Top-ropers @ central outcrops!!

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Edited by another user.
Last edit: 11:56, 6 August 2010

Hi guys, pondering over an ethics question. Recently while at Craigmore with some mates we seen a couple of guys top-roping some of the low-grade routes such as Kit-Kat etc. They had actually set up the full bottom rope type rig most of us are more familiar with at the indoor wall. I can't see a justification for this at a well-protected crag like Craigmore with a strong tradition of leading? I thought this kind of thing is an ethical no-no unless working a hard project route? We gave them a right barracking over it anyway! What is this general consensus on this type of thing at Scottish Outcrops?

Miles21:40, 5 August 2010

Headpoint is clearly for dorks, unfortunately we have to put up with them. The main difference is between ethics (which affect other people who use the rock) and style (which doesn't). Sounds like these guys didn't much style, but there ethics were good (ie not damaging the rock, not route hogging, etc...) Live and let live?

Michael Lee23:36, 5 August 2010

It all depends. How did you start climbing? Most people go along with people who know what they are doing, and follow them up routes, then start leading. But with climbing walls so prevalent, not everyone who goes to a wall will know someone who can do that. If these guys have taken the initiative, then plaudits for them taking the first steps. I've seen people doing similar at Traprain and Aberdour, and usually, if you given them half a chance, they start asking questions. Chances are they were hoping for pointers, not abuse.

Mav09:02, 6 August 2010
 

Is this an issue with erosion of the rock with their top rope set up? Or were they top roping a route and then claiming to have led it? Otherwise, giving them a right barracking just seems a bit rude. You could just let them enjoy their day out?

James Prowse11:13, 6 August 2010

If i remember correctly, in the old Lowland Outcrops guide, routes at Craigmore were only given british tech grades as it was assumed that most people would either toprope or solo here, so actually there is a strong history of top-roping here.

Give them a break, especially if they're newbies. When i started climbing outside i only had one rope, half a set of nuts, a couple of screwgates and some slings; guess what i used to rig up at Neilston Pad?

If you did give them a "barracking" (or do you mean bollocking?) then shame on you. There's absolutely no need for this kind of behaviour, you probably ruined their day out and does it really make any difference to what you do at the crag?

Niall McNair11:32, 6 August 2010

So the general attitudes to top-roping in Scotland is that it's tolerated then? I used to climb at Stanage where top-roping was sometimes seen but was considered to be very poor form by most climbers. My objections are that top-roping polishes the rock and that people can lead the routes but instead are wrongly treating the crag as an indoor wall by top roping. If local ethics allow it then maybe I'm wrong.

Miles15:34, 6 August 2010
 

So the general attitudes to top-roping in Scotland is that it's tolerated then? I used to climb at Stanage where top-roping was sometimes seen but was considered to be very poor form by most climbers. My objections are that top-roping polishes the rock and that people can lead the routes but instead are wrongly treating the crag as an indoor wall by top roping. If local ethics allow it then maybe I'm wrong.

Miles15:34, 6 August 2010

The responses given are relative to Craigmore. Top-roping doesn't polish rock per se. Many people climbing the same route time after time does so. However, a badly constructed anchor may cause some erosion on soft rock. Frankly, Craigmore doesn't receive anywhere like as much traffic as it used to in the days before indoor walls, so let's encourage sensible, frequent activity there.

Giotto17:36, 6 August 2010
 
 
 

Not sure if you're trolling, but I'll bite.

What you say is wrong. As Niall stated above, top-roping or soloing is the accepted style at Craigmore. If you were wanting on the route(s) in question, you should have just asked rather than being a plonker about it. Even using your own guidelines, maybe they were working a 'hard route' for them. I think you should try and grow up a bit before condemning others.

Giotto13:46, 6 August 2010

In my opinion, at least as far as Scottish crags are concerned that all traffic is welcome, provided actuall damage to the rock isn't being done. There are far too few people out there doing it. Routes are overgrown and when people do come along wanting to lead, they are often faced with hellish moss covered routes. This is not the case at Stanage where the opposite is true.

Climbing is meant to be FUN and I think we should be able to enoy it in which ever way we want as long as it isn't to the detriment of others. The ethics of UK climbing in general is overcomplicated with so called ethical nonsense and I feel it is this in part that is holding oveerall standards back. If someone wants to headpoint a few E2s (for example) to break in to the grade what is wrong with that? He has fun, he improves his climbing, he doesn't hurt himself or anybody else. In terms of style his ascent may be inferior, but does that matter? Why on earth people should fear head pointing below E7? Only thanks to aggressive arm chair critics!

I agree that in terms of style it is beter to improve or equal the FA, but why does everyone have to do that? When I go run a 10k i can jog it if I want and not have to beat the current UK record holder.

Your attitude to these guys is no help in the slightest. BUT well done for getting out to Craigmore - hopefully it'll be getting cleaner with all this attention.

Top roping a route isn't hurting anyone.

Alan Cassidy15:50, 6 August 2010

Fair enough. I take the points expressed. It's just very different to the predominant views I was exposed to climbing in England. I did notice moss at Craigmore so maybe the more traffic it receives the better. It is a nice crag.

Miles16:11, 6 August 2010
 
 

My experience of Craigmore was either top roping or soloing or bouldering of an evening (in between midgy bastard dodging!)... least of all, a focus on leading...

It was always just a seen as a pleasant summer evening crag without any big bangs... if dudes want to top rope easy routes..then why not... If they want to use new 'bottom rope' techniques..why not?

what is 'bottom roping'..sounds painful!

regards Mark

Mark McGowan10:42, 8 August 2010

Bottom roping is a top rope set up where the belayer is at the bottom. Just like an indoor wall.

Miles20:58, 8 August 2010

I thought that was top roping Miles?

Mark McGowan22:38, 8 August 2010

Again, the climbing culture up here in Scotland must be different but 'darn sarf' we called that kind of set-up bottom-roping. Top-roping was where the belayer is at the top of the route which I don't think is as bad as it is at least similar to seconding. I always cringe though when I see the type of set up I witnessed at Craigmore. Oh well, cest la vie and all that! When in Rome etc...

Miles22:44, 9 August 2010

Hi Miles I don't think its a cultural thing...more just my stupidity!

welcome to Scottish Climbing! :-)

regards mark

Mark McGowan22:58, 9 August 2010
 
 
 
 

I had a bit of a rant at this crag recently, although the circumstances where somewhat different... After cleaning a bunch of problems and the lower half of many routes - to provide me a tricky traverse warm up - on a glorious day last month, the dog and I were sitting at the foot of the crag having a minutes rest. Enjoying the view I tucked into my pieces. Then suddenly and without an utterance from above a mighty black 11mm static comes whipping down, dissecting me and my canine chum! After realising it was a youth group I curbed the blue language and left with nothing which came near to an apology for ignoring basic climbing etiquette. Only to find that the same plonkers had boxed in my motor! I hope their insurance was comprehensive ha!

Alan McDonald01:19, 9 August 2010

...those 'pesky youth groups'....:-)

Mark McGowan08:58, 9 August 2010

... and thus the thread, was dead. :P

Alan McDonald17:26, 9 August 2010
 
 
 
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