Path-etic Details

It has been brought to my attention that there is
quite the extensive discussion going on about my
decision to climb the path in a traditional style and
to remove the bolts on the gripped BB. www.gripped.com

Although I do appreciate the comments (all of them) I
still find it amazing that people want to express
their opinions about a particular line they likely
know very little about.

In my eyes at least, it appears a tad inane, but then
again, we all have the right to express opinions, so
that’s that.   Ultimately, I would love to answer all
the questions on the forum, I would, but I don’t think
I will ever be able to express what it is I want to
say clearly on a message board, or even here, on this
blah.com crap.

But I will say a few things…WARNING: boring ethical
dribble below!!!

The Path is not a sport route that got chopped, it’s a
fucking trad route that got bolted. I didn’t chop the
bolts so much as I restored the climb. 

Besides, some of the bolts were in the wrong place anyway. 

Someone once asked me if the Compressor route on Cerro
Torre should get chopped, my honest answer is this – I
don’t know enough about the climb to say one way or
the other. I am far too removed to make any sort of
judgment.  How can I begin to think that I have the
voice to answer that question.  In regards to the
Path, yes, I think the bolts should be removed, not
because I am happy with a hacksaw, but because the
climb is a safe, obvious, well protected trad climb
and NEVER should have been bolted in the first place.

It bugs me when people want to make climbing safe for
everyone, more accessible to everyone.  Well then, why
don’t we bolt the blood out of every great crag and
then pave the road to the base, maybe around the side
of the Lake so we won’t have to walk as far, so
climbers won’t have to carry some cams, so that we
won’t have to get out of our cars to get coffee,
instead we can just sit in a ridiculous parade around
the parking lot, waving our money out the widow.

Another note; I top-roped the climb for about 3-4
days, not 10 like it was suggested.  That’s maybe 6-8
tries at the most.  It was necessary for me to be
certain that the climb goes freely on gear, removing
bolts was not an easy decision, it was the best
decision.

I don’t want to promote chopping bolts as a good
thing.  But I do want to see beautiful, natural lines
be safe guarded from bolts that don’t need them.  I
think we are all getting a little too lazy.  Remember
please, the climbs above Wicked Gravity are not
dangerous routes, the Path may seem a little run-out
towards the end, but it is perfectly safe as is it’s
little brother The Great Escape (5.13c?).   Also, I
gave the upper headwall pitches two different names to
differentiate the two lines, lets not mistaken them
for renaming anything.  Wicked Gravity is it’s own
pitch.

I did not remove the bolts to make any sort of
statement.  I am against the practice of placing
expansion bolts next to cracks or other natural lines
than can otherwise be protected safely and easily.  I
am not against bolting, I have put up tons of bolted
routes, and I love sport climbing (that plug was for
the guy who told me to “remember where I come from” as
though hard sport is all I’m allowed to do) but there
is a time and place for power drills.   If I upheld a
lesser ethic, I would have chopped the East Face of
Money Face, but I didn’t because it is not my route
and I have too much respect for the F.A. to make any
changes.  The Path however was abandoned and I had an
opportunity to make a decision for myself on how I
wanted this climb to be approached. If I never told
anyone that I removed bolts, would web surfers on
Gripped be having this discussion at all?  The way I
see it, some things in this world need to remain
sacred and I stand behind that.  Fuck it – even if
both climbs get retro bolted tomorrow (which I don’t
think will happen, as I know 3-4 people personally who
are all excited to give the route a go) then all I can
say is that I did what I thought was the best thing to
do for that particular climb and life goes on.

Whoa, this typing thing sucks.

OK, Here is the deal to all those people who think I
“STOLE” a 5.14 sport route from them.  If you want a
5.14 bolted sport clip up, drive east bound a short
ways on Highway 1 and you can climb many, many,
multiple lines at your choice of crag waiting in the
Bow Valley, at least 10 5.14s's to choose from, the
limestone is good, no wait, its GREAT.  And if you
still want to give The Path a try, it’s still there,
the way it always was, in its NATURAL state, waiting
for a ground up ascent.  Just like it sat for millions
of years. Here's instructions…

“Climb a 5.8 to the right and follow the arête up the
ramp to anchor.  Rap in left side, place bomber gear
on the way down.  Pull rope and climb the route on
lead with pre-placed gear, it only takes about 30 min
to do this and it will climb just like a sport climb
with draws pre-hung (no difference).  Even if you
choose to climb the route on top-rope, it is still
just as much fun.  BUT, if this seems like too much
work or effort for you to handle, then please leave
the drill at home, gas up the car and drive south to
beautiful little canyon called Rifle.  There, you will
find hundreds of fine bolted sport routes no more than
5 paces from your car.  Note; crowds can often be
bothersome.”

Last words.   At the end of the day, some kid is going
to come along and tick all of our hardest shit, like
“it’s no big deal”. Then he is going to want a real
challenge.  Hopefully he’ll step up and on-sight the
path with ease placing all gear on lead.  PROUD.  That
will be a feat completed in the very near future, and
in much better style than its F.A.  So let’s not all
get hung up on this crap, it’s just climbing.

s.