/ NEWS: PHOTOS: Bolts On Everest

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UKC News - on 11 May 2009
[Willie Benegas 2, 3 kb]"The fixing of a number of bolts at this spot isn't "murdering the impossible" but a sensible act that will without a doubt save lives of Sherpas, Western climbers and guides alike."

Said Kenton Cool of Dream Guides.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=47372

Morgan Woods - on 11 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Not having done the route in question i don't feel qualified to comment.
Tyler - on 11 May 2009
In reply to Morgan Woods:

I've heard the third is difficult to clip on the redpoint so maybe needs lowering about 50cm or else take a long quickdraw.
Dominic Green - on 11 May 2009
In reply to Tyler: bring your cheat stick
Serpico on 11 May 2009 - 89.242.128.157 whois?
In reply to Tyler:
> (In reply to Morgan Woods)
>
> I've heard the third is difficult to clip on the redpoint so maybe needs lowering about 50cm or else take a long quickdraw.

A lot of people have it pre-clipped, which is fine as long as you do the down-climb.
GrahamD - on 11 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

"The fixing of a number of bolts at this spot isn't "murdering the impossible" but a sensible act that will without a doubt save lives of Sherpas, Western climbers and guides alike."

I would be interested to know how many deaths there have been to date as a direct consequence of there not being a bolt. Sounds more like maximising punter throughput to me.
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Of course it's not murdering the impossible. Merely dragging down the eminently possible to within the reach of more customers.

It wouldn't be so bad if these bastards would be honest.

jcm
Richard White on 11 May 2009
Does this now justify my placing of bolts on numerous trad lines at Swanage that I use for instructing to save the lives of my clients, myself and other instructors?

Richard.
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to UKC News: Just wondering - how does replacing the existing anchor with bolts a) increase throughput of people or b) bring down the eminently possible?
People going up or down the fixed ropes up to the yellow band will still have to do the same amount of fixed rope climbing - but now its on a known anchor (the bolts). So throughput will be the same, but safer and the eminently possible had already been pulled down with the existence of the fixed ropes.

jcm - what is it that the 'bastards' are being dishonest about?

Cheers
Guy
GrahamD - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:

It speeds up throughput because a guide no longer needs to waist time assessing the condition of the anchor. Otherwise why bother ?
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to UKC News:

in reply to Richard:

I dont think its the same thing, personally. Bolting trad lines would be changing the style of the route. making a fixed rope anchor safer doesn't change the style of the route (the first ascensionists used fixed ropes too)

Cheers
Guy
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to GrahamD: It doesnt save any time in reality, as the guide will be assessing the anchor each time he goes past it anyway (even if bolted the ropes will be assessed)and clients/sherpas will be climbing at the same/similar time.

Its a safety thing - less confusing when changing over to another fixed line at the anchor and the anchor itself is safer. And I guess there is now less old rope up there
liz j on 11 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> It wouldn't be so bad if these bastards would be honest.
>
> jcm

Mmmm, nice comment there John
Richard White on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> in reply to Richard:
>
> I dont think its the same thing, personally. Bolting trad lines would be changing the style of the route. making a fixed rope anchor safer doesn't change the style of the route (the first ascensionists used fixed ropes too)
>

Thanks for your reply. However, if the first ascentionists used fixed ropes, how did the fixed ropes get there in the first place?

Richard.
petellis - on 11 May 2009
In reply to GrahamD:

> I would be interested to know how many deaths there have been to date as a direct consequence of there not being a bolt.

The old tombestone imperative eh? Its well known that safety improvements should never be made unless people have laid down thier lives for it...



guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to Richard White: Clearly, the very first person up there (not sure if a sherpa or westerner on that bit) will have climbed it first and put in the fixed rope! All gets a bit confusing doesn't it! Does the first ascent only go to the climber/sherpa who 'cleanly' leads or seconds each pitch of the whole route? hmmm, not sure!

Anyway, i guess my point was that as an overall ascent style it was first done in a very similar way to how it is done these days. The first group up the fixed ropes each season will be tentatively using the ropes until they have been assessed and so on.

Cheers
Guy
Richard White on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:

OK. That's a fair assessment of the first ascent and yes, all on the first ascent team should be credited with the first ascent.

Hovever (there's always another however), as in rock climbing, winter etc, shouldn't we all be striving for better style of ascents, with or without paying clients, than the original, if possible (hard to improve on a PLJ onsight).

If a trad route was done as aid or with a point of aid, then following generations have always tried to improve on that. Reducing aid and freeing routes, doing them onsight, no beta etc.

Richard.
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:

>jcm - what is it that the 'bastards' are being dishonest about?

Well, taking the first example that comes into my head from the wording above, the words

'will without a doubt save lives of Sherpas, clients and guides alike' is manifestly dishonest.

I could multiply this example at considerable length, but it will have to do just now.

jcm
GrahamD - on 11 May 2009
In reply to petellis:

Are you advocating making safe every potential accident blackspot on the mountain ?

The only way to really save lives if that is really the concern is to have fewer people on the mountain (guides, sherpas and clients).

This is purely about convenience.
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Oh, sorry. I misquoted them. They don't say 'clients', they say, 'Western climbers'. How could I made such a silly mistake?

jcm
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Morgan Woods - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
> (In reply to Richard White) All gets a bit confusing doesn't it! Does the first ascent only go to the climber/sherpa who 'cleanly' leads or seconds each pitch of the whole route? hmmm, not sure!
>
>
yeah....i mean how would they put it in their UKC logbooks.....though not a concern for any of the posters on these threads.
Richard White on 11 May 2009
In reply to Morgan Woods:

Including yourself I presume?

Richard.
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to Richard White: yup, i agree with this. However (another one!) improving the style is often a personal thing, ie trying to do a route in the best style you (as an individual) can. For example, if someone onsight soloed (without ropes/gear) an E4, that doesn't mean everyone else (or anyone else) should have to follow suit if they want to climb that route...

Now , i guess if the everest scenario was such that lots of people climbed the route without fixed ropes and so on, then that would become the norm and so it would then be frowned upon to use fixed ropes. And that would be a progression of style. However, that's not the case and so the norm is using fixed ropes etc, which although shows no progression in style, also doesn't show any worsening in style. (though some would argue using guides is poor style)

For this progression in style, I think there would need to be an improvement in ability/experience of those that climb the route. Since there isn't really much improvement in ability/experience of those climbing the route over recent years, there isn't an improvement in style.

Guy
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: I might be being thick here, but I still don't see what is dishonest about saying that peoples lives will be saved by bolting the fixed rope anchor?

Guy
Darren Jackson - on 11 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
>
> It wouldn't be so bad if these bastards would be honest.

Hear, hear!... Take it from me, bolts will merely be the thin end of the wedge.

What next for Everest? Fixed ladders across the Khumbu icefall? The use of oxygen? Siege tactics? Long lines of bumblies being dragged up by guides?... You may laugh, but I honestly believe that bolts may well open the flood gates as far as these sort of underhand scenarios are concerned.

guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: ah, I have just had a thought - I assume you think these bolts were put in by guides with a completely different motive..... and that motive could only be MONEY or perhaps something more sinister?

Thats quite cynical?

Guy
Richard White on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
> ( (though some would argue using guides is poor style)

Shh don't say that. You'll make people think that Guides and intructors aren't necessary.

Good points in in your response, however! No, only joking.

Regards,

Richard.

guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to Darren Jackson: Where do you see this 'precedent' taking us?

I am not disagreeing (yet??) - just wondering what you mean!

Cheers
Guy
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to Richard White: Thanks Richard - it seems that an interesting discussion with valid points for both sides is possible on ukc!!

Would type that winking thing but don't know how to do it!

Cheers
Guy
Darren Jackson - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
>
> Where do you see this 'precedent' taking us?

I just have a bad feeling about the whole thing. I mean, where do you draw the line?

If we're to tolerate bolts then what else might follow?... Fixed ropes? The use of sherpas? Why, they'll probably allow women on there next!?!

It's a sad day for Himalayan mountaineering.
GrahamD - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:

Lives won't be saved. This sort of thing will just encourage more, less capable people onto the mountain and we have seen what happens when the weather craps out and its every man for themselves to get off the mountain.
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to GrahamD: I dont think having fewer people on the mountain is the ONLY way to save lives, though that will help too. Its a bit of a no brainer to me that solid anchors will save lives too.

Saying that it is only about convenience (so that guides can take more clients up there more easily?) is a bit like saying that guides only rope up to their clients in the alps so they can drag them about quicker and easier.

Whilst it is true that a guide could drag a client around quicker and easier when roped up, the main and real reason for roping up is safety, surely?

Am I advocating making every black spot safe? I think if a section of mountain is usually climbed on fixed rope then ensuring the anchor is solid is reasonable! This might not necessarily mean bolts

Cheers
Guy
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to GrahamD: I have to say i disagree. The majority of guided everest clients will have assumed the fixed ropes were safe before the bolts were put in. I suspect there are very few out there that didn't go to everest because they were concerned about how solid the fixed rope anchors were! Making the anchors more solid will not mean that a load more incapable climbers will go to everest (maybe they don't know the difference between bolts or other anchors?). I think that is more a question of guiding in general on everest, rather than bolts.

I think it is hard to argue that making a dodgy anchor more solid will not save lives! Lots of people use it and if it failed people would die!

Guy
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously) I might be being thick here, but I still don't see what is dishonest about saying that peoples lives will be saved by bolting the fixed rope anchor?
>
> Guy

Gosh. Good to see there still exist some people so completely innocent of rhetorical techniques. Cicero would be proud.

It is always dishonest to make an unverifiable prediction about the future with the word 'will' or similar rather than 'may'. Whn you see someone do it, you may be sure that their intention is not to inform the public honestly, but to influence the dimmer members of it.

jcm
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to Darren Jackson: Yeah, I know...personally though, i dont see this as much of a threat in that direction as say putting in extra bolts on the Golden Pillar of Spantik (which happened) for example.

Of course the women issue is far more serious!!!
Guy
liz j on 11 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
It's WHEN John, not WHN
liz j on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
Hey, lay off the women!!!!
Nic on 11 May 2009
In reply to Darren Jackson:

> The use of oxygen? Siege tactics? Long lines of bumblies being dragged up by guides

For a minute I thought you were talking about Three Pebble Slab...
ericoides - on 11 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I doubt Cicero would be happy with the phrase "unverifiable prediction about the future", first because all predictions are of the future, second because this prediction certainly is verifiable.

Write out a hundred times, 'I must not dishonour the noble name of Cicero.'
Chris F - on 11 May 2009
In reply to Darren Jackson:
> The use of oxygen?

Just awful. They should hold their breath for the entire ascent and descent.

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guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: OK, i see that they can't be sure that lives will be saved! But that doesn't mean that that wasn't their prime reason for doing it.

It seems to me that probably any prediction of the future is unverifiable.

It also seems to me they used a definitive word such as 'will' because they felt it a strong likely hood rather than just a possibility.

Guy
GrahamD - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:

By your argument, best to fix a line all the way up the mountain, then, because the vast majority of deaths don't occur on the roped sections. In fact exhaustion and cold play a big part so a train would be better and save far more lives.

Sorry, but the vague possibility of stopping someone (who there voluntarily) falling off a fixed rope does not justify bastardising the mountain for the convenience of profit making organisations.
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to liz j: But we dont want women on Everest - we want them in chamonix!!!
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously) OK, i see that they can't be sure that lives will be saved! But that doesn't mean that that wasn't their prime reason for doing it.

I wasn't debating their prime reason for doing it; I was pointing out that their publicity material was dishonest.
>
> It seems to me that probably any prediction of the future is unverifiable.

How can you possibly be so stupid?? 'Arsenal are crap and will not be in contention for the league next season.' is a verifiable prediction, beause we'll see what happens next season. 'Lives will be saved' is not, for all sorts of reasons.


> Guy

ericoides - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:

> It seems to me that probably any prediction of the future is unverifiable.

Why so? I predict the sun will rise tomorrow. The next day, it rises. I verify my prediction.
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 May 2009
In reply to ericoides:

>I doubt Cicero would be happy with the phrase "unverifiable prediction about the future", first because all predictions are of the future, second because this prediction certainly is verifiable.

If you think it was one of Cicero's literary aims to cut out logically redundant adjectives or adjectival phrases, then with respect you haven't read much Cicero!

Anyway, of course this prediction isn't verifiable. To verify you would need first to show that someone has not died and then that in other circumstances which did not occur they would have died. You would need, in fact, more than one universe.

jcm
Darren Jackson - on 11 May 2009
In reply to Chris F:
>
> Just awful. They should hold their breath for the entire ascent and descent.

Absolutely... And if they simply moved the summit down to the Rongbuk monastery, then people wouldn't have to endanger their lives anything like they currently do?
ericoides - on 11 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Point taken re the prediction and universes, my mistake, not thinking clearly. Nice manoeuvre re your redundant phrase.
liz j on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
> (In reply to liz j) But we dont want women on Everest - we want them in chamonix!!!

Behave yourself, you're nearly married!!!
Chris the Tall - on 11 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:
Don't suppose anyone knows the reaction of mountaineers of other nationalities to this "outrage". It would be interesting to hear the views of Messner for one
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to GrahamD: It seems that you are stuck in a rut of thinking and obsessed with it all being about money making organisations convenience!
A few points:

1. Just because most deaths are not due to fixed rope failure does not mean it is not a safety concern

2. My argument is not to fix the whole mountaiun! If the accepted style is using fixed ropes in the current positions, then making the anchors for those ropes safe seems logical. If the anchor isn't safe, there is no point in having a fixed rope.

3. Is it the bolts, the rope, the sherpas, the guides or the oxygen bastardising the mountain? Or all of them?

Cheers
Guy
liz j on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
Trying to change the mind of the UKC masses (or minority as it seems) is like flogging a dead horse ;-)
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to ericoides: yup, ok, got me there! I meant that you cant be sure that a future prediction will come true. EG predicting the sun will rise tomorrow - very likely to happen, but not guaranteed...

Anyway we digress i think!

Guy
Chris the Tall - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
I think the point JCM was trying to make was that it is technically incorrect to suggest this will save lives, because if the bolts weren't there the person wouldn't be in the position where their life was in danger.

A similar argument is that wearing a helmet doesn't save a skiier's life, because if they weren't wearing one they would be going slower.

But hey, why speak in plain english when you can be a Cicero-quoting pompous twit ?
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to liz j: ha ha! Good fun isnt it! Not really trying to change anyones mind...just throwing out some ideas and enjoying responses - afterall its all opinions. Its interesting how strong opinions are in the UK still about this stuff, which is great - and how others from elsewhere have differing (and sometimes similar) ones.

Chars
Guy
liz j on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
I know, I have already made my responses on the other thread!!!!! It's amazing how the thread is now more about the correct use of the english language than the bolt debate!!!
guywillett on 11 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to Chris the Tall: gotcha! But I dont think that adding bolts means more people will be there yanking harder on the rope - most clients/sherpas etc will assume the rope is bomber with or with out the bolts! And people will go to everest with or without the bolts there - they dont sit at home waiting for someone to bolt the rope anchor and then go the next year!

I get the analagy though, particularly with the skiing helmet thing - i for one used to wear a helmet skiing and broke it in a crash the second day using it! The only head on rock crash i have had in 30 years of skiing!

Guy
Andy Stephenson - on 11 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
> 2. My argument is not to fix the whole mountaiun! If the accepted style is using fixed ropes in the current positions, then making the anchors for those ropes safe seems logical. If the anchor isn't safe, there is no point in having a fixed rope.

I think you managed to get logic and reason on your side at this point...
Carping on 11 May 2009 - 78.144.226.0 whois?
In reply to guywillett:

"is it the bolts, the rope, the Sherpas, the guides or the oxygen bastardising the mountain? Or all of them?"
All of them, plainly. It seems to me the bolts issue is relatively trivial in the larger scheme of things. I think what really gets up the nose is the sheer lack of respect for the mountain in a more general sense.
Ed Douglas wrote Chomolungma Sings The Blues, and boy the Mother Goddess must be heartsick of singing "Woke up this morning, fixed rope, oxygen bottles, corpses, abandoned tents all round my head".
She undergoes a seasonal double-entry gangbang by these people, and unless the Nepalese authorities come to their senses ( unlikely) she's going to continue as a raddled old whore, pimped from both sides by "The Mayor of Rongbuk" and his Khumbu equivalents.
Some ex-clients are largeing it up with accusations against critics that their criticisms are macho posturing..."We've been there".."I've climbed it, these critics haven't". Sorry people - you've been on the summit. You haven't climbed it any more than Marion Jones won gold medals or broke world records, or Dwain Chambers attained his ill-gotten accolades. For your information E.F. Norton reached 8600m in 1924 wearing tweeds and nailed boots, and but for the onset of poor weather would probably have summited then. His Antipodean colleague Finch started this whole sorry cheating farrago with bottled drugs, very much against the prevailing wishes of the rest of the team. (By the way, Finch was a gifted Alpinist, and suffered his own share of troubles from the Alpine Club establishment, who were an unbelievable bunch of Parochial snobs in this era.)
Unfortunately the precedent was set, and notions of Empire and Glory won the day.
It was over 50 years before the mountain was finally climbed. Well done Messrs Habeler & Messner.

Cheers, Jim Twohig.
The sharp end - on 11 May 2009
I still do not know what to say exactly about this...

but to me feels kind of like....leaving something on the moon, on the bottom of the deepest blue ocean, i don't know....just does not seem right...

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The sharp end - on 11 May 2009
In reply to The sharp end:

bit too poetic i know ...and probably full of c$%$...and not having been there who am i to comment?...but it is Everest and it is an earth treasure nonetheless and should be preserved in the best way possible..forgeting all the climbing ethics issues aside..what about the mountain itself?

radson - on 11 May 2009
In reply to The sharp end:

Yeah I agree, after the bolts will come the cable car, then the ski run, japanese tour groups on the summit. The trek to base camp will be paved and the glacier on which base camp sits will be cemented over. The khumbu will be hollowed out. The cwm shall be given a walkway and the lhotse face an escalator. The Hillary step shall be eased with a small lift. All this is the inevitable conclusion from the addition of bolts across the geneva spur.
liz j on 11 May 2009
In reply to radson:
Don't forget the Tesco Extra at basecamp!!!
radson - on 11 May 2009
In reply to liz j:

I must admit, the bakery at base camp was very much appreciated :)
liz j on 11 May 2009
In reply to radson:
I have heard about the apple pie!!!
Jimbo C - on 11 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Disgraceful, these 3 bolts will make it so much easier for the pundits to summit. What cheating tactics will be employed next I wonder?...

http://www.sbg.ac.at/mat/staff/revers/images/sec12.jpg


Seriously, I can't believe the amount of fuss about placing a few bolts, would you lot feel better if he'd welded a few big hexes into the cracks instead?

I don't think that our 'trad ethics' can be applied successfully to Everest. It's the highest mountain in the world, it will always be a pundits mountain. If somebody set up a company to guide people up Everest in 'a better style' they would probably become bankrupt very soon. The vast majority of those on Everest only want to huff and puff up a fixed line and tick the top of the world. I can't blame the guides for wanting to help less of them die.
gcandlin - on 11 May 2009
Anybody climbed Everest? No? Didn't think so. Still, amazing how every body is so quick to criticise people for placing some tiny bolts.

It's not as if it going to spoil your or anybody else's enjoyment of the mountain. Yours because you will never go their and those that do go their are free to place their own anchors.

I think we really need to be careful not to go to far up our own a$~e's on this one!

What does this detract from the mountain? People still have a choice whether to us them. Lets just concentrate on climbing at Stanage and let the minuscule amount of people who actually get the climb Everest if they are worried about a few small bolts.

Bring on the rath....
Tangler - on 11 May 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
Gosh. Good to see there still exist some people so completely innocent of rhetorical techniques. Cicero would be proud.

It is always dishonest to make an unverifiable prediction about the future with the word 'will' or similar rather than 'may'. Whn you see someone do it, you may be sure that their intention is not to inform the public honestly, but to influence the dimmer members of it.



So your argument against bolts boils down to the use of the word "will" instead of "may". Quite how you drag that out into an accusation of dishonesty and make your attack on grammar become and ad hominem attack on the poster rather than a comment on the topic is a marvel of oratory. Cicero would be proud.
Michael Ryan - on 12 May 2009
In reply to gcandlin:

> Anybody climbed Everest? No? Didn't think so.

Lots of Everest summiteers visit this website, and yes some post on the forums.

Couple here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=986

Mick

Everest photos at UKC:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/search.html?text=Everest&x=4&y=7
Northern Climber on 12 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: so is this a plan to turn it into via ferrata?
cmsg - on 12 May 2009
In reply to Tangler:

An ad hominem attack is an informal fallacy, whereby one seeks to undermine an position by criticising the character of those who support it. For instance, the statement "Hitler was a vegetarian" does not say anything meaningful about vegetariansim. What an ad hominem attack is not, and this is how you seem to use the phrase, another term for simply a personal attack. jcm is making perfectly true comments on the irrelevance of certain rhetorical techniques to the advancement of an argument. These comments appear to be valid and made for their own sake, and not an attempt fool people into drawing false inferences. That is to say, it has nothing to do with the "Hitler was a vegetarian" example.
cmsg - on 12 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
> (In reply to GrahamD) I dont think having fewer people on the mountain is the ONLY way to save lives, though that will help too. Its a bit of a no brainer to me that solid anchors will save lives too.

The trouble with no-brainers, is that when a question is subtly more complex than it first appears, the brain may well be unengaged, and ill-equipped to spot the problem. The clue's in the name.

Climbing and mountaineering are all about the weighing of risk. You make an assessment of difficulty and dangers, and decide if something's worth a punt. With this in mind, I don't think there are many no-brainers in respect of mountaineering safety. Putting sound fixed-rope anchors in this section may indeed mean fewer accidents, but it sure isn't a no brainer. Not when you're dealing with real people, who decide they're willing to take x amount of risk, note an objective danger reduced, and therefore push things further in another area. I don't suggest this represents the thinking process of the average mountaineer, but it's an approximation of the effect.

So, while it may be true, and I'm undecided on that, it's definitely not a no-brainer.

And that doesn't even touch on the question of whether or not one should place a bolt, even if it's sure to make things safer. Improvements in style, the idea that you don't aid what has been freed, are an important part of British trad, and whether they should be adopted elsewhere as ethics is an argument worth having. No point in talking about the "thin end of the wedge" -- the wedge started thick, with siege expeditions back in the day -- but that doesn't mean one should lightly brush aside the suggestion that a gradual improvement in style is something to be celebrated.

For my part, I'd be inclined to suggest that attempting to mandate an alpine ethic on the big, commercial mountains, is an exercise in futility. But I say that not without a certain sadness. A doctor from my home town is off soon to attempt some kind of record, with back-to-back ascents on the north and south sides (or maybe both twice, or some other kind of madness of "invented notability"). No doubt in the worst style imaginable. My response to this news was, "He should come see me. I'll introduce him to *climbing*".
GrahamD - on 12 May 2009
In reply to gcandlin:
> Anybody climbed Everest? No? Didn't think so. Still, amazing how every body is so quick to criticise people for placing some tiny bolts.

Are you for real ? Are you really suggesting that you can only hold an opinion on Everest if you have been there ? in which case, of course, you probably have a vested interest..
GrahamD - on 12 May 2009
In reply to Jimbo C:

Just because Everest is already a bit of a circus doesn't mean that we should accelerate its decline into a full blown theme park.
Morgan Woods - on 12 May 2009
In reply to cmsg:
> (In reply to guywillett)
> [...]
>
> Improvements in style, the idea that you don't aid what has been freed, are an important part of British trad, and whether they should be adopted elsewhere as ethics is an argument worth having. No point in talking about the "thin end of the wedge" -- the wedge started thick, with siege expeditions back in the day -- but that doesn't mean one should lightly brush aside the suggestion that a gradual improvement in style is something to be celebrated.
>
i think that the style question is a bit of a red herring here....the obvious improvement in style would be for everybody to stop using gas but that is unlikely to happen. as equipment has got better does that mean that "style" has got worse or better. would an ascent using the same clothing as Mallory be an improvement in style?

surely the decision was a question of logistics and not style and was reached by consensus which is surely one component of any climbing ethics system....i most agree with bolt free mountain routes in britain therefore they are bolt free.
craigloon - on 12 May 2009
In reply to cmsg:
> (In reply to guywillett)
> [...]
>
> Climbing and mountaineering are all about the weighing of risk.

I'm sure Guy will bear that in mind the next time he does a winter ascent of the Eiger Nordwand.
SultanofMull - on 12 May 2009
In reply to GrahamD:

It seems people have jumped on a band wagon here a bit an EXISTING anchor has been replaced with bolts. Its not really that bad is it lets be honest!
gcandlin - on 12 May 2009
In reply to GrahamD: No you can have an opinion, anybody can. I suppose the point I was trying to make (while under the influence of a little to much ale) was that we shouldn't jump to criticise without first trying to put ourselves in the shoes of the perpetrator.

I was merley angered by all the negativity flowing through the forum. Its all just a bit of panto..

Tangler - on 12 May 2009
In reply to cmsg:
jcm:It is always dishonest to make an unverifiable prediction about the future with the word 'will' or similar rather than 'may'. Whn you see someone do it, you may be sure that their intention is not to inform the public honestly, but to influence the dimmer members of it.

This is an ad hominem argument.
The discussion is in relation to bolts on Everest. Jcm is clearly against the placing of bolts on Everest by his earlier posts.
jcm has alleged that to make an unverfifiable prediction using the word will is "dishonest".
From this he infers that the only intention of the poster is to dishonestly influence the dimmer people.

So - he attempts to win the argument by impugning the character of the poster.

He is not engaged in a simple discussion of rhetorical techniques - or the term "dishonest" might be better replaced with "incorrect".
GrahamD - on 12 May 2009
In reply to Dan Goodwin:

Its a ratchet, isn't it ? by claiming that the previous fixed anchor had become legitimised, you are claiming that the new improved one must also be and presumably the wire cable next etc. I don't accept that any of the permanently fixed gear is legitimate and placeing a bolt is definately a statement about the intention to install permanent gear
Michael Ryan - on 12 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Sounds like Everest needs the Crag Care Team from the BMC to give it a makeover. Get rid of the all the ropes, pegs, metal, cylinders, corpses and rubbish etc

Call out Martin K and team.....cakes and all.

Then send in Fix the Fells team from the Lakes to make a nice footpath to the top so we can all enjoy the view.

You can get in touch here: http://www.fixthefells.co.uk/

Mick
petejh on 12 May 2009 - host86-175-216-236.wlms-broadband.com
In reply to Dan Goodwin: You're a guide your views don't count :)

Guides BAD
Recreational Climbers GOOD
Bolts GRUDGINGLY ACCEPTABLE IF PLACED BY GOOD CLIMBERS/ BAD BAD BAD IF PLACED BY GUIDES
Livelihood made from climbing BAD
Talented Sponsored Climbers UMMMM...

is I think the basis of the argument and all you need to know.
cmsg - on 12 May 2009
In reply to craigloon:
> I'm sure Guy will bear that in mind the next time he does a winter ascent of the Eiger Nordwand.

Thanks for that. I didn't suppose I was telling anybody anything they didn't know, but rather creating a context for my comments that followed. Nor do I hold that Guy is mistaken in his conclusions, I think the bolts are probably as justified as justified can be. I just felt that the idea that it is a no-brainer that "better (in situ) gear implies fewer deaths" should be challenged, as the reality is, as Guy knows full well, more complicated than that.

I don't think it's helpful to use the fact that Guy is obviously a far more experienced mountaineer than I to imply that I should not take issue with such statements.
SultanofMull - on 12 May 2009
In reply to petejh:

Hmm I see you may have some issues regarding guides !

Guides BAD - daft statement !
Recreational Climbers GOOD - I agree
Bolts GRUDGINGLY ACCEPTABLE IF PLACED BY GOOD CLIMBERS/ BAD BAD BAD IF PLACED BY GUIDES - I can see the argumnet there if folks are placing fixed gear for cash benifit perhaps
Livelihood made from climbing BAD - Another daft statement, does that include photographers, writers, gear makers or just the dreaded guides out there having a great time in the mountains and intrducing others !!
Talented Sponsored Climbers UMMMM...-Well there just the worst are'nt they all that talent and being recognised for it ! Sounds like a bit of the green eyes may have you there !!

Aye

Dan
liz j on 12 May 2009
In reply to petejh:
Wow Petejh, you are holding back on the bad language on UKC, shame you had to swear on Kenton's blog with such venom. You obviously have a big chip on your shoulder. Would you like a bolt to go with it??
And for your information, I climb regularly with a guide and find your comments rather offensive.
Wrongfoot on 12 May 2009 - client-86-26-52-238.brnt.adsl.virgin.net
In reply to UKC News:

Everest is more than just a mountain for independent climbers, guides and clients and for them to claim some sort of authority simply because they are physically on the mountain, is duplicitous.

The mountain is a thing of dreams for many, a God for some, a symbol of human attainment for others. Many hate what is already being/has been done there and are perfectly entitled to despise the addition of bolts into the existing situation.

Guides and those with commercial interests should come way down the pecking order and have the humility to see this. They don't, but this isn't unusual, commercial interests typically display arrogance with the resources they exploit. Those with commercial climbing interests may not be as bad as those with commercial interests in other areas, but sadly despite the mainstream humilty and respect for our mountains commercial climbing interests are still out of step with the mainstream of climbers.

Why should we be surprised if the issue of these bolts becomes a bit of a rallying call for those disenchanted with what they see and read about the situation on Everest?
radson - on 12 May 2009
Guides and those with commercial interests should come way down the pecking order and have the humility to see this.

Who is on top in this pecking order? I assume you mean the interests of Nepal and the Nepalese?
SultanofMull - on 12 May 2009
In reply to petejh:

Although i notice in your photo's you enjoy dry tooling on bolted routes put up by guides ! You should try Everest next !

Aye Dan
Tobias at Home - on 12 May 2009
In reply to Dan Goodwin:
> (In reply to petejh)
>
> Although i notice in your photo's you enjoy dry tooling on bolted routes put up by guides ! You should try Everest next !
>
> Aye Dan

there's plenty of good points on both sides of the debate. the argument that if you are against bolts on everest you are not allowed to clip a bolt anywhere is extraordinarily facile though.
radson - on 12 May 2009
People are going to go ballistic when they find out what they have done to the Tibetan side!
SultanofMull - on 12 May 2009
In reply to Tobias at Home:

'the argument that if you are against bolts on everest you are not allowed to clip a bolt anywhere is extraordinarily facile though'

I dont belive that Tobias, it was more a refrence to his apparant distaste of Guides and the fact he was on a bolted line put up by guides!!

Aye
Wrongfoot on 12 May 2009 - client-82-20-35-27.manc.adsl.virgin.net
In reply to radson:
> Who is on top in this pecking order? I assume you mean the interests of Nepal and the Nepalese?

Interesting question.

Actually I only meant that they should consider and often accede to other interested parties. Rather than assume their interests are paramount or blindly take advantage of the opportunities their physical prescence offers.
Brendan Hanratty on 12 May 2009
In reply to UKC News: Maybe if we had pictures of the old anchors to compare with it would help make sense of this debate?
Tobias at Home - on 12 May 2009
In reply to Brendan Hanratty:
> (In reply to UKC News) Maybe if we had pictures of the old anchors to compare with it would help make sense of this debate?

i think a lot of people seem to think that the anti-bolt side of the argument is concerned with the physical damage to the mountain.

it isn't really, it is about an ethos of mountaineering based around accepting the challenge that the route presents as opposed to a mountain being abused to facilitate a form of the sport that is completely at odds with its heritage.

The only purpose of these bolts is to facilitate selling the route to more clients by suggesting it is safer than it was. And I'm sure it is safer and I'm sure Jagged Globe will make more money from guiding it than they did before. No wonder there was complete agreement at basecamp...

But this is exactly against the spirit of mountaineering of raising oneself up to the challenge of the route - not bringing it down to your level.

Yes, a lot worse has been done on a lot of other mountains - but Everest is an iconic peak and bolts on her flank symbolises a sad state of affairs regardless of the (minimal) physical damage caused.

I wonder if the first ascentionists approve? Has anyone asked George Band his opinion?
Tobias at Home - on 12 May 2009
In reply to Dan Goodwin:
> (In reply to Tobias at Home)
>
> 'the argument that if you are against bolts on everest you are not allowed to clip a bolt anywhere is extraordinarily facile though'
>
> I dont belive that Tobias, it was more a refrence to his apparant distaste of Guides and the fact he was on a bolted line put up by guides!!
>
> Aye

sorry, my apologies.

for the record, i estimate i clip 100 different bolts each week :-)

guywillett on 12 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to petejh:
> (In reply to Dan Goodwin) You're a guide your views don't count :)
>
> Guides BAD
> Recreational Climbers GOOD
> Bolts GRUDGINGLY ACCEPTABLE IF PLACED BY GOOD CLIMBERS/ BAD BAD BAD IF PLACED BY GUIDES
> Livelihood made from climbing BAD
> Talented Sponsored Climbers UMMMM...
>
> is I think the basis of the argument and all you need to know.

A nice concise post!

Maybe its not quite so simple? (though i detect a an enny bit of tongue in cheekness behind this sentiment?)

What if the bolt was placed by a GOOD CLIMBER who was a GUIDE RECREATIONALLY CLIMBING? Maybe he was SPONSORED AND TALENTED TOO?
Hell, maybe he made his living from climbing website forums too?

A bit tongue in cheek, this p[ost, too - but serves to illustrate the not black and whiteness of things....ish.

Cheers
Guy
guywillett on 12 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to Tobias at Home: I agree half and half with this post. I think there is an environmental issue (in general) with fixed gear and the style in which one climbs a mountain - but i dont think this is the core of this debate either.

I dont think guiding companies will make any more money from bolting the anchor. No more clients are going to book because they know the fixed rope is safer - they already thought it was safe in the first place!

The presence of the fixed rope is more of the issue in terms of bringing the challenge of the mountain down, regardless of whether it is fixed to bolts or a wobbly flake or an ice screw etc.

I agree however that everest is an iconic peak and therefore important in terms of example etc - muddies the water a bit! This is probably why the news was brought to light in the first place (by the guides). Very few non guided parties climb this route and the presence of bolts could have remained virtually unoticed as an addition for quite some time...

Guy
Michael Ryan - on 12 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:

> (In reply to Tobias at Home) Very few non guided parties climb this route

Why is that Guy?
guywillett on 13 May 2009 - 91-172-4-105.rev.libertysurf.net
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Mick - trust you to come out with a good point!!!

All sorts of reasons , i think.

The juicy one being that so many guided parties are there! Climbing the route in the seige style.

Others include:

it not being a challenging route these days, for 'hard' climbers

the high expense

the length of expedition

modern climbing challenges lie on other mountains

etc etc


It would be interesting to see if anyone climbed this route if guided parties weren't there! (Obviously the clients wouldnt be there!) No in situ rescue or logistical support (whether they pay for it or not) and so on...

Cheers
Guy
Michael Ryan - on 13 May 2009
In reply to guywillett:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) Mick - trust you to come out with a good point!!!


Personally, I see sense in new bolts, if insitu gear was there in the first place, ...or even the illusion of fixed gear ; o )

Why not take away the Russian Roulette aspect of it away and make it the best you can?

Who wouldn't?

Good job all round I say.

It could save a life/lives and that is important.

The imagery however, the symbolism that it sends is negative: People will use it as justification to do what they want anywhere.

Drill, Power, Holes, Penetration, Exploitation - like that George 'rapist' Bush connected to an oil company drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

That can make you vomit. The Wilderness exploited for financial gain and personal pleasure (the villa in Mallorca).

What interest me, and excuse my ignorance, is: Why can't the common man do this route anymore? (western, eastern, northern, southern)

I'm sure there are lots out there who would love to do it. I would!

Too expensive?

Is it because of the increased peak fees?

If so though, who can blame the Nepalese?

They are shit poor and we are rich, even the poorest of us are rich compared to the Nepalese.

All of us in the Western world are greedy bastards, always wanting more, the latest model, the newest, to impress others, far above our basic needs.

Some don't have basic needs - they die on a daily basis.

We all exploit the land. All of us.... even the fiercest critics on this thread.

Mick

ads.ukclimbing.com
Brendan Hanratty on 13 May 2009
In reply to UKC News:

well this is a pic of the hillary step

http://www.project-himalaya.com/gallery-top-everest-exp-08-climb.html

scroll down to the hillary step pic.

and if the yellow band was anything like this then i say a couple of bolts and the odd rope looks better and is at least safer (read the caption under the pic)

either have safe bolts instead of fixed rope with unknown anchors or chop the whole lot and climb the lot using only leader placed protection.

i think people should do the later but popular opinion seems to go against that, plus it was climbed using siege tactics to begin with

id still like to see pictures of the pre clean up yellow band
radson - on 13 May 2009
In reply to Brendan Hanratty:

Jamie has the best pics of Everest on the web in my opinion.
In reply to Tobias at Home:
> The only purpose of these bolts is to facilitate selling the route to more clients by suggesting it is safer than it was.

Take your time to read through any of the literature that describes Everest on my website, and tell me where we suggest that climbing Everest is safe?

> And I'm sure it is safer and I'm sure Jagged Globe will make more money from guiding it than they did before.

The number of Brits (and it is primarily Brits that book with us) who attempt Everest each year is probably less than 20. You obviously think that by putting in secure anchors, we are trying to expand the market. There are probably twice the number of people with the money, who, if I had no integrity or morals whatsoever, could take their money and send them to Everest, even though they clearly have nowhere near the experience required. I wouldn't need to put bolts in the Yellow Band to boost my sales of Everest places.
Chris the Tall - on 13 May 2009
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe & Mick_UKC:
To repeat an earlier question (lost in the haze of Cicero)....

Any idea of how climbers of other nationalities has taken this news ?

Is this smoral outrage peculiar to Britain?

Has someone like Messner, well known for his purism, spoken out ?
SultanofMull - on 13 May 2009
In reply to radson:

I would second that they are very good shots !!

I would say Radson that this is very much a pecuiler moral debate by the

Brits.

I agree with Mick if your replacing and existing anchor with a better one

then there is no issue in my mind !


Aye Dan
GrahamD - on 13 May 2009
In reply to Dan Goodwin:

Except for the purist one that says those original fixed anchors shouldn't be there either. You seem to be suggesting that constant 'upgrades' are acceptable because they are 'better'. Well in some senses, fixed cables are 'better' than ropes and cemented in iron steps are 'better' than slippery rock.
Carping on 13 May 2009 - 78.144.226.0 whois?
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe & Mick_UKC)
> To repeat an earlier question (lost in the haze of Cicero)....
>
> Any idea of how climbers of other nationalities has taken this news ?
>
> Is this smoral outrage peculiar to Britain?
>
> Has someone like Messner, well known for his purism, spoken out ?

Check out what the likes of Jim Donini, Michael Kennedy and many others think about this latest episode in the ongoing charade on the Supertopo site.
The only people this stuff is not contentious to is the ignorant or those with vested interests.
Carping on 13 May 2009 - 78.144.226.0 whois?
In reply to guywillett: "it not being a challenging route these days, for the "hard" climbers".

You can't be serious? Everest by fair means by any route is one of the most dangerous and challenging feats imaginable. How many people have managed it?
Ask Troillet, Loretan, Messner or any other of those who've managed to get there how easy they found it.

Cheers,
Jim.
Michael Ryan - on 13 May 2009
radson - on 13 May 2009
In reply to Carping:

I think the list of summiters numbers in the several thousand now. Messner etc summited in a vastly different manner/style than most.
Michael Ryan - on 13 May 2009
Carping on 13 May 2009 - 78.144.226.0 whois?
In reply to radson:
> (In reply to Carping)
>
> I think the list of summiters numbers in the several thousand now. Messner etc summited in a vastly different manner/style than most.

You don't say?
Carping on 13 May 2009 - 78.144.226.0 whois?
In reply to radson:

Sorry Radson, I should've added a smiley face. Didn't mean to sound so sarky, sorry. :)
radson - on 13 May 2009
In reply to Carping:

It's cool mate. I now realise, I misunderstood your original comment and replied in error.
liz j on 13 May 2009
In reply to radson:
Ahh bless, the boys have kissed and made up.....
Sorry, did someone mention BOLTS
;-D
Tobias at Home - on 14 May 2009
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe:
> (In reply to Tobias at Home)
> [...]
>
> Take your time to read through any of the literature that describes Everest on my website, and tell me where we suggest that climbing Everest is safe?
>
Louisa was going to write a response but managed to restrain herself ;-)
Yyonnx on 02 Jun 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Here is a link to Messner's 1965 article
http://home.versatel.nl/ariannetracy/theimpossible.html
Ensô - on 04 Jun 2009
In reply to UKC News:

a little bolt seems immaterial to complain about when every year base camp is left a total bomb site.
SCrossley on 05 Jun 2009
In reply to UKC News:
Has nobody taken them out yet?

Messener called this morning asking about the rumours. He's off to Trango/K15 or else he would have run up there and yanked them out with his bare hands.

Beds

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