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Trad ethics and mixed climbs 
 

The ethics in trad climbing is very strict. In order to make a valid ascent you are supposed to place all gear on lead. This means that you have to clean all gear after each try which especially makes overhanging routes very hard and time consuming to do.

In the late 70's, climbers started to rappell down in order to manually drill bolts and this sport climbing ethics came to USA in 1983 creating a big controversy. According to Wikipedia the term trad climbing was invented by Tom Higgins in 1984 with the definition that the gear should be placed on lead as it had been done traditionally.

Historically, routes where the FA were done hammering in pitons and even drilling bolts on lead where considered trad routes. The dilemma is of course that anybody repeating routes with fixed pitons and bolts will do it with pre-placed gear, aka not the best style in regards trad climbing. Another problem is also that hammering in pitons could be considered as chipping as once they are removed, often due rust, new holds have been created.

As a matter of a fact, it is said that Lynn Hill could take advantage of such holds for her small fingers as she did the FA of the Nose in 1993.

If fixed pitons are needed for safety reasons, it might be better to place a bolt and define the route as mixed. From a strict ethical perspective, any route with fixed pitons could be called mixed as they do not follow the trad ethics, i.e. all gear should be removed before the next try.