/ How many bolts can you clip stick for a redpoint?

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mouseliveson - on 12 Sep 2017
As the title suggests, any opinions about how many bolts one can clip with a clip stick to call it a redpoint?
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Nordie_matt - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:
As many as you want whilst you "work" the route.

Most often quickdraws are in place on the final ground up attempt anyway, where I understand the practice is to climb ground up clipping as you go. Potentially first/second bolt clipped if particularly high or potentially dangerous.

*edited for clarification *
Post edited at 14:51
ebdon - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

I thought the convention was it was ok to have the rope through the first two? At least thats what i was told by a mate
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Hugh Mongous - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

Up to you really. I go for zero, one, and occasionally two if I think it necessary. Never tried to red point something I felt deserved three, but wouldn't discount the possibility.
Mick r - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:
If you mean, how many bolts can I clip the rope through from the ground so I can class it is a Redpoint, then I would say just the first one. Two if you could still deck whilst clipping it
Post edited at 14:50
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Hugh Mongous - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Nordie_matt:

> As many as you want whilst you "work" the route. Most often quickdraws are in place on the final ground up attempt anyway...

I think he/she meant "and have the rope clipped through them"
mouseliveson - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Nordie_matt:
I suppose I meant how many quickdraws can you thread the rope through before redpointing? I would have thought zero, since the actual clipping of the bolt can often add to the difficulty of the route, but as mentioned quickdraws are usually up before redpointing from my experience, so where do most assume the line is drawn?
Post edited at 14:53
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Nordie_matt - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Hugh Mongous:
Have just caught that Edited my response, hopefully it makes a bit more sense now
Post edited at 14:53
Dandan82 - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Mick r:

I'd disagree, I'd say as many as you like if you are doing it for safety reasons and not to reduce the difficulty of the route.
mouseliveson - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Dandan82:

Though most would agree that clipping multiple quickdraws on a route would make it easier?
Dandan82 - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

> Though most would agree that clipping multiple quickdraws on a route would make it easier?

Well that really depends on where the crux of the route is I suppose. It has to be a case by case thing, and for me it's all about safety.
Robert Durran - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Dandan82:

> I'd disagree, I'd say as many as you like if you are doing it for safety reasons and not to reduce the difficulty of the route.

So that would virtually never be more than two then unless the route was very badly bolted.
In reply to yh001:

It's difficult to give an exact answer, as it tends to be done on a case-by-case basis in line with the way in which the route is bolted, but ordinarily I would expect to pre-clip either the first or the second bolt.

Another question, which could probably be one best left for another thread, is a confessional as to how many bolts people have pre-clipped and taken the redpoint. I think my PB (rather unashamedly) is the fourth. You could argue as to whether I actually did it, but thankfully - seeing as the route was of no consequence to anyone but me - I did it in the style I did it and had fun doing so. It was also on the last day of the trip, and maybe given more time I would have done it differently, but seeing as it was unlikley I'd ever return to this venue ever again in my life ( Wow Prow in South Africa) I figured it was worth a punt. Plus it's given me an entertaining story to cough up to now and again

When it comes to pre-clipping as a whole, I think it's completely legitimate within sport climbing. If it's danger you want just go trad climbing. For any doubters just read Toby Dunn's article: https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=9367
Dandan82 - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> So that would virtually never be more than two then unless the route was very badly bolted.

In reality, yes. I was being a bit glib if i'm honest ;)
Hugh Mongous - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:
> ... so where do most assume the line is drawn?

There are no hard and fast rules. Someone will no doubt be along to say that there is, and that the only way to do it is 'their' way. But they'd be wrong. Personally I make an assessment based on combination of - how likely am I to fall off (not just difficulty of moves, but quality of rock) and what is the likely outcome of falling off at a specific point. Based on that I'll decide where to pre clip to (if at all). It's sport climbing. Buggered if I going to significantly risk breaking an ankle (or worse) - if only because I then wouldn't get my sport climbing fix. Now - on those (increasingly infrequent) trad days out, that all changes.

Edit - in other words what Rob said.
Post edited at 15:12
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JLS on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

>"As the title suggests, any opinions about how many bolts one can clip with a clip stick to call it a redpoint?"

As many as you have at one time or another climbed up to and then climbed back down to the ground without weighting the rope.

I tend to try to keep it at one but wouldn't blush if I thought a particular case needed two to be safe.
I might have, just one time mind, pre-clipped three.

High first bolts are a good thing.
mouseliveson - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Interesting. Thanks for that. I think if I'd pre clipped the fourth bolt, I'd be having trouble sleeping at night having called it a redpoint...(with all due respect of course). Trad climbing terrifies me - think I'll stick to sport for now...
In reply to yh001:

> Interesting. Thanks for that. I think if I'd pre clipped the fourth bolt, I'd be having trouble sleeping at night having called it a redpoint...(with all due respect of course). Trad climbing terrifies me - think I'll stick to sport for now...

No respect required, if anything I'd prefer people to actively disrespect me for it

To add one final thought, I would never feel ashamed or embarrassed about pre-clipping a second draw if it looks like you'll deck out were you to fall clipping the second. Life is too short...

mouseliveson - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Agreed. In reality I'd have to settle for having a bad nights sleep and calling it a redpoint until the topic surfaced again.
radddogg - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

Does it really matter? Sport climbing is cheating anyway
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mouseliveson - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to radddogg:

I'm a man of ethics, but not too many and I want answers.
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bettypastie - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

Good question I think. I only ever do one. If the second one happened to be already in on a really long route where clipping off it really doesn't make a difference to the climb, or if there was a deck potential, then I'd take it. But generally one.
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Big Lee - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

It gets a bit more grey area for me when cruxes are through the first few bolts. I can think I one route where it pre-clipping the first couple of bolts effectively put the crux on top rope.
HeMa on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> So that would virtually never be more than two then unless the route was very badly bolted.

Indeed. Zero to max two, unless real bad bolting.

Funnily enough a rather famous hard route in Eat Coast USA had had majority of it's ascents done with 3 bolts preclipped. Nothing wrong with that, 'cept it only has 3 bolts and an anchor. So effectively you're toproping it and clipping the anchor.
French Erick - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

it depends in which draw the rope manages to stay when pulling the rope before your proper RP attempt surely;)
I think I managed 3 once with careful and skillful pulling (I don't own a clip stick so couldn't cheat with it anyhow).

More seriously, IMO depends on decking potential assuming good belaying. I draw the line and don't give a flying monkey about what other people think- I see myself as having some integrity.

An interesting question which a person having climbed for long may not ask themselves. Funny game we play!
TobyA on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to HeMa:

The Fly at Rumney, although I believe it's two bolts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fly_(climb)

I've always heard people say 2 bolts is perfectly acceptable too. Afterall, sport climbing shouldn't be about taking unnecessary risks.
Tyler - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

My best/worst was two...........on Too Old To Be Bold. In fairness it was by accident in that I was still working the route but did it and it's not a good enough route to do again given the high risk of dropping it!

PS: TOTBB only has two bolts then a VS ramble to the lower off.
meggies - on 12 Sep 2017
However many you liked in the 1990's - as long as you'd done the down climb at some point too. 3 was common in The Peak.
johncook - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to HeMa:

I have seen this in the Peak, 3 bolts and an anchor, with the three bolts stick clipped leaving a few easy moves to the anchor and logged on here as lead onsight! You know who you are! You have done similar more than once.
Christheclimber on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> When it comes to pre-clipping as a whole, I think it's completely legitimate within sport climbing. If it's danger you want just go trad climbing. For any doubters just read Toby Dunn's article: https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=9367

You beat me to it Rob, Toby Dunn's article is well worth re-reading.
flaneur - on 12 Sep 2017

In reply to meggies:

Five bolts, if you're a well known Brit. on a well known 8c+/9a at Siurana.


Ianto Bach - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

I'm not really a sport climber (not ethically, just more of an old trad climber that habitually treats bolts as in-situ runners). More than happy to clip bolts, placed a few over the years, although I've never really embraced the whole red-point ethics properly. I've borrowed a clip stick once or twice and my take now is pre-clipping to avoid hitting the deck is no bad thing. I do need to balance this against the trad ethic of accepting and dealing with risk - my default position. Accepting the difference is key for me. The games climbers play eh...?

Now I've made a clip-stick (using tent poles from my 1985 Ultimate Hobo tent that died recently) and have decided to give sport climbing a proper go rather than treat it as trad with runners in. For a DIY bit of kit it works very well & packs down to a small, easily packable length.

To answer the question in the OP, if sport climbing, I'll happily pre-clip as far as my clip-stick reaches to avoid decking it.

Maybe 2018 will see my sport grade reach a new high with ankles & other body parts intact - mind you, 2017 has not been an active year for me! I'll need to pull my finger out!

Weird to take this safety approach in one facet but accept solo/trad/winter/highball risks in another... It's all about choice I suppose and as long as participants know what they are involved in and this doesn't go against the ethics of the local community - no harm done.

I
1poundSOCKS - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Ianto Bach:

> Weird to take this safety approach in one facet but accept solo/trad/winter/highball risks in another

Not really weird if you're trying to redpoint something you find really hard. You need to eliminate the risk so you can climb close to your physical limit.
baron - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:
https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=73978
Although I think things might have changed a tiny, little bit.
tmawer - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

I use a traffic light system; green, first bolt pre-clipped, no problem at all. Amber, second bolt clipped, this leaves a very slight feeling of discomfort but not enough to trouble me. Red, third bolt clipped; I'll be condemned to a special place in hell....however it it slows down when i'll be getting there, I'm happy to run the red light.
mkean - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

Never more than 2, but no-one said they had to be the first and second bolt
Ianto Bach - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
I once wrote an article in an attempt to explore this subject; "red point, pink point, what's the point?"

What I know is people evolve, gear evolves, ethics evolve - although climbers still climb in a way they choose, broadly in a consensus with their peers.

No right or wrong implied, just an acceptance of changing times.
nacnud - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

As many as is needed so you won't deck while clipping.
ogreville on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:
In my humble opinions as a bumbler, zero pre-clipped bolts with the rope in, but with all draws previously placed while working the route is the 'true' meaning of a red point accent. If it can't be climbed clean with every draw clipped with the rope then it's partial TR.

Onsight means no pre-placed draws (or someone else pre-placing draws for you, meaning no prior knowledge of the route), and Redpoint means pre-placed draws and working the route previously, but then returning to the bottom and a clean accent clipping every draw, i.e ground up. Anything apart from that would have a tiny little question mark against it. Your Sharmas and Ondras would argue this though.

At the grades we're talking about, if a risk of decking out at the first or second clip meaning they needs pre-clipped, then pre-clipping reducing the difficulty of the climb. This is almost the equivalent of the route having an additional bolt in the lower sections, therefore potencially invalidating the given grade.

I personally don't care how I get up something. As long as I arrive at the top safely then I'm happy and will take the tick, but if we're going to assign grades (and official log book accent styles) to these things then let's be consistent.

Pre-placed trad gear on difficult starts is fine though
Post edited at 22:36
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Ianto Bach - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Fair point made, I guess I was thinking personally about a situation where on one day I'd mitigate risk by pre-clipping and on another day I'd accept a risk by participating in trad/solo/bouldering/winter at my limit where the risk is less controlled. What makes me decide?

All about choice, just reflecting on why certain choices are made. Top-roping has been the approach I've used when wanting to completely focus on the moves without any safety risks. I know that a top rope tick never feels a real deal.

Another choice, and recently highlighted by an excellent piece on this site, is the wearing of helmets.

For some -
Trad = helmet
Winter = helmet
Sport = no helmet
Bouldering = no helmet

Don't know the answers, just applying some logic here; if sport climbing equals pre-clipping to minimise risk, I'd assume the same approach would embrace the use of helmets to equally minimise risk. From experience, I don't often see risk mitigation being applied in this way.

Don't really know my own views on all of this, let alone be perceived to judge others.


bouldery bits - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

It depends?
Misha - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:
Sport grades are based on all the draws being in. Otherwise you'd be hauling all the draws up and putting them all in. That's just absurd for a redpoint which is pre practised anyway. Ever seen Ondra doing that? As for pre clipping the rope, whatever is sensible / safe. First bolt for sure, second possibly but depends on the bolt height and spacing. May be even third but can't think I've ever had to do that.
1
Misha - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to JLS:
I'm intrigued by this idea some people have that you have to be able to climb back down. Considering that climbing down is usually harder and some routes have bouldery starts which would be damn hard to reverse, effectively you're saying that you can't preclip on hard starts - which is precise when you need to from a safety point of view. The underlying assumption is that pre clipping is somehow cheating. Yes, it might make the route a bit easier in some cases (not always) but the overriding motivation is safety. The ground is hard...
Misha - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:
> To add one final thought, I would never feel ashamed or embarrassed about pre-clipping a second draw if it looks like you'll deck out were you to fall clipping the second. Life is too short...

A compromise is adding a sling to the second bolt and clipping the sling as you would a bolt, then the bolt itself. I've done that on a couple of routes at Malham where the second bolt was uncomfortably far from the first but pre clipping the second bolt itself felt like overkill.
Big Ger - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:
> As the title suggests, any opinions about how many bolts one can clip with a clip stick to call it a redpoint?

The day I worry about such hair splitting shite, will be the day I give up climbing.

Does no one climb for fun anymore?
Post edited at 03:45
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HeMa on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Indeed... Though Jason Kehl has bouldered it (only one, I think).

Toby, your irrelevant climbing niché knowledge neves stops to impress me... Too bad, it really ain't that handy most of the time.
AlanLittle - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Ianto Bach:

> if sport climbing equals pre-clipping to minimise risk, I'd assume the same approach would embrace the use of helmets to equally minimise risk

Perhaps people are making their own sensible & reasonable risk assessment about the risk of decking from a low clip being greater than the risk of taking an inverted fall?

They may or may not be correct in this assessment, but "all risks however unlikely must be mitigated to the max at all times" is also rarely a sensible position.
JLS on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Misha:

You've got to remember that before there was *sport climbing* there was just what we now know as *trad climbing*. Initially, some of the ethics of trad were adopted in sport. Thankfully, the down climbing thing has been forgotten about by most. It the future, *top rope* will be the universally accepted style of ascent. Bolts and gear will only be used for access to install the TR.

baron - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to JLS:
I see you've been to the catwalk at Malham then?
paul__in_sheffield - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

> As the title suggests, any opinions about how many bolts one can clip with a clip stick to call it a redpoint?

As many as you like, it's up to you in your own personal game. If you're playing group games then whatever you decide with your climbing buddies. Anything wider than this and it's a sea of conflicting practice and opinions as it should be. See thread above ;-)
FWIW, as it's Sport Climbing, I clip stick as many as required to eliminate decking out. Could be 1, could be 3, really depends on the quality of the bolt spacing and the type of route and how hard the start is / sketchy clips.
As someone has said further up, there's a lot to be said for an old skool high first bolt (as long as it's a good one)
Bogwalloper - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:
First one is definitely ok and the 2nd too if you could still deck while clipping the 2nd. I never feel good with myself when I have 3 clipped - you may as well top-rope the whole thing ;-)

In fact if you're the first up there, when lowering off, it's good to unclip a few bolts above the first bolt so when the rope is pulled it drops to the floor and stays clipped in the first bolt for your partner.

W
Post edited at 08:22
Lion Bakes on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

None, else you've efffectively top roped a section of it.

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Big Ger - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

> As the title suggests, any opinions about how many bolts one can clip with a clip stick to call it a redpoint?

Only two.

Clip three and it's called a pink point.

Clip four and it's a mauve point.

Clip five and it's a slightly more mauve than purple point.

Clip the bottom one and the third one, but not the second, and it's a salmon/crimson point.

Clip alternative ones up to number six and it's a yellowy, pinky salmon grey point.

There is still some debate about how much variation there should be allowed between these.


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Stairclimber - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

I'd always understood that the placement of bolts on a sports climb should optimise safety and comfort/efficiency of effort. Obviously different climber size and technique doesn't put the bolts in exactly the right place for everyone, so as in all things to do with climbing, there has to be an element of personal choice. If you want rigid rules and an objective assessment of your 'grade' then enter competitions . If you want an opinion to add to forming a consensus, I'd say that the prevention of a ground fall was the relevant decision to make and for most climbs that would be the second bolt preclipped.
baron - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:

But it's all about the numbers!
And a resultant drop in standards (of the ethical not numeric sort).
First of all it's a redpoint if you place the quickdraws on lead.
But that's too hard and distracts from the climbing.
So now it's a redpoint if the quickdraws are in place.
But that's too dangerous.
So now it's a redpoint if you pre clip as many bolts as you're happy with.
As you said it's a top rope!
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1poundSOCKS - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Ianto Bach:

> trad/solo/bouldering/winter at my limit

I would say if you solo at your limit, meaning physical limit, you won't be around for very long. Same with serious trad.

> where the risk is less controlled

The risk will really always be controlled, just by different means.
cb294 - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> The day I worry about such hair splitting shite, will be the day I give up climbing.

> Does no one climb for fun anymore?

This is the best reply on this entire thread!

CB
4
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
> The day I worry about such hair splitting shite, will be the day I give up climbing.

> Does no one climb for fun anymore?

This is the most irritating reply on the entire thread.

It is possible to climb for fun and take it seriously at the same time. It is those who do not appreciate this who are missing out.
Post edited at 09:42
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Big Ger - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
> It is possible to climb for fun and take it seriously at the same time. It is those who do not appreciate this who are missing out.

Unfortunately climbing's seriousness is not being debated. What is being debated is some meaningless hairsplitting over what insipid term is given to the amount of pre-clipping on a route.

Does it really matter if your call a climb with three pre-clipped bolts a; massive hard whanger climb?

All that matters is; did you climb it? Did you enjoy climbing it? Are you happy you climbed it?
Post edited at 09:50
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Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> All that matters is; did you climb it? Did you enjoy climbing it? Are you happy you climbed it?

Precisely. And what counts as "having climbed it" (in the style being claimed) is what is being discussed. You may call it hair splitting but it certainly matters to some people and you should respect that. Clearly, to take things to their logical concusion, pre-clipping nine bolts on a ten bolt route makes a big difference compared with clipping none.

1
Big Ger - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think we'll have to agree to disagree, shake?
mouseliveson - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

So is Alex Honnold's free solo of Freerider the same as countless other free climbs preceding it?
It's not 'hair splitting'. There's a massive difference to pre clipping half a route and top roping it than leading it ground up.
2
Big Ger - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

> So is Alex Honnold's free solo of Freerider the same as countless other free climbs preceding it?

How many bolts did he pre clip on that?

> It's not 'hair splitting'. There's a massive difference to pre clipping half a route and top roping it than leading it ground up.

To those for whom such things matter.
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mouseliveson - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

There's no nuance to climbing style, so why ask?
1
Big Ger - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

That doesn't make sense?
1
mouseliveson - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Does it really matter if your call a climb with three pre-clipped bolts a; massive hard whanger climb?

> All that matters is; did you climb it? Did you enjoy climbing it? Are you happy you climbed it?

I was referring to your disregard for climbing style and the nuances of climbing within a particular style. By your logic, if all that matters is if you enjoyed a climb, then what's the difference between leading a route to top roping it to free soloing it? If a route is climbed by redpointing there should be a universal understanding of what constitutes that. Pre clipping is a nuance within that style and affects the definition of that style and clearly has a divide in opinion to what is deemed acceptable and not. This is simply a discussion to explore that nuance is it not?
cb294 - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Having this discussion does not amount to "taking climbing seriously". Spending lots of time and effort to the detriment of other aspects of your life would.

What is so terribly serious about discussing a two bolt micro routelet which, while clearly difficult, does not even look like a particularly extreme when climbed as a highball boulder?

Personally I would not call a climb that involves clipping the second of two bolts redpoint, but it is totally irrelevant for amateur climbers, or even professionals as long as they are clear about what they did.

FWIW, ages ago I climbed Kurt Albert's original redpoint route on the Streitberger Schild, as well as Frankenschnellweg on the Walberla (on of the first UIAA 7s in the area), back when the original little red circles (or at least I assume that they were the originals) were still visible. However, I could not tell you how many bolts I preclipped, probably none.

CB
Ian Parsons - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to cb294:

> FWIW, ages ago I climbed Kurt Albert's original redpoint route on the Streitberger Schild, as well as Frankenschnellweg on the Walberla (on of the first UIAA 7s in the area), back when the original little red circles (or at least I assume that they were the originals) were still visible.

Hair-splitting being one of my principal distractions these days, would it be rude to suggest that they would by definition have been red dots rather than red circles once the routes had first received a redpoint ascent - ie Rotkreis [AF/tire clou/French free/bolt-to-bolt] would have been filled in to become Rotpunkt [Redpoint, as we know it]. Assuming I have a correct grasp of the system, of course.


thebigfriendlymoose - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

I would be curious to know how many of the "don't pre-clip at all" purists are actually dedicated sport climbers, generally RPing projects with a high risk of falling, or rather occassional bolt clippers, whose route choice and attitude has been imported from their tradding (conservative grades, little chance of falling); and /or which crags they climb at.

My own ethics owe a lot to RPing projects, mainly at Malham and Kilnsey. Malham catwalk provides a terrible rocky. uneven landing, and many of the routes have tenuous, tricky and very polished starts. At Kilnsey the landings are better but a lot of the routes have undercut boulder problem starts. Not pre-clipping at all on such routes would be frankly stupid (I often don't pre-clip on Consenting Adults out of laziness... but really should stop) - and a bit selfish as your poor belayer would likely have to deal with the consequences of a slip.

The prevailing attitude at both crags seems to be that it's perfectly acceptable to pre-clip the minimum number of draws required to keep you off the ground if you fell before next clip - usually 2 given the often sparse bolting - sometimes 1, I cannot think of an instance where 3 would be viewed as kosher. In any event, any more pre-clipped, even if within clipstick range, would often be an encumberance; top-ropes can get in the way, and if it's overhanging and you fall, you swing out and hit your belayer and it is a pain to get back on and work the moves!
baron - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:
I went to Malham once.
Well more than once but the last time I went what I saw bore no resemblance to redpointing.
The catwalk was rammed but nobody was actually leading.
Everybody was hangdogging and top roping.
All of which could be classed as working a route but there seemed to be many people trying to 'climb' well beyond their ability.
Does it really matter what style people adopt? Not really.
Does it matter if people choose to change the meaning of a style of ascent? Not really.
However, the OP was about what is acceptable in a redpoint.
It would seem that just about anything goes.
Which is a bit of a pity for those of us who wasted hours of our lives discussing redpoint vs pinkpoint back in the 1980's.
6
Cheese Monkey - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

As many as you want so long as you're not a pro wad no one cares about your RP
radddogg - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> All that matters is; did you climb it? Did you enjoy climbing it? Are you happy you climbed it?

If the style is not important then you just top-rope everything, right?
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to cb294:

> Having this discussion does not amount to "taking climbing seriously". Spending lots of time and effort to the detriment of other aspects of your life would.

Eh? All I was saying was that there is nothing wrong with asking how many pre-clipped bolts is acceptable to claim a redpoint.

> What is so terribly serious about discussing a two bolt micro routelet which, while clearly difficult, does not even look like a particularly extreme when climbed as a highball boulder?

Eh again? The Op was not talking specifically about micro routelets and nor was I.

JLS on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
>"there seemed to be many people trying to 'climb' well beyond their ability."

"Seemed" being the operative word. Hard repointing never looks too hopeful to begin with.
Particularly, when it's done by those brave enough to be truly pushing their personal limits.
Perhaps if you saw the same people again on day 17 you be more impressed by what can be a achieved.
Post edited at 13:58
baron - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to JLS:

> >"there seemed to be many people trying to 'climb' well beyond their ability."

> "Seemed" being the operative word. Hard repointing never looks too hopeful to begin with.

> Particularly, when it's done by those brave enough to be truly pushing their personal limits.

> Perhaps if you saw the same people again on day 17 you be more impressed by what can be a achieved.

Possibly.
Some of them might have gotten off the ground by then.
3
ian Ll-J - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:
I hit the deck on early attempts of both of my hardest red points The Medium 8a and Tambourine Man 8a, hitting the ground isn't really what sport climbing's all about, I learnt my lesson the hard way and agree with those (above) who say that one or two pre clipped bolts is the accepted norm, occasionally 3 depending on the consequences of a fall and the nature of the route.

As a 'new router' having bolted many sports routes in North Wales, the first bolt is often only placed for repeat ascents i.e. those with a more 'trad approach' or no clip stick, but was of little use on the first ascent, as the norm (though not always) would be to have the 2nd pre clipped therfore making the first bolt more or less redundant.
Post edited at 14:49
baron - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to ian Ll-J:

Doesn't The Medium only have two bolts?
What grade would it get if you pre clipped both bolts?
Wasn't the slate ethic, with a few exceptions, one of 'sportingly' placing bolts?
Sorry, too many questions.
ian Ll-J - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
The Medium has three bolts I used a sky hook up to the first bolt which is straightforward climbing at British 6b compared to the rest of it, I decked it landing on my head and a gash to my upper lip where I'd been impaled by the sky hook, pre clipped the bolt after that and claimed the sport grade rather than the trad grade!

Most modern slate sport routes are equipped properly as safe sport routes should be, this is not always the case with earlier bolted slate from the 80's / 90's.
Post edited at 15:07
baron - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to ian Ll-J:
Thanks for the replies.
And for all your new routing efforts!
cb294 - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Ian Parsons:

IIRC, that split came later. KA started freeing the old part techno routes (which were largely put up as training routes for the Alps, where nailing your line up was style of the day) and marked them with small circle when successful. I just started climbing a bit later (early 80s), and do not recall there being a difference. May be wrong, though, most routes these guys freed were way above my pay grade (up to UIAA 8 at the best of times....).

CB

cb294 - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

My point was that this is not a particularly relevant question (even though one that can be asked, fair enough), and one with a simple answer: One bolt or two, or none, whatever keeps you from decking.... . The thread could have ended there and then, but then people went all angels on pinheads dogmatic and started discussing The Fly, a NH bolted boulder.

The dogmatic nature of the discussion struck me as so bizarre that I even agreed with Big Ger!

CB
gurumed - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

Having had an incident where I knocked the first quick-draw out of a bolt with my hip and sent it rattling down the rope with no gear on me to replace it, I'll always pre-clip the first two bolts. Sport climbing is supposed to be about gymnastic movement at the limit of your physical abilities; not managing risk.

Bolts aren't infallible. Would you trust a single bolt lower off?
Lion Bakes on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:

> None, else you've efffectively top roped a section of it.

8 dislikes, ha ha, spot all the top ropers who have been claiming the redpoint.
5
Alun - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

IIRC the 'official' view of 8a.nu is that for an ascent to quality to be logged on their database as a redpoint, the rope may be pre-clipped to the first two bolts, maximum.

Say what you like about 8a.nu, but it is used by thousands of people who take their sport climbing very seriously. So it's about as definitive an answer as you're ever going to get to the question.
Robert Durran - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to gurumed:

> Bolts aren't infallible. Would you trust a single bolt lower off?

But once you are climbing between the second and third bolt you will deck out if a single bolt (the second one) fails, so, if you don't trust a single bolt, you should probably pre-clip the first three (and even then hope the third one doesn't fail if you fall off just before clipping the fourth bolt - so maybe pre-clip four just to be safe!)

1
Bulls Crack - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Doesn't The Medium only have two bolts?

You'd need a f***ing big stick!
baron - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Bulls Crack:
I'd need a f*****g big ladder!
Big Ger - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to radddogg:
> If the style is not important then you just top-rope everything, right?

If you want to, if that makes you happy.

Splitting hairs over climbing down to how many bolts you can pre-clip before you lose the chance to claim; " I did it in a pinky-purple-point style" really makes me wonder why you're climbing at all.

Surely collecting stamps would be a more satisfying hobby. No one can contradict you if you show you have a genuine Papua New Guinea 20c first edition, hand-franked.
Post edited at 23:42
6
Misha - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to JLS:
I've been known to indulge in that trad lark. It's not bad. Good to have the sport thing reasonably safe though. Standards, eh...
RockSteady on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to Alun:

I remember on 8a.nu the 'first 2 bolts pre-clipped' thing came out of Adam Ondra saying this was typical for him on most of the routes he was trying.
He also said that he felt that needing to pre-clip the first 2 bolts rather than just the first meant that it was badly bolted.
I've pre-clipped 3 on one or two routes when I felt there was a real danger of decking before clipping the third. Frankly when clipping is a significant element of difficulty on a sport route, especially low down, it's usually a poor route.
gurumed - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> But once you are climbing between the second and third bolt you will deck out if a single bolt (the second one) fails

True, but sometimes the "deck" is a small, or sloping ledge, above a bigger drop. In those cases even if I decked, I'd still like to be connected to the wall.
Alun - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to RockSteady:

Interesting, I didn't know that about Ondra.

I partially agree with you about the poor bolting, though it can also be useful if there is a low crux. My current project has the technical crux literally as the third/fourth move of the route. It is *just about* possible to clip the (well placed) second bolt on lead, but you use a lot of energy. So almost everyone (including me!) preclips it!
winhill - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to RockSteady:

> I remember on 8a.nu the 'first 2 bolts pre-clipped' thing came out of Adam Ondra saying this was typical for him on most of the routes he was trying.

Are you sure about that? There's a bit from him at 18 saying pre-clip the first if safety dictates but he doesn't sound keen or make it sound routine.
winhill - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to gurumed:

> Having had an incident where I knocked the first quick-draw out of a bolt with my hip and sent it rattling down the rope with no gear on me to replace it, I'll always pre-clip the first two bolts.

I thought the moral of the story was going to be carry a spare, not pre-clip more bolts, if that happened as you passed the second clip, you'd be in a worse state, wouldn't you?

> Sport climbing is supposed to be about gymnastic movement at the limit of your physical abilities; not managing risk.

That's Speed climbing, Sport Climbing still involves managing risk.

> Bolts aren't infallible. Would you trust a single bolt lower off?

If it would be worse to drill the rock twice, then yes, a single bolt lower off is much more preferable.

6
AJM - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to winhill:

> Are you sure about that? There's a bit from him at 18 saying pre-clip the first if safety dictates but he doesn't sound keen or make it sound routine.

Yeah I don't think that's the case either... I thought he said never more than two, not typically two.
thebigfriendlymoose - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to gurumed:
> Sport climbing is supposed to be about gymnastic movement at the limit of your physical abilities; not managing risk.
In reply to winhill
> That's Speed climbing, Sport Climbing still involves managing risk.

Not to my mind, sport climbing is about the physical demands of the route and the mental demands of the RP process: unlocking the sequence; session after session of keeping motivated in the face of continual failure, wringing hope from the most marginal of gains; keeping turning up despite spells of regression; then, after the succesful ascent, starting all other again on the route next door; the "battle fatigue" of a long season, whittling away at the tick-list.

Risk is there - you have to be aware of the hazards of bad falls - but it is not one of the categories being examined. Sometimes clipping a bolt is part of the demands of a climb - a crux move in itself - a puzzle to be solved by physical means (being strong enough to cling on and clip), or by a finessed sequence or by managing unwarranted fear (extend, clip early, then run it out to the next bolt; or, resist the temptation to clip in extemis, and do the hard moves then clip).

But, the risk should be more imagined than real. On a decently bolted route, whatever your approach, providing clips are not being skipped and the belayer is alert, you should be unlikely to get hurt. If clipsticking 2 bolts avoids being hurt by a reasonably foreseeable slip, then, in my opinion, it should be done. If the second clip originally contributed to the difficulty, and failure risks a ground fall, well, I'll still clipstick it and just mentally downgrade my achievement accordingly. I ain't no sponsored hero and I have bills to pay.
Hardonicus - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

Jerry Moffatt says none.
JLS on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to Hardonicus:

Yeah, but he also thought having a rest on the rope for a bit was ok too. I'll take no instruction in ethics from that man.

1
birdie num num - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

I normally just clip the top one
1poundSOCKS - on 15 Sep 2017
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:

> Sport Climbing still involves managing risk.
> Not to my mind

> If clipsticking 2 bolts avoids being hurt by a reasonably foreseeable slip, then, in my opinion, it should be done.

I understand and agree with most of what you've said, but I do see this as risk management. Same as rope and leg, skip a bolt or not, extend the third clip so you're not pulling up so much slack, etc. Perhaps the final process of the redpoint should be mostly risk free so you can concentrate on the climbing, but that's because you've already managed the risk.

And that's just considering redpointing at a typical single pitch bolted crag. Maybe depends on how you define sport climbing too.
RockSteady on 15 Sep 2017
In reply to winhill:
> Are you sure about that? There's a bit from him at 18 saying pre-clip the first if safety dictates but he doesn't sound keen or make it sound routine.

You're right, I remembered this story exactly wrong. 18-year old Ondra didn't like having to pre-clip more than the first bolt and expressly thinks it shouldn't be done.

https://www.8a.nu/?IncPage=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.8a.nu%2Fforum%2FViewForumThread.aspx%3FObjectId%3D19083...

Wonder if his views developed over time? As I get older I've had more injuries and realised how easy it is to nobble yourself for some time, even permanently.

Post edited at 09:42
stp - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:

> My own ethics owe a lot to RPing projects, mainly at Malham and Kilnsey.

I think this underlines the fact that this is a particularly British topic of debate.

Sport routes here evolved in a climate of a strong anti-bolt ethic. So when routes were first bolted they were climbed with the minimum number of bolts. One way of keeping the number of bolts to a minimum was to put the first one as high as you dare boulder up to, which could be pretty high for strong climbers.

This was completely different to the rest of Europe where routes were just bolted sensibly without the need to minimize the number of bolts.

When the belief that 'sport routes are meant to be safe' arrived, it justified pre-clipping with sticks and commercially produced sticks came to be seen as an essential item of equipment for sport climbing. But when climbing in the rest of Europe stick clipping is unnecessary because the routes are bolted properly. If a route has a hard move low down they'll usually place a bolt there to make it safe.

If our routes were bolted properly clip sticks would be largely redundant.
3
stp - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

I think this might be a bit confused because there are two questions here. First is about the definition of what a redpoint ascent actually is. The second is subjective about how people actually climb.

The objective answer is 0. No bolts can be pre-clipped as Jerry Moffatt and others have said.

But the second question is it depends on various factors including one's own outlook and ethics, the route in question etc. etc.

It's also worth saying that for a strict, definitive, redpoint you can have as many bolts pre-clipped as you want if you have first climbed up and clipped them and then downclimbed back to the ground. The key thing is the rope is not weighted. Most people will say you can leave the ropes through those bolts for the rest of the day. Some say for as many days as you're trying it. In some cases I've even heard of people who pre-clip the bolts, redpoint the route and then after that do the up and down climbing part, though such ascents are rare and usually frowned upon.
1poundSOCKS - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to stp:

> This was completely different to the rest of Europe where routes were just bolted sensibly without the need to minimize the number of bolts.

Not so sure about that. I pre-clipped the second bolt on some routes I did in Siurana this year to keep things 'safe'. Some of older 'easy' routes are bolted in pretty adventurous fashion. An older route I did on the village side was a bit scary, falling at the 4th bolt wasn't an option I fancied testing.

And I haven't been to Ceuse, but people I speak to always talk about the run-out bolting and the need for an attentive belayer to keep you safe. Some friends that came back from Ceuse said the bolts at Kilnsey looked so close together comparatively.

And don't Sainte Victoire, Verdon and Buoux have a bit of reputation also?
stp - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

I'm sure there are the odd exceptions and some mistakes are bound to be made even abroad.

But there are also routes that are deliberately runout, particularly in the french areas you mention. Patrick Edlinger was fond of creating routes like that because he like the psychological aspect. The runout is part of challenge of the route and sometimes they're described in topos as 'expose'. So I think if you're not up for such a route the simple thing is to pick something else. Just like doing trad routes over here. If you use a clipstick to avoid the challenge it's akin to resting on the bolts because the route is too pumpy for you.

This is quite different in my view to the routes here and the misguided approach we had that fewer bolts were somehow more ethical.
1poundSOCKS - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to stp:

> some mistakes are bound to be made even abroad

I wouldn't even assume it's a mistake in Siurana. Toni Arbones seems to like adventurous bolting, so I think he does try to keep things minimal. Scares the cr@p out of me at times, but that's my fault, I wouldn't blame the bolter.

> If you use a clipstick to avoid the challenge it's akin to resting on the bolts because the route is too pumpy for you.

Either of which is fine. The bolter has their own agenda, but pick your own challenge. A friend of mine used to just like climbing a lot, so he rested on bolts, continued, then just did the same on another route. And climbed all day like that.

> This is quite different in my view to the routes here and the misguided approach we had that fewer bolts were somehow more ethical.

Fewer bolts over there is fine, fewer over here is misguided.
1
Mick Ward - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> Toni Arbones seems to like adventurous bolting, so I think he does try to keep things minimal.

Apologies if this has been covered earlier in the thread but surely any equipper has to ask him/herself, "Am I bolting primarily for myself - or primarily for others?" And the context for this question will be the history/climbing culture of the area.

My own position is that almost always I'm bolting primarily for others. And I would hope this is so for most people route equipping in the UK.

Mick

1poundSOCKS - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

> surely any equipper has to ask him/herself, "Am I bolting primarily for myself - or primarily for others?"

Bolters are like any other group; their thoughts and motives will vary.

> My own position is that almost always I'm bolting primarily for others. And I would hope this is so for most people route equipping in the UK.

We all like to think at times, the world would be a better place if everybody thought and behaved like us.
1
Hugh Mongous - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Have you ever thought of investigating why you are so relentlessly obnoxious? I understand why you might be so on political threads, but don't really understand why you bring this to the climbing forums.

1
stp - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

The approach or reason for fewer bolts is completely different. Here it was because there was guilt associated with placing bolts because we came from a trad climbing background. So trying to use the minimum possible was meant to be more ethical. My view now is that if you're going to bolt something then you might as well make it a sport route and do a good job of it. Place bolts optimally and create a good route. Doing a route with five bolts instead of six or seven might make the route bolder but from an ethical perspective you've still placed bolts and the psychological challenge then is completely arbitrary.

However if you can get past the minimum bolting idea then you're completely free to place as many bolts as you like. You could bolt a route like a climbing wall but I don't think most climbers would like that. Some runouts are desirable to add to the challenge of the climbing. It's up to the person bolting the route to think creatively and decide how to do that.
1poundSOCKS - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to stp:

The free will delusion. The French are free and unconstrained and us Brits are guilty and constrained. But the bolting is diverse in both countries.
cb294 - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to stp:

Runout is fine and can indeed add some spice to a route, as long as you are sure to fall into air. Quite a few crags in France are bolted so that the distance between bolts increases as you move away further from the deck. I like this a lot, as long as other safety critical aspects are not ignored (placement of bolts relative to crux, good clipping positions where you do not risk tangling your legs, etc...).

CB
tom_in_edinburgh - on 18 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:

> As the title suggests, any opinions about how many bolts one can clip with a clip stick to call it a redpoint?

number of bolts = (l + h) / b

Where:
l is the length of the clip stick,
h is the height of the climber and
b is the bolt spacing.



Big Ger - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to Hugh Mongous:

> Have you ever thought of investigating why you are so relentlessly obnoxious? I understand why you might be so on political threads, but don't really understand why you bring this to the climbing forums.

I gave my views, are all views you do not like "obnoxious"?
4
AlanLittle - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

What about the part where you jump into a topic that some people clearly find interesting/important/amusing enough to be having a long discussion about it, and kick off by calling the whole thing "shite"?
1
Big Ger - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

> What about the part where you jump into a topic that some people clearly find interesting/important/amusing enough to be having a long discussion about it, and kick off by calling the whole thing "shite

How about you read what I wrote?

I'll repeat it for you, with emphasis;

> The day I worry about such hair splitting shite, will be the day I give up climbing.

Now where did I call the whole thing shite?

6
AlanLittle - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

How about you think for a moment about how people could just possibly find your general tone insulting and confrontational, and therefore give up caring about whether you actually have a valid point to make or not?

Fwiw I liked the bit about mauve/salmon etc.
1poundSOCKS - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

> How about you think for a moment about how people could just possibly find your general tone insulting and confrontational

It's just trolling really, and probably best ignored.
1
Big Ger - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> It's just trolling really, and probably best ignored.

Can you explain what you think is "trolling" about what I posted?
jimtitt - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to stp:

> I think this underlines the fact that this is a particularly British topic of debate.

> Sport routes here evolved in a climate of a strong anti-bolt ethic. So when routes were first bolted they were climbed with the minimum number of bolts. One way of keeping the number of bolts to a minimum was to put the first one as high as you dare boulder up to, which could be pretty high for strong climbers.

> This was completely different to the rest of Europe where routes were just bolted sensibly without the need to minimize the number of bolts.

> When the belief that 'sport routes are meant to be safe' arrived, it justified pre-clipping with sticks and commercially produced sticks came to be seen as an essential item of equipment for sport climbing. But when climbing in the rest of Europe stick clipping is unnecessary because the routes are bolted properly. If a route has a hard move low down they'll usually place a bolt there to make it safe.

> If our routes were bolted properly clip sticks would be largely redundant.

It appears there are some areas of Europe you have not visited
Robert Durran - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> The day I worry about such hair splitting shite, will be the day I give up climbing.
> Now where did I call the whole thing shite?

Right there. Two seconds earlier. In the line above.
1poundSOCKS - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Can you explain what you think is "trolling" about what I posted?

The wording was deliberately provocative, it does indirectly insult other posters, looking for a reaction.

Sorry BG, it is your modus operandi.

As is pretending to not understand what all the fuss is about is subsequent responses.
Big Ger - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Right there. Two seconds earlier. In the line above.

No, anyone who can read can see that I called the idea of me worrying over such ideas "shite".
3
Big Ger - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> The wording was deliberately provocative, it does indirectly insult other posters, looking for a reaction.

Nope, I may have made fun of matters, but surely we are allowed to do so? Where were the insults?

> As is pretending to not understand what all the fuss is about is subsequent responses.

So now we're not allowed to query others posts?

You're very dictatorial.

2
JLS on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

>"such hair splitting shite"

So tell me, "such" what exactly does that refer to?

1poundSOCKS - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Where were the insults?

Can I respectfully direct you to my previous response?

> "As is pretending to not understand"

> You're very dictatorial.

This isn't some boring as hell Brexit thread, it's a climbing thread, and "we" like to keep things civil on climbing threads.
Robert Durran - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> No, anyone who can read can see that I called the idea of me worrying over such ideas "shite".

Bollocks. I can read. That is not what you wrote. I don't even believe that is what you intended to write.
racodemisa - on 21 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001:
Some areas are bolted for clip sticking...red river gorge is a great example.
Some areas have random and potencially dangerous bolting...the first 2 or 3 bolts on some rts in the tarn for instance.
Its not cheating to use a clip stick in these cases its just good practice.
If you are asking is it ethical to work a route with a clip stick you only hsve to watch Ondra....Sharma et al workng rts with painters pole length clip sticks to realise that its widely accepted.
Post edited at 09:21
Richard Popp - on 21 Sep 2017
In reply to yh001: I always thought it depended on how old you were-none clipped by the under 30's, two for the under 50's and then three max for everyone else, except for elf and safety reasons of course.

On a personal note my climbing improved when i stopped clipping up routes-don't think this is a fixed thing and maybe a tactic for the future.

Lastly I am glad it is less acceptable to leave, say 5 bolts clipped, because you managed to down climb it once weeks before.

Love to all

Rich


AlanLittle - on 22 Sep 2017
In reply to Richard Popp:

Not a reply to Richard, but the the thread in general. Surely "clip stick" = noun, "stick clip" = verb.

Not that either will do you any good if your belayer doesn't pay attention to the break strand.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.