Thursday, February 4, 2010

This is what happens to sponsorship money.

It is my experience with sponsored climbers that they do not respect other people's money, time or property. They are happy to blow it or drill it away. They get speeding fines in your vehicle you lent them and they don’t pay, they use and abuse and lose your gear and don’t make good. They give back chopped ropes. They abuse your hospitality and your telephone and leave your place a mess. They feel entitled and life owes them something. Etc etc. They give nothing in return, although sometimes, if you are lucky, you get a thank you.

Sponsored climbers are banned from my house as guests.

Spot the bolt next to bomber gear!
So Joe Mohle and I were at Yellowwood yesterday and we climbed Your Mother His Face first 5 pitches to the halfway ledge.

The Germans claimed they placed 6 bolts and a few pegs on their route “Your Mother His Face’’. ‘’We used only 6 bolts on 9 pitches, because of our style, the TraSchlaBo-style (that means Trad-Piton-Bolt). At the belays there are always one bolt and one piton/cam or rock’’.

There were 13 bolts on the 5 pitches and 10 bolts at the stances up the halfway ledge. Total 23 bolts on the first half of the route. There were 4 pegs of which 1 was loose and therefore dangerous. At least 3 bolts were at the same level of bomber trad gear. Most of the bolts were 8mm! I counted a total of 3 that I considered were appropriate as fixed gear and that I may have placed in a similar situation although I would have left fixed nuts instead with slings or whatever. No bolts were glue-ins. So we have 8mm expansion bolts on YW!!!

No bolt is absolutely essential to save you from a deck fall or anything that may seriously injure you.

Joe in fact took a long fall off a tricky move onto two smallest aliens that I placed but I had backed off the move. The earlier bolt was completely unnecessary with two good cams just below and an RP3 (bomber) at the same level. You do a simple but very reachy crank to a jug with the bolt above your waist.

I know several British trad climbers that are capable of climbing that route without any fixed pro at all and I reckon even Clinton would do it as would several South African climbers in the past. Armageddon direct is bolder than any pitch on that route. They should have climbed that first!

Their route to the halfway ledge has some excellent climbing but so does every route at YW. There must be 20 unclimbed lines at YW. Their route does not follow any particular line and involves a lot of slab climbing in-between natural lines. It is what I would call an eliminate – a route you squeeze in once everything else has been done.

The grades of the first 5 pitches are – I think – 23, 24, 25/6 25/6 19. Joe freed all the moves. I lost interest after the 2nd pitch.

I found lots of shit and toilet paper completely exposed within 5 metres of the start of their route and just 3 m from the base of the wall. I know which South Africans have been there in the last 2 months and it isn’t them.

The climbers from Germany have lied in the media about their TRAPIBO. They placed a lot more bolts than stated in writing and many are completely unnecessary. Maybe the Dark Side name of their other route has something in it…

The question still has not been answered. Did they show any respect to the area, its ethics, its routes, its history and the previous ascentionists by doing any of the existing routes? If not, then I have no interest in them as climbers. They are just the same scumbags as everyone else that’s on the take pretending to be nice so they can get more of other peoples’ money to aggrandize themselves…

The German guys heard that they could take a drill to YW.

I am making it loud and clear that what they did is not acceptable. They can drill their own country…

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Hi Snort,

Ant Hall and I were at Yellowood two weeks ago. We climbed the first half of Armageddon on the 1st day and on the second day the truly extraordinary new route, Firestart (22/23), recently opened by Rob Zipplies and Malcolm Gowans on the Chess Pieces.

Ant and I struggled on Armageddon (we always do!). Slightly off route on the second pitch we encountered some of the bolts you mentioned at the stances. I completely echo your sentiments, they are completely out of place and unnecessary, and for me ruined the feel of the rock. Even worse to hear about the mess near the start of the route. There are also the bolts you placed for the rap-route from the top. We had the description you wrote somewhere about how to tackle that descent, but were weary of doing so given your caution about the raps being longer than 60 meters. Do you have any plans to rectify the situation?

Personally I fail to understand why these guys who are clearly competent climbers did what they did. Yellowwood itself is awesome with more (very challenging) trad potential, AND there are heaps of beautiful unclimbed faces with abundant trad gear just around the corner on the Chess Pieces. Nothing would have stopped them from making the same mess there too!

Go for it, take the bolts out! Happy to support in whatever way possible