/ Dawn Wall El Cap

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USBRIT - on 21 Oct 2012
Been watching a TV program that included climbers attempting a free ascent of Dawn Wall on El Cap . Ahead of them they have pre fixed draws on the bolts ,maybe I am old fasioned but reducing El Cap to sport climbing pitches (regardless of difficulty) seems not quite koser if you know what I mean.Clipping the bolts OK but preplaced draws !! What do you think ?
Goucho on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT: Haven't seen it, but I think this is the project Tommy Caldwell is working on Paul, and to be honest, it seems so hard and incredible, that I feel far too inadequate to comment.

But I suppose continual 5.14/5.15 pitches on that wall!!! probably justifies a 'sport' approach - indeed it's probably the only way to do it.

It must be the number one candidate for worlds hardest free climb if he does it though.
Fultonius - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT:
> Clipping the bolts OK but preplaced draws !! What do you think ?

Seems a strange place to draw the line.
oliwarlow - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT:
I was fortunate enough to be a few feet from tommy and jonathan working pitches on this last week and agree with gaucho that us mortals are in no position to comment on their style. What he is doing is totally out there. Also if you consider the general method of ascent of el cap then pre placed draws is not really a buggy.
USBRIT - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT: I remember in 2001 .. Probably the same climbers "free climbed" The Muir Wall on El Cap. Photos showed preplaced cams . Is all this info discribed in the desripion on these climbs ? How did they preplace protection by abseil or aiding the pitch ? .Not saying these are impressive ascents ...
remus - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT: I think this style has arisen from the fact that it's currently impractical to expect every pitch to be climbed cleanly first go, so the standard has been lowered so that you only have to 'ground up' each pitch.

It makes sense that there would be gear in place, it would be very artificial (not to mention laborious) to insist that all the gear is stripped between each attempt.

I don't think there is any issue here. Clearly it's not the best style but no one is claiming it is. When someone comes along and leads every pitch first go I have no doubt their ascent will be applauded as a great improvement in style.
Enty - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT:

I was watching Tommy on this in 2011. They were staying up there on their ledges working pitches - still wall style. Great to watch.

Ground up placing gear on the Dawn Wall project onsight will happen - in the future. Some of the "easier" El Cap free routes are getting ground upped.

At the moment this sort of stuff is so hard that after falling off, lowering and pulling through to redpoint on the gear is as good as it gets.

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-gb/journal///path-of-resistance--tommy-caldwell-and-kevin-jo...

E

John2 - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT: If you're interested in this topic it would be worth searching out Tommy Caldwell's article El Cap Confidential in Rock and Ice 153, Sept 2006. This is a wonderfully illustrated account of all the attempts to free climb El Capitan up until the time of publication and of the various tactics which have been employed. A few brief quotes:

'Here is my vision of the ultimate El Cap ascent: Someone drives into Yosemite at night, never having seen El Cap in picture or in person. He or she walks to the base and onsight free-solos a new route.'

'The strictest ethical approaches to date are those of Leo Houlding and friends.'

'As long as climbers respect the rock and honestly report what they have done, they should climb in the style that they choose.'

'Free climbing El Cap may seek like a logistical nightmare, which it is. Hauling, jumaring, hiking, rope management and everything attendant to being on a wall is exhausting. The climbing itself is highly technical and not nearly as straightforward as a high-end sport route at, say, Rifle.'

'People are doing things today that were once only dreams, and that trend will continue. Onward!'
Morgan Woods - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to remus:
> (In reply to USBRIT) so the standard has been lowered so that you only have to 'ground up' each pitch.
>

yes these two are really lowering standards!
jas wood - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to oliwarlow:
> (In reply to USBRIT)
"us mortals are in no position to comment on their style"

Totally disagree with this statement "style" has nothing to do with how hard it is.
I can accept that this route is needed to be done in this manner and anything else is unjustifiable.
What i cannot accept is if you climb hard you can make up the rules !

P.s i,m not for one second saying that these folk are making up the rules. but to say the climbing community has no say in what styles are acceptable for hard climbing is just silly.

jon on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to jas wood:
> (In reply to oliwarlow)
> What i cannot accept is if you climb hard you can make up the rules !

I don't think that's really the right way of looking at it. I think the really hard climbers, the ones pushing at the cutting edge, accept slight compromises in style because the routes that they are doing are perhaps not possible (at that moment) in < perfect style >. It's then up to us to accept that or not. So it's really us punters that are making the rules.
flaneur - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT:
> What do you think ?

I think you are trolling again Paul.

Pre-placed 'draws, and being honest about it, is a trivial transgression compared to the chipping, frigging, aiding and lying frequently employed by your generation.

USBRIT - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to flaneur:
> (In reply to USBRIT)
> [...]
>
> I think you are trolling again Paul.
>
> Pre-placed 'draws, and being honest about it, is a trivial transgression compared to the chipping, frigging, aiding and lying frequently employed by your generation.

So true but I thought you lads had by now cleaned up your act ...However most of the above is now considered standard pratice.
JimboWizbo - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT: More importantly, how is Tommy doing this time round?
USBRIT - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to JimboWizbo:
> (In reply to USBRIT) More importantly, how is Tommy doing this time round?

Reportedly they are working the pitches in preperation for a ground up ascent .. At the moment they have wet socks as the weather is not good.
Ian Parsons - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT:

I could be wrong here, but I think (technically) it can't be ground-up if you've already worked the pitches; but I know what you mean...no, wait - actually it can, if you worked them ground-up...I think.....sorry, I'm off to bed!
USBRIT - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to flaneur: Frigging:-When the Hubers free climbed the Zodiac on El Cap they used lots of fixed gear >lots of beaks placed specifically for their free attemps,using tick marks on every hold harder than 6a...Lots of things to make the route easier..This I think is modern frigging and now acceptable. I ONCE chipped a very small spike for a sling/foothold on Rigor Mortis so small it broke off on my second . BUT ..This was ground up FA on sight cleaning on the lead to enter what was then a moss filled groove.Yet I am sure you accept all the frigging for example that it took Livesley to climb Footless Crow..and all the top rope inspection etc etc that has gone on well after my generation .Your also slagging off Joe Brown as he used more aid pegs on his Brit routes than I.Its all a laugh
John2 - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT: So are you now saying that you have changed your mind and think Caldwell's tactics on his new route acceptable?
Jonas Wiklund - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to USBRIT: I am also quite surprised how rap-bolting came to ElCap and no one seems to care.
Enty - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Jonas Wiklund:
> (In reply to USBRIT) I am also quite surprised how rap-bolting came to ElCap and no one seems to care.

Have individual pitches on routes been rap-bolted? Can't be that many.

Obviously some of the belays and escape routes have been - I've not really got a problem with that.

E
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USBRIT - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to John2:Its their choice to do what they do to succeed,just like the method I used due to the on sight of RM in spite of its dirty condition some fifty four years ago.The ethics of First Ascents in the 50's at least to some of us was ground up on sight. We did later in the 60's started cleaning some of the climbs from above but not always.Here in Utah where we now first ascent on up to 1500' crags once again it has to be ground up on sight.I was perhaps being a bit cheeky to mention fixed draws on El Cap but I thought to make life easier it goes a wee bit too far not wanting to just hand clip the bolts. ( I know its desperate climbing so is a 5c if you are really only capable of leading VS) .The future will judge just like it did with my descretion .

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