/ The John Redhead interview

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stp - on 09 Sep 2016
Just wondering if anyone listened to the John Redhead interview on this week's Jam Crack podcast and if so what they thought of it. Good, bad indifferent?

Thought some of it was pretty interesting but generally thought it was a bit underwhelming. (Actually I much preferred the previous one with Glenn Robbins).

The thought that The Indian Face marked the end of British trad climbing was an interesting point though.


http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-podcast/jcpc-017-john-redhead



Timmd on 09 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:
Sounds to me as if Redhead wants to have gone out 'at the top'? ;-)

I think Appointment With Death at Wimberry(sp) is a very serious trad climb, with some of the key holds being pebbles which could potentially snap off, I think in it's own way it's a voyage which is 'out there' - like Indian Face is but differently so.

Much kudos to anybody who leads either climb.
Post edited at 22:46
davidalcock - on 09 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

I enjoyed it. I did fall asleep at one point, but rewound when I woke, and still enjoyed it. He's got his head screwed on, that man.
AP Melbourne on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to davidalcock:

> I enjoyed it.

Same here David, thought it was ace.
Listened to it with Glenn Robbins around my place last night and we p*ssed ourselves coz we both know and love JR personally.
Absolutely smashed we were and staggering about and High-Fiving when Niall and John said nice things about us. Guess you had to be here really - but probably best you weren't as it got Very Messy. Ha!


stp - on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to Timmd:

I think his point was that after Indian Face the, more or less ground up way of doing new routes ended and people opted for headpointing instead (which Redhead sees more like sport climbing rather than trad).

Whether Indian Face caused that change or was just an inevitable change in ethics as things go harder and less protected is an interesting question.
I like climbing - on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

Thanks for posting - JR is an inspiration.
Timmd on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> I think his point was that after Indian Face the, more or less ground up way of doing new routes ended and people opted for headpointing instead (which Redhead sees more like sport climbing rather than trad).

> Whether Indian Face caused that change or was just an inevitable change in ethics as things go harder and less protected is an interesting question.

Yes, having slept on it I've realised that's what he ment. It is an interesting question.
TobyA on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:
Just listened. He seems very good company but my scepticism remains. I wonder if it gets tiring consciously trying to be 'the rebel' or iconoclastic all the time. I guess not if that really is your natural thing...

I thought the tossed off reference to being raped was particularly troubling - it wasn't really clear if he meant it seriously or not, I presume not, but rape 'jokes' aren't ever really funny. What he described was not rape; maybe what actually happened was somehow different to what he said, but from his own words it seemed like a casual misuse of a very emotive word. Considering much criticism down the years of Redhead has been that he is somehow sexist or misogynist - from his route names to his book - it seemed a very odd thing to say. Grimer didn't really respond to it either besides laughing along - I guess fine if what you are doing is recording and sharing a conversation between mates, but then not really an 'interview' in even the broadest journalistic sense.

It was funny that he still seems mad at Dave Pickford - I'm pretty sure it was Pickford who wrote a scathing review of "One for the Crow" in Climb that accused Redhead of misogyny, and he clearly has not forgiven him for it! The idea that Climb magazine is a corporate behemoth is very funny as well - (as we know, that is that is UKC nowadays under the dark lord AJ*).

Overall, interesting, but I found the Glen Robbins one more engaging somehow - although I was on holiday when I listened to that one so it might have given me good vibes as a result.

Grimer's website is looking great and dead easy to use if people aren't regular podcast downloaders. http://www.niallgrimes.com/jam-crack-podcast/


*Just to be clear, this was meant as a joke. UKC is not a corporate behemoth, nor indeed any type of behemoth, and Mr. James is not, nor has ever been, to the best of my knowledge, a dark lord of any kind.
Post edited at 14:45
jon on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

> I wonder if it gets tiring consciously trying to be 'the rebel' or iconoclastic all the time.

Years of practice, Toby.
Timmd on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:
I got the impression that Grimer was laughing along as a way of giving John Redhead room to express himself, in that if he'd been more 'interviewer like' Redhead might have been less easy company or more evasive, that he'd probably have taken the mickey and been abstract for his own amusement if he felt the interview wasn't to his liking (or more than he had been).

Which isn't to judge John Redhead as such, with me being anonymous on here behind my username.
Post edited at 15:14
TobyA on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to jon:

Well he did say if you just keep practicing and practicing anyone can do it. He was referring to sport climbing but perhaps it holds for other fields of endeavour too!
Goucho on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

Whenever I hear JR* being interviewed or read his writing, he always reminds me of Martin Amis - he'd be a lot more interesting, if he could just find a way to get over himself

*This comment does not relate to the mans awesome talent and achievents in climbing.
jon on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:

Needy, Goucho. Needy.
John2 - on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

'I thought the tossed off reference to being raped was particularly troubling - it wasn't really clear if he meant it seriously or not, I presume not, but rape 'jokes' aren't ever really funny. What he described was not rape; maybe what actually happened was somehow different to what he said, but from his own words it seemed like a casual misuse of a very emotive word'

It was Redhead's understanding of a joke. There was nothing troubling about it at all. Are you sufficiently aware of the meaning of language to understand what your phrase 'the tossed off reference to being raped' means?

What do you understand when people talk about the 'rape of a landscape'? It's a figure of speech.
Timmd on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to John2:
> What do you understand when people talk about the 'rape of a landscape'? It's a figure of speech.

'Raises hand' I'm thinking that it's possibly a different figure of speech when it's used in relation to having sex?
Post edited at 19:24
Timmd on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to jon:
> Needy, Goucho. Needy.

A childhood friend had (on the face of it) a similar mixture of insecurity and tendency to talk himself up/possible arrogance. He wasn't always the easiest person to know, but his foibles were understandable given his background.


Post edited at 19:24
TobyA on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to John2:

> It was Redhead's understanding of a joke. There was nothing troubling about it at all.

He said his friend's girlfriend came and had sex with him - that he was raped. What was that the joke? That he wasn't really raped? Or was he actually making an accusation of sexual assault against the woman concerned (a man can't be raped by a woman under English law as I understand it)? Weird either way.

> What do you understand when people talk about the 'rape of a landscape'?

That the landscape is being violated, or that it is having violence done to it, but Redhead was talking about someone having sex with him, so I don't see what could be metaphoric about it.


JJL - on 10 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:

Yes. It's all SOOOOO self consciously pretentious - absolutely affectation.

Or, as we used to say, bollocks.
davidalcock - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:
Ffs. This is turning into a rather patriarchal interpretation of pc. Under the new law, rape is defined as sex without consent. All those times I've been woken with a blowjob - now rape (and vice versa), all those times I've woken straddled and vice versa, all those times when I didn't want sex but felt afraid of the consequences so complied... no vice versa. In modern times rape is not physically forced sex, it's sex without positive assent. If you live in the stone age, then no man can be raped. If you live by our modern mores then I've been raped a thousand times, and have the same to my detriment.

Society as a whole is improving as the years go by when it comes to assent. It is stopping some abuse. It also makes us think. I can say to a lover to do what she wants before she wakes, and vice versa, again.

Yet, I have been raped with the threat of the knife, so...

Male rape is real yet invisible, or perhaps just envied. If you haven't experienced it, then I'm glad for you.
Post edited at 01:38
ultrabumbly on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

It's the same old same old, no? Tracey Emin with a bit more contact strength though a lot less necky with the bullshit.
Dogwatch - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to davidalcock:
> Ffs. This is turning into a rather patriarchal interpretation of pc. Under the new law, rape is defined as sex without consent.

Not correct. Sexual Offences Act 2003 Section 1 defines the offence of Rape.

(1)A person (A) commits an offence if£

(a)he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,

(b)B does not consent to the penetration, and

(c)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

If you don't have a penis you cannot be rapist. There's a variety of other offences such as Sexual Assault or Assault by penetration that a woman can commit but not rape.
Post edited at 06:59
davidalcock - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Dogwatch:

I kneel corrected. That may be the letter, but the spirit man, the spirit... And the law as it stands is an ass.
Wanderer100 - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Dogwatch:

> Not correct. Sexual Offences Act 2003 Section 1 defines the offence of Rape.

> (1)A person (A) commits an offence if£

> (a)he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,

> (b)B does not consent to the penetration, and

> (c)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

> If you don't have a penis you cannot be rapist. There's a variety of other offences such as Sexual Assault or Assault by penetration that a woman can commit but not rape.

Not what I expected to read on a Sunday morning!
Morty - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

Nice to see John hasn't lost the power to divide opinion - I bet he'd love this thread. He'd probably be whacking one out and laughing manically as he read it.
Mick Ward - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Morty:

I'm sure he's doing exactly that!

Mick
davidalcock - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Dogwatch:

A thought experiment: if a gang of fishwives wearing clown suits, and sporting huge strap-on papier-mache phalluses had their forcible way with me, then is that rape, or sexual assault by penetration, or merely serious clowning? Yours, an interested reader.
stp - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

> but my scepticism remains. I wonder if it gets tiring consciously trying to be 'the rebel' or iconoclastic all the time. I guess not if that really is your natural thing...

That's a good way of putting of it. It's a conundrum. I still feel like I don't know.

I get that he's a showman, an entertainer of some sort, an enigma and don't have a problem with that. But I suppose I was hoping we might get a glimpse beyond the facade for once. The Indian Face thing was obviously a big deal for him, as it would have been for anyone in that position. But it would have been really interesting to know how he felt at the time. Was he really angry or what? He seems almost dismissive of it somehow, like it wasn't such a big deal for him personally. Maybe he still hasn't dealt with the feelings about it fully? Who knows?

And this was in a stark contrast to the previous show with Glen Robbins who came across as completely open and very authentic. That might have been why I found one disappointing.


> Grimer didn't really respond to it either besides laughing along

I can't speak for Grimer but if I was in that position I think I might have done the same only because it was such an odd and out of the blue comment I wouldn't have had time to form a decent response or even decide whether that was a topic I wanted to take the conversation into.


Niall Grimes - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

Hi Steve,

I think you have a fair point in some ways. I think I alluded in the interview to the sense that JR 'performs' in public. You're probably right, someone more journalistic would have probed and pushed and questioned that. But the vibe in these is to let people chat for a while. In the case of Glenn Robbins that approach produced that, and with JR you got that interview.

But there's a couple of things about that. For a start, and one of the reasons I wanted to do JR, is unlike a lot of other climbers of the era, JR's voice is not heard very much today. A lot of younger climbers today will be familiar with Jerry and Johnny and Ben from videos etc, but few will know of John. So i thought his opinions were worth putting across. And even if you can question the extent to which these are true for him, then the opinions themselves can be true. And they are valid. Perhaps going deeper into JR would have been at the cost of getting these opinions over.

That's a post-justification all the same, and wasn't my intention. My intention was to record an hour of John.

As I write this, a Facebook notification has just popped up in the corner of my screen. It says:

"it's the first podcast I've listened to where I feel I have learned something from."

I'm sure TrainingBeta get those all the time, but that's the first time I've got it.

Goucho on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:
> That's a good way of putting of it. It's a conundrum. I still feel like I don't know.

The Indian Face thing was obviously a big deal for him, as it would have been for anyone in that position. But it would have been really interesting to know how he felt at the time. Was he really angry or what? He seems almost dismissive of it somehow, like it wasn't such a big deal for him personally. Maybe he still hasn't dealt with the feelings about it fully? Who knows?

The bolt. The painting. The mysterious case of the snapped flake? The 30 years of whining that's followed.

I think we all know the answer, irrespective of the pretentious waffle and bollocks.

> I can't speak for Grimer but if I was in that position I think I might have done the same only because it was such an odd and out of the blue comment I wouldn't have had time to form a decent response or even decide whether that was a topic I wanted to take the conversation into.

I think it's because a lot of people are genuinely intimidated by him - or at least his reputation - and don't want to rattle what is probably a very delicate ego.
Post edited at 10:22
davidalcock - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:

I don't think a 'delicate ego' would have helped with those on sights. Anyway, he's a lovely, modest guy, and my keen kids think so too.
Niall Grimes - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to davidalcock:

He is indeed a lovely guy.
Goucho on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to davidalcock:

> I don't think a 'delicate ego' would have helped with those on sights. Anyway, he's a lovely, modest guy, and my keen kids think so too.

An ego can be big, yet still delicate, or small, and tough as iron. Usually, the bigger the ego, the more vulnerable it is to small pointed objects
Mick Ward - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Niall Grimes:

> He is indeed a lovely guy.

It's nearly 40 years since I met him but he was certainly a lovely guy then - delightfully loopy. Is there maybe a touch of Whillans about him: a somewhat ego-driven personality when playing to a public gallery and a more amenable person underneath? I've always imagined that if you went bouldering with him and it was just you and him, no audience, after five minutes you could say, "Hey John, can we just drop the bollox?" and he'd give a manic grin and, after that, it would just be a pair of kids playing together, having a laff.

Anyway - that's my fantasy and I'm sticking to it.

Mick
stp - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Niall Grimes:

First off fantastic effort doing the podcasts at all. I'd say I was disappointed rather than critical of the show or your interviewing. As you say JR's voice isn't really heard and when I saw that JR was the next podcast I was really looking forward to it. My hope or expectation was that I'd finally find out a little bit more about a legendary climber, someone who I knew so little about. The passage of time often allows people to reflect on past events, like the Indian Face saga, a bit more openly, less defensively. Unfortunately it wasn't like that. Maybe JR isn't a very open person, or at least not on a public show, and to be honest, there's no reason why he should be. If that's the way he is then that's the way he is. I can't be critical of that.

I always thought the Indian Face was a massive kick in the teeth for him, both by JD and possibly the climbing community in general. Didn't know how he felt about it, and sadly I'm still not much wiser.

Overall though it's really nice to have UK based show and hear English accents rather that American ones for a change. Like any series some are bound to be better than others, just the way it is. The JR one certainly wasn't bad, just not exactly what I'd hoped for. Keep 'em coming.
jon on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> and hear English accents rather that American ones

You're obviously not including the interviewer there?
stp - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to jon:

Duh! Good point. :^)

Maybe any accent but American is what I really meant.
Niall Grimes - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

And perhaps I was guilty of bringing and expectation to the table.

On a more personal note, I met him in later years, in places like The Caban near Llanberis, and he was just a friendly, welcoming person. There was no need to suggest any bollocks gets dropped. He's playful, which i liked.
Yanis Nayu - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to davidalcock:

> A thought experiment: if a gang of fishwives wearing clown suits, and sporting huge strap-on papier-mache phalluses had their forcible way with me, then is that rape, or sexual assault by penetration, or merely serious clowning? Yours, an interested reader.

That's the effect of magic mushrooms...
Goucho on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:
> I always thought the Indian Face was a massive kick in the teeth for him, both by JD and possibly the climbing community in general.

I'm not sure I agree with this.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but JR started his attempts on the line in 83', JD finally did IF in 86'. That's a 3 year period. Breaking his scaphoid bone during this period obviously didn't help JR, but are you saying JD (or anyone else) should have left the line indefinitely for JR, until he either succeeded or walked away? Or, that JD and any other suitors should have adhered to JR's ground up ethic?

Let's make a comparison here.

In the 60's, Joe Brown made several attempts and was the number one suitor for Great Wall. He had a personal ethic of no more than 2 pegs per pitch (GW was seen as a single pitch route back then) and eventually realised he would need more than 2 to succeed. So rather than change his ethical stance, he walked away. Along comes Pete Crew with a different ethical approach, uses more pegs and aid than Brown was prepared too, and bags the first ascent.

Did Crew steal the first ascent by using the tactics he used - general consensus at the time was that a number of climbers, including Brown, were more than capable of climbing the route using the same style as Crew - or did he play the game to his advantage to bag the prize? Many first ascents have been the result of this kind of ruthless aproach of ends justifies the means.

Fast forward 25 years and we have a similar situation with IF.

The difference is, Brown accepted the situation on GW, and just got on with his life and other routes, whereas JR behaved rather like a petulant child - the bolt, the painting, the 'snapped' flake - followed by 30 years of whingeing and whining.

It seems a shame that one of the most brilliant - possibly even genius - climbers this country has ever produced, with a legacy of stunningly hard bold routes of imense character, still doesn't seem to be able to move on from one route.
Post edited at 12:45
Timmd on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Niall Grimes:

I really liked it, I sometimes think that what isn't said by people can be as informative as what is. I look forward to more chats with climbers.
Timmd on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:
I don't suppose one can really say whether it is a snapped flake or a forcibly removed flake without knowing more about it?

The 'convenience' of it removing itself from the crag to make it a more serious climb for others isn't lost on me, but not judging until I know enough to is kind of a rule I have.
Post edited at 14:01
Stevie A - on 11 Sep 2016
I thought this was an excellent interview, reminding me of the free flow of Scroobius Pip's 'Distraction Pieces' podcast. Very much enjoyed the elements relating to artistic soundscapes, allied to some excellent context on the wildness of the 80's climbing scene. I'm certainly looking forward to listening to the remainder of the series.
AP Melbourne on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to AP Melbourne:

Shan't point fingers at anyone so'll talk to myself:

Everyone's missing the point here. Everyone.
John is Different, Unique, Playful, Charming, Takes the p*ss at everyones' expense and ,,, is probably laughing his head off as we speak (well, read) but perhaps a tad melancholie too? (He's an artist, Sensitive type. But Nails still, Ha!).
The bolts on 'Masters/Tormented Ejaculation' and 'Demons of Bosch' were lapses, regrettable and both proven to be unneccessary, however, repeated attempts to climb (what became) Indian Face ground up then somebody breezes in, top ropes it into submission and hard-wiring into the brain with sticky rubber plays 'The Usurper'. I'd be pretty apoplectic too and stilll rather bitter & twisted thirty years later. Agree though: Time to let it go. Am sure JR has but was 'prodded' by that 'Grim' Irishman with the sharp wit and lovely, honey-dripping voice (who nicked my Jacobs fig rolls ... ). (Sorry, in-joke).












Mick Ward - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:

A superb historical perspective.


> The difference is, Brown accepted the situation on GW, and just got on with his life and other routes...

A lesson for us all. There are always some that get away. And, if it eats away at you (have got the T shirt!), not good... Best either to slay the beast or else walk away.

I was told that Brown came back to GW at 64, twice the age he was when it was first done, and slayed the beast. Whether this is true or not, he stands as an exemplar of maturity (and playfulness) to us all.

Conversely Barry Brewster went for the Eiger as a consolation prize...

Honorary mentions re IF.

Ray Evans, first known serious contender in, eek 1967. [Trivia alert.] When JD was being interviewed for Peak Rock, he was compulsively doodling. Next day, in a phone conversation, Phil Kelly noted that the doodles were by Ray Evans' phone number. Apparently JD was chuffed to bits.

And Pete Whillance who, it's rumoured, walked up to the bottom six times and walked away six times. Probably harder to walk away than start. Massive respect.

None of us wins 'em all. We all have to live with ourselves... somehow.

Mick

leewil86 - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

I have met John quite a few times lovely fella and playfull is certainly a word I would use always seems to be having a laugh mabey even taking the piss with a cheeky look on his face but has always been open to chat about art or climbing when ever I've spoke to him and seems a really good bloke , really enjoyed the interview hope the septic tank and all the shats have been sorted out.
Jim 1003 - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

I listened to half of it and got bored...so watched some rubbish on Netflix instead...
Will Hunt - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Mick Ward:

> I've always imagined that if you went bouldering with him and it was just you and him, no audience, after five minutes you could say, "Hey John, can we just drop the bollox?" and he'd give a manic grin and, after that, it would just be a pair of kids playing together, having a laff.


On the contrary I imagine that if you asked John to drop the bollocks, that he would immediately drop his trousers, lift his testicles with his hand, and then drop them, onto your face.
Mick Ward - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to Will Hunt:

Testicle dropping or manic grin... does it matter? Hopefully there would be less ego but still the delightful loopiness that I remember.

Mick
pasbury on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to Will Hunt:

> On the contrary I imagine that if you asked John to drop the bollocks, that he would immediately drop his trousers, lift his testicles with his hand, and then drop them, onto your face.

Likely to cause a manic strain of some sort.
stp - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:

The significant differences between the Brown example and the Indian Face are:

1. Brown's 2 piton ethic was personal to him. The no top rope, ground up, ethic was major ethic of the country at that time. The whole grading system is based on that assumption.

2. As far as I know JR had not walked away from the route the way you describe.

I don't think this meant other climbers could not try the route. It was an open line to anyone, recognised for years. But to do the route with pre practice completely destroyed the unclimbed challenge.

Redhead left a route for people to better. But was JDs effort a better one? Almost certainly not. His actions erased JRs route and replaced with something sub standard.

Niall Grimes - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to AP Melbourne:

I never nicked yer Fig Rolls
1poundSOCKS - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> Redhead left a route for people to better.

It's interesting how things have changed. Watching the film Onsight, Jerry Moffat says that practicing the moves of Masters Edge on top-rope would have been seen as cheating. If you wanted the first ascent in those days, the 'rules' were you had to do it ground-up I think, although abseil inspection seems to have been tolerated. The 'rules' do change, but it does appear to be when somebody wants to claim the first ascent, and wants to do it in a different style (usually a style that makes it easier/less dangerous). I guess whether that is accepted is down to many factors.

Who now would accept a clean top-tope of a last great problem as the first ascent? It has to be lead. Those are currently the 'rules'.
FactorXXX - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to pasbury:

Likely to cause a manic strain of some sort.

Or a Tormented Ejaculation...
jon on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> His actions erased JRs route and replaced with something sub standard.

Did they? I had the impression that the bolt marked the top of his route. Surely if JR had come back to finish it, it would have still sported the bolt. I suppose it depends how you view a route with a bolt on cloggy... or indeed a bolted belay/lower off in the middle of nowhere. Surely his ground up contributions speak just as loudly as Dawes ascent and he should just let it go.

James Mann - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to Niall Grimes:

I really enjoyed this. A much better way of giving Redhead a voice than a written interview. I listened to it while waiting to go down to theatre for more leg surgery so wearing only a vague dress and at the front only and in public!

I lived in Llanberis in the late 90s and we certainly regarded John's routes with great regard and respect. We even met him around and about a few times, surprising us by being much less frightening than we first thought he might be and funny, quirky and down to earth.

Jerry chopped the bolt and not jd. This combined with the wrist injury prevented further attempts on the line conceived by Jr. This traversed right and didn't climb Redhead's line. I hadn't realised that Indian face went further left than jr's line. I think in a way that Redhead's legacy would be regarded differently if he had succeeded on his line. He certainly courted controversy but I have an inkling that much more of it was tongue in cheek than it appeared from the performing persona of the time. The characters of the scene at the time and especially the slow speed of the climbing press enabled sores to open and fester indefinitely. This in part combined with a rapidly evolving ethic and approach to training made this period fascinating in comparison to now.

More of this sort of thing please Niall!

Cheers

James
stp - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> Jerry Moffat says that practicing the moves of Masters Edge on top-rope would have been seen as cheating.

Yeah that's exactly right. So at that time JD's ascent should really have been seen as cheating. It was surprising how it was hailed as such a success when it clearly avoided the challenge of the day.

> although abseil inspection seems to have been tolerated.

Yes, because British rock with all it's imperfections, loose bits, moss, lichen etc often required cleaning first. And on blank faces you might need to get an idea of where the line actually goes too. So it was a compromise, not a complete ground up for the first ascent by any means. But a strong part of the ethic back then was that a route should at least be done in a way that subsequent ascents could reasonably attempted ground up.

Top rope practice changes that massively. Knowing, not only how to do a move, but that you actually can do a move makes a huge difference on a bold route and and even greater difference on a dangerous one.



Chris Harris - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to Will Hunt:

> On the contrary I imagine that if you asked John to drop the bollocks, that he would immediately drop his trousers, lift his testicles with his hand, and then drop them, onto your face.

AKA a "Dutch blindfold".
stp - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to jon:

> Did they? I had the impression that the bolt marked the top of his route. Surely if JR had come back to finish it, it would have still sported the bolt.

Possibly.

> I suppose it depends how you view a route with a bolt on cloggy...

Well Midsummer Night's Dream has a bolt and it's an excellent route so I'm certainly not against that. That seems to be acceptable.

Which is better: a super bold route with one bolt that can be done ground up vs a route no bolts but that requires top rope practice? Personally I'd go with the former. At least it doesn't require a new ethics, a new grading system or all the effort of setting up a top rope which must be a massive pain in the arse at cliff like Cloggy.


> or indeed a bolted belay/lower off in the middle of nowhere.

Certainly not great. I think the the word 'Tormented' sums it up. But it did at least leave something that other climbers could repeat, ground up. It also left something that could have been extended in the same style.


> Surely his ground up contributions speak just as loudly as Dawes ascent and he should just let it go.

Perhaps. Though when it's the highpoint of a lifetime's climbing career, it's not really recognized, and it was superceded by something arguably inferior then perhaps not.

Timmd on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> Perhaps. Though when it's the highpoint of a lifetime's climbing career, it's not really recognized, and it was superceded by something arguably inferior then perhaps not.

I find it interesting how he infers there's more to life than climbing, about how he'd get bored with always climbing and things, which seems to conflict a slightly with him sounding a little bit grumpy about Indian Face still.
Niall Grimes - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to James Mann:

"More of this sort of thing please Niall!"

Well there are sixteen further episodes there for a start, James.
Shani - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to Chris Harris:

> AKA a "Dutch blindfold".

Good knowledge!
James Mann - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to Niall Grimes:

Really enjoyed Glenn Robbins too.
Niall Grimes - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to James Mann:

Thanks James, a lot of folk liked that one.
Michael Gordon - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

>
> Which is better: a super bold route with one bolt that can be done ground up vs a route no bolts but that requires top rope practice? Personally I'd go with the former.

Definitely the latter. Prevailing ethics in the mountains is against bolts, and in contrast, headpointing a route does not change the experience for anyone else. The route is still there for a ground-up ascent. The fact that no-one has bettered Dawes' style gives that style a lot of credence.

At least it doesn't require a new ethics,

!!

jon on 13 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> Well Midsummer Night's Dream has a bolt and it's an excellent route so I'm certainly not against that. That seems to be acceptable.

True, but I suspect it's only acceptable given its historic context. Perhaps Redhead's bolt would have been accepted for the same reasons...? Or given that it was he who placed it and not someone else pushing their way in. But I suspect not - look at The Cad saga. Incidentally, were either of the Great Wall bolts placed on the lead - I've forgotten (if I ever knew).
pasbury on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to jon:

I don't think Redhead's was, if I recall correctly he placed it at his high point after a long cartwheeling fall down the face.
PeakDJ on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

Haven't listened yet, but will definitely do so. I recall bumping in to him a couple of years ago on the way out of the slate quarries. He wasl walking along the path past Serengeti with a glass of red wine and greeted us with a cheerful: "What a lovely evening!" Seemed a nice bloke, and from what I've seen a clever one who likes to be live on the fringes.
stp - on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Prevailing ethics in the mountains is against bolts,

In the mountains there are plenty of bolts and setting up a top rope first is totally impractical on many mountain faces of any size. Mountains, by necessity, require a ground up approach to climbing.


> and in contrast, headpointing a route does not change the experience for anyone else.

Of course it does. It means others top rope it first too on hard routes like this. Unless of course you believe there are no limits on what humans can achieve in climbing. But human genetics imply there are set limits above which even the most talented can't exceed. No one wants to die whilst climbing so we take finely calculated risks.

> The route is still there for a ground-up ascent. The fact that no-one has bettered Dawes' style gives that style a lot of credence.

The fact that no one has bettered Redhead's style gives that style a lot of credence too.


> At least it doesn't require a new ethics,

Headpointing is the new ethic. JR's point was precisely that. That Indian Face marked the end of traditional (meaning ground up trad) first ascents. I don't think JR's bolt was ever intended to be a new ethic, a new way of doing things. It was merely to mark the high point of an unfinished saga on a very famous wall.

stp - on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to jon:

> But I suspect not - look at The Cad saga.

Wasn't The Cad bolt chopped by Whillance, who climbed the route, ground up, without clipping it? This proved the route could be climbed ground up without the bolt. Had the same ethic been used on JR's route it probably still would not have been done since no one has done Indian Face that way. (Even Margins has only had one ground up ascent in all these years and that's presumably easier).
Blake - on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

Big Jim soloed the Cad on sight after having the bolt (hanger) removed! Mental.
Blake - on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:
You're right - in his own words, the tormented ejaculation bolt was him 'pissing on the post' after washing his hands of it. In true provocative, antagonistic style it was a dare to other climbers to 'come and have a go if you think you're hard enough'.

Nobody ever did. Dawes and Moffat completely avoided his line. Obviously the thought of taking a 70 - 80 foot monster on an RP wasn't appealing to them. Even if they did try it, they would have known that the terrifying fall was potentially survivable - something that John didn't know when he climbed on sight to failure and took the fall (twice in the end). If that isn't ethically pure, then I don't know what is.
Post edited at 12:56
GrahamD - on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> In the mountains there are plenty of bolts and setting up a top rope first is totally impractical on many mountain faces of any size. Mountains, by necessity, require a ground up approach to climbing.

I would suggest that in the UK there are many more hard pitches which can be worked on top rope than there are bolts. Start at the top with Echo Wall, Divided Years etc and work down.

> Of course it does. It means others top rope it first too on hard routes like this.

But the osight is still there for anyone to try irrespective of whether someone has top roped the line before.
jon on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> Wasn't The Cad bolt chopped by Whillance, who climbed the route, ground up, without clipping it?

Well yes and no. Ron did it in 78 with two bolts and a peg. Whillance eliminated one of the bolts on the second ascent. Redhead eliminated the peg on the third ascent. Quite at what stage - before or after their ascents - they were 'eliminated', I'm not sure. In 1987 Jim soloed it on sight after Paul Williams had removed the (remaining) hanger for him and subsequently photographed Jim soloing it - can you imagine calmly sitting there with a camera while your mate does that, I don't know who'd be the more scared! Also in 87 Nick Dixon led it without clipping the bolt then removed it. Logically then, Jim's solo must have predated (and of course upstaged) ND's ascent for there to be a bolt there for Paul to remove. I remember having an argument with Jim afterwards saying that he should put the hanger back. He refused outright adding that if another hanger magically appeared then he'd remove that too ad infinitum. Some days/weeks later he changed his mind and replaced it (and presumably then Dixon removed it). It was certainly there on 28 Jan 87 when Fred Crook and I did it. Whether this was before Paul removed it or after Jim put it back, I've no idea, but it must have been before Nick removed it! Subsequently of course it reappeared/disappeared from time to time...
BarrySW19 on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

> *Just to be clear, this was meant as a joke. UKC is not a corporate behemoth, nor indeed any type of behemoth, and Mr. James is not, nor has ever been, to the best of my knowledge, a dark lord of any kind.

Ha, don't think reasonable explanations will save you from the drive-by dislikers.
Michael Gordon - on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

The impracticality of setting up a top rope is not a good reason for placing bolts.

I agree that there is a very good reason why no-one has since attempted to better Dawes' style on this route, but have no problem with some routes never being possible to climb onsight.

In my opinion Redhead's placing of a bolt there was poor style, irrespective of how impressive and laudable his effort may have been otherwise.

Headpointing became a new ethic - yes, fair enough. This route is obviously a good example of that but hardly marked the end of traditional ground up first ascents or was anywhere near the first cutting edge route to be climbed with pre-practice.
Blake - on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to jon:

I thought it was Smiler who removed it?
jon on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to Blake:

My memory is that it was Paul as they abseiled down. He then photographed Jim from the abseil rope. You could ask Smiler, I'm happy to be proved wrong! The important thing is that it wasn't Jim as he wanted to climb on sight.
Blake - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to jon:

Morning Jon - by coincidence, I spoke to Smiler about it a couple of months ago when I bumped into him at the Riasg.

He described the bolt in detail, saying you could remove the hanger while leaving the bolt alone and that while he did it, Jim was already down there and he hid in the cave and wouldn't look because he was so determined to protect the on sight (which I thought was great). When it was all over, they replaced it.

Apologies if I appear pedantic - I agree it doesn't matter, none of it detracts from what a mind boggling feat it was. I certainly agree that Paul sitting there on the rope with the camera must have been bloody nerve wracking... Jim of course would have been coolly cruising it in usual style.
Niall Grimes - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to Blake:

But wasn't Stuart Cathcart's solo of it impressive too? I hear he put his finger through the bolt, but does that make it any less impressive?
Blake - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to Niall Grimes:
If you even think about a bolt when you climb it Niall - the merest thought, then you might as well just top rope it.
Post edited at 10:52
jon on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to Blake:

Ah, I stand corrected - not pedantic at all. I must admit I didn't know (or forgot?) that Smiler was involved and maybe assumed Paul had removed it as I know that Jim hadn't - hiding in the cave - great! However, that doesn't square at all with our argument afterwards. Maybe he intended to remove it and didn't or maybe he was trying to wind me up! I'm sure Smiler wouldn't have misremembered. The argument was real though, with Jim frothing at the mouth as usual - best to wear goggles!

But it does open up an interesting ethical point. Jim's argument for not replacing it was that if he could solo it without the bolt being there then everyone else should be able to lead it without the bolt. What he was forgetting was that when you solo something you change the rules completely and therefore a solo ascent of a route has no bearing whatever on the ethics of leading. It also means that any/every route then effectively becomes a death route irrespective of grade or how safe or scary it is to lead.
stp - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> The impracticality of setting up a top rope is not a good reason for placing bolts.

Why not? Agreed it's no big deal on a gritstone edge to set up a top rope. But on a huge mountain crag it's surely a massive pain in the arse. Is that really better than the odd bolt here and there to make a route doable ground up?

In other countries like some parts of the States and some mountain crags in Europe there is an ethic that bolts must be placed on lead. This leaves a route that others can then attempt from the ground too. These routes are often still really bold because of the obvious difficulty and time it takes to place a bolt whilst lead climbing. I think this is a much better solution and far more traditional because it preserves the ground up ethos.


> In my opinion Redhead's placing of a bolt there was poor style, irrespective of how impressive and laudable his effort may have been otherwise.

I agree it was flawed but it's certainly no worse than top roping which I'd consider even more flawed and considerably less bold.

At a certain point we have to accept that on some bits of rock the climbing is likely to be too hard and too unprotected for anyone to want to climb them without bolts. What then?


GrahamD - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

How many 'huge mountain crags' do we actually have. If Echo Wall was top roped (which it was) I can't see why other lines couldn't be. To me that is much better than the 'odd bolt' which of course won't stay as 'the odd bolt' because everyones favourite little project needs a bolt.

A top rope hasn't damaged the crag. A bolt has.
stp - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to jon:

Good bit of historical info there.

Jimmy Jewel's decision to replace the hangar on The Cad is interesting. It sounds similar to what Alex Honnold says in interviews. Leave the bolts for those who want to use them. But if someone wants to climb them without or solo the route they still have that option. Tom Randall seems to share the same live and let live approach. When attempting to climb a hard bolted crack on trad gear he said he had no intention of removing the bolts, appreciating the fact that most people would prefer to climb the bolted version.
stp - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

> A top rope hasn't damaged the crag. A bolt has.

You're really concerned about the odd tiny 10 mill hole on the huge expanse of rock that makes up a cliff face? If so why?
jon on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:
I agree, but the last bit wasn't quite as I remembered it - look at Blake's correction!
Post edited at 18:14
GrahamD - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

I am. Primarily because the nature of the climbing challenge has been fundamentally altered for anyone who wants to improve on style, but also "odd bolt" doesn't really wash. Its never ever an "odd bolt" for very long.
Michael Gordon - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> Why not? Agreed it's no big deal on a gritstone edge to set up a top rope. But on a huge mountain crag it's surely a massive pain in the arse. Is that really better than the odd bolt here and there to make a route doable ground up?


Yes! Impractical or massive pain in the arse - so what? Mountains aren't meant to be convenient.


> In other countries like some parts of the States and some mountain crags in Europe there is an ethic that bolts must be placed on lead. This leaves a route that others can then attempt from the ground too. These routes are often still really bold because of the obvious difficulty and time it takes to place a bolt whilst lead climbing. I think this is a much better solution and far more traditional because it preserves the ground up ethos.


I don't like this ethic much; I don't really care how the bolt got there in the first place; it's just minimalist bolting and I would prefer all trad or all sport (bolted properly!).


>
> At a certain point we have to accept that on some bits of rock the climbing is likely to be too hard and too unprotected for anyone to want to climb them without bolts. What then?

Don't climb them?
stp - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

> the nature of the climbing challenge has been fundamentally altered for anyone who wants to improve on style

Not really. The history of The Cad (above) is an example where the style was improved upon, the ultimate good style being the onsight solo. The initial bolts caused no long term harm, and they may well have been the inspiration behind Jimmy Jewel's ascent.


> but also "odd bolt" doesn't really wash. Its never ever an "odd bolt" for very long.

This is a slippery slope argument. I doubt very much if JR's bolt had been left that Cloggy would have turned into the latest sport crag. The style of climbing at Cloggy just doesn't lend itself to that type of climbing. Neither did this happen on North Stack wall after Ron's bolts.

But ignoring that problem, and assuming more bolts were to appear at some you imply that this would necessarily be bad thing. Why would that be so? Why couldn't it be good thing? Bolts have massively improved many crags: Malham, Kilnsey, Portland to name just a few. Not all climbers are idiots, many are very thoughtful and careful about what they do. So I don't think there's any reason to suppose this would be some kind of disaster.



Shani - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> But ignoring that problem, and assuming more bolts were to appear at some you imply that this would necessarily be bad thing. Why would that be so? Why couldn't it be good thing? Bolts have massively improved many crags: Malham, Kilnsey, Portland to name just a few. Not all climbers are idiots, many are very thoughtful and careful about what they do. So I don't think there's any reason to suppose this would be some kind of disaster.

Why bolt at all? If you don't want the danger element then TR. If you want danger, then solo. I think we overcomplicate climbing, and with inconsistent ethics, the rock pays the price.
ads.ukclimbing.com
1poundSOCKS - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:

> Why bolt at all? If you don't want the danger element then TR.

It's not always practical to set up a top-rope. Steep routes especially are better lead. The rope gets in the way and can be close to impossible to unclip.
Shani - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
> It's not always practical to set up a top-rope. Steep routes especially are better lead. The rope gets in the way and can be close to impossible to unclip.

All true, but recognising TRing as a 'legitimate' ascent would allow many bolted crags to have their number of bolts hugely reduced (obviously leaving strategic bolts).

That's really what I'm getting at. Why don't we consider TRing as a 'tick'? The style of a bolt ascent is a hangover from trad IMO.
Post edited at 20:51
1poundSOCKS - on 15 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:
> All true, but recognising TRing as a 'legitimate' ascent would allow many bolted crags to have their number of bolts hugely reduced (obviously leaving strategic bolts).

Reduced because they damage the rock? I don't really see that as a problem myself, although sometimes they can cause unsightly streaks, but I've mainly seen this in France. Chalk on dark grit seems to be a worse problem, visually at least.

> The style of a bolt ascent is a hangover from trad IMO.

Wherever it came from, I don't really care too much (would be interesting to understand though). I have fun leading, adds excitement over top-roping.
Post edited at 21:07
GrahamD - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

The Cad is not on a big mountain crag so that is hardly a fair comparison. What would North Stack Wall be looking now if the minimalist bolt ethic had been employed on all the harder lines up it ?

Again, Malham, Kilnsey and Portland are not big mountain crags. They are very much the nearest we have to Euro style sport venues. So although bolts have (for the most part) improved these crags, they are full on sport climbing venues.

To extend this to the mountains is precisely the 'thin end of the wedge' worry that many people have. We should not see Portland as a precedent for bolting Welsh mountain crags.

Shani - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> Wherever it came from, I don't really care too much (would be interesting to understand though). I have fun leading, adds excitement over top-roping.

If you want 'safer' excitement then just TR with much more slack in the system. As JD says, "There's belaying and there's f*cking belaying!".
Mick Ward - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

> We should not see Portland as a precedent for bolting Welsh mountain crags.

Absolutely.

Mick

1poundSOCKS - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:

> If you want 'safer' excitement then just TR with much more slack in the system.

Or just carrying on what I'm doing...
jon on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

> The Cad is not on a big mountain crag so that is hardly a fair comparison.

It is in the context of the discussion, ie the prevailing ethic at the time (late 70s > mid to late 80s) which was to reduce aid, insitu pegs whether they were for aid or protection and in the case of The Cad, bolts. Stp said that he thought JR's bolt stood a chance of remaining. My point in mentioning the history of The Cad was to question that, not to draw any parallels between the pieces of rock. It's the period that's more important here rather than the location/height/nature of the crag.
Goucho on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to jon:

> It is in the context of the discussion, ie the prevailing ethic at the time (late 70s > mid to late 80s) which was to reduce aid, insitu pegs whether they were for aid or protection and in the case of The Cad, bolts. Stp said that he thought JR's bolt stood a chance of remaining. My point in mentioning the history of The Cad was to question that, not to draw any parallels between the pieces of rock. It's the period that's more important here rather than the location/height/nature of the crag.

Good point.

I also wonder how different the whole Cad bolts situation would have been greeted, if someone other than Ron had placed them?

Mind you IIRC, Redheads bolt was the third on Cloggy. Crew placed the first on Boldest - watched by several other leading climbers, which could be interpreted as agreement - and subsiquently chopped by I think Ed Grindley?

Then Drummond had one of his momentary lapses of judgement on Midsummer Nights Dream. I don't recall who chopped it, but the stud of which, irrespective of the derision and condemnation at the time, was still gratefully 'looped' as a runner over the years.

flaneur - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> Mind you IIRC, Redheads bolt was the third on Cloggy. Crew placed the first on Boldest - watched by several other leading climbers, which could be interpreted as agreement - and subsiquently chopped by I think Ed Grindley?

Roland Edwards placed more bolts on Cloggy than the Crew, Redhead, and Drummond put together.


In reply to Grimer:

This is just the latest of some brilliant podcasts. Keep 'em coming!
Goucho on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to flaneur:

> Roland Edwards placed more bolts on Cloggy than the Crew, Redhead, and Drummond put together.

I was avoiding muddying the water with all the ironmongery on the West Buttress


Mick Ward - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Goucho:

With Crew on The Boldest, wouldn't he have been facing a nasty (terminal?) lob? I can't remember what the gear under the overlap was... did he have something there? But I can understand a reticence to condemn, given his boldness and given that he was putting himself right on the line. And yes, a reticence to condemn could easily become reluctant agreement. My impression though is that the cognoscenti of the time were never mad keen about that bolt.

And then IIRC we had Rowland Edwards with a bolt ladder on his girdle - seen as a step too far.

I suppose Drummond was pushing the envelope too. Again, a very bold climber but as not one of the boys, the poor sod was always going to get slagged off whatever he did.

Always felt that the naming of The Cad reflected Big Ron's uneasiness. My guess is that, if someone else had placed them, they'd have been straight out. But who knows?

Agree totally with Jon: 'It's the period that's more important here rather than the location/height/nature of the crag....'

Mick
Mick Ward - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to flaneur:

Woops, have just seen your post. I spend so long musing over things that my feeble utterences are invariably out of date before I've posted 'em.

Mick
Robert Durran - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to stp:

> Leave the bolts for those who want to use them.

I really can't believe the "you don't have to clip the bolts" argument (which is what this would be on UK mountains and sea cliffs) is still being wheeled out.

> But if someone wants to climb them without or solo the route they still have that option. Tom Randall seems to share the same live and let live approach. When attempting to climb a hard bolted crack on trad gear he said he had no intention of removing the bolts, appreciating the fact that most people would prefer to climb the bolted version.

But presumably he is referring to continental or north American climbing where attitudes are very different to the UK.
Post edited at 16:18
Niall Grimes - on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to flaneur:

Thank you Flaneur
Timmd on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:
> Why don't we consider TRing as a 'tick'?

I'm thinking it's because the climber can't 'properly fall off' - with the consequences which follow?

It's the best I can think of, it seems tied up with the spirit of climbing.

Interestingly (for me), it's a decade since I've climbed properly and I still find myself bridling at the thought of a top rope being a 'tick'.
Post edited at 11:55
Timmd on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:

I guess even falling onto a bolt means you've blown the ascent and end up hanging from the end of the rope.
Shani - on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to Timmd:

Yeah...I agree with you. But my programmer head bridles at the lack of logic as to why we can bolt and practice for a red point, yet an onsight top rope flash is deemed inferior.
Timmd on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:
That's too logical for climbing. ;-)
Post edited at 16:24
Mike Hewitt - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:

Because the act of clipping (and having to think about clipping) is quite hard sometimes? Especially in circumstances where the landing could be painful.
Shani - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

> Because the act of clipping (and having to think about clipping) is quite hard sometimes? Especially in circumstances where the landing could be painful.

'Clipping' seems quite a contrived reason as there is zero clipping in the most esteemed ascent style.

I'd imagine most sport routes are very safe once the second bolt is clipped.
Michael Gordon - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:

For trad it's because historically to get up a mountain, pinnacle or big face top roping was obviously not an option - they had to be led. And yes, the ethic of leading sport routes has come from the way we do trad routes.
Shani - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> For trad it's because historically to get up a mountain, pinnacle or big face top roping was obviously not an option - they had to be led. And yes, the ethic of leading sport routes has come from the way we do trad routes.

Yeah I get all this. It is the inconsistency that grinds my gears! An onsight TR flash is purer than a redpoint. It *should* be respected as such! We should move on and stop drilling rock where TRing is feasible.
FactorXXX - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:

Yeah I get all this. It is the inconsistency that grinds my gears! An onsight TR flash is purer than a redpoint. It *should* be respected as such! We should move on and stop drilling rock where TRing is feasible.

Not sure if you're trolling or not, but here goes anyway.
A major part of climbing is overcoming the fear of falling. Remove that and you've removed a vital part of the whole experience.
Shani - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Yeah I get all this. It is the inconsistency that grinds my gears! An onsight TR flash is purer than a redpoint. It *should* be respected as such! We should move on and stop drilling rock where TRing is feasible.

> Not sure if you're trolling or not, but here goes anyway.

> A major part of climbing is overcoming the fear of falling. Remove that and you've removed a vital part of the whole experience.

As above, if you want to 'up the fear of falling' then TR with more slack in the system. The point is that the objective of bolts is to make climbing safe, so why not just TR (with the odd bolt where necessary to ensure the rope flows smoothly along the line of the route, such as with roofs and overhangs)? It would save the damage of drilling in to rock.

It is hard to defend the current ethics of climbing on a logical basis.
Michael Gordon - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:

Dunno, I've just scraped through sport routes before on top rope whilst pumped out my mind and thought no way could I lead that!
Shani - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Dunno, I've just scraped through sport routes before on top rope whilst pumped out my mind and thought no way could I lead that!

Clipping will make it harder....but then we call it climbing, not clipping. Why not remove a non-climbing element from the sport?
Robert Durran - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:

> Clipping will make it harder....

The psychological effect of being on the sharp end will make it harder. Yes, I know it shouldn't, but for most of us it does..... overcoming that is part of the game.
1poundSOCKS - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:
> As above, if you want to 'up the fear of falling' then TR with more slack in the system

The simple answer is because nobody wants to do that. People enjoy the decision making process, when under pressure, and being on the sharp end, even over bolts, can be very intense and involving. Everything is under your control, shall I climb higher and risk a bigger fall, or retreat and shout take. And it prepares you well for harder trad climbing, where fast decision making under pressure, and a willingness to climb higher and take a bigger lob will help you progress.

I don't want to make those decisions as a belayer, I want it when I'm climbing. And when I'm climbing, I don't want the control to be with the belayer.
Post edited at 20:02
Shani - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Again, you could control those fall parameters from slack in a TR system. There is always some control with a belayer as well.

Of course none of the above answers why we don't consider an onsight TR flash a 'tick'.

I'll definitely concede that the ebb and flow of (perceived) danger/relief as each bolt is clipped is entertaining, but really this is where, unlike trad, sport climbers toy with largely illusory danger.
1poundSOCKS - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:

> Of course none of the above answers why we don't consider an onsight TR flash a 'tick'.

Just playing a game, and it's the 'rules'.

> sport climbers toy with largely illusory danger

But it's such good fun. And I generally climb well protected trad, so I'm kind of doing the same there too. I'm easily scared, and really just in it for the enjoyment, I'm not trying to impress anyone with my heroics.
Shani - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> Just playing a game, and it's the 'rules'.

> But it's such good fun. And I generally climb well protected trad, so I'm kind of doing the same there too. I'm easily scared, and really just in it for the enjoyment, I'm not trying to impress anyone with my heroics.

We're definitely on the same side here!
Michael Gordon - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Shani:
> Clipping will make it harder....but then we call it climbing, not clipping. Why not remove a non-climbing element from the sport?

Do what you like. I was just explaining why redpointing is more difficult than flashing a route on top-rope. And Robert has explained the real reason for this (not the clipping).
Post edited at 21:17

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