Have you ever placed a pin?

Placing a cam? Slotting a nut? Slinging a tree?

Have you placed a piton?

Yes
9
22%
No
31
76%
What's a piton?
1
2%
 
Total votes: 41

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milspecmark
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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by milspecmark » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:58 am

I almost placed a pin last night, but was just shy.
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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by dustonian » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:59 am

JR wrote:
dustonian wrote: it is highly unlikely that the free routes on El Cap would have gone without the scars!
I could be misinterpreting the exclamation but it reads to me like you think the pin scars are a good thing?
"Interesting" maybe, but ! didn't really mean "good." It doesn't really matter to me one or the other since I'll never climb 5.13-14 trad. Figuring out sketchy clean aid (cam hooks & hybrid aliens) in flared scar-pods is kinda fun tho! I'd take that over a bolt ladder next to a nailing seam any day.

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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by JR » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:57 am

dustonian wrote:
It doesn't really matter to me one or the other since I'll never climb 5.13-14 trad. Figuring out sketchy clean aid (cam hooks & hybrid aliens) in flared scar-pods is kinda fun tho!
Do you feel the same way about manufactured sport routes? If the sport climb didn't have a few sinker manufactured pockets (Thug Life) you couldn't have "fun".

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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by 512OW » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:18 pm

JR wrote:
LK Day wrote:But I have never heard of anyone nailing a cracks around here until the old pin placements turn into fingerlocks.

Is it ever the same person that nails the crack then uses the ensuing flaired fingerlocks???

It is my impression that hammering routes is shortsighted.
Bridwell pioneered the use of repeated pin placement and removal specifically to create a freeclimb. They were known as 'thank bridwell fingerlocks'. If my memory serves, the first time he used the technique was a short section of thin dihedral near or on Geek Tower.
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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by JR » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:00 pm

512OW wrote:
JR wrote:
LK Day wrote:But I have never heard of anyone nailing a cracks around here until the old pin placements turn into fingerlocks.

Is it ever the same person that nails the crack then uses the ensuing flaired fingerlocks???

It is my impression that hammering routes is shortsighted.
Bridwell pioneered the use of repeated pin placement and removal specifically to create a freeclimb. They were known as 'thank bridwell fingerlocks'. If my memory serves, the first time he used the technique was a short section of thin dihedral near or on Geek Tower.
Interesting. Tell me again how this is not analogous to manufacturing a sport route?

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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by 512OW » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:00 pm

Basically, it is the same thing. His reasoning however was that eventually the aid climbers would pound it out anyway, so why not pound it out just enough to let it go free and clean, and and cut off any reason for pins to be placed there again. Shortsighted, in my opinion.
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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by clif » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:11 pm

i've never hammered a piton, clipped quite a few. i abhor manufacturing holds.

my slight objection to the analogy is premised on the rationale/intent. drilling a hole is just that. placing a piton has historically been for safety and in that sense more analogous to placing a bolt.

ow- i don't understand why you think bridwell's approach is 'shortsighted,' by your own recollection (which i appreciate you sharing) he was thinking about the future and how to mitigate impact. maybe you are questioning his assumption that the route would be banged out?
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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by LK Day » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:18 pm

Again, I've never heard of anyone doing that kind of crap (purposely widening thin cracks with repeated pin placements) in the Red River Gorge. Having left the Red River scene many years ago, I don't feel like I'm really qualified to judge, so take anything I say on this subject with at least a grain of salt, but the one thing going on in the area that seems kind of questionable to me is grid bolting in some areas. I only object to that kind of thing on aesthetic grounds. If you cram so many routes onto a tiny wall that you make a beautiful place ugly, you probably should pause to consider the error of your ways.
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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by JR » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:48 am

clif wrote: My slight objection to the analogy is premised on the rationale/intent. Placing a piton has historically been for safety and in that sense more analogous to placing a bolt.
I agree that generally the intent of a piton is for safety. And sure that could be analogous to placing a bolt but you hit it on the head when you said "historically". We now know that the use of pitons changes the route as a free climb. It is shortsighted in that you are robbing future generations of climbers difficult natural routes. It is shortsighted in exactly the same way that manufacturing holds is on a sport route. The rational for doing either one of these things today seems to me very weak.

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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by dustonian » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:59 am

While somewhat superficially accurate, you are not taking into account how pin scars actually form, or how pitons are most often in used in "modern" climbing. The last 100 years have shown that scarring only occurs in areas with VERY heavy nailing traffic back in the 50s-70s: for the most part, Yosemite, where multiples parties were nailing and cleaning up routes with hammers on a weekly (El Cap), if not daily (Serenity Crack) basis. It takes day-in/day-out placing and removal of pins in the same placements by each ascending party.

This set of conditions does not exist in modern climbing, with its emphasis on free ascents. Although there are a very few outliers (Jim Beyer?), if someone places a pin nowadays, it is typically on a route intended for free climbing because they (a) placed the pin ground-up and (b) didn't feel right about putting a bolt right next to a bomber knifeblade seam, or else (c) were replacing existing gear left behind the first ascent aid party. The piton now remains there, at least for a decade or two, but usually much longer. This is fundamentally different than having your second remove the pin and leaving repeating parties to place their own on each subsequent ascent... in other words, it will not form a scar. Any pin I have ever placed was bomber and in a spot where the piton ripping would not result in a castastrophic fall, and I left it behind. If, by contrast, the pin isn't bomber for a free-climbing fall, I typically high-step on the pin and drill a bolt, the subsequently back-clean the body-weight pin... in a knifeblade or rurp seam, you would have to do this many hundreds, if not thousands, of times to leave even a noticeable mark, much less a useable hold. But the fact of the matter is, the next ascent of the route will likely be the FFA, and all subsequent parties will come bearing neither pitons nor hammer. This has been the prevailing style in the Gunks for decades, and there is no scarring issue there.

Speaking of the Gunks, I've clipped decades-old pins there that were still about as good as the day they were placed, depending on water run-off patterns, so frequent replacement has not been an issue. By and large, most American climbing areas have adopted the European system and placing and leaving pins behind to minimize damage to the rock... scarring is essentially a moot point these days, although it remains a valuable lesson from the past. With the exception of a very few remaining nail-up routes in Yosemite and Zion, clean climbing is strongly encouraged on any existing route that has ever gone free or on clean aid. For instance, future aid ascents of Silently Does the Sun Shine should be strongly discouraged from nailing to avoid altering the free climbing route in any way... although to be realistic, that route got about one or two ascents a decade, a rate that is unlikely to change given the declining popularity of aid climbing and current traditional free-climbing standards in the RRG. There were zero recognizable or useable pin scars on this route, despite it being one of the only actual nailing routes in the area.

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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by 512OW » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:35 pm

clif wrote:
ow- i don't understand why you think bridwell's approach is 'shortsighted,' by your own recollection (which i appreciate you sharing) he was thinking about the future and how to mitigate impact. maybe you are questioning his assumption that the route would be banged out?
Shortsighted in that clean climbing still had a long way to go. With thin cam hooks, almost every little seam could be done clean. Also shortsighted in that free climbing was about to blow up...he created a 5.11. It could have been a classic 12d pitch had he left it alone and not assumed that 5.11 was the top end.
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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by 512OW » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:36 pm

dustonian wrote: Although there are a very few outliers (Jim Beyer?), if someone places a pin nowadays,

I used Jim's name in a song and always wondered if any other climbers knew who the hell I was talking about.
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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by dustonian » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:49 pm

512OW wrote:I used Jim's name in a song and always wondered if any other climbers knew who the hell I was talking about.
Haha no one except us trad fossils. Beyer, man, what a freakin' character that guy is!

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP01/climbing-note-beyer
http://jensenconsultations.com/climbing ... ifada.html
http://climbing.about.com/b/2009/09/11/ ... cal-a6.htm

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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by camhead » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:23 pm

dustonian wrote:Speaking of the Gunks, I've clipped decades-old pins there that were still about as good as the day they were placed, depending on water run-off patterns, so frequent replacement has not been an issue. By and large, most American climbing areas have adopted the European system and placing and leaving pins behind to minimize damage to the rock...
I agree, but here's an interesting variation of this that I encountered last summer. The scenario:

-Ultra classic, pioneering route (possible candidate for the first 5.11 in the nation)
-hard boulder problem start, protected by a pin, with a terrible landing. Most people stick clip it, although the FA did not.
-after the hard start, 70 more feet of beautiful, g-rated, 10+ crack climbing
-the pin's placements are gradually deteriorating, granite crystals gradually sloughing away. Every few years, someone replaces the rusty pin, but it is getting worse. I know this because last time I stick-clipped it, the pin wiggled a bit, then fell out when I pulled on my rope.

So, here's the question: for instances like this, with gradually deteriorating pin placements on free climbs, should we just put a bolt in next to the pin, and be good for several decades? Wouldn't this actually give everyone a "preservation of the experience of the FA," since FAs KNEW that their pins were bomber? Or do we keep using pins, or let it fall into being an R-rated route?
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Re: Have you ever placed a pin?

Post by dustonian » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:31 pm

The pin fell out when you pulled the rope huh? Yikes :? Did you replace it? That's the big question, what to do on those free routes that become popular but have an obviously unsustainable piton like this one. Jim Titt at Bolt Products (Germany) was making a stainless steel piton for a while that could be a good solution... but I think he discontinued it. What size piton? Knifeblade or more Lost Arrow width? Maybe a wider pin is in order or is the rock just not holding up to repeated falls? Sounds like choss! ;)

In the end, I think it's a question best taken up by the local climbing community in that area... some sort of consensus would be ideal on whether or not to give up on the pin and just place a bolt. There is no nut or hybrid alien placement possible where the pin was? My personal feeling is if the pin has failed multiple times over the years and there's no other options available for pro, just give up on it and put a bolt nearby... but that's just me. I'd even consider a little sand-colored epoxy (Hilti RE150) to protect the pin placement in its current form and the history and "spicy" flavor of the original route... this would be ideal with the stainless steel pins. Of course, I know some people would disagree.

Just curious... which route is this & where is it? It sounds familiar for some reason...

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