Knowing it all...

A couple years ago, my friend Brandon Workman and I climbed Index's Upper Town Wall via the 5-pitch sport climb called The Golden Road. A new route, the first pitch featured bolts next to a crack, with every other pitch being bolted face climbing. The first pitch also seeps water long after the upper pitches dry out, and it's not unusual to pull on bolts or a cam to get through the p1 wetness. That's what Brandon and I did, which had me remarking that the bolts on this pitch weren't even needed. I knew cracks shouldn't be bolted, and that-was-that. I mentioned it to a couple friends at the time.

And I was way wrong. Those bolts were placed to prevent folks from having to use the crack, which ran along the left-side of a solid-looking, but fully-detached block. A week ago, the Index guidebook author and climbing partner levered the whole block off the wall, while aiding through that section on a #3 friend. This is the exact same thing
Brandon and I had done, and with gear in the very same crack that I said should make those bolt unnecessary. Maybe the first ascentionist, someone who'd climbed at index for years and spent hours on the route, did actually know the rock a little better than a 21-year-old kid who did the climb one time. It's a good reminder...

There are few people who are more often in the wrong than those who cannot endure to be so.
Francois De La Rochefoucauld

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