/ Should we inflict our climbing ethics on others?

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Pilo - on 19:38 Sun
I’ve climbed lots of chipped sport routes and just thought well if that’s the local ethic then so be it. Okay they want to use a piece of rock and bring it down to their level. First they need to put bolts every two or three feet and make it safe. Then when flakes fall off they must glue them back on. When there is a blank section why not bolt or glue on a hold or even chisel holds out of blank rock? That’s fair enough in a place where it’s accepted but do we then have the right to use those ethics on a new area or even in a new country without a firmly established climbing scene. What if they see the more experienced visitors and copy those same practises. Would we be setting the trend thereby encouraging them to adopt the very same ethics. If we believe that the whole world should climb like that why wouldn’t we? Just because we’re British and not French? Have we always been ethically programmed differently than the Europeans?
I believe so.

What is it the sport climbers have done to get me so miffed?

They forced an even more extreme version of their ‘anything for the route’ ethics onto innocent people even whole countries. They went to Thailand and India armed with hammers, chisels, paint, glue and power drills to ‘manufacture’ routes with those tools. Trad climbers went travelling with cams and nuts and we also tried to ‘inflict our ethics’ onto others but we didn’t change the rock. Instead we did routes that could be less certain, dangerous, scary or even fatal for the would be repeaters. Who is more irresponsible? The glue addicted, grade obsessed sporters or the adrenalin junkie fear addicted traddists?

Whichever side you’re on if you’re interested in the whole story of what happened in the battle of the bolts in India check it sometime.
LeeWood - on 19:46 Sun
In reply to Pilo:

There' a nice little route on a spanish crag near us - Roca Hilti - some of the holds are bore-holes. The climbing/grade is consistent and its an OK route.
ashtond6 - on 19:55 Sun
In reply to Pilo:

We'll Moffat is mentioned in the article and even clearly isn't a sport climber.

Secondly, all of these activities go on in the UK, so I don't really see your point. Just look at raven tor
3leggeddog on 19:56 Sun
In reply to Pilo:

That all sounds like sour grapes to me, you are upset because the dirty Frenchies beat you to it?

Chris the Tall - on 19:59 Sun
In reply to Pilo:

There is an argument that when visiting developing countries with little or no climbing tradition, that it is acceptable to bolt routes, as this will make them more accessible to local climbers (who maybe can't afford trad gear). If there is a climbing tradition then it should be respected.

I'm not convinced that chipping is every acceptable, but maybe heavy gardening might be
Pilo - on 20:13 Sun
In reply to Chris the Tall:

That's exactly what I was against. Assuming that chipping and bolting would be okay because there are no climbers. I had a feeling that trad and solo was the best way forward for that particular area. Maybe because I started climbing in Northumberland it was ingrained to be like that or maybe it's just more fun.
Pilo - on 20:30 Sun
In reply to ashtond6:

Jerry Moffat isn't a sport climber? In the 90's before pads that's actually mostly what he concentrated on. One of the great routes Liquid Ambar (LPTrwyn) that he did is from that time. Hanuman (Hampi) is also from that time. They are both sport routes.
Bulls Crack - on 21:51 Sun
In reply to LeeWood:

Consistent? Is that a relevant parameter?
Hardonicus - on 22:04 Sun
In reply to Bulls Crack:

I would have thought consistency in a manufactured route would be a key aim! Otherwise you really have failed.
Pilo - on 22:56 Sun
In reply to Hardonicus:
A bit like John Redhead's route in Vivian Quarry 'Manic strain' which is consistent and in a way the perfect route of that grade for his height and reach. E7 6c or 8a. Believe me if he had come to natural granite stones Hampi at that same moment in time he would not have done the same thing there, unlike Isabelle la belle.
That was the point I was thinking about, if British climbers have been programmed differently to Europeans. I think it's fortunate that we have and good that Hampi and therefore India didn't get consumed by bolts. A little bit of natural. But that's not just me. Thank Leo also.
Can anybody give me an example of an area anywhere in the world where British climbers have introduced bolting and chipping as the normal course of action to make good routes?
Post edited at 23:23
ashtond6 - on 08:14 Mon
In reply to Pilo:

> Jerry Moffat isn't a sport climber? In the 90's before pads that's actually mostly what he concentrated on. One of the great routes Liquid Ambar (LPTrwyn) that he did is from that time. Hanuman (Hampi) is also from that time. They are both sport routes.

Who learnt it all trad climbing... & developed his ethics through trad
Dave Perry - on 08:23 Mon
In reply to Pilo:

I think outdoor climbing walls are an excellent idea - in the right place.
wbo - on 09:20 Mon
In reply to Pilo:
At the end of the day you're also applying your ethics to the area. You can make the argument that they're better, or purer, but you are still doing what is suggested in the thread title
Pilo - on 09:36 Mon
In reply to wbo:
That's exactly right. But the difference is huge especially to non climbers and normal locals who look and see what's going on. They can look at us climbing a rock then see that same rock later and it will look the same. That way there is nothing to actually complain about except maybe 'that's dangerous' but that's our choice anyway. With bolting and chipping/glueing there is a whole lot to complain about especially if you are not actually from that country. it's just a (quite good) reason for non climbing environmentalists and locals to get miffed and for climbing to get restricted or banned.
Post edited at 09:43
jonnie3430 - on 09:46 Mon
In reply to Pilo:

Totally agree, and the article is a case in point, bolting and painting UNESCO world heritage sites gets climbing banned, would it have been the same without the paint and bolts? Who knows?

I really enjoyed hampi, think climbing will always survive in the area as there is so much to do, wasn't so impressed by badami where the bottom hangers have been taken off most routes and some real choss has been bolted.
Chris the Tall - on 10:02 Mon
In reply to Pilo:

Take Kalymnos as an example. 20 years ago there was no climbing, and no local climbers. The Italians who first started the development set a standard of bolting that was intended to be ultra-safe and have maximum appeal, which was approved and part funded by the local authorities . The result has been a huge boost to local tourism, particularly because visitor numbers are now spread out over 8 months rather than 3.

I've not been to Lofoten, but it seems that the opposite approach is valid there - mass appeal would be inappropriate, so a more traditional, adventurous ethic is appropriate
jonnie3430 - on 10:14 Mon
In reply to Chris the Tall:

But that would say mass bolting of anti atlas in Morocco would be good for tourism, while at present it is a trad Mecca!
Chris the Tall - on 10:39 Mon
In reply to jonnie3430:

Indeed, but would it be right for Europeans to tell the Moroccans that they aren't allowed to broaden the appeal and increase tourist numbers. Though bolting the rock without local consent would be much worse, and even if the locals wanted to turn it into another Kalymnos, they have to find climbers willing to do it
GrahamD - on 10:48 Mon
In reply to Pilo:

Its a wider debate than climbing efforts: to what extent does anyone have the right to use another countries resources as they want to ?
jonnie3430 - on 10:50 Mon
In reply to Chris the Tall:

So long as some one also tells them about the history of sites that have been developed, that Thailand and kalymnos now have a bunch of mega polished routes (wild assumption, never been to either!) and people go elsewhere?
Pilo - on 11:03 Mon
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Well yes maybe it's good for the locals in some places to create a sport mecca and get some fresh tourist income from that. I'm not completely anti bolts everywhere. For Hampi it didn't seem right and I was actually quite glad when people started bolting a lot of routes in Badami just 150km away. It took the pressure away from Hampi and made it even less likely for any more 'outbreaks' to happen there. We could just say look go to Badami if you want to do sport or drill new routes. The fact that it's not such a nice place to stay apart from the climbing seemed to be well, let's just say, unlucky.

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