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About Tradgirl
Rec.Climbing's Greatest Hits 2002
     compiled by Dawn Alguard & Marc André Giasson
DYNO [Greatest Hits Index] [Best TRs 2002] [Rec.Climbing Index]


Time is money. But money can't replace time.

(Dingus Milktoast)

Q: What do you do when you find a climbing guide at the door?
A: Pay him for the pizza.

(Lord Slime)

The good news is that, while some are smarter/faster/stronger than others and always will be, we are all equal in our capacity for courage. We all have an infinite supply of it. No limit. It's just a matter of doing the right thing, of saying "yes" rather than "no" at certain times, of not quitting at others. This is why, when the mess hits the fan, you see "average" folks doing amazing things.

(Mike Yukish)

"Why gamble with money when you can gamble with your life?" a partner once said to me in Vegas.


> "The recognition that you need a second pair of shoes marks your transition from beginning climer to intermediate climer."

Good god! What happens when the tally hits seven pair? My guess, sadly based on some personal experience, is that it marks something like the transition from delusional beginning climber to hopeless wannabe wank.

(kreighton, shoe-horse)

> all good sarcasm is easily misinterpreted as deep philosophy

No, no! It's the other way.

(Andy Cairns)

Also, here's my formula for quantifying trad ascent style, which saves me from bickering on r.c about it:

Frig rating = (number grade + cumulative letter grades)/(number of attempts)

Modifier =

Placed gear off your "standard rack" on lead: 2.0

Read the gear beta in the guide: 1.5

Scoped the gear on rappel: 1.0

Racked pieces in order on your harness: 0.9

Wrote gear notes on duct tape adjacent to the crack: 0.8

Pinkpoint: 0.75

Score = Frig rating * Modifier

(Amanda Tarr)

I like to fall with my arms and feet spread slightly to create a stable slide and pushing all the limbs off the rock slightly in quick motions as if I were handling something red hot. This keeps me oriented feet down while protecting me from road rash or flipping over on small ledges

(Karl Baba)

I teach beginners this simple rule: If you are unsure that the rope reaches the ground or the next anchors, let someone else go down first.

(Brutus of Wyde)

I only climb my keyboard because I can type 5.11 a lot easier than I can lead it.

(Eric Coomer)

"Eric D. Coomer" wrote in message

>This has been covered before but needs reiterating. It's not a beer belly, it's an alpine belly and it's use and effectiveness is well documented.

> Which of course begs the question, "How do you mark the middle of your fat?"

If you knew Eric, the answer would be obvious...pierce it.

(Clyde Soles)

Climb like a girl. Pee like a guy.

(Julie Haas)

Batten when used on this newsgroup is a nouned verb, (Americans can verb any word, as David so percievingly kastrupped in another thread, and in this case a noun has been verbed and then renowned, the mid- point of this permutation being found in the dictionary) meaning "1a: to grow fat: thrive by feeding b: to feed gluttonously, to glut oneself" and in particular, "2: to grow prosperous: thrive esp. at the expense or to the detriment of another"

(Brutus of Wyde)

Every time significant tools have been developed in alpinism, making the extant cutting-edge climbs into mainstream classics, there have been those who have decried the developments, claiming that such tools take the adventure out of the sport. Other individuals, with perhaps more vision or imagination, or perhaps just a greater need for the new tools, have taken the tools, developed skills and techniques beyond the old school, and opened up whole new worlds of the possible.

To which of these two camps of thought belongs the greater sense of adventure? That new technology can and will be used to bring the mountains down to a low but democratic mean; Or that enchantment with the improbable, the search for the barely-possible, is furthered with each stride forward into the unknown?

(Brutus of Wyde)

If you have ever been on a back-country ledge without a laminated/certified/a-ok belay card, you KNOW how lonely that can be.

(Nathan Sweet)

This ng isn't as scary as I thought, and only a little scarier than that first lead.


Buying boots by mail order is akin to slotting hexcentrics into a layback crack. You're likely to soon wish you had seen the fit with your own eyes before you had to commit to it.


During the qualifying round I heard the contestant ahead of me introduced, "Hardest redpoint: 5.14 b, hardest on-sight: 5.13c" (Geoff Weigand). The contestant after me, "Hardest redpoint: K2" (Greg Child).

(Andy Cairns)

You should replace your harness for a variety of reasons as they occur. One reason would be upon your tenth redpoint failure due to the gear loop arrangement being "crappy", the leg loops being "too stiff" or the harness having an ugly color pattern that "just threw me off." Another occasion for harness replacement is if a climber is stricken with Dulap's Disease (hypertrophy of the fat lining of the abdomen). Usually a larger harness size clears up this problem, but new/prettier colors can also help eleviate symptoms. Otherwise, replace when it starts looking like your underwear (holes, worn spots, faint smell of cabbage).

(Tim Stich)

But riddle me this...Say some hot shot team comes across that route, and want to free it. They frigg the route to death incorporating the bad juju line, then send it, clean the route and take the rope home with them. Does that make them:

A. Route Poachers
B. Gear Theives
C. French
D. All of the above

(Nathan Sweet)

Week 1: Buy a carton of cigarettes, a case of your favorite genera of malt liquor, a nose-clip and a stairmaster. Consume all consumables/combustibles, place nose-clip on nose then begin workout on stairmaster at lowest setting until you puke (simulates AMS). Lather, rinse, repeat.

Week 2: increase intake of alcohol and cigs, rachet up stairmaster to nest highest level.

Week 3: see above. Repeat as necessary. Remind yourself that this is "fun."

Week 4: those thoughts of bouldering? Forget them. Its for wusses. Get back on that stairmaster. Suffering builds character dammit.

(Rob Williams explains how to train to climb Mt. Rainier)

Rockclimbing, for me, is liking making Love to the Stone... for that I like to take some clothes off and be comfortable.

(Karl Baba)

Chapter 6: Routefinding? Shmoutfinding!
Includes such fine topics as -
"Best places to stash the topo so you'll be sure to leave it at the bottom."
"This guy on rec.climbing told me how to get there."
"When in doubt, go right."
And my personal fave...
"Half the fun is not knowing where you're going."

(Patrick S.)

Personally, I cannot tell the difference between 5.0 and 5.1, or 5.14c and 5.14d. I suspect that no climber can do both.


Routes rate me, not the other way around.

(Andy Cairns)

When penalty slack is greater than the distance to the ground, the FF becomes irrelevant.

(Brent Ware)

So if you're gonna argue about bolts on crags, dump the elitest attitude. People who crag a lot, and care about what happens to their crags, are not going to listen (and should not listen!) to someone who considers their sport to be mere training for something bigger and better.

(Lord Slime)

I suspect that the ability to slackline well is similar to the ability to hacky-sack well. It demonstrates only that the person in question has no job

(Andy Gale)

Even the descent was fraught with sucking.

(Adams, describing his first big wall)

The only way you can do something in the style of the FA is by climbing something new.


Guy cleanching gear in teeth == much hotter than guy clenching floss in butt.

(Julie Haas)

Yoga is a system, scientifically proven to boost your climbing ability significantly. Why do you think you always see that Guru figure sitting on the top of the mountain? You think he/she got there by enlightenment.


I think the number 1 sport is watching the corn grow. and that's Iowa City

(Cartman, re: climbing in Iowa)

Right after all this crap was posted- I went out and bought a pen and FINALLY marked the middle of my rope (been meaning to do that for years). If I die, make fun of me please...

(Eric Coomer after the revelation that rope markers might decrease the number of edge falls held at the point of marking)

It's more interesting than my other daytime activity, which closely resembles the million monkeys theory applied to software development.

(Amanda Tarr)

The gear or practices that we argue about are rarely the real cause of accidents. More dangerous are inattention, fatigue, ego, and bad karma.

(Karl Baba)

I believe that driving is more risky. The rock is never drunk, or on a cell-phone, or reaching into the back seat to smack a kid. Gravity is always there, of course, but it's not going 30mph at one time and driving a semi-truck at 80mph another.

(Lord Slime)

the rock didn't have as many holds as he thought, and they weren't as close together as he thought (I'm pretty sure I've been in the same place come to think of it.)


In most parts of France, they climb "French Free." In Chamonix they climb "French Expensive."

(Tim Stich)

this reminds me of the other day, when I and some friends went cragging as a threesome. We wanted to tick off the local classics, "Right Away", "Next", and "After That". The climbers were Felix F. You, Alan B. Who, and myself.

Who asked if you wanted to lead right away, and he said no, he wanted to lead next, and I said right away? and he said no, you can do right away after that, and I was confused and asked who wants to climb next, and you said no, but he did, but not right away. I said that was perfect because I wanted to climb right away, but he could climb next and who could climb after that, and you said nobody. I didn't know what you meant but he was racking up. I said hey who said you could lead next and who said no I didn't and you said i'm not climbing next I'm climbing right away and you will climb after that.

(Frederick A. Weihe)

I don't know any PNW climbers (and very few hikers) that ever plan on having fires, except when car camping. Most of the time you can't hardly get anything up here to burn anyway, and then in July and August you can't get it to stop burning.

(Mike Garrison)

>I can envision yet another needless accident in the making (discussing rappelling off a car bumper as shown in a commercial)

If someone dies trying to emulate a car commercial, how is that needless?

(Tim Stich)

I wish I'd have read your post before I tried this particular manuever! I'm just breaking into the sport of adventure rappelling and I recently pulled up to a very similar cliff to the one in the commercial. I tied off to the bumper and started leaning back to begin my rap... when, I swear to god the whole truck started rolling towards me. Seems I'd left the bastard in NEUTRAL and it was now a 2000 pound anchor tied to me! Thinking quickly I plugged a couple cams into cracks at my feet and when the Exterra eventually rolled over me (ouch) I was safetly anchored to the wall. Having to cut the truck loose from my harness was pretty tough emotionally. I'd just got the thing and had yet to insure it... so I was looking at quite a loss.

Yeah, to answer your question, I cut it loose.

Just goes to show, put your emergency brake on each time, EVERY TIME.

(Jason Liebgott)

I have an automatic transmission so I don't have to set the parking brake. Do I?

(Michael Mooney)

No, but you do need to make sure the transmission is in R, for "rappell".

(Tim Stich )

It's all fun and oneness with nature until you realize you can't have diarrhea and vomit at the same time without an extra bucket.

(Nate B.)

Only those who lack it use the adjective "excess" in front of testosterone.

(Dan Goodman)


Please send me your filter settings.

(Mad Dog)

I knew that Jenny wanted her Diamond, and she'd said so enough times before. Most wives want a diamond, some want it big, but the one she wanted is 600 meters tall

(from A Diamond for the Wife by Guillaume Dargaud)

Hey I just wanted to warn all of you climbers out there that I have been dropped more than 3 meters, and may be prone to catastrophic failure while belaying.

(Ryan "damaged goods" Pfleger)

Backing off a climb is not failure. Not surviving is failure.

(Brutus of Wyde)

Bolts...I never felt right drilling 'em, but I never felt bad clippin' em.

(Karl Baba)

I had a good time in the same sort of way as when you're done hitting yourself in the nuts with a bar of soap in a sock.

(Alex Chiang, after GunksFest 2002)

I view a belayer with a grigri the same as I do a webtv user -- very suspiciously.


You are right. A Munter hitch would have worked much better. I could have used one, but being an engineer opted for the more complex device.

(Dario Cova, explaining why he rappeled using a carabiner brake instead of a Munter hitch.)

Some modern biners do not suit such use [biner brake], but most mod D's can clip together quicker than a Lord Slime flame war.


What an odd sport we inhabit, where bits of obscure rock in remote locations are recognizeable.

(Richard Pawlowicz)

We've spewed a lot here about how "good' one can get at your age. Decide what "good" means to you. Ratings may have little to do with it. How hard you end up pulling by your fingertips is far less than important than making friends at the crag, developing rapport with great partners, eating good food after a day on sunny rock, and enjoying the sights and smells that go with climbing.

Remember that time spent on a rock climb isn't subtracted from your life span.

(Will Niccolls)

I think the problem is how to make it easier for Us to climb, without increasing the number of Them.

(Mike Shutters)

if one more person says to me, "Wow, you climb, and you don't have a boyfriend?" I'm gonna hurl. What am I supposed to say in response to that: "Well, I have a really lousy personality?"


> LOL. You think there's a microprocessor in a head lamp???!!!

why would that be a wacky thing to have in your headlamp? chips are in everything these days. my freaking poptart gave me a bad sector alert this morning.

(Shilajit T Gangulee)


(Russ from Fish Products)

the ground is a harsh spotter

(Old Man Caballo)

Flames and Flamewars

Tribloc, [origin unknown]. rec.climbing thread characterized by exceptional length but thin content. Often begun by a beginner's technique question that draws self-confident but questionable advice from another poster. Continues indefinitely with attacks & defense, as onlookers experience deepening fatigue.


>Man, why you always gotta be so down on Adrian.

You don't find it humorous that after a long absence, he returns to r.c, posts one line, and it's wrong?

(Jay Tanzman)

Crusty flakes and fine cheese. Don't you ever stop whining, or even shut up? I hate soft cream cheesy bean-sprouting mealy-mouthed tyrants who do nothing but whine about intolerance.

(Dwight Haymes)

I think you love rocks so much that they've replaced your brain.

(Rex Pieper)

Here's the thing. You'd like to talk about yourself and what swell stuff you've climbed lately. Well, who wouldn't? As it turns out, we have a format in which that sort of spray is acceptable. It's called a TR. In a TR, every other word can be "I" and the words in between can be numbers representing how rad you are, though it's a time-honored tradition to throw in a few sentences about how afraid you were that you *weren't* going to [insert heroic deed here] before getting to the part about how you do.

Your trouble is that you're trying to disguise your spray as RFIs or attempts at actual human conversation and no one is fooled. It is quite possible to say "Now that I climb outside so often I find that I absolutely suck at gym climbing and since I'm having a miserable time there, what with everyone snickering at me and falling off of things I think I should be able to do, I'm asking myself why I spend the money on a gym membership when I can go to rec.climbing and get snickered at for free" without mentioning a single number.

(Dawn Alguard)

This thread reminds me of why the Silent Partner was invented.

(Rex Pieper)

<flame thrower> How dare you!!!! I wouldn't waste cat piss on you and you are INSANE. What planet are you from, you wanker!? </flame thrower>

in this group I believe <flamethrower> has no closing tag.


Please exit throuth the "Loser" door and accept our Climbing Physics 101 Text book as a consolation prize (you need it).

(Mad Dog)

It's like the Tour de France. Superhuman feats of endurance. One marvels how long trained sportsmen are able to keep up. Of course, the Tour de France is one large round course, whereas our contestants here are covering their distance mostly by repeatedly going in small circles.

(David Kastrup, on the ongoing Note to Zaumen (was Braille Book Accident) thread)

Take your chisled, over-bolted routes and puny boulder problems and go have an epic finding a vegan meal in Thailand.

(Clyde Soles)

Please spend an hour reading through the posts on this board. Then ask yourself:
Would I like to spend my limited quality time with these people?
Would I trust them with my safety?
Do I feel they would be capable of amusing conversation?
Am I sure they can complete sentences without using foul language?
What would my dog think if I brought one home?
Do I feel they would be kind, caring teachers?
Would they set fire to me?
Would they be 'ironic'. Do they even understand what that means?

(Roger Hunter)

Shall I compare thee to a saggy butt?
Thou art as rude, as stinky and as tight;
Rough wind did blow from deep within the gut,
Which is, like thee, completely full of shite.


I can only imagine the deprivation and loneliness you will feel from a lack of human companionship when your 1000 free AOL hours run out.

(Nate B)

Best Examples of Why Flame Wars Happen

What continent is New Zealand in- it's gotta be Australia, right? It certainly isn't part of any other continent. And what about the game of Risk? Hmmm- it shows Indonesia as being part of Australia. Not that Risk is the final word or anything


>Sue Hopkins wrote: People have gotten HAPE as low at 8000 feet.

Yes, Sue, People have also drowned in spoonfuls of water. Do you have any altitude experience? Doesn´t sound like it.


Good Answers to Bad Questions

>I am working on a research paper. My topic is, How Do Glaciers Move? Can you please tell me what you know about the movement of glaciers?

Glaciers feel best when they have one movement per day. Some glaciers do just fine with fewer movements, but when they don't have movements for a long time the result can be quite bad. Glaciers which move much more frequently tend to have loose and soft terminal moraines (also called rock piles).

Glacial movement is almost always associated with the release of water. But sometimes glaciers release water without experiencing a movement.

(Mike Garrison)

> I have managed to get my hands on some second hand rock climing stuff, looks like good gear,stripey ropes, I have even got one of those chalk pouches. Im all set for a good crag, one thing before I set off, how do you get your rope to the top of the rock you are about to climb.

What gear did you get with the rope - a grappling hook or a bolt gun? Grappling hooks are the easiest option for beginners, as they do not involve explosives (which can be unstable if exposed to sunlight). You can get a decent length throw out of them by holding the rope about 1m away from the hook and spinning the hook around before you launch, like a slingshot. Before climbing the rope, remember to clip anything else shiny and metallic to your harness, it's much safer that way and it looks cool too.

If you got a gun I would suggest going for a training course, as has been suggested. Try it out first though, that way you'll get the best value for money on your course. One good place for doing this is on a big slab at the left hand end of Froggatt as there aren't many cracks there (which don't make very good bolt placements). Fire the first bolt in at head height, pull up and clip yourself to it, then repeat the process until you get to the top.


Most Annoying Threads

Note to Zaumen (was Braille Book Accident)

Most Entertaining Threads

How tough is climbing in comparison to....

unsubscribe me

Climb Off Tips for more slothful slogging

The Jason Experience (eBay listing is gone, but here's a copy of the graphic)

Best Trolls

It took me many years but I have gained access to the root account and have removed the user God.

(Saros (Batten))

Dawn gets trolled by Batten: Retarded Children and Climbing

Todd calls me up at work.

Him: I see you bit on that retarded children troll.
Me: It seemed like an interesting question. Why do you think it's a troll?
Him: I don't think people who actually work with retarded people use the word retarded.

I can see his point, so I go back and look at the post again. Stoney Point?!! Trolled. I call him back.

Me: Damn it, you're right. How could I have missed the Stoney Point reference?
Him: Maybe it's not a troll. Other people have taken it seriously.
Me: No, no. Stoney Point. Has to be a troll.
Him: So it's basically impossible for anyone to ask a serious question about Stoney Point?
Me: Pretty much.
Him: At least he didn't mention the UCLA co-eds.
Me: Who do you think the retarded children were?

(Dawn Alguard)

In Memorium - Mike Sofranko

So is the accomplishment *finding* the excellent and/or moderate route, or *climbing* the route? I'd say the finding (and establishing), and I think that is what should be recognized. Accomplishments need to be recognized - that is a big motivating factor. Let's recognize the true accomplishment.

I equate "mobility" with "freedom." I'd say that many aspects, good and bad, of our society today resulted at least in part from the interstate system. Everything is interconnected, and nothing is free.

TR: The Grand Teton - Exum Ridge

Space Boyz (Potrero Chico)

Mike's Climbing Page

In Memorium - John Carey

Belaying a fellow climber is not a job to be taken lightly. At times it can be difficult to keep the leader in view, but it's the belayer's responsibility to safegaurd their partner. Try to pick a belay stance that allows you to relax your head against a tree or the rock. If your unable to do this, rolling your neck down occasionally will keep the kinks out. Try to stay comfortable, afterall this is suppose to be fun, but stay attentive.

Don't limit yourself in anyway, go out and climb every where you can and enjoy.

Long Quotes

forwarded email posted by Scott Grimes

From my perspective I see 3 scenarios:

1. Joe definitely wants to go and we all plan a trip for late June. (Not a problem, but this prevents me from vacationing with my sister and her family, and I just want to make sure that if we schedule a trip in June to work around Joe's schedule that he is definitely going to show up).

2. Joe decides to pass, but you decide you want to go. Then we could head out in either May or June. If it worked, I would try to get there in early May, perhaps.

3. Both you and Joe decide to pass, and I leave your poor bastards behind to choke your chickens in front of your big screen TVs in your warm houses with your pretty wives and fancy cars, while I end up spending a week in some of the most stunning alpine settings in the country, trying to enjoy and be thankful for every breath of every day, kicking steps, slurping down some ramen noodles thinking this is the best food I've ever tasted, feeling the security that comes with driving my axes in hard, front pointing, working on my French technique up a 40 degree slope, clipping in to a rope at 2:30 a.m. to start the final summit ascent (and trying to hide from my companions the hard on that this clip-in triggers), turning off my headlamp and finding my way up the mountain by the light of the full moon reflecting off the snow, hanging my arse out over the edge of a glacial moat watching my turds drop down 50 feet while watching the sun rise and feeling the early morning cold rush up my sphincter, sucking in the smells of a fresh fart in my tent, soaking up the warmth of the sun at 10,000 feet, pulling my parka hood tighter to fight off the piercing wind that whips down from high on the glacier, peering down into a 100-foot crevasses seeing layers of snow from probably 30 years ago, drinking ice cold glacial melt when my mouth is parched , glissading down the warming slopes as I descend from a successful summit attempt, watching the marmots scurry across the glacier in the early morning hours and the ravens circling above, plotting how they'll steal the food out of my pack, watching the sun rise over a distant peak and feeling the morning chill disappear as the sun climbs higher in the sky, watching the sun drop behind a peak stealing the day's warmth with it, seeing more stars in the sky than I ever thought existed, looking around from the summit and seeing jagged snow-covered peaks in every direction I look and thinking that there must be a higher power behind all of this.

Or it could rain for a week straight while my chilled-to-the-bone, rain-soaked, aching body drags a 50-pound pack up the mountain for 8 hours a day.

Either way, I'm enjoying it.

The truth about microfractures by Ardito Gersen

You know I have discovered the truth about dropped gear. It is not microfractures or any other such crap that can cause it to fail. Actually when the gear is dropped the universe has , for a microsecond, to face an incongruent situation. IT expected you to drop, not the gear. During that microsecond it takes for IT to adjust some of the common laws of Physics get suspended in a small area around the gear. The gear then does not "exist" anymore. Instead it enters a Schrodingen Kitten state of probable/improbable existence.

It is during that period with the gear quickly fluctuating among dimensions that it becomes possessed by demons. Yes, you have read that correctly. DEMONS!!. They intertwine with the gear and it is those demons trying to get out that cause the so called "microfractures".Man you gotta be really careful because your rack may now be a demon nest. All you can do now is:

A) Destroy the gear, to prevent the demons from causing any harm. Dropping it into a volcano seems to be fashionable again due to the influence of major Hollywood productions but I suggest an easier solution just dig a hole in the ground, put the gear in, cover with an adequate amount of thermite. Ignite a magnesium initiator on top of the pile. Watch the demons burn!

B) Exorcise the demons. Contact the local representative of the Roman Catholic Church, make sure that the Exorcist , if they send one, is properly authorized by the local bishop,. There is only one authorized Exorcist by dioceses and he has to be appointed by the bishop. Wannabe exorcists are likely to compound the problem. If they are unavailable or too busy you can try the Shamanic method described below:

- Take off your clothes.

-Use a Sharpie to mark the middle of your belly. But do it a few inches above or below true center , this is to avoid Demons to focus on your center. You will appear to them as a blur and if they try to posses you they are likely to come to the end of you and slip off. Unless they knot your ends first.

-Cover the rest of your body with mysterious signs and inscriptions. They may read things like CE, EN 7306, 22KN, T, DMM, 9<-> etc... those are there to protect you against the demons entering your body, the more you have the better.

-Cover yourself with lubricant oil, lest you get stuck in a different dimension.

-Using a rope make a circle in the ground around the gear. Drive five expansion bolts into the ground at regular intervals. now the demons are contained. They have also took some of the qualities of the gear and they now hate fixed stuff.

-Light fires around the circle. Attach headlamps to the top of ski poles and direct their beams towards the gear.

-Put a tape of "Macarena" into a tape and play in a loop as loud as you can!

-Get drunk and stoned ( you do not need instructions for this)

-Run around the circle dancing with a bottle in one hand and an old issue of Rock and Ice on the other chanting the following formula: "Get the fuck outta my gear you assholes!!" or any other ranting of your liking, to the rhythm of the music.

-Remember to fart as much as you can . That is to prove to the demons that you are a Tue Climber (tm). For an explanation of this do a Google search for "farts climber". If possible ignite a few of the farts (you do not need instructions for this either).

-Keep on drinking!!

-Shit into plastic bags and toss them at the gear while crying "MUD BAT!! MUD BAAAAAT!! INCOMING!!"

-Read excerpts from the Rock and Ice mag (this is truly unbearable for the demons)

-Collapse, be taken to the ER. Wake up. Stay in a mental institution for a while. Be released (hopefully)

You can now use your gear without any fear, the demons have been now expelled to the nether regions where they lived before.

I hope you find this helpful, let us know how it all went!

S grades by Andy Cairns

"The general intent of the S grade is not unlike the British E grades."

"It is the job of the S grade to give a realistic overall rating that considers all the factors that could prevent a successful lead."

S1 = doesn't suck too heavily
S6 = sucks very heavily severe
(translated by B. Burdo)

My copy includes:

Born Free, Nightmare Rock, * S3 5.10d, Now Aid


The Puking Gecko, Grand Wall, *** S9 5.12d/e 712m
An intimidating and salacious climb. The final pitch is so exposed, tricky, and continuously strenuous that it is impossible to even contact the rock at any point. Better than making passionate love on top of a Japanese Bullet Train. Superbly magnificent and grimly brilliant.

1. 27m Start from halfway across the flake traverse on the second pitch of Univ. Wall. Reverse the previous 4 moves, heel-hooking the blood-stained crystal at the roof lip to gain the vertical featureless face. Easier climbing leads from here to the two-bashie belay. 5.12b (7PA)

2. 35m If you know the correct sequence, this is 5.6 on jugs. If not, this becomes a 5.12a overhanging bombay flare chimney with no protection. Hint: use a foot switch at 16m.

3. 56m 5.11c Inscrutable face climbing and continuously strenuous knee-bars. The final moves are the crux and are unprotected, but no problem as you must untie from the rope to finish the pitch anyway. Brilliant.

4. 37.5m 5.12d/e At this point, the second must rappel the route while the leader engages in deep-breathing exercises. By imaging the most audacious, splendid, bold, and, yes, intimidating free- climbing possible, the crux is transcended and the climber awakes to find him(or her)self clinging unroped to the crux moves of Zombie Roof, only 350m above a talus slope. This is surmounted by pinching a leaf. Splendid. Bold.

FFR Peder Ostrich 1984
FUCAAB Peter Croft 1986
FPAAE Jeff Smoot, Dick Cille 1992

Pad People in the Chocolate Factory by Nathan Sweet

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do
I have a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-dee
If you are wise, you'll listen to me

What would you do if your landing is hard?
Put in a bolt or lose some more lard?
Bring a big mattress where ever you climb?
Or holler send at your friend




(basso) I don't like the look of it..

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da
If you place gear then you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

Bolts Again by Mark Cato

I've heard a lot of folks here say that retrobolting shouldn't have any impact on the route. "If you don't like it, don't clip it." Things to that effect. I'm a gumby compared to most folks here, but I have respect for those who came before me.

I live in Pittsburgh, which has some great old architecture. Near the intersection of 5th and Shady there was a pair of stone mansions. One was purchased and renovated a few years back. In the process, the new owners ripped the soul from the house, tacked on modern additions, and left just enough of the old facade to remind you of the house's former beauty. It would have been better to just go to bare earth and start over.

How's that relate to climbing? Bolting an established route is modifying an old house. These routes and houses are a tangible link to our past, that can be experienced by current and future generations as long as they are preserved. If you remodel all the old houses, if you retrobolt all the old routes put up in bold style, you're doing a disservice to the community. While there are plenty of old houses and routes, should we sit idly by while more and more are modernized? If the day comes when I just bring quickdraws to Seneca, or when every house looks like it was built last week, won't something be irretrievably lost? Sure, I can sit down and show my nephew pictures of old houses, or how a route existed originally. I'd rather be able to show him.

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