Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Trip Report: Truther Routes

In climbing, the first ascensionist has always named the routes. Sometimes you end up with fitting names, Day Tripping at Red River Gorge for the tallest route or Crack Attack for a pure splitter crack. Sometimes you end up with funny names, like No Brain, No Pain or Yu Stin Ki Pu.

Then there's what I've started calling the Truther Wall.  I've also heard it called the conspiracy wall.  It's a small section of Secret Garden at Miller Fork. These route names are by far the worst I've ever heard of - four routes with website names like patriotsquestion911.com or Rememberbuilding7.org.

It's propaganda..at the climbing wall. And it makes me ask: how much ownership should a first  ascensionist really have over their routes? Sure you added some bolts, cleaned off lichen and hopefully trundled loose rock. But the route and the rock weren't created by the first ascensionist.  The route was always there, waiting to be found.

What makes matters worse about these particular routes is that not only are they terribly named, they're horribly bolted. The first ascensionist appears to have added bolts on rappel without any concern for where the holds or moves are.  Fortunately, someone added a bolt to Truther #1 to prevent you from hitting the ground if you fall, but the holds on Truther #4 don't even follow the bolt line. If you try that path you will fall. Instead, you have to traverse way far to the right then move back towards the holds. A slightly shifted bolt would have made the route safer and more logical.

What do you think? What rights should the first person to climb a route really have?

No comments: