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The Ethics of Development

Posted on 13. Aug, 2012 by in News

Recently, Jon Glassberg has spent some time developing new problems at an area on the shoulder of Mt. Evans. He has produced a new video documenting that development. The tag line on the vimeo page says the following:

ABYSS gives viewers a sneak peek into a community of rock climbing developers and bouldering secrecy in the (sic) Alpine of Colorado revealing a sociological experiment set in a previously undeveloped area above 13,000 feet.

I want to remain as factual as possible with this entire post. My intention is not to take sides, or to slander anyone, but to generate discussion about the ethics involved in the development of an area multiple parties have visited over the years. It is also to generate discussion about acceptable sport climbing practices in development. I have tried to remain as neutral as possible, and to share my knowledge of the history of the place.

I’d like to share my knowledge of the history on the area, so that it does not go undocumented. In the summer of 2002 I visited Mt. Evans Area A for the first time. Almost nothing had been climbed, and on my first day there I watched Ben Scott do the FA of The Dali V8. Ben has been one of the most dedicated developers in Colorado, and the list of classic problems that bear his name is long. Ben had already chalked what would become No More Greener Grasses. He also pointed out what would be Clear Blue Skies. I came back a few days later to do the second ascent of the Dali and Ben and I began cleaning what would become Beirstadt. My motivation for new rock in the Mt. Evans area was high, and I immediately went home and started searching (the best mapping site that existed before Google Earth or Bing) and found two clusters higher up I thought were worth visiting. I convinced Ben and Jason Tarry (another dedicated developer) to make the long hike in with me. We were astounded at the massive talus field we had stumbled upon. Ben suggested calling the sector The Aerials and the name stuck. The hike out was brutal (literally 3 times that of Lincoln Lake), we got caught in a terrify lightning storm, and it was years before I went back, although Jason, Ben and Cameron Cross developed a whole area of classic problems. Mark Hobson and Rob D’Anastasio added some hard problems to the sector as well. Cam’s contribution to the area was a number of outstanding highballs, some of which are virtually free solos. The area was omitted from the guide (I asked about it, and the Winds, during my two hour long meeting with the ranger) due to specific concerns that such a remote area would benefit from a lack of people. A few weeks later we drove farther up the road to another valley. We explored a talus field on a bench near Abyss Lake. I don’t remember being taken with the rock (mostly because I was enamored with the Park and it was much easier to access at the time) and while it seemed like there were lines to be climbed I left them alone. Jason Tarry and Cameron Cross, however, were motivated by the solitude, the scenery and the rock. This and the Aerials were their summer areas for the next few years, as the word got out by 2005 and the hordes descended upon Area A and B. They put up problems at the bench and down by the lake. Jason referred to this area as The Winds, and over the last few years I would get random updates about the good bouldering there from him. Jason also developed a sport route (hand drilled) on a tower near the boulders and had put some effort into bolting another route, a stunning and overhanging arete, before Ben Spannuth finished bolting the line after Jason’s initial prep work and redpointed it this summer. This summer also saw bouldering development from Jon Glassberg (which I assume is the focus of the video), who added a number of hard problems in a relatively short period of time. He calls the area The Abyss on his scorecard. His tick-list includes two new V13s, Sandbar and All Hands on Deck, a V12 Death to Traitors, and 3 V11s. It’s motivating that other climbers are hiking around and putting up new problems and routes and it will be interesting to see how much more there is to be done.

There is, of course some ethical controversy that arose surrounding all of this and I wanted to share the view points of both Jon, Jason, and Ben as were expressed as comments on Jon’s site Louder than 11. Jason’s first comment is a response to this trailer:

Jason (Tarry): Good work with your re-development efforts. It is called the Winds and it was developed in 2005-2008

Jon Glassberg
Hi Jason,
Thanks for your comment. We had a nice conversation with Ben Scott a couple weeks ago about our development efforts in this area and yes, you are correct, the lower area has been developed and once again, you are correct in calling it “The Winds” as you and Cam? named it that when you developed boulders down there in the 2005-2008 range. The area we are referring to as “The Abyss” and “The Bends” is a large group of boulders below the summit of Mt. Epaulet, overlooking the Winds down in the meadow.

We have also developed bouldering above the tower that you bolted last year. You snagged a bunch of draws from my friend Ben Spannuth who sent a new line on the tower a few weeks ago. It would be super cool if we could get those draws back, especially after spending a week cleaning, hand drilling, and working on the project.

We spent some time in the main zone at the bottom of the hill last year developing some boulders but not more than a handful and nothing harder then v10. If we developed anything that might have already been cleaned and sent it was by accident and would love to know what you have developed in the area so that we dont have any overlap!

Jon, It’s all the same area. Call it what ever you want. You can even believe that we didn’t put up
lines in the talus above the tundra, but I do have issues with the Tower.

I imagine you believe you guys were the first to find the arête route on the tower too. I placed that first anchor on the arête on a Tuesday and placed a few nuts as directionals to clean the route. I came back 10 days later to find the entire route bolted with draws hanging and my directionals were gone. I was first taken back that someone would take it upon themselves to bolt another person’s obvious project, but that is simply an ethical issue. I can get past the fact that some people’s ethics are not as defined as others. Second, it is wilderness area. We need to be considerate of the pristine nature of the area and not leave fixed draws and, most importantly, motorized equipment is prohibited. I do not want anyone to create additional issues with the land managers that may adversely affect access to these areas. You may tell me that you did not use a power drill on the route, but then why are there 2 mis-holes.
It is hard to believe you would create a mis-hole with a hand drill. Lastly, regarding the draws, I am more that happy to return the draws to the owner. I left an obvious note at the base of the arête with my email address. I was told that you found that note, but no one bothered to contact me. Tell Ben Spannuth congratulations on his F.A. of the Arête. It is truly a proud, amazing route.

I am more than willing to walk the area to discuss our previous development effort and it
would be “super cool” if I could get my directionals back too.

Before you start discovering other “new” areas on Mount Evans, remember that there are 6 distinct valleys on and around Mount Evans that were previously developed between 2003 and 2009. Chicago lakes, Lincoln Lake and Abyss Lake are only 3 of the 6.

Ben Spannuth

Hey Jason,

Sorry to cause the whole tower fiasco, I wrongfully assumed the arête was an abandoned project because I only saw a single bolt and single nut below it. If it would have had more bolts I wouldn’t have finished it. If you left more than one nut (which it seems like you did since you said “a few nuts as directionals” they were not there when I bolted the route. It’s possible the wind swung them out…I had a draw and hanger spin off the second bolt a few days after finishing the bolting.

I understand not wanting draws on the tower. However, I left them anyway because I was going back nearly everyday my skin was up for climbing on it and it was extremely challenging to hang the draws while leading. Also, I didn’t like traversing between the anchors of the routes since dropping down to the left anchors was a little scary and setup for a big swing.

I did not use a power drill on any of the bolts. In fact, I’ve never used a power drill, don’t have one, and have never borrowed one from anyone. I placed four bolts on each of the two days I went out to bolt with Jon G’s hand drill and borrowed the hammer from Steve Hong. Also, I talked with the Mt Evans Park Service, Rob Pizem (who I knew had bolted in the area), and the Access Fund regarding permits and bolting rules in the Wilderness Area and was very clear it had to be done with a hand drill. All eight bolts I placed were hand drilled. Jon has video.

Regarding the mis holes, it was my first time using a hand drill and bolting in general. I’m not sure of the exact spots you’re talking about but would guess they’re both in the crux below the undercling or possibly one is there and one is in the initial overhang. The reason I’m guessing those places is because it was challenging to stay close to the wall in the blankish crux section and I failed to sink that bolt until I bolted the lower arete to pull in on. I also blew a hook while trying to hammer one in the steep section so maybe once I got solidly in place it was in a different spot? Again I’m not sure where the mis holes are but I definitely remember having to work around those two sections. Neither of them could be more than a couple hits deep. Additionally, I protection the initial overhang to the point well since I thought it was going to be harder than it ended up being and didn’t want to force people to bring a stick.

I don’t really care about the names of anything.

Again, sorry about the whole situation, I definitely never saw your note (I’d be willing to bet it was eaten by some little critters) but can imagine you were upset since something you put a bolt into got finished before you could come back. The bottom line for me is that the route had to be climbed, so I did want had to be done to make it climbable…although I could have asked around more before doing so.

I also don’t really care about the draws, but half of them are Jon’s so you should give them to him. I still have your nut, which I brought to the tower every day I went, but I’m not in CO for a long time so if you email me your address I’ll mail it.

The questions I’d like to ask are as follows: Who and what determines how a bouldering area is named? How long should someone wait to finish the job of a sport climb that is previously started? What if there isn’t a physical red-tag? Should there be a red-tag? Is it appropriate to produce a video of an area that rangers explicitly asked not to receive attention? Was any effort made to ask the rangers if filming a video was acceptable, even if directions are not given? Does this differ from the attention given Lincoln Lake, and if so, how? Does Jason have a right to take the draws, and to be upset about his missing directional gear, the route project being finished and red-pointed? Does Jon have the right to name (or rename) the area and to film there? Does Ben have the right to bolt and send the sport route? Thoughts?

I will repeat what I said earlier: I want to remain as factual as possible with this entire post. My intention is not to take sides, or to slander anyone, but to generate discussion about the ethics involved in the development of an area multiple parties have visited over the years. It is also to generate discussion about acceptable sport climbing practices in development. I have tried to remain as neutral as possible, and to share my knowledge of the history of the place.

33 Responses to “The Ethics of Development”

  1. JamesO

    13. Aug, 2012

    You should be careful how you word questions. They can be worded to evoke specific reactions and direct the conversation in a desired direction.

    Moreover I think these questions could be asked in a completely neutral manner, as in not bringing up this exact case.

    This cannot benefit Jason Tarry, however it can harm Jon Glassberg and Ben Spannuth. This last fact is most important and makes the neutrality of this post questionable.

  2. Matt

    13. Aug, 2012

    Who and what determines how a bouldering area is named?

    Should be a cooperative effort between the developing parties. But obviously, if you don’t know who the other developing party is, you can’t really coordinate anything with them and you are all but forced to do things on your own, including climbing “FAs” and naming problems. Personal note, I avoid naming naming things in new areas if I am 90% sure it’s already been sent.

    How long should someone wait to finish a bolting a sport climb?

    If no one has any idea when it was started, isn’t it fair game? If there was just one bolt, I would have had suspicions but if I came back a few days later with a mindset to finish it, and there was still one bolt, I would finish it. It is unfortunate Jason was unable to get back out to the area to finish bolting the route, but I believe there has to be an effort made to say “Hey, I’ll be out here in a few more days to finish.” Maybe red tag, or stash tools (if it will be a short return), or something like that. However, that part of the response was ambiguous because all that was said is that “I started to bolt and will return later.” When is later? Was it really just a few days? Or maybe a month or longer?

    Video appropriate?

    Sure. Just because there is a video doesn’t mean you will know how to get there or navigate. Giving directions and a topo is worse. If you create a video of these problems, you might have someone ask you were they are at which point you can offer to guide them through the area and explicitly state some ground rules about access.

    Next one isn’t really rhetorical. You’ll have to ask the people who went there if they asked the rangers about filming.

    Lincoln Lake is essentially the same. Sparse development in the past then an onslaught from the countries strongest climbers. Doesn’t seem Abyss Lake or The Winds or whatever has seen a complete “onslaught” yet.

    No one has the right to take draws. Sure he can be upset about the route getting finished but that is a mixed issue. Maybe he should have made more effort to say “don’t touch” and maybe Ben should have made more effort to say “Whose is this?”

    Last two were answered above.

  3. hume

    13. Aug, 2012

    We used to use Terraserver to find bouldering in KY too. We did a bunch of problems at a place called Blue Heron in the big south fork based on a Terraserver find. I think that was 2000 – 2001.

  4. B3

    13. Aug, 2012

    Dave, awesome!! thanks for sharing man. Great to hear and hope you’re well!

  5. B3

    13. Aug, 2012

    Again, James that is not my intention.

  6. B3

    13. Aug, 2012

    And James after rereading this post for the 10th time I still don’t see it that way. I think it is neutral.

  7. AB

    13. Aug, 2012

    Here’s my two cents:

    To the victor go the spoils.

    Ben’s new route looks amazing. You know what else looks amazing? All the other lines on that formation waiting to be done. Go fire up your hand drill and carve out your own slice of IMMORTALITY … History has proven that we all always, always benefit anytime a single human needs to stamp his own ego onto something.

    Best to get the English names and V-grades solidified, too, because in another eon or so, we’ll all be speaking some hybrid of Russo-Indo-Chinese and using the UIAA grading scale

  8. B3

    13. Aug, 2012

    Andrew, I agree that we have benefited from humans stamping their own egos, but not always. Any political leader who has done harm in this world is stamping their ego to the benefit of few, there are countless other examples.

  9. Adam M

    13. Aug, 2012

    Most of these things seem to be concentrated in the Colorado area. My question is: Is this because we have so much rock around and it’s easier to happen? Or is it the people?

    There are so many remote areas filled with rock. I find several every summer. I’m quite certain no one has ever climbed them. If I end up doing something that I think is a FA, and turns out it isn’t, I don’t think I’m going to get upset or start discovering the history of the rock to get it straight.

    Thanks for putting up some of the comments that have occurred between some of the parties though. That helped with this whole thing a bit. Well said Ben. Don’t think you really did anything I wouldn’t do. Come on, do people know Ben? Stand up guy. Best intentions are in place. Same with Jon. Knew about the past area, and developed what he believes to be a different area. Called it something else. I haven’t been there so I don’t know if you can just lump it all together into the same area (like saying area A B C D and Lincoln are all the same MT. Evans bouldering area)

    Do disagree with taking draws though. NO bueno. Remember that guy at Smith Rock? Don’t give me that “I wasn’t sure” crap.

    I see what you’re trying to do Jamie, have a discussion with neutrality. You have the good intentions as well to hold a debate and talk about climbing without sides. It’s just really tricky to do that when it comes to the topic of “Ethics.” It’s a purely personal discussion rooted in beliefs, so it’s going to get personal one way or the other! Good luck though! I just hope people can go climbing without feeling like they’re trampling someone else’s bouldering.

    Glad no one’s going to find my special climbing areas any time soon…

  10. AB

    13. Aug, 2012

    Jamie: I was being sarcastic

  11. bmj

    13. Aug, 2012

    @Adam M: It isn’t the people–the same thing happens everywhere. We just hear about it more in a place like CO because it’s such a desirable location for climbers. No one really cares about the soap operas around sector names and “who found what, when” in the forests of SW PA.

  12. B3

    13. Aug, 2012

    AB Ah that makes more sense.

  13. jacob

    13. Aug, 2012

    doesn’t anybody know how to read? jason explained why he took the draws…mt. evans is a wilderness area. you are not allowed to leave draws, or stash gear, or stash crashpads(like there are in every area of mt. evans every summer…i counted 15 one day at lincoln lake) in a wilderness area. how does this not make sense to some of you?
    and don’t badmouth jason for takiing those draws. he didn’t know when ben was coming back, just as ben didn’t know that jason had put time into it.

  14. Munky

    13. Aug, 2012

    It’s the people! You guys care way too much. I swear everytime I go to this site (which is about once every couple of weeks) I read the same type of discussion/argument/commentary/etc. I always come to the same conclusion that the Boulder (or for that matter Front Range) scene is way too caught up in the seriousness and legitamacy of rock climbing. My god men, its not life or death, nor is it even remotely important on a global scale. So, I ask you who gives a flying fuck? Go out and climb rocks. Who cares what the area is called, what the grade is, where the problem starts, etc. Are you getting paid for this? At the end of the day, you know if you had fun, or pushed yourself to your limit. You know if you are a better rock climber than your mate or whether he is better than you. Its just rock climbing, and in the case of most of the discussions just bouldering. You are climbing up rocks that are usually at most 10-15 feet in height. Playing on erratics. WTF is wrong with people.

  15. Jabroni

    13. Aug, 2012

    I don’t see the re-naming of the sector as anything particularly worrisome. A sector can be huge or tiny as people see fit. Call half of it the Abyss, or the whole thing Big Area of Rocks.

    I think the main issue is with the climbs themselves, and the ‘theft’ of climbs, and this should be more easily avoided with the guide creation capability available through online sites nowadays. Presuming that Jon and co do their research before heading out, which it sounds like they did but info was limited. All that’s needed is to have a few photos and some descriptions online, with a simple ‘project, please stay off’.

    I’ve done exactly that with an area I’ve been developing. The guide is online and updated anytime I climb out there. It doesn’t currently include directions so it could be just about anywhere, but it has sector names and photos and topos of the climbs. If anyone wants to snake a project (or sector) and call it something else, they’re going to have to prove my friends and I didn’t send it first and explain why they didn’t do some research first on why some boulders were clean and others were mossy as crap.

    Is that approach going to cause issues with a sensitive area? Perhaps. Certainly having something online with juicy photos will get interest up in the area, and if one of the select group happen to talk about it, you may end up with it being overrun with climbers.

    Take your pick – potential for lines to be snaked, or potential for overuse.

  16. Beau

    14. Aug, 2012

    oh jesus, here we go again..

  17. me

    14. Aug, 2012

    I recently heard of a similar situation with someone calling for a boulder problem name change due to starting 1 move lower (in addition to not liking the name). Personally, I think it is all kind of silly, but whatever… history is written by the Victors… I know two Victors… I could put you in touch for a fee.

  18. me

    14. Aug, 2012

    I also find it pretty amazing that such a silly situation will lead to an “ethics” debate, but trampling a fragile place like Lincoln with a network of infinite braided trails seems to raise little, if any, concern.

  19. JamesO

    14. Aug, 2012


    I think you might actually have it a touch backwards, this seems to have created a larger impact on you than it does on those discussing. We know it is rock climbing, we do go climb on rocks, and some people like talking about rock climbing and all of its facets, one of which is ethics. I do not understand the commonly mentioned :

    “My god men, its not life or death, nor is it even remotely important on a global scale.” and “You are climbing up rocks that are usually at most 10-15 feet in height”

    Very very very little is important on a global scale, the only thing I can think of is perhaps nuclear power and weapons. And millions enjoy kicking a ball around a field, which sometime results in riots. That commonly mentioned “argument” is nonsensical.

    I just recently enjoyed the Dark Knight Rises, I cried the first time, and somefuckinghow I cried the second time as well. Somewhere on the internet I am sure there are people arguing about plot, hypotheticals, and Batman’s gizmos. I do not find these forums and leave comments telling them that Batman is just a movie and to calm down. They know it is a movie. They enjoy talking about it.

  20. Rich Crowder

    14. Aug, 2012

    My three cents on the topic.

    – Last year when we first came upon the tower in question, Jon and I asked around the community to figure out what the deal was. With notable alpine route developer names like Jason Haas and Rob Pizem as well as their friends drawing blanks, we considered the tower a feature which was far from being red taped. Combine that with the 30+ days this summer without seeing another soul.

    – I dont think anyone involved in the most recent Louder Than 11 project “The Abyss” has any intention of renaming or loosing the name “The Winds”. we respect the fact that our colorado bouldering development leaders had been there. We simply are calling the entire valley “The Abyss” with a few other sub-sectors including, “The Winds”.

    – When you name an area and consider yourself to be prolific enough to cement that in history you better be ready to tell the world. making secret pacts with your buddies, and reclusively putting up a couple problems then getting all pissed off when someone actually puts it out there for the climbing community to enjoy is a funny way of “developing”.

    – to claim that we are “redeveloping” the area is a load of BS. We have put blood, sweat and tears into scrubbing, climbing and documenting what I believe to be the vast majority of the established problems.

    – As many may suspect we are not actually of bunch of bro’s smoking pot and kicking marmots in the face while out climbing. We have addressed the access concerns with all the right governing bodies and organisations.

  21. 1 Beer, 2 Nuts, 1 Tiny Bolt

    14. Aug, 2012

    I’d like to start out by saying thank you for the article B3. I love reading debates that show why climbers can’t play their cool, but when exactly did people start treating a cluster of boulder problems like a cheating girlfriend?

    Jason Tarry- Don’t worry! Just because Jon and Ben drilled her doesn’t mean she won’t remember the good times you shared, and she will still enjoy your company I’d imagine (after all…You were psyched on the rock because it was a fun chase, not because you were the first person to do the chasing? Right? Also don’t worry about the secondary grease from their hands; it’ll take one rainfall to wash that away).

    @ Jon Glassberg- Quit being a media asshole and consolidate with multiple people before posting either a video or updating your scorecard of spray on I too have a long-term undone project that I am intimate with and I cleanse my mind under it all of the time. If I went to it one day and found some bull shit on it I would be pissed too…so don’t be surprised that Ben S.’ gear was missing. A recovery note is justifiable…even if a storm did blow it away. You know Jason T. took it too, so don’t try to imply that he was being sketchy and trying to steal from you.

    @ Jon Sherman- You’re the man! You did so much for climbing and I thank you for it. I respect you for dedicating so much joint pain and money to help progress and direct bouldering into its’ proper mindset. Much respect. I have to say though…why the hell are you in the introduction of this Jon Glassberg video then? Fool! Why don’t you go into stories of how you would strip the bolts of popular sport routes after you completed some boring alternate route using all trad gear? Or how crash pads are making new climbers not try as hard because it takes away the scare factor. At the very least you could have stated that while you were dreaming the holds on the unseen rock, you definitely weren’t dreaming of a line coming out of a cave buried in darkness. The editing of the video was implied to make us think that you were backing up the fact that Jon G. & crew are the 1% doing the 90%…haha. You aren’t the badass I thought you were Mr. Sherman. A germ free adolescence ends eventually…but that doesn’t mean you have to become a vermin and infect others with your hypocritical ways.

    @ Everyone- The rock belongs to the EARTH and it is a friend of all users. It isn’t yours and it can’t cheat on you…only you can cheat yourself on it.

  22. joost

    14. Aug, 2012

    (Re)developing area’s is about doing good research. Doing good research is showing respect. You miss out on bits and pieces? Then somebody probably feels disrespected.

    Climbing… it’s just like life.

  23. jacob

    14. Aug, 2012

    these same people added to the development of areas a,b,c, d and e…they seem pretty cemented in history to me. and by the way ben said himself above that he could have done more research about the area.

    i guess that the real question is: if someone that isn’t from boulder develops a route or bouldering sector, does it really count?…everybody up here in ft. collins knew about these places, so nobody was keeping secret pacts or reclusively putting up a couple problems. some people just don’t spray on the same level as LLT11.
    ben s.,cam, jason and many others have been developing those areas for years and just because they may not be as prolific as jon, et al, that shouldn’t take away from all that they contributed.
    and of course you’re not redeveloping an area, but you’re also not discovering a new one.

    for me, this debate brings up a very interesting point. why, as climbers, do we get so protective and even develop some sense of ownership over a piece of rock. we all climb rocks, we’re all in this together and we all love it. then why the petty nonsense and subtle, passive aggressive comments?
    is it human nature? is it the nature of climbers? is it just plain selfishness? i’m as guilty as anybody…i got all bent out of shape, because someone sent and renamed a project of mine. i felt a sense of ownership over the line and hoped that the person that sent it would at least keep some of the project name, but they didn’t. and for some reason it bothered me. i had to let go of my ego and see the accomplishment for what it was before i could move on. that moment seriously changed the way i looked at bouldering and my attitude about the sport.

  24. […] after the road closes for winter. Regardless, there’s been some controversy (guess where) at B3bouldering. Jon Glassberg also posted about it at his blog. Jered scrubs the top of Adam’s new problem […]

  25. slabdyno

    15. Aug, 2012

    friggin sherman, you sellout

  26. Rich folks problems

    15. Aug, 2012

    My humble opinion does not matter but hear goes.

    Does it really matter what an area is Called. NOPE
    Only for those who found it first does it matter. I understand the personal attachment to finding an area, but again let that one go.

    Should people draw attention to special areas with access issues via videos. HELL NO. Try blowing up certain surf spots and see how long ya last. All gberg has to do is show the vids without giving names of areas. Problem solved.

    As far as taking someone’s project, that’s low but I don’t know how small the community is out there. Down south people who climb at high levels generally know and respect each other, but shit happens.

    I find in hard to believe that’s if both parties talked to park rangers Nd access fund about the same project and no one realized this.

    Either way glad gberg is not blowing up NC spots. Love to see him trying to rename spots in the THC.

  27. 3 cents

    15. Aug, 2012

    Rich Crowder… here are 3 cents in reply.

    First, I agree with Jacob. Asking Pizem and Haas if they knew about the tower hardly qualifies as doing your homework. What about asking Jamie, the person whose blog you are posting on and the guidebook author to Evans bouldering? Obviously he knows Ben and Jason well, knew they were the developers of most everything in the area, and would have pointed you in their direction. As Jacob points out, asking a few people in the Boulder climbing community isn’t exactly representative of all front range climbers. It was possible to get ahold of Jason and you guys didn’t do that, regardless of how you justify that fact. In the original post, I see Jon reached out to Ben Scott, after all the development, for an interview for the video. Why wasn’t that done before starting down this whole path? The information about who developed the area was not a secret.

    Also, the statements you and Ben Spannuth are making are contradictory. First, you state you found the tower last year, saw the existing bolted line, and started asking around. There was no anchor on the arete at that time. This year, when you came to bolt the arete, ya’ll found an anchor bolt and directionals. Since neither of those were their the previous year, it was highly improbable the project was “abandoned.” Smells fishy to me.

    Second, you ARE renaming the area. That valley is known as the Winds, not the Abyss, and has been for a decade. You can name your problems whatever you please, but you should actually demonstrate your stated respect for the “Colorado bouldering development leaders” and keep the name the valley has been known by for the past ten years. Calling the whole valley something different, and renaming just “a sector” as The Winds is simply self-aggrandizing. Intentional ignorance of past development is no defense.

    Third. This statement: “When you name an area and consider yourself to be prolific enough to cement that in history you better be ready to tell the world. making secret pacts with your buddies, and reclusively putting up a couple problems then getting all pissed off when someone actually puts it out there for the climbing community to enjoy is a funny way of “developing.” is downright insulting. Do you have any idea how many routes and problems Ben Scott and Jason Tarry have put up on the Front Range, and at Evans specifically?? They are some of the more prolific developers around. Simply because they choose to avoid the limelight doesn’t invalidate their development, nor does it make it a “secret pact” between them. They have no duty to “tell the world.” How is what you and your crew are doing with video and the internet more valid? Perhaps there is something to be learned from their style of NOT telling the world, rather than capturing all your proud sends on video and spraying it around the internet.

    Fourth: I agree that you are not redeveloping the area. However, you absolutely are continuing development in an already established area. Again, some homework and a walkthrough would have demonstrated how many routes and problems are established and where they are. As for your blood, sweat and tears? Guess what, every developer puts those into a new area. Doesn’t make you special or give you a pass on these actions.

    I would also like to point out that shortly after posting this topic, Jamie posted yet another appeal here not to stash pads in the Evans wilderness. The draws hanging on the tower qualified as trash, and were a threat to access for everybody who climbs at Mt Evans. Jason absolutely did the right thing removing those draws. He should give them back at this juncture, but Ben Spannuth should not have left them there. Such actions which endanger access for everyone are selfish, end of story.

    Finally, you have not addressed Jamie’s most important question. Why are videos being made and promoted about an area that the rangers have requested not be publicized? Have you talked to the rangers about the video and the attention that will result from it?

    I’m much more interested in the answer to those questions than I am about who calls which problem by what name, or who bolts whose line. If you jeopardize everybody’s access to the entire Evans area through your actions, will you and the LT11 crew take full responsibility for doing so?

  28. Ted

    16. Aug, 2012

    Is it just me…? Or is the entire LT11 crew just trying to monetize climbing for themselves through the production of self promotional “content”? The “teasers” have shown their cards…

    All climbers are amateurs. And LT11 should start shooting wedding videos…

  29. Rich Crowder

    16. Aug, 2012

    @3cents – I just want to be clear with one thing. I (we) have enormous amounts of respect for Jason, Ben, Cam, Jamie, etcetera . What they have done for the sport, especially in CO, is an amazing contribution and I dont want that respect to get lost in this conversation of internet chatter. Ben Scott, Jon, Jordan and I had a good laugh about all this in his garage a couple weeks ago.

    Also the tower has two aretes. the one I referred to was a completed line, fully bolted, 11d??. an amazing rock climb. im told it was put up by Jason.

    We’ve obviously got different info on how The Winds was found/developed. front range climbing hear say. Why was Area ABCD, Lincoln Lake and Aerials on the radar of the Boulder bouldering community and not The Winds? I’ll admit, personally I haven’t been here long. So I dont have much room to jump to conclusions. but I feel a valid point.

  30. joeyjoejoe

    16. Aug, 2012

    Ted – LT11 gives access to ALL their videos for free. They do their best to produce high-quality videos, and they’ve become pretty good at it in the last couple of years. Every now and then they do get hired to shoot a climbing event, and get paid for it.

    Is there something wrong with having a filming company made up of climbers, who also happen to shoot awesome videos of themselves and give them away for free?

    Chuck Fryberger is another climber/filmer who makes money through his work. Is he also bad because he is “monetizing” climbing? How about Big Up Productions? If climbers shouldn’t make climbing videos, who should? Hollywood?

  31. BigA

    17. Aug, 2012

    Am I the only one who laughed out loud at the suggestion that wind blew one of the nuts out on the arête?

    I always hate spending a day or two on a route leaving some gear behind, only to come back to find the dreaded wind has blown it all away

  32. Ted

    18. Aug, 2012


    Perhaps climbers should climb.

    Big Up, Sender, and Fryeburger do a much better job.

    Trust fund kids with cameras do not a production company make…

    “none of this will matter in 100 years” -kehl

  33. Sean F

    19. Aug, 2012

    If I ever needed more confirmation that I made the right choice not to live and climb in Colorado, this is it.

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