/ Bad Landings and Civil Engineering

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Sherlock - on 29 Oct 2012
Moving rocks and levelling landings,digging drainage channels etc.Right or wrong? When is it too much? John Sherman wrote that the climber should never sanitize a bad landing,if you're not brave enough climb something else. Have times changed?
Despite the widespread use of pads some landings are still poor and I suspect that the landings beneath some classic problems are a lot better now than in the past.
Your thoughts?
Sherlock
Madden - on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Sherlock: I think there's probably a few criteria that have to be met before you can change the landing under a problem... for example, I'm happy to accept it where logs have been hammered into the ground in order to support a bit of a platform made from logs and foliage. That seems only sensible underneath a hard problem, where falling off would result in careering down a steep hill... However, I think digging up rocks & boulders is a bit far. As far as digging drainage channels goes, I've never seen it done, but some of my favourite boulders have been above ponds this year, so watch this space.
Doug on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Madden:
> ...I'm happy to accept it where logs have been hammered into the ground in order to support a bit of a platform made from logs and foliage. That seems only sensible underneath a hard problem, where falling off would result in careering down a steep hill...

Isn't that why you have a spotter ?
Ciro - on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Madden:
> (In reply to Sherlock) I think there's probably a few criteria that have to be met before you can change the landing under a problem... for example, I'm happy to accept it where logs have been hammered into the ground in order to support a bit of a platform made from logs and foliage. That seems only sensible underneath a hard problem, where falling off would result in careering down a steep hill... However, I think digging up rocks & boulders is a bit far. As far as digging drainage channels goes, I've never seen it done, but some of my favourite boulders have been above ponds this year, so watch this space.

I'm not much of a boulderer, but I remember being down in bleau a couple of years back with one of the locals. There was a hard problem (way out of my league) he'd been wanting to try for ages, but it required a lot of mats and a good team of spotters to protect the rocky landing and steep slope behind, so he'd left it until he had the right crew together for it - which was that weekend. Would have lessened the experience if someone had engineered the landing so it was just another problem to be worked any time, instead of having a bunch of climbers working for a big team send before the problem "closed" again till the next time such a group formed.

So for that reason, I'd view modifying the landing in the same way I'd view modifying the holds - selfishly lessening the experience for others to bring the problem down to your own level.
Madden - on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Doug: The spotter isn't much use when the hill's too steep to stand on...

and in reply to Ciro, I can see your point.
cha1n on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Sherlock:

If there was stuff in the way I could move, I'd move it.

I remember being on this problem in Font; http://27crags.com/crags/rocher-canon/routes/la-mare-droite thinking that it'd be a 3 star problem if there wasn't a tree in the way. It's some pokey little dead/dying tree in a forest full of trees, it could do with someone chopping it down!
Beardyman - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Sherlock: I think it comes down to personal ethics but I think it only sensible to move stuff that is easily moved to make things safer.

I have done this in the past, once removing two rotten tree stumps that were a serious hazard as they had rotted to 3 foot spikes of certain death. We spent a couple of hours doing this and moving some smaller rocks (not out of the way, just around to make a flatter surface) I think the work we put in was worth it to make a problem feasible.

As long as it is done with minimum impact then I'm all for it.
robin mueller - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Ciro:

> So for that reason, I'd view modifying the landing in the same way I'd view modifying the holds - selfishly lessening the experience for others to bring the problem down to your own level.

Don't agree. There will always be dodgy landings out there, but for those few occasions where it's possible to make the landing safer, I see it as an act of generosity to the climbing community. It's flippin hard work reshaping landings (yes I've done a few) and much easier to just move on to the next problem.

Remember also, that outside super popular areas such as font and the peak, big groups of people with pads are less common, so if the landing is miserable, people just won't try it. Putting a bit of effort into making a landing palatable will hopefully help more people enjoy the climbing.


geordiepie - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Sherlock:

Is moving a potential back breaking rock at the base of a boulder problem any different to prying out a loose block half way up a climb (and if so why)?
Sherlock - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Ciro:
I don't believe boulderers would get more satisfaction from doing a set of moves over a crap landing rather than a good one.
Sherlock - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to geordiepie:
No, I don't believe it's any different.
Andy Kassyk - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Sherlock:

1) Bring more pads
2) tie down your spotters
3) Respect the ethics of the area but don't import these to your own backyard

That should do :-)
Ramblin dave - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Sherlock:
Presumably it all depends a bit on the area, the access situation, who else goes there etc?

Digging a drainage channel or shifting a dead tree or something is going to be a lot more dodgy if access is iffy or it's in an SSSI or a popular bit of a National Park or something than it would somewhere that noone much goes or cares about...
Ciro - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Sherlock:
> (In reply to Ciro)
> I don't believe boulderers would get more satisfaction from doing a set of moves over a crap landing rather than a good one.

Well these boulderers seemed to get a lot of satisfaction out of doing the problem as it was rather than making it easier on themselves.

He told me him and his mates often didn't publicise new problems they've opened if they know people were likely to make modifications - as an example, one he'd done a few weeks before required tying back a branch that was in the way until it had been sent - it didn't go on bleau.info as others would have chopped the branch off or possibly cut the tree down.
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Nov 2012
In reply to Sherlock:

If you are really worried about the landing instead of going with loads of mats and assistants why not just use a rope? At Fontainebleau some may get a little peeved about visitors who "improve" the climbs :-)

It may seem to remove the kudos from doing the problem in true style, but then masses of mats and spotters are little different really, are they? Many climbs were done with ropes initially, some still are on the higher problems, at the Dame Jaune, for example - 8 metres onto large, unimprovable, boulders gives food for thought.
PinkLady on 01 Nov 2012 - cpc8-acto1-2-0-cust114.4-2.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to Madden:
> (In reply to Sherlock) I think there's probably a few criteria that have to be met before you can change the landing under a problem... for example, I'm happy to accept it where logs have been hammered into the ground in order to support a bit of a platform made from logs and foliage. That seems only sensible underneath a hard problem, where falling off would result in careering down a steep hill... However, I think digging up rocks & boulders is a bit far. As far as digging drainage channels goes, I've never seen it done, but some of my favourite boulders have been above ponds this year, so watch this space.


I wholeheartedly agree with this, and would go so far as to say that I would endorse the mandatory use of fluffy pink down filled bouldering mats in conjunction with self inflating crash helmets http://blog.mpora.com/bmx/self-inflating-bike-helmet.html for any boulders over 1.5m in height.
PinkLady on 02 Nov 2012 - cpc8-acto1-2-0-cust114.4-2.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to robin mueller:
> (In reply to Ciro)
>
> [...]
>
> Don't agree. There will always be dodgy landings out there, but for those few occasions where it's possible to make the landing safer, I see it as an act of generosity to the climbing community. It's flippin hard work reshaping landings (yes I've done a few) and much easier to just move on to the next problem.
>

How is this different from "There will always be really hard routes out there that most of us can't do, but for those occasions where it's possible to make it easier with a drill and some sika, I see it as an act of generosity to the climbing community. It's flippin hard work drilling pockets, and much easier to just move on to the next route."

> Remember also, that outside super popular areas such as font and the peak, big groups of people with pads are less common, so if the landing is miserable, people just won't try it. Putting a bit of effort into making a landing palatable will hopefully help more people enjoy the climbing.

There's a good section on here called "lifts and partners" if you need more climbing partners...
Fraser on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to PinkLady:

Now why did I just know that your profile would have been created today!?
ads.ukclimbing.com
PinkLady on 02 Nov 2012 - cpc8-acto1-2-0-cust114.4-2.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to Fraser:

Must be a sixth sense.

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