There's good news and bad news.
The good news is that I really appreciate that you removed all those scraggly 'trees' growing out of the left side of the pinnacle. They were not there in 1965, and look terrible in the photo. They must have been awkward to climb around in recent years, and they really spoiled the nice clean sword-like appearance of the pinnacle. So thanks for doing that.
The bad news is that Glenn and I [and others] have discussed the protection bolt which you placed, and have decided that it is not needed. I am very surprised that you did not contact either of us prior to placing it, as you could have done so quite easily. Also, up thread you discuss contacting some long-lost relative of Dick Willmott about placing a bolt on Clean Corner, but you did not bother to contact us. Something does not add up here. You claim that anyone who does not like this unfortunate bolt can chop it. Glenn and I both want it chopped, but have no intention of doing so personally. YOU placed it, so either YOU or one of your friends should chop it. Simple enough. Please post up on this thread when this has been done.
You also mention that you added a bolted station, [hmmmmm] and are worried about a factor 2 fall. No problem here as YPLS is an "old school" route, and the rule for these is "the leader never falls". Problem solved. Also, protection without the bolt should not be a problem. The biggest piece which we carried was a 1" soft steel ring angle, so today's climbers with a full set of nuts and cams up to #5 will have no problem getting in lots of gear.
Another old school route is Cemetery Gates in Llanberris, North Wales. The 1961 guidebook has this to say about it, "Pitons are nowhere necessary, and leaders who think otherwise should turn their attention elsewhere." Substitute bolts for pitons and you have the situation on YPLS.
Thanks in advance for removing the offending bolt.
Regards, Hamish Mutch.
As for clean corner, I havn't been there in a while so if somebody bolted it don't look at me! I do recall some sketchy stump that is fully the crux 20 or so uninterupted feet above the belay so if you ask me, if that is indeed the case a bolt to replace the now useless stump sounds good. Same story up on the Tantalus headwall. Anyway, thats my opinion. I'm fully in favor of consensus so if most everyone else thinks otherwise fine with me. I'd love to hear the rationale however.
As for left side of YOS pinnacle that thing is still a streak of mud so i won't be up there for a while but when i do i'll bring my hammer, punch and hole putty to restore it. No offense meant on my part.
In 1967 I wrote:
Although I was unaware of the comment on Cemetery Gates (quoted by Hamish), my last sentence is similar in sentiment.A few comments on bolts seem to be called for... Most Vancouver climbers strongly dislike bolts and will go to great lengths to avoid placing them. All climbers are asked to restrain themselves from placing bolts on established routes and to use discretion when bolting on new routes. The neglect of this custom has resulted in the over-bolting of several otherwise excellent reoutes. All climbs described in this guide are adequately bolted. The climber who feels that he must place a bolt on an established route is definitely climbing beyond his ability.
Today I'd modify my comments to allow for new bolts on climbs that are now done free: a good example seems to be the old aid route Forked Flume, now rvamped, cleaned and bolt-protected into Skywalker (anybody care to haul me up it ?? - it sounds great).
But I don't certainly don't condone bolts on Banana Peel (on the first ascent, by a young and bold Dan Tate, only a single piton was placed), on Granville Street, Clean Corner, or YPLS.
Thanks for your prompt and positive response.
What is the explanation for the 'streak of mud' which you refer to?
Great writing back in 1967.
"Tree for a bolt seems fair to me". Is that a riddle?
I'm glad to hear that seasoned Squamish climbers approve of the work I did, and how I did it.Today I'd modify my comments to allow for new bolts on climbs that are now done free: a good example seems to be the old aid route Forked Flume, now rvamped, cleaned and bolt-protected into Skywalker
Just thought I'd chime in to clarify exactly what took place on Forked Flume.
- I had permission from Dick Culbert to add bolts as I saw fit.
- I did add bolted belays where there had previously been trees, heather, and dirt.
- I added just one protection bolt to the two Forked Flume pitches. The bolt is at a spot where there had been significant vegetation nearby and was now amidst a new run-out. A fixed piton had resided on this pitch (at a different location). I removed the piton and gave it to Dick's son for nostalgic purposes.
- Pitch 1 has 2 protection bolts; pitch 5 has 4. Neither of these pitches were on the original Forked Flume route.
It would be an honour!(anybody care to haul me up it ?? - it sounds great).
Another Matt, I appreciate both your effort to explain your opinion and your concern for maintaining historical context of our routes and would like to add that I am of the same mind. If anyone is interpreting my words otherwise i'd like to say that too much is being read into it. History is a big deal to me and honoring our pioneers should be a value we maintain. Iconic routes in particular should be preserved in their original state as much as possible. Snake and Merci Me are good examples of how to this day few can wrestle with them without considering the historical context of the first ascent.
I would caution against entrenching such value in dogma however. Getting back to Clean Corner and Tantalus Wall, I'd like to state that both routes are iconic to our history and preserving the representative nature of the climbing should be high on the list. I'd like to point out that historically it appears that a deciduous tree existed at the base of the crack for many years, which offered slung protection and something to monkey up. This has since died and is effectively no more. In other words, the current state of unprotected hard groveling 20 feet above the belay has no historical validity.
Even if it did, is such a situation justified? On Merci Me if you blow it before the first clip you'll mangle your legs on the ledge but you won't factor 2 onto the belay, and the climbing is positive edges not barndoor groveling up some chossy rounded wide thing. Ugly, ledge bouncing, high force falls twenty feet off the belay are nothing to scoff at and I suggest that a reason to justify it had better be a bloody good one. In both cases I suspect a very few might grumble at the sight of a little bit of stainless steel but they'll sure as hell clip it and then quickly forget all about it as they deal with the remaining 40 odd meters of full on old school climbing where they can think about the historical context to their hearts content.
I'd like to point out that squamish has a history of retro bolting on iconic routes already, largely for significant safety concerns. El Indio, Horrors of Ivan, and a handful of Pet Wall routes routes come to mind. Each situation is unique and shouldn't be constrained by rigid dogma in determining the right course of action. I would be among the first to suggest that the decision to do so should come after much thought and consultation, which this forum is in a perfect position to serve.
I for one feel this would be better served if opinion served up in cryptic four word sentences was accompanied by a paragraph or two of justification.
I'm all for keeping the history and character if the fa intact, I consider routes like snake and merci me spicy, and fun. In this case though it sounds like a necessary piece of the route is now missing so maybe it requires thinking about alternate protection?
IMHO if discussion is not pursued, decisions will be made.
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