Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports
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|TR: Alive in a Bitter Sea (Katoomba Cliifs)
||12-Dec-2016 At 11:49:30 PM
|On 11/12/2016 wallwombat wrote:
>This whole thread has changed from a really enjoyable story of a repeat
>of a classic Blue Mountains route, complete with worthwhile and insightful
>comment from the first ascensionist, to a typical bitch-fest, instigated
>by the two big bitchy repeaters;
>Nothing to contribute besides sour grapes.
On 11/12/2016 Doug wrote:
So you guys are complaining because I have challenged Warwick's 'insightful' comments. Well you better stop reading now!
Take this paragraph of Warwick's for example...
>In the 80's and 90's one of the things that interested me about climbing was the mental aspect of maintaing a relaxed climbing state in situations that generated a lot of fear i.e. keeping your shit together. Keeping bolting to a minimum allowed me to put up a number of routes where that mental aspect is central. The configuration of the protection, including bolts, is key to the integrity of those routes and the climber's experience of them. I'd like to think these routes remain as they were for other climbers to experience this mental aspect. (Perhaps they might be considered cultural heritage - after all they are in a world heritage park listed on the heritage list for its cultural as well as natural values!).
As reasonable as this reads, putting up your own routes which you rap inspect/bolt first is the least impressive way to play the 'keeping your shit together' game because everything gets worked out on top-rope beforehand.
Warwick's approach is in stark contrast to Jon Muir who was trying to onsight solo Trojan (25) at Mt Arapiles during the same era. Forget sussing it out on a rope, Jon was trying to onsight solo the climb and on a few occasions he downclimbed from above the crux. Although he didn't ultimately succeed, I have always thought Jon's attempts had all the hallmarks that I admire in climbing... great skill, great judgement, uncompromising approach, ballsy as fcuk. And all of this remarkable climbing took place on a well-protected route that a stack of grade 25 climbers are also able to enjoy.
I honestly believe Warwick's effort on Alive in a Bitter Sea pales in comparison to Jon's attempt at soloing Trojan... yet Warwick says his route should be considered cultural heritage!
If Warwick had showed a bit more imagination he could have claimed the first free ascent of Echo Crack (25) which was right next door to where he was. And if he wanted to retain a mental challenge he could have launched up there with no big gear for the wide crack. Then he would definitely have been working hard to 'keep his shit together'. He also wouldn't be forcing others to play by his rules which were created from the luxury of a rap rope and with the aid of bolt placements to suit himself.
Maybe it is sour grapes on my part. But I'm surprised that a number of you are so willing to support a route established in poor style and designed to appeal to an exclusive few...
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