Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

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lena_chita
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Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by lena_chita » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:57 am

I was just looking through the online guidebook, and saw that there was a new line bolted at the Lode. of course I had to check out what it was! The description says that it is 5.10a, "dirty slab", and gives it one star.

Granted, i have not seen the line myself, maybe it is the world's best 5.10, and the description is just a joke, but going with the description, I have to wonder: WHY?

Does anybody ever go to a crag that has only one climb in the grade range they want, and the climb is crappy? Not anyone I know... I just don't see 5.10 climbers making a hike to the 'lode to climb one route, when they can go to places with several better-quality 5.10s.

Would people who go to the Lode to climb the typical Motherlode lines/grades take time to climb a chossy dirty 5.10 that wouldn't even warm them up? Seems unlikely...

So does Motherlode really need that line? Why would someone go through the significant trouble and expense of bolting something like that? Why would you even want your name on a route that nobody climbs, and those who do climb rate as 1 star?


I am not talking simply about less than stellar dirty lines. Sometimes dirty lines clean up well and turn out to be good. And sometimes people climb routes that are just "meh" if these routes are at a crag that has a lot of climbs in the similar grades, so people go there for that specific grade, especially if it happens to be the grade that a lot of people seek out. An example would be something like the two lines, 5.7 and 5.8, at the left side of Land Before Time. Dirty, short, and much lower quality than the rest of the lines on the same wall. But there seem to be a lot of people who come to Muir Valley for 5.7-5.9 climbs, and that wall serves these people, relieves the crowds at Bruise Brothers, and oh well, maybe some lines are not that great, but there isn't that much to pick from in this grade range anyway, so it is understandable to me that those lines were bolted, even if nobody who climbed them seems to care much for them, myself included.

But going back to Motherlode 5.10, I am baffled... anybody who actually bolts would care to enlighten me?

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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by graniteclimber » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:06 am

Could be anything really. Some guys will bolt anything. Other guys think grid bolting is awesome and will put in one and two bolt link ups between classics. Still more guys want to have a FA at the lode. Maybe someone else wants something for their n00b girlfriend to play on while they get rad. Plus all those reasons you mentioned. Could be anything.

The local hardman cliff out here had all 3 of it's 5.11s chopped to keep the riff raff out.

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milspecmark
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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by milspecmark » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:12 am

Maybe someone breaking into the 12s would like to warm up on it.

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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by One-Fall » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:18 am

The author of that route has one of the most gentle demeanors I have ever come across. He put that route up a year ago. I can safely say ego had zero to do with it. He was simply adding another climb for all of us to do.

When Shady Grove got its first route, few of us thought it would clean up the way it did. But traffic is the great disinfectant of the Red.
Can't we all just get along?

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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by pigsteak » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:28 am

it really is simple...points.
Positive vibes brah...positive vibes.

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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by lena_chita » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:29 am

milspecmark wrote:Maybe someone breaking into the 12s would like to warm up on it.

I find that extremely unlikely. A slab route is not a warmup for overhanging route, which is pretty much all 5.12s at the lode. And 5.10a is way to low a warm-up grade for someone who really is "breaking into the 12s". 5.11 would be a good warmup for 5.12, and the Lode has that.

Btw, the question goes both ways-- not just why would someone bolt a crappy 5.10a in a crag that is full of good-quality 5.11-5.14a, but also why would someone bolt a lone dirty low-quality 5.12 i in a crag that has a bunch of 5.7--5.9s. Sure, you can't always tell the grade just by looking from the ground, but you can usually see beautiful right away.

I can understand it is the line is truly stellar. If you walk up to the wall and see it right away and say, wow, THAT is the prettiest line on the wall. Then it doesn't matter what other grades at the same wall would turn out to be. I would go to a crag that had only one climb in the grade I wanted, if the line was a classic.

But this is not a new crag being developed, where you don't yet know what the grade spread will turn out to be. People have walked past that wall for years, and nobody as far as I know looked up and said, OMG, THAT looks like a line I'd like to climb. I doubt that even the bolter who did bolt it walked up to it and said, wow, OMG, this is THE line of my life. That's what baffles me, I guess.

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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by clif » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:38 am

i'd like to give the pig a point but apparently (if the route is Nuthugger) even the equipper didn't want the FA/points.
training is for people who care, i have a job.

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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by der uber » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:39 am

I don't think the grades of climbs at a crag should have anything to do with deciding whether or not to bolt a new line. The route isn't all that bad. It isn't my style, but I don't mind it being there.

The guy who bolted it is a buddy of mine and he likes vert, slab, techy stuff. It may not get as much love as 8 Ball, but hey, it's there and people can get on it if they choose. Not that big a deal.

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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by lena_chita » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:51 am

One-Fall wrote:The author of that route has one of the most gentle demeanors I have ever come across. He put that route up a year ago. I can safely say ego had zero to do with it. He was simply adding another climb for all of us to do.

When Shady Grove got its first route, few of us thought it would clean up the way it did. But traffic is the great disinfectant of the Red.
I agree that traffic often cleans up routes well. That's not the main pint.

In my mind there is a big distinction between bolting a line at a new crag, where the grades, the quality, the traffic are yet unclear, and adding a new line to a classic well-established crag that is well known for specific type of climbing in specific grade range. It seems like in the second case the bar should be set higher.

I guess what I am curious about is whether this line was, from the start, thought to be about 5.10a and not that great, or whether this line looked better on first inspection than it turned out to be.

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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by pigsteak » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:56 am

your husband and I will bolt just about anything....what does he think?
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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by bcombs » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:31 pm

Perhaps the FA just was learning and didn't want to mess up a classic with a botched bolting job? I see your point about it being at the Lode, but I don't know that we want to go down the path of "your crappy route doesn't belong here in this land of milk and honey".

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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by pigsteak » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:34 pm

bcombs, I doubt she is saying that...I don't think there is seriously anyone who thinks that Lode is a classic crag, let alone the best crag at the Red.....
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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by Andrew » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:45 pm

Because bolters get to do whatever they want.
Living the dream

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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by pumpout2004 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:53 pm

The route in question is actually pretty darn cool in the bottom third, and will likely be found to be quite difficult at the 5.10 grade. It also has a similar style to ball scratcher (slabby, technical, kinda sketchy). Ergo, one could argue it fits pretty nicely as an addition to the cliff. With that being said: the climb is dirty, the top half is boring and stupid, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
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Re: Trying to understand the bolter's mind...

Post by krampus » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:06 pm

pumpout2004 wrote:much like anal sex, this route is fun until about half way when it starts to get dirty. Then you begin to question what you are doing...but you finish anyway.
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