Author Topic: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)  (Read 8912 times)

Offline Eric McCallister

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2006, 10:34:48 pm »
I'll take a stab at the Man-scale, though my interpretation may be wrong... it's based on a few emails thrown back and forth between its originator, and 30 seconds discussion over beer and flatbread (staples of a climbers' diet)... Per my understanding, Man-grades are like Gill's B-scale--it consists of 3 levels. It's a sliding scale, so things change over time. It references mixed climbing specifically. So, Man-1 is something that has is hard, but been done by many climbers. An example might be The Lowe Down and Texaco. Hard, but lot's of people have sent. Man-2 is harder and seen just one or two ascents. After repeated ascents it would be downgraded to Man-1, and anything Man-1 may go down to Man-0. Tool of the Devil falls into this catagory. To the best of my knowledge Jim is the only one who's sent, though several strong climbers have tried. Man-3 is out there... super hard, never been done.

As per the rest of this discussion on drytooling rock routes and no ice on Work of the Devil, it seems to lack one key aspect -- that being 'thoughtful discussion' about THIS route. I think all of us can agree that drytooling a 'classic' established route is a no-no. And yes, there is ice on the WOTD (ok, just not much the day the rock section was sent).

So, to those points I say, Cathedral Direct is an established 'ice' climb (check the guidebook) that's been climbed by an alternate start. What Jim has accomlished is akin to the Direct Direct... rather than climbing a tree as was done during it's FA. he's pushed straight up the obvious weakness. Yeeha! And yes, to Tradman's point, Devil Made Me Dog It is an established route, but a shite route at best. Sure, I guarantee someone out there loves it (maybe it was their first 12a, who knows???), but it's a choss pile. No one is saying, "hey, wanna drytool China Beach just to see if we can?" That would be stupid. But, to drytool 25' of an existing rock route to reach never-before-freed climbing to get to a runnel of ice that connects from the lip of the roof to the top of Cathedral IS or SHOULD BE perfectly acceptable (and quite the run-on sentance!). And, in my opinion, significantly more asthetic than a chipped/drilled/filed/chossy rock route. It has nothing to do with the fact that the first ascentionist cranks hard... it has to do with a plum line... freeing an aid route... opening your mind to possibilities... 

Rather than spout off about hypotheticals and what-ifs, we should look at the reality of a new classic hard line. I mean seriously, how many people have thought how cool it would be to climb that line... it's RAD! It just took a new style and an open mind to do it. An open mind being key. I know in my 5 winters here in NH my perceptions of what's possible has been elevated by the many very talented climbers up here willing to look at the same cliffs year after year in a new light.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2006, 11:43:39 pm by Eric McCallister »

Offline punxnotdead

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2006, 06:49:04 am »
the Man rating seems pretty useless.......How do we know how many times a route has been done.  When I was climbing w/ scott decapio a While ago he was sending stuff and not telling anyone.  Maybe that should be a new rating called: (MAN ?)

BTW, Way of the Devil is fine with me..... Just dont drytool Molsons Madness.
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Offline Eric McCallister

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2006, 07:12:09 am »
the Man rating seems pretty useless...


One could argue if they wanted that all rating systems are useless... It's not a numbers chase if that's what someone is looking for. I suppose others will have to do Work of the Devil in order to tag it with a concesus M-grade.

Offline Jim_Ewing

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2006, 08:29:56 am »
Punxnotdead, you bring up an interesting point, one that I had already considered.  Molsons is in fact the original line of Cathedral Direct.  Once led with pitons which were placed and removed on each ascent.  After Jimmy Dunn,s free ascent of the first pitch and renaming it Molson Madness the pitons were left in place; though they often disappeared.  Tired of the piton thefts a local climber placed bolts to facilitate using Molson as a training route.  Short history lesson over.

Molson Madness is the original line but I chose not to use it to reach the roof as I felt it is too valuable as a rock route.  My original goal had always been the roof and I actually intended to rock climb either Molson or The Devil Made Me Dog It then don the tools and crampons.  But when I saw the amount of water and ice on both lines during the winter that idea quickly died.

So you see, we carefully considered the value of 'good' rock climbs and restled with the idea of climbing an established rock climb even though we ultimately chose the line that by almost all accounts is a pile of shit.

Yup, the grade system applied to it is useless, no question about it, but it's no more useless than if we put a grade to it that is completely off the mark.  It's also just plain tongue in cheek humor.  I couldn't grade it because I don't think I have ever climbed a mixed route this hard.  I would also argue that working a route can and will distort one's perception of the grade.  On one hand I come from a generation of climbers that are notorious sandbaggers so I would have liked to say M8.  On the other hand I would like to think all my effort yielded something reasonably hard like M10 or M11.  In the end I think it is best to wait for others to climb it and apply a grade that makes sense.

Watch for the full story soon out in paperback. ;)

PS: Tradmanclimbz, Looking over your posts in this thread it doesn't appear as though you are sincerely interested in creating thoughtful 'discussion' so much as sanctimony.  Sorry, I,m not looking for a fight; I,m just calling it like I see it.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2006, 09:34:02 am by Jim_Ewing »

Offline dogboy

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2006, 09:24:35 am »
I would also argue that working a route can and will distort one's perception of the grade.  On one hand I come from a generation of climbers that are notorious sandbaggers so I would have liked to say M8.  On the other hand I would like to think all my effort yielded something reasonably hard like M10 or M11.  In the end I think it is best to wait for others to climb it and apply a grade that makes sense.


I wish more climbers would keep this in mind when grading new routes or downgrading old routes...

Nice job, Jim!
Everybody wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.

Offline punxnotdead

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2006, 02:46:17 pm »
I fully understand the M- rating..... I just thought the MAN rating is kind of silly.  Good job on the route, I may try it Saturday.
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Offline Admin Al

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2006, 05:09:56 pm »
perhaps the following quote might be appropriate:


Many have questioned the quality of this sort of achievement, deploring the use of pitons, tension traverses and expansion bolts, but the record speaks for itself. This is a technical age and climbers will continue in the future to look for new routes. There is nothing more satisfying than being a pioneer.

Allen Steck, justifying the 1st ascent of Sentinel's north face
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Offline Greg_Shyloski

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2006, 08:12:07 am »
This is just my opinion so it does not mean dung.

I think Jimmy Crack Pipe's new route sets a bad precedent for climbing in general. It is something that could spread to other places and destory some nicer rock/ rock climbs.

His justifications for dry tooling this rock climb are weak. Just about every route on Cathedral used a ladder on the first ascent. They are called aiders. Also I think their are alot of "shitty routes" on the cliff, but I don't go out and dry tool them and scratch the hell out of them just because they are shit. Thin Air has even shitter rock than that route. Its a piece of shit, but that does not justify banging the rock to hell for no good reason. I can think of alot other "shitty routes" like the ones at Square Dock, but they are not worth the risk of breaking all the holds off for just because YOU think they are shit. You talk about chipping and gluing, but just bang the rock with your tools in the same breath.

This drying tooling thing is pure decadence on climbing's behalf.

Instead of heading towards the purity of just leaving a little chalk dust and a little boot rubber on the rock that will wash away in the humidity and water dry tooling just scratches the rock and breaks holds all the time. Ice climbing tools are for ice, not rock! That was their orginal design.

What rock climbs are you going to scratch all up with your boots and axes, break holds off of, and destory, and then justify next? The stuff at Cannon, Rumney, Shagg, or Wild River, Square Dock.  I HOPE NOT!! Go dry tool in the gym on plastic with your metal tools. 

Leave chalk, it washes away, not crampon scratch marks, and broken holds.

Anyhow, that is what I think. Again it does not mean anything.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2006, 12:36:00 pm by Greg_Shyloski »

Offline Dave

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2006, 08:45:55 am »
"Jimmy crack pipe"

You really sound intelligent!

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2006, 09:04:27 am »
come on Shiloh... you can express your opinion, which is perfectly valid, without the name calling!

--al
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Offline Eric McCallister

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2006, 09:40:39 am »

On Cathedral (for starters):
Diedre
Black Crack
Three Birches
Dresden
Diagonal
Standard Route
Thin Air
Remission
Repentance
Nutcracker
Double Vee
Chicken Delight



I do not believe this route sets any form of precedent... except in difficulty. All of the above climbs previously sighted have been done as mixed routes for many years. In fact, many, many routes on both Cathedral and Cannon are prized as winter mixed climbs. New Hampshire climbers as a whole seem to have said it's OK to climb rock routes in winter. They are a climbing resource that can be utilized year round... at least that is the message I see as an outsider coming in. Personally, I think it is great -- within reason (as I've previously said).

I challenge anyone to find the terrible scratching assumed on WOTD. After you get on it, you'll see that this is not a climb that you pedal up, grinding rock to sand. Pick placements are as careful and precise as they may be on aid, and seldom if ever does a boot skate -- it's too steep for that. Sure, steel crampons are used, but in this case as precision tools, not blunt damage yielding destructors of rock. It's counter productive and a waste of energy.

Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2006, 03:00:02 pm »
The question is weather or not the rt has ice on it. If it has a significant ammout of ice on it then the ice tool make sense. If it has no ice or so little ice that it looks and feel contrived then it is a rock climb and not an ice climb.  As for dammaging the rock, one or 2 talented climbers may not make a noticeable impact but it only takes one hack attempting a rt to scratch the heck out of it.

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2006, 04:02:47 pm »
I tend to agre with Eric. especially as regards to how little impact the use of tools and crampons had on the route if any. I belayed Jim as he sent it and there was absolutely no scratching around on the holds. it was amazingly prescise.

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Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2006, 04:20:03 pm »
 like i said, one or two pro's may not dammage the rock but they set the example that this is how its done now. Jo normal goes out and trys to emulate the pros and then we have another enviro crises on our hands to go allong with the trail use, tree killing and bolt wars. Again not trying to take anything away from Jims climb which certainly looks really hard. i am just not suer that this is a good direction for climbing to go. I also am well aware that climbing has allready gone this way and there is nothing that I can or would do other than civily voiceing my opion (non factor) to change this current trend.

Offline Eric McCallister

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Re: Work Of The Devil (M7+/Man-2)
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2006, 04:45:33 pm »
So, Trad, according to your most recent post, we should all strive for the lowest common denominator? Never mind the fact that there is ice on the route which is probably just as reliable as that of Repentance or Remission. I personally have no desire to stand in line for Standard, Dracula or Dropline. The beauty and joy of climbing, I think, is challenging yourself. For some people that IS Standard, and I applaud them for it. For others it is accomplishing things I can't even conceive of yet... that's what I aspire to. It seems illogical to limit myself, or for the sport to limit itself, based on the thought that someone else cannot 'do it' in controlled/good style and may cause some damage by their own actions. Would we have ever climbed The Nose if that was the prevailing logic? That individual should look into themselves and decide if they are up for the challenge... and take responsibility for their own actions.