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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 5 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 94
The Eyrie, Mt Boyce retrobolted! Badly...

1:19:47 PM
Yep, fair call Mike. Sorry about that, not suggesting its the gyms fault...

I guess it is quite an over-generalisation. Maybe 'gym-based'?? or 'not-really-outdoorsy-types-anyway' might have expressed it better. Yep , I agree there are numerous exceptions not just Axel (who was a young climber at Blacktown when I was managing it) but lots of normal grade climbers who embrace the greater traditions of outdoor pursuits.

But there are also lots and lots of climbers coming out of gyms with very little idea of 'traditions' within the pre-existing outdoor climbing community, and often little knowledge of bush skills i.e. basic toiletry. But again that is also increasingly so right across society I think, young people are more likely online then outside....

Not sure, I guess a bit of signage round gyms might help, maybe some SRC or VCC policy type stuff?? And maybe a bit of coverage in VL or similar...?? More old-timers climbing in gyms??


2:53:38 PM
I'm surprised no one got fired up about my statement that climbing is not "one man one vote". To rodw and voodoo, I couldn't care less what 5000 climbers who have never bolted a climb or contributed to Cliffcare think. This is not a democracy where everyone pays taxes and is subject to the law.

While I don't care about the views of the ignorant, we need to make sure curiosity from beginners is met with polite education and not contempt. And we need to be able to explain why it is the way it is - remember once upon a time chalk was frowned upon. Some of our ethical rules may be discarded in the same way.

3:25:48 PM
Not asking you to care, just pointing out fact re possible non existing consensus masquerading as as such on chocky and its like :)
3:47:21 PM
On 9/01/2017 rodw wrote:
>On 9/01/2017 Wendy wrote:
>>. I don't think climbers in general are silent
>Maybe not but I do think majority dont use this forum and others to express
>an opinion...I thought Voodoo's comment wasn't about perceive silent majority
>being pro for the bolting just pointing out Chockstone is not really a
>representative view of the wider whole.
>I know a sh&te ton of climbers and in my estimates less than 10% of them
>bother with this online banter..and certainly wouldn't assume expressed
>thoughts on here are the same they may have, or even have any thoughts
>on the matter at all.
>A vocal minority can easily sway an argument (look at US elections for
>an example) if the whole community does not get a "vote" and push a certain
>agenda while the silent majority either don't engage in said discussion
>either through apathy or simply being unaware of the issue at all which
>is probably the later.
>Actions will be performed by a small engaged majority in a sport like
>ours..which for the most seems to work fine...just like to advise caution
>in assuming this is what the community wants as a whole and claiming Chockstone
>is a true indicator for all thoughts regarding climbing just because a
>small bunch of peeps shout the loudest is a bit naive and simplistic IMHO.

Of course Chockstone isn't necessarily a true indicator of all thoughts - but I do think it is a well known public forum for these sort of issues and the easiest way of accessing a reasonable number of people. I can't think of any other method that will access a larger proportion of the climbing community in a quick time frame for minimal labour and resources. Feel free to tell us some. It also benefits from word of mouth where discussion here is spread around non-users who are then able to join in. I suspect there is a little bit of derision for internet forums as geeky and not as a legitimate location for debate. Some people's behaviour on them also discourages their acceptance as platforms for serious debate. However, all options are going to have limitations - club newsletter, gym or crag noticeboards are very population, time and location specific. And the don't care or have better things to do are hardly convincing arguments for consulting those people. Are we going to make them care or prioritise clarify issues of debate? Probably not.
11:44:49 PM

View Reply
This act was totally inappropriate.
Eyrie was already overbolted I dare say without consulting the f a team. Same with old England and sweet Irish.
The cave belay has excellent sling anchors and nuts and cams can be placed elsewhere

If gym bunnies need to get on this sort of climb send them to a shop like where the rest of us buy climbing gear. Places that sell quickdraws also sell cams.

Please keep your precious rings off Bonnie Scotland too which can be adequately protected with slings cams and dmm s.

Your helmet comparison is spurious also have a look at John Davis'(RIP) photos from the 60s.

I'm just happy we can all get our thoughts out on this public forum. thanks chockstone
10:12:33 AM
Thought I’d add my two cents as one of the 80% who passively use this forum. And as I climbed The Eyrie for the first time just this weekend.

Absolutely stellar climb in a beautiful setting. Loved every minute of it. And not what I was expecting in a low graded climb.

I've only been leading trad for a few years (and have had two kids in between, so have not been out on the pointy end too often #tear). Though have more experience leading alpine routes.

Standing 10m or 15m above my last piece of gear, and on that first move out of the cave, I did find myself questioning the grade though. And regretting bringing a full rack up with me.

What made the climb for me though was the exposure. While it felt super run-out, I think this made it. I probably haven’t been around long (or climbing hard enough) to buy into the retro-bolt or not debate, and don’t feel strongly either way.

Having said this, I love the adventure of this kind of route and how it forces you to stay purely in the moment. I don’t think you’d get the same kind of mental challenge out of this route with bolts every few metres.

I have no idea how you would consult on it though. It’s a clusterf*ck of polarised opinions every time. So hats off to Tim for taking action, and then again for taking responsibility.

This is possibly opening another can of worms, but I think it’s relevant. In my pretty limited trad experience I don’t think that our grading system appropriately recognises the objective difficulties of trad routes. And possibly encourages too much comparison (eg a grade 12 sport = grade 12 on trad).

I know long runouts aren’t for everyone. And I think this would be a pretty hairy introduction to trad climbing if it was your first lead. The grade is deceptive in a way, by only recognising the climbing difficulty.

Maybe using an element of the alpine system (ie recognising exposure, pitches, ropework etc) would make a difference for those looking to transition across and fully appreciate what they’re getting into.

Don’t the Brits grade this way, adding an objective difficulty to the technical climbing grade?

So for example, you could add something like an a,b,c or -/+ to the 12 grade to identify things like exposure or protection.

12:19:14 PM
Hey mate,

I'm not sure why you'd be 15m above your last bit of gear (the most runout you'll be on this climb is 5m at most), and there's bolts/chain in the belay cave which haven't been removed (and have been there for decades), so that's about the least runout spot (though no one can doubt the exposure, relative to the grade).

In Ewbank's original proposal for the grading system that we use, he specified that the grade WOULD encompass difficulty in placing the gear, quality of gear, runouts, rock-quality, and the entire experience. Obviously that's one aspect of it that never really took off.

The UK system is extremely complicated. It is comprised of the "Danger Grade" (officially called the "adjectival grade"), and the technical grade (which SOLELY refers to what is the technically hardest move on the route, and doesn't take into account sustainedness). The Danger Grade isn't MERELY determined by how runout or dodgy the gear is, it is also affected by:

1. The difficulty of placing the gear relative to the technical grade (meaning that even if it's the best piece of gear in the world, and you're never more than 2m above the last piece of pro, if the technical grade is high enough, the "danger grade" automatically goes up on the assumption that it's a lot harder to place gear on a 28, even if it's the best gear in the world).

2. The difficulty of placing the gear relative to how strenuous/endurance-orientated the route it, on the basis that it's harder to place gear if you're getting pumped. The same example I listed above can be transposed here.

My point is that even a system like the UK-system which is designed to take onboard the perceived dangerous aspects of a trad route, is still far from perfect (and "reading" the route from the UK grades isn't as straightforward as you might expect).

In the US they have the PG-13, R, X-ratings (which are sometimes used in Australia, but we often also have the Caution, Serious, Death ratings/symbols in different guidebooks.) Personally, I think that this form of "danger grading" is the most effective.

I'm not entirely sure, but doesn't Simon Carter's Blueys guide make a reference to the runout nature of The Eyrie for a beginner climb? Traditionally the dangerous nature of the route was given in its topo/route description.


12:34:48 PM
Yeah, sorry an exaggeration. I can recall a couple bolts and maybe two or three cams in the first pitch, so I guess 5m would be about right.

4:30:29 PM
There's a bolt protecting the move out of the cave, and another carrot protecting the final move to the top, also at least one or two pieces of gear on the second pitch so I think you must have been a wee bit off route and missed gear placements and carrots.

9:31:17 PM
Paul I think it was applied like that for quite a while but with sport climbing most of the time they are mostly irrelevant. All factors contribute to the grade and anything exceptional should be noted in the description.
10:55:29 AM
On 20/04/2017 PThomson wrote:

>In Ewbank's original proposal for the grading system that we use, he specified
>that the grade WOULD encompass difficulty in placing the gear, quality
>of gear, runouts, rock-quality, and the entire experience. Obviously that's
>one aspect of it that never really took off.

No he didn't. If there were difficulties in placing gear, runouts, poor rock etc they would be mentioned separately in the written description. Peoples lack of understanding (ignorance?) of Ewbanks sytem is the real reason it hasn't been properly implemented.

1:14:53 PM
I read his blurb as only mentioning something in the route description if it's particularly exceptional for the grade, otherwise the number includes "technical difficulty, exposure, length, quality of rock, protection and other smaller factors".

From the Blue Mountain Guide, reproduced at the bottom of :
Australian Ewbank Grading System Push For The Summit
Courtesy of Ewbank himself...

The English grading system has been abused in Australia since 1951. Without discussing the why’s and wherefores, I shall try to explain the revolutionary system here. There is no “mild” or “hard” subdivisions. (e.g. “mild” severe, “hard” very difficult). No inferior or superior subdivisions (Dolomites system). e.g. 5 ‘Inf’. 6 ‘Sup’, No letters (S. Africa) e.g. El, E2, A, G. The 'Tarquitze Rock Decimal System' (U.S.A) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5.1 to 5.10, 6.1 to 6.6.

My head is spinning already.This system is the simplest used so far, to my knowledge, in the world, It also has a chance of working. None of the others are doing so too well at present. This system starts, it has no finish. There are no sub-divisions. Each grade has its own separate number.

Grading takes the following into consideration. Technical difficulty, exposure, length, quality of rock, protection and other smaller factors. As these are more or less all related to each other, I have rejected the idea of 3 or 4 grades, i.e. one for exposure, one for technical difficulty, one for protection etc. Instead the climb is given its one general grading, and if any of the other factors is outstanding, this is stated verbally in the short introduction to that climb, e.g.

'Freds Frolic’ 17. 302’-6” A fine climb, marred by poor rock at (crux) and poor protection on 4th pitch. etc, etc.

I feel that this system will soon be accepted, and the Americans seem to be thinking of something along similar lines.

As far as protection goes, the general terms “good”, “fair”, “poor” are used. However, it should be noted that I have taken the use of modern gear into account, and therefore this point will vary according to the individual, the amount of "silent aids" he carries and his ability to use them.
2:03:03 PM
The british system is silly. somehow the second part of the grading is supposed to tell you if it is well protected or not, sustained or not, good rock or not and we have to be able to read the mind of the grader to know which it is. We have words for that sort of thing. You given a single number grade in consideration of all factors. You then use those useful word things (that the English language is endowed with about 1 million to choose from) in the route description if you need to point out any of those factors.
2:30:45 PM
You beat me to it, afjclark...

I was in the process of typing exactly that same excerpt from Ewbank's own guidebook to correct BA's rather bold response to my post, when I realised that you'd already done it =P

Wendy - The English system makes sense when you fully understand it, but it's not really designed for an easy analysis without doing a 3-year degree in English Adjectival grading =P


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