Fixed quickdraws can be found more and more frequently in sports climbing gardens - this is explosive. Not everyone likes fixexes and so there are always conflicts. Guest author Markus Hutter expresses his exciting and stimulating thoughts on the subject in this article.
A guest contribution by Markus Hutter
Unfortunately, self-criticism is not exactly a strength of the climbing scene. About 20 years ago, climbers still made themselves like Alexander Huber or Stefan Glowacz strong for real red point climbing! Many younger people may no longer even know what the difference is.
Of course, it would make a big difference if, as in the climbing hall, all the quickdraws are already hanging and just need to be clipped, or if someone is doing an onsight inspection of a route where not a single exe is hanging. This would be an enormous challenge, especially in current top routes on rock!
Pinkpoint - the soft variant of Rotpunkt
The protagonists of that time were of the opinion that we would make it far too easy for ourselves with the convenient method: there was even a term for this «Pink Point». This soft variant was the predecessor of today's Rotpunkt and initially frowned upon!
I can still remember very well that in the 90s, after every failed attempt, we quickdraws have taken them out of the route to put them back on the next "go"...
Especially on rocks of the harder type, it can be observed in recent years how the exes fixed with a shekel are becoming more and more numerous. And there are regular reports like last autumn from the Basel Jura: “Exes are systematically stolen in the Basel Jura” . The authors speculate that the thieves would be keen on them as if they were diamonds. And the ridicule culminates in disparaging admiration of the perpetrators on the one hand, and pity on the other.
As the author of this text, I must emphasize at this point that I have been active on the rock face for a very long time, have drilled and first climbed several hundred pitches/routes and see myself as a rock freak.
In events such as in Basel Jura I miss the self-critical attitude of climbers. The injured only scream out loud without questioning their actions on the rock in the slightest. Anyone who has been involved in an IG climbing knows pretty well what disturbs forest and rock owners and also nature conservationists about our behavior.
Hooking is one thing, but when done with care and consideration, it doesn't immediately catch the eye of the nature lover. In contrast, walls furnished like halls look like nature that has been violated and sports temples for fast, uncomplicated consumption. I am sure that this development will increasingly lead to massive problems!
The polemical reaction of the victims in the Basel Jura unfortunately shows very little expertise. In very few cases are climbers who are only keen on cheap equipment. Rather, they don't want to see any disfigured walls and take the wind out of the sails of quite a few climbing opponents. On more remote rocks, the undesirable development will go well for some time, but where there are also many walkers and hikers, the topic is slowly boiling up.
A very clear negative example could be seen in the video from last winter Alexander Megos. to be examined. In the King Capella rerun a sling at least 1,5 meters long hung in the middle of the wall, which was intended to defuse a larger distance between the hooks.
Such examples, which are viewed thousands of times on the Internet, are fatal. Why shouldn't soft movers who are afraid of long hook distances be allowed to hang long slings in the walls everywhere so that they can climb in a relaxed manner??? There are numerous examples on steep walls that are currently being besieged with many projects - a cruel sight!
Even as a very committed climber, I can understand why hikers who want to enjoy nature are extremely disturbed by this. A little more empathy would certainly do us good in these matters. Unfortunately, the very focused planning of routes often makes us extremely blind to other perspectives and is too often only geared towards personal success.
About the author Markus Hutter
Markus Hutter grew up on Lake Constance and has been out and about in the mountains since childhood. Already at a young age he climbed many big, extreme classics in the Alps, such as the Matterhorn north face in very wintry conditions. However, his great passion became pure rock climbing and, since the beginning of the free climbing movement, alpine and sport climbing up to grade 8b. His internationally most famous first ascent is the route Parzival in the Swiss Alpstein mountains. He lives as a visual artist in northern Germany.
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Image and text Markus Hutter