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Comment on Evil Backwards from Daniel Woods

Posted on 10. Jul, 2011 by in News

Daniel Woods, the first ascentionist of Evil Backwards, has posted a comment which I think deserves proper attention. Here is what he has to say:

I went up to Lincoln Lake today and checked out Evil Backwards. I was shocked with how much larger 2 of the crux holds were. The left hand sidepull that you punch out to (crux move) was not only a half pad size bigger, but also incut. I remember this hold from last season, and it was perfectly flat and not going to break. The move is now a shorter distance and to a much larger hold. The right hand crimp allows you to fit all 4 fingers in perfectly and fits in a good half of a pad. Before, you could only fit in 3 fingers just on the lip of the hold. Dave and I did a pretty good job with cleaning this boulder and were confident that nothing could get larger (that is if you are using nylon or lapis brushes). I do not recall any “loose” pieces of rock lodged in, that threatened the hold to breaking on the climber. The climb had seen a handful of ascents and withstood multiple people working on it. The hold now is dug out and can be labeled as a “finger bucket.”

I was talking with Jamie about this situation yesterday and he mentioned that at Evil Backwards he ran into Chad, who had a paint scraper and screwdriver in hand. Chad began describing about how he was able to pry out a “loose” chunk of rock in the sidepull to make the boulder cleaner. After hearing this, I was disappointed and even more disappointed with the fact that it was a completely different problem. For those who have put up problems, there is so much pride and joy that comes into play with the whole process. With Evil Backwards, I was able to share an experience in preparing the bloc with Dave, Jimmy, and Jon. We brushed up the problem appropriately. Now a beautiful piece of rock has been enhanced, even to the eye. I do not agree with what Chad has done and I do not agree with chipping. Climbing is an art form and I now feel like this art piece has been destroyed. Many infamous climbs have been chipped and this takes away from the experience of trying what the first ascentionist climbed. What has been done cannot be erased. I strongly believe in using a wire brush only to scrape off the chossy first layer of rock (if needed), moss, or lichen. After, all you need is a lapis brush. Metal on rock significantly increases the size of holds and appearance of them over time.


Here is a link to footage of Daniel climbing the FA of Evil Backwards, with several close-ups of the holds.

22 Responses to “Comment on Evil Backwards from Daniel Woods”

  1. Andrew

    10. Jul, 2011

    @B3 You didn’t mention Chad by name in your original post, but it seems as if he implicated himself with his comments? He defends himself, saying that he’d never actually touched Evil Backwards with a screwdriver, did you see him in the act of chipping? But if he had told you that he was trying to pry a loose chunk of rock out of the sidepull, why would he comment that he had never “cleaned” the boulder?

  2. Top Boss Man

    10. Jul, 2011

    I could see this cleaning tactic justified (possibly) with the first ascentionest, ie: remove loose holds, fix landings, scrub moss, etc. But this problem has been climbed several times with no one making improvements. I also feel that the culprit could not send this, so why would he invest time to clean it up??? Unless it was to make it easier.

  3. Jabroni

    10. Jul, 2011

    It now all makes sense.

    Let us all join in a chorus of ‘Chaddy Don’t Chip’ (sung to the tune of a Madonna song).

    Lest that be seen as a joke, I’m serious – if Chad chipped the thing, then Chad is Bad Man and must Repent or be banished to aid climbing and suffer the slings and arrowheads of the most boring form of climbing in existence.

  4. David

    10. Jul, 2011

    Top Boss Man makes a good point….

  5. Isaac

    11. Jul, 2011

    This episode is truly sad. I thought all boulderers understood that after the first ascent a climb should not be “cleaned” further. If a hold breaks/improves under a climber’s weight (take El Techo and Diaphanous Sea), it’s unfortunate, but unavoidable; however, to chip/aggressively “clean” after a problem has seen multiple ascents is not only avoidable, but pathetic and cowardly. News flash to potential chippers: if you can’t do the climb, there are plenty of other boulders to climb until you are strong enough to send the one in question. Thanks for sharing your experience and perspective, Daniel.

  6. sidepull

    11. Jul, 2011


    A screwdriver, really? Who keeps a screwdriver in their chalk bag?

    I feel bad about the virtual lynching that’s about to happen, but I think it’s about time that we called people out on this stuff.

    Again, just sad, sad, sad.

  7. sidepull

    11. Jul, 2011

    Bizarre that Chad (I assume he’s the author behind, in his description of the development of Lincoln Lake, references himself in the third person and provides this description:

    “Chad Greedy chippin up another one”

    (from the post titled EMERGENCY, Oct 5, 2010, the paragraph just below the photograph of the lightning strike).

    I’m not sure if that’s an inside joke.

  8. tendon

    11. Jul, 2011

    This is AWESOME!!!!! not sad at all.

    Finally, a non-passive aggressive way to deal with our little ghey climbing dramas.

    JE luvs CG forever!!….so cute

  9. pdoubleu

    11. Jul, 2011

    It’s truelly sad,the great thing about climbing on rock is that the problems “are set in stone” and can’t be changed,you can do a problem and years later someone else can do the same problem,the problems on rock don’t change!!!that’s the amazing thing about climbing on rock.if you want to alter a problem go climb in the gym and move holds around so that the problems become easier…..I can’t believe the sport of bouldering has come to this…truely very sad

  10. Connor

    12. Jul, 2011

    I’m not choosing sides, and I never comment when there are feuds occurring on this site, but I do think it’s worth pointing out that no one’s proven Chad has chipped anything.

    Jamie and Daniel, did you or anyone else see him do it? Is this an issue of hearsay or did someone physically watch him do it?

  11. Connor

    12. Jul, 2011

    Hmm, just reread Daniel’s comment. Sounds like Chad may have incriminated himself after all.

  12. Dan

    12. Jul, 2011

    Sheesh . . . a boulderer could really bum themselves out if they read about this stuff too much. First Small Arms, now this? If you can’t remove a piece of rock with your fingers alone, you should leave it the hell alone.

  13. Mark E

    12. Jul, 2011

    I have no knowledge of this particular situation, but I think it’s a good opportunity for the bouldering community — and this blog clearly carries some weight in that group — to make a clear statement about what constitutes chipping.

    If applying a screwdriver to a problem that’s already been cleaned and climbed isn’t chipping, what is? Is a cold chisel an acceptable cleaning device?

    Could everyone agree that it’s a good ethic to use minimal force and the least-impactful tools (preferably non-metal brushes) when cleaning or otherwise preparing a boulder? If more aggressive cleaning is required, it should be done thoughtfully, with the idea of leaving the rock as close to the state you found it as possible?

    That seems to me to be a more important contribution to advancing the style and ethics of bouldering than another round of debates about start holds or downgrading.

  14. Poppa Preach

    13. Jul, 2011

    Chaddy Don’t Chip

    Chaddy I know you’re going to be upset
    ‘Cause I was always your little pebbles
    But you should know by now
    I’m not a pebble

    You always taught me right from wrong
    I need your help, Chaddy please be strong
    I may be young at heart
    But I know what I’m saying

    The one you warned me all about
    The one you said I could do without
    We’re in an awful mess, and I don’t mean maybe – please


    Chaddy don’t chip, I’m in pebble deep
    Chaddy don’t chip, I’ve been losing sleep
    But I made up my mind, I’m keeping my pebble, oh
    I’m gonna keep my pebble, mmm…

    He says that he’s going to marry me
    We can raise a little family
    Maybe we’ll be all right
    It’s a sacrifice

    But my friends keep telling me to give it up
    Saying I’m too young, I ought to live it up
    What I need right now is some good advice, please

    Chaddy, Chaddy if you could only see
    Just how good he’s been treating me
    You’d give us your blessing right now
    ‘Cause we are in love, we are in love, so please


  15. pistol pissof

    14. Jul, 2011

    this is completely useless just as the majority of your accomplishments are to the larger populace, go make a poster and stair at your reflection. commercializing climbing, you climb for face book and notoriety hence the naming and grading…laughable

  16. Chad Greedy

    14. Jul, 2011

    Well it makes me sad too everybody ,,, I’m not going to go into any personal stuff here on this platform but must say there is a lot between Daniel, Jamie & myself … I will easily clear my name though , I NEVER CHIPPED EVILBaCKWARDS. I do not have a car, nor have I ever been alone at evil backwards, Isabelle, Mark, Alex, & Tom can all vouch to this … Sorry Jamie your assumption is false … & developing boulders is not the same as just doing other peoples boulder problems, Daniel … Nice job guys , just because you feel it doesn’t make it true … Looking forward to talking to both of you , why won’t you return my calls ? Buddy’s …

    Chad Greedy

  17. big poppa chosscrush

    15. Jul, 2011

    no one else can use “poppa” in their name. this is law.

  18. slabdyno

    15. Jul, 2011

    hmm, no time to chat on the phone, but he has time to approve your post… interesting. this feels like a game of hangman where the author intentionally spells the word wrong.

    time to hike jamie, gonna have my 4 yr old, jaimee (no, i didn’t name her you when i found out you sent evil backwards. that was like a few weeks ago, she’s 4, DUH!) on my back. hope this shit isn’t choss or i’ll have to call big poppa:

    “Each ridge consists of layers of the same conglomerate sloping inward towards each other, thus forming a geologic downfold or syncline. The caprock of the ridges is a reddish-purple matrix, studded with pebbles of white quartz and pink sandstone, some of which reach diameters of eight inches.”

  19. big poppa chosscrush

    16. Jul, 2011

    how did all the kids show up all of a sudden?

    alien invasion!

  20. Baumann

    28. Jul, 2011

    I’m kinda disappointed in DW. Sounds like he may have jumped to some conclusions about what Chad did or didn’t do. In the future I hope he’ll address issues personally to the person that he has the problem with instead of calling a guy out on a blog.

  21. to baumann

    04. Sep, 2011

    or chad is just a liar…

  22. […] by Daniel Woods in 2010 and a year later it was the focus of a controversial story involving chipping or, at least, very aggressive cleaning (very aggressive as in “I’m gonna clean it with […]

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