/ Bolted cracks
How do you feel about it? Or, to put it another way, how would you feel if you found a line of bolts along side one of those big Curbar cracks? (apart from relieved, that is...)
This has done a number of things, mainly we have sympathy for the trad routes we have put up, and most importantly, it has encouraged many to climb cracks in a trad style. There are obviously some who have bolted perfectly protect-able cracks here, this is not a perfect world. But I think climbing with the locals has held back the tide of over bolting.
Sadly, I have experienced vocal wishes from one ex-pat wanting everything bolted, and to quote "Everyone who visits us only wants sports climbing..". I'll never forget that one.
I agree it should have been left for trad only ascents however it's the norm isn't in France, to bolt everything.
If you click on the photo, the details are shown below it. That will tell you exactly where it is. Craig called it Thai Boxing. I emailed him and told him of the fate of his route and he was very sad. He said it was possibly one of the best off widths he'd ever done - and this from the acknowledged expert on them...
Look at it from the other side
They didn't realise it had been climbed - as you said you didn't publicise it.
The rest of the crag is bolted, so it was natural to assume it hadn't been climbed. Furthermore bolting, regardless of the oppurtunities for trad gear, is the norm in France.
These guys wanted the challenge of the line, clearly pretty tough, without the additional concerns of placing and trusting gear. Climbing for climbing's sake - not hard to relate to surely ?
And finally, not only would you require unusual gear (i've never heard of tube chocks), but you would require quite a few of them. Would it be worth the investment of well over 100 euros (at a guess) for gear you wouldn't need elsewhere
P.S. No amount of bolts would ever get me tempted to try a crack like that, neither in France nor at Curbar !!!
To someone brought up on trad it might seem wrong but not to someone who's only ever sport climbed. We have the same situation here in Greece, I did a perfect jamming crack recently and it a line of bolts up the side of it, it felt wrong to me and perfectly normal to my Greek climbing partner.
I'm 99% certain of this unless there is another offwidth called Thai Boxing somewhere in the French alps.
Stevie asked me once if I had any projects that maybe a bit hard for me! As there were 2 lines which had so far resisted my attempts (though I could do all the moves etc.), I directed him to the crag. A bit later he told me he'd done them at 8a and 8a+. Stevie then took Craig there. I guess the crack was too hard for him...? But I think, and maybe wrong, that the book incident (it was Hemingway) was not on that crack, but somwhere in the mountains.
I agree entirely - and I have bolted close on 200 routes here, so no worries there. My point, apart from taking the piss a bit at the expense of the French, was the enormous gap between the crack climbing abilities of the Americans and, well, just about everyone else! The photo , by the way doesn't do the crack justice... it's even bigger and more of a monster than you can imagine! By the way look up Big Bros.
Oh, I forgot, Stevie predicted that the French would fill the crack in with concrete and then bolt it. He was half right. Thank heavens for small mercies.
Yes, but I guess hard aid routes are considered less perfect than hard trad and are not treated with the same respect. Also that the very nature of hard aid is that the gear is so dodgy, a free ascent might just be unjustifiable without bolting.
I must say it's interesting, I thought there'd be far more 'digusted of Sheffield' replies. I should also point out that I have no personal interest in the crack - I'd rather have all my teeth pulled...
> And finally, not only would you require unusual gear (i've never heard of tube chocks), but you would require quite a few of them. Would it be worth the investment of well over 100 euros (at a guess) for gear you wouldn't need elsewhere
These are Big Bros, by the way...
In England it is a different matter of course.
What you mean is: not in my back yard...? Which side of Right Eliminate would you like them? But, sadly, you're right.
Could well be - perhaps the photo was of him on Thai Boxing but the article refered to the book on another route. I'm just sad that I remember these things at all! :-)
If you hadn't said the last bit about being sad, I'd have gone and looked it up. I daren't now.
Probably better than Rosalind Pilcher, I'll admit.
> Could well be - perhaps the photo was of him on Thai Boxing but the article refered to the book on another route. I'm just sad that I remember these things at all! :-)
Pretty sure the book pic was on the Grand Capuchin.
Yes, I think it was Grand Cap or Adolphe Rey. There is a piccie of Stevie on TB in OTE July 96 (Oh God...)
No it's not that crag. That's the Renard. Le Couteray is same side of the valley but the other (upper) end
The crag he's talking about has a 40m 7a+ which has six resin holds in its first 10m. It goes without them at 7c+ or 8a depending on your height.
What's a bit excessive - the resin holds, the free grade or the fact I'm sat here on a sunny day? If it's the holds I can tell you why...
> Pretty sure the book pic was on the Grand Capuchin.
You, sir, are absolutely right. It was the Grand Cap - but the book apparently was the Haute Savoie telephone directory. As for Hemingway, I was just idly speculating...
Renard sounds right. See to remember some quite noce steeper lines.
Hi Jon, looks really good! I remember this from an old Haston article, which I always have sat on my kitchen table.
Is the crag still private? I.e. is it ok for people to climb there at the moment?
You really should get some psychoanalysis on why you have such an urge to climb this sort of thing !
Yes, very good crag that we bolted in 1993. Unfortunately closed due to a catastrophic rockfall a few years ago. Still climbable but extremely dangerous. Any rockfall eg from aninals above the crag gets channelled by the couloir above. It's like sitting in the end of a gun barrel.
In reply to TomPR:
It's still private. People still go, but they keep their heads down.
Oh, and it's extremely badly bolted - just look where they are... but why would you want to climb that?
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