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Topic split - chasing a spectre (Read 38539 times)

JackPal

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#125 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 05, 2019, 10:43:57 pm
Chaz Cooper hasn't logged Nik's Wall on UKC. Logbook below. Just wondering where the claim comes from.
https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/showlog.php?id=183631

Heís logged it on 8a. Along with an 8B slab somewhere else and The Ace, add him to the 8B list I say! Looks strong on those bridges on Twitter!  ;)

Mr E S Capegoat

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#126 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 06:56:06 am
Some serious action in that logbook. It just goes to show how these wads can often be operating under the radar and out of sight of the Sheffield mafia. 2nd ascent of Nikís wall. Nice

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#127 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 09:06:40 am
Sharkle, from the blog pile a while ago:

Crocker used to be a bit of a hero of mine for his exploration and productivity. The more I read into it and read between the lines, the more I realise that Crocker is a very specific character - let's a say a Gibson-style obsessive but actually doing good quality routes. Crocker does what Crocker wants, sometimes that coincides with producing great routes for others to repeat, sometimes it produces stuff that is....somewhat less feasible. His Rhinnog output is very much in that line, lots of stuff done for getting first ascents that suited him at the time, which often provide a quite different experience on repeating (often good and sometimes easier, sometimes not). Another example is his exhortation that fixed gear has been only used as a last resort there - but he's littered The Silver Screen at Bodlyn with multiple pegs on all his E6s, at the same time filling the area with E2-5 solos that are comfortable for him but could have been much better leads with a peg.... He is very definitely a beast though.


Good effort as always on your exploration of the lesser-know corners of Wales but have to disagree with your, stereotypical, comment about Gibson's contribution. Both Gibson and Crocker have produced a great many very shit routes. Both Gibson and Crocker have produced a great many very good routes. Perhaps climbing on bolts more than you I see Gibson's routes more than you do. There's undoubted snobbery in climbing when it comes to views on Gibson as he doesn't fit the mold- a good thing. But when it comes down to it I think littering your first ascents with pegs because you're obsessed is no better style than bolting routes that shouldn't have been bolted because you're obsessed. From an obsessive FA'er.

thence

Hey Pete. Yeah fair enough that comment was quite trite. Although I climb a fair bit in Peak Lime quarries so I do appreciate the full spectrum and variety of Gibbo's creations! And that includes ones that are genuinely good and I respect him for developing - so no I'm not a stereotypical GG-dismisser.

But I do think they are both very specific - and arguably fairly demented - characters who simultaneously contribute a vast amount to climbing (MC via diverse and hardcore hidden gems, GG via very extensive consumer-friendly climbing) but also have some shortcomings due to their relentless obsessions (MC via wanting total control over his crags and not getting how routes will be for others, GG by bolting endless choss to make up the numbers).

I'd say though, that the average quality of MC's output is higher - but then again not necessarily as useful to the average climber. 30 3-hollow-star E4-7s on Cadair Idris verse 30 zero-to-1 start F6a-bs in some Wirksworth chosshole

  :devangel:

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#128 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 09:16:23 am
In response to T_B, GG has made some decent additions to Western Grit. And a massive contribution to UK climbing in general.

This gets trotted out regularly but is it particularly true?

A first ascent is getting there first to a route. It doesnít mean that it wouldnít be done at all. Gibson often got there first by dint of bolting, chipping or sometimes just cleaning and claiming without climbing. The good lines would have been done at some point.

I accept that no one would have developed the mid grade routes in crappy quarries in the manner and quantity that has but I donít accept that this qualifies as a massive contribution to UK climbing in general especially when set against the tactics he has deployed at better crags.

Come on shark. In the context of this thread this is such a cheap shot. You've placed a few bolts in your time so you must have an appreciation of the time, effort and cash involved in putting up new routes. While his tactics have certainly been questionable at times it really pales in comparison to the end result: hundreds of amazing routes, thousands of ok routes (horseshoe and masson lees must be some of the most traveled limestone in the peak these days) and a few hundred very dodgy routes.

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#129 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 09:37:19 am
Chaz Cooper hasn't logged Nik's Wall on UKC. Logbook below. Just wondering where the claim comes from.
https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/showlog.php?id=183631

Heís logged it on 8a. Along with an 8B slab somewhere else and The Ace, add him to the 8B list I say! Looks strong on those bridges on Twitter!  ;)
Ahh ok. A quick look at the three 8A.nu profiles which I think are related and none of the ascents logged (only checked a few) match those in the UKC log book which I think is related.

Anyway that's my logbook stalking for the year done.....

Get yersen on Nik's Wall Jack.  :)

shark

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#130 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 09:53:03 am
Come on shark. In the context of this thread this is such a cheap shot. You've placed a few bolts in your time so you must have an appreciation of the time, effort and cash involved in putting up new routes. While his tactics have certainly been questionable at times it really pales in comparison to the end result: hundreds of amazing routes, thousands of ok routes (horseshoe and masson lees must be some of the most traveled limestone in the peak these days) and a few hundred very dodgy routes.

Come on, nothing. No doubting the effort - Iím questioning the ďmassive contributionĒ -especially when offsetting the good results with the bad tactics and behaviour. Personal view and it seems a minority one these days.

Re expense he says himself he was primarily driven by a kleptomaniac zeal rather than benevolence. Itís not a charitable urge and his choice. That others repeat the routes is secondary. He caused a lot of collateral damage in pursuit of his own goals.

As I keep saying the good routes would have been done at some point - he just got there first.

From my perspective his main contribution was to establish a place for bolted routes on Peak limestone with the Clarion Call showdown. As for the rest you know my opinion.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 10:03:41 am by shark »

duncan

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#131 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 09:54:18 am
Gibson has bolted a heroic amount of crap middle grade sport routes and some good ones. I can see how many people think this is a service to the climbing community even though I couldn't give a shit if Masson Lees was blown up tomorrow.

I have no idea why climbing new trad. routes is considered is any way altruistic or a contribution to climbing. The few I did were motivated by getting my name in the guidebook and, ideally, the opportunity of stealing a march on my friends!

Very occasionally new trad. routes involve creativity in the choice of line (The Moon or Dream of White Horses, for example) but these are rare and prized exceptions and I canít think of any obvious examples from Gibsonís portfolio. The three main contributions a trad. first ascensionist can make are cleaning, fixing gear, and choosing a name. If new routes involve a lot of cleaning they often shouldnít be climbed at all. If they require a lot of fixed gear they should be left for someone who can manage without. Gibson has coined some good names but with nothing like the consistency of, say, Pat Littlejohn or Bonjoy. Ships That Pass In The Night isnít a great route because of the act of climbing it, itís great because itís a fine piece of rock and the name somewhat compensates for the questionable peg. 

petejh

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#132 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 10:06:47 am
Shark's well known for his views on Gibson, I'd understand if he's biased after having one of GG's bolts pull out on him. The 'it would have been done anyway' logic really doesn't hold up. Certainly not for bolted routes but I think also for trad. Even these days with bolt fund equipment readily available in many areas and widespread knowledge on how to correctly place bolts, still hardly anyone goes out looking for new routes to bolt. Admittedly there aren't that many newies left to do but Robins proves the point well with his 'Under Your Nose' - a very decent 1 star 8a+ literally 5 seconds approach from Marine Drive that was done this week. I bolted up three very cool newies this year in n.wales and a lot more elsewhere and they were lines that anyone could have done at any point in the last 30 years. The number of people actively bolting new-routes in n.wales can be counted on the intact fingers of one Caldwell hand.
Maybe its different in the peak but in North Wales hardly anyone I know has ever bolted a route, or maybe one or two routes at most. To say 'they would have been done anyway' might be true if 'been done anyway' means eventually done at some point in the next 40 years - but that's not much use to us who enjoy climbing now.
Trad's a similar story - you need the eye for a new line and the motivation to not go out and repeat a known quantity but to explore the unknown. To say they'd be done anyway is a load of bollocks and dismissive of the people who do bother to do what others can't be bothered to or don't have the eye for.

Mr E S Capegoat

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#133 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 10:19:25 am
Look chaps, Dan was very kind to come back on here and sort out fact from fiction re Gaskins. I wonder if we could separate out all the other Ďdrossí into some sort of Gibson vs Ukb admin thread as per Duncanís original suggestion. This might help clear the wheat from the chaff

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#134 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 10:24:37 am
What Pete said.

Shark, I hope I didn't come across as suggesting Gary's contribution is charitable or altruistic. There's no doubt in my mind he does it because he likes doing new routes and getting his name in the guidebook. However when 99% of climbers only repeat routes other people have put up then taking the time and effort to open up new lines is a contribution to climbing.

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#135 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 10:31:55 am
Gibson has coined some good names but with nothing like the consistency of, say, Pat Littlejohn or Bonjoy
:o :w00t: :lol:

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#136 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 12:54:11 pm
Gibson has coined some good names

Theyíre mostly Stranglers song arenít they? Eat, Drink and Beat Gary has always amused me though. Smear or Disappear too. I wasnít surprised to hear on Grimerís podcast that he talks almost entirely in well-worn dad-joke clichťs- thereís that kind of vibe to his route names. Thereís a review of his book on the other channel at the moment in which the reviewer seems to think that Gibson is the first to use some of them...

Iíd love to see the full list of his first ascents (arenít there like 4000 of them?!  :blink: ) so we could get a good idea of what percentage are any good etc. It seems like an unfathomable number to me.

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#137 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 12:57:06 pm
Chaz Cooper hasn't logged Nik's Wall on UKC. Logbook below. Just wondering where the claim comes from.
https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/showlog.php?id=183631

Heís logged it on 8a. Along with an 8B slab somewhere else and The Ace, add him to the 8B list I say! Looks strong on those bridges on Twitter!  ;)
Ahh ok. A quick look at the three 8A.nu profiles which I think are related and none of the ascents logged (only checked a few) match those in the UKC log book which I think is related.

Anyway that's my logbook stalking for the year done.....

Get yersen on Nik's Wall Jack.  :)

I think relating CCís UkC logbook to his twitter feed might be instructive.

Or not..

andy popp

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#138 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 01:06:18 pm
I climbed with Gary quite a bit after I moved to Stoke in 1982. He was remarkably good fun to be at the crag with, despite the enormous levels of drive. I don't think I ever had a bad day out with him (OK, maybe that time I burnt him off). Certainly there were false claims but sometimes doubts seem to have arisen purely because he didn't get much respect as a climber, but he was bloody handy. People shouldn't forget that.

Overall, in terms of his contribution, the good far outweighs the bad in my opinion. And then there is very considerable service to both his profession and to trade unionism; its pretty remarkable (and Hazel must be a saint).

nai

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#139 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 01:43:02 pm

I think relating CCís UkC logbook to his twitter feed might be instructive.

Or not..

He had a hell of a day at the Tor recently a few days after the floods.

Will Hunt

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#140 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 01:47:59 pm
The only comment I can really add to this is that the true value of Gary's huge volume of easy routes is never going to be recognised on this forum, whose contributors are almost exclusively able to climb at much higher grades.

It's very easy to look down from the Catwalk and the Tor and pronounce everything else to be shit, but the vast, overwhelming majority of climbers are never going to be able to climb there. To that majority, Gary's routes (and indeed those similar contributions from other developers in Yorkshire and elsewhere) have given many many thousands of happy days idle clipping.
That's not to say that the development has always been the best (routes squeezed in making everything feel eliminate etc), but without their efforts sport climbing in the lower, everyday grades would be almost non-existent.

nai

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#141 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 02:00:23 pm
I was just (boredly) musing on that, Will.
Either folk are happy to climb gade 5/6ish (<=E3) routes and by developing all these areas and providing convenient sport routes for them he's killed off the trad that they'd otherwise do.
Or folk want to sport climb and by providing easier routes he has supressed their development by allowing them to potter along whereas otherwise they'd have to push themselves into the 7s and beyond.

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#142 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 02:04:30 pm
I don't agree that new routers aren't motivated by altruism. For sure it's largely a personal game just like standard repeat climbing but there is definitely also a large element of wanting to find things that other people will have a great experience on. You can argue that this is so the FAer can feel good about them-self, but this is an argument against altruism per se and can be applied to any act that benefits someone else. Does an interaction have to be zero sum for it to count as  altruistic  :shrug: ?
It may be correct to say that most of Gary's routes would have been climbed by someone else eventually, but this may have been many years later. Perhaps GG's greatest legacy will be all the foot-in-the-door access on crags which would not have been achieved if the crag had been developed many years later by less bold (in the sense of risking getting into trouble off the landowner) developers. Producing facts (bolts and climbers) on the ground at a time before crag (particularly quarry) owners got full-on risk averse is surely a major achievement.

Will Hunt

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#143 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 02:21:26 pm
I was just (boredly) musing on that, Will.
Either folk are happy to climb gade 5/6ish (<=E3) routes and by developing all these areas and providing convenient sport routes for them he's killed off the trad that they'd otherwise do.
Or folk want to sport climb and by providing easier routes he has supressed their development by allowing them to potter along whereas otherwise they'd have to push themselves into the 7s and beyond.

I think this post makes two assumptions that are incorrect.

1. Trad and sport are interchangeable and the people who are climbing 4s and 5s and low 6s would be just as happy doing trad up to E3 or whatever.
This isn't right. Some days people want to go trad, some days they want to clip bolts. They're completely different days out. Some people only want to do trad, some people only want to clip bolts.

2. In the absence of easy routes people will push themselves to climb harder.
This is wrong in so many ways. First of all, people on this forum are complete freaks in the obsession that they have with getting better. To the point where most people posting here would be regarded as having some sort of obsessional mental disorder by the rest of society. Lots of climbers will aspire to get a bit better, but this extends only as far as pushing themselves a little beyond their comfort zone each time they go to the crag and calling their weekly trip to the wall "training" instead of "pissing about at the wall". I think the majority of people, faced with a lack of routes in the low grades, would just do something else. A few would try a bit harder.
Not all people can get better. Some people are just shit or aren't that bothered or have come to climbing so late that it's very hard to get better. Does that mean that they should necessarily fall out of climbing? I mean, there's no obligation to go and put up a load of new routes for them, but since it's happened I certainly don't think those people have been harmed by it. How many people on this forum came to climbing in their late 30s or their 40s. Or even just after having children. Most of us here are above average, but the only reason that I fit into that category is because I got into climbing properly when I was 16 and could go to the local crag after school and each day at the weekend. Then I went to uni and sunk hours and hours and hours into going climbing or talking about climbing or thinking about climbing. So I was getting loads of practice in. How long would it take to put in that same level of practice if I got into climbing now and could just about squeak a night at the wall once a week and a day out at the weekend somewhere local if the weather is good. For that sort of climber, the french 7s are pretty hard to achieve.


Without wanting to be mean or to read too much into your post, Nai, its tone is exemplary of the point I was making. People posting on this forum do so from a position of such superiority and (ugh!) privilege that they are incapable of seeing the value in these "shit, easy routes".

Mr E S Capegoat

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#144 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 02:53:39 pm
Hang on a minute. Canít believe you care so much about punters Will. Garyís routes provide a great place to go when death anxiety takes over and we choose to hang up our racks. I predict spending half my retirement at Harpur Hill and the other half gardening.

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#145 Re: Topic split - chasing a spectre
December 06, 2019, 02:56:11 pm
Will: 🎣

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