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Chockstone Photography
Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 88
Author
New bolt on Blimp - Bundaleer
chickenclimber
6-May-2018
8:05:04 PM
Hello discussers... I felt the urge to bring this up and put it to all the opinions. I was up and Bundaleer the other day and noticed the piton near the low crux on Blimp is gone and in it's place is a shinny new expansion bolt. Someone else there on the day said he was there the week before and saw two older gentlemen drilling the piton out and placing the bolt.
Not sure about anyone else but I feel retro bolting a classic like this changes its nature considerably. My recollection is the piton always looked suss (surprise) but the protection is adequate if a little thin compared to the rest of the route.
I don't know Joe Friend or Ian Lewis who did the FFA or if they were consulted, but I am sure John Ewbank who did the FA at 19M1 and probably placed and pulled on that peg was not...
My instinct was to just chop no words required it but thought perhaps I should put it out there first...

E. Wells
6-May-2018
9:55:06 PM
They replaced a bolt with another bolt and Im sure Ewbank would be fine with that as he is not a macho sadist.
PThomson
7-May-2018
5:10:08 AM
I agree with Ev.

I've always believed (and advocated) that a Piton is a bolt, and should be treated (and replaced) as such.

- Paul

Nmonteith
7-May-2018
6:01:42 AM
My 2c. I don't agree with doing this. The piton was certainly something people clipped - but it was always a bit crappy looking so backing it up with nearby trad gear was what anyone (sensible) would do. Now people will just run it out to get to the bolt - then run it out above the bolt because they know its a bomber reliable piece. With the piton you made sure you placed every but of trad you could! I think its a very bold move to place a bolt on a mega classic route that had zero bolts to begin with and that gets hundreds of ascents a year in its original form. Its a major piece of Victorian climbing history, a top trad route and an route people aspire and work up to doing. Im certainly an advocate of retro bolting when a classic piece of real estate gets zero repeats over decades (some of Tempests scary 80s routes left of Dagons Temple are now semi popular thanks to new bolts). But Blimp isnt like that. Also, the rock on Blimp is soft and isn't really good enough for expansions long term.

JimmyS
7-May-2018
6:04:48 AM
There is a lot of historical significance in that piton, I hope it was kept and framed!

Hmm replacing it with a bolt is a little bit dodge as it does change the nature of the climb. I agree with Neil wholeheartedly re: piton everybody clipped it, but not many people fell on it as it was a little sketch and there is plentiful gear near it.

Is that carrot halfway up been retro'd? Or is that still the same?

Chop the bolt and leave it metal free.
anthonycuskelly
7-May-2018
6:42:18 AM
I'm with Neil on this, there's enough gear around there (and the piton was rubbish looking).
peteclimbs
7-May-2018
7:02:40 AM
Having climbed Blimp when that grade was near my trad limit I can vouch for the notion that having a shiny new bolt there will absolutely change the way a climber approaches that section of the route.

Chop it Chook.
kieranl
7-May-2018
7:07:23 AM
I'm in two minds about it. I don't like seeing crap fixed gear on popular routes; while many people are discriminating and assess the value of fixed gear many more just blindly clip any piece of fixed gear and carry on as if it's bombproof.

So, if the piton was really unnecessary, remove it. Otherwise, replace with a bolt. But it should have been a glue-in in that rock.

Did they really "drill" the peg out or is that a misinterpretation of the piton removal process (ie hammer the peg backwards and forwards)?
gfdonc
7-May-2018
7:10:09 AM
I do think horrible old fixed gear (surely any piton qualifies) should eventually be replaced. "Normal maintenance".
If it was warranted on the FA then leave history as-is.
I hear Neil's argument and yes there's some trad around there I can't recall getting any good options in the corner and the rock on that left wall is soft.
So I vote 'leave'. Otherwise why didn't you pull the piton years ago?

dalai
7-May-2018
7:42:35 AM
With the advance in modern gear, is the piton even necessary? If not needed, I say pull the bolt!

*Noting I haven't been on the climb in question for a couple of decades and my cams are still mostly rigid friends! Though these seemed adequate even then with an old dodgy piton in place.
armstp
7-May-2018
8:47:24 AM

It seems like a very strange thing to do to a popular and iconic route without at least some discussion. Whoever did it must surely have expected some controversy. Many bolting policies accept the replacement over time of pitons with bolts but some routes by their historic nature are a bit different. Although I am not sure what the answer is long term to dealing with old pegs on otherwise thinly protected routes. More people will probably jump on Blimp with the bolt there, but fewer people climbing at the grade would start up it without the peg. A discussion on a public forum might have reached some consensus. And some sort of consensus does need to be arrived at as I am sure that there are more classic routes like this around that will need that decision making at some point [isnít there still an old peg protecting the crux of Last Rites?]. Then again public forums like Chockstone only attract a particular kind of person, and whoever put in the bolt probably figures that the majority of climbers will probably be happy with what they have done, so why get into a long public slanging match with the usual suspects.

FatBoy
7-May-2018
9:26:02 AM
On 7-May-2018 armstp wrote:

>More people will probably jump on Blimp with the bolt there, but fewer people climbing
>at the grade would start up it without the peg.
And if it were entirely sport, more people again would do it - doesn't make it right though. Blimp is a historic route - the bolt changes its character.


>I am sure that there are more classic routes like
>this around that will need that decision making at some point [isnít there
>still an old peg protecting the crux of Last Rites?].
The one down low ? That would be a travesty on that route. By all means pull it out, but it doesn't need replacing.
Or the one up before the fused corner on P3 ? There are small wires there too.
Like Blimp, that would change the feel of that route.


>Then again public forums like Chockstone only attract a particular kind of person, and whoever put in the bolt probably figures that the majority of climbers will probably
>be happy with what they have done, so why get into a long public slanging
>match with the usual suspects.
A veiled attack on the debates that go on here, or defending the circumvention of process ? I'm very glad there is a community of people defending the ethic of this region. For mine it will be a sad day when all give in and just say, "f*&^ it, let's just bolt everything and make everything super easy and safe". But I think that's where it's going.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
7-May-2018
10:03:26 AM
>New bolt on Blimp - Bundaleer

:(



On 7-May-2018 gfdonc wrote:
>I do think horrible old fixed gear (surely any piton qualifies) should eventually be replaced. "Normal maintenance".
>If it was warranted on the FA then leave history as-is.
>I hear Neil's argument and yes there's some trad around there I can't recall getting any good options in the corner and the rock on that left wall is soft.
>So I vote 'leave'. Otherwise why didn't you pull the piton years ago?
>

@ "surely any piton qualifies" -
As a 'blanket statement' I disagree, but admit to situational differences dictating quality and outcome of piton longevity.
A case in point being that after good quality bolted retro belays appeared on Defender Of The Faith (years ago) at Mt Buffalo, I removed what I thought to be an original crappy (it thunked instead of pinged when hit with a hammer), redundant piton adjacent one of them and located sufficiently remote from the belay that it no longer served a purpose,along with occupying a trad style placement.
It proved to be one of the harder pitons to remove that I've experienced!
It had some slight surface corrosion but being a mild steel type had malformed to agree with a ziggle shaped crack and was a real bear to remove... I reckon it would've been good for at least double the life that it had.



+1 to Nmonteith's post about the topic item, other than the bit about retroing seldom repeated classic real estate to make them popular ascent items.


Goshen
7-May-2018
10:21:51 AM
ok - just to add another route into the mix - what about 'Kingdom Come' at Araps - I seconded this route recently, and it was pretty much just that horrible upside down / twisted piton protecting the entire crux sequence. There was gear below it, but... I can't remember seeing any gear above it for quite a way. So there's obviously historical significance - but that piton "needs to go". The question is... replaced with... ?? A bolt would lend us to exactly the same 'conundrum' as Blimp.
PThomson
7-May-2018
10:29:06 AM
Every day that passes since a piton was placed decreases the integrity of the piton, and the placement itself. So to climb it to the conditions of the FA, you would need to replace the piton every day (and yes, that's an argumentum ad absurdum, deliberately enacted). If the piton isn't necessary, then remove it... but don't pretend your honouring the FA in doing so, on the basis that the FA thought it necessary in the first place.

So, if the "piton" is an aesthetic element, then you replace it with a nice new Titanium Piton, whereby every day and every fall decreases the integrity of the placement, and the rock, and sooner or later its a problem again but with more damage to the route.

The solution: glue in a titanium piton and don't worry in either regard.

But don't kid yourselves that it's not a bolt. (in fact, I'd argue that it's a more destructive bolt).

- Paul

IdratherbeclimbingM9
7-May-2018
10:41:30 AM
On 7-May-2018 PThomson wrote:
>(snip)
>If the piton isn't necessary, then remove it... but don't pretend your honouring the FA in doing so,
>on the basis that the FA thought it necessary in the first place.
>
Back when the piton was placed there were likely other elements also under consideration, such as leaving it to indicate the line the route takes (along with making it safer for others to follow).
They were expensive / sometimes hard to obtain / heavy to lug up routes into unknown virgin territory; and used sparingly as a consequence; ... which also happily fitted with the minimalist protection style of climbing often practiced during those days.

>(snip)
>
>But don't kid yourselves that it's not a bolt. (in fact, I'd argue that it's a more destructive bolt).
>
>- Paul

Pitons are not bolts and were certainly not used indiscriminately on blank faces like bolts are these days.
:)

The bit that says it all for me (that has been posted above somewhere), is that the route has had countless repeat ascents; usually with the piton clipped, but seldom if ever taken advantage of re having it actually hold a fall, so the route is do-able, though with the added psychological advantage of having it as part of a protection system.
widewetandslippery
7-May-2018
11:10:58 AM
I am happy to be corrected but I doubt the fixed pin was left as a statement of style for people repeating, rather it just got left. Maybe lots of other pins were used? and removed? If the route is safe, doesn't change grade or add massive instrumental change in character the bolt is not needed. On same logic though maybe everyone should climb it with a hammer.

The good Dr
Online Now
7-May-2018
1:56:59 PM
From Jim Titt (Bolt Products - Germany) after extensive testing of various pitons in an attempt to design a corrosion resistant pin to put to market ....

"Conclusions
The result of producing nice corrosion resistant pitons is that climbers may blindly trust them with potentially fatal results.

Climbers from previous generations rightly distrust in situ pegs, rusting or not, and anyway usually have a healthy aversion to falling off! The modern sport and indoor climbing generation may tend to see shiny and think strong with the inevitable consequences.

A peg can only be trusted on the day it was placed. Only the climber who placed it can give an opinion on its reliability, anything else is only a guess.

My feeling is that to put corrosion resistant pegs on the market for permanent placements would be irresponsible and other solutions need to be found."

nmonteith
7-May-2018
2:21:41 PM
The whole route would have been protected by pitons originally I would guess - and the one lone left over they probably couldn't get back out easily! To interstaters - this route is as significant to Victorian climbing as Eternity or Janicepts in the Bluies or Infinity at Frog - imagine if someone whacked a bolt in those...
armstp
7-May-2018
2:44:52 PM
I assume that the peg was also the old aid peg, and it wasnít unusual once upon a time for single aid pegs to be left in routes which were primarily free.

I commented earlier about this issue coming up more often in the future. One immediate concern is in relation to Rosea and Bundaleer as I am aware that there are people working on guidebooks to these areas, and some people might see this as a good time to Ďfix upí some of the existing routes. If anyone is thinking that way it would be useful if they would discuss what they might do to classic routes rather than just arbitrarily make a decision that changes the character of the climb or the cliff.

This isnít only in relation to bolt for peg exchanges but includes abseil anchors. It would be a shame for a great adventure cliff like Rosea to go the way of Arapiles with abseil escape anchors 2 or 3 pitches up on multi pitch routes because the rest of the route isnít as good [many routes left of the staircase fit this category, and a number to the right].

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