Eliminate logs

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 sparkass 14 Nov 2021

Hi all. Inspired by another forum post about linking climbs together and logging as new routes and the appearance of an eliminate boulder problem on a crag I help to moderate. I wonder what people think about including eliminate problems in the logbooks . I understand there are certain crags where this is essential eg various limestone crags around the country. This specifically refers to a standalone boulder problem where someone has climbed it without certain aspects for example a foothold or a handhold and logged it as a new climb.

For example if I climbed malcs arête without any holds right of the arête, have I climbed a different problem? Or at least something worth logging?


 LakesWinter 14 Nov 2021
In reply to sparkass:

No, unless it's at  Stoney Middleton

 DaveHK 15 Nov 2021
In reply to sparkass:

Unless there's already a tradition of named eliminate problems at a venue then no. It would make things less clear and lead to a pointless proliferation of problems. If people feel the need to log having done eliminate versions they can do that in the notes on their own entry.

 DerwentDiluted 15 Nov 2021
In reply to sparkass:

SurelyPointless walk to the boulders at the bottom of the crag (summit) is the ultimate eliminate, eliminating, as it does, any actual physical contact with the route?

In reply to sparkass:

I say allow them - some eliminates are actually good and worth repeating.

In reply to sparkass:

We've discussed this a lot, mostly because the answer to this question has a bearing on what we do/don't include within our guidebooks. The sentiment is similar on the logbooks, although I'd potentially be a little more liberal (simply because there's more space); however, I do think there's a line to be drawn - particularly on crags that don't have a tradition of eliminate problems.

I think the issue that a lot of eliminate 'first ascentionists' get confused about is whether or not they're genuinely climbing a new problem or just proactively climbing an existing problem badly, or in a really weird way. There's no major issue with the latter, as this has been done throughout the ages - including by myself. I'm sure many out there have set themselves (and their friends) a set a silly set of rules just to make a problem harder. Why? Because it's fun, but alas - is it worth recording...

To take your example of climbing Malc's Arete without the holds right of the arete:

yes, you could do it...
yes, it would be fun...
yes, it would make the problem harder...

Is it worth recording? In my eyes, absolutely not - it's just a bad sequence to a fantastic, three/four star boulder problem.  You'd be far better off adding a note/feedback within the logbooks to acknowledge your methodology, but a new problem this is not...

Post edited at 08:53

Somewhat disappointed to find out this thread wasn't a complaint about the dump someone took halfway up the first gully on Bristly Ridge yesterday morning

 C Witter 15 Nov 2021
In reply to sparkass:

I think it depends on the crag/context and problem. At a bouldering crag I moderate, I allowed a fair number of eliminates because a) it's a small crag; b) it's mostly frequented by locals; c) the eliminates are "significant" rather than "petty". I realised this latter criteria is a judgement call, but, for example, someone managed to turn a short, steep wall climb on crimps into a powerful dyno from the starting holds, at a significantly harder level of difficulty. It's a very different problem and pretty hard and pretty good (if you can do it). Why not allow people to record something like this? However, if someone tried to record a steep traverse as a "campus eliminate" (I'm thinking of a particular problem thart is often done this way), I would have deleted it, because I wouldn't see it as a new problem, just a bit of messing around. One thing that created a bit of a headache was trying to pin down the exact nature of some cramped problems on a small but quality boulder... I had to make a few judgment calls and spend time trying the problems to form a solid opinion. Personally, I've nothing against moderators making this kind of judgement call, as long as they're open to discussion with other climbers about how things are documented. And I feel it's better to err on the side of allowing rather than disallowing documentation.

(On the other hand, Badger Attack without the footblock is just Badger Attack without the footblock, no? I don't see it as a new problem, especially when it's given the same grade!)

Post edited at 12:36
In reply to C Witter:

I don't think that eliminating most of the holds to make your dyno is any less silly than eliminating your feet to make a campus problem.  Maybe just have a section of the crag page (done like a separate buttress) for eliminates and/or linkups and let people log whatever they want.  I don't think anyone is trying to 'claim a new problem' just record their version of fun arsing around so that others can try the same. I've really enjoyed repeating other people's eliminates over the years.  Its not about finding a better way of doing something its just about seeing if you can repeat the same moves your mate did. 

 sparkass 15 Nov 2021
In reply to sparkass:

Just to be clear, I don't have a strong opinion either way. I'm just aware that some people do and am keen to get some guidance.

It could also open a can of worms long term if there ends up being multiple eliminates for individual problems which would cause a total headache for moderators to manage. 

I wonder if there could be a tag that could be applied to eliminates in the logbooks( a bit like the "yes, but no longer climbable" tag)?

I agree that an eliminate dyno is not really different to an eliminate campus and feel the campuser may be a little bit hard done to here?


 remus 15 Nov 2021
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

> I don't think that eliminating most of the holds to make your dyno is any less silly than eliminating your feet to make a campus problem.  Maybe just have a section of the crag page (done like a separate buttress) for eliminates and/or linkups and let people log whatever they want.  I don't think anyone is trying to 'claim a new problem' just record their version of fun arsing around so that others can try the same. I've really enjoyed repeating other people's eliminates over the years.  Its not about finding a better way of doing something its just about seeing if you can repeat the same moves your mate did. 

I kind of agree in that one of the nice things with the logbooks is that the cost of adding new stuff and/or having lots of climbs described on a piece of rock is much lower than in a guide. Having said that even in the logbooks you can end up in a situation where the weight of poorly described, low quality eliminates is an overall negative.

I think there's a line in the sand somewhere. Makes sense to leave it up to crag moderators imo, I guess it's not an issue at 95% of crags and where it is a thing the moderator is more likely to have an idea about what's a sensible eliminate and what's not (whatever that means!)

 C Witter 15 Nov 2021
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

I kind of agree with you. I don't think any of it is silly; otherwise, all of it is silly. It's hard to draw up any rules for this that make absolute sense. But, you have to draw a line somewhere. T

o be honest, someone claimed the dyno as a new problem and, given that eliminate dynos are claimed at other local crags and given that it creates something with a very different character, I felt justified in giving it. No one claimed the campus as a problem, so I didn't have to worry about it. But, there are lots of local problems that say: "can be done with one hand... no, really!" or "6C traverse, 7A if you can reverse it", etc. I think putting a note to this effect in the description is fair, rather than duplicating entries.

As for Badger Attack without the footblock, I would again put a note in the description: "Can be done without the footblock with more difficulty but at a similar grade." I wouldn't see the need for a new entry with a new name. I'd write to the contributor to see if they were ok with me combining things. If they were upset with that idea, then fine - add a new entry.

Post edited at 13:05
In reply to remus:

Mostly I agree I think. Although it makes you at the mercy of the crag moderator. Last year I climbed a couple of eliminates that were in a guidebook and added them to UKC. The over jealous crag mod deleted them which I thought was a bit much. It's not something I feel passionate about so I didn't kick up a fuss but maybe I might have felt differently if it was the first of a new grade or something I'd put substantial effort into. I guess most people break into a new grade with something classic rather than Daves Crappy Eliminate so maybe its rarely an issue. 

 Brown 15 Nov 2021
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

They seem a bit like spam to me.

Would we be happy with people adding eliminate routes that climb half height?

Seems quite similar really. We do at certain crags on established routed such as Raindogs (8a) but if I tried to add a new route at Malham as Rain.... which lowered off the second bolt I'd expect to have it removed.

In reply to Brown:

It wouldn't be unusual if there is a massive jug or obvious natural feature. Plenty of people climb Chimes of freedom (at the Tor) to the lower off at the lip at an accepted 8a rather than going to the top for 8a+. Little plum (Stoney) is often climbed to the first break at 7c+ though some go over the top roof at 8a. Clearly any of these variations are valid and accepted. Cavier (WCJ) bouldered to the jug at 7B or keep going with a rope for 8a+ etc

My point was that a separate 'buttress' in the logbook page for people to add whatever they want would solve most issues.  I agree that your example would be daft but I think it's unlikely many would do that and even more unlikely others would want to log it too. 

 ianstevens 15 Nov 2021
In reply to sparkass:

Yes, we should eliminate all logs from boulder problems. Especially Ultimate Retro Party (f7B) which seems to be the most susceptible. Thanks #vanlife

 mark s 15 Nov 2021
In reply to sparkass:

no,i moderate a few crags around the roaches area. eliminate type problems are deleted as are ones i know have been done before. no need to log every single version or way up a boulder certainly havent done something new .

 Myfyr Tomos 15 Nov 2021
In reply to sparkass:

Whatever next! This country is going to the dogs. I shall still use my four figure tables book by Godfrey and Siddons.

 afx22 16 Nov 2021
In reply to sparkass:

I have mixed views but it mostly depends on the individual situation.

However, what really drives me nuts are some of the utterly useless descriptions.  Eg. “Avoid the good jug”, when there are only slopey crimp undercuts to be found!

I guess is also true on new ‘non eliminate ’ addictions too.

 The Pylon King 20 Nov 2021
In reply to sparkass:

Can we now remove 'dummy routes', eg new routes that have only had a top rope first ascent.

 daimon Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 10:55 Thu
In reply to sparkass:

This is an excellent topic and something I have also been battling as a guidebook author and logbook moderator. I personally see logbooks as a record of traditional climbs (i.e a traditional crossing of unclimbed territory) as would be recorded in a new routes book or a guide. Actual significant linkups I don't have an issue with. In fact, Ravens Tor has some quite good ones. Eliminates (hold specific), however, I struggle with especially hold specific (only a handful of areas these days warrant something like this and Stoney is one of them). I think this perception of what is depicted as a problem or style of climbing and the recording of, has very much got out of hand. This became more evident around the pandemic when many indoor focused climbers ventured freshly outside and applied their methodology to outdoor rock. As a finite resource especially on southern sandstone where aggressive overworking is discouraged and a more delicate approach strongly advised, the nature of eliminates and its impact on original lines and in some cases the rock creates a problem. Problems that eliminate a single hole or rail infringe on an existing problem and the recording of them opens a massive can of worms and a conflict with regards to what is a climb these days and how far do the micro alterations to a climb warrant first ascents or recording status. Some climbs are recorded as having been done in a specific style hand jam only etc. This in principle creates a dimensional shift in recording climbs and almost warrants an alternate but separate layer concerning the endless possibility of climbs. But to protect the original ascent, clarity and status, they should be kept separate and in my view away from logbooks altogether. 

For southern sandstone – to help combat the bombardment of endless alternative ways of climbing lines or problems, the following was published.

Standard Definition of a New Route or Problem

The definition and parameters of a new route submission in the traditional sense (natural line) is as follows:

1.            A climb done on a section of rock where no climb has been done before.

2.            A new significant independent start and/or finish to an existing climb.

3.            A significant traverse.

Significant is defined by a distance of approximately 1 meter away from an existing route or problem.

A submission of all the above types of first ascents would require the following information:

Climb Name, Grade, First Ascent Details

Bouldering - Sometimes boulder problems have sit starts and alternative finishes added to them. In this case, those additions would normally only incur a sub-note of information in a route description of which the grade and first ascent details would only be needed, as these variations are often part of the original problem.

Eliminates and Variations

Climbs that eliminate holds do so by eliminating holds on climbs either side of them. These kinds of climbs are often narrow and restrictive in nature and do not allow for much/any deviation. New climbs in this style can be submitted in their full stature, though they are often seen as lesser climbs compared to original more independent climbs either side of them.

Effects on original climbs - It is often the case that the original independent climbs become artificially restricted with the addition of eliminates being established next to them. In theory, eliminates generally are hard to establish without some form of incursion on an already established climb. Original climbs generally have much wider parameters to climb in with alternative holds are up for grabs, which can be used to climb a route in an alternative way. Some climbs which are established as being independent and often sandwiched between two other climbs do on some occasions utilise a hold from another climb or wander mildly into another climbs space. This is often deemed acceptable as long as this is kept to an absolute minimum, otherwise, the climb would become a variation of the climb it encroaches on.

Eliminates should in all instances be ignored when climbing an original climb.

The term variation is often applied to eliminate lines to allow for some misgivings, but it is expected that an eliminate climb is as independent as possible.

Bridging - Where a climb is presented with a potential back wall to bridge against, the first recorded ascent style of that climb takes president with any subsequent elimination or addition of that back wall taking a secondary position within the description of the same climb.

The elimination of holds or specific holds on climbs do not depict a new climb or problem of any kind unless it depicts the elimination of a main aid, such as an arete.

Aretes - Climbs up the left side or right side of an arete would normally stand as independent climbs, as long as they do not violate a climb that purely climbs the arete in its own right using the left and right side when required. As such any addition to that original climb would become a sub climb of the original.

Boulder Problems – Hold Specific

Hold specific problems will not be recorded due to the potential impact problems of this nature has on the rock and additional difficulty with documentation. This is where only specific holds are used for hands and feet as used on already existing problems.   

Boulder Problems – Existing Routes

Problems which are part of an existing full-length climb will only be noted if there is a sit start presented. A start and endpoint must be noted. Again, this would only be noted as a sub-note of the original climb.

Boulder Problems - Micro Variations

Micro variations will only be recorded as a variation of an existing problem as a sub-note. This is where an alternative (new) hold is used or removed to start an already existing problem and only changes the problem in a minor way. This would only require (Grade and First Ascent Details) It would only be noted as a sub-note of the original problem, though some originators may want to consider which micro variation becomes the dominant problem and whether a micro variation is valid or in fact needed.

Boulder Problems - Links and Extensions

Links and extensions in this context fall more within the parameters of a traverse or boulder problem with regards to Southern Sandstone. A new traverse is defined traditionally as using a pre-defined line or area of holds permitted in order to traverse across a wall from a specific start and endpoint.

Those who add onto or into (or both) an existing traverse or problems should take into consideration the original traverse name and parameters. In general, new ground defines a new climb, but linking problems together is often done in various fashions and sometimes warrants an individual route description depending on the nature and length of the ascent, but often would just become a sub-note with a name associated with it. A sub-note would also occur if there is only a minor deviation of the existing traverse of the problem.

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