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/ To bolt or not to bolt - A research project

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oak123 - on 12 Mar 2018

Calling all trad and sport climbers alike, could you please spare 10 minutes of your time to complete my questionnaire? I am currently conducting research around the conflict between traditional and sport climbing ethics as a part of my university project ‘to bolt or not to bolt’. I’d massively appreciate any feedback; the depth of your responses is completely down to you. If anyone would be happy to partake in an interview (preferably someone with a wealth of knowledge/experience around the subject) please do get in touch dryadoak@exe-coll.ac.uk .

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Y9BGT3F

Through my literature review, I found most articles to be very one-sided and/or rather outdated. While numerous arguments are apparent from both sides, there is little available research confirming the extent of the presumption towards trad climbing and whether a strong divide still exists, or if there has been a more towards a more neutral outlook.
I’m hoping to build upon my findings and gain a better understanding of how the conflict has evolved and what is to be lost and gained from holding onto traditional ethics, as well as the its social and environmental implications.

14
dave657 on 12 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

That was more like an exam than a questionnaire, sorry but I got bored half way through. Also felt like there were some leading questions in there, like you had already decided what our view is.

oak123 - on 12 Mar 2018
In reply to dave657:

Hi Dave thanks for your feedback, ive aim to make some questions leading to support and go against each disipline to reflect some of the common arguments ive seen. personaly i see the miret in both but prefer trad (if it can be climbed trad then leave it if not why not bolt or have mixed route). Interested to see how the debate has evolved in recent years.

10
thelurker - on 12 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

The first sentence is a load  of nonsense, followed by more invented history, you then go on to posit questions in such a leading manner any judge would reprimand you. 

A bit of proof reading would also help  Trill?

 

2
oak123 - on 12 Mar 2018
In reply to thelurker:

Hi there, the history is based on the research i did and current literature (something thats rather sparse), if you could better inform me and point me in the right direct to published literature i could reference id really appreciate it? ive aim to make some questions leading to support and go against each disipline to reflect some of the common arguments ive seen. personaly i see the miret in both but prefer trad (if it can be climbed trad then leave it if not why not bolt or have mixed route). Interested to see how the debate has evolved in recent years. If you could point out any spelling issues (question number) that would be great, i rather dyslexic so really struggle picking them up.

Post edited at 23:46
4
teh_mark on 12 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

> (if it can be climbed trad then leave it if not why not bolt or have mixed route).

I don't get this 'mixed route' business, assuming you mean bolt it with the option not to clip the bolts. This gets thrown around quite a lot by proponents of inappropriate bolting, but do you really think that if you're genuinely scared for your life on a bold trad route, you're going to ignore the bolt?

Bolting a trad route produces a sport route, you can't have a shared sport/trad route. It's a fallacy.

 

2
oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

Hi Mark, sorry poorly worded, im mean if there is a route that can be done with mostly trad gear but there are some sections that cant, i dont have an issue with the route have a couple bolts to make it climbable.

8
teh_mark on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

You could argue that maybe it should be left alone until a stronger, bolder climber comes along to climb it. Indian Face would be a lot more accessible with a couple of bolts in it, and it might have been climbed a lot sooner. It wouldn't be nearly as impressive though.

4
oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

Very true, i guess it depends on the climb (history, ethics, type of rock) and the size of the fall you would take, whether you would hit the floor etc but i agree with you in that case

Post edited at 00:44
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wbo - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:your bias, preference is very obvious in this survey .   I'm not sure of (and maybe it shouldn't matter) your level of experience - have you done a lot of sport and some 'bolted trad'

 

AlanLittle - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

The first question is headed "Experience" but then asks for "Qualifications". Gave up mystified at that point.

Dave Kerr - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Afraid I gave up too. I really do like to help students by completing these things and I understand that undergrad questionnaires won't be perfect. You need to meet us half way though by ensuring questions are easily understood with correct spelling and grammar. If this is something you have issues with you need to find strategies to deal with it like having someone proof read your work.

 

Post edited at 06:59
Dave Kerr - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

>  im mean if there is a route that can be done with mostly trad gear but there are some sections that cant, 

We call those 'run outs'. ;) 

 

Wil Treasure - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

> the history is based on the research i did and current literature (something thats rather sparse), if you could better inform me and point me in the right direct to published literature i could reference id really appreciate it?

I would be looking through all the past issues of Climber, Crags, On the Edge, High Mountain Sports and others for articles, minutes of BMC area meetings and debates and perhaps from some major clubs (AC, CC, FRCC).

The part which seemed to be missing from your survey was understanding that bolting policies can be site specific and in a few cases are only so due to a historical precedent, either to remain trad, sport or sparsely bolted.

 

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Thanks for all your feedback guys, due to time constraints and a mountain of coursework i need to get on top of, i haven't really had time to get anyone to proof read (if you can point it out, i'll happily change it). Apologies if thats put you off, and thanks for your time anyway

In reply to wbo: As for my experience, admittedly trad climbing is something i've only been introduced to over the last two years, but the ethical debate is something thats really interested me since going to France and trying sport.

5
oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Wil Treasure:

Thanks for your feedback Will, greatly appreciated.

summo on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

You'll have an even bigger mountain of work after this, your questions are too vague and asking more precisely will save you hours later. How avid a climber is avid? You should just ask frequency with parameters, weekly, monthly, annually etc.. and the data will sort itself. As it is you'll get a different descriptive frequency for each reply that you need to read and categorise. 

No.14 is worth a 1000 words alone. I gave up. 

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

indeed, but if you had a 40m run out on one pitch of an otherwise amazimg trad route would it not be fair to put a few bolts in?

31
summo on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

> indeed, but if you had a 40m run out on one pitch of an otherwise amazimg trad route would it not be fair to put a few bolts in?

No. It would be say hvs 4c, e1 5a. The grade and description would should show the boldness. 

Some of the best routes around have exactly these kind of pitches, perhaps not 40m.. but certainly several between 10-20m.  Etive slabs, or blank and blankist on arran. 

Post edited at 07:57
1
jimtitt - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

> I don't get this 'mixed route' business, assuming you mean bolt it with the option not to clip the bolts. This gets thrown around quite a lot by proponents of inappropriate bolting, but do you really think that if you're genuinely scared for your life on a bold trad route, you're going to ignore the bolt?

> Bolting a trad route produces a sport route, you can't have a shared sport/trad route. It's a fallacy.

So putting one bolt in a ten-pitch route otherwise protected by LPP turns it into sport climbing? Sport climbing is a matter of the attitude and tactics used to climb it, not whether there are bolts in it. There are plenty of routes which depend entirely on bolts for protection which are by no stretch of the imagination "sport" climbs, routes which are only protected with LPP which are treated as sport climbs and clip-ups which are only protected with in-situ pitons.

It´s not as simple as bolt=sport.

summo on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to jimtitt:

There are even more routes that 'almost' depended on a bent old rusty peg etc.. It is a grey area, rather than a precise dividing line. 

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

thanks for your feedback. I know its rather subjective but asking weekly, monthly etc, doesn’t offer much more clarity as some people climb regularly for part of the year and focus on other activates for other parts of the year, its more just a general gauge and it allows me to identify any trends between someones perceived involvement and their attitudes. I appreciate some sections are long, its hard finding a balance between quantitative and qualitative collection when the subject matter is based on a diverse range of attitudes and beliefs. But I completely take on board your comment, and will endeavour to be more specific in future research. Thanks for your time.   

1
Tyler - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

I did it but agree it seemed to want to lead the responder and not let them answer.  E.g. Questions 20 and 21 ask a question and then give a paragraph of argument for one side of the debate over another.

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Tyler:

indeed they do, I aimed to make the questions to take the side of each discipline to reflect some of the common arguments ive come across. Thank you so much for your time 

2
Tyler - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Eh? So was this a survey or some sort of campaign material?

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

thats what i mean, i completely agree with you, i was just trying to say i could see it as understandable in situations with such extreme run outs

2
oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Tyler:

no i just wanted to give points from both sides of the argument,  to play devil's advocate

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Tyler - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

I'm not sure that's what a survey is, especially as they seemed quite one sided.

Post edited at 08:34
oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Tyler:

the purpose of my research is to identify changes in attitudes and beliefs. for many of the questions i thought it prudent to reflect old attitudes so i can better establish how they have developed

4
Tyler - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

But the arguments remain the same and are well known, the numbers in support may change which I think is what you mean by "changes in attitudes" but without a baseline for before you cannot measure that change. 

hang_about - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

You skipped the proof reading. Did you get ethical approval for this from your Uni? You ask (optionally) for names and then ask for information on injuries (i.e. medical info). You are subject to a fairly stringent set of legal regulations here and I see no mention of ethical approval at the start.

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summo on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

> thats what i mean, i completely agree with you, i was just trying to say i could see it as understandable in situations with such extreme run outs

So to summarise your study. Not bolting the uk's boldest traditional climbs will have zero impact on the development of UK sport climbing and climbers.

There that was easy. 

2
scott titt - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Tyler:

I think you are right. This seems to be some sort of psychological experiment, and we are the rats in the cage. I find this approach using bias and questions designed to produce strong reactions anti ethical and far from a well designed neutral  bias questionnaire. 

The OP does not have enough experience or understanding of the issue to ask the right questions.

The belief that the Munich climb affair is the start of the bolting controversy in the UK staggers me.

 

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to hang_about:

As i stated in my post 'the depth of your responses is completely down to you' no questions have a requirement to be answered before finishing. i left all restrictions off so people can answer whatever they want. Hope that helps

3
Frank the Husky - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Question 8 is badly worded and fairly mangled. You ask a question (is sport a good bad thing because it allows people to access the outdoors?) and then don't allow me to say yes or no. Needs proof reading.

Q10 suggests that all you need to go from indoiors to out is some quickdraws and a sling. You also need a belay device and a rope.

Q12 - how am I supposed to know if someone has gone sport climbing from an egotistical point of view? What does that even mean? Their ego or mine? More proof reading required.

I filled it in, but at the end, I clicked ok and it simply returned me to the start, so that i could begin agaiun. there was no acknowledgement that I had completed the survey or that the responses had been collected.

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

> no i just wanted to give points from both sides of the argument,  to play devil's advocate

As others have pointed out, that is not what a survey is for. I don’t want to be unnecessarily negative, but it’s hard to find positives in this. Presenting a lengthy passage of text and saying ‘do you agree’ is just poor.

 

and the ethical approval point is important - does this have it? If so it should state this clearly. If not, I think you need to speak to your supervisor ASAP. 

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to scott titt:

Hi Scott, the history is based on the research i did and current literature (something thats rather sparse), if you could better inform me and point me in the right direct to published literature i could reference id really appreciate it? As ive stated before in this forum, admittedly trad climbing is something i've only been introduced to over the last two years, but the ethical debate is something thats really interested me since going to France and trying sport. Part of the reason for using bias and questions designed beyond seeing how overall attitudes have changed, is to give some newer climbers an insight into the ethical debate. Plenty of my uni friends climb but are unaware of the full extent of the historical conflict so valued seeing some arguments from both sides. Thanks for your feedback, i never intended to cause any offence.   

7
Doug on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

As suggested above, find somewhere with a collection of Mountain, Climber & Rambler, Crags, Rocksport etc from maybe the 1960s onwards & start reading. From what I saw of your questionnaire your research is, at best, very superficial. At a minimum, learn the difference between a peg/piton and a bolt.

And if you haven't already done so, read Messner's essay on the Murder of the impossible ( there are several copies on the web, eg http://web.mit.edu/lin/Public/climbing/Messner.txt you might find reading some of the reaction to his essay worth reading as well).

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Cheers Frank, really appreciate the feedback, apologise ill have a look as soon as I can and get that changed. Question 10, would be assuming you already lead indoors (and have access to rope, belay device). Well the cost of getting a trad rack is one thing, its more the cost of training/learning trad I saw as an issue although equipment costs can exacerbate this. Q11 Im mean behaviour that shows “excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself” e.g. lack of respect for other, taking selfies etc, doing it from a more ‘oh look at me” standpoint rather than for just the enjoyment of climbing. Sorry about the end bit, I don’t have any control over that, its just the survey site. But massive thank you for all your feedback ill resolve those issues as soon as possible.

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Tyler - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Well done on remaining polite through your hammering!

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Doug:

Awesome, thank you. i do indeed know the difference but similar ethical disputes arise from placing bits on mental (whether it be piton or bolt) in the rock to offer protection as both driving pitons into a cracks or drilling to place bolts damages the rock and undermines traditional ethics

5
oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

thanks for your feedback, i have since connected my supervisor and made the necessary changes, apologise.

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

No worries. Your supervisor’s advice clearly the most important. 

 

Still don’t know why you need names at all though; it doesn’t add anything other than potentially opening up an ethical and legal minefield. 

 

Still, as others have said, kudos for keeping a level head in the face of the criticism...!

jkarran - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

The rank your motivations section was exasperating in concept and execution, my results for that bit will be pretty much random I'm afraid.

jk

johncook - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

There is a vast amount of literature out there. Also a thorough search of this and other fora would have yielded more information than your survey. Attend a few area BMC meetings and many of your questions would be answered as these meeting are an eclectic gathering of climbers and hill walkers from all disciplines.

As mentioned above, proof reading, and having someone else knowledgeable read your survey and on-line responses, would make you seem more adept at your given project!

TMM on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

<To bolt or not to bolt - A research project>

If you need to bolt your research project to complete it I would urge you to stop and leave this challenge to a future generation of researchers.

 

Post edited at 10:51
Eric9Points - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

> indeed, but if you had a 40m run out on one pitch of an otherwise amazimg trad route would it not be fair to put a few bolts in?

You've just described most of the routes on the Etive slabs....and they're amazing as they are.

1
oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

it just allows me to refer to the person in my essay "Smith suggests.."  rather than saying each time "a respondent of the the questionnaire suggests..." But ill only do that if thier comment effectively and concisely conveys a consensus shared by many. I have no intention of singling anyone out and would never list thier full name, in fact id rather people didnt give thier full name at all. 

Thanks again

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Murcantile - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

Tell that to the Australians they have a common sense attitude to opening up routes and will put a bolt in to protect ground fall. Often a single bolt on an otherwise Trad route.

The Araps are good example of sensible mixed-Trad/bolting. I can think of quite a few places in UK, Bristol gorge.wye valley for example where rusty pitons mean no one climbs routes any more and a sensible single bolt for those locations would open up the gorge to more climbers. Or you can go hammer in a new Piton with some Glue and call it a trad route still if you want.

 

 

 

3
Howard J - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

There is a clear bias in the questions and assumptions  made towards sports climbing.  Among them:

Trad is expensive: no, you can join a club and climb with other people and build up a rack piecemeal.

Trad is psychologically taxing - it can be, or you can just bimble up stuff well within your grade.  I've been just as taxed on sports routes when the next bolt seems a long way off.

Trad is inherently risky: up to a point, but it's often the appearance of risk rather than the reality, and that is what gives the sense of adventure.  Some trad climbers seek out risk, but many (probably most) try to mitigate it.

I perceive an underlying suggestion that you feel that trad ethics are holding back the development of climbing in the UK.  That's a point of view, but not a basis for a survey.  For what it's worth, I think it might be true if you are considering only technical ability, but trad climbing is a much broader activity and many find other rewards from it which don't depend on grades.

You clearly haven't done much research, there's been exhaustive discussion on IMC and other forums, BMC area meetings etc.  Look at the row over Aldery Cliff, to give just one example. We have come to a compromise which broadly works both sides and which is generally accepted, although inevitably some will disagree.  

1
Murcantile - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

Clipping the bolt is voluntary, you don't have to use it!!!

32
Tyler - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Here are a few crumbs you might want to follow to further you research:

Frankie Comes to Kilnsey

The Cad

Axle Attack

Marlene

Fated Path

The Rainbow Slab

Critics Choice

The Big Issue

Dominatrix

Déjà vu

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Howard J:

Hi Howard, thanks for your feedback. i can see the miret in sport but I am very much in favour of trad (practice and ethics), the question is more to play devils advocate as i knew it would gained a greater amount of responses. Thanks again for the advice.

2
teh_mark on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to jimtitt:

No of course not, but the implication from the OP seemed to be that where it gets a bit blank they'll bolt it well - or at least that's how I read it. The viewpoint presented reads quite simplistic, I thought it best to reply with a sledgehammer rather than leave it open to misinterpretation.

A single bolt in to 'protect' a terrifying slate trad route is a different ball game to sticking nicely-spaced bolts in where the convenient crack ends. If we took to putting bolts in rock every time we wanted to make climbable something a bit scary, many of the groundbreaking first ascents in recent times in this country would be barely worth a mention.

1
oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Murcantile:

its more about knowing its there, the option i felt can degrade the mentel challange you face, just wanted to know what others thought

2
jonnie3430 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Murcantile:

Just use a top rope.

Murcantile - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Think it depends, there are plenty of examples of Trad routes with fixed/semi fixed protection, sometimes fairly dodgy old pitons, slings etc. Sensible bolting can replace these and open up routes for other people to climb without risk of serious injury. This includes abseils where years of accumulated tat rotting away could be replaced with some fixed chains/abseils. Which can speed up the process = more climbing. 

Its a hard to quantify line for climbers. can't imagine anyone putting a bolt into masters edge. But there are instances particularly in the lower/mid e grades I think a sensible bolt is not a bad idea if there is ground fall potential.

Much like politics this is a bit of a Bi-polar issue for climbers particularly UK climbers Trad climbers who do tend to seem to sit on the never ever ever. 

 

 

 

6
Murcantile - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Just use a top rope.

Cant find any anchors for my Trad gear so will have to hammer some steel posts into the top to attach it to.

Then let them rot for twenty years and get bent by outdoor ed groups top roping and monopolising the classic route all day till its polished to a nice shine

 

 

1
TMM on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

<What are your main reasons for lead climbing?

 

Trill and Adventure>

 

A bird brained suggestion. There's no way I'm nuts and I find the suggestion somewhat seedy.

 

spidermonkey09 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Howard J:

Good post.

The only thing I would add to this is that its not like grid bolting everything in the UK would actually raise standards. Its not like theres a load of 9a+ rock being jealously guarded by a brigade of bearded trad climbers. The UK simply doesn't have very much rock that lends itself to cutting edge sport climbing; Malham and the Tor are the exceptions. 

What we do have works brilliantly as trad, and if bolted en masse would simply result in a lot of extremely average F6's and low 7's. 

The point made elsewhere about replacing pegs for bolts is one that might have long-term legs in my view, but its a can of worms for sure!

1
Kemics - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Murcantile:

The Scandinavians and yanks also follow this style when opening routes (perhaps it's something to do with the sheer quantity of rock they have) 

Particularly I noticed when climbing in Finland, Sweden and Norway; they arn't opposed to bolted belays or the odd bolt on a run out. But still maintain trad routes 

A perfect example of that might be the most famous (?) climb in Finland called Kantti - Kantti (E2 5b)#photos it's route with a few cam placements, 2 or 3 bolts ... but around 10 meter run outs between bolts/placements. So it becomes a airy trad route rather than a death route. I think it's a great example of tasteful bolting.... but maybe it's just because it drags the route down to my level. (E2 5b... when maybe it would be a better E3 5b with no bolts) 

British climbing is weird. But it's probably unfixable at this point, better to just enjoy the madness.  

2
henwardian - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Spent an hour filling this in, submitted it and it just wiped everything and put me back to the start. Not doing it again, sorry.

Robert Durran - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Kemics:

 

> A perfect example of that might be the most famous (?) climb in Finland called Kantti - Kantti (E2 5b)#photos it's route with a few cam placements, 2 or 3 bolts ... but around 10 meter run outs between bolts/placements. So it becomes a airy trad route rather than a death route. I think it's a great example of tasteful bolting.... but maybe it's just because it drags the route down to my level. (E2 5b... when maybe it would be a better E3 5b with no bolts).

It is just a matter of degree though. Why not put the bolts closer and have an E1 or closer too and have an HVS? At what point does it become a sport route? At what point does it become distasteful? It's just contrived.

> British climbing is weird. But it's probably unfixable at this point, better to just enjoy the madness.  

No, in Britain we draw a clear line between sport and trad. That is not contrived and it is not weird or mad. It doers not need fixing because it is not broken.

 

1
Robert Durran - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Murcantile:

> Its a hard to quantify line for climbers. can't imagine anyone putting a bolt into masters edge. But there are instances particularly in the lower/mid e grades I think a sensible bolt is not a bad idea if there is ground fall potential.

Why only in some grades?  Who decides?  If you don't like the potential for a groundfall, don't do the route rather than having it dragged it down to your grade in a contrived fashion.

 

1
trouserburp - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Murcantile:

Selfie-taking egotist

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to henwardian:

Hi there, really sorry . if you can give me an example of what you put for one of your written answer i can check if it came through?

sheppy on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Filled it in out of curiosity.

Sure a couple of questions could have been worded better but didn't feel swayed by bias at all. My answers were what they were.

Not really sure that it will give a "result" because only those who are sufficiently supportive of one position or the other will be bothered.

sheppy on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to henwardian:

An hour? I might have done it wrong, it only took me 10 minutes!

jonnie3430 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Murcantile:

Just put your feet in some rabbit holes.

Jon Stewart - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

My trouble was that I just don't perceive any conflict between sport and trad.

We have trad crags, and these will stay trad crags because that's what we, the climbing community, want. We have sport crags, where that's the better option.

At any *specific* crag there might be conflicting views about whether to (retro) bolt it. And the facts of that case would need to be considered. But there is no *general* conflict.

There might be some people who think that existing trad crags should in general be bolted, or that sport crags should in general be "de-equipped". But these are pretty silly positions, because they're just proposals to impose a personal preference over everyone else from an established status quo. That's not a reasonable position and we don't have to take it seriously. If there really were enough people taking such an extreme positions then we would have a conflict, but that's not the case.

2
ericinbristol - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Survey done. I answered as best I could e.g. disputing the nature/degree of sport-trad conflict

Post edited at 13:50
Martin Hore - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Hi Oak

Unlike some others I thought the survey was worth doing - you addressed some of the main issues (eg whether you can have a trad experience climbing a sport route without clipping the bolts - I'm amazed some respondents seem to think you can). Yes, your own views came across too strongly in some questions, and some questions were poorly worded, but not worse than many undergraduate surveys on here. So thank you for that.

A word of advice to all similar posters - please complete your UKC profile before posting. Then we have an idea what your own climbing experience is. Some respondents have suggested "not a lot", but I'm certainly happy to give you the benefit of the doubt on that. But it would be good if you told us.

As others have said, do find time to research some of the seminal articles on this topic. Your thesis will be all the better for it.

Good luck

Martin

jimtitt - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Murcantile:

 

> Its a hard to quantify line for climbers. can't imagine anyone putting a bolt into masters edge.

A poor example, the gear on Masters Edge is in holes drilled in the rock

 

oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Martin Hore:

Hi Martin, thank you for the feedback, could i ask which questions were poorly worded? I'm severely dyslexic and haven’t managed to be able to get anyone to proof read it yet (i was running out of time and for various personal issues i have only recently been able to start my project). You know how it is sometimes things just make more sense in your head, so apologies for an confusion.

As for my profile again sorry i haven’t been able to update it yet, im currently trying the summit the mountain of uni coursework and NGB quals related stuff that has built up. ill endeavour to complete it as soon as possible.

Have already read a few as prompted and they have been most useful.

Thanks again for your time and feedback

Post edited at 17:11
kevin stephens - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Too many leading questions

The premise that sport climbing is held back appears more than once, thus premise is total bollox

Excuses of too busy to research it properly are not really valid when you are asking UKC members to waste time trying to complete a flawed questionnaire.

Despite negativity (mine included) there is a lot of useful advise in the posted responses.

A good plan may be to take down the questionnaire and address the problems identified before posting the improved version, with particular attention to removing the built in bias

 

1
oak123 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to kevin stephens:

Hi Kevin,

I appreciate what you have to say. As ive mention before, I admitted having designed it to spark the attention of the passionate traditionalist and have play the devil’s advocate to maximise responses, but put arguments from both sides. I am very much I favour of trad, I can see the merit in sport but if it can be down with trad then keep the bolts the hell away haha. Plus the rest of the world can offer endless sport routes, I think there's little room for sport in the U.K. due to its geological nature. My interest is based around how attitudes have changed and evolved from the numerous 'bolt wars' to neutral, or at least tolerating outlook of today.  

I have done the research I can with the time and resource available to me, I was misinformed by some publish literature i read and merely asked for some help correcting it, thats not to say I haven’t spent an extensive time researching the subject in the past as this is something that sparked my interest when I first started climbing. Im a full-time career for a disabled family member so its not an ‘excuses’ as you call it, its life and all I can do is play the best with the cards ive been dealt.   

 

I apprentice you’ve spent the time to give me some feedback and am open to anymore constructive criticism you can offer.

Regards,

Oak

Post edited at 18:29
3
springfall2008 - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

> I don't get this 'mixed route' business, assuming you mean bolt it with the option not to clip the bolts.

But you can have a Trad route with a few bolts between natural gear, e.g. replaced pegs

 

1
teh_mark on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to springfall2008:

See my follow-up reply.

1
Murcantile - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to trouserburp:

How should I reply to this, faceless t**t?

6
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Oak, if you’ve got enough time to post multiple lengthy replies and clarifications on here, you’ve got time to proof read and make changes based on the advice you’re getting.

 

And based on this post, your premise is fundamentally flawed. You can’t show how attitudes have changed with time, as you’ve only got data from one time point. 

 

You are also constructing your questionnaire with explicit intention of generating evidence to support a point of view you already hold 

 

and openly admit asking leading and provocative questions to effectively act as clickbait. 

 

You are collecting personal identifiable information including sensitive medical data which brings you within the scope of the Data Protection Act and will require processes to ensure compliance with regulations on storage and disposal (and for no good reason that I can see, just use ‘participant A said...’)

 

sorry to be harsh, but this is not good methodology. Has your supervisor actually read the questionnaire and ‘signed off’ that they are happy with it? Are you sure that you have properly complied with your institutions policies on ethical approval and data protection? If you are unsure about the answers to these, I would suggest taking the questionnaire down until you have got clarification 

 

best wishes with the work,

 

gregor

1
Murcantile - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to jimtitt:

> A poor example, the gear on Masters Edge is in holes drilled in the rock

If they put anchors/chains in more people could top rope it though;)

Plus its a quarry so fair game for bolting in UK isn't it?

4
Kemics - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> No, in Britain we draw a clear line between sport and trad. That is not contrived and it is not weird or mad. It doers not need fixing because it is not broken.

Really? I'm a trad climber first, with a healthy respect for our ethics.... But there's absolutely no clear line. There is a very blurry line. 

So trad routes have no bolts? But some do. Some have threads. Some also have pegs. Some are entirely peg and bolt protected (avon). There's also sport routes...with pegs... and threads... and bolts.. (Antseys) .... nice and clear?

Perfect example: Pete Whittaker climbing Baron Greenback...he's using a bamboo quickdraw so he can clip old caving bolts which were used to make an aid ascent. (In an area with a strict no bolting ethic) ... it's definitely weird, it's definitely mad... it's also absolutely brilliant. But to pretend British climbing has any clear cut lines is irrational.

Robert Durran - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to springfall2008:

> But you can have a Trad route with a few bolts between natural gear, e.g. replaced pegs

But that is not replaced pegs!

Robert Durran - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Kemics:

> Really? I'm a trad climber first, with a healthy respect for our ethics.... But there's absolutely no clear line. There is a very blurry line. 

> But to pretend British climbing has any clear cut lines is irrational.

I would argue that you referring to a few special cases and historical anomalies.  The overwhelming accepted norm is for trad routes eith no bolts or crags with proper sport routes. 

 

Kemics - on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think it's more our localities... you're familiar with the beautiful and respected Scottish mountains...i'm familiar with the grotty peg littered quarries of the west country  

rgold - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Well, I filled it out.  You may be able to spot me because I'm from the USA; perhaps you'll want to toss such replies.

I agree that it isn't a terrific survey.  The usual amateur issues arise; questions that really don't have an answer because of vagueness and length, and questions with options that come nowhere near covering appropriate responses.  But frankly, I've seen a lot worse, so good luck with your results.

Here are some things I don't think the survey offered the chance to bring out.  One is that risk, and the techniques and attitudes for mitigating it, are an intrinsic part of trad climbing, and you can't eliminate risk and still have trad climbing.  But the risks of trad climbing can't be compared to the artificial stunts which the so-called extreme sports are full of, climbing risks are first and foremost dictated by nature, and the way in which the climber responds to what nature dictates is what makes a particular ascent what it is.  This is one of the deep misunderstandings afflicting people who argue for bolts and say the don't have to be clipped.  Once bolted, a trad ascent is a mere stunt; nothing is left of the natural ambiance and challenge, as dealing with what nature dictates is no longer an imperative.

Sport climbing is, essentially, about the (amazing) things you can do when risk is nearly eliminated from the equation.  That makes it an utterly different activity, and what one hopes for is that the "bright line" mentioned earlier can be held.  The great American pioneer Royal Robbins (RIP) said that "sport climbing is the child that wants to eat its mother," and indeed it is trad climbing that is threatened by forces that would make everything a sport climb.

In the US, trad climbs are slowly fading, not (yet) because runouts are retrobolted, but because bolted belay and rappel anchors are changing the nature of commitment and the style of ascents.

It seems to me, from afar, that the UK has been brilliant, one of just a few beacons in the world of climbing, in its ability to protect trad from its voracious child.  The result is an inspiring preservation of adventure in spite of a cliff scale that one would think could not, in our contemporary atmosphere, possibly favor it.

Mick Ward - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to rgold:

 

> The great American pioneer Royal Robbins (RIP) said that "sport climbing is the child that wants to eat its mother..."

Have always loved this - so true!

 

> It seems to me, from afar, that the UK has been brilliant, one of just a few beacons in the world of climbing, in its ability to protect trad from its voracious child.  The result is an inspiring preservation of adventure in spite of a cliff scale that one would think could not, in our contemporary atmosphere, possibly favor it.

Our bolt wars were quite nasty at times. Somehow we seem to have stumbled into a coexistence which works (for the time being, anyway) - for which I'm profoundly grateful.

Mick

 

 

kevin stephens - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Mick Ward:

And most climbers I know passionately embrace both trad and sport, and fully understand the difference. There is no conflict. We can all have our cake and eat it

Dogwatch - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Wil Treasure:

> I would be looking through all the past issues of Climber, Crags, On the Edge, High Mountain Sports and others for articles, minutes of BMC area meetings and debates and perhaps from some major clubs (AC, CC, FRCC).

"Literature" in the context of a dissertation really means papers in peer-reviewed academic journals. There would not be much kudos in quoting from climbing magazines.

 

1
oak123 - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to rgold:

Thank you for your response, I very much agree with everything you say. I have played devil's advocate, The rest of the world can offer endless sport routes, I think there's little room for sport in the U.K. due to its geological nature. i think the heart of the debate around bolting has shifted towards replacing rusty long neglected pitons, long run outs and fixed chains for abseils etc. I am very much I favour of trad, I can see the merit in sport but if it can be done trad then keep the bolts the hell away haha. My interest is based around how attitudes have changed and evolved from the numerous 'bolt wars' to a more neutral, or at least tolerating outlook of today.

Thanks again for you feedback

5
stp - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

OK, done.

Interesting project so good luck with it, and hope it all goes well.

Doug on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Dogwatch:

> "Literature" in the context of a dissertation really means papers in peer-reviewed academic journals. There would not be much kudos in quoting from climbing magazines.


Depends on the topic, its not uncommon to cite articles from newspapers in some fields, although more often the Guardian or Times than the Sun.  I would have thought quotes from climbing magazines would be perfect to give an impression of the debate.

Dave Garnett - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

OK, I've done it.  Quite a few false dichotomies but, at least in its current form, it seemed reasonable - I've seen a lot worse.

I didn't put anything I wouldn't be prepared to say on the record.  I have done, on here, often.

springfall2008 - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> But that is not replaced pegs!


I don't see any difference between a bolt and a new peg other than one lasts longer and is safer.

 

4
GridNorth - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Mick Ward:

> Our bolt wars were quite nasty at times. Somehow we seem to have stumbled into a coexistence which works (for the time being, anyway) - for which I'm profoundly grateful.

> Mick

Then someone comes along and says they can't see the difference between a bolt and a peg

Al

Robert Durran - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to springfall2008:

> I don't see any difference between a bolt and a new peg other than one lasts longer and is safer.

There is an absolutely fundamental difference which is right at the heart of any debate about bolting: a peg makes use of a natural weakness in the rock whereas a bolt does not. In this sense a peg has more in common with a nut or cam than with a bolt.

2
Robert Durran - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

> Then someone comes along and says they can't see the difference between a bolt and a peg

Or, arguably worse, that you don't have to clip a bolt

I'm amazed that this sort of nonsense still gets aired in these discussion.

 

Post edited at 13:47
Jon Stewart - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to rgold:

Bang on, as always  

Howard J - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Dogwatch:

> "Literature" in the context of a dissertation really means papers in peer-reviewed academic journals. There would not be much kudos in quoting from climbing magazines.

That's appropriate when it's an academic topic where serious discussion takes place through such journals.  For a topic like this most of the debate has taken place elsewhere.  To exclude that on the grounds that it doesn't meet academic criteria would be to ignore much of the body of evidence.
 

Are there any peer-reviewed climbing journals?

 

Deadeye - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

>i rather dyslexic

Being dyslexic is *not* a valid excuse for poor grammar and spelling in a piece of research.  Why should folk accommodate people putting out work without making any apparent attempt to have it proof read, or even use spell-checkers?

Obviously, online posts themselves are not research - but "mirit" FFS?

 

3
stp - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

> You could argue that maybe it should be left alone until a stronger, bolder climber comes along to climb it.

Interestingly the same thought was around in the eighties. But the bolder, stronger climbers never materialised. It seems like most people won't attempt dangerous routes ground up much above french 7b. Above that it seems people go for headpointing - which isn't really traditional climbing at all.

I think the reason is that although climbers have got stronger it doesn't mean the climbing actually gets easier. 7b is 7b and that's the same for everyone, regardless of one's strength.

I don't think the bolder, stronger climbers are ever going to arrive now. At a certain level of difficulty the risks just become too great.

 

stp - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Deadeye:

> Being dyslexic is *not* a valid excuse for poor grammar and spelling in a piece of research. 

Have you thought about a career in teaching?

 

> Why should folk accommodate people putting out work without making any apparent attempt to have it proof read, or even use spell-checkers?

No one has to accommodate anyone. It's purely voluntary. You can either help by doing the survey or not if you don't want too.

Personally I'd take the poorly spelled but polite responses by oak123 over the gratuitous, condescending, critical comments by many on this thread any day.

 

3
teh_mark on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to stp:

A very fair point for unclimbed lines, for sure. In posing the question to the OP I was more considering established lines, where the bolder climbers did appear and the route was climbed without the bolts being needed.

My personal viewpoint on bolting new lines is that, in most places, we seem to have the balance about right and the local consensus should be followed. I'd like to do away with the few absurdities that do exist (manky rusting pegs for fixed gear - I wouldn't mind seeing those replaced with bolts), but we mostly seem to get it right.

Post edited at 20:54
1
springfall2008 - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> There is an absolutely fundamental difference which is right at the heart of any debate about bolting: a peg makes use of a natural weakness in the rock whereas a bolt does not. In this sense a peg has more in common with a nut or cam than with a bolt.


Yes, I suppose that's a fair comment.

So if I invented a special stainless steel peg which goes into a hole and then you use a nut to tighten it up, it expands into the gap and then I fill the gap with glue that's fine?

 

5
Stuart William - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

> it just allows me to refer to the person in my essay "Smith suggests.."  

 

Hi Oak, 

For what it is worth I would suggest having a chat with your supervisor about this. It is almost never necessary or justified to include any identifiable info in this sort of research and it creates an ethical minefield. It also potentially biases responses if people think they will be named. 

Even if you don’t include a full name this is still potentially indentifiable. All it takes is for you to mention where they are based, or their interests (climbing), a couple of outspoken views, or numerous other things and it suddenly takes only a small leap of logic for someone who knows them to figure out who you are talking about. 

Unless it is absolutely essential to collect that data or to name people then my opinion is steer well clear of that whole issue. Regardless of whether you think it will make the write-up read a little better it is a bad habit to get into. Plus the risk of falling foul of data protection legislation is definitely not worth it. 

At the very least consider changing all names, and preferably changing anything else that might identify someone, to maintain anonymity.

Stu

Post edited at 09:47
Michael Gordon - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Stuart William:

It also confers on the part of the quoted person some sort of academic authority on the subject. I'd never dream of referring to a respondent in this way! This is how I'd refer to someone who had written an academic paper, with full reference in the appendix.

If the OP must use individual examples, they could just say "a respondent". For more in-depth qualitative studies respondents are often referred to by name, but not their own (a name has been assigned to them).

hang_about - on 15 Mar 2018

This comes back to the ethics and data handling issue I raised above. There are legal requirements concerning these sorts of surveys that, as someone learning how to engage with the wider public, the OP should be aware of. In many institutions, failing to adequately deal with these basics would lead to sanctions

I get the feeling that Mr Oak has left this to the last minute, hence the somewhat hurried approach.

To the OP  - go and discuss this with your supervisor now. Show them this thread. 

teh_mark on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

A peg which is placed in the natural weakness in the rock, left as fixed gear, rusts away, becomes unreliable, snaps and then often doesn't allow that natural weakness to be used again, potentially significantly altering the character of the route.

As I'm just a young 'un and I tend to avoid the sorts of rock where legs are common, can anyone explain to me the currently accepted ethics of placing pegs and leaving them as fixed gear on a first ascent?

jimtitt - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to springfall2008:

> Yes, I suppose that's a fair comment.

> So if I invented a special stainless steel peg which goes into a hole and then you use a nut to tighten it up, it expands into the gap and then I fill the gap with glue that's fine?


Better to develop a stainless steel bolt that looks just like a peg and glue it into a subtly adjusted crack. That way the illusion of ethical purity is maintained. While you are at it you could magically provide a few threads using "solution" holes or even watch rocks levitate from the ground to become convenient chockstones or ........

Michael Gordon - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

> As I'm just a young 'un and I tend to avoid the sorts of rock where legs are common, can anyone explain to me the currently accepted ethics of placing pegs and leaving them as fixed gear on a first ascent?

I used to think this was frowned upon, but judging by FAs made by many  present day leading climbers, it seems the 'accepted ethic' is do what you like (after exhausting other natural gear options) and see what others think afterwards.

GrahamD - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jimtitt:

> Better to develop a stainless steel bolt that looks just like a peg and glue it into a subtly adjusted crack. That way the illusion of ethical purity is maintained. 

Essentially what has been done at Wintours and Avon

 

GrahamD - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

> As I'm just a young 'un and I tend to avoid the sorts of rock where legs are common, can anyone explain to me the currently accepted ethics of placing pegs and leaving them as fixed gear on a first ascent?

"Currently Accepted" is a bit difficult to define.  As far as I can tell, it is generally accepted that the 'best' style on rock routes, especially on sea cliffs with a corrosive atmosphere, is not to resort to leaving pegs.  As has been noted, that doesn't stop some 'top' climbers placing pegs to get their tick.

teh_mark on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

I presume that if one has to take pitons to rock, it's more widely accepted that they get left as in-situ gear so that less damage is caused by successive placing and removing rather than removed?

Jon Stewart - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

> I'd like to do away with the few absurdities that do exist (manky rusting pegs for fixed gear - I wouldn't mind seeing those replaced with bolts), but we mostly seem to get it right.

In the vast majority of circs there's no need to replace manky old pegs with anything. Just place proper gear and clip them or not depending on the amount of quick draws you've got. This is fine e.g. on high tor, Blue 14 - Fay (f3), most routes with manky pegs.

A few routes have crucial (manky) pegs. Some of these will be a grade or so harder with the peg rotten/absent, and if they're good enough routes they'll still get climbed. Like Eroica (E4 6a). Those which aren't might not get done once they become a bit bolder. And so what!

There are a few really good, classic routes that do depend on a crucial peg and would be so bold without it that they might be lost, e.g. Tumbleweed Connection (E2 5c)One Step Beyond (E4 6a) (non done this yet, might be wrong). If these pegs can't be replaced (the tumbleweed one has been) then here there is a case for replacement with something else.

We're talking about a handful of routes in the entire country, so while it might be fun to discuss a blanket policy, there is no need for one. If a particular, classic route is going to be lost, then we have local meetings where the people who most care and whose views are best informed can make a sensible decision.

 

Edit. Maybe not that Fay! 

Post edited at 12:56
teh_mark on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

They're just my idealistic views when we're talking about crucial pegs. I don't climb anywhere or on any rock where that's an issue though, nor anywhere near hard enough, so I don't feel particularly strongly about it to be honest.

GridNorth - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jimtitt:

>  Sport climbing is a matter of the attitude and tactics used to climb it, not whether there are bolts in it.

I couldn't agree more.  I often tell people that I climb on bolts but I'm not a sports climber.

Al

2
oak123 - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Stuart William:

Hi Stu, as ive mentioned on the survey, giving a name optional and it shows clearly the intentif a name is provided, so if you don’t want to be identify then simply don’t put your name. I have shown this to my supervisor and they are happy with the statement in place, but for the sake of not wanting to course anymore dispute and simply because i dont have time to explain this over and over, i have removed the name option (a couple of days ago infact, deleting all record of names given thus far) so if you are still happy with being named, it can be included in any other question response if you so wish.

Thank you for sparing the time to give me feedback, I welcome any constructive criticism you can offer me.

Regards

Oak 

1
Robert Durran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

> >  Sport climbing is a matter of the attitude and tactics used to climb it, not whether there are bolts in it.

> I couldn't agree more.  I often tell people that I climb on bolts but I'm not a sports climber.

I couldn't agree less!  Sport climbs are properly bolted routes where it is safe to fall off. Sport climbing is climbing such routes.  Trad climbs arte climbs without any bolts. Trad climbing is climbing such routes. Routes with bolts but not always safe to fall off are neither and lie in a grey area of varying shade.

 

 

Post edited at 15:03
john arran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

You're describing sport climbs, but he's pointing out that simply climbing a sport climb doesn't mean you're sport climbing. There's a genuine difference based on whether you accept any likelihood of relying on the safe(ish) fall potential.

I suppose the opposite could be true as well; if you extensively top-rope rehearse a well-protected trad route with little fall danger, you're pretty close to sport climbing even though you're on a trad route.

1
Robert Durran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to john arran:

> You're describing sport climbs, but he's pointing out that simply climbing a sport climb doesn't mean you're sport climbing.

Yes, I know.  However, I just think it is confusing and illogical not to equate sport climbing with climbing a sport route. 

GridNorth - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to john arran:

Thank you for recognising and acknowledging that distinction. To clarify further:  I approach fully bolted routes in the same way I approach trad.  On sight with no intention to pull on gear. If I do or if I fall I consider that I've failed.  I don't Redpoint and I don't practice moves. Admittedly I am prepared to push things a little further on bolts than on natural pro but I really don't think I qualify as a "Sports Climber".  For me the whole approach and motivation is significantly different.

To Robert Durran: I'm only expressing my opinion and your view doesn't change it one way or the other, but I do know others who think that I make a valid distinction.

Al

Post edited at 15:39
john arran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

Reminds me of the one and only time I tried DWS. In my head I was simply soloing, and I climbed exactly the same grade of routes as I would have done regardless of whether there was water, rocks or rabid crocodiles below. So even though technically I may have been doing one thing, as far as my head was concerned I was doing something quite different.

GridNorth - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to john arran:

Quite often disagreements and misunderstanding are simply a matter of language.  I recognise the distinction between "Sport Climbing" and a "Sports Climb", Robert did not make that distinction in this instance.

I've seen quite a few interpretations of various interviews recently where someone says something but the interviewer hears something else.  The Jordan Peterson/Cathy Newman one being an extreme example although that was, perhaps, a case of wilful misunderstanding.

Al

Post edited at 16:32
Robert Durran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

 

>   I often tell people that I climb on bolts but I'm not a sports climber.

So what do you call people who climb on bolts but are "not sport climbers" and also never climb trad routes? This probably covers a sizeable proportion of the climbing population, so I think it is important we have a term for them.

Also, during a day at a bolted crag, presumably I am not sport climbing when I am warming up on a 6b with 99% chance of the onsight but later on I am sport climbing when I hurl myself all out at a 7b with 99% chance of failure. I feel it is important to know at what point during the day as I build up to my big 7b attempt that I start sport climbing.

Post edited at 16:45
GridNorth - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

I don't consider it important in the slightest.  It's just a habit I've got into when explaining to people what I do and it distinguishes me from "hot shot dudes redpointing and sending routes". Some people have found it amusing and like the distinction. 

If you consider me Sport Climber that's fine, it doesn't bother me, I'm not insulted or anything.

I've just digested the second part of your reply. IMO you have made that distinction at that point but overall the fact that you would consider your 7b an attempt with a 99% chance of failure puts you firmly in the Sports Climbing category.  It inhibits me, I acknowledge it, but I only attempt routes  that I think I have a fighting chance of on-sighting.

Al

Post edited at 16:59
Robert Durran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

> If you consider me Sport Climber that's fine, it doesn't bother me.

Good

> I'm not insulted or anything.

Ditto

 

GridNorth - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

I re-edited my response while you were posting. Sorry.

I'm not judging or giving any value to either discipline, they both have merits.  For me though the concentration on overcoming the move, for want of a better way of putting, with practice, it is of less value to me, and I emphasise the to me bit, than working out that move on-sight.

Al

Post edited at 17:11
john arran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Also, during a day at a bolted crag, presumably I am not sport climbing when I am warming up on a 6b with 99% chance of the onsight but later on I am sport climbing when I hurl myself all out at a 7b with 99% chance of failure. I feel it is important to know at what point during the day as I build up to my big 7b attempt that I start sport climbing.

As for my DWS example above, technically you may be sport climbing all day, as you're on sport routes, but if you're warming up or pottering on stuff you find really easy (or if you simply get terrified by the idea of falling, regardless of what it's onto) the nature of the gear you have in doesn't seem particularly relevant. So your head could be in the same place as on a trad route or even a solo. If you're describing the experience rather than the activity, the distinction makes sense, even though it doesn't change the fact that you've been sport climbing all day.

GridNorth - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to john arran:

I think the clearest distinction is that of approach and attitude and could almost be summarised as the approach to an individual move and the value put on that.  Yes there is value and merit in doggedly sticking at it until you get it but I attach more value to working out the move on sight.  At my age, I'm 70 this year, doggedly practising individual moves at my physical limit gets a bit tiring and boring.  I would rather do more routes.

Al

Robert Durran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

> For me though the concentration on overcoming the move, for want of a better way of putting, with practice, it is of less value to me, and I emphasise the to me bit, than working out that move on-sight.

I'm exactly the same (I hardly ever redpoint), but I am prepared to fail on quite a large proportion of my onsight attempts (typically 50% or so excluding warm ups) for the value of working out harder but fewer moves onsight. I know that some people don't consider me to be sport climbing because I'm not redpointing, but I think that really is absurd!

 

descender8 - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Just bringing unwanted attention to sports crags which is great if you don't like sports climbing !

There's  too many crags getting closed as it is !  Anything negative is just fuel for the iratinal power trippers out there and bad for climbing in general- once they get their way banning sports climbing they will move on to trad , bouldering then Alpine  ! Be warned -Love it or loose it ! 

GridNorth - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

The nearest I have been to redpointing was in Kalymnos last April.  I fell off a 6c and my mate who was on a pushing the grade and redpointing trip insisted that I try it again and left the QD's in.  So I did.  I cleared it and found it about 2 grades easier because I knew where a key hold was but if I'm honest I would rather have spent that time on another route

Al

john arran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

I'm very much the same. I almost always prefer new ground. I would say, though, that doing a route first redpoint after falling onsight is possibly the least fulfilling option, as you're really just ticking off something you'd hoped to do in better style. It isn't until you get into more challenging difficulty, that takes you quite a few goes, that you finally realise you've just climbed something you couldn't have hoped to get up onsight. And that brings a whole new and very different satisfaction.

Wil Treasure - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Dogwatch:

> "Literature" in the context of a dissertation really means papers in peer-reviewed academic journals.

True. I guess I was thinking that there are quite a few opinion pieces written by prominent and influential climbers over the years. Anyone trying to establish climbers' views on bolting in the past in the absence of journals would need to look at them. Granted that doesn't make them useful for the literature review, which sort of negates my suggestion, but it can be used to back up the nature of the debate at different times.

E.g. one feature that doesn't seem to crop up as much any more, but was prominent at one time, is the idea of making a new route a reasonable onsight proposition. This is usually in the context of adding one or two bolts to an otherwise trad route. The view of climbers in general is going to be different to those new route obsessives.

 

john arran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Wil Treasure:

> E.g. one feature that doesn't seem to crop up as much any more, but was prominent at one time, is the idea of making a new route a reasonable onsight proposition. This is usually in the context of adding one or two bolts to an otherwise trad route. The view of climbers in general is going to be different to those new route obsessives.

My explanation for why this isn't a satisfactory way to go is that it then becomes the first ascentionist who decides how hard the climb will be as an onsight lead. In effect it's a man-made challenge. Pure trad would leave it up to nature as to whether and how much gear and what holds were available. Pure sport would leave it up to nature as to what holds were available, and gear wouldn't be a significant factor. Between the two we have a whole world of 'designer scare' options, often with very few and very spaced bolts, where a significant part of the challenge of the route has been deliberately 'set' by the first ascentionist in much the same way as a technical route may be set at a climbing wall.

Plenty of shades of grey, of course, but fundamentally that's the basis for why it's rarely a satisfying compromise.

Stuart William - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

Hi Oak, 

I hadn't read the whole thread so sorry if it was something that had already been gone over! As long as your supervisor and you can justify everything then that is the main thing but well done for taking a sensible view of any comments here and at least considering any feedback. 

Stu

paul mitchell - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to oak123:

My concern is that bolting affects the rock itself,the aesthetics and surface.Some  new routes are chiselled into submission with the bolted approach.Increased numbers of climbers to a crag affects the ecology of that cliff.Increased availability of bolts both  incline people to get fitter and to lose the ability to lead  anywhere near equivalent grades on trad. The cheapness of a sport rack leads less affluent climbers to incline towards sport.

 

      A friend of mine was onsighting 6c+ sport and then failed to lead a Curbar vs+,even with the large cams needed.

 

 

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