Bolting Climbs: The Ethics of First Ascents

Evaluating the ethics behind first ascents begged the question of whether or not we’re creating safer climbs by “conquering routes”. Were we providing positive accessibility by bolting walls? Or just flaunting our abilities?

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First Tooth: The Pain and the Glory of New Routes in Indian Creek

by Luke Mehall Photos by Braden Gunem Perhaps more than any other climbing destination in the United States, Indian Creek will leave its mark on you. The stout, often painful cracks, rarely allow their suitors to escape without a cut, scrape, or bruise; proof of the struggle, a badge of glory to return home with. This battle often becomes addictive. After one returns from The Creek, he is either determined to never return again, or return as soon as possible. There’s a certain kind of magic is this masochistic pursuit. The addiction now affects hundreds, maybe thousands of crack addicts. At first it was a small number; now they even come from all the way across the pond, Europeans, desperate to get a hit, a shot at crack climbing glory. And…

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