree, for the reasons in my last post.
To mainly playing devils advocate here and you are right that I am trying to question people.
The main thing i'm trying to ask people is 'Why is it wrong?' I think it is wrong and I have explained why I think that. But, I get the sense on here that many people think it's wrong plainly because it's gritstone and near to their pleasant little homes in sheffielf, where as if it's up some hill in scotland somewhere it doesn't matter.
I'd like it very much if people would drop the sacred gritstone BS (it's a good rock, but nothing special) and come up with a decent reason- like many have on this thread.
Gritstone is primarily silicon, which is actually harder than steel. Hardness has nothing to do with it, it's the weakness of the matrix. Also 100 times the surface area doesn't mean a hundred times less damage, it means considerably less than that. It's not simple probibility.
> Times change.
No they don't. There's always some idiot thinking that they're ringing the changes but actually just showing how shallow their thinking is.
I thought you might have grown up a bit, but it seems not.
> I thought you might have grown up a bit, but it seems not.
Why is it wrong - because it's a finite resource and to all inetnts and purposes it will not recover- Scars might blend in, but the damage will be done. Today, tomorrow, maybe next year, something will be irreparably damaged and the original reason for the route to be valued will be diminished. That holds true, IMHO, whether it be grit, an established Lakes rock route, the Bat. Just because one can, it doesn't follwo that one should
Grit is sedimentary, it is soft and it is easily damaged. When you start finding crampon scratches on Sphinx Nose and Scugdale, then you will know why it is really bad idea.
I am gratified, however, to see people arguing about whether crampons or rock boots do more damage to rock. Are you all mentally ill, or have you just never been climbing before?
> I'd like it very much if people would drop the sacred gritstone BS (it's a good rock, but nothing special) and come up with a decent reason- like many have on this thread.
You said that the toproping is wrong, not that drytooling an established classic roadside route is wrong.
It's wrong because it will, in very short order, trash the route. Yes, the matrix is soft - and banging the skin off with axes and crampons will accelerate its demise.
The fact that others have done it before doesn't make it ok - I hope we're more enlightened about conservation generally now than previous generations *and* 3" of ice does give some protection whereas the hoare I see in those photos won't.
So you are against the development of mixed climbing as a whole? At least your stance is consistent.
Chriss Craggs chats sense, although I didn't think you'd have heard of the sphinx Traverse. You must have done some serious research for the moors! ;)
> Chriss Craggs chats sense, although I didn't think you'd have heard of the sphinx Traverse. You must have done some serious research for the moors! ;)
Yes I checked all the crags up there for my North of England guide, but 95% of them were pants!
Of course I can see the problem, and for the most apart agree with what's being said about the tooling at Millstone.
And I think its unreasonable to expect dry tooling to only happen on crags well away from anywhere, up some remote mountain. That's not going to happen.
There should be local agreements of where it is acceptable to dry tool at local crags. There must be numerous lines or faces that would have potential. Rather than telling dry toolers to sod off, it would better to agree where it could be done.
In fact..here it is:
Regardless of classic rock status,or location, I think it's pretty obvious that this is not really a venue for mixed climbing.
Millstone has had one route in acceptable winter climbable nick twice in the last 30 odd years but is climbed on as rock for the other 29 years and 350 days so Iw ould have thought is clearly not an obvious venue.
Last time I climbed on these two routes they were so polished I could almost see my reflection. A few scratching up a route is about as damaging as people climbing up it and leaving a thick layer of polish for chalk and rubber build up.
scratches in the rock maybe more natural, anyone?? Glacial striations cover much of the rock in North Wales. Hack it may improve the rock it un cover some of the polish.
It's silica (silicon dioxide), not silicon, and it's less hard than steel (e.g. http://www.reade.com/Particle_Briefings/mohs_hardness_abrasive_grit.html ). And both are a lot harder than skin or shoe rubber, which is the point here.
Yes indeed. And if you rub an ice-axe pick on gritstone which wears away faster? You'd have a deep gouge in the grit before you see much wear on the axe. And compare that to rubbing your finger on gritstone.
No, it's 100 times *less* surface area, and thus pressures that are 100 times higher. So you're rubbing it with a harder substance and with a pressure 100 times what a trad climber exerts.
I entirely agree. I don't consider it acceptable to dry-tool Right Wall or Silly Arete or Poetry Pink either.
I am very aware of the ethical aspects around these issues, the climbers in question do not share our ethics and may well argue from a completely dfferent but in their minds equally valid standpoint that says it's OK. It is a pretty simplistic view to decide that 'ethics' arise from the majority perspective....i.e. we all think tooling gritstone is wrong therefore it is wrong.
> Crampons and axes have sharpened metal points a couple of mm across. Thus their contact area will be about 0.05 cm^2. With fingers and shoes it is nearer a few cm^2. Therefore the pressure on the rock (force/area) will be roughly a hundred times higher when dry tooling, meaning a hundred times more likely to dent or scratch it.
Yeh sorry, while since I studied geology. The wear of ice tools isn't the issue here, it's the pottential chipping of cracks due to forces which you wouldn't expect from trad climbing. If it was merely a case of scratching stuff I'd be down at Millstone tomorrow.
Thanks to the syllabus on citizenship, most secondary school pupils should know that the word with which 'rights' is always twinned is 'responsibility'.
Sure, it's a free country and everyone has a right, whilst acting within the law, to do as they please. The same people have the responsibility to make sure that their actions do not, in this case, irrevocably damage a climb which has been enjoyed by thousands of people. They may wish to further consider that whilst they have the right to complain if some of the more forceful points of view expressed here are visited upon their person, they have been in large measure the authors of their own misfortune.
If only the right to free speech was twinned with a responsibility to talk sense the world would be a better, though considerably quieter, place.
Are you? Then in that case please give your "ethical" answer to my question that you have not yet answered, namely, if it is their "right" to dry tool Millstone, are you also going to argue that they have a "right" to bolt Scritto's Republic or chip extra holds in Elm Street?
> There should be local agreements of where it is acceptable to dry tool at local crags. There must be numerous lines or faces that would have potential. Rather than telling dry toolers to sod off, it would better to agree where it could be done.
Well apart from the well-known venues of Mam Tor and Back Tor what about Alport Castles, Dovestones Quarry (often mentioned), the far right end of Lawrencfield or Stannington Ruffs for starters?
Given that there is no higher moral issue eg murder,rape at stake The starting point should be whether someone is threatening the pleasure of others by their own actions. In this case one or two people are threatening the pleasure of many others by their actions which seems to me to meet the definition of selfishness.
> I am very aware of the ethical aspects around these issues, the climbers in question do not share our ethics and may well argue from a completely dfferent but in their minds equally valid standpoint that says it's OK. It is a pretty simplistic view to decide that 'ethics' arise from the majority perspective....
If the ethics in question are basically about how we can all coexist and enjoy ourselves in the hills without spoiling it for loads of other people
then it's entirely reasonable for the ethics to arise from the majority perspective. If I want to listen to loud music in a shared flat at night then I'd expect the 'majority perspective' to be asserted fairly rapidly...
> Hmm. Quite a revealing post. I didn't think I was being abusive. What is wrong with masturbation?
> And how do you get from dry-toolers to gay people?
nothing wrong with it, maybe you dont do it enough thats why you get on your high horse about people who participate in dry tooling.
your original post was clearly suggesting that people who go drytooling are some type of lesser sub group of climbers. i disagree with you.
> how does a good old wire-brushing compare?
Two or three very hard sharp points with well over half a hundredweight applied to each one? I wonder.
Many of the gritstone climbing guides from the 1950s include pleas for people to stop climbing the routes in nailed boots (as they'd traditionally been done) and switch to rubbers instead in order to prevent further damage to the rock. Many routes are explicitly mentioned as having already been ruined by nails.
It sounds like the lessons learned 50 years ago have been forgotten again.
If people take things seriously it is probably that we are more concious about our impacts on the environment than climbers had to be in the past which seems fair enough and quite sensible. Really people are just arguing about trying to maintain the enviroment we climb in, respect the acheivements of past climbers, and try and keep things presentable for future climbers. That seems pretty fair and not really taking things so seriously.
BTW, apologies if you were really upset about the fetishize comment. I should have put a pulling-your-leg ;-) after it. I could try wiggling out of it by saying that I meant it in the original anthropological sense of the word, but then with all your dressing up and loving close up photos of tricouni nails and hand-tooled hickory shafts (ooh-err missus!), perhaps the more common sense of the word is appropriate. But it's all good clean fun between consenting adults and no animals are involved so you go for it! ;-)
> nothing wrong with it, maybe you dont do it enough thats why you get on your high horse about people who participate in dry tooling.
I don't need to do it because the real thing is so much more satisfying.
(You just made me realise that 'dry-tooling' would make an excellent euphenism.)
> your original post was clearly suggesting that people who go drytooling are some type of lesser sub group of climbers. i disagree with you.
It is not my view that dry-toolers are some type of lesser sub group of climbers. They are a totally seperate group to climbers.
Jesus christ! I've never dry-tooled or even wanted to, but this thread might just push me towards it. The amount of hot air rising from this thread could keep my house warm all winter.
Climbs aren't damaged, they're just altered...
What Monsieur Erick says!
We should all take at huge embarrassment that we need a Frenchman to explain the bleeding obvious to us clearly. :-)
Erick - have you looked at Franco's gallery? He has actually been out doing some very good looking hard mixed lines in great looking conditions. So congrats to Franco on that, but somehow that makes his "I'd be down to Millstone tomorrow..." comments all the more depressing if he can't see the difference between mixed climbing in the mountains and dry tooling on a lowland quarry.
Franco - you should really move to Fort William. You'd soon be leading VIII I'm sure, and it would give you the perspective on the difference between the two types of venues.
Over on channel B, they have a thread about this also. Unlike here, they are universally astounded that anyone thinks its ok to drytool at Millstone and are quite surprised at the non-universal condemnation here.
I've got nothing against dry-toolers at the right venue and I agree with those calling for BMC guidelines.
Dry-toolers (or more accurately people who dry tool) are a subset of people who climb (climbers), who are in turn a subset of people.
People who boulder, people who free climb, people who aid climb, people who winter climb, people who free solo, people who aid solo and people who mountaineer or alpine climb are also a subset of people who climb (climbers) who are a subset of people.
It's not uncommon in fact for, say, people who boulder and people who trad free climb to be the same people. They may also shop at Sainsbury's and enjoy yoghurt. Some of them will be considerate, some of them will be arseholes. Some of them will be unable to see that whether some others are considerate or arseholes has no causal link to which subset[s] of climbing they enjoy.
> Climbs aren't damaged, they're just altered...
They just keep on coming, climbers who dont do any climbing coming out of the woodwork and chucking in random sets of syllables. Bizarre how UKC seems to attract them.
>In fact..here it is:
With several comments by fishy1 aka the perp in the present case.
typo there - i've corrected it for you
(it's god's rock, but nothing special)
You beem making much of the good conditions this weekend?
Fill yer boots problem child.
> So you are against the development of mixed climbing as a whole? At least your stance is consistent.
I am similarly concerned about routes in the Lakes, but less so about the mountain crags of Scotland, largely because of the long tradition of winter ascents there. However, routes like the Bat trouble me, because its reputation is as a first rate summer route.
Just because a rock route is rendered unclimbable by the weather (be it cold and snowy, or wet and minging), it should not become fair game for dry or mixed climbing. There's more to it than that - call it 'sport' in a non-French sense if you will.
> Dry-toolers (or more accurately people who dry tool) are a subset of people who climb (climbers), who are in turn a subset of people.
What about people with grappling hooks?
'I am similarly concerned about routes in the Lakes, but less so about the mountain crags of Scotland, largely because of the long tradition of winter ascents there. However, routes like the Bat trouble me, because its reputation is as a first rate summer route.'
thats poor attitude to have. you for got to include the steeple, the needle, centurion, savage slit, eagle ridge....these have all had winter ascents and are quite rightly some of the best routes in the country!
time to change the record!
> It is not my view that dry-toolers are some type of lesser sub group of climbers. They are a totally seperate group to climbers.
I trad climb, sport climb, boulder, climb scottish mixed, climb alpine ice and go dry tooling. I think of myself as a climber.
I get the feeling that people who dont like dry tooling are generally crap winter climbers.
'There are a number of crags across the UK where drytooling can take place as a sport in its own right. However, great care must be taken when choosing a crag to climb on, and participants must make sure that the local ethic is for drytooling to take place. It would be disastrous for both the crag and the climbing community in general if areas that are traditionally purely rock climbing venues were used for drytooling, particularly by climbers who have not thought through the consequences. We, nor any other reputable drytoolers, would ever advocate tooling on established rock routes.
There is also the ethical question of tooling on rock climbs in the mountains under winter conditions. Although many routes exist where snow and ice are not key to success, rather a skill in climbing with axes and crampons on rock alone, these are often not established summer climbs. Bear in mind that axes and crampons do damage the rock, so their use on winter versions of summer routes should be thought through carefully.'
At least they have some sense!
i m struggling with the idea that millstone was fair game when it was covered with ice so thick that the crag wouldnt be damaged (reasonable thinking) but it seems that the lakes is game 5 minutes after its snowed ? i m genuinly intrested in what you think .
Taken from UK bouldering.
> > I get the feeling that people who dont like dry tooling are generally crap winter climbers.
What's the correlation here? Alternatively, are people who like dry tooling good winter climbers? In which case I refer you back to the beginning of the thread for evidence that suggests that this is far form the case.
>I get the feeling that people who dont like dry tooling are generally crap winter climbers.
I think a few of the people who didn't like dry-tooling Fingers Ridge climb at an *even higher* standard in winter than the mighty grade IV which is revealed by your profile.
> >I get the feeling that people who dont like dry tooling are generally crap winter climbers.
> I think a few of the people who didn't like dry-tooling Fingers Ridge climb at an *even higher* standard in winter than the mighty grade IV which is revealed by your profile.
I might be being a bit dim, was it Calum Nicoll and fishy1 out scratching at the weekend? Or is Calum Nicoll fisy1 in disguise (or vice versa)?
If this character really is our own beloved Calum, then that's magnificent in its naďvety:
Saturday, 20 November 2010 (...)
1st week - Stanage - bouldered around on stuff. Eyed Big Air, a cool dyno route, and the aretes (Archangel and White wand). Played on brad pitt to see what v10 felt like. Hard. Be well cool to come up against something like that on a route.
2nd week - Stanage - tried to learn to jam, fell off the start of fern crack, (...) Went to lawrencefield - top roped with the freshers on various stuff, quite liked the style, less rounded than natural grit. Thought about trying a new route to the right of Pool wall, up a cool looking crack (...)
Reminds me of when I was ten.
I think that is the same Tom who was arguing on here in favour of bolting up one of the high quarries up in Chew so he could practice his tooling and ice climbing in safety during last year's freeze...
Same person. There was a rebranding at some point.
Looking at the blog, he has to be either a troll or a bit, shall we say, 'TIMMEH!'
'He once killed a deer with his bare hands, then spent the rest of the year eating it. '
Could have been venison burgers at the CIC buttie bar !
> Erick - have you looked at Franco's gallery? He has actually been out doing some very good looking hard mixed lines...
I don't think hard mixed climbing really exists. It's all on jugs.
> Franco - you should really move to Fort William. You'd soon be leading VIII I'm sure...
I intend to after my degree and i'd hope to not be puntering about on VIIIs still.
It is not cool to pick on special people. Shame on you.
Here we go. Tom's point of view, he's quite the traditionalist...
Probably. After all, how else could he crack grade V? No-one else in history has ever been able to do so without decent dry-tooling training facilities, right?
nobody but nobody would want to climb there in any other style trust me.
And as I think I have mentioned to you (I maybe wrong though) before we spent a long time cleaning that place as copious amounts of Fly tipping had taken place.
off to sharpen axes now as I am out next weekend
It's nice they get them outdoors, guessing it will have taken a fair bit of antifreeze to unstick his tongue from the window of the yellow bus that morning
You do have a talent for climbing as well as for coming over as a complete dick Franco. You could perhaps trying taking a compliment with good grace and not belittling the efforts who don't have your natural talents - at least not for climbing you seem to miss a few other life skills.
...or getting avalanched like last time?
I wish I could claim some artistic skill. The expression is entirely genuine and comes down to the fact that I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing, and my girlfriend wanted me out of the way so that she could take a photo of the snow on top of the crag. I didn't even realise we had them in the background until we got home that evening!
No, not you. The gentleman tied on to the tope in Gareth H's pictures. The perp, in fact.
13,666 views in 24 hours. It’s all too obvious to me what is happening here. UKC sent Mick Ryan out to Millstone to take some photos, in full knowledge of how unimaginative many people are in only choosing winter climbs that are listed on the internet.
Wait a couple of days until someone takes the bait, then there’s a massive increase in forum traffic due to a thread about the controversy.
Some might say that the resulting threats of violence and stabbing are bad for the sites image, but we all know that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
Don’t blame the two climbers! Blame the evil UKC masterminds who hatched the plot to increase UKC’s Google Page Ranking.
> You do have a talent for climbing as well as for coming over as a complete dick Franco. You could perhaps trying taking a compliment with good grace and not belittling the efforts who don't have your natural talents - at least not for climbing you seem to miss a few other life skills.
> ...or getting avalanched like last time?
It was a bit of a joke. And I was belittling myself as well as everyone else. Winter climbing is inherently easy- why I like it.
Come on people, someone must know this idiot.
How many potato headed would-be winter climbers called Callum are there in London village?
> Good luck to these guys.
Is it an elaborate effort to trump the Eroica thread...i'm starting to think so!
> Rock climbers don't own Millstone nor have they exclusive right to pursue their sport at the expense of others.
Actually a small but significant minority of climbers (including me) do 'own' Millstone as it's owned by Sheffield City Council :-)
and the police/ lawyer comment, again if you read my posts carefully I have merely described accurately the events of yesterday as witnessed by several other independent witnesses. Indignation - yes I agree with you, its clear many others feel the same way, arrogance - I won't even dignify this with a comment.
you should have titled the thread Tools at Millstone
> I get the feeling that people who dont like dry tooling are generally crap winter climbers.
How would you define a "good" winter climber tom?
Dave (grade II) Ferguson
dont think thats fair without evidence
erm millstone is quarried
Not as if its been bolted
Wake up at the back...
Not a joke, must be a hoax then! You guys have must had some fun setting this all up. Balancing 3 axes in to the lower section of the crack for the photo with no one using them is very clever (who uses three axes anyway!). Only the ‘theoretical climber’ appears to be attached to the top rope, the belayer is not even on the other end, the next more distant photo shows the belayer with rope attached, the climber is off the ground but does not seem to be actually using the tools. Also the text account does not really match up with the pictures….
The question is, just how many people were in this hoax?
Enough to have people sending PM's with regards to earlier comments made...
> Not a joke, must be a hoax then! You guys have must had some fun setting this all up. Balancing 3 axes in to the lower section of the crack for the photo with no one using them is very clever (who uses three axes anyway!). Only the ‘theoretical climber’ appears to be attached to the top rope, the belayer is not even on the other end, the next more distant photo shows the belayer with rope attached, the climber is off the ground but does not seem to be actually using the tools. Also the text account does not really match up with the pictures….
> The question is, just how many people were in this hoax?
Not a bad hoax - they moved their gear around too. The first shots are on Embankment 2 and the distant shot is on Embankment 3.
No its not. I've met Gareth, he's not the trolling type. And having seen the protagonists output on here, he's definitely dense enough to do it.
Any idea when the next Gritstone Winter Conditions report is being put up?
We had a great weekend, hope you did too.
We did no dry tooling that weekend. We got to millstone about 12 ish saturday. Looked at green death, it wasn't in nick. There was a brilliant thin ice line formed roughly going down monopoly. We tried it but backed off very quickly due to water running down behind the ice. Then we had a burn on some route which consisted of thin ice/neve, partener led it and came off about 1/2 way up when the sheet detached. We then went to bed, intending to get up early the next day to take advantage of the cold temps.
Started climbing at 5am the next morning, the overnight rain had washed out the mid section of monopoly but everything was frozen. We top roped some routes, the photo of us on a route you took was completely in nick, it just wasn't very white. The rock was well verglassed due to seepage from the snow above. The crack itself was filled with snow and ice. I found the crux to be ascending the icicle that was about half way up the crack, right in the back, the crack constricts at that point and it's very awkward indeed unless you have child sized hands.
Interestingly, of the people we spoke to that weekend, 2 groups expressed disapproval, one guy on his own said the route wasn't in condition, and another 7 (or 8) groups of people approved.
I hear B-52s approaching......
If the route was in the condition he says then it's fair enough, but somehow I doubt it was.
Go steady on him people, he really doesn't understand! He does have balls though, well they're bigger than his brain anyway (no Calum that's not a compliment).
I don't understand how can Millstone be in 'nick' its impossible or am I missing something here ? Surly I am missing something I thought its in the MOUNTAINS that people go mixed climbing with tools and crampons!
There is NO way Millstone would be in 'condition' its not a venue for that activity. No way did people approve on that number unless you where asking random dog walkers who hadn't got the faintest idea what you where doing, ask ten Sheffield climbers if they approved I guarantee it wouldn't be 8 out of 10 for it !
Yours disgusted !
I think if he had asked lots of grit climbers he might be recieving surgery in the northern general to get the axes removed from somewhere very personal
The route can NOT be in condition its not a venue for that! Its a dangerous thing if people are debating whether or not a crag like Millstone is in condition, be careful here !
He's just winding you (and everyone else) up !
> He's just winding you (and everyone else) up !
hook,line and sinker..
Can I ask in all seriousness why, on such a fabulous weekend for winter climbing you chose Millstone, rather than Mam Tor or saimilar in the Peak.
Or why not the Lakes or Wales?
Why on earth go to a classic rock climbing venue that is out of condition when there are so many better winter venues in easy reach?
> wasn't very white. The rock was well verglassed due to seepage from the snow above. The crack itself
> was filled with snow and ice. I found the crux to be ascending the icicle that was about half way up the
> crack, right in the back, the crack constricts at that point and it's very awkward indeed unless you have child sized hands.
OK, so you're seriously trying to argue that this photo is of a climb in good winter nick, where the axes and crampons will not be touching rock, but only ice? http://www.flickr.com/photos/bad-altitude/5235339921/
> another 7 (or 8) groups of people approved.
Interesting that we've had three independent people up-thread say they saw you and disapproved (so all 3 out of 3). I wonder how many of these 7 or 8 other groups will now confirm that they saw you, that they approved, and that they told you that they approved. Some must be UKC readers I expect?
> He's just winding you (and everyone else) up !
Surely he has to be. That or he's monumentally, breath takingly, eyewateringly, stupid.
> He does have balls though
Top-roping a crack. Pretty off the chain.
As an experienced climber you must also have known that it is widely (almost unanimously) unacceptable to undertake this on a crag like Millstone.
This leads me to draw one conclusion - you like the attention. Well you certainly achieved that. Well done big man. I genuinely feel sorry for you. I hope you can be honest and show a little maturity now that you got your fix.
I hope you don't try anything like this again.
Glad to see the tradition of the UKC Christmas troll competition is alive and well.
I went to Millstone today (Monday).
I took four pictures of the two routes Embankment 2 and 3
They are in my UKC gallery
(or will be as soon as they are moderated)
> I went to Millstone today (Monday).
> I took four pictures of the two routes Embankment 2 and 3
> They are in my UKC gallery
> (or will be as soon as they are moderated)
kin'ell - I was a bit uncomfortable with some of the comments higher up this thread - now I'm not too sure. What a mess.
Heard of BASE jumping Calum?
Apparently the BASE jumping community are really into their ethics about using parachutes when they do their sport.
A man like you should get involved- show them how inane they are...
Is millstone a suitable venue for this?
I think from this that we can all establish that the routes were most certainly not in anywhere near an acceptable condition to be climbed with tools!
Simple simple child.
Absolutely. Parachute- Free BASE Jumping is ideal for it. As long as the crag is higher than 40 feet it's a goer.
Calum, UKC won't allow me to express how lowly I regard you, you'll have to look at the respective thread about this on ukb.
You're an embarrassment, and you're at risk of giving genuine winter climbers a terrible name.
(to the ukc moderators - I can't believe you're zapping threads calling this idiot out for his stupidity)
*throws flowers in the air and dances naked round a ceremonial fire*
40ft????? Thats survivable. Certainly not extreme enough for this chap.
You seem like a credible commentator
You are very far out of order - suck it up and don't do it again, you've caused a lot of damage.
well feck me, but looks like we are gonna hit 500 after all.
and all over scratched rock. no wonder the worlds screwed up, everyones thinking about drytooling.
Idiots. People like that, I'll bet they even told all their friends they went ice climbing in the "Peaks"
> I went to Millstone today (Monday).
> I took four pictures of the two routes Embankment 2 and 3
> They are in my UKC gallery
> (or will be as soon as they are moderated)
Well done mate, thanks for doing that and making this issue very clear..
These pictures are truely shocking!
Calum - do you still stand by your comment;
Do you think you've learned anything from this whole experience?
I'd love to hear your comments about these photos.
I can't help but wonder if that picture of Calum in the Midi tunnel is taken after he drilled the crampon slots on the Cosmiques Arete?!
Using nuts and cams destroys the rock too.Every time you tug on a nut to check it's safely in erodes a bit of rock,and when you fall on it.
Cams have destroyed a lot more placements in grit than ice axes.
Point 2. Tom Proctor ice climbed his own route Green Death at Millstone.
This left some marks,but these have now gone.
Im not going to slag you - but I would really appreciate it if you came back on the thread and answered my questions from higher up the thread - why choose mILLSTONE OVER mAM tOR OR wALES/LAKES?
> well feck me, but looks like we are gonna hit 500 after all.
> and all over scratched rock. no wonder the worlds screwed up, everyones thinking about drytooling.
Yeah...sometime's think about climbing tool's too! boom boom.
Could be worse he could of been hammering lump's of angle iron in the crack's as runner's.
> Using nuts and cams destroys the rock too.Every time you tug on a nut to check it's safely in erodes a bit of rock,and when you fall on it.
> Cams have destroyed a lot more placements in grit than ice axes.
> Point 2. Tom Proctor ice climbed his own route Green Death at Millstone.
> This left some marks,but these have now gone.
Get a grip man! Are you for real? If everyone ice climbed as much as rock climbed what would happen. Look at the pics after one ascent!
Because had he gone to the latter he might have had to lead something and get scared?
Was it TP's ascent left the marks? My understanding was that these came from subsequent ascents of the route in less suitable condition.
As to the nuts and cams, c'mon now, wouldya? One ascent with tools leaves marks like this. It takes a hundred or more cam placements to achieve that much damage.
> I went to Millstone today (Monday).
> I took four pictures of the two routes Embankment 2 and 3
> They are in my UKC gallery
> (or will be as soon as they are moderated)
Thanks for those pictures. Now that I can see what the fuss is about, I'm actually shocked that so much damage has been caused on one day by one pair of eejits.
This is why we don't dry-tool gritstone, mmmkay.
> We had a great weekend, hope you did too.
> We did no dry tooling that weekend. We got to millstone about 12 ish saturday. Looked at green death, it wasn't in nick. There was a brilliant thin ice line formed roughly going down monopoly. We tried it but backed off very quickly due to water running down behind the ice. Then we had a burn on some route which consisted of thin ice/neve, partener led it and came off about 1/2 way up when the sheet detached. We then went to bed, intending to get up early the next day to take advantage of the cold temps.
> Started climbing at 5am the next morning, the overnight rain had washed out the mid section of monopoly but everything was frozen. We top roped some routes, the photo of us on a route you took was completely in nick, it just wasn't very white. The rock was well verglassed due to seepage from the snow above. The crack itself was filled with snow and ice. I found the crux to be ascending the icicle that was about half way up the crack, right in the back, the crack constricts at that point and it's very awkward indeed unless you have child sized hands.
> Interestingly, of the people we spoke to that weekend, 2 groups expressed disapproval, one guy on his own said the route wasn't in condition, and another 7 (or 8) groups of people approved.
Are you for real? How can you not see this is so wrong. You complete and utter tool. This has pissed so many people off, yet you are still oblivious and think you are right! What planet do you live on?
Argh Cslum you absolute waste of space!
> Cams have destroyed a lot more placements in grit than ice axes.
For the galactically obvious reason that not many people are stupid enough to dry tool up grit crags.
You come across as quite a bitter and twisted individual in your posts Paul, not at all what I was expecting.
> Feel free to complain to his 'Outdoor Club':
Callum is not a member of Imperial College Outdoor Club so that wont do much use I am afraid.
good to see internet stalking is less of a concern than drytooling.
Wonderful isn't it. Usually I wouldn't go near an "ethics" thread, but this could be on BBC's Book at Bedtime. I'm riveted.
come on! dont slow down now. only 25 or so posts till we hit 500. yesterday we were generating that an hour OR is it all just steamed up talk and posturing?
anyone know what the record is for posts to a thread.
think about it: some mouthy drytooler is a bigger issue than israel, the vatican and atheism!
god this is exciting!!!!
Just had a laugh at his blog.
Nice to see he's as ugly as he is stupid.
> Callum is not a member of Imperial College Outdoor Club so that wont do much use I am afraid.
Glad to hear that, when it was IC Mountaineering Club we limited our fiascoes to more acceptable limit :-) Although it wouldn't have surprised me as the last time I looked at the site I learnt that instead of meeting every Tuesday in the Union Bar they now met in some "climbing wall" establishment... I feared that the rot might have set in at the time!
> And his other blog... http://northern-frontier.blogspot.com/
> That certainly has a troll feel about it...
Thanks for that. Another classic:
I’ve been frustrated by the play ground mentality on this thread, insults and threats of violence towards you are pathetic, whatever the justification.
Your weekend raises two issues for me,
Where is it acceptable to go mixed climbing?
Were you mixed climbing or were you dry tooling?
Where is mixed climbing okay?
First off we all have to accept that mixed climbing, and climbing thinly iced slabs, damages the rock. In some places (eg Mam Tor, Green Gable etc) this is accepted because the crags are of no interest to summer climbers. On other crags, mixed climbing takes place on classic summer routes (eg Bowfell Buttress, The Magic Crack) and the routes get crampon and axe damage as a result. A compromise is made between the needs of summer and winter climbers, and the system seems to be working well.
Prior to your ascents at least one person (Chris Craggs) had publicly said that he hoped that Green Death would never get another winter ascent. There does seem to be a strong argument for this as (despite the old guide book photo of the winter climber on Great Slab) Millstone hardly ever sees true winter conditions, and has much more value as a rock climbing crag than a winter one. Being sedimentary Grit is also probably easier to damage than mountain rock.
The difference between mixed and dry tooling.
I think that most people accept that for a route to be considered in nick it has to be of wintry appearance, and has to be easier to climb with axe and crampons than without. This criteria is important as it means that damage to summer rock climbs is only made for the sake of true winter climbing, rather than practicing for winter climbing. For the sake of the sport it is also important that turf is frozen to prevent mixed routes getting damaged.
Now you claim that the route was in winter nick, it doesn’t look like it was to me from the photos, but I wasn’t there on the day. All I can do is encourage you to think about whether your enthusiasm is clouding your judgement.
I have not read the whole thread, not sure if somebody else linked them higher up, but these appeared in the photo galleries overnight...
Now i think that proves it was not iced up!
Probably the most reasonable post on the thread. Well put. I just hope that Calum will read it and understand it.
> I blame Mick Ryan!
> But it seems this Callum chap isn't the only one guilty...
> Top roping with axes at Millstone! What a tosser that Proctor chap was!
> (please read post with a heavy dose of irony).
I assure you that what Tom did on Green Death was most definitely not dry tooling, it was proper joined up winter climbing.
I'm really surprised some people on this tread actually thought that the impact of 'mixed climbing' on this crag would be nothing less than the damage shown on the pictures...
I feel sorry for wee Callum, he clearly does not take his climbing seriously... and we know what happens to folk who don't.
I was taking the piss out of some of the more sanctimonious contributors to the thread (that's why I put the bit about irony in brackets).
I was trying to make the point that the issue of crampon scratches at Millsone wasn't as clear cut as some would like to believe.
> Probably the most reasonable post on the thread. Well put. I just hope that Calum will read it and understand it.
I agree entirely. However, with his thoroughly contemptible attitude and Walter Mitty world he lives in, I have a feeling that any reasonable response, such as the one you cite, will just be received with a sneer.
A lot of people wouldn't have responded to a thread like this.
If the issue of people dry tooling winter climbing on gritstone was breifly raised at a BMC area meeting, it looks like it could be worth it being raised again, or the BMC putting guide lines out about it.
If you contacted the BMC i'm fairly sure they'd tell you it's not the accepted thing to do, to use ice axes and crampons on gritstone, even if there's snow and ice on it.
We only have a little bit of grit and it's one of the softer rocks in the UK, though Millstone is a little bit harder than other gritstone.
I'm going to email the BMC to ask them to respond to this thread, and the issue of winter climbing on grit.
Please respect the wishes or points of view of other climbers, and not use axes and crampons on gritstone.
Ethics might be contradictory, and (a few) people have used winter tools on gritstone in the past, but it's probably not a sustainable way to climb gritstone, or rather it's the least sustainable way to climb it.
> anyone know what the record is for posts to a thread.
I think about 2000, a good few years ago. It was the epic 'last one to post on here thread' and I remember some site issues and crashing due to that one...
It eventually got pulled
> What's the correlation here? Alternatively, are people who like dry tooling good winter climbers? In which case I refer you back to the beginning of the thread for evidence that suggests that this is far form the case.
dont get me wrong here. if what these two boys did is real (still dubious) then it is properly out of order.
i would however question whether what they thought they were doing was dry tooling or winter climbing anyway.
anyway. they arent crap dry tooler or crap winter climbers, there just crap full stop.
We can simplify this right down and take all the nasty ethical sniping out of it with a simple question.
The vast majority of climbers think that climbing on established gritstone routes with axes is totally unacceptable regardless of nick.
With this in mind will you cease such activities in deference to the wishes of the masses?
Whether it was an act of arrogance, or simply ignorance and a gross error of judgment, then he has surely been made aware of his mistake. Also, I would say that the reaction caused here would deter anyone else that was thinking about tooling in such a place.
I feel a wee bit sorry for the guy, in that he's only a young lad and he may have royally shafted himself. He's going to have to wear a balaclava wherever he climbs after this. But show me a teenager that didn't have a mistake to make and a lesson to learn.
Calum, if you're reading this, come back to this argument humbly and accept the lesson. It's your best option if you want to save something out of this.
apologies. i'll keep my profile updated just for you from now on John.
> How would you define a "good" winter climber tom?
> just curious
> Dave (grade II) Ferguson
by the tools they carry of course Dave. Either nomics or fusion. what a daft question.
"The difference between mixed and dry tooling.
I think that most people accept that for a route to be considered in nick it has to be of wintry appearance, and has to be easier to climb with axe and crampons than without. This criteria is important as it means that damage to summer rock climbs is only made for the sake of true winter climbing, rather than practicing for winter climbing. For the sake of the sport it is also important that turf is frozen to prevent mixed routes getting damaged."
I doubt that in spite of Chris Craggs reservations Tom's ascent of Green Death caused any rock damage whatsoever.
How to teach Maris Piper with helmet on? Funny.
Threats of violence are childish and on a public forum, very stupid. I hope they come out of frustration that this has happened and are not genuine.
That aside, as an active winter, mixed and dry tool climber, I'll say it again. Dry tooling SHOULD be kept to areas which suit it, NOT known lines at known crags. There are also so many great winter areas in at the moment it is remarkable that anyone would consider The Peak as a winter destination.
Calum, if you are reading any of this, get a clue mate.
> As your old b & w shows the ice didn't reach the ground - the bottom 10' were pretty battered, especially the small sharp edged holds:
I'm still struggling to see what relevance to this thread pics of someone climbing Green death in 1974 have.
Haven't learnt too much I suspect.....
I was responding to Al's post. I suspect it does have some relevance re the damage aspect?
2008 thread discussing the ethics of climbing gritstone with axes...
With all due respect, without returning after the ice had gone there would be no way of knowing what damage has been done. When Tom led it, did anyone follow it? A few folks up it would soon remove the ice.
Is there any point in putting up threatening posts about Callum or calling him ugly or whatever? Its not likely to make him respond again knowing the lynch mob is out there.
And I'm sure he's reading this thread laughing at how irate some of the responses are.
It was wrong what he and his mate did, but some of the posts are just getting a bit hysterical now.
Geoff Birtles and Ernie Marshall followed it.
The threatening posts and personal insults are pathetic.
But in all seriousness, is Calum diagnosed with Asperger's?
Having seen Alex's photos I taker back my troll accusation and offer my apologies.
Callum is obviously the troll but taking it to another level by actually carrying out the deed!
I ask that ukc as a "community" takes a long hard look at itself:
posters on here are so easily wound up, it becomes a sport
trigger words for rants are created; boly, dry tool, ab chain
photos are posted showing how the peak looks in the snow (beautiful) but unwisely titled "conditions" implying to the easily mislead that there were climbing conditions there.
I think all these were contributory to the damage done. I am as guilty as the next man of ranting on here, perhaps we ought to all chill out a bit and not fuel the trolls, this is where it leads.
UKC is notorious amongst climbers as somewhere to wind folks up, cause a scene, it is this that has encouraged Callum in his actions
Oh ok. I'd better put this stick down, I appear to have picked up the wrong end.
Having now seen the photos of damage done, I won't just be expressing an opinion if I witness something similar happening again. I#m still wound up by this. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
But dry tooling is not going to go away, and we need to look at ways of promoting it sensibly. How this happens is what we should be debating.
There's nothing wrong with 'causing a scene' here - aside from the daft threats. It's a way of directing some choice 'words of advice' to one set of idiots and discouraging anyone else who may misguidedly be wondering if these crags are fair game.
If you look at the corresponding UKB thread - normally they are a good guide to when UKC is getting out of hand, because they enjoy taking the piss - similar sentiments are being expressed - and more forcefully.
Those photos are painful to look at.
The damage they have caused is nothing short of f*cking shocking.
UKB is much more vitriolic, but then I think the posting guidelines are a little less rigid?
Ultimately the development of Winter Climbing and moves into Dry Tooling are an evolution that cannot be ignored - this is a sport whether you like it or hate it. Personally I love both my summer and winter climbing but have never felt the need to get into dry tooling.
But the point made around having to deal with this sensibly is a good one - this sport is not going away and instead of simply spitting bile there needs to be a considered approach to ethics, approach and communication with the wider climbing community. This is where the likes of the BMC stands up (again?) and states the considered view.
Personally, even if the cracks of Millstone were stuffed with perfect ice, I would not go near it as a winter venue - but that's a view gained over 18 years of climbing, understanding traditions, ethics and custom - not because someone had a pop on a website.
For info, I have emailed Calum through this site and attempted to put my own view to him in a non-abusive way. He can chose to ignore it if he likes, but rather than slate him (and friend) on here, I would much rather express my thoughts to him directly.
UKC doesn't make people to do anything, it is just a public place where everyone has an equal voice and everyone can have their say. That naturally results in some extreme views which sadly too-often get branded as "those idiots on UKC", usually by people who themselves are ever-present on UKC and can't see the contradiction in what they are saying.
I used to hate the phrase "don't shoot the messenger" since it was often used by people as a cop out for stating something controversial but then wimping out when it came to their own conviction. In this case though it is entirely appropriate.
Hmmmmmm..... just a tad hypocritical of most posters on this thread.
How many of them have tugged on stuck wires and cams,and next time a wire gets stuck will tug on it up and down to get it out?A couple of grains of grit come loose every time that is done.Just look at some of the more popular routes on natural grit.
My point is that far more damage is done by all of us,week in,week out by the way we place and retrieve gear,especialy in routes wth very soft rock.
I still think we should move toward the East German system of protection,or at least on crags with soft rock.Most UK climbers will not accept that,would they?Too selfish.They rant on about dry tooling a quarry but can't see the destruction they commit incrementally year after year.
Bitter and twisted? I prefer to think I take a different,if unpopular,view.Dry tooling unquarried grit would be a bit naughty,though...
Bitter and twisted? What are you referring to in my post?
For the record, I have been in touch with the committee of Imperial College Outdoor Club who have been nothing but supportive of the majority view on UKC.
Apparently "Calum attended one trip with our club in either 2008 or 2009 and has had no further contact with the club since.". His Facebook page was in that respect misleading and I notice that he or someone else has now removed the reference from his FB page.
My public apologies to ICOC for dragging them into this. I'm sure they are a reputable bunch.
> My point is that far more damage is done by all of us,week in,week out by the way we place and retrieve gear,especialy in routes wth very soft rock.
Are you seriously trying to say that gear placement and retrieval causes more damage than this?
> retrieve gear,especialy in routes wth very soft rock.
If you're saying that hundreds of trad ascents might be more damage (to gear placements) than one dry-tool ascent, then you have a point. But one dry-tool ascent will do hugely more damage than one trad ascent.
All climbing causes some wear and tear, but the obligation is to minimise this and to try not to cause significantly more wear than a clean, no-pulling-on-gear trad ascent.
If someone does completely dog a popular climb, repeatedly falling on or pulling on gear placements, then it is fair to criticise them also.
Confusion seemingly stemming from two Outdoorsy Clubs at Imperial. Apologies again to ICOC. Calum is, I'm told, a member of Imperial College Mountaineering Club:
Perhaps they will be good enough to explain what their club's policy is on this and whether they disown Calum's actions. I think a life ban is in order personally!
> Bitter and twisted? What are you referring to in my post?
I think he meant to reply to me mate.
I never post on UKC because frankly I've got much better things to do, but this has really pissed me off. If someone wishes to winter climb on grit then its their own bloody choice and has nothing to do with whether or not their club agrees with it. Calum will be able to make his own mind up about whether he thinks his actions were acceptable. There is no law against what hes done so what right does anyone have to physically stop him or punish him for it.
A life ban? Shut the hell up.
> to do with whether or not their club agrees with it.
While I agree that it's not really a matter for their club, your attitude that anyone can trash climbs as they wish and that it's "their own bloody choice" is selfish, irresponsible and thoughtless. We *all* have a obligation to treat the outdoors with respect, since they are enjoyed by others as well.
> But dry tooling is not going to go away, and we need to look at ways of promoting it sensibly. How this happens is what we should be debating.
Here's a way of 'promoting it sensibly' perhaps? On the other hand, this may actually put people off - because I can't remember ever having seen such a farcical climbing picture:
(If you can't climb something, make sure you've got two ice axes, a caving ladder to hook your heel into and a very tight top rope.)
There is no law against what hes done
I would think it very likely that trespass would cover this sort of damage if the land owner chose to pursue it.
> There is no law against what hes done so what right does anyone have to physically stop him or punish him for it.
> So,just to clarify: anything in life that is not actually illegal is therefore acceptable?
He has his human rights you know :) That's what his mum told him.
Blame Thatcher ?
Generally speaking dry tooling on Peak District gritstone is a bad idea and is not supported by the BMC. Dry tooling is all very well on crags that aren’t established rock climbing venues but its a different matter if people start experimenting on summer rock climbs or at popular crags. Dry tooling inevitably damages the rock (crampon scratches and axe marks) more than conventional rock climbing and is bound to result in controversy. The argument that many routes at Millstone are only climbable today because of historic pegging (and that this is a justification for dry tooling) is not really relevant; pegging was the accepted style of the day and the fact is that it helped create many now classic rock climbs (London Wall, White Wall to name a few) some of which might not have been climbable if they hadn't been pegged first. To damage these routes through dry tooling is not acceptable.
Ice climbing and mixed climbing on established rock climbs is a slightly different matter but this can also be controversial because people have different ideas about what constitutes winter conditions. Climbing on pure thick ice may not lead to rock damage whereas climbing on thinner ice or mixed ice/rock will lead to scratching and axe pock marks. On harder mountain rock (say granite) this might not be bareable but gritstone is different; once the hard surface layer on grit is broken the underlying rock tends to be soft and subject to rapid erosion and scarring. Green Death is a tricky one - in the right conditions and with extreme care it might just about be possible to climb it as a pure ice route. More likely it'd end up being scratched and pock marked because even in best condition the ice streak is still relatively narrow.
No doubt the debate will go on...
> Blame Thatcher ?
Surely in the present case it would be more appropriate to blame the wishy, washy, bed wetting, laissez faire, lefties?
> Blame Thatcher ?
You're Al Evans and I claim my Ł5....
ie. it should read:
'On harder mountain rock (say granite) this might be bareable but gritstone is different'
It should also read 'bearable'.
Regardless of the typo I would just like to thank you for giving us the BMC's view on this. Although I am a newcomer to winter climbing and someone who has never dry-tooled, (The one time I tried on a wooden bouldering wall my axe 'popped' and smacked me in the mouth), with everything that I do in the outdoors I try to approach it with a 'leave everything as you found it' mentality and it is my personal feeling that there is scant excuse for not extending this ethos to my winter activities.
Having walked along Crib Goch this summer and seen the crampon scratches everywhere I have to say I would hate to see any of the routes in the Peak suffer damage like this.
There's a Cafe on the summit of Snowdon, about 5 different well made paths and a railway to the top, and you're concerned about a couple of grazes on Crib Goch? The mind boggles! (I have no problem with the other stuff either but that is for another thread)
Sorry, I'm just using Crib Goch as an easy place to go to see the effect of winter gear on rock. I'm guessing that quite a few people on here will have seen what I'm talking about.
He's not an eejit, and he's not complaining about crampons on Crib Goch. He's saying that he would not like such crampon marks all over rock climbs.
Actually I can be something of an ejit sometimes :-) but on this occasion you're right. Thanks man.
Thanks Roger - I thought there was something odd about that but couldn't quite remember the corect spelling :)
..my attempt at humour I'm afraid
I think mine was even more feeble! ;o)
> Here's a way of 'promoting it sensibly' perhaps? On the other hand, this may actually put people off - because I can't remember ever having seen such a farcical climbing picture:
> (If you can't climb something, make sure you've got two ice axes, a caving ladder to hook your heel into and a very tight top rope.)
Its a bit of fun on a climbing wall. No one is asking you to get involved in drytooling. If you dont fancy it then leave it alone for other people to have a go at.
Bloody Londoners they cause more problems than anyone else!
Bloody Londoners they cause more problems than anyone else!
Isn't the guilty party a Scot?
Here is a random vid from youtube on rock - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICYLTvo5Iuk&feature=related
or more stuff on here: http://www.scottishtoolingseries.co.uk/
or go take a look at the video Fools with Tools (Hot Aches I think).
And if you can't do anything other than sneer at something because you don't know or understand it, don't comment. Maybe if you take the time to look into what tooling is about, you'll be able to work out with folk like Callum or whatever his name is wanted to try climbing a classic rock route with axes (and I'm still not condoning what they did btw).
The greater climbing community at large need to get over itself on issues like bolting and tooling. I totally agree that the UK has first and foremost a trad-based ethic. But there is a place for everything.
> There is no law against what hes done so what right does anyone have to physically stop him or punish him for it.
> So,just to clarify: anything in life that is not actually illegal is therefore acceptable?
here we go again Coel came up with that Gem earlier. In this instance it's not illegal, it's not acceptable to us, but it is obviously acceptable to Callum so thats tough on the rest of us.
> here we go again Coel came up with that Gem earlier. In this instance it's not illegal, it's not acceptable to us, but it is obviously acceptable to Callum so thats tough on the rest of us.
But 'that's tough on the rest of us' isn't good enough. Climbing is a self-regulating activity - there are no absolute rules, but that doesn't mean there aren't things that are wrong. No-one ever defends chipping - it's wrong, and the people who do it never try to justify their actions with weasel words and flimsy excuses. So, it's agreed by the climbing community that chipping is wrong and it shouldn't be done - it's a consensus position which all bar a few idiots can see is the correct way for the climbing community to police itself. If it happens, it's important that the issue is raised in order to make it known again that such actions are unacceptable.
I don't see that the issue is any different with dry-tooling at established venues such as Millstone. I've never climbed there, and am never likely to, but it's clear that dry-tooling there is wrong, and it's clear that almost everybody who has contributed here agrees with this idea. Dave Turnbull's statement also gives the BMC position. So, we have another agreed consensus, which we use to make it known that these actions are unacceptable and shouldn't be repeated.
Your way of thinking - simply saying 'that's tough, live with it' - doesn't do anything to make it less likely to happen in the future. Unless unacceptable behaviour is repeatedly and consistently highlighted as being wrong, it becomes easier for the perpetrators to think they've got away with something and that it's okay to carry on as before. It's not okay, and it's important to keep on saying that.
> acceptable to us, but it is obviously acceptable to Callum so thats tough on the rest of us.
And you have twice avoided my question about this stance of yours. If it is "tough on us" that Callum regards dry-tooling Millstone as acceptable, and that we can't do anything about it, does that mean it is simply "tough on us" if someone wants to bolt Scritto's Republic and chip extra holds in Elm Street?
As I've said, it doesn't surprise me that you have no conception of ethical conduct, and retreat to a narrow legalistic stance.
But I have no idea what Callum thought he was doing at Millstone - it's a trad venue with no history of dry-tooling. I'm not sure why it's hard to say it was a stupid and wrong thing to do. There may be a separate discussion about dry-tooling venues, but I honestly can't work what you mean when you say 'if you take the time to look into what tooling is about, you'll be able to work out with folk like Callum or whatever his name is wanted to try climbing a classic rock route with axes'.
Sorry, I think it's more that people like you who aren't really trad rock climbers and don't have that good a feel for it need to accept that it is wrong to pursue an activity that markedly damages the playgrounds of the majority of trad climbers in this country.
Yes, there is an argument for a handful of designated dry-tooling venues in places that are not used for trad climbing. No-one here is arguing to ban it entirely. But established summer rock routes and crags are not the place.
The problem is, in 560 odd replies, Callum Nicol has responded once, to the effect that he had a 'great weekend'. Perhaps with maturity he might recognize that drytooling at Millstone was inappropriate. But there will always be another Callum along regardless of the outrage expessed here.
I'm not saying it's right, just that close ups maybe a tad extreme.
> The problem is, in 560 odd replies, Callum Nicol has responded once, to the effect that he had a 'great weekend'. Perhaps with maturity he might recognize that drytooling at Millstone was inappropriate. But there will always be another Callum along regardless of the outrage expessed here.
I don't disagree with that, which is why I think it's important that we don't don't just think 'that's tough'. The more voices raised against such behaviour, the fewer people will think it's acceptable. I'm not so naive to think the problem will go away as a result of just one thread, but I do believe it'll become more of a problem, rather than less of a problem, if we don't keep repeating the same message.
I've climbed on bolts in New Zealand last year and Spain this year, and really enjoyed it. I wish that there was more of it in the UK suitable for all levels - doing long low and mid grade multipitch bolted routes in Spain was brilliant.
I've dry tooled once at Newtyle, and am in my 2nd winter season. So I am not Mr Dry Tooling by any stretch.
Other than that all the climbing I've done outside has been trad.
However, since virtually every accessible crag is a recognised trad venue, and if the accepted view is that tooling on recognised trad venues is not acceptable, tell me where those interested in that particular field are meant to go to?
And what I am is open to other forms of climbing and am not one to follow the blinkered approach that its trad or nothing that is prevalent in the UK.
I'm perfectly prepared to accept that it's massively entertaining ('fun') to watch on a climbing wall, and I might even go along to watch such myself.
I didn't want to comment on this thread as I feel it is neither a rational debate nor constructive, however, since people have tried to bring our club in to it I'd like to clarify a few points:
1) Calum is indeed a current member of Imperial College Mountaineering Club, however so are around 80 other individuals.
2) Calum has come on previous ICMC trips and has drytooled on occasion on some of those trips. However, these two occasions were an established dry-tooling route at Winspit & some horribly loose unclimbed choss in an old quarry near Holyhead Mountain. We would consider both of these acceptable.
2) ICMC has no control whatsoever over what activities individuals choose to participate in in their own time.
3) ICMC was unaware of these events until this thread as said events did not occur on a club trip or use any of our equipment.
4) ICMC does not condone the use of ice tools outside of recognised venues such as White Goods/Chalk Cliffs or traditional mountain crags when in appropriate winter condition.
We have spoken to Calum and told him our views on his actions but I think he still believes that he has done nothing wrong. We are powerless to change the point of view of individuals. As his actions did not occur on a club trip or use any of our equipment I don't feel it is appropriate to "life ban" or anything else. However, this behaviour will not ever be tolerated on any of our trips.
I hope this clarifies ICMC's stance on this.
The fact is that Callum and his pal choose to tool at a totally inapproprite venue.
For those interested in dry tooling there are few places where it is possible to do it, and even mentioning the words "dry tooling" gets the majority of UKC posters in a froth. And it'll only be worse now. Suddenly every trad crag and quarry will be forbidden ground.
> I've climbed on bolts in New Zealand last year and Spain this year, and really enjoyed it. I wish that there was more of it in the UK suitable for all levels - doing long low and mid grade multipitch bolted routes in Spain was brilliant.
> I've dry tooled once at Newtyle, and am in my 2nd winter season. So I am not Mr Dry Tooling by any stretch.
> Other than that all the climbing I've done outside has been trad.
> However, since virtually every accessible crag is a recognised trad venue, and if the accepted view is that tooling on recognised trad venues is not acceptable, tell me where those interested in that particular field are meant to go to?
> And what I am is open to other forms of climbing and am not one to follow the blinkered approach that its trad or nothing that is prevalent in the UK.
You are talking utter bollocks. Please, please try to absorb the unassailable points that Coel has been making. There is no 'room' for any other 'forms of climbing' at Millstone .. this is an exceptionally high quality piece of rock within a few minutes drive of one of the biggest cities in the centre of England, with exceptionally high quality hard rock climbs, and it desperately needs to be protected as such.
You're probably right, particularly as climbing is becoming more and more popular. I think it's a question of maturity in Callum's case, and youthful brassneckedness (if that's a word). Fortunately I don't think this kind of thing happens very often, I get the impression from perusing forums on UKC that the great majority of people here have a very strong sense of ethics.
I'm sorry but the fact that you enjoy sport climbing doesn't make it acceptable to bolt trad venues.
As for North Wales(my local climbing area), there are plenty of sport routes ranging through the grade spectrum on both limestone and slate. Climb those.
I believe dry tooling should follow a very similar approach.
> However, since virtually every accessible crag is a recognised trad venue, and if the accepted view is that tooling on recognised trad venues is not acceptable, tell me where those interested in that particular field are meant to go to?
Some climbers I know put a lot of effort into finding new venues - think of Mike Tweedley's explorations to find the Anvil in recent years. Perhaps dry-toolers should look a bit further afield than their local roadside crag and put their own effort into discovering new crags.
> I didn't want to comment on this thread as I feel it is neither a rational debate ....
That is because there really isn't anything to debate.
But that's what I don't understand - I don't have a blinkered view of tooling and I can't work out why Callum should think tooling at Millstone was a good idea. If I can't see it, I don't know how anyone who doesn't get tooling at all is going to have any idea.
> by the tools they carry of course Dave. Either nomics or fusion. what a daft question.
so these: http://cascadeclimbers.com/plab/data/500/medium/P1011337.JPG
won't be any good then?
I'm trying to stay calm here....
I am breathing deeply.
I have counted to 10 before replying to you.
I HAVE NEVER, EVER SUGGESTED THAT IT IS APPROPRIATE TO DRY TOOL OR BOLT AT MILLSTONE FECKING QUARRY CRAG OR WHATEVER PIECE OF WONDER ROCK IT IS. DO YOU GET THAT? IS THAT CLEAR ENOUGH? I KNOW IT'S A TRAD VENUE. END OF.
I AM NOT SUPPORTING WHAT THESE GUYS DID.
I AM ONLY ASKING WHERE DRY TOOLING FITS INTO THE CLIMBING COMMUNITY IF EVERY VENUE THAT HAS BEEN CLAIMED FOR TRAD CLIMBING IS BARRED TO TOOLING.
JESUS F*&@ING CHRIST.
I give up.
We all refer to it as 'Grit' or 'Millstone Grit'
In reality it's just coarse grained sandstone. Quite fragile really. Not the right place to go dry-tooling in any event.
Stop shouting. I have a headache.
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay - Barracuda and Chacal
Those were the days. (They still are for me)
I'm sorry but, if your profile and logbook is a guide, I'm sticking with my comment that "I think it's more that people like you who aren't really trad rock climbers and don't have that good a feel for it need to accept ..."
> view is that tooling on recognised trad venues is not acceptable, tell me where those interested
> in that particular field are meant to go to?
Very few places! And that's because their activity massively damages the rock!! There are, though, a few chossy bits of rock which could be used for dry tooling.
Given that most climbers happily accept bouldering, sport, DWS, winter climbing, etc, your suggestion of a "blinkered approach that its trad or nothing that is prevalent in the UK" is just ignorant.
> the draw of using axes and crampons on rock, they'd maybe get a bit more understanding of why
> these guys climbed at Millstone.
We *do* understand why they dry-tooled at Millstone. And we condemn it. Those two are *not* mutually exclusive.
'cept it does. See earlier post in regards to Fingers Ridge.
Go out and find a venue before those pesky 'trad' climbers get to it first.
I know of a great place just outside Edinburgh that has yet to have any rock routes put on it 15-20m high, overhanging cracked and shattered rock. Perfect, but it will take a lot of work to remove the loose rubble and equip it. If you want to know where it is email me and invite me along when you have it all set up!
> BEEN CLAIMED FOR TRAD CLIMBING IS BARRED TO TOOLING.
Easy, you can dry tool at a few of the chossy venues that have not been claimed for trad climbing. And if that is fairly restrictive it is because dry tooling *damages* *the* *rock*. Which bit of that answer are you failing to understand? It has been said several times up-thread.
1. I am on the committee for the ICMC (Calums club). We do not support his actions, as it is definitely against the ethics of the club. I have talked to him and from his point of view he has done nothing wrong.
However I have informed him that such behaviour is strictly prohibited on club trips.
We have in the past taken him to established drytooling venues (such as the roof at whinspit) and he did drytool at Holyhead whilst on a club trip.
This was in a disused chossy quarry, so we deemed it to have no impact on the trad available (which is excellent btw).
I would also like to point out that his excursion to Millstone was a personal trip, and so we had nothing to do with his actions. Rest assured that such behaviour will not be occuring whilst out with the club, nor shall any other members act in such a fashion.
2. Many of the posters on this forum need to back up. Look at what has happened.
I don't agree with what Calum did, but the more despicable thing by far is the way this particular issue has been dealt with.
30+ year old men issue threats of physical violence because a rock has been scratched. Really? Is this how you want people to see the climbing community?
Until recently I was generally pleased to talk with any climber I happened across, assuming that we were a friendly type.
I understand that ethics are strong in this country, as they should be due to limited rock, but this is not sending out the right message about the people involved in climbing.
I would like to once again reiterate the fact that his actions are not condoned my either myself OR the club, so no abuse please.
And it is on this note that I leave your good selves to wield your ethical handbags and argue over minutiae, while I go and enjoy some climbing.
Peace out y'all
> 'cept it does. See earlier post in regards to Fingers Ridge.
That picture is just odd, why bother with the iron-mongery? However, I can't see they are doing more damage than if it were covered in snow. Somehow dry-tooling on high-level rock is much more accepted than on low-level.
"If other climbers are questioning what you are doing, perhaps it's time to question yourself."
It is fairly contradictory to state that:
Why is it "strictly prohibited" if it is "minutiae"?
Excellent article Jack.
> Perhaps dry-toolers should look a bit further afield than their local roadside crag and put their own effort into discovering new crags.
We do! Thats why I suggested earlier this year an overgrown, loose quarry, 40mins walk from the nearest car park and with no trad routes in it as a possible tooling venue. It was an idea shot down in flames!!!
Fair dos - that does seem a bit harsh. If it's as you describe, it sounds perfect for tooling.
Top-roping! an outrage...
Seriously though, and assuming not a troll, i'm not sure why you'd do that - fair enough if it was a frozen waterfall in a gully at Millstone but it's clearly not.
> We do! Thats why I suggested earlier this year an overgrown, loose quarry, 40mins walk from the nearest car park and with no trad routes in it as a possible tooling venue. It was an idea shot down in flames!!!
Didn't you want to bolt it though?
it is not the tooling i consider minutiae, just the way the topic has been argued.
It is very straightforward, tooling on grit damages the rock badly, there are more suitable venues.
People just seem to have included more obscure points that often become personal within this argument.
I consider these to be minutiae.
> And you have twice avoided my question about this stance of yours. If it is "tough on us" that Callum regards dry-tooling Millstone as acceptable, and that we can't do anything about it, does that mean it is simply "tough on us" if someone wants to bolt Scritto's Republic and chip extra holds in Elm Street?
Much as it pains me to say it, it would be tough on us. Our only recourse would be to remove the bolts and mourn the loss of a great route. Thats the problem (and the brilliance) with climbing being totally self regulated on the whole.
This is not an argument about 'having a concept of ethical conduct' I understand that entirely and agree with everyone that their behaviour is unacceptable. There is on the other hand though nothing we can do but condemn the behaviour as unethical in the eyes of the majority (i'm sure there will be people who say it's fine to dry tool millstone). Your aggressive and unpleasant posting is unnecessary and particularly the way you've endeavoured to turn some of these posts into your own little insulting session of my views on other matters show you up to be the tool that you are.
What's next? Tar and feather 'em.
Post his address and send the lynch mob round.
You're making it personal now against two climbers when the article should have been about the issue using tools on trad routes.
Is that what happens when you disagree with the majority opinion?
I am v disappointed in you Jack. You need to consider what you've done: IMO potentially far more serious than the original "crime". I'm seriously considering removing myself from UKC.
No Tom it is the fact that you wanted to bolt it mate that got people pissed off.
You simply don't understand how communal rules come to be made.
Have to disagree with you here. It's not a personal attack as their actions are not alleged. The report is a statement of fact where these "climbers" are concerned. The opinions in the piece are clearly marked as such and are directly relevant to the events.
A personal attack on them would have intimated at something beyond the proven facts. Maybe if Jack had suggested they had six fingers and were from a restricted gene pool then it would be personal.
> Didn't you want to bolt it though?
yeah that was the original idea. i didnt fancy the idea of putting cams between loose blocks.
Two further things have added to my anger at the original incident: the first of these is the comment somewhere above that 'The greater climbing community at large need to get over itself on issues like bolting and tooling'.
We don't - both of these activities not just threaten to change the face of our sport, they are doing so, but are causing damage that cannot be repaired. Now there are arguments for bolts and dry tooling and a place for each, but beacuse they change the nature our sport's finite resources there will inevitably be a row about it. Change is not always acceptable, necessary, inevitable or irreversible, but changes to the crag are permanent.
The second is the laissez faire attitude of the Imperial College club. I know you don't approve of his actions and wouldn't allow it on a club meet, but in your visits to more suitable venues you have clearly failed to point out the boundaries to him. If he really doesn't think he's done anything wrong, then b...y well educate him.
> Thanks for that. Another classic:
> He once killed a deer with his bare hands, then spent the rest of the year eating it.
hahahahahah my sides are splitting with this one the guys obviously a star of Balls of Steel ... or an absolute ass of the first order - in the too the same order of ass honorableness as the Sheffield tree bailiffs
karma got a few of them as well ....
> UKC doesn't make people to do anything, it is just a public place where everyone has an equal voice and everyone can have their say. That naturally results in some extreme views which sadly too-often get branded as "those idiots on UKC", usually by people who themselves are ever-present on UKC and can't see the contradiction in what they are saying.
I see this act as trolling in the extreme, rather than posting to wind up "those idiots on ukc", Callum went a step further. He crossed the line. Acts like this also happened in the past, remember the bolt hanger blu tacked to flying buttress? (late 80's? and probably a few times since)
I am much more a winter climber than a summer one and frequently fall on the "wrong" side of discussions about what constitutes a valid winter ascent. I agree that this ascent was inappropriate.
I stand by my comments that if we were all a little less ranty and reactionary and photos were titled with a bit more thought, today's situation may have been avoided
But is it untrue or is it infact an accurate account of what happened. I think Jack was quite balanced about it, putting forward both Callums point of view and the view of people who saw him. Balancing the article with the BMC point of view and a small piece about Dave Mac.
I don't think it's personal at all, anyone who tapped onto the thread (25,000+ views) will know it was Callum. I doubt adding his name into the article will change much.
I dunno, blue tack leaves pretty nasty marks on my walls.
> I dunno, blue tack leaves pretty nasty marks on my walls.
You could try scraping it off with the pick of your axe. :-)
> You simply don't understand how communal rules come to be made.
You really are an arrogant prat
The whole point about this discussion is that it is a communal/ethical rule but you can't force it on anyone unless it is a matter of law.
> Wait a couple of days until someone takes the bait, then there’s a massive increase in forum traffic due to a thread about the controversy.
> Some might say that the resulting threats of violence and stabbing are bad for the sites image, but we all know that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
> Don’t blame the two climbers! Blame the evil UKC masterminds who hatched the plot to increase UKC’s Google Page Ranking.
nice little conspiracy theory, but you won't get far pushing that nonsense on these forums..
> so these: http://cascadeclimbers.com/plab/data/500/medium/P1011337.JPG
> won't be any good then?
Dave, I'm gobsmacked that you have finally bought yourself some new axes ;)
nice little conspiracy theory, but you won't get far pushing that nonsense on these forums..
I quite like it and I'm wondering if I can use the idea to my advantage:
If I post some photos of my garden path on here with a note suggesting it has yet to get a winter ascent, will some overly keen climbers descend on it and garden away all the vegetation from the cracks?
I agree with that. There's been a few hysterical posts about this, but sometimes its kind of hard to put your view across when people just ain't perpared to listen.
Calum and his mate are indeed getting it tight from many quarters. Actions have consequences, and dry tooling a place like Millstone is really asking for it. It will blow over, they will hopefully learn and grow up, and maybe they will turn into climbers instead of annoying wee boys who pose about with tools and troll and nitpick first ascentionists on here.
I've never touched gritstone, but I have heard of Millstone and know of it as a very well and long established venue for cragging. That it's a quarry should not matter in this instance. Imagine someone claiming the first winter ascent of Forked Lightning Cracks, Promontory Direct or maybe something at Limekilns. There would be justifiable outrage. Imagine if they had tooled at Kyloe or Bowden? Not quarries I know, but no more or less places of worship to generations of local climbers. It's down to what Dave Mac said on the other thread; respect for other's sensibilties and the prevailing ethic of the crag. I know that great advances are made by people upsetting the apple cart (chalk, sticky boots, front pointing, training, ad infinitum), but Jesus, they were toproping a gritstone crack which had a wee dust of snow on it! Piolet d'Or coming right up! (I am inclined to think this is all a massive wind-up on their part, which would be equally childish).
Few on this thread are raving anti-toolers. Some are ranting and most are making reasonable points against a pair of wee tools who need to learn to eat what they shit. It will blow over much quicker than the scars on the rock will vanish, and hopefully this stooshie will make all the legions of wannabe Calums out there think twice before going for their 15 minutes of infamy.
i have never drytooled/much ice climbing but understand the impact of crampons on rock, however i would consider something to be not in season/safe when i have to retreat and top-rope it. the point is not taking advice of other climbers on anytype of rock when told many times. haveing this attitude can lead to accidents. im all for the get out and do something like these guys did, but they should be aware of what they are doing
> If I post some photos of my garden path on here with a note suggesting it has yet to get a winter ascent, will some overly keen climbers descend on it and garden away all the vegetation from the cracks?
You've got the wrong gang, its the rock climbers that will garden the veg away for their ascent :-)
Don't be silly, he is a grown man and we are not resposible for babysitting him.
We have discussed it with him at length and he is not interested in changing his personal view.
Climbing club committees are not parents, we treat our members with resepct on the understanding that they are responsible for their own actions.
>he is a grown man
> You really are an arrogant prat
> The whole point about this discussion is that it is a communal/ethical rule but you can't force it on anyone unless it is a matter of law.
Only through the application of peer pressure - such as this thread and the UKC article. You're appearing to want to defend the indefensible.
> of his actions and wouldn't allow it on a club meet, but in your visits to more suitable venues
> you have clearly failed to point out the boundaries to him.
I don't think it's quite fair to criticise the club, they probably have told him that it is not acceptable.
Calum Nicholl, I salute you.
Ignore the braying masses; their notion of the climbing community and its ethics sound, to me, like those of deluded cultists.
Millstone's as much yours as theirs.
PS I admire your bravery in posting and your (seemingly) graceful disdain for further debate.
> Calum Nicholl, I salute you.
> Ignore the braying masses; their notion of the climbing community and its ethics sound, to me, like those of deluded cultists.
> Millstone's as much yours as theirs.
> PS I admire your bravery in posting and your (seemingly) graceful disdain for further debate.
Bravery that you don't share, judging by your anonymity.
On a minor point of being rational about the photographs showing the “damaged” cracks. There are no photographs shown as to what they looked like before so it is impossible to make a balanced judgement as to the damage.
Let us all remember that the 2 lads have not broken the law.
> Bravery that you don't share, judging by your anonymity.
No, he's simply showing 'graceful disdain' for putting his name to his arguments.
If you haven't read the entirely coherent arguments for why it is wrong up-thread, perhaps you need to work on your literacy?
<sigh> Another person who has no idea of ethical responsibility and thinks only in narrow legalisms.
> I don't think it's quite fair to criticise the club, they probably have told him that it is not acceptable.
as a fellow physicist, i'm sure you can recognise mild autism- let's give him a break, eh?
Who?, Callum, or some of the people defending him in a "no law has been broken" manner?
Although it may help explain their actions.
OK, got yah ..
It's not a lynch mob, it's some strong opinions (justifiably so imho). Anyone hard enough to dry tool a short gritstone crag on a toprope (allow me a small snigger here) should be tough enough to take it.
> On a minor point of being rational about the photographs showing the “damaged” cracks. There are no photographs shown as to what they looked like before so it is impossible to make a balanced judgement as to the damage.
I suspect plenty of The Peak's huge cragging community could tell you.
> Let us all remember that the 2 lads have not broken the law.
This has done to death. Please explain to us all in what way the law defines right and wrong? Is drink driving in France worse than drink driving here because they have stricter laws?
Please pay attention at the back.
You can get rubber covers for your axe picks and crampon points to protect the rock, clearly he should have been using these at the least.
Erm. I would argue that his father should have been wearing a rubber cover 19.75 years ago.
you bad :-D
If the label of having autism is being used as a derogatory term, then I am speechless, really speechless. Especially if you consider yourself to be a scientist which suggest some intelligence.
The cream of UKC and trad climbing...
Don't bite. It's a troll
I know the crag well and to suggest that some marks were already there is clutching at straws, lets not forget your climbing partner, who though mildly less arrogant was a part of this - what I consider vandalism to a historic crag. I remember clearly your comment when I suggested whether you would climb right wall on the Cromlech if it had a dusting of snow to which you replied 'yeh why not'.
Your justifications on the day were paper thin, as I stated at the time and reinforced by Alex Ekins' pictures your claims of causing no damage to the rock just don't cut it.
I don't regret bringing this to the attention of the climbing community, I do deeply regret not doing more at the time.
Misses the point completely. Don't practice there!
"might" have to reconsider. "wouldn't want to get beaten up". Let's ignore the fact that it was clearly the wrong thing to do, and focus on the individual reason (It's ethically wrong vs. I'll get hurt if I do it again).
Still some distance to go on the humility scale, I think.
... if it's not a troll.
> ... if it's not a troll.
It must be
I say sod some little grit quarry, this looks like the ticket
ooooooohhh lets see if this thread will go above 1000
PS Granite is by far the best rock to climb
Troll, troll, troll, troll
Read it again mate - it really doesn't look like an apology to me.
And more to the point, there's nothing to suggest he'd see any reason (beyond possible repercussions) not to do it again.
An improvement in tone but some way short of what is required. Still a failure to recognise that:
a) You can practice - just not there... Read earlier posts about where is and isn't an acceptable venue
b) Even perfect technique will damage the rock
c) A headpoint dry-tool ascent of a classic trad crack with so many runner placements that you could empty Hathersage 'Outside' of gear and still have space for more is not something that many here on UKC would consider climbing!
If this guy wasn't at University I might conclude that he was just seriously lacking in brain cells. The fact that he is reading physics at Imperial suggests that he has lots of brain cells, but everything I've read on here suggests that they're not wired up in quite the right way.
Calum, if you didn't realise that the UK climbing (small c) community is small and has a long memory then you do now.
DWDT. Could catch on ;0)
I reacted like that, but then I reread it and thought maybe subalpine is serious (and saying that he's AS too)?
How could you have? Its pretty mind blowing.
If that is the case, then I may have made a knee jerk reaction that was mistaken and apologise.
I had a pop at Imperial College club a while ago and Johan (IIRC) came back with a comment about the extent of the club's responsibilities, which was fair enough and, in the light of your response, I see now the extent of the problem the club has.
Call me a pedant if you must, but the trouble is that your apology relates to the furore your actions have caused, not what you did.
For your information and for the avoidance of doubt, as the penny clearly hasn't dropped yet, you don't practice on a low lying, first class rock climbing venue, let alone its 3* routes.
And as for 'might have to reconsider' what the blazes does it take to get through to you?
Don't even get me started on 'working the route'.
I don't know about that, I haven't read the thread to which you refer, but there are plenty of neurotypical people who make outrageously insensitive comments! And many AS people are extremely circumspect about their posts to ensure they don't unwittingly put their foot in it.
What these two lads have done wasnt the smartest idea and in no way do I agree with it but whats done is done. No matter how much you disagree I doubt he's going to listen, and I can't say I blame him after the torrent of abuse. Wouldn't time be better spent forgetting what they have done and coming up with constuctive ideas as to where dry tooling is acceptable?
Also I doubt they are the first two to have dry tooled at such a location just the first to be so publically caught and shamed
I think that would be a good idea.
While I agree that what happened was not considerate and was ill advised, I think that the UKC piece on this event was irresponsible, and I'm also shocked at some of the responses on these threads. Some points:
- Climbing is unregulated - what exactly would you have 'done' to stop them, as you say you now wish you had?
- The UKC article need not have mentioned that those involved were students. This is not relevant to the description of the event and displays a bias on the part of the writer which buys into a negative stereotype about sudent climbers;
- The UKC article need not have named those involved. Yes, the press do this, but the article read like something from a sensationalist red top. I was surprised at the number of commendations it received. It went on to be quite balanced and honest too, but the damage was done in the opening paragraphs;
- It's nothng to do with any club that the individuals involved belong to, and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous;
- Genuine question (and I'm by no means new to climbing) - why is this sort of thing acceptable on classic routes in the mountains but not at low levels? I'm not condoning it but am genuinely interested in the reasoning behind the claim, which seems to be unanimously accepted - and which I think I agree with - but not exactly sure why.
Again, I'm not defending what happened but think that the response on here is nowhere near measured enough. Calm down. If people got as worked up about some of the real problems and injustices in the world as they are about this we'd be well on the way to making the world a better place to live in.
The fact that this user is called 'Calum Nicoll at Uni' doesn't mean it's the same person... after all, I login with the same username where ever I am, so Why didn't he? He's also posted at times when he could have / should have been at uni.
Conclusion - someone's made a new profile and logged in purely for a troll - much easier than the staging-a-photo suggestions earlier!
Maybe the real slim shady should step forward and apologise?
ITS QUITE SIMPLE MATE.
After reading your comments on this and other threads and seeing the pictures your quite obviously
If you'll forgive me, in answer to your question 'why?' I would like to quote a passage from my first book (dating from 1991), from the last chapter called 'Mountain Friends and Foes':
A MIRROR OF OUR WISDOM
We must look after the surface of the planet, not just for material reasons, but because it mirrors our whole spiritual being. Just as the way we look after our homes is a reflection of our inner selves, so the way we treat our wilderness areas and national parks is a reflection of our national state of health.
The landscape is a mirror of our wisdom or our lack of it. If we spoil it, we must accept that it is because we ourselves are spoiled. If we destroy it, it means nothing less than that we have lost the fight against our own folly.
When we look at a so-called development area in our mountains we have to ask ourselves whether it is a true reflection of ourselves, and whether it reflects us in the way we would like. Are we proud, for example, of the ski development in the Cairngorms? Or are we embarrassed that so many wild places reveal us to be merely consumers and despoilers?
Our appreciation of anything and everything in the world starts with a respect for the ground beneath our feet, the living rock. If we cannot appreciate the most basic material of the planet, what hope is there for the higher forms of life? If we cannot refrain from vandalizing the solid structure of the lithosphere, how much worse will be the havoc we wreak upon the fragility of the biosphere? The relation between the two is a very close one – we cannot separate them; and we are part of it all.
Dave MacLeod, Andy Turner, Guy Robertson, Pete McPherson, Steve Ashworth, etc, etc, etc all seem to manage OK without this sort of f*ckwittery.
Even a fat weak punter like me has managed to get a pretty solid ticklist of IVs and Vs without actually "training" once, ever - how's your ticklist Calum?
> - Genuine question (and I'm by no means new to climbing) - why is this sort of thing acceptable on classic routes in the mountains but not at low levels?
A few reasons off the top of my head:
- winter climbing is by nature adventurous and is therefore more suited to mountainous areas than to low lying summer crags in the Peak.
- crampon use takes place and causes scratches on easy walking and mountaineering routes so there's no real reason why it shouldn't be accepted on harder steeper routes (which are also in the mountains).
- mountain cliffs come into 'good condition' much more readily than low lying crags.
- low lying crags are generally much more popular with rock climbers than mountain cliffs which are often as much as if not more popular in winter (depending on venue obviously).
This means that:
- low lying crags (particularly gritstone) are more prone to damage than mountain routes
- any damage is less readily accepted here.
nearly 700 replies yet no mention of the likely winter grade of Embankment 2 and 3...
If you really think that there is nothing wrong with what you did then how about you post a thread here on UKC letting everyone know where and when you are planning to dry tool on a grit crag again.
After all you have nothing to hide right?
I'm not really interested in the whole thread, all a bit tedious now but I am genuinly interested as to what you would have done to stop him continuing?
Got yourself arrested for assault? Like I said, genuine question on what you would have done.
> nearly 700 replies yet no mention of the likely winter grade of Embankment 2 and 3...
I personally think that the Callum at uni post is distasteful troll mysyelf. I wouldn't waste any further time referencing 'his' attempted appology until proper comms has been established with him. Its not good <the dry tooling> but the more the slagging goes on, the harder its going to be for Callum to come on ukc and answer his critics.
<just blanchie sounding off>
> nearly 700 replies yet no mention of the likely winter grade of Embankment 2 and 3...
Interesting take on it...Was there any turf, was it mainly Torquing? There are questions that need answering.
Fair one Gareth, trouble with that I suppose is that things can easily escalate out of your control.
FWIW, I agree with the whole "they done bad" thing but don't agree with the threatening behaviour on here or the usual UKC thread development of a dick swinging contest. not you :0)
>Like I said, genuine question on what you would have done.
Taking the top-rope anchors out seems like the obvious step.
To be fair the toperope question was from nov, folks have just re-ignighted it to bring his name back in the news maybe? Anyway, if you going to toprope and work a route that won't get in the way of others, don't make much difference if its 10m or 50m really does it? Daft yes but not unreasonable.
Indeed! I suppose that would be the answer if one didn't have the bottle to confront the 'accused.'
Ha ha! Just how pompous can you be?
> To be fair the toperope question was from nov,
Hadn't noticed that. Guess I got caught up in the fever but the suggestion still holds true.
> Ha ha! Just how pompous can you be?
Well, yes, and it doesn't help being ripped out of context from a large book of photographs. Not how I would say it now ...
Thank you for taking my abuse amicably, if only that happened more often!
Hey Callum,fame is a fickle thing you know.
To keep all your 'adoring fans' your going to have to move on to bigger and better things!
May I suggest you be the first to do
'The Dry Toolers Seven Summits'
1 Sisteen Chapel Ceiling Traverse (Vatican City)
2 Mount Rushmore National Memorial Girdle (South Dakota)
3 Christ the Redeemer Statue Direct (Rio de Janeiro)
4 Ahu Tongariki Moai (Easter Island)
5 The Treasury at Petra Eliminate (Jordan)
6 Taj Mahal (India)
7 Giza Pyramid & Sphinx (Egypt)
I've heard the best places to practice are Motorway Bridges and Electricity Pylons. ;)
You're not suggesting that Gareth lacked the bottle to confront the 'accused' I hope? He did have the bottle, and did indeed confront them.
> Especially if you consider yourself to be a scientist which suggest some intelligence.
Well I didn't raise the issue, nor would I like to say whether relevant people from this thread are on that spectrum or not (I've never met them). However, I do think that subalpine is suggesting it seriously and straightforwardly as an explanation for a degree of social insensitivity and not "getting it" on the part of the culprit, not as a way of being derogatory. Not having met him I wouldn't know whether this is accurate.
> Indeed! I suppose that would be the answer if one didn't have the bottle to confront the 'accused.'
Well, you can confront them too. 'You're a pair of prats; I don't approve of what you're doing, and I'm going to go up the top and take your anchors out for you'.
Is it me, by the way, or does Lowland (?) Scots have much better words for expressing contempt than standard English? Perhaps it's just their relative unfamiliarity.
Fair enough, like I said above, I may have done a "UKC-style" knee jerk response with the wrong end of the stick.
Hoisted by my own petard...
Do folks on here know what ethical handbags are? I'm thinking fake leather or plastic turtle skins.
Quality. You forgot to mention that to really toughen yourself up for the Seven Summits its best to practice in a lightning storm.
That should do it,
700 replies :)
and still no post from the perps showing any contrition whatsoever.
That would really help I think.
Not likely to happen, Calum sounds like he's so far up his own arse that it would tear him apart to admit that he was wrong and the other bloke hasn't even shown his face.
Oh, we have a troll!!
Retour sou les pont Troll horrible!
votre mčre baise avec des chiens pour donner naissance ŕ un "mutt" comme vous
To the guys from the Imperial College Mountaineering Club, you really need to correctly educate your members, Callum is playing a very dangerous game, as an inexperienced climber who clearly doesn't understand ethics or the unwritten rules that we all abide by; he needs to be careful about what he is telling folks on these forums, may be worth reading some of his other posts regarding dry-tooling:
Also, I am interested to know whether ICMC is BMC affiliated, its certainly not listed with the BMC under the ICMC title, if you are not, may I suggest that as a club you look towards becoming affiliated, embracing and enforcing the ethics that we all abide by on here.
If you are BMC affiliated then all the more reason why, as a committee you should take further action against Callum as he is obviously not embracing the BMC stance in this issue, instead of shrugging of his actions; he ha clearly brought your club into disrepute, following your comments that you have taken him on dry-tooling meets and failed to correctly educate him on ethics.
So in essence you're suggesting that it's a climbing club's job ensure that their members don't think bad thoughts? How would you feel if one of your members did something daft and naive and then your name got dragged through the mud for it? What would you do other than tell him he was wrong and explain why. Have him publicly hung?
Also, what on earth does BMC affiliation have to do with ethics?! That is just complete nonsense, ethics have their origins long before the BMC existed and are an ever-evolving beast set by the collective mindset of climbers, not by this mysterious crag-police that you seem to think the BMC is. The BMC make guidelines, sure, but 99% of climbers don't need them because they're not muppets.
I think anyone who's been climbing long enough to own a rack, boots & tools is hardly a novice who needs educating, particularly judging by the amount of time he seems to have been pissing people off on here. Maybe time to accept it's not anyone's fault but his own that he apparently doesn't give a crap about the views of 99.99% of the climbing community?
He's obviously a young lad who hasn't thought this through properly and needs educating about the history, quality and sensitivity of the routes at this great crag.
Perhaps if he was aware of say, Stannington Ruffs, he wouldn't have caused this rumpus. Or maybe that's out of bounds too? What does everyone think?
If only that were true. Calum/Fishy has been banging out the same polemic for over a year on here; that he has the "right" to dry-tool anywhere he wants to and there isnt a thing anyone can do to stop him. If you read the threads you'll see that he is pretty emphatic about this and has basically stonewalled anyone (including myself, more than once) who has tried to reason with him or present a bigger picture.
I must admit, I'd written him off as all mouth; I didnt think he'd have the brass neck to do what he has. It's annoying, and it will do him a great deal of harm within the climbing community, but in perspective it isnt the end of the world. One random tosser (who identified themselves as such many months in advance) leaves the brain cells at home and scratches grit. 99.9% of the climbing population react in horror. Suggest a pretty healthy ethical balance to me?
It's an established, listed, rock-climbing venue. Of course it's out of bounds.
In an effort to try and figure out the mentality of this guy Calum, I have had a good look at all his posts, profiles, blogs, websites etc. etc.
And it strikes me that nowhere is there any evidence whatsoever that he has ever completed a climb, anywhere, ever.
Reminds me of that 'International Rescue' guy on UKC a few years ago - what was his name?
Dovestones Quarry is also an established, listed, rock-climbing venue, but winter climbing is very much accepted there.
If they'd gone to Stannington there'd have been no fuss because nobody ever goes there so they wouldn't have been seen. But even if they had, the resulting thread would have been lucky to receive 30 views, let alone 30,000!
Its an interesting point probably made 100 times in the epic thread above but where on grit is appropriate... Kinder downfall when there is enough cover, dovestones quarry for winter but what about summer dry tooling at Dovestones.... anywhere else... there must be a number of grotty holes where people could practice dry tooling in the peak?
mamtor aswell for winter ascents
Since it's not something I'm interested in I've never thought about it. But surely there are plenty of crags with no recorded routes or climbing history which could be used? A random example based on where we were last weekend, the rocks between Shining Clough and Deer Knowle - nothing recorded as far as I know, it's certainly been climbed in winter conditions and I can't imagine anyone complaining about summer dry tooling. And the one talked about a while back, the quarry near Rob's Rocks - that was shouted down in a UKC thread, but because of the suggestion of bolting rather than of dry tooling.
White Goods and Newtyle are different in that they are overhanging - hence they are more for training for European and Canadian mixed - crossing roofs between icicles. That makes a lot of sense, allied to the fact that they were unused (or rarely used IIRC in the Scottish case) for normal climbing. And also in both cases I believe the routes start at mid M grades which is actually quite technical in Scottish grades (6 and up).
For the UK, mixed climbing should be in the mountains, it is part of mountaineering. Encouraging dry tooling as a separate summer activity on single pitch crags seems a bit silly as it will only create more conflict in the UK where there are enough climbers to make virtually all rock of value to someone. I don't think many begrudge mixed climbers training for Amphibian or Cyrophobia etc. a couple of places to train that are of no interest to other climbers. And if they go and find somewhere new, negotiate access, clean it up, equip routes etc. as seems to be the case with White Goods, then all power to them. But maybe it is just simpler to say that Grit, like it being bolt free is 'ice tool free' as well - all then that bring us back to whether Red Pencil for example is a valid winter target or not...!
Dose this make him qualifiable for being on the next im a celebrity get me out of here?
Im impressed that he has managed to become one of the most well know people on UKC in the space of a few days. He has made a right old mess of Millstone, come on callum lets us in. What drove you to think this was such a good idea?
Its a good job he isnt looking to work in the outdoors!
The majority of posters are rightly angry with these boys and I think that is a good thing - apart from the threats of violence. The sustainability of grit is probably in good hands barring the occasional silly and immature behaviour of a minority of image junkies.
Winter climbing is, and as a drainage-rich, north-facing tumbledown choss-pile it should be. What we are talking about at Millstone isnt winter-climbing, it's dry-tooling.
Toby, I think you've hit several nails right on their respective heads there. People are getting worked up about trying to find mid-grade dry-tooling opportunities when in reality it has far less to teach them than just going out on some routes, getting scared and dealing with it.
Very well written, and sums it all up well, shame the thread went quite as stupid as it has though
My view of the whole affair for what it’s worth.
Ok, from what has been said via the eye witness report and the forum response to his actions by Callum, it is clear that Callum does not think the same way as we do. We might not like it but we have to respect that fact the Callum has different views to others and he is not afraid to express those views which shows in what he does. Please don’t misinterpret that statement as agreement with tooling on grit, of course I don’t agree with it. Anyone who knows me will vouch that I attempt to climb to my own very strict ethics as do the majority of UK climbers. I love grit, the history, the routes, the danger… I’ll never advocate tooling on grit same as I wouldn’t bolt grit. My views are shared with countless others but there is one thing that appears to have been overlooked. Callum does not share these views. No doubt he has discussed ethics and questioned his own ethics but it is clear that he believes what he believes and his belief is so strong, he won’t be persuaded otherwise. I doubt very much anything is going to change that. There may be some UKC’ers that would like to see bolts on grit and they may give a good argument for it but it is another thing entirely to actually go out and do it. That is what Callum has done - he believed tooling on grit to be fair game, put his money where his mouth was and went and did it. Fair play to his strong character, however that doesn’t forgive his arsey attitude when challenged about his activities nor the damage done to a historic crag.
We need to accept a few things here, firstly, no amount of slagging off, threats etc is ever going to help the situation, Callums’ mindset is likely to be far too strong for that, like I pointed out before, he believes what he believes. We can’t stop him tooling any crag he wants and there may be a strong argument saying that we don’t have that right anyway. What will come next if we climbers do not address the situation sensibly? The first DT accent of Great North Road? Right unconquerable? TPS? Perhaps there are many that do not share our ethics and are only waiting in the wings for someone to kick start a revolution, there could be tooling going on all over the place in the future and despite a long historical ethical argument, we would be powerless to stop it. I’m pretty sure I won’t be pushing my ethical beliefs if someone got arsey with me and they are armed with a pair of axes and pointy boots!
It is clear that our sport is diversifying, it always has been. I’ve been a climber through the sport revolution, bouldering, headpointing etc all off these are valid parts of climbing and were the subject of debate at the time and perhaps they still are. Perhaps it is inevitable this is where we’d end up – transport is easy for all, gear is cheap and easy to get hold of, information has never been easier to access. Many climbers have tasted winter climbing and love it, they want that thrill all year round. More and more climbing walls are allowing tooling, look at the figfour ‘axes’ as evidence that there is a demand for this. We as climbers need to make a choice – move with the times and play an active role in the future or live in denial and be dinosaurs. Tooling is only going to get ever more popular and if we want to protect our beloved crags, alternative venues need to be sourced. We can be part of this and we need to be. So where then? It needs thought and discussion, which goes without question. How about a small area of a sport crag set aside for tooling? Would we as climbers be happy with a trade off? For example, Millstone and the like remain free of tooling as anyone in the area who wishes to go tooling would use a dedicated venue, agreed by the majority – Dukes quarry perhaps? the little quarry near Windgather maybe? Perhaps new rock needs to be developed, from memory there is plenty of limestone on the steep sides of Monsall Dale for example. I have offered UKC a few times the suggestion of the railway cuttings that line the Tissington and High Peak trails, Yes they’d need work, yes they’d need bolting but has that stopped the sport climb developers over the years? No of course it hasn’t. There is potential for hundreds of short routes in these cuttings that have never yet seen a climber….
IMO the Uni club has no responsibility for Callums actions outside of club activities, it seems to me they have done all they can do. If you were a member of a car club for instance, is it right for them to ban you from the club because you happen to think the 70mph motorway limit is too slow? Of course not, peoples views and opinions can not be altered if they themselves hold their beliefs strongly. We are powerless to make people think the same way as we do, we are powerless to stop people from tooling, chipping, bolting, toproping etc etc. The crags are not ‘ours’ exclusively, they belong to the people and we must see that.
To end this I will say I have stifled my anger and attempted to suppress it, of course I’m angry by the Millstone events, as I was when it happened locally here in Lancashire at Denham quarry. My anger isn’t going to help though is it?
You sir are a f**king arse. There, I said it. Partly for the damage you have done to a historic crag but mainly for the distain you have shown your peers. We are all climbers together, I’m no boulderer but I respect the views of boulderers even though they are not my own views. You ignored advice given to you on the day and because of that you have now lost all credibility you may have once had. Silly lad, if its fame you wanted, your ethical beliefs could have been used in a better way and you could have spearheaded a tooling revolution in the Peak. Sure you’d have to search out new crags and put some effort in, still, it didn’t stop Gary Gibson did it and look what Gary has given to climbing….
I tried explaining this issue to a non climber today. He wasn't sure what the difference was between the types of climbing, which I explained. Then he wasn't sure what was so wrong about using tools on this crag when it happens elsewhere (mountains) and "climbing is climbing", which I explained. Finally, he wondered whether there are rules that Calum would know about but was openly breaking. Since my colleague is a golfer the best I could come up with is this...
Would you use your sand iron to hit a ball off a bowling green or even the putting green?
Bowling and golf both use balls and grass but you instinctively know not to do it so that you don't ruin the surface for your fellow man - even though you don't play that other sport personally. You also wouldn't damage your own green because it would ruin things for yourself at a later date.
Does that work?
Judging by the news that has just appeared on 'the other' thread, this guy would go out of his way to hack merry hell out of the bowling green and then supply a news article to UKBowling all about it.
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