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Forum: GLOBAL / News / First Anchors and extensions Login in to contribute
First Anchors and extensions
OffLine 8a.nu
  2008-12-11 00:00:00    
8a would like to hear your opinions regarding suggesting more first anchors and grades on easier routes. Over the years, it has become more popular to give one route two or even three grades depending on how high you are climbing. Normally, this happens on the high end routes, i.e. a 25 metres 8c route might have an 8a anchor midway. 8a (this means the company) think this is something that could be used also for easier routes, i.e. a 25 meter 7c route might be a superb 7a to the ninth quickdraw. This would increase the number of routes. What do you think?/Jens
OffLine Dav3
  2008-12-11 08:53:10    
OnLine Marco Troussier
  2008-12-11 09:23:13    
Anchor only on natural rest! No anchor mid way. What about anchor half a 5+? to have a 4-?
OffLine Foué Chop
  2008-12-11 09:47:59    
Stupid idea...
OffLine Jurriaan Zwier
  2008-12-11 10:22:45    
come on, it is for the first ascentionist to determine the length of the route not 8a.nu. This is one of the basic traditions in climbing and it should stay that way!
OffLine Peter Yakubenko
  2008-12-11 10:44:27    
@Jurriaan Zwier. I hope Jens was asking about new routes he puts up, not about mass-adding of extra anchors to all existing routes. Then, he will be the FA and may add whatever, even a ladder, right? @Jens. In some, rather few cases this idea can be not that stupid as it might sound first. Like a 8c route which consists of  20m of 6a climbing and then a 8A+ boulder at the top would be most probably a bad kind of 8c. I think an ok solution is to use a single hanger with a ring rather than to build up a full scale anchor. And then let the climbers and time decide whether or not this should be considered as a route of its own.
OffLine Chris Shulz
  2008-12-11 11:20:54    
Another week and another bad idea from 8a.nu. Although it would be very fun to grade English  this way. You could think the flake on Parthian Shot "the midway anchor". Then it is E9/6c-E5/6a??  I don't know, because I haven't tried it, but I think that 8a.nu could make the grade for us.
OffLine Jonas Johnsson
  2008-12-11 11:50:19    
Very good idea! I like to climb as much as possible and I don't like to travel a lot. So if parts of routes that's too hard nerby would be climbable I would of course be happy. I would have more routes to climb.
OffLine solidchris
  2008-12-11 11:50:33    
The idea is relative good but I think it just depends on the route.You know the charachter and the Grade witch is then established.But also have to keep in mind that when the route gets more easier the more it gets climbed and as a fact it gets more polished by the time.
OffLine Mr.k
  2008-12-11 11:51:39    
What are you talking about???
May be you should keep more busy...
so to don't to think too much.
Sorry but this time 8a have passed himself.
OffLine cristl egg
  2008-12-11 11:52:19    
you must be bored...
OffLine Alon Gurman
  2008-12-11 11:59:37    
Great Idea!
To all the the negative people out there-
obviously no one is going to put midway anchors on a 5 and probably wont put midway anchors on super sustainedvery short 8a with no rest.
I think the idea is great and will help alot when projects with a very hardunclimbmable section never get climbed and become a waste of a line.
OffLine Mr.k
  2008-12-11 12:00:02    
No really..
suppose that I'm trying a 40 m route,
During the attempts people could give a grade at only single progress.
I explain:
monday, fallen at the 3°, ok I haven't done the route but I did a 7a yesss
thousday, fallen at the 5°, ok I haven't done the route but I have done a 7c ohh yessss
and so more...
OffLine solidchris
  2008-12-11 12:13:12    
Ok Mr. k you know the difference between an anchor and a quickdraw, do you?
OffLine Mr.k
  2008-12-11 12:19:37    
Sure that I know the difference.
But think what could happen if all were allowed to put an achor in every place where a route change his difficulty.....
We will have a chain every two or three bolts
OffLine solidchris
  2008-12-11 12:29:22    
As i said before: It depends on the route. Imagine: There is an Route witch is going up 30m.The last 10m is climbing an massive overhang.The full route is lets say 7c or 8a the route witch is ending by the start of the overhang is 7a or 7b, than i would say its cool and ok. I understand you when you say too much splitting isn´t worth or necessary! It´s simply not for every route and i don´t think that more than two anchors in one route is necessary neither! bdw not everybody wants to drill anchors.most climbers enjoy climbing and will never ever bolt a route.So don´t be scared!
OffLine Peter Huchmensky
  2008-12-11 12:37:19    
"ban jens from 8a" (the company) thinks this is another very stupid idea, and things like this should not be posted on the news/front page, but in a normal forum thread.
OffLine Mr.k
  2008-12-11 12:37:21    
I can tell you, because the concrete examples in my mind suggest that, here in sardinia the longest routes that offers this possibility usually have more than one chains at the end.
Is insane to think can do this fractionation in every single route only because his length offers this chanche.
OffLine solidchris
  2008-12-11 12:49:29    
dude i won´t write it again so read it and keep it in mind next time you reply,ok? as i said before: IT DEPENDS ON THE ROUTE!!!!! It´s just not working for every route.Imgaine this: Two routes have the same start and they split after 3/4 up the wall.One goes to the right one to the left but it´s the same way they had before and exactly the same thing with two routes in one.Sometimes it´s just like that! A bad idea in my opinion is that if there is a 8a and its about 30m high the real hard moves beginn after 2/4 the way up it would be idiotic to make the first half a 6b or a 6b+ just to stablish a new route.Bdw this will work for every grade (example 7a full route, 5a half way up) I´m on your side but sometimes it makes sense specialy in the higher grades, i think!
OffLine kj
  2008-12-11 13:08:31    
I think putting more anchors on majority of routes would be a bad idea. I agree that it can/should be done in only few routes where the route really changes its difficulty and type (natural rests, change of features). Good examples are routes in Sperlonga (Grotta), 1 anchor just before the roof starts, and for examle 6b changes into 7c. How big should be a difference in difficulty? Probably the consensus on this can never be reached :) PS This would NOT increase nuber of routes. This would increase nuber of combinations. For me it's a big difference.
OffLine Mr.k
  2008-12-11 13:11:58    
ok man sorry!
that the force be with you
OffLine solidchris
  2008-12-11 13:15:15    
oh no Mr. k .....kinda breaks my heart reading this last reply.
OffLine Mr.k
  2008-12-11 13:37:06    
Today I'm not at work....

so, One last thing,
usually, I think all around the world, first the founder and second locals climbers puts mid way chains, in the longest routes that have quality requirements, upper explaned(right my friend??).
this thing is already happening.
So this question have a basic problem.
We must be careful, you can not give the chance to everybody to put a mid way chain.
OffLine solidchris
  2008-12-11 14:00:55    
At this point i totaly agree with you (my friend!!). But this was not the originaly topic. Such matters result from doing this splitting.There are even more problems: Just think about a route witch gets more accessible to all sort of climbers.Then the these routes get polished or even wors,maybe chipped. I think if you splitt a 7c+  into a 7a or 7b it is ok.Something like that. Not a 7c+ into a 6b+ and a 5a.....thats bad
OffLine Matthew Redyns
  2008-12-11 15:37:53    
STUPID!!!! why not just get strong enough to actually climb the route.  isn't the whole game about progression? ps.  8a, as a company, should pay for all new anchors that they want to impose.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-11 16:06:58    
@ everyone who think the idea is stupid etc: Do you have the same opinion about all the hard core routes with two or three anchors in Britain, Spain, France etc? I guess there are at least 5 000 "stupid" routes in the world. My point is that there exist maybe only 100 routes with two grades on a 7a. I think that we do not have to put more bolts it is just to start suggesting grades on any challenge you would like to do and put it in the scorecard like Corps de etranger5 (just an exaple I do not know anything about) meaning to the fifth quickdraw. However, make sure that it is a natural ending, a big jug or no hands rest etc and that the route is at least 10 metres etc. In the long run, the topo producers can find good examples and them write about the new suggested variation in the guide book.
We use this system often around Göteborg and it makes me happy to invite my friends producing them a 6b challenge on the 7c I am doing.
OffLine Ben Iseman
  2008-12-11 16:29:20    
This is a great idea. There should be a set of anchors each time the grade increases and maybe even a new name for that section of the route. Since the anchors will separate easier sections they should have in situ draws to simplify lowering for people who do not have enough skill to bail properly. But seriously, this is a choice for the first ascentionist, not for people who only want to do a section of the route. Adding anchors to one route does not make two routes. That is absurd. I am ok with anchors that separate logical sections of a route with wildly varying difficutly but I do not think that we should accomodate 7b climbers on a 7c+. Nor should you be suggesting altering exisiting routes without the permission of the equipper because you have n00b friends that can't top out. I am glad that you are backtracking on adding more anchors and just suggesting publishing grade differences.
OffLine Darta
  2008-12-11 16:38:44    
I don't agree. Imagine the 8a database full of [route]5, [route]7, [route]9, and so on. What a mess! I would prefer the idea of eliminating every shorter route, so that if you don't climb a route up to the LAST anchor you haven't done ANYTHING! That would be fun!! Of course you could still climb the route for the fun of doing so, but you could not put it in the scorecard. We climb, we were born to make our lives more difficult, not the other way around! Try and see the fun of it! I hope most people on 8a don't need to add a route in their scorecards before going to sleep to be able to say that they have had a great day!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-11 17:01:00    
@ Ben: "I am glad that you are backtracking on adding more anchors and just suggesting publishing grade differences." I have the same opinion as I had from the beginning. "a 25 meter 7c route might be a superb 7a to the ninth quickdraw." @ Lorenzo: Why should the first anchor behaviour was excluded for the 8b climber?
OffLine Suq Madiq
  2008-12-11 17:03:10    
Do you consider ascents of the original Biographie legitimate, even though that anchor has been removed?
OffLine Ben Iseman
  2008-12-11 17:10:02    
jens in your first post you suggest adding more anchors in your above post " I
think that we do not have to put more bolts it is just to start
suggesting grades on any challenge you would like to do and put it in
the scorecard like Corps de etranger5 (just an exaple I do not know
anything about) meaning to the fifth quickdraw."
OffLine Dragos Fenesan
  2008-12-11 17:13:03    
Well I guess this is already happening, but it started the other way around, meaning: there are routes which were first bolted up to a certain height and difficulty and then more determined climbers came and extended the route higher and more difficult. People are recording their ascents for example as "Route X" L1 7c and after completing the extension records "Routes X" L1+L2 8a. And, yeah, I guess it's make sense to have an intermediate anchor at 2/3 or 3/4 of a >25meters route if the difficulty between the 1st and 2nd part is at least 3 steps on french grading scale BUT ONLY in crags with not so many routes and few changes of development newer routes. Thats because it gives to the people visiting the crag a little bit of more options to climb.
OffLine Daniel Hallgren
  2008-12-11 17:20:40    
Anyone can climb to the 9th quickdraw of a route and then lower off if she feels like it. Calling it an ascent or not is something between you and your ethical self. It might still be fun.

Of course, the ability to score points in certain games will increase, and maybe "the 8a game" becomes more interesting if you add these rules. But if you don't play this game and climb for other reasons, you don't really care (until people start up anchors all over the place, that is).

And I'm all for putting comments like "8c but great 7a to the 8th quickdraw" in the guidebooks, if it makes sense.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-11 17:23:20    
@ David: Are you talking about the 8c+ Biographie anchor, Yes sure it is a legitimate route.
@ Ben: I maybe was unclear but I for me " suggesting more first anchors and grades", does not mean bolting instead suggesting .
OffLine Peter Huchmensky
  2008-12-11 17:41:03    
Jens, this is insane. At first you tell Paul Robinson he should logbook-score his first ascent of the Mandala direct sit, because its not a new line and then you encourage people to call doing half a route an ascent. Its like doing the first move of the Mandala and calling it a nice V9. If people want to do a certain part of a route they should, but nobody needs your dumb suggestings on the front page. I'm all for people like the owners of the new company http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/ban-jens-from-8a who REALLY try to make 8a.nu a better place.
OffLine El MARTIN'
  2008-12-11 17:58:54    
Jens, you're losing your marbles.  You built a great site, now quit f-ing with it. 
OffLine Dustin Harris
  2008-12-11 18:14:08    
I set TONS of mid-route anchors! They're called Bail-Beeners ;)
OffLine Samuel Egli
  2008-12-11 19:04:12    
Not a good idea . Should only be done if there is a logical ledge or a massive increase in difficultiy. It would confuse to much. Secondly, i hate it when people go for a route that is far above their head. This will only encourage people to to this and look how far they get. Go the whole way or let it be.
OffLine Andreas Furuseth
  2008-12-11 19:36:41    
Great idea! but the route name should be the same, just as "Route half" or something. The way this is good is that there is probably many 8a routs that has a very nice 7a or b section in the start that stops people that cant climb 8a from trying it!
OffLine Odub
  2008-12-11 19:54:32    
This from the same people who told Paul Robinson that his ascent of the SDS direct Mandala didn't count for points because it was too close to the other lines he had done??
Seems a bit hypocritical.
Regardless, its up to the FA.  There are plenty of 6c's around... we don't need to start grading "sections" of routes.
OffLine Kyle Kirk
  2008-12-11 22:10:34    
Jeez man, I don't think I will ever understand you, look, you either do a route or you don't, bottom line, what sense does it make to get points if you didn't finish it? "Dude, I climbed La Rambla to the second draw, it was a bad ass 7a" Yes, there are many routes that have dual anchors, but much of that tradition was done in another era, and climbers in general have moved past that. If you bolt a line and can't do the whole thing it is a project. People putting up new lines in this day and age have for the most part become smarter about that and don't mar the rock by placing extra unnecessary bolts just because they couldn't finished the whole of a route. With regards to already established lines, no, those are established routes, they have a grade, and you either make it to the true anchors or not. If you can only make it to the 9th draw then you aren't strong enough to do the route, you don't get credit for doing half a route. I like someone's suggestion above, I'm going to start making a score card of all my incomplete routes, see where I can get in the rankings by putting in "Mandala SDS, but only did the first move, good V9" then I'm going to head to Spain "Ali-Hulk, only did the first few moves before I failed, nice 7a though" I'll build up a whole legacy never even finishing one complete route, just you wait and see my friend. I realize that most sport climbers have no reverence for the ground-up tradition any longer, they prefer to hangdog and work moves, but seriously, this is getting credit for your hangdogging, that's what it amounts to. You climb until you get shut down, but its okay because Jens is going to give you credit for it anyways. I seriously am contemplating making a scorecard of nothing but failures now, just to see where I could get in the rankings with it. Oh and since you like to compare climbing to other sports, let's see what this amounts to in other arenas. Let's take running, say you're running a 100m, even if you are the fastest runner by far at the 50m mark, if you stop and don't finish the race, you don't win, even if you were several seconds ahead at first, if you don't finish the race, you don't get credit. If you're running a marathon and only get to the 18 mile mark before you have to stop, it doesn't matter where you were in the pack, you still get no credit except a pat on the back saying "nice job, you ran 18 miles, but you still didn't do a marathon" Let's take cycling, doesn't matter if you make it 3/4 the way through the Tour de France, if you don't finish, you don't finish. With all these, sure someone can be like "hey, good effort" and only making it to the 9th draw on a route may really be a great effort for an individual, but at the end of the day, they still haven't succeeded, atleast in the way that 8a gives out points.
OffLine David Lacasse
  2008-12-11 22:13:08    
 Do you think it's good for the sport?
OffLine gianluca
  2008-12-12 00:27:58    
To me : Obvious rest and/or change in the route (ledge, roof start, etc) , already 20 meters from the ground at least = worth it. In every other situation, just making for annoying route polishing, without offering the lower end climbers any quality line...just awfully short unlogical bouldery stuff. ps good example, again : céuze. In many things, that place is a masterpiece of route equipement....vertical spacing between bolts, horizontal spacing between routes allowing very logic logic "path of least resistance" sequences with many small traverses, easyness of clipping,1st chains and extensions only where justifiable, etc...
OffLine Mike Bockino
  2008-12-12 02:42:18    
Shit, if we are going to start putting anchors in arbitrarily because we cannot/will not train hard enough to send a route, lets just chip the fucker down to our own personal level.  Maybe all of the climbing shops should start selling giant cordless drills along with training manuals.... this is something that the first acensionist decides, not someone who comes along and can't finish a route.  if you want to climb shorter routes, buy a drill and bolt your own shit, or put a biner on a bolt and lower off wherever you want to.  I myself am going to try and do "3 Bolt Realization" if I ever get over to Ceuse. 
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-12 08:18:32    
@ Odub: "This from the same people who told Paul Robinson that his ascent of the SDS direct Mandala didn't count for points because it was too close to the other lines he had done??" This is not true and Paul has changed his written story. Our conversation is in my mailbox and I simply asked him and he actually asked for my opinion. Realization, 9a or 9a+ is the perfect example of when the hardcore climbers put up a first anchor creating Biographie. I guess there has been hundreds of climbers who have have fun tried to do the 8c+. If there were no first anchor, the route would not have had a lot of traffic. Why can not the same thing be done on easier climbs.
OffLine grigri
  2008-12-12 10:32:52    
Another lame attempt to bump up traffic on the site! The only legitimate reason there should be second anchors is if the route is extremely steep and is impossible to clean otherwise. The idea of trying to create a new route out of the start of a harder route (say up to a change in angle) by adding anchors is just stupid. Routes should go to the top of the cliff or to a hands off rest. If this means climbing grade8 to get there then that is the grade of the route! What are you going to do? Start placing anchors half way up peoples routes so you can say you climbed them? There are enough routes of all grades for people to climb. Encouraging more traffic on a line in this manner at limestone crags is just condemming that route to become polished.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-12 11:39:59    
@ grigri: Do you think Biographie and all other routes in the world with two achors is stupid and that a Biographie ascent should not count as a route ascent?
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2008-12-12 12:04:40    
Biographie/Realisation is different.

Historically Biographie was climbed first, then the extension added to the top, Realisation. So anchors where Biographie ends are justified.

There are many examples of this. And it is an organic development by climbers. It happens naturally.

But then to say that lower anchors should be placed on established routes, in effect to open up more climbing, is quite wrong in my opinion.

If it was implemented, one of the negatives is that the easier bit to mid-height anchors would become popular and increase rock erosion - polish.

Do we want that on established 8c or whatever test pieces?

I think not.

Mick Ryan
OffLine Jure Franko
  2008-12-12 12:17:37    
I think biographie shouldn't be valid if the anchor was removed by the guy who bolted it. It's like that in slovenia. Only people who bolted/made an FA can do something with the route. I think it's lame, but there where a couple of routes that were chiped and after a while people find out that it can be climbed without that holds. So author came there and filled the drilled holes. The route change it's grade and were often projects for some while. I think the route still is 8c+ and it's famous, so many people will still do it. Anyway people who are sending these routes we are talking about so much doesn't seem to care about all these discousions, so it doesn't matter all that much. Don't put extra anchors on the routes that are already set, for the new ones it is up for the author to decide.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-12 12:23:15    
@ Michael: The FA of Biographie just placed an "anchor" as high up as he could on a much longer bolted route. No extension of bolts have been added, they were there in the first place. I am in favour of making it more fun for the not so good climbers as they can climb to the first 6c anchor on my 7c route. I think it is an egoistic act to say that they should stay on the already polished 6c routes. It is the same egoistic act as placing the bolts far apart on a 6c just because the 7c FA do not risk falling.
I guess this also come back to the origin reason why FA pit up routes. I do it mainly as I would like invite my friends and the community to have fun. But I have understood that most people put up FA because they want to do the challenge themselves.
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2008-12-12 12:45:41    
Best of luck Jens.

But I think you are pushing this too far.

Each climbing area is autonomous, you must respect that. They will decide what is done in their home areas.

You must also respect that we are all individuals with different abilities, ethics, and views.

We don't want some European Union (EU) directive saying how far bolts should be apart, or where anchors should be.

A bit like the EU saying how long a banana should be, and what angle the curve should be.

Respect the world climbing communities' diversity and our differences. That is what makes climbing great.

Don't try to conform us to a standard.

You have a lot of influence through 8a.nu. Use that power with humility and wisely.

Best regards,

Mick Ryan
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-12 12:52:33    
The idea is based on that more climbers, the average climbers, will have more fun.
Any climber can decide if they would like to climb to the ninth quickdraw calling it a 6c. What is wrong with that? I guess we are living in a free world and as you say we should not "conform us to a standard", saying that this is forbidden.
OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-12-12 13:06:20    
"Any climber can decide if they would like to climb to the ninth quickdraw calling it a 6c." Sure, but does that mean it's a legitimate route? If so, what is a route? Just because it's ok to do whatever you like, it doesn't mean it should be encouraged. Another example of this is eliminates. Sure, everyone is free to eliminate whatever, but to call it a new boulder problem or route and add it to your scorecard, is an entirely different thing. Hypothetically: If someone climbs Jumbo Love to the 15th bolt and this, again hypothetically, is 9a, should we report it as a 9a ascent?
OffLine Rumen Neshev
  2008-12-12 13:16:56    
Why we even have to restrict to climbing from the ground to the ninth quickdraw? We can start climbing from the 5th to the 10th quickdraw. Even you can just climb the boulder that separates B iographie from Realization and add it in the boulders scorecard.
OffLine Peter Yakubenko
  2008-12-12 13:39:47    
Now, many are saying that it's only the author/FA who has a right to add an anchor or a bolt to the route, but anyone else does not, not without asking the FA. I can understand that the author has a right to keep the project closed as long as he needs to make the FA, or to give up. Then the right to forbid any changes of the route (provided that the FA has been done by him). This is also understandable, even though the rule may be challenged in some particular cases, not that few actually, like when   the route protection is completely insufficient or inadequate.
  But why the author also gets a right to change the route any way he wants any moment in the future? Like the route has been climbed by hundreds, maybe also registered here at 8a.nu many times, and then the FA comes back and removes each other bolt because his level has increased a lot, or he just doesn't care any more. Or he might want to add a chain in the middle so that his new girlfriend can climb it as a route?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-12 13:49:14    
You can register whatever you want in the scorecard. However, in the cases of eliminations I personally would make it a "log-book/no score". I would also report it the same way if I reported going to the 5, 6, 7 etc carabiner if I wanted to keep a training log.
Many of the 8c+ and 9a ascents we continously report from Santa Linya are in fact first anchors ascents. If there was a ledge or a big rest on Jumbo Love, 30 metres up, I think we would have reported such an ascents as we also report ascents on Biographie.
In the 8a database, I guess there are probably some 500 first anchor ascents reported above 8a. Why is this excluded to the hard core climbers who can climb 100 times more routes than the 6b climber. The same story with bouldering. In the high end, there are plenty link-ups and variations on the high-end but the 6B boulder is only allowed to do the straight up line. Why do we have different ethics for the high-end and the average climbers? I do not think it is far!
OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-12-12 14:18:44    
Just because there are extensions, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing, and that it should be encouraged. I think a one-pitch route ideally starts on the ground and finishes at the top of the cliff. For various, most of the time legitimate, reasons this is often not the case. Sometimes the cliff is simply too high and you have to choose a suitable place to put an anchor, or you arrive at a big ledge or a no-hands rest. Fine, it's a natural finishing point to a route. To put up an anchor at your highpoint, just cause the full line is too difficult, as was the case with Biographie , I think is highly questionable. I don't know the character of the original routes and extensions at, for example, Santa Linya, so I'm not qualified to comment on those, but if they're made up of several independent pitches (as in no-hands, or at least full recover rest at chains), I've a hard time understanding how 8c+ followed by another 8c+ warrants 9a+. About fairness... Well, I don't think anything is fair in climbing. I wish I weighed 60 instead of 85kgs. I'm sure I'd be able to climb a lot harder, but hey, that's life.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-12 15:05:56    
I wish I was taller... Most of the routes in Santa Linya have two or three anchors. One route might have three anchors/grades: 8c, 8c+ and 9a+. There are big jugs and features all over the place so that is one reason that there are so many anchors. I am in favour of this. The only thing is that you do a 9a and then the next day the 9a+ extension I do not think that you should make the 9a as "log-book/no score". My general concern is why is it only allowed for the top-climbers to use first anchors?
OffLine Lluís Rovira Romeu
  2008-12-12 16:53:57    
And who says that you can't put two anchors in a route? its a stupid question, if someone wants to put three anchors in a 30m 7a is his/her problem and he/she will pay those anchors, so what's de matter?
OnLine Marco Troussier
  2008-12-12 19:07:49    
I put many "first anchors" in most of my routes in the "great wall" in Chateauvert/correns, because it's more convenient to lower down from a 40meter route (ther was not so much 80meter ropes at taht time). But now i feeel happy to do some 7B then to continue with some 7C. I can not imagine sombody doing it except me (the FA)
But it also exist long routes like "abus" route in gorges du Tarn (link of two or three existing rope lengh in one pusht). La "Rage de vivre" (one of the first 8B+ in France/Buoux) is a link of two routes, first La rose et le vampire (8B) then link with "la secte" 8A+.
OffLine Kyle Kirk
  2008-12-12 19:50:26    
the 8a database, I guess there are probably some 500 first anchor
ascents reported above 8a. Why is this excluded to the hard core
climbers who can climb 100 times more routes than the 6b climber. The
same story with bouldering. In the high end, there are plenty link-ups
and variations on the high-end but the 6B boulder is only allowed to do
the straight up line. Why do we have different ethics for the high-end
and the average climbers? I do not think it is far!" As is said before, this is an erroneous tradition that the top end has been doing for years, it doesn't make it right. A route finishes at the top of the cliff, there's no halfway mark. Why you've seen this tradition start is because the upper echelon of the climbing community has gotten too overzealous with their ambitions, and when they've failed they've gone and plugged in extra anchors and created arbitrary routes because they weren't strong enough to complete the entirity of the route. Once again, let's go back to Realization, this is a great example, the world's most famous example of this abused tradition. There is no distinction between Biography/Realization, there is only the route that goes from the bottom to the top. The only reason that "Biographie" exists is because climbers failed on the entirity of the route for so long that they put a midway anchor in to lower off from. I don't know if it was Jean-Christophe Lafaille, the route's bolter, or if Arnaud Petit, Biography's first ascentist, or someone else who put the anchor in, but it wasn't intended to create a second route. Over time though people adopted it as an independent route to the full line (Realization), but the fact of the matter is, there's not two routes there, there is one route, it goes to the top. The upper echelon of the climbing world is moving past this tradition, and in the future it is likely that all these 2nd, 3rd anchors will become relics of a different time, and I do not think that this is a tradition one should try to promote. Aim for progress, if you can't do the entirity of a route, keep trying, don't settle for having done "the 6a to the 9th draw" keep working on the full route. I see this suggestion as purely a de-evolution of the progress that has been made by the pioneers of the sport. I can only imagine how some of the late stone masters would be turning in their grave over this idea. It's a good thing that most of us don't take your suggestions too seriously Jens, this sport would be a sham if we did.
OffLine grigri
  2008-12-13 09:47:21    
@Jens, No I dont think climbing Biographie as an achievement is stupid, but placing anchors halfway on a route in order to claim an ascent is questionable from an ethical standpoint.
To clarify: I dont think existing routes should be altered by adding anchors in  order to artificially create a new easier route. Also as a general guideline we should try to create routes that go from the ground to the very top of the crag (or at least an identifiable rest). I thought the trend was toward longer pitches and purer lines, not even shorter half routes.
Obviously there are exceptions, crags such as St Linya are exceptionally steep. Having more anchors can only help with setting draws etc. Also those routes most likely 'grew' ground up. This is the case at our local Limestone venue, and I am glad the anchors are there as it gives me more I can climb. However this does not make the lines any prouder or more pure and it will lead to polish in time.
If you wish to add anchors to your own new route this is obviously your personal choice. You must decide if the enjoyment of your friends is more important to you than the integrity of your route. Even hard wearing Granite will polish over time.
Lastly, if we can record achievements up to a certain number bolt or links on a route, these should be reflected on the projects page not as part of the ranking as they do not constitute a complete ascent. Perhaps they can be used on the projects page as a way of showing progress until the project is ticked. Then and only then should the complete ascent be reflected on the scorecard. If we climb to existing halfway anchors and this easier shorter variation has already been named and graded then it may be recognised as an ascent.
OffLine Darta
  2008-12-13 23:42:47    
Also, this would encourage a lot of people to climb the first part of some hard routes, preventing the ones who could actually climb it from trying it, especially in some really crowded crags. And Michael Ryan made a good point saying that " Biographie/Realisation is different. Historically
Biographie was climbed first, then the extension added to the top,
Realisation. So anchors where Biographie ends are justified." Think about it.
OnLine Marco Troussier
  2008-12-14 10:50:19    
First, Bio was bolted as a single pitch by JC Lafaille. Then AP put an "intermediate" belay and create a  8C+. Then CS climb it in a single pitch. Now the belay does not exist any more.  Logic! That's the point. There is other routes in France (and elsewhere?) with "intermédiate"  bealy, because the route is too hard and wait somebody to climb it.
OnLine Rajko Zajc
  2008-12-14 12:51:46    
It's very good that hard routes has middle anchors, especialy in crags  where are mainly hard routes, because with these middle anchor increasing numbers of routes for warming up, or for not so good climbers. For example I did allmost all routes to the first anchor in Misja pec, and all are worth climbing! Puting new anchor into exsisting routes are stupid, puting middle anchors into new routes are positive, but it's on the author to decide.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-14 22:55:16    
Let us say we have a guy who puts up a sitstart boulder, given it an 8A. Everyone would think that you can also do the standstart, i.e. a separat grade station.
To put in more grade stations on a route is the same logic. Why can not the not so strong climbers have the possibility to climb more routes? We see many link ups for the high end grades. I think it should be the same for the not so strong climbers. But to do link-ups is only for the best who have much greater possibilies to climb more routes.
OffLine Ben Iseman
  2008-12-15 03:06:19    
Jens, boulder problems do not have anchors!!! That is not a useful comparison. What is this latest 8a innovation of 'grading stations'? Disseminating information about the difficulty of a section of a climb is very different from anchors splitting up the difficulty. Anchors should be placed at logical terminations not arbitrarily to make a climb more accessible. Stronger climbers will always have more options. I do not care about achieving a certain grade but strive to become a better climber so that I can get on whatever catches my eye. Lastly, I think that there are more linkups on steep terrain where traversing is safer and lines converge.
OffLine Wigar'n
  2008-12-15 04:59:17    
It's no longer any fun. I do NOT know the grade of what I just did. For a second I thought that perhaps it was irrelevant, but now I know better. Imagine. I've been climbing to the second - or even third, or forth - quickdraw, without reporting it. Holy shit... What if I did something to affect my ranking? What if I made a hard move... Jens. You are admirable. But for fucks sake... 
OffLine Odub
  2008-12-15 09:15:50    
Why don't we just grade each route to each bolt?  Shit, lets just grade every route for every hold gained, or every move made.  Then every route can be 125 different grades and nearly everyone can have fun!  Yay!  Then all our heads can implode from the stupidity!
OffLine Darta
  2008-12-16 11:59:50    
Jens, in most crags, when the route deserves it ( significant sudden change of the difficulty at some point of it ), things are already like that. If not, you can still climb it and stop whenever you want. But you care too much about the ranking, so if not every single metre of climbing gives you points, it's not worth the effort.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-16 12:42:32    
I do not care at all about the rankings when I am talking about suggesting First Anchors. However, I do care about what you are saying is totally wrong, "in most crags, when the route deserves it ( significant sudden change of the difficulty at some point of it ), things are already like that." Things might be like this for the high end grades but very seldom you have a 6a "First Anchor" on a 7a route. Because of this I wrote the article in order to encourage also the average climber to do exactely what the high end climbers do.
OffLine fridolin sent
  2008-12-16 19:15:44    
in my humbleopinion, there is a point, that should be taken into consideration: i think lower grade climbers usually do NOT have problems finding challenges. if you are a 7a climber and you go to a popular climbing area, you can choose between many different possible projects in all kinds of styles. if you're an 8c climber, this is not the case, because there are obviously fewer 8cs than 7as... so...although i am very far from being an 8c climber myself, i fully understand, why first anchors are being put up on hard routes: to add new challenges to a climbing area. if you have done all 8cs in an area and are not yet strong enough for the 9as, why not? as long its ok with the first ascensionist of course... i really don't see the problem for lower grade climbers...there is so much to do, so many challenges and projects... so what is the point in climbing half a route? i think it would increase tendencies to climb only routes that suite ones style. if you climbed everything that suites you in an area - its time to move on and try different styles of climbing. not time to climb more 'routes', same style on lines that are harder...
OffLine grigri
  2008-12-17 10:02:48    
Fridolin you seem to cotradict yourself by saying that its ok for top climbers to create extra challenges by adding anchors but then say that if you have climbed all the routes in your grade at your area its time to move on. I think thats part of what Jens is getting at, why should there be seperate standards for top climbers and ordinary climbers? First I think you see more than one anchor on hard routes because they have been either bolted ground up or simply because the crag is so steep that the extra anchors are required to clean the route properly. This seldom the case with easier routes, they simply arent that steep. Jens I can understand that it is possibly desirable to put in another set of anchors at a change in grade/angle at very popular crags, where there is very little other rock around and there are few easy routes and a high demand for more easy routes exists. Then maybe it can be considered. But please do not encourage people to do this as a general rule. Imagine what the crags would look like with all that extra steel hanging off them! Very industrial and unnatural! Besides this practice goes against the (very core to climbing tradition) concept of climbing something to the top. After all if you have not reached the top you have not ascended anything, merely climbed on it. Some local developers have done this (halfway anchors) at popular crags but I would hate to see this become common practice.
Perhaps instead you should be encouraging the top climbers to clean up their act!!? No more grid bolting - 4m minimum between bolts, no halfway anchors no matter how steep or tall the crag! That would level the playing fields hey?! :-D
OffLine fridolin sent
  2008-12-17 15:20:15    
@grigri sorry. you mistook my post. i do not want to apply different rules for top climbers. i merely wanted to point out, that top climbers actually have LESS routes (at their limit) to try. so SOMETIMES it might be understandable, that they put up first anchors, because they are running out of projects...which is a very hard thing to do, if you're a 7a climber....:) but maybe i am wrong. maybe there are plenty of hard lines that could be bolted, instead of putting up a first anchor in an existing route. i don't know if i'm able to fully judge this.if this were the case...bolting new lines instead is what's ought to be done... in general, i am against this idea. for the same reasons you are... climbing should be about problem solving. not about adjusting the problems to your level of climbing. and i have the feeling, that by putting more anchors all over the place, exactly this would be happening...  
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-12-17 15:59:59    
Once more, it is not putting more anchors all over the place. It is about suggesting first anchors when this can be done creating a nice 15 metres lond 7a och a 20 metres 8a etc.
It is about creating First achors when needed in places like Terradetts and other places where you could invite your friends to come along belaying you on the hard routes. A newsline like this might inspire climbers to put in 1 anchor at some crags. I guess this is nothing to be afraid of. It is not like some of you are suggesting, just beacuse 8a suggest something, everything will be changed!
OffLine Darta
  2008-12-18 22:44:31    
Ok Jens i agree with you now, but you did not explain it this way earlier. Anyway. My experience might be different from yours (i've never climbed in Terradets), but in all the crags i've climbed at, i've found that practically all the routes that deserves it (the already mentioned sudden change of the difficulty), even though they are 6a/7a, present an anchor or something similar halfway. But if you just want to encourage people to invest their time and money to put in some anchors where they miss, or to fix the existing ones, then you are welcome!
OffLine gerardo workel
  2009-12-29 08:41:45    
i totally agree with jens and for example what if a route was put up and it is for example 8a and than comes chris sharma and he thinks the route has potential to keep going on and makes it an 9a than the route has two anchors and the route untill the first anchor is a valid ascent becuase it was put up first so i think it is perfect to put first anchors etc becuase the climber that put up a route put it up as he wanted it to be but it still can have some potential to keep going on or be shorter so great idea jens
OffLine abc-climbing.com
  2010-01-13 09:09:49    
Jens: "Things might be like this for the high end grades but very seldom you have a 6a "First Anchor" on a 7a route." In Arboli (and Montserrat/ Calavera) you got a good example how things are properly done without any 8a intervention. The routes are up to 45m long, so they often got a midway (rather 2/3 way) lower-of, as most ropes are to short. These lower-ofs are normaly placed at a natural rest, and the route till this lower-of got it's own grading. you can do a great 30m 7a, when all of it is 7c. But I wouldn't like to have also placed one more chain at 15m to get an unnatural 6b. If logical, things are already done that way.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2010-01-13 10:13:22    
I am glad that there are 7a anchor after 30 metres on a 45 m 7c. Of course, I am only looking after logic first anchors...but as maybe 90 % of them relates to 8a and above, I did originally say that this should be done also for easier grades.