The art of envisioning, bolting, cleaning, climbing a route as starting a discussion with others

" I see climbing as very "conversational" and the experiences of climbers and climbing is primarily shared with others by talking about it.
You can video, take photos, and try to capture the experience, but it really comes down to expressing ourselves through words.
I like the idea of someone climbing my route, then sitting down so we can talk about it together.
It's very similar to creating a piece of art.
It is there for the enjoyment, the experience and the conversation".

The above interesting ideas from Joe Kinder are shared in this nice interview.

To explain why he spent 16 days
bolting, cleaning and climbing his new route in "Hurricave", a cave near his home in Hurricane, Utah.

Joe also wrote:
" The lines I bolt are something for everyone.
I am not bolting it for just myself, or one other person, I am contributing to the climbing world with this little addition... I open them for “us”. I open them for everyone to enjoy."

To create a new route is really a GIVING experience, to give something to climbing and share it with climbers.

Envisioning and cleaning are an important part of the whole process:
" Its funny how easy it is to bolt a route, but to clean it takes so much
more time.

Then there is the second round of cleaning and moving bolts as well and hours upon hours get put in. Some serious effort man…

Sometimes is nice to discover, envision, bolt and clean even a route that You are totally sure You never will climb, as it was for me and Ivan with this route we bolted for "the future":
we gave our little present to Adam, then Adam gave us back even a bigger one, completing the
whole process of bringing that future route into a present existence :-)

Chris Sharma
well defines that process here:

"The process of discovering a line, all the work put into it to bolt it, clean it, etc, and finally climbing it, is what climbing is all about."

For all these reasons, it's always important to give RESPECT and full CREDITS to envisioning, bolting and cleaning climbers of a route, even if they didn't the first ascent:

all of them, not only Dani Andrada
, Chris Sharma, Joe Kinder, ... ( Adam Ondra has started to bolt his own projects too ), give their own contribute to our sport and its progression.

"Red tagging" (tieing a red sling to the first bolt to signify that the equipper doesn't want anyone else to try it) is a coin with 2 sides:
You can't say one is better than other.

(photo courtsey of Joe Kinder @

From one side, if You like to share the experience to participate in the race
to make really the "first" ascent, with your friends or even strangers, pushing each other to the limits, as Nalle Hukkataival wrote here :
" You can't really claim a First Ascent if you won't let others to try your project.
The word 'first' has no meaning in it, if no-one else even had the opportunity to try to do it before you.

(Chris asked Nalle some more time to try "First round first minute").

As Josh Lowell writes:

" For some people the words First Ascent may mean "I beat everyone else."

I think that's particularly true in bouldering, where a bunch of guys find a new rock, and take turns trying it until one sends first.

It's a fun, openly competitive vibe where everyone wants to be first and one guy wins, and people don't take it that seriously, unless it's the hardest thing in the world.

I can see how Nalle, as primarily a boulderer, would carry that outlook into other forms of climbing.

I'm sure there are also sport climbers and trad climbers who share that basic view, and it's an easier view to embrace for projects that are below your own personal limit ".

On the other side, it's also true that bolting and cleaning climbers have some "voice" to let others know if their own efforts are open to others, before or after their own F.A.

An open "green" contest is a thing (and maybe is an idea a "9b contest" or just "green tagging") .

A more personal, "red" dream and experience about exploration, with perseverance, discovery of your own limits, free from any kind of pressure from competing with others for the F.A., is different, as Chris Sharma explains here:

" Its very different from inviting all the best climbers in the world to come and climb it, turning it into a contest to see who does it first.
For me I enjoy the process of equipping my own lines because it isn't a competition, its your own personal quest on your own terms, using your own personal vision and not following somebody else.

I was so close to do the route which for me is a really important line in my personal progression and I didn't want to add to the pressure that I was already feeling personally with even more external pressure".

To know how to fail repeatedly for months and keep coming back until You finally breaks through Your own barriers and succeed:

sometime is nice, interesting and ... enough to compete just with Yourselves, to open later the discussion, after Your "sculture", with Your F.A., is completely finished and ready to be shared.

with or without direct competition on the rock, "red tagging" is 1 of the 2 options of the same FREE game:

are not
2 options (red and green) better than 1 ?

More opinions here , here and here ("It’s not like we can hash it out over a few beers at the bar, so the web is the only place to do it.")

Cheers :-)

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Sell on 9b your climbing topos to other world climbers !

Posted by 9b on March 1, 2013 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

27cragsclimbervoice8a and many others are amazing sites, but sometimes, expecially if you worked a lot to envision, bolt, clean routes or boulders, you want to monetize a little your efforts.

9b can help you in this aim.


As you can see here, in 9b there are many " topo groups ".


You can add a discussion in every "topo group".

In your discussion you can edit and publish your own climbing topoguide, as a "paywall", a "destination page", requiring climbers their payment by credit card or paypal to access and read, even on SMARTPHONES (iphones, android phones, ...)


After having paid, climbers can see, save and print your climbing topoguide.


In this discussion you can add:


1) PHOTOS regarding one specific SECTOR (of routes or bouldering, dws lines)


a) "PHOTO topo":

It's very easy to edit a photo topo:

- upload a photo of a rock in a topo group discussion

- drawn the lines

- write names and grades (an example…



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