/ Advice on The Cassin Route on The Piz Badile!

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Mountain Spirit - on 05 May 2012
Hi.

Has anyone done the Cassin Route on The North Face of The Piz Badile?

I am planning to do it this summer with Kenton Cool - it would be his first time doing it along with my first time!

What is the rock and climbing like on it?

I have been told it is French Sport 5+ at its most difficult pitches/sections and the climbing is mainly steep slabs, bridging and chmneying!

Is this true?

Bridging, chimneying and slabs are my speciality and what i am very good at!

What is everyone's experience on this route like?

Bye
Tim Chappell - on 05 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:


I haven't done it. We were about to do the Nordkante, the ridge next to it... when the weather turned to snow. Grr.

I think the route itself is fine if you can climb well-bolted 4c /5a quickly and safely. It looks completely fantastic. You'll never see such brilliant granite anywhere else.

The objectively problematic bit is not the route but the escape afterwards-- I'm sure you'll be fine, especially if Kenton's there, but there's a lot of abseiling, and there's quite a serious lightning risk.
John Stainforth - on 05 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

Did this in 1971. Classic straightforward route, as trad as they come (so nothing like Sport 5+ whatever that is). Mostly about UK Severe, with one or two harder pitches. Crux pitch is a bit like a slightly easier Brant Direct. Start early (first light at the ledge about the bergschrund). If you come back down the glacier on the Swiss side, look out for crevasses because they can be dangerously hidden early in the season.
Tim Chappell - on 06 May 2012
In reply to John Stainforth:

I fear the glacier now is not what it was in 1971...
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Hi.

I have been told about the lightenning risks by someone who did the NE ridge on The Piz Badile!

I have seen people do it on you tube and it looks pretty easy!

I can climb French Sport 4+ pretty quickly and hoping to be able to do French 6a soon onsight!

Bye
Dave 88 - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

I haven't done it, but I reckon the crux will be climbing out from under your bridge.
jonnylowes - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: another boring troll.
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to John Stainforth:

Hiya.

So Summit Post are wrong about it!

Nice UK grade!

What grades are the harder pitches?

They must be either VS or HVS because the route is given a grade of Alpine TD (Tres Difficile?

I know for a fact that Brant Direct is an HVS 5a like its fellow bridging route on Cloggy Cloggy Corner sometimes called The Corner which is a slightly easier version of Cenotaph Corner (E1 5c) on Dinas Chromlech.

I do not know how I will come back down but I will look out for crevasses!

Someone told me the route was an E1!

Bye

Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Dave 88:

Hi.

I have seen a video on youtube and the crux I think is in the bridging section!

So in my opinion you are right!

Bye
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to jonnylowes

Not a troll whatever that is!
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Dave 88:

wtf?
graham F - on 06 May 2012
Al Randall on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: I think that your ambitions are a few miles ahead of your abilities but if you are fit and guided then you will probably get up it. You need to be aware however that this is a climbing forum and many on it would consider a guided ascent a compromised ascent. The route is mostly severe with 2 or 3 pitches of HVS in good conditions but and it's a big but it's long with what can be a dangerous approach and a long complicated descent. Storms are frequent and dangerous and what starts off as a nice relaxing day can very quickly turn into a life threatening epic and your sports grade will feel a million miles away.

Al

Goucho on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: It's a classic route, hugely enjoyable and very straightforward with most pitches being around Severe/H Severe, a few VS, and 2, maybe 3 HVS pitches, with one being 5b.

Applying a sport grade to this route is silly.

As far as lightening goes, it can be a bit of a conductor if there are electrical storms about - but they aren't as common or dangerous as some of the urban myths bandied about.

Mr Stainforth is right about watching out for crevasses on the decent, but as I did it in 79, the glacier maybe a different animal these days.
BenTiffin - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: I had a dream weather day in 2003. I thought one pitch of VHS and the rest mainly VS. we abseiled the north ridge which worked out okay with one reclimb to get the rope. We bivied 30 mins short of the start of the route and were down in the valley the same evening. Cracking route up slabs with a bit of chimney bridging at around two thirds height.
victorclimber - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: what the ++++ is French 5+ sport on the Badile Face no wonder people get into trouble ,wait until the water starts coming down it ,wont be to sporty then ..
SteveSBlake - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

I reckon Kenton will be able to onsight it without beta.......

And as the style is your speciality and what you're good at..........

Why not read Cassin's book to get the vibe?

:-o

Have fun.

Steve
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:

Hiya.

Thanks for the info!

Did you do it in a day or did u bivvy overnight?

I think applying a sport grade is silly!

Bye
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to BenTiffin:

I think the VS and HVS make it TD!

Is it done in rock shoes?
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to victorclimber:

Is what I read on the summit post website!
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Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Al Randall:

Thanks for the info!
BenTiffin - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: Normally - 800m route so they are worth it for their weight.
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to SteveSBlake:

Thanxs.

I am reading The White Spider at the moment!

Maybe my next book!
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Al Randall:

Hiya.

So the descent is the main problem!

Before I head to The Alps i plan to do alot more rock climbing and get my grades up to!
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to BenTiffin:

thanx!
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to graham F:

Hiya.

These aere the exact same ones I saw on youtube!

Will watch them again though!

Bye
Al Randall on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: There have been several fatalities on the approach and storms of the face are to be avoided.

Al
OwenM - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: Did this back in 1985, we walked off down the Italian side. Some friends were in the Val de Melo we'd arranged to meet up and they gave us a lift back. It's a big intimidating face, not hard but exposed, if your not used to it it'll blow your mind. Wouldn't recommend it as a first Alpine route.
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Al Randall:

Hiya.

I have been told all this by a senior alpinist at my climbing club!

I know it can be fatal!
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to OwenM:

Hiya.

From what I have seen from the youtube videos it doues look quite intimidating but I am not sure how exposed it is!

I will probably do something elsze first mayne something on the Mont Blanc Massif eg Mont Blanc via Central Pillar of Freney!

Have you done The Schmid on The Matterhorn North Face?

If so, is it easier than The Cassin?

Bye

Al Randall on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: Now I know you are taking the piss. Either that or you are a complete idiot and taking advantage of people who are trying to help. Not nice.

Al
David Rose - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: I strongly advise you to do the Schmid route and the Freney Pillar before the Cassin. But to claim the ticks properly, do them in good style, ie without Mr Cool, and in shorts and old-fashioned plimsolls. Do not bother taking water to drink: you will be fine with a litre of cognac. It might rain or snow, so you might consider an umbrella.

And then stop wasting people's time on this forum. (If, contrary to all appearances, you are serious, you are going to die.)
Tim Chappell - on 06 May 2012
In reply to davidoldfart:


I wonder if his overuse of exclamation marks is a giveaway!
Goucho on 06 May 2012
In reply to Al Randall: I think he needs to get back under his bridge.

Or, a village is most definitely missing it's idiot.


OwenM - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
> (In reply to OwenM)
>
> Hiya.
>
> From what I have seen from the youtube videos it doues look quite intimidating but I am not sure how exposed it is!
>
> I will probably do something elsze first mayne something on the Mont Blanc Massif eg Mont Blanc via Central Pillar of Freney!
>
> Have you done The Schmid on The Matterhorn North Face?

Where to start?

From your other posts I take it your very new to climbing.

You say your going to be climbing with Kenton Cool, I don't know who he is but I take it he's a guide. I don't use guides but I've meet many. No guide worth his salts will take a punter on a route like the Cassin before assessing their ability on an easier route first. Chances are this will be on one of the crags above the Albigna dam, when I say crags don't get me wrong they are huge. When I first went there I met a guide called Rowland Edwards his punter was an American, all he said was "This is bigger than half Dome". This area is fantastic for your alpine apprenticeship, trust your guide, be guided by him and forget about doing this or that route until you really know what your doing. By then you wont need to ask silly question on forums like this.


OwenM - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: No I haven't done the schmidt route on the Matterhorn, I have done the horni ridge, the Matterhorn is a slagheap, a pile of shite, don't go there. I have done the Central tower of Freney this is three or four grades above the Cassin on the Badile. It's hard, at altitude and very remote.
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to OwenM:

Kenton is an amazing guide and climber who has done Everest 9 times!

You r right about the assesment and the trainin mountains!
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to jonnylowes:

No not a troLl! Just ponderring
OwenM - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: If he's such an amazing guide, why are you asking such silly questions on here? Clear your head of all these stupid dreams of grand course routes and go to him with an open mind.
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to davidoldfart:

I am serious bout Cassin Route but it all depends on my abilty and how well i do grade wise.

Chris Bonnington said it is the easiest of the great north faces.

I plan to do some trainin in the alps with Kenton Cool b4 I do the route!

Matterhorn Schmid next year.
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Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to OwenM:

Ok.

But I've discussed it with him on facebook chat n he said we would do it if I made the grade.

Ill go with an open mind.
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to OwenM:

Thanx.

Won't do either of them then.

All depends on how well I do.
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Al Randall

Hiya.

I don't think Ill do em everything depends on how well I do in training.

Thanks for ur advise.
Mountain Spirit - on 06 May 2012
In reply to OwenM:

I have seen photOs of this area on summit post and it looks brilliant for trainin.

No more dmb qs.
george mc - on 07 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
> (In reply to OwenM)
>
> Ok.
>
> But I've discussed it with him on facebook chat n he said we would do it if I made the grade.
>
> Ill go with an open mind.

You disturb him eating his cake then to chat about your alpine route plans?
Mountain Spirit - on 07 May 2012
In reply to george mc:

Hi George.

Kenton is one of those very friendly climbers that loves to chat.

He is busy ascending Everest for the 10th time!
liz j on 07 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
Oh dear oh dear.........
Yes, Kenton does like to chat, he also likes to be belayed by someone who has a clue, which, by your own admission on your 'partners thread', you are unable to do. Next time I speak to him I will give him the heads up that you are not competent, I'm sure he will take you to Les Gaillands to teach you, but I think you should give up any ideas of big north faces....

Actually, have you considered the Trollwall, it would be right up your street? You could climb it solo ala AK, that way, only you would get hurt if you mess up yur ropework...
Mountain Spirit - on 07 May 2012
In reply to liz j:

Hi Liz.

I can belay now including catching a fall as i have had practice indoors!

Were is the Trollwall?

Bye.

liz j on 08 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
Norway, the land of trolls...
Exile - on 08 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

A genuine question out of idle interest.
I hadn't realised there was so much comparatively easy ground on the route. To the people who have climbed the route, did you do quite a lot of it moving together or pitching it all quickly?
OwenM - on 08 May 2012
In reply to Exile: Bit of both really, didn't bother shortening the rope or anything like that just picked it up and moved up to the next pitch. Also a lot of just running the full rope out with maybe an odd runner. It's quite a long route and a long descent so you can't hang about. Also being slick at belays is a skill worth having something most Brits need to work at.
Mountain Spirit - on 08 May 2012
In reply to liz j:

Hi.

I have looked it up on yahoo it is a big wall like El Cap, Grand Capucin n its bigger brother on Baffin Island!

Most of the routes require aid climbing but can be free climbed - making the grade higher.

The rest are free climbed.

Big walling requires further training and as for soloing the only soloing I want to do is bouldering and dws!

I think ppl who solo and free solo big alpine faces and big walls are a little nuts!

What do you now bout Cima Grande, Petit Drus and Grand Capucin?

Are they mostly rock?

I am interested in Big Walls!

Bye
alooker - on 08 May 2012
In reply to Goucho: I'm with you on that!
andyr - on 08 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
> (In reply to liz j)

>
> I think ppl who solo and free solo big alpine faces and big walls are a little nuts!
>

I've solo'd the Cassin and I don't think I'm a 'little nuts'. If you're solid on HVS, don't dither about at belays and can keep moving then it's comfortable in a day. If I remenmber correctly; the corners above the mid ledge (Noon Ledge?) were the difficult bit and the first of the upper chimneys was quite awkward and dirty from run-off. I was abseiling down Another Day in Paradise to retrieve gear left by friends the day before, and I would recommend this as an alternative to the N.Ridge

Andy

andyr - on 08 May 2012
In reply to andyr:

> I would recommend this as an alternative to the N.Ridge
>

As in 'going down' ...bit harder than the Ridge as an ascent route.
Andy Chubb - on 08 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

I did the Cassin last year. It's very very long - 26 pitches, so be prepared for a long day, especially if you are starting out from the hut and plan to get back there for the night. Hopefully Kenton will climb fast and be quick placing what gear he feels necessary. It is worth considering biviing just below the N Ridge to make sure you are amongst the first on the route as it's very popular and hard to overtake in the top half of the route. It's not hard - the first half is not more than VS, if that. Once you get into the chimneys there are a couple of moves of 5a (english), but the pitches just keep coming. We abbed/scrambled back down the N Ridge, but I understand abbing 'Another Day in Paradise' is an easier and quicker way down if you can find the top anchor.
Good luck, it's a brilliant line and a major mountain day.
davidprior - on 09 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: did it in 2003. It's a serious route, do NOT get caught out by the weather. retreat would be very difficult because the bottom half traverses the face 4 to 11 o clock. Take great care traversing to the start if there is snow on the ledges. Be fit, the route is 20 pitches 900m long. The hardest part is route finding up to the snow patch Pitch 10 even though the climbing is straight forward. There isn't sufficient fixed gear to show the way. The Italians have deliberately retained the route in the original condition apart from a few belay bolts. The hardest pitches are above the snow patch 6a 5c + 6a (Swiss) which lead you into the final chimneys. If dry, straight forward, can't get lost. Second carrying sack may find it easier to hang it off harness and dangle below feet caving style. Best topo in first edition Plaisir Sud by Jurg von Kanel.It has been deleted from edition 2 because it is considered to be too serious. And then the descent, Ur a long way from home so stay strong!! Remember, it's not called one of the 6 great North Faces for nothing.
Carrey - on 09 May 2012
In reply to davidprior:

I second most of the things you mentioned. However, I must correct a few details.
We climbed it last summer, and all the belays were bolted. Really good, new, anchors.
The last pitch before the crux chimney pitch is quite long, and there you might need to simul-climb ~10 meters to get to the next belay.

The route is more like 800 meters, and 26 pitches sounds correct. It's an amazing route. Have fun!
davidprior - on 09 May 2012
In reply to Carrey: Spanking new belay bolts - you lucky bugger - beats rusty pegs!!
Pete Cole on 09 May 2012 - no-dns-yet.demon.co.uk
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
Climbed it many years ago. Hardest pitch is just above snow patch-more like French 6a than 5+ but sustained 5 for most pitches. A full day. We left hut at 3.30am, climbing by 6.3am & still did last 2 pitches by headtorch. The 20 abs down the south ridge are a pig-many people go down south face & then walk round next day after a night in the gianetti hut on the Italian side. Watch the scramble down off the foot of the north ridge to the Bergschrund as this is loose & exposed-this is where Jules Cartwright died from memory. Have a great time though-its a classic for a reason-mostly lovely rock. Pete
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Robert Durran - on 09 May 2012
In reply to davidprior:
> (In reply to Carrey) Spanking new belay bolts - you lucky bugger.

No. Outrageous vandalism.
cb294 - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to davidprior)
> [...]
>
> No. Outrageous vandalism.

What an arrogant load of crap.

UK climbers should make their own rules, and apply them to UK crags. When I am climbing in the peak district or Wales I happily adhere to these rules, and not bitch about a lack of bolts.

However, continental routes --> continental rules.

CB
Robert Durran - on 10 May 2012
In reply to cb294:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> What an arrogant load of crap.
>
> UK climbers should make their own rules, and apply them to UK crags. When I am climbing in the peak district or Wales I happily adhere to these rules, and not bitch about a lack of bolts.

And the Swiss should not complain about a lack of bolts on a route put up in the 1930's.

> However, continental routes --> continental rules.

What an ignorant load of crap.

If retro-bolting an uber-classic route of immense historical significance first climbed in the 1930's, imposing dumbed down standards for the convenience of climbers greedy for a soft tick, is not an arrogant act of vandalism in mountaineering terms, then I really don't know what is. I really don't care what country the route is in. The Swiss should know better.
cb294 - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

I absolutely disagree. In Switzerland, some routes are retro bolted following local consultations with the Alpine Clubs, Guide Associations, local government, national park authorities, and other stakeholders (e.g. first ascensionists if still around).

For other routes or walls, bolting is explicitly banned. The regulations for each route or wall will be extremly detailed, i.e. allowing bolting of the belays, but no intermediate protection.

You may not like the outcome, but not being Swiss or otherwise legitimately involved in the process you and I are in no position to complain about it. Nostalgia for the standards of 100 years ago, or preference for a clean style of climbing just doesn´t count.

By the way, I agree that clean trad climbing is best stylewise, but that belay bolting on certain trade routes can still be justified (and sanctioned by the appropriate bodies) regardless of how classic the routes are.

CB
Robert Durran - on 10 May 2012
In reply to cb294:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> I absolutely disagree. In Switzerland, some routes are retro bolted following local consultations with the Alpine Clubs, Guide Associations, local government, national park authorities, and other stakeholders (e.g. first ascensionists if still around).
>
> For other routes or walls, bolting is explicitly banned. The regulations for each route or wall will be extremly detailed, i.e. allowing bolting of the belays, but no intermediate protection.
>
> You may not like the outcome.

I certainly don't like the outcome (and I have done the route in it's current state). Due process or not, I think the Swiss have got it wrong.
Goucho on 10 May 2012
In reply to cb294: The question which has to be asked though, is why?

I have to agree with Robert on this one - retro bolting classic alpine routes is just wrong, and another example of the 'dumbing down' for the masses - the nanny state.

Climbing is a dangerous sport (especially Alpine climbing) and full of risks.

If you don't want to accept those risks and dangers, and the challenges they create, then take up crown green bowling.
LJC - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: I honestly think that this is the most entertaining UKC thread in years.
Robert Durran - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> >
> I have to agree with Robert on this one.

Good heavens! Again? You're not allowed to agree with me. It's against the rules. We'll both get ourselves banned!
cb294 - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:

Why?

Ask the people entitled to make that decisions, i.e. the local stakeholders. There is bound to be a paper trail. If I had to hazard a guess, I would think that it was done for the convenience and safety of the local guides, since it has become fashionable to climb such routes guided (not I thing I would choose to do).

However, you are simply not entitled to have a route kept in its original state just because that is your favourite way of climbing. If you prefer, there are plenty of pure trad routes close by anyway.

The reverse holds true as well, if you are looking for bolt protected sport crags don´t go to the Peak district, go to France instead. It is for the locals, and the locals only, to set the rules on their mountains.

Of course, if you live and climb in Switzerland, you can try and influence the rules through the local system. Similarly, although I am not from Saxony I bitch about their idiotic rules and try to get them changed (I chose the alpine club section Im joined accordingly) because I currently work there. For the record, I don´t want extensive bolting, but cams would be nice.

CB

Goucho on 10 May 2012
In reply to cb294: You've used the dreaded word 'stakeholder', short hand for risk averse quango/commitees, with the sole mission to take all fun and adventure out of life.

And as for keeping a route in it's original state - well call me old-fashioned, but if climbers from the 1930's can climb a route without bolts, then what does it say about how far we've developed in climbing, if nearly 70 years later, today's generation can't!

At the end of the day, it probably is a 'commercial' decision, to pander to local guides, and make it easier for them to sackhaul clients up it!

Goucho on 10 May 2012
In reply to Robert Durran: I'll try not to do it again :-)
cb294 - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:

You are right, I hate the word too, but couldn´t find a better one. What I wanted to express is that there are different degrees to which people have a justified claim to be heard in such decisions. This is not about ownership, but about legitimate interest. You and I have an interest in these routes, but are so far removed that our opinions don´t (and shouldn´t) really count in Switzerland.

I prefer trad climbing, but dislike the elitism that often comes with it. Why should our ideals in sports ethics count more than the economic or environmental interests of the people who are more directly affected?

CB
Robert Durran - on 10 May 2012
In reply to cb294:
> (In reply to Goucho)
>
> Ask the people entitled to make that decisions, i.e. the local stakeholders.

As an alpinist, I am also a stakeholder.

> There is bound to be a paper trail.

I'll make sure there's no trail of any sort if I decide to go and chop them....

> If I had to hazard a guess, I would think that it was done for the convenience and safety of the local guides

ie it is just another example of the insidious rampant cancer of commercialism that is eating into climbing.

> However, you are simply not entitled to have a route kept in its original state just because that is your favourite way of climbing.

I think I should be entitled to climb the route as Cassin found it (and don't tell me that means I have to wear 1930s clothing etc!)

> If you prefer, there are plenty of pure trad routes close by anyway.

Yes, but none of them are uber-classics like the Cassin.
>
> The reverse holds true as well, if you are looking for bolt protected sport crags don´t go to the Peak district, go to France instead.

No, but I would expect to go to the Alps to find proper Alpine routes which havn't been retrobolted. The Swiss are doing the equivalent of bolting Cloggy.

> It is for the locals, and the locals only, to set the rules on their mountains.

I disagree. The Alpine climbing arena is a European (if not global) leisure resource (to continue with the awful "stakeholder" style language) and as such the Swiss should not be getting away with this sort of desectartion.


Goucho on 10 May 2012
In reply to cb294: Taking this argument to a somewhat extreme perspective, how would you feel if the so called 'stakeholders' of Ben nevis and Ogwyn, decided to place bolts on Tower Ridge and the Idwall Slabs in order to make things more expedient and efficient for local 'commercial' guides and their clients?

There is unfortunately an insidious disease in modern climbing, of dragging everything down to the the lowest common denominator, and it is stripping the sport of one of it's most inherent and important attributes - ADVENTURE!!!

sweenyt - on 10 May 2012
* by - Robert Durran ? on - 12:04 Thu
In reply to cb294:
> (In reply to Goucho)
>
> Ask the people entitled to make that decisions, i.e. the local stakeholders.

As an alpinist, I am also a stakeholder.

> There is bound to be a paper trail.

I'll make sure there's no trail of any sort if I decide to go and chop them....

> If I had to hazard a guess, I would think that it was done for the convenience and safety of the local guides

ie it is just another example of the insidious rampant cancer of commercialism that is eating into climbing.

> However, you are simply not entitled to have a route kept in its original state just because that is your favourite way of climbing.

I think I should be entitled to climb the route as Cassin found it (and don't tell me that means I have to wear 1930s clothing etc!)

> If you prefer, there are plenty of pure trad routes close by anyway.

Yes, but none of them are uber-classics like the Cassin.
>
> The reverse holds true as well, if you are looking for bolt protected sport crags don´t go to the Peak district, go to France instead.

No, but I would expect to go to the Alps to find proper Alpine routes which havn't been retrobolted. The Swiss are doing the equivalent of bolting Cloggy.

> It is for the locals, and the locals only, to set the rules on their mountains.

I disagree.




It seems like you have deleted this message... if that is true it simply backs up mine, and many others views, that you are a penis.

Especially the last point on that list.
Anonymous on 10 May 2012 - 164.36.44.4 whois?
In reply to sweenyt:

> It seems like you have deleted this message

Unlucky - looks like you were wrong about that too.
Robert Durran - on 10 May 2012
In reply to sweenyt:
> * by - Robert Durran ? on - 12:04 Thu
> In reply to cb294:
> It seems like you have deleted this message...

Yes. I wanted to modify it.

> if that is true it simply backs up mine, and many others views, that you are a penis.

You are, of course, entitled to that metaphorical opinion!
cb294 - on 10 May 2012
In reply to sweenyt:
>
> It seems like you have deleted this message... if that is true it simply backs up mine, and many others views, that you are a penis.
>



Yes as an alpinist you have a certain stake in this, but that doesn´t mean the decision to bolt or not bolt a route outside your country is yours to make.

If you did pull these bolts you should be done for criminal damage, but of course you won´t. But the Swiss shouldn´t worry, your activity in this matter won´t go beyond insulting people from the safety of your computer.

Anyway, I have not deleted anything I typed. No need to, as unlike you I can forward my arguments without dropping to childish namecalling, and hence don´t have anything to be embarassed about.

Creative and mature choice of insult, too!

Cheers,

Christian



Bruce Hooker - on 10 May 2012
In reply to sweenyt:

I can't see any reason why anyone shouldn't express their opinion on this sort of subject, it's part of a general debate. It's not as if at the end of the thread a vote will be taken and then action taken. Discussion can only be good.
davidprior - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: one thing I forgot to mention. This mountain is potentially very dangerous because it attracts sudden and violent weather. I would strongly suggest that as well as training and getting fit etc. that you study meteorology, learn how to read surface pressure charts and how different air masses affect mountain conditions. Find out where to go to obtain the information and which met sites (Italian Swiss + UK) on the internet will give you the information you need in order to make a decision. There is no Guide Haute Montagne in the area to advise you. Talk to the locals, they are often right. Learn which clouds give advanced warning of approaching bad weather. Use a barometer or better still a Kestrel which will keep you up to speed with pressure and humidity changes, both good clues as to what's going on. This knowledge will help you make a safer judgement. The climb probably won't kill you. A bad storm most certainly will. Enjoy!!
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tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to cb294) Taking this argument to a somewhat extreme perspective, how would you feel if the so called 'stakeholders' of Ben nevis and Ogwyn, decided to place bolts on Tower Ridge and the Idwall Slabs in order to make things more expedient and efficient for local 'commercial' guides and their clients?

No opinion about Idwall Slabs but if someone went through due process with the landowner or public body that runs Ben Nevis and fitted bolts on Tower Ridge at belay points to make things more efficient for commercial guides and their clients I'd be all in favour.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Oh dear.... :-(
Goucho on 10 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: I'll put your comment down to inexperience, and lack of understanding of the historical traditions and ethics.
Robert Durran - on 10 May 2012
In reply to cb294:
> (In reply to sweenyt)
> [...]
>
>
>
> Yes as an alpinist you have a certain stake in this......

> Unlike you I can forward my arguments without dropping to childish namecalling...

Due to my unfortunately timed deletion in order to qualify my views (unlike sweeny's insults!) you seem to be replying to both sweeny and me at the same time. It's getting confusing.

I wasn't seriously suggesting I would unilaterally chop the bolts - it was just the idea of everything needing a paper trail seeming a bit mad.
Robert Durran - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh) I'll put your comment down to inexperience, and lack of understanding of the historical traditions and ethics.

Just like the Swiss then, except that they don't have the excuse of inexperience.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh) I'll put your comment down to inexperience, and lack of understanding of the historical traditions and ethics.

Fair enough. I'll put your position down to a lack of understanding of the historical traditions of capitalism and democracy.

There are economic and social considerations beyond the ethics of one particular sub-group of climbers when deciding whether to put a bolt or a path or even a cable car on a mountain. Capitalism and democracy say the government or the landowner gets to make the decision.

Goucho on 10 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: Name me one economic or social consideration regarding retro bolting a route which has been climbed for decades without them?


Tim Chappell - on 10 May 2012
I'm with Mr Durran on this one. Broadly speaking. There's a difference between an uber-classic gnarly adventure route, and a sport climbing venue that just happens to be big. The Cassin is not the Miroir d'Argentine. (No, I haven't climbed there either... <sigh>)

tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh) Name me one economic or social consideration regarding retro bolting a route which has been climbed for decades without them?

Maybe more people would climb it if it was bolted and local guides would have safer working conditions? More people climbing it would presumably translate to more money being spent in the local economy.

Clearly the people in Switzerland felt there were social and economic considerations that justified bolts in some places on the Cassin Route.
David Rose - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: There are two things I find especially sad about these bolts. First, there were already safe belays and plenty of gear throughout the climb - just as there were on the Verdon classic La Demande (which, as well as the Cassin, I climbed in its pristine state). Second, there was already a modern, bolted classic next to the Cassin, Another Day in Paradise. It seems the Swiss cannot bear two styles to co-exist. I suppose those who still seek adventure in the Alps will have to find more obscure venues.Or has the Klein Wannenhorn S Pillar now gone the same way too?
cb294 - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

Hello Robert,

my apologies,seems I got confused as well. I had the impression sweeny was the one suggesting the chopping, and I tried to reply to him seconding your post.

The notion of the paper trail was of course in part tongue in cheek, but since we are talking about Switzerland I can only surmise that the decision process leading to the bolting is well documented. No need for second guessing.

My point was more that it should be for the locals to decide if and why they allow such changes, and that climbing ethics of alpinists from a different country do not and should not carry much weight in these decisions.

Anyway, I assume that the bolting was done for the safety and convenience of the local guides. Personally I wouldn´t consider doing such a classic route guided, and would not have wished for the retrobolting.

I haven´t done the Cassin yet, but it has been on my list for the last few years. Now that the belays are bolted (which I wasn´t aware of before this thread) it may be easier for me to convince my partner, though.

Cheers,

Christian
Hat Dude on 10 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Goucho)
> [...]
>
> Maybe more people would climb it if it was bolted and local guides would have safer working conditions? More people climbing it would presumably translate to more money being spent in the local economy.
>
> Clearly the people in Switzerland felt there were social and economic considerations that justified bolts in some places on the Cassin Route.

So that's what climbing is all about now? :-(

Robert Durran - on 10 May 2012
In reply to davidoldfart:
> There was already a modern, bolted classic next to the Cassin, Another Day in Paradise. It seems the Swiss cannot bear two styles to co-exist.

Nor can I. Another Day in Paradise should have been chopped ;)

> I suppose those who still seek adventure in the Alps will have to find more obscure venues.Or has the Klein Wannenhorn S Pillar now gone the same way too?

I get the impression that almost anything of any popularity or classic status is going this way in Switzerland. As others have said, this is almost certainly for commercial guiding and hut use interests - easier climbs mean more clients/bed nights which means more money. Sad times.



Dave 88 - on 10 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Let's make marathons only 2 miles long as well. That way more people would do them and raise more money.

Honestly, your opinions make me so very sad.
LakesWinter on 10 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh) I'll put your comment down to inexperience, and lack of understanding of the historical traditions and ethics.

That's generous. I'd put it down to him needing to take up another activity, possibly knitting, or maybe golf.
LakesWinter on 10 May 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to davidoldfart)
> [...]
>
> Nor can I. Another Day in Paradise should have been chopped ;)
>
> [...]
>
> I get the impression that almost anything of any popularity or classic status is going this way in Switzerland. As others have said, this is almost certainly for commercial guiding and hut use interests - easier climbs mean more clients/bed nights which means more money. Sad times.

Yeah it is sad times and I would support anyone who removed fixed gear from routes originally done without. There is a great difference between routes established as sport routes and those established in a traditional manner. People should take unilateral action and remove fixed gear from routes like the Cassin. I am sure the FA would approve.

LakesWinter on 10 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: Capitalism and democracy are not bywords for actions being right or correct. In fact they are bywords for 'the money dictates what should happen.'
JJL - on 10 May 2012
In reply to davidoldfart:
> First, there were already safe belays and plenty of gear throughout the climb - just as there were on the Verdon classic La Demande (which, as well as the Cassin, I climbed in its pristine state)

Um, Demande was never "pristine" - at least, not after the first ascent. Those rotting wooden bongs with hawser-laid rope loops weren't natural you know!
tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Dave 88:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
>
> Let's make marathons only 2 miles long as well. That way more people would do them and raise more money.
>
> Honestly, your opinions make me so very sad.

That is a totally bogus analogy. Nobody runs marathons in exactly the same style as the first one was run. Mass entry marathons have medical help on standby and regular drinks stations to make them safer for competitors. The first guy who ran a marathon dropped dead but modern marathon runners don't see a maintaining the same risk of death as the first runner as being an essential part of the sport.

Adding a small number of bolts at belay stances on a route up a huge mountain is nothing like changing a race from 26 miles to 2 miles.

Goucho on 10 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: Unfortunately, your argument is based on a theoretical perspective, as opposed to an experienced one.

The fact that you are justifying retro bolting of a classic piece of important climbing history, pioneered by one of the most outstanding figures in the history of alpine mountaineering, based on the argument that it increases profits for commercial organisations, would be offensive, if it wasn't so overwhelmingly naive.

It demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the history, importance and relevance of this route.

Maybe when you are less wet behind the ears, and have developed greater understanding and knowledge as a climber, you will look back at your comments on this thread somewhat red faced.
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Dave 88 - on 10 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Well bollocks to it then, why climb at all, just walk 'round the back. Better yet, don't even bother leaving the house.

Dynamic ropes, cams, nuts, sticky boots, bang up-to-date weather, high-tech clothing, rescue helicopters, ultra-light gear etc etc. All these things make modern ascents safer than the original heroic efforts. How much safer do you want it to get?
Graeme Ettle - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:Hi Mr Durran, Just one wee point to add.
When certain routes in Switzerland have a history of accidents or problems the local commune will act to make safer. The local guides are usually responsible for all mountain safety matters, so will add bolts etc.The West ridge of the Tsalion is a recent example. British Guides have complained to no avail. Cheers Graeme
Pagan - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:

> The fact that you are justifying retro bolting of a classic piece of important climbing history, pioneered by one of the most outstanding figures in the history of alpine mountaineering, based on the argument that it increases profits for commercial organisations, would be offensive, if it wasn't so overwhelmingly naive.

No, it's still offensive.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 May 2012
In reply to Goucho:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh) Unfortunately, your argument is based on a theoretical perspective, as opposed to an experienced one.
>
> It demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the history, importance and relevance of this route.

Your right I don't know anything about this route and I've got no standing to decide what happens to it. My opinion about bolts or no bolts is irrelevant and should be ignored.

However trad climbers don't have some God given right to decide what is allowed on a mountain in Switzerland either. The Swiss have laws about how these decisions are reached. No doubt someone put the trad ethics viewpoint and someone else made an argument about safety and tourism. They went through their process and the people with the legal standing to choose decided to go with the bolts.




In reply to Robert Durran:

> ie it is just another example of the insidious rampant cancer

Can something be both insidious and rampant? I think you might be over egging your moral outrage again. I'd kick back and relax watching some videos of sponsored athletes and even alpine ambassadors doing some routes. It will calm you down man.
Goucho on 10 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: it's more likely that the Swiss guides made the decision based on their own commercial interests.

And maybe if 'trad' climbers, were in charge, we wouldn't have so many bloody bolts drilled all over the place, and the world of climbing would be a better, and more challenging and interesting activity.

However, you are right about one thing - your opinion on this matter is completely irrelevant
jon on 10 May 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> [...]
>
> I'd kick back and relax watching some videos of sponsored athletes and even alpine ambassadors doing some routes. It will calm you down man.

Calm down? Rob? Birch twigs might work...

Captain Gear - on 10 May 2012
In reply to TobyA:

As a shameless self publicist I urge you to enjoy this: http://www.vimeo.com/40853996

P.S: When I did the Cassin there were bolted belays. I clipped them, it saved time, but the route would be better off without them.
Goucho on 10 May 2012
In reply to jon: As someone with a huge amount of experience and knowledge at a 'relatively' local level, it would be interesting to hear your take on this topic Jon.

Gouch.
thommi - on 10 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: you just don't get it at all man. :-(
andyr - on 11 May 2012

> P.S: When I did the Cassin there were bolted belays. I clipped them, it saved time, but the route would be better off without them.


If you weren't clipping bolts you would have been clipping situ belay pegs; so I'm not sure how they saved time. Or are you suggesting complete de-pegging including the belays?
Robert Durran - on 11 May 2012
In reply to Graeme Ettle:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)Hi Mr Durran, Just one wee point to add.
> When certain routes in Switzerland have a history of accidents or problems the local commune will act to make safer. The local guides are usually responsible for all mountain safety matters, so will add bolts etc.The West ridge of the Tsalion is a recent example. British Guides have complained to no avail. Cheers Graeme

Hi Graeme. Very relieved and pleased that British guides at least are fighting the good fight. Keep at it even if against the odds!

Robert Durran - on 11 May 2012
In reply to TobyA and Captain Gear
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Can something be both insidious and rampant?

Yes, if it creeps up, inexcusably unchallenged, until you realise too late that it has taken over the world.

> I think you might be over egging your moral outrage again. I'd kick back and relax watching some videos of sponsored athletes and even alpine ambassadors doing some routes. It will calm you down man.

> As a shameless self publicist I urge you to enjoy this: http://www.vimeo.com/40853996

Yes, this is a brilliant understated little video, unfortunately apparently rather overlooked when it was posted a week or two ago. Endearingly amateurish,it manages to convey the essence of all that is good and adventurous and wonderful about climbing. No athletes or ambassadors or bolts or rampant commercialism, just climbers getting out there and doing it. It makes me want to pack in my job, sell most of my belongings and just go climbing. Thanks.

In reply to Robert Durran: I think it would have to be "insidious and then rampant" then. But have we reached that tipping point? ;)
cariva - on 11 May 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> In reply to TobyA and Captain Gear

> Yes, if it creeps up, inexcusably unchallenged, until you realise too late that it has taken over the world.

You nailed it, my friend! Unfortunately it is happening all over the world, and even more sad not only in climbing...

And we still have to listen to the whole "capitalism and democracy" crap!(please,no offense to anyone)
tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 May 2012
In reply to cariva:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)

> And we still have to listen to the whole "capitalism and democracy" crap!(please,no offense to anyone)

"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." - Winston Churchill.
cariva - on 11 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

See, I was not criticizing the concept of democracy, or capitalism for that matter. I was actually criticizing the use of such concepts in a discussion like this one.
The use of a Churchill’s quote just makes the crap bigger and stinkier!
;-)
Morgan Woods - on 11 May 2012
In reply to Robert Durran: Bolts on a mountain route. It's the thin end of the wedge I tell ya!
Robert Durran - on 11 May 2012
In reply to Morgan Woods:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) Bolts on a mountain route. It's the thin end of the wedge I tell ya!

In Switzerland we are sadly probably already somewhere in the middling part of the wedge, because nothing was really done about it when we were still at the thin end.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 May 2012
In reply to cariva:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
>
> See, I was not criticizing the concept of democracy, or capitalism for that matter. I was actually criticizing the use of such concepts in a discussion like this one.

OK - there is a conflict between two groups: one wants to put some bolts on a mountain for safety/economic reasons, the other wants to stop them for climbing ethics reasons. Neither side is willing to back down.

What do you suggest? Do they have a fight and the last person standing gets their way? Do they have an endless cycle of unilaterally putting bolts in and chopping them off again or do they go through the lawful mechanisms of the country they are in and get a decision which the state compels both sides to accept.




CurlyStevo - on 11 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
If you're not a troll your an idiot, get some experience before guessing (wildly!) what you will be capable of.

There is one thing that is worse than a dangerous climber, it's a dangerous climber that over estimates their ability. I've seen one or two people do this in the past, normally with catestrophic results.

Out of interest have you considered Indian Face as a warm up climb
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=2171

It may be worth you contacting DJViper you two would get along.
cariva - on 11 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to cariva)
> [...]
>
> OK - there is a conflict between two groups: one wants to put some bolts on a mountain for safety/economic reasons, the other wants to stop them for climbing ethics reasons. Neither side is willing to back down.
>
> What do you suggest? Do they have a fight and the last person standing gets their way? Do they have an endless cycle of unilaterally putting bolts in and chopping them off again

Well, I suggest that in forums like this one (but not only), people manifest their opinion and try to engage the ones who share the same ideas to work with the institutional bodies towards a consensus which can benefit the entire community, respecting the tradition as well as welcoming new concepts. It would also be very important that the more experienced people within the community would have their opinion taken into consideration.
If that doesn¡¦t work I would consider chopping the freaking bolts.
And only if they keep re-bolting, I would consider the fighting option ļ
Bottom-line is, there are many ways of increasing tourism activity (it is a beautiful area for hiking, for instance) without taking away some of the important alpinism¡¦s historical paradigms.
And regarding the safety issue, a guide should be more than able to set up a solid anchor without compromising safety.


"or do they go through the lawful mechanisms of the country they are in and get a decision which the state compels both sides to accept."

Imho the state is not compelling both sides to accept a decision, it is rather taking one side (unfortunately the side of convenience), and convenience, again imho, has very little to do with Alpinism, which usually has a lot to do with putting yourself in a non-convenient/non-comfortable situation. As RD said before, the swiss sould know that (at least more than I do, that's for sure!)
Cheers

CJ
Robert Durran - on 11 May 2012
In reply to cariva:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
>
> Well, I suggest that people manifest their opinion and try to engage the ones who share the same ideas to work with the institutional bodies towards a consensus which can benefit the entire community, respecting the tradition as well as welcoming new concepts. It would also be very important that the more experienced people within the community would have their opinion taken into consideration.
> If that doesn¡¦t work I would consider chopping the freaking bolts.
> And only if they keep re-bolting, I would consider the fighting option ļ

Awesome!
Animal - on 16 May 2012
In reply to OwenM:

Indeed, you can't hang about!

I did the Cassin route in the 80s, and we got benighted a few pitches down the north ridge descent.

We sat on a ledge huddled together, with our feet in a rucksack, sharing a jacket all fecking night, watching lightning on the mountains to the north.

The storm didn't come our way and we grovelled, freezing cold back down to the hut at first light and staggered back to Milan.

My employers didn't believe me that I missed Monday because of being stuck on top of a mountain all night.

In response to Mountain Spirit, the climbing is technically fairly easy. British 5a at most. But do not take it lightly! Indoor climbing does not count!
nick bamber - on 16 May 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
This is the best climbing experiance i've had, 20 odd pitches of 4 star climbing, on a North face with me and my mate the only ones on it. Got to the top in the dark, bivyed and watched a lightning storm out of a bothy bag on the north ridge, abbed down this the following day and then got pissed in the hut.

Perfect
Mountain Spirit - on 17 May 2012
In reply to Animal:

Thanks for the advice!

I think indoor sports grades are soft!

Why does it not count?

Is the climbing mainly slabs and chimney work?
Mountain Spirit - on 17 May 2012
In reply to ntb:

Hi

Sounds like you had a great time!

I cannot weight to do it myself!

Mountain Spirit - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to OwenM:

Yes you are right about The central Pillar of Freney.

I think to do it without aid you need to be able to climb f7b+ indoors as it f7a/7a+ on rock!

If it is aid climbed using pitons it is f6b/+ A2/A3!

I think I can easily lead HVS as I can do French Sport 5+ and Font 5 moves!

Mountain Spirit - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to andyr:


Hi Andy.

I can do Font 5 moves and do easily O.S. French 5+!

I have been told that a French Sport 5+ is roughly equivalent to a hard HVS or a soft E1!

Someone on another post I wrote said that a Font 4 was a VS 4C and logically a Font 5 must therfore be a HVS 4c/5a!

Is this enough for this route?

liz j on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit: .
The troll is back!!
OwenM - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
> (In reply to OwenM)
>
>
>
> I think I can easily lead HVS as I can do French Sport 5+ and Font 5 moves!


You think, don't dream get off your arse put down your computer and get out there and prove it. To yourself.
Mountain Spirit - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to OwenM:

Hi Owen.

I will give HVS on lead a go!

I am rejoining my local climbing club and will try to lead an HVS onsight!

I can jam now thanks to Wild Country Crack climbing Class vids which has opened up a new world to me!

Are my translations accurate?

Bye
Mountain Spirit - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to liz j:

Hi Liz.

I think you are right about soloing easy routes on Troll Wall!

I am now onsighting French 5+ and doing Font 5 and 5+ moves!

My belaying is fast and spot on now!

Do you think I can solo HVS and lead at E4 if I build finger strength and footwork!
liz j on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
Bangs head against the wall repeatedly.....
Mountain Spirit - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to liz j:

Wtf?
liz j on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Mountain Spirit:
Wtf?
Does that stand for 'When Trolls Fly'?
Mountain Spirit - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to liz j:

It stands for what the f***?

I tried to update my grades yday on my profile but I was having problems with the drop downs for the selections!

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