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2012, Oct, 6
Hope you are well.
I just wanted to let you know that I spent a half hour on the phone yesterday trying to find some peace and talk about a satisfying solution to the climb on Morcheka. I want to offer you this statement as a way to hopefully bring some peace, and calm to this heated controversy. We are all climbers and I would like to see us get along and respect each other.
Here is my statement, feel free to publish it.
First, I would like to offer my sincere apology to all "Morcheki's" and the Ukranian climbing community and anyone else offended by the style in which myself and Sergey Nefedov climbed our route on Morcheka, and for the unneeded drama that this ascent has brought. As I relied on Sergey as my translator and guide, I had no idea that there was in fact a ground up history and ethic applying to Morcheka, and followed Sergey's lead. I believed we were acting in accordance with Crimean climbing ethics. Had I known about the exciting and worthwhile ground up history of Morcheka, I never would have established the route on rappel. In fact there would have been added value and adventure in free climbing our route from the ground and it would have made a lovely ground up route.
If you look at my climbing resume, you will find that I have climbed many routes around the world in a ground up style, and have a huge respect for people that achieve first ascents starting from the ground. For instance I climbed in the Czech Republic adhering to their style of no chalk, and knots for protection. Just this spring I achieved a beautiful first ascent free climb on the Dragon Horns of Malaysia climbing from the ground and hand drilling from hooks. So I am in no way an enemy of ground up ethics.
To make it perfectly clear, I want to give the ground up only ethic on Morcheka my full endorsement and apologize for my ignorance and accidental discretion. I believe that the best outcome that can come out of my climb with Sergey is that this rule of "ground up only" on the beautiful Morcheka will become more widely known and publicized so that another controversy like this will never happen again. Now that I have learned about the history of Morcheka, I offer my respect and admiration for the tradition, pioneers and ethics of the mountain. So, please, GROUND UP ONLY ON MORCHEKA.
I know some people have been upset by Sergey's response to this controversy. I believe in freedom of speech and Sergey's right to speak his opinion, but to be clear these are Sergey's opinions and not mine. I would like to move on from this controversy and show my respect and love for climbers on both sides.
What should be done from here to bring peace and make things right? I know that many people are proposing that our route be erased, which saddens me, but perhaps at this point this is the logical solution. The rock we climbed was of incredible quality, and relied largely on cams and stoppers for upwards progress, but some bolts were placed on rappel which I now realize goes against the local ethics of Morcheka. In a testament to what an amazing mountain Morcheka is, the quality of the free climbing on this route is amongst the best I have ever done in my life, sustained, with interesting, gymnastic movement on high quality and unique limestone. I'm sure that most of the other routes are equally amazing on this Crimean climbing treasure.
Since I am now back in the United States, I can only offer my support for whatever is deemed the best solution. Morcheka is not my mountain and the next moves are in no way my decision. I will not be upset if the climb is removed from the wall.
So, hopefully, this can bring some peace to the situation. I believe that all climbers are of one tribe, and though we may disagree on some things, it is important that we find solidarity. Having traveled the world, I can say that we as climbers share a magical passion that makes us better people. WE LOVE CLIMBING. We face challenges, danger and adversity and become stronger because of it. Let us remember that at the end of the day when the all of the controversy and ethical debate is finished that we are a family and must treat each other with love and respect.
So, with love and respect for the beautiful rock and people of Crimea I offer my sincere apology. For those who climb in Crimea, you are lucky, it is truly a climbers paradise. Hope to see you on the rock!
There were enough people seeing it today...
We were not chopping bolts, btw, we use motorised cutting machine to cut bolts, then hammer them down the hole, then apply special plaster. The result is - no sign of bolts. Unless you have metal detection machine.
Unrelated question: why did you place bolts on the second pitch if you removed hangers from them?
Hey yuri thanks for getting back to me.. I have never climbed on these climbs. We took the center route 1st pitch to start the route.
It is a relief to know that the alleged chopping of holds is not on my route. To me this is the ultimate sin a climber can make.
I'd sincerely appreciate it if you made it clear on your blog that I had nothing to do with these 2 sport climbs and find chipping very offensive. I took center route which is a fantastic free pitch. Thanks. I do not condone chipping.
Also if cold war is to be chopped I'd like to offer a donation of cash or gear in compensation for your time and energy. Feel free to call.
I want to give all my
Hey Yuri, so I looked at your blog. I don't think there is any question that these are chiseled or more specifically drilled holds on his sport climbs. This is very sad, and I am quite surprised that Sergey would do something like this. To me this goes beyond climbing ethics and is a Crime agains the rock. Very ugly and something I want nothing to do with. I appreciate you making it clear that I in no way condone this type of behavior. Anna feel free to publish this email.
As far money or supplying gear, perhaps this is the wrong sentiment, but the community does deserve compensation for the hard work that you and your friends are doing cleaning up Morcheka, when you could be spending time enjoying the beautiful climbs of the area. I would like to compensate the community in some way to continue to show my good will. I am open to ideas. Perhaps there is a fund I could donate to or an alpine club that might help to maintain the trail or clean up trash around morcheka or other cliffs.
Thanks for responding so quickly to my email, when I thought I was being accused of chipping, this was one of the worst feelings of my climbing life.
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