/ Bolted Trad Routes - I'm confused...

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AWR on 13 Aug 2013
If a trad route is retro-bolted, why can't you climb it in a trad style? Is clipping bolts really that irresistible?
The Norris - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

If you are trolling, 0/10.

If not, the answer is yes. If you are 10 metres above your last bit of trad gear, with disco leg, facing a ground fall, with little other trad placements around... but there is a nice shiny bolt in front of your face, what would you do?

hipyhop - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

No the law dictates that you must clip the bolts or face capital punishment... (SARCASM)

Of course you can still climb it 'traditionally'.
3 Names - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to hipyhop:
> (In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices)
>
> No the law dictates that you must clip the bolts or face capital punishment... (SARCASM)
>
> Of course you can still climb it 'traditionally'and then chop the bolts.

Fixed that for you :-)

Steve nevers on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to hipyhop:
> (In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices)

> Of course you can still climb it 'traditionally'. Then chop the bolts badly, making the crag a deathtrap for all.

Second fix.

AWR on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to The Norris:
I'm not trolling...I really want to learn to climb trad (but am failing to get out enough) and would love it if there were plenty of low grade sport routes in the UK (I've made this comment elsewhere and standby it) as it would get more people on rock instead of indoor walls - me included.

As I can see it, there is no reason that a trad route shouldn't be bolted to make climbing on rock in the UK accessible to more people. From what I read here (and elsewhere) the only reason others give for it being bad is the same as the one you give - which is that people will clip the bolt when they're not meant to. I'd say that's a personal bravery / integrity issue and shouldn't be an excuse to keep good crags as 'trad only' venues.

Add to this the fact that snobbish guidelines forbid any type of bolting without permission from this committee member, permission from that committee member, the person who made the first ascent (as well as the landowner - of course) and I'm stumped as to why trad and sport can't exist together on the same route!
dpm23 - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: I feel that in your case your office is better than the mountains.
LakesWinter on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: More people on rock isn't a good thing! Accessible for more people is not a good thing either, not in terms of dumbing down the mental and physical challenge of trad. Anyhow, most trad routes were put up with naff all gear really so there's nothing to stop people being very traditional in their approach and doing the same.

It's not about permission or anything else as to why routes are not bolted, trad is a complete challenge, mental and physical. Sport less so. You can't maintain the fundamental uncertainty and degree of adventure from trad on the same line as a sport line.
Dennis999 - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

The way I see it is like this: A route is given its E-grade (or HS/VS whatever) based on the gear available on it. If you solo a route you don't raise the E-grade because you chose not to clip the gear. However, the gear is still there to clip. This is because it's not about what gear you choose to place or use, its whether that gear is available to use whether you clip it or not.

So, if bolts are available then the E-grade doesn't apply, just because you choose not to clip them doesn't mean they're not there. I hope that makes sense.



AWR on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to dpm23:
Wanker. If you can't play nicely then don't bother.
AWR on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Dennis999:
> (In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices)
>
> So, if bolts are available then the E-grade doesn't apply, just because you choose not to clip them doesn't mean they're not there. I hope that makes sense.

So why can't routes have two grades; one if you use the bolted protection and one if you place your own? I know they're still there but you don't have to pay any attention to them.
3 Names - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

Your confused?

Here is what you do, spend a bit of time climbing sport routes and spend a bit of time climbing trad routes.

Then you will understand.

The Norris - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

I agree there arent many low grade sport venues around, i used to be in the same boat, being an indoor climber wanting to get out on real rock, but struggled to find venues. Much of the low grade sport around me at the time was quite poor qulity rock and often polished, so i do feel for your position. I imagine there are lots of people in a similar boat.

However, I did get out in real rock on those poor sport routes, and learned a bit of how to climb real rock, and over time i was able to learn how to place traditional protection on easy trad routes and am now fairly confident at it.

I dont think it would be right to ruin part of the enjoyment of many (if not the majority) of climbers by bolting trad routes, just so beginners can learn the feel of real rock.

If you want to learn to trad climb, go trad climbing with someone competant, it'll only take a day or so (if that) to learn enough to do it yourself safely.
woody0606 on 13 Aug 2013
Mods,

Please delete this thread. We don't need another one.
AWR on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:
But without travelling for miles I can't climb sport routes...and even when I get there there's not much I'll be able to do as I don't climb 6a. See the problem.
Ramblin dave - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
Basically, part of the excitement of trad climbing is the idea of commitment - that once you set off onto a bit of climbing with little or no gear, you've got no choice but to hold it together mentally and physically and get to the top of it. This means that setting off from the last decent bit of gear is a serious decision, and a lot of the thrill of climbing is the heart-in-the-mouth moment when you know you've committed to that decision, and the rush of relief when you get to the next good gear or the top.

If there are bolts that you could clip, then all that commitment is irrelevant and the excitement is killed, because there's almost always going to be a bolt somewhere nearby that you could clip and be instantly safe.

It's like the way that people enjoy playing poker for money more than playing poker for matchsticks. If you give them the option of changing from playing for money to playing for matchsticks if they start losing too badly, a lot of the excitement would go out of it.
AG - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: When I started climbing (indoors) i quickly got into trad climbing outdoors on crags as there weren't many(any?) low grade sports routes. While I loved trad climbing at crags i never felt comfortable in pushing myself and saw it as more as training for mountain routes. 15 years on I rarely trad climb and enjoy clipping bolts/bouldering and go abroad frequently to sport climb (much more relaxing!).
While i don't think they should bolt trad venues i think some of the rarely used crags would benefit from retro bolting if it means folk would climb there. Go to any sport crag with lower grade routes these days and you'll find mobbed , whereas a lot of the trad venues a seeing less and less traffic (none sometimes).
I think folk need to face up to the fact that sport climbing is becoming more and more popular and chill out ...who knows once people have got bored with clipping bolts they might even go to trad crags!
AWR on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to woody0606:
Stick your fingers in your ears why don't you. If there's lots of threads on it, then chances are people want to discuss it.
dpm23 - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to woody0606: Agree completely, although I did enjoy getting called a wanker.
LakesWinter on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: I bet you could red point 6a if you worked the same route for the day/half a day
Ramblin dave - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to Vince McNally)
> But without travelling for miles I can't climb sport routes...and even when I get there there's not much I'll be able to do as I don't climb 6a. See the problem.

Then travel for miles, or learn to climb trad. Hell, some of us have to travel for miles to climb anything at all. And learning trad really isn't much difficult, dangerous or expensive than learning sport.
AWR on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
Plenty of really good replies here with good points and certianly food for thought - thanks folks.

Don't get me wrong, I'm aiming to learn to climb trad but in the meantime I'd like to lead outside without too much of the mental challenge / shitting myself while I learn. The ability to back up my own gear with a bolt could be handy while learning too!
jkarran - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

> As I can see it, there is no reason that a trad route shouldn't be bolted to make climbing on rock in the UK accessible to more people. From what I read here (and elsewhere) the only reason others give for it being bad is the same as the one you give - which is that people will clip the bolt when they're not meant to. I'd say that's a personal bravery / integrity issue and shouldn't be an excuse to keep good crags as 'trad only' venues.

I'd suggest with a couple of years of traditional climbing experience under your belt you'll look back on this and cringe. Assuming of course this isn't a wind-up.

Speaking a s sport climber... The UK's traditional ethic is not a barrier to participation, it's something to be treasured and protected. Occasionally we need to take a step back and look objectively at what we're doing or resisting on a case by case basis but the wholesale retro-bolting of existing venues is a dreadful idea. In time you'll probably come to understand that whichever game you end up playing.

Thankfully bolting takes a lot of hard work and skill, skill that generally takes time around climbing and climbers to acquire or there'd me a lot more misguided efforts at crag improvement.

jk
3 Names - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to Vince McNally)


> But without travelling for miles I can't climb sport routes

Well you will just have to get off your ass like everyone else. I live in London!

...and even when I get there there's not much I'll be able to do as I don't climb 6a. See the problem.

Get down your local wall and get training, I dont really see that you have a problem, thats any different to thousands of people getting started in climbing.

woody0606 on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to dpm23)
> Wanker. If you can't play nicely then don't bother.

If you can't be arsed to educate yourself even a little on the history and ethics of UK climbing, then don't expect people to play nice.
Jamie B - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to The Norris:

I just can't get my head around why more and more people seem to feel the need for bolted easy routes, and seem unable to simply move straight onto easy trad. It's not unjustifiably dangerous, technically it's not rocket science and if you network effectively there are lots of folk out there who can help you get started. Generations of folk like me did this without incident, despite (in my case at least) being considerably fatter, weaker and more skint than the average wall-hone.

Why has this changed? Is it an all-pervading timorousness and (perceived) risk-aversion, or just a reluctance to play the long game and do the required networking?

Puzzled of Kinlochleven.
AWR on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to jkarran:
I'm not talking about 'wholesale retro bolting', just making leading outside more accessible for those of us who aren't climbing at high grades.

As for the suggestion I'll look back at this and cringe...I tend not to cringe about trying to learn. The fact I don't cringe too much when I think of all the ugly chicks I shagged as a young 'un is testament to that; I like a good learning experience, me!
woody0606 on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to dpm23: I'm starting to wonder if there are actually any mods, or if this is the forum equivalent of Lord of the Flies. (The book, not the route)
Milesy - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> If a trad route is retro-bolted, why can't you climb it in a trad style? Is clipping bolts really that irresistible?

Because trad climbing isn't about making moves. I have just recently built myself up to lead an HVS I have been waiting to lead for quite a while now.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=35262

On second the route is a piece of cake. It is just simple progress up the route but on lead is where the route really comes into its own. I spent a while on the bottom going up and down a bit before committing to moving up high to the first gear placement which is a single small micro wire. Then moving higher up a little bit easier until the first decent gear placement which is a no 1 nut - by the time I got to this I was shaking like a leaf as a fall would have been ground fall even if the microwire held. Placing the no 1 nut felt like placing a hex by this point. I moved up more until I got to the big rest. Adrenalin rushing. Legs shaking. Overjoyed that I committed to it and pushed through it, that I overcame my own fear. If you stuck a few bolts on that route that experience I had would be completely eliminated. That is why I enjoy trad!
AWR on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to woody0606:
History and ethics; a good excuse not to consider other people's ideas.

Are you an early 20th century Senior Naval Officer by any chance?
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3 Names - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

Look climbing isnt something that is provided for you.

You have to make the effort to get out and discover it.

If you do, you wont be dissapointed.
Steve nevers on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to Vince McNally)
> But without travelling for miles I can't climb sport routes...and even when I get there there's not much I'll be able to do as I don't climb 6a. See the problem.


You seem to be coming from a fairly blinkered viewpoint, i.e only really considering yourself. I don't mean to be rude but that how it comes across.


For example I can't boulder above F7A+/F7B, but it doesn't give me the right to modify the challenge of any problems harder than that to suit me, its on me to get stronger and work towards nailing it. Basically i have to work UP to my goals, not bringing them DOWN to meet me. Understand?

Also thats not to mention the conservation element to protecting crags. More accessible means cleaner lines maybe, but also more wear and tear on the crags and the surrounding areas, plus more polish etc. Some access agreements are tenuous to say the least so placing more strain on them might not be a great idea.

Then you have the history to consider, and respect. Have you tried trad climbing at all? if sport 6a is a push you may find you love some of the easier trad, may give you an insight in the thoughts of all us grumpy tweed clad tradheads.
woody0606 on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: I have considered your ideas, and concluded that they are sh*t.

As others have said, as you start to get into trad, you'll rapidly start to understand why your suggestion has been met with such vehemence.
Ramblin dave - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
My suspicion is that there's
a) a lack of knowledge about how to get involved in trad - ie people aren't aware that you could join a local club or ask around on here or whatever, and assume that you'd have to go on an expensive course or wait until you're really good or something and
b) a persistent belief, arising from that lack of knowledge, that trad climbing is massively more difficult, dangerous and expensive[1] than it really is.

The basic problem is perhaps that where previously, getting into climbing at all required you to figure out a) and realise that b) wasn't actually an issue, the rise of indoor walls has produced a lot of people who've been carefully guided for the first couple of steps along the path and get stuck when there isn't an obvious next step.

[1] I mean, it is reasonably expensive to get into from scratch, but once you've got your harness and shoes and rope and belay device for climbing indoors and your helmet and quickdraws for climbing sport, the additional cost of getting a minimal rack isn't massive.
dpm23 - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to woody0606:
> (In reply to dpm23) I'm starting to wonder if there are actually any mods, or if this is the forum equivalent of Lord of the Flies. (The book, not the route)

Well the route is a little above my lead grade, but with a bolt or two...
jkarran - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

> Don't get me wrong, I'm aiming to learn to climb trad but in the meantime I'd like to lead outside without too much of the mental challenge / shitting myself while I learn. The ability to back up my own gear with a bolt could be handy while learning too!

Back up your own gear with more gear and your climbing skill or back it up with a top-rope like everyone else does while they learn. Your own personal desire for a sanitized learning experience is not justification for damaging something others value.

Sport climbing is all about the challenge, if the only sport near you is too hard at 6a this is brilliant news! 6a will be attainable with little work and in the process you'll learn a rewarding new skill: Redpointing.

Trad climbing skills can be built gradually, the process takes you to some great places and there are routes of impeccable quality from the very easiest to routes you'll still be aspiring to at the peak of your career. If you're shitting yourself in fear of your life while learning you're doing it very wrong indeed.

jk
Jamie B - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

Obviously it would be handy to have some bolted routes on your doorstep, at a range of grades. I'd be equally happy to have access to such a crag in my locality, as I currently have to do a bit of driving to get to worthwhile sport in my grade-range. In that respect we're on the same page.

But there's a huge distance in my mind between that and wanting to and thinking it's okay to stick bolts in established trad routes. I'm sure you can see by now that it tends to upset people, usually with justification.

If it really is that meaningful to you, find some unclimbed crags (they do exist) and bolt them. You get your sport venue, trad-climbers don't get pissed off, and the ridiculous idea of mixed-ethic routes gets put to bed, please!
Jamie B - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

PS - Please don't use the "w" word. It's not nice.
jkarran - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

> I'm not talking about 'wholesale retro bolting', just making leading outside more accessible for those of us who aren't climbing at high grades.

One inexorably leads to the other.

> As for the suggestion I'll look back at this and cringe...I tend not to cringe about trying to learn.

Asking and learning is admirable. It's the totally un-informed brash statements of opinion as fact that have people bristling.

jk
GridNorth - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: I find that f5a is too hard for me. Why is it not possible to put in rungs and ladders and wires and dig out steps so that the route becomes more accessible to a wider range of people. Those who don't like it could always wear blinkers and pretend they are not there. How does that sound?
Jamie B - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> once you've got your harness and shoes and rope and belay device for climbing indoors and your helmet and quickdraws for climbing sport, the additional cost of getting a minimal rack isn't massive.

You don't even need a minimal rack - if you've got a more experienced partner the expectation will be that their rack gets used until you are self-sufficient. All you need is a couple of extra slings, krabs and a nut-key.

woody0606 on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to GridNorth: Or better still install chair lifts at the crags and cut out all physical exertion completely!
Wiley Coyote - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

I reckon you are not thinking this thro. As a military man you ought to be more strategic. Rather than go to the trouble and expense of bolting trad routes (buying a drill, bolts, hangers etc) why not just nip down to B&Q and buy a hammer and chisel for a fiver and then you can make all those sport routes that are currently too hard for you much more 'accessible' to you and others who can't bothered to learn the necessary skills. Once you'd done that you could start on all the boulder problems that are too hard.


Flashy - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: There's a search function on this website that will answer all of these questions and more. It requires more effort from you, but that's better than asking people to answer the same question twice a week.

You'll also see that the question you asked in your original post is becoming stereotypical, which is why the first reply thought you were a troll. As someone has said, one day you will look back at that question and cringe!

Seriously though, use the search function. The 'wankers' on here have treated you kindly compared to some other forums I've seen which can be a lot harsher towards those unwilling to put the groundwork in themselves. We're happy to answer questions, just not the same sodding question over and over again.
petegunn on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: On this site people have logged over 35,0000 routes from Mod to VD. So a just a few for learning on then!
deacondeacon - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: With all due respect, perhaps trad climbing just isn't for you.
There are plenty of diffs/mods or scrambles that the average person would be fine with learning to lead on all over the uk.
Perhaps just enjoy indoor climbing or going top-roping, if thats what you would enjoy most.
There are also some very easy sport climbs at Swanage (Hedbury) which are quite nice routes in there own right, i'm sure there are some others on Portland too.
petellis - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

> Don't get me wrong, I'm aiming to learn to climb trad but in the meantime I'd like to lead outside without too much of the mental challenge / shitting myself while I learn.

Why don't you go and do (another) course in Trad climbing - you had the gumption to do this with sport climbing at the orange house, why not repeat with trad?

> The ability to back up my own gear with a bolt could be handy while learning too!

If you need to practice placing gear then you can do it on the ground.

John Stainforth - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

I totally agree with you on this. Sport climbing comes into its own at the higher grades, especially on rock that can not be naturally protected. It makes very little sense on lower grade climbs (HVS and below; low 5.10 and below) where the rock usually has adequate natural protection. Most of the low grade sport climbs I have done have been peculiarly uninspired and uninteresting - worth no stars, or even worthy of big black blobs.

There is much pleasure in learning to place trad gear - it's a kind of engineering challenge- and once one gets used to it, it starts to feel pretty safe. In fact, for my money, a good piece of gear that I can see is really solid may provide as great a sense of security as a bolt.
The Norris - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I think you've pretty much summed up my reasons why i thought sport climbing was the next logical step from being an indoor gym monkey.

Money was quite a big reason, I got a set of quickdraws and a couple of slings quite cheaply when in canada, so could then sport climb. But getting together all other bits and bobs looked to be quite a big cash layout for me as a student.

Aside from money, i felt i had a lack of knowledge to place gear, set up belays etc, so it wasnt really something i wanted to just jump into, and i guess i didnt feel confident enough to ask anyone on UKC to take me out.

Those were my main reasons back in the day i think!
Steve nevers on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: In another thought, would an 5a/b/c sport route even be worth bolting?

It would be a lot of work for something what wouldn't be much quality, and seems it would just be for people to think "right i've done a 5b now, time for a 5c" when there is so many routes at that grade indoors everywhere for training..

Just seems a lot of effort for what would basically be a warm up route until the centres taking groups of kids out polish it up.
Durbs on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> a) a lack of knowledge about how to get involved in trad - ie people aren't aware that you could join a local club or ask around on here or whatever,

Which might work, except the majority of trad climbers in this thread come across as sanctimonious pricks, and as un-helpful and un-friendly a person as you'd ever want to meet, let alone teach you to climb.
MeMeMe - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

Why don't you just setup a top rope on trad routes you want to climb?
It's not too hard and you generally don't need much gear to do it.
Saves someone having to drill holes in the rock and put in bolts which to me feels a bit disrespectful to our rural/mountain environment (which I guess is why the more urban/man-made/ugly the less people care about it being bolted).
Milesy - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Durbs:

Seem to me that there has now only been two people who have came onto this thread with swearing and attitude....
stuwelly85 - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

interesting topic... someone mentioned about finding a new crag and bolting that for this purpose.

whats the viewpoint from people if this crag had suitable natural gear for trad climbing but had not been climbed before. assume land owners permission has been granted.

Is this is a suitable alternative to retro bolting exisitng trad lines... even though these routes could be better quality than exisitng trad routes just not yet discovered?

be interested in different sensible viewpoints
r0x0r.wolfo - on 13 Aug 2013
Don't feed the trolls.
Steve nevers on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Durbs:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> Which might work, except the majority of trad climbers in this thread come across as sanctimonious pricks, and as un-helpful and un-friendly a person as you'd ever want to meet, let alone teach you to climb.

And the sport climbers come across as self-entitled "I want it my way" disrespectful tosspots as well. But throwing insults around doesn't really help does it?

As someone that keeps an eye on a crag i can tell you that the bloody mess created and left by boulders and sport climbers is sometimes bloody shocking. So you may be able to understand that after spending two days cleaning up after you messy bastards (litter and filth, not even bolts) some of us may get a bit concerned what some idiot starts banging on about sticking bolts into a rock they don't even own.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to Vince McNally)
> But without travelling for miles I can't climb sport routes...and even when I get there there's not much I'll be able to do as I don't climb 6a. See the problem.

I can't climb winter on real rock without driving miles, please retro freeze routes. Well that's pretty tough so I'm just dry tooling my local grit crag instead.
The Norris - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:

Low grade routes might not be worthwhile if you're already really good, but for punters like me who seem to plateau around 6a indoors, they would be worthwhile routes.
3 Names - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to stuwelly85:

Well it more than likely will be covered by existing area policy, so as long as its in line with this, I dont see a problem.
GridNorth - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to stuwelly85: Apart for a few exceptional, environmental reasons I do not think that any natural crag should be bolted. Drilling a hole is an act of selfish vandalism. Knowingly and willfully drilling or damaging something that does not belong to you is the vandalism, doing it in order to progress your personal desires and aspirations is the selfish.

I climb both sport and trad but I feel quite strongly that we have a duty to minimise our impact on the environment and that we should preserve the traditions and ethics of what is now characterised as trad climbing in the UK.

The real question is how much vandalism we as climbers and members of society are willing to tolerate.
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Offwidth - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

You need to train harder or climb more indoors. Anyone your age, who is fit and healthy, even if climbing doesn't come easy, should be fine on f6a in a year or so of effort. Plus you shouldn't be struggling to buy and learn how to use basic trad gear, if only for top-roping.

The UK ethic is not to bolt such routes and it's not just about history and style. Most easier climbs have ledges and projecting holds that detract strongly from their utility as a sports climb as you might break an ankle or worse if you hit it climbing and falling in sports style (trad climbers rarely fall on such routes for good reason). People who want an easy time second or top-rope. Another problem in other countries is when such a rare good route gets bolted, in a very short space of time it gets over-used, becomes highly polished and no longer easy.
John Gresty - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to stuwelly85:
I asked that very question (about new crags) when we were debating the local bolting policy at a BMC area meeting.
It was decided that it was unlikely that a new unclimbed natural crag would be found in that the area, but if it was, it was up to whoever found and developed the crag to set the agenda. Personally I am unhappy with that stance as the original bolting guidelines from many years ago, that a lot of folks seem to have forgotten, was pretty specific about where was and wasn't acceptable.
RockSteady on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

'leading outside more accessible for those of us who aren't climbing at high grades.'

It is accessible, all you have to do is learn a bit of basic trad skills and you're away.

Why should it be made 'more accessible' because you haven't yet put the time and effort in to improve enough to do it?
Ramblin dave - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to RockSteady:
Agreed, I'm a fat risk-averse rambler and I can manage it.
SteveSBlake - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

I've looked at your inputs above, and as a former military man myself, I know where your coming from so to speak, but there is a solution if your man enough.

The best way forward is for you understand how people really feel about this issue and how to resolve it (The Cure). For starters you'll need a hammer, a skyhook attached to an eight foot sling and a climbable tree.

Climb the tree, secure the sling and attach the skyhook to a fold in your scrotum, jump off. It should hurt - that's normal. If it's not hurting loads, then before youget up hit yourself in the face with the hammer, all the while picturing bolts and hangers in your mind. Repeat ad nauseum until you associate bolts with the pain and/or you have no balls left.

Then come back onto the forum, (but type in italics - squeaky voice n'all)and let us know how its going on.

We can then move onto stage two of the cure. This involves an angle grinder, malt vinegar and kerosene and nettles. But I WARN YOU, you have to acknowledge that you are a 'recovering retrobolter', else it just won't work.

;-)

Steve





Offwidth - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to John Gresty:

If it was less hypothetical others might be more actively concerned. Fortunately the big discoveries that could be trad have been trad (and there is no big rush to go there... trad queues at Ravensnest Tor? ;-)
GridNorth - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: The more I think about how often this topic comes up, usually initiated by people who have started indoors, the more convinced I am that the respective training boards should also insist that some teaching of the ethics and history of climbing in the UK should be a added to the curriculum of courses.
Jonny2vests - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

Steve's right, taught me all I know.
Flashy - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Durbs:
> Which might work, except the majority of trad climbers in this thread come across as sanctimonious pricks, and as un-helpful and un-friendly a person as you'd ever want to meet, let alone teach you to climb.

Most of us climb many, or even all, disciplines. We're not dedicated trad climbers. Lots of people (not just climbers) do become un-helpful and un-friendly when someone who can't be bothered to do some reading comes along asking stupid questions for the fifth time that week though.

SteveSBlake - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

Very good young Padwan, very good ;-)
Cameron94 on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to jkarran)
> I'm not talking about 'wholesale retro bolting', just making leading outside more accessible for those of us who aren't climbing at high grades.
>
>


Why don't you go out and climb a vdiff? You don't need to be an E-grade headcase to enjoy trad.

Traditions and ethics surrounding uk climbing dictate that the leader uses trad gear to protect routes. Which is one (out of many) reasons that most sport crags cater for the harder grades which aren't easily protect-able with trad gear.

Why should a crag be bolted just so that someone can climb safely? If you want to make a route safer learn how to place decent pro, top rope or find a different route. That wasn't aimed at you after all I have no idea what you climb but at climbers in general that seem to think it's a good idea to bolt everything and eliminate some of the risks involved.


If you're moving from predominately indoor/sport why don't you top rope routes while leading them at the same time to help get in to it and practice placing gear. Alternatively just start really easy and build up.

Enjoy :-)
daftdazza - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

Hi, buy this book, http://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Anchors-2nd-How-Climb/dp/0762723262 read it and re read it,

check out this site http://libbypeterclimbing.co.uk/downloads.html and look at buying her book and dvd, and study anything you can find online about belay building, placing gear etc,

then join a local club or ask for partners on here,

I did all this last month, and I am now leading severe, I have learnt loads, still have lots to learn, but starting out trad climbing has been an amazing experience thus far, with each climb confidence grows.
andyathome - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> If a trad route is retro-bolted, why can't you climb it in a trad style? Is clipping bolts really that irresistible?

One of the problems with your original post is that it was really tangential to what you really wanted to ask. It was a question that you actually didn't need to ask.

I think that question was really - 'Why can't I have easy sport routes - even if that involves retro-bolting trad. routes - so I can easily get outdoors climbing more'? Is that fair?

If your profile is accurate then you can be on the Portland crags in two and a half hours from your front door. Why don't you just do that?
Skip - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to petegunn:
> (In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices) On this site people have logged over 35,0000 routes from Mod to VD. So a just a few for learning on then!

Brilliant. How the hell did you find that out.

Anyway i started straight into trad, no walls, no bolts, just a harness, shoes and a couple of krabs. Had a mate with a reasonable rack and a rope. We started on Diffs and learned on the rock.This was about 18 months or so ago. Now he leads at VS, me at around Severe/HS (dependent on rock type and route type).
Jon Stewart - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to daftdazza:
> (In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices)
>
> Hi, buy this book, http://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Anchors-2nd-How-Climb/dp/0762723262 read it and re read it,
>
> check out this site http://libbypeterclimbing.co.uk/downloads.html and look at buying her book and dvd, and study anything you can find online about belay building, placing gear etc,
>
> then join a local club or ask for partners on here,
>
> I did all this last month, and I am now leading severe, I have learnt loads, still have lots to learn, but starting out trad climbing has been an amazing experience thus far, with each climb confidence grows.

You can't get any more positive, helpful and friendly than that. In the context of this thread, that post is worthy of a medal.
Craigyboy13 - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

I started climbing 3 months ago, I led my first e1 the other week and led 6b+.

Read lots climb lots and enjoy it and you will find yourself climbing 6a in no time.

Top rope the 6a if you can't lead it.

There's not need to bolt trad routes there's plenty of vdiffs out there which really are very easy if you have someone to lead it for you. Look at there placement. Examine there belay and you will soon be leading your own routes!

Good luck
Bulls Crack - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to hipyhop:
> (In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices)
>
> No the law dictates that you must clip the bolts or face capital punishment... (SARCASM)
>
> Of course you can still climb it 'traditionally'.

No you can't
John Gresty - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Steve. I live in hope that somewhere, buried in deep in the trees, will be a significant new crag.
Andy Say - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to GridNorth:

Extract from SPA syllabus:
'Background Knowledge: demonstrate a basic understanding of:
a. the history, traditions and ethics of UK rock climbing.

Extract from CWA syllabus:
'Background Knowledge: Demonstrate an understanding of:
a. The history, traditions and ethics of UK rock climbing

However the Mountain Training Boards have little direct input into the way people make the transition from wall to rock
tlm - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to The Norris)
> I'm not trolling...I really want to learn to climb trad (but am failing to get out enough) and would love it if there were plenty of low grade sport routes in the UK (I've made this comment elsewhere and standby it) as it would get more people on rock instead of indoor walls - me included.

If you want to learn to climb trad, then why not go and climb trad? There are lots of extremely well protected climbs out there, where you can place as much gear as you can carry!

Climbing on bolts doesn't encourage people to climb trad. It encourages them to continue climbing on bolts. You've noticed yourself that climbing on bolts indoors has made you long for bolts outdoors. People feel uncomfortable changing the way that they do things, and the only way to feel more comfortable about change is to make and then practice that change. When there were no bolts and no walls, everyone started off climbing trad.

Some ways to get into trad include making sure that you meet and climb with other trad climbers. You can second stuff to start off with and see how they have placed their gear and set up their belay. You can meet plenty of trad climbers on here, or through a local club.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/map#clubs,huts
Ramblin dave - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Andy Say:
I guess the other thing that might help would be some sort of "Trad Climbing FAQs" info from the BMC (leaflets or posters or something) being on display at indoor walls, with questions like "shouldn't I start off doing sport until I get better at climbing?" or "isn't all that gear really expensive?"

Actually I get the impression that the BMC have been thinking more about this sort of stuff lately. Which is probably good, because it does feel a bit like a potential time bomb.
tlm - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

Could you easily walk along a kerb, 6 inches wide?

Could you easily walk along a walkway, 6 inches wide and 20 foot in the air?

What is the difference? Couldn't you just ignore the drop?

You seemed to have missed out that a very large part of climbing is in the climbers head. When you climb a route, without resting on the gear, would you then be happy to solo that same route?

Climbing a route which only has your own gear available, and which sometimes may not have much gear is a very, very different thing to following a series of shiny bolts, which are evenly spaced.

The only way that you will really understand is to go out there and climb some trad - it doesn't have to be hard and can be very well protected. Do you know anyone who has done this a bit and who is still convinced that there should be more easy sports routes?

Also - print this message out, pin it on your wall and look at it after you have been climbing for another couple of years - you will be horrified! :-) But there you go - one way to form opinions is to ask the questions...



GridNorth - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Andy Say: Yes I was awre of that having done an SPA but I was thinking more of the courses that SPA and CWA's run and perhaps more importantly the walls that support them.
Offwidth - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to John Gresty: There is one in the Amber valley, it's just in someone's back garden.
tlm - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to jkarran)
> I'm not talking about 'wholesale retro bolting', just making leading outside more accessible for those of us who aren't climbing at high grades.

But they ARE accessible for those who climb at low grades! There are thousands of low grade trad routes out there waiting for you. You seem to be stuck on the idea that it is a lack of bolts that is holding you up, when it is in fact not knowing any trad climbers, or maybe not know how to protect a trad route, two things which are well within your own power to change if you choose to.
tlm - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

> PS - Please don't use the "w" word. It's not nice.

I've always enjoyed it speaking for myself! ;-)

tlm - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Durbs:

> Which might work, except the majority of trad climbers in this thread come across as sanctimonious pricks, and as un-helpful and un-friendly a person as you'd ever want to meet, let alone teach you to climb.

Every single one of us? hmmm...

Offwidth - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Andy Say:

I don't know: most responsible walls run courses with this in mind and some with BMC help where the message is even stronger.

I really do think some people misunderstand safety around bolts. A sports route is a route with a clean fall line where you can come off with low risk and such routes are rare below f5. Most UK low grade climbs would, if you bolted them, just be bolted trad, as you couldn't fall without hitting things and hurting yourself. The only "super-safe" way to climb these is with a tightish rope from above (second or tr, again both common trad methods).
Jamie B - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

> Most UK low grade climbs would, if you bolted them, just be bolted trad, as you couldn't fall without hitting things and hurting yourself.

And most people climb them in exactly that style, without taking falls, be they bolted or otherwise. Which is all very well, but is it sport climbing? Sport climbing to me is about pushing yourself and getting a workout. It seems that the demand for easy-grade bolted routes is for convenience rather than sport.
Blue Straggler - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to Durbs)
>
> [...]
>
> Every single one of us? hmmm...

Let me help you with that

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/majority
Martin Bennett - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to hipyhop:

No you can't.

Howard J - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

There are thousands of low grade trad routes which are readily accessible to anyone. Yes, to climb trad eventually requires some investment in gear, but so does serious sport climbing. However as I've said on another thread, most clubs welcome new members and are only too happy to take people climbing, show them how to place and remove gear, and lend them a rack for their first leads.

The obstacles are really entirely artificial:

- a perception that trad is 'scary' - some climbs are (so are some sports climbs) but trad climbers speak of 'risk' and 'risk management' rather than being scared. I spent Saturday climbing 10 pitches of Severe and V Diff - it was risky, and I placed gear to compensate, but it wasn't scary

- perception that trad gear is unreliable - it isn't, and a bomber wire or hex is absolutely going to hold you. Can you be absolutely certain that bolt you've just clipped was placed correctly by someone who knew what they were doing?

- a perception that you need to own a trad rack yourself - not if you can overcome a reluctance to join a club and borrow gear

- an arrogance that because someone can climb F6b indoors a V Diff is beneath them

I've done plenty of low-grade bolted climbs, and while it's great for the occasional week in the sun, most of the routes are unmemorable and many are genuinely scary because you'd hit something if you were to fall off. It's a false dream, and I'm positive you'll get more out of climbing. especially at lower grades, if you bite the bullet and venture into trad.
Martin Bennett - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to Dennis999)
> [...]
>
> So why can't routes have two grades; one if you use the bolted protection and one if you place your own? I know they're still there but you don't have to pay any attention to them.

Simple really - it's about commitment. If there's a bolt beside a fiddly wire placement with a long runout, when you get totally pumped and therefore afraid of falling you can always resort to the bolt. You know this before you set off on the route. This makes the route easier, that is to say it becomes "sporting" (same difficulty but not as dangerous) rather than "necky" (don't go here unless you're prepared, physically and mentally, for the worst). In other words the addition of bolts would ruin an adventure climb by taking the adventure out of it.



GridNorth - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B: I agree. I think that I climb on bolts rather than sports climb. There is a subtle difference I believe, certainly in approach and attitude if not in execution.
Andy Say - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Andy Say)
> I guess the other thing that might help would be some sort of "Trad Climbing FAQs" info from the BMC (leaflets or posters or something) being on display at indoor walls, with questions like "shouldn't I start off doing sport until I get better at climbing?" or "isn't all that gear really expensive?"
>
> Actually I get the impression that the BMC have been thinking more about this sort of stuff lately. Which is probably good, because it does feel a bit like a potential time bomb.

Certainly have....https://www.thebmc.co.uk/climb-outside-how-to-start-rock-climbing-outdoors?s=2
Jamie B - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Howard J:

> The obstacles are really entirely artificial:

> - a perception that trad is 'scary'
> - a perception that trad gear is unreliable -
> - a perception that you need to own a trad rack yourself
> - an arrogance that because someone can climb F6b indoors a V Diff is beneath them

Perception or excuse? Speaking as a Trad climber by preference, I think we do our "cause" no favours by talking down to bolt-only climbers and making them feel like second-class citizens and heretics for rejecting the One True Faith. Not saying we all do that, but it does happen.

So we have a situation whereby these excuses/reasons get trotted out by sport/bolt climbers as they are apologetic/embarrassed. The reality is that they want to climb on bolts, because they have decided that bolts are better, and there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is demanding that existing crags be forever changed to accommodate that.
Bulls Crack - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Howard J)
>
> [...]
>

>
> So we have a situation whereby these excuses/reasons get trotted out by sport/bolt climbers as they are apologetic/embarrassed. The reality is that they want to climb on bolts, because they have decided that bolts are better, and there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is demanding that existing crags be forever changed to accommodate that.

Apart from the historical development - heritage if you like - aspect of our climbing it makes sense to make the best use of the available resource. We are blessed in that geological and geomorphological factors combined to give us a wide variety of crags, most of which have with natural gear, and our climbing has developed to exploit this happy phenomenon.

Changing the cliffs purely in response to demand of one set of climbers does not take this into account. It's better to come to terms with the reality of the resource available to us ie loads of excellent trad but less, but not insignificant, opportunities for sport

PS I do sport more than trad nowadays
Jamie B - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> Changing the cliffs purely in response to demand of one set of climbers does not take this into account. It's better to come to terms with the reality of the resource available to us ie loads of excellent trad but less, but not insignificant, opportunities for sport

I agree. But I'm not sure how we get this across to a burgeoning army of sport-only climbers.
Ramblin dave - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Howard J)
>

> So we have a situation whereby these excuses/reasons get trotted out by sport/bolt climbers as they are apologetic/embarrassed. The reality is that they want to climb on bolts, because they have decided that bolts are better, and there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is demanding that existing crags be forever changed to accommodate that.

But how have they decided that when they haven't tried trad (because it's expensive and dangerous) and they often haven't tried outdoor sport either (because, in a blatant infringement of their human rights, their isn't an easy sport crag within half an hour's drive of their house)? If there are people who have had a fair go at trad and decided that they prefer sport then fair play to them, but it does seem like a lot of people are just following the path of least resistance.

GridNorth - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: I get the sense that at my local wall the majority of regulars that I encounter do not climb outdoors. What I don't know however is if it's choice or lack of opportunities.
3 Names - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to GridNorth:

Well its choice then isnt it.
Jamie B - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> But how have they decided that when they haven't tried trad (because it's expensive and dangerous) and they often haven't tried outdoor sport either (because, in a blatant infringement of their human rights, their isn't an easy sport crag within half an hour's drive of their house)? If there are people who have had a fair go at trad and decided that they prefer sport then fair play to them, but it does seem like a lot of people are just following the path of least resistance.

I've rejected base-jumping without having tried it! Anyone has a right to make a choice, even if it is misguided. But as you say this doesn't confer a right to demand climbs be retro-bolted to suit those tastes.


Ramblin dave - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave) I get the sense that at my local wall the majority of regulars that I encounter do not climb outdoors. What I don't know however is if it's choice or lack of opportunities.

I've got friends who climb indoors because it's a fun, sociable, convenient and reasonably safe way of getting some exercise and challenging themselves physically, but have no interest in climbing outdoors. That's fair enough, but the people who we're worried about are the ones who want to move outdoors but are convinced that the only sensible / practicable way to do it is to start on sport.
Ramblin dave - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
>
> [...]
>
> I've rejected base-jumping without having tried it! Anyone has a right to make a choice, even if it is misguided.

But you were saying that they weren't misguided - that the misguided reasons they were giving are actually just excuses to avoid admitting that they basically just prefer bolted climbing.

Jamie B - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Semantics - basically we've all got a right to make whatever hare-brained (or very clever) decisions we like for whatever reasons we like, as long as they do no direct harm.
tlm - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

> I agree. But I'm not sure how we get this across to a burgeoning army of sport-only climbers.

By talking to one another about it?

Carlos the Jackal - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
My understanding of Bolted routes is that they derived from the fact that very little natural protection was on offer to use Traditional gear placements so Bolts were put in, and as a result of very few pockets and cracks the Climbs are generally harder to climb.
teflonpete - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:


There is an easy answer to this of course, indoor wall trad climbing. ;0)
Andrew Mallinson - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to teflonpete:

...and it used to exist actually...e.g. Richard Dunn Sports Centre, Leeds...multi-pitch as well, complete with nut placements, belay ledges, the works....
ANdy
DubyaJamesDubya - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to Vince McNally)
> But without travelling for miles I can't climb sport routes...and even when I get there there's not much I'll be able to do as I don't climb 6a. See the problem.

TOP ROPE. Yes I was intending to shout.
Howard J - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

Almost any low grade trad route which would make a low grade sport route will have good natural protection. Where there are exceptions such as Sunset Slab at Froggatt the lack of protection is part of the challenge - bolting it would remove the point of the climb and leave a pretty nondescript route in its place. I hope after reading this thread you've come to understand why bolting a protectable route is unacceptable.

If you seriously want to focus on sport climbing then you'll just have to put in the effort and get better, because low grade sport is neither very good nor particularly safe. If it's just that you're happier climbing in the lower grades, then trad really does have far more to offer you. If you don't know any experienced trad climbers there are several clubs in your area which I'm sure would welcome you - just go to the "Find a club" page on the BMC website
Ramblin dave - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack)
>
> [...]
>
> I agree. But I'm not sure how we get this across to a burgeoning army of sport-only climbers.

At the risk of pontificating:
i) by patiently and politely explaining to newbies, on here and in real life, that easy trad climbing isn't prohibitively expensive or dangerous compared to easy sport climbing, and that there's no rule that you have to do sport first before "progressing" to trad
ii) by sometimes volunteering our time and equipment, either through a club or otherwise, to help indoor climbers with an interest in climbing outside to learn trad if they want to
iii) by supporting organisations like the BMC when they do similar stuff to i) and ii).
andyathome - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Andrew Mallinson:
> (In reply to teflonpete)
>
> ...and it used to exist actually...e.g. Richard Dunn Sports Centre, Leeds...multi-pitch as well, complete with nut placements, belay ledges, the works....
> ANdy

Do you mind!

BRADFORD!
rgold - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

MABTO, your are advancing proposals for something you really don't understand. Here's my take, written from a U.S. perspective that is already a little more tolerant of bolts than the U.K.

The presence of risk and the way in which it is confronted lies at the heart of what is now referred to as traditional climbing. Sport climbing has banished risk, at least the forms of risk inherent in trad climbing, in favor of other aspects of climbing, and as the sport climbing mentality spreads, it becomes increasingly difficult to even communicate about the distinctions between the genres.

Consider a trad climb with a risky section. It's been done many times, but now there is a contingent of climbers who want to put a bolt there. Why? Because that part of the climb is risky! More people could enjoy it if there was a bolt, and the community has a "right" to the route.

But the risk is exactly why the trad climbers don't want the bolt there. Trad climbers see controlling the risk through the use of gear that may or may not be bomber and the practice of self-control under pressure as one of the intrinsic challenges of the sport, so putting in that bolt destroys the essence of the climb for the trad climber.

Saying that risk is intrinsic to trad climbing does not mean that trad climbers pursue arbitrary risks. Trad climbing isn't a collection of stunts like how many cars you can jump your motorcycle over. The risks of trad climbing are the ones inherent in the environment: difficulty, yes, but also unknown territory ahead with uncertain opportunities for pro. This is why when you say "just don't clip the bolt" you are utterly clueless. The bolt modifies the environment and makes a former intrinsic risk into a stupid stunt. In any case, you aren't proposing a path to learning trad at all, you are proposing to eliminate trad so as to make the rock more "accessible."

Personally, I, like many climbers, have room in my heart (if not in my decomposing tendons) for both genres, trad and sport. My major objection is that the adherents of one approach, either out of ignorance as in your case, or else out of a self-centered sense of entitlement, have a way of deciding they have the right to alter or appropriate rock for their preferred variant of the activity. Although there are excesses on both sides, and ambiguous terrain which both camps might plausibly claim as their own, I think the bulk of the transgressions are committed by those who are only too willing to drill.

Trad climbing is not for everyone, and there is no reason why it should be. If you don't appreciate the approach to neutralizing risk that is part of the genre, then it isn't for you. That said, people the world over have been learning to climb trad for more than a century without having to have bolted routes. It's not as if we don't know, in the most intricate and now well-documented detail, how to go about doing this with a high degree of safety and success.

Wiley Coyote - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to rgold:

That's a terrible post - lucid, reasonable and sensible.

You're just spoiling it for everyone. I hope you are ashamed of yourself
:-)
andrewmcleod - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> [...] Perception or excuse? Speaking as a Trad climber by preference, I think we do our "cause" no favours by talking down to bolt-only climbers and making them feel like second-class citizens and heretics for rejecting the One True Faith. Not saying we all do that, but it does happen. [...]

I agree! Nobody has to do trad climbing; there is an extra expense (my reckoning is that a decent rack will cost as much as the rest of my gear together) but that isn't the point. The idea that trad is the ultimate destination of all climbers is clearly farcical.

I will freely admit that I am a massive coward :P I have no interest whatsoever in taking climbing risks; I do not want to get the excitement that comes from danger and even if it does excite me at the time that is not the way I want to climb. Others do. Does that make them better (as opposed to merely braver) people?

I would therefore like to climb 'safer' (not necessarily the same as feeling safe!), and that obviously means either top-rope or bolts :P This doesn't mean that I want to 'take climbs down to my level' or any other similar crap; once I get the hang of not wussing out on lead I will just climb harder stuff than I would at trad. At the end of the day the rock is the same... and it is 'rock climbing' that I like to think I am doing. Placing gear is not climbing, it is faffing :P (albeit fun and adding to the challenge in a different way that many people enjoy)

As it happens I do plan to rack up, but only because a) there is loads of awesome easy trad around me, and very little easy sport, and b) I think of it less as 'climbing' and more as a fun day out on some very steep hills, messing around with ropes :P I realise for many people the complete opposite is true! I intend to stick to super-easy/well-protected routes.

This does of course not give anyone the right to be an arse. Nor does it give people the right to walk in and retro-bolt everything. But there is a sometimes a lot of hypocrisy on this forum...

All climbing is vandalism. We destroy the natural vegetation at crags, and reshape them for our pure enjoyment. As we climb these artificial environments we slowly destroy the climbs, perhaps very slowly on some rocks but much faster on other (polished limestone, worn away sandstone). Sticking in a few bolts may be vandalism as well (if somebody stuck some bolts in the Dartmoors Tors for example), or it can be agreed by the community and enjoyed by many. But it is hypocrisy to argue that all bolts are disrespectful vandalism, while trad climbing exists in perfect harmony with nature (also - abseil stakes, massive chains/tat round spikes and slowly rusting pegs!?).

And low-grade sports routes seem to be extremely popular! Personally I find the idea that anyone has any greater 'right' to a crag, embodied in the idea that they don't want to make it more accessible to the 'punter', rather selfish; others may disagree. Obviously deciding that you don't want to do trad does mean you aren't going to have the same range of climbs available, but where reasonable it should always be the aim to accommodate.

Just to be clear, if the original poster has a side I am not on it :P
andrewmcleod - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:

In (obvious) summary: sport and trad climbing are both equally valid pastimes, enjoyed by many, and will just have to learn to co-exist - as by and large they seem to.

Plus we can all look down on the boulderers... :P (literally!)
Howard J - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> (In reply to andrewmcleod)
>
> In (obvious) summary: sport and trad climbing are both equally valid pastimes, enjoyed by many, and will just have to learn to co-exist - as by and large they seem to.
>
Just not on the same route.



tlm - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> As it happens I do plan to rack up, but only because a) there is loads of awesome easy trad around me, and very little easy sport, and b) I think of it less as 'climbing' and more as a fun day out on some very steep hills, messing around with ropes

I think that this is one of the crux points.

Bolted climbing is much more akin to the experience of doing gymnastics or going to a gym.

Whereas trad climbing is much more akin to the experience of going for a walk in the hills, albeit a rather steep one, while playing a game of chess with mind control!

I don't think that anyone objects to bolted climbing at all - no one minds climbers going off to Spain and doing bolted climbs there. I think what people actually start ranting about it the fact that people are suggesting that they could lose some, or maybe all of their steep walks in the hills! And this is usually suggested by someone who who hasn't actually tried this particular game for themselves much. People who have tried it, tend to be more aware of the difference, so are more aware of what the suggestion means (and usually, but not always, by that stage, prefer trad!)

It is as though you are taking a walker who plays chess and suggesting that they could stop that hobby and take up gymnastics to get the same experience.

The UK is pretty unique in the type of rock there is and also in having maintained a trad ethic.

Most climbers don't really 'sports climb'. They just climb on bolts. They don't redpoint routes, or regularly fall off or do climbs at the very top end of what is possible for them.

And the majority of trad climbers avoid risk like the plague. They too tend not to constantly do stuff at the top end of their grade. Most trad climbers are actually pottering around on VS/HVS, on well protected routes. All the risk and danger that people talk about tend to not actually be massive, but it can still be something that requites a degree of mental control. It's just like that very first climb on a top rope - hardly any danger, but still scary and thrilling.
Jamie B - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

Having (hopefully) read the discussion, do you now feel differently about the original subject, the supposed "need" for more bolted climbs near to your house and/or the attractiveness of trad?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Howard J - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
> [...]
>
> I agree! Nobody has to do trad climbing; ... The idea that trad is the ultimate destination of all climbers is clearly farcical.
>
I hope I've not given that impression. My point is that sport climbing really kicks in at F6 and above - if only because only at that grade does it get steep enough to fall off without risk of hitting something. If sports climbing is your objective, you really need to bite the bullet and get good enough to climb at those grades. Climbing F4s and F5s isn't going to develop the strength necessary to climb steep and overhanging routes, neither will it develop the necessary confidence in taking falls (because of the liklihood of hitting something). You'd be far better off putting in the work at the wall.

For someone who isn't physically or temperamentally suited to that, my other point is that they're likely to find that low-grade trad is ultimately more fulfilling than low-grade sport, and that most of the perceived obstacles to getting into trad are largely imaginary. It's true that once you get into it it will require an investment in gear, but most people build up their rack piecemeal over time, once they've decided that trad is for them.

Of course there can be no objection to developing more low-grade sports routes at recognised sport venues. It was the OPs suggestion that low-grade trad climbs could be bolted without affecting the trad experience which everyone has objected to.
Andrew Mallinson - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to andyathome:

...apologies, you're right....
ANdy
Jamie B - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> I will freely admit that I am a massive coward :P I have no interest whatsoever in taking climbing risks; I do not want to get the excitement that comes from danger and even if it does excite me at the time that is not the way I want to climb. Others do. Does that make them better (as opposed to merely braver) people?

I can only speak for myself, but yes, without doubt adventure climbing has given me some of the most memorable experiences of my life, and as a whole has seized me and altered me in a way that simply wouldn't have happened had I climbed exclusively on bolts. It might not make me better than you, but it has made me better than I was.

> low-grade sports routes seem to be extremely popular! Personally I find the idea that anyone has any greater 'right' to a crag, embodied in the idea that they don't want to make it more accessible to the 'punter', rather selfish; others may disagree. Obviously deciding that you don't want to do trad does mean you aren't going to have the same range of climbs available, but where reasonable it should always be the aim to accommodate.

How far to you propose to go with this "accommadating"? Retro-bolting? Absolutely any crag you could mention could be made more popular by sticking bolts in it, doesn't make it the right thing to do!
Milesy - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> Personally I find the idea that anyone has any greater 'right' to a crag, embodied in the idea that they don't want to make it more accessible to the 'punter', rather selfish;

Eh? It has nothing to do with making it more accessable to "punters". Many indoor and sport climbers are probably climbing at a higher standard than many trad climbers. Trad is full of "punters" on lower graded climbs than sport.

Keeping trad is about keeping the trad experience onm these route which have history. Many of these routes were first climbed 40 odd years ago and have been climbed in trad style since then.
tlm - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> Many of these routes were first climbed 40 odd years ago and have been climbed in trad style since then.

Most of the easier routes are far older than that! 40 years ago is only 1973...

Milesy - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to tlm:

Apologies you are correct on the whole. I was talking in particular about the popular quarries up here :)
Howard J - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> where reasonable it should always be the aim to accommodate.
>
The problem is with the words "where reasonable". Where there is a distinction between sports crags and trad crags there is no need for an accommodation as they are naturally kept separate.

The issue arises where people want to accommodate sport and trad on the same crag. Then it becomes more difficult, and it's one-way because bolting on (or even in the vicinity) will inevitably adversely affect climbing it in trad style, whereas climbing a sports route in trad style (assuming that were even possible) would not have the same impact on those wishing to climb it as a sports route.

We have to accept that while they are both entirely valid approaches to climbing they are quite separate from each other and cannot comfortably co-exist on the same crag, and certainly not on the same route.

andrewmcleod - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Milesy:

> Eh? It has nothing to do with making it more accessable to "punters". Many indoor and sport climbers are probably climbing at a higher standard than many trad climbers. Trad is full of "punters" on lower graded climbs than sport.

Just trying to head off a common argument that people don't want a crag bolted because they don't want it to become popular; they don't want more people in the hills and on the crags. I think there are lots of good arguments against bolting; this isn't one of them.

Andy; punter, or at least punter-aspirant :)
Jamie B - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:

I don't think I've heard anyone saying they don't want crags to be more popular, so I don't see how you can describe it as a "common argument".

Like most people I'd like to see more folk at the crags, I'd just prefer not to trample over traditional sensitivities to achieve this.
a lakeland climber on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Howard J:
> (In reply to andrewmcleod)

>
> We have to accept that while they are both entirely valid approaches to climbing they are quite separate from each other and cannot comfortably co-exist on the same crag, and certainly not on the same route.

Seems to work OK at Malham, Goredale and Kilnsey. It must be said that the trad routes at Kilnsey don't get quite the same attention as the sports routes there.

ALC

Howard J - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber: I've never climbed at those locations, but at Malham the trad climbs and sports climbs seem to be on separate sections. Gordale is a bit more mixed up, but isn't that at least in part due to some controversial retro-bolting?

There's no reason why a bolted line shouldn't go alongside a trad route provided the bolts are out of reach, but any attempt to bolt a trad crag is usually seen as the thin end of the wedge.
Jon Stewart - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to Howard J)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Seems to work OK at Malham, Goredale and Kilnsey. It must be said that the trad routes at Kilnsey don't get quite the same attention as the sports routes there.

Works OK in the Peak too, but not without controversy - Stoney, High Tor, Two Tier (with the squabble over Mad Dogs) all have bolts and trad in some kind of dissonant harmony.
angelap - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
You won't get better at trad. climbing by clipping bolts. Like anything, you will only get better at trad., if you do trad. A good way in is to join a club and follow people on routes, learning to take the gear out. That will help you to prepare for hanging about to put it in and understand the placements. Watch, ask and learn how to set a belay and you're ready to lead something that is well within your technical capabilities (so you can concentrate on placing the gear). Put in some time and effort and you'll be rewarded by many years of fun and friendship.
1poundSOCKS - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to angelap: I think you can get better at trad climbing by bolt clipping, because I did it. Improving your climbing technique and getting fitter can seriously reduce the stress levels when your trad climbing, which gives you more time to think about your movement, more time to place gear properly. I think many of the top trad climbers also sport climb, not just because they enjoy it, but also because it lets them progress their trad climb to a higher level.
johncoxmysteriously - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to angelap:

>You won't get better at trad. climbing by clipping bolts.

Nonsense. It depends on what stage you're at. It's true that you won't get better at placing gear and trusting it by clipping bolts, and that for many that's the big problem, but assuming you're a competent and experienced trad climber a bit of sport climbing can certainly help improve your trad climbing.

jcm
JuneBob on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to woody0606)
> Stick your fingers in your ears why don't you. If there's lots of threads on it, then chances are people want to discuss it.

Kind of true, but many previous threads have covered all the arguments. Look here, particularly the excellent posts by rgold.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=554061

There's probably some articles on ukclimbing about this too?
JuneBob on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to JuneBob:
ha, I now see rgold posted here too :-)
MischaHY - on 21 Aug 2013
Given that the trad vs bolting has been absolutely done to death, I'll leave it be. However, I will ask this - if you can't climb 6a at the moment, why not simply train until you CAN climb 6a? With respect, it's really not that challenging in terms of fitness and climbing prowess.

And for people who counter this with 'but I only want to bimble and climb easy grades', look at it from an alternative perspective. Anyone with a basic knowledge of the game can join a local five-a-side football team and enjoy a kickabout at the weekend, but if you want to play for a real team in real matches, even at a relatively local level, you have to train for it. The funding and organisation etc that goes into organising a proper football match and bringing together two teams to play is not going to be dedicated to a bunch of unfit guys/girls who play one hour a week. In the same vein, a dedicated climber who gives up his time/effort/funds to bolt routes (often without any financial incentive) is not going to waste his time on boring, low level routes. If you want to take advantage of the privilege of bolted crags, then you need to work hard for it.

That said, I can think of three crags off the top of my head that have bolted routes in the 5's, so each to their own.
Robert Durran - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to andrewmcleod)
>
> I don't think I've heard anyone saying they don't want crags to be more popular, so I don't see how you can describe it as a "common argument".
>
> Like most people I'd like to see more folk at the crags.

I don't want crags to be more popular (except perhaps ones which need more traffic to keep routes cleanish). I like having the crag to myself whether sport or trad climbing. This doesn't mean I am selfish or don't like other people - just that I would prefer them to be somewhere else. Slightly paradoxicallly, if the UK's generally sub-standard sport crags siphon off most of the traffic, I am actually more likely to have the good crags to myself! My perception, judging by the infrequency with which I've had to share crags this summer, is that this is already happening; climbing justs seems to be out of fashion and none the worse for it.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to angelap)
>
> >You won't get better at trad. climbing by clipping bolts.
>
> Nonsense. It depends on what stage you're at. It's true that you won't get better at placing gear and trusting it by clipping bolts, and that for many that's the big problem, but assuming you're a competent and experienced trad climber a bit of sport climbing can certainly help improve your trad climbing.

But the premise of the original post went further than that. The poster wants to bolt easy routes to get started. Then argues it might not matter because you 'don't have to clip them'.

GrahamD - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

And with the usual tacit assumption that someone else does the work and pays for it and the maintainence. Convenience climbers all over.
paul mitchell - on 25 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: In Squamish I did a couple of existing mixed bolt and trad routes.The ratio was about 4 trad runners to one bolt runner.This kind of route may contribute to leading trad.Generally however,I feel it is better to top rope a route and then lead it when you feel more confident.You won't learn how to place fiddly trad gear by clipping bolts. It is usually beginners who get broken ankles at Stanage,when they lower off badly placed gear which rips out.
Then ten people are required to come and haul their incompetent asses out of there.

Best thing is to practice gear placement at no more than head height off the deck and then try and make it fail,possibly even above a bouldering mat.When I teach beginners I spend a lot of time on teaching trad gear placement at a low level.It works.
mudmonkey5 - on 25 Aug 2013
In reply to Durbs:

Well said.

The guy is clearly relatively new to climbing and not familiar with the ethics and history of UK trad climbing. I think it is simple enough to write a few paragraphs to give him an idea of the philosophy rather than just having a playground piley-on.

Welcome to the climbing world!
Blue Straggler - on 25 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

I went to Gozo in 2010 for some Mediterranean trad. I did not know about the concept of retro bolting back then. I got on a VS route and noted a low bolt and thought "oh, maybe that's a safety thing because there is no reliable trad gear until higher up". I placed unreliable trad gear and boldly did that move. Then another bolt. I placed trad gear and left the bolt alone. And so on. There was a pretty necky bit about 8m up where the gear was a sketchy tri-cam with only one "rail" in contact. I chose to be bold and ignore the nearby bolt. My second declared me "insane" :-)

Later when I learned about retrobolting I wondered in public whether I deserved a higher-grade tick for having deliberately eschewed available bolts. A good and experienced friend of mine politely offered that unless someone went up first, abseiled down and taped up the bolt hangers, then I still only get a VS tick (or worse, a sport grade!) :-)
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

I climb often with an aspirant guide, trad and sport, the general feeling towards trad and sport is, that trad climbing shouldn't be climbed out of your ability range, because it's dangerous t do so . If you want to push your limits on how difficult of a route you can climb you should opt for sport.

I often try and fail 8a sports, but I'd be a moron if did this on trad. People often forget the concequences of really cocking something up. The climbers that most often have to be flown off the mountain are the guys who are trad climbing and are climbing out of their ability range, take a big fall, rip a piece of gear and get seriously hurt. How much does that cost? You getting picked up by the helicopter and flown to the hospital, all because your bad judgement, putting yourself in a dangerous situation because you're not good enough for the climb you started. Someone else might have needed help just as much as you but not because of their own fault. It puts you in the same bracket as people who ski glaciers without any equipment or knowledge.

If you're climbing a route and honestly feel you're out of your depth you made the wrong choice of starting the climb. If you're climbing a trad route you shouldn't be in the situation you desperately need to use a bolt if it has been bolted for sport.

......a few words might be off. It's hard typing stuff up on an iPad



TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

I've also noticed, especially on this forum and from English people in general. You seem to think that sport climbing is just for those that are too unintelligent to climb trad or are too lazy to do so. It's also appears as the embarrassment of the climbing family.

It's very different here on the continent. People climb sport to start with, yes because it is more easily accessible, but people continue with it because it's a different form of climbing. It's more allows you to be more athletic and technique based with your climbing, rather than with trad you require more concentration of your gear placement as opposed to if you can make the a dynamic move.

Although I do both I consider sport climbing to require more athleticism, as the concequences of falling are very different in the two climbing styles. Something which. Personally prefer
Rob Naylor - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

I don't see where on earth you draw that conclusion from this thread.

The point people are making (and one that has to be repeated frequently, apparently) is that bolting or retro-bolting decent trad lines makes it impossible for those lines to be climbed in a fully trad style, so the idea that you can climb them as trad lines "just by not lipping the bolts" is ludicrous.

Most sport climbers appreciate this and most trad climbers appreciate the athletics associated with sport climbing....no-one is saying that a whole category of climbers is "unintelligent", but there are occasional individuals who appear totally unable (or unwilling if it goes against their own requirements) to appreciate a perfectly obvious point of view. Even they are not described as "unintelligent"....just perhaps so focussed on their own mind-set or wishes that they blank out opposing arguments.
Jonny2vests - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

Wow, that is an impressive amount of galatically ill informed bollocks, i dont know where to start.

Lots of trad climbers climb at their limit, and lots of trad climbs are perfectly safe to do so with the right skills.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:

Take a step back and look at this through a new persons eyes, English trad climbers seem to sit on a very high horse. I'm not the only one to have said it.

There's a difference at climbing at your limit and beyond your limit, that's when things become dangerous.
Jamie B - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

Are you saying that bolts in trad routes are okay, as any "trad" leader that is so in extremis that they need to clip them shouldn't be there?
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

I see nothing wrong with booted trad routes. If someone is trad climbing the route within what they can achieve the concequences of falling above their last piece of gear shouldn't be so daughnting that they feel they should clip to a bolt if it's near by.

Jamie B - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

That's what I thought you were saying, although from a climber with an articulate world-view I struggled to believe it.

You're right that a lot of UK climbers struggle to understand or get the best out of sport climbing. But you also totally fail to "get" trad leading if you think that nobody should ever do a route where there is doubt or danger.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

I'm not saying you should trad without falling, that's crazy. I'm saying you should keep within your boundaries. As I said earlier, I'll sport climb a 8a to see where I'm at, often take a big whipper.

But if you take as big of a risk on a trad it gets dangerous. For example it's like a 6a climber climbing a 6b+, it's still within their ability range, but I'd someone who can usually climb 5b does the same, it's not so safe.
Dangerous Dave - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma: You climb 8a, you are amazing.

You are are also spouting the biggest pile of bollox I have ever heard.
Gordon Stainforth - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:

The other main fallacy, of course, is that you can know in advance if a climb is going to be within or beyond your limits (partic. with trad, in which the essence is the on-sight lead). The idea that the grade of 6a or 6a+ is 'written' into the rock is bollox. It's just a guideline. So much depends on your physique, psyche and weather conditions on a particular day,
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:

I said I attempt, the amount of times ive completed is 0. I can climb 7a generally. The thing with sport climbing is that its not dangerous to attempt that.

Whats with the nasty remarks? Youre not civil enough to be polite?
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Yes youre right, for example, im pretty poor on limestone as compared to granite. but its still not that big of a difference limne stone my best is maybe a 6b, where as granite is 7a. Its not a massive difference but yes rock and climb type do affect it.
Dangerous Dave - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma: You are just proving you have no idea what you are talking about. You say it is not dangerous to attempt a sport route. Wrong. Many trad routes can be much safer than many sport routes and vice versa.

For both trad and sport you have to asses the dangers and decide if you are willing to do/carry on with the route. The more experience you have generally the better your judgement will be.

You seem to be suggesting that trad climbing is selfish because it is so dangerous? Its like reading some ill informed article on the Daily Mail!
In reply to TomDisomma: But you could also try some 8a crack then - or at least something harder than your current best grade - and redpoint that. If you pick the right trad route, a crack line, and have the right gear for it it doesn't need to be any more dangerous than sport - and they can be even less so because you can often get gear in where you want, not just where the equipper drilled.
wbo - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: Tom , you seem to be confused that the word trad means dangerous. For the vast number of people that is not the case - trad climbing can be very safe, but it gives you the responsibility of making real choices for yourself around equipment and your level of commitment.
Annoyingly the retrobolting even next to easily protectable cracklines gives the experienced climber a conveniant day out but deprives the novice of the opportunity to learn to place his own gear, and to learn the experience of climbing above it and learning to rely only on his own skill.

wbo - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: Also you say you are best on granite - crack or slab - this is a big difference in context here.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: im not saying trad in its self is dangerous. It is when people climb above their ability, this is more dangerous in trad. Chances of a bolt ripping in comparios to a nut? Yes if placed well, it shouldnt rip. But human error occurs way too often. So getting the shakes and failing arms 5 m above your last gear placement isnt too good of an idea. How well are you going to be placing a cam then? When you go past and take a fall after, that is when its dangerous.

Bolts are placed and always there, they dont care how much youre shaking, you clip and youre safe.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

People might say well its their choice to push too hard. That is selfish ans when it all goes tits up, someone has to come help. Theres a difference between pushing yourself and being out of your depth.
Dangerous Dave - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

>
> Bolts are placed and always there, they dont care how much youre shaking, you clip and youre safe.


So no one has ever hurt themselves sport climbing???

What happens when you try a sport route above your limit, you get to the 2nd bolt you are shaking away and pull up some slack so you can clip the bolt. Before you manage to clip the bolt you fall off and deck out. Is that not just as stupid and dangerous as this trad climbing?
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:

of course they do, I was at Gaillands when a guy fell and died sport climbing.

In general for sport, I personaly think youre not safe untill bolt 3. I dont as for a belay until bolt 3 as id rather my partner to spot me. Obviously not catch me, but prevent my face hitting the dirt.

But yes youre right people are often hurt in sport climbing the first few meters from the ground.
In reply to TomDisomma:
> So getting the shakes and failing arms 5 m above your last gear placement isnt too good of an idea.

The obvious solution is not to get 5 mtrs above your last gear on hard ground. Like I said, cracklines mate, cracklines! ;)
Jamie B - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

We seem to be on a parallel argument here. Sometimes trad is safe, sometimes it isn't. People should have the freedom to decide how risky and engaging they want to make it. Bolts on trad routes would take away that very fundamental freedom.
derryclimbs - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

yawn.

I do believe that MABTO and TomDissoma are the same person!
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

I dont agree with people being as risky as they like. People need to realise the concequences of their actions.

When someone is airlifted off a mountain because of their own actions, being risky and engaging, then its an issue, if youre put before someone who genuinly was in an accident that they had no controll of then that is selfish.

The rescue teams are getting tired of this, especially in winter when people ski on glaciers.
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> trad climbing shouldn't be climbed out of your ability range, because it's dangerous t do so .

Erm....

You seem to be confusing trad climb with not very well protected climbing. There are plenty of extremely well protected trad climbs out there, where you can get bomber gear in every foot if you want to!
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> (In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices)
>
> I've also noticed, especially on this forum and from English people in general. You seem to think that sport climbing is just for those that are too unintelligent to climb trad or are too lazy to do so. It's also appears as the embarrassment of the climbing family.

I think that you have mistaken protectiveness of our trad climbs for disparagement of sports climbing. I don't actually know any British climbers who never climb on bolts.
mike kann - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: So what's the answer then? Bolt all routes? Have a guide lead you at all times? Instigate an exam before you're allowed into the mountains? You cite people climbing beyond your limits in terms of difficulty as a major cause of accidents - have you got any definitive evidence for this, because from the vast majority of accident stats I've looked at in the UK, it's hill walkers and other sports that require emergency call outs rather than climbers. As a proportion of those numbers, accidents caused by the route not being bolted, or the climber climbing far beyond their ability are going to be an even smaller proportion. Are you really stating that this is totally different in the alps? And are you really really certain that European climbers are so much safer than those coming from a trad background? From what I've seen this is certainly not the case - if anything British climbers are pretty cautious. Just two days ago I was passed by an Italian guide from the Fassa guide school, who without asking climbed up the same pitch as me whilst I was still leading it, after I specifically indicated that I realised he would be faster than me and offered to climb an alternative route. We were then chastised as my second had removed an extender and not clipped it back into the rope. From my perspective the guide should not have been climbing up my arse, or taken the offer to be allowed to pass us. He then lead off on the next pitch after having gotten shirty with us, soloing up the pitch. If anything had gone wrong and he'd fallen on us someone could have been seriously injured and/or died. I'm sorry but you idea that europeans because they come from a spoort climbing background are somehow more alert to danger and safer as a result is utter nonsense! Someone who holds a guides carnet should have known far better than this. And it's not been the only time this has happened to me...
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to mike kann:

Im not stating anyone or group of people is safer than any others.I'm just saying that trad climbing is more dangerous as it places in human error much more. Human error will more likely occur when you are fatigued or stressed, this is something that happens when youre out of your depth.

and here in Chamonix yes, its the home of extreame sports in europe, and stupid people come here to do stupid things. Not saying everyone. but there is a far share more here as "its the place to be" so to speak.

The majority of climbers are safe and well informed etc. I was in Cleuse when a guy was climbing, we could see he was struggling all the way up, and when he fell his cam ripped out, and he smashed into the wall, fortunately he was ok, but if that had been worse then the chopper comes out. If he was climbing somehthing more of his level then when he fell the cam would have probably held as he would have been less stressed when placing it.

This is the situations im talking about. If this had happened on sport the bolt wouldnt have ripped.

Trad climbing requires a better understanding of your own limits and requires you to remain composed. I have nothing against trad, its fun, but i wont climb somehting I know that i probably cant do.
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

> Trad climbing requires a better understanding of your own limits and requires you to remain composed. I have nothing against trad, its fun, but i wont climb somehting I know that i probably cant do.

That is exactly it though - trad is much more about a mix of either climbing something that is pushing your physical limits but is well protected, climbing something that is within your physical limits but requires you to push your mental limits, or actually and more normally for most people, not really pushing any limtis, just having a nice time.
Milesy - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> (In reply to Jamie B)
>
> I dont agree with people being as risky as they like. People need to realise the concequences of their actions.
>
> When someone is airlifted off a mountain because of their own actions, being risky and engaging, then its an issue, if youre put before someone who genuinly was in an accident that they had no controll of then that is selfish.
>
> The rescue teams are getting tired of this, especially in winter when people ski on glaciers.

We are talking about Trad climbing in the UK - This isn't the continent.

We don't have glaciers.
We don't have the same size mountains as you.
We don't have the same search and rescue as you.
We don't have the same tradition, history and ethics as you.
The majority of people trad climbing in Britain are on low level crags, not high in the hills.

Why are you making a like-for-like comparison?

I don't trad climb to be strong and athletic.

I trad climb because I like the sense of danger and the adventure and I enjoy getting scared and being able to overcome my fear of falling, the fear of gear ripping. Trad to me is overcoming my own fear and doubts. Others may have their own reasons but that is mine.
Milesy - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> but i wont climb somehting I know that i probably cant do.

Neither do any trad climbers I know. You don't see many HVS leaders trying to lead E3 or VDiff leaders leading HVS! Trad climbers are in my experience aware of their own limitations very much - you need to.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Milesy: Most of the time youre right. But you often get the guy who thinks hes better than he realy is.
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> (In reply to Milesy) Most of the time youre right. But you often get the guy who thinks hes better than he realy is.

You get that in any sphere of life, not just climbing... think about all those driving accidents that are due to driver error...

Milesy - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

I don't see this often. Where in the UK do you see this happening often?

We are talking about a small minority. Should change our full history and ethics for this small minority (that small I don't know any myself) of trad climbers who don't respect how dangerous it can be if you climb above your physical or mental limit? Serious injuries and accidents are thankfully pretty rare considering the amount of people involved in trad climbing in the UK.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Milesy:

But the danger of hitting the floor is all the same. You honestly think the rescue teams think differently? a guy putting himself in a bad situation and he knowing it, is likely to annoy any rescue team around the world.

Climbing is climbing, the danger of hitting the floor at 2000m is the same as when your climbing at 300m.

I only mentioned galcers as a point of people doing stuff theyre not too sure about.
ads.ukclimbing.com
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Milesy:
I never mentioned changing traditions or enthics, im saying people need to understand their own abilitys, its something that needs to be taught to people.
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

Is that something that can be taught, or is it something that people develop through trying things out for themselves?
Have you actually looked at the reports on the work that British Mountain Rescue actually do? It's worth basing your ideas on reality.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma: ethics
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to tlm:

Ive not spoken to anyone one who works fdor BMR, but I have spoken to people who work fro Compagne du Mt Blac. While theyre very different in styloes and approach they essentialy do the same thing. They rescue people.

Imagine rescuing a guy who fell, or a guy who fell in a crevase, and the reason this happened was because he thought he was better than he was. You get to him and he is fine.

But at the same time a second call comes in of a rock fall hitting a father and son. Completely accidental and unpredictable. You rescue the first guy and the others wait and end up critically ill.

I guarantee when the rescuers finish they bithc about the stupid guy who they rescued and made wait people who needed them as well but through no fault of their own.

This happens way too often here. Ok, youre in the UK but some day youll come to the alps, most people do, its then you should remember this.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

holy shit thats full of spelling mistakes. Swedish keyboard.
GridNorth - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma: Sports climbers often climb beyond their perceived ability. Trad climbers tend to do this only the once and then very quickly learn the error of their ways and tuck their necks in. Or go back to sports climbing and bouldering. :-)
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

It's just, in England and Wales, climbing only accounted for 3.8% of the incidents that mountain rescue dealt with in 2012. The majority of incidents involved walkers, so you seem to be using very strange arguments to make your point. I'm sure that you have got very valid points to make, but by continuing to use crevasse rescue as an argument for how British Climbing should work (and I haven't seen many bolts in crevasses) you are just weakening your own argument and diluting whatever point it is that you are trying to make (I'm no longer sure myself what it is that you are trying to say!)
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to tlm:

..........its just a situation, highlighting how people get themselves in stupid situations. Crevases Walking climbing.

When did i say there are bolts in crevases?

my initial point.

Im not bothered if trad routes are bolted. The trad climber shouldnt be in the situation that he might bolt. Because if he does its because he is out of his depth.

Subsequently being out nof your depth is dangerous and risky. Here comes the crevase thing. Climbing somehting you know you probably cant is as silly as skiing a glacier without knowing. Both may potentially cause uneeded rescues if the person hadnt made the initial bad choice.

As I said, most climbers will end up in the alps at some stage, where doing this and getting rescued will be at the expense of someone not getting rescued.

Is my point clearer now?
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

Ah! Are you saying that someone shouldn't climb a trad route, if they wished that it was a bolted route?
If that is what you are saying, then I would agree completely, but then I've never seen anyone ever do such a thing. It would be a very odd thing to do. I don't think that most British climbers end up in the alps at some stage - it's only a very small proportion who go to the alps. They are more likely to end up climbing bolts in a very cautious style, using a rather trad approach (rather than a more athletic sports climbing approach) on the Costa Blanca.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to tlm:

eh? Now im not sure what you mean,

If a trad route is bolted I dont see what stops someone climbing it in trad style.

If someone chooses to climb it trad style but finds it way too difficultthey they must use the sport bolt then they shouldnt have attempted it.

Because if they take the same mentality to a pure trad climb then they wont find a bolt to bail out on and possibly hurt themselves.
Milesy - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> As I said, most climbers will end up in the alps at some stage, where doing this and getting rescued will be at the expense of someone not getting rescued.

No they don't. Most British climbers are happy on British outcrops, quarries, sea cliffs and mountain crags. Only a small portion of these will want to go to the Alps, and only a small portion of these will want to go and do technical climbs, and only a small portion of these might get into trouble and get rescued.

I am not sure where you get your information from but you are quite mistaken.
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

It is not possible to climb a bolted route in trad style, because so much of what makes trad style work is a mental quality.

What you are saying is that walking on a 3 inch wide plank, 20 metres in the air is exactly the same as walking along a kerb. The two things have a very different amount of psychological control needed to do them.
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

> Because if they take the same mentality to a pure trad climb then they wont find a bolt to bail out on and possibly hurt themselves.

Also, how do you know this? If there was no bolt available, they may well find the mental capacity to calm themselves, to remember that the climbing is actually well within their ability and may successfully continue to climb. Having no bolt pushes you to use mental resourcefulness instead.

mike kann - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma: I really think you don't understand british climbers or our tradition or ethic. Yes, we don't sport climb as much as europeans - that doesn't make us worse climbers, it just means we climb in a different way. I think you need to come to the UK because you seem to have a rather dim view of what goes on here. The simple fact is there are many thousands of climbers in the UK, climbing everyday of the year in all conditions, some of which many european climbers would not even step out of the door for. Most climbers climb for a long time before going to the alps, and serve quite an extensive apprenticeship before a) leading b) climbing on remote cliffs c) even contemplate doing something large such as you find in the alps.

This apprenticeship serves us well - you learn to place gear and yes gear can pop, and yes it can be more stressful when you are tired, but you take all of these factors into account which is what makes trad climbing so multifacited and interesting. If you purely climb sports routes you do not learn to place gear, or deal with stressful situations, you just rely on climbing better than you need to. That doesn't take into account mishaps, such as when a rock hits you, or there are other factors beyond your control. I see many europeans climbing very very quickly clearly within their grade, but their gear is shockingly poor, to the point that it's not worth bothering with, relying on fixed gear which they have no idea how long it's been there or in what state it's in, and thinking that they are safe because they won't fall. They clip pegs like they are bolts. How is that safe? A piece of trad gear is your own, you know it's history, you learn how best to place it and you know the reliability of each piece you put in because YOU placed it. You know whether you need to pay extra attention if the gear is poor and whether you need to back it up. Now say the same about many europeans who just clip the gear and go. There is no real way to learn trad in europe - you just learn to climb 7a and then you go and effectively solo routes.

Unfortunately many films have been made of hard cutting edge trad on grit, where the consequences of failure are dire as the ground is so close, which I feel colours european climbers perceptions of us as a climbing nation. As I say, the only way to dispell that idea is to come and climb here. You will see the rock types often don't lend themselves to bolted routes and would make dull sports routes, whereas as trad routes they maintain interest, and what's more they are safe to climb without bolts.

You are spouting from a very high horse, telling us that trad climbing leads to people being out of their depth - take a minute to think about it - how can having more knowledge about climbing using self placed gear make for a more dangerous climber? At the end of the day, clipping a bolt is pretty straight forwards - there is a right way and a wrong way - and yet I see plenty of europeans who can't even claim to have mastered that. Sure they might climb hard - but climbing hard doesn't make you safe...
Steve nevers on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

Just put some in-situ threads in place. thats fine, apparently.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to mike kann:

You've really missed my point, I've never said British people are bad at climbing, I never even said climbing is bad in England. I never said europeans are better, I dont know where you've got this from.

I never said trad climbing puts people out of their depth either. I said when a trad climber puts himself out of his depth it is dangerous, nothing more.
TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Milesy: yes it's a small portion, but it's still a portion, in a town that has 4 heli rescues per day, it adds up.
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> (In reply to Milesy) yes it's a small portion, but it's still a portion, in a town that has 4 heli rescues per day, it adds up.

How many of those are rescuing people who are British trad climbers?

TomDisomma - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to tlm: I'm not just talking British trad climbers, just trad in general, I've spoke about British seeing as this is a British forum.

I've been told its about 1 trad climber for every 50 rescues or so, and 1 in 5 of them are their own fault. A small small percentage, but still one that can be removed if people are more aware.
tlm - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

So there are 49 none trad climbers for every 50 rescues? Wouldn't it be better to concentrate on sorting out those larger numbers first, before worrying about the 2%?
Robert Durran - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> (In reply to mike kann)
> I never said trad climbing puts people out of their depth either. I said when a trad climber puts himself out of his depth it is dangerous, nothing more.

Whenever anyone gets out of their depth, accidents are more likely to happen. Accidents can happen whether or not someone is out of their depth. People screw up. Shit happens. It is nothing to do with bolts.

And if you think that being in a position where, were it available, a climber would clip a bolt means they are out of their depth, then you simply don't understand anything about trad climbing.

Duncan Bourne - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
> (In reply to The Norris)
> I'm not trolling...I really want to learn to climb trad (but am failing to get out enough) and would love it if there were plenty of low grade sport routes in the UK (I've made this comment elsewhere and standby it) as it would get more people on rock instead of indoor walls - me included.

You speak as if this were a good thing.

>
> As I can see it, there is no reason that a trad route shouldn't be bolted to make climbing on rock in the UK accessible to more people. From what I read here (and elsewhere) the only reason others give for it being bad is the same as the one you give - which is that people will clip the bolt when they're not meant to. I'd say that's a personal bravery / integrity issue and shouldn't be an excuse to keep good crags as 'trad only' venues.

Bolting fundamentally changes the nature of a climb and is a way of reducing the challenge of nature to a lesser human level, one that requires less thought, in other words to dumb it down. Now I have climbed clip ups and they are fun and great when going abroad if you don't want to carry a lot of gear with you. But it is in my view a lesser climbing style and ultimately less satisfying. The "just ignore the bolts" argument is a rubbish one because it is there in your face, a glistening carbuncle promising an easy way out, not just for safety but encouraging a can't-be-arsed-I'll-just-clip-it attitude. It is there, a McDonald's quick fix, how can you ignore that?

Secondly you labour under the misapprehension that trad is fundamentally more dangerous. While certain routes, by their very run out nature, are more dangerous on most trad it is possible to place gear. All that requires is thought and a little skill and hey presto! You have hand placed protection that you have a good idea of how safe it is or not. You do not know how safe a bolt is, you do not know who placed it or how, Generally bolts are safe but there are enough bolt failures out there to invite caution. No problem with that but in my opinion bolt climbing does not invite such caution in the same way as trad and instead encourages a lackadaisical approach to climbing.

Finally bolt climbing can be equally elitist if it assumes that it has a right to bolt where it likes and also bolted routes tend to start from 4b which is discriminating against those who climb lower grades. Trad you can start at Mod if you like.

Duncan Bourne - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> (In reply to tlm)
>
> eh? Now im not sure what you mean,
>
> If a trad route is bolted I dont see what stops someone climbing it in trad style.

Hence the destruction of a proud heritage.
Jamie B - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:

> If a trad route is bolted I don't see what stops someone climbing it in trad style.
> If someone chooses to climb it trad style but finds it way too difficult they they must use the sport bolt then they shouldn't have attempted it.

For a while I'd hoped that you weren't advocating putting "optional" bolts in trad routes. I'd thought you had some wider climbing experience and some meaningful insight. Having just read the above I can see that I was clearly wrong - you just don't get it and your opinions will find little support.
mike kann - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma: right so 1 in 250 rescues is caused by a trad climber in an accident that was caused by themselves. How many out of the other accidents were caused by themselves? Very clearly people need to learn more, but it's really quite irrelevant whether they are from a trad background or a sport background or a skier etc. - we are all fallible and we all make mistakes. I'd suggest that being familiar with the pressures you find yourself under during trad climbing will help in these scenarios. If it really is 1 in 250 rescues and the rescuers are getting pissy about trad climbers then surely they need to look at the figures again and take a chill pill, and maybe find something else to vent their frustrations at?
andrewmcleod - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Trad argument 1: 'bolting climbing is dumbing down a climb'
(it may make reduce the commitment, but climbers will just go to a higher grade)
Trad argument 2: 'bolted climbing is crappy and sports climbers are stupid and missing out'
(climbing is different things to different people, just you enjoy trad climbing, and enjoy the mental game that goes with that, doesn't mean that sports climbers are braindead - they have the same amount of brain power available, so will just apply their brains more to the individual moves)

Trad climbing would do better if it would stop parroting these arguments...

PS once again, not agreeing with the OP!
Rob Naylor - on 26 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> (In reply to mike kann)
> This is the situations im talking about. If this had happened on sport the bolt wouldnt have ripped.

Not necessarily true. I've seen a bolt rip! You seem to have a perfect faith that a bolt, once placed, is 100% safe forever. Not only have I seen a bolt rip but on another occasion I was able to lift one out with just a pull. A fairly newly-placed one, too.

I've also seen ropes unclip from quickdraws on bolts (when they definitely weren't back-clipped) a couple of times during falls.

I think your total faith in the safety of bolted climbs might be a bit over-done.
victim of mathematics - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

For the love of god, why is this thread still going? Is it some kind of competition to see how many people can be wrong in the same place at one time?
Rob Naylor - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to TomDisomma)
>
> [...]
>
> For a while I'd hoped that you weren't advocating putting "optional" bolts in trad routes. I'd thought you had some wider climbing experience and some meaningful insight. Having just read the above I can see that I was clearly wrong - you just don't get it and your opinions will find little support.

Correct...I was hoping that he *wasn't* one of those people I mentioned in my first reply to him who are unable to expand their thinking beyond the narrow horizons of their own immediate experiences and prejudices....but he clearly is.
simondgee - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
Not true in Britain...might be worth quoting sources rather than made up numbers.
Jonny2vests - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices)
>
> Is it some kind of competition to see how many people can be wrong in the same place at one time?

Well, its just one really. Aren't you supposed to be good at sums?
Duncan Bourne - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
>
> Trad argument 1: 'bolting climbing is dumbing down a climb'
> (it may make reduce the commitment, but climbers will just go to a higher grade)

Which will be the reduction of challenge at that higher grade. You can't escape it bolting is a means of bringing a natural challenge into a human realm. In sport climbing bolts may be the only means of protection and the decision to bolt is not taken lightly and will depend on the rock, the history of the crag and views of the local scene. Lower grade bolt climbing is a convenience and a way of making the unpopular popular.

> Trad argument 2: 'bolted climbing is crappy and sports climbers are stupid and missing out'
> (climbing is different things to different people, just you enjoy trad climbing, and enjoy the mental game that goes with that, doesn't mean that sports climbers are braindead - they have the same amount of brain power available, so will just apply their brains more to the individual moves)

I agree climbing is different things to different people, which is why in this country we have both trad and bolt venues in agreed areas. I never said that sport climbers are brain dead, climbing a top end sports route requires incrdible concentration and thought. But a low end bolt climb 4c requires a lot less concentration than a trad 4c for the simple reason you have the added decision on where to place gear, what gear to place, how you will place it, etc.

>
> Trad climbing would do better if it would stop parroting these arguments...

Yeah but they kind of ask for it.
What gets me is that there are many bolt venues through out the country in Portland, Wales, the Peak and elsewhere. It is a popular thing, I get it. But then when people come on here and say things like "why can't all trad climbs be bolted" it shows a lack of understanding of the style, an inherent laziness in that they can't be bothered to learn a style and they just want every crag brought in line with their style which in itself is somewhat selfish.
Jamie B - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:

Oh for heaven's sake, for the millionth time (it feels like) trad climbers (whatever that means) are not dismissive of nor despise sport/bolted climbing - most of us do it and enjoy it at some time.

What many of us do dislike however, is the thought of bolted/sport climbing encroaching on existing trad venues, and without exception we despise/find ridiculous the naive idea that a climb can be retroed with "optional" bolts. This does not add up to a hatred of sport, more a love of trad, it's heritage and the diversity of climbing that we currently share.
tlm - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> Trad argument 1: 'bolting climbing is dumbing down a climb'
> (it may make reduce the commitment, but climbers will just go to a higher grade)

Uh? I really don't understand what you are saying here? If someone is climbing a vdiff, that is well within their technical ability, but they really have to push themselves mentally to keep calm, look for gear placements, place gear well, work out where the route is going next, then bolting it will take away all of those psychological parts of the climb and leave a rather boring 3+ bolted route.

If they go to a higher grade of climb, they then have those psychological challenges but now also have to fret about if their technical climbing is good enough too? The only way I can understand what you are saying is to assume that you actually haven't led many trad routes and don't understand the psychological aspect that is involved.

> Trad argument 2: 'bolted climbing is crappy and sports climbers are stupid and missing out'

I've actually never heard anyone other than you say this. Most trad climbers understand fully the point of putting bolts in, to allow the climber to concentrate fully on the physical aspects of climbing, without having to worry about the psychological aspects, thus freeing them up to push themselves to the fullest physically. I've only ever heard trad climbers say that they don't want to lose their trad climbs, not that sports climbing is crappy.
andrewmcleod - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:
> [...] in other words to dumb it down.
> [...] it is in my view a lesser climbing style ...
> [...] encouraging a can't-be-arsed-I'll-just-clip-it attitude. It is there, a McDonald's quick fix, how can you ignore that?

I'm sure it is all do to with the nature of online communication, and probably not what you intended or how it would sound if we were in a pub, but these sound pretty dismissive to me (and yes I have very selectively quoted for effect).
andrewmcleod - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to tlm:
> [...] then bolting it will take away all of those psychological parts of the climb and leave a rather boring 3+ bolted route.

That 3+ may be a very exciting route to someone where it is at the limit of their technical ability (albeit that would probably be a very near beginner) :P

I am not contesting that if you bolt a climb, you can't trad climb it (unless you have some SERIOUSLY insane ethics) because it would just be silly. I agree trad and bolts cannot coexist on the same route.
Rob Naylor - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to andrewmcleod)
I've only ever heard trad climbers say that they don't want to lose their trad climbs, not that sports climbing is crappy.

Same here....though some of the posters here seem to believe we're all just slagging off sports climbers! Wierd.
GridNorth - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Rob Naylor: I think they are sensitive and defensive because they know, deep down in their hearts, that sport is the inferior activity. Just kidding. :-)
r0x0r.wolfo - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to TomDisomma:
> (In reply to mike kann)
>
> You've really missed my point, I've never said British people are bad at climbing, I never even said climbing is bad in England. I never said europeans are better, I dont know where you've got this from.
>
> I never said trad climbing puts people out of their depth either. I said when a trad climber puts himself out of his depth it is dangerous, nothing more.

I love how you can take paragraphs of thought out explanations and the post this. So far you haven't said anything it seems. 'Doing something out of your depth may or may not be dangerous'. Thanks for that. There arent deaths sport climbing?
deepstar - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> (In reply to tlm)
> [.
>
> I am not contesting that if you bolt a climb, you can't trad climb it (unless you have some SERIOUSLY insane ethics) because it would just be silly. I agree trad and bolts cannot coexist on the same route.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67325
tlm - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to deepstar:

hehe heh! I like the 'not so hard placing with a knee bar!' Presumably, he has pre-done the climbs using the bolts and worked out the gear placements in advance? Anyhoo - good on him. Such enthusiasm!
Duncan Bourne - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
> [...]
>
> I'm sure it is all do to with the nature of online communication, and probably not what you intended or how it would sound if we were in a pub, but these sound pretty dismissive to me (and yes I have very selectively quoted for effect).

Most of that was instant outrage at the thought of retro bolting established trad routes. I have sport climbed and enjoyed it, there is certainly a challenge in making the moves in relative "safety" and without the necessity of carrying more than a few quickdraws.
However while appreciating the fun side and the admitted challenge of the harder routes I still feel that a bolted route can not compete with a ground up trad ascent. I have climbed on many bolt venues both here and abroad and with the exception of some of the bigger routes have not personally found them very memorable. For me there is something about looking at a blank canvas of rock and figuring out a way up it. Just you and the rock, apart from a few lines in a guide book, you could be a pioneer, you look up where will you go? what will you try? On bolted routes I find myself just looking for the line of bolts and much like using a sat-nav to find your way somewhere you don't get the same feel for an area.
By all means climb on bolts, each to his own, but let us preserve the trad crags for those who want that particular style because at the end of the day it is not just a case of ignoring the bolts.
GrahamD - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Agree with all of that plus not forgetting the nature of the rock at popular beginner venues in the UK. Can you imagine what a couple of bolts would do to a classic *** challenge like 3PS ? it would be a diff scramble followed by a V0- boulder problem followed by a walk up a slab. It would just be a complete non experience. The same applies to any number of shorter classics - almost making them pointless as climbs.
Offwidth - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

3PS is hard at the start and has 4c padding at the top. Bolts would strongly detract from the experience, not reduce it to a non-experience (and a lot of that would be down to more traffic and polish). I climb partly bolted trad all the time in the US where hand drilled bolt were originally placed on lead (and replaced subsequently) and the routes can still be as bold and memorable as any UK classic.
GrahamD - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

I'm not saying partial bolting can't work in certain circumstances, just not on the majority of short grit routes because once you take any sting out of the crux, there isn't enough other climbing to compensate. I still reckon 3ps in particular would be pretty indifferent with a couple of bolts.

In fact I'm trying to think of any UK route I've done where the odd bolt would have enhanced the experience in any way.
grurper - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Boy these UK Climbing blogs go on forever don't they?

I haven't the time to read it all so excuse me if I'm repeating someone else's sentiments.

This issue is a bit like someone painting glasses on the Mona Lisa so you can see her better!

My climbing roots go back to hemp ropes and steel carabiners and I was brought up on trad climbing in Australia where to bolt someone elses route is considered blasphemy. We adpoted our trad'itions' from the days of Joe Brown and his ilk and they seem as strong today as they were back then.

If someone bolted an established route where I come from they would very likely be beaten up, would certainly be ostracised, their bolts clipped, and they would be billed for this (I kid you not) and their names blackened which can last for an eternity it seems! He or she would need to find somewhere else to climb and possibly not let anyone know who they were. Me, I love sport climbing, it's so convenient and I love trad too, especialy the purity and intimacy of the form but it's another thing entirely despite the skills overlap. A trad route can only be 'improved' upon by naked ropeless soloing, or doing it in the rain or whatever. It's personal. Another lingering problem is a good line that has still not succumbed to either style, whoever nails it first sets that and that's what it will say in future guide books.

As for getting more people onto the crags, whoever said that shold drop dead! But then I'm speaking as someone who now lives in Chamonix, France that's the last thing anyone here wants.

This is just displacement activity on my part, I finally got up the courgae to delete my Facebook account (it felt like suicide) so perhaps I should resist forums like this too for a while but this issue touched a nerve.

Everyone stay prudent and please respect the first ascent, if you didn't like it... roll yer own!
dereke12000 - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

I've just started trad climbing after years of sport, and I like the feeling of a blank wall and it's all up to you. Scary but rewarding.

I practised first placing protection on some easy sport routes (clipping the bolts as well) at Portland which was a great help...
tlm - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to grurper:
> Another lingering problem is a good line that has still not succumbed to either style, whoever nails it first sets that and that's what it will say in future guide books.

The rock is so limited in the UK that we usually have agreements about where bolting is acceptable and where it is not acceptable. These agreements are reached by discussion involving all interested parties. It isn't a matter of just whacking in bolts because you personally climbed a route for the first time here - your actions affect more people than just yourself, for example, the landowners. Just sticking some bolts in may risk losing climbing access to an area for everyone. Look at what happened in the Gower:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/gower-bolting-agreement
Goucho on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

It is often said that the UK and the US are two countries separated by a common language.

Sport and Trad climbing are exactly the same.

tlm - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:

Apart from the fact that most climbers do both...
Goucho on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to Goucho)
>
> Apart from the fact that most climbers do both...

So do I, but I think the argument in favour of retro bolting trad routes to make them more accessible to sport climbers, is a bit like draining the water out of a marina to make it more accessible to cars!
LakesWinter on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho: Excellent analogy
LakesWinter on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to dereke12000: Good effort, stick at it, nice one
tlm - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:

or like building a wall and a roof and some steps on the sea to make it more accessible to swimmers....
Jim Lancs - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Goucho:
>>. . . but I think the argument in favour of retro bolting trad routes to make them more accessible to sport climbers, is a bit like draining the water out of a marina to make it more accessible to cars!

Or more like draining the water out of a swimming pool to make it more accessible to non-swimmers.
Ramblin dave - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Offwidth)

> In fact I'm trying to think of any UK route I've done where the odd bolt would have enhanced the experience in any way.

Some of the easier routes around Bonsai Wall in the Cuttings...
Eban on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices: If Danger frightens you then stay indoors and Leave Trad Climbing to the People like myself love this climbing if i come across any bolted trad climbs i will rip them off and hope the perpetrator is still not around!!!! get real people
MikeYouCanClimb - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Eban:
>If Danger frightens you then stay indoors and Leave Trad Climbing to the People like myself love this climbing

I presume you mean that you are passionate and that you love trad climbing, but not that you love danger. Otherwise, your response comes across as “macho” and presents the myth that trad climbing outside is dangerous, which it generally isn’t.

Despite the hype, bolting a route might change the nature of an experience, but it does not necessarily make it safer. But if you are a well experienced trad climber you will know this.
Offwidth - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

I wasn't proposing it would enhance any experience in the UK. I was pointing out that bolted trad isn't bad per say and that a lessened experience is not the same as a non-experience. The context of bolting on many trad routes in the US was that many bolts were placed on lead sometimes in very tricky positions. This has drifted into safer replacements and occasional extra bolts but trad spirit is retained and defended.
madasten - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
Trad isn't just about danger particularly, it's about ADVENTURE. You don't know for sure whether there's another bit of gear above you, you don't know exactly where the line goes, or how good the next hold is, or how trustworth is the last piece of gear (admittedly it's usually all better than we think!). Many of us (me included) don't have massive balls sufficient to intentionally take big lobs all the time or intentionally set off up a route knowing that we're going to have a massive epic involving lots of disco leg, downclimbing, dodgy gear and general inventiveness to get ourselves out of a pickle. However, we love trad climbing because this is exactly what ends up happening on a trad route and although we don't often enjoy it while it's happening, we are obsessed with these 'epics' because they are exciting, memorable and in the long-run boost our self-confidence and increase our general climbing ability. But we do have to force ourselves into such situations and if there was a bolt sitting within reach then we'd all have a tolerance point at which we'd reach for it, as the 'life/death' balance feels as though it has gone too far in the wrong direction. And then once we are nice and secure on that bolt we would calm down, see things more objectively and realise that we were actually just being a wuss and actually there were ways of getting out of the pickle if we'd have just focused. And we'd immediately wish that we hadn't used the bolt.

I do hugely agree that there should be more easy sport climbing in the UK, but definitely disapprove of bolting trad routes, at least popular ones. Maybe if they don't have a star?
Calder - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to madasten:
> (In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices)
> ...

You were doing so well. Right up to.... here:

> I do hugely agree that there should be more easy sport climbing in the UK, but definitely disapprove of bolting trad routes, at least popular ones. Maybe if they don't have a star?

I just can't grasp this 'should be more easy sport climbing' thing. If the easy sport climbing brigade got off their sorry arses and put some effort in, then there's loads of quality bolted routes they could go play on The Orme/Yorkshire Limestone/Portland/etc.

But that'd be too much like hard work, wouldn't it.
Offwidth - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Calder:

I'm sticking to easy sports climb possibilities being rare: ie bucket ladders on vertical rock. Easy rock is low angle and you hit things if you fall (trad would be safer if protected) and slabs smooth enough to make this less of an issue won't be easy.
madasten - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Calder:
It's always going to be hard to get a balance to suit everyone. It's great to go to Spain and find loads of quality sport routes in the 5's and low/mid 6's to get my head into a good space and simply to cram so many routes into a day that I start feeling really natural on the rock. I'm from the old-school and see sport as training for trad, however in the UK there is very little quality sport in this grade range which means I'm always trying to push my limit on trad. Which is fun (sometimes!) but certainly not the most effective way of improving. And I don't like climing indoors either!

I guess I'm pretty on the fence about my earlier comment on potentially considering bolting some 'unstarred' trad routes. On the one hand Britain is known for its trad so let's stick to our history. One the other hand, I'm sure many current trad routes would get a lot more attention if bolted.
Calder - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to madasten:

You could work some routes on top-rope, with a view to an eventual trad lead when you've got it wired.

Bolting crap routes will ultimately be completely uninspiring.
GrahamD - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to madasten:

Quite apart from the ethical stand point, which crags in UK, if bolted, would actually yield any significant number of quality 5s and 6s ?
madasten - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:
I wasn't suggesting any particular routes, merely speculating. If a little-climbed 1-star E3 scrubbed up to produce a 2-star 6b, would it be worth bolting it?

I suppose it would only be worth considering if there were a few routes like this in the same area, as it's a bit pointless having just one sport route in amongst loads of trad. Gary Gibson has the right idea cleaning up the quarries around Matlock, but unfortunately decent routes are sparse.
andrewmcleod - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Not denying that sliding down slabs is unpleasant whether it is bolted or not, but why would low angle rock be safer on trad (as opposed to potentially as safe)?
GrahamD - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
>
> Not denying that sliding down slabs is unpleasant whether it is bolted or not, but why would low angle rock be safer on trad (as opposed to potentially as safe)?

On diff slabs like Black Slab at Bosigran, you can place gear at just about any point you like so if you are in difficulty you can always put gear in at head height. If you were relying on bolts you could easily have to be a metre above your protection when you realised you were in difficulty.

Similar argument to crack climbs. There are simply moree protection options.
Offwidth - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to GrahamD: Also on lower grade trad most people dont push as hard as they would on low grade sport so the chances of a fall are much lower. Indoor walls understand this issue: if you fall on slabs the risks of hurting yourself hitting other holds is a lot higher.
RockSteady on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices:

People are getting very het up about the idea that there is some generation of climbers who can't be bothered to learn the history and ethics of climbing, can't be bothered to learn the basics of trad, and can't be bothered to practice enough to get good enough to climb good hard sport lines.

I just don't think the sort of person who fits this description is going to be bothered to put the effort in to bolt a line, new or existing.

I think it's something that causes outrage on forums but rarely happens in real life.
Robert Durran - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to RockSteady:
> (In reply to MountainsAreBetterThanOffices)
>
> Generation of climbers who can't .........be bothered to practise enough to get good enough to climb good hard sport lines.
>
> I just don't think the sort of person who fits this description is going to be bothered to put the effort in to bolt a line, new or existing.


No, I am pretyy certain that those who bolt "low" grade sports climbs (lets say 4 to 6b) are not "low" grade climbers themselves (probably climb well into the 7's) and do the bolting out of some, arguably misplaced, sense of "service" to a supposed climbing "community".
Offwidth - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

That's you particular bias showing. If you search who is putting up lower graded bolted climbs around the UK recently sometimes it's experienced older climbers only climbing slightly harder.

They are not the idiots arguing here for retrobolting lower grade trad routes based on a need for risk reduction.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to andrewmcleod)
> [...]
>
> If you were relying on bolts you could easily have to be a metre above your protection when you realised you were in difficulty.

OK. But if I'm anything other than an absolute beginner and a metre above a bolt on a slabby diff I can down climb to the protection any time I like. I'd bet most inexperienced climbers would rather climb down a move than take hands off to fiddle with gear.

Having said that I don't think there's really any demand to bolt lots of F3s and F4s. Regular indoor climbers would accept the argument they would be too easy to be worth bolting. It's at F5 to F6A+ there is demand but no supply unless you get on Easyjet.
Offwidth - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

What do you mean no supply, there are hundreds outdoors in the UK and thousands indoors.

Also we are not talking about downclimbing diffs, more realistically in the terms of the muppets who don't understand history and consensus we are talking downclimbing retrobolted routes that were once bold HVS climbs.
GrahamD - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> OK. But if I'm anything other than an absolute beginner and a metre above a bolt on a slabby diff I can down climb to the protection any time I like. I'd bet most inexperienced climbers would rather climb down a move than take hands off to fiddle with gear.

Its absolute beginners we are talking about here, though, isn't it ? and down climbing when in extremis is not an easy thing to do. Bolts simply don't help in this situation IMO

> It's at F5 to F6A+ there is demand but no supply unless you get on Easyjet.

...just the same as if I want to go winter climbing I have to get on easyjet or drive for 8 hours to Scotland to where there are suitable venues. We just do not have rock anything like an Orpierre or a Siurana or an El Chorro or a Costa Blanca in this country.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh)
>
> What do you mean no supply, there are hundreds outdoors in the UK and thousands indoors.

I agree there are huge numbers of good indoor sport routes and no indoor trad and I think that's something that trad climbers should emphasise (rather than ethics and history) when people claim it would be fair for sport climbing to get a bigger share of the outdoor rock.

Outdoor the thing of interest is how many sport routes within reasonable driving distance, not how many in the whole country. Sport routes in Wales are no more accessible to someone that lives in Scotland than sport routes in Europe.

>
> Also we are not talking about downclimbing diffs, more realistically in the terms of the muppets who don't understand history and consensus we are talking downclimbing retrobolted routes that were once bold HVS climbs.

The point I was replying to was about diffs:
"On diff slabs like Black Slab at Bosigran, you can place gear at just about any point you like so if you are in difficulty you can always put gear in at head height. If you were relying on bolts you could easily have to be a metre above your protection when you realised you were in difficulty."
Robert Durran - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> If you search who is putting up lower graded bolted climbs around the UK recently sometimes it's experienced older climbers only climbing slightly harder.

Ok. Them as well if you say so. But probably still a "consumer" driven approach to route production.
dereke12000 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
> [...]
>
> It's at F5 to F6A+ there is demand but no supply unless you get on Easyjet.

Or head down to Portland (predominantly sport) or Cheddar (mixed) where there are literally hundreds of 5's and 6a's. By the time you've done all these then hopefully the 6b's and 7's are within your reach, and so on...

As a newcomer to trad (and a keen sport climber) I think places like Swanage or Fairy Cave would be ruined by bolting.

GrahamD - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to dereke12000:

There are (now) loads of 5s and 6s in Portland, Cheddar, N.Wales, Peak, Yorkshire etc. My point was that in terms of quality, UK rock simply doesn't support easy high quality bolted lines the way Easy Jet destinations do.

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